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VOTE OF THANKS OF COMMISSIONERS—SERMON AT NEWARK—MEASURES OF THE ENEMIES OF THE MISSION DEFEATED—LETTER TO MR. OLIVER—FREEDOM OF THE WILL—LETTER TO MR. ERSKINE—DEPOSITION OF MR. GILLESPIE—LETTER TO DO—LETTER TO MR. M’CULLOCH—REPORT OF INDIAN AGENT—REPLY OF MR. EDWARDS—FURTHER DEFEAT OF THE ENEMIES OF THE MISSION.
On the 29th of June, the secretary of the commissioners in Boston forwarded, by their direction, to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hawley, an official expression of the approbation, entertained by that board, of the firmness and integrity manifested by them, in their conduct relative to the Stockbridge mission 5252 The copy designed for Mr. Hawley was enclosed in the letter to Mr. Edwards. Probably a similar vote was forwarded directly to Mr. Woodbridge, as that gentleman always enjoyed their fullest confidence. . The commissioners knew of the attempt made, to shake their own confidence, and that of the public, in their agents in that mission; and doubtless intended, by this prompt and unequivocal act of justice, at once to sustain the hearts of these gentlemen, under their severe trials, and to make it manifest to all men, that, notwithstanding that attempt, they continued to repose in them an undiminished confidence. In his reply, bearing date Aug. 27, 1752, Mr. Edwards, after returning his thanks to those gentlemen, for this very decisive expression of their favourable opinion, made to their secretary his regular report of the state of the mission.
After observing, that the people of the town, both English and Indians, notwithstanding repeated and vigorous efforts to break up their union, and, particularly, to excite a disaffection in them towards their ministers, were all happily united in opinion and affection, except one individual and his family; he mentions the alliance of the resident trustee with his family, which took place soon after the arrival at Stockbridge of his nephew from Connecticut. The latter gentleman soon called on Mr. Edwards, and, after alluding to the fact, that he was opposed to the appointment of his cousin, as superintendent of the female boarding-school, insisted, as a member of the society in London, and of the board of commissioners, on knowing his reasons, and, at the same time, offered to be the instrument of settling the differences subsisting at Stockbridge. Mr. Edwards, preferring to answer this demand by letter, declined to make a representation of the case before him, but offered to join with him, in an earnest representation to the board of commissioners, that they would appoint a committee, to come on the spot, to inquire into the existing difficulties; on the ground, that it was more proper to have such a committee, as judges or mediators, than an individual, who was very nearly related to the family chiefly interested in these contentions; and proposed, that the commissioners, by their committee, should be desired to look into the management of the affairs at Stockbridge, from the beginning, by all the living inhabitants and residents of the town, who had had any hand in them, in any respect; declaring himself ready to open himself with freedom before such a committee.—His correspondent, in reply, declined this proposal, reasserted his right to know the objections to the proposed teacher of the boarding-school, and intimated the regret which be should feel, if obliged to inform the society in London of the existing state of things at Stockbridge.—Mr. Edwards, in his answer, insisted anew on his former proposal, of referring the case to the commissioners, declared himself not satisfied, that his correspondent, acting singly, had authority to demand the reasons of his judgment, as to the teacher of the female school, whatever the society in London, or their commissioners in Boston, acting as a body, might have; and concluded, by referring himself again to the commissioners, who were his constituents, and who had, a little before, informed him, that they looked upon their agents as accountable to them only.
The arrival of this gentleman, and the assurances be gave them or his influence with the society in London, revived for a time the drooping courage of his friends, particularly of the resident trustee, and of the agent of Mr. Hollis, who had, just before that event, resolved on removing from Stockbridge.—Having thus alluded to the mischievous consequences growing out of this unhappy state of things, Mr. Edwards proceeds,—“Thus things go on, in a state of confusion, of which those at a distance can scarcely have any idea. In the mean time, the affair of the Six Nations is languishing to death. The affair of the Mohawks is, I fear, past recovery, and in a manner dead. They seem to be discouraged, are most of them gone, and I do not expect will come up again; unless it be to get presents, and satisfy their hunger, in the present time of great scarcity in their own country. They have apparently very much given up the idea of coming hither for instruction. The Onohquaugas have not been here so long, to be discouraged by our management. But if things go on in this manner, it may be expected that they will be discouraged also. The management of things has a great while been in wrong hands. They ought to be conducted exclusively by the commissioners, who have had the care of Stockbridge affairs; but here are others, who seem to aim to engross all to themselves, to be indefatigably active in prosecuting their particular designs, and impatient of every thing that stands in their way.
Very much depends on the appointment or a teacher of the female school. If that affair is settled to their minds, their influence here is well established. They are sensible that affairs depend very much on this simple point, and therefore this is the point they drive at with all their might. The wisdom of the commissioners will easily discover, that this is the juncture, in which the foundation is to be laid of the future state of things in Stockbridge; of their prosperity or adversity; and perhaps with no opportunity of future redress. I look upon myself as called upon to speak somewhat freely at such a juncture; and therefore I hope my so doing will be candidly interpreted by the commissioners. I do not think that our affairs will ever prosper, if they must be under the bands of the resident trustee and his friends.”
cxlviii In the month of September, Mr. Edwards went into New Jersey, and, on the 28th of that month, preached a sermon from James ii. 19. before the synod at Newark, entitled, “True Grace distinguished from the Experience of Devils,” which was published at their request. It is a clear, condensed, and powerful exhibition of the differences between real religion and its counterfeits, and will be found eminently useful, as a criterion of Christian character.
In the unhappy controversy, between Mr. Woodbridge and his opponent, perhaps no one circumstance had been more mortifying to the latter, or had had a more direct tendency to defeat all ins measures, than the fact, that the white inhabitants of the town, (his own immediate family connexions excepted,) as well as the Indians of both nations, were, to a man, opposed to himself, and friendly to his antagonist. This rendered his daily life uncomfortable; it discouraged every attempt to forward his plans at the public meetings of the town; and when any point in controversy was to be decided, or any measure attempted, at Boston, he found that Mr. Woodbridge had a host of substantial witnesses on the spot, who gave in their testimony without fear. In this way, hitherto, every important design had been frustrated.
