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word, which enabled him to con vince gainfayers, and fhow himfelf a workman that needed not to be ashamed. But where, alas! fhould he have opportunities for the exercising of it? The Laudian, Grotian, and Arminian faction [then] in the church of England, in the profecution of their grand plot for reducing England to a moderate fort of Popery, had pitch

ods for it, viz. to difenable, as faft as they could, all the learned, godly, painful minifters of the nation; and invent certain Shibboleths, for detecting and destroying fuch men as were cordial friends to the reformation.

It was now a time, when there were every day, multiplied and impofed thofe unwarrantable ceremonies in the worship of God, by which the confcience of our confiderate Eliot counted the fecond commandment notoriously violated.

ding the word aright. He was a moft acute grammarian-underftood very well the Greek and Hebrew languages, which God first wrote the bible in-had a good infight into all the liberal arts; but, above all, had a most emi- | inent skill in theology. His first appearance in the world was in the difficult, but very neceflary employment of school-mafter, which he discharged with fidelity; [Ied on this, as one of their methsuppose under Mr. Hooker, in a fort of an academy at Little Baddow, near Chelmsford in Effex: See account of Mr. Hooker.] He had not paffed many changes in the world, before he knew the meaning of a faving turn to God in Christ, by a true repentance. He had the privilege and happinefs of an early converfion from the ways, which original fin difpofes all men unto. One of the principal inftruments, which the God of heaven used in tinging and filling the mind of this chofen veffel with good principles was that It was now alfo a time, when venerable Thomas Hooker, whofe fome hundreds of those good peoname in the churches of the Lord ple, who had the name of Puritans Jefus, is as ointment poured forth. put upon them in fcoff and con It was an acquaintance with him, tempt, tranfported themselves, that contributed, more than a lit- with their families, and property tle, to the accomplishing of our into the deferts of America, that Elifha to that work to which the there they might peaceably erea ConMoft High had defigned him.gregational Churches, and therein His liberal education having now attend, and maintain all the pure inthe addition of religion to direflitutions of Chrift; having the and improve it, gave fuch a bias encouragement of royal charters, to his young foul, as quickly dif- that they fhould never have any covered itself in very fignal inftan-interruption in the enjoyment of ces. [And his being a tutor of those pleasant, and precious things. youth] rather prepared him for Here was a profpect, which the further fervice, which his [foon] determined the devout mind was now fet upon. Where-foul of our young Eliot to remove fore having dedicated himself to God betimes, he could not reconcile himself to any lefs way of ferving his Creator and Redeemer, than the ministry of the gofpel. [And] he was one mighty in the

into New England, while it was yet a land not fown. He foon enlifted himself among thofe valiant foldiers of Chrift, who cheerfully encountered, firft the perils of the Atlantic Ocean, and then

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the Fatigues of a New English Wilderness, that they might have an undisturbed communion with him, in his appointments here. He came hither in Nov. 1631 [at 27 years of Age] among thofe bieffed old planters, who laid the foundation of a remarkable country, devoted to the exercife of the protestant religion, in its pureft, and higheft reformation."

This was the man, whom the great head of the Church faw fit to improve as an inftrument of erecting his kingdom in many of thofe places where the prince of the power of the air had had his feat for ages, and reigned without control.

On his arrival in New England, he foon joined himfelf to the church at Boston. Mr. Wilfon, the paftor of that church was gone back to England, that he night perfect the fettlement of his affairs; and in his abfence Mr. Eliot fupplied his place. Upon the return of Mr. Wilfon, that church intended to have introduced Mr. Eliot as his colleague; but their defign was prevented from being carried into effect. Mr. Eliot had made an engage. ment to a felect number of Chriftian friends in England, that if they fhould come into thefe parts, before he fhould have the paftoral care of any other church, he would ferve them in the gofpel. It happened that thefe friends tranfported themselves hither the year after, and chofe, for their habitation, the town, which they called Roxbury. A church being now gathered at this place, he was, in Nov. 1632, ordained teacher of the church in Roxbury, and officiated in it about 58

