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of the Indians I spent my first year with, were of little or no service to me here among the Delawares; so that my work, when I came among these Indians, was all to begin 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 “publicly, 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 was 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 rich grace), that the apparent success with which my labours were crowned, unspeakably more than compensated for the labour itself, and was likewise a great means of supporting and carrying me through the business and fatigues, which, it seems, iny nature would have sunk under, without such an encouraging prospect. But although 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 bave 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 may be filled with the knowledge of himself! Amen."
DAVID BRAINERD. Nov. 20, 1745.
From A. D. 1745, Nov. 24, to June 19, 1946, at Crosweekeung
and Forks of Delaware.
CROSWEEKSUNG, in New Jersey, November, 1945. Lord's day, Nov. 2+. 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 tliat comes to the sinner, upon his becoming a son of Abraham, or a true believer, the word seemed to be attended with divine power to the hearts of the hearers. Numbers were much affected with divine truths; former convictions were reviyed; one or two persons newly awakened; and a most affectionate engagement in divine service appeared among them universally. -The impressions they were under 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 having spent 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 discourse, and a powerful energy accompanied divine truths. Many wept and sobbed affectionately, and scarce 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 excite in the persons under convictions of their lost state, heavy groans and tears :-and in others who had obtained comfort, a sweet and humble melting. It seemed like the gentle but steady showers that effectually water the earth, without violently beating upon the surface. The persons lately awakened, were, some of them, deeply distressed for their souls, and appeared earnestly solicitous 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 baring used some private endeavours to instruct and excite some ia the duties of Christianity. Opened and made remarks upon the sacred story of our Lord's transfiguration, Luke is. 28-36. Had a principal view, in my insisting upon this passage of scripture, to the edification and consolation of God's people. And observed some, that 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 and sobbed most affectionately, “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 gracious, though at this time, I calculated my discourse for, and directed it 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. And one aged man in particular, lately awakened, was now brought under a deep and pressing concern for his soul, and was earnestly 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. Preached near night, after having spent some hours in private conference with some of my people about their souls' concerns. Explained and insisted upon the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvi. 19-26. The word made powerful impressions upon many in the assembly, especially while I discoursed of the blessedness of “ Lazarus in Abrabam's bosom." This, I could perceive, 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 comfortable than 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 whatever be the means of their awakening, it is plain, numbers are made decply sensible of their sin and misery, the wickedness and stubboroness of their own 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.
Lord's day, Dec. 1. Discoursed to my people in the forenoon from Luke svi. 27—31. There appeared an unfeigned affection in divers persons, and some seemed deeply impressed with divine truths.- In the afternoon, preached to a number of white people; at which time the Indians attended with diligence, and many of them were able to understand a consideable part of the discourse.
At night discoursed to my people again, and gave them some particular cautions and directions relating to their conduct in divers respects. And pressed them to watchfulness in all their deportment, seeing they were encompassed with those
aited for their halting," and who stood ready to draw them into temptations of every kind, and then to expose religion for their missteps.
Lord's day, Dec. 8. Discoursed on the story of the blind man, John ix. There appeared no remarkable effect of the word upon the assembly at this time. The persons who have lately been much concerned for their souls, seemed now not so affected nor solicitous to obtain an interest in Christ as bas been usual; although they attended divine service with seriousness and diligence.
Such have been the doings of the Lord here, in awakening sinners, and affecting the hearts of those who are brought to solid comfort, with a fresh sense of divine things from time to time, that it is now strange to see the assembly sit with dry eyes, and without sobs and groans.
Dec. 12. Preached from the parable of the ten virgins, Matt. xxv. The divine power seemed in some measure to attend this discourse, in which I was favoured with uncommon freedom and plainness of address, and enabled to open divine truths, and explain them to the capacities of my people, in a manner beyond myself:--There appeared in many persons an affectionate concern for their souls; although the concern in general seemed not so deep and pressing as it had formerly done. Yet it was refreshing to see many melted into tears and unaffected sobs; some with a sense of divine love, and some for want of it.
Lord's day, Dec. 15. Preached to the Indians from Luke xiii. 24-28. Divine truths fell with weight and power upon the audience, and seemed to reach the hearts of many. Near night discoursed to them again from Matt. xxv. 31–46. At which season also, the word appeared to be accompanied with a divine influence, and made powerful impressions upon the assembly in general, as well as upon 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 of the passions, as was usual in the beginning of this work of grace. The impressions made by the word of God upon the audience appeared solid, rational, and deep, worthy of the solemn truths by means of which they were produced, and far from being the effects of any sudden fright, or groundless perturbation of mind.
O how did the hearts of the hearers seem 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!” None can frame a just idea of the appearance of our assembly as 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 the divine favours, I called upon them to ask for a new heart with utmost importunity, as the man, mentioned in the parable I was discoursing upon, pleaded for loaves of bread at midnight.
There was much affection and concern in the assembly; and especially one woman appeared in great distress for her soul. 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.
Dec. 21. My people having now attained to a consideraable 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 Reverend Assembly's Shorter Catechism, receiving their answers, and then explaining and insisting as appeared necessary and proper upon each