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THE LIFE OF 



REV. DAVID BRAINERD. 



L. B. SEELEY AKD SOXS, WESTON GREEN, THAMES DITTON. 



THE LIFE OF 



THE 



REV. DAVID BRAINERD, 



MISSIONARY TO THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS. 



COMPILED FROM THE MEMOIR PUBLISHED BY PRES. EDWARDS, 

BY THE REV. JOSIAH PRATT, B.D. 

AND NOW RE-PUBLISHED BY HIS PERMISSION. 



PUBLISHED BY R. B. SEELEY AND W. BURNSIDE } 

AND SOLD BY L. B. SEELEY AND SONS, 

FLEET STREET, LONDON. 

MDCCCXXXIV. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

INTRODUCTION - - vii 

CHAPTER I. 

From his Birth to his entrance at College 1 

CHAPTER II. 

His conduct at College, and preparation for the 
Ministry - - - - - - -21 

CHAPTER III. 

Entrance on his Missionary Labours - - 58 

CHAPTER IV. 

The first year of his Mission - 71 

CHAPTER V. 

The second year of his Missionary Labours ; from 
April 1744, to April 1745 - - - -127 



M316039 



VI CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

CHAPTER VI. 

The third year of his Misssionary Labours; from 
April 1745, to April 1746 - ... 172 

CHAPTER VII. 

The fourth year of his Missionary Labours ; from 
April 1 746, to April 1747 - - - -281 

CHAPTER VIII. 

His last Sickness and Death - - - - 324 

CHAPTER IX. 

Concluding Remarks - - - - . -355 

REMAINS OF MR. BRAINERD - - . .386 



INTRODUCTION. 



THE Life of DAVID BRAINERD here offered to the 
reader, is taken, by permission of the Rev. JOSIAH 
PRATT, Editor of the Missionary Register, from that 
work, with the addition of some farther passages 
from President Edwards Memoir, which seemed too 
valuable to be omitted. 

The Editor of this volume, in prefixing a few In 
troductory remarks, will first give one or two general 
reflections occasioned by the Memoir, and then such 
particulars respecting its usefulness in the cause of 
Missions, and respecting the congregation over which 
Brainerd laboured, and the present state of the 
North American Indians, as he has collected from 
other sources. He adds also a slight sketch of the 
progress of Missionary labours. 

The DEVOTEDNESS of Brainerd to our Heavenly 
Master was the most striking peculiarity of his cha 
racter. He gave up himself entirely to his work, 
abandoning every thing for it. While he himself 
underwent all sort of privations, he surrendered his 
own private property without reserve to educate 
others. God always honours such devotedness. 
Self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ has a present 
reward in the good done, as well as a future reward 
from the Lord of all. The success with which it 
pleased God to crown Brainerd s labours, perfectly 
corresponded to that patient zeal and holy earnest- 



VllI INTRODUCTION. 

ness, that vehemence and devotedness, which the 
same God bestowed on him to enable him with un 
wearied labour steadily to seek success in the faith 
ful, self-denying, and diligent use of means. 

The DISTRESSING EXPERIENCE through which Brain- 
erd passed, his times of sorrow and despondency, his 
disappointed hopes and his sensibility to sin, make his 
history much more generally useful and interesting 
than it would otherwise have been. Sorrow makes 
up so large a portion of the lives of men, and all 
God s children have to pass through so much con 
flict and tribulation, that they cannot realize the 
blessedness of sympathy of feeling with those who 
have never felt sorrow. When a most eminent 
Christian like Brainerd goes through those afflictions 
and trials which are common to all, he is brought 
nearer to us. The Lord of glory himself chose to be 
" a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; " and 
for ever blessed be our God for all the comfort that 
this gives to his suffering people, they know that 
he is touched with a feeling of our infirmities. 

Yet while our interest in this work is increased 
by the distressing experience which it records, we 
should guard against those peculiarities which occa 
sion needless distress. 

Constitutional melancholy was a part of Brainerd s 
character, and no doubt tended to aggravate those 
seasons of depression to which his life shews that he 
was subject. He seems to the Editor, also to have 
suffered unnecessarily from the endeavour, in the 
great aim and scope of his labours, to separate, as a 
motive of his conduct, God s glory and his own 
personal interest : things whicli are perfectly united 
together, and should never be disjoined as if they 
were inconsistent. If glory to God in the highest 
be the first part of the Angelic Song on the birth 
of the Saviour, it is inseparably joined with peace 



INTRODUCTION. IX 

on earth, and good -will towards men. God s glory, 
and his creatures happiness while seeking that glory, 
form one blessed result that need never be disjoined. 

The SUCCESS which attends a free and full decla 
ration of the Grace of the Gospel, after other means 
have been tried in vain, is a very striking and 
instructive feature in the history of the Church. 
The well-known fact in the commencement of the 
Greenland Mission, after a considerable trial of other 
means, of the happy effect of a simple declaration 
of the sufferings of Christ, accords with Brainerd s 
History as given in page 233. Mr. Newton records 
a similar instance in a letter to Hannah More, men 
tioned in the interesting biography just published 
of that valuable female. The fact is as follows : 

Mr. Newton says, * A friend of mine was desired 
to visit a woman in prison, he was informed of her 
evil habits of life, and therefore spoke strongly of the 
terrors of the Lord, and the curses of the law; she 
heard him awhile, and then laughed in his face; 
upon this he changed his note, and spoke of the 
Saviour, and what he had done and suffered for 
sinners ; he had not talked long in this strain, before 
he saw a tear or two in her eyes ; at length she 
interrupted him by saying, Why sir, do you think 
there can be any hope of mercy for me ? He answered 
* Yes, if you feel your need of it, and are willing to 
seek it in God s appointed way. I am sure it is as 
free for you as for myself. She replied, Ah ! if I 
had thought so, I should not have been in this prison. 
I long since settled it in my mind that I was utterly 
lost ; that I had sinned beyond all possibility of for 
giveness ; and that made me desperate/ He visited 
her several times, and when she went away, (for she 
was transported) he had good reason to hope that 
she was truly converted. He gave me this relation 
more than forty years ago, and it has been, I hope, 



X INTRODUCTION. 

of some use to me through the course of my ministry. 
Christ crucified, is the wisdom and power of God. 

This should not lead us to withhold the law of God, 
but it should lead us freely and fully to state the 
good tidings of grace for the most sinful. But one of 
the chief USES OF THIS LIFE has been to foster a mis 
sionary spirit. Missionary Biography, since the days 
of the Apostles, is comparatively of recent origin. 
The life of Eliot was published in 1691, by Cotton 
Mather. The success attending his labours and 
those of Mayhew and Sheppard, who laboured at the 
same period, gave rise, (Dean Pearson has remarked) 
to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, which was incorporated by charter 
in 1701. Ziegenbalg landed in Tranquebar, in 1706, 
and was followed by Grundler and others, to whose 
labours God gave a manifest blessing. 

The Memoir of Brainerd published in 1749, fol 
lowed next in the course of Missionary Biography. 
His career was brief. He died at the age of 30; but 
he has left an imperishable memorial. The scene of 
his labours was very obscure, limited, and remote, 
but his usefulness has extended through the churches 
of Christ over the world. 

The peculiar devotedness of heart to his Saviour 
which it pleased God to bestow upon him, and his 
ardent and unquenchable spirit of zeal for the 
enlargement of his kingdom, have been one great 
means by which God has kindled that missionary 
zeal, which is now spreading through the Protestant 
Churches of Christ. 

There have been few devoted labourers since the 
publication of Brainerd s life who have not been 
greatly benefited by it. 

It is well known how highly Henry Martyn valued 
this work. His mind was directed to missions by a 
remark of Mr. Simeon s. Soon after this, perusing 



INTRODUCTION. XI 

the life of David Brainerd, who preached with apos 
tolical zeal and success to the North American 
Indians, and who finished a course of self-denying 
labours for his Redeemer, with unspeakable joy, at 
the early age of thirty-two, his soul was filled with a 
holy emulation of that extraordinary man: and, after 
deep consideration and fervent prayer, he was at 
length fixed in a resolution to imitate his example. 
His subsequent course shows how much he made 
this life his model. 

The remarks of another devoted Missionary, the 
Rev. Levi Parsons, shew its beneficial influence on 
his mind ; they are extracted from his private journal, 
printed in his life. 

Much refreshed this day by perusing the life of 
Brainerd. How completely devoted to God, how 
ardent his affections ! What thirstings after holiness! 
What love for souls! His life was short, but brilliant 
and useful. He ushered in a glorious day to the 
church. Counting pain and distress, and every 
bodily infirmity as dross, he patiently encountered 
difficulties and dangers, and at last sweetly resigned 
his all to his Saviour. Multitudes will have reason 
to call him blessed. Many perishing Indians well 
remember his earnest desire for their good, with 
gratitude and love. He has taught the world an 
important lesson, and enforced it by a powerful 
example. 

Indeed, almost every devoted missionary who has 
laboured in extending the kingdom of God since the 
days of Brainerd, has been quickened by his heart- 
stirring and fervent spirit for enlarging the kingdom 
of Christ. 

The reader will be both interested and affected by 
the accounts which have been given of the NATIVE 
CONGREGATION over which he laboured. His mis 
sionary labours at Cranberry, the town in the central 



xii INTRODUCTION. 

part of New Jersey, whither he had removed with 
the whole body of his Indians before his death, were 
afterwards carried on by his younger brother, John 
Brainerd, for years, with much success. 

Dr. Brown, in his History of the Propagation of 
the Gospel, has collected the fullest account of this 
congregation. Many of those who appeared to have 
been converted under the ministry of David Brainerd 
not only persevered in the profession of religion, but 
adorned it by a holy life ; though several fell away. 
Other Indians were also truly converted. 

During the American war, Mr. John Brainerd s 
correspondence with the society in Scotland for pro 
pagating Christian knowledge was suspended, and 
toward the close of it he died. In 1783, he was suc 
ceeded in the charge of his Congregation by Mr. 
Daniel Simon, an Indian, who had been ordained to 
the ministry; but it was soon found necessary to 
suspend him from his office, on account of drunk- 
kenness and other irregularities. No missionary was 
appointed to succeed him ; but the congregation 
was occasionally supplied by the neighbouring 
ministers. 

In July 1 80 2, some commissioners from New Jersey 
conducted eighty-five Delaware Indians, the remains 
of Mr. John Brainerd s congregation, to New Stock- 
bridge, to place them under the ministry of Mr. Ser 
geant, the missionary in that town. For many years 
past they had been left entirely to themselves, having 
no spiritual guide to watch over them, no meetings 
for divine worship on the Sabbath, and no school for 
their children. Hence, they in general grew very 
wicked, and had been long in a very miserable state, 
scattered through the country, and excessively ad 
dicted to drinking. To this, however, there might 
be some exceptions : mention, at least, is made of 
one old woman dying after they removed to Stock- 



INTRODUCTION. Xlll 

bridge, who dated her conversion from the time of 
the great awakening under Mr. David Brainerd, and 
who was distinguished for her piety to the day of her 
death. 

* Such a result of those bright, those pleasing pros 
pects, which once dawned on the tribe of Indians, is 
truly deplorable. Few of these individuals, however, 
could have belonged to Mr. David Brainerd s con 
gregation, and such as did, must, in general, have 
been little more than children at the time. Indeed, 
though there certainly was an extraordinary work of 
grace among his people, yet it was never supposed 
they were all converted. Of adults, he baptized 
only between forty and fifty, and though there were 
many others, as we have already mentioned, under 
deep concern for their souls, yet as they did not give 
satisfactory evidence of a saving change, he judged 
it expedient to defer their baptism. Now, as the 
Christian Indians, in general, continued for several 
years at least to adorn their profession by a holy 
exemplary conversation ; as some of them died in 
the Lord; as twenty-seven years after Mr. Brainerd s 
death, there were still, even according to the most 
unfavourable accounts, ten or twelve, who were 
considered as fit for admission to the Lord s Supper, 
it is probable there were as many, or even a greater 
number than he ever supposed, who were truly con 
verted to Christ, maintained a Christian deportment 
to the last, and now join with him in heaven, in 
celebrating the praises of God and of the Lamb. It 
gives us much pleasure to state, that the late Dr. 
Witherspoon, president of New Jersey College, in 
referring to these Indians, assures us that it was 
fully attested, that they had persevered with scarcely 
any exceptions, in their profession of religion, and 
even adorned it by their exemplary conversation/ 

This history has been given as calculated to show 



XIV INTRODUCTION. 

us the vast importance of continuing the means of 
grace, and of the persevering efforts which only Re 
ligious Societies are calculated to make. The 
continued and renewed manifestations of Divine grace 
are needful to maintain the work of grace. 

The INDIAN TRIBES in North America gradually 
became intermingled with the Europeans, or were 
driven back further and further from the coasts of 
the ocean, which they once occupied. 

It is gratifying to know that American Missionary 
Societies have zealously taken up the important 
work of evangelizing these native tribes, and have 
extended and successful missions amongst them. 

An account of these may be seen in that truly 
valuable publication the Missionary Register, and 
especially in the Annual Survey published at the 
commencement of the year. From the volume for 
1823, p. 76 79, it appears that there were then 
471,417 North American Indians, as follows : 

East of the Mississippi 120,625 

Between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. . . 179.5Q2 
West of the Rocky Mountains 1/1,417 



471,417 

The Congress of the United States vote an annual 
sum of 10,000 dollars for maintaining schools among 
them. 

It is very interesting to mark THE PROGRESS of 
Missionary labours. There was a considerable 
preparation by the foundation of several societies 
for Missionary exertions, before the time of Brainerd. 
The New England Company was incorporated in 
1661, and Boyle, in 1691, left a legacy to it. It still 
exists, though but little known ; and it is hoped 
that it may yet rise to increased usefulness. The 
Society for Propagating the Gospel was formed in 



INTRODUCTION. XV 

1701; the Danish Mission College, in 1706; the 
Scotch Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
was incorporated in 1709. It was under this Society 
that the Missionaries, John and David Brainerd, 
laboured for the conversion of the North American 
Indians. The United Brethren began their noble 
exertions in 1732, and have furnished a gratifying 
example of what may be done with but feeble means 
by Christian zeal. 

Though there was this large preparation of ma 
terials, the progress of Missionary labours, before the 
time of Brainerd, was very limited. Gradually, 
however, since then, the church has been awakening 
to its duties to the heathen world. The apostolic 
Schwartz entered on his labours in 1750, soon after 
the death of Brainerd, and continued, with the com 
panions who soon joined them, and the Moravian 
Brethren, to sustain almost alone, for nearly half a 
a century, the whole labour of missions to the hea 
then. The close of the eighteenth and the beginning 
of the nineteenth century will ever be memorable 
for the more extended revival of Missionary zeal 
in the Christian churches. The Baptist Mis 
sionary Society led the way ; the London Missionary 
Society, in 1795; the Edinburgh Missionary So 
ciety, in 1796; and the Wesleyan Missionary So 
ciety, from an early day in the labours of Mr. 
Wesley, succeeded. The Netherlands Missionary 
Society, in 1797, and the Church Missionary Society, 
in 1800, followed in their steps. American Chris 
tians, and various kindred Societies, in foreign coun 
tries, have much strengthened these works of love; 
and all are sending forth yearly an increasing 
number of faithful labourers to the heathen. 

These things show us that we witness that which 
the Apostle beheld in prophetic vision: I saw another 
angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting 



XVI INTRODUCTION. 

gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and 
to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. 
And let us never forget that this angel says, with a 
loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour 
of his judgment is come ; and worship him that made 
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountain of 
waters. It is our clearest duty and our richest privi 
lege, to labour with indefatigable zeal in propagating 
the gospel, thus obeying the last command given by 
Christ, on his leaving this world, Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; 
and looking to the future reward at his return, Dan. 
xii. 3. But while it is so, let us still bear in mind it is 
the hour of his judgment to the wicked. Every thing 
is shaking around us, and with the general propa 
gation of the gospel, and with the universal esta 
blishment of the kingdom of Christ, is connected the 
breaking in pieces and consuming of all those king 
doms which have preceded it, (Dan. ii, 44.) 

As Christians, it becomes us to seek to have a 
clear view of what the scriptures have told us is 
before us, that we may not labour for the most 
blessed of all objects, unprepared for those judg 
ments which precede its accomplishment. May we 
now so fight the good fight, and finish our course, 
and keep the faith, that we may receive the crown 
of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, 
shall give at that day, to all them that love his appearing, 
2 Tim. iv. 8. 

EDWARD BICKERSTETH. 
Watton Rectory, 
Oct. 20, 1834. 



LIFE OF 
DAVID BRAINERD 



CHAPTER I. 

From his Birth to his entrance at College. 

ELIOT, in the West, and Schwartz, in the East, have 
ennobled the name of Missionary ; and have dis 
played, in the latter days of the church, the virtues 
of the apostolic age. DAVID BRAINERD is worthy to 
rank with these distinguished men. He did not, 
indeed, survive, like his brethren, to a good old age. 
His course was short, but laborious and successful. 
Entering, in his twenty-fifth year, on nearly the 
same field of abour which Eliot had first broken up 
about a century before, he departed to his rest in his 
thirtieth, young in years, but rich in graces. 

He was born April 20, 1718, at Haddam, in Con 
necticut. His father, who died when his son was 
about nine years of age, was one of his Majesty s 
council for that colony. His mother was Mrs. Do- 
B 



2 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

rothy Hobart, daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Hobart, 
of Haddam. 

He was the third son of his parents, who had five 
sons and four daughters. Mrs. Dorothy Brainerd, 
having lived several years a widow, died when her 
son David was about fourteen years of age. De 
prived thus early of both his parents, their anxious 
care of him was not lost. The seed soon sprang up 
and flourished with vigour during his few surviving 
years. 

At a very early age he had strong impressions on 
his mind of the importance of religion, and was agi 
tated by the fear of death. This fear impelled him 
to the private duties of religion ; but they were an 
irksome task to him. 

The progress of his mind, at this period of his his 
tory, may be given in his own words. 

I was, I think, from my youth, something sober, 
and inclined rather to melancholy than the contrary 
extreme ; but do not remember any thing of convic 
tion of sin worthy of remark, till I was, I believe, 
about seven or eight years of age ; when I became 
something concerned for my soul, and terrified at 
the thoughts of death, and was driven to the perform 
ance of duties : but it appeared a melancholy business, 
and destroyed my eagerness for play. And, alas ! 
this religious concern was but short-lived. However, 
I sometimes attended secret prayer ; and thus lived 
at " ease in Zion, without God in the world," and 
without much concern, as I remember, till I was above 
thirteen years of age. But some time in the winter 
of 1732, 1 was something roused out of carnal security, 
by I scarce know what means at first; but was much 



HIS YOUTHFUL DAYS. 3 

excited by the prevailing of a mortal sickness in Had- 
dam. I was frequent, constant, and something fer 
vent in duties, and took delight in reading, especially 
Mr. Janeway s Token for Children. I felt sometimes 
much melted in duties, and took great delight in the 
performance of them ; and I sometimes hoped that 
I was converted, or at least in a good and hopeful 
way for heaven and happiness, not knowing what 
conversion was. The Spirit of God at this time 
proceeded far with me ; I was remarkably dead to 
the world, and my thoughts were almost wholly 
employed about my soul s concerns ; and I may in 
deed say, " Almost I was persuaded to be a Chris 
tian." I was also exceedingly distressed and melan 
choly at the death of my mother, in March 1732. 
But afterwards my religious concern began to decline, 
and I by degrees fell back into a considerable degree 
of security, though I still attended secret prayer fre 
quently. 

About the 15th of April, 1733, I removed from my 
father s house to East Haddam, where I spent four 
years, but still " without God in the world;" though, 
for the most part, I went a round of secret duty. I 
was not exceedingly addicted to young company, or 
frolicking, as it is called. But this I know, that 
when I did go into company, I never returned from 
a frolic in my life with so good a conscience as I 
went with ; it always added new guilt to me, and 
made me afraid to come to the throne of grace, and 
spoiled those good frames I was wont sometimes to 
please myself with. But, alas! all my good frames 
were but self-righteousness, not bottomed on a desire 
for the glory of God. 

About the latter end of April, 1737, being full 
B 2 



4 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

nineteen years of age, I removed to Durham, and 
began to work on my farm, and so continued the 
year out, or nearly, till I was twenty years old ; fre 
quently longing, from a natural inclination, after a 
liberal education. When I was about twenty years 
of age, I applied myself to study; and, sometime 
before, was more than ordinarily excited to, and in 
duty : but now engaged more than ever in the duties 
of religion. I became very strict and watchful over 
my thoughts, words, and actions ; and thought I must 
be sober indeed, because I designed to devote myself 
to the ministry ; and imagined I did dedicate myself 
to the Lord. 

Some time in April, 1738, I went to Mr. Fiske s, 
the pastor of the church at Haddam, and lived with 
him during his life. And I remember he advised me 
wholly to abandon young company, and associate 
myself with grave, elderly people : which counsel I 
followed ; and my manner of life was now exceeding 
regular, and full of religion, such as it was: for I 
read my Bible more than twice through in less than 
a year ; I spent much time, every day, in secret 
prayer and other secret duties ; I gave great at 
tention to the word preached, and endeavoured to 
my utmost to retain it. So much concerned was I 
about religion, that I agreed with some young per 
sons to meet privately on Sabbath evenings for re 
ligious exercises, and thought myself sincere in these 
duties ; and, after our meeting was ended, I used to 
repeat the discourses of the day to myself, and re 
collect what I could, though sometimes it was very 
late in the night. Again, on Monday mornings I 
used sometimes to recollect the same sermons. And 
T had sometimes considerable movings of affections 



HIS YOUTHFUL DAYS. 5 

in duties, and much pleasure, and had many thoughts 
of joining the church. In short, I had a very good 
outside, and rested entirely on my duties, though 
I was not sensible of it. 

After Mr. Fiske s death, I proceeded in my learn 
ing with my brother ; and was still very constant in 
religious duties, and often wondered at the levity of 
professors : it was a trouble to me that they were so 
careless in religious matters. Thus I proceeded a 
considerable length on a self-righteous foundation ; 
and should have been entirely lost and undone, had 
not the mere mercy of God prevented. 

Some time in the beginning of winter, 1738, it 
pleased God, on one Sabbath-day morning, as I was 
walking out for some secret duties, as I remember, 
to give me on a sudden such a sense of my danger 
and of the wrath of God, that I stood amazed, and my 
former good frames, that I had pleased myself with, 
all presently vanished ; and from the view that I had 
of my sin and vileness, I was much distressed all 
that day, fearing the vengeance of God would soon 
overtake me; I was much dejected, and kept much 
alone, and sometimes begrudged the birds and beasts 
their happiness, because they were not exposed to 
eternal misery, as I evidently saw I was. And thus 
I lived from day to day, being frequently in great 
distress : sometimes there appeared mountains be 
fore me to obstruct my hopes of mercy; and the 
work of conversion appeared so great, I thought I 
should never be the subject of it : but used, however, 
to pray and cry to God, and perform other duties 
with great earnestness, and hoped by some means to 
make the case better. And though I, hundreds of 
times, renounced all pretences of any worth in my 



6 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

duties, as I thought, even in the season of the per 
formance of them, and often confessed to God that I 
deserved nothing for the very best of them, but 
eternal condemnation ; yet still I had a secret latent 
hope of recommending myself to God by my religious 
duties; and when I prayed affectionately, and my 
heart seemed in some measure to melt, I hoped God 
would be thereby moved to pity me, my prayers then 
looked with some appearance of goodness in them, 
and I seemed to mourn for sin : and then I could, in 
some measure, venture on the mercy of God in Christ, 
as I thought; though the preponderating thought and 
foundation of my hope was some imagination of 
goodness in my heart-meltings, and flowing of affec 
tions in duty, and sometimes extraordinary enlarge 
ments therein. 

* Sometime in February, 1738-9, I set apart a day 
for secret fasting and prayer, and spent the day in 
almost incessant cries to God for mercy, that he 
would open my eyes to see the evil of sin, and the 
way of life by Jesus Christ. And God was pleased 
that day to make considerable discoveries of my 
heart to me. But still I trusted in all the duties I 
performed, though there was no manner of goodness 
in the duties I then performed, there being no man 
ner of respect to the glory of God in them, nor any 
such principle in my heart ; yet God was pleased to 
make my endeavours that day a means to show me 
my helplessness in some measure. 

Sometimes I was greatly encouraged, and ima 
gined that God loved me, and was pleased with me, 
and thought I should soon be fully reconciled to 
God ; while the whole was founded on mere pre 
sumption, arising from enlargement in duty, or 



HIS CONVICTIONS OF SIN. 7 

flowing of affections, or some good resolutions, and 
the like. And when, at times, great distress began 
to arise, on a sight of my vileness, and nakedness, 
and inability to deliver myself from a sovereign God, I 
used to put off the discovery, as what I could not bear. 
Once, I remember, a terrible pang of distress seized 
me, and the thoughts of renouncing myself, and 
standing naked before God, stripped of all goodness, 
were so dreadful to me, that I was ready to say to 
them, as Felix to Paul, " Go thy way for this time." 
Thus, though I daily longed for greater conviction 
of sin, supposing that I must see more of my dreadful 
state in order to a remedy; yet, when the disco 
veries of my vile, hellish heart were made to me, the 
sight was so dreadful, and showed me so plainly my 
exposedness to damnation, that I could not endure 
it. I constantly strove after whatever qualifications 
I imagined others obtained before the reception of 
Christ, in order to recommend me to his favour. 
Sometimes I felt the power of a hard heart, and 
supposed it must be softened before Christ would 
accept of me ; and when I felt any meltings of heart, 
I hoped now the work was almost done: and hence, 
when my distress still remained, I was wont to mur 
mur at God s dealings with me ; and thought, when 
others felt their hearts softened, God showed them 
mercy ; but my distress remained still. 

4 Sometimes I grew remiss and sluggish, without 
any great convictions of sin, for a considerable time 
together ; but after such a season, convictions some 
times seized me more violently. One night I re 
member in particular, when I was walking solitarily 
abroad, I had opened to me such a view of my sin, 
that I feared the ground would cleave asunder under 



LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

my feet, and become my grave, and send my soul 
quick into hell before I could get home. And 
though J was forced to go to bed lest my distress 
should be discovered by others, which I much feared, 
yet I scarce durst sleep at all ; for I thought it would 
be a great wonder if I should be out of hell in the 
morning. And though my distress was sometimes 
thus great, yet I greatly dreaded the loss of convic 
tions, and returning back to a state of carnal security, 
and to my former insensibility of impending wrath ; 
which made me exceeding exact in my behaviour, 
lest I should stifle the motions of God s Spirit. 
When at any time I took a view of my convictions 
of my own sinfulness, and thought the degree of 
them to be considerable, I was wont to trust in my 
convictions ; but this confidence, and the hopes that 
arose in me from it, of soon making some notable 
advances towards deliverance, would ease my mind, 
and I soon became more senseless and remiss : but 
then again, when I discerned my convictions to grow 
languid, and I thought them about to leave me, this 
immediately alarmed and distressed me. Sometimes 
I expected to take a large step, and get very far to 
wards conversion, by some particular opportunity or 
means I had in view. 

The many disappointments, and great distresses 
and perplexity I met with, put me into a most horri 
ble frame of contesting with the Almighty ; with an 
inward vehemence and virulence, finding fault with 
his ways of dealing with mankind. I found great 
fault with the imputation of Adam s sin to his pos 
terity ; and my wicked heart often wished for some 
other way of salvation than by Jesus Christ. And 
being like the troubled sea, and my thoughts con- 



HIS CONVICTIONS OF SIN. 

fused, I used to contrive to escape the wrath of God 
by some other means, and had strange projections, 
full of Atheism, contriving to disappoint God s de 
signs and decrees concerning me, or to escape God s 
notice, and hide myself from him. But when, upon 
reflection, I saw these projections were vain, and 
would not serve me, and that I could contrive nothing 
for my own relief, this would throw my mind into 
the most horrid frame, to wish there was no God, or 
to wish there were some other God that could control 
him. These thoughts and desires were the secret 
inclinations of my heart, that were frequently acting 
before I was aware ; but, alas! they were mine, al 
though I was affrighted with them when I came to 
reflect on them: when I considered of it, it distressed 
me to think, that my heart was so full of enmity 
against God ; and it made me tremble, lest God s 
vengeance should suddenly fall upon me. I used 
before to imagine my heart was not so bad, as the 
scriptures and some other books represented. Some 
times I used to take much pains to work it up into a 
good frame, an humble submissive disposition ; and 
hoped there was then some goodness in me : but it 
may be on a sudden, the thoughts of the strictness 
of the law, or the sovereignty of God, would so irri 
tate the corruption of my heart, that I had so watched 
over, and hoped I had brought to a good frame, that 
it would break over all bounds, and burst forth on all 
sides, like floods of waters when they break down 
their dam. But being sensible of the necessity of a 
deep humiliation in order to a saving union with 
Christ, I used to set myself to work in my own heart 
those convictions that were requisite in such a humi 
liation ; as, a conviction that God would be just if 



10 LIFE OF DAVID BRAIXERD : 

he cast me off for ever ; and that if ever God should 
bestow mercy on me, it would be mere grace, though 
I should be in distress many years first, and be ever 
so much engaged in duty ; that God was not in the 
least obliged to pity me the more for all past duties, 
cries, and tears. These things I strove to my ut 
most to bring myself to a firm belief of, and hearty 
assent to ; and hoped that now I was brought off 
from myself, and truly humbled and bowed to the 
divine sovereignty ; and was wont to tell God in my 
prayers, that now I had those very dispositions of 
soul that he required, and on which he showed mercy 
to others, and thereupon to beg and plead for mercy 
to me. But when I found no relief, and was still 
oppressed with guilt and fears of wrath, my soul was 
in a tumult, and my heart rose against God, as deal 
ing hardly with me. Yet then my conscience flew 
in my face, putting me in mind of my late confession 
to God of his justice in my condemnation. And 
this giving me a sight of the badness of my heart, 
threw me again into distress, and I wished I had 
watched my heart more narrowly, to keep it from 
breaking out against God s dealings with me, and I 
even wished I had not pleaded for mercy on account 
of my humiliation, because thereby I had lost all my 
seeming goodness. 

* Thus, scores of times, I vainly imagined myself 
humbled and prepared for saving mercy. 

While I was in this distressed, bewildered, and 
tumultuous state of mind, the corruption of my heart 
was especially irritated with these things follow 
ing: 

1. The strictness of the divine law. For I found 
it was impossible for me, after my utmost pains, to 



EXERCISES OF MIND. 11 

answer the demands of it. I often made new reso 
lutions, and as often broke them. I imputed the 
whole to carelessness, and the want of being more 
watchful, and used to call myself a fool for my negli 
gence. But when, upon a stronger resolution, and 
greater endeavours, and close application of myself 
to fasting and prayer, I found all attempts fail, then 
I quarrelled with the law of God, as unreasonably 
rigid. I thought if it extended only to my outward 
actions and behaviour I could bear with it ; but I 
found it condemned me for my evil thoughts, and the 
sins of my heart, which I could not possibly prevent. 
I was extremely loath to give up, and own my utter 
helplessness in this matter: but after repeated disap 
pointments, thought that, rather than perish I could 
do a. little more still, especially if such and such cir 
cumstances might but attend my endeavours and 
strivings ; I hoped that I should strive more earnestly 
than ever, if the matter came to extremity, though I 
never could find the time to do my utmost, in the 
manner I intended : and this hope of future more 
favourable circumstances, and of doing something 
great hereafter, kept me from utter despair in myself, 
and from seeing myself fallen into the hands of a 
sovereign God, and dependent on nothing but free 
and boundless grace. 

2. Another grievance was, that faith alone was the 
condition of salvation; and that God would not come 
down to lower terms, that he would not promise life 
and salvation upon my sincere and hearty prayers 
and endeavours. That word, Mark xvi. 16, " He that 
believeth not, shall be damned," cut off all hope 
there : and I found that faith was the sovereign gift of 
God ; that I could not get it as of myself, and could 



12 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

not oblige God to bestow it upon me by any of my 
performances, Eph. ii. 1 8. " This/ I was ready 
to say, "is a hard saying, who can hear it?" I 
could not bear that all I had done should stand for 
mere nothing, who had been very conscientious in 
duty, and had been exceeding religious a great 
while, and had, as I thought, done much more than 
many others that had obtained mercy. I confessed 
indeed the vileness of my duties ; but then, what 
made them at that time seem vile, was my wandering 
thoughts in them ; not because I was all over defiled 
like a devil, and the principle corrupt from whence 
they flowed, so that I could not possibly do any thing 
that was good. And therefore I called what I did, 
by the name of honest, faithful endeavours ; and 
could not bear it that God had made no promises of 
salvation to them. 

3. Another thing was, that I could not find out 
what faith was ; or what it was to believe, and come 
to Christ. I read the calls of Christ made to the 
weary and heavy laden, but could find no way that 
he directed them to come in. I thought I would 
gladly come, if I knew how, though the path of duty 
directed to were ever so difficult. I read Mr. Stod- 
dart s " Guide to Christ," which I trust was, in the 
hand of God, the happy means of my conversion, 
and my heart rose against the author; for though he 
told me my very heart all along under convictions, 
and seemed to be very beneficial to me in his direc 
tions, yet here he failed, he did not tell me any thing 
I could do that would bring me to Christ, but left 
me, as it were, with a great gulph between me and 
Christ, without any direction to get through. For 
I was not yet effectually and experimentally taught, 



EXERCISES OF MIN D. 13 

that there could be no way prescribed, whereby a 
natural man could, of his own strength, obtain that 
which is supernatural, and which the highest angel 
cannot give. 

4. Another thing that I found a great inward 
opposition to, was the sovereignty of God. J could 
not bear that it should be wholly at God s pleasure, 
to save or damn me just as he would. That passage, 
Rom. ix. 11 23, was a constant vexation to me, 
especially verse 21. The reading or meditating on 
this always destroyed my seeming good frames : 
when I thought I was almost humbled, and almost 
resigned to God s sovereignty, the reading or think 
ing on this passage would make my enmity against 
the sovereignty of God appear. And when I came 
to reflect on my inward enmity and blasphemy that 
arose on this occasion, I was the more afraid of God, 
and driven further from any hopes of reconciliation 
with him ; and it gave me such a dreadful view of 
myself, that I dreaded more than ever to see my 
self in God s hands, and at his sovereign disposal, 
and it made me more opposite than ever to submit 
to his sovereignty ; for I thought God designed my 
damnation. 

All this time the Spirit of God was powerfully at 
work with me ; and I was inwardly pressed to relin 
quish all self-confidence, all hopes of ever helping 
myself by any means whatsoever; and the conviction 
of my lost estate was sometimes so clear and manifest 
before my eyes, that it was as if it had been declared 
to me in so many w r ords, " It is done, it is done ; it 
is for ever impossible to deliver yourself." For about 
three or four days my soul was thus distressed, espe 
cially at some turns, when for a few moments I seemed 



14 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

to myself lost and undone ; but then would shrink 
back immediately from the sight, because I dared not 
venture myself into the hands of God, as wholly 
helpless, and at the disposal of his sovereign plea 
sure. I dared not see that important truth concern 
ing myself, that I was " dead in trespasses and sins." 
But when I had, as it were, thrust away these views 
of myself at any time, I felt desirous to have the 
same discoveries of myself again; for I greatly feared 
being given over of God to final stupidity. When 
I thought of putting it off to a more convenient 
season, the conviction was so close and powerful 
with regard to the present time, that it was the best 
time, and probably the only time, that I dared not put 
it off. It was the sight of truth concerning myself, 
truth respecting my state, as a creature fallen and 
alienated from God, and that consequently could 
make no demands on God for mercy, but must sub 
scribe to the absolute sovereignty of the divine 
Being ; the sight of the truth, I say, my soul shrank 
away from, and trembled to think of beholding. 
Thus, " He that doeth evil," as all unregenerate 
men continually do, u hates the light of truth," 
neither cares to come to it, because it will reprove his 
deeds, and show him his just deserts, John iii. 20. 
And though some time before I had taken much 
pains, as I thought, to submit to the sovereignty 
of God, yet I mistook the thing; and did not once 
imagine, that seeing and being made experimentally 
sensible of this truth, which my soul now so much 
dreaded and trembled at a sense of, was the frame of 
soul that I had been so earnest in pursuit of hereto 
fore: for I had ever hoped, that when I had attained 
to that humiliation which I supposed necessary to go 



EXERCISES OF MIND. 15 

before faith, then it would not be fair for God to cast 
me off; but now I saw it was so far from any good 
ness in me to own myself spiritually dead and desti 
tute of all goodness, that, on the contrary, my mouth 
would be for ever stopped by it ; and it looked as 
dreadful to me, to see myself, and the relation I 
stood in to God, as a sinner and a criminal, and he 
a great Judge and Sovereign, as it would be to a 
poor trembling creature to venture off some high 
precipice. And hence I put it off for a minute or 
two, and tried for better circumstances to do it in ; 
either I must read a passage or two, or pray first, or 
something of the like nature ; or else put off my sub 
mission to God s sovereignty with an objection, that 
I did not know how to submit. But the truth was, 
I could see no safety in owning myself in the hands 
of a sovereign God, and confessing that I could lay 
no claim to any thing better than damnation. 

But after a considerable time spent in such like 
exercises and distresses, one morning, while I was 
walking in a solitary place, as usual, I at once saw 
that all my contrivances and projections to effect or 
procure deliverance and salvation for myself, were 
utterly in vain: I was brought quite to a stand, as 
rinding myself totally lost. I had thought many 
times before, that the difficulties in my way were very 
great ; but now I saw, in another and very different 
light, that it was for ever impossible for me to do 
any thing towards helping or delivering myself. I 
then thought of blaming myself, that I had not done 
more, and been more engaged, while I had opportu 
nity ; for it seemed now as if the season of doing was 
for ever over and gone; but I instantly saw, that let 
me have done what I would, it would not more have 



16 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD*. 

tended to my helping myself, than what I had done ; 
that I had made all the pleas I ever could have made 
to all eternity ; and that all my pleas were vain. The 
tumult that had been before in my mind was now 
quieted ; and I was something eased of that distress 
which I felt, whilst struggling against a sight of my 
self, and of the divine sovereignty. I had the greatest 
certainty that my state was for ever miserable, for 
all that I could do ; and wondered, and was almost 
astonished, that I had never been sensible of it be 
fore. In the time while I remained in this state, my 
notions respecting my duties were quite different 
from what I had ever entertained in times past. Be 
fore this, the more I did in duty the more I thought 
God was obliged to me, or, at least, the more hard I 
thought it would be for God to cast me off; though 
at the same time I confessed, and thought I saw that 
there was no goodness or merit in my duties : but now 
the more I did in prayer, or any other duty, the more 
I saw I was indebted to God for allowing me to 
ask for mercy ; for I saw it was self-interest that led 
me to pray, and that I had never once prayed from 
any respect to the glory of God. Now I saw there 
was no necessary connection between my prayers and 
the bestowment of divine mercy : that they laid not 
the least obligation upon God to bestow his grace 
upon me ; and that there was no more virtue or good 
ness in them, than there would be in my paddling 
with my hand in the water, which was the compa 
rison I had then in my mind ; and this because they 
were not performed from any love or regard to God. 
I saw that I had been heaping up my devotions 
before God, fasting, praying, &cc. pretending, and 
indeed really thinking, at some times, that I was aim- 



EXERCISES OF MIND. 17 

ing at the glory of God ; whereas I never once truly 
intended it, but only my own happiness. I saw that 
as I had never done any thing for God, T had no 
claim to lay to any thing from him but perdition, on 
account of my hypocrisy and mockery. O how dif 
ferent did my duties now appear from what they 
used to do ! I used to charge them with sin and 
imperfection ; but this was only on account of the 
wanderings and vain thoughts attending them, and 
not because I had no regard to God in them for 
this I thought I had ; but when I saw evidently that 
I had regard to nothing but self-interest, then they 
appeared vile mockery of God, self-worship, and a 
continual course of lies ; so that I saw now, there 
was something worse had attended my duties than 
barely a few wanderings ; for the whole was nothing 
but self-worship, and a horrid abuse of God. 

I continued, as I remember, in this state of mind, 
from Friday morning till the Sabbath evening fol 
lowing, July 12, 1739, when I was walking again in 
the same solitary place, where I was brought to see 
myself lost and helpless, as was before mentioned : 
and here, in a mournful melancholy state, was at 
tempting to pray, but found no heart to engage in 
that or any other duty ; my former concern and exer 
cise, and religious affections, were now gone. I 
thought the Spirit of God had quite left me; but 
still was not distressed, yet disconsolate, as if there 
was nothing in heaven or earth could make me 
happy. 

And having been thus endeavouring to pray, 

though being, as I thought, very stupid and senseless 

for near half an hour, and by this time the sun was 

about half an hour high, as I remember then, as I 

c 



18 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

was walking in a dark thick grove, unspeakable glory 
seemed to open.to the view and apprehension of my 
soul. I do not mean any external brightness, for I 
saw no such thing ; nor do I intend any imagination 
of a body of light, somewhere away in the third 
heavens, or any thing of that nature ; but it was a 
new inward apprehension or view that I had of God, 
such as I never had before, nor any thing which had 
the least resemblance of it. I stood still, and won 
dered and admired ; I knew that I never had seen 
before any thing comparable to it for excellency and 
beauty ; it was widely different from all the concep 
tions that ever I had had of God or things divine. I 
had no particular apprehension of any one Person in 
the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy 
Ghost ; but it appeared to be divine glory that I then 
beheld ; and my soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, 
to see such a God, such a glorious divine Being ; 
and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied, that he 
should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul 
was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, 
loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, 
that I was even swallowed up in him ; at least to that 
degree, that I had no thought, as I remember, at 
first, about my own salvation, and scarce reflected 
there was such a creature as myself. 

Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty dispo 
sition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and 
principally and ultimately to aim at his honour and 
glory, as King of the universe. 

* I continued in this state of inward joy and peace, 
yet astonishment^ till near dark, without any sensible 
abatement; and then began to think and examine 
what I had seen, and felt sweetly composed in my 



FINDS PEACE OF MIND. 19 

mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a 
new world, and every thing about me appeared with 
a different aspect from what it was wont to do. 

At this time, the way of salvation opened to me 
with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excel 
lency, that I wondered I should ever think of any 
other way of salvation ; and was amazed that I had 
not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with 
this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before. If I 
could have been saved by my own duties, or any 
other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole 
soul would now have refused. I wondered that all 
the world did not see and comply with this way of 
salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ. 

The sweet relish of what I then felt continued 
with me for several days, almost constantly, in a 
greater or less degree ; I could not but sweetly re 
joice in God, lying down and rising up. 

It is evident that this young man was not an ordi 
nary Christian. He was called to run a short, but 
vigorous course of service ; and his preparation for 
this service was of no common kind. They who 
have not passed through his conflicts, may feel some 
surprise at the vivid manner in which he depicts his 
discovery of the merciful remedy of the gospel. But 
it must be observed, that there is nothing here which 
savours of a heated imagination. The struggling 
mind is assisted in forming just conclusions from 
scripture. Here is no pretence to any special reve 
lation of any new truth from God : but " the Spirit 
helpeth our infirmities ! " And, by his gracious aid, 
the soul is brought to an entire surrender to the 
divine will, and to an unlimited admiration of the 
c 2 



20 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

divine glory : the highest state to which mortal man 
can be raised ! 

We shall here, for the present, leave this exalted 
man. He had now attained a composure of mind to 
which he was before a stranger. He felt himself as 
in a new world. The divine method and plan of 
salvation opened before his mind with such infinite 
wisdom, that he was amazed he should have so long 
resisted. His whole soul now refused and abhorred 
those various contrivances, by which he had endea 
voured to lay claim to some share in the glory of his 
own salvation; and he wondered that all the world 
did not see and comply with that way of salvation 
which God had revealed. 



COLLEGE LIFE. 21 



CHAPTER II. 



His conduct at college, and preparation for the 
ministry. 

IN the autumn of 1739, Mr. Brainerd entered at Yale 
College, in Newhaven ; and began his academical 
course, under salutary apprehensions of the tempta 
tions which were likely to beset him therein. 

After he had been a few months at college he 
caught the measles ; and returned home in conse 
quence to Haddam. His life was in imminent dan 
ger ; but he was spared for future services. 

On his return to college, his ardour in study was 
such, that it injured his health, and greatly wronged/ 
to use his own words, * the activity and vigour of his 
spiritual life/ He had enjoyed much of the pre 
sence of God ; and, in his sickness, had rather longed 
for death than dreaded its approach. Such was the 
elevation of his piety, that he could say of certain 
states of his mind, Oh, how much more refreshing 
was this one season, than all the pleasures and 
delights that earth can afford ! Yet, though he 
could continue to say of the habit of his mind, " In 
the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts 



22 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

delight my soul," he felt and lamented the deadening 
influence of ambition and eagerness in his studies. 

In the autumn of 1740, his severe application had 
reduced him to such a state of debility, that his tutor 
advised him to retire from college, and to disengage 
his mind, for a season, from its customary pursuits. 
He recovered strength by this suspension of his 
labour, and returned to college in the beginning of 
November. 

During this retirement, and for some time after 
the renewal of his studies, he had much enjoyment 
and elevation of soul. God was his portion; and to 
walk with him was his habit and his joy. While 
he deeply felt the depravity of his fallen nature, and 
the malignity and odionsness of sin, he could exult 
in the grace of his heavenly Father, and felt an 
ardent love to all mankind. This was as a fire in his 
bosom. He longed earnestly that all men should 
enjoy what he himself enjoyed. 

In the prospect of his return to college on his 
recovery, he trembled at the thought of those snares 
which had before proved injurious to his mind ; and, 
so keen was his sensibility on this head, that he felt 
as though he would much rather die than return. 
His old temptation/ as he called it ambition in 
his studies does not appear, indeed, to have re 
sumed its former influence over him, though he did 
not wholly escape. 

A great revival of religion taking place, in the 
early part of 1741, throughout the college, Brainerd 
was much animated and encouraged thereby. 

President Edwards remarks, that this revival of 
religion was, for a time, very great and general at 
Newhaven, and that the college had no small share 



COLLEGE LIFE. 23 

therein. That society was much reformed: most of 
the students became thoughtful, and many of them 
truly religious. Much of the profession and emotion 
of those days ended, indeed, as in many similar 
cases, in extravagance and enthusiasm; but the most 
happy and permanent effects continued on the minds 
of many members of the college. 

The danger, however, attending such a state of 
things is strikingly manifested in its effects on Brai- 
nerd s mind, He was yet young, and his judgment 
but little exercised. Though there is no reason to 
doubt but that he was still sincere and elevated in 
his piety ; * yet/ says his biographer, he was after 
wards abundantly sensible that his religious affec 
tions at that time were not free from a corrupt mix 
ture, nor his conduct to be acquitted from many 
things that were imprudent and blameable ; which 
he greatly lamented himself, and was willing that 
others should forget, that none might make an ill 
improvement of such an example/ 

The truth of the Christian s character is very much 
discovered by the manner in which he views his own 
imperfections. In this respect, Brainerd displays 
the ingenuousness of an humbled and gracious mind. 
And, as the biography of fallen but renewed man will 
warn as well as encourage, we shall not withhold 
this instructive part of Brainerd s history. 

From the end of January 1741, to the end of 
February 1742, he kept a regular diary, containing a 
very particular narrative of what passed from day to 
day. When he lay on his death-bed, he directed this 
diary to be destroyed ; and, not being then able to 
write himself, he desired a friend to record at the 
beginning of the part of his diary immediately fol- 



24 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

lowing, that the preceding part was lost ; but that if 
any persons should be desirous of knowing how he 
had lived during that period, they might consult the 
earlier part of that diary, where they would find 
something of a specimen of his ordinary manner of 
living during the thirteen months preceding; ex 
cepting/ as he added, with ingenuous compunction, 
( that here he was more refined from some imprudences 
and indecent heats, than there. 

As the imprudences thus alluded to led to his 
expulsion from the college, it may be well to state 
the affair in the words of his biographer. 

It could not be otherwise, than that one, whose 
heart had been so prepared and drawn to God as Mr. 
Brainerd s had been, should be mightily enlarged, 
animated, and engaged at the sight of such an alte 
ration made in the college, the town, and land ; and so 
great an appearance of men s reforming their lives, 
and turning from their profaneness and immorality, 
to seriousness and concern for their salvation, and of 
religion s reviving and flourishing almost everywhere. 
But as an intemperate imprudent zeal, and a degree 
of enthusiasm, soon crept in and mingled itself with 
that revival of religion ; and so great and general an 
awakening being quite a new thing in the land, at least 
as to all the living inhabitants of it ; neither people 
nor ministers had learned thoroughly to distinguish 
between solid religion and its delusive counterfeits: 
even many ministers of the gospel, of long standing 
and the best reputation, were for a time overpowered 
with the glaring appearances of the latter; and there 
fore, surely it was not to be wondered at that Brai- 
nerd should be so ; who was riot only young in years, 
but very young in experience, and had had but little 



EXPULSION FROM COLLEGE. 25 

opportunity for the study of divinity, and still less 
for observation of the circumstances and events of 
such an extraordinary state of things. A man must 
divest himself of all reason to make strange of it. 

In these disadvantageous circumstances, Brainerd 
had the unhappiness to have a tincture of that intem 
perate indiscreet zeal which was at that time too 
prevalent; and was led, from his high opinion of 
others that he looked upon as better than himself, into 
such errors as were really contrary to the habitual 
temper of his mind. 

1 One instance of his misconduct at that time gave 
great offence to the rulers of the college, even to that 
degree that they expelled him the society ; which it 
is necessary should here be particularly related, with 
its circumstances. 

Several religious students associated themselves 
one with another for mutual conversation and assist 
ance ; who were wont freely to open themselves one 
to another, as special and intimate friends. Brainerd 
was one of this company. And it once happened, 
that he and two or three more of these his intimate 
friends were in the hall together, after Mr. Whit- 
telsey, one of the tutors, had prayed there with the 
scholars ; no other person now remaining in the hall, 
but Brainerd and these his companions. Mr. Whit- 
telsey having been unusually pathetic in his prayer, 
one of Brainerd s friends on this occasion asked him 
what he thought of Mr. Whittelsey : he made answer, 
He has no more grace than this chair/ One of the 
freshmen happening at that time to be near the hall 
(though not in the room) overheard those words of 
his. Though he heard no name mentioned, and 
knew not who the person was that was thus cen- 



26 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

sured, he informed a certain woman, withal telling 
her of his own suspicion, viz. that he believed 
Brainerd said this of some one or other of the rulers 
of the college. Whereupon she went and informed 
the rector, who sent for this freshman and examined 
him ; and he told the rector the words that he heard 
Brainerd utter, and informed him who were in the 
room with him at that time : upon which the rector 
sent for them. They were very backward to inform 
against their friend, of that which they looked upon 
as private conversation ; and especially as none but 
they had heard or knew of whom he had uttered those 
words : yet the rector compelled them to declare 
what he said, and of whom he said it. 

* Brainerd looked on himself as greatly abused in 
the management of this affair; and thought that 
what he said in private w r as injuriously extorted 
from his friends ; and that then it was injuriously 
required of him, as it was wont to be of such as had 
been guilty of some open notorious crime, to make a 
public confession, and to humble himself before the 
whole College, in the hall, for what he had said only in 
private conversation. Not complying with this de 
mand ; and having gone once to the separate meet 
ing at Newhaven, when forbidden by the rector ; and 
also having been accused by one person of saying 
concerning the rector, that he wondered he did not 
expect to drop down dead for fining the scholars who 
followed Mr. Tennent to Milford, though there was 
not proof of it (and Mr. Brainerd ever professed that 
he did not remember his saying any thing to that 
purpose): for these things he was expelled the 
College. 

How far the circumstances and exigencies of that 



EXPULSION FROM COLLEGE. 27 

day might justify such great severity in the governors 
of the college, I will not undertake to determine ; it 
being my aim, not to bring reproach on the authority 
of the college, but only to do justice to the memory 
of a person, who I think to be eminently one of those 
whose memory is blessed. The reader will see, ia the 
sequel of the story of Mr. Brainerd s Life, what his 
own thoughts afterwards were of his behaviour in 
these things, and in how Christian a manner he con 
ducted himself, with respect to this affair : though 
he ever, as long as he lived, supposed himself much 
abused, in the management of it, and in what he suf 
fered in it. 

In order to bring this subject under view at once, 
we shall anticipate a little the course of the narra 
tive, and extract the document to which the president 
alludes. It was presented by him to the rector and 
trustees of the college, on the loth of September, 
1743, about a twelvemonth after his expulsion. He 
had, during that interval, entered on his missionary 
life, under the correspondents in America of the 
Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Know 
ledge. 

In May preceding, he had waited on a council of 
ministers convened at Hartford, and stated to them 
the proceedings of the rector and tutors of Yale 
College against him. The ministers, in consequence, 
interceded for him with the rector and trustees ; and 
entreated them, but without success, to restore him 
to his privileges in college. 

On occasion of a visit, a few months after, to New- 
haven, he records the following circumstances in his 
diary : 

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1743. This day I ought to 



28 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

have taken my degree ; this being commencement 
day : but God sees fit to deny it me. And though I 
was greatly afraid of being overwhelmed with per 
plexity and confusion, when I should see my class 
mates take theirs ; yet, in the very season of it, God 
enabled me with calmness and resignation to say, 
The will of the Lord be done. Indeed, through divine 
goodness, I have scarcely felt my mind so calm, 
sedate, and comfortable for some time. I have long 
feared this season ; and expected my humility, meek 
ness, patience, and resignation, would be much tried ; 
but found much more pleasure and divine comfort 
than I expected. 

* Thursday, Sept. 15. By the advice of Christian 
friends, I offered the following reflections in writing 
to the rector and trustees of the college ; which are 
for substance the same that I had freely offered to 
the rector before, and entreated him to accept : and 
this I did, that, if possible, I might cut off all occa 
sion of stumbling and offence from those that seek 
occasion. What I offered is as follows : 

* * Whereas, I have said before several persons, 
concerning Mr. Whittelsey, one of the tutors of Yale 
College, that I did not believe he had any more grace 
than the chair I then leaned upon ; I humbly confess, 
that herein I have sinned against God, and acted 
contrary to the rules of his word, and have injured 
Mr. Whittelsey. I had no right to make thus free 
with his character; and had no just reason to say 
what I did concerning him. My fault herein was the 
more aggravated, in that I spoke concerning one that 
was so much my superior; and one that I was 
obliged to treat with special respect and honour, by 
reason of the relation I stood in to him in the college. 



EXPULSION FROM COLLEGE. 29 

Such a manner of behaviour, I confess, did not be 
come a Christian : it was taking too much upon me ; 
and did not savour of that humble respect that I 
ought to have expressed towards Mr. Whittelsey. I 
have long since been convinced of the falseness of 
those apprehensions by which I then justified such a 
conduct. I have often reflected on this act with 
grief; I hope, on account of the sin of it; and am 
willing to lie low and be abased before God and 
man for it; and humbly ask the forgiveness of the 
governors of the college, and of the whole society, 
but of Mr. Whittelsey in particular. And whereas 
I have been accused by one person for saying, con 
cerning the reverend rector of Yale College, that I 
wondered he did not expect to drop down dead for 
fining the scholars that followed Mr. Tennent to 
Milford ; I seriously profess that I do not remember 
my saying any thing to this purpose. But if I did, 
and I am not certain, I utterly condemn it, and 
detest all such kind of behaviour ; and especially in 
an undergraduate towards the rector. And I now 
appear to judge and condemn myself for going once 
to the separate meeting in Newhaven, a little before 
I was expelled, though the rector had refused to give 
me leave. For this I humbly ask the rector s for 
giveness. And, whether the governors of the college 
shall ever see cause to remove the academical cen 
sure I lie under or no, or to admit me to the privi 
leges I desire ; yet I am willing to appear, if they 
think fit, openly to own, and to humble myself for 
those things I have herein confessed." 

The governors of the college were so far satisfied 
by this confession, that they appeared willing to 
admit Mr. Brainerd again into college ; but they 



30 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

would not give him his degree till he should have 
remained there at least a twelvemonth. The cor 
respondents of the society, to whom he was now 
engaged, not consenting to this condition, he did not 
return. He wished his degree, under the idea that it 
might tend to his becoming more extensively useful ; 
but when denied his wish, he betrayed no disappoint 
ment or resentment. 

Indeed it is manifest, as he himself professes, that 
God had given him grace to submit to any thing 
consistent with truth, for the sake of peace, and that 
his conduct might not be a stumbling-block and of 
fence to others. 

His biographer makes the following pertinent ob 
servations on this painful event of Brainerd s Life. 

* Nothing so puffs men up with a high conceit of 
their own wisdom, holiness, eminency, and suffi 
ciency, and makes them so bold, forward, assuming, 
and arrogant, as ENTHUSIASM. But Mr. Brainerd s 
religion constantly disposed him to an abasing sense 
of his own sinfulness, deficiency, unprofitableness, 
and ignorance ; looking on himself as worse than 
others ; disposing him to universal benevolence and 
meekness, and in honour to prefer others, and to 
treat all with kindness and respect. Indeed, at the 
time before mentioned, M r hen he had not learned well 
to distinguish between enthusiasm and solid religion, 
he, joining and keeping company with some that 
were tinged with no small degree of the former, for 
a season partook with them in a degree of their dis 
positions and behaviours : but it is not at all to be 
wondered at, that a youth and a young convert, one 
that had his heart so swallowed up in religion, and 
so earnestly desired the flourishing of it, but had had 



REFLECTIONS. 31 

so little opportunity for reading, observation, and ex 
perience, should for a while be dazzled and deceived 
with the glaring appearances of that mistaken de 
votion and zeal ; especially considering what the 
extraordinary circumstances of that day were. He 
told me on his death-bed, that he was out of his ele 
ment and did violence to himself, while complying, 
in his conduct, with persons of a fierce and impru 
dent zeal, from his great veneration of some that he 
looked upon much better than himself. So that it 
would be very unreasonable that his error, at that 
time, should be esteemed a just ground of prejudice 
against the whole of his religion ; especially consid 
ering how greatly his mind was soon changed, and 
how exceedingly he afterward lamented his error, and 
abhorred himself for his imprudent zeal and miscon 
duct at that time, even almost to the overbearing and 
breaking the strength of his nature ; and how much 
of a Christian spirit he showed in his condemning 
himself for that misconduct/ 

* What has been now mentioned of Mr. Brainerdis 
so far from being a just ground of prejudice against 
what is related in the following account of his life, 
that, if duly considered, it will render the history the 
more serviceable. For, by his thus joining for a sea 
son with enthusiasts, he had a more full and intimate 
acquaintance with what belonged to that sort of re 
ligion, and so was under better advantages to judge 
of the difference between that and the other, which 
he finally approved, and strove to his utmost to pro 
mote, in opposition to it : and hereby the reader has 
the more to demonstrate to him, that Mr. Brainerd, 
in his testimony against it, and the spirit and beha 
viour of those that are influenced by it, speaks from 



32 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

impartial conviction, and not from prejudice ; because 
therein he openly condemns his own former opinion 
and conduct, on account of which he had greatly 
suffered from his opposers, and for which some con 
tinued to reproach him as long as he lived. 

But we must resume the narrative. In the spring 
of 1742, after his expulsion, he took up his residence 
with the Rev. Mr. Mills of Ripton, in order to pre 
pare himself for the ministry. 

Here he began that part of his diary to which he 
referred on his death-bed; and of which we shall 
now give t e greater part. 

Thursday, April 1, 1742. I seem to be declining 
with respect to my life and warmth in divine things ; 
had not so free access to God in prayer of late as 
usual. Oh that God would humble me deeply in 
the dust before him ! I deserve hell every day for 
not loving my Lord more, who has I trust " loved 
me, and given himself for me ; " and every time I am 
enabled to exercise any grace renewedly, I am re- 
newedly indebted to the God of all grace for special 
assistance. " Where then is boasting?" Surely "it 
is excluded," when we think how we are dependent 
on God for the being and every act of grace. Oh, 
if ever I get to heaven, it will be because God will? 
and nothing else ; for I never did any thing of my 
self, but depart from God ! My soul will be asto 
nished at the unsearchable riches of divine grace, 
when I arrive at the mansions which the blessed 
Saviour is gone before to prepare. 

Friday, April 2. In the afternoon I felt some 
what happy in secret prayer, much resigned, calm, 
and serene. What are all the storms of this lower 
world, if Jesus by his Spirit does but come walking 



HIS DIARY. 33 

on the seas ! Some time past, I had much pleasure 
in the prospect of the heathen s being brought home 
to Christ, and desired that the Lord would employ 
me in that work : but now my soul more frequently 
desires to die, and to be with Christ. Oh ! that my 
soul were wrapt up in divine love, and my longing 
desires after God increased ! In the evening was 
refreshed in prayer, with the hopes of the advance 
ment of Christ s kingdom in the world. 

4 Saturday, April 3. Was very much amiss this 
morning, and had an ill night last night. I thought, 
if God would take me to himself now, my soul would 
exceedingly rejoice. Oh, that I may be always hum 
ble and resigned to God, and that he would cause 
my soul to be more fixed on himself, that I may be 
more fitted both for doing and suffering ! 

Lord s-day, April 4. My heart was wandering 
and lifeless. In the evening, God gave me faith in 
prayer, and made my soul melt in some measure, and 
gave me to taste a divine sweetness. Blessed Lord ! 
let me climb up near to thee, and love, and long, 
and plead, and wrestle with thee, and pant for de 
liverance from the body of sin and death. Alas ! my 
soul mourned to think that I should ever lose sight of 
its beloved again. "Oh! come, Lord Jesus. Amen. " 

On the evening of the next day, he complains 
that he seemed to be void of all relish of divine 
things ; felt much of the prevalence of corruption, 
and saw in himself a disposition to all manner of 
sin ; which brought a very great gloom on his mind, 
and cast him down into the depths of melancholy ; 
so that he speaks of himself as astonished, amazed, 
having no comfort, being filled with horror, seeing 
no comfort in heaven or earth. 
D 



34 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

Tuesday, April 6. I walked out this morning to 
the same place where I was last night, and felt some 
what as I did then; but was in measure relieved by 
reading some passages in my diary, and seemed to 
feel as if I might pray to the great God again with 
freedom ; but was suddenly struck with a damp, from 
the sense I had of my own vileness. Then I cried 
to God to wash my soul, and cleanse me from my ex 
ceeding filthiness, to give me repentance and pardon; 
and prayer began to be truly delightful. I could 
then think of undergoing the greatest sufferings in 
the cause of Christ with pleasure ; and found myself 
willing, if God should so order it, to suffer banish 
ment from my native land, among the heathen, that 
I might do something for their soul s salvation, in 
distresses and deaths of any kind. Then God gave 
me to wrestle earnestly for others, for the kingdom 
of Christ in the world, and for dear Christian friends. 
I felt weaned from the world, and from my own re 
putation amongst men, willing to be despised, and 
to be a gazing-stock for the world to behold. It is 
impossible for me to express how I then felt: I had 
not much joy, but some sense of the majesty of God 
which made me as it were tremble: I saw myself 
mean and vile, which made me more willing that God 
should do what he would with me ; it was all infi 
nitely reasonable. 

Monday, April 12. This morning the Lord was 
pleased to lift up the light of his countenance upon 
me in secret prayer, and made the season very pre 
cious to my soul. And though I have been so de 
pressed of late, respecting my hopes of future ser- 
viceableness in the cause of God; yet now I had 
much encouragement respecting that matter. I was 



HIS DIARY. 35 

specially assisted to intercede and plead for poor 
souls, and for the enlargement of Christ s kingdom 
in the world, and for special grace for myself, to fit 
me for special services. I felt exceedingly calm, and 
quite resigned to God respecting my future employ 
ment, when and where he pleased : my faith lifted 
me above the world, and removed all those moun 
tains that I could not look over of late. I thought I 
wanted not the favour of man to lean upon, for I 
knew Christ s favour was infinitely better, and that it 
was no matter when, nor where, nor how Christ 
should send me, nor what trials he should still 
exercise me with, if I might but be prepared for his 
work and will. I now found sweetly revived in my 
mind the wonderful discovery of infinite wisdom in 
all the dispensations of God towards me, which I 
had a little before I met with my great trial at 
college ; every thing appeared full of the wisdom 
of God. 

1 Wednesday, April 14. My soul longed for com 
munion with Christ, and for the mortification of in 
dwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. There 
is a welcome day coming, when " the weary will be 
at rest!" My soul has enjoyed much comfort this 
day in the hopes of its speedy arrival. 

* Lord s-day, April 18. Retired early this morn 
ing into the woods for prayer; had the assistance of 
God s Spirit, and faith in exercise, and was enabled 
to plead with fervency for the advancement of 
Christ s kingdom in the world, and to intercede for 
dear absent friends. At noon, God enabled me to 
wrestle with him, and to feel, as I trust, the power 
of divine love in prayer. At night, saw myself in 
finitely indebted to God, and had a view of my 

D 2 



36 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

shortcomings ; it seemed to me that I had done, as 
it were, nothing for God, and that I never had lived 
to him more than a few hours of my life. 

Monday, April 19. I set apart this day for fast 
ing and prayer to God for his grace, especially to 
prepare me for the work of the ministry, to give me 
divine aid and direction in my preparations for that 
great work, and in his own time to " send me into 
his harvest." Accordingly, in the morning, endea 
voured to plead for the divine presence for the 
day, and not without some life. In the forenoon, I 
felt a power of intercession for precious immortal 
souls, and for the advancement of the kingdom of my 
dear Lord and Saviour in the world ; and withal, a 
most sweet resignation, and even consolation and 
joy, in the thoughts of suffering hardships, dis 
tresses, and even death itself, in the promotion of it; 
and had special enlargement in pleading for the 
enlightening and conversion of the poor heathen. In 
the afternoon, " God was with me of a truth." Oh, 
it was blessed company indeed ! God enabled me so 
to agonize in prayer that I was quite wet with sweat, 
though in the shade, and the wind cool. My soul 
was drawn out very much for the world : I grasped 
for multitudes of souls. I think I had more en 
largement for sinners than for the children of God ; 
though I felt as if I could spend my life in cries for 
both. 

Tuesday, April 20. This day I am twenty-four 
years of age. O how much mercy have I received 
the year past ! How often has God " caused his 
goodness to pass before me." And how poorly have 
I answered the vows I made this time twelvemonth, 
to be wholly the Lord s, to be for ever devoted to 



HIS DIARY. 37 

his service ! The Lord help me to live more to his 
glory for time to come. This has been a sweet, a 
happy day to me : blessed be God. I think my soul 
was never so drawn out in intercession for others, 
as it has been this night. Was enabled to plead 
fervently with the Lord to-night for my enemies. 
I longed to live to God, and to be altogether devoted 
to him. I wanted to wear out my life in his service, 
and for his glory. 

The frame of mind and exercises of soul which 
he expresses the several days next following, are 
much of the same kind with those expressed the 
days past. 

Lord s-day, April 25. This morning spent about 
two hours in secret duties, and was enabled more 
than ordinarily to agonize for immortal souls. 
Felt much pressed now, as frequently of late, to 
plead for the meekness and calmness of the Lamb of 
God in my soul ; through divine goodness felt much 
of it this morning. It is a sweet disposition, heartily 
to forgive all injuries done us ; to wish our greatest 
enemies as well as we do our own souls. Blessed 
Jesus! may I daily be more and more conformed to 
thee. At night was exceedingly melted with divine 
love, and had some feeling sense of the blessedness 
of the upper world. Those words dwelt upon my 
mind with much sweetness : " They go from strength 
to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth be 
fore God." Oh, the near access that God sometimes 
gives us in our addresses to him ! This may well be 
termed appearing before God: it is so indeed, in the 
true spiritual sense, and in the sweetest sense. I 
think I have not had such power of intercession 
these many months, both for God s children, and for 



38 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

dead sinners, as I have had this evening. I wished 
and longed for the coming of my dear Lord : I longed 
to join the angelic hosts in praises, wholly free from 
imperfection. Oh, the blessed moment hastens 
All I want is to be more holy, more like my dear 
Lord. Oh, for sanctification ! My very soul pants 
for the complete restoration of the blessed image 
of my adored Saviour ; that I may be fit for the 
blessed enjoyments and employments of the heavenly 
world. 

Monday, April 26. Continued in a sweet frame 
of mind ; but in the afternoon felt something of spi 
ritual pride stirring. God was pleased to make it an 
humbling season at first; though afterwards he gave 
me comfort. Oh, my soul exceedingly longs for that 
blessed state of perfection of deliverance from all 
sin ! At night, God enabled me to give my soul up 
to him, to cast myself upon him, to be ordered and 
disposed of according to his sovereign pleasure ; and 
I enjoyed great peace and consolation in so doing. 
My soul took great delight in God to-night: my 
thoughts freely and sweetly centered in him. Oh, 
that I could spend every moment of my life to his 
glory ! 

Tuesday, April 27. Retired pretty early for 
secret devotion ; and in prayer God was pleased 
to pour such ineffable comforts into my soul, that 
I could do nothing for some time but say over and 
over, " Oh, my dear Saviour ! Oh, my blessed Sa 
viour, whom have I in heaven but thee ; and there 
is none upon earth that I desire besides thee ! " If 
I had had a thousand lives, my soul would gladly 
hare laid them all down at once to have been with 
Christ. 



HIS DIARY. 39 

* Wednesday, April 28. Withdrew to my usual 
place of retirement in great peace and tranquillity, 
and spent about two hours in secret duties. I felt 
much as I did yesterday morning, only weaker and 
more overcome. I seemed to depend wholly on my 
dear Lord, and to be entirely weaned from all other 
dependences. I knew not what to say to my God, 
could only lean on his bosom, as it were, and breathe 
out my desires after a perfect conformity to him in 
all things. Thirsting desires, and insatiable long 
ings possessed my soul after perfect holiness. God 
was so precious to my soul, that the world, with all 
its enjoyments, was infinitely vile. I had no more 
value for the favour of men, than for pebbles. The 
Lord was my ALL ; and He over-ruled all ; which 
greatly delighted me. I think my faith and depen 
dence on God scarcely ever rose so high. I saw him 
such a fountain of goodness, that it seemed impossible 
I should distrust him again, or be any way anxious 
about any thing that should happen to me. I now 
enjoyed great satisfaction in praying for absent 
friends, and for the enlargement of Christ s kingdom 
in the world. Much of the power of these divine 
enjoyments remained with me through the day. In 
the evening my heart seemed tenderly to melt, and 
I trust was really humbled for indwelling corrup 
tion : I " mourned like a dove." I felt that all 
my unhappiness arose from my being a sinner ; 
for with resignation I could bid welcome all other 
trials ; but sin hung heavy upon me ; for God dis 
covered to me the corruption of my heart. I went 
to bed with heaviness, because I was a great sin 
ner ; though I did not in the least doubt of God s 
love. Oh that God would " purge away my dross, 



40 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

and take away my tin," and make me seven times 
refined ! 

* Lord s-day, May 2. God was pleased this morn 
ing to give the light of his countenance. I withdrew 
to my usual place of retirement, and mourned after 
my blessed Lord: spent the day in fasting and prayer. 
God gave me much power of wrestling for his cause 
and kingdom : and it was a happy day to my soul. 
God was with me all the day, and I was more above 
the world than ever in my life. 

