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many, of the Indians, to the Christian Faith, having for the furtherance of that good Work, Translated the Bible into the Indian Tongue.
Their Confession of Faith and Church Discipline, Ihave made bold topresent to Your Royal Highness, that you may see they are Orthodox. This People had a Patent granted them by King James, to choose their own Governors, and to make their own Laws, (not re~ pvgnant to the Laws of England) which Patent was Ratified to them by King Charles the First and Second, and so continued until the late ill Mode of Quo Warranto'* came up, and that they had one sent to them about their Patent. For the defending of which, they stood a Tryal at Westminster-hall, and cast tlie King; but the King caused it to be brought to a Review, and by Stratagems used then in such like Cases, forced a Judgment against the said Patent; and thereupon took away all their Priviledges, and, Imposed a Governor, and new Laws upon them, which they exceedingly much groan under. And although I am satisfied, that so soon as they shall come to hear of the great and wonderful things that God hath done in England by His Highness, for the Restoring of Charters and Priviledges, they will then Address themselves to Your Highnesses, seeking the Restoration of theirs; yet in regard they are so many thousand Miles distant, it will be long e're it come to their knowledge.
Therefore I have adventured on their behalf (having had a Correspondency with the said People many years, and knowing how much they will suffer, if their new Governor be not speedily removed) to give Your Royal Highness the trouble of these Lines, praying to God that He will please to move your Heart to take the First opportunity to help them to the Restoration of their Ancient Patent, Priviledges and Liberties: That they and all the Churches of God may have reason to oicn His Highness, and your Royal Highness, as Healers of their Breaches, and Restorers of Paths
to dwell in: And to rejoyce in the Goodness of Godin fulfilling that Promise, of making Kings to be Nursing Fathers, and Queens to be Nursing Mothers to his Church. I humbly beg your Royal Highnesses Pardon for the trouble of these Lines, and take leave to subscribe my self,
Your Royal Highnesses
Most Obedient and
Most humble Servant
Hague the First of Fe- ABRAHAM KICK.
bruary, 1689. S. N.
Nay, 1 will be bold to say, that New England hath out-done the whole World; for among the Indians, who a while since were mere Heathens, there are not only many Congregations of them, who are converted to the Christian Faith, and the Protestant (which is the only True) Religion : But no less than Four and twenty of those Heathens, are now not only Christians, but Preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I challenge the whole World to produce me the like Instance, as more fully appears by the following Relation, abstracted out of a Letter written about two years since from Boston, by the Reverend Mr. Mather, President of the College there, at the request, and unto the famous Dr. John Leusden, Hebrew Professor in the University of Vtricht, and since translated into divers Languages in jVete England. The whole Bible hath been translated into the Indian Language, and there also printed: It's above forty five years since, that truly pious and godly Man, Mr. John Elliot, Minister of the Church at Rocksborough (a Mile from Boston) being warni'd with a Compassionate and Holy Zeal for the Conversion of the Americans, set himself to learn the Indian Tongue, that he might the more easily, and successfully open to them the Mysteries of the Gospel; on account of which he hath been (not undeservedly) called the Apostle of the American Indians. This Reverend Person was he that, with indefatigable Labour and Study, translated the whole Bible into the Indian Tongue, and also several English Treatises of Practical Divinity and Catechisms.
About Twenty eight years since he gathered a Church of Converted Indians, in a Town called Natick. These poor Indians were brought to such a sense of God and Religion, that they confessed their Sins with Tears, and professed their Faith in Christ; and afterwards they and their Children were Baptized, and they were Solemnly joyned together in a Church Covenant: And Mr. Elliot was the first that Administred the Lords Supper to them. The Minister of that Church is now an Indian named Daniel. •
Besides this Church at Natick, among our Inhabitants in the Massachusets Colony, there are Four Indian Assemblies; where the Name of the True God, and Jesus Christ, is solemnly called upon. And these Four Assemblies have American Preachers: Mr. Elliot formerly Preached to them once in Fourteen Days; but now.being Weakned with his Labours, and in the Eighty Sixth Year of his Age, doth not Preach to them more than once in Two Months.
About Fifty Miles from Boston is another Church consisting only of Converted Indians; in an Indian Town, called Marshippang, the first Minister of which was an Englishman, who being skilful in the American Language, Preached the Gospel to them in their own Tongue; but this Minister is lately Dead, and they now have an Indian Preacher.
