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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS, Relating to the Housatunnuk Indians:

OR,

An Account of the Methods used, and Pains taken, for the Propagation of the Gospel among that Heathenish-Tribe, and the Suc­cess thereof, under the Ministry of the late Reverend Mr. JOHN SERGEANT:

TOGETHER,

With the Character of that eminently worthy Missionary; and an Address to the People of this Country, representing the very great Importance of attaching the Indians to their Interest, not only by treating them justly and kindly, but by using proper Endeavours to settle Christianity among them.

By SAMUEL HOPKINS, A. M.

Pastor of a Church in Springfield.

I perceive that GOD is no Respecter of Persons: But in every Nation, he that feareth him, and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him. Apostle PETER.

BOSTON: N.E.

Printed and Sold by S. KNEELAND, in Queen-Street, opposite to the Prison. 1753.

[Page i]

PREFACE

Mr Design in writing this History is, to give as clear and faithful an Account as I am able, of the Rise and Progress of Christianity among the Natives at Housatunnuk: particularly of Mr. SERGEANT's Mission to them; of the Measures be took to recover those Indians from their Barbarity, Ig­norance and Heathenism, and to inform them in the Doctrines of the Gospel; and of the Success which, by the Blessing of God, attended his faithful Endeavours to persuade them to embrace the true Religion.

In prosecuting this Design, I hope, in some Measure, to do Justice to the Memory of that excellent Man, who, from generous and pious Principles, undertook, and with great Industry and Faithfulness pro­secuted that Self-denying Work; to let the generous and pious Donors to that good Design know, what the Success of their liberal and charitable Contributions to it has been; and to excite others to follow their laudable and generous Example, by giving freely of their Substance to promote that good Work, the Conversion of the Heathen to the Christian Faith. If these Ends are answer'd, I shall not regret the Trouble and Pains I have been at.

It may, perhaps, be thought strange, that this Performance has been so long delay'd. To which I would say; It was almost a Year [Page ii] after Mr. SERGEANT's Death before I could satisfy myself, that Materials were [...] and when I had collected what were to be [...], and entred upon it, I could proceed but very st [...]ly▪ by [...] of other Business upon my Hands, and the many un­avoida [...] Avocations that attended me; And after I had finish'd it, some unforeseen Accidents and Occurrences, which I need not trouble the Reader with, delay'd it for several Months.

Why it is not more [...] [...] it does appear, may [...] that it is [...] to the Want of [...] Materials which I ex­pected, and which might have been very helpful, if they could have been a [...]ain'd.

When it was first propos'd to me to undertake this Business, I concluded that Mr. SERGEANT [...] pre [...]er [...]'d what was [...] for such a Work; for [...] after he entred upon his Mission, be [...] to me, desiring that I would send him an Account of a [...]l Trans­a [...]ions with those Indians, before he went to them: giving this as a Reason, why he desir'd it, viz. That be design'd to collect and pre­serve Materials for, and, it Time to come, to give the World a History of, the Progress of Religion among the Indians, if his Success among them should prove considera [...]le; or [...] that Purpose, I therefore concluded, that he had not only kept a Journal of his own Doings among them, but that he had also care [...]ully preserv'd Copies of all his Letters to Gentlemen with whom he maintain'd a Correspondence, and their Returns to him; and that little or nothing more would be needful, than to Transcribe, in their proper Places, what he had preserv'd. But I found myself, more or less, disappointed upon all these Heads. His Journal was indeed something large & particular for five or six Years, but after that Time it consisted only of a brief Hints, two or three Pages in Octave, upon common Paper, con­taining the Space of a Year; and, for two or three Years, it was wholly warning. He was also so full of Business, that he had not Time to preserve Copies of those Letters he wrote to Gentlemen with whom he corresponded, either in this Country, or in Great-Britain, except a very few. Yea, when he wrote Historical Account of the Success of the Gospel among the Indians at STOCKBRIDGE. [Page iii] under his Ministry, in Compliance with the Desire of the Committee of Directors for the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge, in SCOTLAND, signified to him by their President GEORGE DRUM­MOND, Esq and sent it to them, he had no Leisure to preserve a Copy of it. Some few Letters likewise, written to him, were not to be found.

When I became acquainted with these Things, I was much discouraged; and had not I recover'd the Originals which Mr. SER­GEANT wrote to the Rev. Dr. COLMAN, to whom he wrote more frequently, and more freely, than to any other Man, I should not have attempted any Thing of this Nature. And, when I entred upon the Business, I little thought of composing any Thing that would be fit for publick Flex. My Design was (seeing I had by me what Ma­terials I could come at) to preserve what might be most likely to be of Use hereafter, which, in all Probability, would soon have been le [...]t, by continuing in loose Papers.

And now it is propos'd to publish what I have written, I hope the foregoing Account will excuse me; tho' the Performance be not to full and compleat, as it might have been, by the Help of those Things which I could not obtain. Every Reader will be sensible, that Mr. SERGEANT, and the good Cause in which he was engaged, might have been placed in a more advantagious Light, bad those Things which are wanting, been preserv'd. He will also, I trust, [...] as [...]ensible that Eloquence and Neatness of Stile are not what I have [...]sured after, but a plain Narrative of Facts, in a Language, which I hope will prove intelligible to all, who take the Trouble of reading what is here presented.

I cannot think any judicious Person, upon mature Consideration, will judge, that which has been brought to pass by Mr. SERGEANT's Ministry, among the Indians, is small and inconsiderable. In the Year 1734. when he went first to those Indians, their Number, great and small, was short of Fifty, and they in the Depths of Hea­thenism and Barbarity. In the Year 1749, when he died, they were increased to 218; 182 Indians had been baptized by him, and a Church consisting of 42 Indian Communicants commemorated [Page iv] the Sufferings of Christ at the Lord's-Table. Mr. WOODBRIDGE's school (seperate from the boarding School) had belonging to it 55 Scholars, who were taught to Read and Write, and were instructed in the Principles of Religion. This indeed is not like a Nation bring born at once; but, by the Use of ordinary Means, greater Things have seldom been brought to pass in so short a Time. And we, in this Part of the Country, have seen Nothing like it, respecting the poor Natives who live upon our Borders. And if Mr. SER­GEANT's Life had been spar'd to have prosecuted the Affair of the Boarding-School, according to his Intention, and with his wonted Wisdom, Prudence & Skill, is it not highly probable, that we should, by this Time, have seen a considerable Number of the Indian Youth educated there, in Labour, Industry and good Husbandry, as well as in Learning; who probably might have prov'd not only useful Members of Society, but also of the Church of Christ?

If what I have written upon this Subject may be a Cause of many Thankssgivings to GOD for his rich Grace and Mercy, exercised to the Indians at STOCKBRIDGE, by Mr. SERGEANT's Ministry; if it may be a Means of exciting pious and well dispos'd Persons to charitable and generous Contributions to promote the spiritual Good of the poor Natives there, or in other Places; if it may be an Inducement to any young Gentlemen, qualified for such a Service, to follow the excellent Example Mr. SERGEANT has given; however mean the Performance is, the Effect will be good, and will answer the End of the unworthy Author,

SAMUEL HOPKINS.
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The CHARACTER, &c. Of the Reverend Mr. John Sergeant.

THE Reverend Mr. JOHN SERGEANT was born at Newark, in New-Jersey, in the Year 1710. His Father died when he was but a Child, after which his Mother was again married to Col. John Cooper, a Gentleman, who not only prov'd a tender Husband to her, but also a kind and generous Father to her Children; having none oF his own. Mr. SERGEANT, to his Childhood receiv'd a Wound by a Sythe in the Ball of his left Hand, near the Joint of his Wrist, which so affected the Sinews and Nerves, that his Hand, perished to that Degree, that it was much less than the other, and in great Measure useless. This Accident was the Occasion of his leaving off the secular Business he was design'd for, and of his betaking himself to Learning; in which, being a Person of a bright Genius, he made great Progress: Whereupon his Father in Law, Col. Cooper, resolv'd to give him a liberal Education. He enter'd Yale-College, at New-Haven, in the Golany of Connecticut, September 1725, where the Comeliness of his Person, the Sweetness of his Temper, the Docency of his Behaviour, the Agreableness of his Conversation, the Diligence with which he apply'd himself to and the Progress he made in, his Studies, gain'd him the Esteem, not only of his Companions, but also of the Governours of the College. He proceeded Bachelor of Arts, September 1729, and commenc'd Master 1732, before which he was elected Tutor of the College, in which he had his Education. In that Post he continu'd four Years, to the Satisfaction of those who repos'd in him that Trust, and to the Advantage of those whi were under his Instruction.

[Page 149]By this Time, he was determin'd for the Work of the Ministry; and tho' he was well pleas'd with the Business he was now in, and stood as fair as any Man whatever, for a Call & Settlement in any, even the best Parish, that might become vacant; yet he prefer'd a Mission to the Heathen: not from any Views he could have of Worldly Advantage from thence, but from a pious, ge­nerous and ardent Desire of being an Instrument in the Hand of God of Good to the Indians, who were funk below the Dignity of human Nature, and even to the lowest Degrees of Ignorance and Barbarity.

