Samson Occom- “Sermon Preached at Execution of Moses Paul” (1772) (Selections)

A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian
Samuel Occom
Courtesy of, T. & S. Green, New Haven, Conn.
Annenberg/CPB •
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Copyright Ó 2003
American Passages e-text / 2

A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, and Indian
Samuel Occom
Preached by
Minister of the Gospel, and Missionary to the Indians;
at the Execution of
Who was executed at New-Haven, September 2, 1772, for the murder
of MOSES COOK, late of Waterbury, on the seventh of December
1771; preached at the desire of said Paul.


THE world is already full of books; and the people of God are abundantly furnished
with excellent books upon divine subjects; and it seems, that every subject has been written
upon over and over again: And the people in very deed have had precept upon precept, line
upon line, here a little and there a little; and so in the whole, they have much, yea very
much, they have enough and more than enough. And when I come to consider these things,
I am ready to say with myself, What folly and madness is it in me to suffer any thing of
mine to appear in print, to expose my ignorance to the world.

It seems altogether unlikely that my performance will do any manner of service in the
world, since the most excellent writings of worthy and learned men are disregarded. — But
there are two or three considerations that have induced me to be willing to suffer my
broken hints to appear in the world. One, is, that the books that are in the world are written
in very high and refined language; and the sermons that are delivered every sabbath in
general, are in a very high and lofty stile so that the common people understand but little of
them. But I think they can’t help understanding my talk; it is common, plain, every-day
talk: Little children may understand me. And poor Negroes may plainly and fully
understand my meaning; and it may be of service to them. Again, it may in a particular
manner be serviceable to my poor kindred the Indians. Further, as it comes from an
uncommon quarter, it may induce people to read it, because it is from an Indian. Lastly,

God works where and when he pleases, and by what instruments he sees fit, and he can and
has used weak and unlikely instruments to bring about his great work.

It was a stormy, and very uncomfortable day, when the following discourse was
delivered, and about one half of it was not delivered as it was written, and now it is a little
altered and enlarged in some places.


BY the melancholy providence of God, and at the earnest desire and invitation of the
poor condemned criminal, I am here before this great concourse of people at this time, to
give the last discourse to the poor miserable object who is to be executed this day before
your eyes, for the due reward of his folly and madness, and enormous wickedness. It is an
unwelcome task to me to speak upon such occasion; but since it is the desire of the poor
man himself, who is to die a shameful death this day, in conscience I cannot deny him; I
must endeavor to do the great work the dying man requests.

I conclude that this great concourse of people have come together to see the execution
of justice upon this poor Indian; and I suppose the bigest part of you look upon yourselves
christians, and as such I hope you will demean yourselves; and that you will have suitable
commiseration towards this poor object. Tho’ you can’t in justice pray for his life to be
continued in this world, yet you can pray earnestly for the salvation of his poor soul,
consistently with the mind of God. Let this be therefore the fervent exercise of your souls:
For this is the last day we have to pray for him. As for you that don’t regard religion, it
cannot be expected, that you will put up one petition for this miserable creature: Yet I
would entreat you seriously to consider the frailty of corrupt nature, and behave yourselves
as becomes rational creatures.

And in a word, Let us all be suitably affected with the melancholy occasion of the day;
knowing, that we are all dying creatures, and accountable unto God. Though this poor
condemned creature will in a few minutes know more than all of us, either in unutterable
joy, or in inconceivable wo, yet we shall certainly know as much as he in a few days.


THE sacred words that I have chosen to speak from, upon this
undesirable occasion, are found written in the Epistle of St. Paul to the ROMANS, VI. 23.

For the Wages of Sin is Death, but the Gift of God is Eternal Life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

DEATH is called the king of terrors, and it ought to be the subject of every man and
woman’s thoughts daily; because it is that unto which they are liable every moment of their
lives: And therefore it cannot be unreasonable to think, speak and hear of it at any time, and
especially on this mournful occasion; for we must all come to it, how soon we cannot tell;
whether we are prepared or not prepared, ready or not ready, whether death is welcome or
not welcome, we must feel the force of it: Whether we concern ourselves with death or not,
it will concern itself with us. Seeing that this is the case with every one of us, what manner
of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness; how ought men to exert
themselves in preparation for death, continually; for they know not what a day or an hour
may bring forth, with respect to them. But alas! according to the appearance of mankind in
general; death is the least thought of. They go on from day to day as if they were to live
here forever, as if this was the only life. They contrive, rack their inventions, disturb their
rest, and even hazard their lives in all manner of dangers, both by sea and land; yea, they
leave no stone unturned that they may live in the world, and at the same time have little or
no contrivance to die well. God and their souls are neglected, and heaven and eternal
happiness are disregarded; Christ and his religion are despised — yet most of these very
men intend to be happy when they come to die, not considering that there must be great
preparation in order to die well. Yea there is none so fit to live as those that are fit to die;
those that are not fit to die are not fit to live. Life and death are nearly connected; we
generally own that it is a great and solemn thing to die. If this be true, then it is a great and
solemn thing to live, for as we live so we shall die. But I say again, how do mankind realize
these things? They are busy about the things of this world as if there was no death before
them. Dr. Watts pictures them out to the life in his psalms:

See the vain race of mortals move,
Like shadows o’er the plain,
They rage and strive, desire and love,
But all the noise is vain.
Some walk in honour’s gaudy show,
Some dig for golden ore,
They toil for heirs they know not who,
And strait are seen no more.1

