Jemima Wilkinson and the Indian, Improved, by John Leland, is excerpted from the pamphlet A Budget of Scraps, first published in 1810.
The high claims of Jemima Wilkinson (that Christ has descended the second time, and dwells in her), are generally known. Her place of residence is in the town of Jerusalem, Ontario county, and state of New York.
A few years past, a religious Indian paid her a visit, with intention to find out wherein her great strength lay. After discoursing with her some time, in English, he changed to his dialect, and spake in his own mother tongue; to which Jemima replied in her plain manner of speaking, “thee must not speak to me in Indian language, for I do not understand it.” “Ah!” said the Indian, “then I know you are not my Saviour; for my blessed Jesus understands poor Indians.” How significant the words, and how marvellous the idea of the Indian!
More than a thousand different dialects now exist, among the various nations of the earth, which bear so little affinity to each other, that the people who speak one of them understand little or nothing of another. Supposing a thousand congregations, belonging to a thousand distinct nations, should assemble in some spacious plain, and the whole number of individuals, in each congregation, should lift up their voices in prayer and praise to God; is it probable that Jesus would understand them all? Like the Indian, I believe he would. Should any individual, in the vast assembly, hear all the voices, what a din of confusion would assail his ears; but all would be order and significance with the dear Redeemer. If this conclusion is just, it is presumptive evidence that Jesus Christ is omniscient God. If it should be objected, however, that it is possible for Omnipotence to make a creature of such extensive faculties, that he can understand all that is said by all, it will not be hastily denied.
But supposing the public worship of this great assembly should close, would Jesus then know the temper of each heart? Can an inarticulate prayer of the heart rise to God, through the mediation of Christ, and at the same time the Mediator know nothing of it? It cannot be admitted. He must then know the hearts of men.
When he was on earth, he perceived the thoughts of the people, and knew what was in man. If we consider Solomon’s address to Israel’s God, “Thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of men,” it will be substantiated that Jesus, who knew the thoughts and hearts of men, is Israel’s Lord and Saviour; for it is not possible for Omnipotence to make a creature of co-omniscience with himself.