Through the remaining part of this week, he 
complains almost every day of desertion, and inward 
trials and conflicts, attended with dejection of spirit; 
but yet speaks of times of relief and sweetness, and 
daily refreshing visits of the divine Spirit, affording 
special assistance and comfort, and enabling, at some 
times, to much fervency and enlargement in religious 
duties. 

Lord s-day, March 9. I think I never felt so much 
of the sinful pride of my heart, as well as the stub 
bornness of my will before. Oh dreadful ! what a 
vile wretch I am ! I could not submit to be nothing, 
and to lie down in the dust. Oh that God would 
humble me in the dust. I felt myself such a sinner 
all day, that I had scarce any comfort. Oh when 
shall I be " delivered from the body of this death !" 
I greatly feared, lest, through stupidity and careless 
ness, I should lose the benefit of these trials. Oh 
that they might be sanctified to my soul. Nothing 
seemed to touch me except this, that I was a sinner. 
Had fervency and refreshment in social prayer in the 
evening. 

4 Thursday, May 13. Saw so much of the wicked 
ness of my heart that I longed to get away from my- 



HIS DIARY. 41 

self. I never before thought there was so much 
spiritual pride in my soul : I felt almost pressed to 
death with my own vileness. Oh, what a body of 
death is there in me ! Lord, deliver my soul. I 
could not find any convenient place for retirement, 
and was greatly exercised. Rode to Hertford in the 
afternoon : had some refreshment and comfort in 
religious exercises with Christian friends ; but 
longed for more retirement. The closest walk with 
God is the sweetest heaven that can be enjoyed on 
earth. 

* Friday, May 14. Waited on a council of ministers 
convened at Hertford, and spread before them the 
treatment I had met with from the rector and tutors 
of Yale College ; who thought it adviseable to inter 
cede for me with the rector and trustees, and to en 
treat them to restore me to my former privileges iti 
college. After this, spent some time in religious ex 
ercises with Christian friends/ 

The next fortnight he spent at Hebron, Lebanon, 
Norwich, and various places. He complains still of 
dulness and desertion, and expresses a sense of his 
vileness, and a longing to hide himself in some cave 
or den of the earth : yet he speaks of some intervals 
of comfort and soul-refreshment each day. 

* Tuesday, June 1. Had much of the presence of 
God in family prayer, and some comfort in secret. 
I was greatly refreshed from the word of God this 
morning, which appeared exceeding sweet to me: 
some things that appeared mysterious were opened 
to me. Oh that the kingdom of the dear Saviour 
might come with power, and the waters of the sanc 
tuary spread far and wide for the healing of the na 
tions! Came to Ripton ; but was very weak. How- 



42 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

ever, being visited by a number of young people in 
the evening, I prayed with them. 

Saturday, June 12. Spent much time in prayer 
this morning, and enjoyed much nearness. Felt in 
satiable longings after God most of the day: I won 
dered how poor souls do to live that have no God. 
The world, with all its enjoyments, quite vanished. 
I see myself very helpless ; but I have a blessed God 
to go to. I longed exceedingly " to be dissolved, 
and to be with Christ, to behold his glory." Oh ! my 
weary soul longs to arrive at my Father s house. 

* Monday, June 14. Felt something of the sweet 
ness of communion with God, and the constraining 
force of his love : how admirably it captivates the 
soul, and makes all the desires and affections to cen 
tre in God ! I set apart this day for secret fasting 
and prayer, to entreat God to direct arid bless me 
with regard to the great work of preaching the gos 
pel: and that the Lord would return tome, and show 
me the light of his countenance. Had little life 
and power in the forenoon : near the middle of the 
afternoon, God enabled me to wrestle ardently in in 
tercession for absent friends ; but just at night, the 
Lord visited me marvellously in prayer. I think 
my soul never was in such an agony before : I felt 
no restraint, for the treasures of divine grace were 
opened to me. 

* Tuesday, June 15. Had the most ardent longings 
after God that ever I felt in my life: at noon, in my 
secret retirement I could do nothing but tell my 
dear Lord, in a sweet calm, that he knew I longed 
for nothing but himself, nothing but holiness ; that 
he had given me these desires, and he only could 
give me the thing desired. I never seemed to be 



HIS DIARY. 43 

so unhinged from myself, and to be so wholly devoted 
to God. My heart was swallowed up in God most 
of the day. In the evening I had such a view of the 
soul s being as it were enlarged, to contain more 
holiness, that my soul seemed ready to separate from 
my body in order to obtain it. 

* Friday, June 18. Considering my great unfitness 
for the work of the ministry, my present deadness, 
and total inability to do any thing for the glory of 
God ; feeling myself very helpless, and at a great loss 
what the Lord would have me to do; I set apart this 
day for prayer, but was amazingly deserted most of 
the day : yet I found God graciously near ; once in 
particular, while I was pleading for more compassion 
for immortal souls, my heart seemed to be opened at 
once, and I was enabled to cry with great ardency 
for a few minutes. Oh, I was distressed, to think 
that I should offer such dead cold services to the liv 
ing God ! My soul seemed to breathe after holiness, 
a life of constant devotedness to God. But I am 
almost lost sometimes in the pursuit of this blessed 
ness, and ready to sink, because I continually fall 
short and miss of my desire. Oh that the Lord would 
help me to hold out yet a little while, till the happy 
hour of deliverance comes ! 

Tuesday, June 22. In the morning, spent about 
two hours in prayer and meditation, with consider 
able delight. Towards night, felt my soul go out in 
longing desires after God, in secret retirement. In 
the evening, was sweetly composed and resigned to 
God s will ; was enabled to leave myself and all my 
concerns with him, and to have my whole dependence 
upon him. My secret retirement was very refreshing 
to my soul : it appeared such a happiness to have 



44 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

God for my portion, that I had rather be any other 
creature in this lower creation, than not come to the 
enjoyment of God. I had rather be a beast than a 
man without God, if I were to live here to eternity. 
Lord, endear thyself more to me ! 

In his diary for the next seven days, he expresses 
a variety of exercises of mind. He speaks of great 
longings after God and holiness, and earnest desires 
for the conversion of others, of fervency in prayer, 
and power to wrestle with God, and of composure, 
comfort, and sweetness, from time to time ; but ex 
presses a sense of the vile abomination of his heart, 
and bitterly complains of his barrenness, and the 
pressing body of death ; and says he " saw clearly, 
that whatever he enjoyed, better than hell, was free 
grace." Complains of his being exceeding low, much 
below the character of a child of God; and is some 
times very disconsolate and dejected. 

* Wednesday, June 30. Spent this day alone in 
the woods, in fasting and prayer, and underwent the 
most dreadful conflicts. I saw myself so vile, that 
I was ready to say, " I shall now perish by the hand 
of Saul." I thought, and almost concluded, I had 
no power to stand for the cause of God, but was 
almost afraid of the shaking of a leaf. Spent almost 
the whole day in prayer, incessantly. I could not 
bear to think of Christians showing me any respect. 
I almost despaired of doing any service in the world. 
I could not feel any hope or comfort respecting the 
heathen, which used to afford me some refreshment in 
the darkest hours of this nature. I spent away the 
day in the bitterness of my soul. Near night I felt a 
little better ; and afterwards enjoyed some sweetness 
in secret pra} r er. 



HIS DIARY. 45 

Thursday, July 1. Had some sweetness in prayer 
this morning. Felt exceeding happy in secret prayer 
to-night, and desired nothing so ardently as that God 
should do with me just as he pleased. 

Saturday, July 3. My heart seemed again to sink. 
The disgrace I was laid under at college seemed to 
damp me, as it opens the mouths of opposers. I had 
no refuge but in God only. Blessed be his name, 
that I may go to him at all times, and find him a pre 
sent help. 

* Thursday, July 22. Journeying from Southbury 
to Ripton, 1 called at a house by the way, where, 
being very kindly entertained and refreshed, I was 
filled with amazement and shame, that God should 
stir up the hearts of any to show so much kindness 
to one so unworthy. I was made sensible, in some 
measure, how exceeding vile it is, not to be wholly 
devoted to God. I wondered that God would suffer 
any of his creatures to feed and sustain me from time 
to time. 

In the preceding extracts, the reader will see that 
Brainerd s mind was training for his future work. 
Neither his spiritual distresses nor comforts were of 
an ordinary kind. My life/ he said of himself, is 
a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, and 
will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits. He 
was an acute and vigilant detector of the depraved 
workings of his fallen nature. By reason of use, he 
had, in an eminent degree, his senses exercised, to 
discern between good and evil ; and his feelings were 
singularly alive to their presence and influence. 

His Journal abounds in passages similar to those 
which we have extracted ; and which indicate, like 



46 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD: 

them, the alternations of sorrow and of joy. Christians 
of less acute sensibilities, and of a lower standard 
of devotion, may wonder at his expressions, at one 
time, of deep self-abhorrence, and, at another, of 
almost seraphic ardour and love. But they arose 
from that vivid impression which was made on his 
mind by the sight of his disease and of his remedy. 
However his natural melancholy might heighten the 
sense of his vileness, yet all his views were, in prin 
ciple, perfect^ rational and scriptural ; and led him 
to exclaim with the apostle, under similar discove 
ries of the malignity and of the cure of sin, " O 
wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from 
the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus 
Christ our Lord !" 

His complaints are grounded on his seeming, at 
times, to lose all relish of divine things his feeling 
much of the prevalence of corruption, and a dispo 
sition to all manner of sin and his being diverted 
from the business of religion, by weakness of body, 
and his necessary affairs. These things frequently 
brought a great gloom on his mind : so that he some 
times speaks of himself as filled with horror, seeing 
no comfort in heaven or earth ; and, at others, as 
longing to hide himself in some cave or den of the 
earth. 

Yet these conflicts were beneficial to his mind, and 
were relieved by many consolations. His heart was 
evidently engaged in promoting the glory of God, as 
his great end and object in the world, while he com 
plained of desertion and want of fervour in religion. 
He was learning, as he expressed it, that he was like 
a little helpless infant cast out into the open field. 
He had often great refreshments of spirit, and fer- 



HIS DIARY. 47 

vour and enlargement of mind in his duties : and not 
un frequently, as we have seen, remarkable elevation 
and rapture of holy joy ; and was led out into the 
most earnest wrestlings and prayer, for his own sanc- 
tification, and for the enlargement of Christ s king 
dom. So intense, at times, was the earnestness of 
his prayers, that his body, covered with perspiration, 
though in the cool of the early morning or of the 
evening, attested the ardour of his soul. 

Thursday, July 29,1742. Was examined by the 
Association met at Danbury, as to my learning, and 
also my experience in religion, and received a license 
from them to preach the gospel of Christ. Afterwards 
felt much devoted to God ; joined in prayer with one 
of the ministers, my peculiar friend, in a convenient 
place ; went to bed, resolving to live devoted to God 
all my days. 

Friday, July 30. Rode from Danbury to South- 
bury; preached there from 1 Pet. iv. 8. Had much 
of the comfortable presence of God in the exer 
cise. I seemed to have power with God in prayer, 
and power to get hold of the hearts of the people in 
preaching. 

Thursday, August 12. This morning and last 
night was exercised with sore inward trials; I had 
no power to pray ; but seemed shut out from God. 
I had in a great measure lost my hopes of God s 
sending me among the heathen afar off, and of seeing 
them flock home to Christ. I saw so much of my own 
vileness, that I appeared worse to myself than any 
devil. I wondered that God would let me live, and 
wondered that people did not stone me, much more 
that they would ever hear me preach. It seemed as 



48 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

though I never could nor should preach any more ; 
yet about nine or ten o clock the people came over, 
and I was forced to preach. And blessed be God, 
he gave me his presence and Spirit in prayer and 
preaching : so that I was much assisted, and spake 
with power from Job xiv. 14. Some Indians cried 
out in great distress, and all appeared greatly con 
cerned. After we had prayed and exhorted them to 
seek the Lord with constancy, and hired an English 
woman to keep a kind of school among them, we 
came away about one o clock, and came to Judea, 
about fifteen or sixteen miles. There God was 
pleased to visit my soul with much comfort. Blessed 
be the Lord for all I meet with. 

Lord s day, August 13. Felt much comfort and 
devotedness to God this day. At night, it was re 
freshing to get alone with God, and pour out my soul 
before him. Oh, who can conceive the sweetness 
of communion with the blessed God, but those that 
have experience of it ! Glory to God for ever, that I 
may taste of heaven below. 

Tuesday, August 17. Exceedingly depressed in 
spirit ; it cuts and wounds my heart to think how 
much self-exaltation, spiritual pride, and warmth of 
temper, I have formerly had intermingled with my 
endeavours to promote God s work : and sometimes 
I long to lie down at the feet of opposers, and con 
fess what a poor imperfect creature I have been, and 
still am. Oh, the Lord forgive me, and make me 
for the future " wise as a serpent, and harmless as a 
dove ! " Afterwards enjoyed considerable comfort 
and delight of soul. 

* Thursday, August 19. This day, being about to 
go from Mr. Bellamy s at Bethlehem, where I had 



HIS DIARY. 49 

resided some time, I prayed with him and two or 
three other Christian friends, and gave ourselves to 
God with all our hearts, to be his for ever : eternity 
appeared very near to me, while I was praying. If I 
never should see these Christians again in this 
world, it seemed but a few moments before I should 
meet them in another world. Parted with them 
sweetly. 

Saturday, August 21. Was much perplexed in 
the morning. Towards noon enjoyed more of God 
in secret, was enabled to see that it was best to throw 
myself into his hands, to be disposed of according to 
his pleasure ; and rejoiced in such thoughts. In the 
afternoon, rode to New-Haven ; was much confused 
all the way. Just at night, underwent a dreadful 
conflict, such as I have scarcely ever felt. I saw 
myself exceedingly vile and unworthy ; so that I was 
guilty and ashamed that any body should bestow 
favours on me, or show me any respect. 

Monday, August 30. Felt somewhat comfort 
ably in the morning ; conversed sweetly with some 
friends ; was in a serious composed frame ; prayed at 
a certain house with some degree of fervour. After 
wards, at another house, prayed privately with a dear 
Christian friend or two ; and, I think, I scarcely ever 
launched so far into the eternal world as then. I 
got so far out on the broad ocean, that my soul with 
joy triumphed over all the evils on the shores of mor 
tality. Time, and all its gay amusements and cruel 
disappointments, never appeared so inconsiderable 
to me before. I was in a sweet frame ; I saw myself 
nothing, and my soul went out after God with in 
tense desire. Oh ! I saw what I owed to him, in 
such a manner as I had scarcely ever done: I knew I 

E 



50 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

had never lived a moment to him as I should do. In 
deed, it appeared to me 1 had never done any thing 
in Christianity: my soul longed with a vehement de 
sire to live to God. In the evening, sung and 
prayed with a number of Christians ; and felt " the 
powers of the world to come." Afterwards prayed 
again privately, with a dear Christian or two, and 
found the divine presence ; was somewhat humbled 
in secret retirement ; felt my ingratitude, because I 
was not wholly swallowed up in God. 

Wednesday, September 1. Went to Judea, to 
the ordination of Mr. Judd. Dear Mr. Bellamy 
preached from Matt. xxiv. 46. " Blessed is that ser 
vant," &c. I felt very solemn most of the time ; my 
thoughts dwelt much on that time when our Lord 
will come ; only I was afraid I should not be 
found faithful, because I have so depraved a heart. 
My thoughts were much in eternity, where I love to 
dwell. Blessed be God for this solemn season. 
Rode home to-night with Mr. Bellamy, felt happy 
on the road ; conversed with some friends till it was 
very late, and then retired to rest in a comfortable 
frame. 

Thursday, September 2. About two in the after 
noon, I preached from John vi. 67. and God assisted 
me in some comfortable degree; but more espe 
cially in my first prayer. My soul seemed then 
to launch quite into the eternal world, and to be 
as it were separated from this lower state. After 
wards preached again from Isaiah v. 4. God gave 
me some assistance; but I saw myself a poor 
worm. 

4 Saturday, September 4. Much out of health, ex 
ceedingly depressed in spirit, and at an awful dis- 



HIS DIARY. 51 

tance from God. Towards night, spent some time in 
profitable thoughts on Rom. viii. 2. Had a re 
freshing season in prayer; God enabled me to wrestle 
ardently for the advancement of the Redeemer s 
kingdom ; pleaded earnestly for my own dear brother 
John, that God would make him more of a pilgrim 
and stranger on the earth, and fit him for singular 
usefulness in the world ; and my heart exulted in the 
thoughts of any distresses that might alight on him 
or me, in the advancement of Christ s kingdom. It was 
truly a comfortable season; I was indulged with free 
dom to plead, not only for myself, but for many others. 

* Monday, September 6. Was informed that they 
only waited for an opportunity to apprehend me for 
preaching at New Haven lately, that so they might 
imprison me. This made me more solemn and seri 
ous, and to quit all hopes of the world s friendship : 
it brought me to a further sense of my sinfulness, 
and just desert of this and much more, from the hand 
of God, though not from the hand of man. Retired 
into a convenient place in the woods, and spread the 
matter before God. 

1 Tuesday, September 7. Rode to New Haven, to 
a friend s house at a distance from the town ; there I 
remain undiscovered, and yet have opportunity to do 
business privately with friends who come to Com 
mencement. 

Wednesday, September 8. Felt very comfortable 
when I first rose in the morning. In family prayer 
had some enlargement, but not much spirituality, till 
eternity came up before me, and looked near; I found 
some satisfaction in the thoughts of bidding a dying 
farewell to this tiresome world. Though some time 
ago I reckoned upon seeing my dear friends at Com- 
E 2 



52 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

mencement ; yet, being now denied the opportunity 
for fear of imprisonment, I felt entirely resigned, and 
as contented to spend this day alone in the woods, as 
I could have done if I had been allowed to go to town. 
Felt exceedingly weaned from the world to-day. 
In the afternoon discoursed on divine things with a 
dear Christian friend, and we were both refreshed. 
Then I prayed, with a deep sense of the blessedness 
of communion with God ; I think I scarce ever en 
joyed more of God in any one prayer. It was a 
blessed season indeed to my soul. I knew not that 
I ever saw so much of my own nothingness in my 
life ; never wondered so, that God allowed me to 
preach his word ; never was so astonished before. 
This has been a good day to my soul. Blessed be 
God. Prayed again with my dear friend, and 
enjoyed the divine presence. I long to be wholly 
conformed to God, and transformed into his image. 

Thursday, September 9. Spent muclfof the day 
alone; had the presence of God in some comfortable 
degree; was visited by some dear friends, and prayed 
with them. Wrote sundry letters to friends; felt 
religion in my soul while writing ; enjoyed some 
sweet meditations on the Scriptures. In the even 
ing went very privately into town, from the place of 
my residence at the farms, and conversed with some 
dear friends: felt happy in singing hymns with them; 
and made my escape to the farms again, without be 
ing discovered by any of my enemies. Thus the 
Lord preserves me continually. 

Thursday, September 16. At night enjoyed much 
of God in secret prayer ; felt an uncommon resigna 
tion to be and to do what God pleased. Some days 
past I felt great perplexity on account of my past 



HIS DIARY. 53 

conduct: my bitterness, and want of Christian kind 
ness and love, has been very distressing to my soul ; 
the Lord forgive me my unchristian warmth, and 
want of a spirit of meekness ! 

The next twelve days, he appears to have been 
for the most part under great degrees of melancholy, 
exceedingly dejected and discouraged: speaks of his 
being ready to give up all for lost, respecting the 
cause of Christ, and exceedingly longing to die; yet 
had some intervals of comfort, with special assistance 
and enlargement in the duties of religion, and in per 
forming public services, and considerable success in 
them. 

* Thursday, September 30. Still very low in spi 
rits, and did not know how to engage in any work 
or business, especially to correct some disorders 
among Christians ; felt as though I had no power to 
be faithful. However, towards noon, preached from 
Deut. viii. 2. and was enabled with freedom to re 
prove some things in Christian conduct, that I thought 
very unsuitable and irregular; insisted nearly two 
hours on this subject/ 

During this, and several following weeks, he 
passed through a variety of exercises ; he was fre 
quently dejected, and felt inward distresses, and 
sometimes sunk into the depths of melancholy. At 
these times he was not exercised about the state of 
his soul, with regard to the favour of God, and his 
interest in Christ, but about his own sinful infirmi 
ties and unfitness for God s service. His mind ap 
pears sometimes extremely depressed and sunk with 
a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. But in the 
meantime, he speaks of many seasons of comfort and 
spiritual refreshment, wherein his heart was encour* 



54 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

aged and strengthened in God, and happily resigned 
to do his will ; also of some seasons of very high degrees 
of spiritual consolation, and of his great longings 
after holiness and conformity to God ; of his great 
fear of offending God, of his heart being sweetly 
melted in religious duties, of his longings for the ad 
vancement of Christ s kingdom, and of his having at 
some times much assistance in preaching, and of re 
markable effects on the auditory. 

* Lord s-day, October 1 7. Had a considerable sense 
of my helplessness and inability; saw that I must be 
dependent on God for all I want, and especially 
when I went to public worship. I found I could not 
speak a word for God without his special help and 
assistance; I went into the assembly trembling, as I 
frequently do, under a sense of my insufficiency to 
do any thing in the cause of God as I ought to do. 
But it pleased God to afford much assistance, and 
there seemed to be a considerable effect on the 
hearers. In the evening I felt a disposition to 
praise God for his goodness to me, especially that 
he had enabled me in some measure to be faithful. 
My soul rejoiced to think that I had thus performed 
the work of one day more, and was one day nearer 
my eternal, and, I trust, my heavenly home. 

Monday, October 18. In the morning felt some 
sweetness, but still pressed by inward trials. My life 
is a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, 
and will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits. 

1 Friday, October 22. Uncommonly weaned from 
the world to-day : my soul delighted to be a stranger 
and pilgrim on the earth ; I felt a disposition in me 
never to have any thing to do with this world. The 
character given of some of the ancient people of God, 



HIS DIARY. 55 

in Heb. xi. 13. was very pleasing to me : " They con 
fessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the 
earth," by their daily practice ; and oh that I could 
always do so ! Spent considerable time in a plea 
sant grove, in prayer and meditation. It is sweet to 
be thus weaned from friends, and from myself, and 
dead to the present world, that so I may live wholly 
to and upon the blessed God. Saw myself little, low, 
and sinful. In the afternoon, preached at Bethlehem, 
from Deut. viii. 2. and felt comfortable both in prayer 
and preaching. God helped me to speak to the 
hearts of dear Christians. Blessed be the Lord for 
this season: I trust they and I shall rejoice on this 

account to all eternity. Dear Mr. Bellamy came 

in while I was offering the first prayer, (being re 
turned home from a journey,) and after meeting we 
walked away together, and spent the evening in 
sweetly conversing on divine things and praying 
together. We felt much tender love to each other, 
and retired to rest with our hearts in a serious 
frame. 

Monday, October 25. At Turkey-Hills. In the 
evening enjoyed the divine presence in secret prayer. 
My soul " longed for God, for the living God ;" en 
joyed a sweet solemnity of spirit, and longing desire 
after the recovery of the divine image in my soul. 
" Then shall I be satisfied, when I awake in God s 
likeness," and never before. 

Tuesday, October 26. At West-Suffield. Un 
derwent the most dreadful distresses, under a sense 
of my own unworthiness: it seemed to me, I deserved 
rather to be driven out of the place, than to have any 
body treat me with any kindness, or come to hear me 
preach. And verily my spirits were so depressed at 



56 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

this time, as well as at many others, that it was im 
possible I should treat immortal souls with faithful 
ness. I could not deal closely and faithfully with 
them, I felt so infinitely vile in myself. Oh, what 
dust and ashes I am, to think of preaching the gospel 
to others ! Indeed I never can be faithful for one 
moment, but shall certainly " daub with untempered 
mortar," if God do not grant me special help. In the 
evening I went to the meeting-house, and it seemed 
to me nearly as easy for one to rise out of the grave 
and preach, as for me. However, God afforded me 
some life and power, both in prayer and sermon : God 
was pleased to lift me up, and show me that he could 
enable me to preach. 

Thursday, November 4. At Lebanon. Saw much 
of my nothingness most of this day : but felt con 
cerned that I had no more sense of my insufficiency and 
unworthiness. Oh it is sweet to lie in the dust before 
God ! But it is distressing to feel in my soul that depth 
of corruption which still remains in me. In the after 
noon had a sense of the sweetness of a strict, close, 
and constant devotedness to God, and my soul was 
comforted with divine consolations. I felt a pleasing, 
yet painful concern, lest I should spend some mo 
ments without God ; oh, may I always live to him ! 
In the evening was visited by some friends ; spent 
the time in prayer, and such conversation as tended 
to our edification. It was a comfortable season to my 
soul : I felt an intense desire to spend every moment 
for God/ 

These insatiable desires after God and holiness 
continued the two next days, with a great sense of 
his own exceeding unworthiness, and the nothing 
ness of the things of this world. 



HIS DIARY. 57 

Lord s-day, November 7. At Millington. It 
seemed as if one so unholy could never arrive at that 
blessedness, to be " holy, as God is holy." At noon, 
I longed for sanctification and conformity to God ; 
oh ! that is THE ALL, THE ALL ! The Lord help me to 
press forward. 

* Monday, November 8. Towards night, enjoyed 
much in secret prayer, so that my soul longed for an 
arrival in the heavenly country, the blessed paradise 
of God. Through divine goodness I have scarcely 
seen the day for these two months, but death has 
appeared so pleasant to me at one time or other of 
the day, that I could have rejoiced if the present 
might be my last, notwithstanding my pressing 
inward trials and conflicts : and I trust the Lord will 
finally make me more than a conqueror, so that I 
shall be able to use that triumphant language, 
" O death ! where is thy sting ? O grave ! where is 
thy victory?" 



58 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 



CHAPTER III. 

Entrance on his missionary labours. 

ON the 19th of November, 1742, Mr. Brainerd re 
ceived a letter from the Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton, 
of New York, desiring him to go thither without 
delay; in order to consult about the state of the 
Indians in those quarters, and to meet some gentle 
men who were entrusted with those affairs. The 
gentlemen alluded to were the correspondents in 
New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, of the 
Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian 
Knowledge. 

This will be a suitable place to introduce some 
account of the first exertions of that society in behalf 
of the North- American Indians. 

The deplorable state of the Indians in those parts 
of America being by several ministers represented to 
the society, the society charitably and cheerfully 
came into the proposal of maintaining two mis 
sionaries among these miserable Pagans, to endea 
vour their conversion from darkness to light, and 
from the power of Satan unto God ; and sent their 
commission to some ministers and other gentlemen, 



ENGAGEMENT AS MISSIONARY. 59 

to act as their correspondents, in providing, direct 
ing, and inspecting the said mission. 

As soon as the correspondents were authorized by 
the society s commission, they looked out for two 
candidates, whose zeal for the interests of Christ s 
kingdom, and whose compassion for perishing souls, 
would prompt them to such a difficult and self- 
denying undertaking. 

They first prevailed with Mr. Azariah Horton to 
relinquish a call to an encouraging parish, and to 
devote himself to the Indian service. He was di 
rected to Long Island, in August, 1741 ; at the east 
end whereof there are two small towns of the 
Indians : and from the east to the west end of the 
island, lesser companies settled at a few miles dis 
tance from one another, for above a hundred miles. 
At his first coming among them, he was well re 
ceived by most, and heartily welcomed by some of 
them. At the east end of the island, especially, 
they gave diligent and serious attention to his in 
structions, and many were put on solemn inquiries 
respecting their salvation. A general reformation 
of manners was soon observable among most of these 
Indians. They were careful to attend, and serious 
and solemn in attendance, on both public and pri 
vate instruction. A number of them were under 
very deep convictions of their miserable perishing 
state ; and about twenty of them gave lasting evi 
dence of their saving conversion to God. Mr. Horton 
had baptized thirty-five adults, and forty-four chil 
dren. He took pains with them, to teach them to 
read ; and some of them made considerable profi 
ciency. But the expensiveness of his charge, and 
the necessity of his travelling from place to place, 



60 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

made him incapable of giving so constant attendance 
to their instruction in reading as was needful. In 
his last letter to the correspondents, he heavily com 
plained of a great defection of some of them from 
their first reformation and care of their souls, occa 
sioned by strong drink being brought among them, 
and their being thereby allured to a relapse in their 
darling vice of drunkenness ; a vice to which the 
Indians are everywhere so greatly addicted, that 
nothing but the power of divine grace can restrain 
that impetuous lust, when they have opportunity to 
gratify it. He complained, also, that some of them 
were grown more careless and remiss in the duties 
of religious worship, than they were when first ac 
quainted with the great things of their eternal peace. 
But, as a number retained their first impressions, 
and as they generally attended with reverence on his 
ministry, he went on in his work, with encouraging 
hopes of the presence and blessing of God with him 
in his difficult undertaking. 

It was some time after Mr. Horton was employed 
in the Indian service, before the correspondents 
could obtain another qualified candidate for the self- 
denying mission. They addressed Mr. Brainerd 
with this view ; and, in compliance with their sum 
mons, he proceeded to New York. Their invitation 
lay with much weight on his mind ; but he carried 
it, where he carried all his concerns, to the throne 
of Him whom he served. His spirits sunk under a 
consciousness of his own insufficiency for the work ; 
and, when called to preach before a large assembly, 
among whom were grave and learned ministers, he 
could not but think himself deeply indebted to his 
hearers that they would listen to one so worthless, 



ENGAGEMENT AS MISSIONARY. 61 

and prayed that God would remunerate them with 
the rewards of his grace. 

He had received several invitations to places 
where he had a prospect of a comfortable settlement 
among the English ; but the correspondents invited 
him to encounter the fatigues and perils which could 
not but attend his attempt to carry the gospel of 
Christ to the miserable children in the wilderness. 
He accepted this invitation ; but the winter being 
an unfit season to enter on his work, he returned 
home, to wait for the spring. 

Some further extracts from his diary will exhibit 
the state of his mind during this interval. 

Friday, November 26. Had still a sense of my 
great unworthiness, and endeavoured as much as I 
could to keep alone. Oh, what a nothing, what dust 
and ashes I am ! Enjoyed some peace and comfort 
in spreading my complaints before the God of all 
grace. 

Saturday, November 27. Committed my soul 
to God with some degree of comfort; left New 
York about nine in the morning; came away with a 
distressing sense of my unspeakable depravity. 
Surely I may well love all my brethren, for none of 
them all is so vile as T ; whatever they do outwardly, 
yet it seems to me none is conscious of so much guilt 
before God. Oh my leanness, my barrenness, my 
carnality, and past bitterness, and want of a gospel- 
temper ! These things oppress my soul. Rode 

from New York, thirty miles, to White Plains, and 
most of the way continued lifting up my heart to God 
for mercy and purifying grace ; and spent the evening 
much dejected in spirit. 

1 Wednesday, December 1. My soul breathed 



62 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

after God in spiritual and longing desires of confor 
mity to him ; was brought to rest itself and all on his 
rich grace, and felt strength and encouragement to 
do or suffer any thing that divine providence should 

allot me. Rode about twenty miles from Strat- 

field to Newton/ 

Within the space of the next nine days, he went 
a journey from Newton to Haddam, his native town ; 
and after staying there some days, returned again 
into the western part of Connecticut, and came to 
Southbury. 

Saturday, December 11. Conversed with a dear 
friend, to whom I had thought of giving a liberal 
education, and being at the whole charge of it, that 
he might be fitted for the gospel-ministry. I ac 
quainted him with my thoughts in that matter, and 
so left him to consider of it till I should see him 
again. Then I rode to Bethlehem, and so came to 
Mr. Bellamy s lodgings ; spent the evening with him 
in sweet conversation and prayer ; we recommended 
the important concern before mentioned (of sending 
my friend to college) unto the God of all grace. 
Blessed be the Lord for this evening s opportunity 
together. 

Lord s-day, December 12. In the morning I 
felt as if I had little or no power either to pray or 
preach, and had a distressing need of divine help. I 
went to meeting trembling; but it pleased God to 
assist me in prayer and sermon : I think my soul 
scarcely ever penetrated so far into the immaterial 
world in any one prayer that ever I made, nor were 
my devotions ever so much refined, and free from gross 
conceptions and imaginations, framed from beholding 
material objects. I preached with some pleasure 



HIS DIARY. 63 

from Matt. vi. 33. " But seek ye first the kingdom 
of God," &c. ; and in the afternoon from Rom. xv. 
30. " And now I beseech you, brethren/ &c. 
There was much affection in the assembly. This 
has been a good Sabbath to me ; and blessed be God 
I have reason to think that my religion is become 
more refined and spiritual, by means of my late in 
ward conflicts. Amen. May I always be willing 
that God should use his own methods with me. 

1 Tuesday, December 14. Some perplexity hung 
on my mind : was distressed last night and this morn 
ing for the interest of Zion, especially on account of 
the false appearances of religion, which breed confu 
sion in some places. I cried to God for help, to 
enable me to bear testimony against those things, 
which, instead of promoting, do but hinder the pro 
gress of vital piety. In the afternoon, rode down to 
Southbury, and conversed again with my friend on 
the importance of his following the work of the min 
istry ; and he appeared much inclined to devote him 
self to it, if God should succeed his attempts to 
qualify himself for so great a work. In the evening 
I preached from 1 Thess. iv. 8. ; and endeavoured, 
though with tenderness, to undermine false religion. 
The Lord gave me some assistance ; but I seemed 
to myself so vile, that I was ashamed to be seen when 
I came out of the meeting-house. 

Lord s-day, December 19. At the sacrament of 
the Lord s Supper, seemed strong in the Lord ; and 
the world, with all its frowns and flatteries, in a great 
measure disappeared, so that my soul had nothing to 
do with them ; and I felt a disposition to be wholly 
and for ever the Lord s. In the evening, enjoyed 
something of the divine presence ; had an humbling 



64 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD*. 

sense of my barrenness and sinfulness. Oh, it 
wounded me to think of the misimprovement of time ! 
" God be merciful to me a sinner." 

Tuesday, December 21. Had a sense of my in 
sufficiency for any public work and business, as well 
as to live to God. I rode over to Derby, and 
preached there ; it pleased God to afford me assist 
ance and enlargement, and to enable me to speak 
with a soft and tender power and energy. We had 
afterwards a comfortable evening in singing and 
prayer. God enabled me to pray with as much 
spirituality and sweetness as I have done for some 
time : my mind seemed to be unclothed of sense and 
imagination, and was in a measure let into the im 
material world of spirits. This day and evening was, 
I trust, through infinite goodness, made very profitable 
to a number of us to advance our souls in holiness 
and conformity to God : the glory be to him for ever. 
Amen. 

4 Lord s-day, December 26. Felt much tenderness 
in prayer ; my whole soul seemed to love my worst 
enemies, and was enabled to pray for those that are 
strangers and enemies to God, with a great degree 
of softness and pathetic fervour. In the evening, 
rode from New Haven to Brandford, after I had 
kneeled down and prayed with a number of Christian 
friends in a very retired place in the woods, and so 
parted. 

Monday, December 27. Enjoyed a precious sea 
son indeed ; had a melting sense of divine things, of 
the pure spirituality of the religion of Christ Jesus, 
In the evening I preached from Matt. vi. 33, with 
much freedom, power, and pungency : the presence of 
God attended our meeting. Oh the tenderness I felt 



HIS DIARY. 65 

in my soul! If ever I felt the temper of Christ, 
I had some sense of it now. Blessed be my God, 
I have seldom enjoyed a more comfortable and pro 
fitable day than this : oh that I could spend all my 
time for God ! 

Friday, Jan 14, 1742-3. My spiritual conflicts 
to-day were unspeakably dreadful, heavier than the 
mountains and overflowing floods : I seemed enclosed, 
as it were, in hell itself. I was deprived of all sense 
of God, even of the being of a God : and that was 
iny misery. I had no awful apprehensions of God 
as angry. This was distress, the nearest a-kin to 
the misery of the lost that I ever endured : their tor 
ment, I am sure, will consist much in a privation of 
God, and consequently of all good. This taught me 
the absolute dependence of a creature upon God the 
Creator, for the least degree of happiness it enjoys. 
Oh I feel that if there is no God, though I might 
live for ever here, and enjoy not only this, but all 
other worlds, I should be ten thousand times more 
miserable than the meanest reptile. My soul was 
in such anguish I could not eat, but felt as I sup 
posed a poor wretch would that is just going to the 
place of execution. I was almost swallowed up with 
anguish, when I saw people gathering together to 
hear me preach. However, I went in that distress 
to the house of God, and found not much relief in 
the first prayer : it seemed as if God would let loose 
the people upon me to destroy me. The thoughts 
of death were not so distressing to me as my own 
vileness. But afterwards, in my discourse from 
Deut. viii. 2, God was pleased to give me some free 
dom and enlargement, some power and spirituality ; 
and I spent the evening rather comfortably. 
F 



66 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

Wednesday, Jan. 19. At Canterbury. In the 
afternoon preached the lecture at the meeting-house, 
and felt some tenderness. Exhorted the people to 
love one another, and not to set up their own frames 
as a standard to try all their brethren by. I was 
much pressed, most of the day, with a sense of my 
own badness, inward impurity, and unspeakable cor 
ruption. Spent the evening in loving Christian con 
versation. 

* Wednesday, Jan. 26. Preached to a pretty large 
assembly at Mr. Fish s meeting-house : insisted on 
stedfastness in keeping God s commands : and that 
through humility we should prefer one another in 
love, and not make our own frames the rule by which 
\ve judge others. 1 felt sweetly calm, and full of 
brotherly love; and never more free from party spirit. 
I hope some good will follow ; that Christians will 
be freed from false joy, and party zeal, and censuring 
one another. 

1 Friday, Jan. 28. Rode to New London. Here I 
found some fallen into extravagances ; and too much 
carried away with false zeal and bitterness : oh, the 
want of a gospel-temper is greatly to be lamented. 
Spent the evening in conversing about some points 
of conduct in both ministers and private Christians ; 
but we did not agree. God had not taught them 
with briars and thorns, to be of a kind disposition 
toward mankind. 

Wednesday, February 2. Preached my farewell- 
sermon last night at the house of an aged man, who 
had been unable to attend public worship for some 
time : and this morning spent the time in prayer, 
almost wherever I went. Having taken leave of 
friends, I set out on my journey towards the Indians ; 



HIS DIARY. 67 

though by the way I was to spend some time at East- 
Hampton on Long-Island, by the leave of the com 
missioners who employed me in the Indian affair ; 
and being accompanied by a messenger from East- 
Hampton, we travelled to Lyme. On the road I felt 
an uncommon pressure of mind. I seemed to 
struggle hard for some pleasure in something here 
below, and loth to give up all for gone. I saw that 
I was evidently throwing myself into hardships and 
distresses in my present undertaking, and thought it 
would be less difficult to lie down in the grave : still 
I chose to go rather than stay. Came to Lyme that 
night/ 

He waited the two next days for a passage over 
the Sound, and spent much of the time in inward 
conflicts and dejection, but had some comfort. On 
Saturday he crossed the Sound, landed at Oyster- 
Ponds on Long-Island, and travelled from thence to 
East-Hampton. He spent the seven following days, 
under extreme dejection, with great complaints of 
darkness and ignorance ; yet his heart appears to 
have been constantly engaged in the great business 
of religion, praying and labouring much to pro 
mote it. 

Saturday, Feb. 12. Enjoyed a little more com 
fort, was enabled to meditate with some composure 
of mind; and, especially in the evening, found my 
soul more refreshed in prayer than at any time of 
late. I seemed to " take hold of God s strength/ 
and was comforted with his consolations. How sweet 
are the glimpses of divine glory; how strengthening 
and quickening! 

* Saturday, Feb. 19. Was exceedingly infirm to 
day, greatly troubled with pain in my head and diz- 

F 2 



68 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

ziness ; scarcely able to sit up. However, enjoyed 
something of God in prayer, and performed some 
necessary studies. I exceedingly long to die ; and 
yet, through divine goodness, have felt very willing 
to live, for two or three days past. 

Lord s-day, Feb. 20. Perplexed on account of 
my carelessness; thought I could not be suitably 
concerned about the important work of the day, and 
so was restless with my easiness. Was exceedingly 
infirm again to-day ; but the Lord strengthened me, 
both in the outward and inward man, so that I 
preached with some life and spirituality, especially 
in the afternoon. I was enabled to speak closely 
against selfish religion, that loves Christ for his 
benefits, but not for himself/ 

During the next fortnight, it appears that he en 
joyed much spiritual peace and comfort. In his 
diary for this space of time, are expressed such 
things as these : mourning over indwelling sin and 
unprofitableness ; deadness to the world ; longing 
after God, and to live to his glory; heart-melting 
desires after his eternal home ; fixed reliance on God 
for his help ; experience of much divine assistance 
both in the private and public exercies of religion ; 
inward strength and courage in the service of God ; 
very frequent refreshment, consolation, and divine 
sweetness in meditation, prayer, preaching, and 
Christian conversation. And it appears by his ac 
count, that this space of time was filled up with great 
diligence and earnestness in serving God, in study, 
prayer, meditation, preaching, and private instructing 
and counselling. 

Monday, March 7. This morning when I arose, 
I found my heart go forth after God in longing de- 



HIS DIARY. 69 

sires of conformity to him, and in secret prayer found 
myself quickened and drawn out in praises to God 
for all he had done for me, and for all my inward 
trials and distresses. My heart ascribed glory, glory, 
glory to the blessed God ; and bid welcome all in 
ward distress again, if God saw meet to exercise me 
with them. Time appeared but an inch long, and 
eternity at hand ; and I thought I could, with pa 
tience and cheerfulness, bear any thing for the cause 
of God ; for I saw that a moment would bring me to 
a world of peace and blessedness. By the strength 
of the Lord I rose far above this lower world, and all 
the vain amusements and frightful disappointments 
of it. Afterwards, was visited by some friends, but 
lost some sweetness by it. After that, had some de 
lightful meditation on Gen. v. 24 : " And Enoch 
walked with God." 

Wednesday, March 9. Endeavoured to commit 
myself and all my concerns to God. Rode sixteen 
miles to Mantauk, and had some inward sweetness 
on the road ; but something of flatness and deadness 
after I came there and had seen the Indians. I with 
drew and endeavoured to pray, but found myself 
awfully deserted and left, and had an afflicting sense 
of my vileness and meanness. However, I went and 
preached from Isaiah liii. 10. Had some assistance, 
and I trust something of the divine presence was 
among us. In the evening also I prayed and ex 
horted among them, after having had a season alone, 
when I was so pressed with the blackness of my na 
ture, that I thought it was not fit for me to speak, 
even to the Indians. 

Lord s-day, March 13. At noon I thought it im 
possible for me to preach, by reason of bodily weak- 



70 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

ness and inward deadness ; and in the first prayer, 
was so weak I could hardly stand ; but in sermon, 
God strengthened me, so that I spake near an hour 
and a half with freedom, clearness, and energy, from 
Gen. v. 24. " And Enoch walked with God." I 
was sweetly assisted to insist on a close walk with 
God, and to leave this as my parting advice to God s 
people here, that they should walk with God. May 
the God of all grace succeed my poor labours in this 
place/ 

As he had now undertaken the work of a mission 
ary, and expected shortly to leave his native country 
to spend the remainder of his life among savages in 
the distant wilderness, he began to settle his worldly 
affairs. Some estate had been left him by his father ; 
and, thinking that he should have no occasion for it 
among the Indians (though he afterwards discovered 
his mistake), he set himself to consider in what 
manner it might be best expended for the glory of 
God. No way presenting itself to his mind, wherein 
he could apply it more effectually for that end, than 
by educating a suitable young man for the ministry, 
he devoted it to that object ; and, accordingly, having 
fixed on a proper person, he continued to be at the 
charge of his education, from year to year, so long as 
he lived, which was till his young friend was carried 
through his third year in college. 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 71 



CHAPTER IV. 



The first year of his Mission. 

ABOUT the middle of March, 1743, Brainerd pro 
ceeded again to New York. On the 15th of that 
month, he waited on the correspondents at that city ; 
and, the week following, attended their meeting at 
Woodbridge, in New Jersey. Here he received his 
final directions. 

His first destination had been to the Indians living 
near the Forks of the Delaware and on the Susque- 
hannah ; but this design was relinquished. The 
correspondents had learned that some contention 
subsisted between the white people and the Delaware 
Indians, concerning their lands ; and apprehended 
that this would hinder, for the present, the reception 
and success of a missionary. They had, on the other 
hand, received some intimations from the Rev. Mr. 
Sergeant, missionary to the Indians at Stock- 
bridge, that there was the most hopeful prospect of 
success for a missionary among the Indians of Kau- 
naumeek. 

This place was situated about twenty miles east of 



72 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD: 

the city of Albany. Here Brainerd was appointed 
to labour; and was immediately dismissed by the 
correspondents, to attempt the instruction of these 
Indians. He arrived among them April 1, 1743, and 
continued his labours till April 6, 1744, when he was 
directed by the correspondents, as we shall hereafter 
see, to proceed to his original destination on the 
Delaware. His account of his situation, addressed, 
after he had left Kaunaumeek, to the Rev. Ebenezer 
Pemberton, is not a little melancholy. 

1 The place, as to its situation, was sufficiently 
lonesome and unpleasant, being encompassed with 
mountains and woods ; twenty miles distant from 
any English inhabitant; six or seven from any Dutch ; 
and more than two from a family that came some 
time since from the Highlands of Scotland, and had 
then lived, as I remember, about two years in this 
wilderness. In this family I lodged about the space 
of three months, the master of it being the only per 
son with whom I could readily converse in those 
parts, except my interpreter ; others understanding 
very little English. 

* After I had spent about three months in this situ 
ation, I found my distance from the Indians a very 
great disadvantage to my work amongst them, and 
very burdensome to myself; as I was obliged to 
travel forward and backward almost daily on foot, 
having no pasture in which I could keep my horse 
for that purpose : and, after all my pains, could not 
be with the Indians in the evening and morning, 
which were usually the best hours to find them at 
home, and when they could best attend my in 
structions. 

1 therefore resolved to remove, and live with or 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 73 

near the Indians, that I might watch all opportun 
ities, when they were generally at home, and take 
the advantage of such seasons for their instruction. 

* Accordingly, I removed soon after, and, for a 
time, lived with them in one of their wigwams ; .and, 
not long after, built me a small house, where I spent 
the remainder of that year entirely alone ; my inter 
preter, who was an Indian, choosing rather to live in 
a wigwam, among his own countrymen. 

This way of living I found attended with many 
difficulties and uncomfortable circumstances, in a 
place where I could get none of the necessaries and 
common comforts of life, (no, not so much as a morsel 
of bread,) but what I brought from places fifteen and 
twenty miles distant; and often was obliged, for 
some time together, to content myself without, for 
want of an opportunity to procure the things I 
needed. 

4 But, although the difficulties of this solitary way 
of living are not the least, or most inconsiderable, 
(and doubtless are, in fact, many more and greater 
to those who experience, than they can readily ap 
pear to those who only view them at a distance), yet 
I can truly say, that the burden which I felt respect 
ing my great work among the poor Indians ; the fear 
and concern that continually hung upon my spirit, 
lest they should be prejudiced against Christianity, 
and their minds embittered against me and my la 
bours among them, by means of the insinuations of 
some, who, although they are called Christians, seem 
to have no concern for Christ s kingdom, but would 
rather (as their conduct plainly discovers) that the 
Indians should remain heathens, that they may with 
the more ease cheat, and so enrich themselves by 



74 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

them ; the burden, I say, the fear and concern which 
I felt, in these respects, were much more pressing to 
me than all the difficulties that attended the circum 
stances of my living. 

In the following extract of a letter which he wrote 
at this period to his brother John, then a student at 
Yale College, he unbosoms himself without reserve: 

Kaunaumeek, April 30, 1743. 
* MY DEAR BROTHER, 

* I should tell you, " I long to see you," but that 
my own experience has taught me there is no happi 
ness and plenary satisfaction to be enjoyed in 
earthly friends, though ever so near and dear, or in 
any other enjoyment that is not God himself. There 
fore, if the God of all grace would be pleased to 
afford us each his presence and grace, that we may 
perform the work and endure the trials he calls us 
to, in a most distressing tiresome wilderness, till we 
arrive at our journey s end; the distance at which 
we are held from each other at the present, is a 
matter of no great moment or importance to either 
of us. But, alas, the presence of God is what I 
want. 

* I live in the most lonely melancholy desert, about 
eighteen miles from Albany ; for it was not thought 
best that I should go to Delaware River, as I believe 
I hinted to you in a letter from New York. I board 
with a poor Scotchman : his wife can talk scarcely 
any English. My diet consists mostly of hasty- 
pudding, boiled corn, and bread baked in the ashes, 
and sometimes a little meat and butter. My lodging 
is a little heap of straw, laid upon some boards, a 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 75 

little way from the ground ; for it is a log-room, 
without any floor, that I lodge in. My work is ex 
ceeding hard and difficult : I travel on foot a mile 
and a half in the worst of roads almost daily, and 
back again ; for I live so far from my Indians. I 
have not seen an English person this month. These 
and many other uncomfortable circumstances attend 
me ; and yet my spiritual conflicts and distresses so 
far exceed all these, that I scarce think of them, but 
feel as if I were entertained in the most sumptuous 
manner. The Lord grant that I may learn to " endure 
hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!" 
. As to my success here, I cannot say much as yet. 
The Indians seem generally kind and well-disposed 
towards me, and are mostly very attentive to my 
instructions, and seem willing to be taught. Two or 
three, I hope, are under some convictions ; but there 
seems to be little of the special workings of the 
divine Spirit among them yet; which gives me many 
a heart-sinking hour. Sometimes I hope God has 
abundant blessings in store for them and me ; at 
other times I am so overwhelmed with distress, that 
I cannot see how his dealings with me are consistent 
with covenant love and faithfulness; and I say, 
" Surely his tender mercies are clean gone for ever." 
But I already see I needed all this chastisement. 
" It is good for me" that I have endured these trials, 
and have hitherto little or no apparent success. Do 
not be discouraged on my account. I was undejr 
great distress at Mr. Pomroy s when I saw your last: 
but " God has been with me of a truth" since that: 
at Long Island and elsewhere. 

Let us also remember that we must, " through 
much tribulation/ enter into God s eternal kingdom 



76 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

of rest and peace. The righteous are "scarcely" 
saved: it is an infinite wonder that we have well- 
grounded hopes of being saved at all. For my part, 
I feel the most vile of any creature living ; and I am 
sure, sometimes, there is not such another existing 
on this side hell. Now all you can do for me is, to 
pray incessantly that God would make me humble, 
holy, resigned, and heavenly-minded, by all my trials. 
" Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his 
might/ Let us run, wrestle, and fight, that we 
may win the prize, and obtain that complete happi 
ness, to be holy as God is holy. Wishing and 
praying that you may advance in learning and grace, 
and be fit for special service for God, I remain your 
affectionate brother, 

D. B. 

Brainerd appears to have spent the months of 
April, May, and June, in the family of the poor 
Scotchman ; and that of July in the wigwam, among 
the Indians. The following passages from his journal 
during these four months, will discover the prevail 
ing state of his mind. His holy and humble soul 
was still exercised with painful views of his own 
imperfections. 

* Friday, April 1, 1743. I rode to Kaunaumeek, 
near twenty miles from Stockbridge, where the In 
dians live with whom I am concerned, and there 
lodged on a little heap of straw : was greatly exer 
cised with inward trials and distresses all day ; and 
in the evening, my heart was sunk, and I seemed to 
have no God to go to. Oh, that God would help me ! 

The next five days he was, for the most part, in a 
dejected, depressed state of mind, and sometimes ex- 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 77 

tremely so. He speaks of God s " waves and billows 
rolling over his soul ; " and of his being ready some 
times to say, " Surely his mercy is clean gone for 
ever, and he will be favourable no more ; " and says, 
the anguish he endured was nameless and inconceiv 
able. But at the same time speaks thus concerning 
his distresses : What God designs by all my dis 
tresses I know not ; but this I know, I deserve them 
all, and thousands more. He gives an account of 
the Indians kindly receiving him, and being seriously 
attentive to his instructions. 

Thursday, April 7. Appeared to myself exceed 
ingly ignorant, helpless, and unworthy, and altogether 
unequal to my work. It seemed to me, I should 
never do any service, or have any success among the 
Indians. My soul was weary of my life : I longed 
for death beyond measure. When I thought of any 
godly soul departed, I was ready to envy him his 
privilege, thinking, * Oh, when will my turn come; 
must it be years first ! But I know, those ardent 
desires, at this and other times, rose partly from want 
of resignation to God under all miseries ; and so 
were but expressions of impatience. Towards night, 
I had, I think, the exercise of faith in prayer, and 
some assistance in writing. Oh, that God would 
keep me near him ! 

Friday, April 8. Was exceedingly pressed under 
a sense of my pride, selfishness, bitterness, and party 
spirit, in times past, while I attempted to promote the 
cause of God : its vile nature and dreadful conse 
quences appeared in such odious colours to me, that 
my very heart was pained. I saw how poor souls 
stumbled over it into everlasting destruction, so that 
I was constrained .to make that prayer in the bitter- 



f 
78 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

ness of my soul : " O Lord, deliver me from blood- 
guiltiness." 1 saw my desert of hell on this account. 
My soul was full of inward anguish and shame before 
God, that I had spent so much time in conversation 
tending only to promote a party spirit. I saw I had 
not suitably prized mortification, self-denial, resigna 
tion under all adversities, meekness, love, candour, 
and holiness of heart and life : and this day was 
almost wholly spent in such bitter and soul-aftlicting 
reflections on my past frames and conduct. Of late, 
I have thought much of having the kingdom of Christ 
advanced in the world ; but now I saw I had enough 
to do within myself. The Lord be merciful to me 
a sinner, and wash my soul. 

Lord s-day, April 10. Rose early in the morning 
and walked out; spent considerable time in the 
woods, in prayer and meditation. Preached to the 
Indians, both forenoon and afternoon. They behaved 
soberly in general : two or three in particular ap 
peared under some religious concern, with whom I 
discoursed privately ; and one told me, her heart 
had cried ever since she heard me preach first. 

Friday, April 15. In the forenoon, very discon 
solate. In the afternoon, preached to my people, and 
was a little encouraged to hope that God might be 
stow mercy on their souls. Felt something resigned 
to God under all dispensations of his providence. 

Saturday, April 16. Still in the depths of distress. 
In the afternoon, preached to my people, but was 
more discouraged with them than before ; feared that 
nothing would ever be done for them to any good 
effect. I retired and poured out my soul to God for 
mercy ; but without any sensible relief. Soon after 
came an Irishman and a Dutchman, with a design, 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 79 

as they said, to hear me preach the next day ; but 
none can tell how I felt, to hear their profane talk. 
I longed that some dear Christian knew my distress. 
I got into a kind of hovel, and there groaned out my 
complaint to God. I felt some gratitude and thank 
fulness, that he had made me to differ from these 
men, as I knew through grace he had. 

* Lord s-day, April 17. In the morning, was again 
distressed as soon as I waked, hearing much talk 
about the world and the things of it ; though I 
perceived the men were in some measure afraid of 
me, and I discoursed about sanctifying the Sabbath, 
if possible, to solemnize their minds : yet, when they 
were at a little distance, they again talked freely 
about secular affairs. Oh, I thought, what a hell it 
would be to live with such men to eternity ! The 
Lord gave me some assistance in preaching all day, 
and some resignation, and a small degree of comfort 
in prayer at night. 

4 Tuesday, April 19. In the morning, enjoyed some 
sweet repose and rest in God ; felt some strength and 
confidence in God : and my soul was in a measure re 
freshed and comforted. Spent most of the day in 
writing, and had some exercise of grace : my soul 
seemed lifted above the deep waters, wherein it has 
been so long almost drowned. Felt some spiritual 
longings and breathings after God ; found myself en 
gaged for the advancement of Christ s kingdom in 
my own soul, more than in others, more than in the 
Heathen world. 

Wednesday, April 20. Set apart this day for fast 
ing and prayer, to bow my soul before God for the 
bestowment of divine grace ; especially that all my 
spiritual afflictions and inward distresses might be 



80 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

sanctified. Endeavoured also to remember the good 
ness of God to me in the year past, this day being 
my birth-day. Having obtained help of God, I have 
hitherto lived, and am now arrived at the age of 
twenty-five years. My soul was pained to think of 
my barrenness and deadness ; that I have lived so 
little to the glory of the eternal God. I spent the 
day in the woods alone, and there poured out my 
complaint to God. Oh that he would enable me to 
live to his glory for the future? 

On the following days, his melancholy again pre 
vailed : he complains of his ignorance, stupidity, and 
senselessness ; while yet he seems to have spent his 
time with the utmost diligence, in study, in prayer, 
and in instructing and counselling the Indians. On 
Monday, he sunk into the deepest melancholy ; so 
that he supposed he never spent a day in such dis 
tress in his life ; not in fears of hell, (which, he says, 
he had no pressing fear of,) but a distressing sense of 
his own vileness, &c. On Tuesday, he expresses 
some relief. Wednesday, he kept as a day of fasting 
and prayer, but in great distress. The three days 
next following, his melancholy continued, but in a 
less degree, and with intervals of comfort. 

* Lord s day, May 1. Was at Stockbridge to-day. 
In the forenoon had some relief and assistance, though 
not so much as usual. In the afternoon, felt poorly 
in body and soul: while preaching, I seemed to be 
rehearsing idle tales, without the least life, fervour, 
sense, or comfort : and especially afterwards, at the 
sacrament, my soul was filled with confusion, and the 
utmost anguish that ever I endured, under the feel 
ing of my inexpressible vileness and meanness. It 
was a most bitter and distressing season to me, from 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 81 

the view I had of my own heart, and the secret abomi 
nations that lurk there. I thought the eyes of all 
in the house were upon me, and I dared not look any 
one in the face ; for it verily seemed as if they saw 
the vileness of my heart, and all the sins I had ever 
been guilty of. And if I had been banished from 
the presence of all mankind, never to be seen any 
more, or so much as thought of, still I should have 
been distressed with shame ; and should have been 
ashamed to see the most barbarous people on earth, 
because I was viler, and seemingly more brutish ly 
ignorant than they. " I am made to possess the sins 
of my youth." 

Tuesday, May 10. Was in the same state of 
mind that I have been in for some time, extremely 
oppressed with a sense of guilt, pollution, blindness : 
" The iniquity of my heels hath compassed me about ; 
the sins of my youth have been set in order before 
me ; they have gone over my head as a heavy bur 
den, too heavy for me to bear/ Almost all the ac 
tions of my past life seemed to be covered over with 
sin and guilt : and those of them that I performed 
in the most conscientious manner, now fill me with 
shame and confusion, so that I cannot hold up my 
face. 

The next seven days his gloom and distress con 
tinued for the most part; but he had some seasons 
of relief and spiritual comfort. He gives an account 
of his spending part of this time in hard labour, to 
build himself a little cottage to live in amongst the 
Indians, in which he might be by himself; having it 
seeins hitherto lived with a poor Scotchman ; and 
afterwards, before his own house was habitable, he 
lived in a wigwam among the Indians. 
G 



82 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD. 

Wednesday, May 18. My circumstances are such 
that I have no comfort of any kind but what I have 
in God. I live in the most lonesome wilderness ; and 
have but one single person to converse with that can 
speak English. Most of the talk I hear, is either 
Highland Scotch or Indian. I have no fellow-Chris 
tian to whom I might unbosom myself, and lay open 
my spiritual sorrows ; or with whom I might take 
sweet counsel in conversation about heavenly things, 
and join in social prayer. I live poorly with regard 
to the comforts of life : most of my diet consists of 
boiled corn, hasty-pudding, &c. I lodge on a bundle 
of straw, and my labour is hard and extremely diffi 
cult; and I have little appearance of success to com 
fort me. The Indians affairs are very difficult : having 
no land to live on but what the Dutch people lay- 
claim to, and threaten to drive them off from ; these 
latter have no regard to the souls of the poor Indians ; 
and by what I can learn, they hate me, because I come 
to preach to them. But that which makes all my diffi 
culties grievous to be borne is, that God hides his 
face from me. 

Thursday, May 19. Spent most of this day in 
close studies ; but was sometimes so distressed that 
I could think of nothing but my spiritual blindness, 
ignorance, pride, and misery. Oh, I have reason to 
make that prayer, " Lord, forgive my sins of youth, 
and former trespasses ! " 

Monday, May 30, he set out on a journey to New 
Jersey, to consult the commissioners that employed 
him about the affairs of his mission : performed his 
journey thither in four days, and arrived at Mr. 
Burr s in Newark on Thursday. In great part of 
his journey he was in the depths of melancholy, 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 83 

under like distresses with those already mentioned. 
On Friday, he rode to Elizabeth-Town ; and on 
Saturday to New York, and from thence on his way 
homewards as far as White-Plains, where he spent 
the Sabbath, and had a considerable degree of divine 
consolation and assistance in the public services. On 
Monday, he rode about sixty miles to New Haven. 
There he attempted a reconciliation with the autho 
rities of the college, and spent this week in visiting 
his friends in those parts. In his journey home 
wards, till Saturday, he enjoyed a comfortable frame 
of mind. On Saturday, in his way from Stockbridge 
to Kaunaumeek, he was lost in the woods, and lay all 
night in the open air: but happily found his way in 
the morning, and came to his Indians on Lord s day, 
June 12, and had greater assistance in preaching 
among them than ever before. 

From this time forward he was the subject of va 
rious frames and exercises of mind ; but it seems, in 
the general, to have been with him much after the 
same manner as it had been hitherto from his first 
coming to Kaunaumeek, till he got into his own house, 
a little hut which he made chiefly with his own hands, 
and which cost him near seven weeks hard labour. 
Great part of this time he was dejected and depressed 
with melancholy, and sometimes extremely so. How 
it was with him in those dark seasons, he himself 
further describes in his diary. 

4 July 2. My soul is, and has for a long time been, 
in a piteous condition, wading through a series of 
sorrows of various kinds. I have been so crushed 
down sometimes with a sense of my meanness and 
infinite unworthiness, that I have been ashamed that 
any, even the meanest of my fellow-creatures, should 

G2 



84 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

so much as spend a thought about me, and have 
even wished, while travelling among the thick brakes, 
that I might drop into everlasting oblivion. In 
this case, sometimes, I have almost resolved never 
again to see any of my acquaintance ; and really 
thought I could not do it and hold up my face ; and 
have longed for the remotest region, for a retreat 
from all my friends, that I might not be seen or 
heard of any more. Sometimes the consideration of 
my ignorance has been a means of my great distress 
and anxiety; and especially my soul has been in 
anguish with fear, shame, and guilt, that ever I had 
preached, or had any thought that way. Sometimes 
my soul has been in distress on feeling some parti 
cular corruptions rise and swell like a mighty tor 
rent, with present violence ; having at the same time 
ten thousand former sins and follies presented to 
view, in all their blackness and aggravations. And 
these attended with such external circumstances as 
mine at present are destitute of most of the conve 
niences of life, and. I may sa} r , of all the pleasures 
of it ; without a friend to communicate any of my 
sorrows to, and sometimes without any place of re 
tirement, where I may unburden my soul before God 
have greatly contributed to my distress. Of late, 
more especially, my great difficulty has been a sort 
of carelessness, a kind of regardless temper of mind, 
whence I have been disposed to indolence and trifling: 
and this temper has constantly been attended with 
guilt and shame ; so that sometimes I have been in 
a kind of horror, to find myself so unlike the blessed 
God, and have thought I grew worse under all my 
trials ; and nothing has cut and wounded my soul 
more than this. Oh, if I am one of God s chosen. 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 85 

as I trust through infinite grace I am, I find, of a 
tnrth, that the righteous are * scarcely saved/ 

These first four months which he passed at Kau- 
naumeek, were thus rendered very painful to him. 
His circumstances were unfavourable to that retire 
ment in which he delighted ; and his natural melan 
choly gained the ascendant over him. 

Reflection on his errors at college, now frequently 
embittered his days. He made, therefore, several 
journeys, during this period, to Newhaven, in the 
hope of effecting a reconciliation with the governors 
of the college, but without success. We have al 
ready stated what passed on this business in the 
September following. 

At the end of July he removed to the little cottage 
which he had been building. Here he spent the 
remaining eight months of this his first year. This 
beloved retreat gave a new turn to his mind. Though 
still deeply exercised in spirit, he was prevailingly 
happy in God, and enjoyed many seasons of refresh 
ment and mercy. 

* July 25. Had little or no resolution for a life of 
holiness ; was ready almost to renounce my hopes of 
living to God. And oh, how dark it looked, to think 
of being unholy for ever! This I could not endure. 
The cry of my soul was that Psal. Ixv. 3. " Iniquities 
prevail against me." But t was in some measure re 
lieved by a comfortable meditation on God s eternity, 
that he never had a beginning, &c. Whence I was 
led to admire his greatness and power in such a man 
ner, that I stood still and praised the Lord for his 
own glories and perfections; for that though I was 
(and even if I should for ever be) an unholy creature, 



86 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

my soul was still comforted to apprehend an eternal, 
infinite, powerful, and holy God. 

4 Tuesday, Aug. 2. Was still labouring to make 
myself more comfortable with regard to my house 
and lodging. Laboured under spiritual anxiety ; it 
seemed to me that I deserved to be turned out of the 
world ; yet I found some comfort in committing my 
cause to God. " It is good for me to be afflicted," 
that I may die wholly to this world, and all that is 
in it. 

* Thursday, Aug. 4. Was enabled to pray much 
during the whole day ; and through divine goodness 
found some intenseness of soul in the duty, as I used 
to do, and some ability to persevere in my supplica 
tions. Had some apprehensions of divine things that 
were engaging, and that gave me some courage and 
resolution. It is good, I find, to persevere in at 
tempts to pray, if I cannot pray with perseverance, 
that is, continue long in my addresses to the divine 
Being. I have generally found, that the more I do 
in secret prayer, the more I have delighted in it, and 
the more I have enjoyed of a spirit of prayer : and fre 
quently have found the contrary, when, by jour 
neying or otherwise, I have been much deprived of 
retirement. A seasonable steady performance of se 
cret duties in their proper hours, and a careful im 
provement of all time, filling up every hour with 
some profitable labour, either of heart, head, or 
hands, are excellent means of spiritual peace and 
boldness before God. " Christ" indeed " is our 
peace, and by him we have boldness of access to 
God;" but a good conscience, void of offence, is an 
excellent preparation for an approach into the divine 
presence. There is a difference between that self- 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 87 

confidence and self-righteous pleasing of ourselves 
with our own duties, attainments, and spiritual en 
joyments, which godly souls sometimes are guilty of; 
and that holy confidence arising from the testimony 
of a good conscience, which good Hezekiah had, 
when he says, " Remember, O Lord, I beseech thee, 
how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a 
perfect heart/ " Then/ says the holy Psalmist, 
" shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all 
thy commandments." Filling up our time with and 
for God, is the way to rise up and lie down in peace. 

The next eight days, he continued for the most 
part in a very comfortable frame, having his mind 
fixed and powerfully engaged in religion. He more 
than once blesses God that he had given him a little 
cottage, where he might live alone, and enjoy a happy 
retirement, free from noise and disturbance, and could 
at any hour of the day lay aside all studies, and spend 
time in lifting up his soul to God for spiritual bless 
ings. 

Saturday, Aug. 13. Was enabled in secret prayer 
to raise my soul to God with desire and delight. It 
was indeed a blessed season to my soul : I found the 
comfort of being a Christian. " I counted the suf 
ferings of the present life not worthy to be compared 
with the glory" of divine enjoyments even in this 
world. All my past sorrows seemed kindly to dis 
appear, and I remembered no more the sorrow for 
joy. I felt exceedingly serious, calm and peaceful, 
and encouraged to press after holiness as long as I 
live, whatever difficulties and trials may be in my 
way. May the Lord always help me so to do. Amen, 
and Amen. 

Monday, Aug. 15. Spent most of the day in la- 



LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

bour, to procure something to keep my horse on in 
the winter. Enjoyed not much sweetness in the 
morning ; was very weak in body through the day, 
and thought this frail tabernacle would soon drop 
into the dust; had some realizing apprehensions of a 
speedy entrance into another world. In this weak 
state of body, I was not a little distressed for want 
of suitable food : had no bread, nor could I get any. 
I am forced to go or send ten or fifteen miles for all 
the bread I eat ; and sometimes it is mouldy and 
sour before I eat it, if I get any considerable quan 
tity. Then, again, I have none for some days to 
gether, for want of an opportunity to send for it, and 
cannot find my horse in the woods to go myself. This 
was my case now : but through divine goodness I had 
some Indian meal, of which I made little cakes, and 
fried them. Yet I felt contented with my circum 
stances, and sweetly resigned to God. In prayer I 
enjoyed great freedom ; and blessed God as much for 
my present circumstances, as if I had been a king; 
and thought I found a disposition to be contented in 
any circumstances. Blessed be the Lord/ 

The rest of this week, he was exceedingly weak in 
body, and much exercised with pain ; and yet obliged 
from day to day to labour hard, to procure fodder for 
his horse ; excepting some part of the time he was so 
very ill, that he was neither able to work nor study. 
But he still speaks of longings after holiness and per 
fect conformity to God; complains of enjoying but 
little of God ; yet says, that little was better to him 
than all the world besides. 

* Lord s-day, Aug. 21. Was much straitened in 
the forenoon exercise: my thoughts seemed to be 
all scattered to the ends of the earth. At noon I 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 89 

fell down before the Lord, and groaned under ray 
vileness, barrenness, deadness, and felt as if I was 
guilty of soul-murder, in speaking to immortal souls 
in such a manner as I had then done. In the after 
noon, God was pleased to give me some assistance, 
and I was enabled to set before my hearers the na 
ture and necessity of true repentance, &c. After 
wards had some small degree of thankfulness. Was 
very ill and full of pain in the evening ; and my soul 
mourned that I had spent so much time to so little 
profit. 

Tuesday, Aug. 23. Studied in the forenoon, and 
enjoyed some freedom. In the afternoon, laboured 
abroad : endeavoured to pray much ; but did not find 
much intenseness of mind. Towards night was very 
weary, and tired of this world of sorrow: the thoughts 
of death and immortality appeared very desirable, 
and even refreshed my soul. Those lines turned in 
my mind with pleasure : 

Come, death, shake hands; 

I ll kiss thy bands ; 
Tis happiness for me to die; 

What, dost thou think, 

That I will shrink ? 
I 11 go to immortality ! 

In evening-prayer, God was pleased to draw near 
my soul, though very sinful and unworthy. I was 
enabled to wrestle with God, and to persevere in 
my requests for grace : I poured out my soul for all 
the world, friends and enemies. 

* Wednesday, Aug. 24. Spent some time in the 
morning in study and prayer. Afterwards, was en 
gaged in some necessary business abroad. Towards 
night, found a little time for some particular studies. 



90 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

I thought, if God should say, " Cease making any 
provision for this life, for you shall in a few days go 
out of time into eternity," my soul would leap for 
joy. Oh that I may both " desire to be dissolved, to 
be with Christ," and likewise, " wait patiently all 
the days of my appointed time till my change come! " 
But alas, I am very unfit for the business and bless 
edness of heaven : Oh for more holiness ! 