There was something very uncommon, and which seems to have been from above, in the Disposision and Inclination there was in him to this self-denying Service: For before there was any Prospect of his being imploy'd among the Natives, his ten­der Mind was so affected with tHe Thot's of their perishing State, that it had been his Practice, for a long Time, to make it Daily an Article in his secret Addresses to God, that he would send him to the Heathen, and make him an Instrument in turning them from Darkness to Light &c. God granted him that which he requested; for which he return'd his grateful Acknowledgements to him who beneath Prayer. And of these Things he inform'd Mr. Woodbridge, his Fellow Labourer, at his first going to Housalunnuk; but strictly injoin'd him to keep them secret, which he according did till since Mr. SERGEANT's Death.

He was Person to whom Nature prov'd lavish of her best Gifts; or, in Words more agreable to the Christian Scheme, God graciously bestow'd upon him excellent Endowments, both of Body and Mind. In Stature ha was small; yet, of a very exact and comely Proportion, except his Hand before mention; his Hair dark; his Eyes black and lively: He was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful Countenance, and goodly to look to. * He was favout'd with a firm, healthy and good Constitution, and there­fore pass's, with the greater Ease, thro' the many Difficulties and Hardships that attended him in the Course of his Mission. He was of a most sweet, kind and benevolent natural Temper; without the least Constitutional Turn towards Gloomness, Melancholy, of Jealousy? His Conversation open, free, courteous, pleasant and very attractive; so that all, who had the Happiness to enjoy it, were pleas'd and delighted by it. The Powers of [Page 150] his Mind were bright and strong; whence he was able to use close Application, and with Ease made great Progrese in Learning: Few of his Years exceeded him.

His natural Accomplishments were polished, enlarg'd, and im­proved by a liberal Education; and rendered him desireable and amiable to all, and very useful in his Day.

True and undissembled Piety gave Lustre and Beauty to all his other Endowments, both natural and acquir'd; and prepar'd him to be eminently serviceable in the Station God affign'd him. In his tender Years he was of a very innocent Turn of Mind, and of a blameless Behaviour; free from those Vanities & Vices which young People too often indulge to, and careful to follow the Ways of Virtue: Which might have inclin'd one to think, that he was the Subject of the Grace of God from the Womb. But, in his riper Years, while he was at College, he was under those In­fluences from above, which he apprehended wrought a saving Change in him, and form'd him to the divine Life. And what better Evidence could he have, that he was not mistaken, than what was consequent upon this Change, viz. a Temper & Con­versation becoming the Gospel of Christ, adorning the Christian Profession he then made? Of this Change, wrought by the Spirit of God upon his Heart, he very modestly and privately spake to some of his intimate Friends, from whom I have my Information: But I find not that he left one Word in all his Writings, respecting his religious Experience, Devotion, &c. except one Passage in a Letter he wrote to a Friend, by whom he seems to have been compel'd to boast himself a little, as the Apostle of the Gentiles was before him. The Passage is this— ‘With Respect to my own Christian Experience, I believe, I could give you that Account which would satisfy you, in your own Way of thinking; tho' 'tis now so long since I pass'd thro' that Scene of Conviction, Humiliation, and, what I suppos'd was Conversion, that a great many Particulars are now escaped from my Memory.’—Some, perhaps, may blame Mr. SERGEANT, that he did not commit to Writing those Things which past over him at uch a Season, that he might have review'd them for his own Comfort, and left them behind him for the Benefit of others. It was owing to his very great Modesty and Humility, and to his Care not to do any Thing, that might be thought to savour of Oftentation in [Page 151] Religion (which is a Thing very hurtful to its Interest) that he kept those Things to himself. And whether he did not, by that Modesty, Humility & Guard against Oftentation, give a clearer Evidence of the Truth of Religion in himself, and discover a greater Concern for the Honour and Interest of Religion in gene­ral, than he could have done, by Writing his own Life, publishing his own Experiences, and proclaiming his own Goodness, I leave others to determine? His Life also so abounded in the Fruits of Righteousness, and was so conform'd to the Gospel of Christ, that we have abundant Reason to conclude the Tree was goody, because the Fruit was so.

He was very constant and frequent in the Devotions of the Closet, p [...]ring out his Soul to God in servent Addresses of Prayer, Praise, which he found to be not in vain: for, as he himself tho't, God graciously granted him frequent Answers of Prayer.

He was a devout Worshiper of God in his Family, fail'd not of Morning & Evening Devotions; on which Occasions he read, with great Seriousness and Solemnity of Spirit, a Portion of the holy Scriptures, generally making useful Observations for the Benefit of his Family. He always read the New Testament out of the-original Greek, with which he was well acquainted. With great Solemnity and Reverence he approach'd the Throne of Grace, and offer'd his devout Addresses to God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Mediator; thro' whose Merits, and Mediation only, he hop'd for, and expected, the Acceptance of his Prayers, and of his Person. There were Instances of his Voice failing, and of his being oblig'd to make a Pause in Family Prayer; the Occasion of which was, a lively Sense & overbearing Apprehen­sion of the glorious Perfections & incomprehensible Excellencies of the divine Being, as he inform'd one who enquir'd into the Reason of those Interruptions.

He lov'd the House of God and his publick Worship, greatly rejoic'd at the Return of holy Sabbaths, enjoy'd much Com­munion with God in his House, but in no Part of divine Worship so much as in the Communion of the Supper: in which he had such evident Communications of divine Love, such Assurance of the compleat Satisfaction of Christ, of the Sufficiency of his Atone­ment, and of the Prevalency of his Intercession at the right Hand of God, as almost transported him, These Emotions were what [Page 152] attended him in his younger Years, and were not very frequent: But as he advanc'd in Years, and in Grace, he prefer'd the Satis­faction which proceeds from the calm, rational Exercise of practi­cal Piety and Devotion, to those Emotions of the Mind. These Things he never openly spake of, nor would they ever have been known, had not his most intimate Friends, to whom he privately spake of them, made them known, after his Death. Thus he walked with God in devout Exercises of a publick, private, and secret Nature, and enjoy'd much Delight and Satisfaction in so doing.

He was of a most tender Conscience; endeavour'd to keep at the greatest Distance from every Thing that savour'd of Impiety, that cast Contempt upon the Authority of God, or that brought Reproach upon Religion; and us'd his best Endeavours to keep a Conscience void of Offence, towards God and towards Men.

He had a very great Love to, and the highest Veneration for, the sacred Oracles of God; esteem'd them infinitely preferable to the Treasures of the World, and incomparably more valuable than the best human Composures: and the Study of them was his great Delight. He view'd, with Astonishment and Surprize, the glorious Methods of divine Love and Grace in the Salvation of Sinners by Jesus Christ, as discover'd in the BIBLE, that pure Source of Light. And while he formed his own Sentiments by the pure Oracles of God, and followed the Way of Truth, according to the best Judgment he could make, he was of a most benevolent and charitable Spirit towards those who differ'd from him. He lov'd Christians of all Denominations, who gave Evidence of their Love to Christ, much lamented the Distance, Alienation, and Bitter­ness that appear among Christians of different Sentiments in lesser Matters, and long'd to see them united in Love and Peace.

His Catholick Temper recommended him to the Esteem of many; to Governour Belcher's in particular; who, in a Consola­tory Letter, written to Mrs. Sergeant alter his Death, has this Passage.

‘Mr. SERGEANT being now made free among the Dead, it can be no Flattery to say, he was a Gentleman of uncommon Piety and Learning, and of great Generosity and true Com­passion to the Souls and Bodies of Men: and more especially to that poor benighted People, God had committed to his Care; [Page 153] and who before were perishing for lack of Knowledge. God had, to a peculiar Manner, adapted and adorned Mr. SER­GEANT with many suitable Graces for moving in so difficult a Sphere in the Church of God here, and for advancing the Kingdom &Interest of the Redeemer. His many social Vir­tues, and particularly his Catbolick Way of Thinking for the better promoting of Christianity, justly and highly merited my Esteem, and I had great Pleasure in his Acquaintance from first to last’

He was full of benevolent, kind and generous Sentiments to­wards all Mankind, which dispos'd him to do Good to all as he had Opportunity. He was a Friend to every Body, wish'd well to all, and lov'd to think the best of all Persons, and of all Par­ties of Men. His noble and generous Mind disdain'd a low, mean, unworthy Action; and he always treated others, of all Conditions, wjtb great Propriety. Strict and exact Justice he made his Rule, an his Dealings with all Persons: yet rather than Cause Contention, by insisting upon his own Right, he choose to foregoe it. He was compassionate and tender-hearted to the Afflicted; was liberal and bountiful to tne Poor: and devised liberal Things, both for their temporal and eternal Good. He suffer'd not an hard, envious or ill-natur'd Word to proceed out of his Mouth; nor did he treat any one, whether present or ab­sent, with Insolence or Contempt. He was careful to speak Evil of no Man: And when he was injuriously treated,, and, as he feared,', maliciously aspersed, by others, it did not raise in him Heat, and Resentment, but rather Pity and Compassion to those who us!d him ill. He often said, he could freely forgive, as he expected to be forgiven of God; could heartily, pray for those who had been abusive & injurious to him: aod he earnestly re­commended to others the Duty of praying for Enemies, as an happy Expedient to promote a Spirit of Love, Kindngss & For­giveness towards them.

He had a most happy Command of his Passions, and main­tain'd a constant Calmaness & Sweetness of Temper: Was never melacholy; yet always fetious: Never fill'd with Mirth; yet always chearful bright and active: And seem'd always have the quiet Possession of himfesf.

