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question. After which I endeavoured to make some practical improvement of the whole. This was the method I entered upon.-They were able readily and rationally to answer many important questions I proposed to them: so that, upon trial, I found their doctrinal knowledge to exceed my own expectations. In the improvement of my discourse, when I came to infer and open the blessedness of those who have so great and glorious a God, as had before been spoken of, “ for their everlasting friend and portion,” sundry were much affected; and especially when I exhorted, and endeavoured to persuade them to be reconciled to God," through his dear Son, and thus to secure an interest in his everlasting favour. So that they appeared to be not only enlightened and instructed, but affected and engaged in their souls' concern by this method of discoursing
Lord's day, Dec. 22. Discoursed upon the story of the young man in the gospel, Matth. ix. 16–22. God made it a seasonable word, I am persuaded, to some souls. There were sundry persons of the Indians newly come here, who had frequently lived among Quakers; and being more civilized and conformed to English manners than the generality of the Indians, they had imbibed some of the Quakers' errors, especially this fundamental one, viz. That if men will but live soberly and honestly, according to the dictates of their own consciences, (or the light within), there is then no danger or doubt of their salvation, &c.These persons I found much worse to deal with than those who are wholly under Pagan darkness, who make no pretences to knowledge in Christianity at all, nor have any selfrighteous foundation to stand upon. However, they all, except one, appeared now convinced, that this sober, honest life, of itself, was not sufficient to salvation; since Christ himself had declared it so in the case of the young man. And seemed in some measure concerned to obtain that change of heart, the necessity of which I had been labouring to shew them.
This was likewise a season of comfort to some souls, and in particular to one, (the same mentioned in my Journal of the 16th instant), who never before obtained any settled comfort, though I have abundant reason to think she had passed a saving change some days before.-She now appeared in a heavenly frame of mind, composed and delighted with the divine will. When I came to discourse particularly with her, and to enquire of her, how she got relief and deliverance from the spiritual distresses she had lately been under, she answered in broken
English *, “ Me try, me try, save myself, last my strength be all gone, (meaning her ability to save herself), could not me stir bit further. Den last, me forced let Jesus Christ alone, send me hell if he please.” I said, But you was not willing to go to hell, was you? She replied +, “Could not me help it. My heart he would wicked for all. Could not me make him good;” (meaning she saw it was right she should go to hell, because her heart was wicked, and would be so after all she could do to mend it). I asked her, How she got out of this case? She answered still in the same broken language I, “ By by my heart be grad desperately.” I asked her why her heart was glad? She replied, “ Grad my heart Jesus Christ do what he please with me. Den me tink, grad my heart Jesus Christ send me hell. Did not me care where he put me, me lobe him for all," &c.
And she could not readily be convinced, but that she was willing to go to hell, if Christ was pleased to send her there. Though the truth evidently was, her will was so swallowed up in the
divine will, that she could not frame any hell in her imagination that would be dreadful or undesirable, provided it was but the will of God to send her to it.---Toward night, discoursed to them again in the catechetical method I entered upon the evening before. And when I came to improve the truths I had explained to them, and to answer that question, “But how shall I know whether God has chosen me to everlasting life,” by pressing them to come and give up their hearts to Christ, and thereby “to make their election sure;” they then appeared much affected: and the persons under concern were afresh engaged in seeking after an interest in him; while some others, who had obtained comfort before, were refreshed to find that love to God in themselves, which was an evidence of his electing love to them.
Dec. 25. The Indians having been used upon Christmasdays to drink and revel among some of the white people in these parts, I thought it proper this day to call them together,
* In proper English thus, “ I tried and tried to save myself, till at last my strength was all gone, and I could not stir any further. Then at last I was forced to let Jesus Christ alone to send me to hell if he pleased.”
† In plain English thus, “ I could not help it. My heart would be wicked for all what I could do. I could not make it good.”
" By and by my heart was exceeding glad. My heart was glad that Jesus Christ would do with me what he pleased. Then I thought my heart would be glad although Christ should send me to hell. I did not care where he put me, I should love bim for all; i, e. do wbat he would with me.” Vol. III.
and discourse to them upon divine things : which I accordingly did from the parable of the barren fig-tree, Luke xiii. 6–9. A divine influence, I am persuaded, accompanied the word at this season. The power of God appeared in the assembly, not by producing any remarkable cries, but by shocking and rousing at heart, as it seemed, several stupid creatures, that were scarce ever moved with any concern before. The power attending divine truths seemed to have the influence of the earthquake rather than the whirlwind upon them. Their passions were not so much alarmed as has been common here in times past, but their judgments appeared to be powerfully convinced by the masterly and conquering influence of divine truths. The impressions made upon the assembly in general, seemed not superficial, but deep and heart-affecting. O how ready did they now appear universally to embrace and comply with every thing they heard and were convinced was dutyGod was in the midst of us of a truth, bowing and melting stubborn hearts! How many tears and sobs were then to be seen and heard among us! What liveliness and strict attention! what eagerness and intenseness of mind appeared in the whole assembly in the time of divine service! They seemed to watch and wait for the dropping of God's word, as the thirsty earth for the “ former and latter rain."
