Translation and Interculturalism in the John Eliot Tract
Joshua David Bellin
From the time of their publication to the present, the Eliot tracts—the missionary writings by and about John Eliot, Puritan “Apostle” to the Indians of Massachusetts Bay—have been of central importance to students of Puritan-Indian encounter. For early chroniclers such as Cotton Mather, the Eliot texts provided an occasion to reclaim—and redeem—New England’s history of contact with the region’s native peoples.1 For antebellum historians tracing the Puritan origins of the nation’s manifest destiny, these publications highlighted both the benevolence of colonial policy and the sad inevitability of its failure.2 Though the exculpatory approach had not entirely lost favor by the mid-twentieth century—as evidenced by Alden Vaughan’s New England Frontier (1965), which draws on the tracts to prove that “the Puritan never forced his views on the natives, nor did his missionaries ever relent in their efforts to persuade”3—recent Eliot scholarship has proceeded along two lines of revision: the first, most strongly identified with Francis Jennings’s The Invasion of America (1975), assailing the Eliot corpus as a smokescreen for genocidal campaigns mounted under the guise of Christian benevolence;4 and the second, rooted in the principles of ethnohistory, calling on the texts not as witnesses to exonerate or excoriate the colonists but as occasions to resurrect the voices of Native American converts.5 For current Eliot scholars, then, the works of the Apostle and his boosters are principally of descriptive and explanatory value: they offer insight into the actions and interactions of Indians and Europeans during an early, critical phase in their experience.
There is no question that the Eliot works represent significant textual markers of intercultural contact. For a number of reasons, however, the assumptions underlying current approaches to these works are problematic. To begin with, Eliot scholarship still takes inadequate account of the refractory nature of the texts—the complexities of their situation, the intricacies of their production, the uncertainties of their reception—or even, in the most extreme instances, of the fact that they are texts. This latter tendency has been most pronounced in studies that comb the texts for Indian beliefs and behavior. For instance, in John Eliot’s Mission to the Indians before King Philip’s War (1999), Richard Cogley views the Eliot texts as infallible authorities on Indian convictions and motivations: “There is reason to think . . . that the Nonantum and Neponset Indians blamed Cutshamekin as well as the English for the loss of coastal land. Eliot wrote in Indian Dialogues that the Massachusetts had been angry at Cutshamekin. . .”; “The Nonantum Indians were pleased with the location [of their Praying Town]. Eliot explained in 1650 that . . . [the Indians] were ‘very willing’ to live there. . .”; “The Indians clearly had a predilection for prayer: Eliot noted in 1647 that they ‘called all religion . . . praying to God’. . .”6
Other writers have admitted that the Eliot texts are not quite the transparent windows Cogley makes them out to be, but, treating the circumstances under which the Indian “voices” embedded in the texts were produced as mere distractions, these scholars have found ways to view the “voices” as autonomous specimens of Indian autobiographical utterance. For instance, though Hilary Wyss’s Writing Indians: Literacy, Christianity, and Native Community in Early America (2000) grants that writers “had their own purposes” in recording Indian narratives, she nonetheless terms Eliot’s Indian narratives “an early form of Native Christian self-expression.” What enables Wyss to make this claim is another set of texts: modern ethnohistorical reconstructions of traditional Indian cultures. Accepting these texts as transparent and reading the Eliot texts through them, she is able to locate a “Native world view that is distinct from our own Western perspective.” The questionable nature of this move should be evident, particularly when one recalls that ethnohistorical interpretations are in large part drawn from the very texts Wyss uses these interpretations to illuminate; but having made this move, Wyss manages to skirt the textual issues she herself has raised, indeed to forget Eliot altogether and characterize the Indians as “writing their own narratives of conversion”7
In short, too many studies of the Eliot texts overlook or underestimate the fact that they are texts, and highly mediated texts at that. The theoretical issues the Eliot texts raise, however, pertain not solely to whether one acknowledges these texts as texts, but to how one understands the production of texts under conditions of intercultural contact. For if studies such as Cogley’s and Wyss’s appear naively trusting of written sources, particularly when placed beside the implacable skepticism of a work such as Jennings’s, at the core a common assumption binds these and other writings: the assumption that texts are impervious to the contexts of encounter within which they were born, that texts reveal encounter (or disguise it) but are not affected by it. And this conceptual oversight is particularly problematic for at least two reasons: first, because it exempts texts from the ethnohistorical tenet that cultural productions are transformed by encounter; and second, because it ignores the fact that the Eliot texts are themselves manifestly concerned with the ways in which encounter affects the writing of encounter. Throughout the Eliot texts, the unsettling power of encounter is present in a variety of forms, but in none so visibly as in the fact of translation;8 though premised on translation as the medium for bearing the Christian Word to the Indians (and the Indians’ words to Christians), the Eliot texts ultimately figure the acts of translation through which they were forged not as transparent but as tortured and opaque, marring any claim of absolute authority over, or immediate access to, the terms of encounter.9 What the Eliot writings suggest, then, is that transformation characterizes the texts that speak of encounter as surely as the encounters of which they speak—that, as Barry O’Connell phrases it, in situations of contact there is no “pure medium free from the effects of the other,” whether that medium be cultural, material, spiritual, linguistic, or textual.10
This paper, accordingly, considers the Eliot texts as both products and productive of the intercultural contexts from which they emerged. It must be emphasized, however, that if the Eliot texts are exceptional in foregrounding encounter, they are representative in being indebted to encounter. In this respect, the Eliot texts challenge the tendency among literary critics to consider texts authored by American Indians as expressions of the intercultural while seeing texts authored by members of the dominant culture as exempt from the intercultural; as an exploration of the Eliot texts will suggest, encounter is the inescapable substratum and environment of all American texts. Ultimately, then, this paper illustrates the ways in which our understanding of texts as records of encounter is challenged by encounter; it thus points toward an ethnohistorical literary criticism, one that considers American texts as inextricably involved in American encounters, mutually shaped by and shaping the situations of contact within which they are generated.