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was defirous of being as extenfively ufeful, as lay in his power. He faw the Natives immersed in great ignorance of the true God, and of that religion, which he had taught from heaven. He found that they had embraced gross errors of a pernicious tendency. He obferved impiety, and immorality practifed among them in general with but little fhame or reftraint. He saw them immerfed in the vileft fuperftitions

addicted to the moft fhocking rites, which they viewed under the character of religious rites; worshipping the devil, the prince of the power of the air, fometimes under the name of Chepian, but more generally under that of Abamocko, or Hobamecko. Him they confidered as a great evil fpirit, the author of natural evil. To him they offered facrifices upon particular occafions to avert his difpleafure, and to incline him to remove any fpecial calamities which had befallen them. They appeared grofsly ignorant of the true worship of God. They had many vices. They were false, malicious, and revengeful. The leaft injury produced in them a violent hatred; and if the injury was very great, nothing could allay their hatred, but the death of the object of their paffion. They were extremely cruel to their ene mies; cutting, and mangling their bodies; and then broiling them alive upon hot embers, and inflicting the most exquifite torments they could invent. The men were idle to a proverb, never employing themselves about any other bufinefs, than what was of abfolute neceffity to their fupport, and fuch as the women were not capable of. As foon as they had a taste of ardent fpirits, they dif covered a strong appetite for them,

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and their thirft foon became infa- | great number of the words; and as it has not the leaft affinity with any of the European languages, as far as can be discovered by any among us acquainted with them, and the Indian; neither has it any affinity to the learned languages. Gov. Hutchinfon obferves, "That many people pleafed themselves with a conjecture, that the Indians in America are the defcendants of the ten tribes. of Ifrael: But that there was as little affinity between the Indian and the Hebrew language, as between the languages of any two nations upon the earth." The like may be faid concerning the other learned languages. But Mr. Eliot's zeal, and refolution furmounted all difficulties; so


Such spectacles moved the compaffion of Mr. Eliot. He came to a refolution to make ftrenuous exertions, as far as he was able, or his fituation would allow, to inftruct them in Chriftianity, and reduce them, if poffible, to fome degree of religious and civil order. He was fully fenfible of the great importance of learning the language of the natives, in order to carry on, with hopeful profpect of fuccefs, the great and arduous work he had in contemplathat a complete acquaintance with it muft afford him fuperior advantages in his intended miffionary fervices. He well knew the benefit of the gift of languages to the Apostles, and other primitive Christians, not only as a miraculous atteftation to the truth of Christianity, and of the divine miffion of those who taught it; but also as an important mean for the Speedy propagation of the gofpel among the different nations of the earth. What he could have no expectation of receiving in a miraculous way, he determined to apply himself to gain by his own vigorous endeavors.

Accordingly, about the year 1644, or perhaps a little before, about two years prior to his entering upon his public miffionary labors, he took great pains to learn the Indian language. In order to facilitate the bufinefs, he hired a fprightly and ingenious native, who alfo fpake English well, to affift him. The Indian language must be fuppofed to have been very difficult to learn by reason of the exceffive length of a very

* Dr. C. Mather gives a specimen of the extreme length of fome Indian words: Some readers may be gratified

with quoting them; for instance, Num-" matchekodtantamooonganunnonafo; this fignifies no more, in English, than our Lufts. Nooromantammooonkanunonnaf❤ -our Loves, in English. Kummogkodonattoottummooctiteaongannunnonafe-This

word is faid to fignify no more than, our Queftion. And tho' perhaps, not many words in their language were equal, in extent to thefe; yet if any have opportunity and inclination to examine Roger Williams's key into the language of the Indians in New-England, published, not long fince, by the Maffachusetts hiftorical fociety, they will find many of the words of an immoderate length. The language of those

western Indians formerly called the five,

and frequently the fix nations, was fo different from that of the natives of Maffachusetts, and New Plymouth, that they could not understand each other. At the fame time, many words immoderately long: Mr. Colden in his of the former are reprefented as being hiftory of the five nations obferves, "That they have but few radical words; but that they compound their words without end-That the words expreffing things lately come to their knowledge are all compounds; and that sometimes one word among them includes an entire definition of the thing." Hift. v. i. p. 16.

that by converfing with the Indian he hired, and compiling fome difcourfes by his affiffance, he quickly became mafter of this difficult language: And after fome time, by the help of the fame Indian, and by his own indefatigable pains and induftry, he became fo complete a mafter of it, as to be capable of reducing it to a method, which afterwards he publifhed to the world under the title of the Indian grammar. Having finished his grammar, at the clofe he writes thus; "Pray. ers and pains, thro' faith in Chrift Jefus, will do any thing.*

"In the year 1646, the general court of Maffachusetts paffed the first act, or order to encourage the carrying the gofpel to the Indians; and it was recommended to the elders to confider how it might best be done." I have never met with any account of their convention (as doubtlefs they formed one) nor of the anfwer they gave to the question propofed by the affembly. Doubtlefs many valuable fentiments were communicated by fo judicious an affembly as that compofed of the firft minifters who came over, many of whom were gentlemen of diftinguifhed abilities, and of as good an education as could be obtained, at that day, in the univerfities in England.

