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dying person. After he had finished his counsel, he made a prayer, in the audience of us all: wherein, besides praying for this family, for his brethren, and those candidates for the ministry, and for his own congregation, he earnestly prayed for the reviving and flourishing of religion in the world.—Till now he had every day sat up part of the day; but after this he never rose from his bed.
Sept. 30. "I was obliged to keep my bed the whole day, through weakness. However, redeemed a little time, and with the help of my brother, read and corrected about a dozen pages in my MS. giving an account of my conversion.
Oct. 1. "I endeavoured again to do something by way of writing, but soon found my powers of body and mind utterly fail. Felt not so sweetly, as when I was able to do something which I hoped would do some good. In the evening, was discomposed and wholly delirious; but it was not long before God was pleased to give me some sleep, and fully composed my mind.* O blessed be God for his great goodness to me, since I was so low at Mr. Bromfield's on Thursday, June 18, last. He has, except those few minutes, given me the clear exercise of my reason, and enabled me to labour much for him, in things both of a public and private nature; and perhaps to do more good than I should have done if I had been well; besides the comfortable influence of his blessed Spirit, with which he has been pleased to refresh my soul. May his name have all the glory for ever and ever. Amen. Oct. 2. 66 My soul was this day, at turns, sweetly set on God; I longed to be with him, that I might behold his glory. I felt sweetly disposed to commit all to him, even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, my absent brother, and all my concerns for time and eternity. O that his kingdom might come in the world; that they might all love and glorify him, for what he is in himself; and that the blessed Redeemer might "see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied! Oh, come Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen."t
The next evening, we very much expected his brother John from New-Jersey; it being about a week after the time that he proposed for his return, when he went away. Though our expectations were still disappointed, yet Brainerd seemed to continue unmoved, in the same calm and peaceful frame, which he had before manifested; as having resigned all to God, and having done with his friends, and with all things here below.'
* From this time forward, he had the free use of his reason till the day before his death: except that at some times he appeared a little lost for a moment, when first waking out of sleep.
+ Here ends his diary. These are the last words which are written in it either by his own hand, or by any other from his mouth.
On the morning of the next day, being Lord's day, Oct. 4, as my daughter Jerusha, who chiefly attended him, came into the room, he looked on her very pleasantly, and said, “Dear Jerusha, are you willing to part with me?----I am quite willing to part with you: I am willing to part with all my friends, I am willing to part with my dear brother John, although I love him the best of any creature living: I have committed him and all my friends to God, and can leave them with God. Though if I thought I should not see you, and be happy with you in another world, I could not bear to part with you. But we shall spend an happy eternity together!"* In the evening, as one came into the room with a Bible in her hand, he expressed himself thus: "O that dear book! that lovely book! I shall soon see it opened! the mysteries that are in it and the mysteries of God's providence will be all unfolded!"
His distemper now very apparently preyed on his vitals in an extraordinary manner: not by a sudden breaking of ulcers in his lungs, as at Boston, but by a constant discharge of purulent matter, in great quantities: so that what he brought up by expectoration, seemed to be as it were mouthfuls of almost clear pus; which was attended with very inward pain and distress.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, he lay, for a considerable time, as if he were dying. At which time, he was heard to utter, in broken whispers, such expressions as these: "He will come, he will not tarry. I shall soon be in glory.--I shall soon glorify God with the angels."-But after some time he revived.
The next day, Wednesday, Oct. 7, his brother John arrived from New-Jersey; where he had been detained much longer than he intended by a mortal sickness prevailing among the christian Indians, and by some other circumstances that made his stay with them necessary. BRAINERD was affected and refreshed
Since this, it has pleased a holy and sovereign God to take away this my dear child by death, on the 14th of February, next following, after a short illness of five days, in the eighteenth year of her age. She was a person of much the same spirit with Brainerd. She had constantly taken care of, and attended him in his sickness, for nineteen weeks before his death: devoting herself to it with great delight, because she looked on him as an eminent servant of Jesus Christ. In this time, he had much conversation with her on the things of religion; and in his dying state, often expressed to us, her parents, his great satisfaction concerning her true piety, and his confidence that he should meet her in heaven, and his high opinion of her, not only as a true Christian, but a very eminent saint, one whose soul was uncommonly fed and entertained with things which appertain to the most spiritual, experimental, and distinguishing parts of religion: and one who, by the temper of her mind, was fitted to deny herself for God and to do good, beyond any young woman whatsoever, whom he knew. She had manifested a heart uncommonly devoted to God, in the course of her life, many years before her death; and said on her death bed that "she had not seen one minute for several years, wherein she desired to live one minute longer, for the sake of any other good in life but doing good, living to God, and doing what might be for his glory,"
with seeing him, and appeared fully satisfied with the reasons of his delay; seeing the interest of religion and the souls of his people required it.