[Page 154]I know not to whom the Character of Nathaniel may, with more Justice, be apply'd than to him. Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no Guile. He was very distant from a crasty, designing guileful Spirit; and admir'd by those who were mod acquainted with him, on the Account of his fingular Integrity, Sincerity and Uprightness.

He carefully and industriously improved his Time, and could not (as he was wont to say) look back upon an Hour lost, without Uneasiness and Guilt. It was his Manner to rise early, and, as soon as the Devotions of the Morning were over, he apply'd himself to Study; in which, being favour'd with a firm Constitution, he was able to bear great Intenseness and Ap­plication. The Time he found needful for the relaxing of his Mind, & for bodily Exercise,(both which were necessary to him) he spent in a Manner which might best conduce to his own Health; the Benefit of his Family; or the Service of those who were under his Care: wisely and prudently endeavouring, that the Hours in which he refresh'd his labouring Mind might be imploy'd to some good and laudable Purpose: gathering up the Fragments of his Time, that none of it might be lost. He was indeed an un­common Instance of Labour and Industry; and by close Appli­cation he brought to pass a great Deal in a little Time; as all would be ready to grant, could they be made sensible how much he did in the few Years he spent with the Indians; which I shall endeavour to show, tho' it will be but in a faint and imperfect Manner, in the following Particulars.

1. He soon became sensible, that the Method he was at first oblig'd to use of instructing the Indians by an Interpreter, would not answer his End; for it was not only a very slow, but also a very uncertain, Way of communicating to them Things of the greatest Importance. He himself was not able to know what was delivered to them by the Interpreter, and had Reason to fear that the Truths, which he endeavour'd to communicate, were not well convey'd to their Minds: for the best Interpreters that could then be had, did not well understand the Principles of Religion, nor the English Terms in which Mr. SERGEANT deliver'd them. He therefore tho't it absolutely necessary, that he should learn the Indian Language, that he might be more certain what was delivered to them, and make better Progress in teaching of them. [Page 155] He therefore entered upon the new and difficult Study of their Tongue, and prosecuted it with utmost Application. He found it, upon Trial, extreamly difficult to learn, being entirely different from any Language he was acquainted with; and often express'd his Fears, that he should never be able to make himself Master of it. He also tho't it a more difficult Task than it would have been to gain the Knowledge of all the learned Languages taught in the Schools. However, in something less than three Years, he gain'd so much Knowledge in it, as to be able to pray with the Indians in their own Tongue, and to preach to them in the same, by the Assistance of an Interpreter; who aided him in the Translation of his Sermons. And, in about two Years more, by constant Use, he obtain'd an exact Pronunciation of their Tongue, tho' very hard to gain: so that the Indians were wont to say, Our Minister speaks our Language better than we ourselves cam do. When Mr. SERGEANT had, by a vast Deal of Labour, made him­self Master of this strange Language, he found it to be a dry, bar­ren and imperfect Dialect, and by no Means sufficient to convey to h [...] Hearers the Knowledge of divine Things: for the Indians [...]eing utter Strangers to Religion, their Language wanted Terms [...]xpressi [...]e of divers Things; he was oblig'd therefore to supply that Defect by introducing English Words, such as Jesus, Christ &c. which, in Time, by frequent Use, the Indians well understood. By this Help he so perfected their defective Language, as to rea­der it tolerably sufficient for his Purpose.

2. His Ministerial Labours were extreamly hard, more than double to those of other Ministers, in ordinary Cases. He was oblig'd to compose four Sermons every Week two for the English, and two for the Indians; his Congregation consisting of both. Those he prepar'd for the Indians, he first wrote at large in Eng­lish, and then translated them into the Indian Tongue, as he also did a Portion of Scripture to be read to the Indians on the Sab­bath; and notwithstanding he had so many Sermons to make, they wot well studiedc excellent Disourses shewing that he was a Workman that needed not to be ashamed.

He had a most laborious. Task to perform every Lord's-Day. His Manner was to begin the publick Exercise in the Morning, with a short pathetic Prayer for a Blessing on the Word, in both Languages, Then he read a Portion of Scripture, with explana­tory [Page 156] Notes and Observations, on such Passages as seem'd most to need them, in both. All his publick Prayers & the Communion Service were in both Languages; and it was his steady Practice to preach four Sermons every Lord's Day' two to the English and two to the Indians; except in the short Days and cold Season of the Winter he preach'd but three, one to the English and two to the Indians. And besides all this, it was his constant Custom, in the Summer Season, to spend about an Hour with the Indians, after divine Service was over in the Afternoon; instructing, ex­horting, warning and cautioning of them in a free, familiar and pathetic Manner, in their own Tongue. The Indian Language abounding in Gutturals renders the Pronunciation of it a most laborious Exercise to the Lungs: that therefore, with his other sxercises, so exhausted Mr. SERGEANT's Spirits and Strength, that he was scarcely able to speak when they were over.

3. The Translation, which, with much Care and Exactness, Mr' SERGEANT made in His Course of Reading the Scriptures to the Indians, singly consider'd, cost him a vast Deal of Labour; for, endeavouring to lead them into the Knowledge of the Way of Salvation by Christ, to which they were utter Strangers, He, in his Course of reading the Scriptures to them, translated those Parts of the old Testament, which appear'd most needful for that End, viz. The Account of the Creation, of the Fall of our first Parents, of God's calling Abraham, of his Dealings with the Pa­triarchs and the Children of Israel, of the Prophesies concerning the Coming of Christ, &c. the four Evangelists, the Acts of the Apostles and all the Epistles, he also translated. A Performance which must of Necessity cost him much Time and Pains.

4. In his publick Discourses likewise to the English of his Auditory, he went thro' all the Epistles, with a labour'd and learned Paraphrase, critical Notes, and useful Observations: not by the Help of Expositors, but by a careful Examination of the Original Greek, endeavouring from thence to gain the true Sense and Meaning of the, Authors df those Epistles. Mr. Woodbridge has given me some of his Sentiments upon Mr. SERGEANT's publick Performances in the following Words. ‘I think it a great Pity (says he) that such learned and well-composed Dis­courses should be of no further Influence and Benefit than they are like to prove, by being delivered to a few People from the [Page 157] Desk. There are a Number of his Sermons very worthy of the Press, a Collection of which would, perhaps, be as profi­table as any Discourses of such a Nature that are extant: they being correct, and written in a decent, yet familiar Stile. There appears in them not only his unshaken Belief of the Truths of the Gospel, but also his good Judgment & Talent of convey­ing to others, the Importance and Beauty of Religion, They shew him to be an accurate Reasoner, by the Conclusions drawn from the Propositions of his Sermons, and the Force there is in them to convince every Hearer, of the Truth. His laboured and learned Paraphrases, & critical Notes on the Epistles, would (I think) serve equal to, if not beyond any Thing that has ap­peard'd of that Kind, to lead us into the Knowledge of the De­sign and Meaning of the Authors.—He wrote his Comments with a single View to discover the true Spirit & genuine Sense of thos epistolary Writings.— There are two Reasons which incline me to wish they may be made publick; the first is the Apprehension I have of their being really serviceable to Man­kind: the other is, that it might appear whether he was rightly or groundlessly, suspected of holding Things contrary to found Doctrine.’ He also says concerning his Sermons in general.— ‘His People were not entertain'd with unconnected & undigested Matter, but with excellent Discourses.’— Such Productions, every one will grant, must of necessity be the Effect of much Labour and Study.

It is very true, Mr. SERGEANT was no Bigot, but of a most generous & catholick Temper. Bigottry was what he had a great Aversion to; and he was far from the rigged ard nirrow Spirit those are of, who confine Salvation to themselves, with those who think just as they do. It is a Question with me, whether his natural Temper was capable of such Severity: to be sure, as it was cultivated and improv'd by Grace, he was at a great Distance from it. He tho't himself very ill-treated and much abus'd by those who represented him as being unsound in his Principles, and so did those who were best acquainted with him.

But to return.

5. We must add to all his foregoing Labours, the daily and constant Appiication he was oblig'd to use with the Indians; who, being very ignorant, very unstable in their Virtue, and very much [Page 158] expos'd to Temptations, wanted Guarding on every Side, which he fail'd not of doing.

6. The Trust, which the Rev. Mr. Isaac Hollis repos'd in him, added still more to Mr. SERGEANT's Labour and Care; for it fell upon him to find the twelve Boys, whom Mr. Hollis gene­rously offer'd to support, and to persuade them and their Parents to accept the generous Offer. The Care also of providing a Master to instruct them, and of Victualling & Cloathing of them, lay wholly upon him. In this Trust he prov'd a faithful Steward of Mr. Hollis's Money; and as he had the whole Care of laying of it out, so he gave him an Account how every Penny was ex­pended, refusing to take any Reward for his Labour & Trouble; tho' it was offer'd and urg'd by Mr. Hollis.

7. By the foregoing History it also appears, that the Impor­tant Affair of the Boarding-School, which lay very near his Heart, imploy'd much of his Time and Tho'ts; and was no small Ad­dition to his Labour; especially in some of the last Years of his Life.

8. To all these we must add, the unavoidable Cares and Con­cerns of private Life, which were much increas'd by the Scanti­nese of his Support; which yet he conducted with singular Wis­dom, Prudence and Frugality.

View Mr. SERGEANT in this Light; consider him prosecuting such a Variety of Business, and performing all in the Manner above describ'd, and must we not grant that he was a surprising instance of Labour, Industry and Faithfulness, in that great and good Work to which he was call'd?