The winter, that was approaching, was regarded by both parties as a most important and interesting period; during which, in all probability, the affairs of the mission, and of the town, would be brought to a crisis. Those opposed to Mr. Woodbridge, were not ignorant, that, if Mr. Edwards were continued as the missionary at Stockbridge, such was his influence at Boston, and his general weight of character, there was too much probability, that Mr. Woodbridge would be continued the school-master of the Housatonnucks, and Mr. Hawley of the Iroquois. In that case, there was but little chance of the female school being placed in the desired hands; if that faded, the stewardship of all the schools would fail; and then the whole system of measures, apparently so happily conceived, would be defeated. But if Mr. Edwards could be removed from Stockbridge, the removal of Mr. Woodbridge would be attended with less difficulty; that of Mr. Hawley, a young man, would follow of course, which would make way for the son of the resident trustee: these changes would almost necessarily insure the female school, as well as the stewardship and agency, in the family; and then the other objects in view could scarcely fail to be accomplished. As so much depended on the fact, whether Mr. Edwards was continued at Stockbridge, or not; there seemed to be held out, to minds capable of being influenced by them, very strong inducements to make one vigorous effort to effect his removal. This was accordingly resolved on, and, by some of the persons concerned, incautiously proclaimed.
One of the steps taken to accomplish this so desired object, is mentioned in the following letter. Whether it was one of the measures concerted, or was the self-suggested plan of the individual, who attempted to execute it, does not certainly appear. Could he have succeeded, could the English inhabitants of the town have been changed, and a new set of inhabitants have been introduced, all of them his adherents; no event probably would have so much furthered the objects in view. The almost utter impossibility of its success, connected with its total and immediate discomfiture, rendered the attempt supremely ridiculous, and covered the individual making it, and his party, with confusion.
“To Andrew Oliver, Esquire.
Stock bridge, Oct. 1752.
Since my letter of Aug. 27, various things have occurred among us, of which it may not be improper to inform you. It seems as though there was a resolution, in the people on the hill, to carry their schemes into effect, though the earth should be removed for it. The opponent of Mr. Woodbridge has lately made a vigorous and vehement attempt, suddenly to change the English inhabitants of the town, by buying out, at once, the old inhabitants in general. To thus end, he arose very early in the morning, and went out before day, and called some of them out of their beds, offering to buy their farms. In this manner, he went from one to another, until he had been to almost all the inhabitants in that forenoon; offering very high prices, and cash in hand; vehemently pressing that the bargain should be immediately closed, and the writings drawn, and the affair completed, without delay; urging it most pressingly on each one. One of the inhabitants completed and finished the affair with him. Some others came to a verbal agreement, on conditions. But, notwithstanding the great and extraordinary vigour, with which this matter was carried on, yet the design was discovered, before it could be completed, and so disappointed; and then his friends, and he himself too, were glad to lay this conduct to distraction.
A scheme is plainly laid, entirely to thrust Mr. Hawley out of the schools; let his friends and constituents do what they will to prevent it. The resident trustee has told Mr. Hawley, that it is the design of Mr. Hollis’s former school-master, to set up a distinct independent school, under another teacher, whom he shall provide to keep the school on Mr. Hollis’s behalf, and that he intends to take up all boys who come, to board them and clothe them well, better than heretofore. Probably he presumes, that the clothing and presents that will be offered, will tempt them all to subject themselves to himself, rather than to Mr. Hawley.
I have lately been a journey to Newark, in New Jersey, where I saw Mr. Hazzard, a merchant in New York, who told me that he, the last June, received and answered two bills from him, drawn on Mr. Hollis, of £80 sterling apiece. By this, it appears, that he has drawn full pay from Mr. Hollis, for the two years past, as much as he had in the preceding years, without clothing the boys in the least, imposing on Mr. Hollis, in an almost unprecedented manner, considering the greatness of the injury, the plainness of the case, and the obstinacy with which he has proceeded to such a step, after this part of the country had been, so long a time, so full of objections to his being here at Mr. Hollis’s expense, without being engaged in the business to which Mr. Hollis appointed him, and for which he agreed to send him his money. In the beginning of the year before last, he professedly threw up Mr. Hollis’s school, and dismissed all his boys, supposing that Mr. Hollis was dead; it having been long since he heard any thing from him. In what he did afterwards, in teaching the Mohawks, he did not pretend to proceed on Mr. Hollis’s plan, or with any expectation of any pay from him. And he never pretended to take up any boys on Mr. Hollis’s account, till about a year afterwards, viz. The last autumn after he had received a letter from Mr. Hollis; and it is but little he has done since. The charge he has been at, in clothing the boys, is but a trifle. He cxlix has never really kept any school at all, though sometimes he has pretended to teach some children to read, in a most confused manner. But, through a great part of the last year, he has not done even that. He has been absent, at least one third of the year, and the greater part of the time that he has been here, he has not had so much as the shadow of a school, nor been in any business whatsoever.
I some time ago wrote a letter to Mr. Hollis, giving him some account of the state of his affairs here, accompanied with letters from some of the inhabitants of Stockbridge. I desired Mr. Prince to show those letters to some of the commissioners.
