« AnteriorContinuar »
despair under spiritual trouble, unless in cases of deep and habitual melancholy, which the world in general is ready to imagine. “The comfort which persons have obtained after their distresses, has likewise in general appeared solid, well grounded, and scriptural ; arising from a spiritual and supernatural illumination of mind,--a view of divine things, in a measure, as they are, a complacency of soul in the divine perfections,—and a peculiar satisfaction in the way of salvation by free sovereign grace in the great Redeemer. “Their joys have seemed to rise from a variety of views and considerations of divine things, although for substance the same. Some, who under conviction seemed to have the hardest struggles and heart-risings against the divine sovereignty, have seemed, at the first dawn of their comfort, to rejoice in a peculiar manner in that divine perfection :-and have been delighted to think that themselves, and all things else, were in the hand of God, and that he would dispose of them “just as he pleased.” “Others, who just before their reception of comfort have been remarkably oppressed with a sense of their undoneness and poverty, who have seen themselves, as it were, falling down into remediless perdition, have been at first more peculiarly delighted with a view of the freeness and riches of divine grace, and the offer of salvation made to perishing sinners “without money, and without price.” “Some have at first appeared to rejoice especially in the wisdom of God, discovered in the way of salvation by Christ; it then appearing to them a new and living way,’ a way of which they had never thought, nor had any just conceptions, until opened to them by the special influence of the divine Spirit. Some of them, upon a lively spiritual view of this way of salvation, have wondered at their past folly in seeking salvation in other ways, and have wondered that they never saw this way of salvation before, which now appeared so plain and easy, as well as earcellent to them. “Others, again, have had a more general view of the beauty and excellency of Christ, and have had their souls delighted with an apprehension of his divine glory, as unspeakably exceeding all of which they had ever conceived before; yet, without singling out any one of the divine perfections in particular; so that although their comforts have seemed to arise from a variety of views and considerations of divine glories, still they were spiritual and supernatural views of them, and not groundless fancies, which were the spring of their joys and comforts. “Yet it must be acknowledged, that, when this work became
so universal and prevalent, and gained such general credit and esteem among the Indians as Satan seemed to have little advantage of working against it in his own proper garb, he then transformed himself “into an angel of light,’ and made some vigorous attempts to introduce turbulent commotions of the passions in the room of genuine convictions of sin, imaginary and fanciful notions of Christ, as appearing to the mental eye in a human shape, and in some particular postures, &c. in the room of spiritual and supernatural discoveries of his divine glory and excellency, as well as divers other delusions. I have reason to think, that, if these things had met with countenance and encouragement, there would have been a very considerable harvest of this kind of converts here. “Spiritual pride also discovered itself in various instances. Some persons who had been under great affections, seemed very desirous from thence of being thought truly gracious: who, when I could not but express to them my fears respecting their spiritual state, discovered their resentments to a considerable degree upon that occasion. There also appeared in one or two of them an unbecoming ambition of being teachers of others. So that Satan has been a busy adversary here, as well as elsewhere. But blessed be God, though something of this nature has appeared, yet nothing of it has prevailed, nor indeed made any considerable progress at all. My people are now apprised of these things, are made acquainted, that Satan in such a manner ‘transformed himself into an angel of light,” in the first season of the great outpouring of the divine Spirit in the days of the apostles; and that something of this nature, in a greater or less degree, has attended almost every revival and remarkable propagation of true religion ever since. They have learned so to distinguish between the gold and dross, that the credit of the latter “is trodden down like the mire of the streets;” and, as it is natural for this kind of stuff to die with its credit, there is now scarce any appearance of it among them. “As there has been no prevalence of irregular heats, imaginary notions, spiritual pride, and Satanical delusions among my people; so there have been very few instances of scandalous and irregular behaviour among those who have made a profession, or even an appearance of seriousness... I do not know of more than three or four such persons who have been guilt of any open misconduct, since their first acquaintance with Christianity; and not one who persists in any thing of that nature. Perhaps the remarkable purity of this work in the latter respect, its freedom from frequent instances of - scandal, is very much owing to its purity in the former respect, its freedom from corrupt mixtures of spiritual pride, wild-fire, and delusion, which naturally lay a foundation for scandalous practices.
“May this blessed work in the power and purity of it prevail among the poor Indians here, as well as spread elsewhere, till their remotest tribes shall see the salvation of God! Amen.”