* Lord s-day, Aug. 28. Was much perplexed 
with some irreligious Dutchmen. All their discourse 
turned upon the things of the world, which occa 
sioned me no little uneasiness ; what a misery it 
would be to spend an eternity with such men ! Well 
might David say, " I beheld the transgressors, and 
was grieved." But adored be God, heaven is a place 
into which no unclean thing enters. Oh, I long for 
the holiness of that world : Lord ! prepare me for it ! 

The next day he set out on a journey to New 
York. Was rather dejected the first two days of his 
journey; but seems to have enjoyed some degree of 
the sensible presence of God. 

Wednesday, Aug. 31. Rode down to Bethlehem: 
was in a serious and heavenly frame, I hope, when 
I came there. Eternal things engrossed all my 
thoughts, and I longed to be in the world of spirits. 
How happy is it to have all our thoughts swallowed 
up in that world; to feel one s self a serious consid 
erate stranger in this world, diligently seeking a road 
through it ; the best, the surest road to the heavenly 
Jerusalem. 

Thursday, September 1. Rode to Danbury. Was 
more dull and dejected in spirit than yesterday. 
Indeed I always feel comfortably when death and 
the things of another world are present to my view ; 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 91 

whenever my mind is taken off from the things of 
this world, and set on God, my soul is then at rest/ 

He went forward on his journey, and came to New 
York on the next Monday. After tarrying there two 
or three days, he set out from the city towards New 
Haven, intending to be there at the commencement ; 
and on Friday came to Horse-Neck. In the mean 
time, he complains much of dulness, and want of 
fervour in religion : but yet, from time to time, 
speaks of his enjoying spiritual warmth and pleasure 
in conversation with Christian friends, assistance in 
public services, &c. 

1 Lord s-day, Sept. 11. In the afternoon, preached 
from Tit. iii. 8. I think God never helped me more 
in pointing out true religion, and in detecting clearly, 
and tenderly discountenancing, false appearances of 
religion, party zeal, and spiritual pride; as well as a 
confident dogmatical spirit, and its spring, viz. igno 
rance of the heart. In the evening, took much pains 
in private conversation to suppress some confusions 
which I perceived were amongst that people. 

Tuesday, Sept. 13. Rode to New Haven. Was 
sometimes dejected ; not in the best frame. I find, 
though my inward trials are great, and a life of soli 
tude gives them greater advantage to settle, and pe 
netrate to the inmost recesses of the soul ; yet it is 
better to be alone than encumbered with noise and 
tumult. I find it very difficult to maintain any sense 
of divine things, while removing from place to place, 
diverted with new objects and filled with care. A 
settled steady business is best adapted to a life of 
strict religion. 

Wednesday, Sept. 14. This day I ought to have 
taken my degree ; but God sees fit to deny it me. 



92 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

And though I was greatly afraid of being over 
whelmed with perplexity and confusion, when I 
should see my class-mates take theirs ; yet, in the 
very season of it, God enabled me with calmness and 
resignation to say, " The will of the Lord be done." 
Indeed, through divine goodness, I have scarcely felt 
my mind so calm, sedate, and comfortable, for some 
time. I have long feared this season, and expected 
my humility, meekness, patience, and resignation, 
would be much tried ; but found much more pleasure 
and divine comfort than I expected. 

Thursday, Sept. 15. Had some satisfaction in 
hearing the ministers: it is always a comfort to me to 
hear religious and spiritual discourse. Oh! that min 
isters and people were more spiritual and devoted to 
God! 

Tuesday, Sept. 20. Had thoughts of going for 
ward on my journey to my Indians; but to wards night 
was taken with pain in my teeth, and shivering cold, 
and could not possibly recover a comfortable degree 
of warmth the whole night following. I continued 
very full of pain all night : and in the morning had a 
very high fever, and pains almost all over me. I had 
a sense of the divine goodness in appointing this to 
be the place of my sickness, viz. among my friends, 
who were very kind to me. I should probably have 
perished, if I had first got home to my own house in 
the wilderness, where I have none to converse with 
but the poor rude ignorant Indians. Here I saw was 
mercy in the midst of affliction. I continued thus, 
mostly confined to my bed, till Friday night, very 
full of pain ; but through divine goodness not afraid 
of death. Then the extreme folly of those appeared 
to me, who put off their turning to God till a sick- 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 93 

bed. Surely this is not a time proper to prepare for 
eternity. On Friday evening my pains went off 
rather suddenly ; I was exceedingly weak, and almost 
fainted; but was very comfortable the night follow 
ing. These words, Psal. cxviii. 17. I frequently 
revolved in my mind ; and thought we were to prize 
the continuation of life only on this account that 
we may " show forth God s goodness and works of 
grace." 

From this time he gradually recovered ; and on the 
next Tuesday was so well as to be able to go forward 
on his journey homewards ; but was till the Tuesday 
following before he reached Kaunaumeek. Great 
part of this time he seems to have had a very deep 
sense of the vanity and emptiness of all things here 
below, and of the reality, nearness, and vast import 
ance of eternal things. 

* Tuesday, October 4. This day rode home to my 
own house and people. The poor Indians appeared 
very glad of my return. Found my house and all 
things in safety. I presently fell on my knees, and 
blessed God for my safe return, after a long and 
tedious journey, and a season of sickness, in several 
places where I had been, and after I had been sick 
myself. God has renewed his kindness to me, in 
preserving me one journey more. I have taken many 
considerable journeys since this time last year, and 
yet God has never suffered one of my bones to be 
broken, or any distressing calamity to befall me, ex 
cepting the illness I had in my last journey : though 
I have been often exposed to cold and hunger in the 
wilderness, where the comforts of life were not to be 
had : have frequently been lost in the woods, and 
sometimes obliged to ride much of the night ; and 



94 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

once lay out in the woods all night! Blessed be that 
God that has thus preserved me ! 

In his diary for the next eleven days, are great 
complaints of distance from God, spiritual pride, 
corruption, and exceeding vileness. He once says, 
his heart was so oppressed with a sense of his pollution, 
that he could scarcely have the assurance to desire 
that God should not cast him oft for ever. At an 
other time he says, he had so little sense of God, or 
apprehension and relish of his glory and excellency, 
that it made him more disposed to kindness and 
tenderness towards those who are blind and ignorant 
of God, and of things divine and heavenly. 

* Lord s-day, Oct. 16. In the evening, God was 
pleased to give me a feeling sense of my own unwor- 
thiness ; but through divine goodness such as tended 
to draw, rather than drive me from God : it filled me 
with deep solemnity. I retired alone, (having at 
this time a friend with me,) and poured out my soul 
to God with much freedom ; and yet in anguish, to 
find myself so unspeakably sinful and unworthy be 
fore a holy God. Was now much resigned under 
God s dispensations towards me, though my trials 
had been very great. But thought whether I could 
be resigned if God should sufl er the French Indians 
to come upon me, and deprive me of my life, or carry 
me away captive, (though I knew of no special reason, 
then, to propose this trial to myself, more than any 
other ;) and my soul seemed so far to rest and ac 
quiesce in God, that the sting and terror of these 
things seemed in a great measure gone. Presently 
after I came to the Indians, whom I was teaching to 
sing psalm-tunes that evening, I received the follow 
ing letter from Stockbridge, by a messenger sent on 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 95 

the Sabbath on purpose, which made it appear of 
greater importance : 

SIR, 

Just now we received advices from Col. Stod- 
dard, that there is the utmost danger of a rupture 
with Fiance. He has received the same from his 
excellency our governor, ordering him to give notice 
to all the exposed places, that they may secure 
themselves the best they can against any sudden 
invasion. We thought best to send directly to 
Kaunaumeek, that you may take proper measures 
for your safety that dwell there. I am, sir, &c/ 

Upon reading the contents, I thought it came in 
a good season; for my heart seemed fixed OH God, 
and therefore I was not much surprised : but this 
news only made me more serious, and taught me that 
I must not please myself with any of the comforts 
of life which I had been preparing for my support. 
Blessed be God, who gave me any intenseness and 
fervency this evening, 

Friday, Oct. 21. Returned home to Kaunau 
meek : was glad to get alone in my little cottage, 
and to cry to that God who seeth in secret, and is 
present in a wilderness. 

Lord s-day, Oct. 23. In the morning, had a little 
dawn of comfort arising from the hope of seeing 
glorious days in the church of God : was enabled to 
pray for it with some degree of fervency. In the 
forenoon, treated on the glories of heaven ; in the 
afternoon, on the miseries of hell, and the danger of 
going there. Had some freedom and warmth both 
parts of the day ; the people were very attentive. In 
the evening, two or three came to me under serious 



96 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

concern. I was enabled to discourse closely and 
earnestly with them : Oh ! that God would be mer 
ciful to their poor souls ! 

He seems, through the whole of this week, to 
have been greatly concerned to fill up every inch of 
time in the service of God, and to have been most 
diligently employed in study, prayer, and instructing 
the Indians ; and from time to time expresses long 
ings of soul after God, and the advancement of his 
kingdom. 

Monday, Oct. 31. Rode to Kinderhook, about 
fifteen miles from my place. While riding, I felt 
some divine sweetness in the thoughts of being " a 
pillar in the temple of God" in the upper world, and 
being no more deprived of his blessed presence, and 
the sense of his favour, which is better than life. 
My soul was so lifted up to God, that I could pour 
out my desires to him, for more grace and further 
degrees of sanctification, with abundant freedom. I 
longed to be more prepared for that blessedness, with 
which I was then in some measure refreshed. Re 
turned home in the evening, but took a bad cold by 
riding in the night. 

Tuesday, Nov. 1. Was very much disordered 
in body, and sometimes full of pain in my face and 
teeth: was not able to study much, and had but little 
spiritual comfort. Alas, when God has withdrawn, 
all is gone! 

4 Wednesday, Nov. 2. Was still more indisposed 
in body, and in much pain most of the day : had not 
much comfort ; was scarcely able to study at all, and 
still entirely alone in the wilderness. But, blessed 
be the Lord, that I am not exposed in the open air. 
I have a house, and many of the comforts of life to 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 97 

support me. I have learned, in a measure, that all 
good things, relating both to time and eternity, come 
from God. In the evening, had some degree of 
quickening in prayer : I think God gave me some 
sense of his presence. 

Thursday, Nov. 3. Spent this day in secret fast 
ing and prayer, from morning till night. Was 
enabled to wrestle with God in prayer, in a more 
affectionate, fervent, humble, intense, and importu 
nate manner, than I have for many months past. 
Nothing seemed too hard for God to perform ; no 
thing too great for me to expect from him. I had 
for many months entirely lost all hopes of being 
made instrumental in doing any special service for 
God in the world; it has appeared entirely impossi 
ble, that one so vile should be thus employed for 
God. But at this time God was pleased to revive 
this hope. 

4 Friday, Nov. 4. Rode to Kinderhook ; went quite 
to Hudson s River, about twenty miles from my 
house ; performed some business, and returned home 
in the evening to my own house. I had rather ride 
hard, and fatigue myself, to get home, than spend 
the evening and night amongst those that have no 
regard for God/ 

The next two days he was very ill and full of pain, 
probably through his riding in the night, after a 
fatiguing day s journey on Thursday : but yet seems 
to have been diligent in business. 

Thursday, Nov. 10. Spent this day in fasting 
and prayer alone. In the morning, was very dull, 
lifeless, and discouraged. After some time reading 
2 Kings, chap. xix. my soul was moved and affected ; 
especially reading verse 14, and onward. I saw there 
H 



98 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINliRDt 

was no other way for the afflicted children of God to 
take, but to go to God with all their sorrows. Heze- 
kiah, in his great distress, went and spread his com 
plaint before the Lord. I was then enabled to see 
the mighty power of God, and to cry to God affec 
tionately and ardently for his divine power and grace 
to be exercised towards me. Afterwards read the 
story of David s trials, and observed the course he 
took under them, how he strengthened his hands in 
God; whereby my soul was carried out after God, 
enabled to cry to him, and rely upon him, and felt 
strong in the Lord. Was afterwards refreshed, 
observing the blessed temper that was wrought in 
David by his trials : all bitterness and desire of 
revenge seemed wholly taken away; so that he 
mourned for the death of his enemies : 2 Sam. i. 17, 
and iv. 9. Was enabled to bless God, that he had 
given me something of this divine temper, that my 
soul freely forgives, and heartily loves my enemies. 

It appears by his diary for the remainder of this 
week, and for the two following weeks, that great 
part of the time he was very ill and full of pain : and 
yet obliged, through his circumstances, in this ill 
state of body, to undergo great fatigues in labour, 
travelling day and night, and to expose himself in 
stormy and severe seasons. He from time to time 
speaks of outgoings of soul after God ; his heart 
strengthened in God ; seasons of divine sweetness 
and comfort ; his heart affected with gratitude for 
mercies, &c. And yet there are many complaints of 
lifelessness, weakness of grace, distance from God, 
and great unprofitableness* Still there appears a 
constant care, from day to day, not to lose time, but 
to improve it all for God. 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 99 

* Lord s-day, Nov. 27. In the evening was greatly 
affected in reading an account of the very joyful 
death of a pious gentleman, which seemed to in 
vigorate my soul in God s ways. I felt courageously 
engaged to pursue a life of holiness and self-denial 
as long as I live, and poured out my soul to God for 
his help and assistance. 

* Tuesday, Nov. 29. Began to study the Indian 
tongue with Mr. Sergeant at Stockbridge. Was per 
plexed for want of more retirement. I love to 
live alone in my own little cottage, where I can spend 
much time in prayer. 

Wednesday, Nov. 30. Pursued my study of the 
Indian tongue; but was very weak and disordered in 
tody, and troubled in mind at the barrenness of the 
day, that I had done so little for God. I had some 
enlargement in prayer at night. Oh, a barn, or stable, 
hedge, or any other place, is truly desirable, if God 
is there ! Sometimes, of late, my hopes of Zion s 
prosperity are more raised than they were in the 
summer past. My soul seems to confide in God, 
that he will yet " show forth his salvation" to his 
people, and make Zion " the joy of the whole earth." 
Oh, how excellent is the loving-kindness of the 
Lord ! My soul sometimes inwardly exults at the 
lively thoughts of what God has already done for his 
church, and what mine eyes have seen of the salva 
tion of God. It is sweet to hear nothing but spiritual 
discourse from God s children; and sinners inquiring 
the way to Zion, saying. What shall we do? Oh, 
that I may see more of this blessed work ! 

Monday, Dec. 5. Rode to Stockbridge. Was 
nearly overdone with the extreme cold. Had some 
refreshing meditations by the way ; but was barren, 
H 2 



100 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

wandering, and lifeless, much of the day. Thus my 
days roll away, with but little done for God: and this 
is my burden. 

Wednesday, Dec. 7. Spent the evening in per 
plexity, with a kind of guilty indolence. When I 
have no heart or resolution for God, and the duties 
incumbent on me, I feel guilty of negligence and 
misimprovement of time. Certainly I ought to be 
engaged in my work and business, to the utmost ex 
tent of my strength and ability. 

The next fourteen days, he appears to have been 
continually in deep concern about the improvement 
of precious time ; and there are many expressions 
of grief that he improved time no better ; such as, 
Oh what misery do I feel when my thoughts rove 
after vanity ! I should be happy if always engaged 
for God ! Oh wretched man that I am ! He speaks 
of his being pained with a sense of his barrenness, 
perplexed with his wanderings, longing for deliver 
ance from the burden of sin, mourning that time passed 
away, and so little was done for God. On Tuesday, 
December 20, he speaks of his being visited at Kau- 
naumeek by some under spiritual concern. 

Thursday, Dec. 22. Spent this day alone in fast 
ing and prayer, and reading in God s word the exer 
cises and deliverances of God s children. Had, I 
trust, some exercise of faith, and realizing apprehen 
sion of divine power, grace, and holiness ; and also 
of the unchangeableness of God, that he is the same 
as he was when he delivered his saints of old out 
of great tribulation. My soul was at sundry times 
enlarged for God s church and people. Oh that 
Zion might become the " joy of the whole earth ! " 
It is better to wait upon God with patience, than to 



PIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 101 

put confidence in any thing in this world. " My 
soul, wait thou on the Lord ; from him cometh thy 
salvation." 

* Lord s day, Dec. 25. Prayed much in the morn 
ing, with a feeling sense of my own spiritual weak 
ness and insufficiency for any duty. God gave me 
some assistance in preaching to the Indians, espe 
cially in the afternoon, when I was enabled to speak 
with uncommon plainness, freedom, and earnestness. 
Blessed be God for any assistance granted to one so 
unworthy. Afterwards felt some thankfulness, but 
still sensible of barrenness. Spent some time in the 
evening with one or two persons under spiritual con 
cern, and exhorting others to their duty, &c. 

Wednesday, Dec. 28. Rode about six miles to the 
ordination of Mr. Hopkins. During the solemnity 
I was somewhat affected with a sense of the great 
ness and importance of the work of a minister of 
Christ. Afterwards was grieved to see the vanity of 
the multitude. In the evening, spent a little time 
with some Christian friends, with some degree of 
satisfaction ; but most of the time I had rather have 
been alone. 

Thursday, Dec. 29. Spent the day chiefly in 
conversing with friends ; yet enjoyed little satisfac 
tion, because I could find but few disposed to con 
verse on divine and heavenly things. Alas! what are 
things of this world, to afford satisfaction to the 
soul ! Near night returned to Stockbridge; in secret, 
blessed God for retirement, and that I am not always 
exposed to the company and conversation of the 
world. Oh that I could live in the secret of God s 



presence 



Lord s-day, January 1, 1743-4. In the morning. 



102 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

had some small degree of assistance in prayer. Saw 
myself so vile and unworthy, that I could not look 
my people in the face when I came to preach. Oh, 
my meanness, folly, ignorance, and inward pollution! 
In the evening had a little assistance in prayer, so 
that the duty was delightsome, rather than burden 
some. Reflected on the goodness of God to me in 
the past year. Of a truth God has been kind and 
gracious to me, though he has caused me to pass 
through many sorrows ; he has provided for me boun 
tifully, so that I have been enabled, in about fifteen 
months past, to bestow on charitable uses about a hun 
dred pounds in New England money, that I can now 
remember. Blessed be the Lord, who has so far used 
me as his steward, to distribute a portion of his goods. 
May I always remember, that all I have comes from 
him. Blessed be the Lord, who has carried me 
through all the toils, fatigues, and hardships of the 
year past, as well as the spiritual sorrows and con 
flicts that have attended it. Oh that I could begin 
this year with God, and spend the whole of it to his 
glory, either in life or death ! 

Tuesday, Jan. 3. Was employed much of the day 
in writing ; and spent some time in other necessary 
employment. My time passes away so swiftly that I 
am astonished when I reflect on it, and see how little 
I do in it. My state of solitude does not make the 
hours hang heavy upon my hands. Oh what reason 
of thankfulness have I on account of this retirement! 
I find that I do not, and it seems I cannot, lead a 
Christian life when I am abroad, and cannot spend 
time in devotion, Christian conversation, and serious 
meditation, as I should do. Those weeks that I am 
obliged now to be from home, in order to learn the 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 103 

Indian tongue, are mostly spent in perplexity and 
barrenness, without much relish of divine things; 
and I feel myself a stranger to the throne of grace, 
for want of more frequent and continued retirement. 
When I return home, and give myself to meditation, 
prayer, and fasting, a new scene opens to me ; and 
my soul longs for mortification, self-denial, humility, 
and divorcement from all the things of the world. 
This evening my heart was somewhat warm and fer 
vent in prayer and meditation, so that I was loath to 
indulge sleep. Continued in those duties till about 
midnight. 

* Friday, Jan. 6. Feeling and considering my ex 
treme weakness and want of grace, the pollution of 
my soul, and danger of temptations on every side, I 
set apart this day for fasting and prayer, neither eat 
ing nor drinking from evening to evening, beseeching 
God to have mercy on me ; and my soul intensely 
longed that the dreadful spots and stains of sin might 
be washed away. Saw something of the power and 
all-sufficiency of God. My soul seemed to rest on his 
power and grace ; longed for resignation to his will, 
and mortification to all things here below. My mind 
was greatly fixed on divine things; my resolutions 
for a life of mortification, continual watchfulness, 
self-denial, seriousness, and devotion to God, were 
strong and fixed ; my desires ardent and intense ; 
my conscience tender, and afraid of every appearance 
of evil. My soul grieved at the remembrance of past 
levity, and want of resolution for God. I solemnly 
renewed the dedication of myself to him, and longed 
for grace to enable me always to keep covenant with 
him. Time appeared very short, eternity near; and 
a great name, either in or after life, together with all 



104 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

earthly pleasures and profits, but an empty bubble, a 
deluding- dream. 

Saturday, Jan. 7. Spent this day in seriousness, 
with stedfast resolutions for God and a life of mor 
tification. Studied closely, till I felt my bodily 
strength fail. Felt some degree of resignation to 
God, with an acquiescence in his dispensations; 
was grieved that I could do so little for God before 
my bodily strength failed. Spent the time in reading, 
meditation, and prayer, till the evening was far spent: 
was grieved to think that I could not " watch unto 
prayer " the whole night. But, blessed be God, 
heaven is a place of continual and incessant devo 
tion, though earth is dull. 

Saturday, Jan. 14. This morning enjoyed a most 
solemn season in prayer : my soul seemed enlarged, 
and assisted to pour out itself to God for grace, and 
for every blessing needed for myself, my dear Chris 
tian friends, and for the church of God ; and was so 
enabled to see him who was invisible, that my soul 
rested upon him for the performance of every thing I 
asked agreeable to his will. It was then my happiness 
to " continue instant in prayer," and was enabled to 
continue in it for near an hour. My soul was then 
" strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." 
Longed exceedingly for angelic holiness and purity, 
and to have my thoughts at all times employed in 
divine and heavenly things. 

The next day he speaks of some glimpses he had 
of the divine glories, and of his being enabled to 
maintain his resolutions in some measure ; but com 
plains that he could not draw near to God : seems to 
be filled with trembling fears lest he should return to 
a life of vanity, to please himself with some of the 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 105 

enjoyments of this lower world ; and speaks of his 
being much troubled, and feeling guilty, that he 
should address immortal souls with no more ardency 
and desire for their salvation. On Monday he rode 
down to Stockbridge, was distressed with the extreme 
cold ; yet his mind was in a devout and solemn frame 
during his journey. The four next days he was very 
ill, probably from his suffering from the cold in his 
journey ; yet he says he spent the time in a more 
solemn manner than he expected. On Friday 
evening he rode down and visited Mr. Hopkins ; 
and on Saturday rode eighteen miles to Salisbury, 
where he kept the Sabbath, and enjoyed consider 
able degrees of God s gracious presence, assistance 
in duty, and divine comfort arid refreshment, long 
ing to give himself wholly to God, to be his for 
ever. 

Tuesday, Jan. 24. Near noon, rode over to Ca 
naan. In the e\ening was unexpectedly visited by 
a considerable number of people, with whom I was 
enabled to converse profitably of divine things. Took 
pains to describe the difference between a regular 
and irregular self-love : the one consisting w r ith 
supreme love to God, the other not ; the former 
uniting God s glory and the soul s happiness, that 
they become one common interest, but the latter dis 
joining and separating God s glory and man s hap 
piness ; seeking the latter with a neglect of the former. 
Illustrated this by that genuine love that is found 
between the sexes ; which is diverse from that which 
is wrought up by rational arguments only, or the 
hope of self-interest. Love is a pleasing passion ; it 
affords pleasure to the mind where it is : yet genuine 
love is not, nor can be placed upon any object, with 



106 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

the design of being pleased with the feeling of it in a 
man s own breast. 

On Wednesday he rode to Sheffield ; the next 
day to Stockbridge ; and on Saturday, home to Kau- 
naumeek, though the season was cold and stormy. 
The journey was followed with illness and pain. It 
appears by his diary that he spent the time, while 
riding, in profitable meditations, and in lifting up his 
heart to God ; and he speaks of assistance, comfort, 
and refreshment, though still complaining of barren 
ness. His diary for the five next days is full of bitter 
complaints ; he expresses himself as full of shame and 
self-loathing for his lifeless temper and sluggishness 
of spirit, and as being in perplexity and extremity, 
appearing to himself unspeakably vile and guilty 
before God, on account of some inward workings of 
corruption. 

* Friday, February 3. Enjoyed more freedom and 
comfort than of late ; was intensely engaged in medi 
tation upon the different whispers of the various 
powers and affections of a pious mind, exercised with 
a great variety of dispensations. 1 I could not but 
write, as well as meditate, on so entertaining a sub 
ject. I hope the Lord gave me some true sense of 
divine things this day : but alas, how great and pres 
sing are the remains of indwelling corruption ! I 
am now more sensible than ever that God alone is 
" the author and finisher of faith," that is, that the 
whole and every part of sanctification, and every 
good word, work, or thought, that is found in me, is 
the effect of his power and grace ; that " without him 
I can do nothing," in the strictest sense, and that 

J See Appendix. 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 107 

" he works in us to will and to do of his own good 
pleasure," and from no other motive. Oh how 
amazing it is that people can talk so much about 
men s power and goodness ; when, if God did not 
hold us back every moment, we should be devils 
incarnate ! This my bitter experience, for several 
days past, has abundantly taught me concerning 
myself. 

* Lord s-day, Feb. 5. Was enabled in some mea 
sure to rest and confide in God ; to prize his presence, 
and even some glimpses of the light of his counte 
nance, above my necessary food. After the season of 
weakness, temptation, and desertion I endured last 
week, I thought myself to be somewhat like Sampson 
when his locks began to grow again. Was enabled 
to preach with more life and warmth than I have done 
for some weeks past. 

Tuesday, Feb. 7. Was much engaged in medi 
tating on the powers and affections of the godly soul, 
in pursuing its beloved object. Wrote something 
of the native language of spiritual sensation, in its 
soft and tender whispers : declaring that it now feels 
and " tastes that the Lord is gracious ;?" that he is 
the supreme good, the only soul-satisfying happiness ; 
that he is a complete, sufficient, and almighty por 
tion, saying, " Whom have I in heaven but thee ; 
and there is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee." I feel it is heaven to please him, and to be 
just what he would have me to be. Oh that my soul 
were holy as he is holy; oh that it were pure even as 
Christ is pure ; and perfect as my Father in heaven 
is perfect ! These, I feel, are the sweetest commands 
in God s book, comprising all others. And shall 
I break them? Must I break them? Am I under 



108 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

such a necessity as long; as I live in the world ? Wo, 
wo is me that I am a sinner ; because I now grieve 
and offend this blessed God, who is infinite in good 
ness and grace ! Oh, if he would punish me for my 
sins, it would not wound my heart so deep to offend 
him ; but though I sin continually, yet he continually 
repeats his kindness to me ! Methinks I could bear 
any suffering ; but how can 1 bear to grieve and dis 
honour this blessed God! How shall I yield ten 
thousand times more honour to him ? What shall I 
do to glorify and worship this best of beings? Oh that 
I could consecrate my self, soul and body, to his service 
for ever ; could give up myself to him, so as never 
more to attempt to be my own, or to have any will 
or affections that are not perfectly conformed to his ! 
But alas ! I find I cannot be thus entirely devoted to 
God ! I cannot live, and not sin. Oh ye angels, do 
ye glorify him incessantly ; and if possible prostrate 
yourselves lower before the blessed King of heaven. 
I long to bear a part with you ; and, were it possible, 
to help you. But when we have done all we can, 
to all eternity, we shall not be able to offer the ten 
thousandth part of the homage that the glorious God 
deserves/ 

Thursday, Feb. 9. Observed this day as a day of 
fasting and prayer, entreating of God to bestow upon 
me his blessing and grace ; especially to enable me to 
live a life of mortification to the world, as well as of 
resignation and patience. 

Friday, Feb. 10. Was exceedingly oppressed 
most of the>day, with shame, grief, and fear, under a 
sense of my past folly, as well as present barrenness 
and coldness. When God sets before me my past 
misconduct, especially any instances of misguided 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 109 

zeal, it sinks my soul into shame and confusion, and 
makes me afraid of a shaking leaf. In the evening; 
I was unexpectedly refreshed in pouring out my com 
plaint to God ; my shame and fear were turned into 
sweet composure and acquiescence in God. 

Monday, Feb. 13. Was calm and sedate in 
morning-devotions ; and my soul seemed to rely on 
God. Rode to Stockbridge, and enjoyed some com 
fortable meditations by the way ; had a more refresh 
ing taste and relish of heavenly blessedness than I 
have enjoyed for many months past. I have at times, 
of late, felt as ardent desires after holiness as ever, 
though not so much sensible enjoyment. My soul 
longed to leave earth, and bear a part with angels in 
their celestial employments. I said " Lord, it is 
good to be here ; " and it appeared to me better to 
die, than to lose the relish of these heavenly de 
lights. 

A sense of divine things seemed to continue with 
him, in a lesser degree, through the next day. On 
Wednesday he was, by some discourse that he heard, 
cast into a melancholy gloom, which operated much 
in the same manner as his melancholy had formerly 
done when he came first to Kaunaumeek ; the effects 
of which seemed to continue in some degree the six 
following days. 

* Wednesday, Feb. 22. In the morning, had as 
clear a sense of the exceeding pollution of my nature 
as ever I remember to have had in my life. I then 
appeared to myself inexpressibly loathsome and 
defiled ; sins of childhood, of early youth, and such 
follies as I had not thought of for years together, 
came now fresh to my view, as if committed but 
yesterday, and appeared in the most odious colours. 



110 LIFE OF DAVID BRAIN ERD : 

They appeared more in number than the hairs of my 
head ; yea, they went over me as a heavy burden. 
In the evening, the hand of faith seemed to be 
strengthened in God; my soul rested and acquiesced 
in him. I was supported under my burdens, by 
reading the 125th Psalm; found that it was sweet 
and comfortable to lean on God. 

* Friday, Feb. 24. Was exceedingly restless and 
perplexed under a sense of the misimprovement of 
time ; mourned to see time pass away. I could not 
compose my mind to any profitable studies, by rea 
son of this pressure. And the reason, I judge, why 
I am not allowed to study a great part of my time, 
is, because I am endeavouring to lay in such a stock 
of knowledge as shall nourish self-sufficiency. I 
know it to be my indispensable duty to study, and 
qualify myself in the best manner I can for public 
service : but this is my misery, I naturally study and 
prepare, that I may " consume it upon my lusts" of 
pride and self-confidence. 

He continued in much the same frame of uneasi 
ness at the misimprovement of time, and pressure of 
spirit under a sense of vileness and unprofitableness, 
for the six following days ; excepting some intervals 
of calmness and composure, in resignation to, and 
confidence in God. 

Friday, March 2. Was most of the day employed 
in writing on a divine subject. Was frequent in 
prayer, and enjoyed some small degree of assistance. 
But in the evening, God was pleased to grant me a 
divine sweetness in prayer; especially in the duty of 
intercession. I think I never felt so much kindness 
and love to those who I have reason to believe are 
my enemies, (though at that time I found such a 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. Ill 

disposition to think the best of all, that I scarce knew 
how to think that any such thing as enmity and hatred 
lodged in any soul ; it seemed as if all the world must 
needs be friends ;) and never prayed with more free 
dom and delight for myself, or dearest friends, than I 
did now for my enemies. 

Saturday, March 3. In the morning, spent an 
hour in prayer, with great intenseness and freedom, 
and with the most soft and tender affection towards 
mankind. I longed that those who bear me ill-will, 
might be eternally happy: it seemed refreshing to 
think of meeting them in heaven, how much soever 
they had injured me on earth : had no disposition to 
insist upon any confession from them in order to re 
conciliation, nor of the exercise of love and kindness 
from them. Oh it is an emblem of heaven itself, to 
love all the world with a love of forgiveness and be 
nevolence; to feel our souls sedate, mild, and meek; 
to be void of all evil surmisings and suspicions, and 
scarce able to think evil of any man upon any occa 
sion; to find our hearts simple, open, and free, to 
those that look upon us with a different eye. Prayer 
was so sweet an exercise to me, that I knew not how 
to cease, lest I should lose the spirit of prayer. Felt 
no disposition to eat or drink, for the sake of the 
pleasure of it, but only to support my nature, and fit 
me for divine service. Could not be content without 
a very particular mention of a great number of dear 
friends at the throne of grace; as also the particular 
circumstances of many so far as they were known. 

Lord s-day, March 4. In the morning, enjoyed 
the same intenseness in prayer as yesterday, though 
not in so great a degree: felt the same spirit of love, 
universal benevolence, forgiveness, humility, resig- 



112 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

nation, mortification to the world, and composure of 
mind, as then. 

Saturday, March 10. In the morning, felt ex 
ceedingly dead to the world and all its enjoyments. 
Thought I was ready and willing to give up life and 
all its comforts, as soon as called to it; and yet I had 
then as much comfort of life as almost ever I had. 
Life itself now appeared but an empty bubble ; the 
riches, honours, and common enjoyments of life, ap 
peared extremely tasteless. I longed to be perpetu 
ally and entirely crucified to all things here below, 
by the cross of Christ. My soul was sweetly resigned 
to God s disposal of me, in every respect; and I saw 
that nothing had happened to me but what was best. 
I confided in God, that he would " never leave me," 
though I should " walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death." It was then my meat and drink 
to be holy, to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord. 
And I thought that I then enjoyed such a heaven, 
as far exceeded the most sublime conceptions of an 
unregenerate soul ; and even unspeakably beyond 
what I myself could conceive of at another time. I 
did not wonder that Peter said, " Lord, it is good 
to be here," when thus refreshed with divine glories. 
My soul was full of love and tenderness in the duty 
of intercession ; especially felt a most sweet ail ection 
to some precious godly ministers of my acquaintance. 
Prayed earnestly for dear Christians, and for those 
I have reason to fear are my enemies. I could not 
have spoken a word of bitterness, or entertained a 
bitter thought, against the vilest man living. 

* Lord s-day, March 11. My soul was in some 
measure strengthened in God in morning devotion ; 
so that I was released from trembling, fear, and dis- 



FIRST YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 113 

tress. Preached from the parable of the sower, 
Matt. xiii. Enjoyed some assistance both parts of 
the day; had some freedom, affection, and fervency in 
addressing my poor people; longed that God should 
take hold of their hearts, and make them spiritually 
alive. Indeed I had so much to say to them, that I 
knew not how to leave off speaking. 

Monday, March 12. In the morning was in a 
devout, tender, and loving frame of mind; enabled to 
cry to God, I hope, with a child-like spirit, with im 
portunity, resignation, and composure of mind. My 
spirit was fuli of quietness and love to mankind, and 
longed that peace should reign on the earth ; was 
grieved at the very thoughts of a fiery and intem 
perate zeal in religion ; mourned over past follies in 
that respect, and my soul confided in God for strength 
and grace sufficient for my future work and trials. 
Spent the day chiefly in hard labour, making prepa 
ration for my intended journey. 

* Thursday, March 15. Rode down to Sheffield. 
Here I met a messenger from East Hampton on Long 
Island, who, by the unanimous vote of that large 
town, was sent to invite me thither, in order to settle 
with that people, where I had before been frequently 
invited. Seemed more at a loss what was my duty 
than before. When I heard of the great difficulties 
of that place, I was much concerned and grieved, 
and felt some desires to comply with their request; 
but knew not what to do. Endeavoured to commit 
the case to God. 

Lord s-day, March 18. At Salisbury. Was ex 
ceeding weak and faint, so that I could scarcely walk ; 
but God was pleased to afl ord me much freedom, 
clearness, and fervency in preaching. I have not had 



114 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

the like assistance in preaching to sinners for many 
months past. Here another messenger met me, and 
informed me of the vote of another congregation, to 
give me an invitation to come among them upon 
probation for settlement. Was greatly exercised in 
mind with a weight and burden of care. Oh that 
God would " send forth faithful labourers into his 
harvest!" 

Two letters which Brainerd wrote to his brothers, 
about this time, will further manifest his devoted- 
ness to his great work, and his tender anxiety for 
the real happiness and the usefulness of his dearest 
relatives. The first is addressed to his brother 
John, at Yale College. 

Kaunaumeek, Dec. 27, 1743. 
DEAR BROTHER, 

I long to see you, and to know how you fare in your 
journey through a world of inexpressible sorrow, 
where we are compassed about with vanity, confu 
sion, and vexation of spirit. I am more weary of 
life, I think, than ever I was. The whole world 
appears to me like a vast empty space, whence no 
thing desirable, or at least satisfactory, can possibly 
be derived ; and I long daily to die more and more 
to it, even though I obtain not that comfort from 
spiritual things which I earnestly desire. Worldly 
pleasures, such as flow from greatness, riches, ho 
nours, and sensual gratifications, are infinitely worse 
than none. May the Lord deliver us more and more 
from these vanities ! 

4 I have spent most of the fall and winter hitherto 
in a very weak state of body ; and sometimes under 
pressing inward trials and spiritual conflicts : but, 



LETTERS. 115 

having obtained help from God, I continue to this 
day, and am now something better in health than I 
was some time ago. 

I find nothing more conducive to a life of Chris 
tianity, than a diligent, industrious, and faithful im 
provement of precious time. Let us then faithfully 
perform that business which is allotted to us by 
Divine Providence, to the utmost of our bodily 
strength and mental vigour. Why should we sink, 
and grow discouraged, with any particular trials and 
perplexities which we are called to encounter in the 
world? Death and eternity are just before us. A 
few tossing billows more will waft us into the world 
of spirits, and we hope, through infinite grace, into 
endless pleasures, and uninterrupted rest and peace. 
" Let us then run with patience the race set before 
us." Heb. xii. 1, 2. And, oh ! that we could depend 
more upon the living God, and less upon our own 
wisdom and strength ! 

Dear brother, may the God of all grace comfort 
your heart, and succeed your studies, and make you 
an instrument of good to his people in your day. 
This is the constant prayer of 

Your affectionate brother, 

* DAVID BRAINERD/ 

The second letter was addressed to his brother 
Israel, at Haddam. 

Kaunaumeek, Jan. 28, 1743-4. 
* MY DEAR BROTHER, 

There is but one thing that deserves our highest 
care and most ardent desires ; and that is, that we 
may answer the great end for which we were made 

I 2 



116 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

to glorify that God who has given us our being and all 
our comforts, and to do all the good we possibly can 
to our fellow-men while we live in the world : and, 
verily, life is not worth the having, if it be not im 
proved for these noble ends. Yet, alas ! how little 
is this thought of among mankind ! Most men seem 
to live to themselves, without much regard to the 
glory of God, or the good of their fellow-creatures; 
they earnestly desire and eagerly pursue the riches, 
the honours, and the pleasures of life, as if they 
really supposed that wealth or greatness, or merri 
ment, could make their immortal souls happy. But, 
alas ! what false and delusive dreams are these ! 
And how miserable will those ere long be, who are 
not awaked out of them, to see that all their happi 
ness consists in living to God, and becoming holy 
as He is holy ! 

Oh ! may you never fall into the tempers and 
vanities, the sensuality and folly, of the present 
world ! You are, by divine Providence, left, as it 
were, alone in a wide world, to act for yourself: 
be sure, then, to remember that it is a world of 
temptation. You have no earthly parents to be the 
means of forming your youth to piety and virtue, by 
their pious examples and seasonable counsels ; let 
this, then, excite you with greater diligence and 
fervency, to look up to the Father of Mercies for grace 
and assistance against all the vanities of the world. 

And, if you would glorify God, answer his just 
expectations from you, and make your own soul 
happy in this and the coming world, observe these 
few directions ; though not from a father, yet from a 
brother who is touched with a tender concern for 
your present and future happiness. And, 



LETTERS. 11? 

First, Resolve upon, and daily endeavour to 
practise a life of seriousness and strict sobriety. 
The wise man will tell you the great advantage of 
such a life. Eccl. vii. 3. Think of the life of Christ; 
and, when you can find that he was pleased with 
jesting and vain merriment, then you may indulge 
in it yourself. 

Again, he careful to make a good improvement 
of precious time. When you cease from labour, fill 
up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer ; 
and, while your hands are labouring, let your heart 
be employed, as much as possible, in divine 
thoughts. 

Further, take heed that you faithfully perform 
the business you have to do in the world from a 
regard to the commands of God, and not from an 
ambitious desire of being esteemed better than 
others. We should always look upon ourselves as 
God s servants, placed in God s world, to do his 
work : and, accordingly, labour faithfully for him ; 
not with a design to grow rich and great, but to 
glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can. 

Again, never expect any satisfaction or happi 
ness from the world. If you hope for happiness in 
the world, hope for it from God, and not from the 
world. Do not think that you shall be more happy 
if you live to such-or-such a state of life, if you live 
to be for yourself, to be settled in the world, or if 
you should gain an estate in it ; but look upon it 
that you shall then be happy, when you can be 
constantly employed for God and not for yourself; 
and desire to live in the world, only to do and suffer 
what God allots to you. When you can be of the 
spirit and temper of angels, who are willing to come 



118 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

down to this lower world to perform what God com 
mands them, though their desires are heavenly, and 
not in the least set on earthly things, then you 
will be of that temper that you ought to have. Col. 
iii. 2. 

Once more, never think that you can live to God 
by your own power or strength ; but always look to, 
and rely on him for assistance, yea, for all strength 
and grace. There is no greater truth than this, that 
we can do nothing of ourselves. John xv. 5, and 
2 Cor. iii. 5. Yet nothing but our own experience 
can effectually teach it to us. Indeed we are a long 
time in learning that all our strength and salvation 
is in God. This is a life that I think no unconverted 
man can possibly live : and yet it is a life that every 
godly soul is pressing after, in some good measure. 
Let it be, then, your great concern thus to devote 
yourself and your all to God. 

I long to see you, that I may say much more to 
you than I now can, for your benefit and welfare ; 
but I desire to commit you to, and leave you with, 
the Father of Mercies and God of all grace ; praying 
that you may be directed safely through an evil 
world to God s heavenly kingdom, 

I am your affectionate loving brother, 

DAVID BRAINERD. 

During this first year, Brainerd encountered, as 
we have seen, many hardships ; though frequently 
ill and full of pain, and little able to meet difficulties 
of the kind to which he was exposed. Often he was 
fatigued by labour, and by travelling day and night, 
and in stormy and bitter seasons. The extreme cold 
to which he was occasionally exposed in his journies, 



MEASURE OF SUCCESS. 119 

produced severe indisposition. Sometimes he was 
obliged, from day to day, to labour hard to procure 
fodder for his horse : at others, he was so ill, that he 
was able neither to work nor to study. 

All this while he was most diligent in occupying 
every portion of his time in the service of God. 
Though he frequently complains of his unprofitable 
ness, yet it is manifest that there were no idle days 
or hours with him. My days roll away, he com 
plained, with but little done for God : and this is 
my burden. 

A few months before his removal from Kaunau- 
meek, he began to study the Indian tongue. The 
correspondents directed him, for that purpose, to 
spend much time that winter with Mr. Sergeant. 
This obliged him very often to ride backwards and 
forwards, twenty miles, through the uninhabited 
woods which lay between Stockbridge and Kaunau- 
meek, by which he was many times exposed to ex 
treme hardship in the inclement seasons of the winter. 

The Indians at Kaunaumeek being but few in 
number; and Brainerd having prevailed upon them, 
after labouring a year among them, to remove to 
Stockbridge, where they might be under the care 
and ministry of Mr. Sergeant ; he thought he might 
promote the kingdom of his Lord more effectually 
elsewhere. His own account of this matter follows : 

* When I had spent nearly a year with the Indians, 
I informed them that I expected to leave them in the 
spring then approaching ; and to be sent to another 
tribe of Indians, at a great distance from them : upon 
hearing of which they appeared very sorrowful, and 
some of them endeavoured to persuade me to con 
tinue with them ; urging, that they had now heard so 



120 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

much about their souls concerns, that they could 
never more be willing to live as they had done, with 
out a minister, and further instructions in the way to 
heaven. Whereupon I told them, they ought to be 
willing that others also should hear about their souls 
concerns, seeing those needed it as much as them 
selves. Yet further to dissuade me from going, they 
added, that those Indians to whom I had thoughts 
of going (as they had heard) were not willing to 
become Christians, as they were, and therefore urged 
me to tarry with them. I then told them, that they 
might receive further instruction without me ; but 
the Indians, to whom I expected to be sent, could 
not, there being no minister near to teach them. 
And hereupon I advised them, in case I should leave 
them, and be sent elsewhere, to remove to Stock- 
bridge, where they might be supplied with land and 
conveniences of living, and be under the ministry 
of Mr. Sergeant: which advice and proposal they 
seemed disposed to comply with/ 

In the latter part of March, he took a journey to 
New Jersey, to lay his wishes before the correspon 
dents ; who determined that he should, without delay, 
leave Kaunaumeek, and proceed to his first-appointed 
station among the Delaware Indians. 

Before he proceeded on this journey to New Jersey, 
he preached to his poor Indians from the parable of 
the Sower ; and felt, as he expressed himself, that he 
had so much to say to them, that he knew not how 
to leave off speaking. He had taken great pains 
with them, and had taught them with much discre 
tion. This was his last Sabbath and his last sermon 
among them. 

While on this journey, Brainerd received very 



MEASURE OF SUCCESS. 121 

urgent invitations to settle as minister over different 
congregations. It was not, therefore, from necessity, 
or for want of opportunity of establishing himself as 
a minister among the English, notwithstanding the 
disgrace under which he bad been laid at college, 
that he determined to forsake all the comforts of the 
English settlements, to encounter the difficulties and 
self-denials of an Indian mission. At his first stage 
from Kaunaumeek, a messenger met him from East 
Hampton on Long Island, the most eligible station 
in the whole island, conveying the unanimous wish 
of the inhabitants of that large town, that he would 
settle among them as their pastor: for a longtime 
they continued to urge their request, and were with 
difficulty brought to give up the hope of obtaining 
him. A few days afterward, another messenger met 
him, with a similar invitation from Millington, near 
his birth-place, and in the midst of his friends. 
These invitations lay with some burden on his mind ; 
but he committed himself to God, and went on his way. 

Nor did Brainerd choose the occupation of a mis 
sionary to the Indians, rather than accept of those 
invitations which were pressed on him, because he 
was unacquainted with the difficulties and sufferings 
of such a service; for he had passed through, as we 
have seen, a course of outward and inward sorrows, 
which were now fresh in his mind. 

We shall close this account of Brainerd s first year 
of service, by his own statement of the method and 
success of his labours among the Indians, addressed 
to the Rev. E. Pemberton. 

As to the state or temper of mind in which I found 
these Indians at my first coming among them, I may 



122 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

justly say, it was much more desirable and encou 
raging than what appears among those who are 
altogether uncultivated. Their heathenish jealousies 
and suspicions, and their prejudices against Chris 
tianity had been, in a great measure, removed by 
the long-continued labours of Mr. Sergeant among 
a number of the same tribe, in a place little more 
than twenty miles distant : by which means these 
were, in some good degree, prepared to enter 
tain the truths of Christianity, instead of objecting 
against them, and appearing almost entirely untrac- 
table, as is common with them at first, and as per 
haps these appeared a few years ago. Some of them 
at least appeared very well-disposed toward religion, 
and seemed much pleased with my coming among 
them. 

* In my labours with them, in order " to turn them 
from darkness to light," I studied what was most 
plain and easy, and best suited to their capacities ; 
and endeavoured to set before them, from time to 
time, as they were able to receive them, the most 
important and necessary truths of Christianity ; such 
as more immediately concerned their speedy conver 
sion to God, and such as I judged had the greatest 
tendency (as means) to effect that glorious change in 
them. 

But, especially, I made it the scope and drift of 
all my labours, to lead them into a thorough acquaint 
ance with these two things : 

First, The sinfulness and misery of the state they 
were naturally in, the evil of their hearts, the pollu 
tion of their natures, the heavy guilt they were under, 
and their exposedness to everlasting punishment ; as 
also their utter inability to save themselves, either 



MEASURE OF SUCCESS. 123 

from their sins, or from those miseries which are the 
just punishment of them ; and their unworthiness of 
any mercy at the hand of God, on account of any 
thing they themselves could do to procure his favour ; 
and consequently their extreme need of Christ to 
save them. 

And, secondly, I frequently endeavoured to open 
to them the fulness, all-sufficiency, and freeness of 
that redemption which the Son of God had wrought 
out, by his obedience and sufferings, for perishing 
sinners ; how this provision he had made was suited 
to all their wants ; and how he called and invited 
them to accept of everlasting life, freely, notwith 
standing all their sinfulness, inability, and unwor 
thiness. 

After I had been with the Indians several months, 
I composed sundry Forms of Prayer, adapted to their 
circumstances and capacities ; which, with the help 
of my interpreter, I translated into the Indian lan 
guage ; and soon learned to pronounce their words, 
so as to pray with them in their own tongue. I also 
translated sundry psalms into their language ; and, 
soon after, we were able to sing in the worship of 
God. 

When my people had gained some acquaintance 
with many of the truths of Christianity, so that they 
were capable of receiving and understanding others, 
which at first could not be taught them, by reason of 
their ignorance of those upon which they depended ; 
I then gave them an historical account of God s deal 
ings with his ancient professing people the Jews ; 
some of the rites and ceremonies they were obliged 
to observe, as their sacrifices, &c. and what these 
were designed to represent to them ; as also some of 



124 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

the surprising miracles God wrought for their salva- 
tion while they trusted in him, and the sore punish 
ments which he afterwards brought upon them when 
they forsook and sinned against him. Then I 
proceeded to give them a relation of the birth, life, 
miracles, sufferings, death, and resurrection of 
Christ ; as well as his ascension, and the wonderful 
effusion of the Holy Spirit consequent thereupon. 

And, having thus endeavoured to prepare the way 
by such a general account of things, I next pro 
ceeded to read and expound to them the gospel of 
St. Matthew (at least the substance of it) in course, 
wherein they had a more distinct and particular 
view of what they had before some general notion of. 
These expositions I attended almost every evening, 
when there was any considerable number of them at 
home : except when I was obliged to be absent my 
self, in order to learn the Indian language with 
Mr. Sergeant. 

Besides these means of instruction, there was like 
wise an English school constantly kept by my inter 
preter among the Indians; which I used frequently 
to visit, in order to give the children and young peo 
ple some proper instructions, and serious exhorta 
tions suited to their age. 

The degree of knowledge to which some of them 
attained was considerable. Many of the truths of 
Christianity seemed fixed in their minds ; especially 
in some instances: so that they would speak to me 
of them, and ask such questions about them as were 
necessary to render them more plain and clear to their 
understandings. 

* The children also, and young people who attended 
the school, made considerable proficiency (at least 

f 



MEASURE OF SUCCESS. 125 

some of them) in their learning ; so that had they 
understood the English language well, they would 
have been able to read somewhat readily in a 
Psalter. 

But that which was most of all desirable, and gave 
me the greatest encouragement amidst many difficul 
ties and disconsolate hours, was, that the truths of 
God s word seemed, at times, to be attended with 
some power upon the hearts and consciences of the 
Indians. And especially this appeared evident in a 
few instances, who were awakened to some sense of 
their miserable state by nature, and appeared soli 
citous for deliverance from it. Several of them came 
of their own accord, to discourse with me about 
their souls concerns ; and some, with tears, inquired 
" what they should do to be saved ;" and whether 
the God that Christians served would be merciful 
to those that had been frequently drunk, &c. 

And, although I cannot say I have satisfactory 
evidences of their being " renewed in the spirit of 
their mind," and savingly converted to God ; yet the 
Spirit of God did, I apprehend, in such a manner 
attend the means of grace, and so operate upon their 
minds thereby, as might justly afford matter of en 
couragement to hope, that God designed good to 
them, and that he was preparing His way into their 
souls. 

There likewise appeared a reformation in the 
lives and manners of the Indians. 

* Their idolatrous sacrifices (of which there were 
but one or two, that I know of, after my coming 
among them) were wholly laid aside. And their 
heathenish custom of dancing, hallooing, &c. they 
seemed in a considerable measure broken off from : 



1 26 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

and I could not but hope that they were reformed in 
some measure from the sin of drunkenness. They 
likewise manifested a regard to the Lord s-day ; and 
not only behaved soberly themselves, but took care 
also to keep their children in order. 

Yet, after all, I must confess, that, as there were 
many hopeful appearances among them, so there 
were some things more discouraging : and, while I 
rejoiced to observe any seriousness and concern 
among them about the affairs of their souls, still I 
was not without continual fear and concern, lest 
such encouraging appearances might prove " like a 
morning cloud that passeth away." 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 127 



CHAPTER V, 



The second year of his Missionary Labours ; from April 
1744, to April 1745. 

THE Correspondents for the Indian Mission having 
directed Brainerd, as we have stated, to remove from 
Kaunaumeek, where he spent the first year of his 
missionary labours, he took leave of his Indians on 
the 29th of April, and set forward on a journey 
to his original destination, among the Indians at the 
Forks of the Delaware. 

Of his feelings during this journey he says: 
* I spent much of my time, while riding, in prayer, 
that God would go with me to the Delaware. My 
heart was sometimes ready to sink with the thoughts 
of my work, and of going alone into the wilderness, 
I knew not where ; but still it was comfortable to 
think, that others of God s children had wandered 
about in caves and dens of the earth ; and that Abraham, 
when he went forth, went out, not knowing whither lie 
went. Oh that I might follow after God! 

After crossing Hudson s River, he traversed the 
woods from that river to the Delaware, about a hun 
dred miles through a desolate and frightful country, 



128 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

above New Jersey, where there were then very few 
habitations. In this journey he endured great hard 
ships and fatigue. 

About 140 miles from Kaunaumeek, at a place 
called Minissinks, he fell in with a number of In 
dians, of his intercourse with whom he says: 

With these Indians I spent some time. I first 
addressed their king in a friendly manner; and, after 
some discourse, and attempts to contract a friendship 
with him, I told him I had a desire, for their benefit 
and happiness, to instruct them in Christianity ; at 
which he laughed, turned his back upon me, and 
went away. I then addressed another principal man 
in the same manner, who said he w r as willing to hear 
me. After some time, I followed the king into his 
house, and renewed my discourse to him ; but he de 
clined talking, and left the affair to another, who ap 
peared to be a rational man. He began, and talked 
very warmly near a quarter of an hour together; he 
inquired why I desired the Indians to become Chris 
tians, seeing the Christians were so much worse 
than the Indians are in their present state. The 
Christians, he said, would lie, steal, and drink, worse 
than the Indians. It was they who first taught the 
Indians to be drunk; and they stole from one another 
to that degree, that their rulers were obliged to hang 
them for it; and that was not sufficient to deter others 
from the like practice. But the Indians, he added, 
were none of them ever hanged for stealing, and yet 
they did not steal half so much ; and he supposed 
that if the Indians should become Christians, they 
would then be as bad as these. And hereupon he 
said, that they would live as their fathers lived, and 
go where their fathers were when they died. I then 

9 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 129 

joined with him in condemning the ill conduct of 
some who are called Christians. I told him that these 
were not Christians in heart ; that I hated such 
wicked practices, and did not desire the Indians to 
become such as these ; and when he appeared calmer, 
I asked him if he was willing that I should come and 
see them again ; he replied, he should be willing to 
see me again, as a friend, if I would not desire them 
to become Christians/ 

He then bid these Indians farewell; and, prose 
cuting his journey to the Delaware, arrived, on the 
13th of May, at a place called, by the Indians, 
Sakhauwotung, within the Forks of the Delaware, in 
Pennsylvania. 

Here he entered on his work, but not with very 
animated expectations: 

Lord s-day, May 13, 1744. Rose early felt very 
poorly after my long journey, and after being wet 
and fatigued, was very melancholy ; have scarce ever 
seen such a gloomy morning in my life, there ap 
peared to be no Sabbath : the children were all at 
play ; I a stranger in the wilderness, and knew not 
where to go ; and all circumstances seemed to con 
spire to render my affairs dark and discouraging : was 
disappointed respecting an interpreter, and heard 
that the Indians were much scattered. I mourned 
after the presence of God, and seemed like a crea 
ture banished from his sight : yet he was pleased to 
support my sinking soul, amidst all my sorrows ; so 
that I never entertained any thought of quitting my 
business among the poor Indians ; but was comforted 
to think that death would, ere long, set me free from 
these distresses. 

Writing, however, some months afterward, he 
K 



130 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

shews that his melancholy did not repress his 
exertions : 

Here, also, when I came to the Indians, I saluted 
their king, and others, in the manner that I thought 
most engaging : and, soon after, informed the king 
of my desire to instruct them in the Christian reli 
gion. After he had consulted two or three old men, 
he told me he was willing to hear. I then preached 
to those few that were present ; who appeared very 
attentive, and well-disposed : and the king, in par 
ticular, seemed both to wonder and to be well 
pleased with what I taught them respecting the 
Divine Being, &c. : and, since that time, he has 
ever shewn himself friendly to me, giving me free 
liberty to preach in his house whenever I think fit. 
Here, therefore, I have spent the greater part of the 
summer, preaching usually in the king s house/ 

After Brainerd had thus given full evidence of his 
peculiar fitness for the work of a missionary, he was 
directed to proceed to Newark, in New Jersey, to 
receive ordination. He left his Indians, in conse 
quence, on the 28th of May, about a fortnight after 
his arrival, and reached Newark the next day. On 
the llth of June he preached his Probation Sermon, 
from Acts xxvi. 17, 18. 

I was much tired, he says, and my mind bur 
dened with the greatness of that charge which I was, 
in the most solemn manner, about to take upon me. 
My mind was so oppressed with the weight of the 
work, that I could not sleep this night, though very 
weary, and in great want of rest. 

On the 12th of June, he was solemnly dedicated 
to his work among the heathen ; Mr. Pemberton 
preaching the Ordination Sermon, from the appro- 

t 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 131 

priate words of Luke xiv. 23, " And the Lord Said 
unto the servant, Go into the highways and hedges, 
and compel them to come in, that my house may be 
filled." 

Prainerd entered on his sacred office, as may well 
be conceived, with the most cordial approbation 
of his friends. 

We can with pleasure say, Mr. Pemberton writes 
to the society in Scotland, that Mr. Brainerd 
appears uncommonly qualified for the work of the 
ministry. He seems to be armed with a great deal 
of self-denial ; and animated with a noble zeal to 
propagate the gospel among those barbarous na 
tions, which have long dwelt in the darkness of 
heathenism/ 

And, in his sermon on occasion of his ordination, 
he thus addresses him: 

* Sufl er me, dear sir, to address myself to you, 
who are this day coming under a public consecration 
to the service of Christ, " to bear his name among 
the Gentiles;" to whom the Master is now sending 
you forth, " to compel them to come in, that his 
house maybe filled." We trust you are a chosen 
vessel, designed for extensive service in this honour 
able, though difficult, employment. We adore the 
God of nature, who has furnished you with such 
endowments as suit you to this important charge. 
We adore the Great Head of the church for the 
nobler gifts and graces of his Spirit: by which, we 
trust, you are enabled to engage in this mission with 
an ardent love to God, the Universal Father of man 
kind ; with a disinterested zeal for the honour of 
Christ, the compassionate friend of sinners ; and 
with tender concern for the perishing souls of a 
K 2 



132 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

" people that sit in darkness and in the shadow of 
death ; " who have for so many ages been wandering 
out of the way of salvation, " without Christ, and 
without God in the world/ 

About a week after his ordination, he set out on 
his return to his Indians; and, in three days, reached 
his residence, under much weakness of body, but 
great consolation of spirit. 

Some extracts from his journal for the first month 
subsequent to his return, will manifest the ardour 
of his mind in the great work to which he was 
devoted. 

Lord s-day, June 24, 1744. Extremely feeble; 
scarcely able to walk ; however, visited my Indians, 
and took much pains to instruct them; laboured 
with some that were much disaffected to Christianity. 
My mind was much burdened with the weight and 
difficulty of my work. My whole dependence and 
hope of success seemed to be on God ; who alone, I 
saw, could make them willing to receive instruction. 
My heart was much engaged in prayer, sending up 
silent requests to God, even while I was speaking to 
them. Oh ! that I could always go in the strength 
of the Lord ! 

June 26. In the morning, my desires seemed to 
rise, and ascend up freely to God ; was busy most 
of the day in translating prayers into the language 
of the Delaware Indians ; met with great difficulty, 
by reason that my interpreter was altogether unac 
quainted with the business. But though I was much 
discouraged with the extreme difficulty of that work, 
yet God supported me, and, especially in the even 
ing, gave me sweet refreshment. In prayer, my soul 
was enlarged, and my faith drawn into sensible 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 133 

exercise; was enabled to cry to God for my poor 
Indians; and, though the work of their conversion 
appeared impossible with man, yet with God, I 
saw, all things were possible. My faith was much 
strengthened, by observing the wonderful assistance 
which God afforded his servants Nehemiah and 
Ezra, in reforming his people, and re-establishing his 
ancient church. I was much assisted in prayer for 
dear Christian friends, and for others that I appre 
hended to be Christless ; but was more especially 
concerned for the heathen, and those of my own 
charge was enabled to be instant in prayer for 
them ; and hoped that God would " bow the heavens 
and come down" for their salvation. It seemed to 
me, there could be no impediment sufficient to ob 
struct that glorious work, seeing the living God, as 
I strongly hoped, was engaged for it. I continued 
in a solemn frame, lifting up my heart to God for his 
assistance and grace, that I might be more mortified 
to this present world, that my whole soul might be 
taken up continually in concern for the advancement 
of Christ s kingdom longing that God would purge 
me more, that I might be as a chosen vessel to bear 
his name among the heathen : continued in this 
frame till I dropped asleep. 

June 27. Felt something of the same solemn 
concern and spirit of prayer, that I enjoyed last 
night, soon after I rose in the morning. In the 
afternoon, rode several miles, to see if I could pro 
cure any lands for the poor Indians, that they might 
live together, and be under better advantages for 
instruction. While I was riding, had a deep sense 
of the greatness and difficulty of my work; and my 
soul seemed to rely wholly upon God for success, in 



134 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

the diligent and faithful use of means saw, with 
the greatest certainty, that the arm of the Lord must 
be revealed for the help of these poor heathen, if ever 
they are delivered from the bondage of the powers 
of darknessspent most of the time, while riding, 
in lifting up my heart for grace and assistance. 

June 28. Spent the morning in reading several 
parts of the holy scripture, and in fervent prayer for 
my Indians, that God would set up his kingdom 
among them, and bring them into his church. About 
nine I withdrew to my usual place of retirement in 
the woods, and there enjoyed some assistance in 
prayer. My great concern was for the conversion 
of the heathen to God ; and the Lord helped me to 
plead for it. Toward noon, rode up to the Indians, 
in order to preach to them; and, while going, my 
heart went up to God in prayer for them could 
freely tell God, he knew that the cause was not mine 
which I was engaged in, but it was his own cause, 
and it would be for his own glory to convert the poor 
Indians ; and, blessed be God, I felt no desire of 
their conversion that I might receive honour from 
the world, as being the instrument of it. Had some 
freedom in speaking to the Indians. 

* June 30, 1744. My soul was much affected in 
reading God s word, especially the ninth chapter 
of Daniel. I saw how God had called out his 
servants to prayer, and made them wrestle with him, 
when he designed to bestow any great mercy on his 
church. And, alas ! I was ashamed of myself, to 
think of my dulness and inactivity, when there 
seemed to be so much to do for the upbuilding of 
Zion. Oh ! how does Zion lie waste ! I longed that 
the church of God might be enlarged was enabled^ 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 135 

to pray, I think, in faith ; my soul seemed sensibly 
to confide in God, and was enabled to wrestle with 
him afterward walked abroad to a place of retire 
ment, and enjoyed some assistance in prayer again 
had a sense of my great need of divine help, and 
felt my soul sensibly depend on God. Blessed be 
God ! this has been a comfortable week to me. 

Lord s-day, July 1. In the morning, was per 
plexed with wandering and vain thoughts was much 
grieved. I judged and condemned myself before 
God. And, oh ! how miserable did I feel, because I 
could not live to God ! 

* At ten, rode away with a heavy heart to preach 
to my Indians. Upon the road, I attempted to lift 
up my heart to God, but was infested with an un 
settled wandering frame of mind ; and was exceed 
ingly restless and perplexed, and filled with shame 
and confusion before God. I seemed to myself to 
be " more brutish than any man ; " and thought none 
deserved to be " cast out of God s presence" so 
much as I. If I attempted to lift up my heart to 
God, as I frequently did by the way, on a sudden, 
before I was aware, my thoughts were wandering 
" to the ends of the earth ;" and my soul was filled 
with surprise and anxiety to find it thus. 

* Thus also, after I came to the Indians, my mind 
was confused ; and I felt nothing sensibly of that 
sweet reliance on God, which my soul has been com 
forted with in days past. Spent the forenoon in this 
posture of mind, and preached to the Indians with 
out any heart. 

* In the afternoon, I felt still barren when I began 
to preach ; and, about half an hour after, I seemed 
to myself to know nothing, and to have nothing to 



136 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

say to the Indians ; but, soon after, I found in my 
self a spirit of love, and warmth, and power, to 
address the poor Indians ; and God helped me to 
plead with them, " to turn from all the vanities of 
the heathen to the Living God;" and I am per 
suaded, the Lord touched their consciences, for I 
never saw such attention raised in them before. 
And when I came away from them, I spent the 
whole time while I was riding to my lodgings, three 
miles distant, in prayer and praise to God. 

After I had ridden more than two miles, it came 
into my mind to dedicate myself to God again; 
which I did with great solemnity and unspeakable 
satisfaction ; especially giving up myself to him re- 
newedly in the work of the ministry : and this I did, 
by divine grace, I hope, without any exception or 
reserve ; not in the least shrinking back from any 
difficulties that might attend this great and blessed 
work. I seemed to be most free, cheerful, and full, 
in this dedication of myself. My whole soul cried, 
4 Lord, to thee I dedicate myself! Oh ! accept of 
me, and let me be thine for ever! Lord, I desire 
nothing else I desire nothing more ! Oh ! come, 
come, Lord, accept a poor worm ! " Whom have I in 
heaven but thee ? and there is none upon earth that 
I desire beside thee ! " ; After this, I was enabled to 
praise God with my whole soul, that he had drawn 
me to devote and consecrate all my powers to him in 
this solemn manner. My heart rejoiced in my par 
ticular work as a missionary ; rejoiced in my neces 
sity of self-denial, in many respects ; and I still 
continued to give up myself to God, and implore 
mercy of him ; praying incessantly, every moment, 
with sweet fervency. My nature, being very weak 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 13? 

of late, and much spent, was now considerably 
overcome: my fingers grew very weary and some 
what numb, so that I could scarcely stretch them 
out straight ; and, when I alighted from my horse, 
I could hardly walk; my joints seemed all to be 
loose. But I felt abundant strength in the inner 
man. Preached to the white people. God helped 
me much, especially in prayer. Sundry of my poor 
Indians were so moved as to come to meeting also ; 
and one appeared much concerned. 

July 6. I am of late most of all concerned for 
ministerial qualifications, and the conversion of the 
heathen. Last year I longed to be prepared for a 
world of glory, and speedily to depart out of this 
world ; but, now, almost all my concern is for the 
conversion of the heathen ; and, for that end, I long 
to live. But, blessed be God ! I have less desire to 
live for any of the pleasures of the world than ever 
I had. I long and love to be a pilgrim ; and want 
grace to imitate the life, labours, and sufferings of 
St. Paul among the heathen. And when I long for 
holiness now, it is not so much for myself as for 
merly ; but rather that thereby I may become an 
able minister of the New Testament, especially to 
the heathen. 

Lord s-day, July 8. Was ill last night, unable 
to rest quietly. Had some degree of assistance in 
preaching to the Indians, and afterwards to the white 
people, especially in the close of my discourse from 
Jer. iii. 23. The Lord also assisted me in some 
measure in the first prayer: blessed be his name. 
Near night, though very weary, was enabled to read 
God s word with some relish, and to pray with affec 
tion, fervency, and faith: my soul was more sensibly 



138 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

dependent on God than usual. Was watchful and 
jealous of my own heart, lest I should admit careless 
ness and vain thoughts, and grieve the blessed Spirit, 
so that he should withdraw his heavenly influences. 
Longed to " depart, and be with Christ," more than 
at any time of late. My soul was exceedingly united 
to the saints of ancient times, as well as those now 
living; especially my soul melted for the society of 
Elijah and Elisha. 

July 21 . This morning I was greatly oppressed 
with guilt and shame, from a sense of inward vile- 
ness and pollution about nine, withdrew to the 
woods for prayer ; but had not much comfort. I 
appeared to myself the vilest, meanest creature upon 
earth, and could scarcely live with myself: so mean 
and vile I appeared, that I thought I should never be 
able to hold up my face in heaven, even if God of 
his infinite grace should bring me thither. 

* Toward night, my burden respecting my work 
among the Indians began to increase much ; and was 
aggravated by hearing sundry things that looked 
very discouraging ; in particular, that they intended 
to meet together the next day for an idolatrous feast 
and dance. Then I began to be in anguish : I thought 
I must, in conscience, go and endeavour to break 
them up ; and knew not how to attempt such a thing. 
However, I withdrew for prayer, hoping for strength 
from above : and, in prayer, I was exceedingly en 
larged, and my soul was as much drawn out as ever 
I remember it to have been in my life, or near. I 
was in such anguish, and pleaded with so much ear 
nestness and importunity, that when I rose from my 
knees I felt extremely weak and overcome : I could 
scarcely walk straight: my joints were loosed: the 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 139 

sweat ran down my face and body ; and nature seemed 
as if it would dissolve. So far as I could judge, I 
was wholly free from selfish ends in my fervent sup 
plications for the poor Indians. I knew they were 
met together to worship devils, and not God ; and 
this made me cry earnestly, that God would now 
appear, and help me in my attempts to break up this 
idolatrous meeting. My soul pleaded long ; and I 
thought God would hear, and would go with me to 
vindicate his own cause : I seemed to confide in God 
for his presence and assistance. 

* And thus I spent the evening, praying incessantly 
for divine assistance ; and that I might not be self- 
dependent, but still have my whole dependence upon 
God. What I passed through was remarkable, and 
indeed inexpressible. All things here below van 
ished ; and there appeared to be nothing of any con 
siderable importance to me, but holiness of heart 
and life, and the conversion of the heathen to God. 
All my cares, fears, and desires, which might be said 
to be of a worldly nature, disappeared ; and were, in 
my esteem, of little more importance than a puff of 
wind. I exceedingly longed, that God would get to 
himself a name among the heathen ; and I appealed 
to him with the greatest freedom, that he knew I 
" preferred him above my chief joy/ Indeed, I had 
no notion of joy from this world : I cared not where 
or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so 
that I could but gain souls to Christ. I continued in 
this frame all the evening and night. While I was 
asleep, I dreamed of these things ; and when I 
waked, as I frequently did, the first thing I thought 
of was this great work of pleading for God against 
Satan. 



