Tears of Repentance: Or, A further Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel Amongst the INDIANS IN NEW-ENGLAND:
Setting forth, not only their present state and condition, but sundry Confessions of sin by diverse of the said Indians, wrought upon by the saving Power of the Gospel; Together with the manifestation of their Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ, and the Work of Grace upon their Hearts.
Related by Mr. Eliot and Mr. Mayhew, two Faithful Laborers in that Work of the Lord.
Published by the Corporation for propagating the Gospel there, for the Satisfaction and Comfort of such as wish well thereunto.
Isay, 42. 3. A bruised Reed shall be not break, and the smoaking Flax, shall be not quench.
London: Printed by Peter Cole in Leaden-Hall, and are to Sold at his Shop, at the Sign of the Printing-Press in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange. 1653.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY The Lord General CROMWEL.
WHat the Jews once said of their Centurion, He loved our Na∣tion, and built us a Syna∣gogue, the same may we affirm upon a more Noble Accompt of Your Lordship, and of those faithful Centurions and Soldiers under Your Conduct; by how much the Adventure of your Lives in the Cause of God, for the Good of your Country, is a more in∣fallible Demonstration of your Love to it: for∣asmuch as the King of Saints, is also King of Nations, and when he shall be the desire of all Nations, will prove their safest Interest. Page [unnumbered] Ʋpon consideration whereof, it was but equal that Mr. Eliot a faithful Laborer of Christ in spreading the Everlasting Gospel to the Poor Indians, should prefix Your Lordships Name to his Relation of the Progress of Divine Grace amongst them: And with his Judgment, We of the Corporation, who are subordinately intru∣sted, do so far concur, especially moved there∣unto by that liberal and Exemplary Contributi∣on to this Glorious Work lately promoted by Your Lordship, and Your Officers with the Army, that we thought not fit either to sever that Narrative, and this of Mr. Mayhew's, or to send them abroad under any other Name to the Publick View.
Coopers-Hall, London,March, 26. 1653.Signed in the Name, and by the Appointment of the said Corporation, by
William Steel, President.
To the much Honored Corporation in London, Chosen to Place of Publick Trust for the promoting of the Work of the Lord among the Indians in NEW-ENGLAND.
IT hath not been from any disrespect to your selves, that I have not for∣merly directed to your Presence, and presented into your Hand, what have already been let go, which made Relation of the Work of God among the Indians in this Island (commonly called Martins Vineyard) This year there was an opportunity not to be refused, of certifying the Right Worshipful John Endicot Esquire, Governor of the Massachussets in New-England of what I had to communicate concerning the Indians, from whose hand also you will receive it; but yet I may not for seve∣ral causes, neglect the writing to your selves the same things, with more particulars since adjoyned, in the con∣clusion to accompany the former unto your Pious and Prudent consideration, to which they are committed to be (as I have received them from God) the tokens of more Grace in store to be bestowed on Indian souls.Page [unnumbered]
Highly esteemed in the Lord Jesus,
WHen the Lord first brought me to these poor Indians on the Vinyard, they were mighty zealous and ear∣nest in the Worship of False gods, and Devils; their False gods were many, both of things in Heaven, Earth, and Sea: And there they had their Men-gods, Women-gods, and Children-gods, their Companies, and Fellowships of gods, or Divine Powers, guiding things amongst men, besides innumerable more feigned gods belonging to many Creatures, to their Corn, and every Colour of it: The Devil also with his Angels had his Kingdom among them, in them; account him they did, the terror of the Living, the god of the Dead, under whose cruel power and into whose deformed likeness they conceived them∣selves to be translated when they died; for the same word they have for Devil, they use also for a Dead Man, in their Language: by him they were often hurt in their Bodies, distracted in their Minds, wherefore they had many meetings with their Pawwaws (who usually had a hand in their hurt) to pacifie the Devil by their Sacrifice, and get deliverance from their evil; I have sometimes marvelled to see the vehemency of their Spirits, which they acted with no less bodily violence therein. The Pawwaws counted their Imps their Preservers, had them treasured up in their bodies, which they brought forth to hurt their enemies, and heal their friends; who when they had done some notable Cure, would shew the Imp in the palm of his Hand to the Indians, who with much amazement looking on it, Deified them, then at all times seeking to them for cure in all sicknesses, and counsel in all cases: This Diabolical way they were in, giving heed to a multitude of Heathen Traditions of their gods, and many other things, under the observation whereof, they Page [unnumbered] with much slavery were held, and abounding with sins, having only an obscure Notion of a good greater than all, which they call Mannit, but they knew not what he was, and therefore had no way to worship him.
What an entrance I had at first amongst these misera∣ble Heathen, how called thereunto, and what success God blessed us with, hath been in some measure already published, which will I hope through the dew of Gods blessing from Heaven, have such a gracious increase, that the blossoming and budding time shal at least be acknow∣ledged, and by many more God blessed for it, in the growth of the fruit to more maturity; Since it hath pleased God to send his Word to these poor captivated men (bondslaves to sin and Satan) he hath through mer∣cy brought two hundred eighty three Indians (not coun∣ting yong children in the number) to renounce their false gods, Devils, and Pawwaws, and publickly in set meetings, before many witnesses, have they disclaimed the Divinity of their formerly adored multitude, defied their tyrannical Destroyer the Devil, and utterly refu∣sed the help of the Pawwaws in any case; neither have they at any time, either by threatnings or flatteries been drawn thereto, although their lives have been in hazard; yea, eight of their Pawwaws have forsaken their Devil∣lish craft, and profitable trade as they accounted it, for to embrace the Word and Way of God. The Indians which do pray to God, were not compelled thereto by power, neither also could they be allured by gifts, who received nothing for about seven years time, much less that which counterpoyse their troubles, and exceed to the drawing of them from the beloved waies of their own Worships: Surely it were great uncharitableness, and derogatory from the glory of God, to think that none of these are truly changed, and that God himself Page [unnumbered] by his Word and Spirit, hath not in mercy prevailed in their hearts against these evils; nay, may we not hope and be perswaded by this, and some other appearances of God amongst them, that some of them are truly tur∣ned to God from Idols, to serve the Living and true God? Serve him, through mercy they do in some hope∣ful Reformations, walking inoffensively and diligently in their way, which I hope will more plainly appear when they are in a way more hopeful (by the blessing of God to their further well-being) which I hope will be in the best time.
I cannot but take notice of this good providence of God by the way, That he hath mercifully preserved all the Indians which call upon his Name (from the begin∣ing of the Work unto this day) from all extraordinary evil, whereby the Devil and Witches use to torment the Bodies and Minds of Men, not one of them or their chil∣dren (as I know) or have heard have been touched by them in this kind (only a Pawwaw or two, have not been delivered from his Imps presently after his renouncing of them, but for some time have had the sence of them in his Body with much pain:) The mischief that the Pawwaws and Devils usually do to the common Indian this way, is both by outward and bodily hurt, or inward pain, torture, and distraction of mind, both which I have seen my self: To accomplish the first, the Devil doth a∣buse the real body of a Serpent, which comes directly towards the man in the house or in the field, looming or having a shadow about him like a man, and do shoot a bone (as they say) into the Indians Body, which some∣times killeth him. An instance whereof I can give, whereby it may the more plainly appear, that it is a great mercy to be delivered therefrom; and it is of a youth, who living with his Parents upon a neck of Land, They Page [unnumbered] did not pray unto Jehovah, yet their Neighbors who lived there with them, did; This Youth was hurt after the same manner, and then presently his Parents pulled down the house they lived in, and fled to an Island near by, where I saw the Indian thus hurt in his Thigh, he was grievously tormented, and his Kindred about him mourning, not knowing where to find any comfort, or help, for cure could not be had from their gods or Pawwaws: I then took the opportunity to reason with them about their way, with the best wisdom God gave me, but all in vain, for they would not hear to seek the true God, notwithstanding he had shewn his displeasure so apparantly against them for their former refusing of Him, but they still followed on their wonted Serpentine Machinations: The Pawwaws, and their devillish train, with their horrible outcries, hollow bleatings, painful wrestlings, and smiting their own bodies, sought delive∣rance, but all in vain, for he died miserably. Hereby, and by several other things, I perceive that they are not (in a manner) indifferent, whether they serve their own gods or not, or change them (as some think) for they are naturally like the Heathens of Chittim and Kedar, which would not change their gods, which yet are no gods; when God blames his people for changing their glory for that which doth not profit; I hope therefore that it is something of Grace, that many chuse to wor∣ship the true God. But touching the former vexing mischiefs, A Sachem, and no good friend to the work, could not but acknowledg the blessing of God among the Praying Indians; When I came over (said he) at the further end of the Island, there was a storm (mentio∣ning the aforesaid evils, with some more) but when I came to this end I found a calm, the Praying Indians were all well, they arose in the morning, Prayed to God, Page [unnumbered] and went about their business, and they are not hurt nor troubled like the other Indians: And the Pawwaws themselves, some of them do say, That they cannot make their Power seize on any of them: Questionless they have tried their Skill, and Satan hath not been wan∣ting to assist them, who is so unwilling to fall down from his Rule, and to be driven from his old Possessions. A Pawwaw told me, who was of no small note among the Heathen formerly, and also with the best, now he hath forsaken his Pawwawing, That after he had been brought by the Word of God to hate the Devil, and to renounce his Imps (which he did publickly) that yet his Imps remained still in him for some months tormenting of his flesh, and troubling of his mind, that he could ne∣ver be at rest, either sleeping or waking: At length one time when I went down to keep the farthest Lecture a∣bout seven miles off, he asked me some Questions, whereof this was one, viz. That if a Pawwaw had his Imps gone from him, what he should have instead of them to preserve him? Whereunto it was Answered, That if he did beleeve in Christ Jesus, he should have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him, which is a good and a strong Spirit, and will keep him so safe, that all the Devils in Hell, and Pawwaws on Earth, should not be a∣ble to do him any hurt; and that if he did set himself a∣gainst his Imps, by the strength of God they should all flee away like Muskeetoes: He told me, That he did much desire the Lord, it might be so with him. He fur∣ther said, That ever since that very time God hath in mercy delivered him from them, he is not troubled with any pain (as formerly) in his Bed, nor dreadful visions of the night, but through the blessing of God, he doth lie down in ease, sleeps quietly, wakes in Peace, and walks in safety, for which he is very glad, and praises God.
Page [unnumbered] This last spring, the Indians of their own accord made a motion to me they might have some way ordered a∣mongst them, as a means whereby they might Walk in good Subjection to the Law of God, wherunto they desi∣red to enter into Covenant; they told me that they were very desirous to have their sins suppressed which God did forbid, and the duties performed, which he hath Commanded in his Word; and thereunto they desired me to inform them, what punishment the Lord did appoint to be inflicted on those which did break any part of His Law, for they were very willing to sub∣mit themselves to what the will of the Lord is in this kind. I was not willing on the sudden to draw forth in writing an Answer to their desire, but rather chose to take a longer time of Consideration in a Work of so great Concernment, and refer them to the Word of God, shewing them many places for their information, most whereof they had heard of formerly: They also fur∣ther desired, That they might have some men Chosen amongst them with my father and my self, to see that the Indians did walk orderly, and that such might be incouraged, but that those which did not, might be dealt with acording to the word of the Lord; I could not but approve and incourage the motion, seeing they spake not as those in Psal. 2. 3. Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us, but sought totall subjection and strict obedience to God: yet I told them that it was a matter of great weight, shewing them many things which I thought necessary for them to know, but need∣less now to relate. A day of fasting and prayer to repent of our sins, and seek the gracious help of our God for Christ Jesus sake, we appointed; and another shortly after to finish the work in: Some of the Indians spake somthing for their benefit; and about ten, or twelve Page [unnumbered] of them prayed, not with any set Form like Children, but like Men indued with a good measure of the know∣ledg of God, their own wants, and the wants of others, with much affection, and many Spiritual Petitions, savo∣ring of a Heavenly mind; and so are they streitned in respect of help from man, that it appears the more plainly to be the Dictates of Gods Spirit. A Platform of the Covenant in Answer to their desires, I drew forth the same morning in the Indian Language, which I have here sent in English.
Wee the distressed Indians of the Vineyard (or Nope, the Indian name of the Island) That beyond all memory have been without the True God, without a Teacher, and without a Law, the very Servants of Sin and Satan, and without Peace, for God did justly vex us for our sins; having lately through his mer∣cy heard of the Name of the True God, the Name of his Son Christ Jesus, with the holy Ghost, the Comforter, three Persons, but one most Glorious God, whose Name is JEHOVAH: We do praise His Glorious Greatness, and in the sorrow of our hearts, and shame of our faces, we do acknowledg and renounce our great and many sins, that we and our Fathers have lived in, do run unto him for mercy, and pardon for Christ Jesus sake; and we do this day through the blessing of God upon us, and trusting to his gracious help, give up our selves in this Covenant, Wee, our Wives, and Children, to serve JEHOVAH: And we do this day chuse JEHOVAH to be our God in Christ Jesus, our Teacher, our Law-giver in his Word, our King, our Judg, our Ruler by his Magistrates and Ministers; to fear God Himself, and to trust in Him alone for Salvation, both of Soul and Body, in this present Life, and the Everlasting Life to come, through his mercy in Christ Jesus our Savior, and Redeemer, and by the might of his Holy Spirit; to whom with the Father and Son, be all Glory e∣verlasting. Amen.
Page [unnumbered] After I had often read this Covenant and expounded it unto them, they all with free Consent willingly and thankfully joyned therein, and desired Jehovah his bles∣sing for Jesus Christ his sake, the Lord be gracious to our beginnings.
Within two or three weeks there came an Indian to me in business, and by the way he told me, that some Indians had lately kept a day of Repentance to humble themselves before God in prayer, and that the word of God which one of them spake unto, for their Instructi∣on, was Psal. 66. 7. He ruleth by his Power for ever, his eyes behold the nations, let not the rebellious exalt themselves. I asked him what their end was in keeping such a day? He told me those six things: First, they desired, That God would slay the rebellion of their hearts. Secondly, That they might love God, and one another. Thirdly, That they might withstand the evil words and tempta∣tions of wicked men, and not to be drawn back from God. Fourthly, That they might be obedient to the good Words and Commands of their Rulers. Fiftly, That they might have their sins done away by the Re∣demption of Jesus Christ. And Lastly, That they might walk in Christs way.