Could I represent Mr. SERGEANT in a true and just Light, under the Self-denials, Hardships, Troubles & Difficulties, which attended him in the Course of his Mission, it would appear, not only that he past thro' many and great Trials, but also that he bear them all with a Fortitude and Calmness of Mind, becoming the Christian and the Minister of Christ; tho', at Times, Things appear'd with such a dark Aspect, that he was almost overborne wich Griefs and Discouragements.

Every one must be sensible, that, to one of so delicate a Make, it must be difficult and self-denying, to leave the College, that Seat of Learning, and other Delights, to dwell in a Wilderness: To change the polite Society he had been us'd to, for the Con­version [Page 159] of a Number of Savages, the lowest of human Kind: To forego the Delicacies of Life, for the bare Necessaries of it.—But these were but light Things to him, compared with many other Troubles he met with.

The ill Conduct of the Dutch Traders, who us'd many Arts and Devices to dissuade the Indians from hearkening to him; the unreasonable Jealousies of the Indians, who suspected some evil Design against them, in almost every Thing that was projected for their Good, gave him unspeakable Trouble and Grief: and a vast Deal of Pains he was at, to prevent the Evils, which those Things tended to. But that which gave him still greater Trou­ble was, the frequent and unhappy Relapses of some of the Indians, to their former Vices and ill Customs, after he had conceived Hopes of their being truly reformed. Some, of whom his Hopes were rais'd, fell again into Drunkenness; yea, the Lieutenant him­self, who appear'd so zealous against that Vice, and seem'd to be firmly fix'd in the Ways of Religion, conducted himself in a very disorderly Manner, for a Year or two together, being frequently intoxicated, and very troublesome: But he was afterwards re­cover'd from his Apostacy; confess'd his Wickedness; was re­stor'd to Charity; and walked orderly, to the Day of his Death, which was August 10. 1751. When Things looked with a fa­vourable Aspect, and the Indians appear'd to be seriously engag'd in the Ways of Piety and Vertue, it gave him the highest Plea­sure and Satisfaction; but (to use his own Expression) ‘Nothing so affected him with Grief and Sorrow, his own Sins exceptcd, as the disorderly and wicked Behaviour of those to whom he ministred.’ His Concern on that Account is not to be expressed: many Days he spent in Fasting and Prayer, and Sleep departed from his Eyes, his tender Heart was almost broken, and he forgot to eat his Bread; and his Eyes poured out Tears unto God. But tho' he was so tenderly affected, and concerned for them, yet this was what he did not much discover to the World; he was also very far from a repining discontented Spirit in the Case; was calm, submissive and resign'd to the Will of God: not forgeting that Expression of his Lord and Master.—Even so Father, for so it seem'd good in thy Sight.

As he, in some Measure, had the Trials of Moses in bearing the Camber, Burden & Strife of his People, so he was in a good Degree [Page 160] possest of the same excellent Spirit that was upon him. These are but a Specimen of the Troubles he met with; many others, too many to be here spoken of, he past thro', during his Mission.

If we consider Mr. SERGEANT in a relative Capacity, he be­hav'd excellently well in every Relation he sustain'd. From a Principle of Conscience he was very careful to render to all their Due, Fear to whom Fear, Honour to whom Honour and his benevolent and truly Christian Temper dispos'd him to do good to all as be bad Opportunity. He was an able, painful, faithful Mi­nister among the People, to whom he stood in the Relation of a Pastor. He was a most tender, kind and obliging Husband to a Spouse, who well understood how to receive such Treatment, and to make answerable Returns: and while divine Providence continued them in that haypy and honourable Relation, they were a shining Example of all that is lovely and beautiful in a married State. He was also a compassionate, affectionate and loving Father to his dear Children: unwearied in his Endeavours to instill into their tender Minds a proper Sense of their Obliga­tions to God; that they might religiously remember their Cre­ator in the Days of their Youth. As became a Bishop, he rul'd well his own House, having his Children in Subjection with all Gra­vity: And like David, he walked within his House with a perfect Heart.

The last Week in June 1749, he was taken with a Nervous Fever, attended with a Canker and an Inflamation in his Throat: brought upon him, as some thought, by excessive Care, Fatigue and Application to Business; more than he was able to bear. He calmly, and without any apparent Concern, spake or this as his lasr Sickness; and put some Things in Order, apprehending it to be so. He was able however to keep about, and preach'd on the following Sabbath, which was the first in July. In this his last Sermon to the Indians, he let them know, 'that for some Time past he had been apprehensive that some heavy Judgment hung over them, because of their Wickedness: That he fear'd that some of them grew worse & worse notwithstanding all that God had done for them, and notwithstanding the Pains he himself had taken with them for their Good: And that there were many Ways in which God could, and often did, testify his Displeasure against a sinful People: and added, it may be God will take me [Page 161] from you, and then my Mouth will be shut, and I shall speak to you no more.' After this his Illness increas'd upon him, and soon confin'd him to his House and to his Bed. And tho' his Sick­ness was very hard upon him, and he endur'd much Pain and Distress for about twenty Days together, in all which Time he had but very little Sleep; yet his Head was free from any Disorder, and even from Pain: and he spake of it to his Wife, with Thank­fulness, that God had answered his Prayers, even to his Desire; in continuing to him the free Exercise of his rational Powers; in favouring him with clear Evidences of his good Estate; in granting him Ability to speak freely to those who were about him; and in enabling him clearly to discern the great and inex­pressible Satisfaction arising from living devoted to God, and sin­cerely striving to be faithful to the Death.

He carefully improv'd the Opportunities he had in counseling and charging those who were about him; and earnestly recom­menced to them the early Choice and diligent Pursuit of the Ways of Wisdom, as being full of Pleasure and Peace, both in Life and Death, to those who follow them.

The Indians, who from first to last had a great Veneration and hearty Affection for him, as their Father and best Friend, were greatly concern'd for, and frequently visited him in, his Sickness: upon whom he enforced the Instructions, Counsels, Warnings and Admonitions he had given them, in the strongest Manner, charging them carefully to follow the Ways of Vertue and Reli­gion, as they would meet him at last in Peace. They were very desirous that his precious Life might be spar'd, and of their own Accord all assembled at the Meeting-House, where they earnestly pray'd that God would continue him to be still a Blessing to them. And when his Death put an End to their Hopes, they were very hearty Mourners: and Numbers discover'd their Affection for him by Tears, when ever they came to the House, for a long time after his Death.

He bear with great Patience the Distress that was upon him, thro' the whole of his Sickness, praying and endeavouring that Patience might have its perfect Work in him.

His Spouse, who maintain'd Hopes of his Recovery, till the last Day of his Life, being then sensible that he drew near his End, enquir'd of him, Whether he had no earnest Desires to live? [Page 162] And whether he saw any Gloom on the Horrors on the Grave? To which he reply'd to this Purpose. 'If it be the Will of God that I should live to do some singular Service for him in the World, I could wish to be continued to my Family; otherwise I am willing to die: Death is no Surprize to me. I bless God I may and can trust him in whom I have believed, and long ago plac'd my everlasting Dependance upon. My Acquaintance with the blessed World, to which I hope I am now hastening, thro' the Mercy of God in Christ, is not now to commence.' At the same Time, he was full of a humbling Sense of his own Unworthiness: for when One that stood by observ'd to him, that his Work was well done, he reply'd, 'I can call myself a most unprofitable Ser­vant, and say, God be merciful to me a Sinner.'

He took his Leave of his beloved Wife and dear Children in an endearing and desireable Manner; and after saying a conside­rable Deal, by Way of Counsel and Advice, he in a tender Man­ner desir'd his dear Spouse, patiently and quietly to submit to the parting Stroke; to go on with good Courage in the Way of Duty; and added, 'It will be but a little While before we shall meet to part no more'

Last of all, he devoutly recommended his departing Soul to Christ, the glorious Redeemer; and, after a few saint Groans, rested from his Labours, and his Works do follow him.

This solemn, awful and last Scene of Life, Mr; SERGEANT, to Appearance, past thro', With as much Calmness, Sedateness and Composure of Mind, as he ever enjoy'd in his Life; and with a serene and pleasant Countenance; which (as the last Act) Death changed and sent him away. The weeping Spectators of these Things beheld them with Admiration, and acknowledged they had not before seen the like: And one of them observ'd, that it was worth While to die, if it might be in such a Manner.

He left behind him a most disconsolate and sorrowful Widow, with three small Children, the eldest about 8 or 9 Years old, and the youngest upon the Breast, on whom the Countenance of his Father is drawn to the Life. God grant they may all inherit his Excellencies and Vertues.

Blessed is that Servant, whom his Lord when be cometh shall find so doing. Matth. 24. 46.

And if be shall come in the second Watch, or come in the third Watch, and find them so, Blessed are those Servants. Luk. 12. 38.