140 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

* Lord s-day, July 22. When I awoke, my soul was 
burdened with what seemed to be before me. I cried 
to God before I could get out of my bed ; and, as 
soon as I was dressed, I withdrew into the woods, to 
pour out my burdened soul to God, especially for 
assistance in my great work; for I could scarcely 
think of any thing else: and enjoyed the same free 
dom and fervency as the last evening ; and did, with 
unspeakable freedom give myself afresh to God, 
for life or death, for all hardships he should call me 
to among the heathen ; and felt as if nothing could 
discourage me from this blessed work. I had a 
strong hope, that God would " bow the heavens and 
come down," and do some marvellous work among 
the heathen. And, when I was riding to the Indians, 
three miles, my heart was continually going up to 
God for his presence and assistance; and hoping, 
and almost expecting, that God would make this the 
day of his power and grace among the poor Indians. 
When I came to them, I found them engaged in their 
frolic: but, through divine goodness, I got them to 
break up, and attend to my preaching. Yet still 
there appeared nothing of the special power of God 
among them preached again to them in the after 
noon; and observed them to be more sober than 
before: but still saw nothing special among them ; 
from whence Satan took occasion to tempt and 
buffet me with these suggestions, There is no 
God ; or, if there be, he is not able to convert the 
Indians before they have more knowledge. &c. I 
was very weak and weary, and my soul borne down 
with perplexity; but still felt determined to wait 
upon God for the conversion of the heathen, though 
the devil tempted me to the contrary. 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 141 

July 23, 1744. Retained a deep and pressing 
sense of what lay with so much weight upon me yes 
terday ; but was more calm and quiet enjoyed free 
dom and composure, after the temptations of the last 
evening had sweet resignation to the divine will ; 
and desired nothing so much as the conversion of the 
heathen to God, and that his kingdom might come in 
my own heart, and the hearts of others/ 

His journal at this period abounds with similar 
indications of a most lively sense of his own weak 
ness and unprofitableness, of the difficulty of his 
work, the danger of self-confidence, and the need of 
divine aid; with continual longing for holiness and 
humility, and for the success of his labours. 

These labours were not confined to the Indians of 
Sakhauwotung. Beside much attention bestowed 
on a settlement of Irish, about fifteen miles south 
west of his residence ; hearing, in July, of a number 
of Indians, then living at Kauksesauchung, seven 
teen miles further to the westward, he passed over a 
frightful mountain from the Irish settlement to pay 
them a visit. There he found about thirty persons. 
On proposing to preach to them, they readily ac 
cepted his offer. As they were removing farther 
westward, to the Susquehanna, on the banks of 
which river was their abode, he had an opportunity 
of preaching but twice to them ; after which he re 
turned to the Irish settlement. 

* While I was preaching/ he says, * they appeared 
sober and attentive. Two or three suspected that I 
had some ill design on them ; and urged that the 
white people had abused them, and had taken their 
lands from them ; and that therefore they had no 
reason to think that they were now concerned for 



142 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

their happiness ; but, on the contrary, that they de 
signed to make them slaves, or get them on board 
their vessels, and make them fight with the people 
over the water, meaning the French or Spaniards. 
Most of them, however, appeared very friendly, and 
told me that they were then going directly home to 
the Susquehanna, and desired I would make them a 
visit there, and manifested a considerable desire of 
further instruction. This invitation gave me some 
encouragement in my great work ; and made me hope 
that God designed to open an effectual door to me 
for spreading the gospel among the poor heathen 
farther westward/ 

These encouragements often followed his dejec 
tions. After preaching to these Indians on the even 
ing of his arrival, he lodged among them. 

I was weak/ he says, * and felt something dis 
consolate ; yet could have no freedom in the thought 
of any other circumstance or business in life. All 
my desire is the conversion of the heathen, and all my 
hope is in God. God does not suffer me to please or 
comfort myself with the hopes of seeing friends, re 
turning to my dear acquaintance, and enjoying 
worldly comforts/ 

But though he was debarred the comfort of asso 
ciating with his friends, he maintained a corre 
spondence with them, in which he freely breathed 
out his soul. 

The following letter to a particular friend, written 
at this juncture, and dated the Forks of Delaware, 
July 31, 1744, is a strong testimony of the heavenly 
state of his mind : 

Certainly the greatest, the noblest pleasure of 
intelligent creatures must result from their acquaint- 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 143 

ance with the blessed God, and with their own 
rational and immortal souls. And oh, how divinely 
sweet and satisfying is it, to look into our own 
souls, when we can find all our powers and passions 
united and engaged in pursuit after God, our whole 
souls longing and passionately breathing after a con 
formity to him, and the full enjoyment of him ! 
Verily, there are no hours pass away with so much 
divine pleasure, as those that are spent in communing 
with God and our own hearts. Oh, how sweet is a 
spirit of devotion a spirit of seriousness and divine 
solemnity a spirit of gospel simplicity, love and ten 
derness ! Oh, how desirable, and how profitable to 
the Christian life, is a spirit of holy watchfulness 
and godly jealousy over ourselves ; when our souls 
are afraid of nothing so much as that we shall grieve 
and offend the blessed God, whom at such times we 
apprehend, or at least hope, to be a Father and a 
Friend; whom we then love and long to please, 
rather than to be happy ourselves ; or, at least, we 
delight to derive our happiness from pleasing and 
glorifying him ! Surely this is a temper worthy of 
the highest ambition and closest pursuit of intelli 
gent creatures and holy Christians. Oh, how vastly 
superior is the pleasure, peace, and satisfaction 
derived from these divine frames, to that which we, 
alas! sometimes pursue in things impertinent and 
trifling ! our own bitter experience teaches us, that 
" in the midst of such laughter the heart is sorrow 
ful," and there is no true satisfaction but in God. 
But, alas ! how shall we obtain and retain this sweet 
spirit of religion and devotion ! Let us follow the 
apostle s direction, Phil. ii. 12. and labour upon the 
encouragement he there mentions, ver. 13; for it is 



144 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

God only who can afford us this favour; and he will 
he sought after, and it is fit we should wait upon him 
for so rich a mercy. Oh ! may the God of all grace 
afford us the grace and influences of his Holy 
Spirit ; and help us, that we may from our hearts 
esteem it our greatest liberty and happiness, that 
" whether we live, we may live unto the Lord ; or 
whether we die, we may die unto the Lord ; " that in 
life and death, we may be his ! 

I am in a very poor state of health: I think, scarcely 
ever poorer; but, through divine goodness, I am not 
discontented under my weakness and confinement to 
this wilderness. I bless God for this retirement: I 
never was more thankful for any thing, than I have 
been of late for the necessity I am under of self- 
denial in many respects : I love to be a pilgrim and 
stranger in this wilderness : it seems most fit for 
such a poor ignorant, worthless, despised creature as 
me. I would not change my present mission for any 
other business in the whole world. I may tell you 
freely, without vanity and ostentation, God has of 
late given me great freedom and fervency in prayer, 
when I have been so weak and feeble that my nature 
seemed as if it would speedily dissolve. I feel as if 
my all was lost, and I was undone for this world, if 
the poor heathen may not be converted. I feel, in 
general, different from what I did when I saw you 
last; at least more crucified to all the enjoyments of 
life. It would be very refreshing to me to see you 
here in this desert ; especially in my weak discon 
solate hours : but I think I could be content never 
to see you or any of my friends again in this world, 
if God would bless my labours to the conversion of 
the poor Indians/ 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 145 

In the month of August, his bodity weakness 
and pains increased upon him. He speaks of him 
self as 

Unable to engage in any business ; fre 
quently unable to pray in the family. I am obliged 
to let all my thoughts and concerns run at random ; 
for I have neither strength to read, meditate, nor 
pray ; and this naturally perplexes my mind. I seem 
to myself like a man that has all his estate embarked 
in one small boat, unhappily going adrift down a 
swift torrent. The poor owner stands on the shore, 
and looks, and laments his loss. But, alas ! though 
my all seems to be adrift, and I stand and see it, I 
dare not lament ; for this sinks my spirits more, and 
aggravates my bodily disorders. I am forced, there 
fore, to divert myself with trifles; although, at the 
same time, I am afraid, and often feel as if I was 
guilty of the misimprovement of time. And often 
times my conscience is so exercised with this miser 
able way of spending time, that I have no peace ; 
though I have no strength of mind or body to improve 
it to better purpose. Oh ! that God would pity my 
distressed state! 

Yet he was still alive to God, and dead to the 
world ; and was upheld by divine consolation, and 
encouraged by appearances of religious concern 
among the Indians. Of this, he says, about this 
period : 

The number of Indians in this place is but small: 
most of those that formerly lived here are dispersed, 
and removed to places farther back in the country. 
There are not more than ten houses hereabouts, that 
continue to be inhabited ; and some of these are 
several miles distant from others, which makes it 
L 



146 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

difficult for the Indians to meet together so frequently 
as could be desired. 

When I first began to preach here, the number 
of my hearers was very small ; often not exceeding 
twenty-five persons: but, afterward, their number 
increased, so that I have frequently had forty per 
sons, or more, at once ; and oftentimes the most of 
those belonging to these parts came together to hear 
me preach. 

The effects which the truths of God s word have 
had upon some of the Indians in this place are some 
what encouraging. Sundry of them are brought to 
renounce idolatry, and to decline partaking of those 
feasts which they used to offer in sacrifice to certain 
supposed unknown powers. And some few among 
them have, for a considerable time, manifested a 
serious concern for their souls eternal welfare, and 
still continue to inquire the way to Zion, with such 
diligence and becoming solicitude, as gives me reason 
to hope, that God, who, I trust, has begun this work 
in them, will carry it on, until it shall issue in their 
saving conversion to himself. These not only detest 
their old idolatrous notions, but strive also to bring 
their friends off from them. And as they are seeking 
salvation for their own souls, so they seem desirous, 
and some of them take pains, that others may be 
excited to do the like. 

At the beginning of September, he writes, 
* Lord s-day, Sept. 2. Was enabled to speak to my 
poor Indians with much concern and fervency ; and 
I am persuaded God enabled me to exercise faith in 
him, while I was speaking to them. I perceived thatr 
some of them were afraid to hearken to and embrace 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 147 

Christianity, lest they should be enchanted and poi 
soned by some of the Powaws : but I was enabled to 
plead with them not to fear these ; and confiding in 
God for safety and deliverance, I boldly challenged 
all these powers of darkness to do their worst upon 
me first. I told my people I was a Christian, and 
asked them why the Powaws did not bewitch and 
poison me. I scarcely ever felt more sensible of my 
own unworthiness than in this action : I saw that the 
honour of God was concerned in the affair ; and I 
desired to be preserved, not selfishly, but for a 
testimony of the divine power and goodness, and 
of the truth of Christianity, and that God might be 
glorified. Afterward my soul rejoiced in God for his 
assisting grace/ 

During this month he was absent from the Dela 
ware about three weeks, on a journey in which he 
rode upwards of 420 miles. 

After his return, he began to prepare for a visit to 
the Susquehanna Indians, who had invited him to 
their quarters. He withdrew repeatedly into the 
woods, to plead that the Divine presence might go 
with him to the benighted pagans, to whom he was 
going to preach the gospel. 

He had invited Mr. Byram, a minister at some 
distance from his residence, to accompany him to the 
Susquehanna. On the 2d of October they set forward, 
with an interpreter and two of the chiefs of the Dela 
ware Indians. 

Of his journey, he writes : 

* Oct. 2. Travelled about twenty-five miles, and 
lodged in one of the last houses on our road ; after 
which there was nothing but a hideous and howling 
wilderness. 

L 2 



148 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

Oct. 3. We went on our way into the wilderness 
and found the most difficult and dangerous travelling, 
by far, that any of us had ever seen. We had scarce 
any thing else but lofty mountains, deep valleys, and 
hideous rocks, to make our way through. However, 
I felt some sweetness in divine things part of the day, 
and had my mind closely engaged in meditation on a 
divine subject. Near night, my beast that I rode 
upon hung one of her legs in the rocks, and fell down 
under me ; but, through divine goodness, I was not 
hurt. However, she broke her leg ; and being in 
such a hideous place, and near thirty miles from any 
house, I saw that nothing could be done to preserve 
her life, and so was obliged to kill her, and to prose 
cute my journey on foot. This accident made me 
admire the divine goodness toward me, that my bones 
were not broken, and the multitude of them filled 
with strong pain. Just at dark we kindled a fire, 
cut up a few bushes, and made a shelter over our 
heads, to save us from the frost, which was very 
hard that night ; and, committing ourselves to God 
by prayer, we lay down on the ground, and slept 
quietly. 

After lodging a second night in the woods, they 
arrived at Opeholhaupung, an Indian settlement, of 
twelve houses and about seventy inhabitants. 

* After I had saluted the king, says Mr. Brainerd, 
* in a friendly manner, I told him my business, and 
that my desire was to teach them Christianity. After 
some consultation, the Indians gathered, and I 
preached to them. When I had done, I asked if 
they would hear me again : they replied, that they 
would consider of it; and, soon after, sent me word* 
that they would immediately attend, if I would 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 149 

preach ; which I did with freedom, both times. 
When I asked them again, whether they would hear 
me further, they replied, they would the next day. 
I was exceedingly sensible of the impossibility of 
doing any thing for the poor heathen without special 
assistance from above ; and my soul seemed to rest 
on God, and leave it to him to do as he pleased in 
that which I saw was his own cause ; and, indeed, 
through divine goodness, I had felt something of this 
frame most of the time while I was travelling thither, 
and in some measure, before I set out. 

* When I had preached to the Indians several times, 
some of them very frankly proposed what they had 
to object against Christianity ; and so gave me a fair 
opportunity for using my best endeavours to remove 
from their minds those scruples and jealousies under 
which they laboured : and when I had endeavoured 
to answer their objections, some appeared much 
satisfied. I then asked the king, if he was willing 
that I should visit them again next spring. He re 
plied, he should be heartily willing for his own part; 
and added, that he wished the young people would 
learn. I then put the same question to the rest: some 
answered they should be very glad ; and none mani 
fested any dislike to it. 

4 There were sundry other things in their beha 
viour which appeared encouraging; so that, upon 
the whole, I could not but rejoice that 1 had taken 
that journey among them, though it was attended 
with many difficulties and hardships. The method 
which I used with them, and the instruction given 
to them, were means, I am persuaded, to remove, in 
some measure, their heathenish jealousies and pre 
judices against Christianity: and I could not but 



150 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

hope that the God of all grace was preparing their 
minds to receive " the truth as it is in Jesus." 
Of their return home, Brainerd writes : 

* Oct. 9. We rose about four in the morning, 
and, commending ourselves to God in prayer, and 
asking his special protection, we set out on our 
journey, and travelled with great steadiness till past 
six at night ; and then made a fire, and a shelter of 
bark, and so rested. In the night the wolves howled 
around us, but God preserved us/ 

The next day they rose early, and set forward, and 
travelled till they came to an Irish settlement, where 
Mr. Brainerd was well known, and lodged there. He 
mentions his thankfulness to God for his goodness to 
him in this journey, complaining, at the same time, of 
his own barrenness. On Thursday he continued in 
the same place; and he and Mr, Byram preached to 
the people. 

Friday, Oct. 12. Rode home to my lodging, 
where I poured out my soul to God in secret prayer, 
and endeavoured to bless him for his abundant 
goodness to me in my late journey. I scarcely ever 
enjoyed more health, at least of late years ; and God 
marvellously, and almost miraculously, supported 
me under the fatigues of the way, travelling on foot. 
Blessed be the Lord ! who continually preserves me 
in all my ways. 

* Lord s-day, Oct. 14. Was much confused and 
perplexed in my thoughts ; could not pray ; and was 
almost discouraged, thinking I should never be able 
to preach anymore. But afterwards, God was pleased 
to give me some relief from these confusions ; yet 
still I was afraid, and even trembled before him. I 
went to the place of public worship, lifting up my 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 151 

heart to God for assistance in my great work. He 
was gracious to me, and helped me to plead with him 
for holiness, and to use the strongest arguments, 
drawn from the incarnation and sufferings of Christ, 
for this very end that men might be made holy. 
Afterwards I was much assisted in preaching. I 
know not that ever God helped me to preach in a 
more close and distinguishing manner for the trial of 
men s state. 

Next morning he spent some time in prayer be 
fore sunrise, in the same grateful frame of mind that 
he had been in the evening before ; and afterwards 
went to his Indians, and spent some time in teaching 
and exhorting them. 

Tuesday, Oct. 16. Felt a spirit of solemnity and 
watchfulness ; was afraid I should not live to and 
upon God ; longed for more intenseness and spirit 
uality. Spent the day in writing, frequently lifting 
up my heart to God for more heavenly-mindedness. 
In the evening had assistance in prayer, and thirsted 
and pleaded to be as holy as the blessed angels : 
longed for ministerial gifts and graces, and success 
ift my work. Was greatly assisted in the duty of in 
tercession, and enabled to remember and plead for 
numbers of dear friends and ministers of Christ. 

4 Wednesday, Oct. 24. Near noon, rode to my peo 
ple ; spent some time, and prayed with them. Felt 
like a pilgrim on earth ; longed much to leave this 
gloomy mansion, yet found the exercise of patience 
and resignation. Returning home from the Indians, 
I spent the whole time in lifting up my heart to God. 
In the evening, enjoyed a blessed season alone in 
prayer ; was enabled to cry to God with a child-like 
spirit, for the space of near an hour. Enjoyed free- 



152 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

dom in supplication for myself, for my dear friends, 
ministers, and some who are preparing for that work, 
and for the church of God ; and longed to be as lively 
myself in God s service as the angels/ 

In the following days, he was exercised with much 
disorder and pain of body, with a degree of melan 
choly and gloominess of mind, bitterly complaining 
of deadness and unprofitableness, yet mourning and 
longing after God. 

Saturday, Nov. 3. I read the life and trials of a 
godly man, and was much warmed by it. I wondered 
at my past deadness, and was more convinced of it 
than ever. Was enabled to confess and bewail my 
sins before God with self-abhorrence. 

* Lord s-day, Nov. 4. Had, I think, some exercise 
of faith in prayer in the morning : longed to be spi 
ritual. Had considerable help in preaching to my 
poor Indians : was encouraged with them, and hoped 
that God designed mercy for them. 

In the beginning of November, he set out on a 
journey to New York, to attend a meeting of the 
presbytery, and was absent about a fortnight. He 
seems to have entered on his journey with great 
reluctance ; under the apprehension that the dis 
tractions attending it would be an occasion of damp 
ing his religious affections, as he had found to be 
the case on other journeys. He had, however, some 
seasons wherein he enjoyed extraordinary evidence 
and fruits of the gracious presence of God. 

In this journey he was greatly fatigued, and was 
exposed to cold and storms ; and when he returned 
from New York to New Jersey, was taken very ill, 
and detained there some time. 

Of the hardships which he endured he writes : 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 153 

Nov. 22. About six at night, I lost my way in 
the wilderness, and wandered over rocks and moun 
tains, down hideous steeps, through swamps and 
most dreadful and dangerous places: and the night 
being dark, so that few stars could be seen, I was 
greatly exposed ; was much pinched with cold, and 
distressed with a pain in my head, attended with 
sickness at my stomach ; so that every step I took 
was distressing to me. I had little hope, for several 
hours together, but that 1 must lie out in the woods 
all night, in this distressed case: but, about nine 
o clock, I found a house, through the abundant 
goodness of God, and was kindly entertained. Thus 
I have been frequently exposed, and sometimes lain 
out the whole night ; but God has hitherto preserved 
me, and blessed be his name ! Such fatigues and 
hardships as these serve to wean me more from the 
earth, and, I trust, will make heaven the sweeter. 
Formerly, when I was thus exposed to cold and rain, 
I was ready to please myself with the thoughts of 
enjoying a comfortable house, a warm fire, and 
other outward comforts ; but now these have less 
place in my heart, (through the grace of God,) and 
my eye is more to God for comfort. In this world I 
expect tribulation ; and it does not now, as formerly, 
appear strange to me. I do not, in such seasons of 
difficulty, flatter myself that it will be better here 
after, but rather think how much worse it might be ; 
how much greater trials others of God s children 
have endured; how much greater are yet perhaps 
reserved for me. Blessed be God! that he makes 
the thoughts of my journey s end, and of my disso 
lution, a great comfort to me under my sharpest 
trials, and scarce ever lets these thoughts be at- 



154 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

tended with terror or melancholy ! but they are 
attended frequently with great joy. 

After his return, he spent much time, in hard 
labour, with others, in preparing a little cottage or 
hut, in which he intended to live by himself through 
the winter. He frequently preached to the Indians ; 
and speaks of special enlargement of mind in ad 
dressing them, and of occasional encouragement 
from the attention which they gave. But, in the 
beginning of December, he was much dejected, at 
the sight of most of them going in company to an 
idolatrous feast or dance, after he had taken abun 
dant pains to dissuade them from such practices. 

His cottage being ready, he dedicated it with 
seriousness to God. 

* Having now (he writes, on Dec. 6,) a happy 
opportunity of being retired in a house of my own ; 
and considering that it is now a long time since I 
have been able, either on account of bodily weak 
ness, or for want of retirement, or some other diffi 
culty, to spend any time in secret fasting and prayer; 
considering also the greatness of my work, and the 
extreme difficulties that attend it, and that my poor 
Indians are now worshipping devils, notwithstanding 
all the pains I have taken with them, which almost 
overwhelms my spirit; moreover, considering my 
extreme barrenness, spiritual deadness, and dejec 
tion, of late, as also the power of some particular 
corruptions; I set apart this day for secret prayer 
and fasting, to implore the blessing of God on my 
self, on my poor people, on my friends, and on the 
church of God. At first I found a backwardness to 
the duties of the day, on account of the seeming 
impossibility of performing them; but the Lord 



SECON 7 D YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 155 

helped me to break through this difficulty. God was 
pleased, by the use of means, to give me some clear 
conviction of my sinfulness, and a discovery of the 
plague of my own heart, more affecting than what I 
have of late had. And especially, I saw my sinful- 
ness in this, that when God had withdrawn himself, 
then, instead of living and dying in pursuit of Him, 
I have been disposed to one of these two things; 
either, 1st, to yield an unbecoming respect to some 
earthly objects, as if happiness were to be derived 
from them ; or, 2ndly, to be secretly froward and 
impatient, and unsuitably desirous of death, so that 
I have sometimes thought I could not bear to think 
my life must be lengthened out. And that which 
often drove me to this impatient desire of death was, 
a despair of doing any good in my life ; and I chose 
death rather than a life spent for nothing. But now 
God made me sensible of my sin in these things, and 
enabled me to cry to him for forgiveness. Yet this 
was not all I wanted ; for my soul appeared exceed 
ingly polluted ; my heart seemed like a nest of 
vipers, or a cage of unclean and hateful birds; and 
therefore I wanted to be purified " by the blood of 
sprinkling, that cleanseth from all sin ; " and this, I 
hope, I was enabled to pray for in faith. I enjoyed 
much more intenseness, fervency, and spirituality, 
than I expected. God was better to me than my 
fears. And, toward night, I felt my soul rejoice, 
that God is unchangeably happy and glorious; that 
he will be glorified, whatever becomes of his crea 
tures. I was enabled to persevere in prayer till some 
time in the evening ; at which time I saw so much 
need of divine help in every respect, that I knew not 
how to leave off, and had forgot that I needed food. 



156 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDt 

Blessed be the Lord, for any help in the past 
day! 

In allusion to his disappointment with his Indians, 
he writes on Dec. 7th : 

I visited the Indians, and preached to them, but 
under inexpressible dejection. I had no heart to 
speak to them ; and could not do it but as I forced 
myself. I knew they must hate to hear me, having 
but just got home from their idolatrous feast and 
devil-worship/ 

These dejections, on account of the difficulties 
of his work, were borne up against by a vigorous 
faith, and they were usually followed by seasons of 
refreshment. His mind seems, at this time, to have 
been deeply engaged for the salvation of his Indians. 
In the zeal which he manifests for their conversion, 
and his unwearied labours and earnest wrestlings 
with God to that end, he is eminently an example to 
all who follow him in this great work. 

Some extracts from his journal, written about this 
time, will justify the remark. 

Lord s-day, Dec. 9. Preached both parts of the 
day at a place called Greenwich, in New Jersey, about 
ten miles from my own house. In the first discourse 
I had scarcely any warmth or affectionate longing for 
souls. During the interval, I got alone among the 
bushes, and cried to God for pardon of my deadness; 
was in anguish and bitterness that I could not ad 
dress souls with more compassion and tenderness. I 
judged and condemned myself for want of this hea 
venly temper ; though I saw I could not obtain it 
without divine assistance, any more than I could 
make a world. In the latter exercise, blessed be the 
Lord, I had some fervency, both in prayer and 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 157 

preaching ; and, especially in the application of my 
discourse, was enabled to address precious souls 
with affectionate concern and importunity. The 
Spirit of God, I think, was there ; as the effects were 
apparent, tears running down many cheeks. 

Monday, Dec. 10. Near noon I preached again : 
God gave me some assistance, and enabled me in 
some degree to be faithful ; so that I had peace in 
my own soul, and a very comfortable composure, 
" although Israel should not be gathered." Came 
away from Greenwich, and rode home ; arrived just 
in the evening. By the way, my soul blessed God 
for his goodness ; and I rejoiced that so much of my 
work was done, and I so much nearer my blessed 
reward. Blessed be God for grace to be faithful. 

Wednesday, Dec. 12. Was again very weak; 
but somewhat assisted in secret prayer, and enabled 
with pleasure to cry, " Come, Lord Jesus ; come, 
Lord Jesus ; come quickly/ My soul longed for 
God, for the living God. O how delightful it is to 
pray under such sweet influences ; how much better 
than one s necessary food ! I had at this time no dis 
position to eat, though late in the morning; for 
earthly food appeared wholly tasteless. O how much 
" better is thy love than wine/ than the sweetest 
wine ! I visited and preached to the Indians in the 
afternoon, but under much dejection. Found my 
interpreter under some concern for his soul : this was 
some comfort to me, though it filled me with new 
care. I longed greatly for his conversion : lifted up 
my heart to God for it, while I was talking to him. 
Came home and poured out my soul for him ; enjoyed 
some freedom in prayer, and was enabled to leave all 
with God. 



158 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

Dec. 13. Endeavoured to spend the day in fast 
ing and prayer, to implore the divine blessing more 
especially on my people; and, in particular, I sought 
for converting grace for my interpreter, and three or 
four more under some concern for their souls. I 
was much disordered in the morning when I arose ; 
but having determined to spend the day in this 
manner, I attempted it. Some freedom I had in 
pleading for these poor concerned souls, several 
times; and, when interceding for them, I enjoyed 
greater freedom from wandering and distracting 
thoughts, than in any part of my supplications. 

Dec. 14. Near noon, went to the Indians ; but 
knew not what to say to them, and was ashamed to 
look them in the face. I felt I had no power to 
address their consciences, and therefore I had no 
boldness to say any thing. Was much of the day 
in a great degree of despair about ever doing, or 
seeing any good in the land of the living. 

Lord s-day, Dec. 16. While I was going to 
preach to the Indians, my soul was in anguish. I 
was so overborne with discouragement, that I de 
spaired of doing any good, and was driven to my 
wit s end. I knew nothing, what to say, nor what 
course to take. But, at last, I insisted on the evi 
dence which we have of the truth of Christianity 
from the miracles of Christ ; many of which I set 
before them : and G od helped me to make a close 
application to those that refused to believe the truth 
of what I taught them: and, indeed, I was enabled 
to speak to the consciences of all, in some measure. 
I was something encouraged, to find that God en 
abled me to be faithful once more. Then came and 
preached to another company of them; but was 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 159 

weary and faint. In the evening, I was something 
refreshed, and was enabled to pray, and praise God, 
with composure and affection had some enlarge 
ment and courage with respect to my work was 
willing to live, and longed to do more for God than 
my weak state of body would admit of. " I can do 
all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me ; 
and, by his grace, I am willing to spend and be 
spent in his service," when I am not thus sunk in 
dejection and a kind of despair. 

* Dec. 18. Went to the Indians, and discoursed 
to them for nearly an hour, without any power to 
come close to their hearts. But, at last, I felt some 
fervency, and God helped me to speak with warmth. 
Most of the grown persons were much affected, and 
the tears ran down their cheeks ; and one old man (I 
suppose, a hundred years old) was so affected, that 
he wept, and seemed convinced of the importance of 
what I taught them. I staid with them a consider 
able time, exhorting and directing them ; and came 
away, lifting up my heart to God in prayer and 
praise came home, and spent most of the evening 
in prayer and thanksgiving ; and found myself much 
enlarged and quickened was greatly concerned, 
that the Lord s work, which seemed to be begun, 
might be carried on with power, to the conversion of 
souls, and the glory of divine grace. 

Dec. 19. Spent a great part of the day in prayer 
to God for the outpouring of his Spirit on my people ; 
as also to bless his name for awakening my Inter 
preter and some others, and giving us some tokens 
of his presence yesterday. And, blessed be God! I 
had much freedom and fervency five or six times in 
the day in prayer and praise, and felt a weighty con- 



160 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

cern upon my spirit for the salvation of those pre 
cious souls, and the enlargement of the Redeemer s 
kingdom among them. My soul hoped in God for 
some success in my ministry ; and blessed be his 
name for so much hope ! 

* Dec. 20. Was enabled to visit the throne of 
grace frequently this day ; and, through divine good 
ness, enjoyed much freedom and fervency, sundry 
times was much assisted in crying for mercy for 
my poor people, and felt cheerfulness and hope in 
my requests for them. 

Dec. 21. Was enabled again to pray with free 
dom, cheerfulness, and hope. God was pleased to 
make the duty comfortable and pleasant to me: so 
that I delighted to persevere, and repeatedly to 
engage in it. Toward noon, visited my people, and 
spent the whole time in the way to them in prayer, 
longing to see the power of God among them, as 
there appeared something of it the last Tuesday ; and 
I found it sweet to rest and hope in God. Preached 
to them twice, and at two distinct places had con 
siderable freedom each time, and so had my inter 
preter. Several of them followed me from one place 
to the other ; and I thought there was some divine 
influence discernible amongst them. In the evening 
was assisted in prayer again. Blessed, blessed be 
the Lord ! 

Similar things are expressed concerning his in 
ward frame and assistances on Saturday, as on the 
preceding days. He observes, that this was a com 
fortable week to him, but concludes, * Oh ! that I 
had no reason to complain of so much barrenness ! 
Oh ! that there were no vain thoughts and evil affec 
tions lodging within me ! The Lord knows how I 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 161 

long for that world, where they " rest not day nor 
night, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God 
Almighty." On the following Sabbath, he speaks 
of assistance and freedom in his public work, but as 
having less of the sensible presence of God than 
he had engaged in the week past ; yet his soul was 
kept from sinking into discouragement. On Mon 
day, he seemed to enjoy much the same liberty and 
fervency, as he had done through the greater part of 
the preceding week. 

Tuesday, Dec. 25. Enjoyed very little quiet 
sleep last night, by reason of bodily weakness, and 
the closeness of my studies yesterday ; yet my heart 
was somewhat lively in prayer and praise. I was 
delighted with the divine glory and happiness, and 
rejoiced that God was God, and that he was un 
changeably possessed of glory and blessedness. 
Though he " held my eyes waking," yet he helped 
me to improve my time profitably amidst my pains 
and weakness, in continued meditations on Luke 
xiii. 7. " Behold, these three years I come seeking 
fruit," &c. My meditations were sweet, and I panted 
to set before sinners their sin and danger/ 

He continued in a very low state, as to his bodily 
health, for some days ; which seems to have been a 
great hindrance to him in his religious exercises and 
pursuits. He writes to a friend, a minister of the 
gospel in New Jersey, in the following terms : 

Forks of the Delaware, Dec. 24, 1744. 
* Rev. and Dear Brother, I have little to say to 
you about spiritual joys, and those blessed refresh 
ments and divine consolations, with which I have 
been much favoured in times past j but this I can 
M 



162 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

tell you, that if I gain experience in no other point, 
yet I am sure I do in this, namely, that the present 
world has nothing in it to satisfy an immortal soul : 
and hence, that it is not to be desired for itself, but 
only because God may be seen and served in it : and 
I wish I could be more patient and willing to live in 
it for this end, than I can usually find myself to be. 
It is no virtue, I know, to desire death, only to be freed 
from the miseries of life ; but I want that divine hope 
of which you observed, when I saw you last, that it was 
the very sinews of vital religion. Earth can do us no 
good, and if there be no hope of our doing good on 
earth, how can we desire to live in it ? Yet we ought 
to desire, or at least to be resigned, to tarry in it ; 
because it is the will of our all-wise Sovereign. But 
perhaps these thoughts will appear melancholy and 
gloomy, and consequently will be very undesirable 
to you ; and therefore I forbear to add to them. I wish 
you may not read them in the same circumstances in 
which I write them. I have a little more to do and 
suffer in a dark disconsolate world ; and then I hope 
to be as happy as you are. I should ask you to pray 
for me, were I worthy your concern. May the Lord 
enable us both to " endure hardness, as good soldiers 
of Jesus Christ; " and may we " obtain mercy of God 
to be faithful to the death/ in the discharge of our 
respective trusts. I am, &c. 

Yours, faithfully, 

D. B. 

Yet he notices some degree of divine assistance, 
from day to day, through the remaining part of this 
week. He preached several times to his Indians* 
and there appeared still some concern amongst them 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 163 

for their souls. On Saturday he rode to the Irish 
settlement, about fifteen miles from his lodgings, in 
order to spend the Sabbath there. 

Lord s-day, Dec. 30. Discoursed, both parts 
of the day, from Mark viii. 24. God gave me very 
great freedom and clearness, and (in the afternoon 
especially) considerable warmth and fervency. In 
the evening also I was happy in conversing with 
friends on divine things. I do not remember to have 
had clearer apprehensions of religion in my life ; but 
found a struggle, in the evening, with spiritual pride/ 

On Monday, he preached again in the same place 
with freedom and fervency ; and rode home to his 
lodging in the evening, under a considerable degree 
of bodily illness, which continued several days. 

Lord s-day, Jan. 6, 1745. Preached to my poor 
Indians, but had little heart or life. Towards night I 
was oppressed with a sense of my unfaithfulness. 
Oh ! the joy and peace that arises from a sense 
of " having obtained mercy of God to be faithful ; " 
and, oh ! the misery and anguish which spring from 
an apprehension of the contrary ! 

Wednesday, Jan. 9. In the morning, God was 
pleased to remove that gloom which has of late 
oppressed my mind, and gave me freedom and com 
fort in prayer. I was encouraged and strengthened, 
and enabled to plead for grace for myself, and mercy 
for my poor Indians ; and was sweetly assisted in my 
intercessions with God for others. Blessed be his 
holy name for ever and ever. Amen, and amen. 
Those things that of late have appeared most difficult 
and almost impossible, now appeared not only pos 
sible but easy. My soul so much delighted to con 
tinue instant in prayer at this blessed season, that I 
M 2 



164 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

had no desire for my necessary food. I even dreaded 
leaving off praying at all, lest I should lose this 
spirituality, and this blessed thankfulness to God 
which I then felt/ 

The three remaining days of the week he was 
very low and feeble in body ; but nevertheless con 
tinued in the same comfortable frame of mind, as is 
expressed on Wednesday. On the Sabbath, this 
spiritual alacrity began to abate; but still he en 
joyed some degree of comfort, and had assistance 
in preaching to the Indians. 

Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 16, 17. I spent 
most of the time in writing on a divine subject, and 
enjoyed some freedom and assistance. Was likewise 
enabled to pray more frequently arid fervently than 
usual, and my soul rejoiced in God ; especially on 
the evening of the last of these days. Praise then 
seemed comely, and I delighted to bless the Lord. 

Lord s-day, Jan. 27. Had the greatest degree of 
inward anguish that almost ever I endured. I was 
perfectly overwhelmed ; and so confused, that, after 
I began to discourse to the Indians, before I could 
finish a sentence, sometimes I forgot entirely what I 
was aiming at ; or if, with much difficulty, I had 
recollected what I had before designed, still it ap 
peared strange, and like something that I had long 
forgotten, and had now but an imperfect remembrance 
of. I know it was a degree of distraction, occasioned 
by vapoury disorders, melancholy, and some things 
that particularly pressed upon me this morning, with 
an uncommon weight, the principal of which res 
pected my Indians. This distressing gloom never 
went off the whole day ; but was so far removed, that 
I was enabled to speak with some freedom and con- 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 165 

cern to the Indians, at two of their settlements ; and, 
I think, there was some appearance of the presence 
of God with us, some seriousness and seeming con 
cern among the Indians, at least a few of them. In 
the evening, this gloom continued still, till family- 
prayer 1 about nine o clock, and almost through this, 
until I came near the close, when I was praying (as 
I usually do) for the illumination and conversion of 
my -poor people ; and then the cloud was scattered, 
so that I enjoyed freedom, and conceived hopes that 
God designed mercy for some of them. The same I 
enjoyed afterward in secret prayer,for myself, my poor 
Indians, and dear friends and acquaintance in New 
England and elsewhere, and for the interest of Zion 
in general. " Bless the Lord, O my soul ! and forget 
not all his benefits." 

Lord s-day, Feb. 3. Went to my Indians tremb 
ling ; for my soul " remembered the wormwood and 
the gall ;" and I was greatly afraid I should be obliged 
again to drink of that cup of trembling, which was 
inconceivably more bitter than death, and made me 
long for the grave more, unspeakably more, than for 
hid treasures, yea, inconceivably more than the men 
of this world long for such treasures. But God was 
pleased to hear my cries, and to afford me great as 
sistance ; so that I felt peace in my own soul ; and 
was satisfied, that if not one of the Indians should be 
profited by my preaching, yet I should be accepted 
and rewarded as faithful; for I am persuaded, God 
will enable me to be so. Had some degree of help af 
terwards, at another place ; and much longed for the 

1 Though Mr. Brainerd now dwelt by himself in the fore-mentioned 
little cottage which he had built for his own use, yet that was near to 
a family of white people with whom he had lived before, and with 
whom he still attended family-prayer. 



166 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

conversion of the Indians. Was somewhat refreshed 
toward night, and in the evening. O that my soul 
might praise the Lord for his goodness ! 

About a week after this, he rode eight miles to visit 
a sick man at the point of death. The sick man died 
in the course of the night. Brainerd was much affected 
at the sight : and writes, on his return home : 

* Monday, Feb. 11. About break of day the sick 
man died. I was affected at the sight: spent the 
morning with the mourners : and after prayer and 
some discourse with them, I returned to Greenwich, 
and preached again from Psalm Ixxxix. 15. and the 
Lord gave me assistance. I felt a love to souls and 
to the kingdom of Christ ; and longed that poor sin 
ners might know the joyful sound. Several persons 
were much affected. After meeting I was enabled 
to discourse, with freedom and concern, to some 
persons who applied to me under spiritual trouble. 
Left the place much composed, and rode home to 
my house about eight miles distant. Discoursed to 
friends, and inculcated divine truths upon some. In 
the evening, was in the most solemn frame that I 
almost ever remember to have experienced. I know 
not that death ever appeared more real to me, or that 
ever I saw myself in the condition of a dead corpse 
laid out, and dressed for a lodging in the silent grave, 
so evidently as at this time. Yet I felt exceedingly 
comfortable ; my mind was composed and calm, and 
death appeared without a sting. I think I never felt 
such a universal mortification to all created objects 
as now. Oh how great and solemn a thing it ap 
peared to die ! Oh how it lays the greatest honour in 
the dust ; and how vain and trifling did the riches, 
honours, and pleasures of the world appear! I could 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 167 

not, I dare not so much as think of any of them ; for 
death, death, solemn (though not frightful) death 
appeared at the door. I could see myself dead and 
laid out, and enclosed in my coffin, and put down into 
the cold grave, with the greatest solemnity, but with 
out terror. I spent most of the evening in conversing 
with a dear Christian friend; and, blessed be God, 
it was a comfortable evening to us both. What are 
friends what are comforts what are sorrows what 
are distresses ? " The time is short : it remains that 
they which weep, be as though they wept not ; and 
they which rejoice, as though they rejoiced not: for 
the fashion of this world passeth away. O come, 
Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen." Blessed be God 
for the comforts of the past day. 

* Lord s-day, Feb. 17. My interpreter being absent, 
I preached to the white people in the wilderness 
upon the sunny side of a hill. Had a considerable 
assembly, consisting of many that lived not less than 
thirty miles asunder. I discoursed to them all day, 
from John vii. 37. " Jesus stood and cried, saying, 
If any man thirst," &c. In the afternoon, it pleased 
God to grant me great freedom and fervency in my 
discourse ; and I was enabled to imitate the example 
of Christ in the text, who stood and cried. I think 
I was scarcely ever enabled to offer the free grace of 
God to perishing sinners with more freedom and 
plainness in my life. Afterwards, I earnestly invited 
the children of God to come renewedly, and drink of 
this fountain of living water, from whence they have 
heretofore derived unspeakable satisfaction. It was 
a very comfortable time to me : there were many tears 
in the assembly, and I doubt not but that the Spirit 
of God was there, convincing poor sinners of their 



168 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

need of Christ. In the evening I felt composed and 
comfortable, though much tired. I had a perception 
of the excellency and glory of God ; and my soul 
rejoiced that he was " God over all, blessed for 
ever." But I was too much crowded with company 
and conversation, and longed to be more alone 
with God. Oh that I could for ever bless God for 
the mercy of this day, who " answered me in the joy 
of my heart." 

The rest of this week seems to have been spent 
under a decay of this life and joy, and in distressing 
conflicts with corruption ; but not without some sea 
sons of refreshment and comfort. 

Lord s-day, Feb. 24. In the morning was much 
perplexed : my interpreter being absent, I knew not 
how to perform my work among the Indians. How 
ever, I rode to them, and got a Dutchman to inter 
pret for me, though he was but poorly qualified for 
the business. Afterwards I came and preached to a 
few white people, from John vi. 67. Here the Lord 
seemed to unburden me in some measure, especially 
towards the close of my discourse. I felt freedom 
to open the love of Christ to his own disciples: when 
the rest of the world forsake him, and are forsaken 
by him, so that he calls them no more, he then turns 
to his own, and says, " Will ye also go away?" I 
had a sense of the free grace of Christ to his own 
people, in such seasons of general apostacy, and when 
they themselves in some measure backslide with the 
world/ 

This second year of Brainerd s missionary labours 
was closed by a journey to New England ; on which 
occasion he was absent about five weeks. 

He had a particular object in view in this journey. 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 169 

Having now spent nearly two years, in a solitary 
manner, he was desirous of an associate in his work ; 
and took this journey in the hope of raising a fund 
among his Christian friends, for the maintenance of 
a second Missionary. He first went into various 
parts of New Jersey, and visited several ministers 
there ; and then proceeded to New York ; and thence 
into New England, and various parts of Connecticut. 
Returning to New Jersey, he met a number of minis 
ters at Woodbridge ; and reached his home, at the 
Forks of Delaware, on the 13th of April, having been 
mercifully preserved during a journey of full 600 
miles. 

He seems to have been more than usually free 
from his accustomed melancholy, during this j ourney ; 
and to have repeatedly enjoyed great liberty in his 
public ministrations, with very hopeful appearances 
of a divine blessing on the word. 

Having formed a design of removing from his pre 
sent residence, and living among the Indians at the 
Susquehanna, he took a journey, a few days after his 
return, to Philadelphia, in order to engage the Go 
vernor of Pennsylvania to use his interest with the 
Chief of the Six Nations, with whom he maintained 
a strict friendship, that Brainerd might receive per 
mission to live at the Susquehanna, and instruct the 
Indians who were within the territories of the Six 
Nations. The Indians at the Susquehanna, with 
whom he wished to reside, were a mixed company of 
many tribes, speaking various languages ; and few 
of them belonged properly to the Six Nations: but 
the country having been formerly conquered by the 
ix Nations, they claimed the land, and held the 
Susquehanna Indians in a kind of vassalage. 



170 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

We cannot conclude the narrative of Brainerd s 
Second Year more appropriately, than by some re 
marks made by himself, about this time, on the diffi 
culties that he found to " attend the christianizing 
of these poor Pagans." 

In the first place, (he writes,) their minds are 
filled with prejudices against Christianity, on account 
of the vicious lives and unchristian behaviour of some 
that are called Christians. These not only set before 
them the worst examples ; but some of them take 
pains expressly in words, to dissuade them from be 
coming Christians ; foreseeing, that if they should 
be converted to God, the hope of their unlawful gain 
would thereby be lost. 

* Again, they are extremely attached to the cus 
toms and fabulous notions of their fathers : and this 
one seems to be the foundation of all their other no 
tions, that it was not the same God that made them, 
who made the white people ; but another, who com 
manded them to live by hunting, &c. and not conform 
to the customs of the white people. Hence, when 
desired to become Christians, they reply, they will 
live as their fathers live, and go to their fathers 
when they die. And if the miracles of Christ and 
his apostles be mentioned, to prove the truth of 
Christianity ; they also mention sundry miracles, 
which their fathers have told them were anciently 
wrought among the Indians, and which Satan makes 
them believe were so. They are much attached to 
idolatry ; frequently making feasts, which they eat 
in honour of some unknown beings, who, they sup 
pose, speak to them in dreams, promising them suc 
cess in hunting, and other affairs, in case they will 
sacrifice to them. They also offer their sacrifices to 



SECOND YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 171 

the spirits of the dead ; who, they suppose, stand in 
need of favours from the living, and yet are in such 
a state as that they can well reward all the offices of 
kindness that are shewn them. And they impute all 
their calamities to the neglect of these sacrifices. 

Further, they are much awed by their Powaws, 
who are supposed to have a power of enchanting, 
poisoning, or at least distressing them : and they ap 
prehend such enchantment would be their fate, in 
case they should become Christians. 

4 Lastly, their manner of living is a great disadvan 
tage to the design of their being christianized. They 
are commonly roving from place to place ; and it is 
rarely that an opportunity can be found with some 
of them for instruction. There is scarce any time of 
the year when the men are generally at home, except 
a little before and during the season of planting 
their corn ; and about two months in the end of sum 
mer, from the time they begin to roast their corn, till 
it is gathered in. 

* As to the hardships that necessarily attend a Mis 
sion among them, the fatigues of frequent journeying 
in the wilderness, the unpleasantness of a mean and 
hard way of living, and the great difficulty of ad 
dressing a people of a stranye language, these I shall at 
present pass over in silence; designing what I have 
already said of difficulties attending this work, not 
for the discouragement of any, but rather for the in 
citement of all, who love the appearing and kingdom of 
Christ, to frequent the Throne of Grace with earnest 
supplication, that the heathen, who were anciently 
promised to Christ for his inheritance, may now actu 
ally and speedily be brought into his kingdom of 
grace, and made heirs of immortal glory/ 



172 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 



CHAPTER VI. 



The third year of his Misssionary Labours ; 
from 1745, to 1746. 

IN this third year of Brainerd s labours, on which 
we are entering:, he had most signal and unexpected 
success among the Indians. 

And what else, indeed, could be expected? Such 
earnest and unwearied desires for the spiritual good 
of this people, such wrestling in prayer for their 
conversion, and so much self-denial and suffering 
for the obtaining of this end, could not be in vain. 
After all the interchanges of his hopes and dis 
couragements, and after waiting in persevering prayer 
and labour and difficulty, through a long night of 
trial, at length the day dawns. " Weeping may 
endure for a night ; but joy cometh in the morning." 
He went forth "weeping, and bearing precious seed," 
and now he " cometh again with rejoicing, bringing 
his sheaves with him." 

And yet this success was not with these Indians 
with whom he had been so long labouring ; but took 
place at a time, in a situation, and on men, quite 
beside his expectation ! 

By desire of the Society in Scotland for Propa- 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 173 

gating Christian Knowledge, Brainerd drew up a 
relation of his success, in the form of a Journal, 
which was published under the title of * Miralilia 
Dei inter Indicos: the Rise and Progress of a Re 
markable Work of Grace, among a Number of the 
Indians in New-Jersey and Pennsylvania/ 

In a Preface to this work, the Correspondents of 
the Society, who were its representatives in America, 
remark : 

Whenever any of the guilty race of mankind are 
awakened to a just concern for their eternal interest, 
are humbled at the footstool of a soyereign God, and 
are persuaded and enabled to accept the offers of 
redeeming love, it must always be acknowledged a 
wonderful work of Divine Grace, which demands 
our thankful praises. But, doubtless, it is a more 
affecting evidence of almighty power, a more illus 
trious display of sovereign mercy, when those are 
enlightened with the knowledge of salvation, who 
have for many ages dwelt in the grossest darkness 
and heathenism, and are brought to a cheerful subjec 
tion to the government of our Divine Redeemer, who, 
from generation to generation, had remained the 
voluntary slaves of " the prince of darkness." 

This is that delightful scene which will present 
itself to the Reader s view, while he attentively 
peruses the following pages. Nothing certainly can 
be more agreeable to a benevolent and religious 
mind, than to see those that were sunk in the most 
degenerate state of human nature, at once, not only 
renounce those barbarous customs to which they 
had been inured from their infancy, but surprisingly 
transformed into the character of real and devout 
Christians. 



174 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

1 This mighty change was brought about by the 
plain and faithful preaching of the Gospel, attended 
with an uncommon effusion of the Divine Spirit, 
under the ministry of the Rev. David Brainerd, a 
Missionary employed by the Honourable Society in 
Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. 

And, surely, it will administer abundant matter 
of praise and thanksgiving to that honourable body, 
to find that their generous attempt to send the Gospel 
among the Indian Nations upon the borders of New 
York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, has met with 
such surprising success. 

< When we see such numbers of the most ignorant 
and barbarous of mankind, in the space of a few 
months, "turned from darkness to light, and from 
the power of Satan unto God, it gives us encourage 
ment to wait and pray for that blessed time, when 
our Victorious Redeemer shall, in a more signal 
manner than he has yet done, display the " banner of 
his cross/ march on from * conquering to conquer, 
till the kingdoms of this world are become the king 
doms of our Lord and of his Christ." Yea, we can 
not but lift up our heads with joy, in hope that it may 
be the dawn of that bright and illustrious day when 
"the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and shine 
from one end of the earth to the other;" when, 
to use the language of the inspired prophets, 
" the Gentiles shall come to his light, and kings 
to the brightness of his rising ; " in consequence 
of which, " the wilderness and solitary places shall 
be glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the 
rose." 

This public journal begins June 19, 1745; and 
ends on the same day in 1746. We shall incorporate 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 175 

the most interesting parts of it, so far as it extends, 
with his private diary. 

These Indians, among whom God gave such suc 
cess to his labours, lived at Crosweeksung, in New 
Jersey, nearly eighty miles south-eastward from his 
residence at the Forks of the Delaware. He did not 
visit them, till a second journey to the Susquehanna 
Indians had disheartened him, with respect to any 
success from labours among those tribes. 

This second journey to the Susquehanna was 
undertaken in May, of this year ; on the 8th day of 
which month he set forward from the Forks of the 
Delaware. 

He endured great hardships and fatigues in his 
way through a hideous wilderness ; where, after 
having lodged one night in the open woods, he was 
overtaken with a north-easterly storm, in which he 
was almost ready to perish. Having no manner of 
shelter, and not being able to make a fire in so great 
a rain, he could have no comfort if he halted ; and 
therefore determined to go forward in the hope of 
meeting with some shelter, without which he thought 
it impossible he should live the night through : 
but the horses which he and his interpreter rode, 
happening to have eaten of some poisonous vege 
tables, for want of other food, at a place where they 
they lodged the night before, were so sick, that they 
could neither ride nor lead them, but were obliged 
to drive them before them, and travel on foot; until, 
through the mercy of God, just at dusk, they came 
to a bark-hut, where they lodged that night. 

After he reached the Susquehanna, he travelled 
about a hundred miles on the river, and visited many 
towns and settlements of the Indians ; saw some 



176 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

of seven or eight distinct tribes ; and preached to 
different nations, by different interpreters. He was 
sometimes much discouraged, and his spirits de 
pressed, by the opposition that appeared in the Indians 
to Christianity : at other times, he was encouraged 
by the disposition that some of them manifested to 
hear, and their willingness to be instructed. He 
here met with some who had been his hearers at 
Kaunaumeek, and had removed hither ; who saw and 
heard him again with great joy. He spent a fort 
night among the Indians on this river ; and passed 
through considerable labours and hardships, fre 
quently lodging on the ground, and sometimes in the 
open air : and, at length, he fell extremely ill, as he 
was riding in the wilderness ; being seized with an 
ague, followed with a burning fever, and extreme 
pains in his head and bowels, attended with a great 
evacuation of blood ; so that he thought he must 
have perished in the wilderness. But, at last, coming 
to an Indian trader s hut, he got leave to stay there ; 
and, though without physic or food proper for him, 
it pleased God, after about a week s distress, to 
relieve him so far, that he was able to ride. He 
returned homeward from Juneata, an island far down 
the river ; where was a considerable number of In 
dians, who appeared more free from prejudices 
against Christianity than most of the other Indians. 
He arrived at the Forks of the Delaware on Thursday, 
May 30, after having rode in this journey about three 
hundred and forty miles. He came home in a very 
weak state, and under dejection of mind. 

In the interval between his return from this second 
journey to the Susquehanna, and his visit to the 
Indians of Crosweeksung, he assisted, on a sacra- 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 177 

mental occasion, at Mr. Beatty s church, about fifty 
miles from his home ; having been invited by Mr. 
Beatty and his congregation. After the administration 
of the Lord s Supper, he preached to a great assembly, 
of three or four thousand persons, with such effect 
from Isaiah liii. 10. " Yet it pleased the Lord to 
bruise him/ that numbers were brought under serious 
and deep impressions. 

Speaking of himself at this time, he wrote to a 
friend : 

As my body was very feeble, so my mind was 
scarcely ever so much damped and discouraged about 
the conversion of the Indians. And, in this state of 
body and mind, I made my first visit to the Indians 
of New Jersey ; where God was pleased to display 
his power and grace in the remarkable manner which 
I have represented in my printed journal/ 

After leaving Mr. Beatty, he spent a few days in 
visiting several ministers in those parts, and arrived 
among the Indians of Crosweeksung on the 19th of 
June, 1745. 

We shall extract his account of his first entrance 
among this people. 

* Having spent most of my time for more than a 
year past amongst the Indians in the Forks of Dela 
ware in Pennsylvania, and v having in that time made 
two journeys to Susquahannah river, far back in 
that province, in order to treat with the Indians re 
specting Christianity; and not having had any ap 
pearance of special success in either of those places, 
which damped my spirits and was not a little dis 
couraging to me ; upon hearing that there were a 
number of Indians at Crosweeksung, in New Jersey, 
near fourscore miles south-east from the Forks of 

N 



178 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

Delaware, I determined to make them a visit, and 
see what might be done towards their conversion. I 
accordingly arrived among them this day. 

I found very few persons at the place I visited, and 
perceived that the Indians in these parts were much 
scattered, there being not more than two or three 
families in a place ; and these small settlements, six, 
ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty miles, and some more, 
from the place I was then at. However, I preached 
to those few whom I found ; who appeared well dis 
posed, and not inclined to object and cavil, as the 
Indians had frequently done elsewhere. 

When I had concluded my discourse, I informed 
them (there being none but a few women and chil 
dren,) that I would willingly visit them again the 
next day. Whereupon they readily set out and 
travelled ten or fifteen miles, in order to give notice 
to some of their friends at that distance. These 
women, like the woman of Samaria, seemed desirous 
that others might " see the man that told them what 
they had done " in their lives past, and the misery 
that attended their idolatrous ways. 

June 20. Visited and preached to the Indians 
again, as I proposed. Numbers more were gathered 
at the invitations of their friends who had heard me 
the day before. These also appeared as attentive, 
orderly, and well disposed as the others. And none 
made any objection, as the Indians in other places 
have usually done. 

June 22. Preached to the Indians again. Their 
number, which at first consisted of about seven or 
eight persons, was now increased to near thirty. 

There was not only a solemn attention among 
them, but some considerable impressions (it was 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 179 

apparent) were made on their minds by divine truths. 
Some began to feel their misery and perishing state, 
and appeared concerned for a deliverance from it. 
My soul was much refreshed, and quickened in my 
work ; and I could not but spend much time with 
them, in order to open both their misery and remedy. 
This was indeed a blessed afternoon to me. While 
riding, before I came to the Indians, my spirits were 
refreshed, and my soul enabled to cry to God almost 
incessantly, for many miles together. In the evening, 
also, I found the consolations of God were not small. 
I was then willing to live, and in some respects de 
sirous of it, that I might do something for the king 
dom of Christ ; and yet death appeared pleasant: so 
that I was in some measure in a strait between two, 
having a desire to depart. I am often weary of this 
world, and want to leave it on that account : but it 
is desirable to be drawn, rather than driven out of 
it. 

June 28. The Indians being now gathered, a 
considerable number of them, from their several and 
distant habitations, requested me to preach twice a 
day to them, being desirous to hear as much as they 
possibly could while I was with them. I cheerfully 
complied with their motion, and could not but admire 
the goodness of God, who, I was persuaded, had 
inclined them thus to inquire after the way of 
salvation. 

* June 29. Preached again twice to the Indians. 
Saw, as I thought, the hand of God very evidently, 
and in a manner somewhat remarkable, making pro 
vision for their subsistence together, in order to their 
being instructed in divine things. For this day, and 
the day before, with only walking a little way from 

N 2 



180 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

the place of our daily meeting, they killed three 
deer, which were a seasonable supply for their w r ants; 
and without which, it seems, they could not have 
subsisted together in order to attend the means of 
grace. 

Lord s-day, June 30. Preached twice this day 
also. Observed yet more concern and affection among 
the poor heathens than ever ; so that they even con 
strained me to tarry yet longer with them, although 
my constitution was exceedingly worn out, and my 
health much impaired by rny late fatigues and 
labours, and especially by my late journey to Sus- 
quehanna, in May last, in which I lodged on the 
ground for several weeks together. 

July 1. Preached again twice to a very serious 
and attentive assembly of Indians ; they having now 
learned to attend the worship of God with Christian 
decency, in all respects. There were now between 
forty and fifty persons present, old and young. 
I spent some considerable time in discoursing with 
them in a more private way, inquiring of them what 
they remembered of the great truths that had been 
taught them from day to day ; and may justly say, it 
was amazing to see how they had received and 
retained the instructions given them, and what 
a measure of knowledge some of them had acquired 
in a few days. 

* July 2. Was obliged to leave these Indians at 
Crosweeksung, thinking it my duty, as soon as health 
would admit, again to visit those at the Forks of the 
Delaware. When I came to take leave of them, and 
spoke something particularly to each of them, they 
all earnestly inquired when I would come again, and 
expressed a great desire of being further instructed ; 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 181 

and of their own accord agreed, that, when I should 
come again, they would all meet and live together 
during my continuance with them; and that they 
would do their utmost endeavours to gather all the 
other Indians in these parts that were yet further 
remote. And when I parted, one told me with many 
tears, she wished God would change her heart ; 
another, that she wanted to find Christ: and an 
old man, who had been one of their chiefs, wept bit 
terly with concern for his soul. I then promised 
them to return as speedily as my health and business 
elsewhere would admit! and felt not a little con 
cerned at parting, lest the good impressions then 
apparent among numbers of them, might decline and 
wear off, when the means came to cease ; and yet could 
not but hope that He, who, I trusted, had begun a 
good work among them, and who I knew did not stand 
in need of means to carry it on, would maintain and 
promote it in the absence of them : although, at the 
same time, I must confess, that I had so often seen 
such encouraging appearances among the Indians 
elsewhere prove wholly abortive, and it appeared 
the favour would be so great, if God should now, 
after I had passed through so considerable a series 
of almost fruitless labours and fatigues, and after my 
rising hopes had been so often frustrated among 
these poor pagans, give me any special success in 
my labours with them, that I could not believe, and 
scarce dared to hope, that the event would be so 
happy, and scarcely ever found myself more sus 
pended between hope and fear, in any affair, or at 
any time, than in this matter. 

*" This encouraging disposition and readiness to re 
ceive instruction, now apparent among these Indians, 



182 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

seems to have been the happy effect of the convic 
tion that one or two of them met with some time 
since, at the Forks of the Delaware, who have since 
endeavoured to show their friends the evil of idolatry ; 
and, although the other Indians seemed but little to 
regard, but rather to deride them ; yet this, perhaps, 
has put them into a thinking posture of mind, and 
so made way for the present encouraging attention. 
An apprehension that this might be the case here, 
has given me encouragement to hope that God may 
in such manner bless the means which I have used 
with Indians in other places, where there is as yet no 
appearance of it. If go, may his name have the glory 
of it ; for I have learned by experience, that he only 
can open the ear, engage the attention, and incline 
the heart of these poor benighted prejudiced pagans, 
to receive instruction. 

His constant preaching to these Indians had so 
reduced him, in the short time spent among them, 
that he found it necessary to give himself some re 
laxation. After he had left them, therefore, he spent 
about a week in New Jersey, among his friends, be 
fore he returned to the Forks of the Delaware ; where 
he arrived on the 12th of July though weak in body, 
yet strong in spirit. 

Here he stayed but a short time, setting off on his 
return to his Indians at Crosweeksung, on the last 
day of this month. He seems, however, to have had 
more encouragement with respect to these Indians, 
during this period, than he had felt before. His in 
terpreter being now admitted to baptism, together 
with his wife, these first members of the Christian 
church from among his Indians were received in the 
presence of their countrymen, in some of whom the 



ACCOUNT OF HIS INTERPRETER. 183 

administration of the sacred ordinance of baptism 
excited, as they acknowledged to him, a greater con 
cern for themselves than any thing that they had ever 
seen or heard before. 

We shall here introduce Brainerd s narrative of 
the work of grace in the mind of his interpreter. It 
may serve as an example and encouragement to 
others to labour as we know from his Journal that 
Brain erd did for his interpreter with unwearied 
faith and patience, for the conversion of men em 
ployed by them in a like capacity. 

Of both the husband and the wife, he says, that 
they were awakened to a solemn concern for their 
souls appeared to be brought to a sense of their 
lost estate, and to be comforted with divine consola 
tions and that a great change had evidently passed 
upon them. 

Of his interpreter he writes 

When I first employed him in this business, in 
the beginning of the summer of 1744, he was well 
fitted for his work, in regard of his acquaintance with 
the Indian and English languages, as well as with 
the manners of both nations ; and in regard of his 
desire that the Indians should conform to the cus 
toms and manners of the English, and especially to 
their manner of living. But he seemed to have little 
or no impression of religion on his mind ; and, in 
that respect, was very unfit for his work, being in 
capable of understanding and communicating to 
others many things of importance ; so that I laboured 
under great disadvantages in addressing the Indians, 
for want of his having an experimental as well as 
more doctrinal acquaintance with divine truths ; and 
at times my spirits sank, and were much discouraged 



184 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

under this difficulty, especially when I observed that 
divine truths made little or no impression on his mind 
for many weeks together. 

He indeed behaved soberly, after I employed 
him, although before he had been a hard drinker ; 
and seemed honestly engaged, so far as he was ca 
pable, in the performance of his work : and, espe 
cially, he appeared very desirous that the Indians 
should renounce their heathenish notions and prac 
tices, and conform to the customs of the Christian 
world ; but still seemed to have no concern about 
his own soul, till he had been with me a considerable 
time. 

1 Near the latter end of July 1744, I preached to 
an assembly of white people, with more freedom and 
fervency than I could possibly address the Indians 
with, without their having first attained a greater 
measure of doctrinal knowledge : at which time he 
was present, and was somewhat awakened to a con 
cern for his soul ; so that the next day he discoursed 
freely with me about his spiritual concerns, and gave 
me an opportunity to use further endeavours to fasten 
the impressions of his perishing state upon his mind : 
and I could plainly perceive, for some time after this, 
that he addressed the Indians with more concern and 
fervency than he had formerly done. 

4 But these impressions seemed quickly to decline, 
and he remained, in a great measure, careless and 
secure, until some time late in the fall of the year 
following; at which time he fell into a weak and 
languishing state of body, and continued much dis 
ordered for several weeks together: and, at this 
season, divine truth took hold of him, and made 
deep impressions on his mind. He was brought 



ACCOUNT OF HIS INTERPRETER. 185 

under great concern for his soul not now transient 
and unsteady, but constant and abiding ; so that his 
mind was burdened from day to day ; and it was 
now his great inquiry, what he should do to be 
saved. His spiritual trouble prevailed, till, at 
length, his sleep, in a measure, departed from him; 
and he had little rest day or night, but walked about 
under a great pressure of mind (for though he was 
disordered, he was still able to walk), and appeared 
like another man to his neighbours, who could not 
but observe his behaviour with wonder. 

After he had been some time in this state, while 
he was striving for mercy, he says, there seemed to 
be an impassable mountain before him. He was 
pressing toward heaven, as he thought, but his way 
was hedged up with thorns, that he could not stir an 
inch further/ He looked this way and that way, 
but could find no way at all. He thought if he could 
but make his way through these thorns and briars, 
and climb up the first steep pitch of the mountain, 
that then there might be hope for him ; but no way 
or means could he find to accomplish this. Here he 
laboured for a time, but all in vain : he saw it was 
impossible, he says, for him ever to help himself 
through this insupportable difficulty. He felt it 
signified nothing, it signified just nothing at all 
for him to strive and struggle any more/ And here, 
he says, he gave over striving, and felt that it was a 
lost case with him, as to his own power, and that all 
his attempts were, and for ever would be, vain and 
fruitless ; and yet he was more calm and composed 
under this view of things, than he had been while 
striving to help himself. 

While he was giving me this account, I was not 



186 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

without fears that what he related was but the work 
ing of his own imagination, and not the effect of any 
divine illumination of mind. But before I had time 
to discover my fears, he added, that at this time he 
felt himself in a miserable and perishing condition ; 
that he saw plainly what he had been doing all his 
days ; and that he had never done one good thing, 
as he expressed it. He knew, he said, he was not 
guilty of some wicked actions which he knew some 
others were guilty of. He had not been used to steal, 
quarrel, and murder ; the latter of which vices are 
common among the Indians. He likewise knew 
that he had done many things that were right ; he 
had been kind to his neighbours, &c. But still his 
cry was, that he had never done one good thing; 
meaning that he had never done any thing from a 
right principle, and with a right view, though he had 
done many things that were materially good and 
right. * And now I thought/ said he, * that I must 
sink down to hell ; that there was no hope for me, 
because I never could do any thing that was good ; 
and if God let me alone never so long, and I should 
try never so much, still I should do nothing but what 
is bad/ 

This further account satisfied me, that he was 
not under the mere working of his imagination ; 
since he appeared so evidently to die to himself, and 
to be divorced from a dependence on his own right 
eousness and good deeds, which mankind, in a fallen 
state, are always so much attached to, and inclined 
to hope for salvation upon. 

There was one thing more in his views, at this 
time, that was very remarkable. He not only saw, 
he says, what a miserable state he himself was in, 



ACCOUNT OF HIS INTERPRETER. 187 

but he likewise saw that the world around him, in 
general, were in the same perishing circumstances ; 
notwithstanding the profession whicli many of them 
made of Christianity, and the hope that they enter 
tained of obtaining everlasting happiness. And this he 
saw clearly, as if he was now awaked out of sleep, 
or had a cloud taken from before his eyes. He saw 
that the life which he had lived was the way to 
eternal death, and that he was now on the brink of 
endless misery ; and, when he looked round, he saw- 
multitudes of others who had lived the same life 
with himself, had no more goodness than he, and yet 
dreamed that they were safe enough, as he had for 
merly done. He was fully persuaded, by their con 
versation and behaviour, that they had never felt 
their sin and misery as he now felt his. 

* After he had been for some time in this condi 
tion, sensible of the impossibility of helping himself 
by any thing that he could do, or of being delivered 
by any created arm, so that he had given up all for 
lost, as to his own attempts, and was become more 
calm and composed ; then, he says, it was borne in 
upon his mind as if it had been audibly spoken to 
him, * There is hope, there is hope! Whereupon 
his soul seemed to rest, and be in some measure 
satisfied, though he had no considerable joy. 

He cannot here remember distinctly any views 
that he had of Christ, or give any clear account of 
his soul s acceptance of him, which makes his expe 
rience appear the more doubtful, and renders it less 
satisfactory to himself and others, than perhaps it 
might be, if he could remember distinctly the appre 
hensions and actings of his mind at this season. 

But these exercises of soul were attended and fol- 



188 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

lowed with a very great change in the man ; so that 
it might justly be said, he was become another man, 
if not a new man. His conversation and deportment 
were much altered, and even the careless world 
could not but admire what had befallen him, to make 
so great a change in his temper, discourse and beha 
viour. 

And especially there was a surprising alteration 
in his public performances. He now addressed the 
Indians with admirable fervency, and scarce knew 
when to leave off: and, sometimes, when I had con 
cluded my discourse, and was returning homeward, 
he would tarry behind to repeat and inculcate what 
had been spoken. 

* His change is abiding ; and his life, so far as I 
know, unblemished to this day, though it is now 
more than six months since he experienced this 
change; in which space of time he has been as much 
exposed to strong drink as possible, in divers places 
where it has been using us freely as water ; and yet 
has never, as I know of, discovered any hankering 
desire after it. 

* He discourses feelingly of the conflicts and con 
solations of a real Christian. His heart echoes to the 
soul-humbling doctrines of grace. He has likewise 
of late had more satisfaction respecting his own 
state, and has been much enlivened and assisted in 
his work ; so that he has been a great comfort to me. 

On a view and strict observation of his serious 
and savoury conversation, his Christian temper, and 
unblemished behaviour, for so considerable a time, 
as well as his experience, which I have given an ac 
count of, I think that I have reason to hope that he 
is created anew in Christ Jesus to good works. 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 189 

His name is Moses Tinda Tautamy. He is about 
fifty years of age. and is pretty well acquainted with 
the Pagan notions and customs of his countrymen, 
and so is the better able now to expose them. He 
has, I am persuaded, already been, and, I trust, will 
yet be, a blessing to the other Indians. 

Brainerd s frame of mind appears to have been, at 
this period, peculiarly elevated and heavenly. He 
writes on the 26th of July : 

God was pleased to help me in prayer, beyond 
what I have experienced for some time. My soul 
was especially drawn out for the enlargement of 
Christ s kingdom, and for the conversion of my peo 
ple ; and my spirit relied on God for the accomplish 
ment of that great work. 

* Oh, how sweet were the thoughts of death to me 
at this time ! Oh, how I longed to be with Christ; 
to be employed in the glorious work of angels ; 
and with an angel s freedom, vigour, and delight! 
And yet how willing was I to stay a while on earth, 
that I might do something, if the Lord pleased, for 
his interest in the world! My soul, my very soul! 
longed for the ingathering of the Heathen ; and I 
cried to God for them most willingly and heartily. 
Oh, how I longed that the remaining part of my life 
might be filled up with some fervency and activity in 
the things of God! Oh, the inward peace, com 
posure, and god-like serenity of such a frame! 
Heaven must needs differ from this only in degree, 
not in kind. Lord! ever give me this bread of 
life ! 

On the 31st of July, Brainerd set out on his 
journey to Crosweeksung, and arrived there the next 
day. He appears to have entered on his work at 



190 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

this place, in a frame of mind prepared for the signal 
success which immediately attended his ministry. 

He says of the Indians to whom he was going: 

* I was much enlarged in praying for their saving 
conversion ; and scarce ever found my desires of any 
thing of this nature so sensibly and clearly (to my 
own satisfaction) disinterested, and free from selfish 
views. It seemed to me that I had no care, or hardly 
any desire, to be the instrument of so glorious a 
work, as I wished and prayed for among the Indians : 
if the blessed work might be accomplished to the 
honour of God, and the enlargement of the Re 
deemer s kingdom, this was all my desire and care ; 
and for this mercy I hoped, but with trembling ; for 
I felt what Job expresses, chap. ix. 16. My rising 
hopes, respecting the conversion of the Indians, have 
been so often dashed, that my spirit is, as it were, 
broken, and my courage wasted, and I hardly dare 
hope/ 

The scene which followed is one of the most re 
markable in the records of the church. It pleased 
God to accompany the labours of His servant with 
the influences of His Spirit, in a manner very un 
usual; and to give sufficient evidence that the work 
was perfectly rational and scriptural. 