Recent scholars of America’s colonial encounters have called attention to translation not only as a quotidian necessity—one that enabled the settlers to negotiate treaties, land sales, and political and economic alliances with Indian peoples—but as a symbol of colonial power relations. As Eric Cheyfitz phrases this argument in The Poetics of Imperialism (1991), “the very activity of translation, no matter how decorous, . . . is an act of violence. . . . The skilled translator . . . must use force in transporting a word from its proper, or ‘natural,’ place, but conceals that force, or tries to, under the semblance of the word’s willingness to give up its property in itself.”11 Cheyfitz focuses on the correspondences between translation and physical dispossession, but one can apply his argument to the missionary arm of the colonial enterprise: the missionary too uses force to transport the Indians from their “natural”—unregenerate—place, but disguises such force under the semblance of the convert’s willingness to relinquish all to God (or God’s surrogate). The tendency of colonial translators to camouflage the violence of translation—or even the fact of translation—has been remarked by numerous critics; Stephen Greenblatt argues that colonial translators “either push the Indians toward utter difference—and thus silence—or toward utter likeness—and thus the collapse of [the Indians’] own, unique identity,” while David Murray writes of “two absolutely opposed mythical moments of encounter,” the “meeting with untouched and unknowable otherness, beyond the reach of language; and the rapport of unproblematic translatability, and of transparency of language.”12 If translation is the inescapable condition of contact, these critics suggest, it is also, or for that reason, the silent term in a colonizing project based on its ability to comprehend all utterance and all meaning within its own symbolic system.
There is, however, another way to view translation, a way hinted at in Cheyfitz’s further comment that “in the equivocal play of language . . . no single voice prevails because there is no univocality. Rather, the precarious coherence of each voice can only constitute itself in translation between other voices.”13 Translation, in this view, would not only be formative for the texts of encounter but disruptive of those texts’ illusion of absolute authority, coherence, or stability. Translation, in this view, would reveal its roots in violence and appropriation, and in that revelation dispel its own assertion of seemliness and seamlessness. Moreover, translation, in this view, would recognize its indebtedness to encounter, its inability to escape the presence of those-it-translates; translation would, finally, admit its inability to exist at all without those-it-translates, and thus admit that encounter entails a network of competing, conflicting, intersecting translations across multiple cultural contact points. To view translation in such a way is not to propose some utopian equivalence or equality between languages or acts. It is, rather, to restore texts to the asymmetrical yet joint contexts that translation itself so often seeks to obscure, and thus to consider texts not as fixed terms in an all-encompassing system but as mediums of translation between peoples, negotiations within an intercultural world in which meaning is uncertain, unstable, in flux, and in the process of being forged.
To characterize texts in this way is, actually, to capture both emphases of translation in the Eliot tracts: on the one hand, they design an absolute correspondence between word and meaning; on the other, they confess a radical disjunction between the two. Puritan treatises on hermeneutics or Biblical interpretation, as Ann Kibbey notes, trumpeted the belief that in the transmundane realm, in the Word of God, there existed a perfect relation between word and thing: “In the Christian providential universe, acoustic images are divinely purposeful signs, not arbitrary signs, and however attenuated or oblique their signification as figures might be, there is some intrinsic meaning to be discovered in the relation between the audible figure and the referent. . . . Words as signs are divinely, and therefore significantly, related to their referents.” Thus, in addition to the obvious point that translation as a practice made possible the bearing of the Word to the ungospelized nations, translation as an ideal prophesied a capacious and intimate reunion of human languages with the divine Language. One expression of this ideal was the quest in the early modern period for a system of universal language, what Vivian Salmon calls the “almost obsessive desire for . . . the construction of a system of universal symbols which would be comprehensive, unambiguous and entirely free from redundancy”; in such an act of total translation, humanity might return as nearly as possible to the source of all language. Another expression was the Puritan exegetical project, of which providential history and Biblical typology were only the most notable branches, of discovering in the material evidences of the world the underlying truth of God. In Kibbey’s view, it was this project that fostered, or dictated, intolerance of alternative forms of belief; elaborating a political and theological system from a hermeneutics of absolutism, the Puritans, she argues, “generate a social imperative” that “persuades them of the fixity and certainty of their own system of reference.”14 If so, then it is plain why any threat to that system, any force that might destabilize the necessary and incorruptible link between word and essence, called forth such disciplinary strategies as are evident in the heresy trial of Ann Hutchinson, one of whose judges—John Eliot—reprehended her “so groce and so dayngerous an opinion” as follows:
We are not satisfied with what she sayth that she should say now that she did never deny Inherence of Grace in us, as in a subject, for she beinge by us pressed soe with it she denyed that thear was no Graces inherent in Christ himselfe. . . . She did playnly expres herselfe to me that thear was no difference betweene the Graces that are in Hipocrits and those that are in the Saints. . . . Some will acknowledge the Word Gifts and Frutes but thay deny the word Graces: thay acknowledge actings of the Spirit: and by such Distinctions, I could wipe of[f] all her Repentance in that paper, therfore she shall doe well to express her selfe playnly what her Judgment now is in thease Thinges.
Beyond the doctrinal points Hutchinson’s Antinomians contested—points that themselves cut to the heart of Puritan beliefs, inasmuch as they concerned the legitimacy of ministerial interpretation of Scripture and the supposedly manifest opposition of sanctification and sanctimony—what this speech suggests is that Hutchinson unsettled the very referentiality of language: Eliot’s address insists on holding her to her word, but her word splinters the “playn” connection between sign and “Thinge.”15 Hutchinson, as she is constructed in Eliot’s speech, refuses to translate herself into the divine—or the divines’—ideal and irreproachable Word; she refuses to perform the act of semantic submission captured in one convert’s response to missionary pressure in Eliot’s The Indian Dialogues (1671): “I yield to what you say.”16
And yet, however Eliot and his brethren might desire—and enforce—such capitulation, the fact that crises such as the one Hutchinson inaugurated were endemic to the Massachusetts Bay colony suggests the authorities’ inability to mandate interpretive orthodoxy. That this was so, moreover, was due to their own theoretical division between celestial and mortal languages, a division that relegated human language to a Babel-like state of confusion; as William Scheick sees it, “while the puritans believed in the ultimate denotative definitions of all language from the deity’s point of view, they doubted the capacity of fallen human reason to escape the convoluted muddle of connotative meanings in the temporal world.”17 And if, on the one hand, translation could be seen as presaging humanity’s ultimate reunion with the numinous language of God, on the other it could be taken to epitomize the falling away from the divine logos: the fact that multiple signs could stand for the thing signified indicated how radically postlapsarian language strayed from its divine original. This sense of the instability of human language is preserved in the etymology of the word “translate”: to “bear across,” to carry from place to place. In addition, along with its current sense of “to turn from one language to another,” a seventeenth-century sense of the term was “to change in form, appearance, or substance; to transmute, to transform, alter.” Like metaphor, a word to which, Cheyfitz notes, translation was both etymologically and functionally related,18 translation carried with it more than a hint of duplicity, of willfully severing sound from sense; as one seventeenth-century treatise on the translator’s craft put it, “a translator must therefore become like Proteus: he must be able to transform himself into all manner of wondrous things, he must be able to absorb and combine all styles within himself and be more changeable than a chameleon.”19 It is perhaps needless to say that such an image ran counter to the interdictions of Puritan divines; “transforming oneself into all manner of wondrous things” smacked of hypocrisy, stagecraft, even the popish doctrine of transubstantiation: all forms of dissimulation, wrong naming, the sundering of word and thing.
