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ligious conversation. At these meetings I address myself to particular persons; inquire into the state of their souls; warn, exhort, encourage, &c. as I see occasion. When I am absent, the meeting is carried on by religious conversation, together with prayer and singing. My endeavours, through the blessing of heaven, have been, I hope, attended with some degree of success. I have had the satisfaction of admitting one adult person to baptism, who I trust is a true convert to God, and savingly acquainted with Jesus Christ; and sundry children have been the subjects of that divine ordinance. I can also inform your Lordship and the Society that many of our former converts adorn their profession by a sober virtuous life. But some, I must needs say, have grievously backslidden; which has been matter of unspeakable grief to me, and done more to exhaust my spirits and wear me out, than all the bodily fatigues I have ever undergone in the prosecution of this mission."
Afterwards he writes of great difficulties, which the Indians have laboured under of late with regard to their lands;—and of the lamented death of a promising young Indian, whom the Society was educating for the ministry; of whom he says:
"He had been a member of Princeton College nearly two years; was much beloved by his classmates and the other scholars, and made a decent, handsome appearance among them. He died of a quick consumption. I had opportunity of conversing with him in the latter part of his sickness; and though he was under some darkness, yet his discourse was good, and discovered much of the Christian.
“ JOHN BRAINERD.”
Christians, when absent from the body, are present with the Lord.
PREACHED AT THE FUNERAL OF THE
REV. DAVID BRAINERD,
MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS,
FROM THE SOCIETY IN SCOTLAND FOR PROPAGAting chrisTIAN KNOWLEDGE, AND PASTOR OF A CHURCH OF CHRISTIAN INDIANS IN NEW
JERSEY; WHO DIED AT NORTHAMPTON, OCT. 9,
BY REV. JONATHAN EDWARDS.
CHRISTIANS, WHEN ABSENT FROM THE BODY, ARE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.
II COR. v. 8.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
THE Apostle is here giving a reason why he went on with such immoveable boldness and steadfastness, through such labours, sufferings, and dangers, in the service of the Lord; for which his enemies, the false teachers among the Corinthians, sometimes reproached him as being beside himself, and driven on by a kind of madness. In the latter part of the preceding chapter, he informs the Christian Corinthians, that the reason why he did thus, was, that he firmly believed the promises which Christ had made to his faithful servants of a glorious and eternal reward; and knew that these present afflictions were light, and but for a moment in comparison of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. In this chapter he further insists on the reason of his constancy in suffering, and exposing himself to death in the work of the ministry, even the more happy state which he expected after death.—This is the subject of the text; in which we may observe,
1. The great Future Privilege, for which the Apostle hoped; that of being present with Christ. The words in the original L properly signify dwelling with Christ, as in the same country or city, or making an home with Christ.
2. When the Apostle looked for this privilege; viz. when he should be absent from the body: not to wait for it till the resurrection, when soul and body should be united again. He signifies the same thing in Phil. i. 22, 23," But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour. Yet what I shall choose, I wot not. For I am in a strait between two; having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ."
3. The Value which he set on this privilege. For the sake of it, he chose to be absent from the body. It was more pleasing to him, to part with the present life and all its enjoyments, if he might be possessed of this great benefit, than to continue here.