strength sufficient for that work. Afterwards, preached to the Irish people; was much assisted in the first prayer, and somewhat in the sermon. Several persons seemed much concerned for their souls, with whom I discoursed afterwards with much freedom and some power. Blessed be God for any assistance afforded to an unworthy worm. Oh that I could live to him!"

Through the remainder of this week, he was sometimes ready to sink with a sense of his unworthiness and unfitness for the work of the ministry; and sometimes encouraged and lifted above his fears and sorrows, and was enabled confidently to rely on God; and especially on Saturday, towards night, he enjoyed calmness and composure, and assistance in prayer to God. He rejoiced, "that God remains unchangeably powerful and faithful, a sure and sufficient portion, and the dwelling place of his children in all generations."

Lord's day, May 27. "Visited my Indians, in the morning, and attended upon a funeral among them; was affected to see their Heathenish practices. Oh that they might be "turned from darkness to light!" Afterwards got a considerable number of them together, and preached to them; and observed them very attentive. After this, preached to the white people from Heb. ii. 3. How shall we escape if we neglect, &c. Was enabled to speak with some freedom and power: several people seemed much concerned for their souls; especially one who had been educated a Roman Catholic. Blessed be the Lord for any help. May 28. "Set out from the Indians above the Forks of the Delaware, on a journey towards Newark in New Jersey, according to my orders. Rode through the wilderness; was much fatigued with the heat; lodged at a place called Black River; was exceedingly tired and worn out."

On Tuesday he came to Newark. The next day went to Elizabethtown. On Thursday he went to New York, and on Friday returned to Elizabethtown. These days were spent in some perplexity of mind. He continued at Elizabethtown till Friday in the week following. Was enlivened, refreshed, and strengthened on the Sabbath at the Lord's table. The ensuing days of the week were spent chiefly in studies preparatory to his ordination; and on some of them he seemed to have much of God's gracious presence, and of the sweet influ ences of his Spirit; but was in a very weak state of body. On Saturday he rode to Newark.

Lord's day, June 10. "[At Newark] in the morning was much concerned how I should perform the work of the day; and trembled at the thoughts of being left to myself. Enjoyed

very considerable assistance in all parts of the public service. Had an opportunity again to attend on the ordinance of the Lord's supper, and through divine goodness was refreshed in it: my soul was full of love and tenderness towards the children of God, and towards all men; felt a certain sweetness of disposition towards every creature. At night, I enjoyed more spirituality and sweet desire of holiness, than I have felt for some time was afraid of every thought and every motion, lest thereby my heart should be drawn away from God. Oh that I might never leave the blessed God! "Lord, in thy presence is fullness of joy." O the blessedness of living to God!


June 11. This day the Presbytery met together at Newark, in order to my ordination. Was very weak and disordered in body; yet endeavoured to repose my confidence in God. Spent most of the day alone; especially the forenoon. At three in the afternoon preached my probation sermon, from Acts xxvi. 17, 18. Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, &c. being a text given me for that end. Felt not well either in body or mind; however, God carried me through comfortably. Afterwards, passed an examination before the Presbytery. Was much tired, and my mind burdened with the greatness of that charge I was in the most solemn manner about to take upon me; my mind was so pressed with the weight of the work incumbent upon me, that I could not sleep this night, though very weary and in great need of rest.

June 12. "Was this morning further examined, respecting my experimental acquaintance with christianity.* At ten o'clock my ordination was attended; the sermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Pemberton. At this time I was affected with a sense of the important trust committed to me; yet was composed, and solemn, without distraction; and I hope that then, as many times before, I gave myself up to God, to be for him, and not for another. O that I might always be engaged in the. service of God, and duly remember the solemn charge I have received, in the presence of God, angels, and men. Amen. May I be assisted of God for this purpose.-Towards night, rode to Elizabethtown."

* Mr Pemberton in a letter to the honourable society in Scotland, published in the Christian Monthly History, writes thus, "We can with pleasure say, “ that Mr. BRAINERD passed through his ordination trial, to the universal approbation of the Presbytery, and appeared uncommonly qualified for the work of the ministry. He seems to be armed with a great deal of self-denial, and ani mated with a noble zeal to propagate the gospel among those barbarous nations, who have long dwelt in the darkness of Heathenism."