Afterwards I discoursed to them on the duty of husbands and wives, from Eph. v. 22-23. and have reason to think this was a word in season.-Spent some time further in the evening, in inculcating the truths I had insisted upon in my former discourse respecting the barren fig-tree, and observed a powerful influence still accompany what was spoken.
Dec. 26. This evening I was visited by a person under great spiritual exercise; the most remarkable instauce of this kind I ever saw. She was a woman of (I believe) more than fourscore years old, and appeared to be much broken and very childish through age, so that it seemed impossible for man to instil into her mind any notions of divine things, not so much as to give her any doctrinal instruction, because she seemed incapable of being taught.--She was led by the hand into my house, and appeared in extreme anguish. I asked her, what ailed her? She answered, “That her heart was distressed, and she feared she should never find Christ.” I asked her, when she began to be concerned ? with divers other questions relatiog to her distress. To all which she answered, for substance, to this effect, viz. That she had heard me preach many times, but never knew any thing about it, never “ felt it in ber heart"
till the last Sabbath; and then it came (she said) “ all one as if a needle had been thrust into her heart;" since which time, she had no rest day nor night. She added, that on the evening before Christmas, a number of Indians being together at the house where she was, and discoursing about Christ, their talk pricked her heart, so that she could not sit up, but fell down on her bed; at which time she went away, (as she expressed it), and felt as if she dreamed, and yet is confident she did not dream. When she was thus gone, she saw two paths, one appeared very broad and crooked; and that turned to the left hand. The other appeared strait and very narrow; and that went up the hill to the right hand. She travelled, she said, for some time up the narrow right hand path, till at length something seemed to obstruct her journey. She sometimes called it darkness, and then described it otherwise, and seemed to compare it to a block or bar. She then remembered, what she had heard me say about “striving to enter in at the strait gate.” (although she took little notice of it, at the time when she heard me discourse upon that subject), and thought she would climb over this bar. But just as she was thinking of this, she came back again, as she termed it, meaning that she came to herself; whereupon her soul was extremely distressed, apprehending she had now turned back and forsaken Christ, and that there was therefore no hope of mercy for her.
As I was sensible that trances, and imaginary views of things, are of dangerous tendency in religion, when sought after, and depended upon; so I could not but be much concerned about this exercise, especially at first; apprehending this might be a design of Satan to bring a blemish upon the work of God here, by introducing visionary scenes, imaginary terrors, and all manner of mental disorders and delusions, in the room of genuine convictions of sin, and the enlightening influences of the blessed Spirit; and I was almost resolved to declare, that I looked upon this to be one of Satan's devices, and to caution my people against it, and the like exercises, as such.-However, I determined first to enquire into her knowledge, to see whether she had any just views of things, that might be the occasion of her present distressing concern, or whether it it was a mere fright arising only from imaginary terrors. I asked her divers questions respecting man's primitive, and more especially his present state, and respecting her own heart; which she answered rationally, and to my surprise. And I thought it was next to impossible, if not altogether so, that a Pagan who was become a child through age, should in that state gain so much knowledge by any mere human instruction, without being remarkably enlightened by a divine inflyence.
I then proposed to her the provision made in the gospel for the salvation of sinners, and the ability and willingness of Christ " to save to the uttermost all (old as well as young) that come to him." To which she seemed to give a hearty assent. But instantly replied, “Ay, but I cannot come; “m wicked beart will not come to Christ; I do not know how to come,” &c. And this she spoke in anguish of spirit, striking on her breast, with tears in her eyes, and with such earnestness in her looks as was indeed piteous and affecting.
She seems to be really convinced of her sin and misery, and her need of a change of heart: and her concern is abiding and constant. So that nothing appears but that this exercise may have a saving issue. And indeed it seems hopeful seeing she is so solicitous to obtain an interest in Christ, that her heart (as she expresses it) prays day and night.
How far God may make use of the imagination in awakening some persons under these, and such like circumstances, I cannot pretend to determine. Or whether this exercise be from a divine influence, I shall leave others to judge. But ihis I must say, that its effects hitherto bespeak it to be such : nor can it, as I see, be accounted for, in a rational way, but from the influence of some spirit, either good or evil. For the woman I am sure, never heard divine things treated of in the manner she now viewed them in; and it would seem strange she should get such a rational notion of them from the mere working of her own fancy, without soine superior, or at least foreign aid. And yet I must say, I have looked upon it as one of the glories of this work of grace among the Indians, and a special evidence of its being from a divine influence, that there has, till now, been no appearance of such things, no visionary notions, trances, and imaginations intermixed with those rational convictions of sin, and solid consolations, that numbers have been made the subjects of. And might I have had my desire, there had been no appearance of any thing of this nature at all.
Dec. 28. Discoursed to my people in the catechetical method I lately entered upon. And in the improvement of my discourse, wherein I was comparing man's present with his primitive state ; and shewing what he had fallen from, and the miseries he is now involved in, and exposed to in his natural