Now for the state of things with us, we are by the help of God about to begin a Town that they may Cohabit and carry on things in a Civil and Religious way the better; The praying Indians are constant attenders to the word of the Lord, and some of them (I hope) con∣scionable seekers after the knowledg of God, and them∣selves, and not without obtaining (by the grace of God) some saving benefit to their own Souls, which will by his own blessing, in the best time, more plainly appear. About 30. Indian Children are now at School, which began the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month. 1651. Page [unnumbered] they are apt to learn, and more and more are now send∣ing in unto them. The Barbarous Indians, both men and women, do often come on the Lecture dayes, and complaining of their ignorance, disliking their sinful liberty, and refusing the helps, and hopes of their own power, seek Subjection to Jehovah, to be taught, gover∣ned, and saved by him, for Jesus Christs sake. The Name of the Lord alone be praised for what is begun; What is further needfull, I earnestly desire may be fer∣vently prayed for, and expected by faith, to be effected, and finished by the gracious hand of God, who have laid the foundation, and will not leave his own works un∣perfect, which is the comfort of an unworthy Laborer in the Lords Vinyard, and an earnest desirer to be remem∣bred at the Throne of Grace.
Having a little more liberty, I shall certifie you of somthing more, which I have taken notice of amongst the poor Indians.
I observed that the Indians when they chose their Rulers, made choyce of such as were best approved for their godliness, and most likely to suppress sin, and en∣courage holiness, and since they have been forward up∣on all occasions, to shew their earnest desire thereof. There was an Indian that was well approved for his Re∣formation, that was suspected to have told a plain Lye for his Gain; the business was brought to the publick Meeting, and there it was notably sifted with zeal and good affection; but at length the Indian defending him∣self with great disdain, and hatred of such an evil, pro∣ved himself clear, and praised God for it. The same Indian was a little before, very sick, and he told me that when he thought he should die, he did so love God, that he was not unwilling to die, and leave his wife, and children, or any thing else, but that he was only desi∣rous Page [unnumbered] to live for this cause, That he might be more taught by the Word of God, and be helpful to teach the Indians the Way of God.
I have also observed how God is pleased to uphold some of these poor Indians against opposition. I was once down towards the further end of the Island, and lodged at an Indians house, who was accounted a great man among the Islanders, being the friend of a great Sachem on the Mayn; this Sachem is a great Enemy to our Reformation on the Island: At this mans house when I had sate a while, his son being about thirty years old, earnestly desired me in his Language, to relate unto him some of the ancient Stories of God; I then spent a great part of the night (in such discourse as I thought fittest for them) as I usually do when I lodg in their houses, what he then heard (as he expressed) did much affect him: And shortly after he came and desired to joyn with the praying Indians to serve Jehovah, but it was to the great discontentment of the Sachems on the Mayn, and those Indians about him: News was often brought to him that his life was laid in wait for, by those that would surely take it from him, they desired him ther∣fore with speed to turn back again; The man came to me once or twice, and I perceived that he was troubled, he asked my counsel about removing his Habitation, yet told me, That if they should stand with a sharp weapon against his breast, and tell him that they would kill him presently, if he did not turn to them, but if he would, they would love him, yet he had rather lose his life than keep it on such terms; for (said he) when I look back on my life as it was before I did pray to God, I see it to be wholly naught, and do wholly dislike it, and hate those naughty waies; but when I look on that way which God doth teach me in his Word, I see it to be Page [unnumbered] wholly good; and do wholly love it. Blessed be God that he is not overcome by these temptations.
The next thing I judg also worthy to be observed, My Father and I were lately talking with an Indian, who had not long before almost lost his life by a wound his Enemies gave him in a secret hidden way, the mark whereof, he had upon him, and will carry it to his grave: This man understanding of a secret Plot that was to take away his Enemies life, told my Father and I, That he did freely forgive him for the sake of God, and did tell this Plot to us that the mans life might be preserved: This is a singular thing, and who among the Heathen will do so?
I observe also that the Indians themselves do indeavor to propagate the knowledg of God, to the glory of God and the good of others: I heard an Indian (after I had some discourse with the Indians in the night) ask the Sachem, and many others together, how they did like that counsel they heard from the word of God: They answe∣red, very wel; then said he, why do you not take it? why do you not do according to it? He further added, I can tell you why it is, Because you do not see your sins, and because you do love your sins; for as long as it was so with me, I did not care for the Way of God; but when God did shew me my sins, and made me hate them, then I was glad to take Gods Counsel: this I remember he spake, with some other things, with such Gravity and truth, that the Sachem and all the company was not able to gain-say.
Myoxeo also lately met with an Indian, which came from the Mayn who was of some note among them; I heard that he told them of the great things of God, and of Christ Jesus, the sinfulness and folly of the Indians, the Pardon of sin by Christ, and of a good life; and so were Page [unnumbered] they both affected, that they continued this discourse two half nights, and a day, until their strength was spent: He told him in particular, how a Beleever did live above the world, that he did keep worldly things alwaies at his feet (as he shewed him by a sign) That when they were deminished, or increased, it was neither the cause of his Sorrow, or joy, that he should stoop to regard them, but he stood upright with his heart Heavenward, and his whol desire was after God, and his joy in him. Now Much honored in the Lord, and all that love Christ Je∣sus in truth, let me prevail with you that we may be pre∣sented by you at the Throne of Grace in his worthiness to obtain those blessings, that concerns his Kingdom and Glory; our comfort and Salvation: And you are, and shall also be, ever humbly so prayed for, by him, who is
From the Vinyard the 22. of October, 1652.Yours obliged, and ever to be commanded in the Work of the Lord Jesus
To His Excellency, the Lord General Cromwel; Grace, Mercy, and Peace be Multiplied.
ENvy it self cannot deny that the Lord hath raised and improved You in an E∣minent manner to overthrow Anti∣christ, and to accomplish, in part, the Prophesies and Promises of the Chur∣ches Deliverance from that Bondage: In all which Ser∣vice, the Lord hath not only kept Your Honor unsteined, but also caused the Lustre of those precious Graces of Hu∣mility, Faith, Love of Truth, and Love to the Saints, &c. with which, through His Free Grace, He hath enriched You, to shine forth abundantly beyond all exception of any that are, or have been Adversaries to Your Proceedings. Now as the design of Christ in these daies is double, name∣ly, First, To overthrow Antichrist by the Wars of the Lamb; and Secondly, To raise up His own Kingdom in the room of all Earthly Powers which He doth cast down, and to bring all the World subject to be ruled in all things by the Word of His mouth. And as the Lord hath rai∣sed and improved You, to accomplish (so far as the Work hath proceeded) the first part of His Design, so I trust Page [unnumbered] that the Lord will yet further improve You, to set upon the accomplishment of the second part of the design of Christ; not only by indeavoring to put Government into the hands of Saints, which the Lord hath made You eminently care∣ful to do, but also by promoting Scripture Government and Laws, that so the Word of Christ might rule all. In which great Services unto the Name of Christ, I doubt not, but it will be some Comfort to Your heart to see the Kingdom of Christ rising up in these Western Parts of the World; and some confirmation it will be, that the Lords time is come to advance and spread His Blessed Kingdom, which shall (in his season) fill all the Earth: and some incouragement to your heart, to prosecute that part of the Design of Christ, namely, That Christ might Reign. Such Considerations, together with the Favora∣ble Respect You have alwaies shewed to poor New-Eng∣land, hath imboldned me to present unto Your Hand, these first Confessions of that Grace which the Lord hath bestowed upon these poor Natives, and to publish them under the protection of Your Name, begging earnestly the continuance of Your Prayers for the further procee∣ding of this gracious Work: And so committing Your Honor to the Lord, and to the Word of His Grace, and all Your weighty Affairs to His Heavenly Direction, I rest
Your Honors to serve You, in the Service of Christ JOHN ELIOT.
To the READER.
I Know thy Soul longeth to hear Tydings of Gods grace powred out upon these goings down of the Sun, because the Spirit of God by the Word of Prophesie, useth to raise up and draw forth such actings of Faith, as ac∣cord with the accomplishment of those Pro∣phesies, when the time of their accomplishment is come. When Israel was to return from Babylon, the Spirit by the word of Prophesie, raised up such actings of Faith, as were put forth in the exercise of all gifts necessary for the accomplish∣ment thereof. Daniel prayeth. Zerubbabel hath a Spirit of Ruling, the peoples affections are loose from their dwell∣ings, and have a Spirit of Traveling. Ezra, Nehemiah, and all the rest of the Worthies of the Lord, are raised at that time to accomplish what is Prophesied. In these times the Pro∣phesies of Antichrist his down fall are accomplishing. And do we not see that the Spirit of the Lord, by the word of Prophe∣sie, hath raised up men, instruments in the Lord hand, to accomplish what is written herein. And the Spirit of Prayer, and expectation of Faith is raised generally in all Saints, by the same word of Prophesie. In like manner the Lord ha∣ving said, That the Gospel shall spread over all the Earth, even to all the ends of the Earth; and from the riseing to the setting Sun; all Nations shal become the Nations, and Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. Such words of Prophesie hath the Spirit Page [unnumbered] used to stir up the servants of the Lord to make out after the accomplishment thereof: and hath stirred up a mighty Spi∣rit of Prayer, and expectation of Faith for the Conversion both of the Jewes, (yea all Israel) and of the Gentiles also, over all the world. For this Cause I know every beleeving heart, awakened by such Scriptures, longeth to hear of the Conversion of our poor Indians, whereby such Prophesies are in part begun to be accomplished. Yea, the Design of Christ being to erect his own Kingdom, in the room of all those Do∣minions, which he doth, and is about to overturn: You shall see a Spirit by such words of Prophesie powred forth upon the Saints (into whose hands Christ will commit the manage∣ing of his Kingdom on Earth) that shall carry them forth to advance Christ to rule over men in all affairs, by the word of his mouth, and make him their only Law-giver, and supream Judge, and King.
It is a day of small things with us: and that is Gods sea∣son to make the single beauty of his humbling Grace, to shine in them, that are the veriest ruines of mankind that are known on earth; as Mr. Hooker was wont to describe the forlorn condition of these poor Indians. I see evident de∣monstrations that Gods Spirit by his word hath taught them, because their expressions, both in Prayer, and in the Confes∣sions which I have now published, are far more, and more full, and spiritual, and various, then ever I was able to express un∣to them; in that poor broken manner of Teaching which I have used among them. Thēir turning Doctrins into their own experience, which you may observe in their Confessions, doth also demonstrate the Teachings of Gods Spirit, whose first special work is Application. Their different Gifts likewise, is a thing observable in their Confessions, wherein it is not to be expected that they should be all Eminent, it is not so in any Society of men; but in that there be some a∣mong them that are more eminent, it is a sign of Gods favor, Page [unnumbered] who is raising up among themselves, such as shall be his in∣struments to conveigh a blessing unto the rest. Their frequent phrase of Praying to God, is not to be understood of that Ordinance and Duty of Prayer only, but of all Religion, and comprehendeth the same meaning, with them, as the word [Religion] doth with us: And it is observable, because it seemeth to me, That the Lord will make them a Praying peo∣ple: and indeed, there is a great Spirit of Prayer powred out upon them, to my wonderment; and you may easily ap∣prehend, That they who are assisted to express such Confessions before men, are not without a good measure of inlargement of Spirit before the Lord.
The points of Doctrine that are here and there dropped in their Confessions, may suffice at present for a little taste to the Godly discerning Saints, That they are in some measure in∣structed in the chief points of Salvation, though there be no Doctrinal Confession on purpose set down to declare what they have learned, and do beleeve.
If any should conceive that that word which they so often use [I thought, or I think] should need explication, as a godly Brother did intimate to me on the Fast day, let this suf∣fice, That it is to be Construed by the present Matter: For sometimes it is a thought of Faith; sometime of Fear; sometime of Ʋnbelief; sometime of Carnal Reason; and sometime of Ignorance.
Lastly, It is plainly to be observed, That one end of Gods sending so many Saints to NEW-ENGLAND, was the Con∣version of these Indians. For the Godly Counsels, and Ex∣amples they have had in all our Christian Families, have been of great use, both to prepare them for the Gospel, and also to further the Lords work in them, as you may evidently discern in most of their Confessions.
Beloved Reader, I have no more to say as necessary to Pre∣pare for the following Matter, only to beg, yea earnestly to beg Page [unnumbered] the continuance of all your Prayers; by the power whereof (through the Grace and Intercession of Christ) I beleeve this wheele of Conversion of these Indians, is turned: and my Heart hath been alwayes thereby encouraged, to follow on to do that poor little I can, to help forward this blessed Work of Spreading and Exalting the Kingdom of our dear Savior Jesus Christ, under the direction and protection of whose Word and Grace, by Faith committing you; I rest,
Your unworthy Brother, in our dear Savior, JOHN ELIOT.
To the Christian Reader.
THE Amplitude, and large Extent of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ upon Earth, when the Heathen shall be his Inhe∣ritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth his Possession; and when all Kings shall fall down unto him, and all Nations do him service, all contrary Kingdoms and Powers being broken in pieces and destroyed, is a thing plainly and plentifully foretold and promised in the Holy Scrip∣tures; Psal. 2. 8. and 22. 27. and 72. 11. and 86. 9. Dan. 2. 35. 44, 45. and 7. 26, 27. Zech. 14. 9. And al∣though as yet our Eyes have never seen it so, nor our Fathers afore us, many Nations and People ha∣ving hitherto been overspread, and overwhelmed in Pagan Blindness and Ignorance, having scarce e∣ver heard of Christ, or of His Name; and many o∣thers that in some sort have heard of Him, having no more Grace but to make and maintain Oppositi∣on against Him, and against His Kingdom, some more professedly, and others more covertly and un∣der fairer pretence, as in the great Dominions of the Turk, and of the Pope, is apparent; yet the time is coming, when things shall not thus continue, but be greatly changed and altered, because the Lord hath spoken this Word, and it cannot be that his Word should not take effect: And Page [unnumbered] if the Lord have spoken it, his People have good ground and reason to beleeve it, and to say as the holy Apostle in another case, I beleeve God that it shall be even as it was told me, Act. 27. 25. Yea, to beleeve it and wait for it, as for that which in Gods appoin∣ted and due time shall surely come to pass, and not fail, as Hab. 2. 3. And not only so, but heartily to desire it, and fervently to pray for it, as a thing wherein the Glory of God, and of Jesus Christ is not a little concerned and interessed; for if the multi∣tude of People be the Kings Honor, Prov. 14. 28. it must needs be the Honor of Christ Jesus the King of Sion, when multitudes of People do submit unto Him as to their King; and therfore it should be ear∣nestly craved of God by all his Saints in their Pray∣ers, that so it may be, according as the Sanctifying of Gods Name, and the coming of his Kingdom are the two first Petitions in that Rule and Pattern of Pra∣yer commanded, and taught by our Savior to His Disciples, Matth. 6. 9, 10. And no man needs to doubt but that those things which are matter for Faith and Prayer to be exercised about their accom∣plishment, are matters of Thanksgiving when once they come to pass.