[Page 163]I had Tho'ts of continuing this Historical Account of the Affairs of Stockbridge, relating to the Indians, down to the present Time; and to have given an Account of Mr. Hollis's increasing the Boys to be maintain'd and educated at his Expence, to the Number of 36, allowing for each Boy £.5 Sterling per Annum: of what the General Assemblies of this Province, and of Connec­ticut, have done to encourage the Mohawks, to send their Children to be educated at Stockbridge; a considerable Number of them being already come thither for that End: of what Capt. Coram did in England before his Death, to promote a Female Boarding-School at Stockbridge, and what the honourable Society in London have done with Respect to it since: of the Rev. Mr. Edwards's succeeding Mr. SERGEANT in the Ministry, as a Missionary to the Indians, &c. &c. &c: But as I have not, so perhaps it is not possible at present to obtain, proper and necessary Materials for that Purpose. I shall not therefore attempt it. But I hope the Gentlemen who have the Conduct of those Affairs, and are under Advantages for it, will carefully collect and preserve proper Ma­terials for it, and that some Body will, in Time to come, give the World a faithful History of the Success of those important Things which are now carrying on, for the Good of the poor Natives. For I cannot but hope, that the Foundation Mr. SERGEANT laid, will, by the Blessing of God, proceed to something very consi­derable, and worthy of a Place in future History: and that he to whom the Heathen are given for his Inheritance, and the utmost Parts of the Earth for his Possession, will say concerning it, Destroy it not, for a Blessing is in it. *

[Page 164]

The Conclusion, in an Address, &c.

I Shall now conclude by endeavouring to represent, to the People in this Country, the very great Importance of Treating the Indians, who live among us, and upon our Borders, in a just, kind and charitable Manner; and that we do, by all proper Means and Methods, endeavour to at­tach them to us, and to the British Interest. This, I apprehend, is a Subject that has been too much neglected, and that greatly wants to be set in a clear and just Light. And I sincerely wish, that some Gentleman of greater Abilities and Address than I can pretend to, would take it in Hand: Tho', if my weak Endeavours may be a Means of moving others to do Justice to a Subject of such Weight, I shall heartily rejoice in it.

That I may offer what I have to say, in the clearest and most concise Manner I can, I shall go into the following Method.

First, I shall endeavour to shew, that it is of vast Importance to the British Provinces and Colonies in America, especially to the Provinces of the Massachusetts, New-York, and New-Hampshire, that they be in good Terms with the Indians, and attach them to their Interest. And,

Secondly, I shall endeavour to show, by what Means, this may be effected: or what are the most likely Methods to bring it to pass.

1. I am to show, that it is of vast Importance, that we be in good Terms with the Natives; and that we ingage them in our Interest, I freely grant, that the Indians, simply consider'd, are not of such great Consequence to us. We can subsist without them. But yet, their Trade is a considerable Article, worthy the Care of any politick People, and managed as it might, and ought to be, would yield us great Profit. But if we consider them with Relation to Peace and War, as attach'd to us, or to our Enemies, they are of the last Importance to us: for they certainly have the Balance of Power in their Hand, and are able to turn it for or [Page 165] against us, according as they stand affected to us. Canada, in­considerable as it is, and from which, seperate from the Indians, we have little or nothing to fear, in Time of War; Canada, I say, would be more than a Match for us, in Case they join with them against us. He must be a great Stranger to, and very ig­norant of, the Circumstances both of the English and Indians, who is not sensible of this. Our Circumstances are such, that we can­not guard ourselves against the Incursions of such Enemies in Time of War: for our Frontiers are of vast extent, and border upon the adjacent Wilderness; which, tho' almost inaccessible to us, yet is the very Element in which they delight to live. They are at Home in it. The People therefore who inhabit our Fron­tiers, while they follow their necessary Business, are expos'd to be an easy Prey to them: and many of them have been surpriz'd in their Fields and Houses. and in a most barbarous Manner put to Death, A small Number of Indians, encouraged & supported by the French (which they are ready enough to do) can easily keep us in a constant Alarm, put us to an immense Charge, de­stroy many, and impoverish more, in our expos'd Places, and not put themselves at all out of their Way; yea, find their Account in it: for as they live by Hunting, so where Game is most plenty they are best off: And where can they find a better Supply, than among our Cattle, Sheep, and Corn-Fields? There they live at Ease, distress and impoverish us, and the adjacent Wilder­ness is their Refuge. By retiring into it, they are soon out of our Reach; and long Experience has taught us, how ineffectual the Measures we have taken, for our Safety and Defence, have prov'd.

Some, I am sensible, will say, let us not be at any Cost and Pains to gain the Friendship of such a perfidious Crew, but let us destroy them all. Quickly said indeed, but not so soon nor so easily effected. Those Persons who are for destroying them would doubtless soon do it, where they first bound and delivered up to them. But one Question here is, how we shall get them into our Power? And another is, Whether it would be so human, generous and Christian-like, to take away their Lives, were that in our Power, as it would be to cultivate Friendship with them, and to seek their best Good? If we should be so sanguine as to endeavour to destroy them, it would doubtless prove a vain At­tempt; [Page 166] and serve only to drive them to the French; who would be very ready to receive and protect them. If we neglect them, and take no Measures to ingage them in our Interest, or to culti­vate Friendship with them, this will probably render them indif­ferent to us, and dispose them to hearken to the enticing Insinu­ations of Romish Emissaries: and our Situation must be very unhappy, when they become engaged in the French Interest.

If it be objected, that the French have already gain'd a large Number of Indians to their Interest, and therefore if we use our best Endeavours to gain others, it will avail nothing; for those who are devoted to the French, will nevertheless distress us in Time of War. I reply,

It is very true, that the French of Canada, thro' their Policy and Vigilance, have taken the Advantage of our Neglect, and gain'd a large Number of the Natives to their Interest, and are gaining more and more every Year; and some even from among our own Indians. They spare neither Cost nor Pains to accomplish their Designs of this Nature; being sensible enough, how advan­tageous it is to them, and how injurious to us: and if they con­tinue to be active, and we negligent, as in Times past, is it not too probable that they will, in a little Time, attach to themselves all the Indians in North-America? Does it not then concern us to use proper and vigorous Endeavours to prevent this apparent Mischief, by counter-working the French? who are, I suppose, tampering with all the Tribes of North-America, to ingage them in their Interest. And should we succeed in our Endeavours (as it is highly probable we might, if proper Steps were taken) so as to ingage the Five Nations, and some other Tribes, in hearty Friend­ship with us; and especially if we should bestow such Favours upon them, as would induce them to settle upon our Frontiers; it would in all Probability prevent the Evil spoken of in the Ob­jection: for the Indians from Canada would not molest us, if a Number of the Natives, in hearty Friendship with us, were placed in our Borders. Of this we have had a very plain Proof the last War, in the Safety of Stockbridge, and the adjacent Places, from any Attempts of the Enemy from Canada.

Stockbridge is in the very Road of, and more expos'd to, the Indians from Canada, than any other Place whatever; and yet we see that the Enemy turned off East to Connecticut-River, and [Page 167] West to the Dutch Settlements, where they did much Mischief; while Stockbridge, Sheffield, New-Marlborough and Number One, tho' more expos'd, were not molested. This so far as we can discern, was owing to a small Number of Indians dwelling at Stockbridge, who are our hearty and fast Friends: which the Ene­my being sensible of, cared not to come within their Reach, least they should be taken in their own Snare. And if we should en­courage the Settlement of other Indian Towns upon our Frontiers, where Hunting is most handy to them, as Stockbridge has been encouraged: should we give them Townships of Land suitable for their Improvement, build a Meeting-House & School-House in each Town, and support Ministers and School Masters in them; would not this convince them that we are their true Friends, and seek their Good? Would it not induce them to set­tle in our Borders? especially those of them who are desirous, that they themselves & their Children should be instructed? Would they not be a Guard to us in Time of War? And if, after all, we should meet with some Trouble from the Indians of Canada, might it not be effectually prevented, by playing our Indians upon them, as they do theirs upon us? And would not the Charge of all this be a Trifle, compar'd with that of defending ourselves in Time of War? But if we neglect them, and take no Measures to cultivate Friendship with them, and especially if we deal injuriously by them, shall we not put an Advantage into the Hands of the French (which they will not fail of improving) to engage them in their Interest, and to imploy them against us in Time of War? which would prove a very great Calamity to us, if not our utter Ruin. These Things consider'd, is it not of very great Importance, that we be at good Terms with the neigh­bouring Natives.

2. I will, in the next Place, endeavour to show what are the likely Methods to bring this to pass: Or what Measures we must take with the Indians, if we would ingage them in hearty Friend­ship with us.

And here, in general, our Conduct towards them must be such as shall make them sensible, that we are indeed their hearty Friends; and such also as shall convince them that it is their Interest and Advantage to be in Friendship with us. Nothing short of this, I apprehend, will attach them to us, so as to an­swer [Page 168] the Ends proposed, if we oft [...] treat with them, renew the Friendship, and bestow upon them large Presents: Or, as they phrase it, Smoke together, brighten the Chain, or put the Brands together, to kindle up the former Fire; and yet leave Room for them to suppose that this proceeds not from true Friendship, but rather from Fear of them, or from Suspicion that they will join with our Enemies, &c. This will never be sufficient to engage them: the utmost we can rationally expect from it is. that they will not openly break with us, but keep up a Shew of Friendship, that they may have the Benefit of future Presents at our Hands.

Again, if we should by any Means convince them that we are their true Friends, and yet not go into such Measures with them as should turn to their Advantage, they would hardly be engag'd for us. As all other People are govern'd by Interest, so are they. And the principal Handle we can take hold of, to attach them to us by, is their Interest, and that would not fail of doing of it. If a Tribe of Indians can sell their Skins to us for twenty Shillings, and buy their Blankets for ten Shillings; they will never go to Canada where they must sell their Skins for ten Shillings, and give twenty Shillings for a Blanket. Convince them that it is much for their Interest and Advantage to be our Friends and Allies, and we need not fear but that they will be so. Now, in Order to convince them that we are truly their Friends, and that it is their Interest to be ours; We must,

In the first Place, treat them according to the Rules of Equity and Justice. We must not defraud and oppress them, but be honest and just in our Dealings with them.

