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the great gratulation and joy of the inhabitants, who indeed seem well inclined to receive the christian faith. So that not long after the king brought his daughter, seven years old, (whom he loves with great affection,) to be educated among the English at St. Mary's; and, when she shall well understand the christian mysteries, to be washed in the sacred font of baptism. His counsellor, also, of whom we have spoken above, desiring the goodness of God, which he had experienced in his own case, to be brought also to his people, has nothing more earnest in his prayers, than that his wife and children may be brought to the waters of salvation; which most proper desire, after suitable instruction, by the favor of God, shall be gratified.
But the king also of the Anacostans, whose territory is not far distant, is anxious to live among us, as one of us: from which it is plainly evident that a harvest will by no means be wanting to us, on which we may bestow labor with advantage ; but rather it is to be feared that there will not be laborers for gathering so abundant a harvest. There are other villages lying near, which, [ doubt not, would run promptly and joyfully to the light of gospel truth, if any one would impart to them the word of eternal life. But it is not right for us here to be too anxious for bringing the others to the truth, lest we may seem to abandon prematurely our present tender flock. Nor need those who are sent for assisting us fear lest the means of life be wanting, when he who clothes the lilies and feeds the fowls of the air, will not suffer those who are laboring to extend his kingdom to be destitute of necessary sustenance.
To father Philip Fisher, who now resides at St. Mary's, in the colony, nothing could have happened more agreeable than to labor in the Indian harvest, if he had been permitted by his own people, who could not do without his services. His reward, however, has been correspondent to his will; for, while those of whom we have spoken above among the Indians are cleansed by the water of baptism, as many at the same time by his active industry are brought back from heretical depravity into the bosom of the church. The catholics who live in the colony are not inferior in piety to those who live in other countries; but in urbanity of manners, according to the judgment of those who have visited the other colonies, are considered far superior to them. Every where the hope of harvest has dawned ; and while each one of us, even unto death, is anxious to help now these, now those, various things happen worthy of recital—of which, (others being omitted for the purpose of avoiding prolixity,) two
of of the most prominent shall be stated here, in one of which the divine mercy was manifest, in the other the divine justice.
On the day upon which a certain man was about to abjure heresy, and expiate the sins of his past life by confession, aflame having caught in the interior part of his house, running up the door-post, had burst out at the top; when he had perceived the thing, for he was not far distant, he suddenly called to a neighbor, but finds no assistance however: he runs then to another, when he finds only two that will go with them; and although, all this time, the fire was burning, and the house was built of dry logs, nevertheless it was put out before any great injury had happened. Some feared lest by this unexpected occurrence he might be deterred from conversion. It happened far diflerent, however; for his house being almost uninjured, he thence drew the conclusion that God was propitious to him and approved his design by a manifest token. Wherefore, uniting a great reformation in morals with the faith he professed, he now sheds abroad the very sweet savor of a good example, upon all who are acquainted with him.
A certain one, when he had felt some internal drawings of the faith of God, had desired prayer-beads for himself; but afterwards, having changed his mind, he was accustomed to smoke them in his pipe with tobacco, after they had been ground to powder, often boasting that he had eaten up his" Ave Marias;" ibr so he called the beads, by telling of which the salutation of the angel is recited. But the divine vengeance did not let the wicked crime go long unpunished; for scarcely a year having passed, on the returning vigils of the day on which he had abandoned his purpose of embracing the catholic faith, a more sacrilegious playfulness possessed him, as was noticed by his companions. Therefore, in the afternoon, when he had betaken himself to the river for the purpose of swimming, scarcely had he touched the water when a huge fish having suddenly seized the wicked man, before he could retreat to the bank, tore away, at a bite, a large portion of his thigh, by the pain of which most merited laceration, the unhappy wretch was hurried away from the living—the divine justice bringing it about that he who a little while before boasted that he had eaten up his " Ave Maria beads," should see his own flesh devoured, even while he was yet living.
1642. In the mission of Maryland for the year 1642, just elapsed, we have had only three companions and those three priests, one of whom too was confined by sickness of three
months' months* duration. This was father Roger Rigby. The other two were father Philip Fisher, superior of the mission, and father Andrew White, who separated themselves in different places for the purpose of collecting more fruit. The superior, father Philip, remained for the most part at St. Mary's, the chief town of the colony, in order that he might take care of the English, who live there in greater numbers, and also of the Indians not living far distant, as well as those going and coming badcwards and forwards. Father Andrew betook himself to his former station at Pascataway; but father Roger went to a new settlement, which in the vulgar idiom they call Patuxen,in order to learn the more easily the Indian language; also, that he might better instruct some neophytes, and scatter along the bank of that great river the seed of faith. This was almost the only fruit his labors.