We have seen the deep concern which \vas awak 
ened under Brainerd s preaching among these In 
dians, on his first visit. He now found this concern 
much increased, and the convictions of their sinful 
state greatly strengthened, chiefly by the labours of 
a neighbouring minister, to whom he had advised 
them to have recourse during his absence. 

Saturday, August 3. He preached to them from 
Rev. xxii. 17. " And whosoever will, let him take of 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION . 191 

the water of life freely." A peculiar blessing accom 
panied the word. He expresses his persuasion that 
he was enabled, on this occasion, in a manner some 
what uncommon, to set before the Indians the Lord 
Jesus Christ as a kind and compassionate Saviour, 
and to invite distressed and perishing sinners to ac 
cept mercy. A deep impression became apparent 
among them. Out of about twenty adult Indians, 
(many from remote places not having had time to 
assemble,) not more than two could refrain from 
tears. Some of them discovered vehement longings 
of soul that Christ would save them from the misery 
which they felt or feared. 

This was the beginning of the great work of which 
he was made the instrument. For the next eight or 
ten days he was almost wholly occupied, during his 
waking hours, in preaching to his Indians, or in 
conversing with them on the state of their minds. 

Sunday, August 4. Having been invited by a 
neighbouring minister, to assist in the administration 
of the Lord s Supper, he complied, and took his In 
dians with him ; who had now collected together to 
the amount of nearly fifty, old and young. The se 
veral discourses of the day strengthened the impres 
sions that had been made on them. A change began 
to discover itself in their manners. In the evening, 
when they met to sup together, they would not taste 
their food, till they had sent to Brainerd to come and 
ask a blessing on it; on which occasion some of them 
wept, especially when he reminded them that they had , 
in time past, eaten their feasts in honour of devils. 

Aug. 5. After a sermon had been preached by 
another minister, Brainerd concluded this sacra 
mental solemnity by a discourse from John vii. 37. 



192 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

In the evening, he conversed with the Indians, the 
greater part of whom were at the house where he 
lodged, and found them universally inquiring what 
they should do to be saved. All their discourse 
turned on the concerns of their souls. They were 
much assisted by his Interpreter, who was with them 
day and night. One woman, who had been anxiously 
seeking peace since she had heard Brainerd preach 
in June, seemed to have obtained solid and well- 
grounded comfort ; being filled with love to Christ, 
and at the same time evincing an humble and tender 
spirit, afraid of nothing so much as of grieving and 
oifending Him whom her soul loved. 

Aug. 6. In the morning, before they returned 
home, Brainerd preached to the Indians, at the 
house where they all lodged ; when many of them 
were much affected; and appeared in so tender a 
spirit, that a few words caused their tears to flow 
freely, and drew forth many sobs and groans. 

In the afternoon, having reached home, he again 
preached, from 1 John iv. 10, when there were about 
fifty-five persons present, forty of whom were of 
sufficient age to hear with understanding. They lis 
tened with fixed attention, for some time ; but, near 
the close of the discourse, the truth was attended 
with peculiar power, for scarcely three in the forty 
could refrain from tears. All, as one man, seemed 
in an agony of soul to obtain salvation. The more 
he discoursed of the love and compassion of God in 
sending His Son to die for sinners, and the more 
earnestly he invited them to come and partake of 
His love, the more pungent their distress seemed, as 
feeling their own inability to apply His mercy to 
themselves. It was surprising, he says, * to see 



REMARKABLE SUCCESS. 193 

how their hearts seemed to be pierced with the tender 
and melting invitations of the Gospel, when there 
was not a word of terror spoken to them. He him 
self stood amazed at the gracious influence by which 
the word was attended, and observes, I can say no 
less of this day, than that the arm of the Lord was 
powerfully revealed in it/ 

Two of the Indians appeared to rest on solid and 
scriptural grounds of peace: when he asked them 
what further blessing they would beg of God, they 
replied in their simple manner, that they wanted 
Christ to wipe their hearts quite clean/ 

August 7. He preached to the Indians from 
Isaiah liii. 310. Most of his hearers were much 
affected, and many in great distress. Some few 
seemed pierced, as it were, to the heart, and cried 
unceasingly for mercy. Those who came in from 
remote places no sooner joined the congregation, 
than a sacred influence seemed to rest on their 
minds. Several others were enabled to gather com 
fort from the gospel ; and he noticed as observable, 
that those who first derived peace from a view of the 
gospel, were in general deeply affected with concern 
for their salvation, when he preached to them in 
June ; which marked the rational and scriptural 
nature of the work in their minds. 

August 8. In the afternoon, he preached to the 
Indians, now about sixty-five in number, from Luke 
xiv. 1623, with unusual freedom of mind. 

As he went among them, after his discourse, 
speaking to one and another whom he perceived 
under much concern, it pleased God, in a singular 
manner, to bear testimony to the word of his grace, 
and to bless the labours of his servant, 
o 



194 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

His own words will best depict this scene : 
I stood amazed at the influence that seized the 
audience, almost universally ; and could compare it 
to nothing more aptly, than the irresistible force of a 
mighty torrent, or swelling deluge, which, with its 
insupportable weight and pressure, bears down and 
sweeps before it whatever is in its way. Almost all 
persons, of all ages, were bowed down with concern 
together; and scarcely one was able to withstand the 
power of this surprising operation. Old men and 
women, who had been drunken wretches for many 
years, and some little children, not more than six or 
seven years of age, appeared in distress for their 
souls, as well as persons of middle age. Arid it was 
apparent, that these children (some of them at least) 
were not merely frightened with seeing the general 
concern, but were made sensible of their danger, the 
badness of their hearts, and their misery without 
Christ, as some of them expressed it. The most 
stubborn hearts were now obliged to bow. A prin 
cipal man among the Indians, who before was most 
secure and self-righteous, and thought his state 
good, because he knew more than the generality 
of the Indians had formerly done, and who, with a 
great degree of confidence, only the day before, told 
me, he had been a Christian more than ten years, was 
now brought under solemn concern for his soul, and 
wept bitterly. Another man, considerably in years, 
who had been a murderer, a powaw or conjuror, and 
a notorious drunkard, was likewise brought now to 
cry for mercy with many tears, and to complain 
much that he could be no more concerned when he 
saw his danger so very great. 

They were almost universally praying and crying 



REMARKABLE SUCCESS. 195 

for mercy in every part of the house, and many out 
of doors ; and numbers could neither go nor stand. 
Their concern was so great, each one for himself, 
that none seemed to take any notice of those about 
them ; but each prayed as freely for themselves, and, 
I am apt to think, were, to their own apprehension, 
as much retired, as if they had been every one by 
themselves in the thickest desert; or, I believe 
rather, that they thought nothing about any but 
themselves, and their own states, and so were every 
one praying apart, although all together. 

It seemed to me there was now an exact fulfilment 
of that prophecy, Zech. xii. 10, 11, 12; for there 
was now " a great mourning, like the mourning of 
Hadadrimmon ; " and each seemed to " mourn 
apart/ Methought this had a near resemblance to 
the day of God s power, mentioned Joshua x. 14 ; 
for I must say, I never saw any day like it in all 
respects. It was a day wherein, I am persuaded, 
the Lord did much to destroy the kingdom of 
darkness among this people. 

* This concern, in general, was most rational and 
just. Those who had been awakened any consider 
able time, complained more especially of the badness 
of their hearts; and those newly awakened, of the 
badness of their lives and actions past; and all were 
afraid of the anger of God, and of everlasting misery 
as the desert of sin. 

* Several of the white people, who came out of 
curiosity to " hear what this babbler would say" to 
the poor ignorant Indians, were much awakened, 
and some appeared to be wounded with a view of 
their perishing state. 

Those who had lately obtained relief, were filled 
02 



196 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

with comfort at this season. They appeared calm 
and composed, and seemed to rejoice in Christ 
Jesus ; and some of them took their distressed 
friends by the hand, telling them of the goodness 
of Christ, and the comfort that is to be enjoyed in 
him, and thence invited them to come and give up 
their hearts to him: and I could observe some of 
them, in the most honest and unaffected manner 
(without any design of being taken notice of), lifting 
up their eyes to heaven, as if crying for mercy, 
while they saw the distress of the poor souls around 
them. 

There was one remarkable instance of awakening 
this day, which I cannot but take particular notice 
of. A young Indian woman, who, I believe, never 
knew before that she had a soul, nor ever thought 
of any such thing, hearing that there was something 
strange among the Indians, came, it seems, to see 
what was the matter: she, in her way to the Indians, 
called at my lodgings, and when I told her I de 
signed presently to preach to the Indians, laughed 
and seemed to mock, but went, however, to them. I 
had not proceeded far, in my public discourse, 
before she felt effectually that she had a soul ; and 
before I had concluded my discourse, was so con 
vinced of her sin and misery, and so distressed with 
concern for her soul s salvation, that she seemed like 
one pierced through with a dart, and cried out in 
cessantly. She could neither go nor stand, nor sit 
on her seat, without being held up. After public 
service was over, she lay flat on the ground, praying t 
earnestly, and would take no notice of, nor give any 
answer to any that spoke to her. I hearkened to hear 
what she said, and perceived the burden of her 



REMARKABLE SUCCESS. 197 

prayer to be, Guttummaukalummeh, wechaumeh kmeleh 
Ndah, i. e. " Have mercy on me, and help me to 
give you my heart." And thus she continued pray 
ing incessantly for many hours together. 

This was indeed a surprising day of God s power; 
and seemed enough to convince an Atheist of the 
truth, importance, and power of God s word. 

August 9. He spent the former part of the day 
with his Indians ; in giving them suitable cautions 
and directions: and, in the afternoon, to about 
seventy persons, old and young, he explained and 
applied the Parable of the Sower. 

While he was addressing himself, near night, to 
two or three of his awakened Indians, a scene fol 
lowed somewhat of the nature of that which had 
taken place the day before. 

* A divine influence, he says, seemed to attend 
what was spoken to them in a powerful manner, 
which caused the persons to cry out in anguish of 
soul, although I spoke not a word of terror; but, on 
the contrary, set before them the fulness and all- 
sufficiency of Christ s merits, and his willingness to 
save all that came to him ; and thereupon pressed 
them to come without delay. 

The cry of these was soon heard by others, who, 
though scattered before, immediately gathered round. 
I then proceeded in the same strain of gospel-in 
vitation, till they were all melted into tears and 
cries, except two or three; and seemed in the 
greatest distress to find and secure salvation in the 
great Redeemer. Some who had but little more 
than a ruffle made in their passions the day before, 
seemed now to be deeply affected and wounded at 
heart ; and the concern in general appeared near as 



198 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

prevalent as it was the day before. There was, 
indeed, a very great mourning among them, and yet 
every one seemed to mourn apart ; for so great was 
their concern, that almost every one was praying and 
crying for himself, as if none had been near. 
(ruttummaukalummeh, guttummaukalummeh, i. e. 
" Have mercy upon me, have mercy upon me! " was 
the common cry. 

It was very affecting to see the poor Indians, who 
the other day were hallooing and yelling at their 
idolatrous feasts and drunken frolics, now crying 
to God with such importunity for pardon in his dear 
Son/ 

August 10. He writes on this day : 
Rode to the Indians, and began to discourse 
more privately to those who had obtained comfort 
and satisfaction; endeavouring to instruct, direct, 
caution, and comfort them. But others being eager 
to hear every word that related to spiritual concerns, 
soon came together one after another: and when I 
had discoursed to the young converts more than half 
an hour, they seemed much melted with divine things, 
and earnestly desirous to be with Christ. I told them 
of the godly soul s perfect purity, and full enjoyment 
of Christ, immediately upon its separation from the 
body ; and that it would be for ever inconceivably 
more happy than they had ever been for any short 
space of time, when Christ seemed near to them in 
prayer or other duties. And, that I might make way 
for speaking of the resurrection of the body, and 
thence of the complete blessedness of the man, I 
said, But perhaps some of you will say, I love my 
body as well as my soul; and I cannot bear to think 
that my body should lie dead, if my soul is happy." 



REMARKABLE SUCCESS. 199 

To which they all cheerfully replied, Muttoh, Muttoh, 
No, No, (before I had opportunity to prosecute, 
what I designed respecting the resurrection). They 
did not regard their bodies, if their souls might but 
be with Christ. They then appeared " willing to be 
absent from the body, that they might be present with 
the Lord." 

1 When I had spent some time with these, I turned 
to the other Indians, and spoke to them from Luke 
xix. 10. I had not discoursed long, before their 
concern rose to a great degree, and the house was 
filled with cries and groans. And when I insisted 
on the compassion and care of the Lord Jesus Christ 
for those that were lost, who thought themselves 
undone, and could find no way of escape, this melted 
them down the more, and aggravated their distress, 
that they could not find and come to so kind a 
Saviour. 

1 Sundry persons who before had been but slightly 
awakened, were now deeply wounded with a sense 
of their sin and misery. And one man in particular, 
who was never before awakened, was now made to 
feel that * the word of the Lord was quick and 
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword." 
He seemed to be pierced at heart with distress, and 
his concern appeared most rational and scriptural : 
for he said, All the wickedness of my past life is 
brought fresh to my remembrance ; and I see all the 
vile actions which I have done formerly, as if done 
but yesterday. 

Found one that had newly received comfort, after 
pressing distress from day to day. Could not but 
rejoice and admire at divine goodness in what ap 
peared this day. There seems to have been some 



200 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

good done by every discourse; some newly awakened 
every day, and some comforted. 

It was refreshing to observe the conduct of those 
that had obtained comfort. While others were dis 
tressed with fear and concern, these were lifting up 
their hearts to God for them/ 

Sunday, August 11. In the forenoon he dis 
coursed from the parable of the prodigal son ; but 
observed no such remarkable effect of the word as in 
days passed. Numbers of careless hearers were 
present from among the white people. In the after 
noon, from a part of St. Peter s discourse in the 
second chapter of the Acts. A great concern 
spread through the whole assembly, both English 
and Indians. 

Of the state of the Indian converts he remarks : 

4 Those that had obtained relief and comfort, and 
had given hopeful evidences of having experienced a 
saving change, appeared humble and devout, and 
behaved in an agreeable and Christian manner. I 
was refreshed to see the tenderness of conscience 
manifest in some of them, one instance of which I 
cannot but take notice of. Perceiving one of them 
very sorrowful in the morning, I inquired into the 
cause of her sorrow, and found it to be that she 
had been angry with her child the evening before, 
arid was now exercised with fears, lest her anger 
had been inordinate and sinful ; which so grieved 
her, that she waked, and began to sob before day 
light, and continued weeping for several hours 
together. 

On Wednesday, he writes : 

* Spent the day with the Indians. There was one 
of them who had some time since put away his wife 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 201 

(as is common among them), and taken another 
woman ; and being now brought under some serious 
impressions, was much concerned about that affair 
in particular, and seemed fully convinced of the 
wickedness of that practice, and earnestly desirous 
to know what God would have him to do in his pre 
sent circumstances. When the law of God respecting 
marriage had been opened to them, and the cause of 
his leaving his wife inquired into ; and when it ap 
peared that she had given him no just occasion by 
unchastity to desert her, and that she was willing to 
forgive his past misconduct, and to live peaceably with 
him for the future, and that she moreover then insisted 
on her right to him, as her husband ; he was then 
told, that it was his indispensable duty to renounce 
the woman whom he had last taken, and receive the 
first, who was his proper wife, and live peaceably 
with her during life; with which he readily and 
cheerfully complied, and thereupon publicly re 
nounced the woman whom he had last taken, and 
promised to live with and be kind to his wife during 
life ; she also promising the same to him. And here 
appeared a clear demonstration of the power of 
God s word upon their hearts. I suppose that, a few 
weeks before, the whole world could not have per 
suaded this man to a compliance with Christian rules 
in this affair. 

I was not without fears, lest this proceeding might 
belike putting new wine into old bottles;" and 
that some might be prejudiced against Christianity, 
when they saw the changes made by it. But the 
man being much concerned about the matter, the 
determination of it could be deferred no longer ; and 
it seemed to have a good, rather than an ill effect 



202 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

among the Indians, who generally owned, that the 
laws of Christ were good and right respecting the 
affairs of marriage. 

This remarkable awakening among the Indians, 
subsided gradually into a calm and settled state. In 
the days immediately following those which we have 
named, the affections of the hearers began to be less 
violently moved, but their hearts seemed as solidly 
and deeply impressed as ever with divine truths ; 
although the concern did not seem to reach every 
individual in such manner as on some former days. 
Old men began to seek for salvation ; they could 
not refrain from weeping and crying aloud. True 
and genuine convictions of sin were daily gaining 
ground ; though some few, whose passions were per 
haps moved by sympathy with others in days passed, 
began to manifest that their hearts were never duly 
affected. 

During this period, Brainepd s private Diary at 
tests his earnest and importunate wrestlings with God 
in prayer for his Indians ; and his great refreshment 
and joy in witnessing the wonderful mercy of God, 
and the manifestations of his power and grace among 
them ; with his ardent thanksgivings, and the re 
joicing of his heart in Christ, as King of his church 
and Lord of his soul. 

A passage in his public journal shows him, like the 
true servant of his Master, sinking into himself, and 
accounting nothing of his own services. 

I never saw the work of God, he says, appear so 
independent of means as at this time. I discoursed 
to the people, and spoke what (I suppose) had a 
proper tendency to promote convictions ; and God s 
manner of working upon them appeared so entirely 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 203 

supernatural, and above means, that I could scarce 
believe he used me as an instrument, or what I spake 
as means of carrying on his work ; for it seemed, as I 
thought, to have no connection with, nor dependence 
upon means in any respect. And although I could 
not but continue to use the means which I thought 
proper for the promotion of the work, yet God seemed 
(as I apprehended) to work entirely without them : 
so that I seemed to do nothing, and indeed to have 
nothing to do, but " to stand still and see the salva 
tion of God;" and found myself obliged and de 
lighted to say, " Not unto us," not unto instruments 
and means, " but to thy name be glory ." 

That this was the genuine feeling of his mind, and 
that he was dead to himself and alive unto God, was 
evidenced a few days after, on occasion of his 
preaching to a considerable congregation, at a neigh 
bouring minister s, from Matt. v. 3, when, he feelingly 
says : 

* It pleased God to leave me very dry and barren; 
so that I do not remember to have been so straitened 
for a whole twelvemonth past. God is just, and he 
has made my soul acquiesce in his will in this regard. 
It is contrary to flesh and blood to be cut off from all 
freedom in a large auditory, where their expectations 
are much raised : but it was so with me ; and God 
helped me to say " Amen " to it " Good is the will 
of the Lord ! " 

We have traced the beginning of that striking 
work among the Indians of Crosweeksung, of which 
Brainerd was made the instrument ; and have brought 
his journal to the month of August, 1745. 

In the months of September, October, and Novem 
ber his labours were equally unwearied ; and were 



204 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

attended with the most encouraging; evidences of 
the divine blessing. His private journal indicates, 
through this period, a state of mind almost invari 
ably happy ; and, frequently, great nearness to God, 
and elevation above the world. 

He began to take pains with some of his Indians, 
in order to prepare them for baptism ; and his labours 
were attended with a salutary influence on their 
minds. 

On the day preceding the administration of the 
ordinance, he discoursed to them from 1 Thess. iv. 
13 17; and observes 

4 There were several Indians newly come, who 
thought their state good, and themselves happy, 
because they had sometimes lived with the white 
people under gospel-light, had learned to read, were 
civil, &c.; although they appeared utter strangers to 
their own hearts, and altogether unacquainted with 
the power of religion, as well as with the doctrines 
of grace. With those I discoursed particularly after 
public worship ; and was surprised to see their self- 
righteous disposition, their strong attachment to the 
covenant of works for salvation, and the high value 
which they put on their supposed attainments. Yet, 
after much discourse, one appeared, in a measure, 
convinced that " by the deeds of the law no flesh 
living should be justified ;" and wept bitterly, in 
quiring what he must do to be saved. 

This was very comfortable to others, who had 
gained some experimental acquaintance with their 
own hearts : for, before, they were grieved with the 
conduct and conversation of these new-comers, who 
boasted of their knowledge, and thought well of them 
selves; but evidently discovered to those that had 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 205 

any experience of divine truths, that they knew no 
thing of their own hearts/ 

Of the baptism of these Indians, he writes: 

Sunday, Aug. 25. Baptized twenty-five persons 
of the Indians ; fifteen adults, and ten children. 
Most of the adults, I have reason to hope, are re 
newed persons. 

4 After the crowd of spectators was gone, I called 
the baptized persons together, and discoursed to 
them in particular, at the same time inviting others 
to attend ; reminded them of the solemn obligations 
which they were now under, to live to God ; warned 
them of the evil and dreadful consequences of care 
less living, especially after this public profession of 
Christianity ; gave them directions for their future 
conduct ; and encouraged them to watchfulness and 
devotion, by setting before them the comfort and 
happy conclusion of a religious life. 

This was a desirable season indeed ! Their hearts 
were cheerful in duty, and they rejoiced that they 
had in a public and solemn manner dedicated them 
selves to God. Love seemed to reign among them. 
They took one another by the hand with affection, as 
if their hearts were knit together, while I was dis 
coursing to them : and all their deportment toward 
one another was such, that a serious spectator might 
justly be excited to cry out with admiration, Behold 
how they love one another! Sundry of the other 
Indians, at seeing and hearing these things, were 
much affected, and wept bitterly ; longing to be 
partakers of the same joy and comfort that these 
discovered by their very countenances as well as 
conduct/ 

The next day Brainerd preached to his people, 



206 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

from John vi. 51 55. His account of the effects of 
this discourse will serve as an illustration of that 
gracious influence which now frequently attended 
his ministry. 

4 After I had discoursed some time, I addressed 
those in particular who entertained hopes that they 
had " passed from death unto life " opened to 
them the persevering nature of those consolations 
which Christ gives his people, and which I trusted 
he had bestow r ed upon some in that assembly shewed 
them that such have already " the beginnings of 
eternal life," (ver. 54.) and that their heaven shall 
speedily be completed, &c. 

I no sooner began to discourse in this strain, but 
the dear Christians in the congregation began to be 
melted with affection to and desire of the enjoyment 
of Christ, and of a state of perfect purity. They 
wept affectionately and yet joyfully, and their tears 
and sobs discovered brokenness of heart, arid yet 
were attended with real comfort ; so that this appeared 
to be the genuine effect of a spirit of adoption, and 
very far from that spirit of bondage that they not 
long since laboured under. The influence seemed 
to spread from these through the whole assembly, 
and there quickly appeared a wonderful concern 
among them. Many who had not yet found Christ as 
an all-sufficient Saviour, were surprisingly engaged in 
seeking after him. It was indeed a lovely assembly. 
Their number was now about ninety-five persons, old 
and young; and almost all affected either with joy 
in Christ Jesus, or with the utmost concern to obtain 
an interest in Him/ 

Brainerd now thought it his duty to visit again the 
Susquehanna Indians, it being a proper season of the 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 207 

year to find them at home. After having spent some 
hours in public and private discourses with his peo 
ple, he told them that he must now leave them for a 
time, and visit their far-distant brethren, in order to 
preach to them ; and that he earnestly desired the 
gracious influence of the Spirit of God, without 
whom nothing could be done to any good purpose 
among the Indians, as they themselves had had 
opportunity to observe, by the barrenness of their 
own meetings at some seasons, even when much 
pains were taken to affect and awaken sinners. He 
asked them, if they were willing to spend the re 
mainder of the day in prayer for him, that God would 
go with him, and prosper his endeavours for the 
conversion of those benighted souls. His Indians 
cheerfully complied ; and, soon after he left them (it 
then wanting about an hour and a half to sun-set), 
they began, and continued praying all night, till 
near break of day ; never suspecting, as they told 
him, till they went out and viewed the stars, that it 
was later than common bed-time. 

* Thus eager (he says) and unwearied were they 
in their devotions. A remarkable night it was ; 
attended, as my Interpreter tells me, with a powerful 
influence on those who were yet under concern, as 
well as those that received comfort. 

He adds : 

This day an old Indian, who has all his days 
been an obstinate idolater, was brought to give up 
his rattles (which they use for music in their idola 
trous feasts and dances) to the other Indians, who 
quickly destroyed them ; and this without any attempt 
of mine in the affair, I having said nothing to him 
about it: so that it seemed that it was nothing but 



208 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDt 

just the power of God s word, without any par 
ticular application to this sin, that produced this 
effect. 

Thus God has begun, and thus he has hitherto 
surprisingly carried on, a work of grace among these 
Indians. May the glory be ascribed to Him, who is 
the sole author of it ! 

The next day Brainerd set forward on his journey ; 
designing first to visit his former friends at the Forjts 
of the Delaware, and then proceed to the Susque- 
hanna. In his way to the Forks of the Delaware, he 
went round by Philadelphia, to obtain a recommen 
dation from the governor of Pennsylvania to the 
chief of the Indians. Having succeeded in this re 
quest, he arrived among his former hearers, with 
whom he staid about ten days ; not forgetting the 
Irish settlement, about fifteen miles distant, which 
he frequently mentions in the earlier parts of his 
journal. 

Of this visit to the Forks, he says : 

Sunday, Sept. i, 1745. Preached to the Indians 
here, from Luke xiv. 16 23. The word appeared 
to be attended with some power, and caused some 
tears in the asssmbly. 

Afterward preached to a number of white people 
present, and observed many of them in tears, and 
some who had formerly been as careless and uncon 
cerned about religion, perhaps, as the Indians. 

Toward night, discoursed to the Indians again, 
and perceived a greater attention, and more visible 
concern among them, than has been usual in these 
parts. 

Sept. 3. Preached to the Indians from Isa. liii. 
3 6. The divine presence seemed to be in the 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 209 

midst of the assembly, and a considerable concern 
spread among them. Sundry persons seemed to be 
aroused ; among whom were two stupid creatures 
that I could scarce ever before keep awake while I 
was discoursing to them. 

Sept. 5. Discoursed to the Indians from the Pa 
rable of the Sower afterward conversed particularly 
with sundry persons, which occasioned them to weep, 
and even to cry out in an affecting manner, and 
seized others with surprize and concern ; and I doubt 
not but that a divine power accompanied what was 
then spoken. Sundry of these persons had been with 
me to Crosweeksung ; and had there seen, and some 
of them I trust felt, the power of God s word in an 
effectual and saving manner. I asked one of them, 
who had given hopeful evidence of being truly reli 
gious, why he now cried. He replied, that when he 
thought how Christ was slain like a lamb, and had 
spilt his blood for sinners, he could not help crying, 
even when he was all alone ; and thereupon burst out 
into tears and cries again. I then asked his wife, who 
had likewise been abundantly comforted, wherefore 
she cried. She answered, that she was grieved that 
the Indians here would not come to Christ, as well 
as those at Crosweeksung. I asked her if she found 
a heart to pray for them, and whether Christ had 
seemed to be near to her of late in prayer, as in time 
past which is my usual method of expressing a 
sense of the divine presence. She replied, that he 
had been near to her; and that, at times, when she 
had been praying alone, her heart loved to pray so, 
that she could not bear to leave the place, but wanted 
to stay and pray longer. 

Sunday, Sept. 8. Discoursed to the Indians in 
p 



210 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

the forenoon, from John xii. 44 50 ; in the afternoon, 
from Acts ii. 36 39. The word of God seemed to fall 
with weight and infl uence on them. There were but few 
present ; but most that were, were in tears, and sundry 
cried out under distressing concern for their souls. 

There was one man considerably awakened, who 
never before discovered any concern for his soul. 
There appeared a remarkable work of the Divine 
Spirit among them, almost generally, not unlike what 
has been of late at Crosweeksung. It seemed as if 
the divine influence had spread from thence to this 
place ; although something of it had before appeared 
here in the awakening of my Interpreter, his wife, 
and some few others. 

* Sundry of the careless white people now present 
were awakened (or at least startled), seeing the 
power of God so prevalent among the Indians. I 
then made a particular address to them, which seemed 
to make some impression upon them. 

There are sundry in these parts who have always 
refused to hear me preach, and have been engaged 
against those that have attended my preaching. But 
of late they are more bitter than ever; scoffing at 
Christianity, and sometimes asking my hearers how 
often they had cried ! and whether they had not cried 
enough to serve the turn ! &c. So that they have 
already trial of cruel mockings. 

On the 9th of September, Brainerd left the Dela 
ware, and directed his course towards the Indian 
town Shaumoking, on the Susquehanna, upwards of 
120 miles westward from the Forks, where he arrived 
on the fifth day of his journey. This was the largest 
of the Indian settlements that he had visited in May. 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 211 

Of his visit to this place he writes : 

I was kindly received and entertained by the In 
dians ; but had little satisfaction, by reason of the 
heathenish dance and revel which they then held in 
the house where I was obliged to lodge; which I 
could not suppress, though I often entreated them to 
desist, for the sake of one of their own friends, who 
was then sick in the house, and whose disorder was 
much aggravated by the noise. Alas ! how destitute 
of natural affection are these poor uncultivated Pa 
gans ! although they seem somewhat kind in their 
own way. Of a truth, " the dark places of the 
earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." 

This town lies partly on the east side of the river, 
partly on the west, and partly on a large island in it, 
and contains upwards of fifty houses, and, they tell 
me, near three hundred persons, though I never saw 
much more than half that number in it ; but they are 
of three different tribes of Indians, speaking three 
languages, wholly unintelligible to each other. About 
one half of its inhabitants are Delawares; the other 
are called Senakas and Tutelas. The Indians of this 
place are counted the most drunken, mischievous, 
and ruffianly fellows of any in these parts ; and Satan 
seems to have his seat in this town, in an eminent 
manner. 

Sept. 14, 1745. Visited the Delaware King (who 
was supposed to be at the point of death when I was 
here in May last, but was now recovered), and dis 
coursed with him and others respecting Christianity; 
and spent the afternoon with them, and had more 
encouragement than I expected. The king appeared 
kindly disposed, and willing to be instructed. This 
gave me some encouragement that God would open 
p 2 



212 LIFE OF/ DAVID BRAINERD : 

an effectual door for my preaching the gospel here, 
and set up His kingdom in this place ; which was a 
support and refreshment to me in the wilderness, 
and rendered my solitary circumstances pleasant. 

1 Sunday, Sept. 15. Visited the Chief of the De 
laware again, and was kindly received by him dis 
coursed to the Indians in the afternoon still enter 
tained hopes that God would open their hearts to 
receive the gospel ; though many of them in the 
place were so drunk from day to day, that I could 
get no opportunity to speak to them toward night, 
discoursed with one that understood the languages 
of the Six Nations (as they are usually called), who 
discovered an inclination to hearken to Christianity ; 
which gave me some hopes that the gospel might 
hereafter be sent to those nations far remote. 

Sept. 16. Spent the forenoon with the Indians, 
endeavouring to instruct them from house to house ; 
and to engage them, as far as I could, to be friendly 
to Christianity. 

1 Toward night, went to one part of the town where 
they were sober, and got together nearly fifty persons, 
and discoursed to them, having first obtained the 
king s cheerful consent. There was a surprising at 
tention among them, and they manifested a consi 
derable desire of being further instructed. There 
were also one or two that seemed to be touched with 
some concern for their souls, who appeared well 
pleased with some conversation in private, after I 
had concluded my public discourse to them. 

V My spirits were much refreshed with this appear 
ance of things ; and I could not but return with my 
interpreter (having no other companion in this 
journey) to my poor hard lodgings, rejoicing in hopes 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 213 

that God designed to set up his kingdom here, where 
Satan now reigns in the most eminent manner; and 
found uncommon freedom in addressing the throne 
of grace for the accomplishment of so great and 
glorious a work. 

Sept. 17. Spent the forenoon in visiting and dis 
coursing to the Indians. About noon, left Shaumo- 
king, (most of the Indians this day going out on their 
hunting design,) and travelled down the river south- 
westward. 

From Shaumoking, Brainerd again visited June- 
auta, an Indian town on an island of that name, 
situated in the Susquehanna. He was here much 
discouraged with the temper, and behaviour of the 
Indians, though they had received him in a friendly 
manner when he was with them on his former journey, 
and had given him encouragement to repeat his visit 
to them : but they now seemed resolved to retain 
their pagan notions, and to persist in their idolatrous 
practices. 

We shall extract the account of his intercourse 
with these Indians of Juneauta. 

* Sept. 20. Visited the Indians again at Juneauta 
Island, and found them almost universally very busy 
in making preparations for a great sacrifice and 
dance. Had no opportunity to get them together, in 
order to discourse with them about Christianity, by 
reason of their being so much engaged about their 
sacrifice. My spirits were much sunk with a pros 
pect so very discouraging ; and especially seeing I 
had now no interpreter but a pagan, who was as much 
attached to idolatry as any of them, (my own inter 
preter having left me the day before, being obliged to 
attend upon some important business elsewhere, and 



214 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

knowing that he could neither speak nor understand 
the language of these Indians) ; so that I was under 
the greatest disadvantages imaginable. However, I 
attempted to discourse privately with some of them, 
but without any appearance of success : notwith 
standing, I still tarried with them. 

In the evening they met together, near a hundred 
of them, and danced round a large fire, having pre 
pared ten fat deer for the sacrifice ; the fat of whose 
inwards they burnt in the fire while they were dan 
cing, and sometimes raised the flame to a prodigious 
height; at the same time yelling and shouting in such 
a manner, that they might easily have been heard 
two miles or more. 

They continued their sacred dance all night, or 
near the matter ; after which they ate the flesh of the 
sacrifice, and so retired each one to his lodging. 

I enjoyed little satisfaction this night, being 
entirely alone on the island (as to any Christian com 
pany), and in the midst of this idolatrous revel ; and 
having walked to and fro till body and mind were 
pained and much oppressed, I at length crept into 
a little crib made for corn, and there slept on the 
poles. 

Sunday, Sept. 21. Spent the day with the Indians 
on the island. As soon as they were well up in the 
morning I attempted to instruct them, and laboured 
for that purpose to get them together : but quickly 
found that they had something else to do: for, near 
noon, they gathered together all their powaws (or con 
jurers), and set about half a dozen of them to play 
ing their juggling tricks, and acting their frantic 
distracted postures, in order to find out why they 
were then so sickly upon the island, numbers of them 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 215 

being at that time disordered with a fever and 
bloody flux. In this exercise they were engaged for 
several hours, making all the wild, ridiculous, and 
distracted motions imaginable ; sometimes singing, 
sometimes howling, sometimes extending their hand 
to the utmost stretch, spreading all their fingers, and 
seeming to push with them, as if they designed to push 
something away, or to keep it off at arm s-end ; some 
times stroking their faces with their hands, then 
spurting water as fine as mist ; sometimes lying flat 
on the earth, then bowing down their faces to the 
ground; wringingtheir sides, as if in pain and anguish, 
twisting their faces, turning up their eyes, grunting, 
puffing, &c. 

* Their monstrous actions tended to excite ideas of 
horror. Some of them, I could observe, were much 
more fervent and devout in the business than others ; 
and seemed to chant, peep, and mutter, with a great 
degree of warmth and vigour, as if determined to 
awaken and engage the powers below. I sat at a 
small distance, not more than thirty feet from them, 
(though undiscovered) with my bible in my hand, 
and there viewed the whole scene. They continued 
their hideous charms and incantations for more than 
three hours, until they had all wearied themselves 
out, although they had in that space of time taken 
sundry intervals of rest. 

* After they had done powawing, I attempted to 
discourse with them about Christianity ; but they 
soon scattered, and gave me no opportunity for any 
thing of that nature. 

1 A view of these things, while I was entirely alone 
in the wilderness, destitute of the society of any one 
that so much as * named the name of Christ/ greatly 



216 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD *. 

sunk my spirits, gave me the most gloomy turn of 
mind imaginable, almost stripped me of all resolu 
tion and hope, respecting further attempts for pro 
pagating the gospel, and converting the pagans, and 
rendered this the most burdensome and disagreeable 
Sabbath that ever I saw. But nothing, I can truly 
say, sunk and distressed me like the loss of my hope 
respecting their conversion. This concern appeared 
so great, and seemed to be so much my own, that I 
seemed to have nothing to do on earth if this failed : 
and a prospect of the greatest success in the saving 
conversion of souls under gospel-light would have 
done little or nothing toward compensating for the 
loss of my hope in this respect ; and my spirits now 
were so damped and depressed, that I had no heart 
nor power to make any further attempts among them 
for that purpose ; and could not possibly recover my 
hope, resolution, and courage, by the utmost of my 
endeavours. 

* The Indians of this island can many of them under 
stand the English language considerably well, having 
formerly lived in some part of Maryland, among or 
near the white people ; but they are very vicious, 
drunken, and profane, although not so savage as 
those who have less acquaintance with the English. 
Their customs, in divers respects, differ from those 
of other Indians on this river. They do not bury 
their dead in a common form, but let their flesh con 
sume above ground, in close cribs made for that pur 
pose ; and, at the end of a year, or perhaps some 
times a longer space, they take the bones, when the 
flesh is all consumed, and wash and scrape them, 
and afterwards bury them with some ceremony. Their 
method of charming or conjuring over the sick seems 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 217 

somewhat different from that of other Indians, though 
in substance the same ; and the whole of it, among 
these and others, perhaps, is an imitation of what 
seems, by Naaman s expression, 2 Kings v. 11, to 
have been the custom of the ancient heathens ; for it 
seems chiefly to consist in their striking their hands 
over the deceased, repeatedly stroking them, and cal 
ling upon their gods, to which they add the spurting 
of water like a mist, and some frantic ceremonies. 

When I was in these parts in May last, I had an 
opportunity of learning many of the notions and cus 
toms of the Indians, as well as of observing many of 
their practices ; I then travelling more than a hun 
dred and thirty miles upon the river above the 
English settlements; and having in that journey a 
\-iew of some persons of seven or eight distinct tribes, 
speaking so many different languages. 

But, of all the sights which I ever saw among 
them, or indeed anywhere else, none ever excited 
such images of terror in my mind, as the appearance 
of one who was a devout and zealous reformer, or 
rather restorer of what he supposed to be the ancient 
religion of the Indians. He made his appearance in 
his pontifical garb, which was a coat of bears skins, 
dressed with the hair on, and hanging down to his 
toes, a pair of bear-skin stockings, and a great 
wooden face, painted the one half black, and the 
other tawny, about the colour of an Indian s skin, 
with an extravagant mouth, cut very much awry ; the 
face fastened to a bear-skin cap, which was drawn 
over his head. He advanced toward me with the in 
strument in his hand that he used for music in his 
idolatrous worship, which was a dry tortoise-shell 
with some corn in it, and the neck of it drawn on to 



218 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD t 

a giece of wood, which made a very convenient 
handle. As he came forward, he beat his tune with 
the rattle, and danced with all his might; but did 
not suffer any part of his body, not so much as his 
fingers to be seen ; and no man could have guessed 
by his appearance and actions, that he could have 
been a human creature, if they had not had some in 
timation of it otherwise. He had a house consecrated 
to religious uses, with divers images cut upon the 
several parts of it. I went in, and found the ground 
beat almost as hard as a rock, with their frequent 
dancing in it. I discoursed with him about Chris 
tianity ; and some of my discourse he seemed to like, 
but some of it he disliked entirely. He told me that 
God had taught him his religion, and that he never 
would turn from it : but wanted to find some that 
would join heartily with him in it; for the Indians, 
he said, were grown very degenerate and corrupt. 
He had thoughts, he said, of leaving all his friends, 
and travelling abroad, in order to find some that 
would join with him ; for he believed God had some 
good people somewhere, that felt as he did. He had 
not always, he said, felt as he now did ; but had for 
merly been like the rest of the Indians, until about 
four or five years before that time : then, he said, his 
heart was very much distressed, so that he could not 
live among the Indians, but got away into the woods, 
and lived alone for some months. At length, he 
says, God comforted his heart, and showed him what 
he should do ; and since that time he had known 
God, and tried to serve him ; and loved all men, be 
they who they would, so as he never did before. He 
treated me with uncommon courtesy, and seemed to 
be hearty in it. I was told by the Indians, that he 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 219 

opposed their drinking strong liqour with all his 
power ; and if at any time he could not dissuade 
them from it, by all he could say, he would leave 
them, and go crying into the woods. It was manifest 
he had a set of religious notions, that he had acquired 
for himself, and not taken for granted on bare 
tradition ; and he relished or disrelished whatever 
was spoken of a religious nature, according as it 
either agreed or disagreed with his standard. White 
I was discoursing, he would sometimes say, Now 
that I like : so God has taught me, &c. And some 
of his sentiments seemed very just. Yet he utterly 
denied the being of a devil, and declared there was 
no such a creature known among the Indians of old 
times, whose religion he supposed he was attempting 
to revive. He likewise told me, that departed souls 
all went southward ; and that the difference between 
the good and the bad was this : the former were 
admitted into a beautiful town, with spiritual walls, 
or walls agreeable to the nature of souls ; and that the 
latter would for ever hover round those walls, and in 
vain attempt to get in. He seemed to be sincere, 
honest, and conscientious in his own way, and ac 
cording to his own religious notions, which was more 
than ever I saw in any other pagan : and I perceived 
he was looked upon, and derided among most of the 
Indians, as a precise zealot, that made a needless 
noise about religious matters. But I must say, there 
was something in his temper and disposition that 
looked more like true religion than any thing I ever 
observed among other heathens. 

But, alas! how deplorable is the state of the 
Indians on this river ! The brief representation 
which I have here given of their notions and man- 



220 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

ners, is sufficient to shew that they are " led captive 
by Satan at his will," in the most eminent manner; 
and, methinks, might likewise be sufficient to excite 
the compassion and engage the prayers of pious 
souls for these their fellow-men, who sit in " the 
regions of the shadow of death/" 

On his return to his Indians at Crosweeksung, in 
the beginning of October, Brainerd writes : 

4 Preached to my people from John xiv. 1 6. 
The divine presence seemed to be in the assembly. 

Oh what a difference is there between these and 
the Indians whom I lately treated with on the Susque- 
hanna ! To be with those, seemed like being banished 
from God and all his people ; to be with these, like 
being admitted into his family, and to the enjoyment 
of his divine presence! How great is the change 
lately made on numbers of these Indians ; who, not 
many months ago, were many of them as thoughtless 
and averse to Christianity, as those on the Susque- 
hanna ! and how astonishing is that grace that has 
made this change ! 

Sunday, Oct. 6, 1745. After public service was 
over, I withdrew, (being much tired with the labours 
of the day,) and the Indians continued praying 
among themselves for near two hours together ; 
which continued exercises appeared to be attended 
with a quickening influence from on high. 

I could not but earnestly wish that numbers of 
God s people had been present at this season, to see 
and hear these things, which I am sure must refresh 
the heart of every true lover of Zion s interest. To 
see those, who very lately were savage Pagans and 
idolaters, " having no hope, and without God in the 
world," now filled with a sense of divine love and 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 221 

grace, " and worshipping the Father in spirit and in 
truth/* as numbers here appeared to do, was not a 
little affecting ; and especially to see them appear 
so tender and humble, as well as lively, fervent, and 
devout in the divine service/ 

He was absent about this time upward of a fort 
night, on public business which called him to East 
Hampton, in Long Island. On his return he found 
his Indians in the same happy state : 

Oct. 24. Discoursed from John iv. 1 31 6. There 
was a great attention, a desirable affection, and an 
unaffected melting in the assembly. It is surprising 
to see how eager they are of hearing the word of 
God. I have oftentimes thought that they would 
cheerfully and diligently attend divine worship 
twenty-four hours together, had they an opportunity 
so to do. 

Oct. 28. Discoursed from Matt. xxii. 113. I 
was enabled to open the Scripture, and adapt my 
discourse and expressions to the capacities of my 
people, I know not how, in a plain, easy, and familiar 
manner, beyond all that I could have done by the 
utmost study and this, without any special difficulty, 
with as much freedom as if I had been addressing a 
common audience, who had been instructed in the 
doctrines of Christianity all their days. 

* The word of God seemed to fall on the assembly 
with a divine power and influence, especially toward 
the close of my discourse. Christians were refreshed 
and comforted ; convictions revived in others ; and 
sundry persons newly awakened who had never 
been with us before : and so much of the divine pre 
sence appeared in the assembly, that it seemed 
* this was no other than the house of God, and the 



222 LIFE OF DAVID BRAlNERD . 

gate of heaven." All that had savour and relish of 
divine things were even constrained to say, " Lord, it 
is good for us to be here ! " If ever there was among 
my people an appearance of the New Jerusalem 
" as a bride adorned for her hnsband," there was 
much of it at this time ; and so agreeable was the 
entertainment, where such tokens of the divine pre 
sence were, that I could scarce be willing in the 
evening to leave the place, and repair to my lodg 
ings. I was refreshed with a view of the continuance 
of this blessed work of grace among them ; and its 
influence upon strangers of the Indians that had of 
late, from time to time, providentially fallen into 
these parts/ 

* Sunday, Nov. 3. I baptized fourteen Indians ; 
six adults, and eight children. One was near four 
score years of age, and I have reason to hope God 
has brought her savingly home to himself. Two 
were men of fifty years old, who had been singular 
and remarkable, even among the Indians, for their 
wickedness : one of them had been a murderer ; and 
both notorious drunkards, as well as excessively 
quarrelsome : but now I cannot but hope that both 
are become subjects of God s special grace. I de 
ferred their baptism for many weeks after they had 
given evidences of having passed a great change, 
that I might have more opportunities to observe the 
fruits of those impressions under which they had 
been, and apprehended the way was now clear : and 
there was not one of the adults whom I baptized, 
but what had given me some comfortable grounds to 
hope that God had wrought a work of grace in their 
hearts ; although I could not have the same degree of 
satisfaction respecting one or two of them, as the rest/ 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 223 

4 Nov. 4. Discoursed from John xi. briefly ex 
plaining most of the chapter. Divine truth made 
deep impressions upon many in the assembly ; num 
bers were affected with a view of the power of Christ, 
manifested in his raising the dead ; and especially 
when this instance of his power was improved to 
show his power and ability to raise dead souls (such 
as many of them then felt themselves to be,) to a 
spiritual life ; as also to raise the dead at the last day, 
and dispense to them due rewards and punishments. 

* Several persons lately come from remote places, 
were now brought under deep and pressing concern 
for their souls; particularly one, who, not long since, 
came half drunk, and railed on us, and attempted by 
all means to disturb us while engaged in worship, 
was now so concerned and distressed for her soul, 
that she seemed unable to get any ease without an 
interest in Christ. There were many tears and affec 
tionate sobs and groans in the assembly in general, 
some w r eeping for themselves, others for their friends. 
And although persons are doubtless much easier 
affected now, than they were in the beginning of this 
religious concern, when tears and cries for their souls 
were things unheard-of among them ; yet I must say 
their affection in general appeared genuine and un 
feigned ; and especially this appeared very con 
spicuous in those newly awakened. So that true and 
genuine convictions of sin seem still to be begun and 
promoted in many instances/ 

A few days after this, Brainerd left the Indians, 
and set out on a journey, in order chiefly to obtain 
assistance in his w r ork. He did not return to Cros- 
weeksung till the 22d ; and enjoyed, in the interval, 



224 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

many opportunities of refreshing intercourse with 
his friends. 

About this time he addressed to the Society the 
first part of his narrative of the great work in which 
he had been engaged. It is dated Nov. 20, 1745. 

I have now baptized, in all, forty-seven Indians ; 
twenty-three adults, and twenty-four children : 
thirty-five of them belonging to these parts, and the 
rest to the Forks of the Delaware ; and, through 
grace, none of them have, as yet, been left to dis 
grace the profession of Christianity by any scan 
dalous or unbecoming behaviour. 

I have rode more than three thousand miles 
since the beginning of March ; on the design, either 
immediately or more remotely, of propagating Chris 
tian knowledge among the Indians. I have taken 
pains to look out for a colleague, or companion, to 
travel with me ; and have likewise used endeavours 
to procure something for his support, among reli 
gious persons in New England, which cost me a 
journey of several hundred miles in length : but have 
not, as yet, found any person qualified and disposed 
for this good work ; although I had some encourage 
ment from ministers, and others, that it was hopeful a 
maintenance might be procured for one, when the 
man should be found. 

* I have likewise, of late, represented to the gentle 
men concerned in this mission, the necessity of 
having an English school speedily set up among 
these Indians, who are now willing to be at the 
pains of gathering together in a body, for this pur 
pose : and, in order hereto, have humbly proposed to 
them the collecting of money for the maintenance of 
a schoolmaster, and defraying the other necessary 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 225 

charges in the promotion of this good work ; which 
they are now attempting in the several congrega 
tions of Christians, to which they respectively 
belong. 

* The several companies of Indians to whom I have 
preached in the summer past, live at great distances 
from one another. It is more than 70 miles from 
Crosweeksung in New Jersey, to the Forks of the 
Delaware in Pennsylvania; and from thence, to 
sundry of the Indian settlements which I visited on 
the Susquehanna, is more than 120 miles. 

1 So much of my time is necessarily consumed in 
journeying, that I can have but little for any of my 
necessary studies ; and, consequently, for the study 
of the Indian languages in particular: and especially 
seeing that I am obliged to discourse so frequently 
to the Indians at each of these places while I am 
with them, in order to redeem time to visit the rest. 
I am, at times, almost discouraged from attempting 
to gain any acquaintance with the Indian languages, 
they are so very numerous ; and especially seeing 
that my other labours and fatigues engross almost 
the whole of my time, and bear exceedingly hard on 
my constitution, so that my health is much impaired. 
However, I have taken considerable pains to learn 
the Delaware language ; and propose still to do so, 
as far as my other business and my health will 
admit. I have already made some proficiency in it, 
though I have laboured under many and great dis 
advantages in my attempts of that nature. And it is 
but just to observe here, that all the pains which I 
took to acquaint myself with the language of the 
Indians with whom I spent my first year, were of 
little or no service to me here among the Delawares ; 
Q 



226 LIFE OF DAVID BllAINERDI 

so that my work, when I came among these Indians, 
was all to be begun anew. 

As these poor ignorant pagans stood in need of 
having " line upon line, and precept upon precept," 
in order to their being instructed and grounded in 
the principles of Christianity, so I preached " pub 
licly, and taught from house to house," almost every 
day, for whole weeks together, when I was with 
them : and my public discourses did not then make 
up the one half of my work, while there were so many 
constantly coming to me with that important inquiry, 
" What must we do to be saved?" and opening to 
me the various exercises of their minds. And yet I 
can say, to the praise of divine grace, that the ap 
parent success with which my labours were crowned 
unspeakably more than compensated for the labour 
itself; and was likewise a gre at means of supporting 
and carrying me through the business and fatigues, 
which, it seems, my nature would have sunk under, 
without such an encouraging prospect. But al 
though this success has afforded matter of support, 
comfort, and thankfulness , yet, in this season, I 
have found great need of assistance in my work, and 
have been much oppressed for want of one to bear a 
part of my labours and hardships. 

May the Lord of the harvest send forth other 
labourers into this part of his harvest; that those 
who sit in darkness may see great light ; and that the 
whole earth maybe filled with the knowledge of^him- 
self. Amen/ 

The following reflections may be read by other 
missionaries with great advantage. 

I might make many remarks on a work of grace 
so very observable as this has been in divers re- 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 227 

spects ; but shall confine myself to a few general 
hints only. 

* 1 . It is remarkable that God began this work among 
the Indians at a time when I had the least hope, and 
(to my apprehension) the least rational prospect of 
seeing a work of grace propagated among them ; my 
bodily strength being then much wasted by a late 
tedious journey to Susquehanna, where I was neces 
sarily exposed to hardships and fatigues among the 
Indians : my mind also being exceedingly depressed 
with a view of the unsuccessfulness of my labours, 
(since I had little reason so much as to hope that 
God had made me instrumental of the saving conver 
sion of any of the Indians, except my interpreter 
and his wife), whence I was ready to look upon 
myself as a burden to the honourable Society that 
employed and supported me in this business, and 
began to entertain serious thoughts of giving up 
my mission ; and almost resolved that I would do 
so at the conclusion of the present year ; if I had 
not then better prospect of special success in my 
work than I had hitherto had. I cannot say I enter 
tained these thoughts because I was weary of the 
labours and fatigues that necessarily attended my 
present business, or because I had light or freedom 
in my own mind to turn any other way ; but purely 
through dejection of spirit, pressing discouragement, 
and an apprehension of its being unjust to spend 
money consecrated to religious uses, only to civilize 
the Indians, and bring them to an external profes 
sion of Christianity, which was all that I could then 
see any prospect of being able to effect, while God 
seemed (as I thought) evidently to frown upon the 
design of their saving conversion, by withholding 
Q 2 



228 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD t 

the convincing and renewing influences of his blessed 
Spirit from attending the means which he had hith 
erto used with them for that end. 

And in this frame of mind I first visited these In 
dians at Crosweeksung ; apprehending that it was my 
indispensable duty, seeing I had heard there was a 
number in these parts, to make some attempts for 
their conversion to God ; though I cannot say I had 
any hope of success, my spirits were now so ex 
tremely sunk. And I do not know that my hopes 
respecting the conversion of the Indians were ever 
reduced to so low an ebb, since I had any concern 
for them, as now. 

And yet this was the very season that God saw 
fittest to begin this glorious work in ! And thus he 
ordained strength out of weakness ; by making bare 
his almighty arm at a time when all hopes and hu 
man probabilities most evidently appeared to fail. 
Whence I learn, that it is good to follow the path 
of duty, though in the midst of darkness and dis 
couragement. 

2. It is remarkable how God providentially, and in 
a manner almost unaccountable, called these Indians 
together, to be instructed in the great things that 
concerned their souls : and how he impressed their 
minds with the most solemn and weighty concern for 
their eternal salvation, as fast as they came to the 
place where his word was preached. When I first 
came into these parts, in June, I found not one man 
at the place which I visited, but only four women 
and a few children: but before I had been here 
many days, they gathered from all quarters, some 
from more than twenty miles distant ; and when I 
made them a second visit in the beginning of August, 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 229 

some came more than forty miles to hear me. And 
many came without any intelligence of what was 
going on here ; and consequently without any de 
sign ef theirs, so much as to gratify their curiosity: 
so that it seemed as if God had summoned them 
together from all quarters for nothing else but to 
deliver his message to them ; and that he did this, 
with regard to some of them, without making use of 
any human means ; although there were pains taken 
by some of them to give notice to others at remote 
places. 

* Nor is it less surprising that they were, one after 
another, affected with a solemn concern for their 
souls, almost as soon as they came to the spot 
where divine truths were taught them. I could not 
but think often, that their coming to the place of our 
public worship was like Saul and his messengers 
coming among the prophets : they no sooner came, 
but they prophesied ; and some were almost as soon 
affected with a sense of their sin and misery, and 
with an earnest concern for deliverance, as they 
made their appearance in our assembly. 

After this work of grace began with power among 
them, it was common for strangers of the Indians, 
before they had been with us one day, to be much 
awakened, deeply convinced of their sin and misery, 
and to inquire, with great solicitude, what they 
should do to be saved. 

3. It is likewise remarkable how God preserved 
these poor ignorant Indians from being prejudiced 
against me and the truths which I taught them, by 
those means that were used with them for that 
purpose by ungodly people. There were many at 
tempts made, by some ill-minded persons of the 



230 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

white people, to prejudice them against, or fright 
them from, Christianity. They sometimes told them, 
that the Indians were well enough already that 
there was no need of all this noise about Chris 
tianity that if they were Christians, they would be 
in no better, no safer, or happier state, than they 
were already in. Sometimes they told them, that I 
was a knave, a deceiver, and the like ; that I daily 
taught them a parcel of lies, and had no other 
design but to impose upon them. And when none 
of these, and such like suggestions, would avail to 
their purpose, they then tried another expedient ; 
and told the Indians, that my design was to gather 
together as large a body of them as I possibly could, 
and then sell them to England for slaves than 
which nothing could be more likely to terrify the 
Indians, they being naturally of a jealous disposi 
tion, and the most averse from a state of servitude, 
perhaps, of any people living. 

But all these wicked insinuations, through divine 
goodness overruling, constantly turned against the 
authors of them, and only served to engage the 
affections of the Indians more firmly to me ; for, 
being awakened to a solemn concern for their souls, 
they could not but observe that the persons who 
endeavoured to embitter their minds against me, 
were altogether unconcerned about their own souls ; 
and not only so, but vicious and profane; and thence 
could not but argue, that if they had no concern for 
their own, it was not likely that they should have 
any for the souls of others. 

It seems yet the more wonderful, that the Indians 
were preserved from once hearkening to these sug 
gestions; inasmuch as I was an utter stranger among 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 231 

them, and could give them no assurance of my sin 
cere affection to them by any thing that was past: 
while the persons that insinuated these things were 
their old acquaintance, who had had frequent oppor 
tunities of gratifying their thirsty appetites with 
strong drink ; and consequently, doubtless, had the 
greatest interest in their affections. 

But from this instance of their preservation from 
fatal prejudices, I have had occasion, with admira 
tion, to say, If God will work, who can hinder or 
resist! 

4. Nor is it less wonderful how God was pleased 
to provide a remedy for my want of skill and free 
dom in the Indian language, by remarkably fitting 
my interpreter for, and assisting him in the perform 
ance of his work. It might reasonably be supposed 
that I must needs labour under a vast disadvantage, 
in addressing the Indians by an interpreter ; and 
that divine truths would unavoidably lose much of 
the energy and pathos with which they might at first 
be delivered, by reason of their coming to the 
audience from a second hand. But although this 
has often, to my sorrow and discouragement, been 
the case in times past, when my interpreter had 
little or no sense of divine things ; yet now it was 
quite otherwise. I cannot see that my addresses 
to the Indians ordinarily, since the beginning 
of this season of grace, have lost any thing of the 
power or pungency with which they were made : 
unless it were sometimes for want of pertinent 
and pathetic terms and expressions in the Indian 
language ; which difficulty could not have been 
much redressed by my personal acquaintance with 
their language. 



232 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

My interpreter had before gained some good 
degree of doctrinal knowledge, whereby he was ren 
dered capable of understanding and communicating, 
without mistakes, the intent and meaning of my 
discourses, and that without being confined strictly, 
and obliged to interpret verbatim. He had likewise, 
to appearance, an experimental acquaintance with 
divine things ; and it pleased God, at this season, to 
inspire his mind with longing desires for the con 
version of the Indians, and to give him admirable 
zeal and fervency, in addressing them in order 
thereto. 

And it is remarkable, that when I was favoured 
with any special assistance in any work, and enabled 
to speak with more than common freedom, fervency, 
and power, under a lively and affecting sense of 
divine things, he was usually affected in the same 
manner almost instantly, and seemed at once quick 
ened and enabled to speak in the same pathetic 
language, and under the same influence that I did. 
And a surprising energy often accompanied the word 
at such seasons ; so that the face of the whole 
assembly would be apparently changed almost in an 
instant, and tears and sobs became common among 
them. 

He also appeared to have such a clear doctrinal 
view of God s usual methods of dealing with souls, 
under a preparatory work of conviction and humi 
liation, as he never had before ; so that I could, with 
his help, discourse freely with the distressed persons 
about their internal exercises, their fears, discou 
ragements, temptations, &c. 

* He likewise took pains, day and night, to repeat 
and inculcate upon the minds of the Indians the 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 233 

truths which I taught them daily: and this he 
appeared to do, not from spiritual pride, and an 
affectation of setting himself up as a public teacher, 
but from a spirit of faithfulness, and an honest 
concern for their souls. 

His conversation among the Indians has likewise, 
so far as I know, been savoury, as becomes a Chris 
tian, and a person employed in his work ; and, I 
may justly say, he has been a great comfort to me, 
and a great instrument of promoting this good work 
among the Indians: so that whatever be the state 
of his own soul, it is apparent God has remarkably 
fitted him for this work. 

And thus God has manifested, that, without be 
stowing on me the gift of tongues, he could find a 
way wherein I might be as effectually enabled to 
convey the truths of his glorious gospel to the minds 
of these poor benighted Pagans. 

* 5. It is further remarkable, that God has carried 
on his work here by such means, and in such a 
manner, as tended to obviate and leave no room for 
those prejudices and objections that have often been 
raised against such a work. 

* When persons have been awakened to a solemn 
concern for their souls, by hearing the more awful 
truths of God s word and the terrors of the divine 
law insisted upon, it has usually, in such cases, been 
objected by some, that such persons were only 
frightened, and that there was no evidence that their 
concern was the effect of a divine influence : but 
God has left no room for this objection in the present 
case, this work of grace having been begun and 
carried on by almost one continued strain of gospel- 
invitation to perishing sinners ; as may reasonably 



234 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

be guessed, from a view of the passages of scripture 
which I chiefly insisted on in my discourses from 
time to time; which I have, for that purpose, in 
serted in my Journal. Nor have I ever seen so 
general an awakening in any assembly in my life, 
as appeared here, while I was opening and insisting 
upon the parable of the Great Supper; in which 
discourse I was enabled to set before my hearers the 
unsearchable riches of gospel grace. Not that I 
would have it understood here, that I never in 
structed the Indians respecting their fallen state, 
and the sinfulness and misery of it ; for this was 
what I at first chiefly insisted on with them, and 
endeavoured to repeat and inculcate in almost every 
discourse ; knowing, that without this foundation I 
should but build upon the sand, and that it would 
be in vain to invite them to Christ unless I could 
convince them of their need of him (Mark ii. 17): 
but still this great awakening, this surprising con 
cern, was never excited by any harangues of terror, 
but always appeared most remarkable when I in 
sisted on the compassions of a dying Saviour, the 
plentiful provisions of the gospel, and the free offers 
of divine grace to needy distressed sinners. Nor 
would I be understood to insinuate, that such a 
religious concern might justly be suspected, as not 
being genuine and from a divine influence, because 
produced by the preaching of terror ; for this is, 
perhaps, God s more usual way of awakening sinners, 
and appears entirety agreeable to scripture and 
sound reason : but what I meant to observe here is, 
that God saw fit to improve and bless milder means 
for the effectual awakening of these Indians; and 
thereby obviated the fore-mentioned objection, which 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 235 

the world might otherwise have had a more plausible 
colour of making. 

* And, as there has been no room for any plausible 
objection against this work, in "regard of the means ; 
so neither in regard of the manner in which it has 
been carried on. 

It is true, these peoples concern for their souls 
has been exceedingly great, the convictions of their 
sin and misery have risen to a high degree, and pro 
duced many tears, cries, and groans : but then they 
have not been attended with those disorders, either 
bodily or mental, that have sometimes prevailed 
among persons under religious impressions. There 
has here been no appearance of those " convulsions, 
bodily agonies, frightful screamings, swoonings," 
and the like, that have been so much complained 
of in some places : although there have been some, 
who, with the jailor, have been made to tremble 
under a sense of their sin and misery ; numbers 
who have been made to cry out from a distressing 
view of their perishing state; and some that have 
been, for a time, in a great measure, deprived of 
their bodily strength, yet without any such convul 
sive appearances. 

Nor has there been any appearance of mental 
disorders here, such as " visions, trances, imagina 
tions of being under prophetic inspiration/ and the 
like; or scarce any unbecoming disposition to appear 
remarkably affected either with concern or joy ; 
though I must confess, I observed one or two per 
sons whose concern, I thought, was in a considerable 
measure affected ; and one whose joy appeared to be 
of the same kind. But these workings of spiritual 
pride, I endeavoured to crush in their first appear- 



236 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

ances; and have not since observed any affection, 
either of joy or sorrow, but what appeared genuine 
and unaffected. But 

6. The effects of "this work have likewise been 
very remarkable. 

I doubt not but that many of these people have 
gained more doctrinal knowledge of divine truths 
since I first visited them in June last, than could 
have been instilled into their minds by the most 
diligent use of proper and instructive means for 
whole years together, without such a divine in 
fluence. 

i Their pagan notions and idolatrous practices 
seem to be entirely abandoned in these parts. They 
are regulated, and appear regularly disposed in the 
affairs of marriage ; an instance whereof I have 
given in my Journal of August 14. They seem 
generally divorced from drunkenness, their darling 
vice, and the sin that easily besets them ; so that I 
do not know of more than two or three who have 
been my steady hearers, that have drunk to excess 
since I first visited them ; although before it was 
common for some or other of them to be drunk 
almost every day; and some of them seem now to 
fear this sin in particular, more than death itself. 
A principle of honour and justice appears in many 
of them ; and they seem concerned to discharge 
their old debts, which they have neglected, and per 
haps scarce thought of, for years past. Their 
manner of living is much more decent and comfort 
able than formerly, having now the benefit of that 
money which they used to consume upon strong 
drink. Love seems to reign among them, especially 
those who have given evidences of having passed a 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION, 237 

saving change ; and I never saw any appearance of 
bitterness or censoriousness in these, nor any dis 
position to esteem themselves better than others who 
had not received the like mercy. 

* As their sorrows under convictions have been 
great and pressing, so many of them have since 
appeared to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full 
of glory ; and yet I never saw any thing ecstatic or 
flighty in their joy. Their consolations do not in 
cline them to lightness; but, on the contrary, are 
attended with solemnity, and oftentimes with tears, 
and an apparent brokenness of heart, as may be 
seen in several passages of my journal : and, in this 
respect, some of them have been surprised at them 
selves, and have with concern observed to me, that 
" when their hearts have been glad," which is a 
phrase they commonly make use of to express spiri 
tual joy, " they could not help crying for all." 

And now, on the whole, I think I may justly say, 
here are all the evidences of a remarkable work of 
grace among these Indians, that can reasonably be 
desired or looked for. May the Great Author of 
this work maintain and promote the same here, and 
propagate it everywhere, till the whole earth be filled 
with his glory ! Amen/ 

We shall now proceed to detail the chief circum 
stances which occurred in the remaining part of this 
third year of his labours. 

In the beginning of December 1746, he entered on 
a house which he had built for himself at Cross- 
weeksung. This is the third which he had erected 
among the Indians : the first at Kaunaumeek, in the 
county of Albany ; the second at the Forks of the 



238 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDJ 

Delaware, in Pennsylvania ; and now the third at 
Crossweeksung, in New Jersey. 

Of his preaching, about this period, he speaks 
as follows : 

Crosweelisung, 1745. 

* Lord s-day, November 24. Preached both parts 
of the day from the story of Zaccheus, Luke xix. 
1 9. In the latter exercise, when I opened and 
insisted upon the salvation that cornes to the sinner, 
upon his becoming a son of Abraham, or a true be 
liever, the word seemed to be attended with divine 
power to the hearts of the hearers. Numbers were 
much affected, former convictions were revived, one 
or two persons newly awakened, and a most affec 
tionate engagement in divine service appeared among 
them universally. 

These impressions appeared to be the genuine 
effect of God s word brought home to their hearts, 
by the power and influence of the divine Spirit. 

Nov. 26. After spending some time in private 
conferences with my people, I discoursed publicly 
among them from John v. 1 9. I was favoured 
with some special freedom and fervency in my dis 
course, and a powerful energy accompanied the word. 
Many wept, and scarcely any appeared unconcerned 
in the whole assembly, The influence that seized 
the audience appeared gentle, and yet pungent and 
efficacious. It produced no boisterous commotion 
of the passions, but seemed deeply to affect the 
heart; and excited in the persons under convictions 
of their lost state, heavy groans and tears: and. in 
others who had obtained comfort, a sweet and hum 
ble melting. It seemed like the gentle but steady 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 239 

showers, that effectually water the earth, without 
violently beating upon the surface. 

The persons lately awakened were deeply dis 
tressed for their souls, and appeared earnestly solici 
tous to obtain an interest in Christ: and some of 
them, after public worship was over, in anguish of 
spirit said, They knew not what to do, nor how to 
get their wicked hearts changed, &c. 

Nov. 28. Discoursed to the Indians publicly, 
after having privately endeavoured to instruct some 
of them in the duties of Christianity. Opened and 
made remarks upon the sacred story of our Lord s 
transfiguration, Luke ix. 28 32. principally with a 
view to the edification and consolation of God s 
people. I observed some who I have reason to think 
are truly such, exceedingly affected with an account 
of the glory of Christ in his transfiguration ; and 
filled with longing desires of being with him, that 
they might with open face behold his glory. 

* After public service was over, I asked one of 
them who wept much, what she now wanted? She 
replied, * Oh! to be with Christ! she did not know 
how to stay/ &c. This was a blessed refreshing 
season to the religious people in general. The Lord 
Jesus Christ seemed to manifest his divine glory to 
them, as when transfigured before his disciples ; and 
they, with the disciples, were ready universally to 
say, " Lord, it is good for us to be here." 

The influence of God s word was not confined to 
those who had given evidences of being truly gra 
cious, though at this time my discourse was directed 
chiefly to such ; but it appeared to be a season of 
divine power in the whole assembly, so that most 
were in some measure affected. One aged man in 



240 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

particular, lately awakened, was now brought under 
deep and pressing concern for his soul, and was ear 
nestly inquisitive how he might find Jesus Christ. 
God seems still to vouchsafe his divine presence and 
the influence of his blessed Spirit to accompany his 
word, at least in some measure, in all our meetings 
for divine worship. 

Nov. 30, 1745. Preached near night, after having 
spent a few hours in private conference with some 
of my people. Explained the story of the Rich Man 
and Lazarus, Luke xvi. 19 26. The word made 
powerful impressions on many in the assembly ; 
especially while I discoursed of the blessedness of 
" Lazarus in Abraham s bosom." This, I could per 
ceive, affected them much more than what I spoke 
of the Rich Man s misery and torments. And thus 
it has been usually with them. They have almost 
always appeared much more affected with the com 
fortable, than with the dreadful truths of God s 
Word ; and that which has distressed many of them 
under convictions, is, that they found they wanted, 
and could not obtain, the happiness of the godly : 
at least they have often appeared to be more affected 
with this, than with the terrors of hell. But, what 
ever be the means of their awakening, it is plain that 
numbers are made deeply sensible of their sin and 
misery, the wickedness and stubbornness of their 
hearts, their utter inability to help themselves, or to 
come to Christ for help, without divine assistance ; 
and so are brought to see their perishing need of 
Christ to do all for them, and to lie at the foot of 
sovereign mercy. 

These observations deserve the serious attention of 
every minister and missionary of Christ. It should 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 241 

be remembered, that all the alarming truths of scrip 
ture are to be insisted on, in order to drive men from 
sin, and self, and the world, and to endear Christ to 
them ; and it is the full display of his " unsearchable 
riches/ whereby the soul is, through the grace of 
the Holy Spirit, brought to a vital union with him, 
and to an increasing conformity to him. 

He was still favoured, at times, with a remarkable 
blessing on his ministry : 

Sunday, Dec. 15. Preached to the Indians from 
Luke xiii. 2428. Divine truths fell with weight 
and power on the audience, and seemed to reach the 
hearts of many. In the evening, discoursed to them 
from Matt. xxv. 31 46; at which season, also, the 
word appeared to be accompanied with a divine in 
fluence ; and made powerful impressions on the 
assembly in general, as well as on divers persons in 
a very special and particular manner. 

