Imágenes de páginas

on the ninth of April, with all possible solemnity, we performed the ceremony of planting the cross and raising the arms of France. After we had chanted the hymn of the church, "Vexilla Regis," and the "Te Deum," the sieur de la Salle, in the name of his majesty, took possession of that river, of all rivers that enter it, and of all the country watered by them. An authentic act was drawn up, signed by all of us there, and amid a volley from all our muskets, a leaden plate inscribed with the arms of France, and the names of those who had just made the discovery, was deposited in the earth. The sieur de la Salle, who always carried an astrolabe, took the latitude of the mouth. Although he kept to himself the exact point, we have learned that the river falls into the gulf of Mexico, between 27° and 28° north, and, as is thought, at the point where maps lay down the Ric Escondido. This mouth is about thirty leagues distant from the Rio Bravo, (Rio Grande], sixty from the Rio de Palmas, and ninety or a hundred leagues from the river Panuco [Tampico],' where the nearest Spanish post on the coast is situated. We reckoned that Espiritu Santo bay [Appalachee Bay], lay northeast of the mouth. From the Ilinois' river, we always went south or southwest; the river winds a little, preserves to the sea its breadth of about a quarter of a league, is everywhere very deep, without banks, or any ob

stacle to navigation, although the contrary has been published. This river is reckoned eight hundred leagues long; we travelled at least three hundred and fifty from the mouth of the river Seignelay. ...

To conclude, our expedition of discovery was accomplished without having lost any of our men, French or Indian, and without anybody's being wounded, for which we were indebted to the protection of the Almighty, and the great capacity of Monsieur de la Salle. I will say nothing here of conversions; formerly the apostles had but to enter a country, when on the first publication of the gospel, great conversions were seen. I am but a miserable sinner, infinitely destitute of the merits of the apostles; but we must also acknowledge that these miraculous ways of grace are not attached to the exercise of our ministry; God employs an ordinary and common way, following which I contented myself with announcing, as well as I could, the principal truths of Christianity to the nations I met. The Ilinois language served me about a hundred leagues down the river, and I made the rest understand by gestures and some term in their dialect which I insensibly picked up; but I can not say that my little efforts produced certain fruits. With regard to these people, perhaps, some one by a secret effect of grace, has profited; God only knows. All we have done has been to see the state of these tribes, and to open the way to the gospel and to missionaries; having baptized only two infants, whom I saw struggling with death, and who, in fact, died in our presence.

John Gilmary Shea, Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, in B. F. French, Historical Collections of Louisiana (N. Y., 1852), Part IV. 165-184 passim.

21. The Quiet Land of Pennsylvania


Quaker founder and governor of Pennsylvania.

My love and my life is to you, and with you, and no water can quench it nor distance wear it out, or bring it to an end. I have been with you, cared over you, and served you with unfeigned love; and you are beloved of me, and near to me beyond utterance. I bless you in the name and power of the Lord, and may God bless you with his righteousness, peace, and plenty all the land over! O that you would eye him in all, through all, and above all the labor of your hands, and let it be your first care how you may glorify him in your undertakings; for to a blessed end are you brought hither; and if you see and keep but in the sense of that providence, your coming, staying, and improving will be sanctified; but if any

forget him, and call not upon his name in truth, He will pour out his plagues upon them, and they shall know who it is judgeth the children

of men.

O, yo

are now come to a quiet land! And now that liberty and authority are with you and in your hands, let the government be upon His shoulders in all your spirits, that you may rule for him under whom the princes of this world will one day esteem it their honor to govern and serve in their places. I cannot but say, when these things come mightily upon my mind, as the Apostle said of old, "What manner of persons ought we to be in all godly conversation !” Truly the name and honor of the Lord are deeply concerned in you as to the discharge of yourselves in your present station, many eyes being upon you; and remember that, as we have been belied about disowning the true religion, so, of all government, to behold us exemplary and Christian in the use of it will not only stop our enemies, but minister conviction to many on that account prejudiced. O that you may see and know that service, and do it for the Lord in this your day!

- And thou, Philadelphia, the virgin settlement of this province, named before thou wert born, what love, what care, what service, and what travail hast here been to bring thee forth and preserve thee from such as would abuse and defile thee!

O that thou mayest be kept from the evil that would overwhelm thee; that, faithful to the God of thy mercies, in the life of righteousness, thou mayest be preserved to the end! My soul prays to God for thee, that thou mayest stand in the day of trial, that thy children may be blessed of the Lord, and thy people saved by his power. My love to thee has been great, and the remembrance of thee affects my heart and mine eye.The God of eternal strength keep and preserve thee to his glory and thy peace!

So, dear friends, my love again salutes you all, wishing that grace, mercy and peace, with all temporal blessings, may abound richly amongst you! so says, so prays your friend and lover in the truth.

Stedman and Hutchinson, Library of American Literature (N. Y., 1888), II. 228-229.

22. “A Prophecy Concerning the Future State of Several Nations" (1684)


A renowned English theologian:


I TAKE no pleasure in Prophecies so hardly intelligible, and pointing at future things from a pretended spirit of Divination; of which sort this

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