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ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.
ABOUT the year 1740, several distinguished ministers in the city of New York and its vicinity; and among them, Rev. EBENEZER PEMBERTON, of New York; Rev. AARON BURR, of Newark; and Rev. JONATHAN DickINson, of Elizabethtown; communicated to the “ Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge,” " the deplorable and perishing state of the Indians in the provinces of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.”
In consequence of this representation, the Society charitably and cheerfully agreed to the proposal of maintaining two missionaries among them, to convert them to Christianity; and in pursuance of this design sent those gentlemen, and some others--both clergymen and laymer, a Commission to act as their Commissioners, or Correspondents, “ in providing, directing, and inspecting the said Mission."
“ As soon as the Correspondents received their commission,” to use their own language, "they immediately looked out for two candidates for the ministry, whose zeal for the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, and whose compassion for perishing souls would prompt them to such an exceedingly difficult and selfdenying undertaking. They first prevailed with Mr. AZARIAT HORTON to relinquish a call to an encouraging parish, and to devote himself to the Indian service. He was directed to Long Island in August, 1741, at the east end of which there are two small towns of Indians; and, from the east to the west end of the island, lesser companies settled at a few miles distance from one another, for the distance of more than a hundred miles. At his first arrival, he was well received by most, and cordially welcomed by some of them. Those at the east end of the Island, especially, gave diligent and serious attention to his instructions ; and inany of them were led to ask the solemn inquiry, - What they should do to be saved?” A general reformation of manners was soon observable among most of these Indians. They were careful to attend, and serious and solemn while attending, upon both public and private instructions. A number of them were under very deep convictions of their miserable, perishing state ; and about twenty of them give lasting evidences of their saving conversion to God. Mr. HORTON has baptized thirty-five adults, and forly-four ehildren. He took pains with them to teach them to read : and some of them have made considerable proficiency. But the extensiveness of his charge, and the necessity of his travelling from place to place, renders him incapable of giving so constant an attendance to their instruction in reading, as is necessary. In his last letter to the Correspondents, he heavily complains of a great defection of some of them from their first reformation and care of their souls; occasioned by strong drink being brought among them, and their being thereby allured to relapse into their darling vice of drunkenness. This is a vice to which the Indians are everywhere so greatly addicted, and so vehemently disposed, that nothing but the power of divine grace can restrain that impetous lust, when they have opportunity to gratify it. He likewise complains, that some of them have grown more careless and remiss in the duties of religious worship, than they
were when first acquainted with the great things of eternal peace. But, as a number retain their first impressions, and as they generally attend with reverence upon his ministry, he goes on with his work with encouraging hopes of the presence and blessing of God with him in this difficult undertaking."
With the subsequent labours and success of Mr. Horton the Editor is unacquainted; not having been able to ascertain how long he was employed as a Missionary ; or whether his Diary was ever published.
" It was some time after this, before the Correspondents could obtain another Missionary. At length they prevailed with Mr. David BRAINERD to refuse several invitations to places, where he had a promising prospect of a comfortable settlement, to encounter the fatigues and perils which must attend his carrying the Gospel of Christ to these poor, miserable savages.'*
David BRAINERD the subject of the ensuing Life, and author of the Diary incorporated with it, was examined and approved as a Missionary, at the city of New York, by the Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, Nov. 25, 1742.
The field of Missionary labour, originally proposed for him by the Correspondents, was among the Indians living near the Forks of Delaware in Pennsylvania, and the Indians farther westward on the Susquehannah. Owing to some contention subsisting, at the time of his appointment, between these Indians and the whites, concerning their lands, the Correspondents concluded to defer his mission among them until harmony was restored ; and having received intelligence from the Rev. Mr. SERGEANT, Missionary to the Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, that the existing state of the Indians at Kaunaumeek, a place in the woods between Stockbridge and Albany, promised success to the labours of a Missionary; they selected that as his first station. His labours at Kaunaumeek commenced April 1, 1743, and continued one year; when he prevailed on th? Indians at that place to remove to Stockbridge and attend on the Rev. Mr. SERGEANT's ministry.
BRAINERD was ordained as a Missionary at Newark, N. J., June the 12th 1744; and on the 22d of the same month, entered on his labours at Sakhauwotung, within the Forks of Delaware.
On the 5th of October, 1744, he visited, for the first time, the Indians on the Susquehannah, and commenced his labours at a placed called Opeholhaupung.
On the 19th of June, 1745, he began to preach to the Indians at Crossweeksung, a place about twenty miles west of Amboy in New Jersey, and the scene of his greatest success. It is now called Crossweeks, and is on the road from Amboy to Bordentown.
On the 3d of May, 1746, he removed from that place, with the whole body of the Indians, to a place called Cranberry, fifteen miles from Crossweeksung. At these places he continued to reside until March 20. 1747; when, owing to the ravages of a pulmonary consumption, brought on by his exposures and hardships, his labours as a Missionary were terminated and he bade farewell to his beloved Church and people a Cranberry.
The first communication made by him to the Correspondants, was in a letter to the Rev. Mr. PEMBERTON, of Nov. 5, 1744 ; giving a succinet account of his residence at Kaunaumeek. and of the commencement of his labours of Sakhauwotung and Opeholhaupung. After this he regularly forwarded to them a copy of his Diary. They published extracts from his Diary, in two parts or numbers, with some variations in the titles. The First part, commencing with his residence at Crossweeksung, June 19th, 1745, and reaching to Nov. 4th, 1745 ; was published early in the following year; and was entitled,
" Mirabilia Dei inter Indicos ;
Among a number of Indians,
* These extracts are from the Preface of the Correspondents to Brainerd's Letter to Pemberton.