But, 6thly, and lastly, The effects of this work have likewise been very remarkable. I doubt not but that many of these people have gained more doctrinal knowledge of divine truths, since I first visited them in June last, than could have been instilled into their minds by the most diligent use of proper and instructive means for whole years together, without such a divine influence. Their pagan notions and idolatrous practices seem to be entirely abandoned in these parts. They are regulated, and appear regularly disposed, in the affairs of marriage; an instance whereof I have given in my Journal of August 14. They seem generally divorced from drunkenness, their darling vice, the "sin that easily besets them;" so that I do not know of more than two or three who have been my steady hearers, that have drank to excess since I first visited them, although before it was common for some or other of them to be drunk almost every day: and some of them seem now to fear this sin in particular more than death itself. A principle of honesty and justice appears in many of them, and they seem concerned to discharge their old debts, which they have neglected, and perhaps scarce thought of, for years past. Their manner of living is much more decent and comfortable than formerly, having now the benefit of that money which they used to consume upon strong drink. Love seems to reign among them, especially those who have given evidences of having passed a saving change: and I never saw any appearance of bitterness or censoriousness in these, nor any disposition to "esteem themselves better than others," who had not received the like mercy.
As their sorrows under convictions have been great and pressing, so many of them have since appeared to "rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory;" and yet I never saw any thing ecstatic or flighty in their joy. Their consolations do not incline them to lightness; but, on the contrary, are attended with solemnity, and oftentimes with tears, and an apparent brokenness of heart, as may be seen in several passages of my Journal: and in this respect some of them have been surprised at themselves, and have with concern observed to me, that "when their hearts have been glad," (which is a phrase they commonly make use of to express spiritual joy,) "they could not help crying for all."
And now, upon the whole, I think I may justly say, here are all the symptoms and evidences of a remarkable work of grace among these Indians, that can reasonably be desired or looked for. May the great Author of this work maintain and promote the same here, and propagate it every where, till "the whole earth be filled with his glory!" Amen.
I have now rode more than three thousand miles, that I have kept an exact account of, since the beginning of March last; and almost the whole of it has been in my own proper business as a missionary, upon the design (either immediately or more remotely) of propagating christian knowledge among the Indians. I have taken pains to look out for a collegue, or companion, to travel with me: and have likewise used endeavours to procure something for his support, among religious persons in New England, which cost me a journey of several hundred miles in length; but have not as yet found any person qualified and disposed for this good work, although I had some encouragement from ministers and others, that it was hopeful a maintenance might be procured for one, when the man should be found.
I have likewise of late represented to the gentlemen concerned with this mission, the necessity of having an English school speedily set up among these Indians, who are now willing to be at the pains of gathering together in a body for this purpose. And in order thereto, have humbly proposed to them the collecting of money for the maintenance of a schoolmaster, and defraying of other necessary charges in the promotion of this good work; which they are now attempting in the several congregations of Christians to which they respectively belong.
The several companies of Indians I have preached to in the summer past, live at great distances from each other. It is more than seventy miles from Crossweeksung in New Jersey, to the Forks of Delaware in Pennsylvania. And from thence to sundry of the Indian settlements I visited on Susquehannah, is more than a hundred and twenty miles. And so much of my time is necessarily consumed in journeying, that I can have but little for any of my necessary studies, and consequently for the study of the Indian languages in particular; and especially seeing I am obliged to discourse so frequently to the Indians at each of these places while I am with them, in order to redeem time to visit the rest. I am, at times, almost discouraged from attempting to gain any acquaintance with the Indian languages, they are so very numerous, (some account of which I gave in my Journal of May last,) and especially seeing my other labours and fatigues engross almost the whole of my time, and bear exceeding hard upon my constitution, so that my health is much impaired. - However, I have taken considerable pains to learn the Delaware language, and propose still to do so, as far as my other business and bodily health will admit. I have already made some proficiency in it, though I have laboured under many and great disadvantages in my attempts of that nature. And it is but just to observe here, that all the pains I took to acquaint myself with the language of the Indians I spent my first year with, were of little or no service to me here among the Delawares; so that my work, when I came among these Indians, was all to begin anew.
As these poor ignorant pagans stood in need of having "line upon line, and precept upon precept," in order to their being instructed and grounded in the principles of Christianity; so I preached "publicly, and taught from house to house," almost every day for whole weeks together, when I was with them. And my public discourses did not then make up the one half of my work, while there was so many constantly coming to me with that important inquiry, "What must we do to be saved?" and opening to me the various exercises of their minds. And yet I can say, (to the praise of rich grace,) that the apparent success with which my labours were crowned, unspeakably more than compensated for the labour itself, and was likewise a great means of supporting and carrying me through the business and fatigues, which, it seems, my nature would have sunk under, without such an encouraging prospect. But although this success has afforded matter of support, comfort, and thankfulness; yet in this season I have found great need of assistance in my work, and have been much oppressed for want of one to bear a part of my labours and hardships. - " May the Lord of the harvest send forth other labourers into this part of his harvest, that those who sit in darkness may see great light, and that the whole earth may be filled with the knowledge of himself! Amen."