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tinually to hear him declare, from the desk, what the Holy Spirit had taught respecting the subject in controversy, refusing to read it when he had declared it from the press, and even refusing him an opportunity, to explain his views concerning it in private friendly conversation; when they saw them circulating "gross, scandalous and injurious, slanders, against Mr. Edwards and his particular friends," descending to the arts of political chicanery to effect their purpose,† endeavouring in every possible way to deprive him of a known acknowledged right in the choice of the Council, and, after his dismission, not suffering him to preach to them, even when they could procure no one else; they had the highest practical evidence of the tendency of the lax mode of admission, to corrupt the purity, and destroy the peace and prosperity, of the church of Christ. So violent was the shock given to the feelings of men, by this strange and surprising occurrence, that it produced at the time, and has ever since produced, a powerful reaction against that mode of admission, as well as against every species of lax theology in principle and practice. Probably no one event, of apparently malignant aspect, ever did so much, towards reforming the churches of New-England.

Many difficult subjects of theology, also, needed, at that time, to be thoroughly examined and illustrated; and to this end, some individual of expanded views and profound penetration, as well as of correct faith and elevated piety, was to be found, who could give the strength of his talents and his time to these investigations. The providence of God had selected Mr. Edwards for this important office; but so numerous and engrossing were the duties of the ministry at Northampton, that, had he remained there, he could not have fulfilled it, but in part. To give him abundant opportunity and advantage for the work assigned him, he was taken from that busy field, at the best time of life, when his powers had gained their greatest energy, when the field of thought and enquiry had been already extensively surveyed, and when the labours of the pulpit were fully provided for and anticipated; and was transferred to the retirement and leisure of a remote frontier village. There he prepared, within a little period, four of the ablest and most valuable works, which the Church of Christ has in its possession.

It is worthy of our observation, also, that the consequences of Mr. Stoddard's error fell with all their weight on his own grandson, and his numerous family. To this one cause, they might attribute the heaviest trial and calamity of life. This is very often, if not usually, the course of God's providence.

Previous to this event, Mr. Edwards' life had been eminently

*Letter of Mr. Hawley.

+ Particularly in the Precinct meeting deciding, previously, on the measures to be adopted by the Church.

prosperous. He had been eligibly settled, and had numerous and respectable friends, and a promising family. He had been greatly assisted of God in the discovery of truth, and had acquired high reputation, and very extensive influence. It appears, however, to be the lot of the children of God, to suffer afflictions; and from this species of discipline, even those of distinguished piety are not exempt. This affliction was most severe. Where a minister and his people are united in love, no earthly connection, if we except that of marriage and those subsisting between the nearest relations by blood, is so near and intimate. This connection had subsisted long, and had been of the happiest character. Yet, with no fault on his part to justify alienation on theirs, when he merely obeyed the dictates of his conscience, and the express command of God; he found those, who had long manifested the highest esteem and affection for him, and had publicly acknowledged him as their spiritual father, uniting against him in one body, "wickedly slandering him," rejecting every proposal of accommodation, paying no regard to his feelings, or the distress brought on him and his family, and resorting to low management, and to gross injustice, to drive him from the midst of them. All this, however, was the appointment of God; and he received the chastisement of his heavenly Father, with such exemplary submission, that it would seem to have been sent upon him, only to reveal more fully, the excellence of his character.

ON THE WHOLE, it is evident, that, while the dismission of Mr. Edwards was, in itself considered, an event greatly to be regretted, it was at the same time, in every part of it, most honourable to himself, and proved, in its ultimate consequences, an essential blessing to the Church of God.

*Mr. Hawley's Letter.


Proposals from Stockbridge, and from the Commissioners.-Visit to Stockbridge.--Indian Mission.-Housatonnucks.-Mohawks. -Dissensions of English inhabitants.-Mr. Hollis' munificence. -Letter to Mr. Hobby.-Reply of Rev. Solomon Williams.Letter to Mr. Erskine.-Letter to Mr. Gillespie.-First Letter to Mr. Hollis.-Removal to Stockbridge.-Letter to Hon. Mr. Hubbard.-Petition to General Court.

EARLY in December, 1750, Mr. Edwards received proposals, from the church and congregation in Stockbridge, to become their Minister; and about the same time, similar proposals from the COMMISSIONERS, at Boston, of the "SOCIETY IN LONDON, FOR PROPAGATING THE GOSPEL IN NEW ENGLAND, AND THE PARTS ADJACENT," to becomet he Missionary of the Housatonnucks, or River Indians, a tribe at that time located in Stockbridge and its immediate vicinity. Before deciding on these proposals, he went to Stockbridge, in the beginning of January, 1751, and continued there during the remainder of the winter, and the early part of the spring, preaching both to the English inhabitants, and, by the aid of an interpreter, to the Indians. Soon after his return, he accepted of the invitation both of the Commissioners, and of the people of Stockbridge.

The Indian Mission at Stockbridge commenced in 1735; when the Rev. John Sergeant was ordained their Missionary. He continued to reside there until his death, July 27th, 1749. His Indian congregation, originally about fifty in number, gradually increased, by accessions from the neighbouring settlements on the Housatonnuck River, to the number of two hundred and fifty-the actual number in 1751. Mr. Sergeant devoted much of his time to the study of their language; (the Moheekanneew;*) yet, at the close of his life, he had not made such progress, that he could preach in it, or even pray in it, except by a form. He ultimately regretted the time and labour thus lost, and expressed the conviction, that it would be far better for his successor not to learn the language, but to preach by an interpreter, and to teach the children of the Indians the English language, by the aid of schoolmasters. Very little

*The common language of all the Indians in New England, New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, except the Iroquois.