Which being so, the godly Christian, who shall read or hear this ensuing Relation concerning the workings of Gods Grace towards these Indians in New-England, and the Confessions of sundry amongst them, will, I doubt not, see abundant cause of thanksgiving to the Lord therein. For hereby it will appear, That the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus which every faithful soul, doth so much desire to see enlarged, is now beginning to be set up where it never was before, even amongst a poor people, Page [unnumbered] forlorn kind of Creatures in times past, who have been without Christ, and without God in the world, they and their Fathers, for I know not how many Generations; yea, so far from knowing and ac∣knowledging God in Christ, that they have been lit∣tle better than the Beasts that perish. But now they that were far off, the Lord is at work to make them neer unto himself by the Blood of Jesus, as Eph. 2. 13. that they which in time past were not a People, might ere long become the People of God; and they be called Beloved, which were not Beloved; and in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my People▪ that there ere long, they might be cal∣led, The Children of the Living God, as 1 Pet. 2. 10. Rom. 9. 25, 26. which is the Lords doing, and it ought to be marvelous in our eyes. And the truth is, there are many marvels in it; marvelous free-grace, and riches thereof, to look upon a People so wretched and unworthy; yea, it were marvelous Grace so much as once to offer the Salvation of God in Christ to any such as they are, being not only the poor and maimed, halt and blind, but also, as it is in Luk, 14. 21. ranging and roving in the High-waies, and Hed∣ges; and yet behold, even these are not only invi∣ted, but their hearts inclined to come in. Mavelous Wisdom and Power is in it also, that of matter so rugged, and unlikely the Lord should ever frame and fashion any gracious and holy building to Him∣self, which I hope He is now a doing. And to say no more, His mervelous Soveraignty and Liberty is therein to be observed also, who till now of late hath seen meet never to look after this People, but hath suffered them all this while to walk in their own waies, waies of Sin, and waies of Death: yea, Page [unnumbered] and though there hath been Plantations of the Eng∣lish in the Country now 20. years and more, yea, some a matter of 30. years, or thereabout, yet of all this time (except some little workings in a few) no considerable work of Grace hath appeared amongst the Indians till now of late; so true is that saying, The times and seasons, the Father hath put them in his own Power, Act. 1. 7.
If any shall say, Oh but, we are doubtful whe∣ther any sound and saving work be yet wrought in them or no: Such an one I would wish seriously to weigh and consider the ensuing Confessions, and then perhaps he will be better satisfied touching this Point; for there he shall find many expressions savoring of their clear sight and sence of sin, and that not only of gross and external sins, but also of such as are more inward in the Heart and Soul: Also he shall find expressions tending to shew their expe∣cting all righteousness and salvation by Christ alone. Now considering how the Work of the Spirit of God is said by Christ Himself to consist in great part in convincing of sin, and of righteousness; of sin in mens selves, and of righteousness in Christ, Joh. 16. 9. And considering also, how the least beginnings of Grace are accepted of him that would not break the bruised Reed, nor quench the smoa∣king Flax, Matth. 12. 20. And lastly, considering how it were not reasonable to expect such ripeness in these people, as might be expected and found in others, who have had more time and means, and better help and breeding than these have had: If these things I say be considered, it may be an In∣ducement to hope the best in charity concerning the Work of Grace in their Souls, as Charity hopeth Page [unnumbered] all things, beleeveth all things, 1 Cor. 13. But thus much at the least I conceive is cleer, and cannot be denied that since the Word of God hath been taught and preached among them, the Spirit of the Lord hath been working thereby in the hearts of many of them such Illumination, such Conviction, &c. as may justly be looked at (if not as a full and through Conversion, yet) as an hopeful beginning and preparation thereto, if the Lord be pleased to go on with what he hath begun, as I hope he will. And if there were no more but only an hopeful be∣ginning, and preparative to Conversion, yet even this were matter of much comfort to the Saints, and of thanksgiving to the Lord; as it was in Israel at the building of the Temple, when no more was yet done, but only the foundation laid, Ezr. 3. 10, 11. yet even then they sung for joy, giving praise and thanksgiving to the Lord: How much more should it be so, if the Work of Regeneration be already truly wrought in any of them, as I hope it is in sun∣dry; In such case, how ever it be with men on Earth, sure there is joy in Heaven amongst the An∣gels of God, when there is so much as one sinner that is truly brought home to God by Repentance, Luke 15. 7. 10.
But how shall we know that the Confessions here related, being spoken in their Tongue, were indeed uttered by them in such words, as have the same signification and meaning with these that are here expressed, for we have only the testimony of one man to assure us of it? It is true, we have only the testimony of one man for it; but yet it is such an one, as is unwillingly alone in this matter, having seriously endeavored to have had divers other In∣terpreters Page [unnumbered] present at Natick that day, but could not obtain what he did desire and endeavor herein; a man whose pious and painful labors amongst this People, have rendred him approved and highly ho∣nored in the eyes of his Brethren about him, for in∣defatigable diligence, and earnest love to the Lord Jesus, and their poor souls; a man whose integrity and faithfulness is so well known in these Parts, as giveth sufficient satisfaction to beleev that he would not wittingly utter a falshood in any matter whate∣ver, and much less so many falshoods, & that in such a publick manner, in the view of God & the World, as he must needs have done if he have coyned these Confessions of his own head, and have not to his best understanding truly related them in our Tongue, according as they were uttered by them in theirs.
If any shall then ask, If there be such a Work of God amongst them, Why were they not combined and united into Church-Estate, when there was that great Assembly at Natick, on the thirteenth of Octob. last? Such an one may do well to consider, that the material Temple was many yeers in building, even in the daies of Solomon, who wanted no helps and furtherances thereunto, but was abundantly furni∣shed therewith, and longer in Re-edifying after the Captivity; and therefore no marvel if the building of a Spiritual Temple, an holy Church to Christ, and a Church out of such rubbish as amongst Indians, be not begun and ended on a sudden; It is rather to be wondered at, that in so short a time, the thing is in so much forwardness as it is. Besides, It is a grea∣ter matter to have Indians accepted and owned as a Church amongst themselves, and so to be invested with all Church-power as a Church, when yet they Page [unnumbered] are not furnished with any to be an able Pastor and Elder over them, by whom they might be directed and guided in all the Affairs of the Church, and Ad∣ministrations of the House of God: this I conceive is a far greater matter than the admitting of them as Members into any Church or Churches of the Eng∣lish already so furnished; which latter (for ought I know) might speedily be done, and with much sa∣tisfaction, if it were suitable in regard of their dif∣ferent Language, and the remoteness of their Habi∣tations, whereas to the former there seems to be a great necessity, or expediency at the least, that they should first be provided of some to be afterward set over them in the Lord. Even amongst the English, when any company amongst us have united them∣selves into Church-Estate, it hath been usual that they have had one or other amongst them upon whom their eyes have been set, as intending them to be Pastors or Teachers to them; afterward, when once they should be combined as a Church, and where it hath so been, they have found the comfort and benefit of it; whereas those few that have pro∣ceeded otherwise, have found trouble and inconve∣niency therein. And if it be so amongst the Eng∣lish, who usually have better abilities, how much more amongst the Indians, whose knowledg and parts must needs be far less? Not to insist upon the Rehearsal of those two Reasons mentioned by the Reverend Author of this Relation, viz. The short∣ness of the time to furnish the Work that day, and the want of Interpreters, of whom there was not any present himself. Concerning which Rea∣sons, I can freely ad my testimony, that those two were the principal, if not the only Reasons which Page [unnumbered] that day were insisted on, and publickly rendred for deferring the Inchurching of them to another time.
It may be some have thought, and I hear some have spoken little less, That this whol business of the Indians, of which there have been so many speeches in Old England and New, is but a devise and design to get money, and that there is indeed no such matter as any Work of Gods grace amongst that People. But if there were any truth in this saying or Surmise, I marvel why the Magistrates and Elders then present at Natick, did upon the rea∣sons rendred, advise the deferring of the inchurch∣ing of the Indians that day, and why they did not rather hasten forward the Work without any more ado, or longer delay. For the report of a Church of Indians would in all likelihood have more pre∣vailed for the end alledged, than all that hath been reported hitherto But our attending in this business to the Honor of Jesus Christ, and the good of this poor peoples souls, and so to that which Rule and right Reason required, rather than to what might seem conducible for wordly advantage, may be a sufficient witness of our sincerity, contrary to the conceit and surmise afore mentioned, and a suffici∣ent confutation of it. And yet though they be not combined into Church-Estate, there is so much of Gods Work amongst them, as that I cannot but count it a great evil, yea, a great injury to God and his goodness for any to make light or nothing of it. To see and to hear Indians opening their mouths, and lifting up their hands and their eyes in solemn Prayer to the Living God, calling on him by his Name JEHOVAH, in the Mediation of Jesus Page [unnumbered] Christ, and this for a good while together; to see and hear them exhorting one another from the Word of God; to see them and hear them confes∣sing the Name of Christ Jesus, and their own sinful∣ness, sure this is more than usual. And though they spake in a language, of which many of us understood but little, yet we that were present that day, we saw them, and we heard them perform the duties mentioned, with such grave and sober countenan∣ces, with such comely reverence in gesture, and their whol carriage, and with such plenty of tears trickling down the cheeks of some of them, as did argue to us that they spake with much good affecti∣on, and holy fear of God, and it much affected our hearts. Nor is it credible to me, nor for ought I know to any that was present that day, that in these things they were acted and led by that Spirit which is wont to breath amongst Indians, the Spirit of Satan, or of corrupt Nature, but that herein they had with them another Spirit.
But if there be any work of Grace amongst them, it would surely bring forth, and be accompanied with the Reformation of their disordered lives, as in other things, so in their neglect of Labor, and their living in idleness and pleasure. I confess the Alle∣gation is weighty, and I deny not but some sober and godly persons, who do heartily wish well to this work, have been as much troubled in their minds touching this particular as any that I know of. But yet somthing may be said in answer therto, & chief∣ly this, That since the Word of God came amongst them, and that they have attended thereto, they have more applied themselves unto Labor than for∣merly: For evidence whereof, appeal my be made Page [unnumbered] to what was seen at Natick that day, and is still to be seen in that place, I mean the Grounds that they have fenced in, and clawed and broken up, and e∣specially their capacious Meeting-house, the Di∣mensions whereof are expressed in the Relation: little did I think when I saw that Fabrick, but that some English Carpenter or other had had the chief hand in the framing and erecting of it; and that more hands than Indians, yea, and more English than one had been employed about it. But now under∣standing that the Indians alone were the Builders of it, it is a good testimony to me both of their indu∣stry, and likewise of their Skill; for where these are utterly wanting, yea, where there is not some good measure of them, such a Building I conceive could never be raised. It is true, that considering the manner of their bringing up, being little accu∣stomed to labor, but the contrary, it is not much to be marveled if they be not comparable therein to some English, who from their Child-hood have been trained up thereto; yet we see they are co∣ming to it, and I hope will fall to it more and more; let all that love their souls, pray for them that they may, yea, let all that love the Lord Jesus Christ pray for them, that the Work of God may still pros∣per amongst them, that many more of them may be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; and that being converted they may be preserved in Christ, and be built up in him to further growth and perfection, from day to day. And let unfeigned thanksgiving be rendred to the Lord by his Saints for all that is already wrought amongst them: And Oh, let the English take heed, both in our dear Native Country, and here, lest for Page [unnumbered] our unthankfulness, and many other sins, the Lord should take the Gospel from us, and bestow our mercy therein upon them, as upon a Nation that would yeeld the fruits thereof in better sort than many of us have done. The sins of the Jewish Na∣tion to whom the Gospel was first preached, provo∣ked God to take his Kingdom from them, and to call in the Gentils: yet it appeareth by Rom. 11. 11. 14. 31. that this mercy vouchsafed to the Gentiles, shall in time provoke the Jews to an holy Jealousie, and Emulation, to look after that mercy again that once they refused, that so through the mercy be∣stowed on the Gentiles, they (I mean the Jews) might at last again obtain mercy. Happy were the English if we could yeeld the fruits of Gods Gospel, that it might not be taken from us; and happy also if the mercy coming to these Indians (though not yet taken from us) might provoke us so to do, that so the Kingdom of God, the Gospel of Salvation, being not taken from us, and given to them, but though given to them, yet might still continue with us, and with our Posterity from Generation to Generation.
Dorchester in New-England this 13thof 10ber 1652.
A brief Relation of the Proceedings of the Lords Work among the INDIANS, in reference unto their Church-Estate; The Reasons of the not accomplishing thereof at pre∣sent: With some of their Confessions; where∣by it may be discerned in some measure, how far the Lord hath prepared among them fit Matter for a CHURCH.
