From the Pandect.
Extract of a letter from the Rev. Cyrus Byington, missionary among the Choctaw tribe of Indians, to Mr. C. Kemper, dated.
Aukhuna, Dec. 28, 1828
My dear Brother Kemper:
*********** 'While I was sick, my brethren held a four days' meeting for the benefit of the Choctaws. They came from a great distance. The Spirit of the Lord was present, as we hope. Many were awakened and continue so About 13 persons sat on the anxious seat. David Folsom, the Chief, took an active part. Before the meeting commenced, he wrote me a note expressing a hope that I would be able to attend and do something for the glory of God. He also remarked, I would be willing to preach two sermons a day during the meeting. He is a great speaker. His heart became much affected during the meeting. He entreated all who felt themselves to be lost, to sit on a bench by themselves. Several came forward, and he went and sat down with them. One of his brothers has since said, 'I do not know what was the matter with David that day; for when he began to talk our hearts bounced and bounded.' One man who had never heard the gospel before, was much affected, lay awake all Saturday night, and in the morning went to Folsom and told him his feelings, who related them to the missionaries. When the meeting closed, the man wept, went home to his family and talked to his friends, who did all they could to persuade him to throw away what he had heard. But he said, 'How can I? It is in me; it hangs to my heart; and my heart goes after God, and how can I throw away the Gospel?' He remained at home some days, called his family together, talked to them till he wept, and then started off for Folsom's to hear more.
You remember Sampson. His father's family is one of our most interesting families. His father and a brother were, as I am told, much affected. One of his sisters sat on the anxious seat, and is a very interesting young woman. While the anxious were seated, old Tanupinchufa was requested to tell them how he had found mercy, 'c. So he arose and talked to them in a very simple but affecting manner. He told them when he first heard the gospel he thought of it,and tried to pray; but his heart got into a knot, 'c. At the meeting he was asked some questions; among others, whether his heart was ever cold, and felt unwilling to pray. He replied, 'I am a red man. I do not know much. I do not know how white men think. But I pray, I love to pray-- pray in the morning and at noon.- I pray at night; if I wake up I pray then, and when I am in the field at work and sit down to rest, I pray- And I am happy.' And from all I knew of him, I do think he told the truth. Since my return I have had much conversation with him. He often calls to see me.
I now hope to be able to attend a two days' meeting at Mr. Cushman's on the first Sabbath of January.- There are several in that neighborhood who are serious. David Folsom's father and two of his sister(sic) we hope are pious. Anna Horner has married a half brother of David. She told him that he must love God first and then love her. He is quite serious, as I am told. Anna is the same that her letters indicate. You can hardly judge how glad we have been in meeting; and when she told me how she wept when I was sick. It touched me, and still makes the tears start as I think of her. It is a privilege to be a missionary among the chosen vessels of mercy.