This was an amazing season of grace ! The word 
of the Lord, this day, " was quick and powerful, 
sharper than a two-edged sword/ and pierced to the 
hearts of many. The assembly was greatly affected, 
and deeply wrought upon ; yet without so much 
apparent commotion in the passions as was usual 
in the beginning of this work of grace. The impres 
sions made by the word of God on the audience 
appeared solid, rational and deep ; worthy of the 
solemn truths by means of which they were pro 
duced ; and far from being the effects of any sudden 
fright, or groundless perturbation of the mind. 

Oh ! how the hearts of the hearers seemed to bow 

under the weight of divine truths ; And how evident 

did it now appear that they received and felt them, 

" not as the word of man, but as the word of God ! " 

P 



242 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

None can frame a just idea of the appearance of our 
assembly, at this time, but those who have seen a 
congregation, solemnly awed, and deeply impressed 
by the special power and influence of divine truths 
delivered to them in the name of God/ 

Dec. 16. Discoursed to my people in the evening 
from Luke xi. 1 13. After having insisted some 
time upon the 9th verse, wherein there is a command 
and encouragement to ask for divine favours, I called 
upon them to ask for a new heart with the utmost 
importunity, as the man mentioned in the parable 
pleaded for bread at midnight. There was much 
affection and concern in the assembly ; one woman 
especially appeared in great distress. She was 
brought to such an agony in seeking after Christ, 
that the sweat ran off her face for a considerable time 
together, although the evening was very cold ; and 
her bitter cries were the most affecting indication 
of the inward anguish of her heart/ 

A great effect attended a discourse which he 
preached on Christmas day, from the parable of the 
barren fig-tree, Luke xiii. 69. The Indians having 
been used, at this season, to drink and revel with 
some of the white people in these parts, Brainerd 
called them together, in order to engage them in a 
manner more suitable to the day. 

A divine influence, (he says), I am persuaded, 
accompanied the word. The power of God appeared 
in the assembly; not by producing any remarkable 
cries, but by shocking and rousing at heart, as it 
seemed, several stupid creatures, that were scarcely 
ever moved with any concern before. The power 
attending divine truths seemed to have the influence 
of the earthquake, rather than of the whirlwind 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 243 

upon them. Their passions were not so much 
alarmed as has been common here in times past ; 
but their judgments appeared to be powerfully con 
vinced, by the masterly and conquering influence of 
divine truths. The impressions made upon the as 
sembly in general seemed not superficial, but deep 
and heart-affecting. Oh how ready did they now 
appear universally to embrace and comply with every 
thing they heard and were convinced was duty ! God 
was in the midst of us of a truth, bowing and melt 
ing stubborn hearts ! How many tears and sobs 
were then to be seen and heard among us ! What 
liveliness and strict attention ! what eagerness and 
intenseness of mind appeared in the whole assembly, 
in the time of divine service ! They seemed to watch 
and wait for the dropping of God s word, as the 
thirsty earth " for the former and the latter rain." 

His anxiety to ground his Indians well in the 
knowledge of divine truth was thus abundantly re 
paid. In this course he still continued, unwearied : 

My people having now attained to a considerable 
degree of knowledge in the principles of Christianity, 
I thought it proper to set up a Catechetical Lecture 
among them ; and this evening attempted something 
in that form; proposing questions to them agreeable 
to the Assembly s Shorter Catechism, receiving their 
answers, and then explaining and insisting as ap 
peared necessary and proper on each question : after 
which I endeavoured to make some practical im 
provement of the whole. 

They were able readily and rationally to answer 
many important questions which I proposed to them : 
so that, on trial, I found their doctrinal knowledge 
to exceed my own expectations. 
R 2 



244 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD*. 

* In the improvement of my discourse, when I came 
to infer and open the blessedness of those who had 
so great and glorious a God, as had before been 
spoken of, for their everlasting friend and portion, 
sundry were much affected ; a,nd especially when I 
exhorted, and endeavoured to persuade them to " be 
reconciled to God," through his dear Son, and thus 
to secure an interest in his everlasting favour; so that 
they appeared to be not only enlightened and in 
structed but affected and engaged by this method 
of discoursing. 

This system of public catechetical instruction he 
diligently prosecuted, and found it attended with 
the happiest effects. When he first entered on it, 
he had many fears lest it should lead to such a doc 
trinal view of all subjects, as would tend only to 
enlighten the head, but not to affect the heart : but 
the event was quite contrary, as these exercises were 
equally blessed to the opening of the understanding 
and the impressing of the heart. 

But this catechetical instruction was accompanied 
by assiduous visits from house to house. The In 
dians had now gathered together from all quarters to 
Crossweeksung ; and had built little cottages, which 
were inhabited by more than twenty families, who 
lived within a quarter of a mile of him. He availed 
himself of this to spend much time in their dwell 
ings ; and, at times, scarcely ever departed from a 
house without leaving some or other of its inhabi 
tants in tears. 

He remarks of one class of his people : 

* There were sundry of the Indians newly come 
here, who were more civilized and conformed to 
English manners than the generality of their country- 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 245 

men, and had imbibed some errors, especially this 
fundamental one, viz. That if men will but live so 
berly and honestly, according to the dictates of their 
own consciences, there is then no danger or doubt of 
their salvation. These persons I found much worse 
to deal with, than those who are wholly under Pagan 
darkness, who make no pretences to knowledge in 
Christianity at all, nor have any self-righteous foun 
dation to stand on/ 

An affecting account is given of a woman, who had 
been in much distress of mind, but was brought, un 
der the preaching of the word, to a heavenly frame ; 
composed in her spirit, and entirely given up to the 
divine will. 

When I came to discourse particularly with her 
(Brainerd writes), and to inquire of her how she got 
relief from the spiritual distresses under which she 
had lately been, she answered, in broken English 
" Me try, me try, save myself: last, my strength be 
all gone," meaning her ability to save herself: " could 
not me stir bit further. Den last, me forced let Je 
sus Christ alone, send me Hell if he please/ [I 
tried and tried to save myself: till, at last, my 
strength was all gone, and I could not stir any further. 
Then, at last, I was forced to let Jesus Christ alone, 
to send me to hell if he pleased.] I said, " But you 
were not willing to go to hell, were you? " She re 
plied, " Could not me help it. My heart he would 
wicked for all. Could not me make him good/ [I 
could not help it. My heart would be wicked for 
all that I could do. I could not make it good. ] 
meaning that she saw it was right she should go to 
hell, because her heart was wicked ; and would be 
so, after all that she could do to mend it. I asked 



246 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINF.RD! 

her how she got out of this case. She answered, still 
in the same broken language" By by my heart be 
grad desperately." [By and by my heart was ex 
ceedingly glad.] I asked her why her heart was 
glad. She replied, " Grad my heart Jesus Christ do 
what he please with me. Den me tink, grad my heart 
Jesus Christ send me hell. Did not me care where 
He put me: me lobe Him for all" [My heart was 
glad that Jesus Christ would do with me what He 
pleased. Then I thought my heart would be glad 
although Christ should send me to hell. I did not 
care where He put me ; I should love him for all ] 
that is, do what He would with her. And she could 
not readily be convinced, but that she was willing to 
go to hell, if Christ were pleased to send her thither : 
though the truth evidently was, that her will was so 
swallowed up in the Divine Will, that she could not 
frame any hell in her imagination that would be 
dreadful or undesirable, provided it was but the will 
of God to send her to it. 

* Dec. 26. This evening I was visited by a person 
under great spiritual exercise, the most remarkable 
instance of this kind I ever saw. It was a woman 
of more than fourscore, who appeared to have be 
come so childish through age, that it seemed impos 
sible to instil into her mind any notions of divine 
things, or so much as to give her any doctrinal in 
struction, for she seemed incapable of being taught. 
She was led by the hand into my house, and appeared 
in extreme anguish. I asked her what ailed her? 
She answered, " That her heart was distressed, and 
she feared she should never find Christ." I asked 
her several questions relating to her distress. To 
all which she answered, for substance, to this effect, 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 247 

namely, That she had heard me preach many times, 
but never knew any thing about it, never " felt it in 
her heart" till the last Sabbath; then it came she 
said, " all one as if a needle had been thrust into her 
heart;" since which time she had no rest day nor 
night. She added that, on the evening before Christ 
inas, a number of Indians being together at the house 
where she was, and discoursing about Christ, their 
talk pierced her heart, so that she could not sit up, 
but fell down on her bed ; at which time " she went 
away," as she expressed it, and felt as if she dreamed, 
and yet is confident she did not dream. When 
she was thus gone, she saw two paths, one appeared 
very broad and crooked ; and that, she says, turned 
to the left hand. The other appeared strait and very 
narrow ; and that went up the hill to the right hand. 
She travelled, she said, for some time up the narrow 
right-hand path, till at length something seemed to 
obstruct her journey. She sometimes called it dark 
ness, and then described it otherwise, and seemed to 
compare it to a block or bar. She then remembered 
what she had heard me say about " striving to enter 
in at the strait gate," (although she took little notice 
of it at the time when she heard me discourse upon 
that subject,) and thought she would climb over this 
bar. But just as she was thinking of this, she came 
back again, as she termed it, meaning that she came 
to herself: whereupon her soul was extremely dis 
tressed, apprehending she had now turned back and 
forsaken Christ, and that there was therefore no hope 
of mercy for her. 

As I was sensible that trances and imaginary views 
of things are of dangerous tendency in religion, when 
sought after and depended upon ; so I could not but 



248 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD. 

be much concerned about this exercise, especially at 
first; apprehending this might be a design of Satan 
to bring a blemish upon the work of God here, by 
introducing visionary scenes, imaginary terrors, and 
all manner of mental disorders and delusions, in the 
room of genuine convictions of sin and the enlighten 
ing influences of the blessed Spirit. I was almost 
resolved to declare that I looked upon this to be one 
of Satan s devices, and to caution my people against 
it, and the like exercises, as such. However, I de 
termined first to inquire into her knowledge, to see 
whether she had any just views of things, which might 
be the occasion of her present distress, or whether it 
was a mere fright, arising only from imaginary terrors. 
I asked her several questions respecting man s primi 
tive and present state, and respecting her own heart ; 
which she answered rationally, and to my surprise. 
I thought it next to impossible, if not altogether so, 
that a Pagan, who was become a child through age, 
should in that state gain so much knowledge by any 
mere human instruction, without being remarkably 
enlightened by a divine influence. 

* I then proposed to her the provision made in the 
gospel for the salvation of sinners, and the ability 
and willingness of Christ to save to the uttermost all 
(old as well as young) that come to him. To this she 
seemed to give a hearty assent. But instantly re 
plied, " Aye, but I cannot come ; my wicked heart 
will not come to Christ ; I do not know how to come," 
&c. She spoke this in anguish of spirit, striking on 
her breast, with tears in her eyes, and with such ear 
nestness in her looks, as was indeed piteous and af 
fecting. She seems to be really convinced of her 
sin and misery, and her need of a change of heart ; 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 249 

and her concern is abiding and constant. Nothing 
appears but that this exercise may have a saving 
issue : she is so solicitous to obtain an interest in 
Christ, that her heart, as she expresses it, prays day 
and night. 

1 How far God may make use of the imagination in 
awakening some persons under these and such like 
circumstances, I cannot pretend to determine ; and 
whether this exercise I have mentioned be from a 
divine influence, I shall leave others to judge. But 
this I must say, that its effects hitherto bespeak it to 
be such ; nor can it, as far as I can see, be accounted 
for in a rational way, but from the influence of some 
spirit, either good or evil. The woman, I am sure, never 
heard divine things treated of in the manner she now 
viewed them ; and it would seem strange she should 
get such a rational notion of them from the mere 
working of her own fancy, without some superior or 
foreign aid. Yet I must say, I have looked upon it 
as one of the glories of this work of grace among the 
Indians, and a special evidence of its being from a 
divine influence, that there has till now been no ap 
pearance of such things, no visionary notions, trances 
and imaginations, intermixed with those rational 
convictions of sin and solid consolations, which 
numbers have experienced. And might I have had 
my desire, there had been no appearance of any thing 
of this nature at all. 

Dec. 28. Discoursed to my people in the cate 
chetical method I lately entered upon. During the 
improvement of my discourse, wherein I was com 
paring man s present with his primitive state, showing 
what he had fallen from, the miseries to which he is 
now exposed, and pressing sinners to take a view of 



250 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

their deplorable circumstances without Christ, also 
to strive that they might obtain an interest in him ; 
the Lord, I trust, granted a remarkable influence of 
his blessed Spirit to accompany what was spoken, 
and a great concern appeared in the assembly. Many 
were melted into tears, and the impressions made 
upon them seemed deep and heart-affecting. In par 
ticular, there were two or three persons who appeared 
to be brought to the last exercises of a preparatory 
work, and reduced almost to extremity ; being in 
great measure convinced of the impossibility of help 
ing themselves, or of mending their own hearts ; and 
seemed to be upon the point of giving up all hope in 
themselves, and of venturing upon Christ as helpless 
and undone. Yet they were in distress and anguish 
because they saw no safety in so doing, unless they 
could do something towards saving themselves. One 
of these persons was the very aged woman above 
mentioned, who now appeared " weary and heavy 
laden " with a sense of her sin and misery, and her 
perishing need of an interest in Christ. 

LordVday, Dec. 29. Preached from John iii. 1 5. 
A number of white people were present, as is usual 
upon the Sabbath. The discourse was accompanied 
with power, and seemed to have a silent but deep 
and piercing influence upon the audience. Many 
wept affectionately, and there were some tears among 
the white people as well as the Indians. Some 
could not refrain from crying out, though there were 
not many so exercised. The impressions made upon 
their hearts appeared chiefly by the extraordinary 
earnestness of their attention, and their heavy sighs 
and tears. 

After public worship was over, I went to my house, 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 251 

proposing to preach again after a short season of in 
termission. But they soon came in one after another, 
with tears in their eyes, to know " what they should 
do to be saved." And the divine Spirit in such a 
manner fastened upon their hearts what I spoke to 
them, that the house was soon filled with cries and 
groans. They all flocked together upon this occa 
sion, and those whom I had reason to think in an un 
converted state, were almost universally seized with 
concern about their souls. It was a season of great 
power among them; it seemed as if God had " bowed 
the heavens and come down." So astonishingly pre 
valent was the operation upon old as well as young, 
that it seemed as if none would be left in a state of 
carnal security, but that God was now about to con 
vert the whole ! I was ready to think then, that I 
should never again despair of the conversion of any 
man or woman living, be they who or what they would. 
It is impossible to give a just and lively description 
of the appearance of things at this season, at least 
such as to convey a bright and adequate idea of the 
effects of this influence. A number might now be 
seen rejoicing, that God had not taken away the 
powerful influence of his blessed Spirit from this 
place. It was refreshing to see so many " striving to 
enter in at the strait gate;" and others animated with 
such concern for them, that they wanted " to push 
them forward," as some of them expressed it. At the 
same time, numbers t jth of men and women, old and 
young, might be seen in tears, and some in anguish 
of spirit, appearing in their very countenances like 
condemned malefactors dragged towards the place of 
execution, with a heavy solicitude sitting in their 
faces: so that there seemed here, as I thought, a 



252 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

lively emblem of the solemn day of account ; a mix 
ture of heaven and hell, of joy unspeakable, and an 
guish inexpressible. 

* The concern and religious affection was such, that 
I could not pretend to have any formal religious ex 
ercise among them ; but spent the time in discoursing 
to one and another, as I thought most proper and 
seasonable, and sometimes addressed them all to 
gether, and finally concluded with prayer. Such 
were their circumstances at this season, that I could 
scarcely have half an hour s rest from speaking, from 
about half an hour before twelve o clock, at which 
time I began public worship, till past seven at night. 
There appeared to be four or five persons newly awa 
kened this day and the evening before, some of whom 
but very lately came among us. 

Dec. 30. Was visited by four or five young per 
sons who were lately awakened. They wept much 
while I discoursed to them, and endeavoured to press 
upon them the necessity of flying to Christ for salva 
tion without delay. 

Dec. 31. Spent some hours this day in visiting 
my people from house to house, and conversing with 
them about their spiritual concerns ; endeavouring to 
press upon all their souls the necessity of a reno 
vation of heart. I scarcely quitted a house without 
leaving some or other of its inhabitants in tears, 
appearing solicitously engaged to obtain an interest 
in Christ. The Indians are now gathered together 
from all quarters to this place, and have formed a 
village, so that more than twenty families live 
within a quarter of a mile of me : a very convenient 
circumstance, in regard both of public and private 
instruction. 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 253 

Wednesday, January 1, 1745-6. I am this day be 
ginning a new year; and God has carried me through 
numerous trials and labours in that which is past. 
He has amazingly supported my feeble frame, and, 
" having obtained help of God, I continue to this 
day/ Oh that I might live nearer to Him this year 
than I did the last. The business I have been called 
to, and enabled to go through, I know has been as 
great as nature could bear up under, and what 
would have overcome me quite, without special 
support. But alas, alas ! though I have borne the 
labours and endured the trials, with what spirit 
have I done the one and borne the other? How 
cold has been the frame of my heart oftentimes ; 
and how little have I kept in view the glory of God, 
in all my doings and sufferings ! I have found that 
I could have no peace without filling up all my time 
with labours ; and thus " necessity has been laid 
upon me ; " yea, in that respect, I have loved to 
labour : but the misery is, I could not sensibly labour 
for God as I would have done. May I for the future 
be enabled more decidedly to make the glory of God 
my all. 

Spent some considerable time in visiting my 
people again. Found scarce one but what was 
under serious impressions respecting their spiritual 
concerns. 

Jan. 2. Visited some persons newly come among 
us, who had scarcely ever heard any thing of Christ- 
anity, except the empty name, before. Endeavoured 
to instruct them particularly in the first principles of 
religion, in the most easy and familiar manner I 
could. Strangers from remote parts are almost 
continually dropping in among us, so that I have 



254 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

occasion repeatedly to open and inculcate the first 
principles of Christianity. 

Jan. 4. Prosecuted my catechetical method of in 
structing. Found my people able to answer questions 
with propriety, beyond what could have been ex 
pected from persons so lately brought out of heathen 
darkness. In the improvement of my discourse, there 
appeared some concern and affection in the assembly ; 
and especially those of whom I entertained hopes as 
being truly gracious, at least several of them, were 
much affected and refreshed. 

Lord s-day, Jan. 5. Discoursed from Matth. xii. 
10 13. There appeared not so much liveliness 
and affection in divine service as usual. The same 
truths that have often produced many tears in the 
assembly, seemed now to have no special influence 
upon any. 

Near night I proposed to proceed in my usual 
method of catechizing, but while we were engaged 
in the first prayer, the power of God seemed to 
descend upon the assembly in such a remarkable 
manner, and so many appeared under pressing con 
cern for their souls, that I thought it much more 
expedient to insist upon the plentiful provision made 
by divine grace for the redemption of perishing 
sinners, and to press them to a speedy acceptance 
of the great salvation, than to ask them questions 
about doctrinal points. What was most practical 
seemed most seasonable to be insisted upon, while 
numbers appeared so extraordinarily solicitous to 
obtain an interest in the great Redeemer. 

Baptized two persons this day : one adult, the 
woman before particularly mentioned in my journal 
(p. 245), and one child. This woman has discovered a 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 255 

sweet and heavenly frame of mind from time to time, 
since her first reception of comfort. One morning 
in particular she came to see me, discovering an 
unusual joy and satisfaction in her countenance ; 
and when I inquired into the reason of it, she 
replied, " That God had made her feel that it was 
right for him to do what he pleased with all things ; 
and that it would be right if he should cast her 
husband and son both into hell," though it was 
apparent she loved them dearly. She moreover in 
quired, whether I was not sent to preach to the 
Indians, by some good people a great way off. I 
replied, Yes ; by the good people in Scotland. She 
answered, that her heart loved those good people so 
the evening before, that she could scarce help pray 
ing for them all night; her heart would go to God 
for them, &c. Thus the blessing of such as are 
ready to perish is likely to come upon those pious 
persons, who have communicated of their substance 
to the propagation of the gospel. 

Monday, Jan. 6. Being very weak in body, I rode 
out for my health. While riding, my thoughts were 
sweetly engaged for a time, upon " the stone cut out 
of the mountain without hands, which brake in pieces" 
all before it, and " waxed great, and became a great 
mountain, and filled the whole earth/ I longed 
that Jesus should take to himself his great power and 
reign ; and oh how sweet were the moments, wherein 
I felt my soul warm with hopes of the enlargement 
of the Redeemer s kingdom! I wanted nothing else 
but that Christ should reign, to the glory of his 
blessed name. 

Jan. 11. Discoursed in a catechetical method, 
as usual of late. Having opened our first parent s 



256 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

apostacy from God, and our fall in him, I proceeded 
to apply my discourse, by showing the necessity 
of an almighty Redeemer, and the absolute need 
every sinner has of an interest in his merits and 
mediation. Some tenderness and affectionate con 
cern appeared in the assembly. 

Lord s-day, Jan. 12. Preached from Isaiah Iv. 6. 
The word of God seemed to fall upon the audience 
with a divine weight and influence, and evidently 
appeared to be " not the word of man." The blessed 
Spirit, I am persuaded, accompanied what was 
spoken to the hearts of many ; and there was a 
powerful revival of conviction in numbers who were 
under spiritual exercise before. 

* Toward night, catechized in my usual method. 
Near the close of my discourse, there appeared a 
great concern and much affection in the audience, 
which increased while I continued to invite them to 
come to an all-sufficient Redeemer for eternal salva 
tion. The spirit of God seems, from time to time, 
to be striving with numbers of souls here. They are 
so frequently and repeatedly roused, that they seem 
unable at present to lull themselves asleep. 

Jan. 13. Was visited by several persons under 
deep concern, one of whom was newly awakened. 
It is a most agreeable work to treat with souls who 
are solicitously inquiring " what they shall do to be 
saved ; " and as we are never to be " weary in well 
doing/ so the obligation seems to be peculiarly 
strong when the work is so very desirable. Yet I 
must say, my health is so much impaired, and my 
spirits so wasted with my labours and solitary 
manner of living, (there being no human creature in 
the house with me,) that their repeated and almost 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 257 

incessant applications to me for help and direction, 
are sometimes exceeding burdensome, and so ex 
haust my spirits, that I become fit for nothing at all, 
entirely unable to prosecute any business, sometimes 
for days together. And what contributes much to 
ward this difficulty is, that I am obliged to spend 
much time in communicating a little matter to them ; 
there being oftentimes many things necessary to be 
premised, before I can speak directly to what 1 
principally aim at; M hich things would readily be 
taken for granted, where there was a competency 
of doctrinal knowledge. 

Jan. 14. Spent some time in private conferences 
with my people, and found some disposed to take 
comfort, as I thought, upon slight grounds. They 
are now generally awakened, and it is become so 
disgraceful, as well as terrifying to the conscience, 
to be destitute of religion, that they are in imminent 
danger of taking up with any appearance of grace, 
rather than to live under the fear and disgrace of an 
unregenerate state. 

* Jan. 18. Prosecuted my catechetical method of 
discoursing. There appeared a great solemnity, and 
some considerable affection in the assembly. I find 
this method of instructing very profitable. When I 
first entered upon it, I was exercised with fears, lest 
my discourses would unavoidably be so doctrinal that 
they would tend only to enlighten the understanding 
rather than to affect the heart. But the event proves 
quite otherwise; for these exercises have hitherto 
been remarkably blessed in the latter, as well as the 
former respect. 

* Lord s-day, Jan. 19. Discoursed to my perople 
from Isaiah lv.7. Toward night, catechized in my 

s 



258 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

ordinary method. This appeared to be an especial 
season of grace among us ; numbers were much 
affected, convictions powerfully revived, and believers 
in general were refreshed and strengthened. One 
weary heavy-laden soul, I have abundant reason to 
hope, was brought to true rest and solid comfort in 
Christ, who afterwards gave me such an account of 
God s dealings with him, as was abundantly satisfy 
ing as well as refreshing to me. 

i He told me he had often heard me say, that persons 
must see and feel themselves utterly helpless and un 
done ; that they must be emptied of all dependence 
upon themselves, and of all hope of saving themselves 
by their own doings, in order to their coming to 
Christ for salvation. He had long been striving 
after this view of things, supposing this would be an 
excellent frame of mind, to be thus emptied of a de 
pendence upon his own goodness ; that God would 
have respect to this frame, would then be well 
pleased with him, and bestow eternal life upon him. 
But when he came to feel himself in this helpless 
and undone condition, he found it quite contrary to 
all his thoughts and expectations ; so that it was not 
the frame, nor indeed any thing like the frame he 
had been seeking after. Instead of its being a good 
frame of mind, he now found nothing but badness 
in himself, and saw it was for ever impossible for 
him to make himself any better. He wondered, he 
said, that he had ever hoped to mend his own heart. 
He was amazed he had never before seen that it was 
utterly impossible for him, by all his contrivances 
and endeavours, to do any thing that way, since the 
matter now appeared to him in so clear a light. In 
stead of imagining now, that God would be pleased 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 259 

with him for the sake of this frame of mind, and this 
view of his undone state, he saw clearly, and felt it 
would be just with God to send him to eternal 
misery, and that there was no goodness in what he 
then felt; for he could not help seeing that he was 
naked, sinful, and miserable, and there was nothing 
in such a sight to deserve God s love or pity. He 
saw these things in a manner so clear and convincing, 
that it seemed to him, he said, as if he could con 
vince every body of their utter inability ever to help 
themselves, and their unworthiness of any help from 
God. 

4 In this frame of mind he came to public worship 
this evening; and, while I was inviting sinners to 
come to Christ, without any goodness of their own 
to recommend them, he thought within himself that 
he had often tried to come and give up his heart to 
Christ, and he used to hope that some time or other 
he should be able to do so. But now he was con 
vinced he could not, and it seemed utterly vain for 
him ever to try any more ; and he could not, he said, 
find a heart to make any further attempt, because he 
saw it would signify nothing at all. Nor did he now 
hope for a better opportunity, or more ability here 
after, as he had formerly done, because he saw and 
was fully convinced, his own strength would for ever 
fail. 

While he was musing in this manner, he saw, he 
said, with his heart (which is a common phrase among 
them) something that was unspeakably good and 
lovely, and which he had never seen before; and 
* this stole away his heart whether he would or no/ 
He did not know what it was he saw. He did not 
say, this is Jesus Christ; but it was such glory 

S2 



260 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

and beauty as he never saw before. He did not now 
give away his heart so as he had formerly intended 
and attempted to do, but it went away of itself after 
that glory he then discovered. He used to try to 
make a bargain with Christ, to give up his heart to 
him, that he might have eternal life for it. But 
now he thought nothing about himself, or what 
would become of him hereafter ; his mind was wholly 
taken up with the unspeakable excellency of what 
he then beheld. After some time, he was wonder 
fully pleased with the way of salvation by Christ: 
so that it seemed unspeakably better to be saved 
altogether by the mere free grace of God in Christ, 
than to have any hand in saving himself. The con 
sequence of this exercise is, that he appears to retain 
a sense and relish of divine things, and to maintain 
a life of seriousness and true religion. 

Jan. 28. The Indians in these parts having in 
times past run themselves in debt by their excessive 
drinking, and some having taken the advantage and 
put them to trouble and charge by arresting sundry 
of them, it was supposed a great part of their hunt 
ing lands were much endangered, and might speedily 
be taken from them. Sensible that they could not 
subsist together in these parts, in order to their being 
a Christian congregation, if these lands should drop 
out of their hands, which was thought very likely, T 
thought it my duty to use my utmost endeavours to 
prevent so unhappy an event. And having acquainted 
the gentlemen concerned with this mission of this 
affair, according to the best information I could get 
of it, they thought it proper to expend the money 
they had been and still were collecting for the reli 
gious interests of the Indians, (at least a part of it,) 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 261 

in discharging; their debts, and securing these lands, 
that there might be no entanglement lying upon them 
to hinder the settlement and hopeful enlargement of 
a Christian congregation of Indians in these parts. 
And having received orders from them, I answered, 
in behalf of the Indians, for eighty-two pounds five 
shillings, New Jersey currency, at eight shillings 
per ounce ; and so prevented the difficulty in this 
respect. 

* As God has wrought a wonderful work of grace 
among these Indians, and now inclines others from 
remote places to fall in among them almost conti 
nually ; and as he has opened a door for the preven 
tion of the difficulty now mentioned, which seemed 
greatly to threaten their religious interests, as well as 
worldly comfort ; it may be hoped the Lord designs 
to establish a church for himself among them, and 
to hand down true religion to their posterity. 

Jan. 30. Preached to the Indians from John iii. 
16, 17. There was a solemn attention and some 
affection visible in the audience ; several persons 
who had long been concerned for their souls, seemed 
afresh excited and engaged in seeking after an in 
terest in Christ. One with much concern afterwards 
told me, his heart was so pierced with my preach 
ing, he knew not where to turn nor what to do/ 

Jan. 31. This day the person I had made choice 
of and engaged for a schoolmaster, arrived among us, 
and was heartily welcomed by my people universally. 
I immediately distributed several dozen of primers 
among the children and young people. 

* February 1. My schoolmaster this day entered 
upon tjis business among the Indians. He has gene 
rally about thirty children and young persons in his 



262 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

school in the day-time, and about fifteen married 
people in the evening ; the number of the latter 
sort of persons being less than it would be, if they 
could be more constantly at home, and spare time 
from their necessary employments for an attendance 
upon these instructions. 

* In the evening, catechized in my usual method. 
Towards the close of my discourse, a surprising 
power seemed to attend the word, especially to some 
persons. One man, considerably in years, who had 
been a remarkable drunkard, a conjurer and mur 
derer, that was awakened some months before, was 
now brought to great extremity under his spiritual 
distress, so that he trembled for hours together, and 
apprehended himself to be just dropping into hell, 
without any power to rescue or relieve himself. 
Several others appeared under great concern as well 
as he, and solicitous to obtain a saving change. 

Lord s-day, Feb. 2. Preached from John v. 24, 
25. There appeared some concern and affection in 
the assembly as usual. Towards night proceeded 
in my usual method of catechising. Observed my 
people more ready in answering the questions pro 
posed to them than ever before. It is apparent they 
advance daily in doctrinal knowledge. But what is 
still more desirable, the Spirit of God is yet operat 
ing among them, whereby experimental as well as 
speculative knowledge is propagated in their minds. 

Feb. 5. Discoursed to a considerable number of 
the Indians in the evening ; several of them appeared 
much affected and melted with divine things. 

Feb. 8. Spent a considerable part of the day in 
visiting my people from house to house, and convers 
ing with them about their souls concerns. Divers 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 263 

persons wept while I discoursed to them, and appeared 
concerned for nothing so much as for an interest in 
the great Redeemer. In the evening, catechized as 
usual. Divine truth made some impression upon 
the audience, and was attended with an affectionate 
engagement of soul in some. 

Lord s-day, Feb. 9. Discoursed to my people 
from the story of the blind man, Matt. x. 4652. 
The word of God seemed weighty and powerful upon 
the assembly at this time, and made considerable 
impressions upon many. Some in particular, who 
have generally been remarkably stupid and careless 
under the means of grace, were now awakened, and 
wept affectionately. The most earnest attention, as 
well as tenderness and affection, appeared in the 
audience universally. 

Baptized three persons, two adults and one child. 
The adults, I have reason to hope, were both truly 
pious. There was a considerable melting in the as 
sembly, while I was discoursing particularly to these 
persons, and administering the ordinance. God has 
been pleased to own and bless the administration of 
this as well as of his other ordinances among the 
Indians. Some have been powerfully awakened at 
seeing others baptized ; others have obtained relief 
and comfort, just in the season when this ordinance 
has been administered. 

Toward night catechized. God made this a 
powerful season to some, who were much affected, 
and former convictions were revived. There was 
likewise one, who had been a vile drunkard, remark 
ably awakened. He appeared to be in great anguish 
of soul, wept and trembled, and continued so to do 
till near midnight. There was also a poor heavy- 



264 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

laden soul, who had been long under spiritual dis 
tress, as constant and pressing as ever I saw, that 
was now brought to a comfortable calm, and seemed 
to be bowed and reconciled to divine sovereignty. 
She told me that " she now saw and felt it was right 
that God should do with her as he pleased ; and her 
heart felt satisfied it should be so : " although of 
late she had often found her heart rise and quarrel 
with God, because he might, if he pleased, send her 
to hell after all she had done, or could do, to save 
herself. She added, that the heavy burden she had 
lain under was now removed ; that she had tried to 
recover her concern and distress again, (fearing that 
the Spirit of God was departing from her, and would 
leave her wholly careless,) but that she could not 
recover it; that she felt she never could do any thing 
to save herself, but must perish for ever if Christ 
did not do all for her ; that she did not deserve his 
help, and that it would be right if he should leave 
her to perish. But Christ could save her, though 
she could do nothing to save herself; and here she 
seemed to rest. 

About this time, the enemy of souls was permitted 
in some degree to harass him with a new species of 
temptation ; he says, 

Lord s-day, Feb. 2. After public worship, my 
bodily strength being much spent, my spirits sunk 
amazingly ; and especially on hearing that I was so 
generally taken to be a Roman Catholic, sent by the 
Papists to draw the Indians into an insurrection 
against the English ; that some were in fear of me, 
and others were for having me taken up by authority 
jmd nunished. Alas, what will not Satan do to bring 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 265 

a slur and disgrace on the work of God ! Oh! how 
holy and circumspect had I need to be ! Through 
divine goodness I have been enabled to mind my 
own business/ in these parts, as well as elsewhere; 
and to let all men, and all denominations of men, 
alone, as to their party notions ; and only preached 
the plain and necessary truths of Christianity, neither 
inviting to nor excluding from my meeting any per 
sons of any persuasion whatever. Towards night, 
the Lord gave me freedom at the throne of grace, in 
my first prayer before my catechetical lecture ; and 
in opening the 46th Psalm to my people, my soul 
confided in God, although the wicked world should 
slander and persecute me, or even condemn and exe 
cute me as a traitor to my king and country. Truly 
God is a " present help in time of trouble." In the 
evening, my soul was in a measure comforted, having 
some hope that one poor soul was brought home to 
God this day. Oh that I could fill up every moment 
of time, during my abode here below, in the service 
of my God and King. 

Monday, Feb. 3. My spirits were still much 
sunk with what I heard the day before, of my being 
suspected to be engaged in the Pretender s interest. 
It grieved me, that after there had been so much 
evidence of a glorious work of grace among these 
poor Indians, as that the most carnal men could not 
but take notice of the great change made among 
them, so many poor souls should still suspect the 
whole to be only a Popish plot, and so cast an awful 
reproach on this blessed work of the Holy Spirit, 
and, at the same time, wholly exclude themselves 
from receiving any benefit by this divine influence. 
This put me upon searching whether I had ever 



266 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

dropped any thing inadvertently, that might give 
occasion to any to suspect that I was stirring up the 
Indians against the English ; and could think of 
nothing, unless it was my attempting sometimes to 
vindicate the rights of the Indians, and complaining 
of the horrid practice of making the Indians drunk, 
and then cheating them out of their lands and other 
properties. Once, I remembered, I had done this 
with too much warmth of spirit, and it greatly dis 
tressed me ; thinking that this might possibly pre 
judice them against this work of grace, to their ever 
lasting destruction. God, I believe, did me good 
by this trial ; which served to humble me, and show 
me the necessity of watchfulness, and of being " wise 
as a serpent," as well as "harmless as a dove." 
This exercise led me often to the throne of grace ; 
and there I found some support, though I could not 
get the burden wholly removed. Was assisted in 
prayer, especially in the evening. 

About the middle of February, Brainerd paid a 
visit to his late people at the Forks of the Delaware, 
in company with a few of his religious Indians from 
Crossweeksung ; whose conversation and example he 
thought might win on some of their countrymen who 
had neglected or opposed him. His former hearers 
received him kindly; though almost afraid to mani 
fest their friendship, from the rude attacks which 
they had encountered from the opposing Pagans. 
Considerable effect seemed to attend his preaching 
among them on this visit. His companions from 
Crossweeksung continued w r ith the Delaware In 
dians day and night, repeating and inculcating the 
truths which he had taught, and sometimes praying 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 267 

and singing with them. They discoursed also one 
with another, in the hearing of the Delaware Indians, 
of the great things which God had done for them, 
which seemed to take stronger hold on their minds, 
than when they directed their discourse immediately 
to them. 

Of his own people at Crossweeksung he records, 
at the beginning of March, this pleasing testimony : 

I know of no assembly of Christians, where there 
seems to be so much of the presence of God, where 
brotherly love so much prevails, and where I should 
take so much delight in the public worship of 
God, in general, as in my own congregation: al 
though not more than nine months ago, they were 
worshipping devils and dumb idols, under the power 
of Pagan darkness and superstition. Amazing 
change this ! effected by nothing less than divine 
power and grace ! " This is the Lord s doing, and 
it is marvellous in our eyes!" 

Their present situation is so compact and com 
modious, that they are easily and quickly called 
together, with only the sound of a conch-shell: so 
that they have frequent opportunities of attending 
religious exercises publicly; which seems to be a 
great means, under God, of keeping alive the im 
pressions of divine things in their minds/ 

The woman, of whom an affecting account was 
before given, had been constantly crying after Christ, 
as her only satisfying portion ; and often with tears, 
that she did not love him as she ought. Though the 
exercise of grace in her appeared evident to others, she 
seemed insensible of it herself; and never had any 
remarkable consolation till after some weeks, when 
she seemed raised above the world, with a " joy un- 



268 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

speakable and full of glory" longing to depart and 
to be with Christ, in even an ecstasy of rejoicing. 
Brainerd thus describes her state of mind ; 
( After public worship was over, numbers came to 
my house, where we sang and discoursed ; and the 
presence of God seemed here also to be in the midst 
of us. While we were singing, there was one, (the 
woman mentioned in my journal of February 9,) 
who, I may venture to say, if I may be allowed to 
say so much of any person I ever saw, was " filled 
with joy unspeakable and full of glory," and could 
not but burst forth in prayer and praises to God 
before us all, with many tears, crying, " Oh ! blessed 
Lord, do come, do come! oh, do take me away, do 
let me die and go to Jesus Christ ! I am afraid, if I 
live, I shall sin again ! oh, do let me die now ! 
Oh, how can I live in this world ! do take my soul 
away from this sinful place ! oh, let me never sin 
any more ! Oh, what shall I do, what shall I do ! 
dear Jesus, oh, dear Jesus," &c. In this ecstacy, 
she continued some time, uttering these and such 
like expressions incessantly ; and the grand argu 
ment she used with God to take her away imme 
diately, was, that " if she lived, she should sin 
against him/ 

When she had a little recovered herself, I asked 
her whether Christ was not now sweet to her soul ? 
Turning to me with tears in her eyes, and with all 
the tokens of deep humility I ever saw in any person, 
she said, " I have many times heard you speak of 
the goodness and preciousness of Christ, that he was 
better than all the world ; but, oh ! 1 knew nothing 
of what you meant, I never believed you ! I never 
believed you ! But now I know it is true : " or 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION, 269 

words to that efl ect. I answered, And do you see 
enough in Christ for the greatest of sinners? She 
replied, " Oh, enough, enough, for all the sinners in 
the world, if they would but come." And when I 
asked her, if she could not tell them of the goodness 
of Christ: turning herself round to some poor Christ- 
less souls who stood by, and were much affected, 
she said, " Oh ! there is enough in Christ for you, 
if you would but come ! oh, strive, strive, to give 
up your hearts to him ! " On hearing something 
of the glory of heaven mentioned, that there was 
no sin in that world, she again fell into the same 
ecstacy of joy, and desire of Christ s coming ; 
repeating her former expressions, " Oh, dear Lord, 
do let me go : oh, what shall I do, what shall I 
do ! I want to go to Christ! I cannot live! oh, do let 
me die !" 

She continued in this sweet frame for more than 
two hours, before she was able to get home. There 
may indeed be great joys, arising even to an ecstacy, 
where there is still no substantial evidence of their 
being well-grounded. But in the present case there 
seemed to be no evidence wanting, in order to prove 
this joy to be divine, either in regard of its prepara 
tives, attendants, or consequents. Of all the persons 
I have seen under spiritual exercise, I scarce ever 
saw one more bowed and broken under convictions 
of sin and misery than this woman: nor any who 
seemed to have a greater acquaintance with their 
own heart. She would frequently complain to me 
of the hardness and rebellion of her heart; would 
tell me that her heart rose and quarrelled with God, 
when she thought he would do with her as he 
pleased, and send her to hell notwithstanding her 



270 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

prayers, good frames, &c. that her heart was not 
willing to come to Christ for salvation, but tried 
ever} 7 where else for help. 

As she had been remarkably sensible of her stub 
bornness and contrariety to God under conviction, 
so she appeared to be no less remarkably bowed and 
reconciled to divine sovereignty before she obtained 
any relief or comfort. Something of this I have be 
fore noticed in my journal of Feb. 9. Since which 
time she has seemed constantly to breathe the spirit 
and temper of the new creature ; crying after Christ, 
not through fear of hell as before, but with strong 
desires after him as her only satisfying portion ; and 
has many times wept and sobbed bitterly, because 
(as she apprehended) she did not and could not love 
him enough. When I have sometimes asked her, why 
she appeared so sorrowful, and whether it was because 
she was afraid of hell ; she would answer, " No, I 
be not distressed about that ; but my heart is so 
wicked I cannot love Christ ; " and then she would 
burst out into tears. But though this had been the 
habitual frame of her mind for several weeks to 
gether, so that the exercise of grace appeared evi 
dent to others, yet she seemed wholly insensible of 
it herself, and never had any remarkable comfort or 
sensible satisfaction till this evening. 

This sweet and surprising ecstacy appeared to 
spring from a true spiritual discovery of the glory, 
ravishing beauty and excellency of Christ, and not 
from any gross imaginary notions of his human 
nature ; such as that of seeing him in such a place 
or posture, as hanging on the cross, as bleeding, 
as gently smiling, and the like ; which delusions 
some have been carried away with. Nor did it rise 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 271 

from a sordid selfish apprehension of her having 
any benefit whatsoever conferred on her, but 
from a view of his personal excellency and trans 
cendent holiness, which drew forth those vehement 
desires after him, and made her long to be " absent 
from the body, that she might be present with the 
Lord." 

The attendants of this ravishing comfort were such 
as abundantly discovered its spring to be divine, and 
that it was truly a " joy in the Holy Ghost." Now 
she viewed divine truths as living realities ; and could 
say, " I know these things are so ; I feel they are 
true." Now her soul was resigned to the divine will 
in the most tender points ; so that when I said to 
her, What if God should take away your husband 
from you, (who was then very sick,) how do you think 
you could bear that? She replied, " He belongs to 
God, and not to me ; he may do with him just what 
he pleases." Now she had the most tender sense of 
the evil of sin, and discovered the utmost aversion to 
it; longing to die that she might be delivered from 
it. Now she could freely trust her all with God for 
time and eternity. And when I examined her, how 
she could be willing to die, and leave her little 
infant ; and what she thought would become of it in 
case she should, she answered, " God will take 
care of it. It belongs to him, he will take care 
of it." Now she appeared to have the most hum 
bling sense of her own meanness and unworthiness, 
her weakness and inability to preserve herself from 
sin, and to persevere in the way of holiness, crying, 
" If I live, I shall sin." I thought I had never seen 
such an appearance of ecstacy and humility meeting 
in any one person in all my life before. The conse- 



272 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

quents of this joy are no less desirable and satisfac 
tory than its attendants. She since appears to be a 
most tender, broken-hearted, affectionate, devout, 
and humble Christian, as exemplary in life and con 
versation as any person in my congregation. May 
she still " grow in grace, and in the knowledge of 
Christ!" 

* Lord s-day, March 16. Baptized the woman par 
ticularly mentioned in my journal of last Lord s-day ; 
who now, as well as then, appeared to be in a de 
vout, humble, and excellent frame of mind. My 
house being thronged with people in the evening, I 
spent the time in religious exercises with them, till 
my nature was almost spent. They are so unwearied 
in religious exercises, and unsatiable in their thirst 
ing after Christian knowledge, that I sometimes 
scarcely avoid labouring so as greatly to exhaust my 
strength and spirits/ 

A company of strangers visiting Crossweeksung, 
Brainerd particularly laid himself out, and engaged 
his people to assist him, in endeavouring to win them 
to embrace the Gospel. His conduct herein is a 
striking evidence of his ministerial faithfulness and 
wisdom : 

Sunday, March 23, 1746. There being about 
fifteen strangers, adult persons, come among us in 
the week past, divers of whom had never been in any 
religious meeting till now, I thought it proper to 
discourse this day in a manner peculiarly suited to 
their circumstances and capacities ; and accordingly 
attempted it, from Hos. xiii. 9, in the forenoon, 
opening, in the plainest manner I could, man s apos- 
tacy and ruined state, after having spoken some 
things respecting the being and perfections of God, 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 273 

and his creation of man in a state of uprightness and 
happiness. In the afternoon, I endeavoured to open 
the glorious provision which God has made for the 
redemption of apostate creatures, by giving his own 
dear Son to suffer for them, and satisfy divine justice 
on their behalf. 

* There was not that affection and concern in the 
assembly which has been common among us ; although 
there was a desirable attention appearing in general, 
and even in most of the strangers. 

Near sun-set I felt an uncommon concern on my 
mind, especially for the poor strangers, that God 
had so much withheld his presence, and the powerful 
influence of his Spirit, from the assembly, in the 
exercises of the day; and thereby denied them 
that matter of conviction which I hoped they might 
have had. And in this frame I visited sundry houses, 
and discoursed with some concern and affection to 
several persons particularly : but without much ap 
pearance of success, till I came to a house where 
several of the strangers were ; and there the solemn 
truths which I discoursed of appeared to take effect, 
first on some children, then on divers adult persons 
who had been somewhat awakened before, and after 
ward on several of the pagan strangers. 

* I continued my discourse, with some fervency, 
till almost every one in the house was melted into 
tears, and divers wept aloud, and appeared earnestly 
concerned to obtain an interest in Christ. Upon 
this, numbers soon gathered from all the houses 
round about, and so thronged the place, that we 
were obliged to remove to the house where we 
usually meet for public worship : and the congrega 
tion gathering immediately, and many appearing 

T 



274 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD*. 

remarkably affected, I discoursed some time from 
Luke xix. 10, endeavouring to open the mercy, com 
passion, and concern of Christ for lost, helpless, and 
undone sinners. 

* There was much visible concern and affection in 
the assembly ; and I doubt not but that a divine 
influence accompanied what was spoken to the 
hearts of many. There were five or six of the 
strangers (men and women) who appeared to be con 
siderably awakened : and, in particular, one very 
rugged young man, who seemed as if nothing would 
move him, was now brought to tremble like the 
jailer, and weep for a long time. 

* The Indians that were awakened seemed at once 
to put off their savage roughness and pagan man 
ners, and become sociable, orderly, and humane in 
their carriage. When they first came, I exhorted 
my religious people to take pains with them (as they- 
had done with other strangers, from time to time) to 
instruct them in Christianity. But when some of 
them attempted something of that nature, the strangers 
would soon rise up and walk to other houses, in 
order to avoid the hearing of such discourses. Where 
upon, some of the serious persons agreed to disperse 
themselves into the several parts of the settlement : 
so that wherever the strangers went, they met with 
some instructive discourses, and warm addresses re 
specting their souls concern. But now there was 
no need of using policy, in order to get an oppor 
tunity of conversing with some of them about their 
spiritual concerns ; for they were so far touched with 
a sense of their perishing state, as made them quietly 
yield to the closest addresses that were made them, 
respecting their sin and misery, and their need of an 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 275 

acquaintance with and interest in the great Re 
deemer. 

The next day he writes : 

Monday, March 24. Numbered the Indians, 
to see how many souls God had gathered together 
here, since my coming into these parts ; and found 
there were now about a hundred and thirty persons, 
old and young. Sundry of those that are my stated 
hearers, perhaps to the number of fifteen or twenty, 
were absent at this season. So that if all had been 
together, the number would now have been very 
considerable ; especially considering how few were 
together at my first coming into these parts, the whole 
number not amounting to ten persons at that time. 

My people going out this day upon the design of 
clearing some of their lands, above fifteen miles 
distant, in order to their settling there in a compact 
form ; where they might enjoy the advantages of 
attending the public worship of God, of having their 
children schooled, and at the same time have a con- 
veniency for planting, &c. ; their land in the place 
of our present residence being of little or no value 
for that purpose ; and the design of their settling 
thus in a body, and cultivating their lands (which 
they have done very little to in their pagan state), 
being of such necessity and importance to their 
religious interest, as well as worldly comfort ; I 
thought it proper to call them together, and shew 
them the duty of labouring with faithfulness and 
industry ; and that they must not now be slothful in 
business, as they had ever been in their pagan state. 
I endeavoured to press the importance of their being 
laborious, diligent, and vigorous in the prosecution 
of their business ; especially at the present juncture 
T 2 



276 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

(the season of planting being now near), in order to 
their being enabled to live together, and enjoy the 
means of grace and instruction. And having given 
them directions for their work, which they very much 
wanted, as well as for their behaviour in divers 
respects, I explained, sang, and endeavoured to 
inculcate upon them Psalm cxxvii., and having re 
commended them, and the design of their going forth, 
to God, by prayer with them, I dismissed them to 
their business/ 

March 27. Discoursed to a number of my people 
in one of their houses in a more private manner. 
Inquired particularly into their spiritual state, in 
order to see what impressions of a religious nature 
they were under. Laid before them the marks and 
tokens of a regenerate, as well as an unregenerate 
state ; and endeavoured to suit my discourse to them 
severally, according as I apprehended their states to 
be. A considerable number gathered together be 
fore I finished my discourse, and several seemed much 
affected while I was urging the necessity and infinite 
importance of a renewed state. I find particular and 
close dealing with souls in private is often very suc 
cessful. 

March 29. In the evening catechized as usual. 
Treated upon the * benefits which believers receive 
from Christ at death/ The questions were answered 
with great readiness and propriety ; and those who, I 
hope, are the people of God, were in general sweetly 
melted. There appeared such a liveliness and vigour 
in their attendance upon the word, and such eager 
ness to be made partakers of the benefits then men 
tioned, that they seemed to be not only * looking 
for, but hasting to the coming of the day of God/ 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 277 

Divine truth seemed to distil upon the audience 
with a gentle but melting efficacy, as the refreshing 
" showers upon the new-mown grass." The assem 
bly in general, as well as those who appear truly re 
ligious, were affected with some brief account of the 
blessedness of the godly at death ; and discovered an 
affectionate inclination to cry, " Let me die the death 
of the righteous/ &c. Yet many were not duly 
engaged to obtain the change of heart that is neces 
sary in order to that blessed end. 

4 Lord s-day. March 30. Discoursed from Matt. 
xxv. 31 40. There was a very considerable moving 
and affectionate melting in the assembly, and I hope 
there were some real, deep, and abiding impressions 
of divine things made upon the minds of many. One 
aged man, newly come among us, appeared to be 
considerably awakened, but who never was touched 
with any concern for his soul before. In the even 
ing catechized. There was not that tenderness and 
melting among God s people which had appeared the 
evening before, and at many other times. Yet they 
answered the questions distinctly and well, and were 
devout and attentive in divine service. 

March 31. Called my people together, as I had 
done the Monday morning before, and discoursed to 
them again on the necessity and importance of their 
labouring industriously, in order to their living to 
gether, and enjoying the means of grace ; and having 
engaged in solemn prayer to God among them, for 
a blessing upon their attempts, I dismissed them to 
their work. Numbers of them, both men and women* 
seemed to offer themselves willingly to this service ; 
and some appeared affectionately concerned that God 
might go with them, and begin their little town for 



278 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

them ; that by his blessing it might be comfortable 
for them and theirs, in regard both of procuring 
the necessaries of life, and attending the worship of 
God. 

* April 5, 1746. Catechized towards evening. 
There appeared to be some affection and fervency 
in the assembly in general, especially towards the 
conclusion of my discourse. After public worship, 
a number of the truly religious came to my house, 
and seemed eager for some farther entertainment 
upon divine things. While I was conversing with 
them about their spiritual exercises, observing to 
them that God s work in the hearts of all his chil 
dren was in substance the same, and that their trials 
and temptations were also alike, and showing the 
obligations such were under to love one another in 
a peculiar manner, they seemed to be melted into 
tenderness and affection toward each other. I thought 
that one particular token of their being the disciples 
of Christ, namely, of their u having love one toward 
another," had scarcely ever appeared more evident 
than at this time. My heart was knit to them ; and 
I cannot say that I have felt such a fervent " love to 
the brethren" for some time past. I also saw in 
them appearances of the same love. This gave me 
something of a view of the heavenly state ; and par 
ticularly that part of the happiness of heaven which 
consists in the communion of saints. This was 
affecting to me. 

Lord s-day, April 6. Preached from Matt. vii. 
21 23. There were considerable effects of the 
word visible on the audience, and such as were very 
desirable ; an earnest attention, a great solemnity, 
many tears and heavy sighs, which were modestly 



THIRD YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 279 

suppressed in a considerable measure, and appeared 
unaffected, without any indecent commotion of the 
passions. Several religious people were put upon 
serious and close examination, from hearing that 
"not every one that saith to Christ, Lord, Lord, 
shall enter into his kingdom." Some of them ex 
pressed fears lest they had deceived themselves with 
a false hope, because they found they had done so 
little of the " will of his Father in heaven." One 
man was brought under very great and pressing con 
cern for his soul, which appeared more especially 
after his retirement from public worship. That 
which gave him his great uneasiness, he says, was 
not so much any particular sin, as that he had 
never done the will of God at all, but had sinned 
continually, and so had no claim to the kingdom 
of heaven. 

* In the afternoon I opened to them the discipline 
of Christ in his church, and the method in which 
offenders are to be dealt with. The religious people 
were much affected when they heard, that the offen 
der continuing obstinate, must finally be esteemed 
and treated * as a heathen man, a pagan, that has 
no part nor lot among God s visible people. This 
they seemed to have the most awful apprehensions 
of; a state of heathenism, out of which they were so 
lately brought, appearing very dreadful to them. 
After public worship I visited several houses to see 
how they spent the remainder of the Sabbath, and 
to treat with them solemnly on the great concern 
of their souls. The Lord seemed to smile upon 
my private endeavours, and to make these personal 
addresses more effectual upon some than my public 
discourses. 



280 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD C 

April 7. Preached to ray people in the evening 
from 1 Cor. xi. 23 26. Endeavoured to open to 
them the institution, nature, and ends of the Lord s 
Supper, as well as the qualifications and prepara 
tions necessary to the right participation of that 
ordinance. Several appeared much affected with 
the love of Christ, in making this provision for the 
comfort of his people, at a season when himself was 
just entering upon his sharpest sufferings/ 

Thus closed the twenty-eighth year of Brainerd s 
age, and the third of his ministry ; his path shining 
more and more to that perfect day, which was about 
soon to open on his holy soul ! 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 281 



CHAPTER VII. 

The fourth year of his Missionary Labours ; 
from 1746 to 1747. 

BRAINERD was now hastening to the close of his la 
bours, and rapidly maturing for his crown. On the 20th 
of April, 1746, he entered into the twenty-ninth year 
of his age, and the last complete year of his ministry. 
His Public Journal was continued but for about two 
months of this year; his last record in it being made 
on the 19th of June. From that time he grew gra 
dually more infirm, and was occasionally wholly dis 
abled from public duty. His private journal was 
regularly continued till Sept. 20th of this year ; after 
which it was greatly interrupted by the rapid pro 
gress of his disease. 

About this time, a great clamour was raised against 
the Indians, in various parts of the country; and 
insinuations propagated against Brainerd, that he 
was training them up to become formidable and in 
jurious to others. Many persons wished to have 
them banished entirely from those parts ; and some 
threatened loudly, in order to deter the Indians from 
settling on the best and most convenient tracts of 
their own lands ; pretending a claim to these lands 
themselves, though never purchased of the Indians. 



282 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

Brainerd watched, as we have already seen, with 
parental anxiety, over the temporal comfort, as well 
as spiritual growth of his Indians. With a view to 
both these objects, he set apart a day for solemn 
fasting and prayer. 

We extract his own account of his design, and 
of the manner in which this day was observed. 

April 25, 1746. Having of late apprehended that 
a number of persons in my congregation were proper 
subjects of the ordinance of the Lord s Supper, and 
that it might be seasonable speedily to administer it 
to them ; and having taken advice of some of the 
reverend correspondents in this solemn aft air; and, 
accordingly, having proposed and appointed the next 
Lord s-day, with permission of Divine Providence, 
for the administration of this ordinance, this day, as 
preparatory thereto, was set apart for solemn fasting 
and prayer, to implore the blessing of God on our 
design of renewing our covenant with him and with 
one another, to walk together in the fear of God, in 
love and Christian fellowship; and to intreat that 
his divine presence might be with us in our designed 
approach to his table ; as well as to humble our 
selves before God, on account of the apparent with- 
drawment (at least in a measure) of that blessed 
influence that has been so prevalent upon persons 
of all ages among us ; as also on account of the 
rising appearance of carelessness, vanity, and vice 
among a few, who, some time since, appeared to be 
touched and affected with divine truths, and brought 
to some sensibility of their miserable and perishing 
state by nature: and that we might also importu 
nately pray for the peaceable settlement of the 
Indians together in a body, that they might be a 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 283 

commodious congregation for the worship of God ; 
and that God would blast and defeat all the attempts 
that were or might be made against that pious 
design. 

* The solemnity was observed and seriously at 
tended, not only by those who proposed to commu 
nicate at the Lord s table, but by the whole con 
gregation. 

* In the former part of the day, I endeavoured to 
open to my people the nature and design of a fast, as 
I had attempted more briefly to do before, and to 
instruct them in the duties of such a solemnity. In 
the afternoon, I insisted on the special reasons there 
were for our engaging in these solemn exercises at 
this time ; both in regard of the need we stood in 
of divine assistance, in order to a due preparation 
for that sacred ordinance which we were some of us 
proposing, with leave of Divine Providence, speedily 
to attend on; and also in respect to the manifest 
decline of God s work here, as to the effectual con 
viction and conversion of sinners; there having been 
few of late deeply awakened out of a state of 
security. 

The worship of God was attended with great 
solemnity and reverence, with much tenderness and 
many tears, by those who appeared to be truly re 
ligious ; and there was some appearance of divine 
power on those who had been awakened some time 
before, and who were still under concern. 

After repeated prayer, and attendance on the word 
of God, I proposed to the religious people, with as 
much brevity and plainness as I could, the substance 
of the doctrine of the Christian faith, as I had 
formerly done, previous to their baptism ; and had 



284 LIFE OF DAVID BRAIN ERD: 

their renewed cheerful assent to it. I then led them 
to a solemn renewal of their baptismal covenant, 
wherein they had explicitly and publicly given up 
themselves to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
avouching him to be their God; and at the same 
time renouncing their heathenish vanities, their 
idolatrous and superstitious practices, and solemnly 
engaging to take the word of God, so far as it was, 
or might be, made known to them, for the rule 
of their lives, promising to walk together in love, to 
watch over themselves and one another, to lead lives 
of seriousness and devotion, and to discharge the 
relative duties incumbent on them. 

This transaction was attended with much serious 
ness ; and, at the same time, with the utmost readi 
ness, freedom, and cheerfulness : and a religious 
union and harmony of souls seemed to crown the 
whole solemnity. I could not but think, in the even 
ing, that there had been manifest tokens of the 
Divine Presence with us in all the services of the 
day ; though it was also manifest, that there was not 
that concern among Christless souls that has often 
appeared here. 

On the following Sunday, he administered the 
Lord s Supper to twenty-three Indians ; the number 
of men and women being nearly equal. Five or six 
others, who would have communicated with them, 
were absent at the Forks of the Delaware. 

* Having rested/ he says, some time after the 
administration of the sacrament, being exceedingly 
tired with the necessary prolixity of the work, I 
walked from house to house ; and conversed par 
ticularly with most of the communicants ; and found 
that they had been almost universally refreshed at 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 285 

the Lord s table, as with new wine. And never did 
I see such an appearance of Christian love among 
any people in all ray life. It was so remarkable, 
that one might well have cried out, with an agreeable 
surprise, "Behold, how they love one another!" 
I think there could be no greater tokens of mutual 
affection among the people of God in the early days 
of Christianity, than what now appeared here. The 
sight was so desirable, and so well becoming the 
gospel, that nothing less could be said of it, than 
that it was the doing of the Lord, the genuine 
operations of him who is Love ! 

Having discoursed in the morning on Titus ii. 4, 
he resumed the subject in the evening, and insisted 
on the immediate end and design of Christ s death, 
" That he might redeem his people from all in 
iquity," &c. 

This appeared/ he says, to be a season of divine 
power among us. The religious people were much 
refreshed, and seemed remarkably tender and affec 
tionate, full of love, joy, peace, and desires of being 
completely redeemed from all iniquity ; so that some 
of them afterwards told me, they " had never felt 
the like before." Convictions also appeared to be 
revived in many instances ; and divers persons were 
awakened, whom I had never observed under any 
religious impressions before. 

* Such was the influence that attended our as 
sembly ; and so unspeakably desirable the frame 
of mind that many enjoyed in the divine service, 
that it seemed almost grievous to conclude the 
public worship: and the congregation, when dis 
missed, although it was then almost dark, appeared 
loth to leave the place and employments that 



286 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD . 

had been rendered so dear to them by the benefits 
enjoyed. 

I have abundant reason to think, that those who 
came to the Lord s Table had a good degree of doc 
trinal knowledge of the nature and design of the 
ordinance. And this competency of doctrinal know 
ledge, together with their grave and decent attend 
ance on the ordinance, their affectionate melting 
under it, and the Christian frame of mind which 
they discovered consequent upon it, gave me great 
satisfaction respecting my administration of it to 
them. 

What a sweet and blessed season was this ! God 
himself, I am persuaded, was in the midst of his 
people, attending His own ordinances. And I doubt 
not but many, in the conclusion of the day, could 
say with their whole hearts, " Verily, a day thus spent 
in God s house, is better than a thousand elsewhere." 
There seemed to be but one heart among the pious 
people. The sweet union, harmony, and endearing 
love and tenderness subsisting among them, was, 1 
thought, the most lively emblem of the heavenly 
world that I had ever seen/ 

The next day he concluded this sacramental 
solemnity by a discourse on John xiv. 15. 

* Observing the assembly in general affected, I 
thought it proper (he writes) to improve this advan 
tageous season, in order to promote the blessed re 
formation begun among them, and to engage those 
that appear serious and religious, to persevere therein : 
and accordingly proposed to them, that they should 
renewedly enter into covenant before God, that they 
would watch over themselves and one another, lest 
they should dishonour the name of Christ by falling 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 287 

into sinful and unbecoming practices ; and espe 
cially, that they would watch against the sin of 
drunkenness (the sin that easily besets them), and 
the temptations leading thereto, as well as the appear 
ance of evil in that respect. They cheerfully complied 
with the proposal, and explicitly joined in that 
covenant : whereupon I proceeded, in the most so 
lemn manner I was capable of, to call God to witness 
respecting their sacred engagement ; and reminded 
them of the greatness of the guilt which they would 
contract to themselves in the violation of it ; as well 
as observed to them, that God would be a terrible 
witness against those who should presume to do so, 
in the " great and notable day of the Lord." 

4 It was a season of amazing solemnity ; and a 
divine awe appeared upon the face of the whole 
assembly, in this transaction ! Affectionate sobs, 
sighs, and tears, were now frequent in the audience : 
and I doubt not but that many silent cries were sent 
up to the fountain of grace for supplies of grace 
sufficient for the fulfilment of these solemn engage 
ments. 

The Indians were now removed to the lands which 
they had been preparing. This place was called 
Cranberry. Brainerd followed them ; and preached 
there, for the first time, on the 4th of May. Till a 
home could be prepared for him in the midst of his 
people, he took up his abode with an English family 
at some distance. It was several months before his 
house at Cranberry the fourth which he built among 
the Indians was ready for him ; but, in the mean 
time, he was assiduous, so far as his declining health 
allowed, in visiting them ; not only for their direct 
spiritual improvement, but because he daily dis- 



288 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

covered, more and more, of what importance it was 
likely to be to their religious interest, that they 
should become laborious and industrious, skilled in 
husbandry, and able to raise, in a good measure, the 
necessaries and comforts of life within themselves, 
as their present method of living greatly exposed 
them to temptations of various kinds. 

On the 9th of May, Brainerd baptized an aged 
Powaw, or conjurer. Of this man, who appears to 
have been a remarkable instance of divine grace, he 
gives the following account : 

He lived near, and sometimes attended my meet 
ing on the Forks of the Delaware, for more than a 
year ; but was, like many others of them, extremely 
attached to strong drink, and seemed to be no ways 
reformed by the means which I used with them for 
their instruction and conversion. In this time he 
likewise murdered a likely young Indian ; which 
threw him into some kind of horror or desperation, 
so that he kept at a distance from me, and refused 
to hear me preach for several months together, till I 
had an opportunity of conversing freely with him, 
and giving him encouragement, that his sin might 
be forgiven for Christ s sake : after which, he again 
attended my meetings, at some times. 

* But that which was the worst of all his conduct, 
was his conjuration. He was one of them who are 
sometimes called powaws among the Indians : and, 
notwithstanding his frequent attendance on my 
preaching, he still followed his old charms and jug 
gling tricks ; giving out that himself was some great 
one ; and to him they gave heed, supposing him to be 
possessed of a great power : so that when I have 
instructed them respecting the miracles wrought by 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 289 

Christ, in healing the sick, &c. and mentioned them 
as evidences of his divine mission and the truth of 
his doctrines, they have quickly observed the wonders 
of that kind which this man had performed by his 
magic charms : whence they had a high opinion of 
him and his superstitious notions, which seemed to 
be a fatal obstruction to some of them, in the way of 
their receiving the Gospel. And I have often thought, 
it would be a great favour to the design of gospel- 
izing the Indians, if God would take that wretch out 
of the world ; for I had scarce any hope of his ever 
coming to good. But God, whose thoughts are not 
as man s thoughts, has been pleased to take a much 
more desirable method with him a method agreeable 
to His own merciful nature, and, I trust, advantage 
ous to His own interest among the Indians, as well 
as effectual to the salvation of the poor man s soul ; 
and to Him be all the glory of it ! 

The first genuine concern for his soul that ever 
appeared in him, was excited by seeing my inter 
preter and his wife baptized at the Forks of the 
Delaware, July 21, 1745 ; which so prevailed on 
him, that, at the invitation of an Indian, who was 
a friend to Christianity, he followed me down to 
Crosweeksung, in the beginning of August, in order 
to hear me preach ; and there continued for several 
weeks, in the season of the most remarkable and 
powerful awakening among the Indians ; at which 
time he was more effectually awakened, and brought 
under great concern for his soul : and then, he says, 
on his feeling the word of God in his heart/ as 
he expressed it, his spirit of conjuration left him 
entirely ; and that he had no more of that nature 
since, than any other man living: and declares, that 
u 



290 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

he does not now so much as know how he used to 
charm and conjure; and that he could not do any 
thing of that nature, if he was never so desirous of it. 
4 He continued under convictions of his sinful and 
perishing state, and a considerable degree of concern 
for his soul, all the fall and the former part of the 
winter past : but was not so deeply exercised till 
some time in January ; and then the word of God 
took such hold on him, that he was brought into 
great distress, and knew not what to do, nor where 
to turn himself. When he used to hear me preach 
from time to time, in the fall of the year, he told me, 
that my preaching pricked his heart, and made him 
very uneasy ; but did not bring him to so great 
distress, because he still hoped he could do some 
thing for his own relief; but now, he said, I drave 
him up into such a sharp corner/ that he had no 
way to turn, and could not avoid being in distress. 

* He continued constantly under the heavy burden 
and pressure of a wounded spirit, till at length he 
was brought into acute anguish, and the utmost agony 
of soul, which continued for a night, and part of the 
next day. 

After this, he was brought to a perfect calmness 
and cohiposure of mind, his trembling and heavy 
burden were removed, and he appeared perfectly se 
date ; although he had, to his apprehension, scarcely 
any hope of salvation. 

* I observed him to appear remarkably composed, 
and thereupon asked him how he did. He replied, 
It is done ! it is done ! it is all done now ! I. 
asked him what he meant. He answered, I can 
never do any more to save myself. It is all done 
forever. I can do no more. I questioned with him, 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 291 

whether he could not do a little more, rather than 
go to hell. He replied, My heart is dead. I can 
never help myself. I asked him, what he thought 
would become of him, then. He answered, I must 
^o to hell/ I asked him, if he thought it was right, 
that God should send him to hell. He replied, Oh, 
it is right. The devil has been in me ever since I 
was born/ I asked him, if he felt this when he 
was in such great distress the evening before. He 
answered, No, I did not then think it was right. I 
thought God would send me to hell, and that I was 
then dropping into it ; but my heart quarrelled with 
God, and would not say it was right he should send 
me there. But now I know it was right ; for 1 
have always served the devil, and my heart has no 
goodness in it now, but is as bad as ever it was/ 
I thought I had scarcely ever seen any person more 
effectually brought off from a dependence on his own 
contrivances and endeavours for salvation ; or more 
apparently made to lie at the foot of sovereign mercy, 
than this man now did, under these views of things. 

In this frame of mind he continued for several 
days, passing sentence of condemnation on himself, 
and constantly owning that he expected this would 
be his portion, for the greatness of his sins. And 
yet it was plain that he had a secret hope of mercy, 
though imperceptible to himself, which kept him not 
only from despair, but from any very pressing dis 
tress ; so that, instead of being sad and dejected, his 
very countenance appeared pleasant and agreeable. 

While he was in this frame, he several times 

asked me when I would preach again, and seemed 

desirous to hear the word of God every day. I asked, 

Why he wanted to hear me preach, seeing * his 

u 2 



292 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

heart was dead and all was done ; * that he could 
never help himself, and expected that he must go to 
hell. He replied, I love to hear you speak about 
Christ, for all that/ I added, But what good will 
that do you, if you must go to hell at last? (using 
now his own language with him : having before, from 
time to time, laboured in the best manner I could, to 
represent to him the excellency of Christ, his all- 
sufficiency and willingness to save lost sinners, and 
persons just in his case ; although to no purpose, as 
to yielding him any special comfort) He answered, 
I would have others come to Christ, if I must go to 
hell myself/ 

It was remarkable, in this season, that he seemed 
to have a great love to the people of God: and no 
thing affected him so much as the thoughts of being 
separated from them. This seemed to be a very 
dreadful part of the hell to which he thought himself 
doomed. It was likewise remarkable, that in this 
season, he was most diligent in the use of all means 
for his soul s salvation ; although he had the clearest 
view of the insufficiency of means to afford him help; 
and would frequently say, that all he did signified 
nothing at all ; and yet he was never more constant in 
attending secret and family prayer daily, or more sur 
prisingly diligent and attentive in hearing the word 
of God : so that he neither despaired of mercy, nor 
yet presumed to hope upon his own doings ; but 
used means, because appointed of God in order to 
salvation, and because he would wait on God in his 
own way. 

* After he had continued in this frame of mind 
more than a week, while I was discoursing publicly, 
he seemed to have a lively view of the excellency of 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 293 

Christ, and the way of salvation by him, which 
melted him into tears, and filled him with admira 
tion, comfort, satisfaction, and praise to God : since 
which he has appeared to be an humble, devout, and 
affectionate Christian ; serious and exemplary in his 
conversation and behaviour, frequently complaining 
of his barrenness, his want of spiritual warmth, life, 
and activity, and yet frequently favoured with quick 
ening and refreshing influences : and, in all respects, 
so far as I am capable to judge, he bears the marks 
and characteristics of one " created anew in Christ 
Jesus unto good works." 