The Natives with whom we have to do, are Persons of so much Sagacity that they can distinguish between just and injurious Treatment, as well as other Men. They are also as ready to re­sent, and perhaps more forward to revenge Injuries, than any other People under Heaven. If therefore we treat them in an unjust Manner, we may rationally expect that they will be so far from being our Friends, that they will join with our Enemies, and seek Opportunities of Revenge.

It is well known, that the Indians are generally addicted to Drunkenness, and that when they have tasted a little Liquor, they have a strong Thirst for more, and will part with any Thing they have, for a sufficient Quantity to make them Drunk.—And is [Page 169] it not as well known, that we have taken the Advantage of this their vicious Appetite, and for a sew Quarts of Rum have pur­chas'd valuable scffects of them? Have not private Persons thus made their Gains of them, notwithstanding the good Laws that have been in Force to prevent it? And is not this the Manner of all private Traders, who go among their several Tribes for Gain?

In our publick Dealings with them at our Truck-Houses, where Rum has been freely sold them. Care has been taken that they should not be cheated, but that they should have the full Value of what they had to sell: An Indian therefore, who was Owner of a Pack of Bever, Deerskins, or any other valuable Goods, could buy a large Quantity of Rum, and might get Drunk perhaps ten Times or more, whereas if he had fallen into private Hands, he must have contented himself with being Drunk but once or twice. Which of these proves most injurious to the Indians in the End, I shall not pretend to determine.

When they are thus intoxicated, they fall out among them­selves, Fight, and sometimes kill one another, and some have drunk themselves dead on the Spot. An Instance of each of these there has been, if I am rightly inform'd, at Fort Dummer, since that has been improv'd as a Truck-House. And whether the Guilt of that Blood does not lie upon us, I leave others to judge.

Now, if we treat the Natives in this Form, will they, can they, live with us? Will not the Law of Self-Preservation oblige them to leave us, and to go where they may be better us'd? Some of the Five Nations plainly speak it out and say, "We can­not live with the English & Dutch; they bring us so much Rum that it destroys us; we must go to the French, who will let us have but little strong Drink." Thus we alienate the Indians from us, and as it were oblige them to go over to the French, who are often our Enemies, and fail not to imploy them againft us in Time of War. And if we proceed to deal thus injuriously with them, what can we expert but that they will leave us, and be a severe Scourge to us?

Tho' the Indians are sunk below the Dignity of human Nature, and their Lust after Drink exposes them to be cheated out of what little they have; yet this gives us no Right to deal unjustiy by them. They have a natural Right to Justice, and may, with [Page 170] great Propriety challenge it at our Hand, seeing we prosess to be subject to the Law of Christ, which teach us to do that which is altogether just. And we should be so far from taking the Ad­vantage of their Ignorance, Vice and Poverty, to defraud them of what is their just Right, that we should rather be mov'd to Pity, and compassionate their deplorable State, and be Eyes to the Blind, &c.

I am fully persuaded, that if we were upright and just in all our Transations with them; if our Trade with them were put into the Hands of faithful Men, who would deal justly by them; and if they were supply'd with all Necessaries for themselves and Families at a moderate Price, it would not be in the Power of all the French at Canada (subtil as they are) to alienate them from us. The French are not upon equal Ground with us in this Affair. For their Nothern Climate is much more inhospitable & severe than ours is: Their Country is not so productive of those Fruits, which the Indians very much live upon, as ours: Nor can they afford Goods which arc proper and necessary for the Indians at so cheap a Lay as we can: Therefore we can give them those Advantages which Canada cannot. We can, with­out Damage to ourselves, make it their Interest to adhere to us: And when Experience has once taught them, that their Interest lies with us, they will want no other Inducement to ingage them to us: Yea, it will not only attach those or them to us, who are not yet gone to Canada, but it will induce those who are, to re­turn to their Brethren, for the sake of the Profit they might reap by it; especialliy if we give them all the Advantage we can, consistent with our own.

As unjust & abusive Treatment of the Indians tends naturally to alienate them from us, and to turn them off to the French; so a Series of just and faithful Dealing with them would be like­ly to attach them to us, and to make them our fast Friends. This again appears from the Temper and Conduct of that Part of the Tribe of the River Indians who live at Stockbridge. For tho' they were, for a considerable Time, extreamly jealous, that we had some ill Design upon them, even in the Favours they received at our Hands; (a Jealousy founded, I suppose, upon the ill Usage the Natives have too often been the Subjects of) yet by the just Treatment they, for a Course of Years, have met with, from the [Page 171] Government, from Mr. Sargeant, Mr. Woodbridge, and others, they are become our hearty Friends; willing to live or die with us, whether in Peace or War.

It is very true, that in order to obtain the End propos'd, our Trade with the Indians muft not be in private Hands. It mud not be in the Power of every private Person to treat them as he pleases. We may upon good Grounds despair of their being treated with Equity and Justice, if every one may gratify his avaricious Temper in dealing with them. Our Trade therefore must be of a publick Nature, and muft be committed to the Care and Management of faithful Men: Not to such as will seek the Service, and make Friends to procure the Post for them; (certain Indications of a Self-seeker) but Men of Uprightness & Integrity must be sought out, such and such only must be be trusted with Business of such Importance: Good Instructions must be given them, which must be carefully adher'd to.

If the Indian Trade at Canada were in private Hands; if every private Person there might deal with the Indians at Pleasure, we might then hope that those who are gone from us would soon re­turn: for, in that Case, it is supposable enough that they would not meet with much better Usage there, than they do here: tho' it is scarcely supposable that they would meet with much worse. The French Trade with the Indians is wholly in the Hand of publick Officers, (if I am rightly informed) and a private Man, if he want a Dear-skin, a Beaver-skin, &c. is not allow'd to pur­chase of an Indian, but muft go to the publick Stores. Upon the Supposition that those Officers are faithful, and deal justly by the Indians, it is surely a wife & politick Method to ingage them in their Favour. And so long as every private Person in the English Government is at Liberty to trade with them, when, and where, he pleases, and to cheat them out of what they have, what can we expect but that they will repair to Canada where they may be better us'd? Is it not owing to the ill Treatment they have met with from the English and Dutch, that so many of them are gone already? And if no proper Measures are taken to prevent their being ill us'd, will not those who are yet behind soon fol­low their Brethren? Yea, if we surnish them with large Quan­tities of Rum, make them Drunk, and then defraud them of what they have, do we not reduce them to a Necessity, either of living [Page 172] low and miserable with us, or of going from us, that they may sare better? How low, how dispirited, how miserable & brutish these few are, who live within our Borders, is too manifest. And whether we, by our ill treating of them, have not contributed to their Misery, is worthy of our serious Enquiry. Yea, would it not be proper for us to enquire, Whether we have not, by our Neglect & Abuse of them, provoked Heaven to let loose the Natives upon us, who have been one of the forest Scourges that we were ever chastised with? What Multitudes have they, in a most cruel Manner, murdered in our Borders? How many of our Neigh­bours have they led into Captivity? Some of whom have been redeem'd at a very great Expence, and others are become either Pagans or Papists, and continue still in a foreign Land. And who can count the Cost we have been at, to defend ourselves against their Incursions?

If the British Government should be difpos'd, in Time to come, to set up and maintain a publick, honest and just Trade with the Five Nations, or any other Tribes, thereby to attach them to ui, to promote their true Interest, with other valuable Ends that might there by be answer'd: This Objection perhaps would arise, viz. That such a Proceeding will be a very great Expence to the Publick, for our Trade cannot be safe unless it be protected by a considerable Force. A Fort muft be built, and a Garrison of 50, 60 or perhaps 100 Men, with their proper Officers, must be maintain'd at each Place where the Trade is set up: therefore the Advantage would not countervail the Cost. To this I reply,

If such Garrisons fhould be tho't necessary in the Places where a Trade is set up, to be a Guard to it; the Charge would nothing like equal that of an Indian War, which perhaps it might prevent.

But further, I apprehend that the Charge of fuch Garrisons might be spar'd and that, in instead of being necessary, they would prove very injurious to the Design; and that it would be a very wrong Step to be taken in that Affair.

All who are in any good Measure acquainted with the Indians know, that they are extreamly jealous, least any Incroachments should be made upon them: and it is not strange it should be so, considering what has past over them. And if a Number of arm'd Men were placed among them, and Forts built for the Defence of our Trade, they would be Suspicious, that something hostile [Page 173] was intended, and we should not be able to remove the Suspicion. They would behold us with, a jealous Eye, and perhaps take Measures to frustrate the whole Design.

The most effectual Way to induce them to trust us, is to trust them: and they will be ready enough to protect our Trade, if we desire it, and show that we confide in them to do it. And when a little Experience has taught them, how advantageous such a Trade would be to them, they would be ready enough to do it, for their own Advantage. It therefore we should desire them to admit a Trader into one of their own Forts, or to build a Fort at our Charge in some convenient Place for such a Defign, and to take Care that our Trade be safe; this would tend to convince them, both of our Friendship to, and of our Con­fidence in, them; and they would not only be pleas'd with it, but also ambitious to show us that we may safely trust them: And were I to be the Truck-Master, I shouid esteem my self much later in their Protection, than in a Garrison of 100 English Men: For if such a Garison should be placed among them, they themselves would suspect some ill Design carrying on against them, and the French would infallibly tell them, that tho' we pretended Peace and Friendship, yet our Design in the End is to dispossess them of their Country.

