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my duty to oppose these first seeds of seduction. I wrote a polite letter to the minister, in which I pointed out that my Christian Indians knew how to believe the truths inculcated by the Roman Catholic faith, but not how to discuss them; that, not being themselves sufficiently skilful to resolve the difficulties he had started to them, he probably expected that these doubts would be communicated by them to me; that I, therefore, seized with pleasure the opportunity thus offered either to confer with him personally, or by letter ; that for this purpose I sent him a Mémoire to which I requested his serious attention. In this document which contained about a hundred pages — I proved by the Scriptures, by tradition, and by argument, the truths he had attacked by his stale pleasantries; that if he was not satisfied with my proofs, I expected from himn a precise refutation, supported by theological reasoning, and not by vague assertions which proved nothing; and least of all, by injurious observations, which neither suited the gravity of our profession, nor the importance of the subject. ”

One would almost suppose that the Jesuit father, with his Memoir of a hundred pages, had laid a plot to convert the New England minister himself to the Roman Catholic faith. If so, he failed; for

two days after receiving my letter, he set out on bis return to Boston, sending me a short answer, which I was obliged to read over again and again in order to comprehend its meaning; so obscure was his style, and so odd his Latinity. I gathered from it, however, that he complained of my attacking him without cause; that zeal for the salvation of souls had led him to point out to the savages the road to heaven; and, as to the rest, my arguments were ridiculous and childish. I sent a second letter to him, in which I pointed out the errors of his, and he replied, two years afterwards, without 'at all entering into the subject, but merely saying that I possessed a captious and peevish turn of mind which marked a temperament inclined to the choleric. Thus ended our dispute, and rendered abortive the project this minister had formed to seduce my converts.”*

Rasles appears to have continued his system of endeavouring to drive the Indians into hostility against the English. The governor of Canada, Monsieur de Vaudreuil, was directly charged with a full knowledge of these proceedings, and when he denied it, his own letters, addressed to Rasles, were produced as a proof of his participation. Colonel Shute, the governor of the New England colonies, wrote to Rasles, stating, anong other things, “ We have found, by three score years? experience, that we had always lived in peace with our neighbouring Indians, bad it not been for the instigation, protection, supply, and even personal assistance of the French ; so that, in case any unjust war should happen with the natives (which God forbid), we shall look upon the French, and particularly the Popish missionaries among them, as the main cause thereof."* Hostilities, in fact, soon afterwards did break out, and, in one of the actions of that sanguinary war, Father Rasles was killed, and his scalp borne away in triumph by the Indian confederates of the English.

* Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, vol. vi. p. 136.

It is very evident, therefore, that the religious rancour and mutual recrimination of the Europeans were often productive of open hostility and bloodshed. As far, also, as the native tribes were concerned, the disputations alluded to could not fail to create a most serious obstacle in every attempt to convert them. When they perceived their Christian instructors, French and English, thus disputing among themselves, it was not to be expected that they could weigh the respective merits of the matters in dispute; and while the Romish and the Protestant missionaries reviled each other, the Indian lent a deaf ear to both. Hence Frère Sagard, at a very early period, was led to observe, “ So the Catholics had their priest, and the Huguenots their minister, and while they occupied

* Dwight's Travels in New England, vol. ii. let. 11.

themselves in disputes concerning different religions, the Indians were confirmed in their want of any. The latter perceived very clearly the violent wrangles produced by such discussions; for the savages are not so blind as to be unable to see the distinction which exists between those who do, and those who do not, adopt the sign of the cross, as they themselves have sometimes informed me."*

* Histoire du Canada par le Frère Sagard, liv. i. chap. 2. Paris, 1636.




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THERE is, perhaps, no subject connected with the Indians of North America, which gives rise to more inelancholy reflection than that of the fruitless endeavours which were made to effect their conversion. It is evident that many causes concurred to produce this failure; but in general it may be traced to the imprudence, the folly, and the arrogance of the Europeans.

In the course of the preceding chapters, the rash and injudicious conduct pursued towards the natives by the early adventurers in that continent, has frequently been noticed. From the first; the Indians were disposed to shew them hospitality and friendship. Many of the tribes, indeed, were probably induced to assist the settlers from the hope that, by their alliance with the Europeans, they would obtain the more certain means of reducing their own Indian enemies to submission. But the interference of the colonists in the wars among the natives eventually proved a great obstruction to

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