« AnteriorContinuar »
sweet meditations on Isaiah liii. 1. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, &c.
The three next days were spent in much weakness of body : but yet he enjoyed some assistance in public and private duties; and seems to have remaiped free from melancholy.
Tuesday, May 7. Spent the day mainly in making preparation for a journey into the wilderness. Was still weak, and concerned how I should perform so difficult a journey. Spent some time in prayer for the divine blessing, direction, and protection in my intended journey; but wanted bodily strength to spend the day in fasting and prayer.
The next day, he set out on his journey to Susquahannah, with his intere preler. Ile endured great hardships and fatigues in bis way thither 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 is he stopt; therefore he determined to go forward in hopes of meeting with some shelter, without which he thought it impossible to live the night ihrough; but their horseshappening to have eat poison (for want of other food) at a place where they louged the night before-were so sick that they could neither ride nor lead them, but were obliged to drive them and travel ou foot ; until, through the mercy of God, just at dusk, they came to a bark-hul, where they lodged that night. After he came to Susquahannah, he travelled about a hundred miles on ibe river, and visited many towns and settlements of the Indians ; saw some of seven or eight distinct tribes ; and preached to different nations, by different interpreters. He was sometimes much discouraged, and sunk in his spirits, through the opposition that appeared in the Indians to Christiani1y. At other times, be was encouraged by the disposition that soine of these people manifested to hear, and willingness to be instructed. He bere niet with some that had formerly been his hearers at Kaunaumeek, and had removed hitler; who saw and heard him again with great joy. He spent a fortnight among the Indians on this river, and passed through considerable labours and hardships, frequently 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 scized with an ague, followed with a burning sever, and ex. treme 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, aster about a week's distress, to relieve him so far that he was able to ride. He returned homewards from Juncauta, au island far down the river; where was a considerable number of Indians, who appeared more free from prejudices against Christianity, than most of the other Indians. He arrived at the Forks of Delaware on Thursdny, May 30, after having rode in this journey about three hundred and forty miles *. Hle came home in a very weak state, and under dejection of mind; which was a great bindrance to him in religious exercises. However, on the Sabbath, after having preached to the Indians he preached to the white people, with some success, from Is. liii. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise hin, dic. some being awakened by his preaching. The next day, he was much exercised for want of spiritual life and fervency,
* This is the journey which he occasionally mentions in his printed Journal.
Tuesday, June 1. Towards evening, was in distress for God's presence, and a sense of divine things: withdrew myself to the woods, and spent near an hour in prayer and meditation; and I think, the Lord had compassion on me, and gave me some sense of divine things; which was indeed refreshing and quickening to me. My soul enjoyed intenseness and freedom in prayer, so that it grieved me to leave the place.
Wednesday, June 5. Felt thirsting desires afier God, in the morning. In the evening, enjoyed a precious season of retirement: was favoured with some clear and sweet meditations upon a sacred text; divine things opened with clearness and certainty, and had a divine stamp upon them. My soul was also enlarged and refreshed in prayer; and I delighted to continue in the duty; and was sweetly assisted in praying for fellow-christians, and my dear brethren in the ministry. Blessed be the dear Lord for such enjoyments. O how sweet and precious it is, to have a clear apprehension and tender sense of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness, and likeness to the best of beings! O what a blessedness it is, to be as much like God, as it is possible for a creature to be like his great Creator! Lord, give me more of thy likeness ; “I shall be satisfied, when I awake with it."
Thursday, June 6. Was engaged, a considerable part of the day, in meditation and study on divine subjects. Enjoyed some special freedom, clearness, and sweetness in meditation. O how refreshing it is, to be enabled to improve time well!
The next day, he went a journey of near fifty miles to Neshaminy, to assist át a sacramental occasion, to be attended at Mr. Beaty's meeting-house; being invited thither by him and his people,
Saturday, June 8. Was exceeding weak and fatigued with riding in the heat yesterday: but being desired, I preached in the afternoon, to a crouded audience, from Is. xl. 1. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” God was pleased to give me great freedom, in opening the sorrows of God's people, and in setting before them comforting considerations. And, blessed be the Lord, it was a sweet melting season in the assembly.
Lord's day, June 9. Felt some longing desires of the presence of God to be with his people on the solemn occasion of the day. In the forenoon, Mr. Beaty preached; and there appeared some warmth in the assembly. Afterwards, I assisted in the administration of the Lord's supper: and towards the close of it, I discoursed to the multitude extempore, with some reference to that sacred passage, Is. liii. 10. “ Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him.” Here God gave me great assistance in addressing sinners : and the word was attended with amazing power; many scores, if not hundreds, in that great assembly, consisting of three or four thousand, were much affected; so that there was a “ very great mourning, like the mourring of Hadadrimmon."--In the evening, I could hardly look any body in the face, because of the imperfections I saw in my performances in the day past.
Monday, June 10. Preached with a good degree of clearness and some sweet warnith, from Psal. xvii. 15. “ I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness” And blessed be God, there was a great solemnity, and attention in the assembly, and sweet refreshment among God's people;. as was evident then, and afterwards.
