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Archive for the ‘Brainerd, David’ Category

David Brainerd (1718-1747) was a missionary to the American Indians in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. Born in Connecticut in 1718, he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-nine.

I continued, as I remember, in this state of mind, from Friday morning until the Sabbath evening following, … when I was walking again in the same solitary place where I was brought to see myself lost and helpless … and here, in a mournful melancholy state, was attempting to pray; but found no heart to engage in that, or any other duty; my former concern, and exercise, and religious affections were now gone. I thought the Spirit of God had quite left me; but still was not distressed: Yet disconsolate, as if there was nothing in heaven or earth could make me happy. And having been thus endeavouring to pray (though being, as I thought, very stupid and senseless) for near half an hour, … as I was walking in a dark thick grove, unspeakable glory seemed to open to the view and apprehension of my soul: I do not mean any external brightness, for I saw no such thing; nor do I intend any imagination of a body of light, some where away in the third heavens, or any thing of that nature; but it was a new inward apprehension or view that I had of God, such as I never had before, nor anything which had the least resemblance of it. I stood still, and wondered and admired! I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty: It was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, … but it appeared to be divine glory that I then beheld: And my soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied, that he should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought … about my own salvation, and scarce reflected there was such a creature as myself.

Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honour and glory, as King of the Universe.

I continued in this state of inward joy and peace, yet astonishment, until near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following: I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do.

At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before. If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ.

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