THese Indians (the better and wiser sort of them) have for some years inquired after Church-Estate, Baptism, and the rest of the Ordinances of God, in the observati∣on whereof they see the Godly English to walk. I have from time to time, delayed them upon this point, That until they were come up unto Civil Cohabitation, Government, and Labor, which a fixed condition of life will put them upon, they were not so capable to be betrusted with that Treasure of Christ, lest they should scandalize the same, and make it of none effect, because if any should through temptation fall un∣der Censure, he could easily run away (as some have done) and would be tempted so to do, unless he were fixed in an Ha∣bitation, and had some means of livelihood to lose, and leave behind him: such Reasons have satisfied them hitherunto. But now being come under Civil Order, and fixing themselves in Habitations, and bending themselves to labor, as doth ap∣pear by their works of Fencings, Buildings &c. and especially Page 2 in building, without any English Workmans help, or directi∣on, a very sufficient Meeting-House, of fifty foot long twenty five foot broad, neer twelve foot high betwixt the joynts, wel sawen, and framed (which is a specimen, not only of their sin∣gular ingenuity, and dexerity, but also of some industry) I say this being so, now my argument of delaying them from entering into Church-Estate, was taken away. Therefore in way of preparation of them thereunto, I did this Summer call forth sundry of them in the dayes of our publick Assemblies in Gods Worship; somtimes on the Sabbath when I could be with them, and sometimes on Lecture daies, to make confessi∣on before the Lord of their former sins, and of their present knowledg of Christ, and experience of his Grace; which they solemnly doing, I wrote down their Confessions: which ha∣ving done, and being in my own heart hopeful that there was among them fit matter for a Church, I did request all the El∣ders about us to hear them reade, that so they might give me advice what to do in this great, and solemn business; which being done on a day appointed for the purpose, it pleased God to give their Confessions such acceptance in their hearts, as that they saw nothing to hinder their proceeding, to try how the Lord would appear therein. Whereupon, after a day of Fasting and Prayer among our selves, to seek the Lord in that behalf, there was another day of Fasting and Prayer appointed, and publick notice thereof, and of the names of Indians were to confess, and enter into Covenant that day, was given to all the Churches about us, to seek the Lord yet further herein, and to make solemn Confessions of Christ his Truth and Grace, and further to try whether the Lord would vouchsafe such grace unto them, as to give them ac∣ceptance among the Saints, into the fellowship of Church-E∣state, and enjoyment of those Ordinances which the Lord hath betrusted his Churches withal. That day was the thir∣teenth of the eighth month.
When the Assembly was met, the first part of the day was spent in Prayer unto God, and exercise in the Word of God; in which, my self first; and after that, two of the Indians did Exercise; and so the time was spent till after ten, or near ele∣ven Page 3 of the clock. Then addressing our selves unto the fur∣ther work of the day, I first requested the reverend Elders (many being present) that they would ask them Questions touching the fundamental Points of Religion, that thereby they might have some tryal of their knowledg, and better that way, than if themselves should of themselves declare what they beleeve, or than if I should ask them Questions in these matters: After a little conference hereabout, it was concluded, That they should first make confession of their experience in the Lords Work upon their hearts, because in so doing, it is like something will be discerned of their know∣ledg in the Doctrines of Religion: and if after those Confes∣sions there should yet be cause to inquire further touching a∣ny Point of Religion it might be fitly done at last. Where∣upon we so proceeded, and called them forth in order to make confession. It was moved in the Assembly by Reverend Mr. Wilson, that their former Confessions also, as well as these which they made at present, might be read unto the Assembly, because it was evident that they were daunted much to speak before so great and grave an Assembly as that was, but time did not permit it so to be then: yet now in my writing of their Confessions I will take that course, that so it may ap∣pear what encouragement there was to proceed so far as we did; and that such as may reade these their Confessions, may the better discern of the reality of the Grace of Christ in them.
The first which was called forth is named Tother∣swamp, whose former Confession read before the Elders, was as followeth:
BEfore I prayed unto God, the English, when I came un∣to their houses, often said unto me, Pray to God; but I having many friends who loved me, and I loved them, and they cared not for praying to God, and therefore I did not: But I thought in my heart, that if my friends should die, and I live, I then would pray to God; soon after, God so wrought, that they did almost all die, few of them left; and then my heart feared, and I thought, that now I will pray un∣to God, and yet I was ashamed to pray; and if I eat and did not pray, I was ashamed of that also; so that I had a double shame upon me: Then you came unto us, and taught us, and said unto us, Pray unto God; and after that, my heart grew strong, and I was no more ashamed to pray, but I did take up praying to God; yet at first I did not think of God, and eternal Life, but only that the English should love me, and I loved them: But after I came to learn what sin was, by the Commandements of God, and then I saw all my sins, lust, gaming, &c. (he named more.) You taught, That Christ knoweth all our hearts, and seeth what is in them, if humility, or anger, or evil thoughts, Christ seeth all that is in the heart; then my heart feared greatly, because God was angry for all my sins; yea, now my heart is full of evil thoughts, and my heart runs away from God, therefore my heart fea∣reth and mourneth. Every day I see sin in my heart; one man brought sin into the World, and I am full of that sin, and I break Gods Word every day. I see I deserve not pardon, for the first mans sinning; I can do no good, for I am like the Devil, nothing but evil thoughts, and words, and works. I have lost all likeness to God, and goodness, and therefore Page 5 every day I sin against God, and I deserve death and damna∣tion: The first man brought sin first, and I do every day ad to that sin, more sins; but Christ hath done for us all righte∣ousness, and died for us because of our sins, and Christ tea∣cheth us, That if we cast away our sins, and trust in Christ, then God will pardon all our sins; this I beleeve Christ hath done, I can do no righteousness, but Christ hath done it for me; this I beleeve, and therefore I do hope for pardon. When I first heard the Commandements, I then took up praying to God, and cast off sin. Again, When I heard, and understood Redemption by Christ, then I beleeved Jesus Christ to take away my sins: every Commandement taught me sin, and my duty to God. When you ask me, Why do I love God? I answer, Because he giveth me all outward bles∣sings, as food, clothing, children, all gifts of strength, speech, hearing; especially that he giveth us a Minister to teach us, and giveth us Government; and my heart feareth lest Go∣vernment should reprove me: but the greatest mercy of all is Christ, to give us pardon and life.
Totherswamp The Confession which he made on the Fast day before the great Assembly, was as followeth:
I Confess in the presence of the Lord, before I prayed, many were my sins, not one good word did I speak, not one good thought did I think, not one good action did I doe: I did act all sins, and full was my heart of evil thoughts: when the English did tell me of God, I cared not for it. I thought it e∣nough if they loved me: I had many friends that loved me, and I thought if they died, I would pray to God: and afterward it so came to pass; then was my heart ashamed, to pray I was a∣shamed, & if I prayed not, I was ashamed; a double shame was Page 6 upon me: when God by you taught us, very much ashamed was my heart; then you taught us that Christ knoweth all our harts: therefore truly he saw my thoughts, and I had thought, if my kindred should die I would pray to God; ther∣fore they dying, I must now pray to God: and therefore my heart feared, for I thought Christ knew my thoughts: then I heard you teach, The first man God made was named Adam, & God made a Covenant with him, Do and live, thou and thy Children; if thou do not thou must die, thou and thy Children; And we are Children of Adam poor sinners, therefore we all have sinned, for we have broke Gods Covenant, therefore evil is my heart therefore God is very angry with me, we sin against him every day; but this great mercy God hath given us, he hath given us his only Son, and promiseth, That whosoever belee∣veth in Christ shall be saved: for Christ hath dyed for us in our stead, for our sins, and he hath done for us all the words of God, for I can do no good act, only Christ can, and only Christ hath done all for us; Christ have deserved Pardon for us, and risen again, he hath ascended to God, and doth ever pray for us; therefore all Beleevers Souls shall goe to Hea∣ven to Christ. But when I heard that word of Christ, Christ said Repent and Beleeve, and Christ seeth who Repenteth, then I said, dark and weak is my Soul, and I am one in darkness, I am a very sinful man, and now I pray to Christ for life. Hearing you teach that Word that the Scribes and Pharisees said Why do thy Disciples break the Tradition of the Fathers? Christ answered, Why do ye make void the Commandements of God? Then my heart feared that I do so, when I teach the Indians, because I cannot teach them right, and thereby make the word of God vain. Again, Christ said If the blind lead the blind they will both fall into the ditch; Therfore I feared that I am one blind, and when I teach other Indians I shal caus them to fall into the ditch. This is the love of God to me, that he giveth me all mercy in this world, and for them al I am thank∣full; but I confess I deserve Hell; I cannot deliver my self, but I give my Soul and my Flesh to Christ and I trust my soul with him for he is my Redeemer, and I desire to call upon him while I live.
Page 7 This was his Confession which ended, Mr. Allin further demanded of him this Question, How he found his heart, now in the matter of Repentance
His answer was; I am ashamed of all my sins, my heart is broken for them and melteth in me, I am angry with my self for my sins, and I pray to Christ to take away my sins, and I desire that they may be pardoned.
But it was desired that further Question might be forborn, lest time would be wanting to here them all speak.
Then Waban was called forth, whose Confession was as followeth; no former confession of his being read unto the Elders.
BEfore I heard of God, and before the English came into this Country, many evil things my heart did work, many thoughts I had in my heart; I wished for riches, I wished to be a witch, I wished to be a Sachem; and many such other evils were in my heart: Then when the English came, still my heart did the same things; when the English taught me of God (I coming to their Houses) I would go out of their doors, and many years I knew nothing; when the English taught me I was angry with them: But a little while a∣goe after the great sikness, I considered what the English do, and I had some desire to do as they do; and after that I began to work as they work; and then I wondered how the English come to be so strong to labor; then I thought I shall quickly die, and I feared lest I should die before I prayed to God; then I thought, if I prayed to God in our Language, whether could God understand my prayers in our Language; therefore I did ask Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Mahu, If God un∣derstood prayers in our Language? They answered me, God doth understand all Languages in the World. But I do not Page 8 know how to confess, and little do I know of Christ; I fear I shall not beleeve a great while, and very slowly; I do not know what grace is in my heart, there is but little good in me; but this I know, That Christ hath kept all Gods Com∣mandements for us, and that Christ doth know all our hearts; and now I desire to repent of all my sins: I neither have done, nor can do the Commandements of the Lord, but I am asha∣med of all I do, and I do repent of all my sins, even of all that I do know of: I desire that I may be converted from all my sins, and that I might beleeve in Christ, and I desire him; I dislike my sins, yet I do not truly pray to God in my heart: no matter for good words, all is the true heart; and this day I do not so much desire good words, as throughly to open my heart: I confess I can do nothing, but deserve damnation; only Christ can help me and do for me. But I have nothing to say for my self that is good; I judg that I am a sinner, and cannot repent, but Christ hath deserved pardon for us.
This Confession being not so satisfactory as was desired, Mr. Wilson testified, that he spake these latter expressions with tears, which I observed not, because I attended to writing; but I gave this testimony of him, That his conversation was without offence to the English, so far as I knew, and among the Indians, it was exemplar: his gift is not so much in expressing himself this way, but in other respects useful and eminent; it being deman∣ded in what respect, I answered to this purpose, That his gift lay in Ruling, Judging of Cases, wherein he is patient, constant, and prudent, insomuch that he is much respected among them, for they have chosen him a Ruler of Fifty, and he Ruleth well according to his measure. It was further said, they thought he had been a great drawer on to Religion; I replyed, so he was in his way, and did prevail with many; and so it rested.
The next that was called, was William of Sud∣bury, his Indian Name is Nataôus; his for∣mer Confession read before the Elders, was as followeth:
I Confess that before I prayed, I committed all manner of sins, and served many gods: when the English came first, I going to their Houses, they spake to me of your God, but when I heard of God, my heart hated it; but when they said the Devil was my god, I was angry, because I was proud: when I came to their houses I hated to hear of God, I loved lust in my own house and not God, I loved to pray to many gods. Five years ago, I going to English houses, and they speaking of God, I did a little like of it, yet when I went again to my own house, I did all manner of sins, and in my heart I did act all sins, though I would not be seen by man. Then going to your house, I more desired to hear of God; and my heart said, I will pray to God so long as I live: then I went to the Minister Mr. Browns house, and told him I would pray as long as I lived; but he said I did not say it from my heart, and I beleeve it. When Wahan spake to me that I should pray to God, I did so. But I had greatly sinned against God, and had not beleeved the Word, but was proud: but then I was angry with my self, and loathed my self, and thought God will not forgive me my sins. For when I had been abroad in the woods I would be very angry, and would lye unto men, and I could not find the way how to be a good man: then I beleeved your teaching, That when good men die, the Angels carry their souls to God; but evil men dying, they go to Hell, and pe∣rish for ever. I thought this a true saying, and I promised to God, to pray to God as long as I live. I had a little grief in my heart five years ago for my sins: but many were my Page 10 prides; somtime I was angry with my self, and pityed my self; but I thought God would not pardon such a proud heart as mine is: I beleeve that Christ would have me to forsake my anger; I beleeve that Christ hath redeemed us, and I am glad to hear those words of God; and I desire that I might do al the good waies of God, and that I might truly pray unto God: I do now want Graces, and these Christ only teacheth us, and only Christ hath wrought our redemption, and he procureth our pardon for all our sins; and I beleeve that when beleevers dy, Gods Angels carry them to Heaven: but I want faith to beleeve the Word of God, and to open my Eyes, and to help me to cast away all sins; and Christ hath deserved for me eternall life: I have deserved nothing my self; Christ hath deserved all, and giveth me faith to beleeve it.
Willam of Sudbury: His Indian Name is NATAÔUS. The Confession which he made on the fast day before the great Assembly was as followeth.