One of the trustees has lately been here, but staid only two or three days. While he was here, there was little else but altercation, and warm contest, between his colleague and him, concerning the mode of managing affairs, and concerning the female school. And he is gone away entirely discouraged, with a resolution to have no more to do with the affairs of Stockbridge, which, he says, are blown up already. If it be not altogether so, yet I think it is high time the honourable commissioners had full information of the state of things among us. We have long waited for an opportunity to send, but none has presented. Mr. Hawley meets with many things to discourage him; his circumstances here are very difficult and precarious; he greatly needs the advice of the commissioners; he has a strong inclination to see the commissioners himself, and to confer with them, freely and fully, about the affairs in which he is concerned, and it appears to me necessary that he should do this, both for the public interest, and on his own account. He is kept out of business, and probably very good business, in which he might settle elsewhere, and I do not wonder that he is uneasy, and thinks it necessary to talk with the commissioners. We have had thoughts of his staying, until Mr. Woodbridge went to the general court, the necessity of whose going appears more and more apparent; but the court being prorogued, and we not knowing for how long a time and the important matters of intelligence to the commissioners, and to Mr. Hollis, having been so long delayed for want of opportunity, which so much require their speedy notice; our calamities also continuing, and growing worse and worse; and it being now a time, wherein most of the Mohawks are gone, and so a time in which Mr. Hawley can be absent, with far less inconvenience than some time hence, when many of the Mohawks are expected down, in consequence of the want of provisions in their own country; and considering that probably the commissioners might have a more free opportunity to hear and consider Mr. Hawley’s representations now, than in the time of the sitting of the court, and likewise, that it might be some convenience to the commissioners, to have notice of the state of our affairs, so as to ripen their thoughts with regard to them, before the sitting of the court;—I say, considering these things, it was thought advisable for Mr. Hawley not to delay his journey. That the Most High would give wisdom, and counsel, and success to the commissioners, in their consultations on our affairs, and direct and aid those who are here employed, in so important a service, is the humble and earnest prayer of
Their most obedient servant,
From these scenes of unsuccessful intrigue, and disappointed avarice, all notice of which, could the life of Mr. Edwards, as a missionary at Stockbridge, have been fairly exhibited without thus detailing them, would have been most gladly dispensed with; the reader will turn with pleasure, even for a short interval, to communications prompted by friendship, and relating to the more general interests of the church.
Some years before this, through the kindness of Mr. Erskine, he had received the writings of some of the more considerable Arminian writers, particularly of Dr. Taylor of Norwich, and Dr. Turnbull; which, with of Dr. Whitby and those of Chubb and Tindal, already in his possession, furnished him with the means of examining their whole system. This examination he commenced, in form, a considerable time before he left Northampton; and in the summer of 1747, as we have already seen, he announced, in his first letter to Mr. Erskine, the general plan of a Discourse on the Freedom of the Will, and Moral Agency. This subject drew his attention, even while he was a member of college; and, from an investigation of the nature of Power, to which he was led by reading the article, in the Essay on the Human Understanding, relating to that subject, he derived the all-important principle, that men, in a proper sense, may be said to have power to abstain from sin, and to repent, to do good works, and to live holily; because it depends on their will.—After Mr. Edwards had thus announced his plan, his attention was necessarily diverted from its execution, during his residence in Northampton, by the controversy respecting the Qualifications for Communion, his Treatise on that subject, and the many perplexities and embarrassments, which terminated in his dismission. His removal from Northampton, the establishment of his family at Stockbridge, the Answer to Mr. Williams and his ordinary duties as minister and missionary, and the unhappy controversy subsisting respecting the mission, engrossed his whole time, until July, 1752. In August following, he entered upon the work, and pursued it a short time; but the violence of that controversy, and the attempts of the party hostile to Mr. Woodbridge, to force him from Stockbridge, compelled him to intermit his labours. Some of these circumstances are alluded to, in the following letter to Mr. Erskine, in which the reader will also find some interesting details, relative to the Dutch church, and to the state of religion in New Jersey.
Stockbridge, November 23, N. S. 1752.
rev. and dear brother,
In August last I wrote to you, and sent away the letter, (with letters to some of my other correspondents,) to Boston, to be conveyed to Scotland. Therein I acknowledged the receipt of two letters from you, one of July 17,1751: another of Feb. 11,1752; with the pamphlets, put with the last letter, and now acknowledge the receipt of another letter from you of May 14, 1752; and the pamphlets you sent with the last. The letter I received the latter end of September: the pamphlets I did not receive till very lately: they were forgotten by Mr. Prince. The Treatise against Fanaticism I shall have no benefit from, because I am not acquainted with the French language. What the Jewish convert has published of his conversion, &c is very agreeable. And I now heartily thank you for this letter and packet. I am very glad to see what you write concerning the state of religion in the Netherlands. But I believe there is more of a mixture of what is bad with the good, that appears in that land, than cl Mr. Kennedy, and many other ministers there, are aware of, and that they will find, that the consequences of their not carefully and critically distinguishing between the good and bad, and guarding with the utmost caution and diligence against the latter, will prove worse than they now conceive of. By your account, it is now exactly with Mr. Kennedy, as it was with many pious ministers in America, in the time of the great religious moving here. They looked upon critical inquiries, into the difference between true grace and its counterfeits, or at least a being very busy in such inquiries, and spending time in them, to be impertinent and unseasonable; tending rather to damp the work of the Spirit of God, than promote it; diverting their own minds, and the minds of others, as they supposed, from that to which God, at such an extraordinary time, did loudly call them more especially to attend. The cry was, O, there is no danger, if we are but lively in religion, and full of God’s Spirit, and live by faith, of being misled! If we do but follow God, there is no danger if being led wrong! ’Tis the cold, carnal and lifeless, that are most likely to be blind, and walk in darkness. Let us press forward, and not stay and hinder, the good work, by standing and spending time in these criticisms and carnal reasoning! &c. &c. This was the language of many, till they ran on deep into the wilderness, and were taught by the briers and thorns of the wilderness. However, ‘tis no wonder that divines in Europe will not lay very much weight on the admonitions they receive from so obscure a part of the world. Other parts of the church of God must be taught as we have been; and when they see and feel, then they will believe. Not that I apprehend there is in any measure so much enthusiasm and disorder, mixed with the work in Holland, as was in many parts of America, in the time of the last revival of religion here. But yet I believe the work must be more pure, and the people more thoroughly guarded from his wiles, who beguiled Eve through his subtlety, and who corrupts the minds of zealous people from the simplicity that is in Christ, before the work goes on to a general conquest, and is maintained in its power and glory for a great length of time. But God will have his own way —‘Who, being his counsellor, hath taught Him?’ We must expect confusion and uproar, before we have that abundance of peace and truth, which the Scriptures speak of: many must run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased.