But on the other hand, life is the most precious thing, and ought to be the most desired
by all rational creatures. It ought to be prized above all things; yet there is nothing so
abused and despised as life, and nothing so neglected: I mean eternal life is shamefully
disregarded by men in general, and eternal death is chosen rather than life. This is the
general complaint of the bible from the beginning to the end. As long as Christ is
neglected, life is refused, as long as sin is cherished, death is chosen. And this seems to be
the woful case of mankind of all nations, according to their appearance in these days: For it
is too plain to be denied, that vice and immorality, and floods of iniquity are abounding
every where amongst all nations, and all orders and ranks of men, and in every sect of
people. Yea there is a great agreement and harmony among all nations, and from the
highest to the lowest to practice sin and iniquity; and the pure religion of Jesus Christ is
turned out of doors, and is dying without; or, in other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is turned
out of doors by men in general, and even by his professed people. “He came to his own,
and his own received him not.”2 But the devil is admitted, he has free access to the houses
and hearts of the children of men: Thus life is refused and death is chosen.

But in further speaking upon our text by divine assistance, I shall consider these two
general propositions.

I. That sin is the cause of all the miseries that befall the children of men, both as to
their bodies and souls, for time and eternity.
II. That eternal life and happiness is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In speaking to the first proposition, I shall first consider the nature of sin; and
secondly I shall consider the consequences of sin or the wages of sin, which is death. First
then, we are to describe the nature of sin.

Sin is the transgression of the law:–This is the scripture definition of sin.–Now the
law of God being holy, just and good; sin must be altogether unholy, unjust and evil. If I
was to define sin, I should call it a contrariety to God; and as such it must be the vilest
thing in the world; it is full of all evil; it is the evil of evils; the only evil in which dwells no
good thing; and it is most destructive to God’s creation, wherever it takes effect. It was sin
that transformed the very angels in heaven, into devils; and it was sin that caused hell to be
made. If it had not been for sin, there never would have been such a thing as hell or devil,
death or misery.

And if sin is such a thing as we have just described, it must be worse than the devils in
hell itself.–Sin is full of deadly poison; it is full of malignity and hatred against God;
against all his divine perfections and attributes, against his wisdom, against his power,
against his holiness and goodness, against his mercy and justice, against his law and
gospel; yea against his very being and existence. Were it in the power of sin, it would even
dethrone God, and set itself on the throne.

When Christ the Son of the Most High came down from the glorious world above,
into this wretched world of sin and sorrow, to seek and to save that which was lost, sin or
sinners rose up against him, as soon as he entered our world, and pursued him with hellish
malice, night and day, for above thirty years together, till they killed him.
Further, sin is against the Holy Ghost; it opposes all its good and holy operations upon
the children of men. When, and wherever there is the out pouring of the Spirit of God, upon
the children of men, in a way of conviction and conversion; sin will immediately prompt
the devil and his children to rise up against it, and they will oppose the work with all their
power, and in every shape. And if open opposition will not do, the devil will mimic the
work and thus prevent the good effect.

Thus we find by the scripture accounts, that whenever God raises up men, and uses
them as instruments of conviction and conversion, the devil and his instruments will rise up
to destroy both the reformers and the reformed. Thus it has been from the early days of
christianity to this day. We have found it so in our day. In the time of the outpouring of the
Spirit of God in these colonies, to the conviction and reformation of many; immediately sin
and the devil influenced numbers to rise up against the good work of God, calling it a
delusion, and work of the devil. And thus sin also opposes every motion of the Spirit of
God, in the heart of every christian; this makes a warfare in the soul.

2. I shall endeavor to show the sad consequences or effects of sin upon the children of

Sin has poisoned them, and made them distracted or fools. The psalmist says, The fool
hath said in his heart, there is no God.3 And Solomon, through his proverbs, calls ungodly
sinners fools; and their sin he calls their folly and foolishness.4 The apostle James says, But
the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.5 It is the heart that is
in the first place full of deadly poison. The tongue is only an interpreter of the heart. Sin
has vitiated the whole man, both soul and body; all the powers are corrupted; it has turned
the minds of men against all good, towards all evil. So poisoned are they according to the
prophet, Isa. v. 20. “Wo unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for
light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” And Christ
Jesus saith in John iii. 19, 20. “And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the
world, and men have loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For
every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should
be reproved.” Sin hath stupified mankind, they are now ignorant of God their Maker;
neither do they enquire after him. And they are ignorant of themselves, they know not what
is good for them, neither do they understand their danger; and they have no fear of God
before their eyes.

Further, sin hath blinded their eyes, so that they cannot discern spiritual things; neither
do they see the way that they should go, and they are as deaf as adders, so that they cannot
hear the joyful sound of the gospel that brings glad tidings of peace and pardon to the
sinners of mankind. Neither do they regard the charmer charming never so wisely. — Not
only so, but sin has made man proud, though he has nothing to be proud of; for he has lost
his excellency, his beauty and happiness; he is a bankrupt and is excommunicated from
God; he was turned out of paradise by God himself, and became a vagabond in God’s
world, and as such he has no right or title to the least crumb of mercy, in the world: Yet he
is proud, he is haughty, and exalts himself above God, though he is wretched and
miserable, and poor and blind and naked. He glories in his shame. Sin has made him
beastly and devilish; yea, he is sunk beneath the beasts, and is worse than the ravenous
beasts of the wilderness. He is become ill-natured, cruel and murderous; he is contentious
and quarrelsome. I said he is worse than the ravenous beasts, for wolves and bears don’t
devour their own kind, but man does; yea, we have numberless instances of women killing
their own children; such women I think are worse than she-tygers.

