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Providences of the most holy and only wise, I called Providence.

Sometime after Plymmouth great Sachim (Ousamaquin) [Massasoit] upon occasion affirming that Providence was his land and therefore Plymmouth's land, and some resenting it, the then prudent and godly Governour Mr. Bradford and others of his godly councell answered, that if after due examination it should be found true what the barbarian said, yet having, to my loss of a harvest that yeare, been now (though by their gentle advice) as good as banished from Plymmouth as from the Massachusetts; and I had quietly and patiently departed from them, at their motion, to the place where now I was, I should not be molested and tost up and down againe, while they had breath in their bodies; and surely betweene those my friends of the Bay and Plymmouth, I was sorely tost for one fourteen weekes, in a bitter winter season, not knowing what bread or bed did meane; beside the yearly losse of no small matter in my trading with English and natives, being debarred from Boston, the chiefe mart and port of New England. God knows that many thousand pounds cannot repay the very temporary losses I have sustained. It lies upon the Massachusetts and me, yea and other colonies joining with them to examine, with feare and trembling before the eyes of flaming fire, the true cause of all my sorrows and sufferings.

From "A Key into the Language of America," Chap. II, edition of 1643. Hospitality among the Indians

Whomsoever commeth in when they are eating, they offer them to eat of that which they have, though but little enough prepar'd for themselves. If any provision of fish or flesh come in, they make their neighbours partakers with them.

If any stranger come in, they presently give him to eate of what they have; many a time, and at all times of the night (as I have fallen in travell upon their houses) when nothing hath been ready, have themselves and their wives, risen to prepare me some refreshing.

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It is a strange truth that a man shall generally finde more free entertainment and refreshing amongst these Barbarians, then amongst thousands that call themselves Christians.

A KEY into the





An help to the Language of the Natives

in that part of AMERICA, called


Together with briefe Obfervations of the Cu-
ftomes Manners and Worfhips, of the
arorefaid Nauves, in Peace and Warre,
in Life and Death.

On all which are added Spirituall Obfervations,
Generall and Particular by the Authour, of
chiefe and speciall'ute(upon all occafions.)to
all the English Inhabiting those parts;
yet pleafant and profitable to
the view of all men:

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1. Course bread and water's most their fare
O Englands diet fine;

Thy cup runs ore with plenteous store

Of wholesome beare and wine.

2. Sometimes God gives them Fish or Flesh,
Yet they're content without;

And what comes in, they part to friends
and strangers round about.
3. Gods providence is rich to his,
Let none distrustfull be;

In wildernesse, in great distresse,
These Ravens have fed me.



The one thing that John Eliot longed to do was to "gospelize" the Indians. He learned their language, he showed them better ways of living, he organized churches among them, and he watched over them as though they were his beloved children. His great literary work was the translation of the Bible into the language of the Massachusetts tribes. Of this language Cotton Mather says: "If their Alphabat be short, I am sure the Words composed of it are long enough to tire the Patience of any Scholar in the World; they are Sesquipedalia Verba, of which their Linguo is composed; one would think, they had been growing ever since Babel, unto the Dimensions to which they are now extended." As an illustration, he quotes the word Kummogkodonattoottummooetiteaongannunnonash, signifying Our Question.

From a letter written by John Eliot to Hon. Robert Boyle, Roxbury, April 22, 1684. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. III, for the year 1794.

How the "Praying Indians" Kept the Sabbath

Your honour's intimation hath the force of a command upon me, and therefore I shall briefly relate the religious walking and ways of the praying Indians. They do diligently observe and keep the sabbath, in all the places of their public meetings to worship God. The example of the English churches, and the authority of the English laws, which major Gookin doth

declare unto them, together with such mulcts, as are inflicted upon transgressors; as also and especially, the clear and express command of God, which they and their children learn and rehearse daily in their catechisms; these all together have fully possessed and convinced them of their duty, to keep holy the sabbath day. So that the sanctifying of the sabbath is a


John Eliot

great and eminent part of their religion. And though some of the vain and carnal sort among them are not so girt to it, as were to be desired, yet the grave and religious sort do constantly worship God, every sabbath day, both morning and evening, as the English do.

The acts of worship, which they perform in their publick meetings, are as followeth.

The officer beginneth with prayer, and prayeth for all men, rulers, ministers, people, young, old, sick, well, English or Indians, &c. according to that word, I Tim. ii. 12. I will that first of all prayers be made, &c. I say, the officer beginneth with prayer, viz. where they have an officer ordained, as it is almost in all the churches. But we have more public assemblies, that meet every Lord's day, to worship God, than we have churches. There is not yet a church gathered in every place, where they meet to worship God and keep the sabbath; but where it is so, they choose some able godly man (the best they can) to manage the worship among them: him they call their teacher, and he beginneth with prayer, &c. When prayer is ended, they call forth such as are to answer the catechism; and though this is sometimes omitted in some places, yet that is the way they walk in, and it is often practised. When catechism is ended, a chapter is read, sometimes in the old testament, and sometimes in the new; and sundry of the young men are trained up, and called forth to this service, sometimes one, sometimes another.

When the chapter is read, a psalm is sung, which service sundry are able to manage well.

That finished, the preacher first prayeth, then preacheth, and then prayeth again. If it be the day for the Lord's supper to be celebrated, the church address themselves unto it, and the minister doth exactly perform it, according to the scriptures. When that service is done, they sing a psalm, according to the pattern of Christ; then he blesseth the church, and so finisheth the morning service.

In the afternoon they meet again, and perform all the parts of worship, as they did in the morning; which done, if there be any infant to be baptised, they perform that service according to the scriptures; which done, the deacon calleth for contributions; which done, if there be any act of publick discipline (as divers times there is, there being many failures among us) then the offender is called forth (being with care and diligence prepared) and is exhorted to give glory to God, and confess his sin; which being penitent, they gladly accept

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