The Dutch ministers in America, whom you mention, whom I have acquaintance with, are some of the younger ministers, and such as were born in America, though several of them have had part of their education in Holland. I have not acquaintance enough with them, to know their sentiments, particularly, about those corrupt mixtures above mentioned, and the care which is to be used in guarding against them. However, ‘tis not very likely, if some of them should write to their brethren in Holland, that their letters would have more influence upon them than letters from you, and some others of the ministers of Scotland. Nevertheless, there is a prospect, that there will in time be very happy effects of the growing acquaintance and union, there is between a very considerable number of very hopeful and pious Dutch ministers, in the province of New York and New Jersey, and many English and Scotch ministers in America. The number of well disposed Dutch ministers in these provinces, has of late remarkably increased; so that I think when they meet together in their Cœtus, they make the major part. Some of the elder ministers seem to be of quite contrary sentiment and disposition, not appearing friendly, as the others, to what they esteem the power of religion, nor approving of awakening, searching, strict, and experimental preaching; which has occasioned various contests among them. However, the stricter sort being the prevailing part, are like to carry the day.
The Dutch churches in these provinces have hitherto been so dependent on the Classis in Holland, that, whenever any among them have been educated for the ministry, and any churches have been desirous of their administrations, they could not receive their orders on this side of the water, but have been obliged to go to Holland for ordination; which has been a great encumbrance, that has attended the settlement of ministers among them, and has undoubtedly been one occasion of such multitudes of the Dutch being wholly without ministers. Application was made not long since, through the influence of the forementioned serious young ministers, (as I take it,) by the Cœtus here, to the Classis in Holland, for their consent, that they might unite themselves to the Presbyterian synod of New York, which now consists of English and Scotch. But the success of their application was prevented, by a letter written by one of the elder ministers, remonstrating against it, very falsely representing the New York synod, as no proper Presbyterian synod, but rather a company of independents. On which, the Classis of Holland advised them, by no means, to unite themselves with that synod.
The last September I went a journey into New Jersey, and had opportunity, in my journey, of seeing some of these young ministers, and conversing with them on the subject They seem resolved, by some means or other, to disengage themselves and their churches from the forementioned great encumbrance, of being obliged to cross the ocean for the ordination of every minister. I was much gratified, during the little opportunity I had, to observe the agreeable disposition of these ministers.
There were, also, many other things I had opportunity to observe in those parts, which were very agreeable. I was there, at the time of the public commencement in the college, and the time of the meeting of the trustees of the college, the time of the meeting of the correspondents of the society for propagating Christian knowledge, and the time of the meeting of the New York synod; so that I had opportunity to converse with ministers from Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia The college is in flourishing circumstances; increases apace; and is happily regulated. The trustees seem engaged to their utmost to promote learning, virtue, and true religion, in it; and none more so than Governor Belcher; who is the president of the trustees, and was at the commencement, and at the trustees’ meeting. But they very much want further supplies, for the convenient support of the college. I had considerable opportunity to converse with Governor Belcher, and was several times at his house at Elizabeth-town. He labours under many of the infirmities of age, but savours much of a spirit of religion, and seems very desirous of doing all the good he can, while he lives. The New York synod is in flourishing circumstances: much more so than the Philadelphia synod. They have the greatest body of ministers now, and increase much faster than the other. They are in higher credit with the people in almost all parts, and are chiefly sought to for supplies by distant congregations. cli
With respect to the proceedings of the correspondents, they have dismissed Mr. Horton from his mission on Long-Island, and he is about to settle in a congregation in New Jersey. He was dismissed by reason of his very much failing of employment: many of the clans of Indians, he used to preach to, having dwindled away, by death or dispersion, and there being but little prospect of success among others that remain, and some being so situated, that they may conveniently be taken care of by other ministers. The correspondents have it in their view to employ the money, by which he used to be supported, to support a mission among the Six Nations; after they have found a suitable person to undertake the business of such a mission, and he is fitted for it by learning the language. They used endeavours to obtain a suitable person for the business, in New Jersey; but, meeting with no success, they voted to empower Mr. Bellamy, Mr. Hopkins of Sheffield, and myself; to procure a suitable person, if we can find such an one, in New England, for the present, to come and live at Stockbridge, to be here learning the Mohawk language with Mr. Hawley, our school-master for the Mohawk; to fit him for the mission. Persons proper to be employed, and such as may be obtained, are very scarce; and ‘tis doubtful whether we shall be able to obtain one.
There is a very dark cloud, that at present attends the affair, relating to the Indians at Stockbridge, occasioned very much by one of the agents of the province, (who lives at Stockbridge,) pursuing measures very contrary to the measures of the commissioners of the society in London. The opposition is maintained, not with a small degree of stiffness and resolution; and the contest is become so great that it has brought things into very great confusion. This gentleman is a man of some role; and his wife’s relations earnestly engage with him, and many of them are persons of considerable figure in the country. The commissioners all very much dislike his conduct. This contest occasions no misunderstandings among the people in Stockbridge, in general: all, excepting those nearly related to the family, both English and Indians, are happily united to me and my family. It would be very tedious for me to write, and for you to read, all the particulars of this uncomfortable affair. The commissioners are exerting themselves to relieve us of this calamity; and it is probable they will be successful.
I thank you for the account you give of some valuable books published: I desire you would continue to favour me in this manner. I began the last August to write a little on the Arminian controversy, but was soon broke off: and such have been my extraordinary avocations and hinderances, that I have not had time to set pen to paper about this matter since. But I hope that God, in his providence, will favour me with opportunity to prosecute the design. And I desire your prayers, that God would assist me in it, and in all the work I am called to, and enable me to conduct my life to his glory and acceptance, under all difficulties and trials.
My wife joins with me in most hearty and affectionate salutation to you, and Mrs. Erskine.
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate and obliged
Brother and servant.
“P. S. I propose with this, to send you Mr. Hobart’s second address to the members of the episcopal church in New England, and my answer to Mr. Williams, which I would desire you to give your neighbours, my correspondents, opportunity to read, if they desire it.”
