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John Wesley’s Conversation with an Indian (continued)

May 06, 2019

Q. Do you often think and talk with the beloved ones?

A. We think of them always, wherever we are. We talk of them one to them, at home and abroad; in peace, in war, before and after we fight; and indeed whenever and wherever we meet together.

Q. Where do you think your souls go after death?

A. We believe the souls of the red men walk up and down near the place where they died, or where their bodies lie. For we have often heard cries and noises near the place where any prisoners have been burned.
Q. Where do the souls of white men go after death?

A. We can’t tell. We have not seen.

Q. Our belief is that the souls of bad men only walk up and down, but the souls of good men go up.

A. I believe so too. But I told you the talk of the nation.

Q. We have a book that tells us many things of the beloved ones above. Would you be glad to know them?

A. We have no time now but to fight. If we should ever be at peace, we should be glad to know.

Q. Do you ever expect to know what the white men know? (They had told Oglethorpe, “We believe the time will come when the red and white men will be one.”) How came your nation by the knowledge they have?

A. As soon as ever the ground was sound and fit to stand upon, it came to us, and has been with us ever since. But we are young men. Our old men know more. But all of them do not know. There are but a few whom the Beloved One chooses from a child, and is in them, and takes care of them and teaches them. They know these things. And our old men practice; therefore, they know. But I don’t practice; therefore, I know little.

The Rev. Dave Hanson is a retired pastor and John Wesley scholar.

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