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touched with a sense of their eternal concerns, they could pray with great freedom, as well as fervency, without being at the trouble first to learn set forms for that purpose. Some of them, who were suddenly awakened at their first coming among us, were brought to pray and cry for mercy with the utmost importunity, without ever being instructed in the duty of prayer, or so much as once directed to a performance of it. “The happy effects of these peculiar doctrines of grace, upon which I have so much insisted upon this people, plainly discover, even to demonstration, that, instead of their opening a door to licentiousness, as many vainly imagine, and slanderously insinuate, they have a directly contrary tendency; so that a close application, a sense and feeling of them, will have the most powerful influence toward the renovation, and effectual reformation both of heart and life. “Happy experience, as well as the word of God, and the example of Christ and his apostles, has taught me, that the very method of preaching which is best suited to awaken in mankind a sense and lively apprehension of their depravity and misery in a fallen state, to excite them earnestly to seek after a change of heart, as to fly for refuge to free and o grace in Christ as the only hope set before them, is likely to be most successful in the reformation of their eacternal conduct.— I have found that close addresses, and solemn applications of divine truth to the conscience, strike at the root of all vice; while smooth and plausible harangues upon moral virtues and eacternal duties, at best are like to do no more than lop off the branches of corruption, while the root of all vice remains still untouched. “A view of the blessed effect of honest endeavours to bring home divine truths to the conscience, and duly to affect the heart with them, has often reminded me of those words of our Lord, which I have thought might be a proper exhortation for ministers in respect of their treating with others, as well as for persons in general with regard to themselves, ‘Cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside may be clean also.” Cleanse, says he, the inside, that the outside may be clean. As if he had said, The only effectual way to have the outside clean, is to begin with what is within ; and if the fountain be purified, the streams will naturally be pure. Most certain it is, if we can awaken in sinners a lively sense of their inward pollution and depravity—their need of a change of heart—and so engage them to seek after inward cleansing, their external defilement will naturally be cleansed, their vicious ways of course be reformed, and their conversation and behaviour become reular. gui Now, although I cannot pretend that the reformation among my people, does, in * instance, spring from a saving OL.
change of heart; yet I may truly say, it flows from some heartaffecting view and sense of divine truths which all have had in a greater or less degree.—I do not intend, by what I have observed here, to represent the preaching of morality and pressing persons to the eacternal performance of duty, to be altogether unnecessary and useless at any time; and especially at times when there is less of divine power attending the means of grace;—when, for want of internal influences, there is need of eacternal restraints. It is doubtless among the things that ought to be done,' while others are not to be left undone."— But what I principally designed by this remark, was to discover a plain matter of fact, viz. That the reformation, the sobriety, and the external compliance with the rules and duties of Christianity, appearing among my people, are not the effect of any mere doctrinal instruction, or merely rational view of the beauty of morality, but from the internal power and influence which the soul humbling doctrines of grace have had upon their hearts. III. “On the Continuance, Renewal, and Quickness of the Work. “It is remarkable, that God has so continued and renewed the showers of his grace here;—so quickly set up his visible kingdom among these people ; and so smiled upon them in relation to their acquirement of knowledge, both divine and human. It is now nearly a year since the beginning of this gracious outpouring of the divine Spirit among them; and although it has often seemed to decline and abate for some short space of time—as may be observed by several passages of my Journal, where I have endeavoured to note things just as they appeared to me—yet the shower has seemed to be renewed, and the work of grace revived again. A divine influence seems still apparently to attend the means of grace, in a greater or less degree, in most of our meetings for religious exercises; whereby religious persons are refreshed, strengthened, and established, convictions revived and promoted in many instances, and some few persons newly awakened from time to time. It must be acknowledged, that for some time past, there has, in general, appeared a more manifest decline of this work; and the divine Spirit has seemed, in a considerable measure, withdrawn, especially with regard to his awakening influence—so that the strangers who come latterly, are not seized with concern as formerly ; and some few who have been much affected with divine truths in time past, now appear less concerned.— Yet, blessed be God, there is still an appearance of divine power and grace, a desirable degree of tenderness, religious affection and devotion in our assemblies. “As God has continued and renewed the showers of his grace among this people for some time ; so he has with uncommon quickness set up his visible kingdom, and gathered himself a church in the midst of them. I have now baptized, since the conclusion of my last Journal, (or the First Part,) thirty persons—fifteen adults and fifteen children. Which added to the number there mentioned, makes seventy-seven persons; whereof thirty-eight are adults, and thirty-nine children; and all within the space of eleven months past. It must be noted, that I have baptized no adults, but such as appeared to have a work of special grace wrought in their hearts; I mean such as have had the experience not only of the awakening and humbling, but in a judgment of charity, of the renewing and confirming influences of the divine Spirit. There are many others under solemn concern for their souls, who I apprehend, are persons of sufficient knowledge, and visible seriousness, at present, to render them proper subjects of the ordinance of baptism. Yet since they give no comfortable evidence of a saving change, but only appear under convictions of their sin and misery; as the propensity in this people to abuse themselves with strong drink is naturally very great ; and as some, who at present appear serious and concerned for their souls, may lose their concern, and return to this sin, and so, if baptized, prove a scandal to their profession ; I have