"'When the Great Spirit made man He also made woman. He instituted marriage, and enjoined upon them to love each other and be faithful. It is pleasing to Him to see men and women obey His will. Your Creator abhors a deceiver and a hypocrite. By obeying His commands you will die an easy and happy death. When the Great Spirit instituted marriage He ordained to bless those who were faithful with children. Some women are unfaithful and others become so by misfortune. Such have great opportunities to do much good. There are many orphans and poor children whom they can adopt as their own. If you tie up the clothes of an orphan child the Great Spirit will notice it and reward you for it. Should an orphan ever cross your path be kind to him and treat him with tenderness, for this is right. Parents must constantly teach their children morality and reverence for their Creator. Parents must also guard their children against improper marriages. They, having much experience, should select a suitable match for their child. When the parents of both parties have agreed, then bring the young pair together and let them know what good their parents have designed for them. If in time they so far disagree that they cannot possibly live contented and happy with each other they may separate in mutual good feeling, and in this it is no wrong.
"'When a child is born to a husband and wife they must give great thanks to the Great Spirit, for it is His gift and an evidence of His kindness. Let parents instruct their children in their duty to the Great Spirit, to their parents and to their fellowmen. Children should obey their parents and guardians, and submit to them in all things. Disobedient children occasion great pain and misery. They wound their parents' feelings and often drive them to desperation, cause them great distress and final admission into the place of evil spirit. The marriage obligations should generate good to all who have assumed them. Let the married be faithful to each other, that when they die it may be in peace. Children should never permit their parents to suffer in their old age. Be kind to them, and support them. The Great Spirit requires all children to love, revere and obey their parents. To do this is highly pleasing to Him. The happiness of parents is greatly increased by the affection and the attention of their children. To abandon a wife or children is a great wrong, and produces many evils. It is wrong for a father or mother-in-law to vex a son or daughter-in-law, but they should use them as if they were their own children. It often happens that parents hold angry disputes over their infant child. This is also a great sin. The infant hears and comprehends the angry words of its parents. It feels bad and lonely. It can see for itself no happiness in prospect. It concludes to return to its Maker. It wants a happy home, and dies. The parents then weep because their child has left them. You must put this evil practice from among you if you would live happy.
"'The Great Spirit when He made the earth never intended that it should be made merchandise, but His will is that all His creatures should enjoy it equally. Your chiefs have violated and betrayed their trust by selling lands. Nothing is now left of our once large pobsessions save a few small reservations. Chiefs and aged men, you, as men, have no lands to sell. You occupy and possess tract in trust for your children. You should hold that trust sacred, lest your children are driven from their homes by your unsafe conduct. Whoever sells land offends the Great Spirit, and must expect a great punishment after death.'"
Johnson here suspended the naration of the discourse of Handsomelake's, and thus addressed the council:
"Chiefs, keepers of the faith, warriors, women and children--You all know that our religion teaches that the early day is dedicated to the Great Spirit, and that the late day is granted to the spirits of the dead. It is now meridian, and I must close. Preserve in your minds that which has been said. Accept my thanks for your kind and patient attention. It is meet that I should also return my thanks to the Great Spirit that he has assisted me thus far in my feeble frame to instruct you. We ask you all to come up again to-morrow at early day, to hear what further may be said. I have done."
The next morning, after the council had been opened in the usual manner, Johnson thus continued.
"Relatives, uncover now your heads and listen. The day has thus far advanced, and again gathered around the council-fire I see around me the several nations of the long house. This gives me great joy. I see also seated around me my counselors (keepers of the faith), who have been regularly appointed, as is the custom of our religion. Greetings have been exchanged with each other. Thanks have been returned to Handsomelake. Thanks also have been returned to our Creator by the council now assembled. At this moment the Great Spirit is looking upon this assembly. He hears our words, knows our thoughts, and is always pleased to see us gathered together of good. The sun is now high, and soon it will reach the middle heavens. I must therefore make haste. Listen attentively, and consider well what you shall hear. I return thanks to our Creator, that He has spared your lives through the dangers of the darkness. I salute and return my thanks to the four Celestial Beings who have communicated what I am about to say to you. I return thanks to my grandfather (Handsomelake), from whom you first heard what I am about to speak. We all feel his loss. We miss him at our councils. I now occupy his place before you, but I am conscious that I have not the power which he possessed.
