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continually hung upon my spirit, lest they should be prejudiced against Christianity, and their minds imbittered against me, and my labours among them by means of the insituations of some who, although they are called Christians, seem to have no concern for Christ's kingdom, but had rather (as their conduct plainly discovers) that the Indians should remain Heathens, that they may with the more ease cheat, and so enrich themselves by them-were much more pressing to me, than all the difficulties that attended the circumstances of my living.
As to the state or temper of mind, in which I found these Indians, at my first coming among them, I may justly say, it was much more desirable and encouraging, than what appears among those who are altogether uncultivated. Their Heathenish jealousies and suspicion, and their prejudices against Christianity, were in a great measure removed by the longcontinued labours of the Reverend Mr. Sargeant among a number of the same tribe, in a place little more than twenty miles distant. Hence, these were, in some good degree, prepared to entertain the truths of Christianity, instead of objecting against them, and appearing almost entirely untractable, as is common with them at first, and as perhaps these appeared a few years ago. Some of them, at least, appeared very well disposed toward religion, and seemed much pleased with my coming among them.
In my labours with them, in order “ to turn them from darkness to light,” I studied what was most plain and easy, and best suited to their capacities; and endeavoured to set before them from time to time, as they were able to receive them, the most important and necessary truths of Christianity; such as most immediately concerned their speedy conversion to God, and such as I judged had the greatest tendency, as means, to effect that glorious change in them. But especially I made it the scope and drift of all my labours, to lead them into a thorough acquaintance with these two things.—First, The sinfulness and misery of the estate they were naturally in ; the evil of their hearts, the pollution of their natures ; the heavy guilt they were under, and their exposedness to everlasting punishment; as also their utter inability to save themselves, either from their sins, or from those niiseries which are the just punishment of them; and their unworthiness of any mercy at the hand of God, on account of any thing they themselves could do to procure his favour, and consequently their extreme need of Christ to save them. And, secondly, I frequently endeavoured to open to them the fullness, all
sufficiency, and freeness of that redemption, which the Son of God has wrought out by his obedience and sufferings, for perishing sinners : how this provision he had made, was suited to all their wants; and how he called and invited them to accept of everlasting life freely, notwithstanding all their sinfulness, inability, unworthiness, &c.
After I had been with the Indians several months, I composed sundry forms of prayer, adapted to their circumstances and capacities; which with the help of my interpreter, I translated into the Indian language ; and soon learned to pronounce their words, so as to pray with them in their own tongue. I also translated sundry psalms into their language, and soon after we were able to sing in the worship of God.
When my people bad gained some acquaintance with many of the truths of Christianity, so that they were capable of receiving and understanding many others, which at first could not be taught them, by reason of their ignorance of those that were necessary to be previously known, and upon which others depended; I then gave them an historical account of God's dealings with bis ancient professing people the Jews; some of the rites and ceremonies they were obliged to observe, as their sacrifices, &c.; and what these were designed to represent to them: as also some of the surprising miracles God wrought for their salvation, while they trusted in him, and the sore punishments be sometimes brought upon them, when they forsook and sinned against him. Afterwards I proceeded to give them a relation of the birth, life, miracles, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ; as well as his ascension, and the wonderful effusion of the holy Spirit consequent thereupon.
And having thus endeavoured to prepare the way by such a general account of things, I next proceeded to read, and erpound to them the gospel of St. Matthew (at least the substance of it) in course, wherein they had a more distinct and particular view of what they had before some general notion.These expositions I attended almost every evening, when there was any considerable number of them at home; except when I was obliged to be absent myself, in order to learn the Indian language with the Reverend Mr. Sargeant. — Besides these means of instruction, there was likewise an English school constantly kept by my interpreter among the Indians; which I used frequently to visit, in order to give the children and young people some proper instructions, and serious exhortations suited to their age.
The degree of knowledge to which some of them attained, was considerable. Many of the truths of Christianity seemed fised in their minds, especially in some instances, so that they would speak to me of them, and ask such questions about them, as were necessary to render them more plain snd clear to their understandings. The children, also, and young people, who attended the school, made considerable proficiency (at least some of them) in their learning; so that had they understood the English language well, they would have been able to read somewhat readily in a psalter.
But that which was most of all desirable, and gave me the greatest encouragement amidst many difficulties and disconso. late hours, was, that the truths of God's word seemed, at times, to be attended with some power upon the hearts and consciences of the Indians. And especially this appeared evident in a few instances, who were awakened to some sense of their miserable estate by nature, and appeared solicitous for deliverance from it. Several of them came, of their own accord, to discourse with me about their souls concerns; and some, with tears, inquired “what they should do to be saved ?" and whether the God that Christians served, would be merciful to those that had been frequently drunk ? &c.