Sin has made man dishonest, and deceitful, so that he goes about cheating and
defrauding and deceiving his fellow-men in the world: Yea, he has become a cheat himself,
he goes about in vain shew; we do not know where to find man.–Sometimes we find as an
angel of God; and at other times we find as a devil, even one and the same man. Sin has
made a man a liar even from the womb; so there is no believing nor trusting him. The royal
psalmist says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are
born, speaking lies.”6 His language is also corrupted. Whereas he had a pure and holy
language, in his innocency, to adore and praise God his Maker, he now curses and swears,
and profanes, the holy name of God, and curses and damns his fellow creatures. In a word,
man is a most unruly and ungovernable creature, and is become as the wild ass’s colt, and is
harder to tame than any of God’s creatures in this world.–In short, man is worse than all the
creatures in this lower world, his propensity is to evil and that continually; he is more like
the devil than any creature we can think of: And I think it is not going beyond the word of
God, to say man is the most devilish creature in the world. Christ said to his disciples, One
of you is a devil; to the Jews he said, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your
father ye will do.7 Thus every unconverted soul is a child of the devil, sin has made them

We have given some few hints of the nature of sin, and the effects of sin on mankind.
We shall in the next place consider the wages or the reward of sin, which is death.
Sin is the cause of all the miseries that attend poor sinful man, which will finally bring
him to death, death temporal and eternal. I shall first consider his temporal death.
His temporal death then begins as soon as he is born. Though it seems to us that he is
just beginning to live, yet in fact he is just entered into a state of death; St. Paul says
“w[h]erefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”8 Man is surrounded with ten thousand
instruments of death, and is liable to death every moment of his life; a thousand diseases
await him on every side continually; the sentence of death has pass’d upon them as soon as
they are born; yea they are struck with death as soon as they breathe. And it seems all the
enjoyments of men in this world are also poisoned with sin; for God said to Adam after he
had sinned, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of
thy life.”9 By this we plainly see that every thing that grows out of the ground is cursed,
and all creatures that God hath made for man are cursed also; and whatever God curses is a
cursed thing indeed. Thus death and destruction is in all the enjoyments of men in this life,
every enjoyment in this world is liable to misfortune in a thousand ways, both by sea and

How many ships, that have been loaded with the choicest treasures of the earth, have
been swallowed up in the ocean, many times just before they enter their desired haven. And
vast treasures have been consumed by fire on the land, &c. — And the fruits of the earth are
liable to many judgments. And the dearest and nearest enjoyments of men are generally
balanced with equal sorrow and grief. — A man and his wife who have lived together in
happiness for many years; that have comforted each other in various changes of life, must
at last be separated; one or the other must be taken away first by death, and then the poor
survivor is drowned in tears, in sorrow, mourning and grief. And when a child or children
are taken away by death, the bereaved parents are bowed down with sorrow and deep
mourning. When Joseph was sold by his brethren unto the Ishmaelites, they took his coat
and rolled it in blood, and carried it to their father, and the good old patriarch knew it to be
Joseph’s coat, and he concluded that his dear Joseph was devoured by evil beasts; and he
was plunged all over in sorrow and bitter mourning, and he refused to be comforted. And
so when tender parents are taken away by death, the children are left comfortless. All this is
the sad effects of sin — These are the wages of sin.

And secondly we are to consider man’s spiritual death, while he is here in this world.
We find it thus written in the word of God, “And the Lord God commanded the man,
saying of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of
good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
die.”10 And yet he did eat of it, and so he and all his posterity are but dead men. And St.
Paul to the Ephesians saith, “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and
sins.”11 — The great Mr. Henry says, in this place, that unregenerate souls are dead in
trespasses and sins.12 All those who are in their sins, are dead in sins; yea, in trespasses
and sins; and which may signify all sorts of sins, habitual and actual; sins of heart and life.
Sin is the death of the soul. Wherever that prevails, there is a privation of all spiritual life.
Sinners are dead in state, being destitute of the principles and powers of spiritual life; and
cut off from God the fountain of life: and they are dead in law, as a condemned malefactor
is said to be a dead man. Now a dead man, in a natural sense, is unactive, and is of no
service to the living: There is no correspondence between the dead and the living: There is
no agreement or union between them, no fellowship at all between the dead and the living.
A dead man is altogether ignorant of the intercourse among the living: — Just so it is with
men that are spiritually dead; they have no agreeable activity. Their activity in sin, is their
deadness and inactivity towards God. They are of no service to God; and they have no
correspondence with heaven; and there is no agreement or fellowship between them and the
living God; and they are totally ignorant of the agreeable and sweet intercourse there is
between God and his children here below: and they are ignorant, and know nothing of that
blessed fellowship and union there is among the saints here below. They are ready to say
indeed, behold how they love one another! But they know nothing of that love, that the
children of God enjoy. As sin is in opposition to God; so sinners are at enmity against God;
there is no manner of agreement between them.

