Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

versation. I had the satisfaction of joining with them in their service on the 11th of August, 1746: which was a day set apart for imploring the divine blessing on the labours of their minister among other tribes of Indians on the Susquehannah : in all which they conducted themselves with a very decent and becoming gravity; and as far as I am capable of judging, they may be proposed as examples of piety and godliness, to all the white people around them, which indeed is justly, 'marvellous in our eyes,' especially considering what they lately had been. Oh may the glorious God shortly bring about that desirable time, when our exalted Immanuel shall have the Heathen given for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession !" CHARLES MACNIGHT.”

66

"Crosswicks, August 20, 1746.

THIRD ATTESTATION.

"We whose names are underwritten, being elders and deacons of the Presbyterian Church in Freehold, do hereby testify, that in our humble opinion, God, even our Saviour, has brought a considerable number of the Indians in these parts to a saving union with himself. Of this we are persuaded from a personal acquaintance with them; whom we not only hear speak of the great doctrines of the gospel with humility, affection, and understanding, but we see walk, as far as man can judge, soberly, righteously, and godly. We have joined with them at the Lord's supper, and do from our hearts esteem them as our brethren in Jesus. For these who were not God's people, may now be called the children of the living God; it is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Oh that he may go on conquering and to conquer,' until he has subdued all things to himself! This is and shall be the unfeigned desire and prayer of,

6

Elders.

[ocr errors]

"WALTER KER,
"ROBERT CUMMINS,
“David Rhe,
"JOHN HENDERSON,
"JOHN ANDErson,
"JOSEPH KER,

Presbyterian Church, Freehold, Aug. 16, 1746.

"WILLIAM Ker,
"SAMUEL KER,
"SAMUEL CRAIG,

Deacons.

CHAPTER XI.

From the close of his Journal, June 19, 1746, to the termination of his Missionary Labours, March 20, 1747.

THE hardships which BRAINERD had endured, had now obviously affected his constitution; and unfitted him for a life of so much toil and exposure. Of this, he appears not to have been aware, until the case had become hopeless; and unfortunately, the circumstances, in which he was placed, were calculated instead of retarding, to hasten the ravages of disease. He lived alone, in the midst of a wilderness; in a miserable hut, built by Indians; with few of the necessaries, and none of the comforts of life; at a distance from civilized society; without even a nurse or a physician. His labours, also, were sufficient to have impaired a vigorous constitution. It is not surprising, therefore, that his health was gradually, but fatally undermined.

On Friday, June 20th, as well as on the next day, he was very ill; though, with great effort, he was enabled to preach to his people on Saturday. His illness continued on the Sabbath, but he preached, notwithstanding, to his people both parts of the day; and after the public worship was ended, he endeavoured to apply divine truths to the consciences of some, and addressed them personally for that end; several were in tears, and some appeared much affected. But he was extremely wearied with the services of the day, and so ill at night, that he could have no bodily rest; but remarks, that God was his support, and that he was not left destitute of comfort in him.' On Monday, he continued very ill; but speaks of his mind being calm and composed, resigned to the divine dispensations, and content with his feeble state. By the account which he gives of himself, the remaining part of this week, he continued very feeble, and for the most part dejected in mind. He enjoyed no great freedom nor sweetness in spiritual things; except that for some very short spaces of time he had refreshment and encouragement, which engaged his heart on divine things; and sometimes his heart was melted with spiritual affection.

Lord's day, June 29. "Preached both parts of the day, from John xiv. 19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more,' &c. G was pleased to assist me, to afford me both freedom and power, especially towards the close of my

discourse, both forenoon and afternoon.. God's power appeared in the assembly, in both exercises. Numbers of God's people were refreshed and melted with divine things; one or two comforted, who had been long under distress; convictions, in divers instances, powerfully revived; and one man in years much awakened, who had not long frequented our meeting, and appeared before as stupid as a stock. God amazingly renewed and lengthened out my strength. I was so spent at noon, that I could scarce walk, and all my joints trembled; so that I could not sit, nor so much as hold my hand still and yet God strengthened me to preach with power in the afternoon; although I had given out word to my people, that I did not expect to be able to do it. Spent some time afterwards in conversing, particularly, with several persons, about their spiritual state; and had some satisfaction concerning one or two. Prayed afterwards with a sick child, and gave a word of exhortation. Was assisted in all my work. Blessed be God. Returned home with more health, than I went out with; although my linen was wringing wet upon me, from a little after ten in the morning, till past five in the afternoon. My spirits also were considerably refreshed; and my soul rejoiced in hope, that I had through grace done something for God. In the evening, walked out, and enjoyed a sweet season in secret prayer and praise. But oh, I found the truth of the Psalmist's words, My goodness extendeth not to thee! I could not make any returns to God; I longed to live only to him, and to be in tune for his praise and service for ever. Oh, for spirituality and holy fervency, that I might spend and be spent for God to my latest moment!

6

June 30. "Spent the day in writing; but under much weakness and disorder. Felt the labours of the preceding day; although my spirits were so refreshed the evening before, that I was not then sensible of my being spent.

