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after his resurrection, before he ascended; how long, also, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, until Babylon was destroyed by Cyrus; how long after the beginning of the Persian Empire, before that empire was overthrown by Alexander; when was the great oppression of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes; when Judea was conquered by the Romans; how long after Christ's resurrection, before the destruction of Jerusalem; and how long before the empire became Christian; how long after Christ, before the Popes claimed such and such powers; when the worship of images was introduced ; how long before the Reformation, etc. ete. All children are capable of being informed, and having an idea of these things, and can much more easily learn them, if endeavours were used
to that end, than many things which they do learn. “And with like ease, and with equal benefit, they might be taught some of the main things in Geography : which way the land of Canaan lies from this; how far it is; which way Egypt lay from Canaan ; which way Babylon lay from Jerusalem, and how far; which way Padan-Aram was from Canaan; where Rome lay from Jerusalem ; where Antioch; etc. etc.
“ And I cannot but think it might be a pretty easy thing, if proper means were taken, to teach children to spell well, and girls as well as boys. I should think it may be worth the while, on various accounts, to teach them to write, and also to teach them a little of arithmetic, some of the first and plainest rules. Or, if it be judged, that it is needless to teach all the children all these things, some difference might be made in children of different genius, and children of the best genius might be taught more things than others. And all would serve, the more speedily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a relish for those things, which belong to civilization and refinement.
“ Another thing, which properly belongs to a christian education, and which would be unusually popular with them, and which would in several respects have a powerful influence, in promoting the great end in view, of leading them to renounce the coarseness, and filth and degradation, of savage life, for cleanliness, refinement and good morals, is teaching them to sing. Music, especially sacred music, has a powerful efficacy to soften the heart into tenderness, to harmonize the affections, and to give the mind a relish for objects of a superiour character.
“ In order to promote the salvation of the children, which is the main design of the whole Indian establishment at this place, I think that, beside their attending public worship on the sabbath, and the daily worship of the family, and catechizing in the school, and frequent counsels and warnings given them, when all together, by their teachers; each child should, from time to time, be dealt with singly, particularly and closely, about the state and concerns of his soul; and particular care should be taken to teach and direct each child, concerning the duty of secret prayer, and the duty pressed and enforced on every one; and care should be taken, that all may have proper opportunity and convenience for it.
“I need say nothing concerning buildings, lodgings, household, stuff, cattle, servants, husbandry instruments, and utensils for the children's work; as it is agreed on all hands, that these are necessary; and the providing of them will doubtless be left to the care and discretion of the Trustees, that shall be appointed.
“ But I would beg leave to say further, with regard to methods to forward the proficiency of the children in their learning, that I cannot but think measures might be devised, greatly to encourage and animate them in it, and excite a laudable ambition to excel. One thing I have thought of, which, as appears to me, might have a happy tendency this way, in each of the boarding-schools: at certain periods, there should be a sort of public examination in the school, on a day appointed for the purpose, which shall be attended by all the Trustees, and all in the town who are in any respect connected with Indian affairs, and some of the neighbouring ministers, and gentlemen and ladies; and also that the chiefs of the Indians be invited to attend ; at which there shall be a public trial of the proficiency, which each one has made, in the various branches which have been taught, as in reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, knowledge in the principles of religion, knowledge of church history, etc; and that a premium shall be given to such as are found to excel, which may be done in something, that will very much please Indian children, with but little expense. And likewise, that the works of the children be then produced, to be judged of, that it may be determined who has made the greatest proficiency in learning to sew, to spin, to knit, etc; and that a reward be given to such as have excelled. And perhaps, also, that a reward be then given to such, as, by the testimony of their teachers and governors, have excelled in virtue or diligence, in care to speak the truth, in strictly observing the sabbath, in good manners, in respect to their superiours, etc. And that, in the day of public trial, there be somewhat of an entertainment made for the members of the school, and those who are invited to attend. This not only might tend greatly to stimulate the children in their learning, but would be very pleasing and animating to the tribes of Indians, and would have great influence in rendering them very favourably disposed to the affairs of the schools.
“But your Excellency will easily see that, in order to the practicableness of these things, in any tolerable degree and manner, it is necessary that the children should be taught the English tongue; and indeed this is of the most absolute necessity, on almost every account. The Indian languages are extremely barbarous and barren, and very ill fitted for communicating things moral and divine,
or even things speculative and abstract. In short, they are wholly unfit for a people possessed of civilization, knowledge and refinement.