Let us consider further. God is a living God, he is all life, the fountain of life; and a
sinner is a dead soul; there is nothing but death in him. And now judge ye, what agreement
can there be between them? God is a holy and pure God, and a sinner is an unholy and
filthy creature; — God is a righteous Being, and a sinner is an unrighteous creature; God is
light, and a sinner is darkness itself, &c. Further, what agreement can there be between God
and a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a swearer, a profane creature, a whoremonger, an adulterer,
an idolater, &c. No one that has any sense, dare say that there is any agreement. Further, as
sinners are dead to God, as such, they have no delight in God, and godliness; they have no
taste for the religion of Jesus Christ: they have no pleasure in the holy exercise of religion.
Prayer is no pleasant work with them; or if they have any pleasure in it, it is not out of love
to God, but out of self-love, like the Pharisees of old; they loved to pray in open view of
men, that they might have praise from them. And perhaps, they were not careful to pray in
secret. These were dead souls, they were unholy, rotten hypocrites, and so all their prayers
and religious exercises were cold, dead, and abominable services to God. Indeed they are
dead to all the duties that God requires of them: they are dead to the holy bible; to all the
laws, commands, and precepts thereof; and to the ordinances of the gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ. When they read the book of God, it is like an old almanack to them, a dead
book. But it is because they are dead, and as such, all their services are against God, even
their best services are an abomination unto God; yea, sinners are so dead in sin, that the
threatnings of God don’t move them. All the thunderings and lightnings of Mount-Sinai
don’t stir them. All the curses of the law are out against them; yea, every time they read
these curses in the bible, they are cursing them to their faces, and to their very eyes; yet
they are unconcern’d and go on in sin without fear. And lastly here, sin has so stupified the
sinner, that he will not believe his own senses, he won’t believe his own eyes, nor his own
ears, he reads the book of God, but he does not believe what he reads. And he hears of God,
and heaven, and eternal happiness, and of hell and eternal misery; but he believes none of
those things; he goes on, as if there were no God, nor heaven and happiness; neither has he
any fear of hell and eternal torments; and he sees his fellow-men dropping away daily on
every side, yet he goes on carelessly in sin, as if he never was to die. And if he at any time
thinks of dying, he hardly believes his own thoughts. —- Death is at a great distance, so far
off, that he dont concern himself about it, so as to prepare for it. God mournfully complains
of his people, that they dont consider; — O that they were wise, that they understood this,
that they would consider their latter end.

The next thing I shall consider, is the actual death of the body, or separation between
soul and body. At the cessation of natural life, there is no more joy or sorrow; no more
hope nor fear, as to the body; no more contrivance and carrying on of business; no more
merchandizing and trading; no more farming; no more buying and selling; no more
building of any kind, no more contrivance at all to live in the world; no more honor nor
reproach; no more praise; no more good report, nor evil report; no more learning of any
trades, arts or sciences in the world; no more sinful pleasures, they are all at an end;
recreations, visiting, tavern-hunting, musick and dancing, chambering and carousing,
playing at dice and cards, or any game whatsoever; cursing and swearing, and profaning
the holy name of God, drunkenness, fighting, debauchery, lying and cheating, in this world
must cease forever. Not only so, but they must bid an eternal farewell to all the world; bid
farewell to all their beloved sins and pleasures; and the places and possessions that knew
them once, shall know them no more forever. And further, they must bid adieu to all sacred
and divine things. They are obliged to leave the bible, and all the ordinances thereof; and to
bid farewell to preachers, and all sermons, and all christian people, and christian
conversation; they must bid a long farewell to sabbaths and seasons, and opportunities of
worship; yea an eternal farewell to all mercy and all hope; an eternal farewell to God the
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and adieu to heaven and all happiness, to saints and all the
inhabitants of the upper world. At your leisure please to read the destruction of Babylon;
you will find it written in the 18th of the Revelations.

On the other hand, the poor departed soul must take up its lodging in sorrow, wo and
misery, in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, where the worm dieth not and the
fire is not quenched; where a multitude of frightful deformed devils dwell, and the damned
ghosts of Adam’s race; where darkness, horror and despair reigns, or where hope never
comes, and where poor guilty naked souls will be tormented with exquisite torments, even
the wrath of the Almighty poured out upon the damned souls; the smoke of their torments
ascending up forever and ever; their mouths and nostrils streaming forth with living fire;
and hellish groans, cries and shrieks all around them; and merciless devils upbraiding them
for their folly and madness, and tormenting them incessantly. And there they must endure
the most unsatiable, fruitless desire, and the most overwhelming shame and confusion and
the most horrible fear, and the most doleful sorrow, and the most racking despair. When
they cast their flaming eyes to heaven, with Lives in torments, they behold an angry GOD,
whose eyes are as a flaming fire, and they are struck with ten thousand darts of pain; and
the sight of the happiness of the saints above, adds to their pains and aggravates their
misery. And when they reflect upon their past folly and madness in neglecting the great
salvation in their day, it will pierce them with ten thousand inconceivable torments; it will
as it were enkindle their hell afresh; and it will cause them to curse themselves bitterly, and
curse the day in which they were born, and curse their parents that were the instruments of
their being in the world; yea, they will curse, bitterly curse, and wish that very GOD that
gave them their being to be in the same condition with them in hell torments. This is what
is called the second death, and it is the last death, and eternal death to a guilty soul.
And O eternity, eternity, eternity! Who can measure it? Who can count the years
thereof? Arithmetic must fail, the thoughts of men and angels are drowned in it; how shall
we describe eternity? To what shall we compare it? Were it possible to employ a fly to
carry off this globe by the small particles thereof, and to carry them to such a distance that
it would return once in ten thousand years for another particle, and so continue till it has
carried off all this globe, and framed them together in some unknown space, till it has made
just such a world as this is: After all, eternity would remain the same unexhausted duration.
This must be the unavoidable portion of all impenitent sinners, let them be who they will,
great or small, honorable or ignoble, rich or poor, bond or free. Negroes, Indians, English,
or of that nation soever; all that die in their sins must go to hell together; for the wages of
sin is death.