BEfore I prayed to God, I commited all sins; and serving many gods. I much despised praying unto God, for I beleeved the Devil, and he did dayly teach me to sin, and I did them: somtimes hearing of God my heart did hate it, and went to my own house, because I did love to commit all sin there. About Six years ago, a little I liked to hear of God, and yet I hated that which was good: hearing that Cutsha∣moquin prayed, then I thought I will pray also: a year after, I heard of praying to God, and I went to Mr. Browns house and told him I will pray to God as long as live; he said, I doubt of it, and bid me cut off my hair, and I did so presently; and then I desired to be like God, and Jesus Christ, and to call Page 11 on him, but I found it very hard to beleeve; yet I thought, I wil pray as long as I live. Hearing that Word, That Christ dyed for us, was buried & rose again, and hearing of that Word also, Seek peace & imbrace the Word: then I began to beleeve that Christ died for us, for sin; and I saw my heart very full of sin. And hearing that word, That Christ went to the Mount Olives, and ascended, I beleeved and thought, Oh that God would pardon me; but I fear he will not, because I have been so long time a sinner. Somtime I am angry with my self, for my many Evil thoughts in my heart; and to this day I want grace, and cannot confess, because I have been so great a sinner: and this day I confess, a little I pray, and that I can pray but a little and weakly. When I heard that word of God, That all from the rising to the setting Sun shall pray I first under stood it it not, and wondered how it should be: after I saw that when they beleeve and obey God, then he will teach them to do right things, and God will teach us to do al things for God, sleeping and waking to be with God. But still do foolishly, and not according to my prayer: I cannot get pardon of my sins, for my sins are great in thought, word, and deed: and no man can cast off his own sins, but that is the work of Christ only to work it in us; a man can∣not make a right prayer but when Christ assisteth him; then we shall do all things well. I beleeve that Christ is God, and the Son of God because when he dyed, he rose again, and he dyed for our sins; and I beleeve he is in Heaven and ever pray∣eth for us, and sendeth his gospel unto us: and I am angry with my self, because I do not beleeve the word of God, and gospel of Jesus Christ.
The next which was called forth was Monequas∣sun, who is our School-master; whose former Confession, read before the Elders, was as followeth.
I Confess my sorrow for all my sins against God, and be∣fore men: When I first heard instruction, I beleeved not, but laughed at it, and scorned praying to God; after∣ward, when we were taught at Cohannet (that is the place where he lived) I still hated praying, and I did think of running away, because I cared not for praying to God; but afterwards, because I loved to dwell at that place, I would not leave the place, and therefore I thought I will pray to God, because I would still stay at that place, therefore I prayed not for the love of God, but for love of the place I lived in; after that I desired a little to learn the Cate∣chisme on the Lecture daies, and I did learn the ten Commandements, and after that, all the points in the Cate∣chisme; yet afterwards I cast them all away again, then was my heart filled with folly, and my sins great sins; af∣terwards by hearing, I began to fear, because of my many sins, lest the wise men should come to know them, and punish me for them; and then again I thought of run∣ning away because of my many sins: But after that I thought I would pray rightly to God, and cast away my sins; then I saw my hypocricy, because I did ask some questions, but did not do that which I knew: afterward I considered of my question, and thought I would pray to God, and would consider of some other Question, and I asked this, Question, How should I get Wisdom? and the Answer to it did a little turn my heart from sin, to seek after God; and I then considered that the Word of God was good; then I pray∣ed Page 13 to God because of the Word of God. The next Lecture day you taught that word of God, If any man lack Wisdom, let him ask it of God, who giveth freely to them that ask him, and up∣braideth no man, James, 1. 5. Then again a little my heart was turned after God, the Word also said, Repent, mourn, and be∣leeve in Jesus Christ: this also helped me on. Then you taught, That he that beleeveth not Christ, and repenteth not of sin, they are foolish and wicked; and because they beleeve not, they shall perish: then I thought my self a fool, because I beleeved not Christ, but sinned every day, and after I heard the Word, I greatly broke the Word. But afterward I heard this pro∣mise of God, Who ever repenteth and beleeveth in Christ, God will forgive him all his sins, he shall not perish; then I thought, that as yet, I do not repent, and beleeve in Christ: then I prayed to God, because of this his Promise; and then I pray∣ed to God, for God and for Christ his sake: after that again I did a little break the Word of Christ. And then I heard some other words of God, which shewed me my sins, and my breakings of Gods word; and sometimes I thought God and Christ would forgive me, because of the promise to them that beleeve in Christ, and repent of sin, I thought I did that which God spake in the Promise. Then being called to confess, to prepare to make a Church at Natick, I loved Cohannet; but after hearing this instruction, That we should not only be Hearers, but Doers of the Word, then my heart did fear. And afterward hearing that in Matthew, Christ saw two brethren mending their Nets, he said, Follow me and I will make you Fishers of men, presently they followed Christ; and when I heard this, I feared, because I was not willing to follow Christ to Natick; they followed Christ at his Word, but I did not, for now Christ saith to us, follow Me: then I was much trou∣bled, and considered of this Word of God. Afterward I heard another word, the blind men cryed after Christ and said, Have mercy on us thou Son of David, but after they came to Christ, he called them, and asked them, What shall I do for you? they said, Lord open our eyes; then Christ had pity on them, and opened their eyes, and they followed Christ; when I heard this, my heart was troubled, then I prayed to Page 14 God and Christ, to open mine eyes, and if Christ open my eyes, then I shall rejoyce to follow Christ: then I conside∣red of both these Scriptures, and I a little saw that I must fol∣low Christ. And now my heart desireth to make confession of what I know of God, and of my self, and of Christ: I be∣leeve that there is only one God, and that he made and ruleth all the World, and that he the Lord, giveth us al good things: I know that God giveth every day all good mercies, life, and health, and all; I have not one good thing, but God it is that giveth it me, I beleeve that God at first made man like God, holy, wise, righteous; but the first man sinned, for God pro∣mised him, If thou do my Commandements, thou shalt live, and thy children; but if thou sin, thou shalt die, thou and thy children; this Covenant God made with the first man. But the first man did not do the Commandements of God, he did break Gods Word, he beleeved Satan; and now I am full of sin, because the first man brought sin; dayly I am full of sin in my heart: I do not dayly rejoyce in Repentance, because Satan worketh dayly in my heart, and opposeth Repentance, and all good Works; day and night my heart is full of sin. I be∣leeve that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary; God promised her she should bear a Son, and his Name should be JESUS, because he shall deliver his people from their sins: And when Christ came to preach, he said, Repent, because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; again Christ taught, Except ye repent and become as a little child, ye shall not enter into the King∣dom of Heaven; therefore humble your selves like one of these little children, and great shall be your Kingdom in Hea∣ven. Again Christ said, Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden with sin, and I will give you rest: take up my Cross, and Yoak, learn of me, for I am meek, and ye shall find rest to your souls, for my yoak is easie, and burden light: these are the Words of Christ, and I know Christ he is good, but my works are evil: Christ his words are good, but I am not humble; but if we be humble and beleeving in Christ, he pardons all our sins. I now desire to beleeve in Jesus Christ, because of the word of Christ, that I may be converted and become as a little Child. I confess my sins before God, and before Jesus Page 15 Christ this day; now I desire all my sins may be pardoned; I now desire repentance in my heart, and ever to beleeve in Christ; now I lift up my heart to Christ, and trust him with it, because I beleeve Christ died for us, for all our sins, and deserved for us eternal life in Heaven, and deserved pardon for all our sins. And now I give my soul to Christ because he hath redeemed: I do greatly love, and like repentance in my heart, and I love to beleeve in Jesus Christ, and my heart is broken by repentance: al these things I do like wel of, that they may be in my heart, but because Christ hath all these to give, I ask them of him that he may give me repentance, and faith in Christ, and therefore I pray and beseech Christ dayly for repentance and faith; and other good waies I beg of Christ dayly to give me: and I pray to Christ for al these gifts and graces to put them in my heart: and now I greatly thank Christ for all these good gifts which he hath given me. I know not any thing, nor can do any thing that is a good work: even my heart is dark dayly in what I should do, and my soul dyeth because of my sins, and therefore I give my soul to Christ, because I know my soul is dead in sin, and dayly doth commit sin; in my heart I sin, and all the members of my bo∣dy are sinful. I beleeve Jesus Christ is ascended to Heaven through the clouds, and he will come again from Heaven: Many saw Christ go up to Heaven, and the Angels said, even so he will come again to judg all the world; and therefore I beleeve Gods promise, That all men shall rise again when Christ cometh again, then all shall rise, and all their souls comes again because Christ is trusted with them, and keeps their souls, therefore I desire my sins may be pardoned; and I beleeve in Christ; and ever so long as I live, I will pray to God, and do all the good waies he commandeth.
Monequassun, The Confession which he made on the Fast day before the great Assembly was as fol∣loweth
I Confess my sins before the Lord, and before men this day: a little while since I did commit many sins, both in my hands and heart; lusts thefts, and many other sins, and that e∣very day: and after I heard of praying to God, and that others prayed to God, my heart did not like it, but hated it, yea and mocked at it; and after they prayed at Cohannet I stil hated it, and when I heard the Word I did not like of it, but thought of running away, because I loved sin: but I loved the place of my dwelling, and therfore I thought I wil rather pray to God, and began to do it; a little I desired to learn the ten Commandements of God, and other points of Catechisme; and then a little I repented, but I was quickly weary of repentance, and fell again to sin, and full of evil thoughts was my heart: and then I played the Hypocrite, and my heart was full of sin: I learned some things, but did not do what God commanded, but I sinned and playd the Hypocrite; some things I did before man, but not before God. But afterward I feared because of my sins, and feared punishment for my sins, therefore I thought again I would run away; yet again I loving the place, would not run away, but would pray to God: and I asked a Question at the Lecture▪ which was this, How I should get wisdom? the Answer made me a little to understand: but afterward I heard the word If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God, who giveth liberal∣ly to all that ask, and upbraideth none. But then I did fear Gods anger, because of all my sins, because they were great. Afterward hearing that Word, That Christ is named Jesus, because he redeemeth us from all our sins: I thought Christ Page 17 would not save me, because I repent not, for he saveth only penitent Beleevers; but I am not such an one, but still a day∣ly sinner. Afterward hearing that Word, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled: then I thought I am a poor sinner, and poor is my heart: then I prayed to God to teach me to do that which he requireth, and to pray aright. Afterward hearing that word, Who ever looks upon a Woman to lust after her, hath already committed A∣dultry with her in his heart; then I thought I had done all manner of sins in the sight of God, because he seeth lust in the heart, and knoweth all the evil thoughts of my heart; and then I did pray unto God, Oh! give me Repentance and Pardon. Afterwards when I did teach among the Indians, I was much humbled because I could not reade right, and that I sinned in it; for I saw that when I thought to do a good work, I sinned in doing it, for I knew not what was right, nor how to do it. In the night I was considering of my sins, and could not find what to do: three nights I considered what to do, and at last God shewed me mercy, and shewed me what I should do. And then I desired to learn to read Gods Word, and hearing that if we ask wisdom of God, he will give it, then I did much pray to God, that he would teach me to reade. After a years time, I thought I did not rightly seek, and I thought I sinned, because I did not rightly desire to read Gods Word, and I thought my praying was sinful, and I feared, how should I, my wife, and child be cloathed, if I spend my time in learning to reade; but then God was mer∣ciful to me, and shewed me that Word, Say not, what shall I eat, or drink, or wherewith shall I be cloathed, wicked men seek af∣ter these; but first seek the Kingdom of Heaven, and these things shall be added to you; then I pr•yed God to teach me this word, and that I might do it: and then I desired to read Gods word, what ever I wanted. Afterward hearing that we must make a Town, and gather a Church at Natick, my heart disliked that place; but hearing that word, That Christ met two Fi∣shers, and said, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men, and they presently left all and followed him; hearing this, I was much troubled, because I had not beleeved Christ, for I would not Page 18 follow him to make a Church, nor had I done what he com∣manded me, and then I was troubled for all my sins. Again hearing that word, That the blind man called after Christ, saying, thou Son of David have mercy on me; Christ asked him what he would have him do, he said, Lord open my eyes; and presently Christ gave him sight, and he followed Christ: then again my heart was troubled, for I thought I still beleeve not, be∣cause I do not follow Christ, nor hath he yet opened mine eyes: then I prayed to Christ to open mine eyes, that I might see what to do, because I am blind and cannot see how to fol∣low Christ, and do what he commandeth, and I prayed to Christ, Teach me Lord what to do, and to do what thou sayest; and I prayed that I might follow Christ: and then I thought I will follow Christ to make a Church. All this trouble I had to be brought to be willing to make a Church: and quickly after, God laid upon me more trouble, by sick∣ness and death; and then I much prayed to God for life, for we were all sick, and then God would not hear me, to give us life; but first one of my Children died, and after that my Wife; then I was in great sorrow, because I thought God would no hear me, and I thought it was because I would not follow him, therefore he hears not me: then I found this sin in my heart, That I was angry at the punishment of God: but afterward I considered, I was a poor sinner, I have nothing, nor Child, nor Wife, I deserve that God should take away all mercies from me; and then I repented of my sins, and did much pray, and I remembred the promise to follow Christ, and my heart said, I had in this sinned, that followed not Christ, and therefore I cryed for pardon of this sin: and then hearing of this Word, Who ever beleeveth in Christ, his sins are pardoned, he beleeving that Christ died for us; and I beleeved. Again hearing that Word, If ye be not con∣verted, and become as a little Child, you cannot go to Heaven; then my heart thought, I do not this, but I deserve Hell fire for ever; and then I prayed Christ, Oh! turn me from my sin, and teach me to hear thy Word; and I prayed to my Father in Heaven: and after this, I beleeved in Christ for pardon. Afterward I heard that Word, That it is a shame for a man Page 19 to wear long hair, and that there was no such custom in the Churches: at first I thought I loved not long hair, but I did, and found it very hard to cut it off; and then I prayed God to pardon that sin also: Afterward I thought my heart cared not for the Word of God: but then I thought I would give my self up unto the Lord, to do all his Word. After∣ward I heard that word, If thy right foot offend thee, cut it off, or thy right hand, or thy right eye; its better to go to Heaven with one foot, or hand, or eye, than having both to go to Hell; then I thought my hair had been a stumbling to me, therefore I cut it off, and grieved for this fin, and prayed for pardon. Af∣ter hearing that word, Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavie laden with your sins, and I will give rest to your souls; then my heart thought that I do dayly hate my sins, Oh! that I could go to Christ! and Christ looketh I should come unto him, therfore I will go unto him, and therfore then I prayed, Oh! Christ help me to come unto thee: and I prayed because of all my sins that they may be pardoned. For the first man was made like God in holiness, and righteousness, and God gave him his Covenant; but Adam sinned, beleeving the De∣vil, therefore God was angry, and therefore all we Chil∣dren of Adam are like the Devil, and dayly sin, and break e∣very Law of God, full of evil thoughts, words, and works, and only Christ can deliver us from our sins, and he that be∣leeveth in Christ is pardoned; but my heart of my self can∣not beleeve: Satan hath power in me, but I cry to God, Oh! give me faith, and pardon my sin, because Christ alone can deliver me from Hell; therefore I pray, Oh! Jesus Christ deliver me. Christ hath provided the new Covenant to save Beleevers in Christ, therefore I desire to give my soul to Christ, for pardon of all my sins: the first Covenant is broke by sin, and we deserve Hell; but Christ keepeth for us the new Covenant, and therfore I betrust my soul with Christ. Again, I desire to beleeve in Christ, because Christ will come to judgment, and all shall rise again, and all Beleevers in this life shall then be saved; therefore I desire to beleeve Christ, and mortifie sin as long as I live; and I pray Christ to help me to beleeve: and I thank God for all his mercies eve∣ry Page 20 day: and now I confess before God that I loath my self for my sins and beg pardon.
