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great degree, abandoned ; their hundred and forty miles from habits of drunkenness were, in Kanaumeek ; and after some measure, corrected ; and the friendly conversation with one of observation of the Sabbath was es- the principal men, he told him, tablished among thein and their that he wished to instruct them in children.
the principles of Christianity, and After spending about a year that this would materially promote among the Indians in this quarter, their happiness, both in this world Mr. Brainerd informed them, that and in the world to come. The he expected soon to leave them, || chief, however, on hearing this, and to go among
tribe of laughed, turned his back, and their brethren at a great distance. went away. After some time Mr. On receiving this information, they Brainerd followed him into his appeared extremely sorrowful; hut, and renewed the conversasome of them tried to persuade tion with him; but he still declinhim to remain with them, urginged talking on that subject, and rethis as a reason, that as they had ferred him to one who appeared a now heard so much about religion, |rational kind of man. they could no longer live as before son, after speaking with great without a minister, to instruct warmth for near a quarter of an them in the way to heaven. In hour, asked Mr. Brainerd, why he reply to this, Mr. Brainerd told desired the Indians to become them, that they ought to be wil. Christians, seeing the Christians ling that their brethren also should were so much worse than the Inhear the gospel, as they stood indians. " The White people," no less need of it than themselves. | said he, 66 lie, and drink, and Still, however, they endeavoured || steal more than their Red brethto dissuade him from his purpose, ren. It was they who first taught saying, the Indians to whom he his countrymen to drink; and proposed to go, they had heard, they stole from one another to were not willing to become Christ-such a degree, that their rulers ians. He then told them, they were obliged to hang them ; yet could enjoy religious instruction even this did not deter others from merely by removing to Stock-committing the
crime. bridge, where Mr. Sergeant was But,” added he, the Indians labouring as a missionary ; but were rever hanged for stealing ; the Indians to whom he expected yet, should they become Christto go could not obtain such a priv-ians, it was probable they would ilege, there being no minister in soon be as bad as the white people. the neighbourhood to teach them. They were resolved, therefore, to To this proposal they agreed, and live as their fathers had lived, and most of them having soon after re to go to the same place as their moved to that place, Mr. Brainerd fathers when they died.” was at full liberty to prosecuteply to these charges, Mr. Brainerd his journey to the Forks of Dela- readily acknowledged the ill conware, in the province of Pennsyl- || duct of many of his countrymen ; vania, where he was now appoint- but these, he told him, were ed to labour.
Christians only in name, not in In May, 1744, Mr. Brainerd heart ; that as for himself, he abset off for that part of the coun-horred such practices, and should try, though he was then extremely never desire the Indians to learn ill of a bloody flux. In the them. The man now appeared more course of his journey, he visit-calm ; but yet when Mr. Brained a number of Indians at aerd asked him, if they were wilplace called Minissinks, about all ling that he should come and visit
them again, he replied, they would || of his elevated piety, we have an be willing to see him as a friend, interesting example in the exerif he would not desire them to be- 1 cises of his mind one day soon afcome Christians.
ter his arrival in this part of the Having taken farewell of these country. " This morning,” says Indians, Mr. Brainerd prosecuted he, “ I was greatly oppressed with his journey to the Forks of Dela- | a sense of guilt and shame, from a ware ; but, on his arrival in that view of my inward wileness and quarter, he was greatly disorder- depravity. "About nine o'clock, I ed in body, and still" more dis- withdrew to the woods for prayer, ,tressed in his mind. It was the | but had not much comfort. Sabbath morning ; but here there I peared to myself the meanest,
no Sabbath : the children | vilest creature upon earth: I were all at play; the Indians were thought I could scarcely live with few in number and greatly scat-myself, and that I should never be
he was a stranger in the able to hold up my face in heaven, midst of them, and was disap- if God, of his infinite mercy, pointed of an interpreter. Every should bring me thither.
Tothing, in short, seemed to unite in wards night, the burden of my aggravating his distress, and in mind respecting my work among rendering the prospect before him the Indians began to increase, and dark and cloudy.
was much aggravated by hearing After saluting the chief, and several circumstances of a dissome others of the Indians, in a couraging nature, particularly, friendly manner, he mentioned his that they designed to meet togethdesire of instructing them in the er next day, for an idolatrous feast principles of Christianity, and and dance.