"Counselors, warriors, mother sand children--Listen to good instruction. Consider it well. Lay it up in your hearts, and forget it not. Our Creator when He made us designed that we should live by hunting. It sometimes happens that a man goes out for to hunt, leaving his wife with his friends. After a long absence he returns and finds that his wife has taken another husband. The Great Spirit says this is a great sin, and must be put from among us.
"The four messengers further said that it was wrong for a mother to punish a child with a rod. It is not right to punish much, and our Creator never intended that children should be punished with a whip or be used with much violence. In punishing a refractory child water only is necessary, and it is sufficient. Plunge them under. This is not wrong. Whenever a child promises to do better the punishment must cease. It is wrong to continue it after promises of amendment are made. Thus they said.
"It is right and proper always to look upon the dead. Let your face be brought near to theirs, and address them. Let the dead know that their absence is regretted by their friends, and that they grieve for their death. Let the dead know, too, how their surviving friends intend to live. Let them know whether they will so conduct themselves that they will meet them again in the future world. The dead will hear and remember. Thus they said.
"Continue to listen while I proceed to relate what further they said. Our Creator made the earth. Upon it He placed man, and gave him certain rules of conduct. It pleased Him also to give them many kinds of amusement. He also ordered that the earth should produce all that is good for man. So long as he remains, it will not cease to yield. Upon the surface of the ground berries of various kinds are produced. It is the will of the Great Spirit that when they ripen we should return our thanks to Him, and have a public rejoicing for the continuance of these blessings. He made everything which we live upon, and requires us to be thankful at all times for the continuance of His favors. When our life (corn, &c,), has again appeared, it is the will of the Great Spirit that we assemble for a general thanksgiving. It is His will also that His children be brought and to participate in the feather dance. Your feast must consist of the new production. It is proper at these times, should any present not have their names published, or any changes have been made, to announce them then.
"The festival must last four days. Thus they said. Upon the first day must be performed the feather dance. This ceremony must take place in the early day, and cease at the middle day. In the same manner, upon the second day, is to be performed the Thanksgiving dance. On the third, the Thanksgiving concert. Ah-do-weh is to be introduced. The fourth day is set apart for the peach-stone game. All these ceremonies instituted by our Creator must be commenced at early day, and cease at the middle day. At all these times we are required to return thanks to our Grandfather Heno (Thunder) and his assistants. To them is assigned the duty of watching over the earth and all its produces for our good. The great Feather and Thanksgiving dances are the appropriate ceremonies of Thanksgiving to the Ruler and Maker of all things. The Thanksgiving concert belongs appropriately to our grandfathers. In it we return thanks to them. During the performance of this ceremony we are required also to give them the smoke of tobacco. Again we must at this time return thanks to our mother--the earth--for she is our relative. We must also return thanks to our life and its sister. All these things are required to be done by the light of the sun. It must not be protracted until the sun has hid its face and darkness surrounds all things.
"Continue to listen. We have a change of season. We have a season of cold. This is the hunting season. It is also one in which the people can amuse themselves. Upon the fifth day of the new moon Nis-go-wuk-na (about February 1st), we are required to commence the annual jubilee of thanksgiving to our Creator. At this festival all can give evidence of their devotion to the will of the Great Spirit, by participating in all of its ceremonies.