Thus far he went in his Confession; but they being slow of speech, time was far spent and a great assembly of Eng∣lish understanding nothing he said, only waiting for my interpretation, many of them went forth, others whispe∣red, and a great confusion was in the House and a∣broad: and I perceived that the graver sort thought the time long, therfore knowing he had spoken enough unto satisfaction (at least as I judged) I here took him off. Then one of the Elders asked, if I took him off, or whether had he finished? I answered, That I took him off. So after my reading what he had said, we called another.
The next who was called forth was Ponampam, who had formerly twice made confession, and both read before the Elders. His first Confession was as followeth.
VVHen God first had mercy on us, when they first prayed at Noonanetam, I heard of it, and the first word that I heard was, That all from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, shall pray unto God; and I thought, Oh! let it be so. After I considered what the word may be, and understood by it, That God was mercyfull; afterwards when you alwayes came to us, I only heard the word, I did not understand it, nor meditate on it, yet I found that al my doings were sins against God; then I prayed unto God. Afterwards I heard, That God would pardon all that beleeve in Christ! and quickly after I saw my sins to be very many; I saw that in every thing I did, I sinned: & when I saw these my sins against God, I was weary of my self, & angry with my self Page 21 in my heart; but the free mercy of God, caused me to hear his word, and then I feared because every day sin was in my heart, and I thought in vain I looked to Christ: Then hearing this word of Christ, that Christ taught through every town, and village, Repent and beleeve. If any one repent, and mourn, and beleeve, I will pardon him; then my heart thought I will pray to God as long as I live: but somtimes my heart was ashamed, and somtimes my heart was strong, and God seeth my heart: I now desire to repent, and beleeve in Christ, and that Christ will pardon me, and shew mercy to us all.
Ponampam, His Second Confession was as followeth:
WHen I prayed not unto God I ever sinned every day: but when Noonanetam Indians first prayed, I heard of it, and three nights I considered whether I should pray or no, but I found not how to pray unto God, but how not to pray: but then I heard Gods free mercy in his word, call all to pray, from the rising of the Sun to the going down thereof; yet presently I lost that word, and sinned again, and committed many sins. Then Gods free mercy shewed me in the Catechism, That God made all the World, yet my heart did not beleeve, because I knew I sprung from my Father and Mo∣ther: I did alwaies act many sins, because I was born in sin, and in vain I heard Gods word. Then I heard Gods Word, That Christ was made man, yet I did but hear it, though I thought it might be true: I thought I would cast off all sin, but then I found that I loved them very much. I heard Gods promise to Abraham, To increase his Children as the Stars for number, but I beleeved not, because he had but one Son: and thus I cast off the word, and committed sins. I heard also from the word, That all men are not alike to God, some are first to God, [or preferred before other;] but I did Page 22 not beleeve it because all men die alike; therefore they are not the Sons of God, and God is not their Father: So still I beleeved not the Word, but broke Gods Word dayly, and in vain I heard Gods Word. Afterward I heard that Word of God to Moses, I'le be with thy mouth, for who maketh the seeing Eye, or hearing Ear, is it not I? saith the Lord: then I understood a little of God, and of his Word; but still I acted much sin. Afterward I heard that Word of Free-Grace, Repent, and be∣leeve the Gospel, and who ever beleeve shall be saved; then my heart beleeved, then I saw I had prayed but afore man, & so was my hearing, or any other duty; and I saw other of my sins against God; and then I saw that my heart did not beleev as it should, & I desired to be open in my doings; I saw I brake every com∣mand of God: yet presently I lost this, and the Word of Christ was of little worth unto me; and I saw I loved sin very much. Then again I heard that word, That all shall pray from the rising to the sitting Sun; then I thought I will pray to God, and yet only my tongue prayed. Then again I heard the Catechism, That God made Adam and Eve, and al the world, and a little I beleeved that word. Afterward I heard ano∣ther word, That they are Bastards, not Sons, whom God afflicts not: I did a little think this to be a truth, and then I prayed more unto God, and yet I saw I feared man more than God: but notwithstanding, I have prayed unto God from that day unto this day; yet I see I sin every day. When I heard that Word that God spake to Moses in the Mount by a Trumpet, and said, Thou shalt not have any other God, thou shalt not lust, nor lye, nor kill, &c. I saw all these I had broken; I heard the Word, but sinned in what I heard: I heard that my heart must break and melt for sin, and beleeve in Christ, and that we should try our hearts if it be so; yet I could try but little, nor find but little, but still I sinned much. I heard that Word, That they which cast off God, God will cast off them; and I feared lest God should cast me away, because of my sins: I was ashamed of my sins, and my heart melted, and I thought I wil give my self to God, and to Christ, and do what he will for ever; and because of this promise of pardon to al that repent and beleeve, my heart desireth to pray to God as long as I live.
Ponampam; The Confession he made on the Fast day, before the great Assembly was as followeth:
BEfore I prayed unto God, I committed all manner of sins; and when I heard the Catechism, That God made me, I did not beleeve it, because I knew I sprang from my Father and Mother, and therefore I despised the Word, and therefore a∣gain I did act all sins, and I did love them. Then God was merciful to me, to let me hear that Word, That al shal pray from the rising to the s••ting Sun; and then I considered whe∣ther I should pray, but I found not in my heart that all should pray: but then I considered of praying, and what would become of me if I did not pray, and what would become of me, if I did pray; but I thought if I did pray, the Sacbems would be angry, because They did not say, pray to God, and therefore I did not yet pray; but considering of that word, that all shall pray, I was troubled, and I found in my heart that I would pray unto God; and yet I feared that others would laugh at me, and therefore I did not yet pray. Af∣terward God was yet merciful to me, and I heard that God made the World, and the first man, and I thought it was true, and therefore I would pray to God, because he hath made all; and yet when I did pray, I thought I prayed not aright, because I prayed for the sake of man, and I thought this to be a great sin. But then I wondered at Gods free mer∣cy to me, for I saw God made me, and giveth me all mercies: and then was I troubled, and saw that many were my sins, and that I do not yet beleeve; then I prayed, yet my heart sin∣ned, for I prayed only with my mouth: and then I repented of my sins, and then a little I considered and remembred Gods love unto us: but I was a sinner, and many were my Page 24 sins, and a little I repented of them; and yet again I sinned, and quickly was my heart full of sin: then again was my heart angry with my self, and often I lost all this again, and fell into sin. Then I heard that word, That God sent Moses to Egypt, and promised I will be with thee; that promise I con∣sidered, but I thought that in vain I did seek, and I was a∣shamed that I did so: and I prayed, Oh God teach me truly to pray, not only before man, but before God, and pardon al these my sins. Again I heard that word, that Christ taught through every Town and Village, Repent and beleeve, and be saved, and a little I beleeved this word, and I loved it, and then I saw all my sins, and prayed for pardon. Again I heard that word, He that casteth off God, him will God cast off; and I found in my heart, that I had done this, and I feared be∣cause of this my sin, lest God should cast me off, and that I should for ever perish in Hell, because God hath cast me off, I having cast of God: then I was troubled about Hell, and what shall I do if I be damned! Then I heard that word, If ye repent and beleeve, God pardons all sins; then I thought, Oh that I had this, I desired to repent and beleeve, and I beg∣ged of God, Oh give me Repentance and Faith, freely do it for me; and I saw God was merciful to do it, but I did not at∣tend the Lord, only sometimes; and I now confess I am asha∣med of my sins, my heart is broken, and melteth in me; I am angry at my self; I desire pardon in Christ; I betrust my soul with Christ, that he may do it for me.
By such time as this man had finished, the time was far spent, and he was the fift in number, their speeches being slow, and they were the more slow at my request, that I might write what they said; & oft I was forced to inquire of my interpreter (who sat by me) because I did not perfectly understand some sentences, especially of some of them: these things did make the work long-som, considering the inlargement of spirit God gave some of them; and should we have proceeded further, it would have been sun-set before the Confessions in likely∣hood would have been finished, besides all the rest of the work that was to be done to finish so solemn a work; and the Page 25 place being remote in the woods, the nights long and cold and people not fitted to lie abroad, and no competant lodgings in the place for such persons, and the work of such mo∣ment as wonld not admit an hudling up in hast. And besides all this, though I had fully used all fit means, to have all the Interpreters present that I could, that so the intetpre∣tation might not depend upon my single testemony, yet so it was that they all failed, and I was alone (as I have been wont to be in this work) which providence of God was not to be neglected in so solemn a business. Wherfore the Magi∣strates, Elders, and Grave Men present, advised together what to do, and the Conclusion was, Not to proceed any further at present, yet so to carry the matter, as that the Indians might in no wise be discouraged, but encouraged; to which end, one of the Elders was requested to speak unto the Eng∣lish, the two above said Reasons, viz. The want of Interpre∣ters, And want of Time, to finish at this time so solemn a Work; but to refer it to a more fitting time. And I was de∣sired to declare it to the Indians, which I did to this purpose, That the Magistrates, Elders, and other Christian People pre∣sent, did much rejoyce to hear their Confessions, and advised them to go on in that good way; but as for the gathering a Church among them this day, it could not be; partly, Because neither Mr. Mayhew, nor Mr. Leveridg. nor any Interpreter was here (for whom they knew I had sent, some of themselves being the Messengers to carry Letters time enough) and it was Gods Ordinance, That when any were to judg a Case, though they could beleeve one Witness, yet they could not judg un∣der two or three. Also I told them, That themselves might easily see there was not time enough to finish so solemn a work this day; therefore they advised, and God called to refer it to a fitter season; in which advice they rested: And so was the Work of that day, with prayers unto God, finished; the accomplishment being referred to a fitter season.
As for my self, the Lord put it into the hearts of the Elders, to speak unto me words of Comfort, and acceptance of my poor Labor, expressing their loving fear, lest I should be dis∣couraged by this disappointment: I shall therefore nakedly Page 26 declare, and open my very heart in this Matter. The Lord he knoweth, that with much fear, and care I went about this work, even unto the sensible wasting, and weakning of my natural strength, knowing that the investing these young Babee in Christ, with the highest, and all the external pri∣viledges of the Church, the Spouse of Jesus Christ on Earth, would have drawn upon me much more labor and care, lest they should in any wise scandalize the same; unto which I have now more time assigned me by the Lord to prepare them, yea, and a greater advantage than I had before, because this dispensation of the Lord, doth give me occasion to instruct them of their need to be filled with deeper apprehensions of the weight and solemnity of that great Work, though it is most true, that they also came on unto it with many fears, and questions, what they should do when they should be a Church: When therefore I saw the Lord by the Counsel of his Servants (which is an holy reverend Ordinance of Christ) and by his Providence denying me the help of all Interpre∣ters, having many witnesses how much care and pains I took every way I knew, to be supplied therein; and that the work it self was extended by the Lords gracious inlarging them in their Confessions, so that the day was not sufficient to ac∣complish it; I say, when I saw the Lord speaking that dela∣tory word, I cannot express what a load it took off my heart, and I did gladly follow the Lord therein, yea, and I bless the Lord for that day, that it was carried so far as it was, for the cause of Christ hath many waies gained by it, many hun∣dreds of the precious Saints, being much comforted and con∣firmed in their hopes of this work of Christ among them, and their faith and prayers much quickned by what they heard and saw. And because all witnesses failed me, let me say but this, I began, and have followed this work for the Lord according to the poor measure of grace received, & not for base ends. I have been true & faithful unto their souls, and in writing and reading their Confessions, I have not know∣ingly, or willingly made them better, than the Lord helped themselves to make them, but am verily perswaded on good grounds, that I have rather rendered them weaker (for the Page 27 most part) than they delivered them; partly by missing some words of weight in some Sentences, partly by my short and curt touches of what they more fully spake, and partly by reason of the different Idioms of their Language and ours.
Now follow those Preparitory Confessions, which were read before the El∣ders, most of them.
The first that made a publick Confession, and was took in Writing, was Peter, a Ruler of Ten a∣mong them, a Godly man, who quickly after he had made this Confession, fell sick, and died, and now injoyeth the fruit of his Faith, the end of his Hope, the salvaion of his Soul, among the Blessed; where I am perswaded he shall be found in the great day. His Confession was as followeth.
VVHen I first prayed to God, I did not fear God, but I feared perdition, because the English had told me, that all should be damned, that call not upon God. But now I know that God made all the world, and I fear him; now I beleeve that which you teach is true; Now I beleeve that God calleth us to Natik, that here we may be ruled by God, and gather a Church; now I beleeve that it is Gods Command, that we should labor Six dayes, and keep the Sabbath on the Seventh day: now my heart is greatly abased for all my sins; for we see though we pray to God we are ready to offend each other, and be angry with each other, and that we love not each other as we should do; and for this I grieve & my heart crieth: now I remember that God saith thou Page 28 shalt not lust, but before I prayed to God I was full of lusts. God saith, We must have but one Wife, and at first did make but one man and one woman; but I followed many women. God saith, Remember to keep the Sabbath day ho∣ly; but I did hunt, or shoot, or any thing on the Sabbath day: many other sins I committed; but now I see them, and wil cast them away because they are vile, and God forbiddeth them: when I prayed first my sins were not pardoned, for my praying is worth nothing: now I am humbled, and mourn for my sins and yet cannot deliver my self nor get pardon, therfore I trust Christ with my soul.