If indeed a Truck Master should prove an unfaithful Servant, and inrich himself by defrauding them, he might have Qccasion for English Soldiers to protect him and his Stores: but if they found him faithful, friendly and just in his Dealings with them, they would be as careful of him as of their own Eyes, and ven­ture their own Lives for him. What would not the Indians of Stockbridge have done for Mr. Sergeant in his Day, whom they had found to be their true and hearty Friend? And what would they not now do for Mr. Woodbridge, of whom they have had the like Experience? Indians will be as ready as the English and perhaps much more so, to serve and protect, if there be Occasion, those whom they have found to be their faithful and real Friends.

in a Word, I apprehend, that if we had in Times past treated the Natives according to the Rules of Equity & justice, it would have been quite sufficient to have ingaged them in our Interest, and to have kept them in Amity and Friendship with us. And that, even now, they might in a little Time be attach'd to [Page 174] us, by such Treatment: But this, I confess, I despair of, if every private Person must be left at his Liberty to treat them as he pleases, and to defraud them of all they have: which I take to be the Case in New-York Government, who lie next to the Five Nations, and have their Trade; tho' in this Province we have good Laws in Force to restrain private Persons from selling them strong Drink.

2. We should also exercise that Kindness and Generosity to­wards them, that shall convince them that it is for their Interest to be in Friendship with us. We should not, in a Case of such Importance, content ourselves with being bearly just in our Treat­ment of them, but we should also be kind & generous, as a proper Expedient to obtain the End propos'd. I am aware, I shall here be quick interrupted with this Exclamation.

What! kind and generous to such an ungrateful evil Crew! to which I shall only answer. We have good Authority for being kind to the Unthankful and to the Evil. And if that good Being who recommends it to us, had not given an Example of it, in his Dealings with us, how deplorable had our State been? This kind Temper and Behaviour is recommended to us in the Gos­pel, not only because it is the Will of our heavenly Father that we should be kind, but also because the Exercise of it answers excellent Ends; produces very good & desireable Effects: such as Love, Friendship, Peace, &c. And while we make a Profes­sion of Christianity, it is Pity the Practice of it, in so material an Article, should be objected against. And is it not very proper that we should exercise Kindness and Generosity to the poor Na­tives, when there is a strong Probability of its being of very hap­py Consequence both to them and us?

A great deal of Kindness and Generosity has been exercis'd towards the River Indians at Housatunnuk, by this Government, by the honourable Corporation at Home, by their honourable & Rev. Commissioners at Boston, by the Rev. Mr. Hollis, by the Rev. Mr. Sergeant, Mr. Woodbridge and others: and the Consequence has been very happy as to them; they are brought to the Knowledge of the Gospel, and to a Christian Profession: and many of them; we hope, to the saving Knowledge of God, We also have found the Benefit of this kind Usage of them: for thereby they are be­come our hearty Friends, are united to us in their Affections, and [Page 175] were a Means, in the Hand of Providence, of covering our most Western Frontiers the last War. And were the like Kindness shown by us to other Tribes, is there not Room to hope that the Effects might be alike happy? If Townships suitable for Indians to settle in, were provided in our Frontiers, and it were propos'd to them that if they would come and settle in them, they should not only enjoy the Land as their own, but also have a Minister supported among them to instruct them in the Christian Religion; and also a School-Master to teach their Children to read & write; would not this induce many of them, especially of the better Sort, to come and settle in our Borders? And would they not cover our Frontiers in Case of a War with Frace?

What has been done for the Indians at Stockbridge has doubtless been much observ'd, and approv'd of, by the Natives far & near. That there is a School set up at Canada, in Imitation of Mr. Ser­geant's School at Stockbridge, and a large Number of Scholars in it, we have heard and receive for Truth. That the French, who esteem Ignorance to be the Mother of Devotion, and do not de­sire to teach the Indians any Thing more than to say their Beads, and to cross themselves, have done this out of Choice, is not at all likely. They do not desire that their Indians should become a knowing People. But yet, being sensible that the Report of Mr. Sergeant's School had spread itself for & wide, and that, their Indians were pleas'd with the Method the English had taken to furnish the Natives with Knowledge they apprehended that un­less some Thing like it were done among them, there would be Danger of the Indians repairing to us for Instruction, and to pre­vent this, and to ingage them to themselves, they set up their School. This, I conjecture, is the Truth of the Case. And if so, it is manifest that the Indians are inclin'd to seek after Know­ledge: And therefore would be dispos'd to hearken to such kind and generous Proposals, if they were made to them. And who can tell but that this, that, or the other Tribe, would gladly settle such Towns, if they were invited to it in a proper Manner?

3. Another Step, and, perhaps, the most promising one we can take, to ingage the Indians in Friendship with us is, to send Missio­naries among their respective Tribes, Ministers & School-Masters, to instruct them in the Principles, and to persuade them to the Practice of Christianity. Tho' they have so long liv'd near us, [Page 176] and been conversant with us, yet they remain ignorant of the Way of Salvation, Strangers to the Gospel, and are perishing for lack of Knowledge: A Case that might well move our Pity and Compassion towards them, and put us upon doing what we can for their Relief. And whether our former Neglect of Things of this Nature has not been provoking to Heaven, may be worthy of our serious Enquiry.

The Interest the Rev. Mr. Barclay had in the Mohawks, while he was with them, the Reformation of Manners he wrought among them, their Willingness to receive Instruction, and their Engaged­ness to prosecute Learning, are a plain Indication that faithful Missionaries would be welcome to them. And the Five Nations being nearest us, and their Friendship of very great Consequence, it might be proper to begin with them: And what has been done among them by Mr. Barclay, and others, might be no small Help in the Case. If we should send Persons well qualified for the Business to reside among them, and support them well, there would be no Foundation for any Jealousy that we have an ill Design upon them, and if at any Time such Jealousies should strise they would soon subside, upon the Indians having a little Experience of our Kindness and Friendship to them. The pru­dent Conduct and saithful Labours of such Missionaries might, by the Blessing of God, serve to remove their Barbarity, correct their Manners, reform their Lives, promote in them vertuous Sentiments, and by Degrees form them to true Religion. This we may hope would be the happy Event, with Respect to many of them, tho' not to all; and it, by much Labour and Expence, it might be brought to pass, should we not find our Account in it: for what would be the Charge of supporting a few Missiona­ries, compar'd with that of an Indian War? And is there not great Probability that such Measures would in a few Years Time attach them to us in a hearty Friendship? And it the Five Na­tions who are a Terror to, and have in great Measure the Com­mand of, other Tribes, were indeed our Friends, and made so by such Obligations laid upon them, would it not be an effectual Means of resraining other Indians from giving us Trouble in Case of a War?

The general Objection here, I am sensible will be;—There is no Likelihood of succeeding, and therefore it is not worth while [Page 177] to make any Trial, it would only be to spend Labour & Money to no good Purpose. To which I reply,

How can we draw the Conclusion before we have made the Experiment? Have we ever made any proper Trial, and sound ourselves disappointed? And can it be look'd upon just to draw such a Conclusion, in a Case of such Importance, unless we had better Grounds for it?

It is true, Mr. Sergeant made a Visit to the Susquabanza Indians, Mr. Brainard also, in his Day, did the same, without Success: but we know that the Excuse those Indians made was, that they held their Lands of the Five Nations, and therefore could not comply with such a Motion, till their Consent was first obtain'd. And besides, shall we esteem two or three Visits made by private Persons a sufficient Trial in this Case? Sufficient indeed it was to show that those good Gentlemen were possest of an excellent Spirit, and of a laudable Zeal for the Good of the poor Natives: but yet I apprehend not sufficient to discourage further Attempts. If those Gentlemen, who went in a private Capacity, had sustain'd a publick Character, perhaps they had been more regarded. But however, when we have us'd our best Endeavours, and they indeed prove unsuccessful, we may be excusable; but can we look upon ourselves so, if we sit still and use no Endeavours for the Help of those poor benighted People?

It proper Attempts should be made for Christianizing the Five Nations, there would, I am sensible, same notable Difficulties lie in the Way, but yet perhaps none but what might be surmounted.

One Difficulty that would doubtless attend such a laudable Undertaking, would arise from those who maintain a private Trade among them, from which they reap great Gain; especially by the Article of Rum, too much of which they convey to them, and by the Influence of which the Indians are easily defrauded.

These Traders would be very sensible, that if Christianity should prevail among those Nations, the Hope of their Gain would be gone and seeing by this Crast they have their Wealth, they would use their utmost Endeavours to dissuade the Indians from imbrac­ing the Ways of Religion. They in Fact did so at Housatunnuk, where the Number of Indians was small, and their Trade not so considerable (as the foregoing History shews.) How much more then will they do it, it Endeavours should be us'd to convert the [Page 178] Mohawks, whose Trade is vastly more advantageous? But as the Indians at Housatunnuk, by Mr. Sergeant's Help, saw thro' the Artifice they us'd; and were made sensible of the selfish Views of the Traders, so doubtless the Five Nations may easily be inform'd and the Obstruction soon remov'd.