The next day, Thursday, Oct. 8, he was in great distress and agonies of body; and for the greater part of the day, was much disordered as to the exercise of his reason. In the evening, he was more composed, and had the use of his reason well, but the pain of his body continued and increased. He told me that it was impossible for any one to conceive of the distress which he felt in his breast. He manifested much concern lest he should dishonour God by impatience, under his extreme agony; which was such, that he said, the thought of enduring it one minute longer was almost insupportable. He desired that others would be much in lifting up their hearts continually to God for him, that God would support him, and give him patience. He signified, that he expected to die that night; but seemed to fear a longer delay and the disposition of his mind with regard to death, appeared still the same that it had been all along. And notwithstanding his bodily agonies, yet the interest of Zion lay still with great weight on his mind; as appeared by some considerable discourse he had that evening with the Rev. Mr, Billing, one of the neighbouring ministers, who was then present, concerning the great importance of the work of the ministry. Afterwards, when it was very late in the night, he had much very proper and profitable discourse with his brother John, concerning his congregation in New-Jersey, and the interest of religion among the Indians. In the latter part of the night, his bodily distress seemed to rise to a greater height than ever; and he said to those then about him, that "it was another thing to die, than people imagined;" explaining himself to mean that they were not aware what bodily pain and anguish is undergone before death. Towards day, his eyes fixed; and he continued lying immoveable, till about six o'clock, on Friday, Oct. 9, 1747, when his soul, as we may well conclude, was received by his dear Lord and Master, as an eminently faithful servant, into that state of perfection of holiness, and fruition of God for which he had so often and so ardently longed; and was welcomed by the glorious assembly in the upper world, as one peculiarly fitted to join them in their blessed employ and enjoyment.
Much respect was shown to his memory at his funeral; which was on the Monday following, after a sermon preached the same day on that solemn occasion. His funeral was attended by eight of the neighbouring ministers, and seventeen other gentlemen of liberal education, and a great concourse of people.
Reflections on the preceding Memoirs.
We have here an opportunity, as I apprehend, in a very lively instance, to see the nature of true religion; and the manner of its operation; when exemplified in a high degree and in powerful exercise. Particularly it may be worthy to be observed,
I. How greatly BRAINERD's religion differed from that of some pretenders to the experience of a clear work of saving conversion wrought on their hearts; who, depending and living on that, settle in a cold, careless, and carnal frame of mind, and in a neglect of a thorough, earnest religion, in the stated practice of it. Although his convictions and conversion were in all respects exceedingly clear, and very remarkable; yet how far was he from acting as though he thought he had got through his work, when once he had obtained comfort, and satisfaction of his interest in Christ, and title to heaven? On the contrary, that work on his heart, by which he was brought to this, was with him evidently but the beginning of his work; his first entering on the great business of religion and the service of God his first setting out in his race. His obtaining rest of soul in Christ, after earnest striving to enter in at the strait gate, and being violent to take the kingdom of heaven, he did not look upon as putting an end to any further occasion for striving in religion, but these were continued still and maintained constantly, through all changes, to the very end of life. His work was not finished, nor his race ended, till life was ended; agreeably to frequent scriptural representations of the Christian life. He continued pressing forward in a constant manner, “forgetting the things that were behind and reaching forth to the things that were before." His pains and earnestness in the business of religion were rather increased than diminished, after he had received comfort and satisfaction concerning the safety of his state. Those divine principles, by which after this he was actuated, love to God, longings and thirstings after holiness, seem to have been more effectual to engage him to labour and activity in religion, than the fear of hell had been before.
As his conversion was not the end of his work, or of the course of his diligence and strivings in religion; so neither was it the end of the work of the Spirit of God on his heart. On the contrary, it was the beginning of the work; the beginning of his spiritual discoveries, and holy views; the first dawning of
the light,which thenceforth increased more and more, the beginning of his holy affections, his sorrow for sin, his love to God, his rejoicing in Christ Jesus, his longing after holiness. The powerful operations of the Spirit of God in these things, were carried on from the day of his conversion, in a continued course, to his dying day. His religious experiences, his admiration, his joy, praise and flowing affections, did not maintain a considerable height merely for a few days, and weeks, or months at first, while hope and comfort were new things with him; and then gradually dwindle and die away, till they came to almost nothing, and so leave him without any sensible or remarkable experience of spiritual discoveries, or holy and divine affections for months together. Many, after the effect of novelty is over, soon find their situation and feelings very much the same as before their supposed conversion, with respect to any present views of God's glory, of Christ's excellency, or of the beauty of divine things; and with respect to any present thirstings for God, or ardent out-goings of their souls after divine objects. Now and then, indeed, they have a comfortable reflection on the past, and are somewhat affected with the remembrance, and so rest easy, thinking that it is safe, and they doubt not but they shall go to heaven when they die. Far otherwise was it with BRAINErd. His experiences, instead of dying away, were evidently of an increasing nature. His first love, and other holy affections even at the beginning were very great; but after the lapse of months and years, became much greater and more remarkable. The spiritual exercises of his mind continued exceedingly great, (though not equally so at all times, yet usually so) without indulged remissness, and without habitual dwindling and dying away, even till his decease. They began in a time of general deadness all over the land, and were greatly increased in a time of general reviving of religion. When religion decayed again, and a general deadness returned, his experiences were still kept up in their height, and his holy exercises maintained in their life and vigour. Thus they continued wherever he was, and whatever his circumstances were ; among English and Indians, in company and alone, in towns and cities, and in the howling wilderness, in sickness and in health, living and dying. This is agreeable to the scriptural descriptions of true and genuine religion, and of the Christian life. The change wrought in him at his conversion was agreeable to the scriptural representations of that change which is wrought in true conversion; a great change and an abiding change, rendering him a new man, a new creature; not merely a change as to hope and comfort, and an apprehension of his own good estate, and a transient change, consisting in high flights of passing affection; but a change of nature, a change of the abiding habit and temper of his mind. Not a partial change merely in point of opinion, or outward reforma