July 1. "In the afternoon, visited, and preached to my people, from Heb. ix. 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, &c. on occasion of some person's lying at the point of death, in my congregation. God gave me some assistance; and his word made some impressions on the audience, in general. This was an agreeable and comfortable evening to my soul: my spirits were somewhat refreshed, with a small degree of freedom and help enjoyed in my work.”

On Wednesday he went to Newark, to a meeting of the Presbytery; complains of lowness of spirits; and greatly laments his spending his time so unfruitfully. The remaining part of the week he spent there, and at Elizabethtown; and speaks of comfort and divine assistance, from day to day; but yet greatly complains for want of more spirituality.

VOL. X.

45

Lord's day, July 6. "[At Elizabethtown.] Enjoyed some composure and serenity of mind, in the morning: heard Mr. Dickinson preach, in the forenoon, and was refreshed with his discourse; was in a melting frame, some part of the time of sermon partook of the Lord's supper, and enjoyed some sense of divine things in that ordinance. In the afternoon I preached from Ezek. xxxiii. 11. As I live, saith the Lord God,' &c. God favoured me with freedom and fervency, and helped me to plead his cause, beyond my own power.

July 7. "My spirits were considerably refreshed and raised, in the morning. There is no comfort, I find, in any enjoyment, without enjoying God, and being engaged in his service. In the evening, had the most agreeable conversation which I remember in all my life, upon God's being all in all, and all enjoyments being just that to us which God makes them, and no more. It is good to begin and end with God. O how does a sweet solemnity lay a foundation for true pleasure and happiness!

July 8. "Rode home, and enjoyed some agreeable meditations by the way. July 9. "Spent the day in writing, enjoyed some comfort and refreshment of spirit in my evening retirement. July 10. Spent most of the day in writing. Toward's night rode to Mr. Tennent's; enjoyed some agreeable conversation went home in the evening, in a solemn, sweet frame of mind; was refreshed in secret duties, longed to live wholly and only for God, and saw plainly, there was nothing in the world worthy of my affection; so that my heart was dead to all below; yet not through dejection, as at some times, but from views of a better inheritance.

July 11. "Was in a calm, composed frame, in the morning, especially in the season of my secret retirement. I think, that I was well pleased with the will of God, whatever it was, or should be, in all respects of which I had then any thought. Intending to administer the Lord's supper the next Lord's day, I looked to God for his presence and assistance upon that occasion; but felt a disposition to say, 'The will of the Lord be done,' whether it be to give me assistance, or not. Spent some little time in writing; visited the Indians, and spent some time in serious conversation with them: thinking it not best to preach, many of them being absent.

July 12. "This day was spent in fasting and prayer by my congregation, as preparatory to the sacrament. I discoursed, both parts of the day, from Rom. iv. 25. • Who was delivered for our offences,' &c. God gave me some assistance in my discourses, and something of divine power attended the word; so that this was an agreeable season. Afterwards led them to a solemn renewal of their covenant, and fresh dedication of

themselves to God. This was a season both of solemnity and sweetness, and God seemed to be in the midst of us.' Returned to my lodgings, in the evening, in a comfortable frame of mind.

Lord's day, July 13." In the forenoon, discoursed on the bread of life, from John vi. 35. God gave me some assistance, in part of my discourse especially; and there appeared some tender affection in the assembly under divine truths; my soul also was somewhat refreshed. Administered the sacrament of the Lord's supper to thirty-one persons of the Indians. God seemed to be present in this ordinance; the communicants were sweetly melted and refreshed, most of them. O how they melted, even when the elements were first uncovered! There was scarcely a dry eye among them, when I took off the linen, and showed them the symbols of Christ's broken body.-Having rested a little, after the administration of the sacrament, I visited the communicants, and found them generally in a sweet loving frame; not unlike what appeared among them on the former sacramental occasion, on April 27. In the afternoon, discoursed upon coming to Christ, and the satisfaction of those who do so, from the same verse I insisted on in the forenoon. This was likewise an agreeable season, a season of much tenderness, affection, and enlargement in divine service; and God, I am persuaded, crowned our assembly with his divine presence. I returned home much spent, yet rejoicing in the goodness of God.

"

July 14. "Went to my people, and discoursed to them from Psal. cxix. 106. I have sworn, and I will perform it,' &c. Observed, 1. That all God's judgments or commandments are righteous. 2. That God's people have sworn to keep them; and this they do especially at the Lord's table. There appeared to be a powerful divine influence on the assembly, and considerable melting under the word. Afterwards, I lead them to a renewal of their covenant before God, that they would watch over themselves and one another, lest they should fall mto sin and dishonour the name of Christ, just as I did on Monday, April 28. This transaction was attended with great solemnity and God seemed to own it by exciting in them a fear and jealousy of themselves, lest they should sin against God; so that the presence of God seemed to be amongst us in this conclusion of the sacramental solemnity."

The next day, he set out on a journey towards Philadelphia; from whence he did not return till Saturday. He went this journey, and spent the week, under a great degree of illness of body, and dejection of mind.

Lord's day, July 20. "Preached twice to my people from

« ElőzőTovább »