The next Confession was made by John Speene, as followeth. His first confession was this,
WHen I first prayed to God, I did not pray for my soul but only I did as my friends did, because I loved them; and though I prayed to God, yet I did not fear sin, nor was I troubled at it. I heard that when good men die, their souls go to God, and are there happy, but I cannot say that I beleeved it. Afterward my heart run away into the coun∣try, after our old wayes, and I did almost cast off praying to God. A little while after that, I saw that I had greatly sinned, and then I saw all my sins, afore I prayed to God, and since I prayed to God, and I saw that God was greatly angry for them, and that I cannot get pardon for them; but yet my heart saith I will pray to God as long as I live: I thought God would not pardon me, and yet I would cast away my sins. I did greatly love hunting, and hated labor: but now I beleeve that word of God, which saith, Six dayes thou shalt la∣bor. and God doth make my body strong to labor.
John Speene, This Confession being short in some main points, he afterward made Confession as followeth.
WHen I first prayed I prayed not for my soul, but for the sake of men, I loved men, and for their sakes I prayed to God. Before I prayed many were my sins, and my heart was heaped full, and ran over in all manner of lusts and sins. After I heard of praying to God, I let it fall and regarded it not; after I came to hear the word, I sometimes feared, but soon lost it again. Then my heart ran away after our former courses, and then what ever I heard I lost, because my heart was run away; and many were my sins, and therfore I could not get pardon, because my heart run away, and many were my sins, and I did indeed go into the Country. But afterwards, I hearing the Catechism, I desired to learn it, and then I beleeved that when Beleevers die, their souls go to God, and are ever happy; when Sinners die, their souls go to Hel and are ever tormented; and that when Christ judges the world, our bodies rise again, and then we shall re∣ceive the judgment of Christ; the good shal stand at his right hand, the bad at his left: this I beleeved was true, and then I saw all my great follies and evils: and now my heart desired to lay by hunting, and to work every day; and this is Gods Command, and therfore a good way; God said, Thou shalt work six daies, and if thou work, thou shalt eat; therfore I be∣leeve it, and my heart promiseth that I will this do as long as I live. Now I see I did great folly, for now I hear that God saith Work; and now I fear because God hath afflicted me, in taking away my brother a Ruler: now I am troubled, I fear I sinned in not beleeving our Ruler, because now God hath taken him away; he taught me good words, but I beleeved them not, and now I repent because Christ calleth me to it: great is the punishment of God in taking away our Ruler; and now I pray, and say to Christ, Oh Jesus Christ Page 30 Christ I have sinned: I beleeve that if I repent and be hum∣bled, and pray not only outwardly but inwardly, and be∣leeve in Christ, then God will pardon all my sin; but I can∣not get pardon of sin, I cannot deserve pardon, but only Christ hath merited pardon for us: I cannot deliver my self from all my sins, but Christ redeemeth, and delivereth from all sin: I deserve not one mercy of God, but Christ hath me∣rited all mercies for us.
The next are the Confessions of Robin Speene, who three several times came forth, and confessed as followeth. His first Confession:
I Was ashamed because you taught to pray to God, and I did not take it up; I see God is angry with me for all my sins, and he hath afflicted me by the death of three of my children, and I fear God is still angry, because great are my sins, and I fear lest my children be not gone to Heaven, be∣cause I am a great sinner, yet one of my children prayed to God before it died, and therefore my heart rejoyceth in that. I remember my Panwaning [for he was a Panwan] my lust, my gaming, and all my sins; I know them by the Comman∣dements of God, and God heareth and seeth them all; I can∣not deliver my self from sin, therefore I do need Christ, be∣cause of all my sins, I desire pardon, and I beleeve that God calls all to come to Christ, and that he delivereth us from sin.
Robin Speen, His Second Confession.
I Have found out one word more: great are my sins, and I do not know how to repent, nor do I know the evil of my sins; only this one word, now I confess I want Christ, this day I want him; I do not truly beleeve nor repent: I see my sin, and I need Christ, but I desire now to be redeemed: and I now ask you this Question, What is Redemption?
Robin Speen, His Third Confession.
ONe word more I cal to mind, Great is my sin! this saith my heart, I have found this sin, when I first heard you teach, that all the world from the rising to the sitting Sun should pray to God, I then wondered a• it, and thought, I Page 32 being a great sinner, how shal I pray to God; and when I saw many come to the Meeting, I wondred at it: But now I do not wonder at that work of God, and therefore I think that I do now greatly sin: and now I desire again to wonder at Gods Works, and I desire to rejoyce in Gods good waies. Now I am much ashamed, and fear because I have deserved eternal wrath by my sins: my heart is evil, my heart doth contrary to God: and this I desire, that I may be redeemed, for I can∣not help my self, but only Jesus Christ hath done al this for me, and I deserve no good, but I beleeve Christ hath deserved all for us; and I give my self unto Christ, that he may save me, because he knoweth eternal life, and can give it; I can∣not give it to my self, therefore I need Jesus Christ, my heart is full of evil thoughts; and Christ only can keep my soul from them, because he hath paid for my deliverance from them.
The next are the Confessions of Nishohkou; who twice made preparitory Confessions; the first of which only, was read before the Elders.
GOD in Heaven is merciful, and I am sinful: when I first heard the Word of God, I neither saw nor understood; but after, when you taught these words, Be wise, Oh all ye peo∣ple, and beleeve in Jesus Christ, then I prayed unto God; yet afterwards I sinned, and almost forsook praying to God. Af∣terward I understood, That God who made all the World was merciful to sinners: and truly I saw my heart very sinful, be∣cause I promised God to pray as long as I live, but my heart hath not so done. Again I promised God I will follow Christ in al things, and now I find my heart backward, and not so forward to make a Church. God promiseth, If foolish ones pray to God for Wisdom he will give it: this Promise I be∣leeve, but I find my heart full of temptations; but now I pro∣mise Page 33 God, as in the Psalm,* All my works shal be done in wis∣dom, for I confess al my works and words, have been foolish. God is wise and good, but I am foolish. God who hath made the World, sent his own Son Jesus: and Jesus Christ hath died for us, and deserved for us, pardon and life, this is true; and he hath done for me all Gods Commandements, for I can do nothing, because I am very sinful. God in Heaven is very merciful, and therfore hath called me to pray unto God. God hath promised to pardon al their sins, who pray unto God, and beleeve in the Promise of Christ, and Christ can give me to beleeve in him.
When he had made this Confession, he was much abashed, for he is a bashful man; many things he spoke that I missed, for want of through understanding some words and sentences: therfore before the Fast day he made a∣nother Confession, which was not read before the El∣ders; which was as followeth.
I am dead in sin, Oh! that my sins might die, for they cannot give life, because they be dead: before I prayed to God, I did commit all filthynesse, I prayed to many gods, I was proud, full of lusts, adulteries, and all others sins, and therefore this is my first Confession, that God is merci∣full, and I am a sinner, for God have given unto me instruction and causeth me to pray unto God, but I only pray words; when I prayed, I somtimes wondered, and thought true it is that God made the world, and me: and then I thought I knew God, because I saw these his works, and then I was glad somtimes, and gave thanks; yet presently again I did not rejoyce in it. Again somtimes I thought, now I do wel because I pray, and work not on the Sabbath daies, but come to the Meetings, and hear the Word of God: But afterward again, I thought I do not wel, because true it is, That yet I do Page 34 not truly pray; for now I see I sin when I pray, because there is nothing but sin in my mouth, or hand, or heart, and all sins are there, for of these my sins my heart is full, because my heart doth sometimes lust, and steal, and the like. A∣gain, I was not only proud before I prayed, but now I am proud. Again, sometimes my heart is humbled, and then I pray, Oh God have mercy on me, and pardon these my sins; yet sometimes I know not whether God did either hear my prayer, or pardon my sins. Again, afterwards I thought I had greatly sinned, because I heard of the good way of pra∣ying unto God, but I do wickedly because I pray not truly, yea, sometimes I have much ado to pray with my mouth, and therfore I sin. I heard of that good way, to keep the Sab∣bath, and not to work on that day, and I did so: but yet a∣gain I sinned in it, because I did not reverence the Word of God; yea, and sometimes I thought that working on the Sabbath was no great matter. Again, I heard it was a good way to come to the Meetings, and hear the word of God, and I desired to do it; but in this also I sinned, because I did not truly hear: yea, sometimes I thought it no great matter if I heard not, and cared not to come to hear, and still I so sin∣ned. Then I thought God was angry, because I have great∣ly sinned; desiring to do well, and yet again to sin. When I desired to do well, then I sinned, and in all things I sinned. But afterward I was angry with my self, and thought I will not sin again; and what God saith, is good, but I am sinful because I have done all these evils. Again, sometimes my heart is humbled, and then I repent, and say, Oh God and Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, and pardon my sins. Now I desire truly to pray; now I desire to reverence the Word every Sabbath day: now I desire to hear the Word of God truly; now I desire to bend my heart to pray, and it may be God will hear me: but quickly after a temptation cometh to my heart, and I did not desire it. Again, sometimes I did think, true it is I can do nothing of my self, but Jesus Christ must have mercy on me, because Christ hath done for me all Gods Commandements and good Works, therfore my heart saith, Oh Jesus give me desires after thee: sometimes I think it is Page 35 true, I have greatly sinned against God, but great are his mer∣cies: sometimes I hear the Word on the Sabbath day, and he giveth it me, [that is, maketh it my own] sometimes I say the great and mighty God is in Heaven, but these are but words, because I do not fear this great and mighty God; and I sometimes regard not Gods Word, and make it of none ef∣fect, because I do not that which is good, but commit sin: sometimes I say I know Christ, because I know he died for us, and hath redeemed us, and procured pardon for us: yet a∣gain I say I sin, because I beleeve not Christ, for that only is right to beleeve in Christ, and do what he saith; but I think I do this in vain, because I yet do not truly beleeve in Jesus Christ, nor do what he commandeth, and therefore my heart plays the hypocrite; and now I know what is hypocrisie, namely, when I know what I should do, and yet do it not. Sometimes I think I am like unto Satan, because I do al these sins, and sin in all things I do; if I pray I sin, If I keep Sabbath I sin, if I hear Gods Word I sin, therefore I am like the Devil. Now I know I deserve to go to Hell, because all these sins I have committed: then my heart is troubled, and I say, Oh God and Christ pardon all my sin, for I cannot par∣don my sins my self; for the first man brought sin into the world, and therfore I am sinful, therfore I pray thee O Lord pardon all the sins which I have done. Again, sometimes my heart is humbled, and I desire to fear God, because he is a great God, and I desire to do what he saith, and now I de∣sire to do the right way, and now I desire to beleeve Jesus Christ; and sometimes I think it may be God will hear me, it may be he will pardon me, yet again I think I cannot be a∣shamed of sin; but now I am ashamed of all my sins, and my heart is broken, and all these my sins I cast off, and take heed of: yet then again I sometimes say to God, I cannot my self be humbled, or break my heart, or cast off sin, but I pray thee O Jesus help me to do it. Again, sometimes I confess this is true, I cannot redeem my self, nor deliver my self, be∣cause of all these my many sins; truly, full is my heart of sin in every thing, all my thoughts, my words, my looks, my works are full of sin; true 〈◊〉 therefore I cannot deliver Page 36 my self from sin; Oh redeem thou my soul from Hel and tor∣ment, for I like not to do it with my own hand, therfore I de∣sire Jesus Christ, that I may delight in him; take thou me and my soul, because thou hast done Gods word, and all good works for me, and hast procured pardon for all my sins, and hast prepared pardon in Heaven, therfore I desire, Oh I desire pardon: but I somtimes think Christ doth not delight in me because I do much play the hypocrite, but if I truly beleeve then he will pardon, but true faith I cannot work; Oh Jesus Christ help me, and give it me.
Another who made Confession, is named Magus; which is as followeth:
HEretofore I beleeved not, that God made the world, but I thought the world was of it self, and all people grew up in the world of themselves. When any bid me pray to God, I said I cannot, and none of our Rulers beleeve or pray to God; yet I went about to seek how to pray to God. I told the wise men, I seek how to pray to God, and all of them could not find how to pray to God. Afterward I had a desire to pray God, lest I should lose my soul, but my heart run away, and I could not find how to pray to God, and therefore I thought of going away; yet I also thought if I do go away, I shall lose my ground. But after this I heard of Gods anger against me, and I beleeved it; for God made the first man good, and told him if he did well he should live, and this day I beleeve all men should do so: and then I thought I will pray as long as I live, and I will labor, because Gods promise is, If we labor we shall eat; and I see that that is a true word; for they that do labor do eat [that is, have wherewith to be fed] I see that sin alwaies hath conti∣nued, from the beginning of the world. I beleeve that word which God told Eve, That in sorrow she should bring forth Page 37 Children, and I see it dayly to be true. I beleeve that word of God, that sin brings misery, and all shall die, be∣cause by sin, we break all the Commands of God: I have been full of lusts, and thefts, &c. all my life, and all the time I have lived. I have done contrary to the Com∣mand of God. And I am now grieved, now I hear of all my sins: I beleeve Christ doth convert me to God, and he calleth Children, and old men, and all men to turn unto God, and from their sins; he calleth to sorrow and repentance, and ever to beleeve in Christ; and who ever doth this, shall be ever blessed in Heaven; but if he do it not, he perisheth: if he turn not from sin, dying, he shall go to Hell for ever. I think also, that so long as I live, God doth give me life. I beleeve that we ought to gather into a Church, to serve God as long as we live. But I do not know whether yet God hath pardoned my sins, or not; but I know Christ, and I know he hath already dyed for me, because I cannot re∣deem my self.
Another who made Confession, was named Poqua∣num; which was as followeth. His first Confession.
A Great while ago the English would tell me of God but I hated it, and would go out of doors, when they so spake unto me, and I murmured at it. When the Indians first prayed to God, I did not think there was a God, or that the Bible was Gods Book, but that wise men made it: When some prayed to God, I went with them, but I did not know God. Afterward my mind was changed thus far, That I desired to be wise, as others were, but yet I knew no∣thing of God; yea, after I prayed to God. I still did think there was no God. Afterward I found this in my heart, That we pray to God for our souls, then I thought all my Page 38 praying was nothing, because I was so foolish that I never thought of dying: but after, I learned, That all must die, and good mens souls go to Heaven; and then I thought of dying, and of my soul: but then I thought we prayed for nothing but that our souls might go to Heaven; I knew no∣thing of Christ. But after, when the Children were Cate∣chised, and taught the ten Commandements, I hearkned, and by them I came to know that there was a God, and that there was sin against God; and hereby God made me to see all my sins, both before I prayed to God, and since; and I saw Gods anger against me for my sins, before, and since I prayed, be∣cause sometimes I came not to the Meeting; brake my word, regarded not my children, and I see sin in me, and therfore I do greatly fear Gods anger.
