« AnteriorContinuar »
afternoon, wherein 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, for the most part, 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-inelting desires after his eternal home; fixed reliance on God for his help; experience of much divine assistance both in the private and public exercises of religion ; inward strength and courage in the ser. vice of God; very frequent refreshinent, consolation, and divine sweetness in meditation, prayer, preaching, and christian conversation. And it appears by his account, that this space of time was filled up with great diligence and earnest dess in serving God, in study, prayer, meditation, preaching, and privately instructing and counselling.
Monday, March 7. This morning when I arose, I found my heart go forth after God in longing desires of conformity to him, and in secret prayer found myself sweetly quickened and drawn out in praises to God for all he had done to and for me, and for all my inward trials and distresses of late. My heart ascribed glory, glory, glory to the blessed God! and bid welcome to all inward distress again, if God saw meet to exercise me with it. Time appeared but an inch long, and eternity at hand; and I thought I could with patience 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 blessed. ness. My soul, by the strength of the Lord, rose far above this lower world, and all the vain amusements and frightful disappointments of it. Afterwards, had some sweet medita. tion on Gen. v. 24. And Enoch walked with God, &c.—This was a comfortable day to my soul.
The next day, he seems to have continued in a considerable degree of sweetness and fervency in religion.
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 fatness and deadness after I came there and had seen the Indians. I withdrew, and endeavoured to pray, but found myself awfully deserted and left, and had an afflicting sense of my viteness and meanness. However, I went and preached
* Mantauk is the eastern cape or end of Long-Island, inhabited chiefly by
from Is. liii. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, &c. Had some assistance; and, I trust, something of the divine pre, sence was among us.
In the evening, I again prayed and exhorted among them, after having had a season alone, wherein I was so pressed with the blackness of my nature, that I thought it was not fit for me to speak so much as to Indians.
The next day he returned to East-Hampton ; was exceeding infirm in body through the remaining part of this week; but speaks of assistance and enlargement in study and religious exercises, and of inward sweetness and breathing after God.
Lord's day, March 13. At noon, I thought it impossible for me to preach, by reason of bodily weakness and inward deadness. In the first prayer I was so weak that I could hardly stand; but in the sermon, God strengthened me, so that I spake near an hour and a half with sweet freedom, clearness, and some tender power, 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!
Monday, March 14. In the morning, was very busy in preparation for my journey, and was almost continually engaged in ejaculatory prayer. About ten, took leave of the dear people of East-Hampton; my heart grieved and mourned, and rejoiced at the same time ; rode near fifty miles to a part of Brook-Haven, and lodged there, and had refreshing conversation with a Christian friend,
In Two days more he reached New-York; but complains of much de sertion and deadness on the road. He stayed one day in New-York, and on Friday went to Mr. Dickinson's at Elisabeth-Town. His complaints are the same as on the two preceding days.
Saturday, March 19. Was bitterly distressed under a sense of my ignorance, darkness, and unworthiness; got alone, and poured out my complaint to God in the bitterness of my soul.- In the afternoon, rode to Newark, and bad some sweetness in conversation with Mr. Burr, and in praying together, O blessed be God for ever and ever, for any enlivening and quickening seasons.
Lord's day, March 20. Preached in the forenoon : God gave me some assistance and sweetness, and enabled me to speak with real tenderness, love, and impartiality. In the evening, preached again ; and, of a truth, God was pleased
to assist a poor worm. Blessed be God, I was enabled to speak with life, power, and desire of the edification of God's people ; and with some power to sinners. In the evening, I felt spiritual and watchful, lest my heart should by any means be drawn away from God. Oh, when shall I come to that blessed world, where every power of my soul will be incessantly and eternally wound up, in heavenly employments and enjoyments, to the highest degree!
On Monday he went to Woodbridge, where he speaks of his being with a number of ministers* ; and, the day following, of his travelling part of the way towards New-York. On Wednesday, he came to New-York. On Thursday, he rode near fifty miles, from New-York to North-Castle. On Friday, went to Danbury. Saturday to New-Milford. On the Sabbath be rode five or six miles to the place near Kent in Connecticut, called Scaticoke, where dwell a number of Indianst, and preached to them. On Monday, being detained by the rain, he tarried at Kent. On Tuesday, he rode from Kent to Salisbury. Wednesday, he went to Sheffield. Thursday, March 31, he went to Mr. Sergeant's at Stockbridge. He was dejected and very disconsolate, through the main of this journey from New Jersey to Stockbridge ; and especially on the last day his mind was overwhelmed with exceeding gloominess and melancbuly.