There are besides that, Five Assemblies of Indians professing the Name of Christ, not far distant from Marshippang, which have Indian Preachers, and also are Preached unto in their own Language once every weak by Mr. John Cotton, Son of the Famous Mr. John Cotton, somtimes Minister of the Church at Boston. In Plymouth Colony of the Inhabitants of Saconet there is a great Congregation of those who for distinctions sake, are called Praying Indians; Because they Pray to God in Christ.
Not far from a Promontory called Cape Cod, are Six Assemblies of Heathens who are to be reckoned as Catechumeni; amongst whom are Six Indian Preachers. Mr. Samuel Treat Minister of a Church at East Ham, Preacheth to these Congregations in their own Language.
There are amongst the Islanders of Mantucket, a Church, with a Minister who was lately a Heathen, and several, meetings of Catechumeni, who are instructed by the Converted Indians.
In the Island of Martha, which is about Twenty Two Miles long, are two American Churches planted, which are more Famous than the rest, for that over one of them presides an An
cient Indian Minister, called Hiacooms: John Hiacooms, Son of the said Indian Minister, also Preaches the Gospel to his Contrymen in Church: in that place John Tockinosh,
a Converted Indian Teaches.
In these Churches Ruling Elders of the Indians are joyned to the Ministers: The Ministers were chosen by the People, and when they had Fasted and Prayed, Mr. Elliott and Mr. Cotton laid their hands on them, so that they were solemnly Ordained. *
All the Congregations of the Converted Indians, (the Catechumeni and those that are in Church Order) every Lords Day meet together, the Minister always beginning with Prayer, and without a Form, because from the heart; when the Ruler of the Assembly hath ended his Prayer, the whole Congregation of Indians, praise God with Singing; in which many of them are excelling. After the Psalm, he that Preaches reads a place of Scripture, and Expounds it, gathers Doctrins from it, proves them by Scripture and reasons, and infers use from them after the manner of the English, of whom they have been taught: Then another Prayer to God in the Name of Christ concludes the whole Service, in which manner they meet twice every Lord's Day; they observe no Holy Days, but the Lord's Day, except upon some extraordinary occasion; and then they solemnly set apart whole Days, either in giving thanks, or fasting and praying with great fervor of Mind.
Before the English came into these Parts, these Barbarous Nations were altogether ignorant of the true God; hence it is, that in their Prayers and Sermons, they use English Words and Terms.
He that calls upon the most Holy Name of God, says, Jehovah, or God, or Lord ; and also they have Learned, and borrowed many other Theological Phrases from the English.
There are six Churches of Baptized Indians in New England, and eighteen Assemblies of Catechumeni, professing the Name of Christ.
Of the Indians there are four and twenty who are Preachers of the Word of God, and there are also four English Ministers who Preach the Gospel in the Indian Tongue, and there are many of the Indians Children, who have learned by heart the Catechism ; either of that famous Divine Mr. Will. Perkins, or that put forth by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and can in their own Mother-Tongue answer to all the questions in it.
Thus Sir I have endeavoured to gratifie your request with as
much much Brevity as the Subject will admit, and exceeding the Bounds of a Letter, am forced to be so prolix, and the rather for that most of what I have written is upon my own knowledge, Truth (and the rest undeniable fact) though not the twentieth Part of the Truths might be said of the Almighty's most wonderful blessing and prospering New England, and his Gospel ainongs the Heathen there, which to me looks like the Beginning of the fulfilling those many Prophecies in Holy Writ concerning them.
And after all this, I cannot but admire there should be (as you say there is) any Man in England, who owns but even the bare name of a Protestant, at such a time as this, when God seems to have begun the Reformation of the whole World, and eminently to appear for the True Reformed Religion, should be an Enemy unto such a People as are in New England, and their Discipline, as to the Religious Worship: When as to all knowing and unprejudiced persons, its consonant to the practice of the Primitive Church, and of the Reformed Churches throughout the World: Which one would think should not find an Enemy among any sort of Christians, but those called Papists, or else among such, as Papist like can give up their Religion, Rights, Liberties, and Properties, nay, their very Senses to the conduct of their Fellow Creatures.