And if translation could cause such disruption in the case of written texts, the contents and lexicons of which the divine knew by heart, it could engender even more disorder in the case of unwritten tongues fundamentally different from the European languages, tongues learned more often than not on the fly, and tongues learned when at all in the teeth of severe prejudices and presuppositions. As William Leverich, a minister inspired by Eliot to proselytize the Indians, wrote, the nature of the Indian languages was such that incoherence was inevitable:
though the Indian tongue be very difficult, irregular, and anomalous, and wherein I cannot meete with a Verbe Substantive as yet, nor any such Particles, as Conjunctions, &c. which are essentiall to the severall sorts of axioms, and consequently to all rationall and perfect discourses, and that though their words are generally very long, even sesquipedalia verba, yet I find God helping, not onely my selfe to learne and attaine more of it in a short time . . . but also the Indians to understand mee fully (as they acknowledge) so farre as I have gone, [yet] I am constrained by many ambages and circumlocutions to supply the former defect, to expresse my selfe to them as I may.20
“Circum-locutions” are roundabout words, or words going around They are, in a sense, the words of translation, words unloosed from a fixed locale. “Ambages,” too, are words that move (or amble), words unmoored from stable meaning. They are also, according to the OED, words of concealment, deceit, equivocation. In Leverich’s lament, the Indians’ language—like the willful, wandering ways the colonists attributed to the natives—is the language of movement; though he insists, with whatever accuracy or honesty, that he is understood, he grieves that the “plain style,” the “rational and perfect discourse” of the meetinghouse, is confounded by this wilderness jargon.
Such carping on the mutability and multiplicity of the Indians’ languages forms a recurrent theme in the Eliot tracts. For example, Thomas Shepard, reporting on the “Clear Sunshine of the Gospel” in 1648, writes that “it passeth my skill to tell how the gospel should be generally received by these American natives, considering the variety of languages in small distances of places”; on a visit to the Indians in “remote places about Cape Cod,” he testifies, “we first found these Indians (not very far from ours) to understand (but with much difficulty) the usual language of those in our parts. . . . I say therefore, although they did with much difficulty understand [Eliot], yet they did understand him, although by many circumlocutions and variations of speech, and the help of one or two interpreters which were there present.” Eliot, too, raises the issue of linguistic diffusion in his remarks on a preliminary translation of the Bible into Wampanoag:
[the Church elders] moved this doubt whether the Translation I had made was generally understood? to which I answered, that upon my knowledge it was understood as far as Conecticot: for there . . . the Indians manifested that they did understand what I read, perfectly, in respect of the language, [the elders] further questioned whether I had expressed the Translation in true language? I answered that I feared after times will find many infirmities in it, all humane works are subject to infirmity, yet those pieces that were printed . . . I had sent to such as I thought had best skill in the language, and intreated their animadversions, but I heard not of any faults they found.21
Eliot’s differentiation of “language”—the words of frail mortals—from “true language”—the eternal Word of God—evokes the problem of translation, as does the fact that to vindicate his work, he must call on the very figure of place—the Indians understand him here, and there (but maybe not elsewhere)—which points up the inherent instability of the translated word.
And in turn, what these recurrences to the difficulty of the Indian tongues suggest is not merely the dismissive attitude Europeans held—though that attitude is on display too, as in Cotton Mather’s derisive remark that “one would think [Indian words] had been growing ever since Babel unto the dimensions to which they are now extended”—but the heightened stakes of intercultural translation.22 The fearful consequences of a linguistic misstep are intimated in Eliot’s Late and Further Manifestation of the Progress of the Gospel (1655), which details an examination of Indian novitiates as a preliminary test in their advancement toward church-estate:
Seeing all these things are to be transacted in a strange language, and by Interpreters, and with such people as they be in these their first beginnings . . . I requested the Assembly, That if any one doubted of the Interpretations that should be given of [the Indians’] Answers, that they would Propound their doubt, and they should have the words scanned and tryed by the Interpreters, that so all things may be done most clearly. For my desire was to be true to Christ, to their soules, and to the Churches. . . . It is a great matter to betrust those with the holy priviledges of Gods house, upon which the name of Christ is so much called, who have so little knowledge and experience in the wayes of Christ, so newly come out of that great depth of darknesse, and wild course of life; in such danger of polluting and defiling the name of Christ. . . . Hence it is very needfull that this proceeding of ours at first, be with all care and warinesse guided.23
In this passage, the repeated references to the loss of truth and clarity betoken the threat of semantic and interpretive irregularities that, according to Puritan theory, lurked within the Word in the hands of all people, and much more so in the hands of “such people as they be.” Henry Whitfield, in his prefatory comments to the Eliot tract Strength out of Weaknesse (1652), approaches the dilemma of the missionary translator from a related angle when he exhorts the reader to “consider . . . by how many the Gospel is perverted, being made another gospel, by strange Interpretations; one of the great acts of Sacriledge of our times, stealing the sense of the Scripture from the words of the Scripture.”24 By “perverters,” Whitfield would seem to conceive such monsters as the Antinomians; as such his warning serves rhetorically to contrast the acts of these sacrilegious adversaries with the faithful works of Eliot himself. Yet, oddly, his reproving terms are ideally suited to Eliot, who was literally engaged in making the gospel “another gospel” by translating it into a supposedly barbarous tongue—thereby risking the severance of “sense” from “words”—and who threatened, by disseminating this amphibious gospel to supposed barbarians, to set loose any number of “strange interpretations.” Eliot himself had implied at least a figurative likeness between the Antinomians and the Indians when, urging Hutchinson’s banishment at the conclusion of her trial, he cited Revelations 22:15: “For without shalbe dogges & encha[n]ters, & whoremongers, & murtherers, & idolaters, & whosoeuer loueth or maketh lyes.”25 In 1637, Eliot had not begun preaching to the Indians, or even learning their tongues; but it is nonetheless intriguing that the text he chose as a means of justifying Hutchinson’s exile was one proverbially applied to the Indians. In common with his fellows, Eliot represented the realm of the Indians as the realm of fallen, translated language.
