Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 November 10


abstractJohnson writes to Wheelock about his safe arrival in Oneida, the state of his life and school there, and about two young boys who could, in time, be likely pupils for the charity school.

handwritingHandwriting is small and tightly spaced, but formal and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded vertically to form four pages is in good condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, yellowing and wear. Significant portions of the seal remain, and tearing around the seal results in no loss of text.

inkBrown ink has sustained some fading.

Revd and Hond Doct.r   
Suffer me as an Indian and a good  for nothing one, to Subscribe myself your dutifull Pupil, or one  that will Endeavour ^to be dutifull,^ for time to come;  Revd Sir, by the mere goodneſs of God we arrived Safe up here  the Eleventh day from your house; & Experienced much of the good= =neſs of God, in many Inſtances; Praised be his ^Name^ that he has all things  at his Command, & distempers at his beck, they go and come at his  pleasure. Blesſsed be the Lord God that has carried us ſafe  when the Arrows of Death were flying thick about us, he worked  a wounderfull deliverence for our Bodies, and may it please him in  Infinite Mercy and condeſention to work much more wounderfull  deliverence to my precious Soul. and may the Lord Enable me to give  due thanks for his kind preſervation, and may his goodneſs lead  me to a hearty Repentance. & may he please to fill my heart brim full of Gratitude to him and my kind Benefactors, I feel a dispoſition  and a heart to Spend all for God and to Enlarge the dear Redeemers  Kingdom in the world, as far as lies in my power. I think I have no  Reaſon to take it hard to Endure heardſhips. Since our Bleſsed Lord  Jeſus has been before me he has led the way; He was acquainted  with all these heardſhips before me; he was no Stranger to Hunger,  Thirst, cold, nor yet Temptations, as he was man. yea may I not think  it hard if he call for my Life in his cauſe, to let it go freely; for it is no  more than he did, and may I go through all theſe Trials with Eaſe for  his Sake: Seeing he has led the way Set a patorn for all thoſe that  will follow him, he has been pleaſed to tell us beforehand of theſe things  he was reviled, here he Sought a glorious Example of humiliation that  when he was reviled he reviled not again, he was perſicuted for my Sins  thereby to learn me that I must in like manner go through perſicu= =tions, and that I must not think it hard to be perſicuted called to nought  for his Names Sake, for he was perſecuted for my Sins Sake.  He Spilled his Seacred Blood for me he groaned out his Life for  my Wickedneſs, he had no Self-Glory in his Sufferings; all he had  in view was the Salvation of Man — that Guilty man maight be  Reconciled to its maker: now through his death & Sufferings  the Aposſtate Man may converſe with its Creator. through a —  Mediator. He has dearly purchased a Heaven of happineſs  for every one that will believe in him. only believing heaven is mine  Eternal happineſs is mine, Christ is mine, nay all the happineſs in  in this Life & the Life to come is all mine only for Recieving.  Revd Doct.r I would Enform you that that by the goodneſs of God  I Enjoy my health as uſual. 
as Sir, I would feign hope that by the Same goodneſs you Enjoy yours,  I would Enform you likewise that I have entered the School  which your Son Opened for me when he was up here.  I Entered on the Seecond tuſeday of November. had only 5 Sc[illegible]holars  they are all abſent yet and perhaps will not return long before  New Year. But they promiſe me three more this week, who are gone  only to fetch Some flesh from the Hunters. they behave very kind  to me Since I came here, all that they have is free to me as one Born  and brought up in the houſe.  I have plenty of Victuals Such as they can afford, & they are good  Enough, better then I deſerve, Nothing wanting but a thankfull  heart, they have plenty of Corn, fish, Squaſhes at preſent.  I have nothing that is Strange to Enform you in this Letter, you  Said Something to me about chuſing a Lad out of my School  and Send him down to you, I think at preſent there is no choice  I am not able to discern their Genious, here is two very likely boys  look as if they would make men (in time) are about 12 o 13 years of Age  I cant tell which of them is best, (they are booth ^branches^ of the royal family  In their Nation and town) perhaps in the Sprindg I Shall be more  able to distinguiſh them, when I have Seen what Proficiency they  make. no more at preſent only hond Sir, I deſire Still to be under thy  Direction, pleaſe Sir, to Remember me in thy prayers, Pray that God  would fill my heart with Gratitude booth to him and my Kind Bene =factors. — that he would keep me from pride & Ingratitude; which  has ruined many a youth. pray that he would grant me Prudence;  and that I may put my whole Truſt in him booth Soul & body.  for time & Eternity, that he may Enable me to live above the World, as,  not having my treaſure on Earth, but in the heavens, where neither  moth nor ruſt corrupteth; nor theives brake though and Steal.  Pray that he would grant me wisdom from on high, Such as none  but a God can give; that he would grant me wisdom So to be have  myſelf as not to diſhonour or bring disgrace to Religion. that he would  make one a bleſsing to the Children which he has commited to my charge. 
This is the true and Sincere, hearty deſire, of me, thy Dutifull tho  Unworthy Pupil.  Joſeph Johnſon. 
Blank page.
From Joseph Johnson Onoida  Nov.r 1767   
To —  The Rev.d Mr Eleazer Wheelock. Doct.r Divinity  Min^i^ster of the Goſpel of Christ at Lebanon.  N. England. —  Connecticut. —    Pr favour of }  William }