Father Andrew suffered no little inconvenience from a hardhearted and troublesome captain of New England, whom he had engaged for the purpose of taking him and his affairs, from whom be was in fear a little while after, not without cause, that he would either be cast into the sea, or be carried with his property to New England, which is full of puritan calvinists—that is of all calvinist heresy. Silently committing the thing to God, at length in safety he reached Potomac—they vulgarly call it Patemeak, in which harbor, when they had cast anchor, the ship stuck so fust, bound by a great quantity of ice, that for the space of seventeen days it could not be moved. Walking on the ice as if on land, the father departed for the town; and when the ice was broken up, the ship, driven and jammed by the force and violence of the ice, sunk, the cargo being in a great measure recovered.
By this misfortune the father was detained longer in his visit, to wit: seven weeks; for he found it necessary to bring another ship from St. Mary's. But the spiritual advantage of souls readily compensated for that delay ; for during that time was added to the church the ruler of that little village, with the other principal men of its inhabitants, who received the faith of Christ and baptism. Besides these, also another, with many of his friends; a third likewise, with his wife, his son, and a friend ; a fourth, in like manner, with another of no ignoble standing among his people. By their example the people are prepared to receive the faith whenever we will have leisure to instruct them by catechism.
Not long after, the young empress (as they call her at Pascataway) cataway) was baptized in the town of St. Mary's and is being educated there, and is now a proficient in the English language. Almost at the same time the town called Portobacco, to a great extent, received the faith, with baptism. Which town, as it is situated on the river Pamac, (the inhabitants call it Pamake,) almost in the centre of the Indians, and so more convenient for excursions in all directions, we have determined to make our residence; and the more so, because we fear that we may be compelled to abandon Pascataway, on account of its proximity to the Susquehannoes, which nation is the most savage and warlike of these regions, and hostile to the christians.
An attack having been recently made on a place of ours, they slew the men that we had there, and carried away our goods, with great loss. And unless they be restrained by force of arms, which we little expect from the counsels of the English, who disagree among themselves, we will not be safe there.
Wherefore, we have to be content with excursions, many of which we have made this year in ascending the river which they call Patuxen, of which this fruit has arisen, namely the conversion of the young queen of the town of that place, of the same name with the river there, and her mother: also of the young queen of Portobacco; of the wife and two sons of Tayac the great, as they call him—that is the emperor who died last year; and of one hundred and thirty others besides. The following is our manner of making an excursion. We are carried in a pinnace or galley, to wit: the father, the interpreter, and a servant—for we use an interpreter, as will be stated hereafter—two of them propel the boat with oars, when the wind fails or is adverse; the third steers with the helm. We take with us a little chest of bread, butter, cheese, corn, cut and dried before it is ripe, beans, and a little flour—another chest, also, for carrying bottles, one of which contains wine for religious purposes, six others holy water for the purpose of baptism; a casket with the sacred utensils, and a table for altar for performing sacrifice; and another casket full of trifles, which we give the Indians to conciliate their affection—such as little bells, combs, fishinghooks, needles, thread, and other things of this kind. We have, besides, a little tent, when we are obliged to lie out in the open air, which is frequently the case ; also, a larger one, which is intended to keep out the rain. The servants also bring other things which are necessary for hunting, and preparing for food whatever they have taken in hunting.
In our excursions we endeavor as much as we can to reach
by evening some English house, or Indian village, but if not we land, and to the father falls the care of mooring the boat fast to the shore, then of collecting wood and making a fire, while in the meantime the two others go hunt—so that whatever they take may he prepared. But if not, having refreshed ourselves with our provisions, we lie down by the fire and take our rest. If fear of rain threatens, we erect our hut and cover it with a larger mat spread over; nor, praise be to God, do we enjoy this humble fare and hard couch with a less joyful mind than more luxurious provisions in Europe: with this present comfort that God now imparts to us a foretaste of what he is about to give to those that labor faithfully in this life, and mitigates all hardships with a degree of pleasantness; so that his divine majesty ap
fears to be present with us, in an extraordinary manner, 'or the difficulty of this language is so great that none of us can yet converse with the Indians without an interpreter. Father Rigby has made a little progress, so that he hopes he will be able by a short time to converse with them, upon things of ordinary importance, as far as may be necessary to instruct them to be admitted to baptism; for he has composed a short catechism, by the aid of an interpreter. These things, I say, being considered, it appears miraculous that we have been able to effect any thing with them; especially when we have no interpreter, except a young man, who is not himself so well acquainted with their language, but that he sometimes excites their laughter; so that when, for a time, we seemed almost to despair in mind, nevertheless, by patience we are succeeding, and in a gradual way are bringing them over to what we desire.
It has also pleased the divine goodness, by the virtue of his cross, to effect something beyond mere human power. The circumstances are these: a certain Indian called an Anacostan from his country, but now a christian, whilst he was making his way with others through a wood, fell behind his companions, a little ahead, when some savages of the tribe of Susquehannoes, which I have mentioned before, attacked him suddenly from an ambuscade, and with a strong and light spear of locust wood, from which they make their bows, with an iron point, oblong at the sides, run him through from the right side to the left, at a hand's breadth below the armpit, near the heart itself, with a wound two fingers broad at each side. From the effect of this, when the man had fallen, his enemies fly with the utmost precipitation; but his friends, who had gone on before, recalled by the sudden noise and shout, return and carry the man from the