"Continue to listen. The four Messengers of the Great Spirit have always watched over us, and have ever seen what was transpiring among men. At some times Handsomelake was transported by them to the regions above. He looked down upon the earth and saw an assembly. Out of it came a man. His garments were torn, tattered, and filthy. His whole appearance indicated great misery and poverty. They asked him how this spectacle appeared to him. He replied that it was hard to look upon. They then told him that the man he saw was a drunkard; that he had taken the firewater and it had reduced him to poverty. Again he looked and saw a woman, seated on the ground. She was constantly engaged in gathering up and secreting about her person her worldly effects. They said the woman you see is inhospitable. She is selfish to spare anything, and will never leave her worldly goods. She can never pass from earth to heaven. Tell this to your people. Again he looked, and saw a man carrying in each hand large pieces of meat. He went about the assembly to give each a piece. This man they said is blessed, for he is hospitable and kind. He looked again, and saw streams of blood. They said thus will the earth be if the firewater is not put from among you. Brother will kill brother, and friend kill friend. Again they told him to look towards the east. He obeyed as far as his vision reached. He saw the increasing smoke of numberless distilleries arising and shutting out the light of the sun. It was a horrible spectacle to witness. They told him that here was the place that manufactured the firewater. Again he looked, and saw a costly house, made and furnished by the pale faces. It was a house of confinement where were fetters, ropes and whips. They said those who persisted in the use of firewater would fall into this. Our Creator commands us to put this destructive vice far from us. Again he looked and saw various assemblages. Some of them were unwilling to listen to instruction. They were rioters and took great pride in drinking the strong waters. He observed another group who were half inclined to hear, but the temptations of vice that surrounded them allured them back, and they also revelled in the fumes of the firewater. He saw another assemblage who had met to hear instruction. This they said was pleasing to the Great Spirit. He loves those who will listen and obey. It has grieved Him that His children are now divided by separate interests, and are pursuing so many paths. It pleases Him to see His people live together in harmony and quiet. The firewater creates many dissensions and divisions among us. They said the use of it would cause many to die unnatural deaths. Many will be exposed to cold and freeze. Many will be burned, and others will be drowned while under the influence of the firewater.
"Friends and relations, all these things have often happened. How many of our people have frozen to death, how many have burned to death: how many have been drowned, while under the influence of the strong water. The punishment of those who use the firewater commences while they are yet on the earth. Many are now thrown into houses of confinement by the pale faces. I repeat to you the Ruler of us all requires us to unite and put this evil from among us. Some say the use of the firewater is not wrong, and that it is food. Let those who do not believe it is wrong make this experiment: Let all who use the firewater assemble and organize into a council, and those who do not into another council near them. A great difference will then be discovered. The council of drunkards will end in a riot and tumult, while the other will have harmony and quiet. It is hard to think of the great prevalence of this evil among us. Reform, and put it from among you. Many resolve to use the firewater until near death, when they will repent. If they do this nothing can save them from destruction, for medicine can then have no power. Thus they said.
"All men were made equal by the Great Spirit, but He has given them a variety of gifts. To some a pretty face, to others an ugly one: to some a comely form, to others a deformed figure; some are fortunate in collecting around them worldly goods; but you are all entitled to the same privileges, and therefore must put pride from among you. You are not your own maker, nor the builders of your own fortunes; all things are the gifts of the Great Spirit, and to Him must be returned thanks for their bestowal; He alone must be acknowledged as the giver. It has pleased Him to make differences among men, but it is wrong for one man to exalt himself above another. Love each other, for you are all brothers and sisters of the same great family. The Great Spirit enjoins upon all to observe hospitality and kindness, especially to the needy and helpless, for this is pleasing to Him. If a stranger wanders about your abode, speak to him with kind words; be hospitable toward him; welcome him to your home, and forget not always to mention the Great Spirit. In the morning give thanks to the Great Spirit for the return of day and the light of the sun. At night renew your thanks to Him that His ruling power has preserved you from harm during the day and that night has again come in which you may rest your wearied bodies.
"The four messengers said further to Handsomelake, 'Tell your people, and particularly the keeper of the faith, to be strong-minded and adhere to the true faith. We fear the evil-minded will go among them with tempations. He may introduce the fiddle; he may bring cards and leave them among you; the use of these is a great sin. Let the people be on their guard and the keepers of the faith be watchful and vigilant that none of these evils may find their way among the people. Let the keepers of the faith preserve the law of moral conduct in all its purity. When meetings are to be held for instruction and the people are preparing to go, the evil-minded is then busy. He goes from one to another whispering many temptations, by which to keep them away. He will even follow persons into the door of the council and induce some at that time to bend their steps away; many resist until they have entered, and then leave. This habit once indulged in, obtains fast hold and the evil propensity increases with age. This is a great sin, and should be at once abandoned. Thus they said.'
"Speak evil of no one; if you can say no good of a person, then be silent; let all be mindful of this, for these are the words of our Creator. Let all strive to cultivate friendship with those who surround them. This is pleasing to the Great Spirit.
"Counselors, warriors, women and children--I shall now rest. I thank you all for you kind and patient attention. I thank the Great Spirit that He has spared the lives of so many of us to witness this day. I request you all to come up again to-morrow at early day. Let us all hope that until we meet again the Creator and Ruler of us all may be kind to us and preserve our lives, na-ho."