Tschoop The Converted Indian Chief – Part 5

John was one of the first-fruits of the Indian mission, and the letters which he dictated on several occasions are a striking proof of his real conversion to the Lord. As a heathen, he had distinguished himself by his evil practices, and his vices became the more injurious to others on account of his natural wit and humour; so on the contrary, as a Christian, he approved himself a most powerful and eloquent witness of our God and Saviour among his nation. His natural talents were sanctified by the grace of God. and employed in such a manner as to be the means ot great blessing both to Europeans and Indians Few of his countrymen could vie with him in point of Indian oratory. His discourses were full of animation, and his words penetrated like fire into the hearts of his hearers; his soul found a rich pasture in the gospel, and whether at home or on a journey he could not forbear speaking of the salvation purchased for us by the sufferings of Jesus, never hesitating a moment, whether his hearers were Christians or heathen. In short, he appeared to be chosen by God to be a witness to his people, and was four years active in this service. Nor was he less respected as a chief among the Indians : no affairs of state being transacted without his advice and consent. Shortly before his last illness, he visited Bishop Spangenberg, and addressed him in these words: “I have something to say to you. I have examined my heart closely, and I know that what I say is true. Seeing so many of our Indians depart this life, I put the question to myself, whether I could resign my life to the Lord, and be assured that he would receive my soul. The answer was : Yes, for I am the Lord’s, and I shall go to Him, and be with Him for evermore.” During his ilhiess, the believing Indians went often to see him, and stood weeping around his bed. Even then he spoke with power and energy of the truth of the gospel, and in all things approved himself, to his last breath, as a faithful servant of God. His pains were mitigated by the consideration of the great sufferings of Jesus Christ his Saviour, and his departure to Him was peaceful, as of one who was sure of entering into the joy of his Lord. He lies buried in the graveyard at Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania, together with more than fifty other Indians, who departed this life at or near this place, between the years 1746 and 1761; and his grave is designated by a marble tombstone, procured by the contributions of the Young Men’s Missionary Society, aided by other friends to the cause of missions among the Indians in North America, with the following inscription :

— TSCHOOP

In Memory of Tschoop, a Mohican Indian,

who, in holy baptism, April 16, 1742, received the name of JOHN;

One of the first-fruits of the mission at Shekomeko, and a remarkable instance of the power of divine grace, whereby hebecame a distinguished teacher among his nation.

He departed this life in full assurance of faith, at Bethlehem, August 27, 1746.

There shall be onefold and one Shepherd, John X. 16.

Tschoop The Converted Indian Chief: Written for the American Sunday School Union, and Revised by the committee of publication. American Sunday-School Union. Philadelphia. 1842.