The last paper was a heart-warming presentation by Hugh Collier of the life and missionary labours of John Eliot (1604-90), ‘apostle to the Indians’. Settled in New England and pastor of a church, at the age of 40 Eliot determined to reach the native American Indians.
He learned their language and preached his first sermon in 1646. By 1660, a church was formed and by 1663 the Bible that Eliot had translated for them was printed in their language — the first Bible to be printed in America.
By 1700, ten years after his death, it was estimated that there were 3000 Christian Indians in the province in which he had worked, and 30 congregations. ‘We must not sit still and look for miracles; be up and be doing in prayer and pains for Christ Jesus’. His dying words were, ‘Welcome, joy’.