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Q. Do you think this is what they would ask for above all things, if God should say to them, Ask what you will, and it shall be done for you?
A. Oh yes, be sure, that is what they want.
Q. You say the souls of God's people at death are made perfectly free from sin; where do they go then?
A. They go and live with Jesus Christ.
Q. Does Christ shew them more respect and honour, and make them more happy* than we can possibly think of in this world? A. Yes.
Q. Do they go immediately to live with Christ in heaven as soon as their bodies are dead; or do they tarry somewhere else a while? A. They go immediately to Christ. Q. Does Christ take any care of the bodies of his people when they are dead, and their souls gone to heaven; or does he forget them?
A. He takes care of them.
These questions were all answered with surprising readiness, and without once missing, as I remember. And in answering several of them which respected deliverance from sin, they were much affected, and melted with the hopes of that happy state.
Questions upon the benefits believers receive from Christ at
Q. You see I have already shewn you what good things Christ gives his good people while they live, and when they come to die: now, will he raise their bodies, and the bodies of others, to life again at the last day?
A. Yes, they shall all be raised.
Q. Shall they then have the same bodies they now have? A. Yes.
Q. Will their bodies then be weak, will they feel cold, hunger, thirst and weariness, as they now do?
A. No, none of these things.
The only way I have to express their "entering into glory," or being glorified; there being no word in the Indian language answering to that general term.
Q. Will their bodies ever die any more after they are raised to life? A. No.
Q. Will their souls and bodies be joined together again? A. Yes.
Q. Will God's people be more happy then, than they were while their bodies were asleep? A. Yes.
Q. Will Christ then own these to be his people before all the world? A. Yes.
Q. But God's people find so much sin in themselves, that they are often ashamed of themselves, and will not Christ be ashamed to own such for his friends at that day? A. No, he will never be ashamed of them.
Q. Will Christ then shew all the world, that he has put away these people's sins ;* and that he looks upon them as if they had never sinned at all? A. Yes.
Q. Will he look upon them as if they had never sinned, for the sake of any good things they have done themselves, or for the sake of his righteousness accounted to them as if it was theirs?
A. For the sake of his righteousness counted to them, not for their own goodness.
Q. Will God's children then be as happy as they can desire to be? A. Yes.
Q. The children of God while in this world, can but now and then draw near unto him, and they are ready to think they can never have enough of God in Christ; but will they have enough there, as much as they can desire ?
A. Oh yes, enough, enough.
Q. Will the children of God love him then as much as they desire; will they find nothing to hinder their love from going to him?
4. Nothing at all; they shall love him as much as they desire.
Q. Will they never be weary of God and Christ, and the pleasures of heaven, so as we are weary of our friends
The only way I have to express their being openly acquitted. When I speak of justification, I have no other way but to call it God's looking upon us as good creatures.
and enjoyments here, after we have been pleased with them awhile? A. No, never.
Q. Could God's people be happy if they knew God loved them, and yet felt at the same time that they could not love and honour him? A. No, no.
Q. Will this then make God's people perfectly happy, to love God above all, to honour him continually, and to feel his love to them? A. Yes.
Q. And will this happiness last for ever?
Q. Yes, for ever, for ever!
These questions, like the former, were answered without hesitation or missing, as I remember, in any one in..
Questions upon the duty which God requires of man.
Q. Has God let us know any thing of his will, or what he would have us do to please him? A. Yes.
Q. And does he require us to do his will, and to please him! A. Yes.
Q. Is it right that God should require this of us; has he any business to command us as a father does his children? A. Yes.
Q. Why is it right that God should command us to do what he pleases?
4. Because he made us, and gives us all our good things.
Q. Does God require us to do any thing that will hurt us, and take away our comfort and happiness?
Q. But God requires sinners to repent and be sorry for their sins, and to have their hearts broken; now, does not this hurt them, and take away their comfort, to be made sorry, and to have their hearts broken?
4. No, it does them good.
Q. Did God teach man his will at first by writing it down in a book, or did he put it into his heart, and teach him without a book what was right?
4. He put it into his heart, and made him know what he should do.
Q. Has God since that time written down his will in a book? A. Yes.
Q. Has God written his whole will in his book; has he there told us all that he would have us believe and do? Q. Yes.
Q. What need was there of this book, if God at first put his will into the heart of man, and made him feel what he should do?
A. There was need of it, because we have sinned, and made our hearts blind.
Q. And has God written down the same things in his book, that he at first put into the heart of man?
In this manner I endeavour to adapt my instructions to the capacities of the people; although they may perhaps seem strange to others who have never experienced the difficulty of the work. It is my great concern, I trust, that instruction be given them in such a manner, that they may not only be doctrinally taught, but duly affected thereby; that divine truth may come to them, not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.
Difficulties in Evangelizing the Indians.
I shall now attempt something with regard to the last particular required by the Honourable Society in their letter, viz. To give some account of the "difficulties I have already met with in my work, and the methods I make use of for surmounting the same." What I have to say upon this subject, I shall reduce to the following heads.
First, I have met with great difficulty in my work among the Indians, from the rooted aversion to Christianity that generally prevails among them. They are not only brutishly stupid and ignorant of divine things, but many of them are obstinately set against Christianity, and seem to abhor even the Christian name.
This aversion arises partly from a view of the immorality and vicious behaviour of many who are called Christians. They observe that horrid wickedness in nominal Chris
tians, which the light of nature condemns in themselves; and not having distinguishing views of things, they are ready to look upon all the white people alike, and to condemn them alike for the abominable practices of some. -Hence when I have attempted to treat with them about Christianity, they have frequently objected the scandalous practices of Christians, and cast in my teeth all they could think of that was odious in the conduct of any of them. They have observed to me that the white people lie, defraud, steal, and drink worse than the Indians B that they have taught the Indians these things, especially the latter of them; who before the coming of the English, knew of no such thing as strong drink; that the English have by these means made them quarrel and kill one another; and in a word, brought them to the practice of all those vices which now prevail among them. So that they are now more vicious, and much more miserable, than they were before the coming of the white people into the country.
These, and such like objections, they frequently make against Christianity, which are not easily answered to their satisfaction; many of them being facts too notorîously true. The only way I have to take in order to surmount this difficulty is to distinguish between nominal and real Christians; and to shew them that the ill conduct of many of the former proceed not from their being Christians, but from their being Christians only in name, and not in heart. To this it has sometimes been objected, that if all those who will cheat the Indians are Christians only in name, there are but few left in the country to be Christians in heart. This and many other of the remarks they pass upon the white people, and their miscarriages, I am forced to own, and cannot but grant that many nominal Christians are more abominably wicked than the Indians. But then I attempt to shew them, that there are some who feel the power of Christianity who are not so. And I ask them, when they ever saw me guilty of the vices they complain of, and charge Christians in general with? Still the great difficulty is, that the people who live back in the country nearest to them, and the traders that go among