The correspondence of Mr. Edwards and the Rev. Thomas Gillespie of Carnock, in Scotland, has already interested the attention of the reader. This gentleman was born in 1708, pursued his theological studies under Dr. Doddridge, and was ordained and settled in the parish of Carnock, in 1741. He was a faithful and indefatigable minister.—“I never (says Dr. Erskine, who was several months his stated hearer at Carnock, and often heard his occasional efforts in other places) sat under a minister better calculated to awaken the thoughtless and secure, to caution convinced sinners against what would stifle their convictions and prevent their issuing in conversion, and to point out the differences between vital Christianity and specious, counterfeit appearances of it.”—His popularity and usefulness were very great, not only in his own parish, but in Edinburgh and the west of Scotland. In 1752 an event occurred, which forms an era in the ecclesiastical history of that country. The Rev. Andrew Richardson of Broughton was presented to the charge of the town of Inverkeithing, by the lay patron of the parish—the individual who had that living in his gift.—The inhabitants refused to receive him as their minister. The case was appealed from court to court, until the General Assembly, in May, 1752, directed the presbytery of Dunfermline to admit Mr. R. to the charge of Inverkeithing, and appointed Mr. Gillespie to preside on the occasion. Mr. Gillespie, and several others in the presbytery, had conscientious scruples on the subject of lay patronage, and fully believed that no one, on the principles of the gospel, could have any right to place a clergyman over a parish but the people themselves 5353 Lay patronage was wholly rejected by the Scottish reformers, and was not introduced by law until 1711. For a long period the law was regarded as a public grievance, but is now submitted to. . He therefore, and those who thought with him, declined obedience to the mandate: and while they were subjected to various ecclesiastical censures, he was deposed from the ministry, and removed from the parish of Carnock. When called to the bar to receive his sentence, he replied,” Moderator, I receive this sentence of the General Assembly with reverence and awe. But I rejoice that it is given to me, on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on his name, but to suffer for his sake”
For about a year he preached to his people out of doors, hoping that the sentence would be reversed; at the close of which, a church having been purchased for him in Dunfermline, a short distance from Carnock, he preached there, as an independent, about six years, unconnected with any associate in the ministry. In 1758 he united with the Rev. Thomas Boston, Jr., and formed a new establishment, called, The Presbytery of Relief; to which some dissenting ministers of England soon acceded. The congregations at present connected with them, and known, as an ecclesiastical body, by the name of the relief, are 65 in number, are found in all the principal towns, and many of the country parishes, of Scotland, and are computed to consist of towards 60,000 individuals 5454 “Mr. Gillespie died, Jan. 19th, 1774, in serenity of mind, and good hope through grace.” . They provide ministers for the inhabitants of those parishes, which do not submit to ministers introduced by lay patronage; and readily admit to ministerial and church clii communion, evangelical ministers of the church of Scotland, and of the church of England.
The correspondents of Mr. Edwards had forwarded to him various publications relative to the deposition of Mr. Gillespie; and the views which he formed with regard to it, as expressed in the following letter, while they must, at the time, have been consoling and supporting to the excellent man to whom they were sent, will also probably harmonize with those of every reader of these pages.
“To the Rev. Thomas Gillespie, Carnock.
Stockbridge, Nov. 24, 1752.
rev. and dear brother,
In letters and pamphlets lately forwarded to me, by some of my correspondents in Scotland, I have received the affecting and surprising account of your deposition, for not assisting in the settlement of Mr. Richardson, at Inverkeithing. The circumstances of which affair seem to be such, as abundantly manifest your cause to be good; at the same time that they plainly show the persecuting spirit with which you have been proceeded against. It is strange, that a protestant church should condemn and depose one of her ministers, for conscientiously declining to act in a forced settlement of a minister, over a congregation that have not chosen him as their pastor, but are utterly averse to his administrations, at least as to a stated attendance upon them. It is to be wondered at, that such a church, at this time of day, after the cause of liberty in matters of conscience has been so abundantly defended, should arrogate to herself such a kind of authority over the consciences of both ministers and people, and use it in such a manner, by such severity, to establish that, which is not only contrary to the liberty of Christians, wherewith Christ has made them free; but so directly contrary to her own professed principles, acts, and resolutions, entered on public record The several steps of this proceeding, and some singular measures taken, and the hastiness and vehemence of the proceeding, are such, as savour very strongly of the very spirit of persecution, and must be greatly to the dishonour of the church of Scotland; and are such, as will naturally engage the friends of God’s people, abroad in the world, in your favour, as suffering very injuriously. It is wonderful, that a church, which has itself suffered so much by persecution, should be guilty of so much persecution. This proceeding gives reason to suspect, that the church of Scotland, which was once so famous, is not what it once was. It appears probable to me, at this distance, that there is something else at the bottom, besides a zeal to uphold the authority of the church. Perhaps many of the clergy of the church of Scotland have their minds secretly infected with those lax principles of the new divinity, and have imbibed the liberal doctrines, as they are accounted, which are so much in vogue at the present day, and so contrary to the strict, mysterious; spiritual, soul-humbling principles of our forefathers. I have observed, that these modern fashionable opinions, however called noble and liberal, are commonly attended, not only with a haughty contempt, but an inward malignant bitterness of heart, towards all the zealous professors and defenders of the contrary spiritual principles, that do so nearly concern the vitals of religion, and the power of experimental godliness. This, be sure, has been the case in this land. I have known many gentlemen, (especially in the ministry,) tainted with these liberal principles; who, though none seem to be such warm advocates as they, for liberty and freedom of thought, or condemn a narrow and persecuting spirit so much as they; yet, in the course of things, have made it manifest, that they themselves had no small share of a persecuting spirit. They were, indeed, against any body’s restraining their liberties, and pretending to control them in their thinking and professing as they please; and that is what they mean, truly, when they plead for liberty. But they have that inward enmity of spirit towards those others mentioned, that, if they see an opportunity to persecute them under some good cloak, and with some false pretext, they will eagerly embrace it, and proceed with great severity and vehemence. Thus far, perhaps, if the truth were known, it would appear, that some of your most strenuous persecutors hate you much more for something else, than they do for your not obeying the orders of the general assembly. I do not pretend to know how the case is. I only speak from what I have seen and found, here in America, in cases somewhat similar. However, it is beyond doubt, that this proceeding will stand on the records of future time, for the lasting reproach of your persecutors; and your