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To the second point I answer; that ignorance is not so incurable as error; that you must pull down as well as build, erase as well as imprint, in order to make proselytes at home: whereas, the savage Americans, if they are in a state purely natural, and unimproved by education, they are also unincumbered with all that rubbish of superstition and prejudice, which is the effect of a wrong one. As they are less instructed, they are withal less conceited, and more teachable. And not being violently attached to any false system of their own, are so much the fitter to receive that which is true. Hence it is evident, that success abroad ought not to be measured by that which we observe at home, and that the inference which was made from the difficulty of the one to the impossibility of the other, is altogether groundless.

It hath more the appearance of reason to object (what will possibly be objected by some) that this scheme hath been already tried to no purpose, several Indians having returned to their savage manners after they had been taught to write and read, and instructed in the Christian religion; a clear proof that their natural stupidity is not to be overcome by education.

In answer to this, I say, that the scheme now proposed hath never been tried, forasmuch as a thorough education in religion and morality, in Divine and human learning, doth not appear to have been ever given to any savage American: that much is to be hoped from a man ripe in years, and well grounded in religion and useful knowledge, while little or nothing can be expected from a youth but slightly instructed in the elements of either: that from the miscarriage or gross stupidity of some, a general incapacity of all Americans cannot be fairly inferred that they shew as much natural sense as other uncultivated nations: that the empires of Mexico and Peru were evident proofs of their capacity, in which there appeared a relish of politics, and a degree of art

and politeness, which no European people were ever known to have arrived at without the use of letters or of iron, and which some perhaps have fallen short of with both those advantages.


To what hath been said, it may not be improper to add, that young Americans, educated in an island at some distance from their own country, will more easily be kept under discipline till they have attained a complete education, than on the continent; where they might find opportunities of running away to their countrymen, and returning to their brutal customs, before they were thoroughly imbued with good principles and habits.

It must nevertheless be acknowledged a difficult attempt, to plant religion among the Americans, so long as they continue their wild and roving life. He who is obliged to hunt for his daily food, will have little curiosity or leisure to receive instruction. It would seein therefore the right way, to introduce religion and civil life at the same time into that part of the world: either attempt will assist and promote the other. Those therefore of the young savages, who upon trial are found less likely to improve by academical studies, may be taught agriculture, or the most necessary trades. And when husbandmen, weavers, carpenters, and the like, have planted those useful arts among their savage countrymen, and taught them to live in settled habitations, to canton out their land and till it, to provide vegetable food of all kinds, to preserve flocks and herds of cattle, to make convenient houses, and to clothe themselves decently this will assist the spreading the gospel among them; this will dispose them to social virtues, and enable them to see and to feel the advantages of a religious and civil education.


And that this view of propagating the gospel and civil life among the savage nations of America, was a principal motive whi ch induced the crown to send the

first English colonies thither, doth appear from the charter granted by King James I. to the adventurers in Virginia. (See Purchas's Pilgrims, vol. iv. b. i. c. ix.) And it is now but just (what might then seem charitable) that these poor creatures should receive some advantage with respect to their spiritual interests, from those who have so much improved their temporal, by settling among them.

It is most true, nowithstanding our present corruptions, that there are to be found in no country under the sun men of better inclinations, or greater abilities for doing good, than in England. But it is as true, that success, in many cases, depends not upon zeal, industry, wealth, learning, or the like faculties, so much as on the method wherein these are applied. We often see a small proportion of labour and expense in one way bring that about, which in others a much greater share of both could never effect. It hath been my endeavour to discover this way or method in the present case. What hath been done, I submit to the judgment of all good and reasonable men; who, I am persuaded, will never reject or discourage a proposal of this nature, on the score of slight objections, surmises, or difficulties, and thereby render themselves chargeable with the having prevented those good effects which might otherwise have been produced by it.

For it is, after all, possible, that unforeseen difficulties may arise in the prosecution of this design, many things may retard, and many things may threaten to obstruct it; but there is hardly any enterprise or scheme whatsoever, for the public good, in which difficulties are not often shewing themselves, and as often overcome by the blessing of God, upon the prudence and resolution of the undertakers; though, for aught that

appears, the present scheme is as likely to succeed, and attended with as few difficulties, as any of this kind can possibly be.

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For to any man who considers the Divine power of religion, the innate force of reason and virtue, and the mighty effects often wrought by the constant regular operation even of a weak and small cause; it will seem natural and reasonable to suppose, that rivulets perpetually issuing forth from a fountain or reservoir of learning and religion, and streaming through all parts of America, must in due time have a great effect, in purging away the ill manners and irreligion of our colonies, as well as the blindness and barbarity of the nations round them: especially, if the reservoir be in a clean and private place, where its waters, out of the way of any thing that may corrupt them, remain clear and pure; otherwise they are more likely to pollute than purify the places through which they flow.

The greatness of a benefaction is rather in proportion to the number and want of the receivers, than to the liberality of the giver. A wise and good man would therefore be frugal in the management of his charity: that is, contrive it so that it might extend to the greatest wants of the greatest number of his fellow-creatures. Now the greatest wants are spiritual wants, and by all accounts these are no where greater than in our western plantations, in many parts whereof Divine service is never performed for want of clergymen; in others, after such a manner and by such hands, as scandalize even the worst of their own parishioners; where many English, instead of gaining converts, are themselves degenerated into heathens, being members of no church, without morals, without faith, without baptism. There can be therefore, in no part of the Christian world, a greater want of spiritual things than in our plantations.

And, on the other hand, no part of the gentile world are so inhuman and barbarous as the savage Americans, whose chief employment and delight consisting in cruelty and revenge, their lives must of all others be most opposite, as well to the light of nature as to the spirit

of the gospel. Now to reclaim these poor wretches, to prevent the many torments and cruel deaths which they daily inflict on each other, to contribute in any sort to put a stop to the numberless horrid crimes which they commit without remorse, and instead thereof to introduce the practice of virtue and piety, must surely be a work in the highest degree becoming every sincere and charitable Christian.

Those who wish well to religion and mankind, will need no other motive to forward an undertaking calculated for the service of both: I shall, nevertheless, beg leave to observe, that whoever would be glad to cover a multitude of sins by an extensive and well-judged charity, or whoever, from an excellent and godlike temper of mind, seeks opportunities of doing good in his generation, will be pleased to meet with a scheme that so peculiarly puts it in his power, with small trouble or expense, to procure a great and lasting benefit to the world.

Ten pounds a year would (if I mistake not) be sufficient to defray the expense of a young American in the college of Bermuda, as to diet, lodging, clothes, books, and education: and if so, the interest of two hundred pounds may be a perpetual fund for maintaining one missionary at the college for ever; and in this succession many, it is to be hoped, may become powerful instruments for converting to Christianity and civil life whole nations, who now "sit in darkness and the shadow of death," and whose cruel brutal manners are a disgrace to human nature.

A benefaction of this kind seems to enlarge the very being of a man, extending it to distant places and to future times; inasmuch as unseen countries and afterages may feel the effects of his bounty, while he himself reaps the reward in the blessed society of all those, who, having turned many to righteousness, shine as the stars for ever and ever."

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