And by the terms of this representation, to translate “this perfect Word of God” into the babble of the New World was fraught with peril: not only might the preacher be led astray or the Word polluted and defiled, but the fate of immortal souls hung upon the proper construction of a text, a phrase, a word.26 Given these hazards, it is unsurprising that Eliot’s announced goals involved eliminating translation as swiftly and as far as possible. On the one hand, in the words of his successor as overseer of the missionary program, the Apostle hoped for “the Indians, especially the children and youth, [to] be taught to speak, read, and write, the English tongue”; on the other, in Eliot’s own words, he longed for a time when he might relinquish local control to native speakers: “An English young man raw in that language,” he wrote in 1670, “coming to teach among our Christian Indians, would be much to their loss; there be of themselves such as be more able, especially being advantaged that he speaketh his own language.”27 (Eliot’s final work in the period before King Philip’s War, the fictionalized Indian Dialogues of 1671, has customarily been seen as a training manual for the legions of Indian missionaries he seems to have fancied sending into the field.) Nor, along the same lines, is it surprising that Eliot promoted catechetical methods of instructing his converts; for the catechism, favored by Puritans as a teaching tool perhaps because its rigid format and emphasis on repetition seemed the aptest way to bridle interpretive freedom, might have seemed even more suited to curb the wayward energies of intercultural translation.28
Eliot’s first publication in an Algonquian language was a catechism, and according to Whitfield he put it to good use: “all the Copies [Eliot] setteth his Schollers when he teacheth them to write, are the Questions and Answers of the Catechisme, that so the Children may be the more prompt and ready therein.” Eliot likewise emphasized the catechism’s value as a vehicle of memorization: “I catechize the children and youth, wherein some are very ready and expert; they can readily say all the commandments, so far as I have communicated them, and all other principles about the creation, the fall, the redemption by Christ, etc., wherein also the aged people are pretty expert, by the frequent repetition thereof to the children, and are able to teach to their children at home, and do so.”29 Indeed, the catechism informed Eliot’s writings as a whole: his Late and Further Manifestation contains the (translated) transcript of a public catechism, while his Indian Dialogues more subtly reinvents the catechism in the form of imagined theological skirmishes between converts and their unconverted kin. That the catechism’s strength lies in its ability to regulate potentially heretical utterances is suggested by the following exchange from A Late and Further Manifestation:
Q. Have not some Indians many Gods?
A. They have many Gods.
Q. How doe you know these Gods are no Gods?
A. Before the English came we knew not but that they were Gods, but since they came we know they are no Gods.30
Similarly, throughout the Indian Dialogues, the objections of the unregenerate are raised precisely so that they may be negated:
Powwow: You tell us of the Englishman’s God, and of his laws. We have Gods also . . . and laws also by which our forefathers did walk. . . . Let us alone, that we may be quiet in the ways which we like and love, as we let you alone in your changes and new ways.
Piumbukhon: You have spoken many things, which do minister to me of much discourse.31
Here the Indians’ translated speech, rather than challenging Christian idiom or ideology, becomes matter for ministerial “discourse.” In the regimentation of the catechism, the fictions of the Indian Dialogues, and the ethereal truisms of primers like his Indian Grammar Begun (1666), Eliot achieves an image of translation akin to that of the Grammar’s title page, an image of transcendent, unvarying “Rules” (by far the largest word on the page) and of the millennial restoration of divine utterance promised by the Biblical epigraph: “It shall come that I will gather all Nations and Tongues, and they shall come and see my Glory.”32
But in the words of M. M. Bakhtin, whose theories of discourse are integral to current formulations of literary dialogism or multivocalism, language is “unitary only as an abstract grammatical system of normative forms, taken in isolation from the concrete, ideological conceptualizations that fill it, and in isolation from the uninterrupted process of historical becoming that is a characteristic of all living language.” So it is with the Eliot texts: if in the abstract they seem to master all speech, in practice they call repeated, insistent attention to issues of translation. On the one hand, the texts routinely—and strikingly, considering the systematic erasure of Indian speakers in comparable texts well into the twentieth century—give credit to the missionary’s Native American assistants, as in the following acknowledgment: “I having yet but little skill in their language . . . I must have some Indians, and it may be other help continually about me to try and examine Translations.” Similarly, Eliot writes in another place, “it hath pleased God this winter much to inlarge the abilitie of him whose helpe I use in translating the Scripture, which I account a great furtherance of that which I most desire, namely, to communicate unto them as much of the Scriptures in their own language as I am able. . . . I trust in the Lord that we shall have sundry of them able to reade and write, who shall write every man for himselfe so much of the Bible as the Lord shall please to enable me to translate.”33 Eliot, notably, phrases these and other statements so as to minimize the Indians’ role, suggesting that it is he alone who handles the translating while the Indians serve solely as scriveners or proofreaders.34
Yet when one places such statements within the context of the Eliot tracts as a whole, they not only draw attention to the Indian presence but become part of a larger discourse of translation as a highly visible, highly charged act, at once essential and unattainable. In a typical statement, Eliot beseeches that “utterance may be given mee, and further knowledge of their language, wherein for want of converse, I can make but slow progresse”; he regrets the limitations on his “liberty of speech, . . . being very unskillful in their Language.” Elsewhere, he confesses that “as for my preaching, though such whose hearts God hath bowed to attend, can picke up some knowledge by my broken expressions, yet I see that it is not so taking, and effectuall to strangers, as their owne expressions be, who naturally speake unto them in their owne tongue.”35 Eliot’s reference to “broken” expressions is not merely a figure of speech (though as a figure of speech, a metaphor, it partakes of the imprecision it bewails); in translation, this reference suggests, the word is