* “...Money collected and erpended for the Indians,—As mention has been made in the preceding Diary, of an English school erected and continued among these Indians, dependent entirely upon charity; and as collections have already been made in divers places for the support of it, as well as ior defraying other charges which have necessarily arisen in the promotion of the religious interests of the Indians; it may be satisfactory, and perhaps will be thought by some but a piece of Justice to the world, that an exact account be here given of the money already received by way of collection for the benefit of the Indians, and the manner in which it has been expended. The following is therefore a just account of this matter:— Money received since October last, by way of public collection, for promoting the religious interests of the Indians in New-Jersey, viz.
fo. s. d.
Money paid out since October last for promoting the religious interests of the Indians in New-Jersey, viz.
fo. s. d.
General Remarks on the Work of Grace at Crossweeksung continued.—Introduction.—Method of learning the Indian Language.—Method of Instructing the Indians.—Difficulties in the way in converting them to Christianity.—Attestations of neighbouring Ministers, Elders, and Deacons to the Display of Divine grace at Crossweeksung.
“I should have concluded what I had at present to offer, upon the affairs respecting my mission, with the preceding account of the money collected and expended for the religious interests of the Indians, but that I have not long since received from the Rev. President of the correspondents, the copy of a letter directed to him from the Hon. Society for propagating Christian knowledge, dated Edinburgh, March 21, 1745. Wherein I find it is expressly enjoined upon their missionaries, ‘That they give an exact account of the methods they make use of for instructing themselves in the Indians’ language, and what progress they have already made in it; of what methods they are now taking to instruct the Indians in the principles of our holy religion; and particularly of what difficulties they have already met with, and of the methods they make use of for surmounting the same.”
“As to the two former of these particulars, I trust that what I have already noted in my communications from time to time, might have been in good measure satisfactory to the Hon. Society, had they arrived safely and seasonably; which I am sensible they have not in general done, by reason of their falling into the hands of the enemy; although I have been at the pains of sending two copies of each, for more than two years past, lest one might miscarry in the passage. With relation to the latter of these particulars, I have purposely omitted saying any thing considerable, and that for these two reasons. First, because I could not oftentimes give any tolerable account of the difficulties which I met with in my work, without speaking somewhat particularly of the causes of them, and the circumstances conducing to them, which would necessarily have rendered my journals very tedious. Besides, some of the causes of my difficulties, I thought more fit to be concealed than divulged. ... Secondly, because I thought that a frequent mention of the difficulties attending my work, might appear an unbecoming complaint under my burdens; or as if I would rather be thought to be endowed with a singular measure of self-denial, constancy, and holy resolution, to meet and confront so many
Vol. X. 41
difficulties, and yet to hold on and go forward amidst them all. But since the honourable Society are pleased to require a more eacact and particular account of these things, I shall cheerfully endeavour something for their satisfaction in relation to each of these particulars; although with regard to the latter, I am ready to say, Infandum—jubes renovare delorem.
“The most successful method which I have taken for instructing myself in any of the Indian languages, is to translate English discourses by the help of an interpreter or two, into their language, as near verbatim as the sense will admit of, and to observe strictly how they use words, and what construction they will bear in various cases; and thus to gain some acquaintance with the root from whence particular words proceed, and to see how they are thence varied and diversified. But here occurs a very great difficulty; for the interpreters being unlearned, and unacquainted with the rules of language, it is impossible sometimes to know by them what part of speech some particular word is of, whether noun, verb, or participle; for they seem to use participles sometimes where we should use nouns, and sometimes where we should use verbs in the English language.
“But I have, notwithstanding many difficulties, gained some acquaintance with the grounds of the Delaware language, and have learned most of the defects in it; so that I know what English words can, and what cannot be translated into it. I have also gained some acquaintance with the particular phraseologies, as well as peculiarities of their language, one of which I cannot but mention. Their language does not admit of their speaking any word denoting relation, such as, father, son, &c. absolutely ; that is, without prefixing a pronoun-possessive to it, such as, my, thy, his, &c. Hence they cannot be baptized in their own language in the name of the Father, and the Son, &c.; but they may be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and his Father, &c. I have gained so much knowledge of their language, that I can understand a considerable part of what they say, when they discourse upon divine things, and am frequently able to correct my interpreter if he mistakes my sense. But I can do nothing to any purpose at speaking the language myself.
“As an apology for this defect, I must renew, or rather enlarge my former complaint, viz.:--That “while so much of my time is necessarily consumed in journeying,’ while I am obliged to ride four thousand miles a year, as I have done in the year