conduct, for which you have suffered, will be to your lasting honour in the church of God. And what is much more, that, which has been condemned in you by man, and for which you have suffered from him, is doubtless approved by God, and I trust you will have a glorious reward from him. For the cause you suffer in, is the cause of God; and if God be for us, who can be against us? If he justifies, what need we care who condemns? Not only is the mercy of God, dear brother, manifested, in its being granted you to suffer for his sake, but his mercy is to be taken notice of, in many of the circumstances of this suffering. Particularly, that he has excited so many to appear for you: that you had the major part of the presbytery, which you belong to, with you in the affair, though God has honoured you above all the rest, in calling you to suffer for his name: that the major part of the commission of the General Assembly did in effect approve of the conduct of the presbytery, judging it no censurable fault: that no greater part of the Assembly had a hand in your deposition: that so many of God’s, people have, on this occasion, very boldly appeared to befriend you, as suffering in a righteous cause, openly condemning the conduct of your most bitter prosecutors, and testifying an abhorrence of their conduct: and that many have appeared, liberally to contribute to your outward support; so that, by what I understand, you are likely to be no loser in that respect; by which, your enemies will, perhaps, be entirely disappointed. And, above all, that you have been enabled, through the whole of this affair, to conduct yourself with so much Christian meekness, decency, humility, proper deference to authority, and composure and fortitude of mind; which is an evident token that God will appear for you, and also, that he will appear against your enemies. When I received your kind letter, soon after my dismission from Northampton, so full of expressions of sympathy towards me under what I suffered, I little thought of your being brought so soon under sufferings so similar. But, seeing God has so ordered it in his providence, my prayer and hope is, that he would abundantly reward your sympathy in my case. ’Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’’
As to myself, I still meet with difficulties in my new station, which arrive partly from private views (as it is to cliii be feared) of some particular persons of some note and distinction, who are concerned with the affair of the Mohawks here, and partly from the same spirit and the same persons, and others nearly related to them, who fomented the contention with me at Northampton. However, all the people, both Indians and English, except the very few of the above-mentioned connexion, are firmly united to me: and the commissioners in Boston, who are my constituents, and from whom I have my support, are altogether on my side; and are endeavouring to the utmost to remove the difficulties that attend our affairs, by which the cause of religion here, especially among the Mohawks, suffers much more than I do, or am like to do, in my personal and temporal interests. These difficulties which have arisen, have, indeed, almost brought the Mohawk affair to ruin, which the last year was attended with so glorious a prospect It would be very tedious to relate the particulars of this unhappy affair. I think that God, by these sufferings, calls me to expect no other than to meet with difficulties and trials while in this world. And what am I better than my fathers, that I should expect to fare better in the world, than the generality of Christ’s followers in all past generations. May all our trials be for our justification, and our being more and more meet for our Master’s use, and prepared to enter into the joy of our Lord, in a world where all tears shall be wiped from the eyes of God’s people. Let us, dear Sir, earnestly pray one for another, that it may be thus with us; and that, however we may be called to labour and to suffer, we may see peace on God’s Israel, and hereafter eternally glory and triumph with his inheritance. God has of late mercifully preserved my wife and youngest daughter, in time of very sore and dangerous sickness, and restored them again. My eldest daughter has also been sick, and is restored in a considerable degree.
The Northampton people remain in sorrowful circumstances, destitute of a settled minister, and without any prospect of a settlement; having met with many disappointments. But all don’t as yet seem to be effectual, to bring them to a suitable temper of mind. I much desire to hear from you, and to be informed of your present circumstances.
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate brother in the gospel,
brother in the gospel,
With the preceding letter was sent the following to Mr. M’Culloch.
“Stockbridge, Nov 24, 1752.
rev. and dear sir,
I thank you for your letter of March 3, 1752, which I received this fall. I thank you for your friendly and instructive observations, on God’s dealings with me and my family. Though God’s dispensations towards me, have been attended with some distinguishing trials, yet the end of the Lord has been very gracious. He has ever manifested himself very pitiful and of tender mercy, in the midst of difficulties we have met with, in merciful circumstances with which they have been attended, and also in the event of them. Our circumstances, here at Stockbridge, are in many respects comfortable. We here live in peace and friendship, with the generality of the people. But we are not without our difficulties and troubles here. The Indian affair, which the last year was attended with so pleasing and glorious a prospect, has since been unspeakably embarrassed, through the particular schemes of certain individuals, who are opposed, in their counsels and measures, to the commissioners of the Society in London, and are, to their utmost, striving to accomplish their designs in opposition to them; and in this great contest I am looked on as a person not a little obnoxious. They belong to a family of some note, who vigorously abetted and set forward my opposers at Northampton, and were a chief occasion of my removal from that town; to whom my settlement at Stockbridge was very grievous; who now take occasion to exert themselves to the utmost to weaken my interest and influence: and I have all reason to think, would, if it were possible, undermine me, and procure my removal far hence. Many endeavours have been used to disaffect my people towards me, but all in vain. They are all firmly united to me, excepting the forementioned family. Endeavours have been used, also, to disaffect some of the commissioners; but wholly in vain. They seem to have their eyes very wide open, as to their particular designs and schemes, and the true spring of their opposition. We hope for an end of this lamentable contest before long. But its effects hitherto have been very sorrowful, especially with regard to the Mohawks. Some other things have happened, which have much prejudiced the cause of religion among the Indians; and among other things, the discovery of the famous Tartarian root, described in Chambers’s dictionary, called Ginseng, which was found in our woods the last summer, and is since found in the woods in many of these western parts of New England, and in the country of the Six Nations. The traders in Albany have been eager to purchase all that they could, of this root, to send to England; where they make great profit by it. This has occasioned our Indians of all sorts, young and old, to spend abundance of time in wandering about the woods, and sometimes to a great distance, in the neglect of public worship, and of their husbandry; and also in going much to Albany, to sell their roots, (which proves worse to them than their going into the woods,) where they are always much in the way of temptation and drunkenness; especially when they have money in their pockets. The consequence has been that many of them have laid out their money, which they have got for their roots of Ginseng, for rum; wherewith they have intoxicated themselves.