broken, maimed, its essence lost. Eliot’s peers second his doubts; Shepard, for instance, rues in an early tract that “my brother Eliot, who is preacher to them . . . can as yet but stammer out some pieces of the word of God unto them in their own tongue,” while Cotton Mather, retrospectively evaluating the Apostle’s labors, concludes, “There are many words of Mr. Eliot’s forming which [the Indians] never understood. This they say is a grief to them. Such a knowledge in their Bibles as our English ordinarily have in ours, they seldom any of them have.” Even when Eliot’s fellows vouch for his probity and precision, their testimonials are couched in self-defeating terms, as in the following certificate from A Late and Further Manifestation: “In the conclusion, the Elders saw good to call upon the Interpreters to give a publick testimony to the truth of Mr Eliots Interpretations of the Indians Answers, which Mr Mahu, and the two Interpreters by him, did, all speaking one after another, to this purpose, That the Interpretations which Mr Eliot gave of their Answers, was for the substance the same which the Indians answered, many times the very words which they spake, and alwayes the sense.”36 Inasmuch as the issue at stake was precisely the separation of “words” from “sense,” to reiterate the breach could hardly be said to heal it. Similarly, Richard Mather’s endorsement prefixed to Tears of Repentance (1653), Eliot’s collection of Indian conversion narratives co-edited with Thomas Mayhew, founders on the rock of translation:
But how shall we know that the Confessions here related, being spoken in [the Indians’] Tongue, were indeed uttered by them in such words, as have the same signification and meaning with these that are here expressed, for we have only the testimony of one man to assure us of it? It is true, we have only the testimony of one man for it; but yet it is such an one . . . whose integrity and faithfulness is so well known in these Parts, as giveth sufficient satisfaction to beleev that he would not wittingly utter a falshood in any matter whatever, and much less so many falshoods, & that in such a publick manner, in the view of God & the World, as he must needs have done if he have coyned these Confessions of his own head, and have not to his best understanding truly related them in our Tongue, according as they were uttered by them in theirs.
Even if, as Mather insists, Eliot has “not wittingly” borne false witness, such proofs appear less than conclusive in light of what Eliot implies of his “best understanding”:
oft I was forced to inquire of my interpreter (who sat by me) because I did not perfectly understand some sentences. . . . I have been true & faithful unto their souls, and in writing and reading their Confessions, I have not knowingly, or willingly made them better, than the Lord helped themselves to make them, but am verily perswaded on good grounds, that I have rather rendered them weaker (for the most part) than they delivered them; partly by missing some words of weight in some Sentences, partly by my short and curt touches of what they more fully spake, and partly by reason of the different Idioms of their Language and ours.37
In such evaluations, Eliot casts himself not as the eloquent Apostle but as the lowly functionary, appalled by an assignment to which he is dedicated in the spirit but unequal not so much in the flesh as in the tongue.
There are, of course, any number of ways to explain such representations. The simplest is that Eliot, whatever his comfort with the printed page, is as stymied as he says by the intricacies of the spoken word; unequipped by schooling and uninclined by faith to confront the special linguistic difficulties that oral performance institutes, Eliot vainly tries to fix the ephemeral instrument of speech: “I doe know assuredly that many Godly and savory matters, and passages have slipped from me, and these [published] expressions are but a little of a great deale. I know not that I have added any matter, which they spake not, but have let slip, much which they spake.”38 Following this lead, one could conclude that Eliot’s classical language training and slapdash fieldwork were wholly inadequate to the task he had essayed: “The language that John Eliot constructed and used,” one critic writes, “has no value for students of the American aborigines. His compositions in it are ‘a tragic monument of missionary zeal and of the pre-scientific study of the Indian tongue.’”39 Taking such a critique down another path, one could conclude with Eliot’s harshest judges that the belaboring of language difficulties is a self-fulfilling prophecy, permitting Eliot a safe—because seemingly unfeigned—excuse for the mission’s dereliction of its professed duty. More charitably, one could say that a commitment to unburdening oneself in public demanded Eliot’s self-flagellation; that, for the greater glory of the Father, the weakness of the human vessel must be acknowledged; or even that Eliot’s ritualistic apologies serve as apologia. Nor do Eliot’s recriminations lack an overtly calculating ingredient: to insist that the published works contain but pale traces of the Indians’ actual expressions is to suggest to the colony’s overseers and to potential sponsors that the Indians are advancing more rapidly in the course of godliness than may genuinely have been the case.
Any of these interpretations is plausible; all may be part of the larger picture. To approach the matter in another way, however—one that insists not on unearthing extra-textual motivations but on seeing the texts as “motivated” by the textual dynamics they themselves express—one might propose that the magnifying of interlinguistic issues signals the fact that interlinguistic issues are magnified in situations of contact; that within contexts of encounter, there is no issue that does not become involved in, or better that does not originate in, negotiations among languages. For Puritan writers, missionaries, and divines, interlinguistic issues may have possessed special ideological and practical valences. But beyond those considerations, or more precisely channeled through those considerations, was the fact of multiple languages, and hence of translation, as the very environment of encounter: the agency of communication and miscomprehension, the subject of agreement and dispute, the instrument through which meaning, in the Eliot texts as in all texts of encounter, is forged. As such, if the critic finds herself or himself, like the Puritans, unable to read through these texts to a single or stable reality, this is because the critic must work with texts composed under conditions of multiplicity and indeterminacy; if what emerges from the Eliot texts is less a coherent narrative than a series of fractured tales or takes, each offering a glimpse of some proposed whole before resolving into uncertainty, this is because each has passed through, each exists within, processes of translation that are beyond any text’s, or series of texts’, purview.
