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port knew how the case would be, before he recommended him to the office of missionary; and that Mr. Sergeant, after fourteen years study, had never been able to preach in it, nor even to pray in it except by a form, and had often expressed the opinion, previous to his death, that his successor ought not to trouble himself, in learning the language. He then requests, that the Speaker would communicate his letter to the Assembiy, and prays that honourable body, if they proposed to take any order on the case, first to give him opportunity to meet his accuser face to face.
I have no means of ascertaining whether the preceding letter was, or was not, read to the Legislature. If not; it was because the Honourable Speaker, who was a personal friend of Mr. Edwards, found it to be wholly unnecessary. And it can scarcely be necessary to inform the reader, that the attack, made thus directly upon Mr. Edwards, and indirectly upon all his associates in the mission, not only failed altogether of its intended effect; but, by leading to a developement of the mercenary scheme, devised to divert, to the purposes of private emolument, the consecrated charities of the Province and of individuals, recoiled with increased violence upon its authors.
Thus far the individuals, opposed to the Stockbridge missionaries, had met with little success, to encourage their efforts. They had looked for help to various sources : to the Indians and to the people of Stockbridge, to the Commissioners and to the Provincial Legislature, to Mr. Hollis and to the Society in London: and in every instance, so far as the result was known, they had looked in vain. The Housatonnucks had refused all intercourse with them. From disgust at their management, a part of the Mohawks had actually retired, and the rest were threatening to retire, to their own country. The people of Stockbridge had, to a man, umited against them. The Commissioners were equally unanimous, in sustaining the individuals, whose overthrow they had attempted. And now, before the Provincial legislature, they had made their great and united effort, and had failed. In the mean time, Mr. Edwards was even more firmly established, as the Indian Missionary, and Mr. Woodbridge as the school-master of the Housatonnucks ; Mr. Hawley had not been compelled to resign his place to the son of the resident trustee; the female school had not as yet been secured to his wife, and obviously could not now be, unless secured to her in London; and the stewardship of the three schools was not likely to be conferred on himself. Such was the state of things in the spring of 1753. It looked as though the great struggle was over; and that the party, which had thitherto acted on the offensive, would thenceforward be quiet, from a conviction, that every hostile movement must issue in defeat. The result justified this conelusion.
To Mr. Edwards, and his associates in the mission, as well as to their friends, this result must have been in a high degree satisfactory. On his arrival in Stockbridge, he found this controversy waging, and soon discovered that it was a controversy between the friends and enemies of the mission; between those who aimed at the real welfare of the Indians, and those who endeavoured to use them as instruments of their own private emolument; that one party relied on wealth, and office, and influence, to carry its measures; and the other, on personal integrity, a conscientious discharge of duty, and the protection of God. For a time he avoided taking any part in
and his own temporal comfort, and the welfare of his family, seemed to require, that he should persevere in the same course. But his conscience forbade it. He must either sit quietly by, and see the charities of the Province, of the Society in London, and of Mr. Hollis, diverted from their appointed course, to fill the coffers of private avarice; or he must unite with those who were exerting their whole influence to prevent it. In such a state of things, he could not deliberate; and, through the divine blessing, he and his associates were now permitted to see, that they had not toiled and suffered in vain.
Letter to his eldest Son.— Return of greater part of the Mohawks.
-Letter to Commissioners.-Mission of Mr. Hawley to Onohquauga.—Remainder of Mohawks directed to return.-Freedom of the Will.—Letter to Mr. Erskine.—Proposal of Society in London.—Letter to Mr. Gillespie.- Design and Character of the Freedom of the Will.-Letters from Mr. Hollis.-Surrender of Mohawk School to Mr. Edwards.-Entire Defeat of Enemies of Mission.—Return of remaining Mohawks.
Early in the ensuing spring, the eldest son of Mr. Edwards, then a lad of fourteen, went to New-York, and thence to New-Jersey; and on his way, was much exposed to the sinall-pox. On his return to New-York, he was seized with a violent fever. His father hearing this, and not knowing whether it was an ordinary fever, or the small-pox, addressed to him the following letter; which, like all his letters to his children, indicates that his chief anxiety was for their salvation.
“To Master Timothy Edwards, at New-York.
Stockbridge, April, 1753. “MY DEAR CHILD,
“ Before you will receive this letter, the matter will doubtless be determined, as to your having the small-pox. You will either be sick with that distemper, or will be past danger of having it, from any infection taken in your voyage. But whether you are sick, or well, like to die, or like to live, I hope you are earnestly seeking your salvation.
