In 1704 John Williams, a pastor in Massachusetts colony, was captured by Indians along with his family and neighbors. While some of the captives were killed or kept by the Indians, many were taken to French settlements where Catholic priests used every means to convert them. In his book, The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, Mr. Williams describes his sorrow and anguish upon receiving news that one of his sons had turned to Catholicism, as well as the secret hope that upheld him in the midst of his afflictions.
"Here I thought of my afflictions and trials; my wife and two children killed, and many of my neighbours; and myself, so many of my children and friends in a popish captivity, separated from our children, not capable to come to them to instruct them in the way they ought to go; and cunning, crafty enemies, using all their subtilty to insinuate into young ones, such principles as would be pernicious. I thought with myself how happy many others were, in that they had their children with them, under all advantages to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; whilst we were separated one from another, and our children in great peril of embracing damnable doctrines. Oh! that all parents, who read this history, would bless God for the advantages they have of educating their children, and faithfully improve it! I mourned when I thought with myself that I had one child with the Macquas, a second turned to popery, and a little child, of six years of age, in danger from a child to be instructed in popery; and knew full well that all endeavours would be used to prevent my seeing or speaking with them. But in the midst of all these, God gave me a secret hope, that he would magnify his power and free grace, and disappoint all their crafty designs. When I looked on the right hand and on the left, all refuge failed me, and none shewed any care for my soul. But God brought that word to uphold me; Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we can ask or think. As also that, Is anything too hard for God?"