Ievves in America, or, Probabilities that the Americans are of that race. With the removall of some contrary reasonings, and earnest desires for effectuall endeavours to make them Christian.
Thorowgood, Thomas, d. ca. 1669.

First Treatise.

FOure of the English, having sought God, went a∣mong the Indians, Octo. 28. 1646. to make knowne Page  105 the things of their peace, they were conducted into the principall Wigwam of Waaubon, their chiefe minister of justice, who like another Cornelius, Act. 10. 24. had called together many men, women, and children to hear and learne, they began with prayer in English, not for want of language, but to shew them the duty was sa∣cred, and that wee might agree together in the same * heart-sorrowes for them, even in that place where God was never wont to be called upon: It was an affecting spectacle, after prayer, to see a company of forlorne outcasts diligently attending upon the word of salvati∣on, which in the space of an houre and a quarter disco∣vered to them the grounds of Religion, repeating, ex∣pounding, and applying the ten Commandements, then preaching Jesus Christ the onely meanes of reco∣very from sinne and wrath, perswading them to repen∣tance for severall sinnes which they live in. Wee next * asked them if they understood what was spoken, which they affirmed with many voices, and then wee desired to know if they would propound any questions to us, for their further satisfaction, and this they did, but not such curiosities as some others of them had done before, as, what was the cause of thunder, of the ebbing and flowing of the sea, of the wind: no, the wisdome of God directed * them to aske, How wee may come to know Iesus Christ? one of them after wee had answered, said, hee was praying in his Wigwam to Christ that hee would give him a new heart, but another Indian interrupted him, saying, * hee prayed in vaine, because Christ understood not what Indians speake in prayer, as not being acquainted with their language, his question therefore was, Whe∣ther Iesus Christ did understand the prayers of Indians? a∣nother demanded, if English men were once so ignorant of*Page  106Christ as themselves? and how can there be an image of God, seeing it is forbiden in the second Commandement? If the father be bad, and the child good, will God be offen∣ded with that child? for tis said in the second commande∣ment, hee will visit the sinnes of the fathers upon the chil∣dren? How is all the world become so full of people, being all*were once drowned in the floud?

Wee then asked them three questions. 1. If they * did not desire to see God, and if they were not tempted to thinke there was no God, because they could not see him? some of them replyed they did indeed desire to see him, but we had taught them that could not be, yet they believed, though their eyes could not see him, hee was to be seen with their soules within. 2. Wee as∣ked if it were not strange to them there should be but one God, yet this God should be in Massachusets, Co∣nectacut, Quimipenik, in old England, in this Wigwam, in the next, every where? It is strange one of them said, as all else is we hear preached; yet they thought it might * be true that God was so big every where. 3. Whether they did not finde something troubling them within af∣ter the commission of sinne, as murther, adultery, theft, lying, &c. they confest the trouble, but could not tell what to say to it, he therefore that first spake to them concluded with a dolefull description (as far as his language permitted) of the trembling condition of e∣very soule that dies in sinne, and shall be cast out of fa∣vour from God. Having thus spent three houres, wee asked them if they were not weary, they said no, wee resolved to leave them with an appetite; the chiefe of them seeing us conclude with prayer, desired to know when wee wou'd come againe, wee appointed the time, gave the children some Apples, and the men Page  107 what was at hand, they asked more ground to build a Towne together, which wee liked well, and promising our furtherance for them at the Generall Court, wee departed with many welcomes from them.

