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friend for the society of angels and spirits of just men made perfect: my affections soared aloft to the blessed Author of every dear enjoyment. I viewed the emptiness and unsatisfactory nature of the most desirable earthly objects, any further than God is seen in them, and longed for a life of spirituality and inward purity; without which I saw there could be no true pleasure.
“Crossweeksung, Jan. 1746,
Jan. 28th. “The Indians in these parts, have in times past run themselves in debt by their excessive drinking; and some have taken the advantage of them, and put them to trouble and charge, by arresting sundry of them; whereby it was supposed their hunting lands, in great part, were much endangered, and might speedily be taken from them. Being sensible that they could not subsist together in these parts, in order to their being a Christian congregation, if these lands should be taken, which was thought very likely, I thought it my duty to use my utmost endeavours to prevent so unhappy an event. Having acquainted the gentlemen concerned in this mission with the affair, according to the best information I could get of it, they thought it proper to expend the money which they had been, and still were collecting for the religious interest of the Indians, at least a part of it, for discharging their debts and securing these lands, that there might be no entanglement lying upon them to hinder the settlement and hopeful enlargement of a Christian congregation of Indians in these parts. Having received orders from them, I answered, in behalf of the Indians, eighty-two pounds, five shillings, N, Jersey currency, at eight shillings per ounce; and so prevented the danger of difficulty in this respect,
“As God has wrought a wonderful work of grace among these Indians, and now inclines others from remote places to fall in among them almost continually ; and as he has opened a door for the prevention of the difficulty now mentioned, which seemed greatly to threaten their religious interests as well as Y. comforts, it is to be hoped that he designs to establish a churc for himself among them, and hand down true religion to their posterity.
Jan. 30. “Preached to the Indians from John iii. 16, 17. There was a solemn attention and some affection visible in the audience: especially several persons, who had long been concerned for their souls, seemed afresh excited and engaged in seeking after an interest in Christ, One, with much concern, afterwards told me “his heart was so pricked with my preaching he knew not where to turn or what to do.”
Jan. 31. “This day the person whom I had made choice of and engaged for a school-master among the Indians, arrived among us, and was heartily, welcomed by my people universally. Whereupon I distributed several dozens of primers among the children. Feb. 1. “My school-master entered upon his business among the Indians. He has generally about thirty children and young persons in his school in the day time, and about fifteen married people in the evening school. The number of the latter sort of persons being less than it would be if they could be more constantly at home, and could spare time from their necessary employments for an attendance upon these instructions. “Towards night enjoyed some of the clearest thoughts on a divine subject, viz. that treated of 1 Cor. xv. 13–16. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, &c. which I ever remember to have had upon any subject whatsoever; and spent two or three hours in writing them. I was refreshed with this intenseness; my mind was so engaged in these meditations I could scarcely turn it to anything else, and indeed I could not be willing to part with so sweet an entertainment. “In the evening catechised in my usual method. Towards the close of my discourse, a surprising power seemed to attend the word, especially to some persons. One man considerably in years, who had been a remarkable drunkard, a conjurer, and murderer, and was awakened some months before, was now brought to great extremity under his spiritual distress; so that he trembled for hours together, and apprehended himself just dropping into hell, without any power to rescue or relieve himself. Divers others appeared under great concern as well as he, and solicitous to obtain a saving change. Lord's day, Feb. 2. “Preached from John v. 24, 25. There appeared as usual some concern and affection in the assembly. Towards night proceeded in my usual method of catechising. Observed my people more ready in answering the questions proposed to them than ever before. It is apparent they advance daily in doctrinal knowledge. But what is still more desirable, the Spirit of God is yet operating among them; whereby experimental, as well as speculative knowledge is propagated in their minds. “After public worship, my bodily strength being much spent, my spirits sunk amazingly, and especially on hearing that 1 was generally taken to be a Roman Catholic, sent by the Papists to draw the Indians into an insurrection against the English, that some were in fear of me, and others were for having me taken up by authority and punished. Alas, what will not the devil do to bring a slur and disgrace on the work of God! O, how holy and circumspect had I need to be Through divine goodness I have been enabled to mind my own business in these parts as well as elsewhere; and to let all men, and all denominations of men alone, as to their party notions, and only preached the plain and necessary truths of Christianity, neither inviting to, nor excluding from any meeting, any of any sort or persuasion whatsoever. Towards night the Lord gave me freedom at the throne of grace in my first prayer before my catechetical lecture ; and, in opening the xlvth Psalm to my people, my soul confided in God; although the wicked world should slander and persecute me, or even condemn and execute me as a traitor to my king and country. Truly, “God is a present help in time of trouble.”. In the evening my soul was in some measure comforted, having some hope that one poor soul was brought home to God this day; though the case did by no means appear clear. Oh that I could fill up every moment of time during my abode here below in the service of my God and King. Feb. 3. “My spirits were still much sunk with what I heard the day before of my being suspected to be engaged in the Pretender's interest. It grieved me, that after there had been so much evidence of a glorious work of grace among these poor Indians, as that the most carnal men could not but take notice of the great change made among them, so many poor souls should still suspect the whole to be only a Popish plot, and so cast an awful reproach on this blessed work of the divine Spirit, and at the same time wholly exclude themselves from receiving any benefit by this divine influence. This put me upon searching whether I had ever dropped anything inadvertently, which might give occasion to any to suspect that I was stirring up the Indians against the English; and could think of nothing, unless it was my attempting sometimes to vindicate the rights of the Indians, and complaining of the horrid practice of making the Indians drunk, and then cheating them out of their lands and other property. Once I remembered I had done this with too much warmth of spirit, which much distressed me; thinking that it might possibly prejudice them against this work of grace to their everlasting destruction. God, I believe, did me good by this trial, which served to humble me, and show me the necessity of watchfulness, and of being wise as a serpent as well as harmless as a dove. This exercise led me to a throne of grace, and there I found some support: though I could not get the burden wholly removed. Was assisted in prayer, especially in the evening.”
