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ten thousand times more miserable than a reptile. My soul was in such anguish I could not eat; but felt as I suppose a poor wretch would that is just going to the place of execution. I was almost swallowed up with anguish, when I saw people gathering together, to hear me preach. However, I went in that distress to the house of God, and found not much relief in the first prayer: it seemed as if God would let loose the people upon me to destroy me; nor were the thoughts of death distressing to me, like my own vileness. But afterwards in my discourse from Deut. viii. 2. God was pleased to give me some freedom and enlargement, some power and spirituality; and I spent the evening somewhat comfortably."
The two next days, his comfort continues, and he seems to enjoy an almost continual sweetness of soul in the duties and exercises of religion and christian conversation. On Monday was a return of the gloom he had been under the Friday before. He rode to Coventry this day, and the latter part of the day had more freedom. On Tuesday he rode to Canterbury, and continued more comfortable.
Jan. 19. "[At Canterbury.] In the afternoon preached the lecture at the Meeting-house; felt some tenderness, and somewhat of the gospel temper: exhorted the people to love one another, and not to set up their own frames as a standard by which to try all their brethren. But was much pressed, most of the day, with a sense of my own badness, inward impurity, and unspeakable corruption. Spent the evening in tender, Christian conversation.
Jan. 20. "Rode to my brother's house between Norwich and Lebanon; and preached in the evening to a number of people enjoyed neither freedom nor spirituality, but saw myself exceeding unworthy.
Jan. 21. "Had great inward conflicts; enjoyed but little comfort. Went to see Mr. Williams of Lebanon, and spent several hours with him; and was greatly delighted with his serious, deliberate, and impartial way of discourse about religion."
The next day he was much dejected.
Lord's day, Jan. 23. I scarce ever felt myself so unfit to exist as now: saw I was not worthy of a place among the Indians, where I am going, if God permit: thought I should be ashamed to look them in the face, and much more to have any respect shewn me there. Indeed I felt myself banished from the earth, as if all places were too good for such a wretch. I thought I should be ashamed to go among the very
savages of Africa; 1 appeared to myself a creature fit for nothing, neither neaven nor earth.-None know, but those who feel it, what the soul endures that is sensibly shut out from the presence of God: alas! it is more bitter than death."
On Monday he rode to Stonington, Mr. Fish's parish.-On Tuesday he expresses considerable degrees of spiritual comfort and refreshment.
Jan. 26. "Preached to a pretty large assembly at Mr. Fish's meeting house: insisted on humility and steadfastness in keeping God's commands; and that through humility we should prefer one another in love, and not make our own frames the rule by which we judge others. I felt sweetly calm, and full of brotherly love and never more free from party spirit. I hope some good will follow; that Christinns will be freed from false joy, and party zeal, and censuring one another."
On Thursday, after considerable time spent in prayer and Christian conversation, he rode to New-London.
Jan. 28. "Here 1 found some fallen into extravagancies; too - much carried away with a false zeal and bitterness. Oh, the want of a gospel temper is greatly to be lamented. Spent the evening in conversing about some points of conduct in both ministers and private Christians; but did not agree with them. God had not taught them with briars and thorns to be of a kind disposition towards mankind."
On Saturday, he rode to East-Haddam, and spent the three following days there. In that space of time he speaks of feeling weanedness from the world, a sense of the nearness of eternity, special assistance in praying for the enlargement of Christ's kingdom, times of spiritual comfort, &c.
Feb. 2. "Preached my farewell sermon last night, at the house of an aged man, who had been unable to attend on the public worship for some time. This morning, spent the time in prayer, almost wherever I went; and having taken leave of friends, I set out on my journey towards the Indians; though I was to spend some time at East-Hampton, on Long-Island, by leave of the commissioners who employed me in the Indian affair;* and being accompanied by a messenger from East
*The reason why the commissioners or correspondents did not order BRAINERD to go immediatelyto the Indians, and enter on his business as a missionary was, that the winter was not judged to be a convenient season for him first to go out into the wilderness, and enter on the difficulties and hardships to which he must there be exposed.
Hampton, we travelled to Lyme. On the road I felt an uncommon pressure of mind: I seemed to struggle hard for some pleasure in something here below, and seemed loth to give up all for gone; saw I was evidently throwing myself into all hardships and distresses in my present undertaking. I thought it would be less difficult to lie down in the grave; but yet I chose to go, rather than stay.-Came to Lyme that night."
He waited the two next days for a passage over the sound, and spent much of the time in inward conflicts and dejection, but had some comfort.
On Saturday he crossed the Sound, landed at Oyster-pondpoint on Long-Island, and travelled from thence to EastHampton. And the seven following days he spent there, for the most part, under extreme dejection and gloominess of mind with great complaints of darkness, ignorance, &c. Yet his heart appears to have been constantly engaged in the great business of religion, much concerned for the interest of religion in East-Hampton, and praying and labouring much for it.
Feb. 12. " Enjoyed a little more comfort; was enabled to meditate with some composure of mind; and especially in the evening, found my soul more refreshed in prayer, than at any time of late; my soul seemed to" take hold of God's strength," and was comforted with his consolations. O, how sweet are some glimpses of divine glory! how strengthening and quickening!
