Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

freshed and strengthened; beholding their faces in the glass of God's word, and finding in themselves the works 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 exercises I gave an account in my diary of Dec. 26. She now gave me a very punctual, rational, and satisfactory account of the remarkable change which she experienced some months after the beginning of her concern, which I must say, appeared to be the genuine operations of the Divine Spirit, so far as I am capable of judging. Although she was become so childish through age, that I could do nothing in a way of questioning with her, nor scarcely make her understand any thing 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 and various exercises of soul, which she had experienced; so deep were the impressions left upon her mind by that influence and those exercises which she had experienced. I have great reason to think, that she is born anew in her old age: she being I presume, upwards of eighty. I had good hopes of the other adults, and trust they are such as God will own in the day when he makes up his jewels.'

"I came away from the meeting of the Indians this day, rejoicing and blessing God for his grace manifested at this sea

son.

June 14. "Rode to Kingston to assist the Rev. Mr. WALES in the administration of the Lord's supper. In the afternoon preached; but almost fainted in the pulpit. Yet God strengthened me when I was just gone, and enabled me to speak his word with freedom, fervency, and application to the conscience. -Praised be the Lord, out of weakness I was made strong." I enjoyed some sweetness in and after public worship, but was extremely tired. Oh, how many are the mercies of the Lord! To them that have no might he increaseth strength.'

Lord's day, June 15. "Was in a dejected, spiritless frame, so that I could not hold up my head, nor look any body in the face. Administered the Lord's supper at Mr. WALES' desire, and found myself in a good measure unburdened and relieved of my pressing load, when I came to ask a blessing on the elements. Here God gave me enlargement and a tender affectionate sense of spiritual things, so that it was a season of comfort, in some measure to me, and I trust, more so to others. In the afternoon, preached to a vast multitude, from Rev. xxii. 17- And whoever will,' &c. God helped me to offer a testimony for himself, and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting his grace. I was enabled to speak with such freedom, flu

ency and clearness, as commanded the attention of the great. Was extremely tired in the evening, but enjoyed composure and sweetness.

June 16. "Preached again; and God helped me amazingly, so that this was a sweet refreshing season to my soul and others. Oh, forever blessed be God for help afforded at this time, when my body was so weak, and while there was so large an assembly to hear. Spent this afternoon in a comfortable agreeable

manner.

[ocr errors]

The next day was spent comfortably. On Wednesday, he went to a meeting of ministers at Hopewell.

June 19. "Visited my people with two of the Reverend correspondents. Spent some time in conversation with some of them upon spiritual things; and took some care of their worldly

concerns.

"This day makes up a complete year from the first time of my preaching to these Indians in New Jersey. What amazing things has God wrought in this space of time, for this poor people! What a surprising change appears in their tempers and behaviour! How are morose and savage Pagans, in this short period, transformed into agreeable, affectionate, and humble Christians! and their drunken and Pagan howlings turned into devout and fervent praises to God; they who were sometimes in darkness are now become light in the Lord.' May they 'walk as children of the light and of the day!' And now to Him that is of power to establish them according to the gospel, and the preaching of Christ-to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ, for ever and ever, Amen."

"

CHAPTER IX.

General Remarks on the preceding Narrative of a Work of Grace at Crossweeksung. I. On the Doctrines preached to the Indians. II. On the Moral Effects of preaching Christ Crucified. III. On the Continuance, Renewal, and Quickness of the Work. IV. On the little appearance of False Religion.*

"AT the close of this Narrative, I would make a few General Remarks upon what, to me, appears worthy of notice, relating to the continued work of grace among my people.

I." On the Doctrines preached to the Indians.

"I cannot but take notice, that I have in general, ever since my first coming among the Indians in New-Jersey, been favoured with that assistance, which, to me, is uncommon in preaching Christ crucified, and making him the centre and mark to which all my discourses among them were directed.