“Besides, without their learning English, their learning to read will be in vain ; for the Indians have not the Bible, nor any other book, in their own language. Without this, their teachers cannot converse with them, and so can have no advantage to instruct them. Hence, all possible means must be used, in the first place, to introduce the English tongue among the children. To this end, much pains should be taken to teach them the English name for every thing, and English words that signify such and such actions ; and an Interpreter might be used for a while, to interpret their lessons to them, and to teach them to construe them, or turn them into Indian. And a number of English children might be put into the school with the Indian children. But the most effectual method of all would be, to put out some of the Indian children, first, into some good English families, one at a place, to live there a year or two, before they are brought into the school; which would not only be above all others the most successful method, but would be absolutely necessary, at least at first; but truly a great deal of care must be taken to find good places for them, and to look well to them, and to see that they are well taken care of, in the families to which they are sent. It is probable, that the parents of the children might, with proper endeavours, be persuaded to such a mea
“But it will doubtless be very easily and quickly determined, by your Excellency, that, if such methods, as those which have been mentioned, or any like them, or indeed any other effectual measures, are taken, it will be absolutely necessary, that the school should be under the constant care and inspection of Trustees, who live upon the spot, or very near at hand. It will be in vain for any to expect, that any woman can look after such a school, and provide for and govern so large a family, and take care continually to order and regulate so many and great affairs pertaining to it, within doors and without, without much assistance of some always at hand, who are able and faithful, and are interested and duly empowered. If she has under her a second, or a kind of usher, and has servants of both sexes, yet still she will be under the necessity of having some superiour assistance. And as to the precise method of teaching, and regulating the discipline of the school and family, it must be left very much to their discretion ; for experience alone can certainly determine, the fittest methods of ordering such an establishment, so new and untried, though very probable conjectures may be made. And experience will doubtsess direct to some new measures, which cannot now be thought of. Hoping that your Excellency will excuse the particularity and mi
nuteness, into which I have unintentionally been led, on a subject, about which I cannot but feel the deepest interest,
“JONATHAN EDWARDS." In the package to Sir William, Mr. Edwards, in consequence of her own request, forwarded to Lady Pepperell, who was then in very deep affliction, the following letter ; which will probably be re
: garded as one of the happiest specimens of christian sympathy and condolence, to be found in epistolary writing.
“ To Lady Pepperell.
Stockbridge, Nov. 28, 1751. “ MADAM,
“When I was at your house in Kittery, the last spring, among other instances of your kind and condescending treatment to me, was this, that, when I had some conversation with Sir William, concerning
Stockbridge and the affairs of the Indians, and he generously offered me any assistance, in the business of my mission here, which his acquaintance and correspondence in London enabled him to afford me, and proposed my writing to him on our affairs; you were also pleased to invite me to write to you, at the same time. If I should neglect to do as you then proposed, I should fail not only of discharging my duty, but of doing myself a great honour. But as I am well assured, even from the small acquaintance I had with you, that a letter of mere compliments would not be agreeable to a lady of your disposition and feelings, especially under your present melancholy circumstances; so the writing of such a letter is very far from my intention, or inclination.
“When I saw the evidences of your deep sorrow, under the awful frown of heaven in the death of your only son, it made an impression on my mind not easily forgotten; and when you sp
; my writing to you, I soon determined what should be the subject of my letter. It was that, which appeared to me to be the most proper subject of contemplation, for one in your circumstances; that, which I thought, above all others, would furnish you a proper and sufficient source of consolation, under your heavy affliction; and this was the Lord Jesus Christ :-particularly the amiableness of his character, which renders him worthy that we should love him, and take him for our only portion, our rest, hope and joy; and his great and unparalleled love towards us.—And I have been of the same mind ever since; being determined, if God favoured me with an opportunity to write to your Ladyship, that those things should be the subject of my letter. For what other subject is so well calculated to prove a balm to the wounded spirit. Vol. I.
" Let us then, dear Madam, contemplate the loveliness of our blessed Redeemer, which entitles him to our highest love; and, when clearly seen, leads us to find a sweet complacency and satisfaction of soul in him, of whatever else we are deprived. The Scriptures assure us that He, who came into the world in our nature, and freely laid down his life for us, was truly possessed of all the fulness of the Godhead, of his infinite greatness, majesty and glory, his infinite wisdom, purity and holiness, his infinite righteousness and goodness. He is called “the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his person.” He is the Image, the Expression, of infinite beauty ; in the contemplation of which, God the Father had all his unspeakable happiness from eternity. That eternal and unspeakable happiness of the Deity is represented as a kind of social happiness, in the society of the persons of the Trinity; Prov.viii. 30, “Then I was by him as one brought up with him, I was daily his delight rejoicing always before him.” This glorious Person came down from heaven to be “the Light of the world,” that by him the beauty of the Deity might shine forth, in the brightest and fullest manner, to the children of men.
“Infinite Wisdom also has contrived, that we should behold the glory of the Deity, in the face of Jesus Christ, to the greatest advantage, in such a manner as should be best adapted to the capacity poor
feeble man; in such a manner, too, as is best fitted to engage our attention, and allure our hearts, as well as to inspire us with the most perfect complacency and delight. For Christ, having, by his incarnation, come down from his Infinite exaltation above us, has become one of our kinsmen and brothers. And his glory shining upon us through his human nature, the manifestation is wonderfully adapted to the strength of the human vision; so that, though it appears in all its effulgence, it is yet attempered to our sight. He is indeed possessed of infinite majesty, to inspire us with reverence and adoration ; yet that majesty need not terrify us, for we behold it blended with humility, meekuess and sweet condescension. We may feel the most profound reverence and self-abasement, and yet our hearts be drawn forth, sweetly and powerfully, into an intimacy the most free, confidential and delightful. The dread, so naturally inspired by his greatness, is dispelled by the contemplation of his gentleness and humility; while the familiarity, which might otherwise -arise from the view of the loveliness of his character merely, is ever prevented, by the consciousness of his infinite majesty and glory; and the sight of all his perfections united fills us with sweet surprize, and humble confidence, with reverential love, and delightful adoration.
“ This glory of Christ is properly, and in the highest sense, divine. He shines in all the brightness of glory, that is inherent in the Deity. Such is the exceeding brightness of this Sun of Righteousness, that,