God has been very gracious to my family of late, when some of them have been visited with sore sickness. My wife has lately been very dangerously sick, so as to be brought to the very brink of the grave. She had very little expectation of life, but seemed to be assisted to an unweaned resignation to the Divine will, and an unshaken peace and joy in God, in the expectation of a speedy departure. But God was pleased to preserve her, and mercifully to restore her to a pretty good state of health. My youngest daughter also, who has been a very infirm child, was brought nigh unto death by a sore fit of sickness, and is now also restored to her former state. My daughter Parsons, my eldest daughter, who with her husband has removed from Northampton, and dwells in Stockbridge, has also very lately been very sick, but is in a considerable measure restored. My daughter Esther’s marriage with President Burr, of Newark, seems to be very much to the satisfaction of ministers and people in those parts, and also of our friends in Boston, and other parts of New England. cliv
As to the state of religion in America, I have but little to write that is comfortable; but there seems to be better appearances in some other colonies than in New England. When I was lately in New Jersey, in the time of the synod there, I was informed of some small movings and revivals in some places on Long-Island and New Jersey. I there had the comfort of a short interview with Mr. Davies of Virginia, and was much pleased with him and his conversation. He appears to be a man of very solid understanding, discreet in his behaviour, and polished and gentlemanly in his manners, as well as fervent and zealous in religion. He gave an account of the probability of the settlement of a Mr. Todd, a young man of good learning and of a pious disposition, in a part of Virginia near to him. Mr. Davies represented before the synod, the great necessities of the people in the back parts of Virginia, where multitudes were remarkably awakened and reformed several years ago, and ever since have been thirsting after the ordinances of God. The people are chiefly from Ireland, of Scotch extraction. The synod appointed two men to go down and preach among these people; viz. Mr. Henry, a Scotchman, who has lately taken a degree at New Jersey college, and Mr. Greenman, the young man who was educated at the charge of Mr. David Brainerd.
The people of Northampton are in sorrowful circumstances, are still destitute of a minister, and have met with a long series of disappointments in their attempts for a resettlement of the ministry among them. My opposers have had warm contentions among themselves, Of late, they have been wholly destitute of anybody to preach steadily among them. They sometimes meet to read and pray among themselves, and at other times set travellers or transient persons to preach, that are hardly fit to be employed.
My wife joins with me in most respectful salutations to you and yours. Desiring your prayers, that God would be with us in all our wanderings through the wilderness of this world,
I am, dear Sir,
Your most affectionate brother,
In the labours of the gospel,
The chagrin and mortification, and entire loss of influence and respect, consequent upon the indiscreet attempt to force Mr. Edwards from Stockbridge, by buying out all the English inhabitants, and upon its utter discomfiture, had, in its connexion with the infirmities of age, such an effect upon the individual who made it, that he was soon after induced to part with his property in that town, and remove to a distance. His children, though somewhat disheartened by so untoward an event, and now assured that if help came to them, it could not come from Stockbridge, appear however to have resolved, that they would not lose all their labour, and all their hope; without a struggle. The commissioners in Boston, of the Society in London, were now to a man firmly opposed to them, and resolved to resist them to the utmost. But their kinsman who was a member of the Society in London, was well acquainted with its board of directors, and had written to them in behalf of his cousin. He had also applied to Mr. Hollis, to secure to her husband the management of his benefactions. The latter gentleman also, and the brother of the former, had considerable influence at Boston, and this influence had now been exerted for a considerable period, to procure the removal of Mr. Edwards. At the opening of the general court, in the autumn, all the influence and all the efforts of the family, and its friends, were brought to bear on this one point; and representations most unfavourable to the character and qualifications of Mr. E. were made to many of the principal men of the province. The Annual Report of the resident trustee was drawn up with a direct and immediate reference to this subject, and was read to the legislature, when Mr. Edwards knew nothing of its contents, and when, being at the distance of one hundred and fifty miles, he of course could not at once answer it. Mr. Woodbridge, however, was on the spot, as were the honourable commissioners of the Society in London, and they made such counteracting statements, as the circumstances rendered proper. Of this Report we shall take notice further on.
While Mr. Woodbridge was at Boston, he was informed, and that too most incautiously, by the son of his opponent, who went thither in company with his brother-in-law, the author of the Report, that the latter had solicited his Excellency, Sir William Pepperell, governor of the province, to write to England, and to use his influence, with the corporation in London, that Mr. Edwards might be removed from the office of missionary; and that Sir William had engaged to do it. On this information, coming so directly, Mr. Edwards felt himself bound, from a regard to his own reputation, and to the welfare of his family, to address Sir William on the subject; which he did in a letter, bearing date January 30, 1753 5555 This letter is too long for insertion. . In this letter, after reciting the preceding facts, as his apology for writing it, and mentioning the great disadvantage under which he lay, in attempting to defend himself, at such a distance, when he did not know what had been said to his prejudice, he states, among other things, the following: That, since the revival of religion in 1734, the family, with which the writer of the Report was now connected, had discovered an unceasing hostility towards himself, and his own family, notwithstanding the best endeavours he could use to remove it; that they deeply engaged themselves in the controversy at Northampton, on the side of his opposers, upholding, directing, and animating them, in all their measures; that two of them, especially, had been the confidential advisers of the opposition, in procuring his dismission; that when his removal to Stockbridge was proposed, the whole family, there and elsewhere, opposed it, with great vehemence, though, when they saw an entire union and universal engagedness in all the rest of the inhabitants, both English and Indians, for his settlement there, and that there was no hope of preventing it, they appeared as though their minds were changed;—that the author of the Report, during the whole controversy at Northampton, in direct opposition to the family, with which he was now connected, had remained his zealous friend and advocate; that he warmly advocated his removal to Stockbridge, and expressed a strong desire of living under his ministry; (for the evidence of which facts, he refers Sir William to two of the most respectable gentlemen in the province;) that this confidential friendship lasted until his connexion with that family, and then was suddenly changed, first into secret, and afterwards into open opposition; that he had personally blamed him clv for preaching to the Mohawks, as intermeddling with what was none of his business, although Mr. E. produced the note of the commissioners, expressly desiring him to preach to the Mohawks, until a distinct missionary was appointed over them; that the reason, openly assigned for the very great resentment of the author of the Report, and that of his friends, against Mr. Edwards, was, his having opposed the appointment of the wife of that gentleman, as teacher of the female school, although he neither said nor did any thing respecting it, until his opinion was expressly desired in writing by the commissioners, and then, that he opposed it on the ground, that it was impossible for an individual, who had the care of two numerous families of children, to instruct and govern the children of an Indian school;—and that, as to his qualifications for the business of a missionary, his communicative faculty , &c which were now denied, he could only appeal to those, who had the best opportunity of judging, from their own experience,—particularly, to every man, woman, and child, in Stockbridge, that had any understanding, both English and Indians, except the families of the opponent of Mr. Woodbridge, and of the author of the Report. Mr. Edwards then adds, “Now, Sir, I humbly request, that, if you had resolved on endeavouring to have me removed from my present employment here, you would once more take the matter into your impartial consideration. And I would pray you to consider, Sir, what disadvantages I am under; not knowing what has been said of me in conversation; not knowing, therefore, the accusation, or what to answer to. The ruin of my usefulness, and the ruin of my family, which has greatly suffered in years past, for righteousness sake, are not indeed things of equal consideration with the public good. Yet, certainly, I should first have an equal, impartial, and candid hearing, before I am executed for the public good. I must leave the matter, dear Sir, to your justice and Christian prudence; committing the affair to Him, who knows all the injuries I have suffered, and how wrongfully I now suffer, and who is the Great Protector of the innocent and oppressed; beseeching him to guide you in your determination, and mercifully to order the end.”