* These ministers were the Correspondents who now met at Woodbridge, and gave Mr. BRAINERD new directions. Instead of sending him to the ludians at the Forks of Delaware, as before intended, they ordered him to go to a pumber of In. dians, at Kaunaumeek; a place in the province of New-York, in the woods between Stockbridge and Albavy. This alteration was occasioned by two things, viz. J. loformation that the correspondents had received of some contention now subsisting between the white people and the Indians at Delaware, concerning their lands, which they supposed would be a hinderance at present to their entertainment of a missionary, and to his success among them. And, 2. Some intimations theybad received from Mr. Sergeant, missionary to the Indians at Stock bridge, concerning the Indians at Kaunaumeek, and the hopesul prospect of success that a missionary might have among them.
$ These were the same Indians that Mr. BRAINIRD mentions in bis diary, on August 12, tbe preceding year.
FROM HIS BEGINNING TO INSTRUCT THE INDIANS AT
KAUNAUMEEK, TO HIS ORDINATION.
Friday, April 1, 1743. I rode to Kaunaumeek, near twen. ty miles from Stockbridge, where the Indians live with whom I am concerned, and there lodged on a little heap of straw. I was greatly exercised 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. O that God would help me!
The next five days, he was for the most part in a dejected, depressed state of mind, and sometimes extremely so. He speaks of God's " waves and billows rolling over his soul; and of his being ready sometimes 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 inconceivable: but at the same time speaks thus concerning his distresses, “What God de signs by all my distresses 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 exceeding ignorant, weak, helpless, 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
my life: I longed for death, beyond measure. When I thought of any godly soul departed, my soul was ready to envy him his privilege, thinking, “Oh, when will my turn “come! must it be years first!"-But I know, these ardent desires, at this and other times, rose partly for want of resignation to God under all miseries; and so were but impatience. Towards night, I had the exercise of faith in prayer, and some assistance in writing. Othat 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 consequences appeared in such odious colours to me, that my very heart was pained. I saw how poor souls stumbled over it into everlasting destruction, that I was constrained to make that prayer in the bitterness of my
soul, O Lord, deliver me from blood-guiltiness.” I 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 cond versation tending only to promote a party-spirit. Oh, I saw I had not suitably prized mortification, self-denial, resignation under all adversities, meekness, love, candour, and holiness of beart and life: and this day was almost wholly spent in such bitter and soul-afflicting reflections on my past frames and conduct-Of late, I have thought much of having the kingdom of Christ advanced in the wor!d; but now I saw I had enough to do within myself. The Lord be merciful to me a sinner, and wash my soul!
Saturday, April 9. Remained much in the same state as yesterday; excepting that the sense of my vileness was not so quick and acute.
Lord's day, April 10. Rose early in the morning, and walked out, and spent a 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 appeared under some religious concern; with whom I discoursed privately; and one told me, “ her heart had cried, ever since she heard me preach first.”
The next day, he complains of much desertion.
Tuesday, April 12. Was greatly oppressed with grief and shame, reflecting on my past conduct, my bitterness and party zeal. I was ashamed, to think that such a wretch as I had ever preached.-Longed to be excused from that work. And when my soul was not in anguish and keen distress, I felt senseless "as a beast before God," and felt a kind of guilty amusement with the least trifles; which still maintained a kind of stifled borror of conscience, so that I could not rest any more than a condemned malefactor.
Wednesday, April 13. My heart was overwhelmed within me: I verily thought I was the meanest, vilest, most helpless, guilty, ignorant, benighted creature living. And yet I knew what God had done for my soul, at the same time: though sometimes I was assaulted with damping doubts and fears, whether it was possible for such a wretch as I to be in a state of grace.
Thursday, April 14. Remained much in the same state as yesterday.
Friday, April 15. In the forenoon, very disconsolate. In the afternoon, preached to my people, and was a little encouraged in some hopes that God might bestow mercy on their souls.- Felt somewhat resigned to God under all dispensations of his providence.