Lord's day, Feb. 13. "At noon, under a great degree of discouragement; knew not how it was possible for me to preach in the afternoon. I was ready to give up all for gone; but God was pleased to assist me in some measure. In the evening my heart was sweetly drawn out after God, and devoted to him."
The next day, he had comfort and dejection intermingled.
Feb. 15. "Early in the day I felt some comfort; afterwards I walked into a neighbouring grove, and felt more as a stranger on earth, I think, than ever before; dead to any of the enjoyments of the world, as if I had been dead in a natural sense.In the evening, had divine sweetness in secret duty; God was then my portion, and my soul rose above those deep waters, into which I have sunk so low of late.-My soul then cried for Zion, and had sweetness in so doing."
This sweet frame continued the next morning; but afterwards his inward distress returned.
Feb. 17. "In the morning, found myself comfortable, and rested on God in some measure.-Preached this day at a little village belonging to East Hampton; and God was pleased to give me his gracious presence and assistance, so that I spake with freedom, boldness, and some power. In the evening spent some time with a dear Christian friend; and felt serious, as on the brink of eternity. My soul enjoyed sweetness in lively apprehensions of standing before the glorious God: prayed with my dear friend with sweetness, and discoursed with the utmost solemnity. And truly it was a little emblem of heaven itself.-I find my soul is more refined and weaned from a dependence on my frames and spiritual feelings.
Feb. 18. "Felt somewhat sweetly most of the day, and found access to the throne of grace. Blessed be the Lord for any intervals of heavenly delight and composure, while I am engaged in the field of battle. Oh, that I might be serious, solemn, and always vigilant, while in an evil world! Had some opportunity alone to day, and found some freedom in study. 0,1 long to live to God!
Feb. 19. "Was exceeding infirm to-day, greatly troubled with pain in my head and dizziness, scarce able to sit up. However, enjoyed something of God in prayer, and performed some necessary studies. I exceedingly longed to die; and yet, through divine goodness, have felt very willing to live, for two or three days past.
Lord's day, Feb. 20. "I was perplexed on account of my carelessness; thought I could not be suitably concerned about the important work of the day, and so was restless with my easiness. Was exceeding infirm again to-day; but the Lord strengthened me, both in the outward and inward man, so that I preached with some life and spirituality, especially in the afternoon, wherein I was enabled to speak closely against selfish religion; that loves Christ for his benefits, but not for himself.”
During the next fortnight, it appears that for the most part he enjoyed much spiritual peace and comfort. In his diary for this space of time, are expressed such things as these; mourning over indwelling sin, and unprofitableness; deadness to the world; longing after God, and to live to his glory; heart melting desires after his eternal home; fixed reliance on God for his help; experience of much divine assistance, both in the private and public exercises of religion; inward strength and courage in the service of God; very frequent refreshment, consolation, and divine sweetness in meditation, prayer, preaching, and christian conversation. And it appears by his account, that this space of time was filled up with great diligence and earnestness in serving God, in study, prayer, meditation, preaching and privately instructing and counselling.
March 7. "This morning when I arose, I found my heart go forth after God in longing desires of conformity to him, and in secret prayer found myself sweetly quickened and drawn out in praises to God for all he had done to and for me, and for all my inward trials and distresses of late. My heart ascribed glory, glory, glory to the blessed God! and bid welcome to all inward distress again, if God saw meet to exercise me with it. Time appeared but an inch long, and eternity at hand; and I thought I could with patience and cheerfulness bear any thing for the cause of God; for I saw that a moment would bring me to a world of peace and blessedness. My soul, by the strength of the Lord, rose far above this lower world, and all the vain amusements and frightful disappointments of it. Afterwards, had some sweet meditation on Genesis v. 24. And Enoch walked with God, &c. This was a comfortable day to my soul."
The next day, he seems to have continued in a considerable degree of sweetness and fervency in religion.
March 9. "Endeavoured to commit myself, and all my con cerns to God. Rode sixteen miles to Montauk,* and had some inward sweetness on the road; but somewhat of flatness and deadness after I came there and had seen the Indians. I withdrew, and endeavoured to pray, but found myself awfully deserted and left, and had an afflicting sense of my vileness and meanness. However, I went and preached from Is. liii. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, &c. Had some assistance; and I trust somewhat of the divine presence was among us. In the evening, I again prayed and exhorted among them, after having had a season alone, wherein I was so pressed with the blackness of my nature, that I thought it was not fit for me to speak so much as to Indians."
The next day he returned to East-Hampton; was exceeding infirm in body, through the remaining part of this week; but speaks of assistance and enlargment in study and religious exercises, and of inward sweetness, and breathing after God.
Lord's day, March 13. "At noon, I thought it impossible for me to preach, by reason of bodily weakness, and inward deadness. In the first prayer, I was so weak that I could hardly stand; but in the sermon God strengthened me, so that I spake near an hour and a half with sweet freedom, clearness, and some tender power from Gen. v. 24. And Enoch walked with God. I was sweetly assisted to insist on a close walk with God and to leave this as my parting advice to God's people here, that they should walk with God. May the God of all grace succeed my poor labours in this place!
* Montauk is the eastern cape or end of Long-Island, inhabited chiefly by Indians.