Tuesday, June 11. Spent the day mainly in conversation with dear Christian friends; and enjoyed some sweet sense of divine things. O how desirable it is, to keep company with God's dear children ! These are the “ excellent ones of the earth, in whom,” I can truly say, “ is all my delight.” O what delight will it afford, to meet them all in a state of perfection! Lord, prepare me for that state.
The next day, be left Mr. Beaty's, and went to Maidenhead in New Jersey; and spent the next seven days in a comfortable state of mind, risiting several ministers in those parts.
Tuesday, June 18. Set out from New-Brunswick with a design to visit some Indians at a place called Crosweeksung in New-Jersey, towards the sea *. In the afternoon, came to a place called Cranberry, and meeting with a serious minister, Mr. Macknight, I lodged there with him. Had some enlargement and freedom in prayer with a number of people.
* Mr. BRAINERD having, when at Boston, wrote and left with a friend a brief relation of facts touching his labours with the Indians, and reception among them, during the space of time between November 5, 1744, and June 19, 1745, (with a view to connect his Narrative, addressed to Mr. Pemberton, and his Journal, in case they should ever be reprinted) concludes the same with this passage ; “As my body was very sceble, so my mind was scarce ever so mnch damped and discouraged about the conversion of the Indiaos, as at this time. And in this state of body and mind I made my first visit to the Indians in New Jersey, where God was pleased to display his power and grace in the remarkable manner that I have represented in my printed Journal."
FROM HIS BEGINNING TO PREACH TO THE INDIANS AT CROS
WEEKSUNG, TILL HE RETURNED FROM HIS LAST JOURNEY
E are now come to that part of Mr. BRAINER D's life, wherein he had his greatest success, in his labours for the good of souls, and in his particular business as a missionary to the Indians. An account of which, if here pub. lished, would doubtless be very entertaining to the reader, after he has seen, by the preceding parts of this account of his life, how great and long-continued his desires for the spiritual good of this sort of people were ; how he prayed, laboured, and wrestled, and how much he denied himself, and suffered, to this end. After all Mr. BRAINERD's agonizing in prayer, and travelling in binh, for the conversion of lodians, and all the interchanges of his raised hopes and expectations, and then disappointments and discourage. ments; and after waiting in a way of persevering prayer, labour, and suffer. ing, as it were through a long night ; at length the day dawns: “Weeping continues for a night, but joy comes in the morning. He went forth weeping, bearing precious seed, and now he comes with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” The desired event is brought to pass at last; but at a time, in a place, and upon subjects, that scarce ever entered into his heart. Ao account of this would undoubtedly now much gratify the Christian reader: and it should have been here inserted, as it stands in his diary, had it not been, that a particular account of this glorious and wonderful success was drawn up by Mr. BRAINERD himself, pursuant to the order of the honourable society in Scotland, and published by him in his lifetime. I hope, those of my readers, who are not already possessed of his public Journal, will procure one of those books, that they may not be without that which in some respects is the most remarkable, and to a Christian mind would be the most pleasant part of the whole story. That the reader who is furnished with one of those books, may know the place where the defects of this history are to be supplied from thence, I shall either expressly ob. serve it as I go along, or else make a dash or stroke thusmo; which when the reader finds in this 7th part of this history, he is to understand by if, that in that place something in Mr. Brainerd's diary, worth observing, is left out, because the same for substance was published before in his printed Journal *.
Wednesday, June 19, 1745. Rode to the Indians at Cros. weeksung : found few at home; discoursed to them, however, and observed them very serious and attentive. At night I was
* The reader will find the Journal here mentioned, in the subsequent part of this volume. VOL. UL.
extremely worn out, and scarce able to walk or sit up. Oh, how tiresome is earth! how dull the body!
Thursday, June 20. Towards night, preached to the Indians again; and had more hearers than before. In the evening, enjoyed some peace and serenity of mind, some composure and comfort in prayer alone; and was enabled to lift up my head with some degree of joy, under an apprehension that my redemption draws nigh. Oh, blessed be God, that there remains a rest to his poor weary people!
Friday, June 21. Rode to Freehold, to see Mr. William Tennent; and spent the day comfortably with him. My sinking spirits were a little raised and encouraged; and I felt my soul breathing after God, in the midst of Christian conversation. And in the evening, was refreshed in secret prayer; saw myself a poor worthless creature, without wisdom to direct, or strength to help myself. Oh, blessed be God, that lays me under a happy, a blessed necessity of living upon himself!
Saturday, June 22. About noon, rode to the Indians again; and near night, preached to them. Found my body much strengthened, and was enabled to speak with abundant plainness and warmth.
And the power of God evidently attended the word; so that sundry persons were brought under great concern for their souls, and made to shed many
tears, and to wish for Christ to save them. 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 sweet 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 desirous of it, that I might do something for the dear kingdom 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.
In the four next days is nothing remarkable in his diary, but what is in his public journal.
Thursday, June 27.-My soul rejoiced to find, that God enabled me to be faithful, and that he was pleased to awaken