Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Inclination to Turn Back

A portion of a letter by the missionary to the Indians in Oklahoma, Isaac McCoy (1784-1846), to a critic, a Mr. Samuel Dedman of Pike County, Indiana, who opposed his plans to live among the Indians and give his life, if necessary, in reaching them with the gospel. The letter was written on January 12, 1820.

I assure you, my brother, that every opposing difficulty, the opposition of the association not expected, has only tended to increase my missionary ardour. May my merciful God forgive me if I be wrong, and set me right. I would rather be a missionary to the Indians, than fill the President's chair, or sit on the throne of Alexander, emperor of Russia. I would rather preach Jesus to the poor Indians in a bark camp, than address the thousands who assemble in Sansom Street meeting house, Philadelphia [the General Missionary Convention had been held there, May 7, 1817]. Something has turned my attention towards the Indians, and every feeling of my soul is enlisted in their cause, yet still I may be wrong. But I feel not the least inclination to turn back, but would drive on with the vehemence of Peter, the meekness of Moses, and the wisdom of Solomon.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, "Isaac McCoy and the Treaty of 1821," by Lela Barnes, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 128. Thanks to Gary Long of Particular Baptist Press for sending me a digitized copy of this letter.

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