* His zeal for the cause of God was pleasing to 
me, when he was with me at the Forks of the Dela 
ware, in February last. There being an old Indian 
at the place where I preached, who threatened to 
bewitch me and my religious people who accompa 
nied me thither, this man presently challenged him 
to do his worst; telling him, that himself had been 
as great a conjurer as he ; and that notwithstanding, 
as soon as he felt that word in his heart which these 
people loved (meaning the word of God), his power 
of conjuring immediately left him ; And so it would 
be with you, said he, if you did but once feel the 
word in your heart : and you have no power to hurt 
them, nor so much as to touch one of them. 

* So that I may conclude my account of him by 
observing, in allusion to what was said of St. Paul, 
that he now zealously defends and practically 
" preaches the faith which he once destroyed," or at 
least was instrumental of obstructing. May God have 
all the glory of the amazing change which he has 
wrought in him ! 



294 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

A few extracts from his journal of this period 
will show the course by which Brainerd was brought 
into a growing deadness to himself and the world, 
and rapidly preparing for that last message which he 
was so soon to hear. 

May 8, 1746. In the evening was somewhat re 
freshed with divine things, and enjoyed a tender 
melting frame in secret prayer. My soul was drawn 
out for the interest of Zion, and comforted with the 
lively hope of the appearing of the kingdom of the 
great Redeemer. These were sweet moments ; I 
felt almost loath to go to bed, and grieved that sleep 
was necessary. However, I lay down with a tender 
reverential fear of God, sensible that " his favour is 
life/ and his smiles better than all that earth can 
give ; nay, infinitely better than life itself. 

May 10. Rode to Allen s Town, to assist in the 
administration of the Lord s Supper. In the after 
noon, preached from Titus ii. 14. " Who gave him 
self for us," &c. God was pleased to carry me 
through with some competency of freedom, and yet 
to deny me that enlargement and power I longed 
for. In the evening my soul mourned, and could 
not but mourn, that I had treated so excellent a sub 
ject in so defective a manner, that I had borne so 
broken a testimony for so worthy and glorious a Re 
deemer. And if my discourse had met with the 
utmost applause from all the world, (as I accidentally 
heard it applauded by some persons of judgment,) it 
would not have given me any satisfaction. It grieved 
me to think that I had had no more holy warmth 
and fervency, that I had been no more melted in dis 
coursing of Christ s death, and the end and design 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 295 

of it. Afterwards I enjoyed some freedom and fer 
vency in secret and family prayer, and longed much 
for the presence of God to attend his word and 
ordinances the next day. 

* May 11. Assisted in the administration of the 
Lord s Supper, but enjoyed little enlargement: was 
grieved and depressed at some things that I thought 
undesirable. In the afternoon went to the house of 
God, weak and sick in soul, as well as feeble in 
body ; and longed that the people might be edified 
with divine truths, and that an honest, fervent testi 
mony might be borne for God ; but knew not how it 
was possible for me to do any thing of that kind, to 
any good purpose. Yet God, who is rich in mercy, 
was pleased to give me assistance, both in prayer 
and preaching. God helped me to wrestle for his 
presence, in prayer, and to tell him, that he had pro 
mised, wherever two or three were met together in his 
name, that he would be in the midst of them ; and 
that we were, at least some of us, so met ; and pleaded 
that for his truth s sake he would be with us. And, 
blessed be God, it was sweet to my soul, thus to 
plead, and rely on his promises. Discoursed upon 
Luke ix. 30, 31. Enjoyed special freedom, from the 
beginning to the end of my discourse, without inter 
ruption. Things pertinent to the subject were abun 
dantly represented to my view ; and such a fulness 
of matter, that I scarce knew how to dismiss the 
various heads and particulars that I had occasion to 
touch upon. And, blessed be the Lord! I was 
favoured with some fervency and power, as well as 
freedom ; so that the word of God seemed to awaken 
the attention of a stupid audience, to a considerable 
degree. I was inwardly refreshed with the consola- 



296 LIFE OF DAVID ERAINERDI 

tions of God, and could, with my whole heart, say, 
" Though there be no fruit in the vine, &c. yet I will 
/ejoice in the Lord." 

May 16. Near night, enjoyed some agreeable 
and edifying conversation with a dear minister, 
which, I trust, was blessed to me. My heart was 
warmed, and engaged to live to God, so that I longed 
to exert myself with more vigour than ever I had 
done. Those words quickened me : " Herein is my 
Father glorified, that ye bring forth much fruit." 
My soul longed and prayed to be enabled to live to 
Qod with the utmost constancy and ardour. In 
the evening, God was pleased to shine on me in 
secret prayer, and draw out my soul after himself. I 
had freedom in supplication for myself, but much 
more in intercession for others ; so that I was con 
strained to say, Lord ! use me as thou wilt. Do as 
thou wilt with me ; but, oh, promote thine own cause ! 
Zion is thine; oh, visit thine heritage ! Oh, let thy 
kingdom come ! Oh, let thy blessed interest be ad 
vanced in the world ! When I attempted to look to 
God, respecting my worldly circumstances and his 
providential dealings with me, in regard of my set 
tling down in my congregation, which seems to be 
necessary, and yet very difficult, and contrary to my 
fixed intention for years past, as well as my disposi 
tion, which has been, and still is, at times especially, 
to go forth, and spend my life in preaching the 
gospel from place to place, and gathering souls afar 
off to Jesus the great Redeemer ; when I attempted 
to look to God with regard to these things and his 
designs concerning me, I could only say. " The will 
of the Lord be done ! " it is no matter for me. The 
same frame of mind I felt with respect to another 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 297 

important affair, of which I have lately had some 
serious thoughts. I could say, with the utmost calm 
ness and composure, Lord, if it be most for thy 
glory, let me proceed in it ; but, if thou seest that 
in any wise it will hinder my usefulness in thy 
cause, oh prevent my proceeding ! for all I want 
respecting this world is, such circumstances as may 
best capacitate me to do service for thee in the 
world/ But, blessed be God ! I enjoyed liberty in 
prayer for my dear flock, and was enabled to pour 
out my soul into the bosom of a tender Father. 
My heart within me was melted, when I came to 
plead for my people, and for the kingdom of Christ 
in general. Oh, how sweet was this evening to my 
soul ! I knew not how to go to bed ; and, when I 
got to bed, I longed for someway to improve time for 
God, to some excellent purpose. " Bless the Lord, 

my soul ! " 

May 17. I find discouragement to be an ex 
ceeding hindrance to my spiritual fervency and 
affection ; but when God enables me sensibly to find 
that I have done something for him, this refreshes 
and animates me, so that I could break through all 
hardships, undergo any labours, and nothing seems 
too much either to do or suffer. But, oh ! what a 
death it is, to strive, and strive, to be always in a 
hurry, and yet to do nothing, or at least to do no 
thing for God ! Alas, alas, that time flies away, and 

1 do so little for God ! 

Sunday, May 18. I felt my own utter insuffi 
ciency for my work. God made me to see that I was 
a child ; yea, that I was a fool. I discoursed both 
parts of the day, from Rev. iii. 20. " Behold ! I 
stand at the door, and knock." God gave me free- 



298 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

dom and power in the latter part of my forenoon s 
discourse ; although, in the former part of it, I felt 
peevish, and provoked with the unmannerly be 
haviour of the white people, who crowded in between 
my people and me, which proved a great temptation 
to me. But, blessed be God ! I got these shackles 
off before the middle of my discourse, and was 
favoured with a frame of spirit full of love, warmth, 
and tenderness. 

May 19. Visited and preached to my people 
from Acts xx. 18, 19, and endeavoured to rectify 
their notions about religious affections ; shew ing 
them, on the one hand, the desirableness of religious 
affection, tenderness, and fervent engagement in the 
worship and service of God, when such affection 
flows from a true discovery of divine glories, from a 
justly-affecting sense of the transcendent excellency 
and perfections of the blessed God, and a view of 
the glory and loveliness of the great Redeemer, and 
that such views of divine things will naturally excite 
us to " serve the Lord with many tears," with much 
affection and fervency, and yet " with all humility 
of mind;" and, on the other hand, observing the 
sinfulness of seeking after high affections, imme 
diately, and for their own sakes, that is, of making 
them the object upon which our eye and heart are 
next and principally set, when the glory of God 
ought to be so : shewed them, that if the heart be 
directly and chiefly fixed on God, and the soul 
engaged to glorify him, some degree of religious affec 
tion will be the effect and attendant of it ; but that, 
to seek after affection directly and chiefly, or to have 
the heart principally set upon that, is to place it in 
the room of God and his glory. If it be sought, 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 299 

that others may take notice of and admire us for our 
spirituality and forwardness in religion, it is then 
abominable pride; if for the sake of feeling the 
pleasure of being affected, it is then idolatry and 
self-gratification : laboured also to expose the dis- 
agreeableness of those affections that are sometimes 
wrought up in persons, by the power of fancy, and 
their own attempts for that purpose ; while I still 
endeavoured to recommend to them that sacred 
affection, fervency, and devotion, which ought to 
attend all our religious exercises, and without which 
religion will be but an empty name, and lifeless 
carcase. 

This appeared to be a seasonable discourse, and 
proved very satisfactory to some of the religious 
people, who before were exercised with some diffi 
culties relating to this point. 

May 22. In the evening, was in a frame some 
what remarkable had apprehended, for several days 
before, that it was the design of Providence that I 
should settle among my people here ; and had, in 
my own mind, begun to make provision for it, and 
to contrive means to hasten it ; and found my heart 
something engaged in it, hoping I might then enjoy 
more agreeable circumstances of life, in several 
respects ; and yet was never fully determined ; never 
quite pleased with the thoughts of being confined to 
one place. Nevertheless, I seemed to have some 
freedom in that respect, because the congregation I 
thought of settling with was one that God had 
enabled me to gather from among Pagans. For 
never since I began to preach, could I feel any free 
dom to " enter into other men s labours," and settle 
down in the ministry where the gospel was preached 



300 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

before. When I felt any disposition to consult my 
ease and worldly comfort, God has never given me 
any liberty in that respect, either since or for some 
years before I began to preach ; but he having 
succeeded my labours, and made me instrumental 
of gathering a church for him among the Indians, I 
was ready to think that it might be his design to 
give me a quiet settlement, and a stated home of my 
own. And this, considering the late frequent sink 
ing and failure of my spirits, and the need in which 
I stood of some agreeable society, and my great 
desire of enjoying convenience and opportunities for 
profitable studies, was not altogether disagreeable to 
me; although I still wanted to go about far and 
wide, in order to spread the blessed gospel among 
benighted souls far remote : yet I never had been so 
willing to settle in any one place for more than five 
years past, as I was in the foregoing part of this 
week. But now these thoughts seemed to be wholly 
dashed in pieces ; not by necessity, but of choice; 
for it appeared to me, that God s dealings towards 
me had fitted me for a life of solitariness and hard 
ship : it appeared to me that I had nothing to lose, 
nothing to do with earth, and consequently nothing 
to lose by a total renunciation of it: and it appeared 
just right that I should be destitute of house and 
home, and many comforts of life, which I rejoiced to 
see others of God s people enjoy. And, at the same 
time, I saw so much of the excellency of Christ s 
kingdom, and the infinite desirableness of its ad 
vancement in the world, that it swallowed up all my 
other thoughts ; and made me willing, yea, even 
rejoice, to be made a pilgrim or hermit in the wilder 
ness to my dying moment, if I might thereby pro- 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 301 

mote the blessed interest of the great Redeemer. 
And if ever my soul presented itself to God for his 
service, without any reserve of any kind, it did so 
now. The language of my thoughts and disposition 
(although I spake no words) now were, * Here I am 
Lord, send me : send me to the ends of the earth : 
send me to the rough, the savage Pagans of the 
wilderness : send me from all that is called comfort 
in earth : send me even to death itself, if it be but in 
thy service, and to promote thy kingdom. And, at 
the same time, I had as quick and lively a sense 
of the value of worldly comforts as ever I had ; but 
yet saw them infinitely overmatched by the worth 
of Christ s kingdom, and the propagation of his 
blessed gospel. The quiet settlement, the certain 
place of abode, the tender friendship, which I 
thought I might be likely to enjoy in consequence 
of such circumstances, appeared as valuable to me, 
considered absolutely and in themselves, as ever 
before ; but, considered comparatively, they appeared 
nothing : compared with the enlargement of Christ s 
kingdom, they vanished like the stars before the 
rising sun. And, sure I am, that although the 
comfortable accommodations of life appeared val 
uable and dear to me, yet I did surrender and resign 
myself, soul and body, to the service of God, and 
promotion of Christ s kingdom ; though it should be 
in the loss of them all. And I could not do any 
otherwise because I could not will or chuse any other. 
I was constrained, and yet chose to say, Farewell, 
friends and earthly comforts, the dearest of them all, 
the very dearest, if the Lord calls for it! adieu, 
ad?eu ! I ll spend my life, to my latest moments, in 
caves and dens of the earth, if the kingdom of Christ 



302 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

may thereby be advanced. 1 found extraordinary 
freedom at this time in pouring out my soul to God, 
for his cause ; and especially, that his kingdom 
might be extended among the Indians far remote; 
and I had a great and strong hope, that he would do 
it. I continued wrestling with God in prayer for my 
dear little flock here ; and more especially for the 
Indians elsewhere ; as well as for dear friends in 
one place and another ; till it was bed-time, and I 
feared I should hinder the family, &c. But oh, with 
what reluctancy did I find myself obliged to con 
sume time in sleep ! I longed to be a flame of fire, 
continually glowing in the divine service, preaching 
and building up Christ s kingdom, to my latest, my 
dying moment. 

* May 23. In the morning, was in the same frame 
of mind as in the evening before. The glory of 
Christ s kingdom so much outshone the pleasure 
of earthly accommodations and enjoyments, that 
they appeared comparatively nothing, though in 
themselves good and desirable. My soul was melted 
in secret meditation and prayer, and I found myself 
divorced from any part in this world ; so that in 
those affairs that seemed of the greatest importance 
to me in respect of the present life, and those 
wherein the tender powers of the mind are most 
sensibly touched, I could only say, " The will of the 
Lord be done!" But just the same things that I 
felt the evening before, I felt now ; and found the 
same freedom in prayer for the people of my charge, 
for the propagation of the gospel among the Indians, 
and for the enlargement and spiritual welfare of 
Zion in general, and my dear friends in particular, 
now, as I did then ; and longed to burn out in one 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 303 

continued flame for God. Retained much of the 
same frame through the day. In the evening, was 
visited by my brother, John Brainerd ; the first visit 
I have ever received from any near relative since I 
have been a missionary. Felt the same frame of 
spirit in the evening as in the morning ; and found 
that " it was good for me to draw near to God/ and 
leave all my concerns and burdens with him. Was 
enlarged and refreshed in pouring out my soul for 
the propagation of the gospel of the Redeemer 
among the distant tribes of Indians. Blessed be 
God, if ever I filled up a day with studies and 
devotion, I was enabled so to fill up this day. 

June 1. Preached both forenoon and afternoon 
from Matt. xi. 27, 28. The presence of God seemed 
to be in the assembly, and numbers were consider 
ably melted and affected under the word. There 
was a desirable appearance in the congregation in 
general, an earnest attention and agreeable tender 
ness, and it seemed as if God designed to visit us 
with further showers of divine grace. I then bap 
tized ten persons, five adults and five children, and 
was not a little refreshed with this addition to the 
church, of such as I hope shall be saved. Since our 
celebration of the Lord s Supper, several who had 
long been under spiritual trouble and concern, have 
obtained relief and comfort, though there have been 
few instances of persons lately awakened out of a 
state of security. And those comforted of late, seem 
to be brought in in a more silent way, neither their 
concern nor consolation being so powerful and re 
markable, as appeared among those more suddenly 
wrought upon in the beginning of this work of grace. 
June 4. Spent the day in writing, and had some 



304 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

satisfaction and freedom in my work. In the even 
ing, I was favoured with a sweet refreshing frame 
of soul in secret prayer and meditation. Prayer 
was now wholly turned into praise, and I could 
do little else hut try to adore and bless the living 
God. The wonders of his grace displayed in gather 
ing to himself a church among the poor Indians 
here, were the subject-matter of my meditation, and 
the occasion of exciting me to praise and bless his 
holy name. My soul was scarcely ever more disposed 
to inquire, " What shall I render to God for all his 
benefits," than at this time. I was brought into a 
strait, a sweet and happy strait, to know what to do. 
I longed to make some returns to God, but found I 
had nothing to return. I could only rejoice that 
God had done the work himself, and that none in 
heaven or earth might pretend to share the honour 
with him. 

June 6. Discoursed to my people from part of 
Isaiah liii. The divine presence appeared to be 
amongst us in some measure. Several persons were 
much melted and refreshed ; and one man in parti 
cular, who had long been under concern for his soul, 
was now brought to see and feel, in a very lively 
manner, the impossibility of his doing any thing to 
help himself, or to bring him into the favour of God, 
by his tears, prayers, and other religious perform 
ances. He found himself undone as to any power 
or goodness of his own, and that there was no way 
left but to leave himself with God to be disposed 
of as he pleased. 

* June 7. Being desired by the Rev. William 
Tennent to be his assistant in the administration of 
the Lord s Supper; my people also being invited to 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 305 

attend the sacramental solemnity, they cheerfully 
embraced the opportunity, and this day attended the 
preparatory services with me. 

Lord s-day, June 8. Most of my people who had 
been communicants at the Lord s table before, being 
present at this sacramental occasion, communicated 
with others in this holy ordinance, at the desire, and 
I trust to the satisfaction and comfort, of numbers 
of God s people, who had longed to see this day, and 
whose hearts had rejoiced in this work of grace 
among the Indians, which prepared the way for what 
appeared so agreeable at this time. Those of my 
people who communicated, seemed agreeably affected 
at the Lord s table, and some of them considerably 
melted with the love of Christ; though they were 
not so remarkably refreshed and feasted at this time, 
as when I administered this ordinance to them in our 
own congregation only. 

Some of the spectators were affected with seeing 
these, who had been " aliens from the commonwealth 
of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise/ 
and who of all men had lived " without God, and 
without hope in the world," now brought " near to 
God " as his professing people, and sealing a covenant 
with him by a solemn and devout attendance upon this 
sacred ordinance. And as numbers of God s people 
were refreshed with this sight, and thereby excited 
to bless God for the enlargement of his kingdom in 
the world, so some others (I was told) were awak 
ened by it, apprehending the danger they were in, of 
being themselves finally " cast out," while they saw 
others, " from the east and from the west," preparing, 
and hopefully prepared, in some good measure, to 
" sit down in the kingdom of God." 
x 



306 LTFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

At this season others of my people also, who were 
not communicants, were considerably affected : con 
victions were revived in divers instances ; and one 
(the man particularly mentioned in my journal of the 
6th instant) obtained comfort and satisfaction ; and 
has since given me such an account of his spiritual 
exercises, and the manner in which he obtained 
relief, as appears very hopeful. It seems as if He 
" who commanded the light to shine out of darkness," 
had now " shined in his heart, and given him the 
light of" an experimental " knowledge of the glory 
of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 

June 9. A considerable number of my people met 
together early in the day, in a retired place in the 
woods, and prayed, sang, and conversed of divine 
things. They were seen, by some religious persons 
of the white people, to be affected and engaged, and 
several of them in tears in these religious exercises. 
They afterwards attended the concluding exercises 
of the sacramental solemnity, and then returned 
home, " rejoicing for all the goodness of God" they 
had seen and felt. This was a profitable and 
comfortable season to numbers of my congregation. 
Their joining in communion at the Lord s table 
with others of God s people on this occasion, was, I 
trust, for the honour of God, and the interest of 
religion in these parts ; and many, I hope, were 
quickened by it. 

June 13. Preached to my people upon the new 
creature, from 2 Cor. v. 17. The presence of God 
appeared to be in the assembly. It was a sweet 
and agreeable meeting ; the people of God were 
refreshed and strengthened, beholding their faces in 
the glass of God s word, and finding in themselves 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 307 

the marks and lineaments of the new creature. 
Some sinners under concern were also renewedly 
affected, and afresh engaged for the securing of their 
eternal interests. 

Baptized five persons at this time, three adults 
and two children. One of these was the very aged 
woman, of whose exercise I gave an account in 
my journal of December 26. She now gave me 
a very rational and satisfactory account of the re 
markable change which she experienced some 
months after the beginning of her concern, and 
which appeared to be the genuine operation of 
the divine Spirit, so far as I am capable of judg 
ing. And although she was become so childish, 
through old age, that I could do nothing in the 
way of questioning her, nor scarce make her under 
stand any question that I asked her, yet, when I let 
her alone to go on with her own story, she could give 
a very distinct and particular relation of the many 
various exercises of her soul so deep were the im 
pressions left on her mind. I have great reason to 
hope that she is born anew in her old age ; being, I 
presume, upwards of fourscore/ 

On the 19th of June, Brainerd closes his public 
journal with the following reflections and praise; 

* This day makes a complete year from the com 
mencement of my preaching to these Indians in New 
Jersey. What amazing things has God wrought in 
this space of time for these poor people ! What a sur 
prising change appears in their tempers and behaviour! 
How are morose and savage pagans, in this short 
space of time, transformed into gentle, affectionate, 
and humble Christians ; and their drunken and pagan 
bowlings turned into devout and fervent prayers and 
x 2 



308 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

praises to God ! They, who " were sometimes dark 
ness are now become light in the Lord." May they 
" walk as children of the light and of the day ! And 
now unto him that is of power to establish them 
according to the gospel, and the preaching of Christ 
to God only wise, be glory, through Christ Jesus, 
for ever and ever? Amen. " 

During the remainder of this fourth year of his 
labours and twenty-ninth of his age, being about 
nine months, to April 1747, his strength rapidly de 
cayed, and his spirits failed ; but he persevered to 
his power, and often beyond his power, in the service 
of his Lord. 

Having formed the design of another journey 
to the Susquehanna, he selected six members 
of his congregation to accompany him ; and, after 
much prayer with his people, that the Holy Spirit 
might bless his labours and set up the kingdom of 
Christ among the Indians in the wilderness, he set 
forward on his journey about the middle of August. 
He directed his course through Philadelphia; in 
tending to reach the Susquehanna below the parts 
inhabited by the Indians, and then to travel up the 
river to the Indian dwellings. This route was very 
circuitous : but he avoided thereby the huge moun 
tains and wild desert country which he must have 
crossed by the nearer way ; and which he had found 
in his former journeys, so difficult and fatiguing, 
that, in his present state of debility, he could not 
encounter them. 

In about ten days, the travellers reached the Indian 
town, Shaumoking. He passed a fortnight among 
the Indians, riding to different parts where they were 
settled, and labouring incessantly among them for 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 309 

their good, in which he was heartily assisted by his 
companions. All this was done with his usual fer 
vour and spirit, although his frame was exhausted by 
coughing 1 , spitting of blood, and profuse night-per 
spirations. 

An extract from his journal will show to what 
" perils in the wilderness " this servant of Christ was 
exposed. 

* Sept. 2, 1746. Rode forward, but no faster than 
my people went on foot; was very weak, on this as 
well as on the preceding days ; was so feeble and 
faint, that I feared it would kill me to lie out in the 
open air: and, some of our company being parted 
from us, so that we had no axe with us, I had noway 
but to climb into a young pine-tree, and with my 
knife to lop the branches, in order to make with 
them a shelter from the dew ; but the evening being- 
cloudy and threatening rain, I was still under fear of 
being extremely exposed ; sweating much in the night, 
so that my linen was almost wringing wet all night. 
I scarcely ever was more weak and weary, than this 
evening, when I was able to sit up at all. This was 
a melancholy situation I was in ; but I endeavoured 
to quiet myself with considerations of the possibility 
of my being in much worse circumstances, amongst 
enemies, &c. 

But no outward suffering lay with such a burden 
on his spirit, as his sense of his own unworthiness. 
He writes, a few days afterward 

I had, by this time, very little life or heart to 
speak for God, through feebleness of body and low- 
ness of spirits ; was scarcely ever more ashamed and 
confounded in myself than now. I was sensible, 
that there were numbers of God s people, who knew 



310 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

I was then out upon a design, or at least a pretence, 
of doing something for God and his cause, among 
the poor Indians, and they were ready to suppose 
that I was fervent in spirit : but oh, the heartless 
frame of mind that I felt filled me with confusion ! 
4 Oh ! methought, if God s people knew ine, as 
God knows me, they would not think so highly of my 
zeal and resolution for God, as perhaps now they 
do ! I could not but desire that they should see 
how heartless and irresolute I was, that they might 
be undeceived, and " not think of me above what 
they ought to think ; " and yet I thought, if they 
saw the utmost of my dullness and unfaithfulness, the 
smallness of my courage and resolution for God, they 
would be ready to shut me out of their doors, as un 
worthy of the company or friendship of Christians/ 

He reached home on the 20th of September, having 
been absent about five weeks. 

In his diary he says, 

Saturday, Sept. 20. Arrived among my own 
people, just at night. Found them praying together: 
went in and gave them some account of God s deal 
ings with me and my companions in the journey, 
which seemed affecting to them. I then prayed with 
them, and thought the divine presence was amongst 
us : several were melted into tears, and seemed to 
have a sense of divine things. Being very weak, I 
was obliged soon to repair to my lodgings, and felt 
much worn out in the evening. Thus God has car 
ried me through the fatigues and perils of another 
journey to Susquehanna, and returned me again in 
safety, though under a great degree of bodily indis 
position. Oh that my soul were truly thankful for 
renewed instances of mercy ! Many hardships and 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 311 

distresses I endured in this journey ; but the Lord 
supported me under them all. 

Of this journey he writes : 

I had proposed to tarry a considerable time 
longer among the Indians on the Susquehanna : but 
was hindered from pursuing my purpose by the sick 
ness that prevailed there, the weakly circumstances 
of my people that were with me, and especially my 
own extraordinary weakness, having been exercised 
with great nocturnal sweats and a coughing up of 
blood, in almost the whole of the journey ; and was 
a great part of the time so feeble and faint, that it 
seemed as though I never should be able to reach 
home ; and, at the same time, very destitute of the 
comforts and even necessaries of life, at least what 
was necessary for one in so weak a state. In this 
journey I was enabled, at times, to speak the word 
of God with some power, and divine truths made 
some impression on divers that heard me ; so that 
several, both men and women, old and young, seemed 
to cleave to us, and be well disposed toward Chris 
tianity ; but others mocked and shouted, which 
damped those who before seemed friendly, at least 
some of them : yet God, at times, was evidently pre 
sent, assisting me and my interpreter, and other dear 
friends who were with me. God gave, sometimes, a 
good degree of freedom in prayer for the in-gathering 
of souls there ; and I could not but entertain a strong 
hope, that the journey would not be wholly fruitless. 
Whether the issue of it would be the setting up of 
Christ s kingdom there, or only the drawing of some 
few persons down to my congregation in New Jersey ; 
whether they were only preparing for some future 
attempts that might be made among them ; I did not de- 



312 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

termine ; but I was persuaded that the journey would 
not be lost. Blessed be God, that I had any encou 
ragement and hope ! Many hardshipsand distresses 
I endured ; but the Lord supported me under them all. 

Hitherto Brainerd had kept his diary with great 
regularity ; stating what passed from day to day with 
very little interruption. But, from this period, it 
was much broken in upon by his illness. He was 
often brought so low, as to be quite incapable of 
digesting and recording the events of the day. His 
diary was not, however, wholly neglected, but he 
took care to notice, from time to time, the most mate 
rial things respecting himself, and the state of his 
mind, even till within a few days of his death. 

Lord s-day, Sept. 21, 1746. I was so weak I 
could not preach, nor pretend to ride over to my 
people in the forenoon. In the afternoon, rode out; 
sat in my chair, and discoursed to my people from 
Rom. xiv. 7, 8. I was strengthened and helped in 
my discourse, and there appeared something agree 
able in the assembly. I returned to my lodgings 
extremely tired, but thankful that I had been enabled 
to speak a word to my poor people, from whom I had 
been so long absent. Was able to sleep very little 
this night, through weariness and pain. Oh how 
blessed should I be, if the little I do were but all 
done with right views ! Oh that, " whether I live, I 
might live to the Lord," &c. 

4 Saturday, Sept. 27. Spent this day, as well as 
the whole week past, under a great degree of bodily 
weakness, attended with a violent cough and fever. 
Had no appetite to any kind of food, and frequently 
brought up what I eat, as soon as it was down ; and 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 313 

oftentimes had little rest in my bed, by reason of 
pains in my breast and back. I was able, however, 
to ride over to my people, about two miles, every 
day, and take some care of those who were then at 
work upon a small house for me to reside in amongst 
the Indians. 

Lord s-day, Sept. 28. Rode to my people ; and 
though under much weakness, attempted to preach 
from 2 Cor. xiii. 5. Discoursed about half an hour; 
at which season divine power seemed to attend the 
word: but being extremely weak, I was obliged to 
desist ; and after a turn of faintness, with much diffi 
culty rode to my lodgings ; where, betaking myself 
to my bed, I lay in a burning fever, and almost de 
lirious for several hours ; till towards morning, my 
fever went off with a violent sweat. I have often 
been feverish and unable to rest quietly after preach 
ing; but this was the severest illness that preaching 
ever brought upon me. Yet I felt perfectly at rest 
in my own mind, because I had made my utmost 
attempts to speak for God, and knew I could do no 
more. 

Saturday, Oct. 4. Spent the former part of this 
week under great infirmity and disorder, as I had 
done several weeks before. Was able, however, to 
ride a little every day, although unable to sit up half 
the day till Thursday. Took some care daily of some 
persons at work upon my house. On Friday after 
noon, found myself wonderfully revived and strength 
ened ; and having some time before given notice 
to my people, and to those at the Forks of Dela 
ware in particular, that I designed, with leave of 
Providence, to administer the Lord s Supper upon 
the first Sabbath in October, the Sabbath now ap- 



314 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

preaching, on Friday afternoon I preached, prepara 
tory to the sacrament, from 2 Cor. xiii. 5., finishing 
what I had proposed to offer upon the subject the 
Sabbath before. The sermon was blessed to the 
stirring up of religious affection, and a spirit of devo 
tion, in the people of God ; and to the greatly affect 
ing one who had backslidden from God, which 
caused him to judge and condemn himself. I was 
surprisingly strengthened in my work while speak 
ing ; but was obliged immediately after to repair to 
bed, being now removed into my own house among 
the Indians. This gave me such speedy relief and 
refreshment, as I could not well have lived without. 
Spent some time on Friday night in conversing with 
my people about divine things, as I lay upon my 
bed ; and found my soul refreshed, though my body 
was weak. This being Saturday, I discoursed par 
ticularly with divers of the communicants ; and this 
afternoon preached from Zech. xii. 10. There seemed 
to be a tender melting, and hearty mourning for sin, 
in numbers of the congregation. My soul was in 
a comfortable frame, and I enjoyed freedom and 
assistance in public service ; was myself, as well as 
most of the congregation, much affected with the 
humble confession, and apparent broken-heartedness 
of the forementioned backslider. I could not but 
rejoice that God had given him such a sense of his 
sin and unworthiness. Was extremely tired in the 
evening, but lay on my bed, and discoursed to my 
people. 

LordVday, Oct. 5. Was still very weak; and in 
the morning apprehended that I should not be able 
to go through the work of the day ; having much to 
do, both in private and public. Discoursed before 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 315 

the administration of the sacrament, from John i. 29. 
" Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the 
sin of the world/ The divine presence attended 
this discourse, and the assembly was considerably 
affected by it. After sermon, baptized two persons. 
Then administered the Lord s Supper to nearly forty 
communicants of the Indians, besides several Chris 
tians of the white people. It seemed to be a season 
of divine power and grace, and numbers appeared to 
rejoice in God. Oh the sweet union and harmony 
then prevailing among believers ! My soul was re 
freshed, and my religious friends of the white people 
with me. After the sacrament, could scarcely get 
home, though it was not more than twenty roods ; 
but was supported and led by my friends, and laid 
on my bed. I lay in pain till some time in the even 
ing, and then was able to sit up and discourse with 
friends. Oh how was this day spent in prayers and 
praises among my dear people ! One might hear 
them all the morning before public worship, and in 
the evening till near midnight, praying and singing 
praises to God, in one or other of their houses. My 
soul was refreshed, though my body was weak. 

Saturday, Oct. 11. Towards night was seized 
with an ague, which was followed with a high fever, 
and considerable pain. Was treated with great kind 
ness, and was ashamed to see so much concern about 
so unworthy a creature as I knew myself to be. Was 
in a comfortable frame of mind, wholly submissive 
with regard to life or death. It was indeed a pecu 
liar satisfaction to me to think, that it was not my 
concern or business to determine whether I should 
live or die. I likewise felt satisfied while under this 
uncommon degree of disorder, being fully convinced 



316 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1N 7 ERD : 

of my weakness and inability to perform my work ; 
whereas at other times my mind was perplexed with 
fears, that I was allowing a loss of time, by imagining 
I was sick when I was not in reality so. Oh how 
precious is time, and how guilty it makes me feel, 
when I think I have trifled away and misimproved 
it, or neglected to fill up each part of it with duty, 
to the utmost of my ability and capacity. 

* Lord s-day, Oct. 19. Unable to do any thing the 
past week, except that on Thursday I rode out about 
four miles ; at which time I took cold. As I was 
able to do little or nothing, so I did not enjoy much 
spirituality. I longed indeed to be more fruitful 
and full of heavenly affection, and was grieved to 
see the hours slide away, while I could do nothing 
for God. Was enabled this week to attend public 
worship. Was composed and comfortable, willing 
either to die or live ; but found it hard to be recon 
ciled to the thoughts of living useless. Oh that I 
might never live to be a burden to God s creation ; 
but that I might be allowed to repair home, when 
my sojourn here is ended, and my work is done ! 

* Friday, Oct. 24. Spent the day in overseeing 
and directing my people, about mending their fence 
and securing their wheat. Found that all their con 
cerns of a secular nature depended upon me. Was 
somewhat refreshed in the evening, having been able 
to do something valuable in the day-time. Oh how 
it pains me to see time pass away, when I can do 
nothing to any purpose ! 

Saturday, Oct. 25. Visited some of my people ; 
spent time in writing, and felt much better in body 
than usual. When it was near night, I felt so well 
that I had thoughts of expounding : but in the even- 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 317 

ing was much disordered again, and spent the night 
in coughing and spitting of blood. 

Lord s-day, Oct. 26. In the morning, was ex 
ceedingly weak : spent the day, till near night, in pain 
to see rny poor people wandering " as sheep having 
no shepherd," waiting and hoping to see me able 
to preach to them before night. It could not but 
distress me to see them in this case, and to find 
myself unable to attempt any thing for their spiritual 
benefit. But towards night, finding myself a little 
better, I called them together to my house, and sat 
down, and read and expounded Matt. v. 1 16. 
This discourse, though delivered in much weakness, 
was attended with power to many of the hearers, 
especially what was spoken upon the last of these 
verses ; where I insisted on the infinite wrong done 
to religion, by having our light become darkness, 
instead of " shining before men." As many in the 
congregation were now deeply affected with a sense 
of their deficiency, in regard to a spiritual conver 
sation that might recommend religion to others, so 
also a spirit of concern and watchfulness seemed 
to be excited in them. One in particular, who had 
fallen into the sin of drunkenness some time before, 
was now deeply convinced of his sin, and the great 
dishonour done to religion by his misconduct, and 
discovered a great degree of grief and concern on 
that account. My soul was refreshed to see this. 
And though I had no strength to speak so much as 
I would have done, but was obliged to lie down on 
the bed ; yet I rejoiced to see such an humble melting 
in the congregation, and that divine truth, though 
faintly delivered, was attended with so much efficacy 
upon the people. 



318 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

Monday, Oct. 27. Spent the day in overseeing 
and directing the Indians, about mending the fence 
round their wheat: was able to walk with them, and 
contrive their business all the forenoon. In the 
afternoon, was visited by two dear friends, and spent 
some time in conversation with them. Towards 
night, was able to walk out, and take care of the 
Indians again. In the evening, enjoyed a very 
peaceful frame. 

Tuesday, Oct. 28. llode to Prince-town in a 
very weak state ; had such a violent fever by the 
way, that I was forced to alight at a friend s house, 
and lie down for some time. Near night was visited 
by Mr. Treat, Mr. Beattie and his wife, and another 
friend. My spirits were refreshed to see them ; but 
I was surprised, and even ashamed, that they had 
taken so much pains as to ride thirty or forty miles 
to see me. Was able to sit up most of the evening, 
and spent the time in a very comfortable manner with 
my friends. 

Wednesday, Oct. 29. Rode about ten miles with 
my friends who came yesterday to see me ; and then 
parted with them all but one, who stayed on purpose 
to keep me company and cheer my spirits. Was 
very weak and feverish, especially towards night; 
but enjoyed comfort and satisfaction/ 

The habitual state of his mind, during this sen 
sible but gradual approach of death, is displayed in 
the following passage: 

4 I was sometimes scarcely able to walk, and never 
able to sit up the whole day was calm and com 
posed, and but little exercised with melancholy 
damps, as in former seasons of weakness. Whether 
I should recover or not, seemed very doubtful ; but 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 319 

it was many times a comfort to me, that life and 
death did not depend on my choice. I was pleased 
to think, that he, who is infinitely wise, had the 
determination of this matter ; and that I had no 
trouble to consider and weigh things on all sides, in 
order to make the choice, whether I would live or 
die. Thus my time was consumed. I had little 
strength to pray, none to write or read, and scarcely 
any to meditate : but, through divine goodness, I 
could, with great composure, look death in the face, 
and frequently with sensible joy. Oh, how blessed 
it is, to be habitually prepared for death ! The Lord 
grant that I may be actually ready also ! 

At the beginning of November, finding himself 
entirely incapable of his public duty, and having 
little hope of recovery, except from horse-exercise, 
he set out on a rather long journey into New England, 
on a visit to his friends in that state, whom he had 
not seen for a considerable time. 

Before I left my people (he says), I visited them 
all, in their respective houses ; and discoursed to 
each one as I thought most proper and suitable for 
their circumstances, and found great freedom in so 
doing. I scarcely left one house but some were in 
tears ; and many were not only affected with my 
being about to leave them, but with the solemn ad 
dresses which I made them on divine things; for I 
was enabled to be fervent in spirit, while I discoursed 
to them. When I had thus gone through my con 
gregation, which took me most of the day, and had 
taken leave of them and of the school, I left home, 
and rode about two miles, to the house where I lived 
in the summer past, and there lodged. Was re 
freshed, this evening, in that I had left my congrega- 



320 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

tion so well disposed and affected, and that I had 
been so much assisted in making my farewell ad 
dresses to them. 

On this journey he set forward on the 4th of No 
vember, but was stopped, the next day, by illness, 
at Elizabeth Town. Here he was confined nearly 
four months. Having been so long hindered, within 
but a short distance from his flock, from prosecuting 
his journey into New England, he wished once more 
to visit them. Setting out accordingly, on the 17th 
of March, he reached home the next day. On the 
20th he again took leave of them, and the next day 
reached Elizabeth Town. 

This proved to be the last interview he ever had 
with his people. On the Sunday before he left them 
in November, he speaks of them with affectionate 
anxiety : 

I was unable to preach, and scarcely able to sit 
up, the whole day. Was grieved, and almost sunk, 
to see my poor people destitute of the means of grace; 
especially considering that they could not read, and 
so were under great disadvantages for spending the 
Sabbath comfortably. Oh, methought, I could be 
contented to be sick, if my poor flock had a faithful 
pastor to feed them with spiritual knowledge ! A view 
of their want of this was more afflictive to me than all 
my bodily illness. 

During his confinement at Elizabeth Town, they 
lay much on his heart. In reference to them, he 
says 

* I frequently enjoyed freedom and enlargement of 
soul in prayer, and was enabled to intercede with 
God for my dear congregation ; very often for every 
family, and every person, in particular : and it was 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 321 

often a great comfort to me, that I could pray heartily 
to God for those to whom I could not speak, and 
whom I was not allowed to see. But, at other times, 
my spirits were so flat and low, and my bodily 
vigour so much wasted, that I had scarce any affec 
tions at all/ 

A short time before he was sufficiently recovered 
to pay them the visit which proved to be his last, he 
writes : 

* Feb. 28, 1747. I was visited by an Indian of my 
own congregation, who brought me letters and good 
news of the sober and good behaviour of my people 
in general. This refreshed my soul. I could not 
but soon retire, and bless God for his goodness ; and 
found, I trust, a truly thankful frame of spirit that 
God seemed to be building up that congregation for 
himself/ 

Though frequently depressed in his spirits, through 
great weakness, his habitual state of mind was very- 
much as he describes it in the following letter, 
written, about three months after his arrival at Eliza 
beth Town, to his brother Israel, then a student at 
Yale College. 

* Elisabeth Town, New Jersey, Nov. 24, 1746. 

* Dear Brother I had determined to make you, 
and my other friends in New England, a visit this 
fall ; partly from the earnest desire which I had to 
see you and them, and partly with a view to the re 
covery of my health, which has, for more than three 
months past been much impaired. And, in order to 
prosecute this design, I set out from my own people 
about three weeks ago, and came as far as to this 
place ; where, my disorder greatly increasing, I have 

Y 



322 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

been obliged to keep house ever since, until the day 
before yesterday ; at which time I was able to ride 
about half a mile, but found myself much tired with 
the journey. I have now no hopes of prosecuting 
my journey into New England this winter, supposing 
my present state of health will by no means admit of 
it. Although I am, through divine goodness, much 
better than I was some days ago, yet I have no 
strength to ride more than ten miles a day, if the 
season were warm, and fit for me to travel in. My 
disorder has been attended with several symptoms of 
consumption ; and I have been at times apprehen 
sive that my great change was at hand : yet, blessed 
be God! I have never been affrighted ; but, on the 
contrary, at some times much delighted with a view 
of its approach. Oh! the blessedness of being deli 
vered from the clogs of flesh and sense, from a body 
of sin and spiritual death ! Oh ! the unspeakable 
sweetness of being translated into a state of com 
plete purity and perfection ! Believe me, my brother, 
a lively view and hope of these things will make the 
king of terrors himself appear agreeable. Dear 
brother, let me entreat you to keep eternity in your 
view, and behave yourself as becomes one that must 
shortly " give an account of all things done in the 
body." That God may be your God, and prepare you 
for his service here and his kingdom of glory here 
after, is the desire and daily prayer of 

Your affectionate and loving brother, 

* DAVID BRAINERD/ 

. 

At Elizabeth Town he staid till the 21st of April ; 
having closed, on the preceding day, the twenty- 
ninth year of his age and the fourth of his ministry. 



FOURTH YEAR OF HIS MISSION. 323 

On the 21st, after his long detention of nearly 
six months, he set forward on his journey to New 
England. 

He had been entertained, during the past winter, 
in the most affectionate manner, in the house of the 
Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, pastor of the church in 
Elizabeth Town, President of the college of New 
Jersey, and one of the correspondents of the Society 
in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 
who had a great esteem for Brainerd. In the be 
ginning of April, Brainerd had the happiness to 
unite his friend in marriage ; but this union was 
of short duration, as Mr. Dickinson died, in the 
ensuing October, after a short illness, two days before 
Brainerd. 

The correspondents had sent for Mr. John Brainerd 
to take charge of his brother s Indian congregation. 
The brothers met at Elizabeth Town ; and David, 
after much conference with his brother, had the 
satisfaction to entrust his people to his care, before 
he set forward to New England. Mr. John Brainerd 
continued in this charge till his brother s death ; and, 
after that event, was ordained his successor in his 
mission. 



Y 2 



324 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 



CHAPTER VIII. 



His last Sickness and Death. 

BRAINERD left New Jersey, as we before stated, 
on the 21st of April, 1747 ; on which day he entered 
on the thirtieth year of his age, and the fifth of his 
ministry. This was his last year. He did not live 
quite half through it; resigning his soul to Him 
whom he supremely loved, on the 9th of October 
following. 

We shall trace, in the present chapter, the chief 
circumstances that marked his descent to the grave 
through the last six months of his life. 

At the end of May, Brainerd reached the house 
of his friend and biographer, President Edwards, 
at Northampton, in New England. He was, at this 
time, better than he had been in the winter; was 
able to ride five-and-twenty miles in a day, and to 
walk half a mile ; and appeared cheerful, and free 
from melancholy, but in a confirmed and incurable 
consumption. 

Mr. Edwards, on this occasion, draws the following 
striking picture of him : 

* I had had much opportunity, before this, of parti 
cular information concerning him, from many that 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 325 

were well acquainted with him ; and had myself 
once an opportunity of considerable conversation 
and some acquaintance with him at Newhaven, near 
four years before, at the time of the commencement 
when he offered that confession to the rector of the 
college which has been already mentioned in this 
history ; I being one whom he was then pleased to 
consult several times on that affair: but now I had 
opportunity for a more full acquaintance with him. 

I found him remarkably sociable, pleasant, and 
entertaining in his conversation ; yet solid, savoury, 
spiritual, and very profitable: appearing meek, mo 
dest, and humble; far from any stiffness, moroseness, 
superstitious demureness, or affected singularity in 
speech or behaviour, and seeming to nauseate all 
such things. We not only enjoyed the benefit of his 
conversation, but had also the comfort and advantage 
of hearing him pray in the family, from time to time. 
His manner of praying was very agreeable ; most 
becoming a worm of the dust and disciple of Christ, 
addressing an infinitely great and holy God and 
Father of Mercies; not with florid expressions, or a 
studied eloquence; not with any intemperate vehe 
mence, or indecent boldness; at the greatest distance 
from any appearance of ostentation, and from every 
thing that might look as though he meant to recom 
mend himself to those that were about him, or set 
himself off to their acceptance ; free, too, from vain 
repetitions, without impertinent excursions, or need 
less multiplying of words. He expressed himself with 
the strictest propriety, with weight and pungency ; 
and yet what his lips uttered seemed to be from the 
fulness of his heart, as deeply impressed with a great 
and solemn sense of our necessities, unworthiness. 



326 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

and dependence, and of God s infinite greatness, 
excellency, and sufficiency, rather than merely from 
a warm and fruitful brain, pouring out good expres 
sions. And I know not that ever I heard him ask a 
blessing or return thanks at table, but there was 
something remarkable to be observed both in the 
matter and manner of the performance. In his 
prayers, he dwelt much on the prosperity of Zion, 
the advancement of Christ s kingdom in the world, 
and the extension and propagation of religion 
among the Indians. And he generally made it one 
petition in his prayer, that we might not outlive our 
usefulness/ 

He was advised to ride as much as his strength 
would bear; and, in consequence, set forward, on 
the 9th of June, on a visit to Boston, which he 
reached on the 12th. He staid there about six 
weeks, and arrived again at Northampton on the 
25th of July. 

On this journey he was accompanied by a daughter 
of Mr. Edwards, who counted it an honour and pri 
vilege to administer to the comfort of a dying servant 
of God. 

At Boston he writes : 

* I was taken exceedingly ill, and brought to the 
gates of death, by the breaking of small ulcers in 
my lungs, as my physician supposed. In this ex 
tremely weak state I continued for several weeks ; 
and was frequently reduced so low, as to be utterly 
speechless, and not able so much as to whisper a 
word ; and, even after I had so far revived as to walk 
about the house and to step out of doors, I was exer 
cised every day with a faintness, which continued 
usually four or five hours ; at which times, though I 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 327 

was not utterly speechless, yet I could not converse 
at all, nor speak one sentence, without making stops 
for breath ; and, divers times in this season, my 
friends gathered round my bed, to see me breathe 
my last, which they looked for every moment, as I 
myself also did/ 

The season of this severe attack was one of great 
instruction and comfort to his mind, 

How I was, the first day or two of my illness, 
with regard to the exercise of reason, I scarcely 
know ; but I believe I was something shattered with 
the violence of the fever, at times ; but the third day 
of my illness, and constantly afterwards, for four 
or five weeks together, I enjoyed as much serenity of 
mind and clearness of thought, as perhaps I ever did 
in my life ; and I think my mind never penetrated 
with so much ease and freedom into divine things, 
as at this time ; and I never felt so capable of de 
monstrating the truth of many important doctrines 
of the gospel as now. And as I saw clearly the 
truth of those great doctrines, which are justly styled 
the doctrines of grace ; so I saw, with no less clear 
ness, that the essence of true religion consists in the 
soul s conformity to God, and acting above all 
selfish views, for his glory, longing to be for him, 
to live to him, to please and honour him in all 
things ; and this from a clear view of his infinite ex 
cellency and worthiness in himself, to be loved, 
adored, worshipped, and served by all intelligent 
creatures. 

Thus I saw, that when a soul loves God with a 
supreme love, he therein acts like the blessed God 
himself, who most justly loves himself in that man 
ner: so when God s interest and his are become 



328 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

one, and he longs that God should be glorified, and 
rejoices to think that he is unchangeably possessed 
of the highest glory and blessedness, herein also he 
acts in conformity to God: in like manner, when the 
soul is fully resigned to, and rests satisfied and con 
tented with, the divine will, here it is also conformed 
to God, 

* I saw further, that as this divine temper by which 
the soul exalts God, and treads self in the dust, is 
the effect of God s discovering his own glorious per 
fections " in the face of Jesus Christ," by the special 
influences of the Holy Spirit, so he cannot but have 
regard to it as his own work ; and as it is his image 
in the soul, he cannot but take delight in it. Then 
I saw again, that if God should slight and reject his 
own moral image, he must needs deny himself; which 
he cannot do. And thus I saw the stability and in 
fallibility of this religion, and that those who are 
truly possessed of it have the most complete "and 
satisfying evidence of their being interested in all 
the benefits of Christ s redemption, having their 
hearts conformed to him ; and that these, and these 
only, are qualified for the employments and enter 
tainments of God s kingdom of glory. None but 
these have any relish for the business of heaven, 
which is to ascribe glory to God, and not to them 
selves; and that God (though I would speak it with 
great reverence of his name and perfections) cannot, 
without denying himself, finally cast such away. 

The next thing I had then to do was to inquire, 
whether this was my religion. Here God was pleased 
to help me to the most easy remembrance and critical 
review of what had passed, during several of the 
latter years of my life : and although I could discover 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 329 

much corruption attending my best duties, many 
selfish views and carnal ends, much spiritual pride 
and self-exaltation, and innumerable other evils 
which compassed me about ; yet God was pleased, 
as I was reviewing 1 , quickly to put this question out 
of doubt, by showing me that I had, from time to 
time, acted above the utmost influence of mere self- 
love, and had longed to please and glorify him as my 
highest happiness. This review was, through grace, 
attended with a present feeling of the same divine 
temper of mind. I now felt pleased to think of the 
glory of God, and longed for heaven as a state 
wherein I might glorify him perfectly, rather than as 
a place of happiness for myself. This feeling of the 
love of God in my heart, which I trust the Holy 
Spirit excited in me afresh, was sufficient to give me 
full satisfaction, and make me long, as I had many 
times before done, to be with Christ. 

These things I saw with great clearness, when I 
was thought to be dying. And God gave me great 
concern for his church and interest in the world at 
this time, not so much because the late remarkable 
influence upon the minds of people was abated, and 
almost wholly gone, as because that false religion, 
those heats of imagination, and wild and selfish com 
motions of the animal affections, which attended the 
work of grace, had prevailed so far. This was what 
my mind dwelt upon almost day and night ; and this 
to me was the darkest appearance respecting reli 
gion in the land ; for it was this chiefly that had 
prejudiced the world against true religion. I ob 
served the great misery of all was, that so few saw 
any manner of difference between those exercises 
that were spiritual and holy, and those which 



330 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

have self-love only for their beginning, centre, and 
end. 

Snch were his exercises of mind at this period. 
And his activity of spirit never forsook him. For 
several weeks together, during this severe illness, he 
was enabled to improve his time to valuable pur 
poses. He wrote many important letters to his 
friends; and could do this, at times, when he was 
unable to maintain any conversation. At other 
seasons, he received visits from many ministers and 
other eminent persons, who showed him the most 
marked respect. On these occasions, whenever his 
strength enabled him, he discoursed largely on the 
peculiar nature and distinguishing characters of 
vital religion, and bore his dying testimony against 
its various false appearances. 

The heavenly frame of his mind, when in the near 
prospect of eternity, will be seen from the following 
extracts of some letters, written by him while at 
Boston. 

To his brother Israel, a student at Yale College, 
he writes : 

Boston, June 30M, 1747. 
My dear Brother, 

It is from the sides of eternity that I now address 
you, I am heartily sorry that I have so little strength 
to write what I long to communicate to you. But let 
me tell you, my brother, ETERNITY is another thing 
than we ordinarily take it to be, in a healthful state. 

I have been just dying, now for more than a 
week ; and all around have thought me so : but, in 
this time, I have had clear views of eternity ; have 
seen the blessedness of the godly, in some measure, 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 331 

and have longed to share their happy state ; as well 
as be comfortably satisfied that, through grace, I 
shall do so. 

But, oh, what anguish is raised in my mind, to 
think of an eternity for those who are Christless, for 
those who are mistaken, and who bring their false 
hopes to the grave with them! The sight was so 
dreadful, that I could by no means bear it. My 
thoughts recoiled; and I said, (but under a more 
affecting sense than ever before) " Who can dwell 
with everlasting burnings?" Oh, methought, that I 
could now see my friends, that I might warn them to 
see to it, that they lay their foundation for eternity 
sure. 

And you, my dear brother, I have been particu 
larly concerned for: and have wondered that I so 
much neglected conversing with you about your 
spiritual state, at our last meeting. Oh, my brother, 
let me then beseech you now to examine, whether 
you are indeed a new creature ; whether you have 
ever acted above self; whether the glory of God has 
ever been the highest concern with you ; whether 
you have ever been reconciled to all the perfections 
of God ; in a word, whether God has been your por 
tion, and a holy conformity to him your chief delight. 
If you cannot answer positively, consider seriously 
the frequent breathings of your soul; but do not, 
however, put yourself off with a slight answer. If 
you have reason to think you are graceless, oh, give 
yourself and the throne of grace no rest, till God 
arise and save. But if the case should be otherwise, 
bless God for his grace, and press after holiness. 

1 My soul longs that you should be fitted for, and 
in due time go into, the work of the Ministry. I 



332 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

cannot bear to think of your going into any other 
business in life. Do not be discouraged because 
you see your elder brothers in the ministry die early, 
one after another. I declare, now I am dying, I 
would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole 
world. But I must leave this with God. 

i If these lines should come to your hands soon after 
the date, I should be almost desirous that you should 
set out on a journey to me. It may be you may 
see me alive, which I should much rejoice in : 
but if you cannot come, I must commit you to 
the grace of God, where you are. May He be your 
guide and counsellor, your sanctifier, and eternal 
portion ! 

* Oh, my dear brother, flee fleshly lusts, and the 
enchanting amusements, as well as corrupt doctrines, 
of the present day ; and strive to live to God. Take 
this as the last request from 

Your affectionate dying brother, 

DAVID BRAINERD/ 

To a young gentleman, a candidate for the work 
of the ministry, for whom he had a particular friend 
ship, Brainerd wrote as follows : 

Very dear Sir, 

* How amazing it is, that the living, who know 
that they must die, should, notwithstanding, "put 
far away the evil day," in a season of health and 
prosperity ; and Jive at such an awful distance from 
a familiarity with the grave, and the great concerns 
beyond it ! And especially it may justly fill us with 
surprise, that any, whose minds have been divinely 
enlightened to behold the important things of eter- 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 333 

nity as they are, I say, that such should live in this 
manner. 

4 And yet, Sir, how frequently is this the case ! 
How rare are the instances of those who live and act, 
from day to day, as on the verge of eternity, striving 
to fill up all their remaining moments in the service 
and to the honour of their great Master! We in 
sensibly trifle away time, while we seem to have 
enough of it; and are so strangely amused, as in a 
great measure to Jose a sense of the holiness and 
blessed qualifications necessary to prepare us to be 
inhabitants of the heavenly paradise. But, dear Sir, 
a dying bed, if we enjoy our reason clearly, will give 
another view of things. 

* I have now, for more than three weeks, suffered 
under the greatest degree of weakness ; the greater 
part of the time expecting daily and hourly to enter 
into the eternal world : sometimes I have been so 
far gone as to be wholly speechless for some hours 
together. And, oh, of what vast importance has a 
holy and spiritual life appeared to me in this sea 
son ! I have longed to call upon all my friends to 
make it their business to live to God ; and especially 
all that are designed for, or engaged in, the service 
of the Sanctuary. 

* O dear Sir, do not think it enough to live at the 
rate of common Christians. Alas, to how little 
purpose do they often converse, when they meet 
together ! The visits, even of those who are called 
Christians indeed, are frequently extremely barren; 
and conscience cannot but condemn us for the mis- 
improvement of time, while we have been conversant 
with them. But the way to enjoy the Divine Pre 
sence, and be fitted for distinguishing service for 



334 LIFE OF DAVID BRAlNERDI 

God, is to live a life of great devotion and constant 
self-dedication to him : observing- the motions and 
dispositions of our own hearts, whence we may learn 
the corruptions that lodge there, and our constant 
need of help from God for the performance of the 
least duty. Dear Sir, let me beseech you frequently 
to attend to the great and precious duties of private 
fasting and prayer. 

* I have a secret thought, from some things which 
I have observed, that God may perhaps design you 
for some singular service in the world. Oh! then, 
labour to be prepared and qualified to do much for 
God. Read Mr. Edward s treatise on the Affections, 
again and again : and labour to distinguish clearly 
between experiences and affections in religion, that 
you may make a difference between the gold and the 
shining dross. I say, labour in this as ever you would 
be a useful minister of Christ ; for nothing has put 
such a stop to the work of God in these days, as 
the false religion, the wild affections, that attend it. 
Suffer me, therefore, finally, to entreat you earnestly 
to "give yourself to prayer, to reading and medita 
tion" on divine truths. Strive to penetrate to the 
bottom of them ; and never be content with a super 
ficial knowledge. By this means, your thoughts will 
gradually grow weighty and judicious ; and you 
hereby will be possessed of a valuable treasure, out 
of which you may produce " things new and old/ to 
the glory of God. 

And now, I commend you to the grace of God ; 
earnestly desiring, that a plentiful portion of the 
Divine Spirit may rest on you ; that you may live 
to God in every capacity of life, and do abundant 
service for Him in a public one, if it be His will ; 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 335 

and that you may be richly qualified for " the inhe 
ritance of the saints in glory/ 

I scarcely expect to see your face any more in 
the body ; and therefore intreat you to accept this as 
the last token of love from 

Your sincerely affectionate dying friend, 

DAVID BRAINERD. 

To his brother John, at Bethel, the town of his 
Christian Indians in New Jersey, he wrote likewise, 
on this solemn occasion. 

Dear Brother, 

I am now just on the verge of eternity, expecting 
very speedily to appear in the unseen world. I feel 
myself no more an inhabitant of earth, and sometimes 
earnestly long " to depart and be with Christ." I 
bless God that he has, for some years, given me an 
abiding conviction, that it is impossible for any 
rational creature to enjoy true happiness without 
being entirely devoted to him. Under the influence 
of this conviction, I have in some measure acted : 
Oh that I had done more so ! I saw both the excel 
lence and necessity of holiness in life ; but never in 
such a manner as now, when I am just brought to 
the sides of the grave. Oh, my brother, pursue 
after holiness : press toward the blessed mark ; and 
let your thirsty soul continually say, I shall never 
be satisfied till I awake in thy likeness/ Although 
there has been a great deal of selfishness in my 
views, of which I am ashamed, and for which my 
soul has been humbled ; yet, blessed be God, I find 
I have really had, for the most part, such a concern 
for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom 



336 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

in the world, that it is a satisfaction to me to reflect 
on these years. 

* And now, ray dear brother, as I must press you 
to pursue after personal holiness, to be as much in 
fasting and prayer as your health will allow, and to 
live above the rate of common Christians ; so I must 
entreat you solemnly to attend to your public work. 
Labour to distinguish between true and false reli 
gion, and to that end, watch the motions of God s 
Spirit on your own heart : look to Him for help ; 
and impartially compare your experiences with His 
word/ 

After urging his brother to watch against false 
joys in religion, he adds 

k Set yourself to crush all appearances of this 
nature among the Indians, and never encourage any 
degree of heat without light. Charge my people, 
in the name of their DYING MINISTER, yea, in the 
name of " Him who was dead and is alive," to live 
and walk as becomes the gospel. Tell them, how 
great the expectations of God and His people are 
from them ; and how awfully they will wound God s 
cause, if they fall into vice, as well as fatally pre 
judice other poor Indians. Always insist, that their 
joys are delusive, although they may have been rapt 
into the third heavens in their own conceit by them, 
unless the main tenor of their lives be spiritual, 
watchful, and holy. In pressing these things, " thou 
shalt both save thyself and those that hear thee." 

* God knows, I was heartily willing to serve Him 
longer in the work of the ministry, although it had 
still been attended with all the labours and hard 
ships of past years, if He had seen fit that it should 
be so : but as His will now appears otherwise, I am 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 337 

fully content ; and can, with the utmost freedom 
say, " The will of the Lord be done." 

It affects me to think of leaving you in a world 
of sin. My heart pities you, that those storms and 
tempests are yet before you, which I trust, through 
grace, I am almost delivered from. But God 
liveth, and blessed be my Rock ! He is the same 
Almighty Friend : and will, I trust, be your Guide 
and Helper, as He has been mine. 

And now, my dear brother, "I commend you to 
God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to 
build you up, and give you an inheritance among all 
them that are sanctified." May you enjoy the Di 
vine presence, both in private and public, and may 
" the arms of your hands be made strong, by the 
right hand of the mighty God of Jacob ! " Which 
are the passionate desires and prayers of 

* Your affectionate dying brother, 

1 DAVID BRAINERD/ 

After he began to revive from this attack, his bro 
ther Israel visited him from Yale College, according 
to his invitation ; and continued with him till he left 
Boston, and then accompanied him on his return to 
Northampton. 

On Brainerd s return to Northampton, his strength 
gradually but sensibly failed. 

Mr. Edwards says of him 

After he came hither, as long as he lived, he was 
often speaking of that future prosperity of Zion 
that is so often foretold and promised in the scrip 
ture. It was a theme on which he delighted to 
dwell ; and his mind seemed to be carried forth with 
earnest concern and intense desires, that religion 
z 



338 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: I 

might speedily and abundantly revive and flourish, 
though he had not the least expectation of recovery ; 
yea, the nearer death advanced, and the more the 
symptoms of its approach increased, still the more 
did his mind seem to be taken up with this subject. 
He told me, when near his end, that he never, in all 
his life, had his mind so led forth in desires and 
earnest prayers for the flourishing of Christ s king 
dom on earth, as since he was brought so exceedingly 
low at Boston. He seemed much to wonder that 
there appeared no more of a disposition in ministers 
and people to pray for the flourishing of religion 
through the world; and that so small a part of their 
prayers was generally taken up about it, in their 
families and elsewhere/ 

Of his unceasing activity of mind, even while thus 
rapidly dying, Mr. Edwards writes 

Though he was constantly suffering from weakness, 
yet there appeared in him a continual care well to 
improve time, and fill it up with something that might 
be profitable, and in some respect for the glory of God 
or the good of men : either profitable conversation ; 
or writing letters to absent friends ; or noting some 
thing in his diary; or looking over his former 
writings, correcting them, and preparing them to be 
left in the hands of others at his death ; or giving 
some directions concerning a future conducting and 
management of his people ; or employment in secret 
devotions. He seemed never to be easy, however ill, 
if he was not doing something for God, or in his 
service. 

It is said of his last attendance on the public wor 
ship of the sabbath 

In his diary for Lord s-day, August 16, he speaks 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 339 

of his having so much refreshment of soul in the 
house of God, that it seemed to refresh his body 
also. And this is not only noted in his diary, but 
was very observable to others. It was very apparent, 
not only that his mind was exhilarated with inward 
consolation ; but also that his animal spirits and 
bodily strength seemed to be remarkably restored, 
as though he had forgotten his illness. But this was 
the last time that ever he attended public worship on 
the sabbath. 

The commissioners in Boston of the Society in 
London for the Propagation of the Gospel, had re 
quested Brainerd to recommend two persons as 
missionaries to the Six Nations. Having fully de 
liberated on this affair, he wrote a letter, about three 
weeks before his death, recommending two suitable 
persons to the commissioners. He also wrote to a 
charitable person in Boston, who had manifested a 
readiness to support schools among the Indians. He 
greatly exhausted his little remaining strength by 
these letters; but he rejoiced in this dying labour, 
as it was directed to the promotion of Christ s king 
dom in the world. 

1 The 17th of September was the last time that 
ever he went out of his lodging-room. That day he 
was again visited by his brother Israel, who con 
tinued with him till his death. That evening he 
was taken with something of a diarrhea, which he 
looked upon as another sign of his approaching 
death. On this occasion he expressed himself thus: 
" Oh, the glorious time is now coming ! I have 
longed to serve God perfectly: now God will gratify 
those desires i " And from time to time, at the 
several steps and new symptoms of the nearer 
Za 



340 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDT 

approach of his dissolution, he was so far from being- 
sunk or damped, that he seemed to be animated and 
more cheerful, as being glad at the appearance 
of death s approach. He often used the epithet 
glorious, when speaking of the day of his death, call 
ing it " that glorious day." And as he saw his 
dissolution gradually approaching, he talked much 
about it, dwelling with perfect calmness on the sub 
ject of a future state. He also settled all his affairs, 
very particularly and minutely giving directions con 
cerning what he would have done, in one respect 
and another, after he was dead. The nearer death 
approached, the more desirous he seemed to be of it. 
He several times spake of the different kinds of 
willingness to die; and spoke of it as an ignoble, 
mean kind of willingness to die, to be willing to 
leave the body only to get rid of pain, or to go 
to heaven, only to get honour and advancement 
there. 

* Saturday, Sept. 19. Near night, while I attempted 
to walk a little, my thoughts turned thus : " How 
infinitely sweet it is to love God, and be all for 
him!" Upon this it was suggested to me, You are 
not an angel ; not lively and active. To which my 
whole soul immediately replied, I as sincerely 
desire to love and glorify God, as any angel in 
heaven. It was then suggested again, * But you are 
filthy, not fit for heaven. Instantly appeared the 
blessed robes of Christ s righteousness, which I could 
not but exult and triumph in. I viewed the infinite 
excellency of God, till my soul even swelled with 
longings that he should be glorified. I thought of 
dignity in heaven ; but instantly the thought re 
turned, I do not go to heaven to get honour, but to 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 341 

give all possible glory and praise. I longed for a 
spirit of preaching to descend and rest on ministers, 
that they might address the consciences of men with 
closeness and power. I saw that God " had the 
residue of the Spirit ; " and my soul longed it should 
be " poured from on high." I could not but plead 
with God for my dear congregation, that he would 
preserve it, and not suffer his great name to lose its 
glory in that work ; my soul still longing that God 
might be glorified/ 

Lord s-day, Sept. 20. Was still in a sweet and 
comfortable frame ; again melted with desires that 
God might be glorified, and with longings to love 
and live to him. Longed for the influences of the 
divine Spirit to descend on ministers, in a special 
manner. And, oh ! I desired to be with God to 
behold his glory, and to bow in his presence ! . 

It appears from his diary, both of this day and 
the evening preceding, that his mind at this time 
was much impressed with a sense of the importance 
of the work of the ministry ; of the need of the grace 
of God, and his special spiritual assistance in this 
work. This also appeared in what he expressed in 
conversation, particularly in his discourse to his 
brother Israel, who was then a member of Yale 
College, at New Haven, and had been prosecuting 
his studies and academical exercises there, in order 
that he might be fitted for the work of the ministry. 

Thursday, Sept. 24. My strength began to fail 
exceedingly; this looked further as if I had done all 
my work. However, I had strength to fold and 
superscribe my letter. About two I went to bed, 
being weak and much disordered, and lay in a burn 
ing fever till night, without any proper rest. In the 



342 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

evening 1 I got up, having lain down in some of my 
clothes ; but was in the greatest distress, having an 
uncommon kind of hiccough, which either strangled 
me, or threw me into a straining to vomit. Oh ! the 
distress of this evening ! I had little expectation of 
living the night through, nor indeed had any about 
me ; arid I longed for the finishing moment. I was 
obliged to repair to bed by six o clock ; and through 
mercy enjoyed some rest, but was grieviously dis 
tressed at times with the hiccough. My soul breathed 
after God, while the watcher was with me. When 
shall I come to God, even to God my exceeding 
joy? O for his blessed likeness ! 

Saturday, Sept. 26. I felt the sweetness of divine 
things this forenoon, and had a consciousness that I 
was doing something for God. 

Lord s-day, Sept. 27. This was a very comfort 
able day to my soul ; 1 think I awoke with God. I 
was enabled to lift up my soul to him, early this 
morning; and while I had little bodily strength, I 
found freedom to lift up my heart to God for myself 
and others. Afterwards, was pleased with the 
thoughts of speedily entering into the unseen world/ 

Early this morning, as one of the family came 
into the room, he expressed himself thus : I have 
had more pleasure this morning, than all the 
drunkards in the world enjoy, if it were all ex 
tracted/ So much did he esteem the joys of faith 
above the pleasures of sin. 

He felt that morning an unusual appetite to food, 
with which his mind seemed to be exhilarated, look 
ing on it as a sign of the very near approach to death. 
He remarked, I was born on a Sabbath-day, and 
have reason to think I was new-born on a Sabbath- 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 343 

day, and hope I shall die on this Sabbath-day. I 
shall look upon it as a favour, if it may be the will 
of God that it should be so : I long for the time. 
Oh, " why is his chariot so long in coming; why 
tarry the wheels- of his chariot? " I am very willing 
to part with all : 1 am willing to part with my dear 
brother John, and never to see him again, so that I 
may go to be for ever with the Lord. Oh, when I get 
there, how will the church on earth be upon my mind ! 

Afterwards, the same morning, being asked how 
he did; he answered, * I am almost in eternity: I 
long to be there. My work is done : I have done 
with all my friends : all the world is nothing to me. 
I long to be in heaven, praising and glorifying God, 
with the holy angels : all my desire is to glorify God/ 

During the whole of the last two weeks of his life, 
he seemed to continue in this frame ; loose from all 
the world, as having done his work, and done with 
all things here below; having nothing to do but to 
die, and abiding in an earnest desire and expectation 
of the happy moment, when his soul shall take its 
flight, and go to a state of absolute perfection. He 
said, that the consideration of the day of death, and 
the day of judgment, had a long time been peculiarly 
sweet to him. He frequently spake of his being 
willing to leave the body and the world immediately, 
that day, that night, and that moment, if it was the 
will of God. He also expressed his longings that 
the church of Christ on earth might flourish, and that 
his kingdom might be advanced, notwithstanding he 
was about to leave the earth, and should not with his 
eyes behold the desirable event, nor be instrumental 
in promoting it. He said to me one morning, as I 
came into the room, My thoughts have been em- 



344 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

ployed on the old dear theme, the prosperity of God s 
church on earth. As I waked out of sleep, I was led 
to cry for the pouring out of God s Spirit, and the 
advancement of Christ s kingdom, which the dear 
Redeemer did and suffered so much for. It is that 
which especially makes me long for it. He expressed 
much hope that a glorious advancement of Christ s 
kingdom was near at hand. 