The next thing that I was to consider is this:
That eternal life and happiness is the free gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Under this proposition I shall now endeavour to show what this life and happiness is.
The life that is mentioned in our text is a spiritual life, it is the life of the soul; from sin
to holiness, from darkness to light, a translation from the kingdom and dominion of satan,
to the kingdom of God’s grace. In other words, it is being restored to the image of God and
delivered from the image of satan. And this life consists in union of the soul to God, and
communion with God; a real participation of the divine nature, or in the Apostle’s words, is
a Christ formed within us; I live says he, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.13 And the
Apostle John saith God is love and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in
him.14 This is the life of the soul. It is called emphatically life, because it is a life that shall
never have a period, a stable, a permanent, and unchangeable life, called in the scriptures
everlasting life, or life eternal. And the happiness of this life consists in communion with
God, or in the spiritual enjoyment of God. As much as a soul enjoys of God in this life, just
so much of life and happiness he enjoys or possesses; yea, just so much of heaven he
enjoys. A true christian, desires no other heaven but the enjoyment of God; a full and
perfect enjoyment of God, is a full and perfect heaven and happiness to a gracious soul. —
Further, this life is called eternal life because God has planted a living principle in the soul;
and whereas he was dead before, now he is made alive unto God; there is an active
principle within him towards God, he now moves towards God in his religious devotions
and exercises; is daily comfortably and sweetly walking with God; he breathes towards
God, a living breath, in praises, prayers, adorations and thanksgivings; his prayers are now
heard in the heavens, and his praises delight the ears of the Almighty, and his thanksgiving
are accepted, so alive is he now to God, that it is his meat and drink, yea more than his
meat and drink, to do the will of his heavenly Father. It is his delight, his happiness and
pleasure to serve God. He does not drag himself to his duties now, but he does them out of
choice, and with alacrity of soul. Yea, so alive is he to God, that he gives up himself and all
that he has entirely to God, to be for him and no other; his whole aim is to glorify God, in
all things, whether by life or death, all the same to him.

We have a bright example of this in St. Paul. After he was converted, he was all alive
to God; he regarded not his life but was willing to spend and be spent in the service of his
God; he was hated, revil’d, despised, laughed at, and called all manner of evil names; was
scourged, stoned and imprisoned; and all could not stop his activity towards God. He
would boldly and courageously go on in preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to
poor lost and undone sinners; he would do the work God set him about, in spite of all
opposition he met with either from men or devils, earth or hell; come death or come life,
none of these things moved him, because he was alive unto God. Though he suffered
hunger and thirst, cold and heat, poverty and nakedness by day and by night, by sea, and by
land, and was in danger always; yet he would serve God amidst all these dangers. Read his
amazing account in 2 Cor. 11. 23, and on.

Another instance of marvellous love towards God, we have in Daniel. When there was
a proclamation of prohibition, sent by the king to all his subjects forbidding them to call
upon their gods, for 30 days; which was done by envious men, that they might find
occasion against Daniel the servant of the most high God; yet he having the life of God in
his soul regarded not the king’s decree, but made his petition to his God, as often as he used
to do though death was threatened to the disobedient. But he feared not the hell they had
prepared; for it seems, the den resembled hell, and the lions represented the devils. And
when he was actually cast into the lions den, the ravenous beasts became meek and
innocent as lambs, before the prophet, because he was alive unto God; the spirit of the
Most High was in him, and the lions were afraid before him. Thus it was with Daniel and
Paul; they went through fire and water, as the common saying is, because they had eternal
life in their souls in an eminent manner; and they regarded not this life for the cause and
glory of God. And thus it has been in all ages with true Christians. Many of the fore-fathers
of the English, in this country, had this life and are gone the same way, that the holy
Prophets and Apostles went. Many of them went through all manner of sufferings for God;
and a great number of them are gone home to heaven, in chariots of fire. I have seen the
place in London, called Smithfield,15 where numbers were burnt to death for the religion
of Jesus Christ. And there is the same life in true christians now in these days; and if there
should persecutions arise in our day, I verily believe, true christians would suffer with the
same spirit and temper of mind, as those did, who suffered in days past.–This is the life
which our texts speaks of.

We proceed in the next place to show, that this life, which we have described, is the
free gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sinners have forfeited all mercy into the hands of divine justice and have merited hell
and damnation to themselves; for the wages of sin is everlasting death, but heaven and
happiness is a free gift; it comes by favor; and all merit is excluded: and especially if we
consider that we are fallen sinful creatures, and there is nothing in us that can recommend
us to the favour of God; and we can do nothing that is agreeable and acceptable to God;
and the mercies we enjoy in this life are altogether from the pure mercy of God; we are
unequal to them. Good old Jacob cried out, under the sense of his unworthiness, “I am less
than the least of all thy mercies,” and we have nothing to give unto God if we essay to give
all the service that we are capable of, we should give him nothing but what was his own,
and when we give up ourselves unto God, both soul and body, we give him nothing; for we
were his before; he had a right to do with us as he pleased, either to throw us into hell, or to
save us.16–There is nothing that we can call our own, but our sins; and who is he that
dares to say, I expect to have heaven for my sins? for our texts says, that the wages of sin is
death. If we are thus unequal and unworthy of the least mercy in this life, how much more
are we unworthy of eternal life? Yet God can find it in his heart to give it. And it is
altogether unmerited; it is a free gift to undeserving and hell deserving sinners of mankind:
it is altogether of God’s sovereign good pleasure to give it. It is of free grace and sovereign
mercy, and from the unbounded goodness of God; he was self-moved to it. And it is said
that this life is given in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. It could not be given in any
other way, but in and through the death and suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ; Christ
himself is the gift, and he is the christian’s life. “For God so loved the world that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish but have
everlasting life.”17 The word says further, “For by grace ye are saved, through faith, and
that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.”18 This is given through Jesus Christ our Lord;
it is Christ that purchased it with his own blood; he prepared it with his divine and almighty
power; and by the same power, and by the influence of his spirit, he prepares us for it; and
by his divine grace preserve us to it. In a word, he is all in all in our eternal salvation; all
this is the free gift of god.