He remained still under a degree of anxiety about this affair, which continued to have the same effect upon him to cause him Vol. X. 34
to reflect upon and humble himself, and frequent the throne of grace; but soon found himself much more relieved and supported. He was this week in an extremely weak state, and obliged, as he expresses it, “to consume considerable time in diversions for his health.”
Feb. 5. “Discoursed to a considerable number of the Indians in the evening; at which time numbers of them appeared much affected and melted with divine things. 3. Feb. 8. “Spent a considerable part of the day in visiting my people from house to house, and conversing with them about their soul's concerns. Divers persons wept while I discoursed to them, and appeared concerned for nothing so much as for an interest in the great Redeemer. In the evening catechised as usual. Divine truths made some impressions upon the audience; and were attended with an affectionate engagement of soul in some. Lord's day, Feb. 9. “Discoursed to my people from the story of the blind man, Matt. x. 46–52. The word of God seemed weighty and powerful upon the assembly at this time, and made considerable impressions upon many; several in particular, who have generally been remarkably stupid and careless under the means of grace, were now awakened, and wept affectionately. . The most earnest attention, as well as tenderness and affection appeared in the audience universally. “Baptized three persons; two adults and one child. The adults, I have reason to hope, were both truly pious, There was considerable melting in the assembly, while I was discoursing particularly to the persons, and administering the ordinance. God has been pleased to own and bless the administration of this as well as of his other ordinances among the Indians. There are some here who have been powerfully awakened at seeing others baptized ; and some who have obtained relief and comfort just in the season when this ordinance has been administered. “Toward night catechised. God made this a powerful season to some. There were many affected. Former convictions appeared to be powerfully revived. There was likewise one who had been a vile drunkard remarkably awakened. He appeared to be in great anguish of soul, wept and trembled, and continued to do so till near midnight. There was also a poor heavy-laden soul, who had been long under spiritual distress, as constant and pressing as I ever saw, who was now brought to a comfortable calm, and seemed to be bowed and reconciled to the divine sovereignty, and told me she now felt and saw that it was right for God to do with her as he pleased; and that her heartfelt pleased and satisfied it should be so; although of late she had often found her heart rise and quarrel with God, because he would, if he pleased, send her to hell after all she had done, or could do to save herself. She added, that the heavy burden she had lain under was now removed; that she had tried to recover her concern and distress again, fearing that the Spirit of God was departing from her, and would leave her wholly careless, but that she could not recover it; that she felt she never could do any thing to save herself, but must perish for ever if Christ did not do all for her; that she did not deserve he should help her; and that it would be right if he should leave her to perish. But Christ would save her though she could do nothing to save herself, &c. and here she seemed to rest.” .
The Monday after he set out on a journey to the Forks of Delaware, to visit the Indians there. He performed the journey under great weakness, and was sometimes exercised with much pain; but says nothing of his dejection and melancholy. He arrived at his own house at the Forks on Friday. During the week he appears from his Diary to have enjoyed a sweet composure of mind, thankfulness to God for his mercies to him and others, resignation to the divine will, and comfort in prayer and religious conversation. At the same time his heart was drawn out after God, and affected with a sense of his own barrenness, as well as with the fulness and freeness of divine grace.
“Forks of Delaware, February, 1746.
Lord's day, February 16. “Knowing that numbers of the Indians in these parts were obstinately set against Christianity, and that some of them had refused to hear me preach in times past, I thought it might be proper and beneficial to the Christian interest here, to have a number of my religious people from Crossweeksung with me, to converse with them about religious matters; hoping it might be a means to convince them of the truth and importance of Christianity, to see and hear some of their own nation discoursing of divine things, and manifesting earnest desires that others might be brought out of heathenish darkness, as themselves were. For this pur. pose I selected half a dozen of the most serious and intelligent of those Indians, and having brought them to the Forks of Delaware, I this day met with them and the Indians of this place. Numbers of the latter probably could not have been prevailed upon to attend this meeting, had it not been for these religious Indians, who accompanied me hither, and preached to them. Some of those who had in times past been extremely averse to Christianity, now behaved soberly, and some others laughed and mocked. However the word of