In the month of February, 1753, the building erected for the instruction of the Mohawk boys, usually denominated the boarding-school, took fire in a way unknown, and, with considerable furniture in it, was reduced to ashes. Mr. Hawley had furnished a chamber in the building, and resided in it. By this calamity, he lost his clothing, books, and furniture. It was supposed, with some grounds, to have been set on fire by design; and its destruction was, for the time, a very serious interruption to the labours of Mr. Hawley.
The Report of the Indian agent was read early in the session. It contained various insinuations and charges, of a general nature, against Mr. Edwards. Other charges were busily circulated among the members, with the hope of procuring his removal. But it was well understood, that Mr. Edwards was at a great distance, and had had no notice of these charges. He had likewise a character for integrity, too well established, to be shaken by general insinuations, or covert attacks. Mr. Woodbridge, and the commissioners, were also on the spot, and took care that the real state of things should be made known, and the conduct of Mr. Edwards adequately defended. So effectually and satisfactorily was this done, that, when Mr. Edwards received a copy of the Report by Mr. Woodbridge, he appears also to have been apprized, by his friends in Boston, that the design of his enemies, in this attack, had been completely frustrated. What these insinuations and charges were, we learn from his letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, written for the purpose of being communicated, if he thought necessary, to the legislature. It deserves here to be mentioned, as a singular and very kind dispensation of Providence, that the author of the Report had, some time before, addressed a letter to Mr. Edwards, while he was his friend, and when he hoped for his co-operation; particularly, in the appointment of his son as school-master to the Mohawks; in which he had either furnished the means of contradicting the statements made in the Report, or had expressly requested Mr. Edwards to do the very things, which he now complained of, and made the ground of complaint. Of this letter Mr. Edwards enclosed a copy; offering to forward the original, if desired, and, at the same time, to substantiate every part of his own statement, by numerous witnesses, of the most unexceptionable character.
From his letter to the Speaker, it appears, that the writer of the Report charged him—with introducing Mr. Hawley into the school;—with introducing a master, in his absence, and when there was reason to expect his return;—with doing this, when he had been at the expense of a journey of his son of 260 miles, to procure Mr. Hawley as master of the boys;—with introducing Mr. Ashley, the interpreter, as assistant instructor;—and with opposing the appointment of his wife, as teacher of the female school;—and that he also alleged, that the school was in very desirable circumstances, until Mr. Hawley took it, and that it then declined;—that the Mohawks had been discouraged, through the conduct of the agents of the mission;—and that Mr. Edwards was not qualified for his office, because, on account of his age, he could not learn the language of the Indians.
To these charges Mr. Edwards replied,—that he introduced Mr. Hawley, because he was directed so to do, by the letter of the commissioners, of Dec. 31, 1751,—that he introduced a master, in the absence of the author of the Report, for two reasons, 1. Because he knew not when he was to return; and, 2. Because the author of the Report, himself, in a letter sent him by his son, requested him, at that very time, to introduce a master into the school; of which letter he enclosed a copy, with the offer of forwarding the original, if desired;—that, when the author of the Report sent his son on the specified journey, it was not to procure Mr. Hawley to be a master for the boys, but it was, that the son himself might be the master; for evidence of which, appeal is also made to the copy of the same letter;—that, as to the appointment of teacher of the female school, he said nothing about it, until expressly requested to give his opinion by the commissioners;—that so far was the school from being in desirable circumstances, before the introduction of Mr. Hawley, that the author of the Report had, himself, represented it as having been, until that time, in most lamentable circumstances, in the very letter of which he enclosed a copy, in which he requested Mr. Edwards to introduce his son into the school, in the room of the former master;—that the school continued to flourish under Mr. Hawley, until his opposers used their utmost endeavours to destroy it; for evidence of which, be offers the testimony of the substantial inhabitants of the town;—that Hendrick, and the other chiefs, and the Mohawks generally, had expressly assigned clvi their dissatisfaction with the conduct of these individuals, as the reason of their leaving Stockbridge, for evidence of which, he offers the same testimony;—and, as to his learning the Housatonnuck language, that the author of the Report 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 Assembly, 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 development 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, united 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 schoolmaster 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 hitherto acted on the offensive, would thenceforward be quiet, from a conviction, that every hostile movement must issue in defeat. The result justified this conclusion.
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 it; 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.
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