My mind was ago having received from them a fa- | nized at the prospect. I thought vourable answer, he preached to it would be my duty to endeavour the few who were present, most to break up the assembly; but of whom were very attentive, par-how to do it, I knew not. In this ticularly the chief, who seemed dilemma, I withdrew for prayer, both pleased and surprised at what hoping for strength from on high. he heard ; and afterwards he was While engaged in this exercise, I very friendly to Mr. Brainerd, was exceedingly enlarged: my soul and
gave him full liberty to preach was as much drawn out as I alin his house whenever he thought most ever remember it to have fit. The number of his hearers, been in my life. I was in such however, was at first very small, anguish, and pleaded with so much often not exceeding twenty-five; importunity, that when I rose, I but afterwards they increased to felt so extremely weak that I forty and upwards.
could scarcely walk; my joints But though Mr. Brainerd pur- were loosed ; the sweat ran down sued his labours among these In- my body; nature seemed as if dians with unwearied diligence ready to dissolve. What I expeand zeal, he did not rest short in rienced, indeed, was inexpressiany exertions of his own. Deep-ble. All earthly things vanished ly impressed with the necessity of from my sight. Nothing appearthe influence of the Holy Spirit | ed of much importance to me, exfor the conversion of sinners, hecept progress in holiness, and the combined with his assiduous en conversion of the heathen to God. deavours the most earnest and af- | All my cares, desires, and fears, fectionate supplications for the Di- which might be considered as of a vine blessing upon them. Of bis | worldly nature, disappeared, and importunity in prayer, as well as ll seemed of little more importance
than a breath of wind. I longed | will make heaven the sweeter. exceedingly, that God would glo- Formerly, when I have been exrify his name among the heathen. posed to cold and rain, I was I appealed to him with the great-ready to please myself with the est freedom, that he knew I pre- hope of a comfortable lodging, a ferred him above my chief joy.' | warın fire, and other external acIndeed, I had no idea of joy from commodations ; but now, through this world : I cared not where or divine grace, such things as these how I lived, or what hardships I have less place in my heart, and might have to endure, if I might my eye is directed more to God only gain souls to Christ." for comfort. In this world, I lay Many were the fatigues, the my account with tribulation ;
it dangers, and the distresses which | does not now appear strange to Mr. Brainerd endured in the
On meeting with difficulties course of his frequent journeys I do not flatter myself it will afteramong the Indians; and no less wards be better, but rather think singular were the faith, the pa- | how much worse it might be with tience, and the self-denial he man
how much greater trials ifested under trials of this descrip- | many of God's children have ention. A few weeks after his re- dured ; how much greater, perturn from the Susquehannah, in haps, are yet in reserve for mytravelling from the place of Mr. self. Blessed be God, he makes the Byram’s residence to the Forks of prospect of iny journey's end a Delaware, a distance of about for comfort to me under my sharpest ty miles, he lost his way in the trials ; and instead of allowing the wilderness, wandered over rocks | thought of my dissolution to excite and mountains, down hideous de- terror or melancholy, he often acclivities, through dreadful swamps, companies it with exquisite joy.” and other places no less dan Having heard of a number of Ingerous. The night was dark and dians at a place called Crosweek-. cold ; and to add to his misfor- sung, in New Jersey, about eighty tune, he was troubled with a se miles froin the Forks of Delaware, vere pain in his head, accompani- he proceeded to visit them about ed with sickness at stomach, which the middle of June ; but, on his rendered every step he took dis- arrival, he found them scattered tressing to bim. He had little or
He had little or | in small settlements, six, ten, no expectation for several hours twenty, and even thirty miles but that he would have to lie outdistant from each other, and not all night in the woods in this melmore than two or three families ancholy condition. Providential- residing in the same place. He ly, however, about nine o'clock, | preached, however, to the few he discovered a house, and was he found, consisting only of four kindly received by the people. women and several children : So Yet distressing as was his situation, inconsiderable was the congregano expression of discontent, no tion, and so inauspicious seemed murmur of complaint, dropt from the spot which was soon to be the his lips. His reflections on this scene of a most remarkable work occasion are reflections not'unwor
After hearing thy of an apostle. 6 Thus,” says Mr. Brainerd, these poor people he, “I have been frequently ex set off and travelled ten or fifteen posed, and sometimes have lain miles to give notice to their friends out the whole night; but hitherto, that a minister had arrived among God has preserved me. Such fa- | them, by which means their little tigues and hardships serve to wean company was in a few days inine from the earth, and, I trust, creased to between forty and fifty,
of divine grace.