thought proper hitherto to defer their baptism. “I likewise administered the Lord's supper to a number of persons, who I have abundant reason to think, as I elsewhere observed, were proper subjects of that ordinance, within the space of ten months and ten days, after my first coming among these Indians in New-Jersey. From the time, when, as I am informed, some of them attending an idolatrous feast and sacri. fice in honour to devils, to the time when they sat down at the Lord's table, I trust to the honour of God, was not more than a full year. Surely Christ's little flock here, so suddenly gathered from among Pagans, may justly say, in the language of the church of old, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” “Much of the goodness of God has also appeared in relation to their acquirement of knowledge, both in religion and in the affairs of common life. There has been a wonderful thirst after Christian knowledge prevailing among them in general, and an eager desire of being instructed in Christian doctrines and manners. This has prompted them to ask many pertinent as well as important questions; the answers to which have tended much to enlighten their minds, and promote their knowledge in divine things. Many of the doctrines which I have delivered, they have queried with me about, in order to gain further light and insight into them; particularly the doctrine of predestination; and have from time to time manifested a good under
standing of them, by their answers to the questions proposed to them in my catechetical lectures. “They have likewise queried with me, respecting a proper method, as well as proper matter, of prayer, and expressions suitable to be used in that religious exercise; and have taken pains in order to the performance of this duty with understanding.— They have likewise taken pains, and appeared remarkably apt in learning to sing Psalm-tunes, and are now able to sing with a good degree of decency in the worship of God—They have also acquired a considerable degree of useful knowledge in the affairs of common life; so that they now appear like rational creatures, fit for human society, free of that savage roughness and brutish stupidity, which rendered them very disagreeable in their Pagan state. “They seem ambitious of a thorough acquaintance with the English language, and for that end frequently speak it among themselves. Many of them have made good proficiency in their acquirement of it, since my coming among them ; so that most of them can understand a considerable part, and some the substance of my discourses, without an interpreter, being used to my low and vulgar methods of expression, though they could not well understand other ministers. “As they are desirous of instruction, and surprisingly apt in the reception of it, so divine Providence has smiled upon them with regard to the proper means in order to it. The attempts made for the procurement of a school among them have been succeeded, and a kind providence has sent them a schoolmaster of whom I may justly say, I know of ‘no man like minded, who will naturally care for their state."—He has generally thirty or thirty-five children in his school: and when he kept an evening school, as he did while the length of the evenings would admit of it, he had fifteen or twenty people, married and single. “The children learn with surprising readiness ; so that their master tells me, he never had an English school which learned, in general, comparably so fast. There were not above two in thirty, although some of them were very small, but that learned to know all the letters in the alphabet distinctly, within three days after his entrance upon his business ; and several in that space of time learned to spell considerably. Some of them, since the beginning of February last,” when the school was set up, have learned so much, that they are able to read in a Psalter or Testament, without spelling. “They are instructed twice a week in the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, on Wednesday and Saturday. Some of them since the latter end of February, when they began, have learned to say it pretty distinctly by heart, considerably more than half through; and most of them have made some proficiency in it. “They are likewise instructed in the duty of secret prayer, and most of them constantly attend it night and morning, and are very careful to inform their master if they apprehend that any of their little school-mates neglect that religious exercise. IV. “On the little Appearance of False Religion. “It is worthy to be noted, to the praise of sovereign grace, that amidst so great a work of conviction—so much concern and religious affection—there has been no prevalence, nor indeed any considerable appearance of false religion, if I may so term it, or heats of imagination, intemperate zeal, and spiritual pride; which corrupt mixtures too often attend the revival and powerful propagation of religion; and that there have been very few instances of irregular and scandalous behaviour among those who have appeared serious. I may justly repeat what I formerly observed, that there has here been no appearance of * bodily agonies, convulsions, frightful screamings, swoonings,” and the like; and may now further add, that there has been no prevalence of visions, trances, and imaginations of any kind; although there has been some appearance of something of that nature ; an instance of which I have given an account of in my Diary for December 26. “But this work of grace has, in the main, been carried on with a surprising degree of purity, and freedom from trash and corrupt mixture. The religious concern under which persons have been, has generally been rational and just ; arising from a sense of their sins and exposedness to the divine displeasure on account of them ; as well as their utter inability to deliver themselves from the misery which they felt and feared. If there has been, in any instance, an appearance of concern and perturbation of mind, when the subjects of it knew not why; yet there has been no prevalence of any such thing; and indeed I scarcely know of any instance of that nature at all.—It is very remarkable, that, although the concern of many persons under convictions of their perishing state has been very great and pressing, yet I have never seen any thing like desperation attending it in any one instance. They have had the most lively sense of their undoneness in themselves; have been brought to give up all hopes of deliverance from themselves; have experienced great distress and anguish of soul; and yet, in the seasons of the greatest extremity, there has been no appearance of despair in any of them,--nothing that has discouraged, or in any wise hindered them from the most diligent use of all proper means for their conversion and salvation. Hence it is apparent, that there is not that danger of persons being driven into
* In less than five months, viz. from Feb. 1, to June 19.