There was a concurrence of many things to encourage Mr. Eliot in the benevolent defign he had formed to gefpelize the Indians; and to profecute the work with vigor when he had undertaken it. All the good men in the country were glad of his engaging in fuch an undertaking: The minifters especially encour

* Dr. C. Mather-Mr. Neale.
+ Hutchinfon's Hift. v. i. p. 161.

aged him; and when he had entered upon his Miffionary labors, thofe in the neighborhood kindly fupplied his place, and performed, in part, his work for him at Roxbury, while he was abroad, laboring among the heathen, or thofe that had embraced Chriftianity, but needed further inftructions from him: And it was an happy circumftance, that fo many churches in that neighborhood had each a paftor and teacher, fo that more could be done in fupplying Mr. Eliot's place than otherwife.

He was further awakened by thofe expreffions in the royal charter, which have been already mentioned.

And the remarkable zeal of the Romish Miffionaries, compaffing fea, and land, that they might make profelytes, made his devout mind think of it with difdain, that we fhould be lefs zealous and diligent in evangelizing the Indians, among whom we dwell.

He was further encouraged by the notice, which was taken of this good work in England, foon after it was begus-by the contributions raifed, and the fociety formed to afford pecuniary aid; a more particular account of which will be given in its place.

Nor was he a little animated to purfue his laborious fervices, by the divine promise made to the Meffiah" I fhall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermoft parts of the earth for thy poffeffion."*

Having prepared himself for going forth as a public inftructor of the Indians, he made his firft effay on the 28th of Oct. 1646, accompanied by three others, having given previous notice to the

* Magnalia, E. iii.

neighboring Indians of his defire | Indians, and defired them to pro

pofe fuch questions as they tho't proper refpecting the fermon, or any other point not contained in it; and it became the general, if not conftant practice, after a fermon, for as many of the Indians as defired it, to ftand up, and pro

Some of their questions would be philofophical, fome upon abftrufe

to inftruct them in the Chriftian faith. Wauban, a wife and grave man, and in other refpects, a perfon of diftinction, with five or fix of the Natives, met them at some distance from their wigwams, and bidding them welcome, conducted them into a large apart-pofe queftions to the preacher. ment, where a great number of the Indians were collected to hear this new doctrine, which the Eng-points in divinity, &c. fo that no lish proposed to teach them. Af- fmall acquaintance with theology, ter a folemn prayer, Mr. Eliot philofophy, and other fciences, delivered a difcourfe to them in was requifite to give juft and fathe Indian tongue, which contin- tisfactory anfwers.* ued fomewhat more than an hour, comprehending many of the most important articles of natural and revealed religion. In this difcourse he rehearsed and explained the ten commandments; informing them, at the fame time, of the dreadful curfe of God, that | would fall upon all thofe that break them. He then informed them of the coming of Jefus Chrift into the world, to recover mankind from fin, and the pun-lowing questions from the journal of ifhment of it. He told them who Jefus Christ was; where he was gone; and how he would come one day again to judge the world in flaming fire. He informed them likewife of the bleffed ftate of all thofe, who believe in Chrift, and obey his gofpel. He fpake alfo of the creation and fall of man-of the infinite greatness of God, the maker of all things

of the joys of heaven, and the torments of hell; perfuading to repentance and holy practice. He applied all to the condition of the Indians prefent. Having finished his difcourfe, he asked them, Whether they understood? And with a general voice they faid, that they understood all.-Mr. Eliot and his companions entered into a free converfation with the VOL. III. No. 10.

At this firft conference, the following queftions were put by this poor people. One ftood up, and asked, "How he might come to know Jefus Chrift?" Another enquired, "Whether Englishmen were ever fo ignorant of Jefus Christ as themselves?" A third (probably in the fimplicity of his heart) "Whether Jefus Chrift

Gov. Hutchinfon quotes the fol

Col. Goffe, one of the judges of King Charles the First. This gentleman at tended an Indian Lecture in 1660, after the natives had been under inftruction 13 or 14 years. He takes notice of the following questions put by them, viz.

1. In your text are thefe words. "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." In other fcriptures it ftands, We can do nothing of ourfeives;

how can this be reconciled?

2. You fay, "The word is the fword of the fpirit, by which their hearts were pricked." How fhall I use the fword of the fpirit to prick my heart?

3. What was the fin of Judas, or how did he fin in betraying Chrift, feoing it was what God had appointed?

4. The answer to thofe converts was, Repent, and be baptized, &c.; but ye do not fuffer us to be baptized; therefore, I fear none of the Indians' fins are forgiven; and my heart is weary with that fear; for it is faid in Matthew, Whofe fins ye bind on earth

are bound in heaven." A aa

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