Another Difficulty will arise from the false Insinuations of Romish Emissaries, who will not fail to tell them, that we are about to teach them a false Religion, and if they hearken to us, they will all certainly be damn'd. But when those Indians are properly inform'd of the Conduct of the French, and other Roman Catholicks, how they deny the Use of the Bible to the common People among themselves, and that they have no Design to ac­quaint the Indians with the Word of God: And on the other Hand, that our Design is not to impose upon them, but to open the Bible to them, to enable them to read it, and to judge for themselves: will not this satisfy them of our honest Intentions towards them, and of the Safety & Propriety of their examining Things, that they may form a Judgment for themselves?

A third, and perhaps much the greatest Difficulty that would attend this good Design is, that those Indians esteem themselves Christians already, and value themselves upon their being as good Christians as their Neighbours. Mr. Sergeant, in his Journal of November 25 1734, says,— ‘The Mohawks are generally Pro­fessors of Christianity, but for want of Instruction have but little of it in Reality.—’ They are so ignorant of the Principles of Religion, that they know not the Difference between one who is baptiz'd and calls himself a Christian, and one who lives agrea­bly to the Rules Christ has given us to walk by. They are not sensible of the Necessity of being conform'd to those Rules of Vertue and Holiness which Christ has prescrib'd. Romish Emis­saries have baptiz'd some of them, others (as I have been inform'd) have been baptiz'd by Dutch Ministers; and they esteem it a Privilege belonging to them to have their Children baptized, whenever they present them; without any Regard being had, either to the Qualifications of the Parent, or the religious Edu­cation of the Child. When the Rev. Mr; Spencer was among them a few Years ago, they were much displeas'd that he de­clin'd baptizing some Children, whose Parents were notoriously ignorant, vicious and wicked. Some Indians from Canada, who [Page 179] had an English Woman to their Mother, came a few Years past to Westfield, to visit their English Relations there, and while they stay'd at that Place, they had a Child born, and were much of­fended with the Rev. Mr. Balantine, who declin'd baptizing of it, as they desir'd. Since the Rev. Mr. Edwards has been at Stock­bridge, one of the Mohawks residing there had a Child born, and was highly affronted because Mr. Edwards did not baptize it upon his Desire. From these Instances it is evident, that they account their Children have Right to Baptism, whenever they desire it. And being baptized, they esteem them good Christians, whatever their Conversation may be: for they derive their No­tions of Christianity, not from the Bible, (to which they are Stran­gers) but from the Example of the Dutch & French, with whom they are conversant, and who profess themselves to be Christians.

And so far forth as being baptized, in the forementioned Man­ner, and calling themselves Christians, will make them so, they are so to be esteem'd. Now these Things being so, it may prove a difficult Thing to make them sensible, that Drunkenness and other vicious Practices are inconsistent with Christianity; because those Christians, who fall under their Observation, give them an Example of Vice, and go such Lengths therein.

But yet I apprehend this Difficulty might also be remov'd, by giving them a just and true Account of the Nature & Extent of the Christian Religion; by informing them what the Will of Christ is; how he expects that we should be conform'd to his Likeness, and to his Laws. The Indians are as capable of hearing Reasons and giving them their Weight, as other Men: and it is because they know not what Christianity is, that they esteem themselves Christians, in their present Circumstances. When they are made acquainted with the Terms of Salvation, propos'd in the Gospel, and what they must do that they may inherit eter­nal Life, when they are well instructed in the Doctrines of Christ, they will be sensible that the Religion which they now have, is little or nothing like that which is taught by the Gospel. When Mr. Edwards refus'd to baptize a Mohawk Child born at Stock­bridge, (which I have before mentioned) and they were very much displeas'd with him on that Account, he went to them, gave them the Reasons of his Conduct, and inform'd them as clearly as he was able of the Nature and End of Baptism: Those Indians receiv'd [Page 180] the Force of his Reasons, and appear'd to be satisfy'd & contented, when he had taken Pains to inform them. And I doubt not but proper Instruction and Information would remove the Diffi­culty I have been speaking of.

Tho' Christianizing those Indians may prove a difficult Work, yet if our Endeavours might, by the divine Blessing, be succeeded, would not the Advantage thence arising to them, and us, more than compensate the Pains and Expence we should be at? And is there not so much Ground to hope for Success, as should in­duce us to make the Experiment?

I shall now conclude, by briefly suggesting a few Things, not yet mentioned, the serious Consideration of which may excite us to use our best Endeavours for the Conversion of the neighbour­ing Indians to the Christian Faith.

1. And in the first Place, should not the Consideration of the divine Bounty and Goodness, bestow'd upon us, excite us to im­ploy Part of that undeserv'd Goodness to promote the Knowledge of God, our bountiful Benefactor, among those who are destitute of it? Thro' the undeserv'd Favour and Blessing of God, we have been prosperous in our secular Affairs, succeeded in our Husbandry, Trade, &c. and are become a wealthy People: And, were we as willing as we are able, might we not spare large Sums for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Heathen? Ought we not then to shew our Gratitude to the glorious Author of all our Comforts, by imploying a Part of his Bounty to promote the Redeemer's Kingdom? Is it not fit that we should thus honour the Lord with our Substance? Does it not lie as a Reproach upon us, who make an high Profession, that we expend so little to pro­mote the Knowledge of God among the Natives, and so much to ill Purposes? Were what we imploy in unnecessary Expences, by which Pride and Luxury are indulged and nourished, imploy'd in the laudable Method I am recommending; would it not be sufficient, well to support a Multitude of Missionaries among the neighbouring Tribes? Would it not probably be a Means of turning many of them from the Power of Satan to God? And would it not be an Odour of a sweet Smell, a Sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God? And seeing God, by his Blessings, has inabled us to contribute to such a good Design, should we not [Page 181] chearfully give of our Substance, for the spiritual Benefit of the perishing Heathen?

2. Should not the Light and Grace of the Gospel, which we, thro' divine Goodness enjoy, be a stronger Argument still to excite us to endeavour the Conversion of the Heathen?

A few Generations back we were in a State of Heathenism, as they now are: Aliens from the common Wealth of Israel—and with­out God in the World. * But thro' divine Goodness, the Day spring from on High has visited us, and we enjoy the Light & Privileges of the Gospel Dispensation. Seeing then God has had Compassion on us, and bestow'd upon us those riches Blessings; ought we not to have Compassion on the neighbouring Heathen, and use our best Endeavours that they a so may be made Partakers of the Light and Blessings of the Gospel?

3. Should we not be mov'd to such charitable Endeavours from the Consideration of the wretched and forlorn Circumstances, in which the poor Natives appear before our Eyes. We often behold those piteous Objects, appearing half naked and almost starv'd; which is the Effect of their vicious Way of Living. We see them also in the Depths of Ignorance & Barbarity; wholly unacquaint­ed with the Way of Salvation, and quite unconcern'd for their eter­nal Good: And yet their Powers, both of Body & Mind, are not inferiour to our own. Were they brought to Civility & Industry, they might stand upon equal Ground with us, respecting the Comforts of Life: and were they instructed in divine Things, made acquainted with the great & important Truths of the Gos­pel, they might stand as fair for the Kingdom of Heaven as we do. Should not our Eyes therefore affect our Hearts, when we behold them in such miserable Circumstances? And should we not exert ourselves in all proper Ways for their Help. Did the Wounds of the poor Man half dead, who fell among Thieves, plead with so much Eloquence for human Compassion, as the unhappy State of the poor Natives does for Christian Charity? And if the Com­passion of a Samaritan was mov'd by the former, how much more should the Bowels of a Christian be mov'd by the latter?

4. The noble Example of some generous & pious Persons, at Home, may well excite us to liberal Contributions for the Benefit of the poor Heathen.

[Page 182]Not only publick Societies, but also private Persons, in Great-Britain, have generously and liberally contributed for the Benefit of the Natives in this distant Part of the World; as the foregoing History shows. Tho' they are at 3000 Miles Distance, and never beheld, as we do, those miserable Objects; yet, from a truly pious and generous Spirit, they have sent over their liberal Contributions, that the Heathen, by their Means, may be inform'd in the Way of Life. Verily, they shall not loose their Reward. A noble Example they set before us, most worthy our Imitation: And how can we excuse ourselves, if we neglect to copy after it? Some indeed may plead their Inability, but this is not the Case of all. Are there not among us many wealthy Merchants & Traders? Are there not also many Farmers, who abound in Wealth, upon the Lands which were, a few Years ago, the Property of the Indians, who now stand in Need of their Charity? Should not such Per­sons be mov'd, by the generous Examples of others, to help for­ward the noble Design of converting the Heathen? Yea, are not the People in general able to do something to help forward so good a Design? And will it not lie as a Reproach upon us, if we, who make a high Profession of Religion, prove void of Cha­rity, when we are so loudly call'd to the Exercise of it, not only by the laudable Example of generous Benefactors at Home; but also by the perishing Circumstances of the neighbouring Indians?

I shall only add my hearty Wishes, that this American Continent, which, for Ages unknown, has been a Seat of Darkness, and full of the Habitations of Cruelty, may become a Scene of Light and Love; that the Heathen in it, who have been wont to thirst after Blood, may hunger and thirst after Righteousness; That the Wilderness and solitary Place may be glad for them, the Desert rejoice and blossom as the Rose;—That the Glory of Lebanon may be given unto it, the Excellency of Carmel and Sharon; That they may see the Glory of the Lord, and the Excellency of our God.

FINIS.

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