In this light, it is intriguing that the recorded words of Eliot’s converts express a similar preoccupation and bafflement with the linguistic territory that Eliot and his brethren were traversing, and hence with the same sorts of concerns communicated in Eliot’s and his peers’ commentaries on the converts’ words. For instance, in the earliest encounters between Eliot and the Indians, those recorded in John Wilson’s The Day-Breaking, if Not the Sun-Rising, of the Gospel with the Indians in New England (1647), the questions that the Indians are presented as having raised regard the very issues of verbal definition and differentiation that Eliot, still young in his language studies, might have raised himself: “1. Because some Indians say that we must pray to the Devill for all good, and some to God; they would know whether they might pray to the Devill or no. 2. They said they heard the word humiliation oft used in our Churches, and they would know what that meant? 3. Why the English call them Indians, because before they came they had another name? 4. What a Spirit is?” (This final question is particularly tantalizing, given the importance laid on “spirit” not only in Puritan theological texts but in Puritan translation theory.) Later reported questions broach the potential for subterfuge and confusion in language: “If a man know Gods Word, but beleeve it not; and he teach others, is that good teaching? and if others beleeve that which he teacheth, is that good beleeving, or faith?”; “May a man have good words and deeds and a bad heart, and another have bad words and deeds, and yet a good heart?”; “What is the reason, that seeing those English people, where he had been, had the same Bible that we have, yet do not speake the same things?”40
Similarly, it is notable that the Indians’ documented thoughts about prayer—the verbal, and visible, component of devotional practice—speak to some of translation’s central issues. On the one hand, the paradox that human linguistic diversity folds into divine linguistic unity arises when one Indian is quoted as asking “whether Jesus Christ did understand, or God did understand Indian prayers,” or when another’s confession reads, “then I thought, if I prayed to God in our Language, whether could God understand my prayers in our Language; therefore I did ask Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Mahu, If God understood prayers in our Language? They answered me God doth understand all Languages in the World.” On the other hand, the repeated threat of disjunction between word and spirit takes the form of multiple confessions of religious formalism or pretense: “I do not truly pray to God in my heart: no matter for good words, all is the true heart”; “a great part of the Word stayeth not in my heart strongly”; “I pray but outwardly with my mouth, not with my heart”; “God have given unto me instruction, and causeth me to pray unto God, but I only pray words. . . . Sometimes I say the great and mighty God is in Heaven, but these are but words, because I do not fear this great and mighty God; . . . sometimes I say I know Christ, because I know he died for us, and hath redeemed us, and procured pardon for us: yet again I say I sin, because I beleeve not Christ.”41 It is perhaps because such expressions seem so obviously to pertain to spiritual matters that critics have overlooked the fact that they pertain to linguistic matters as well. Or, to put this another way, such expressions illustrate that in the textual records that form our principal surviving evidence of Puritan and Indian encounter, the spiritual and the linguistic are necessarily intertwined and interdependent.
As with the Puritan writers’ reflections on translation, there are many ways to deal with the Indians’ recorded expressions. The simplest, and the one to which most scholars have been attracted, is to take them at face value as the strivings and misgivings of people seeking to come to terms with radically new linguistic, religious, and cultural demands. For like Eliot—though with additional burdens and urgencies of which he had little experience and perhaps no knowledge—the Praying Indians were living within contexts of translation; like him, they were struggling with language on the border between cultures, with words, thoughts, and beliefs unsettled from a fixed and familiar place and carried into new territory. But if this is the case, then one should not insist that the Indians’ words belong entirely to them, and thus accept these words as, for instance, unambiguously indicating the Indians’ penchant for prayer. Neither, however—and for the same reason—should one insist that these words belong entirely to Eliot. And this is so not simply because of the difficulty, or impossibility, of reading through these printed words to the utterances and identities of their original speakers; more importantly, the lack of transparency in the printed words—the barriers to assigning a perfect correspondence between word and thing, speech and speaker—exists, once again, because the words were forged through acts of translation, through encounters that trouble pristine categories of linguistic or cultural ownership, authority, immediacy. Thus to say that it is uncertain whether the words in the Eliot texts belong to Eliot or to the Indians is to say that they belong to both—which is to say that they belong to neither. It is to say, in Cheyfitz’s words, that in situations of encounter “each language is incomplete and thus dependent on its translation by all the others for its completeness”; or to say, in the words that with some slight variations begin each convert’s address in Eliot’s Further Accompt—the words that have provided the title to this paper—“A little I shall say, according to that little I know.”42 What these words suggest is that the Eliot tracts, for all their insistence on translation as their sole prerogative, were themselves translated through the forces of encounter; that the texts were jointly authored by multiple parties—Eliot, his converts, his interpreters—each of whom relied on all the others to achieve expression. In situations of encounter, these words suggest, no one can say it all—no one’s words can contain or control all meaning, for no one’s words exist outside the presence of others.
