From the Visitor and Telegraph
LETTER FROM THE CHOCTAW MISSION.
[The subjoined article is an extract of a letter, recently received at this Office from Mr. Jewell, a Missionary stationed at Emmaus in the Choctaw Nation. The Choctaws reside in the State of Mississippi between the Tombigbee and Mississippi rivers, their population, is estimated at 20,000.- The mission was commenced in 1818. It has seven or eight stations. The one from which our correspondent writes, is near the Southern limit of the Choctaw country. The rapacious and cruel avarice of some of our citizens of whom he speaks, merits the indignant frown of every friend of justice and humanity- and that such men should be members of the church of Christ-should awaken Christians to call on God-and use the proper means to remove this cause of reproach.] His letter is dated-
EMMAUS, CHOCTAW NATION,
July 23, 1828.
DEAR SIR,- Perhaps I ought to make some apology for having suffered so long a time to elapse, since writing you, especially considering your continued kindness in forwarding you valuable papers for the benefit of this station. I can however, plead no excuse for the delay, but the constant pressure of business which is upon my hands, and the want of matter that would be interesting. It would be truly gratifying to me, would I interest you, as much as I am interested by your useful papers; but, situated as I am in the midst of a wilderness, there is little variety of circumstance to interest any person, unless the Great Head of the Church should condescend to bless our feeble efforts, to the salvation of some of these children of the forest; such an event would no doubt interest every real child of God, but alas, a labor of ten years in this dreary land, we have hardly as yet, been permitted to witness any thing like a revival among the people to whom we are sent. However, we are not left without some evidence that labors are not in vain.
There have been several seasons of more than usual inquiry in regard to the things of eternity- at Elliot, Mayhew, Goshen, and Ai-ik-hunnah stations, and several souls at each of these places have been hopefully brought into the kingdom; and also several united with the church at Bethel, before that station was given up; but most of these converts, were whites and blacks, so that we can still number few from among the natives. When Missionaries see so little visible effect of their labors on the people for whose best good they have left home with all its endearments; it often suggests to them many solemn reflections. They often charge the whole to their unfaithfulness, incapacity, and want of proper qualifications for the work-not unfrequently [sic] they stop to compare the heathen among whom they labor, with those where other Missionaries are laboring, and try to find some social difference between them, which might operate as a barrier against their receiving the gospel. At other times, when they witness the Christian public, all awake in behalf of some mission which is very signally blessed; they are then apt to feel that the people of God almost forget them, and the poor heathen of their charge at the throne of grace. But when we are enabled to rise above everything of a worldly nature, and view God as a Sovereign, and feel that his promises cannot fail, but must be accomplished in his own time; it is then we can go forward with confidence, though we should seem only to be beating the air.
The anxiety of many of the citizens of the United States to obtain the lands of the natives, I think has an unfavorable influence on the cause of missions among them; and besides, many of the white people circulate reports among the Indians, quite unfavorable to the mission; but we have no reason to expect any thing better, from people who contend that 'might makes right;' and such people are not uncommon in this southern section of the country. Were it not for the prayers of the church, I should have no hope that these Indians would ever become evangelized, indeed I should sooner look for their extermination. If the United States Commissioners, who are appointed to make treaties with the Indians, have power to depose such chiefs as they cannot bribe, and then be permitted a few troops to awe the rest into compliance, I see not but the poor children of the forest must be doubly entombed in the wilderness beyond the rocky mountains. If it were only the people of the world who manifested such opposition to the welfare of the natives, it would be a matter of little surprise; but when we see men ( as we frequently do in this vicinity)_ who profess to be the sincere followers of him, who freely laid down his life for the salvation of a ruined world, using all their influence to send these perishing fellow beings far beyond every state of civilization, and far beyond the means of instruction, we cannot but be astonished; and we are thereby often led to exclaim in the language of the Word of God, Surely 'Righteousness has fallen in the street, and equity does not enter.' But we do rejoice to learn that there are some, even in the halls of Congress who can rise above a selfish policy and plead in behalf of suffering humanity,- Mr. Wood's speech is a noble instance of this; may the blessing of many ready to perish come upon him.
But I have doubtless already tresspassed [sic] too long upon your time and patience, I will therefore only add, our sincerest thanks for your continued kindness in forwarding us your papers for so long a time; we do sincerely wish its continuance, although we feel ourselves unworthy of so valuable a donation.- In behalf of the Mission Family at Emmaus, I subscribe myself,
Your very ob't servant