And although I cannot say, that I have satisfactory evidences of their being “ renewed in the spirit of their mind,” and savingly converted to God; yet the Spirit of God did, I apprehend, in such a manner attend the means of grace, and so operate upon their minds thereby, as miglit justly afford matter of encouragement to hope, that God designed good to them, and that he was preparing bis way into their souls.
There likewise appeared a reformation in the lives and manners of the Indians.—Their idolatrous sacrifices (of which there was but one or two, that I know of, after my coming among them) were wholly laid aside. And their Heathenish custom of dancing, hallooing, &c. they seemed in a considerable measure to have abandoned. And I could not but hope, that they were reformed in some measure from the sin of drunkenness. They likewise manifested a regard to the Lord's day; and not only behaved soberly themselves, but took care also to keep their children in order.
Yet, after all, I must confess, that as there were many hopeful appearances among them, so there were some things more discouraging. And while I rejoiced to observe any seriousness, and concern among them about the affairs of their souls, still I was not without continual fear and concern, lest such encouraging appearances might prove “ like a morning. cloud, ibat passeth away.”
When I had spent near a year with the Indians, I informed them that I expected to leave them in the spring then approaching, and to be sent to another tribe of Indians, at a great distance fiom them. On hearing this, they appeared very sorrowful, and some of them endeavoured to persuade me to continue with thenı; urging that they had now heard so much about their souls concerns, that they could never more be willing to live as they had done, witbout a minister, and further instruc. tions in the way to heaven, &c. Whereupon I told them, they ought to be willing that others also should hear about their souls concerns, seeing those needed it as much as themselves. Yet further to dissuade me from going, they added, that those Indians, to whom I had thoughts of going (as they had heard) were not willing to become Christians, as they were, and there. fore urged me to tarry with them. I then told them, that they might receive further instruction without me; but the Indians, to whom I expected to be sent, could not, there being no minister near to teach them. And hereupon I advised them, in case I should leave them, and be sent elsewhere, to remove to Stockbridge, where they might be supplied with land, and conveniencies of living, and be under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Sargeant: with which advice and proposal, they seemed disposed to comply.
On April 6, 1744. I was ordered and directed by the correspondents for the Indian mission, to take leave of the people, with whom I had then spent a full year, and to go, as soon as conveniently I could, to a tribe of Indians on Delaware rirer in Pennsylvania.
These orders I soon attended, and on April 29th took leave of my people, who were mostly removed to Stockbridge under the care of the Reverend Mr. Sargeant. I then set out on my journey toward Delaware; and on May 10th, met with a number of Indians in a place called Minnissinks, about a hundred and forty .niles from Kaunaumeek, (the place where I spent the last year,) and directly in my way to Delaware river. With these Indians I spent some time, and first addressed their king in a friendly manner; and after some discourse, and attempts to contract a friendship with him, I told him I had a desire (for his benefit and happiness) to instruct them in Christianity. At which he laughed, turned his back upon me, and went away. I then addressed another principal man in the same manner, who said he was willing to hear me. After soine
time, I followed the king into his house, and renewed my discourse to him : but he declined talking, and left the affair to another, who appeared to be a rational man. He began, and talked very warmly near a quarter of an hour together: he inquired why I desired the Indians to become Christians, seeing the Christians were so much worse than the Indians are in their present state. The Christians, he said, would lie, steal, and drink, worse than the Indians. It was they first taught the Indians to be drunk : and they stole from one another, to that degree, that their rulers were obliged to bang them for it, and that was not sufficient to deter others from the like practice. But the Indians, he added, were none of them ever banged for stealing, and yet they did not steal half so much; and he supposed that if the Indians should become Christians, they would then be as bad as these. And hereupon he said, they would live as their fathers lived, and go where their fathers were when they died. I then freely owned, lamented, and joined with him in condemning the ill conduct of some who are called Christians : told him, these were not Christians in heart; tbat I hated such wicked practices, and did not desire the Indians to become such as these. -- And when he appeared calmer, I asked him if he was willing that I should come and see them again? He replied, he should be willing to see me again, as a friend, if I would not desire them to become Christians. I then bid them farewell, and prosecuted my journey toward Delaware. And May 13th, I arrived at a place called by the Indians Sakhauwotung, within the Forks of Delaware in Pennsylvania.
Here also, when I came to the Indians, I saluted their king, and others, in a manner I thought most engaging. And soon after informed the king, of my desire to instruct them in the Christian religion. After he had consulted a few minutes with two or three old men, he told me, he was willing to hear. I then preached to those few that were present; who appeared very attentive, and well disposed. And the king in particular seemed both to wonder, and at the same time to be well pleased with what I taught them, respecting the divine Being, &c. And since that time he has ever shewn bimself friendly to me, giving me free liberty to preach in his house, whenever I tbink fit.-Here therefore I have spent the greater part of the summer past, preaching usually in the king's house.
The number of Indians in this place is but small; most of those that formerly belonged here, are dispersed, and removed to places farther back in the country. There are not more than ten houses hercabouts, that continue to be inhabited;