A letter from Philip Newaka to Rev. Taylor
“Friend Mr. Taylor,“Augst. 6, 1845.
“This is my word listen to me. Formerly, when I first began to believe, I thought my faith was correct up to the time of my Baptism. Mr. Mason said to me when I was baptised, will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in the same to your life’s end? I answered, I will. After my Baptism came the Sacrament. Friend Mr. Taylor, on my first coming to the Lord’s table, you demanded whether I truly desired to partake of the Lord’s Supper? I answered, yes. But after my assent to these great things they were severed from the confession of my tongue (i.e., I forgot my promises). I then thought that page 44 my assent was correct in that state of my belief, but now that I have acquired greater faith I find it was wrong. Friend Mr.Taylor, listen to my talk, behold from this stronger faith I now see the absence of fruit whilst living under the first faith, that is the beginning of my turning to God. Sorrow now first seized me for my preachings in the congregation; before I used to preach saying, be strong, be bold; but I was not strong, neither was I bold. The root of the matter was not really in my heart. I expounded the things of God, but, O, friend, it was not the thing, only part of it. As St. Paul truly says in his Epistle to the Romans, as by the stubbornness (disobedience) of one many were made sinners, (Rom. v. 19,) thence sin increased until it reached my male ancestors and my female ancestors, even up to my father and mother, and to myself also, yes, truly myself; innumerable are my sins in the sight of God; truly my sins are there in His sight; my lip prayers, my boastings, my mockings, my dissemblings, my falsehoods, my many transgressions, more than can be counted. Friend Mr. Taylor, this is what I have seen of the beginning of my faith; it tells me there was a want of care to teach righteousness, therefore weakness was felt, and ignorance, and the many deceits of the world, and therefore also an absence of true righteousness. These evils assaulted me, but when the heart was fixed upon righteousness, none of these evils could be felt, because the law abideth to keep the heart alive to them; therefore it is correct when St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, says, “by the law also sin revived and rendered the lusts of the flesh fruitful within me, severed from the law sin died.” (See Rom. vii. 8.) Friend Mr. Taylor, I was grieved for my sins, so many in the sight of God, and after my sorrow came joy, because I became sensible of my safety; if my feet stand, or my hands hold on; if the shoot of the tree is concealed within the bark, I am dark, because it cannot be seen, but if the shoot appears outside the bark, I rejoice, because it is able afterwards to grow, therefore I am strong to stand on the earth.
“Friend Mr.Taylor, consider my words; this also is what page 45 I have thought. The words of St. Paul in the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, he says he is agreeable to suffer weakness, to suffer evils, to suffer tribulation, and strivings and afflictions for Christ. I am also weak, thereby am I strengthened.
“This is all my speech,
“From Philip Newaka.”