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[THE BOOK OF HEAVEN] In 1832 four Indian chiefs from the western part of our nation walked the streets of the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The wearied, wasted manner of their appearance demonstrated the fact that they had come a long way. General George Rogers Clark was military commander at St. Louis then and he had been commissioner of Indian affairs. He took the Indians under his care and did everything he could to accommodate them. He escorted them to museums, all kinds of shops and entertainments. He fed them every kind of food and introduced them to all kinds of people. He was a devout Roman Catholic himself, so he took them frequently to Roman Catholic churches. But these four chiefs had heard of the white man's "Book of Heaven" and they had come to ask that teachers be sent to their tribes. On the last evening before their departure, General Clark gave a banquet. At the banquet they were laden with gifts from well-meaning people and well-wishers gave them a good push on the way. But at the banquet one of the Indians stood and he made this revealing speech. In typical Indian oratory he said,

"I came to you over the trail of many moons from the setting sun. You were the friends of my fathers who have all gone the long way. I came with an eye partly open with hope for my people who sit in darkness. I go back with both eyes closed. How can I go back blind to my blind people. I made my way to you with strong arms through many enemies and strange lands that I might carry much back to them. I go back with both arms broken and empty. Two fathers came with us. They were braves of many winters and wars. We leave them asleep here by your great water and wigwams. They were tired by many moon and their moccasins were worn out. My people sent me to get the white man's Book of Heaven. You took me to where you allow your women to dance, as we do not ours; the book was not there. You took me to where they worship the Great Spirit with candles; the book was not there. You showed me images of the good spirits and pictures of the good land beyond; but the book was not among them to tell us the way. I'm going back the long trail to my people in the dark land. You make my feet heavy with gifts and my moccasins will grow old in carrying them, yet the book is not among them. When I tell my poor blind people after one more snow in the Big Council that I did not bring the book, no word will be spoken by our old men or by our young braves. One by one they will rise up and go out in silence. My people will die in darkness and they will go along paths to other hunting grounds. They will go with no white man's book to make the way plain. I have no other words."


Our world still yearns for the message of this "Book of Heaven." The basic message of this book is that sinful man can be right with God through the redeeming work of Jesus. The needy world awaits your message.

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