He once told me that he had formerly longed for 
the outpouring of the Spirit of God, and the gloriou* 
times of the church, and hoped they were coming; 
and should have been willing to have lived to pro 
mote religion at that time, if that had been the will 
of God ; but, says he, I am willing it should be as it 
is. I would not have the choice to make for myself, 
for ten thousand worlds/ He expressed on his 
death-bed a full persuasion that he should in heaven 
see the prosperity of the church on earth, and should 
rejoice with Christ therein; and the consideration 
of it seemed to be highly pleasing and satisfying to 
his mind. 

He also still dwelt much on the great importance 
of the work of ministers of the gospel, and expressed 
his longings that they might be filled with the Spirit 
of God. He manifested much desire to see some 
of the neighbouring ministers, with whom he was 
acquainted, and whose sincere friendship he enjoyed, 
that he might converse freely with them on that 
subject before he died. And it so happened that he 
had opportunity of speaking with some of them, 
according to his desire. 

Another thing that lay much on his heart, and 
which he often mentioned in these near approaches 
to death, was, the spiritual prosperity of his own con- 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 345 

gregation of Christian Indians in New Jersey. When 
he spake of them, it was with peculiar tenderness ; 
so that his speech would be frequently interrupted 
and drowned with tears. 

He also expressed much satisfaction in the dis 
posals of Providence with regard to the circumstances 
of his death ; particularly that God had, before his 
death, given him the opportunity he had had at Bos 
ton, with so many considerable persons, ministers, 
and others, to give his testimony for God, and 
against false religion, and the many mistakes that lead 
to it and promote it ; and there to lay before pious 
and charitable gentlemen, the state of the Indians, 
and their necessities, to so good effect. Also, that 
God had since given him opportunity to write to them 
further concerning these affairs, and to write other 
letters of importance, which he hoped might have 
some influence on the state of religion among the 
Indians and elsewhere, after his death. He expressed 
great thankfulness to God for his mercy in these 
things. He also mentioned it as what he accounted a 
merciful circumstance of his death, that he should 
die here. Speaking of these things, he said, God 
had granted him all his desire ; and signified that 
now he could with the greater alacrity leave the 
world. 

On the 28th of September he was supposed to be 
dying. He thought so himself, and rejoiced in the 
apparently near approach of dissolution. He was 
almost speechless, but his lips seemed to move. 
One who sat very near him, heard him utter such 
expressions as these : " Come, Lord Jesus, come 
quickly. Oh why is his chariot so long in coming ! " 
After he revived, he blamed himself for having 



346 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD t 

been too eager to be gone. He found in the frame 
of his mind, at that time, an inexpressible love to 
those whom he looked on as belonging to Christ, 
beyond almost all that he had ever felt before; so 
that it * seemed/ to use his own words, like a little 
piece of heaven to have one of them near to him. 
Being asked, whether he heard the prayer that was 
at his desire made with him, he said that he had 
heard every word, and had had an uncommon sense 
of the things that were uttered in that prayer, and 
that every word reached his heart. 

On the evening of the next day, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 
as he lay in his bed, he seemed to be in an extra 
ordinary frame ; his mind greatly engaged in medi 
tations concerning the prosperity of Zion. Two 
young men, candidates for the ministry, being pre 
sent, he desired all to unite in singing a psalm on 
the prosperity of Zion. A part of the 102d Psalm 
was accordingly sung. This seemed greatly to revive 
him, and gave him new strength ; so that, though 
before he could scarcely speak at all, he now pro 
ceeded, with some freedom of speech, to give his 
dying counsels to those two young men, relative to 
their preparation for the great work of the ministry, 
and their prosecution of that work ; and, with pe 
culiar earnestness, he recommended to them frequent 
secret fasting and prayer ; and enforced his counsel 
therein, from his own experience of the great comfort 
and benefit of it ; * which/ said he, I should not 
mention, were it not that I am a dying person. 
After he had finished his counsel, he made a prayer, 
in the audience of all ; wherein, beside praying for 
the family in which he was, for his brethren and 
those candidates for the ministry, and for his own 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 347 

congregation, he earnestly prayed for the reviving 
and flourishing of religion in the world. 

He had, at times, peculiar elevation of mind. At 
such seasons, his mouth spake out of the abundance 
of his heart. Among many devout and heavenly 
expressions which fell from him, on one occasion of 
this kind about a fortnight before his death, his bio 
grapher has recorded the following : 

4 My heaven is, to please God and glorify him, and 
to give all to him, and to be wholly devoted to his 
glory: that is the heaven which I long for; that is 
my religion, and that is my happiness, and always 
was, ever since I knew any thing of true religion ; 
and all those that are of that religion shall meet me 
in heaven. I do not go to heaven to be advanced ; 
but to give honour to God. It is no matter where I 
shall be stationed in heaven, whether I have a high 
or low seat there ; but to love, and please, and glorify 
God, is all. Had I a thousand souls, if they were 
worth any thing, I would give them all to God ; but 
I have nothing to give when all is done. It is impos 
sible for any rational creature to be happy without 
acting all for God: God himself could not make 
him happy any other way. I long to be in heaven, 
praising and glorifying God with the holy angels : 
all my desire is to glorify God. My heart goes out 
to the burying-place : it seems to me a desirable 
place; but, Oh! to glorify God! that is it; that is 
above all. It is a great comfort to me, to think that 
I have done a little for God in the world : Oh ! it is 
but a very small matter ; yet I have done a little ; 
and I lament that I have not done more for Him. 
There is nothing in the world worth living for, but 
doing good, and finishing God s work ; doing the 



348 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD I 

work that Christ did. I see nothing else in the 
world that can yield any satisfaction, besides living 
to God, pleasing him, and doing his whole will. 
My greatest joy and comfort has been to do some 
thing for promoting the interest of religion, and the 
souls of particular persons ; and now, in my illness, 
while I am full of pain and distress from day to day, 
all the comfort I have, is in being able to do some 
little for God ; either by something that I say, or by 
writing, or by some other way. 

Mr. Edwards adds : 

He intermingled with these and other like expres 
sions, many pathetical counsels to those that were 
about him, particularly to my children and servants. 
He applied himself to some of my younger children 
at this time ; calling them to him, and speaking to 
them one by one; setting before them, in a very plain 
manner, the nature and essence of true piety, and its 
great importance and necessity ; earnestly warning 
them not to rest in any thing short of a true and 
thorough change of heart, and a life devoted to 
God; counselling them not to be slack in the great 
business of religion, nor in the least to delay it: 
enforcing his counsels with this, that his words were 
the words of a dying man. Said he, I shall die 
here, and here I shall be buried, and here you will 
see my grave ; and do you remember what I have 
said to you. I am going into eternity ; and it is 
sweet for me to think of eternity : the endlessness of 
it makes it sweet ! But, oh, what shall I say to the 
eternity of the wicked ! I cannot mention it, nor 
think of it: the thought is too dreadful. When you 
see my grave, then remember what I said to you 
while I was alive : then think with yourself, How 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 349 

that man, that lies in that grave, counselled and 
warned me to prepare for death ! 

His body seemed marvellously strengthened, 
through the inward vigour and refreshment of his 
mind ; so that, although before he was so weak that 
he could hardly utter a sentence, yet now he conti 
nued his most affecting and profitable discourse to 
us for more than an hour, with scarcely any intermis 
sion ; and said of it, when he had done, that it was 
the last sermon that ever he should preach. 

His brother Israel was now with him, and con 
tinued with him till his death. Of his conversation 
with him, it is said ; 

4 In this his dying state, he recommended to his 
brother a life of self-denial, of weanedness from the 
world, and devotedness to God, and an earnest en 
deavour to obtain much of the grace of God s Spirit, 
and of his gracious influences on his heart ; repre 
senting the great need which ministers stand in of 
them, and the unspeakable benefit of them from his 
own experience. Among many other expressions, 
he said thus : When ministers feel these special 
gracious influences on their hearts, it wonderfully 
assists them to come at the consciences of men ; and, 
as it were, to handle them with hands ; whereas, 
without them, whatever reason or oratory we make 
use of, we do but make use of stumps, instead of 
hands/ 

This young man did not long survive his brother. 
He gave good hope of becoming a great blessing in 
his day ; but it pleased God to take him away about 
three months after his brother. 

Another of the attendants on his death-bed soon 
followed him to heaven. Mr. Edwards daughter, 



350 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

whose attention to him was unremitting, died about 
four months after him, in the eighteenth year of her 
age. Her father gives her a most elevated character: 
* She was a person of much the same spirit with 
Mr. Brainerd. She had constantly attended him in 
his sickness, for nineteen weeks before his death : 
devoting herself to it with great delight, because she 
looked upon him as an eminent servant of Jesus 
Christ. In this time he had much conversation with 
her on the things of religion ; and, in his dying state, 
often expressed to us, her parents, his great satisfac 
tion concerning her true piety and his confidence of 
meeting her in heaven ; and his opinion of her, not only 
as a true Christian, but as a very eminent saint. She 
had manifested a heart uncommonly devoted to God, 
in the course of her life, many years before her death ; 
and said on her death-bed, that she had not seen one 
minute, for several years, wherein she desired to live 
one minute longer, for the sake of any other thing in 
life, but doing good, living to God, and doing what 
she might be able, for his glory. 

The last entry in Brainerd s diary, in his own 
hand, was the following : 

Sept 25, 1747. This day I was unspeakably 
weak, and little better than speechless all the day. 
However, I was able to write a little. Oh, it re 
freshed my soul to think of former things, of desires 
to glorify God, of the pleasures of living to him : O 
my God, I am speedily coming to Thee, I hope ! 
Hasten the day, O Lord, if it be thy blessed will. 
Oh come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen. 

His diary was continued a little further, as will be 
seen by the extracts we have already made, though 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 351 

in a broken manner, written by his brother Israel, 
but indited by himself. The last entry thus made 
in it here follows : 

Oct 2. My soul was, this day, at turns sweetly 
set on God. I longed to be with him, that I might 
behold his glory. I felt sweetly disposed to commit 
all to him ; even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, 
my absent brother, and all my concerns for time and 
eternity. Oh that his kingdom might come in the 
world ; that all might love and glorify him, for what 
he is in himself; that the blessed Redeemer might 
" see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied ! " Oh 
" come, Lord Jesus, come quickly ! Amen." 

The day before his death he was much refreshed 
by the arrival of his brother John, whom he most 
affectionately loved, and whom he had been anxiously 
expecting. His brother had spent a week with him 
in the beginning of September, and had revived 
him with happy intelligence respecting his Indians. 
Business of necessity having called Mr. John Brai- 
nerd back to New Jersey, he now returned, (having 
been unavoidably detained longer than he intended,) 
in time to close his brother s eyes. 

On the morning of the next day, being Lord s- 
day, October 4, as Mr. Edwards daughter Jerusha 
(who chiefly tended him) came into the room, he 
looked on her very pleasantly, and said, Dear 
Jerusha, are you willing to part with me? I am 
quite willing to part with you : I am willing to part 
with all my friends : I am willing to part with my 
dear brother John, although I love him the best of 
any creature living. I have committed him and all 
my friends to God, and can leave them with him. 
Though, if I thought I should not see you, and be 



352 LIFE OF DAVID BRA1NERD : 

happy with you in another world, I could not bear 
to part with you. But we shall spend a happy eter 
nity together. In the evening, as one came into the 
room with a Bible in her hand, he expressed himself 
thus : Oh that dear book ; that lovely book ! I shall 
soon see it opened: the mysteries that are in it, 
.and the mysteries of God s providence, will be all 
unfolded. 

His distemper now very apparently preyed on his 
vitals, not by a sudden breaking of ulcers on his 
lungs, as at Boston, but by a constant discharge of 
purulent matter in great quantities ; so that what he 
brought up by expectoration seemed to be as it were 
mouthfuls of almost clear pus, attended with great 
inward pain and distress. 

On Thursday, Oct. 6, he lay for a considerable 
time as if he were dying. He was then heard to 
utter, in broken whispers, such expressions as these: 
He will come, he will not tarry I shall soon be in 
glory I shall soon glorify God with the angels/ 
But after some time he revived. 

The next day, Wednesday, Oct. 7, his brother John 
arrived, having been detained much longer than he 
intended, by a mortal sickness prevailing among the 
Christian Indians, and by some other things in their 
circumstances that made his stay with them neces 
sary. Mr. Brainerd was affected and refreshed with 
seeing him, and appeared fully satisfied with the 
reasons of his delay ; seeing the interest of religion 
and of the souls of his people required it. 

The final scene now drew near. 

Thursday, Oct. 8. He was in great distress and 
agony of body ; and, for the chief part of the day, 
was much disordered as to the exercise of his reason. 



HIS LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH. 353 

In the evening, he was more composed, and had the 
use of his reason well ; but the pain of his body in 
creased. He told me it was impossible for any body 
to conceive the distress that he felt in his breast. He 
manifested much concern lest he should dishonour 
God by impatience, under his extreme agony; which 
was such, that, he said, the thought of enduring it 
one minute longer was almost insupportable. He de 
sired that others would be constant in lifting up their 
hearts continually to God for him, that God would 
support him, and give him patience. He signified 
that he expected to die that night; but seemed to 
fear a long delay : and the disposition of his mind, 
with regard to death, appeared still the same that it 
had been all along. Notwithstanding his bodily 
agonies, yet the interest of Zion lay still with great 
weight upon his mind ; as appeared by some consi 
derable discourse he had that evening with the Rev. 
Mr. Billing, one of the neighbouring ministers (who 
was then present), concerning the great importance 
of the work of the ministry: and, afterward, when it 
was very late in the night, he had much very proper 
and profitable discourse with his brother John, con 
cerning his congregation in New Jersey, and the 
interest of religion among the Indians. In the latter 
part of the night, his bodily distress seemed to rise 
to a greater height than ever ; and he said to those 
then about him, that it was another thing to die than 
people imagined ; explaining himself to mean, that 
they were not aware what bodily anguish is under 
gone before death. Toward day, his eyes fixed; and 
he continued immoveable, till about six o clock in the 
morning, and then expired, on Friday, October 9, 
1747 ; when his soul, as we may well conclude, was 

2 A 



354 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

received by his dear Lord and Master, as an emi 
nently faithful servant, into the state of perfection of 
holiness, and fruition of God, which he had so often 
and so ardently longed for ; and was welcomed by 
the glorious assembly in the upper world, as one 
peculiarly fitted to join them in their blessed em 
ployments and joy. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 355 



CHAPTER IX. 



Concluding Remarks. 

WE shall now bring to a close our account of this 
eminent man. In the whole of the preceding narra 
tive, we have digested in regular order all the most 
important sentiments and incidents which occur, in 
a very disjointed manner, and with much redun 
dancy of expression, in the volume published by 
President Edwards. 

At the end of Brainerd s Journal, he made some 
general remarks, in addition to others which he had 
occasionally introduced in the Journal and which 
we have printed, on the great work of which he had 
been the instrument among the Indians. He sub 
joined also an Appendix, in which he enters at large 
into his method of instructing the Indians, with the 
difficulties attending the work of a Missionary among 
them. 

From these two pieces we shall digest the most 
important passages, under the following heads : the 
Difficulties attending the work of a Missionary among 
the Indians, with his Methods of surmounting them 
his System of Christian Instruction and the Success 
which it pleased God to grant to his labours. 

2 A 2 



356 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 

On these difficulties he dwells at some length, at 
the request of the Society under which he acted. 
Many of them were local and peculiar, and others 
such as are common to all faithful labourers in the 
vineyard of the Lord, particularly among the Heathen. 

1. From the aversion of the Indians to Christianity. 
They are not only stupid, and ignorant of divine 
things, but many of them are obstinately set against 
Christianity, and seem to abhor even the Christian 
name. This aversion to Christianity arises partly 
from a view of the immorality and vicious behaviour 
of many who are called Christians. 

On this melancholy subject Brainerd enlarges; 
and then adds 

The only way which I have to take, in order to 
surmount this difficulty, is to distinguish between 
nominal and real Christians : and to shew them, that 
the ill conduct of many of the former proceeds, not 
from their being Christians, but from their being 
Christians only in name, not in heart. 

; Another thing that serves to make them more 
averse to Christianity, is, a fear of being enslaved. 
They are, perhaps, some of the most jealous people 
living, and extremely averse tp a state of servitude, 
and hence are always afraid of some design against 
their liberty. Besides, they seem to have no senti 
ments of generosity, benevolence, and goodness ; so 
that if any thing be proposed to them as being for 
their good, they are ready rather to suspect that 
there is at bottom some design formed against them, 
than that such proposals flow from good-will to 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 357 

them, and a desire of their welfare: they have thus 
oftentimes misconstrued all the kindness that I could 
shew them, and the hardships which I have endured 
to treat with them about Christianity. " He never 
would," say they, " take all this pains to do us good. 
He must have some wicked design to hurt us, some 
way or other." And to give them assurance of the 
contrary, is not an easy matter, while there are so 
many who (agreeably to their apprehension) are only 
seeking their own, not the yood of others. 

1 To remove this difficulty, I inform them that I am 
not sent out among them by those persons, in these 
provinces, who they suppose have cheated them out 
of their lands ; but by pious people at a great dis 
tance, who never had an inch of their lands, nor ever 
thought of doing them any hurt. But here will arise 
so many frivolous and impertinent questions, that it 
would tire one s patience and wear out one s spirits, 
to hear them ; such as that, " But why did not these 
good people send you to teach us before, while we 
had our lands down by the sea-side? &c. If they had 
sent you then, we should probably have heard you, 
and turned Christians : " the poor creatures still 
imagining, that I should be much beholden to 
them, in case they would hearken to Christianity : 
and insinuating, that this was a favour which 
they could not now be so good as to shew me, 
seeing they had received so many injuries from the 
white people. 

Another spring of aversion to Christianity in the 
Indians, is, their strong attachment to their own 
religious notions, and the early prejudices which 
they have imbibed for their own frantic and ridicu 
lous sort of worship/ 



358 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

After enlarging on these notions and prejudices, 
Brainerd observes 

* It will be too tedious to give any considerable 
account of the methods which I make use of for 
surmounting this difficulty. I will just say, that I 
endeavour, as much as possible, to shew them the 
inconsistency of their own notions, and so to con 
found them out of their own mouths. But I must also 
say, that I have sometimes been almost nonplused 
with them, and scarce knew what to answer ; but never 
have been more perplexed with them than when they 
have pretended to yield to me, as knowing more than 
they, and consequently have asked me numbers of 
difficult questions; as, " How the Indians came first 
into this part of the world, away from all the white 
people, if what I said was true?" viz. that the same 
God made them who made us " How the Indians 
became black, if they had the same original parents 
with the white people?" and numbers more of the 
like nature. 

What further contributes to their aversion to 
Christianity is, the influence that their powaws (con 
jurers or diviners) have upon them. These are a sort 
of persons who are supposed to have a power of 
foretelling future events ; of recovering the sick, at 
least oftentimes; and of charming, enchanting, or 
poisoning persons to death by their magic divi 
nations. 

I have laboured to gain some acquaintance with 
this affair of their conjuration : and have, for that 
end, consulted with the man mentioned in my Journal 
of May 9 ; who, since his conversion to Christianity, 
has endeavoured to give me the best intelligence that 
he could of this matter. But it seems to be such a 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 359 

mystery of iniquity, that I cannot well understand 
it. My interpreter tells me, that he heard one of 
them tell a certain Indian the secret thoughts of his 
heart, which he had never divulged. The case was 
this : the Indian was bitten with a snake, and was in 
extreme pain from the bite ; whereupon the diviner 
(who was applied to for his recovery) told him, that 
such a time he had promised that the next deer 
which he killed he would sacrifice to some great 
Power, but had broken his promise : " And now," 
said he, " that great Power has ordered this snake 
to bite you for your neglect." The Indian confessed 
that it was so : but said, he had never told any 
body of it. But, as Satan no doubt excited the In 
dian to make that promise, it was no wonder he 
should be able to communicate the matter to the 
conjurer. These things serve to fix them down in 
their idolatry, and to make them believe there is no 
safety to be expected, but by their continuing to 
offer such sacrifices. And the influence that these 
powaws have upon them, either through the esteem 
or the fear which they have of them, is no small 
hindrance to their embracing Christianity. 

To remove this difficulty, I have laboured to shew 
the Indians, that these diviners have no power to 
recover the sick, when the God whom Christians 
serve has determined them for death ; and that the 
supposed great Power who influences these diviners 
has himself no power in this case ; and that if they 
seem to recover them by their magic charms, they are 
only such as the God whom I preached to them had 
determined should recover, and who would have 
recovered without their conjurations. When I have 
supposed them to be afraid of embracing Christianity 



360 LTFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

lest they should be enchanted and poisoned, I have 
endeavoured .to relieve their minds of this fear, by 
asking them why their powaws did not enchant and 
poison me, seeing they had as much reason to hate 
me for preaching to and desiring them to become 
Christians, as they could have to hate them in case 
they should actually become such : and that they 
might have an evidence of the power and goodness 
of God engaged for the protection of Christians, I 
ventured to give a challenge to all their powaws and 
great Powers to do their worst on me, first of all ; and 
thus laboured to tread down their influence/ 

2. In conveying Divine Truth to their understandings. 
I laboured under a very great disadvantage, for 
want of an interpreter, who had a good degree of 
doctrinal as well as experimental knowledge of di 
vine things ; in both which respects my present in 
terpreter was very defective when I first employed 
him. The method which God was pleased to take 
for the removal of this difficulty I have sufficiently 
explained elsewhere. 

Another thing that rendered it very difficult to 
convey divine truths to the understandings of the 
Indians, was, the defectiveness of their language ; 
the want of terms to express and convey ideas of 
spiritual things. There are no words in the Indian 
language to answer our English words, Lord, Sa 
viour, Salvation, Sinner, Justice, Condemnation, 
Faith, Repentance, Justification, Adoption, Sancti- 
fication, Grace, Glory, Heaven ; with scores of the 
like import. 

* The only methods that I can make use of for sur 
mounting this difficulty, are, either to describe the 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 361 

things at large designed by these terms : as, if I was 
speaking- of regeneration, to call it " the heart s 
being changed" by God s Spirit, or " the heart s 
being made good;" or else I must introduce the 
English terms into their language, and affix the pre 
cise meaning of them, that they may know what I 
intend whenever I use them. 

* But what renders it much more difficult to convey 
divine truths to the understandings of these Indians, 
is, that there seems to be no foundation in their 
minds to begin upon ; I mean, no truths that may be 
taken for granted as being already known, while I 
am attempting to instil others. And divine truths 
having a necessary dependence on one another, I 
find it extremely difficult, in my first addresses to 
Pagans, to begin and discourse of them in their 
proper order and connection, without having refer 
ence to truths not yet known, and without taking for 
granted such things as need first to be taught and 
proved. 

The method which I have usually taken, in iny 
first addresses to Pagans, has been, to introduce 
myself by saying that I was come among them with 
a desire and design to teach them some things which 
I presumed they did not know, and which I trusted 
would be for their comfort and happiness, if known; 
desiring they would give their attention, and hoping 
they might meet with satisfaction in my discourse. 

And thence I have proceeded to observe, that 
there are two things belonging to every man, which 
I call the Soul and the Body. These I endeavour to 
distinguish from each other, by observing to them, 
that there is something in them that is capable of 
joy and pleasure, even when their bodies are sick and 



362 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

much pained ; and, on the contrary, they find some 
thing within them that is fearful, sorrowful, ashamed, 
or otherwise uneasy, at times when their bodies are 
in perfect health. I then observe to them, that this 
which rejoices in them (perhaps at the sight of some 
friend who has been long absent) when their bodies 
are sick and in pain ; and this which is sorrowful, 
affrighted, ashamed, &c. and consequently uneasy, 
when their bodies are perfectly at ease, this I call 
the Soul : and, although it cannot be seen like the 
other parts of the man, viz. the body, yet it is as 
real as their thoughts, desires, &c. which are like 
wise things that cannot be seen. I then further 
observe, that this part of the man which thinks, 
rejoices, grieves, &c. will live after the body is dead. 
For the proof of this, I adduce the opinion of their 
fathers, who, as I am told by very aged Indians now 
living, always supposed that there was something of 
the man which would survive the body : and if I can, 
for the proof of any thing that I assert, say, as St. 
Paul to the Athenians, As certain also of your own 
sages have said, it is generally sufficient. 

Having established this point, I next observe, 
that what I have to say to them respects this con 
scious part of the man, and that with relation to its 
state after the death of the body ; and that I am not 
come to treat with them about the things that con 
cern the PRESENT world. This method I am obliged 
to take, because they will otherwise entirely mistake 
the design of my preaching, and suppose that the 
business which I am upon is something that relates 
to the present world ; having never been called 
together by the white people upon any other occa 
sion, but only to be treated with about the sale of 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 363 

lands, or some other secular business. And I find it 
almost impossible to prevent their imagining that I 
am engaged in the same or such like affairs ; and to 
beat into them, that my concern is to treat with them 
about their invisible part, and that with relation to 
its future state. 

But, having thus opened the way, by distinguishing 
betw r een soul and body, and shewing the immortality 
of the soul, and that my business is to treat with 
them in order to their happiness in a future state ; I, 
proceed to discourse of the being and perfections of 
God, particularly of his eternity, unity, self-suffici 
ency, infinite wisdom, and almighty power. 

4 Having offered some things on the divine perfec 
tions, I proceed to open the work of creation in 
general ; and, in particular, God s creation of man 
in a state of uprightness and happiness, the means 
and manner of their apostacy from that state, and 
the loss of that happiness. But, before I can give a 
relation of their fall from God, I am obliged to make 
a large digression, in order to give an account of 
the 1 origin and circumstances of their tempter, his 
capacity of assuming the shape of a serpent, from 
his being a spirit, without a body, &c. Whence I 
go on to shew, the ruins of our fallen state; the 
mental blindness and vicious dispositions which our 
first parents then contracted to themselves, and pro 
pagated to all their posterity ; the numerous calami 
ties brought upon them and theirs by this apostacy 
from God ; and the exposedness of the whole human 
race to eternal perdition : and thence labour to shew 
them the necessity of an Almighty Saviour, to 
deliver us from this deplorable state ; as well as of a 
Divine Revelation, to instruct us in the will of God, 



364 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

* And thus the way is prepared, for opening the 
Gospel Scheme of Salvation through the great Re 
deemer, and for treating of those doctrines which 
immediately relate to the soul s renovation by the 
Divine Spirit, and preparation for a state of ever 
lasting blessedness. 

* In giving such a relation of things to Pagans, it is 
not a little difficult (as was observed before) to deliver 
truths in their proper order, without interfering with, 
and taking for granted things not as yet known ; to 
discourse of them in a familiar manner, suited to the 
capacities of Heathens; to illustrate them by easy 
and natural similitudes; and to answer the objec 
tions which they are disposed to make against the 
several particulars, as well as to take notice of and 
confute their contrary notions. 

* What has sometimes been very discouraging in 
my first discourses to them, is, that, when I have 
distinguished between the present and future state, 
and shewn them that it was my business to treat of 
those things that concern the life to come, they have 
some of them mocked, looking on these things of no 
importance ; have scarce had a curiosity to hear, and 
perhaps walked off before I had half done my dis 
course. In such a case, no impressions can be made 
on their minds to gain their attention. They are not 
awed by hearing of the anger of God engaged against 
sinners ; of everlasting punishment, as the portion of 
Gospel neglecters : they are not allured by hearing 
of the blessedness of those who embrace and obey 
the Gospel. So that, to gain their attention to my 
discourses, has often been as difficult as to give them 
a just notion of the design of them, or to open truths 
in their proper order. 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK: 365 

* Another difficulty naturally falling under this 
head, is, that it is next to impossible to bring them 
to a rational conviction that they are sinners by 
nature, and that their hearts are corrupt and sinful, 
unless one could charge them with some gross acts 
of immorality. If they can be charged with manifest 
wrong done to their neighbour, they will generally 
own such actions to be evil ; but then they seem as if 
they thought it was only the actions that were sinful, 
and not their hearts. If they cannot be charged 
with such scandalous actions, they seem to have no 
consciousness of sin and guilt at all. So that it is 
very difficult to convince them rationally of that 
which is readily acknowledged (though, alas ! rarely 
felt) in the Christian world that we are all sinners. 

The method which I take to convince them that 
we are sinners by nature, is, to lead them to an 
observation of their little children ; how they will 
appear in a rage, and fight, and strike their mothers, 
before they are able to speak or walk, while they 
are so young that it is plain they are incapable of 
learning such practices. And the light of nature in 
the Indians, condemning such behaviour in children 
toward their parents, they must own these tempers 
and actions to be wrong and sinful ; and the children 
having never learned these things, they must have 
been in their natures, and consequently they must be 
allowed to be, " by nature the children of wrath/ 
The same I observe to them with respect to the sin 
of lying, which their children seem much inclined 
to : they tell lies without being taught so to do, from 
their own natural inclination, as well as against 
restraints, and after corrections for that vice, which 
proves them sinners by nature. 



366 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD! 

These, and such like, are the means which I have 
made use of, in order to remove this difficulty : but 
if it be asked, after all, how it was surmounted, I 
must answer, God himself was pleased to do it with 
regard to a number of these Indians, by taking his 
word into his own hand, and making them feel at 
heart that they were both sinful and miserable. In 
" the day of God s power," whatever was spoken 
to them from His word served to convince them 
that they were sinners, (even the most melting in 
vitations of the gospel), and to fill them with solici 
tude to obtain a deliverance from that deplorable 
state. 

4 Further, it is extremely difficult to give them any 
just notion of the undertaking of Christ in behalf of 
sinners ; of his obeying and suffering in their room 
and stead, in order to atone for their sins, and pro 
cure their salvation ; and of their being justified by 
his righteousness. They are, in general, wholly un 
acquainted with civil laws and proceedings ; and 
know of no such thing as one person s being sub 
stituted as a surety in the room of another; nor have 
they any kind of notion of civil judicatures, of per 
sons being arraigned, tried, judged, condemned, or 
acquitted. And hence it is very difficult to treat with 
them on any thing of this nature, or that bears any 
relation to legal procedures. And although they 
cannot but have some dealing with the white people, 
in order to procure clothing and other necessaries of 
life, yet it is scarcely ever known that any one pays 
a penny for another, but each one stands for himself. 
Yet this is a thing that may be supposed, though 
seldom practised among them ; and they may be 
made to understand, that if a friend of theirs pays a 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 367 

debt for them, it is right that on that consideration 
they themselves should be discharged. 

And this is the only way that I can take, in order 
to give them a proper notion of the satisfaction of 
Christ in behalf of sinners. 

But here naturally arise two questions : 

First, What need there was of Christ s obeying 
and suffering for us ; why God would not look on 
us to be good creatures (to use my common phrase 
for justification) on account of our own good deeds. 
In answer to which, I sometimes observe, that a 
child s being ever so orderly and obedient to its 
parents to-day, does by no means satisfy for its con 
trary behaviour yesterday ; and that if it be loving 
and obedient at some times only, and at other times 
cross and disobedient, it can never be looked upon 
as a good child for its own doings, since it ought to 
have behaved in an obedient manner always. This 
simile strikes their minds in an easy and forcible 
manner ; and serves, in a measure, to illustrate the 
point : for the light of nature, as before hinted, 
teaches them that their children ought to be obedient 
to them, and that at all times ; and some of them are 
very severe with them for the contrary behaviour. 
This I apply in the plainest manner to our behaviour 
toward God ; and so shew them that it is impossible 
for us, since we have sinned against God, to be 
justified before him by our own doings, since present 
and future goodness, although perfect and constant, 
could never satisfy for past misconduct. 

A second question is, If our debt was so great, 
and if we all deserve to suffer, how one person s 
suffering was sufficient to answer for the whole 
Here I have no better way to illustrate the infinite 



368 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

value of Christ s obedience and sufferings, arising 
from the dignity and excellency of his person, than to 
shew them the superior value of gold to that of baser 
metals, and that a small quantity of this will dis 
charge a greater debt than a vast quantity of the 
copper pence. 

But, after all, it is extremely difficult to treat 
with them on this great doctrine of Justification. 

* I scarcely know how to conclude this head, so 
many things occurring that might properly be added 
here : but what has been mentioned may serve for 
a specimen of the difficulty of conveying divine 
truths to the understandings of these Indians, and 
of gaining their assent to them as such. 

3. From their manners and mode of life. They 
generally live in the wilderness ; and some that I 
have visited, at great distances from the English 
settlements ; which has obliged me to travel much, 
and oftentimes over hideous rocks, mountains, and 
swamps ; frequently to lie out in the open woods ; 
which deprived me of the common comforts of life, 
and greatly impaired my health. 

* When I have got among them in the wilderness, 
I have often met with great difficulty in my attempts 
to discourse with them ; have sometimes spent hours 
with them, in attempting to answer their objections 
and remove their jealousies, before I could prevail 
on them to give me a hearing on Christianity ; and 
have been often obliged to preach in their houses 
in cold and windy weather, when they have been 
full of smoke and cinders, as well as unspeakably 
lilthy, which has many times thrown me into violent 
sick head-aches. 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS WORK. 369 

* While T have been preaching, their children 
have frequently cried to that degree, that I could 
scarcely be heard ; and their pagan mothers would 
take no manner of care to quiet them. At the same 
time, perhaps, some have been laughing and mocking 
at divine truths ; and others playing with their dogs, 
whittling sticks, and the like : and this, in many 
of them, not from spite and prejudice, but from want 
of better manners. 

The Indians are a people very poor and indigent; 
and so destitute of the comforts of life, at some sea 
sons of the year especially, that it is impossible for 
a person who has any pity to them, and concern for 
the Christian interest, to live among them without 
considerable expense, especially in time of sickness. 
If any thing be bestowed on one (as in some cases it 
is peculiarly necessary, in order to remove their 
pagan jealousies, and engage their friendship to 
Christianity), others, be there never so many of them, 
expect the same treatment. And while they retain 
their pagan tempers, they discover little gratitude, 
or even manhood, amidst all the kindnesses which 
they receive. If they make any presents, they expect 
double satisfaction. And Christianity itself does 
not at once cure them of these ungrateful and un 
manly tempers. 

They are, in general, unspeakably indolent and 
slothful, have been bred up in idleness, know little 
about cultivating land, or indeed of engaging vigor 
ously in other business : so that I am obliged to instruct 
them in, as well as press to the performance of their 
work, and take the oversight of all their secular busi 
ness. They have little or no ambition or resolution. 
Not one in a thousand of them has the spirit of a man : 
2 B 



370 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

and it is next to impossible to make them sensible 
of the duty and importance of being active, diligent, 
and industrious, in the management of their worldly 
business, or to excite any spirit and promptitude 
of that nature in them. When I have laboured, to 
the utmost of my ability, to shew them of what im 
portance it would be to the Christian interests among 
them, as well as to their worldly comfort, for them 
to be laborious and prudent in their business, and 
to furnish themselves with the comforts of life ; how 
this would incline their brethren to come among them, 
and so bring them under the means of salvation ; how 
it would encourage religious persons of the white 
people to help them, as well as stop the mouths of 
others that were disposed to cavil against them; how 
they might thus pay their just dues, and so prevent 
trouble from coming on themselves, and reproach 
on their Christian profession : I say, when I have 
endeavoured to represent this matter in the most 
advantageous light that I possibly could, they have, 
indeed, assented to all that I said, but have been 
little moved, and consequently have acted like them 
selves, or at least too much so. Yet it must be 
acknowledged, that those who appear to have a 
sense of divine things, are considerably amended in 
this respect ; and it is to be hoped that time will 
make a yet greater alteration upon them for the better. 
* Their wandering to and fro, in order to procure 
the necessaries of life, is another difficulty that 
attends my work. This has often deprived me of 
opportunities of discoursing with them, and has 
thrown them in the way of temptation. 

1 4. From the enmity and opposition of others. The 



HIS SYSTEM OF INSTRUCTION. 371 

Indians are not only of themselves prejudiced against 
Christianity, on the various accounts which I have 
already mentioned ; but, as if this was not enough, 
there are some in all parts of the country where I have 
preached to them, who have taken pains industri 
ously to bind them down in pagan darkness ; neglect 
ing- to enter into the kingdom of God themselves, 
and labouring to hinder others/ 

Brainerd states some affecting particulars on this 
subject, and the distress which this malignity natu 
rally occasioned to him. 



HIS SYSTEM OF CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION. 

Somewhat of this has been already seen, in his 
method of overcoming difficulties. The extracts 
which follow relate more particularly to the scope of 
his public ministry. 

The methods which I am taking to instruct the 
Indians in the principles of our holy religion, are, to 
open and improve some particular points of doctrine ; 
to expound paragraphs, or sometimes whole chapters 
of God s word to them; to give historical relations 
from Scripture of the most material and remarkable 
occurrences relating to the Church of God from the 
beginning ; and frequently to catechise them on the 
principles of Christianity. The latter of these me 
thods of instructing, I manage in a twofold manner. 
I sometimes catechise systematically, proposing 
questions agreeable to the Reverend Assembly s 
Shorter Catechism : this I have carried on to a con 
siderable length. At other times, I catechise on any 
important subject that I think difficult to them. 
Sometimes, when I have discoursed on some parti- 

2B 2 



372 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

cular point, and made it as plain and familiar to 
them as I can, I then catechise them on the most 
material branches of my discourse, to see whether 
they had a thorough understanding of it. 

It was the principal scope and drift of all my 
discourses to this people for several months together, 
(after having taught them something of the being 
and perfections of God, his creation of man in a 
state of rectitude and happiness, and the obligations 
under which mankind thence were to love and ho 
nour him,) to lead them into an acquaintance with 
their deplorable state by nature, as fallen creatures, 
their inability to deliver themselves, the utter in 
sufficiency of any external reformations and amend 
ment of life, or of any religious performances of 
which they were capable while in this state, to bring 
them into the favour of God, and interest them in his 
eternal mercy and thence to shew them their abso 
lute need of Christ to redeem and save them from 
the misery of their fallen state to open his all-suffi 
ciency and willingness to save the chief of sinners 
the freeness and riches of his divine grace proposed, 
" without money and without price/ to all that will 
accept the offer and thereupon to press them, with 
out delay, to betake themselves to Him, under a sense 
of their misery and undone estate, for relief and 
everlasting salvation and to shew them the abun 
dant encouragement which the Gospel proposes to 
perishing and helpless sinners, in order to engage 
them so to do. These things I repeatedly and largely 
insisted on. 

And I have oftentimes remarked with admiration, 
that, whatever subject I have been treating on, after 
having spent time sufficient to explain and illustrate 



HIS SYSTEM OF INSTRUCTION. 373 

the truths contained therein, I have been naturally 
and easily led to Christ, as the substance of every 
subject. If I treated on the being and glorious per 
fections of God, I was thence naturally led to dis 
course of Christ as the only " way to the Father!" 
If I attempted to open the deplorable misery of our 
fallen state, it was natural from thence to shew the 
necessity of Christ to undertake for us, to atone for 
our sins, and to redeem us from the power of them. 
If I taught the commands of God, and shewed our 
violation of them, this brought me, in the most easy 
and natural way, to speak of and recommend the 
Lord Jesus Christ, as one who had " magnified the 
law" which we had broken, and who was " become the 
end of it for righteousness, to every one that believeth." 
And never did I find so much freedom and assist 
ance in making all the various lines of my discourses 
meet together and centre in Christ, as I have fre 
quently done among these Indians. 

I have sometimes, formerly, in reading the Apos 
tle s discourse to Cornelius, admired to see him so 
quickly introduce the Lord Jesus Christ into his ser 
mon, and so entirely dwell on him through the whole 
of it, observing him in this point very widely to differ 
from any of our modern preachers; but, latterly, this 
has not seemed strange, since Christ has appeared 
to be the substance of the Gospel, and the centre in 
which the several lines of Divine Revelation meet: 
although I am still sensible there are many things 
necessary to be spoken to persons under Pagan 
darkness, in order to make way for a proper intro 
duction of the name of Christ, and his undertaking 
in behalf of fallen man. 

And this was the preaching, which God made use 



374 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD ! 

of, for the awakening of sinners, and the propaga 
tion of this work of grace among the Indians : and it 
was remarkable, from time to time, that, when I was 
favoured with any special freedom, in discoursing of 
the ability and willingness of Christ to save sinners, 
and the need in which they stood of such a Saviour, 
there was then the greatest appearance of divine 
power in awakening numbers of secure souls, pro 
moting convictions begun, and comforting the dis 
tressed/ 



THE SUCCESS WHICH ATTENDED HIS LABOURS. 

* It is worthy of remark, that numbers of these 
people are brought to a strict compliance with the 
rules of morality and sobriety, and to a conscientious 
performance of the external duties of Christianity, 
by the internal power and influence of the peculiar 
doctrines of grace on their minds ; without their 
having these moral duties frequently inculcated on 
them, or the contrary vices particularly exposed. 

1 These were the doctrines, and this the method 
of preaching, which were blessed of God for the 
awakening, and, I trust, the conversion of numbers 
of souls; and which were made the means of pro 
ducing a remarkable reformation among the hearers 
in general. 

When these truths were felt at heart, there was 
no vice unreformed, no external duty neglected. 
Drunkenness, the darling vice, was broken off, and 
scarce an instance of it known among my hearers for 
months together. The horrid practice of husbands and 
wives, in putting away each other, and taking others 
in their stead, was quickly reformed ; so that there are 



THE SUCCESS OF HIS LABOURS. 375 

three or four couple, who have voluntarily dismised 
those whom they had wrongfully taken, and now live 
together again in love and peace. The same might be 
said of all other vicious practices. The reformation 
was general; and all springing from the internal 
influence of divine truths on their hearts. When I 
at any time mentioned their wicked practices, it was 
not with the design, nor indeed with any hope, of 
working an effectual reformation in their external 
manners by this means ; for I knew that while the 
tree remained corrupt, the fruit would naturally be 
so : but with design to lead them, by observing the 
wickedness of their lives, to a view of the corruption 
of their hearts, and so to convince them of the neces 
sity of a renovation of nature, and to excite them 
with the utmost diligence to seek after that great 
change, which, if once obtained, I was sensible 
would of course produce a reformation of external 
manners in every respect. 

1 And, as all vice was reformed on their feeling the 
power of these truths on their hearts, so the external 
duties of Christianity were complied with, and con 
scientiously performed from the same internal influ 
ence ; family-prayer set up, and constantly main 
tained, unless among some few more lately come, 
who had felt little of this divine influence ; this duty 
constantly performed even in some families where 
there were none but females, and scarce a prayerless 
person to be found among near a hundred of them ; 
the Lord s-day seriously and religiously observed, 
and care taken by parents to keep their children 
orderly on that sacred day : and this, because they 
had felt the power of God s \vord on their hearts ; 
were made sensible of their sin and misery, and 



376 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD I 

thence could not but pray, and comply with every 
thing which they knew to be their duty, from what 
they felt within themselves. 

Experience, as well as the word of God and the 
example of Christ and his apostles, has taught me, 
that that method of preaching, which is best suited 
to awaken in mankind a lively apprehension of their 
depravity and misery in a fallen state, to excite 
them earnestly to seek after a change of heart, and to 
fly for refuge to free grace in Christ as the only hope 
set before them, is likely to be most successful toward 
the reformation of their conduct. I have found that 
close addresses, and solemn applications of divine 
truths to the conscience, tend directly to strike death 
to the root of all vice ; while smooth and plausible 
harangues on moral virtues and external duties, at 
best are like to do no more than lop off the branches 
of corruption, while the root of all vice remains still 
untouched. 

I do not intend to represent the preaching of mo 
rality, and pressing persons to the external perform 
ance of duty, to be altogether unnecessary and 
useless at any time ; and especially at times when 
there is less of divine power attending the means of 
grace, and when, for want of internal influences, there 
is need of external restraints : but to discover this plain 
matter of fact, viz. that the reformation, the sobriety, 
and external compliance with the rules and duties 
of Christianity, appearing among my people, are not 
the effect of any mere doctrinal instruction", or merely 
rational view of the beauty of morality, but from the 
internal power and influence that divine truths (the 
soul-humbling doctrines of grace) have had upon 
their hearts. 



THE SUCCESS OF HIS LABOURS. 377 

And as God has continued and renewed the 
showers of his grace among this people for some 
time, so has he, with uncommon quickness, set up 
his visible kingdom, and gathered himself a church 
in the midst of them. I have now baptized seventy- 
seven persons, whereof thirty-eight are adults, and 
thirty-nine children ; and all within the space of 
eleven months past. And it must be noted, that I 
have baptized no adults, but such as appeared to 
have a work of special grace wrought in their hearts ; 
I mean such as have had the experience, not only 
of the awakening and humbling, but, in a judgment 
of charity, of the renewing and comforting influences 
of the divine Spirit. 

Much of the goodness of God has also appeared 
in relation to their acquirement of knowledge, both 
in religion and in the affairs of common life. There 
has been a wonderful thirst after Christian know 
ledge prevailing among them in general, and an 
eager desire of being instructed in Christian doc 
trines and manners. 

They have also acquired a considerable degree 
of useful knowledge in the affairs of common life ; 
so that they now appear like rational creatures, fit 
for human society, free from that savage roughness 
and brutish stupidity, which rendered them very 
disagreeable in their pagan state. 

* The children learn with surprising readiness ; so 
that their master tells me, he never had an English 
school that learned in general comparably so fast. 
There were not above two in thirty, although some 
of them were very small, but what learned to know 
all the letters in the alphabet, distinctly, within 
three days after their entrance upon the business ; 



378 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD : 

and divers in that space of time learned to spell 
very tolerably ; and some of them, since the begin 
ning of February last (at which time the school 
was set up,) have learned so much, that they are 
able to read in a Psalter or Testament without 
spelling. 

* They are likewise instructed in the duty of secret 
prayer, and most of them constantly attend it night 
and morning ; and are very careful to inform their 
master, if they apprehend that any of their little 
school-mates neglect that religious exercise. 

It is worthy to be noted (to the praise of sove 
reign grace), that, amidst so great a work of convic 
tion, so much concern and religious affection, there 
has been no prevalency, nor indeed any considerable 
appearance of false religion (if I may so term it), or 
heats of imagination, intemperate zeal, and spiritual 
pride ; which corrupt mixtures too often attend the 
revival and powerful propagation of religion : and 
that there have been so very few instances of irregular 
and scandalous behaviour among those who have 
appeared serious. 

1 There has here been no appearance of bodily 
agonies, convulsions, frightful screamings, and the 
like ; and I may now farther add, that there has 
been no prevalency of visions, trances, and imagina 
tions of any kind. 

But this work of grace has, in the main, been 
carried on with a surprising degree of purity, and free 
dom from trash and corrupt mixture. The religious 
concern that persons have been under has generally 
been rational and just, arising from a sense of their 
sins, and exposedness to the divine displeasure on 
the account of them, as well as their utter inability 



THE SUCCESS OF HIS LABOURS. 379 

to deliver themselves from the misery which they felt 
and feared. 

The comfort that persons have obtained after 
their distresses, has likewise in general appeared 
solid, well-grounded, and scriptural, arising from a 
spiritual and supernatural illumination of mind, 
a view of divine things, in a measure, as they are, 
a complacency of soul in the divine perfections, 
and a peculiar satisfaction in the way of salvation 
by free grace in the great Redeemer. 

1 Yet it must be acknowledged, that, when this 
work became so universal and prevalent, and gained 
such general credit and esteem among the Indians, 
that Satan seemed to have little advantage of work 
ing against it in his own proper garb, he then "trans 
formed himself into an angel of light," and made 
some vigorous attempts to introduce turbulent com 
motions of the passions in the room of genuine con 
victions of sin ; imaginary and fanciful notions of 
Christ, as appearing to the mental eye in a human 
shape, and being in some particular postures, &c. 
in the room of spiritual supernatural discoveries of 
his divine glory and excellency ; as well as divers 
other delusions. And I have reason to think, that, 
if these things had met with countenance and en 
couragement, there would have been a very con 
siderable harvest of this kind of converts here. 
Spiritual pride also discovered itself in various in 
stances. Some persons who had been under great 
affections, seemed very desirous from thence of being 
thought truly gracious ; who, when I could not but 
express to them my fears respecting their spiritual 
states, discovered their resentment to a considerable 
degree on that occasion. There also appeared in 



380 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERDI 

one or two of them an unbecoming ambition of being 
teachers of others. So that Satan has been a busy 
adversary here, as well as elsewhere. But blessed 
be God ! though something of this nature has ap 
peared, yet nothing of it has prevailed, nor indeed 
made any considerable progress at all. My people 
are now apprised of these things ; are acquainted 
that Satan, in such a manner, " transformed himself 
into an angel of light/ in the first season of the great 
outpouring of the Divine Spirit in the days of the 
Apostles ; and that something of this nature, in a 
greater or lesser degree, has attended almost every 
revival and remarkable propagation of true religion 
ever since. 

* May this blessed work, in the power and purity 
of it, prevail among the poor Indians here, as well as 
spread elsewhere, till the remotest tribes shall see 
the salvation of God ! Amen. 



CHARACTER OF BRAINERD. 

After what has been thus brought before our 
readers, they will not want much assistance to 
enable them to form a just view of the character of 
this eminent servant of God. He has himself 
delineated it, by the unbosoming of his most secret 
thoughts and desires. We shall extract, however, 
from the preface of his biographer, and from some 
remarks on his character and life, at the close of the 
volume, a few passages which may assist in forming 
a due estimate of him. 

Brainerd was, as has been seen, naturally prone to 
melancholy : yet he had a penetrating mind, and was 
a man of clear thought, of close reasoning, and of a 



HIS CHARACTER. 381 

very exact judgment ; and not at all carried away by 
a warm imagination. 

Mr. Edwards remarks 

Nothing so puffs men up with a high conceit of 
their own wisdom, holiness, eminency, and suffi 
ciency, and makes them so bold, forward, assuming, 
and arrogant, as enthusiasm. But Mr. Brainerd s 
religion constantly disposed him to an abasing sense 
of his own sinfulness, deficiency, unprofitableness, 
and ignorance ; looking on himself as worse than 
others ; disposing him to universal benevolence and 
meekness, and in honour to prefer others, and to 
treat all with kindness and respect. Indeed, at the 
time before mentioned, when he had not learned well 
to distinguish between enthusiasm and solid religion, 
he, joining and keeping company with some that 
were tinged with no small degree of the former, for a 
season partook with them in a degree of their dispo 
sitions and behaviour: but it is not at all to be won 
dered at, that a youth and a young convert, one who 
had his heart so swallowed up in religion, and so 
earnestly desired the flourishing of it, but had had 
so little opportunity for reading, observation, and 
experience, should for a while be dazzled and de 
ceived with the glaring appearances of that mistaken 
devotion and zeal ; especially considering what the 
extraordinary circumstances of that day were. He 
told me on his death-bed, that he was out of his ele 
ment and did violence to himself, while complying, 
in his conduct, with persons of a fierce and impru 
dent zeal, from his great veneration of some whom he 
looked upon as much better than himself. So that it 
would be very unreasonable that his error at that 
time should be esteemed a just ground of prejudice 



382 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

against the whole of his religion ; especially con 
sidering how greatly his mind was soon changed, 
and how exceedingly he afterwards lamented his error, 
and abhorred himself for his imprudent zeal and mis 
conduct at that time, even almost to the overbearing 
and breaking the strength of his nature ; and how 
much of a Christian spirit he showed, in his con 
demning himself for that misconduct. 

What has been now mentioned of Mr. Brainerd, is 
so far from being a just ground of prejudice against 
what is related in the following account of his life, 
that, if duly considered, it will render the history 
the more serviceable. For, by his thus joining for a 
season with enthusiasts, he had a more full and inti 
mate acquaintance with what belonged to that sort 
of religion, and so was under better circumstances to 
judge of the difference between that and the other, 
which he finally approved, and strove to his utmost 
to promote, in opposition to it : and hereby the reader 
has the more to demonstrate to him, that Mr. Brainerd, 
in his testimony against it and the spirit and beha 
viour of those that are influenced by it, speaks from 
impartial conviction, and not from prejudice; be 
cause therein he openly condemns his own former 
opinion and conduct, on account of which he had 
greatly suffered from his opposers, and for which 
some continued to reproach him as long as he 
lived. 

It appears plainly and abundantly all along, 
from his conversion to his death, that that beauty, 
that sort of good, which was the great object of the 
new sense of his mind, the new relish and appetite 
given him in conversion, and thenceforward main 
tained and increased in his heart, was holiness, 



HIS CHARACTER. 383 

conformity to God, living to God, and glorifying him. 
This was what drew his heart : this was the centre 
of his soul: this was the ocean to which all the 
streams of his religious affections tended : this was 
the object that engaged his eager thirsting desires 
and earnest pursuits. He knew no true excellency 
or happiness but this : this was what he longed for 
most vehemently and constantly on earth ; and this 
was with him the beauty and blessedness of heaven ; 
which made him so much and so often to long for 
that world of glory; it was to be perfectly holy, 
and perfectly exercised in the holy employments 
of heaven, thus to glorify God, and enjoy him for 
ever. 

His religious illuminations, affections, and com 
fort, seemed, in a great degree, to be attended with 
evangelical humiliation ; consisting in a sense of his 
own utter insufficiency, despicableness, and odious- 
ness ; with an answerable disposition and frame of 
heart. How deeply affected was he almost continu 
ally with his great defects in religion ; with his vast 
distance from that spirituality and holy frame of 
mind that became him ; with his ignorance, pride, 
deadness, unsteadiness, barrenness. He was not 
only affected with the remembrance of his former 
sinfulness, before his conversion ; but with the sense 
of his present vileness and pollution. He was not 
only disposed to think meanly of himself as before 
God, and in comparison of him ; but among men and 
as compared with them, he was apt to think other 
saints better than he ; yea, to look on himself as the 
meanest and least of saints; yea, very often as the 
vilest and worst of mankind. And, notwithstanding 
his great attainments in spiritual knowledge, yet we 



384 LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 

find there is scarcely any thing that he is more fre 
quently affected and abased with a sense of, than his 
ignorance. 

How eminently did he appear to be of a meek 
and quiet spirit, resembling the lamb-like spirit of 
Jesus Christ! How full of love, meekness, quietness, 
forgiveness, and mercy ! His love was not merely a 
fondness and zeal for a party, but a universal bene 
volence ; very often exercised in the most sensible and 
ardent love to his greatest opposers and enemies. 
His love and meekness were not a mere pretence, 
and outward profession and show; but they were 
effectual things, manifested in expensive and painful 
deeds of love and kindness, and in a meek beha 
viour ; readily confessing faults under the greatest 
trials, and humbling himself even at the feet of those 
from whom he supposed he had suffered most ; and, 
from time to time, very frequently praying for his 
enemies, abhorring the thoughts of bitterness or re 
sentment toward them. I scarcely know where to 
look for any parallel instance of self-denial, in these 
respects, in the present age. He took up and em 
braced the cross, and bore it constantly, in his great 
self-denials, labours, and suffering for the name of 
Jesus ; and went on without fainting, without re 
penting or repining, to his dying hour. He did 
not only, from time to time, relinquish and renounce 
the world secretly, in his heart, with the full and 
fervent consent of all the powers of his soul ; but 
openly and actually forsook the world, with its pos 
sessions, delights, and common comforts, to dwell as 
it were with wild beasts, in a howling wilderness ; 
with constant cheerfulness, willingly complyingwith 
the numerous hardships of a life of toil and travail 



LIFE OF DAVID BRAINERD: 385 

there, so that he might but to promote the kingdom 
of his Redeemer. 

His history shows us the right way to success in 
the work of the ministry. He sought it, as a resolute 
soldier seeks victory in a siege or a battle, or as a 
man that runs a race for a great prize. Animated 
with love to Christ and souls, how did he " labour 
always fervently," not only in word and doctrine, in 
public and private, but in prayers day and night, 
* wrestling with God " in secret, and " travailing in 
birth," with unutterable groans and agonies, " until 
Christ were formed " in the hearts of the people to 
whom he was sent! How did he thirst for a blessing 
on his ministry ; and " watch for souls, as one that 
must give account! " How did he " go forth in the 
strength of the Lord God ; " seeking and depending 
on a special influence of the Spirit to assist and 
succeed him! and what was the happy fruit at last, 
though after long waiting, and many dark and dis 
couraging appearances ! Like a true son of Jacob, 
he persevered in wrestling, through all the darkness 
of the night, until the breaking of the day. 

And his example of labouring, praying, denying 
himself, and enduring hardness with unfainting re 
solution and patience, and his faithful, vigilant, and 
prudent conduct in many other respects, may afford 
abundant instruction, particularly to all who follow 
him in the missionary calling. 



2 C 



REMAINS 

ETC. 



I. 

Scheme of a, dialogue between the various powers and 
affections of the pious mind. 
[Mentioned in his Diary, Feb. 3, 1744.] 

1. THE understanding introduced, (1.) As discover 
ing its own excellency, and capacity of enjoying the 
most sublime pleasure and happiness. (2.) As ob 
serving its desire to be equal to its capacity, and inca 
pable of being satisfied with any thing that will not 
fill it in the utmost extent of its exercise. (3.) As 
finding itself dependent, not self-sufficient ; and conse 
quently unable to spin happiness (as the spider spins 
its web) out of its own bowels. This self-sufficiencjr 
observed to be the property and prerogative of God 
alone, and not belonging to any created being. (4.) 
As in vain seeking sublime pleasure, satisfaction, 



REMAINS OF THE REV. DAVID BRAINERD. 387 

and happiness adequate to its nature, amongst 
created beings. The search and knowledge of the 
truth in the natural world allowed indeed to be 
refreshing to the mind, but still failing to afford com 
plete happiness. (5.) As discovering the excellency 
and glory of God, that he is the fountain of goodness, 
and well-spring of happiness, and every way fit to 
answer the enlarged desires and cravings of our 
immortal souls. 

2. The will introduced, as necessarily, yet freely 
choosing this God for its supreme happiness and 
only portion, fully complying with the dictates of the 
understanding, acquiescing in God as the best good, 
his will as the best rule for intelligent creatures, and 
rejoicing that he is in every respect just what he is ; 
and withal choosing and delighting to be a de 
pendent creature, always subject to this God, not 
aspiring after self-sufficiency and supremacy, but 
acquiescing in the contrary. 

3. Ardent love or desire introduced, as passionately 
longing to please and glorify the divine being ; to be 
in every respect conformed to him, and in that way 
to enjoy him. This love or desire represented as 
most genuine ; not induced by mean and mercenary 
views ; not primarily springing from selfish hopes of 
salvation, whereby the divine glories would be sacri 
ficed to the idol self; not arising from a slavish fear 
of divine anger in case of neglect, nor yet from hopes 
of feeling the sweetness of that tender and pleasant 
passion of love in one s own breast, but from a just 
esteem of the beauteous object beloved. This love 
further represented, as attended with vehement long 
ings after the enjoyment of its object, but unable to 
find by what means. 

2 C 2 



388 REMAINS OF THE 

4. The understanding again introduced, as inform 
ing, (1.) How God might have been enjoyed, yea, 
how he must necessarily have been enjoyed, had not 
man sinned against him ; that as there was know 
ledge, likeness, and love, so there must needs be 
enjoyment, while there was no impediment. (2.) 
How he may be enjoyed in some measure now, 
namely, by the same knowledge, begetting likeness 
and love, which will be answered with returns of 
love, and the smiles of God s countenance, which are 
better than life. (3.) How God may be perfectly 
enjoyed, namely, by the soul s perfect freedom from 
sin. This perfect freedom never obtained till death ; 
and then not by any unaccountable means, or in any 
unheard of manner ; but the same by which it has 
obtained some likeness to, and fruition of, God in 
this world, namely, a clear manifestation of him. 

5. Holy desire appears, and inquires why the soul 
may not be perfectly holy ; and so perfect in the en 
joyment of God here; and expresses most insatiable 
thirstings after such a temper, and such fruition, and 
such most consummate blessedness. 

6. The Understanding again appears, and informs, 
that God designs that those whom he sanctifies in 
part here, and intends for immortal glory, shall tarry 
a while in this present evil world, that their own ex 
perience of temptations, &c. may teach them how 
great the deliverance is which God has wrought for 
them ; that they may be swallowed up in thankfulness 
and admiration to eternity; as also that they may be 
instrumental of doing good to their fellow-men. Now 
if they were perfectly holy, a world of sin would not 
be a fit habitation for them : and further, such mani 
festations of God as are necessary completely to sane- 



REV. DAVID BRAINERD. 389 

tify the soul, would be insupportable to the body, so 
that we cannot see God and live. 

7. Holy impatience is next introduced, complain 
ing of the sins and sorrows of life, and almost re 
pining at the distance of a state of perfection ; uneasy 
to see and feel the hours hang so dull and heavy ; 
and almost concluding that the temptations, hard 
ships, disappointments, imperfections, and tedious 
employments of life will never come to a happy 
period. 

8. Tender conscience comes in, and meekly re 
proves the complaints of impatience ; urging how 
careful and watchful we ought to be, lest we should 
offend the divine being with complaints ; alleging 
also the fitness of our waiting patiently upon God 
for all we want, and that in a way of doing and suf 
fering ; and at the same time mentioning the barren 
ness of the soul, how much precious time is misim- 
proved, and how little it has enjoyed of God, com 
pared with what it might have done ; as also 
suggesting how frequently impatient complaints 
spring from nothing better than self-love, want of 
resignation, and a greater reverence of the divine 
being. 

9. Judgment, or sound mind, next appears, and duly 
weighs the complaints of impatience, and the gentle 
admonitions of tender conscience, and impartially 
determines between them. On the one hand it con 
cludes that we may justly be impatient with sin; and 
supposes that we may also with such sorrow, pain, 
and discouragement, as hinder our pursuit of holi 
ness, though they arise from the weakness of nature. 
It allows us to be impatient of the distance at which 
we stand from a state of perfection and blessedness. 



390 REMAINS OF THE 

It further indulges impatience at the delay of time, 
when we desire the period of it for no other end, 
than that we may with angels be employed in the 
most lively spiritual acts of devotion, and in giving 
all possible glory to him that liveth for ever. Temp 
tations, and sinful imperfections, it thinks we may 
justly be uneasy with ; and disappointments, at 
least those that relate to our hopes of communion 
with God, and growing conformity to him. And 
as to the tedious employments and hardships of life, 
it supposes some longing for the end of them not in 
consistent with a spirit of faithfulness, and a cheer 
ful disposition to perform the one arid endure the 
other ; it supposes that a faithful servant, who fully 
designs to do all he possibly can, may still justly long 
for the evening; and that no rational man would 
blame his kind and tender spouse, if he perceived 
her, longing to be with him, while yet faithfulness 
and duty to him might still induce her to yield for 
the present, to remain at a painful distance from him. 
On the other hand, it approves of the caution, care, 
and watchfulness of tender conscience, lest the divine 
being should be offended with impatient complaints! 
it acknowledges the fitness of our "waiting upon 
God," in a way of patient doing and suffering; but 
supposes this very consistent with ardent desires to 
" depart, and to be with Christ." It owns it fit 
that we should always remember our own barrenness, 
and thinks also that we should be impatient of it, 
and consequently long for a state of freedom from it ; 
and this, not so much that we may feel the happiness 
of it, but that God may have the glory. It grants 
that impatient complaints often spring from self-love, 
and want of resignation and humility. Such as 



REV. DAVID BRAINERD. 391 

these it disapproves ; and determines we should be 
impatient only of absence from God, and distance 
from that state and temper wherein we may most 
glorify him. 

10. Godly sorrow introduced, as making her sad 
moan, not so much that she is kept from the free 
possession and full enjoyment of happiness, but that 
God must be dishonoured ; the soul being still in a 
world of sin, and itself imperfect. She here, with 
grief, counts over past faults, present temptations, 
and fears for the future. 

11. Hope, or holy confidence, appears, and seems 
persuaded, that "nothing shall ever separate the 
soul from the love of God in Christ Jesus." It ex 
pects divine assistance and grace sufficient for all 
the doing and suffering work of time, and that death 
will, ere long, put a happy period to all sin and 
sorrow ; and so takes occasion to rejoice. 

12. Godly fear, or holy jealousy, here steps in, and 
suggests some timorous apprehensions of the danger 
of deception ; mentions the deceitfulness of the 
heart, the great influence of irregular self-love in a 
fallen creature ; inquires whether itself is not likely 
to have fallen in with delusion, since the mind is so 
dark, and so little of God appears to the soul ; and 
queries whether all its hopes of persevering grace 
may not be presumption, and whether its confident 
expectations of meeting death as a friend, may not 
issue in disappointment. 

13. Hereupon reflection appears, and reminds the 
person of his past experiences, as to the preparatory 
work of conviction and humiliation ; the view he 
then had of the impossibility of salvation, from him 
self, or any created arm ; the manifestation he has 



392 REMAINS OF THE 

likewise had of the glory of God in Jesus Christ, 
how he then admired that glory, and chose that God 
for his only portion, because of the excellency and 
amiableness he discovered in him ; not from slavish 
fear of being damned, if he did not, nor from base 
and mercenary hopes of saving himself; but from 
a just esteem of that beauteous and glorious object : 
as, also, how he had from time to time rejoiced and 
acquiesced in God, for what he is in himself; being 
delighted that he is infinite in holiness, justice, 
power, sovereignty, as well as in mercy, goodness, 
and love : how he has likewise, scores of times, felt 
his soul mourn for sin, for this very reason, because 
it is contrary and grievous to God ; yea, how he 
has mourned over one vain and impertinent thought, 
when he has been so far from fear of the divine 
vindictive wrath for it, that, on the contrary, he has 
enjoyed the highest assurance of the divine, ever 
lasting love : how he has, from time to time, delighted 
in the commands of God, for their own purity and 
perfection, and longed exceedingly to be conformed 
to them, and even to be " holy as God is holy ; " and 
counted it present heaven, to be of a heavenly tem 
per : how he has frequently rejoiced, to think of 
being for ever subject to, and dependent on God ; 
accounting it infinitely greater happiness to glorify 
God in a state of subjection to, and dependence on 
him, than to be a god himself: and how heaven 
itself would be no heaven to him, if he could not 
there be every thing that God would have him be. 

14. Upon this, spiritual sensation being awakened, 
comes in, and declares that she now feels and 
" tastes that the Lord is gracious ; " that he is the 
only supreme good, the only soul-satisfying hap- 



REV. DAVID BRAINERD. 393 

piness ; that he is a complete, self-sufficient, and 
almighty portion. She whispers, " Whom have I in 
heaven " but this God, this dear and blessed por 
tion ; " and there is none upon earth I desire besides 
him/ Oh, it is heaven to please him, and to be just 
what he would have me be ! Oh that my soul were 
" holy as God is holy ; pure, as Christ is pure; and 
perfect, as my Father in heaven is perfect ! " These 
are the sweetest commands in God s book, compris 
ing all others ; and shall I break them ? must I 
break them ? am I under a fatal necessity of it, as 
long as I live in this world ? Oh my soul ! wo, 
wo is me, that I am a sinner ; because I now neces 
sarily grieve and offend this blessed God, who 
is infinite in goodness and grace. Oh, methinks, 
should he punish me for my sins, it would not 
wound my heart so deep to offend him ; but, though 
I sin continually, he Continually repeats his kind 
ness toward me ! I could bear any suffering ; but 
how can I bear to grieve and dishonour this blessed 
God ! How shall I give ten thousand times more 
honour to him ? What shall I do to glorify and 
worship this best of beings? O that I could conse 
crate myself, soul and body, to his service for ever ! 
Oh that I could give up myself to him, so as never 
more to attempt to be my own, or to have any will or 
affections that are not perfectly conformed to his ! 
But, alas ! I cannot, I feel I cannot, be thus entirely 
devoted to God : I cannot live and sin not. Oh ye 
angels, do you glory him incessantly; if possible, 
exert yourselves still more in lively and ardent 
devotion; if possible, prostrate yourselves still lower 
before the throne of the blessed king of heaven. I 
long to bear a part with you, and if it were possible, 



394 REMAINS OF THE 

to help you. Yet when we have done, we shall not 
be able to offer the ten thousandth part of the ho 
mage he is worthy of. While spiritual sensation 
whispered these things, fear and jealousy were 
greatly overcome ; and the soul replied, " Now I 
know, and am assured, " &c. and again it welcomed 
death as a friend, saying, * O death, where is thy 
sting!" 

15. Finally, holy resolution concludes the discourse, 
fixedly determining to " follow hard after God," and 
continually to pursue a life of conformity to him. 
And the better to pursue this, enjoining it on the 
soul always to remember, that God is the only source 
of happiness, that his will is the only rule of 
rectitude to an intelligent creature, that earth has 
nothing in it. desirable for itself, or any further than 
God is seen in it; and that the knowledge of God in 
Christ, begetting and maintaining love, and mor- 
fying sensual and fleshly appetites, is the way to 
be holy on earth, and so to be attempered to the 
complete h oliness of the heavenly world. 



REV. DAVID BRA1NERD. 395 



II. 



Some gloomy and desponding thoughts of a soul under 
convictions of sin, and concern for its eternal sal 
vation. 

1. I BELIEVE my case is singular, that none ever 
had so many strange and different thoughts and feel 
ings as I. 

2. I have been concerned much longer than many 
others that I have known or read of, who have been 
savingly converted, and yet I am left. 

3. I have withstood the power of convictions a 
long time; and therefore I fear I shall be finally left 
of God. 

4. I never shall be converted, without stronger 
convictions, and greater terrors of conscience. 

5. I do not aim at the glory of God in any thing I 
do, and therefore I cannot hope for mercy. 

6. I do not see the evil nature of sin, nor the sin 
of my nature; and therefore I am discouraged. 

7. The more I strive, the more blind and hard my 
heart is, and the worse I grow continually. 

8. I fear that God never showed mercy to one so 
vile as I. 

9. I fear I am not elected, and therefore must 
perish. 

10. I am an old sinner; and if God had designed 
mercy for me, he would have called me home to 
himself before now. 



396 REMAINS. 



III. 



Siyns of Godliness. The distinguishing marks of a 
true Christian, taken from one of my old manuscripts; 
wherein I wrote as I felt and experienced, and not 
from any considerable degree of doctrinal knowledge, 
or acquaintance with the sentiments of others in this 
point. 

1. HE has a true knowledge of the glory and ex 
cellency of God, that he is most worthy to be loved 
and praised for his own divine perfections : Psalm 
cxlv. 8. 

2. God is his portion : Psalm Ixxiii. 25. And 
God s glory his great concern : Matt. vi. 22. 

3. Holiness is his delight ; there is nothing he so 
much longs for as to be holy, as God is holy : Phil, 
iii. 912. 

4. Sin is his greatest enemy. This he hates for its 
own nature, for what it is in itself, being contrary to 
a holy God : Jer. ii. 1. Consequently he hates all 
sin: Rom vii. 24. 1 John iii. 9. 

5. The laws of God alone are his delight : Psalm 
cxix. 27. Rom. vii. 22. These he observes, not 
out of constraint, from a servile fear of hell ; but 
they are his choice : Psalm cxix. 30. The strict ob 
servance of them is not his bondage, but his greatest 
liberty: ver. 45. 

A- 

THE END. 



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