including both old and young. No || would necessarily lose much of its objection, no cavilling, no murmur force and meaning, yet now Mr. of opposition was heard“ among | Brainerd's sermons did not ordithem, though in time past they narily lose any thing of their orighad manifested as strong a dislike inal energy, unless it was soineto the gospel as any Indians what times owing to the want of suitaever, and even lately several of ble expressions in the Indian them had been much enraged at| tongue, a defect which his own his interpreter for telling them knowledge of the language could something about christianity. Now not have supplied. His interprehowever they were extremely anx ter addressed the Indians with ious to obtain instruction, they admirable fervency; he scarce asked Mr. Brainerd to preach to knew when to give over ; and them twice a day, that so they sometimes when Mr. Brainerd might learn as much as possible had concluded his discourse, and during his stay; and they appear- was returning home, he would ed to listen to his discourses with stay behind to repeat and enforce the utmost seriousness and atten- | what had been spoken ; nor did tion. This favourable disposition this appear to arise from spiritual in these Indians he attributed to the pride, or from an affectation of exertions of one or two of their own being a publick teacher ; but from people, who having heard him a spirit of faithfulness, and an some time before, at the Forks honest concern for their souls. of Delaware, had on their return In the beginning of August, Mr. endeavoured to show their friends | Brainerd paid a second visit to the evil of idolatry, and of other the Indians at Crosweeksung; practices common among them : and, on his arrival, was happy to a circumstance which may afford find them not only still favourathe Christian missionary some con- bly disposed toward Christianity, solation under the hardest of all but a number of thein under seri. his trials, the want of success ; ous concern for their souls, their for though no success should, for convictions of their sinfulness a season, crown his labours in his and misery having been much proown neighbourhood, yet, perhaps, moted by the labours of the Rev. some who have heard the gospel William Tennant, to whoin he from his lips, may, in the mean- had advised them to make appliwhile, be instrumental in prepar- cation. Scarcely had he returned ing the way for its introduction among them, when these impreseven among distant tribes.
sions increased and spread in a After spending about a fort- || surprising manner. In two or night at Crosweeksung, Mr. Brain- | three days, the inquiry was generd returned to the Forks of Del- eral among them, “What they aware, and from this period these should do to be saved ?" Such was two places were alternately the their sensibility of heart, that a principal scene of his labours. few words concerning their souls Soon after his arrival, he had the would make the tears flow in pleasure of baptizing his interpre- i streams down their cheeks ; in ter, together with his wife, the their publick assemblies, a dry eye first of the Indians whom he re
was often scarcely to be seen; it was ceived into the bosom of the astonishing how they were meltchurch.
ed with the love of the Redeemer, Though it might naturally be and with the invitations of the supposed, that a discourse, in gospel, when not a word of terror passing to the audience, through was spoken to them. the medium of a second person,
One day after Mr. Brainerd had
in its way
preached on the parable of the the most fervent manner, and Great Supper, (Luke xiv. 16–23.) || neither took notice of others, nor when he was speaking with such returned them any answer when individuals as were under concern they spoke to her. The burden about their souls, the Spirit of of her cry was,
6 Have mercy on God appeared to descend on the me, O God, and help me to give whole assembly, and with aston- | thee my
In this manner ishing energy overpowered all op- she continued most importunate position, like a mighty torrent, in supplication for several hours which, with irresistible force | together ; and thus she who came sweeps before it whatever comes to mock, returned to pray.
It seemed as if The whole assembly, indeed, he now beheld a second Pente-appeared as it were, transfixed to cost. Almost the whole con the heart with concern for their gregation, the old, the middle- souls. Almost all of them were aged, and the young, were over-crying for mercy, either within or whelmed with its influence. Even without the house. So overwhelmthe most stubborn hearts were ed were they with a sense of sin, made to bow. One of the princi- so absorbed in serious reflection, pal Indians, who previously had that none appeared to observe anfelt secure in the armour of self- other ; but each prayed as freely, righteousness, because he possess-and, probably, in his own appreed more knowledge than most of hension, as secretly, as if he had his countrymen, and who only the been in the midst of a desert, far day before had asserted, with the removed from every human eye. utmost assurance, that he had such as had been awakened for been a Christian for upwards of some time, it was observed, comten years, was now impressed plained chiefly of the corruption of with deep concern on account of their heart ; those who were newly his sinful miserable state ; his impressed, of the wickedness of self-confidence vanished like a vis- || their life. It is also worthy of noion of the night; his tears flowed tice, that they who had lately obin streams down his cheeks. ||tained relief, appeared, on this ocThere was also a young woman casion, calm and composed, rejoicwho was so thoughtless and igno-ing in Christ Jesus as their God and rant, that she seemed scarcely to Saviour. Some of them took their know she had a soul, but who having weeping friends by the hand, tellheard of something strange amonging them of the love of Christ, the Indians, came to see what was and of the comfort which is enjoythe matter. Having called at Mr.ed in him ; and on this ground inBrainerd's lodgings by the way, vited them to come and give him he informed her of his design to their hearts. preach immediately, at which she He reminded such as had made laughed, and seemed to mock. a publick profession of religion, of She came, however, to hear him, the solemn obligations under and before he had concluded his which they had come, to live dediscourse, not only felt she had voted to God; he gave them some a soul, but was so impressed with directions respecting their conduct her sinfulness and misery, that she in life ; encouraged
them to seemed like one pierced through watchfulness, steadfastness, and with a dart; she could neither devotion ; and set before them the walk, nor sit, nor stand, without comfort on earth, and the glory being supported. When publick in heaven, which await the faithworship was over, she lay pros- ful followers of the Lamb.
To trate on the ground, praying in all of them, this was a most in