November 11. 1646, Wee came againe to the same * Wigwam, there was a greater concourse, and seats pro∣vided for us, wee began againe with prayer in English, and then catechized the younger sort, wee asked them * onely three questions in their own language. 1. Who made you and all the world? 2. Who shall save you from sinne and hell? 3. How many commandements hath God given you to keepe? The Preacher then pro∣ceeded, Wee are come to bring you good newes from the great God, and to shew how evill men may come to be good, and be happy while they live, and goe to God when they die; then in familiar descriptions hee set forth God to them in his glorious power, goodnesse and greatnesse, shewing what his will was, and what he required, even of the Indians, in the ten Commande∣ments, and how angry God was for any sinne, yet that hee sent Christ to die for their transgressions, and to pacifie God by suffering in their roome, if they did re∣pent and believe the Gospell, and that hee would love the poore Indians if now they sought God, threatning wrath against all such as stood out and neglected so great salvation, &c. In hearing these things about sinne, and hell, and Christ, one of them shewed much affliction, * desiring to conceale his griefe; about an houre thus spent, wee desired them to propound some questions, and the first was by an old man, If it were not to late for*such an old man as hee to repent and seeke after God? which cleared, 2. They demanded, How the English came to differ so much from the Indians in knowledge, seeing at*Page  108first they had all one father? 3. Being satisfied in this also, they said, How may wee come to serve God? which being answered, their fourth question was, Why the sea water was salt, and the land water fresh? and their fifth, If the*water be higher then the earth, why did it not overflow it? a Philosophicall answer was given to this, and they conferred much among themselves about these questi∣ons, but night hasting wee desired them to proceed, thereupon one of them said, If a man hath committed a∣dultery,*or stollen goods, and the Sachim doth not punish him, and hee restore the goods, is not all well, will no punish∣ment come from God, as if restitution made God amends? this answered, wee asked two things. 1. What doe you remember of that spoken to you the last time wee * were here? after some speech among themselves, one of them said, They did much thank God for our comming, and the things they heard were wonderfull to them; then Secondly wee said, Do you believe the things we tell you, and that God is Musquantum, i. e. very angry for the least sinne in your thoughts, or words, or works? they said yes, and we spake further of the terrors of God against sinners, and his mercy to the penitent, seeking after Christ; night being almost come, considering the Indians desired to know how to pray, and thought that Christ did not understand their language, one of us ther∣fore prayed in their tongue above a quarter of an houre, divers of them holding up eyes and hands, and one of them hung downe his head, with his rag before his eyes, * which when hee had wiped, hee held up his head againe, yet such was the power of God upon his heart, that hee hung downe his head againe, covered his eyes, wiping them and weeping abundantly, till prayer was ended, * then hee turned to a corner of the Wigwam, and wept Page  109 more by himselfe, which one of us perceiving, spake encouraging words, hee then wept more and more; when he came out of the Wigwan, wee spake to him a∣gaine, hee then fell into more abundant weeping, like one deepely affected, so as wee could not forbeare wee∣ping over him also; wee departed greatly rejoycing for such sorrowing. And while I am transcribing this, I know not whether first, to pitty the poore Natives in their spirituall distres, or sympathize with the English in their holy compassion, or praise God more for dis∣covering to the Indians their lost condition by nture, or that hee hath made our Countreymen so industrious in recovering them out of it; however I cannot but re∣mind my Reader of the relators observations hereupon, at least some of them. *

1. That none of them slept sermon, nor derided Gods Messengers; Woe to those English that are growne * bold to doe that which Indians will not, heathen dare not.

2. There is need of learning in Ministers, who preach to Indians, much more preaching to gracious Christians, these had sundry Philosophicall questions which could not have bin answered without some know∣ledge of the Arts; worse than Indian ignorance hath blinded their eyes, that renounce learning as an enemy to Gospel ministeries.

At a third meeting it did appeare that the Indians notwithstanding discouragements from other Indians, * did encrease in their desires after the word, and pro∣pounded more questions.

  • What is the meaning of the word Humiliation, so often * heard of by them in our Churches?
  • 2. What a spirit is?
  • Page  110 3. Whether they should believe dreames?
  • 4. How the English know God so much, and they so lit∣tle?

Being satisfied in this, they desire a place for a Town. A day or two after Wampas a wise Indian offered his own sonne, and three more Indian children, to be trained up * by us, saying they would grow wicked at home, and never know God, hee with two other young lusty Indi∣ans tendred their service to dwell in some of our fami∣lies, they are two of those weeping Indians, and they are received into two of the Elders houses, where one of them confessed his former adulterous life, and feared that God would never looke upon him in love; upon * our declaring the greatnesse of that sinne, yet hope of pardon through repentance and faith in Christ, hee wept bitterly; the other then present also confessed his like guiltines, & brak out into great mourning, wherein they both continued above halfe an houre. An English youth occasionally lodging in Waaubons Wigwam the third night of their hearing, assured us he instructed his company in the things he heard, and prayed among them.

While the generall Court was considering where to lay out a towne for the Indians, they consulted about * lawes for themselves.

  • 1. If a man be idle a week, at most a fortnight, hee must * pay five shillings.
  • 2. If a man unmarried lie with a woman unmarried hee shall pay twenty shillings.
  • 3. If a man beat his wife his hands shall be tied behind him, and he severely punish'd.
  • 4. If a womans haire hang loose, or cut as a mans, she shall pay five shillings.
  • Page  111 5. If a woman goes with naked breasts she shall pay two shillings six pence.
  • 6. All men that weare long locks shall pay five shillings, &c.

They were desirous to know the name of their Town, it was said Noonanetum, i. e. rejoycing, because the English rejoyced at their desires to know God, and God did rejoyce at it; this pleased them much. The two honest Indians told us that Waaubon and the rest used * these expressions in prayer, Take away Lord my stony heart,* another, O Lord wash my soule, another, Lord lead me when I die to heaven.

December 9. The children being catechized, and that of Ezechiel touching the dry bones opened, they of∣fered * their children to be instructed by us, complaining they had nothing to give us. We propounded sundry * questions to them, and one of them being asked what was sinne, said, a naughty heart, another old man com∣plained of his feares, he purposed to keepe the Sabbath, yet he was afraid whether he should goe to hell or heaven, ano∣ther * complained of other Indians reviling and calling them rogues for cutting off their lockes, for since the word hath wrought upon them, they discerne the vanity of their pride in their hair, of their owne accord therefore they cut it modestly.