To say this, it must be repeated, is not to deny the power over Indian languages and lives that Eliot’s people possessed; any number of factors—not least the uncertainty of what theories of translation seventeenth-century northeastern Indians embraced—makes it difficult to pinpoint the effect the Indians under Eliot’s employ and tutelage, or more broadly the Indian presence, had in translating his language.43 To be sure, the formula “a little I shall say,” a phrase that is not characteristic of any of the public speech acts—such as sermons or conversion accounts—recorded of English speakers of the period, might be taken as indicative of such a theory; not only would this expression suggest a more fundamentally performative conceptualization of language than the text-based model touted by Eliot’s people, but it would accord with current formulations of Indian self-representation as dialogic or, to borrow Arnold Krupat’s term, “synecdochic,” “marked by the individual’s sense of himself in relation to collective social units or groupings.”44 To view the Eliot texts as arising from an environment of communal utterance would open up a range of intriguing possibilities: that the texts’ semantic difficulties may indicate the resistance a unitary theory of language met from an indigenous one; that the moments in which the words of “sundry” speakers appear as the words of “one man” may signal Eliot’s efforts to corral a polyvocal model of speech;45 that, conversely, the moments in the texts in which the Indians are represented as complementing, supplementing, or revising each other’s orations may represent the failure of the texts to countermand this model;46 even that, as in one instance in which a member of Eliot’s party offers a lively record of a convert’s performative, participatory sermon, Indian discourse may have challenged not only Euro-American texts but the orthodox forms of worship within which the converts, like their teachers, were expected to confine themselves.47
But whatever the merits of such suggestions—and these are considerable, for at the very least, theorizing the reciprocal foundations of translation in the Eliot texts further marks these texts as dynamic sites of encounter rather than as repositories for unmediated Indian or Euro-American voices—it is important to balance a recognition of encounter as formative for American texts with a skepticism as to what, precisely, were the roles of any one party in that encounter; it is important to view the Eliot texts as products of communal utterance without reducing the communal to the distinctive product of any one culture. And translation both encourages and makes possible such a border position; translation enables us to see, among other things, how unrevealing texts are of the circumstances of their production, and in that impenetrability how revealing they are as well. Translation enables us to see that it is not solely texts authored by American Indians that register the presence of Indian peoples (and the Eliot texts, it should be said, could as easily be seen as having been authored by American Indians as by their Christian mentor); translation enables us to see that all American texts bear the imprint of the conflicts, transactions, and interchanges between peoples that gave them birth. Translation enables us to see that the Indian presence is at once more elusive and more decisive than scholars of colonial texts typically allow; translation enables us to see that the Indian presence is not obviously or straightforwardly evident in colonial texts in large part because that presence has played a role in shaping texts such that they defy the obvious or the straightforward. Translation, finally, enables us to see that if no American text can be read as the utopian school of Puritan theory represented language—as a pattern of lucent signs, each ligatured to its one only and consummate object—this is because all American texts are contested and contrived between cultures, and thus infused with multiple, contending, interpenetrating utterances and objectives. For even the immaculate Word Eliot carried into the wilderness came back in a new, translated form.
1. See Cotton Mather, “The Triumphs of the Reformed Religion in America: Or, the Life of the Renowned John Eliot,” in his Magnalia Christi Americana, ed. Samuel G. Drake (Hartford: Silas Andrus, 1855), 1:526–83.
2. On the antebellum revival of Eliot, see Joshua David Bellin, “Apostle of Removal: John Eliot in the Nineteenth Century,” New England Quarterly 69 (1996): 3–32.
3. Alden T. Vaughan, New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians, 1620–1675 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965), 333. For a more recent exculpatory study, see Philip Ranlet, “Another Look at the Causes of King Philip’s War,” New England Quarterly 61 (1988): 79–100.
4. See Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest (New York: Norton, 1975), 228–53; Kenneth M. Morrison, “‘That Art of Coyning Christians’: John Eliot and the Praying Indians of Massachusetts,” Ethnohistory 21 (1974): 77–92; Neal Salisbury, “Red Puritans: The ‘Praying Indians’ of Massachusetts Bay and John Eliot,” William and Mary Quarterly 31 (1974): 27–54; and George Tinker, Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native American Cultural Genocide (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993), 21–41.
5. See Elise M. Brenner, “To Pray or to Be Prey: That is the Question. Strategies for Cultural Autonomy of Massachusetts Praying Town Indians,” Ethnohistory 27 (1980): 135–52; Robert James Naeher, “Dialogue in the Wilderness: John Eliot and the Indian Exploration of Puritanism as a Source of Meaning, Comfort, and Ethnic Survival,” New England Quarterly 62 (1989): 346–68; James P. Ronda, “‘We Are Well As We Are’: An Indian Critique of Seventeenth-Century Christian Missions,” William and Mary Quarterly 34 (1977): 66–82; and Harold W. Van Lonkhuyzen, “A Reappraisal of the Praying Indians: Acculturation, Conversion, and Identity at Natick, Massachusetts, 1646–1730,” New England Quarterly 63 (1990): 396–428.
6. Richard W. Cogley, John Eliot’s Mission to the Indians before King Philip’s War (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), 57, 105, 125. Even scholars critical of Eliot’s mission have accepted the tracts’ authority; Dane Morrison writes that he has attempted to “look beyond the ethnocentrism of the missionaries and the propaganda of their ‘Indian tracts,’” yet he draws heavily on the tracts to reconstruct Indian beliefs (A Praying People: Massachusett Acculturation and the Failure of the Puritan Mission, 1600–1690 [New York: Peter Lang, 1995], xvii, 1–36).
7. Hilary E. Wyss, Writing Indians: Literacy, Christianity, and Native Community in Early America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000), 9, 25, 27, 5. For the use of ethnohistories to bypass textual issues in primary sources, see also Henry Warner Bowden and James P. Ronda, eds., John Eliot’s Indian Dialogues: A Study in Cultural Interaction (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1980), 5–21, 28–32; and Jean M. O’Brien, Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650–1790 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 14–22, 52–60. Even more astonishing is an essay by Charles L. Cohen that, having reconstructed Indian religious beliefs almost entirely from the Eliot tracts, concludes that “Massachusett culture had failed” to equip Indians with the skills necessary to succeed as Christian converts (“Conversion among Puritans and Amerindians: A Theological and Cultural Perspective,” in Puritanism: Transatlantic Perspectives on a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Faith, ed. Francis J. Bremer [Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1993], 244).
8. Though “interpretation” is the more accurate term for much of what I discuss, I use “translation” both for simplicity’s sake and because I see it as the more embracing term.
9. For a quite different reading of Eliot’s translations, see Edward G. Gray, New World Babel: languages and Nations in Early America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 56–84.
10. Barry O’Connell, introduction to On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot, ed. O’Connell (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992), lv.
11. Eric Cheyfitz, The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from “The Tempest” to “Tarzan” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 37. See also Vicente L. Rafael, “Gods and Grammar: The Politics of Translation in the Spanish Colonization of the Tagalogs of the Philippines,” in Notebooks in Cultural Analysis, vol. 3, ed. Norman E. Cantor (Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1986), 97–133.
12. Stephen J. Greenblatt, “Learning to Curse: Aspects of Linguistic Colonialism in the Sixteenth Century,” in First Images of America: The Impact of the New World on the Old, ed. Fredi Chiappeli (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 2:575; David Murray, Forked Tongues: Speech, Writing and Representation in North American Indian Texts (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 2.