From his Ordination, to the commencement of his Labours at Crosweeksung.

June 13. [1744.] "Spent some considerable time in writing an account of the Indian affairs to go to Scotland; some, in conversation with friends; but enjoyed not much sweetness and satisfaction.

June 14. "Received some particular kindness from friends; and wondered, that God should open the hearts of any to treat me with kindness: saw myself to be unworthy of any favour from God, or any of my fellow-men. Was much exercised with pain in my head; however, I determined to set out on my journey towards the Delaware in the afternoon; but when the afternoon came, my pain increased exceedingly; so that I was obliged to betake myself to bed. The night following, I was greatly distressed with pain and sickness; was sometimes almost bereaved of the exercise of reason by the extremity of pain. Continued much distressed till Saturday, when I was somewhat relieved by an emetic: but was unable to walk abroad till the Monday following, in the afternoon; and still remained very feeble. I often admired the goodness of God, that he did not suffer me to proceed on my journey from this place where I was so tenderly used, and to be sick by the way among strangers. God is very gracious to me, both in health and sickness, and intermingles much mercy with all my afflictions and toils. Enjoyed some sweetness in things divine, in the midst of my pain and weakness. Oh that I could praise

the Lord.

On Tuesday, June 19-he set out on his journey home, and in three days reached his residence, near the Forks of Delaware. Performed the journey under much weakness of body; but had comfort in his soul, from day to day: and both his weakness of body, and consolation of mind, continued through the week.

Lord's day, June 24. Extremely feeble; scarcely able to walk; however, visited my Indians, and took much pains to in

struct 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 25. "Was somewhat better in health than of late; and was able to spend a considerable part of the day in prayer and close study. Had more freedom and fervency in prayer than usual of late; especially longed for the presence of God in my work, and that the poor Heathen might be converted. And in evening prayer, my faith and hope in God were much raised. To an eye of reason, every thing that respects the conversion of the Heathen, is as dark as midnight; and yet I cannot but hope in God for the accomplishment of something glorious among them. My soul longed much for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom on earth. Was very fearful lest I should admit some vain thought, and so lose the sense I then had of divine things. Oh for an abiding heavenly temper!

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, because my interpreter was altogether unacquainted with the business. But though I was much discouraged with the extreme difficulty of that work, yet God supported me; and especially in the evening, gave me sweet refreshment. In prayer, my soul was enlarged, and my faith drawn into sensible exercise; was enabled to cry to God for my poor Indians; and though the work of their converson appeared impossible with man, yet, with God, I saw all things were possible. My faith was much strengthened, by observing the wonderful assistance God afforded his servants Nehemiahi and Ezra, in reforming his people, and re-establishing his ancient church. I was much assisted in prayer for my dear Christian friends, and for others whom I apprehended to be Christless; but was more especially concerned for the poor Heathen, and those of my own charge; was enabled to be instant in prayer for them; and hopeful that God would bow the heavens and come down for their salvation. It seemed to me, that there could be no impediment sufficient to obstruct 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 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. Earnestly desired that God would purge me more.

more, that I might be as a chosen vessel to bear his name among the Heathens. Continued in this frame till I fell asleep.

June 27. "Felt something of the same solemn concern, and spirit of prayer, which I enjoyed last night, soon after I rose in the morning. In the afternoon, rode several miles to see if I could procure 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 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 were delivered from the bondage of the powers of darkness. Spent 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 again enjoyed some assistance in prayer. My great concern was for the conversion of the Heathen to God; and the Lord helped me to plead with him for it. Towards 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 in which I was engaged was not mine; but that it was his own cause, and that 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."

[ocr errors]

The next day, he speaks of some serious concern for the kingdom of the blessed Redeemer; but complains much of barrenness, wanderings, inactivity, &c.

June 30. "My soul was very solemn 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. O how does Zion lie waste! I longed, that the church of God might be enlarged: was enabled to pray, I think, in faith; my soul seemed sensibly to confide in God, and was enabled to wrestle with him. Afterwards, walked abroad to a place f



« ElőzőTovább »