I have now gone through what I proposed from my text. And I shall now make some
application of the whole.

First to the criminal in particular; and then to the auditory in general.

My poor unhappy Brother MOSES,

As it was your own desire that I should preach to you this last discourse, so I shall
speak plainly to you.–You are the bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. You are an
Indian, a despised creature, but you have despised yourself; yea you have despised God
more; you have trodden under foot his authority; you have despised his commands and
precepts; And now as God says, be sure your sins will find you out. And now, poor Moses,
your sins have found you out, and they have overtaken you this day; the day of your death
is now come; the king of terrors is at hand; you have but a very few moments to breathe in
this world.–The just law of man, and the holy laws of Jehovah, call aloud for the
destruction of your mortal life; God says, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood of man shall his
blood be shed.”19 This is the ancient decree of heaven, and it is to be executed by man; nor
have you the least gleam of hope of escape, for the unalterable sentence is past: The terrible
day of execution is come; the unwelcome guard is about you; and the fatal instruments of
death are now made ready; your coffin and your grave, your last lodging are open ready to
receive you.

Alas! poor Moses, now you know by sad, by woful experience, the living truth of our
text, that the wages of sin is death. You have been already dead; yea, twice dead: By nature
spiritually dead. And since the awful sentence of death has been passed upon you, you have
been dead to all the pleasures of this life; or all the pleasures, lawful or unlawful, have been
dead to you: And death, which is the wages of sin, is standing even on this side of your
grave ready to put a final period to your mortal life; and just beyond the grave, eternal
death awaits your poor soul, and devils are ready to drag your miserable soul down to their
bottomless den, where everlasting wo and horror reigns; the place is filled with doleful
shrieks, howls and groans of the damned. Oh! to what a miserable, forlorn, and wretched
condition has your extravagance folly and wickedness brought you! i.e. if you die in your
sins. And O! what manner of repentance ought you to manifest! How ought your heart to
bleed for what you have done! How ought you to prostrate your soul before a bleeding
God! And under self-condemnation, cry out ah Lord, ah Lord, what have I done?–
Whatever partiality, injustice and error there may be among the judges of the earth,
remember that you have deserved a thousand deaths, and a thousand hells, by reason of
your sins, at the hands of a holy God. Should God come out against you in strict justice,
alas! what could you say for yourself; for you have been brought up under the bright
sunshine, and plain, and loud sound of the gospel; and you have had a good education; you
can read and write well; and God has given you a good natural understanding: And
therefore your sins are so much more agg[r]avated. You have not sinned in such an
ignorant manner as others have done; but you have sinned with both your eyes open as it
were, under the light even the glorious light of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.–You
have sinned against the light of your own conscience, against your knowledge and
understanding; you have sinned against the pure and holy laws of God, the just laws of
men; you have sinned against heaven and earth; you have sinned against all the mercies and
goodness of God; you have sinned against the whole bible, against the Old and New
Testament; you have sinned against the blood of Christ, which is the blood of the
everlasting covenant. O poor Moses, see what you have done! And now repent, repent, I
say again repent; see how the blood you shed cries against you, and the avenger of blood is
at your heels. O fly, fly, to the blood of the Lamb of God for the pardon of all your
aggravated sins.