"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 mankind were thence under to love and honour him,) to lead them into an acquaintance with their deplorable state by nature, as fallen creatures; their inability to extricate and deliver themselves from it; the utter insufficiency of any external reformations and amendments 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; thence to show them their absolute need of Christ to redeem and save them from the misery of their fallen state; to open his all-sufficiency and willingness to save the chief of sinners;-the freeness and riches of divine grace, proposed without money and without price,' to all that will accept the offer; thereupon to press them without delay, to betake themselves to him, under a sense of their misery and undone state, for relief and everlasting salvation;-and to show them the abundant encouragement the Gospel proposes to needy, perishing, and helpless sinners, in order to engage them so to do. These things, I repeatedly and largely insisted upon from time to time.

*As the General Remarks in this chapter and the next were appended by BRAINERD to his Journal which terminated June 19, 1746, this is obviously the proper place for inserting them.

6

"I have oftentimes remarked with admiration, that whatever subject I have been treating upon, after having spent time sufficient to explain and illustrate 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 perfections of God, I was thence naturally led to discourse 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 show the necessity of Christ to undertake for us, to atone for our sins, and to redeem us from the power them. If I taught the commands of God, and showed 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 believes.' Never did I find so much freedom and assistance in making all the various lines of my discourses meet together and centre in Christ, as I have frequently done among these Indians.

of

"Sometimes when I have had thoughts of offering but a few words upon some particular subject, and saw no occasion, nor indeed much room, for any considerable enlargement, there has at unawares appeared such a fountain of Gospel-grace shining forth in, or naturally resulting from a just explication of it; and Christ has seemed in such a manner to be pointed out as the substance of what I was considering and explaining; that I have been drawn in a way not only easy and natural, proper and pertinent, but almost unavoidable to discourse of him, either in regard of his undertaking, incarnation, satisfaction, admirable fitness for the work of man's redemption, or the infinite need that sinners stand in of an interest in him; which has opened the way for a continued strain of Gospel invitation to perishing souls, to come empty and naked, weary and heavy laden, and cast themselves upon him.

"As I have been remarkably influenced and assisted to dwell upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and the way of salvation by him, in the general current of my discourses here, and have been, at times, surprisingly furnished with pertinent matter relating to him, and the design of his incarnation; so I have been no less assisted oftentimes in an advantageous manner of opening the mysteries of divine grace, and representing the infinite excellencies, and unsearchable riches of Christ,' as well as of recommending him to the acceptance of perishing sinners. I have frequently been enabled to represent the divine glory, the infinite preciousness and transcendant loveliness of the great Redeemer, the suitableness of his person and purchase to supply the wants, and answer the utmost desires of immortal souls ; -to open the infinite riches of his grace, and the wonderful

encouragement proposed in the gospel to unworthy, helpless sinners ;—to call, invite, and beseech them to come and give up themselves to him, and be reconciled to God through him; -to expostulate with them respecting their neglect of one so infinitely lovely, and freely offered;-and this in such a manner, with such freedom, pertinency, pathos, and application to the conscience, as, I am sure, I never could have made myself master of by the most assiduous application of mind. Frequently, at such seasons, I have been surprisingly helped in adapting my discourses to the capacities of my people, and bringing them down into such easy and familiar methods of expression, as has rendered them intelligible even to Pagans.

6

"I do not mention these things as a recommendation of my own performances; for I am sure, I found, from time to time, that I had no skill or wisdom for my great work; and knew not how to choose out acceptable words' proper to address poor benighted Pagans with. But thus God was pleased to help me, not to know any thing among them, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.' Thus I was enabled to show them their misery without him, and to represent his complete fitness to redeem and save them.

6

"This was the preaching God made use of for the awakening of sinners, and the propagation of this work of grace among the Indians. 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, promoting convictions begun, and comforting the distressed.

"I have sometimes formerly, in reading the apostle's discourse to Cornelius, (Acts x.) wondered to see him so quickly introduce the Lord Jesus Christ into his sermon, and so entirely dwell upon him through the whole of it, observing him in this point very widely to differ from many 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. Still I am sensible that there are many things necessary to be spoken to persons under Pagan darkness, in order to make way for a proper introduction of the name of Christ, and his undertaking in behalf of fallen man.

66

II." On the moral Effects of preaching Christ crucified. "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 divine truths-the peculiar doctrines of grace-upon their

« ElőzőTovább »