Preached from John iii. 1-5. A number of white people were present, as is usual upon the sabbath. The discourse was accompanied with power, and seemed to have a silent, but deep and piercing, influence upon the audience. Many wept and sobbed affectionately. And there were some tears among the white people, as well as the Indians. Some could not refrain from crying out, though there were not many so exercised. But the impressions made upon their hearts, appeared chiefly by the extraordinary earnestness of their attention, and their heavy sighs and fears.
After public worship was over, I went to my house, proposing to preach again after a short season of intermission. But they soon came in one after another, with tears in their eyes, to know "what they should do to be saved." And the divine Spirit in such a manner set home upon their hearts what I spoke to them, that the house was soon filled with cries and groans. They all flocked together upon this occasion, and those whom I had reason to think in a Christless state, were almost universally seized with concern for their souls.
It was an amazing season of power among them, and seemed as if God had "bowed the heavens, and come down." So astonishingly prevalent was the operation upon old as well as young, that it seemed as if none would be left in a secure and natural state, but that God was now about to convert all the world. And I was ready to think then, that I should never again despair of the conversion of any man or woman living, be they who or what they would.
It is impossible to give a just and lively description of the appearance of things at this season, at least such as to convey a bright and adequate idea of the effects of this influence. A number might now be seen rejoicing that God had not taken away the powerful influence of his blessed Spirit from this place. - Refreshed to see so many "striving to enter in at the strait gate;" - and animated with such concern for them, that they wanted "to push them forward," as some of them expressed it. - At the same time numbers both of men and women, old and young, might be seen in tears, and some in anguish of spirit, appearing in their very countenances, like condemned malefactors bound towards the place of execution, with a heavy solicitude sitting in their faces: so that there seemed here (as I thought) a lively emblem of the solemn day of accounts; a mixture of heaven and hell, of joy and anguish inexpressible.
The concern and religious affection was such, that I could not pretend to have any formal religious exercise among them; but spent the time in discoursing to one and another, as I thought most proper and seasonable for each, and sometimes addressed them all together, and finally concluded with prayer. - Such were their circumstances at this season, that I could scarce have half an hour's rest from speaking from about half an hour before twelve o'clock, (at which time I began public worship,) till past seven at night. There appeared to be four or five persons newly awakened this day and the evening before, some of whom but very lately came among us.