But let us now turn to a more pleasant theme.–Though you have been a great sinner, a
heaven-daring sinner; yet hark and hear the joyful sound from heaven, even from the King
of kings, and Lord of lords; that the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our
Lord. It is the free gift offered to the greatest sinners, and upon their true repentance
towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ they shall be welcome to the life they have
spoken of: it is offered upon free terms. He that hath no money may come; he that hath no
righteousness, no goodness may come, the call is to poor undone sinners; the call is not to
the righteous, but sinners calling them to repentance. Hear the voice of the Son of the Most
High God, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.20
This is a call, a gracious call to you poor Moses, under your present burden and distresses.
And Christ alone has a right to call sinners to himself. It would be presumption for a
mighty angel to call a poor sinner in this manner; and were it possible for you to apply to
all God’s creatures, they would with one voice tell you, that it was not in them to help you.
Go to all the means of grace, they would prove miserable helps without Christ himself.
Yea, apply to all the ministers of the gospel in the world, they would all say, that it was not
in them, but would only prove as indexes, to point out to you, the Lord Jesus Christ, the
only Saviour of sinners of mankind. Yea, go to all the angels in heaven they would do the
same. Yea, go to God the Father himself without Christ, he could not help you, to speak
after the manner of men, he would also point to the Lord Jesus Christ, and say this is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased hear ye him. Thus you see, poor Moses, that there
is none in heaven, or earth, that can help you, but Christ; he alone has power to save, and to
give life.–God the eternal Father appointed him, chose him, authorized and fully
commissioned him to save sinners. He came down from heaven into this lower world, and
became as one of us, and stood in our room. He was the second Adam. And as God
demanded correct obedience of the first Adam; the second fulfil’d it; and as the first sinned
and incurred the wrath and anger of God, the second endured it; he suffered in our room.
As he became sin for us, he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; all our stripes
were laid upon him; yea, he was finally condemned, because we were under condemnation;
and at last was executed and put to death, for our sins; was lifted up between the heavens
and the earth, and was crucified on the accursed tree; his blessed hands and feet were
fastened there; there he died a shameful and ignominious death; There he finished the great
work of our redemption: There his hearts blood was shed for our cleansing: There he fully
satisfied the divine justice of God, for penitent, believing sinners, though they have been
the chief of sinners.–O Moses! this is good news to you in this last day of your life; here is
a crucified Saviour at hand for your sins; his blessed hands are outstretched, all in a gore of
blood for you. This is the only Saviour, an Almighty Saviour, just such as you stand in
infinite and perishing need of. O, poor Moses! hear the dying prayer of a gracious Saviour
on the accursed tree. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. This was a
prayer for his enemies and murderers; and it is for you, if you will now only repent and
believe in him. O, why will you die eternally, poor Moses, since Christ has died for
sinners? Why will you go to hell from beneath a bleeding Saviour as it were? This is the
day of your execution, yet it is the accepted time, it is the day of salvation if you will now
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Must Christ follow you into the prison by his servants and
there intreat you to accept of eternal life, and will you refuse it? Must he follow you even to
the gallows, and there beseech of you to accept him, and will you refuse him? Shall he be
crucified hard by your gallows, as it were, and will you regard him not. O poor Moses, now
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, and thou shalt be saved eternally.
Come just as you are, with all your sins and abominations, with all your filthiness, with all
your blood-guiltiness, with all your condemnation, and lay hold of the hope set before you
this day. This is the last day of salvation with your soul; you will be beyond the bounds of
mercy in a few minutes more. O `what a joyful day[‘] would it be if you would now openly
believe in and receive the Lord Jesus Christ; it would be the beginning of heavenly days
with your poor soul; instead of a melancholy day, it would be a wedding day to your soul:
It would cause the very angels in heaven to rejoice, and the saints on earth to be glad; it
would cause the angels to come down from the realms above, and wait hovering about your
gallows, ready to convey your soul to the heavenly mansions. There to taste the possession
of eternal glory and happiness, and join the heavenly choirs in singing the songs of Moses
and the Lamb: There to set down forever with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of
God’s glory; and your shame and guilt shall be forever banished from the place, and all
sorrow and fear forever fly away, and tears be wiped from your face; and there shall you
forever admire the astonishing and amazing and infinite mercy of God in Christ Jesus, in
pardoning such a monstrous sinner as you have been; there you will claim the highest note
of praise, for the riches of free grace in Christ Jesus. But if you will not except of a Saviour
so freely offered to you this last day of your life, you must this very day bid a farewell to
God the Father Son and holy Ghost, to heaven and all the saints and angels that are there;
and you must bid all the saints in this lower world an eternal farewell, and even the whole
world. And so I must leave you in the hands of God; and I must turn to the whole auditory.
Sirs.–We may plainly see, from what we have heard, and from the miserable object
before us, into what a doleful condition sin has brought mankind, even into a state of death
and misery. We are by nature as certainly under the sentence of death from God, as this
miserable man is by the just determination of man; and we are all dying creatures, and we
are, or ought to be sensible of it: and this is the dreadful fruit of sin. O let us then fly from
all appearance of sin; let us fight against it with all our might; let us repent and turn to God,
and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that we may live forever: Let us all prepare for death,
for we know not how soon, nor how suddenly we may be called out of the world.
Permit me in particular, reverend gentlemen and fathers in Israel, to speak a few
words to you, though I am very sensible that I need to be taught the first principles of the
oracles of God, by the least of you. But since the Providence of God has so ordered it, that I
must speak here on this occasion, I beg that you would not be offended nor be angry with

God has raised you up from among your bretheren, and has qualified and authorized
you to do his great work; and you are the servants of the Most High God, and ministers of
the Lord Jesus Christ; you are Christ’s ambassadors; you are called shepherds, watchmen
overseers, or bishops, and you are rulers of the temples of God, or of the assemblies of
God’s people; you are God’s angels, and as such you have nothing to do but to wait on God,
and to do the work that the Lord Jesus Christ your blessed Lord and Master has set you
about, not fearing the face of any man, nor seeking to please men, but your Master. You are
to declare the whole counsel of God, and to give a portion to every soul in due season; as a
physician gives a potion to his patients, according to their diseases, so you are to give a
portion to every soul in due season according to their spiritual maladies: Whether it be
agreeable or not agreeable to them, you must give it to them; whether they will love you or
hate you for it, you must do your work. Your work is to encounter sin and satan; this was
the very end of the coming of Christ into the world, and the end of his death and sufferings;
it was to make an end of sin and to destroy the works of the devil. And this is your work
still, you are to fight the battles of the Lord. Therefore combine together, and be as terrible
as an army with banners; attack this monster sin in all its shapes and windings, and lift up
your voices as trumpets and not spare, call aloud, call your people to arms against this
common enemy of mankind, that sin may not be their ruin. Call upon all orders ranks and
degrees of people, to rise up against sin and satan. Arm yourselves with fervent prayer
continually, this is a terrible weapon against the kingdom of satan. And preach the death
and sufferings, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; for nothing is so destructive to the
kingdom of the devil as this is. But what need I speak any more? Let us all attend, and hear
the great Apostle of the Gentiles speak unto us in Eph. 6 ch. from the tenth verse and
onward. Finally my bretheren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; put on
the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For
we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore
take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and
having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and
having on the breast-plate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the
gospel of peace: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
spirit, and watching thereunto with all perserverance, and supplication for all saints.
I shall now address myself to the Indians, my bretheren and kindred according to the

