Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 December 29


abstractJohnson writes of his spiritual concerns, the progress of the school, and his differences with Kirkland.

handwritingHandwriting is small, yet mostly clear and legible. Letter case is frequently difficult to discern, especially with regard to the letter S.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

inkBlack-brown ink is faded in spots.

  Revd & ever hond Doct.r  
I would once more attempt to  write to you my Hond Benefactor; Notwithſtanding I find  my mind so Diſcompoſ'd, it is as if their was no Solidneſs in my  mind, sometimes Encouraged, & at other time Diſhearted; So yt   I cant be Reſolute in what I do. at preſent things look dark—  They all wear a garment of Diſcouragement, but I hope that  Before long Some will change their preſent garment, & Look  Encouraging to your poor Labourers in the Wilderneſs.  I Fear that God is about to give up theſe poor Ignorant heathen  to walk after their own hearts, and cut them of Intirely from his  Earth; I think at preſent their is Some concern amongſt theſe  Indians I would hope a Real concern, I hope that God is about to  carry on his own work amongſt us, and bring out Some of our Souls  from this darkneſs into his Marvelous Light. I am yet in the Gall  of Bitterneſ and in the bond of Iniquity. I hope that God will yet  Enable me to See the pride of my heart, & the great Sin of Unbelief  and the Neceſsity I Stand in of X Jeſus, I believe that unleſs God be  pleaſed to open my Eyes that I may See the wickedneſs of my h^e^art   I greatly fear I shall never Obtain the One thing needfull.  I deſire the continuance of your prayers dayly that God would  make and keep me humble minded and willing to Submit to  his will and pleaſure & to diſpoſe of me as Seems good to him  and moſt for his own Glory and the furtherence of the Glorious  Redeemers Kingdom Here in this Deſert.  It seems as if I was in Some meaſure willing to devote my at to yt   End. I have no Strange news to Enform you of at preſent I steadily  attend the School, Such Times Excepted as when mr kirtland wants  my aſsiſtantce the illegibleScholars ar 5 in number at preſent they larn   very faſt, I have Some hopes of having my School Enlargd   in Number, but if not, I hope that it may Increaſe in—  Knowledge. I will do all that Lays in my power to teach  them in all thing I am capable of. I Live very comfortable  upon the Indian fair, I Lack nothing but thank full   Heart. (as I wrote before.) I have had my health as Uſual  By the Goodneſs of God, and I hope Revd Sir, that by the  Same Gododneſs that you have had your Valuable health  aſ Uſual Likewiſe. I would once more aſk the continuance  of your prayers, that god keep me from pride, from—  Ingratitude, from diſhonouring his Great Name—  from all the Temptations of the Divil, and from all the  Temptations of my fellow Youth. that he would keep me from  the Luſts of the Eye, and the Luſts of the fleſh. and in Short from  Everything that is Diſpleaſing to him. 
I muſt own and I think it my duty to confeſs now that  that I was wrong in my thoughts about that Queſtion  which Mr kirtland aſked me "do you think there is So  "great a Differrence Between me and Mr Wheelock,  I Miſunderſtood him he Said that "do you think there is a  "greater Difference between you and me, then there is between  "Mr Wheelock and me. it was Laſt winter when I Shewed   my Reluctance in aſsiting him for his fire wood." He Said I  "would willingly take care of Mr Wheelock if he was up  "here.—I said So would I. Then his Queſtion came.  I have no more to write at this Time, Only Revd Sir;  I Deſire Still to be under your kind Direction in all  things thal I undertake. Revd Sir. I should be glad of  a favour of a illegibleLitter from you as I always have a deſire  to hear from my kind & hond Benefactor.   
So hond Sir  I deſire to Subſcribe myſelf your Humble & Obedient—  —Pupil.  Joſeph Johnſon. 
PS. my humble Duty to madam,  & Reſpects to all your worthy  Family. I have been in great  Hurry in this Letter I dont know  as you can Read it. 
To The Revd Doctr Wheeloc^k^ 
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From Joseph Johnson   Dec.r 1767   
To   The Rev.d Dr Wheelock   In   New England