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success appears to have attended his labours, either among the Indians or the English congregation.

A school was established, for the instruction of the Indian children, at the commencement of the mission, and placed under the care of Timothy Woodbridge, Esq. one of the original settlers of Stockbridge, and characterized by Mr. Edwards, as "a man of very good abilities, of a manly, honest and generous disposition, and as having, by his upright conduct and agreeable manners, secured the affections and confidence of the Indians." He was supported by the government of the Province, and devoted himself faithfully to the business of instructing the Indian children; yet for a long period, like Mr. Sergeant, he had to lament that so little success attended his labours. This was owing to various causes. The Indians lived in a village by themselves, at a small distance from the English settlement. Their children lived at home with their parents, and not in a boarding school; and of course made little or no progress in the English language; and they had no books in their own. The English traders sold large quantities of ardent spirits to the Indians, and in this way constantly counteracted the efforts, made to do them good. There were also unfortunate dissensions among the people of Stockbridge. The settlement of the town was begun, with a direct reference to the intellectual and moral improvement of the Indians, in the immediate vicinity. The lands of the Indians, comprizing a very extensive tract, were secured to them; and important privileges were granted to the families of the original settlers, by the Provincial Legislature, with reference to this very object. Unfortunately, one of the most wealthy of those settlers* appears to have removed to Stockbridge, with the design of amassing a still larger fortune, by his intercourse with the Indian settlement. With this view, he formed a large trading establishment in the neighbourhood. From his wealth and his locality, affairs of some moment, relating to the Indians at Stockbridge, were on various occasions, entrusted to his management; in one of which Mr. Woodbridge regarded him as doing so great and palpable an injury, both to the Iudians and the province, that, taking it in connection with the general tenor of his conduct, he felt himself bound to prevent, as far as lay in his power, all intercourse between him and the Indian settlement, as well as all influence which he might attempt to exert, over the affairs of the Indians. In return, he endeavoured, in the first instance, to prevent the Indians from sending their children to the school, and to render those parents who actually sent them, dissatisfied with Mr. Woodbridge; and at length to procure the dismission of that gentleman from his appointment. This controversy was of long continuance, and affected the whole

*This individual was an elder branch of the to in the account of Mr. Edwards' dismission.

family, already alluded

settlement. The result was, that, although he amassed considerable wealth," he entirely lost the confidence of the Indians; and so completely alienated the minds of the English inhabitants, that every family in the place, his own excepted, sided with his antagonist. This controversy, for a long time, had a most inauspicious effect on the school of Mr. Woodbridge, and on the mission of Mr. Sergeant.

In 1739, Mr. Sergeant, despairing of any considerable success under the existing plan of instruction, attempted the establishment of an Indian boarding-school, to be kept at the expense of the English. He proposed, that the children should live in the family of their instructor, and learn the English language, and that their time should be divided between work and study, under different masters. For some time, he made but little progress in raising funds for this purpose, but at length was aided in his design, by the benevolence of the Rev. Isaac Hollis, a clergyman near London, who most generously offered to defray the expense of the board, clothing and instruction, of twelve Indian children.* At this time, no boarding house was built; and, for a long period, Mr. Sergeant found it impossible, to procure a person, duly qualified, to take charge of the school. To begin the work, however, Mr. Sergeant hired as a temporary teacher, until a competent one could be procured, a Capt. Martin Kellogg, an illiterate man, originally a farmer, and subsequently a soldier, about sixty years of age, very lame withal, and wholly unaccustomed to the business of instruction. His sister, Mrs. Ashley, the wife of a Capt. Ashley of Suffield, who had been taken prisoner, when a child, by the Iroquois, and perfectly understood their language, was the interpreter of the English at Stockbridge; and her brother having come to reside there, in consequence of having no regular business, was employed temporarily by Mr. Sergeant, for the want of a better instructor, because he was on the spot. A school had just been commenced under his auspices, (not however, as a boarding school, as no house could be procured for the purpose,) when the French war of 1744 broke it up; and Capt. Kellogg, that he might con

* In the spring of 1732, Mr. Hollis remitted £100, stg. to the Rev. Dr. Colman, for the instruction of Indian children. In 1734, having seen the printed account of the Ordination of Messrs. Parker, Hinsdale and Secombe, and their mission to the Indian tribes on the Eastern and Western borders of New England; he offered Dr. C. £20, stg. per annum, forever, for the support of a fourth missionary; but Dr. C. dissuaded him from such an appropriation. In Nov. 1736, Dr. C. received from Mr. H. £56, stg. for the education of twelve Indian boys at Housatonnuck, under the care of Mr. Sergeant; in Aug. 1738, £343, currency; and in May, 1740, £447, 9s. currency, for the same object. After this he appropriated, at first, £50, stg. annually, for the support and instruction of twelve Indian boys, and subsequently £120, stg. annually, for the support and instruction of twenty-four Indian boys, at the same place.---See a pamphlel, published by Dr. Colman in 1743.

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