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friends, about their heavenly home, and their journey thither. At other times, he speaks of himself as exceedingly perplexed with barrenness and deadness, and has this exclamation: "O that time should pass with so little done for God!" On Monday, he rode to Sharon; and speaks of himself as distressed at the consideration of the misimprovement of time.
May 8. "Set out from Sharon, in Connecticut, and travelled about forty-five miles to a place called Fishkill;* and lodged there. Spent much of my time, while riding, in prayer, that God would go with me to Delaware. My heart, sometimes, was ready to sink with the thoughts of my work, and going alone in the wilderness, I knew not where; but still it was comfortable, to think, that others of God's children had "wandered about in caves and dens of the earth;" and Abraham, when he was called to go forth, "went out, not knowing whither he went." Oh that I might follow after God!”
The next day, he went forward on his journey; crossed the Hudson, and went to Goshen in the Highlands; and so travelled across the woods, from the Hudson to the Delaware, about a hundred miles, through a desolate and hideous country, above New Jersey; where were very few settlements: in which journey he suffered much fatigue and hardship. He visited some Indians in the way, and discoursed with them concerning christianity. Was considerably melancholy and disconsolate, being alone in a strange wilderness. On Saturday, he came to a settlement of Irish and Dutch people, about twelve miles above the Forks of Delaware.
Lord's day, May 13. "Rose early; felt very poorly after. my long journey, and after being wet and fatigued. Was very melancholy; have scarcely ever seen such a gloomy morning in my life; there appeared to be no Sabbath; the children were all at play; I a stranger in the wilderness, and knew not where to go; and all circumstances seemed to conspire to render my affairs dark and discouraging. Was disappointed respecting an interpreter, and heard that the Indians were much scattered. I mourned after the presence of God, and seemed like a creature banished from his sight! yet he was pleased to support my sinking soul, amidst all my sorrows; so that I never entertained any thought of quitting my business among the poor Indians; but was comforted, to think, that death would ere long set me free from these distresses. Rode about three or four miles to the Irish people, where I found some that appeared sober and concerned about religion. My
* A place in NewYork government, near the Hudson, on the east side of the river.
heart then began to be a little encouraged: went and preached, first to the Irish, and then to the Indians: and in the evening, was a little comforted; my soul seemed to rest on God, and take courage. Oh that the Lord would be my support and comforter in an evil world!
May 14. Was very busy in some necessary studies. Felt myself very loose from all the world; all appeared "vanity and vexation of spirit." Seemed lonesome and disconsolate, as if I were banished from all mankind, and bereaved of all that is called pleasurable in the world; but appeared to myself so vile and unworthy, it seemed fitter for me to be here than any where.
May 15. "Still much engaged in my studies; and enjoyed more health, than I have for some time past: but was somewhat dejected in spirit with a sense of my meanness; seemed as if I could never do any thing at all to any good purpose, by reason of ignorance and folly. Oh that a sense of these things might work more habitual humility in my soul !”
He continued much in the same frame the next day.
May 17. "Was this day greatly distressed with a sense of my vileness; appeared to myself too bad to walk on God's earth, or to be treated with kindness by any of his creatures. God was pleased to let me see my inward pollution and corruption, to such a degree, that I almost despaired of being more holy : "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" In the afternoon, met with the Indians, according to appointment, and preached to them. And while riding to them, my soul seemed to confide in God; and afterwards had some relief and enlargement of soul in prayer, and some assistance in the duty of intercession; vital piety and holiness appeared sweet to me, and I longed for the perfection of it.
May 18. "Felt again somewhat of the sweet spirit of religion; and my soul seemed to confide in God, that he would never leave me. But oftentimes saw myself so mean a creature, that I knew not how to think of preaching. Oh that I could always live to, and upon God!
May 19. "Was, some part of the time, greatly oppressed with the weight and burden of my work; it seemed impossible for me ever to go through with the business I had undertaken. Towards night was very calm and comfortable; and I think, my soul trusted in God for help.
Lord's day, May 20. "Preached twice to the poor Indians; and enjoyed some freedom in speaking, while I attempted to remove their prejudices against christianity. My soul longed for assistance from above, all the while; for I saw I had no
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 influences 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 animated 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 afflic tions and toils. Enjoyed some sweetness in things divine, in the midst of my pain and weakness. Oh that I could praise
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