페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Spanish Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States (1854); The Fallen Brave (1861); Early Voyages Up and Down the Mississippi and NovumBelgium : an Account of New Netherlands in 1643-44 (1862); The Story of a Great Nation (1886); History of the Catholic Church in the United States (1886– 88), and a Life of Archbishop Hughes in the American Religious Leaders series (1889). Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints was published posthumously (1894).

THE EXPEDITION OF FATHER MARQUETTE.

The French Government in Canada at last resolved to send out an expedition of discovery. In November, 1672, Frontenac wrote to Colbert, the great prime minister of France : “I have deemed it expedient for the service to send the Sieur Jolliet to the country of the Maskoutens, to discover the South Sea (Pacific Ocean), and the great river called Mississippi, which is believed to empty into the gulf of California.' One single man with a bark canoe was all the Provincial Government could afford; but Jolliet had evidently planned his course. Like the Sulpitians he proceeded to a Jesuit mission, to that of Father James Marquette, who had so long been planning a visit to the country of the Illi. nois, and who, speaking no fewer than six Indian languages, was admirably fitted for such an exploration. That missionary received permission or direction from his superiors to join Jolliet on his proposed expedition, and there are indications that the venerable Bishop Laval, to accredit him to the Spanish authorities whom he might encounter, made him his Vicar-General for the lands into which they were to penetrate.

Jolliet reached Michilimackinac on the 8th of December, 1672, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the pious missionary with whom he was to make the exploration, thenceforward made the Immaculate Conception the title of his discovery and mission. They spent he winter studying their projected route by way of Green Bay, acquiring from intelligent Indians all possible knowledge of the rivers they should meet, and the tribes they would encounter. All this information they embodied on a sketch-map, both possessing no little topographical skill. On the 17th of May, 1673, Father Marquette and Jolliet, with five men in two canoes, set out, taking no provision but some Indian corn and some dried meat. Following the western shore of Lake Michigan, they entered Green Bay, and ascended Fox River undeterred by the stories of the Indians, who warned them of the peril of their undertaking. Guided by two Miamis whom they obtained at the Maskoutens' town, they made the portage to the Wisconsin, and then reciting a new devotion to the Blessed Virgin, they paddled down, amid awful solitudes, shores untenanted by any human dwellers. Just one month from their setting out their canoes glided into the Mississippi, and the hearts of all swelled with exultant joy. The dream of Father Marquette's life was accomplished ; he was on the great river of the West, to which he gave the name of the Immaculate Conception. On and on their canoes kept while they admired the game and birds, the fish in the river, the changing character of the shores. More than a week passed before they met with the least indication of the presence of man. On the 25th they saw footprints on the western shore, and an Indian trail leading inland. The missionary and his fellow-explorer, leaving the canoes, followed it in silence. Three villages at last came in sight. Their hail brought out a motley group, and two old men advanced with calumets. When near enough to be heard, Father Marquette asked who they were. The answer was: “We are Illinois." The missionary was at the towns of the nation he had for years yearned to visit. The friendly natives escorted them to a cabin, where another aged Indian welcomed them : "How beautiful is the sun, O Frenchman, when thou comest to visit us! All our town awaits thee and thou shalt enter all our cabins in peace.”

." These Illinois urged the missionary to stay and instruct them, warning him against the danger of descending the river, but they gave him a calumet and an Indian boy. He promised these Illinois of the Peoria and Moingona bands to return the next year and abide with them. Having an. nounced the first Gospel tidings to the tribe, the missionary and his associate were escorted to their canoes by the warriors. Past the Piesa, the painted rock which Indian superstition invested with terror and awe; past the turbid Missouri, pouring its vast tide into Mississippi ; past the unrecognized mouth of the Ohio coming down from the land of the Senecas, the explorers glided along, impelled by the current and their paddles. At last the character of the country changed, canebrakes replaced the forest and prairie, and swarms of mosquitoes hovered over land and water. After leaving the Illinois, they had encountered only one single Indian band, apparently stragglers from the East, who recognized the dress of the Catholic priest. To them he spoke of God and eternity. But as the canoes neared the Arkansas River, the Metchigameas on the western bank came out in battle array, a band of the Quappa confederation of Dakotas. Hemming in the French above and below, they filled the air with yells. This missionary held out his calumet of peace, and addressed them in every Indian language he knew. At last an old man answered him in Illinois. Then Father Marquette told of their desire to reach the sea and of his mission to teach the red men the ways of God. All hostile demonstrations ceased. The French were regaled and referred to the Arkansas, the next tribe below. This more friendly nation, then on the eastern shore, was soon reached. The explorers had solved the great question and made it certain that the Mississippi emptied into the Gulf of Mexico. The Jesuit Father had published the Gospel as well as he could to the nations he had met, and opened the way to future missions, -History of the Catholic Church in the United States.

[ocr errors]

SHEDD, WILLIAM GREENOUGH THAYER, an American theologian, born at Acton, Mass., June 21, 1820; died November 17, 1894. He was grad. uated at the University of Vermont in 1839; at Andover Theological Seminary in 1843, and be. came pastor of a Congregational church at Bran. don, Vt. In 1845 he was chosen Professor of English Literature in the University of Vermont, and prepared an excellent edition, with Introductory Essays, of the Works of Samuel T. Coleridge. In 1852 he became Professor of Sacred Rhetoric in Auburn Theological Seminary; in 1854 Professor of Church History in Auburn Theological Seminary; in 1863 Professor of Biblical Literature, and in 1874 Professor of Systematic Theol. ogy in the Union Theological Seminary, New York. He prepared several works in Scriptural exegeses and commentary. Among his other works are Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1856); Manual of Church History (1857); History of Christian Doctrine (1863); Homiletics and Pastoral Theology (1867); Sermons to the Practical Man (1871); Theological Essays (1877); Literary Essays (1878); Sermons to the Spiritual Man (1884); The Doctrine of Endless Punishment (1885); Dogmatic Theology (1888–94).

Of his Discourses and Essays, the New Englander said: “The striking sincerity, vigor, and learning

(451)

VOL. XX

39

of this volume will be admired even by those readers who cannot go with the author in all his opinions. Whatever debate the philosophical tendencies of the book may challenge, its literary ability and moral spirit will be commended everywhere. It is hard to criticise the style of these productions apart from the matter. This we hold to be the evidence of a rare merit. For we seldom find the form so related to the contents of an essay-so identical with the contents-that the two must be contemplated together, or not at all. The strength with which the author enunciates his views discovers the depth of his conviction that they are true and valuable. He marches, from beginning to end, with a straightforward, manly sense of power."

THE FOUNDATION OF LITERARY STYLE.

Having a distinctively clear apprehension of truth, the mind utters its convictions with all that simplicity and pertinence of language which characterizes the narrative of an honest eye-witness. Nothing intervenes between thought and expression. The clear, direct view instantly becomes the clear, direct statement. And when the clear conception is thus united with the profound intention, thought assumes its most perfect form. The form in which it appears is full and round with solid truth, and yet distinct and transparent. The immaterial principle is embodied in just the right amount of matter; the former does not overflow, nor does the latter overlay. The discourse exhibits the same opposite and counterbalancing excellences which we see in the forms of nature—the simplicity and richness, the negligence and the niceness, the solid opacity and the aërial transparence.

It is rare to find such a union of the two main ele. ments of culture, and consequently rare to find them in

« 이전계속 »