Poquanum; His Second Confession was as followeth:
BEfore I prayed unto God, I greatly sinned, I prayed to many gods, and used Panwaning, Adultery, Lust, Lying, and al other sins, and many were my sins, evil thoughts, e∣vil words, and nothing else but evil, hatred, and pride, and all sins against God, coveting other mens goods; when I stole, I added lying to it when I had done; I was very proud, I much hatred many men, and loved them not because I was angry with them; and thus I did every day: I would slan∣der my neighbors, great was my pride, I was dayly angry with my neighbors, my heart was alwaies full of such waies. When the English said, Pray to God, I cared not for God, because I loved sin, nor did I desire that God should forgive my sin. Afterward I heard the word, That if we truly pray, mourn for sin, cast off sin; desire to hear the word, and beleeve in Christ, God will then pardon, and when he dieth Christ will lead him to Heaven: I much rejoyced to hear of this Page 39 pardon, but I must truly beleeve in Christ, else I shal not have pardon; and first I thought God will not pardon me, because I still sinned. But afterward I heard, That though we should pray as long as we live, and never sin more, yet that was of no value; but we must beleeve in Christ, else there is no pardon; and this I rejoyced at.
Another who made Confession, is named Nookau, which is as followeth. His first Confession.
FIve years ago, before I prayed I was sick, I thought I should die; at which I was much troubled, and knew not what to do; then I thought, if there be a God above, and he give life again, then I shall beleeve there is a God above, and God did give me life: and after that I took up praying to God. Now I beleeve God, one God that made all the World, and governeth it, yet this I only said with my mouth, I did not truly beleeve it in my heart. Then I understood, That God made the first man good, and like God, but he sinned, and we have lost Gods Image, and are like the Devil, and de∣serve Hell and Damnation: this I now know, and see that I am foolish, and sometime think not of God in an whol day, sometime I do think of God every day; sometime my heart greatly sinneth, then sometime I presently fear, but again sometimes I am slow to fear; I am very foolish because I do not understand the Word, but break the Word of God. I beleeve the Catechism we learn to be according to the Word of God; but the writings of the Bible are the very Words of God, and the Spirit of God is the Word, and that God gi∣veth all things that are good: I now see my sins before I prayed unto God, and since, and I beleeve that God seeth them all: and my heart feareth, because I do not yet forsake my sins, and I think God will not forgive me: because my Page 40 heart is wicked; I know not when Christ forgiveth my sins, others may know, but I desire that my sins may be pardoned for Christ his sake.
Nookau, His Second Confession.
BEfore I prayed to God, I greatly sinned every day, I was proud, and lived in adultery, lying, &c. and my heart alwaies full of evil thoughts, and when the English would in∣struct me, I then thought my waies evil, but the business of praying to God, good; then I did think, if I could first un∣derstand, then I would pray to God, and I was glad to hear of any that did pray to God. When I heard that word at Co∣hannet, Who ever lacketh wisdom, let him ask it of God; let fools pray to God, and he will give them wisdom: I thought I was a fool, and I beleeved that Word of God. I heard that word of the dry bones, God bid them hear, and promised to put flesh, and sinews, and skin upon them, and make them live; therefore I desired to hear, because I beleeved the dry bones, and that I was one that did not know God: afterward I was glad of praying to God. Sometimes I beleeved not God, and God will not look on such, alwaies I thought God will not forgive me. I wondred at all that prayed to God, because I thought God had given them wisdom: then I thought I am glad I pray to God. Sometime my heart is bro∣ken because I shall lose all in this world, and lose my soul also, because I beleeve not, for all the Words of God are true which he hath taught me. Now this day I think I will con∣fess the truth; Because I have sinned, I want Jesus Christ: and I will truly confess God, because of that word of Christ, He that confesseth me before men, him will I confess before my Fa∣ther: I wonder at this Instruction, I desire to confess my heart.
Another who made his Confession is named Antony, upon whom the Lord was pleased the last Winter to lay an heavy stroke; for he and another Indi∣an being at work sawing of Board, and finishing the Peece, they laid it so short, and the Rowl not so stedfast, insomuch that this man being in the Pit directing to lay the Piece, and the other a∣bove ordering thereof, it slipped down into the Pit upon this mans head, brake his neather Chap in two, and cracked his Skull, insomuch that he was taken up half dead, and almost strangled with blood; and being the last day of the week at night I had no word until the Sabbath day, then I pre∣sently sent a Chyrurgion, who took a discreet order with him; and God so blessed his indeavors, as that he is now well again, blessed be the Lord: and whereas I did fear that such a blow in their Labor might discourage them from Labor, I have found it by Gods blessing otherwise; yea, this man hath performed a great part of the sawing of our Meeting-House, and is now fawing upon the School-house, and his recovery is an establishment of them to go on; yea, and God blessed this blow, to help on the Work of Grace in his soul; as you shall see in his Confession, which followeth.Page 42
BEfore I prayed to God I alwaies committed sin, but I do not know all my sins, I know but a little of the sins I have committed, therefore I thought I could not pray to God, be∣cause I knew not al my sins before I prayed to God, and since I heard of praying to God: formerly when the English did bid me pray unto God I hated it, and would go out of their hou∣ses, when they spake of such things to me. I had no delight to hear any thing of Gods Word, but in every thing I sinned; in my speeches I sinned, and every day I broke the Commands of God. After I heard of praying to God, that Waban and my two brothers prayed to God, yet then I desired it not, but did think of running away; yet I feared if I did run away some wicked men would kill me, but I did not fear God. After when you said unto me, pray, my heart thought, I will pray; yet again I thought, I cannot pray with my heart, and no mat∣ter for praying with words only: but when I did pray, I saw more of my sins; yet I did but only see them, I could not be a∣ware of them, but still I did commit them: and after I prayed to God, I was still full of lust, and then a little I feared. Some∣times I was sick, and then I thought God was angry, and then I saw that I did commit all sins: then one of my brothers di∣ed, and then my heart was broken, and after him another friend, and again my heart was broken: and yet after all this I broke my praying to God, and put away God, and then I thought I shall never pray to God: but after this I was afraid of the Lord, because I alwaies broke my praying to God, and then my heart said, God doth nor hear my prayer. When I was sick, and recovered again, I thought then that God was merciful unto me. Hearing that word of God, If you hear the Word of God, and be forgetful hearers, you sin against God; then I thought God will not pardon such a sinner as I, who dayly did so, and broke my praying to God. When I heard the Page 43 Commandements, I desired to learn them, and other points of Catechism, but my desires were but small, and I soon lost it, because I did not desire to beleeve: then sometimes I feared Gods anger because of al my sins; I heard the Word and un∣derstood only this word, All you that hear this day, it may be you shall quickly die, and then I quickly saw that God was very angry with me. Then God brake my head, and by that I saw Gods anger; and then I thought that the true God in Hea∣ven is angry with me for my sin, even for al my sins, which e∣very day I live, I do. When I was almost dead, some body bid me now beleeve, because it may be I shal quickly die, and I thought I did beleeve, but I did not know right beleeving in Christ: then I prayed unto God to restore my health. Then I beleeved that word, That we must shortly appear before Jesus Christ; then I did greatly fear lest if I beleeved not, I should perish for ever. When I was neer death, I prayed unto God, Oh Lord give me life, and I will pray to God so long as I live, and I said, I will give my self, soul, and body to Christ: after this, God gave me health, and then I thought, truly, God in Heaven is merciful; then I much grieved, that I knew so little of Gods Word. And now sometimes I am angry, and then I fear be∣cause I know God seeth it: and I fear, because I promised God when I was almost dead, that if he giveth me life, I will pray so long as I live; I fear lest I should break this pro∣mise to God. Now I desire the pardon of all my sins, and I beg faith in Christ, and I desire to live unto God, so long as I live; I cannot my self get pardon, but I dayly commit sin, and break Gods Word, but I look to Christ for pardon.
Another who made His Confession is named Owussumag; which is as followeth:
WHen I first heard that Waban prayed to God, and after that many more prayed. I first feared praying Page 44 to God, and instruction, and I hated instruction by the Word of God, and alwaies I laughed at them who prayed to God; and I alwaies thought I will yet more commit sin: and I went into the Country, and there I acted much lust, adultry, and the like, and all my Neighbors, we did together seek after wickedness, and every day I was proud, and of high or open eyes. When some of my neighbors began to pray, I went a∣way into the Country, but I could find no place where I was beloved. Then I heard, That when beleevers die, they go to Heaven, when sinners die they go to Hel; and my heart consi∣dered, What good will it be if my soul go to Heaven? But two years ago, I began to think, I had sinned against God; and then somtimes I feared, yet again sinned; but my fear was of man, not of God: Then ever my heart said I should be better, if I would pray to God, and somtimes I beleeved that which I was taught, yet again, last year, I sought to go away afar off, but I could think of no place, but I should be in danger to be killed. Then again I much remembred my sins: and again I thought, What will become of me, if I die in my sins? and then I thought it was good for me to pray unto God so long as I live; and then my heart turned to praying unto God, and I did pray, and my heart feared when I heard the word read and taught, and I was glad to hear the Word of God; and then I purposed to pray as long as I live. Sometime I did dayly see my sins, and fear, for I cannot get pardon, only in Jesus Christ. Then I heard that word, I thank thee oh Heavenly father, that thou hast revealed these things to babes; and that word, that we must forgive each other: then I saw that I beleeved not one word from Christ, not any word of God; and dayly my heart wept, that Christ might pardon all my sins against God and Christ: and now unto this day my heart saith▪ I desire the good waies of praying to God, but I cannot know them of my self, but Jesus Christ must teach me them. When I heard, That only Christ must teach me them. When I heard, That only Christ must pardon our sins, and that for Christ God will pardon our sins, this day I rejoyce to hear that word of God, and all that Christ hath taught me: and now I purpose, That while I live, I will pray unto God, and Page 45 Jesus Christ only: and this day I see I cannot know how to find good thoughts; but this day I desire pardon for all my sins, and to cast them away.
Another who made Confession, is named Ephraim, his Indian Name I have forgotten. It is as followeth:
ALL the daies I have lived, I have been in a poor foolish condition, I cannot tell all my sins, all my great sins, I do not see them. When I first heard of praying to God, I could not sleep quietly, I was so troubled, ever I thought I would forsake the place because of praying to God, my life hath been like as if I had been a mad man. Last yeer I thought I would leave all my sins, yet I see I do not leave off sinning to this day; I now think I shall never be able to for∣sake my sins. I think sometimes the Word of God is false, yet I see there is no giving over that I might follow sin, I must pray to God; I do not truly in my heart repent, and I think that God wil not forgive me my sins; every day my heart sin∣neth, and how will Christ forgive such an one? I pray but outwardly with my mouth, not with my heart; I cannot of my self obtain pardon of my sins▪ I cannot tell all the sins that I have done if I should tell you an whol day together: I do every morning desire that my sins may be pardoned by Jesus Christ; this my heart saith, but yet I fear I cannot forsake my sins, because I cannot see all my sins: I hear, That if we repent and beleeve in Christ, all our sins shall be pardoned, therefore I desire to leave off my sins.
This poor Publican was the l•st which made his Confession before I read them unto the Elders, and the last of them I shall now publish. I will shut up these Confessions with the Confession (if I may so call it) or rather with the Expression, and manifestation of saith, by two little Page 46 Infants, of two yeers old, and upward, under three yeers of age when the died and departed out of this world.
The Story is this,
THis Spring, in the beginning of the yeer, 1652. the Lord was pleased to afflict sundry of our praying Indians with that grievous disease of the Bloody-Flux, whereof some with great torments in their bowels died; among which were two little Children of the age above-said, and at that time both in one house, being together taken with that disease. The first of these Children in the extremities of its torments, lay crying to God in these words, God and Jesus Christ, God and Jesus Christ help me; and when they gave it any thing to eat, it would greedily take it (as it is usual at the approach of death) but first it would cry to God, Oh God and Jesus Christ, bless it, and then it would take it: and in this manner it lay calling upon God and Jesus Christ untill it died: The mother of this Child also died of that disease, at that time. The Father of the Child told me this story, with great wonderment at the grace of God, in teaching his Child so to call upon God. The name of the Father is Nishohkou, whose Confession you have before.
Three or four daies after, another Child in the same house, sick of the same disease, was (by a divine hand doubtless) sen∣sible of the approach of death, (an unusual thing at that age) and called to its Father, and said, Father, I am going to God, several times repeating it, I am going to God▪ The mother (as other mothers use to do) had made for the Child a little Bas∣ket, a little Spoon, and a little Tray: these things the child was wont to be greatly delighted withal (as all children will) therefore in the extremity of the torments, they set those things before it, a little to divert the mind, and cheer the spi∣rit: but now, the child takes the Basket, and puts it away, and said, I will leave my Basket behind me, for I am going to God, I will leave my Spoon and Tray behind me (putting them away) for I am going to God: and with these kind of expressions, the same night, finished its course, and died.
The Father of this child is named Robin Speen, whose Con∣fessions Page 47 you have before, and in one of them he maketh men∣tion of this child that died in faith. When he related this story to me, he said, He could not tell whether the sorrow for the death of his child, or the joy for its faith were greater, when it died.
These Examples are a testimony, That they teach their chil∣dren the knowledg and fear of God, whom they now call up∣on; and also that the Spirit of God co-worketh with their instructions, who teacheth by man, more than man is able to do.
I have now finished all that I purpose to publish at this time; the Lord give them Acceptance in the hearts of his Saints, to engage them the more to pray for them; and Oh! that their judgings of themselves, and breathings after Christ, might move others (that have more means than they have, but as yet regard it not) to do the like, and much more abun∣dantly.