13. Cheyfitz, Poetics of Imperialism, 38–39.
14. Ann Kibbey, The Interpretation of Material Shapes in Puritanism: A Study of Rhetoric, Prejudice, and Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 18–19; Vivian Salmon, The Study of Language in 17th-Century England, ed. E. F. K. Koerner (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1979), 129; Kibbey, Material Shapes, 41.
15. John Eliot, quoted in “Report of the Trial of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson,” in The Antinomian Controversy, 1636–1638: A Documentary History, ed. David D. Hall (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1968), 363, 378, 381. I am indebted here to Patricia Caldwell, “The Antinomian Language Controversy,” Harvard Theological Review 69 (1976): 345–67.
16. John Eliot, Indian Dialogues, ed. Bowden and Ronda, 103.
17. William J. Scheick, Design in Puritan American Literature (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1992), 19.
18. Cheyfitz, Poetics of Imperialism, 35.
19. Petrus Danielus Huetius, De Interpetatione Libri Duo (1683), in Translation/History/Culture: A Sourcebook, ed. André Lefevere (London: Routledge, 1992), 89.
20. William Leverich, in Henry Whitfield, Strength out of Weaknesse: Or a Glorious Manifestation of the Further Progresse of the Gospel Among the Indians in New-England (London: M. Simmons, 1652), 22.
21. Thomas Shepard, The Clear Sunshine of the Gospel Breaking forth upon the Indians in New England (1648), in The Works of Thomas Shepard (Boston: Doctrinal Tract and Book Society, 1853; repr. New York: AMS, 1967), 3:489, 463; John Eliot, A Further Accompt of the Progresse of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New-England (London: M. Simmons, 1659), 2.
22. Mather, Magnalia, 561.
23. John Eliot, A Late and Further Manifestation of the Progress of the Gospel Amongst the Indians in New-England (London: M. Simmons, 1655), 5, 9, 21.
24. Whitfield, “To the Christian Reader,” in Strength out of Weaknesse, n. p.
25. Rev. 22:15, The Geneva Bible (1560; repr. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969). For Eliot’s quotation of this verse, see Hall, ed., Antinomian Controversy, 385.
26. Eliot, in Henry Whitfield, The Light Appearing More and More towards the Perfect Day (1651), in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3d ser., vol. 4 (1833), 120.
27. Daniel Gookin, Historical Collections of the Indians in New England, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1st ser., vol. 1 (1792; repr. New York: Arno, 1972), 79; John Eliot, A Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel (London: John Allen, 1670), 5.
28. See John Morgan, Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes towards Reason, Learning, and Education, 1560–1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 152–55.
29. Whitfield, Strength out of Weaknesse, 7; Eliot, in Shepard, Clear Sunshine, 474.
30. Eliot, Late and Further Manifestation, 12.
31. Eliot, Indian Dialogues, ed. Bowden and Ronda, 87–88.
32. John Eliot, The Indian Grammar Begun (Cambridge: Marmaduke Johnson, 1666), title page.
33. M. M. Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel,” in his The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 288; Eliot, in Whitfield, Light Appearing, 121; Eliot, in Whitfield, Strength out of Weaknesse, 4–5.
34. For a reconstruction of the role of Eliot’s interpreters, see Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (New York: Vintage, 1998), 29–47.
35. Eliot, in Edward Winslow, The Glorious Progress of the Gospel Amongst the Indians in New England (London, 1649), 14; Eliot, in Whitfield, Strength out of Weaknesse, 15, 7.
36. Shepard, Clear Sunshine, 486; Cotton Mather, quoted in George Parker Winship, The New England Company of 1649 and John Eliot (New York: Burt Franklin, 1968), xlviii; William Walton, in Eliot, Late and Further Manifestation, 20.
37. Richard Mather, in John Eliot and Thomas Mayhew, Tears of Repentance: Or, A Further Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New-England (1653), in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3d ser., vol. 4 (1833), 220–21; Eliot, Tears of Repentance, 243, 245.
38. Eliot, Further Accompt, 20.
39. Winship, New England Company, xlviii–xlix. For a reassessment of Eliot as linguist, see Stephen Guice, “The Linguistic Work of John Eliot” (Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University, 1990).
40. John Wilson, The Day-Breaking, if Not the Sun-Rising, of the Gospel with the Indians in New-England (1647), in Old South Leaflets vol. 6 (New York: Burt Franklin, 197–?), 17; Whitfield, Light Appearing, 128, 130, 136.
41. Wilson, Day-Breaking, 4; Waban, in Eliot and Mayhew, Tears of Repentance, 231, 232; Robin Speene, in Tears of Repentance, 248; Ephraim, in Tears of Repentance, 259; Nishohkou, in Tears of Repentance, 250, 251.
42. Cheyfitz, Poetics of Imperialism, 135; Nishohkou, in Eliot, Further Accompt, 10.
43. On mutual translation, see Kristina Bross, “Dying Saints, Vanishing Savages: ‘Dying Indian Speeches’ in Colonial New England Literature,” Early American Literature 36 (2001): 325–52; Louise Burkhart, “The Amanuenses Have Appropriated the Text: Interpreting a Nahuatl Song of Santiago,” in On the Translation of Native American Literatures, ed. Brian Swann (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 1992), 339–55; and Vicente Rafael, “Confession, Conversion, and Reciprocity in Early Tagalog Colonial Society,” in Colonialism and Culture, ed. Nicholas B. Dirks (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992), 65–88. Tracy Leavelle’s unpublished essay on Jesuit translations of sacred texts into the Illinois language, “The Language of Illinois Christianity: Translation and Reception, Mediation and Meaning in the French-Illinois Religious and Linguistic Encounter,” offers concrete evidence of the linguistic, cultural, and religious negotiations that take place within the borderland of translation.
44. Arnold Krupat, Ethnocriticism: Ethnography, History, Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 212.
45. Eliot, Late and Further Manifestation, 10.
46. See Eliot, Late and Further Manifestation, 13–15; and Eliot, Further Accompt, 8–19.
47. See John Wilson, in Whitfield, Strength out of Weaknesse, 18–19.