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and Bible Societies suppose, or relinquish their opposi tion.
It is alike characteristic of the grand operation of nature and of providence, that their proudest results often turn upon some almost imperceptible point. The grandest river that swells the ocean may be traced to some little rill that rises in the bosom of some unexplored forest. And many of the grandest moral results that have ever blest our world, may be traced to some thought engendered in the closet of secret prayer, or at the social christian fireside. See Elias Boudinot, S. J. Mills, and D. Smith, anxiously devising means for the establishment of the American Bible Society, 16 months before the meeting of that heaven-directed convention which organized that noble institution. May we not suppose that this was the very meeting that confirmed the good old judge in his plan, and determined him to make that appeal to the American public which eventuated in the formation of the American Bible Society. This mighty stream that now fertilizes so large a portion of the garden of God, may be traced up to Burlington. At the consecration of its waters D. Smith assisted. Upon this triumvirate heaven smiled, and the kindred spirits of these three men, now all in glory, press nearer together when they think of Burlington, and of Aug. 12, 1813; and when they witness the triumphs of the American Bible Society, they labour for a higher note of praise.
The limits of this sketch will not permit us to pursue but imperfectly the footsteps of this faithful and judicious young man. We are compelled to pass various
circumstances mentioned in his journal, when on his way from Philadelphia, and on the Ohio, every one of which tend to characterize him as an humble and most devoted man. At St. Louis he thus writes: "Last Saturday, the 5th inst, I reached this place. This is the western-most point contemplated in our tour. We have now travelled about 1500 miles; and truly we can say, "Hitherto the Lord hath helped." Not only have our lives and health been preserved, in a sickly climate, at a very sickly time-not only have we been preserved from personal danger; but the Lord has wonderfully prospered our way before us. By the dif ferent denominations of Christians we have been received with affection and with confidence. Infidels and profane persons have treated us with marked attention and respect, and have contributed liberally in favour of our plans Our hearts are encouraged. We are confident that the Lord is with us. We therefore cheerfully address ourselves to our important and arduous labours. If the Lord be for us, no matter who is against us."
These were probably the first Missionaries, that ever visited St. Louis. And we have here a faithful picture of the manner in which they were received. This portrait is highly creditable to the western country in general, and especially to St. Louis. That circumstance which most deeply interests the benevolent reader in this part of Mr. Smiths journal, is the manner in which he and his.companion, Mr. Mills, were received by christians of different denominations. Every intelligent christian must lament that spirit of division that
has so long rent the church, and every person must see in Missionary and Bible Societies the only effective means of pulling down those partitions which have so long kept christians out of each other's embraces. There was nothing that the .writer of this sketch admired more in the character of Mr. Smith than that pure and fervent heart with which he loved real christians of all denominations. While he contended earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, where the fundamentals of christianity were concerned, he received to his very heart the humble, the good, and the pious of every denomination, though they might differ from him in some minor matters, And certainly this charitable disposition, next to ardent piety, ought to be a leading characteristic of every Missionary man. And no man ought to be employed by any denomination as a missionary who does not possess it."
It appears by Mr. Smith's journal that after he had travelled from Louisville to St. Louis by land, having passed by Vincennes and several other towns, distributing his Bibles and Testaments, and endeavouring to organize churches, and form Bible Societies, he again returned to Kentucky before he descended the river to Natchez and New Orleans. In the spirit of that charity of which we have just spoken, we find him in Frankfort, Kentucky, thus writing: "Mr. Noel mentions that the Baptist denomination in Kentucky have formed a Foreign Missionary Society; and have raised four or five hundred dollars. But at present they knew not how to appropriate their money. Party prejudices will not suffer them to send it to the British colonies in In
dia. O when shall the day come when men shall feel and act like brethren-when party prejudices shall no more alienate and divide-when man shall ravage no more-and when that kingdom which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, shall everlastingly prevail."
In another town in Kentucky we find him making the following notice in his journal: "On this occasion my emotions were peculiar. I found myself in a large town, containing 2 or 3000 inhabitants. Mr. Mills had been here two Sabbaths, and I two, and neither of us had been able to collect a congregation for the worship of God. I walked through the streets, indulging the reflections my situation inspired. The negroes werd collected in groups, laughing and swearing. The boys were playing and hallooing through the town. A vast number of men were out in the skirts of the town, firing at the prodigious flocks of pigeons which were flying over. While the more moral and respectable gentlemen of the place were caly riding out into the country for amusement. Where am I! in a christian or a heathen country. If in a beathen country, why is the first day noticed at all. If in a christian, why is it noticed with more noise, and profanity, and wickedness, than any other day of the seven."
Here we cannot forbear indulging in the pleasing reflection, that times are much altered in the west since the years 1814-15, which is the date of Mr. Smith's journal. I imagine it would not be possible for any Missionary to spend two Sabbaths in any town in the western country without being pressed to preach
seems these two dear Missionaries could not obtain an audience in one of our large towns in which there are at this moment three large churches, and a considerable portion of the inhabitants regular and we hope devout worshippers.
I cannot forbear presenting the reader with Mr. Smith's reflections when he had arrived at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi.
"The rivers of Western America are indeed wonderful. The Ohio, formed by the junction of the Monongahela and the Allegany, both large navigable rivers, receives in its course the waters of the Muskingum, the Kenahway, and the Miamies, the Scioto, the Kentucky, and the Wabash:-it then unites with the Cumberland and Tennessee, and rolls itself off, a mighty flood. The Mississippi, fed by a thousand tributary streams, receives the Illinois, and, passing on, unites with the tur bid Missouri, larger by far than itself. The congregated waters roll forward-meet those of the vast Ohio, and instantly swallow them up, scarcely seeming to be at all increased. At this interesting point I am now arrived. And gladly would I turn the attention of christian America to these mighty streams; not because I see on their banks unexampled fertility, and an inexhaustible source of wealth; but because their shores will one day be lined with an immense population-and because now is the time to sow the seeds of morality, and establish the institutions of religion, in this rising world. If the disciples of Christ do not, the men of Belial will occupy the ground. And then a century may pass away before they will be dispossessed."