I am sure there is a great deal of reason it should be so, considering the warnings you have had in word and in providence. That which you met with, in your passage from New York to Newark, which was the occasion of your fever, was indeed a remarkable warning, a dispensation full of instruction, and a very loud call of God to you, to make haste, and not to delay in the great business of religion. If you now have that distemper, which you have been threatened with, you are separated from your earthly friends, as none of them can come to see you ; and if you
should die of it, you have already taken a final and everlasting leave of them while you are yet alive, so as not to have the comfort of their presence and immediate care, and never to see them again in the land of the living. And if you have escaped that distemper,
it is by a remarkable providence that you are preserved. And your having been so exposed to it, must certainly be a loud call of God, not to trust in earthly friends, or any thing here below. Young persons are very apt to trust in parents and friends, when they think of being on a death bed. But this providence remarkably teaches you the need of a better Friend, and a better Parent, than earthly parents are; one who is every where present, and all-sufficient, that cannot be kept off by infectious distempers, who is able to save from death, or to make happy in death, to save from eternal misery, and to bestow eternal life. It is indeed comfortable, when one is in great pain, and languishing under sore sickness, to have the presence, and kind care, of near and dear earthly friends ; but this is a very small thing, in comparison of what it is; to have the presence of an heavenly Father, and a compassionate and almighty Redeemer. In God's favour is life, and his loving kindness is better than life. Whether you are in sickness or health, you infinitely need this. But you must know, however great need you stand in of it, you do not deserve it: neither is God the more obliged to bestow it upon you, for your standing in need of it, your earnest desiring of it,
, your crying to him constantly for it from fear of misery, and taking much pains. Till you have savingly believed in Christ, all your desires, and pains, and prayers lay God under no obligation; and, if they were ten thousand times as great as they are, you must still know, that you would be in the hands of a sovereign God, who hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. Indeed, God often hears the poor miserable cries of sinful vile creatures, who have no manner of true regard to Him in their hearts; for he is a God of infinite mercy, and he delights to show mercy for his Son's sake, who is worthy, though you are unworthy, who came to save the sinful and the miserable, yea, some of the chief of sinners. Therefore, there is your only hope; and in him must be your resuge, who invites you to come to him, and says, “ Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Whatever your circumstances are, it is your duty not to despair, but to hope in infinite mercy, through a Redeemer. For God makes it your duty to pray to him for mercy; which would not be your duty, if it was allowable for you to despair. We are expressly commanded to call upon God, in the day of trouble, and when we are afflicted, then to pray. But, if I hear that you have escaped, either that you have not been sick, or are restored,—though I shall rejoice, and have great cause of thankfulness, yet I shall be concerned for you. If your escape should be followed with carelessness and security, and forgetting the remarkable warning you have had, and God's great merey in your deliverance, it would in some respects be more awful than sore sickness. It would be very provoking to God, and would probably issue in an increasing hardness of heart; and, it may be, divine vengeance may soon overtake you. I have known various in
stances of persons being remarkably warned, in Providence, by being brought into very dangerous circumstances, and escaping, and afterwards death has soon followed in another way. I earnestly desire, that God would make you wise to salvation, and that he would be merciful and gracious to you in every respect, according as he knows your circumstances require. And this is the daily prayer of “ Your affectionate and tender father,
“ JONATHAN EDWARDS. “P. S. Your mother and all the family send their love to you, as being tenderly concerned for you.”
At length the event, so long predicted by Mr. Edwards, actually took place. The Mohawks, who had manifested exemplary patience, under the vexations and embarrassments, to which they had been subjected by the whites, were at last wearied out; and, in the month of April, the greater part of them relinquished their lands and settlements at Stockbridge, and returned finally to their own country After a brief allusion to this fact, in a letter to the Commissioners, Mr. Edwards communicated to them a variety of interesting intelligence relative to the Iroquois, and to the mission proposed to be established among them.
" To the Commissioners in Boston.
“ Stockbridge, April 12, 1753. - GENTLEMEN,
“ The last Tuesday, about two thirds of the Mohawks, young and old, went away from Stockbridge, and are never likely to return again. They have long inanifested a great uneasiness, at the management of affairs here, and at the conduct of those persons, on whom their affairs have almost wholly fallen; and have shown themselves very much grieved, that others, who used to be concerned, have been excluded. They have, once and again, represented the grounds of their uneasiness, to the provincial agent, but without redress. They have been dissatisfied with his answers, and there has appeared in them a growing dislike of the family, who have lately left their own house, and taken up
their constant abode among them, in the female boarding-school.
“The Correspondents, in New-York and New-Jersey, of the So- . ciety in Scotland, for propagating Christian Knowledge, have determined, if Providence favours, to settle a mission anong Six Nations. To that end, they have chosen Mr. Gordon, a pious young gentleman, who has lately been a Tutor at New-Jersey College, to come to Stockbridge, and remain here with Mr. Hawley, to learn the Mohawk language with him, in order to his being