My Poor Kindred,
You see the woeful consequences of sin, by seeing this our poor miserable
countryman now before us, who is to die this day for his sins and great wickedness. And it
was the sin of drunkenness that has brought this destruction and untimely death upon him.
There is a dreadful wo denounced from the Almighty against drunkards; and it is this sin,
this abominable, this beastly and accursed sin of drunkenness, that has stript us of every
desirable comfort in this life; by this we are poor miserable and wretched; by this sin we
have no name nor credit in the world among polite nations, for this sin we are despised in
the world, and it is all right and just, for we despised ourselves more: and if we don’t regard
ourselves, who will regard us? And it is for our sins and especially for that accursed, that
most devilish sin of drunkenness that we suffer every day. For the love of strong drink we
spend all that we have, and everything we can get. By this sin we can’t have comfortable
houses, nor any thing comfortable in our houses; neither food nor raiment, nor decent
utensils. We are obliged to put up with any sort o[f] shelter just to screen us from the
severity of the weather, and we go about with very mean, ragged and dirty clothes, almost
naked. And we are half-starved, for the most of the time obliged to pick up anything to eat.
And our poor children are suffering every day for want of the necessaries of life; they are
very often crying for want of food, and we have nothing to give them; and in the cold
weather they are shivering and crying, being pinched with cold. All this is for the love of
strong drink. And this is not all the misery and evil we bring on ourselves in this world; but
when we are intoxicated with strong drink we drown our rational powers, by which we are
distinguished from the brutal creation we unman ourselves, and bring ourselves not only
level with the beasts of the field, but seven degrees beneath them; yea we bring ourselves
level with the devils; I don’t know but we make ourselves worse than devils, for I never
heard of drunken devils.

My poor kindred, do consider what a dreadful abominable sin drunkenness is. God
made us men, and we chuse to be beast and devils, God made us rational creatures, and we
chuse to be fools. Do consider further, and behold a drunkard and see how he looks when
he has drowned his reason; how deformed and shameful does he appear? He disfigures
every part of him, both soul and body, which was made after the Image of God. He appears
with awful deformity, and his whole visage is dis-figured; if he attempts to speak he cannot
bring out his words distinct, so as to be understood; if he walks he reels and staggers to and
fro, and tumbles down. And see how he behaves, he is now laughing, and then he is crying,
he is singing, and the next minute he is mourning, and is all love with every one, and anon
he is raging and for fighting, and killing all before him, even the nearest and dearest
relations and friends: Yea, nothing is too bad for a drunken man to do. He will do that
which he would not do for the world, in his right mind; he may lie with his own sister or
daughter as Lot did.

Further, when a person is drunk, he is just good for nothing in the world; he is of no
service to himself, to his family, to his neighbours, or his country; and how much more
unfit is he to serve God: Yet we are just fit for the service of the devil.

Again, a man in drunkenness is in all manner of dangers, he may be killed by his
fellow-men, by wild beasts, and tame beasts; he may fall into the fire, into the water, or into
a ditch; or he may fall down as he walks along, and break his bones or his neck; and he
may cut him-self with edge-tools. Further if he has any money or anything valuable, he
may lose it all, or may be robbed, or he may make a foolish bargain and be cheated out of
all he has.

I believe you know the truth of what I have just now said, many of you by sad
experience; yet you will go on still in your drunkenness. Though you have been cheated
over and over again, and you have lost your substance by drunkenness, yet you will venture
to go on in this most destructive sin. O fools, when will ye be wise?–We all know the truth
of what I have been saying, by what we have seen and heard of drunken deaths. How many
have been drowned in our rivers, and how many frozen to death in the winter season! yet
drunkards go on without fear and consideration: Alas, alas! What will become of all such
drunkards? Without doubt they must all go to hell, except they truly repent and turn to God.

Drunkenness is so common amongst us, that even our young men, (and what is still more
shocking) young women are not ashamed to get drunk. Our young men will get drunk as
soon as they will eat when they are hungry.–It is generally esteemed among men more
abominable for a woman to be drunk than a man; and yet there is nothing more common
amongst us than female drunkards. Women ought to be more modest than men; the holy
scriptures recommend modesty to women in particular;– But drunken women have no
modesty at all. It is more intolerable for a woman to get drunk, if we consider further that
she is in great danger of falling into the hands of the sons of Belial, or wicked men and
being shamefully treated by them.

And here I cannot but observe, we find in sacred writ, a wo denounced against men
who put their bottles to their neighbors mouth to make them drunk, that they may see their
nakedness: And no doubt there are such devilish men now in our days, as there were in the
days of old.

And to conclude, Consider my poor kindred, you that are drunkards, into what a
miserable condition you have brought yourselves. There is a dreadful wo thundering
against you every day, and the Lord says, That drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of

And now let me exhort you all to break off from your drunkenness, by a gospel
repentance, and believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved. Take warning by this
doleful sight before us, and by all the dreadful judgments that have befallen poor
drunkards. O let us reform our lives, and live as becomes dying creatures, in time to come.

Let us be persuaded that we are accountable creatures to God, and we must be called to an
account in a few days. You that have been careless all your days, now awake to
righteousness, and be concerned for your poor never-dying souls. Fight against all sins, and
especially the sin that easily besets you, and behave in time to come as becomes rational
creatures; and above all things receive and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall
have eternal life; and when you come to die, your souls will be received into heaven, there
to be with the Lord Jesus in eternal happiness, with all the saints in glory: Which God of
his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord.–Amen.

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