« ZurückWeiter »
into the secret of his presence, and abide in his pavilion ! Took an affectionate leave of friends, not expecting to see them again for a very considerable time, if ever in this world. Rode with Mr. Humphreys to his house at Derby ; spent the time in sweet conversation ; my soul was refreshed and sweetly melted with divine things. Oh that I was always consecrated to God! Near night, I rode to New-Haven, and there enjoyed some sweetness in prayer and conversation, with some dear Christian friends. My mind was sweetly serious and composed; but alas! I too much lost the sense of divine things.
He continued much in the same frame of mind, and in like exercises, the two following days.
Lord's day, Dec. 26. Felt much sweetness and tenderness in prayer, especially my whole soul seemed to love my worst enemies, and was enabled to pray for those that are strangers and enemies to God with a great degree of softness and pathetic fervour. In the evening, rode from New Haven to Branford, after I had kneeled down and prayed with a number of dear Christian friends in a very retired place in the woods, and so parted.
Monday, Dec. 27. Enjoyed a precious season indeed ; had a sweet melting sense of divine things, of the pure spirituality of the religion of Christ Jesus. In the evening, I preached from Matth. vi. 33. But seek ye first, &c. with much freedom, and sweet power and pungency: the presence of God attended our meeting. O the sweetness, the tenderness I felt in my soul! if ever I felt the temper of Christ, I had some sense of it now. Blessed be my God, I have seldom enjoyed a more comfortable and profitable day than this. O that I could spend all my time for God!
Tuesday, Dec. 28. Rode from Branford to Haddam. In the morning, my clearness and sweetness in divine things contiņued; but afterwards my spiritual lite sensibly declined.
The next twelve days, he was for the most part extremely dejected, discouraged, and distressed ; and was evidently very much under the power of melancholy. There are froin day to day most bitter complaints of exceeding vileness, ignorance, and corruption ; an amazing load of guilt, unworthiness even to creep on God's earılı, everlasting uselessness, fitness for nothing, sc. and sometimes expressions even of horror at the thoughts of ever preaching again. But yet in this time of great dejection, he speaks of several intervals of divine help and comfort.
The three next days, which were spent at Hebron and the Crank, (a parish in Lebanon) he had relief, and enjoyed considerable confort,
Friday, Jan. 14, 1743. My spiritual conflicts to day were unspeakably dreadful, heavier than the mountains and overflowing floods. I seemed inclosed, as it were, in .hell itself: I was deprived of all sense of God, even of the being of a God; and that was my misery. I had no awful apprehensions of God as angry. This was distress, the nearest akin to the damned's torments, that I ever endured : their torment, I am sure, will consist much in a privation of God, and consequently of all good. This taught me the absolute dependence of a creature upon God the Creator, for every crumb of happiness it enjoys. Oh! I feel that if there is no God, though I might live for ever here, and enjoy not only this, but all other worlds, I should ten thousand times more miserable than a toad. 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
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 be rode to Canterbury, and continued more comfortable.
Wednesday, Jan. 19. [At Canterbury) In the afternoon preached the lecture at the meeting-house; felt some tenderness, and something of the gospel-temper: exhorted the people to love one anotber, and not to set up their own frames as a standard to try all their brethren by. But was much pressed, most of the day, with a sense of my own badness, inward impurity, and unspeakable corruption. Spent the evening in loving, christian conversation.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, Jan. 21. Had great inward conflicts; enjoyed bus
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 bave any respect sbewn 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 ; I appeared to myself a creature fit for nothing, neither heaven 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 Stoningtown, Mr. Fish's parish.-On Tuesday he
expresses considerable degrees of spiritual consort and refreshment.
Wednesday, Jan. 26. Preached to a pretty large assem. bly at Mr. Fish's meeting-house: insisted on humility, and stedfastness 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 christians 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.
Friday, Jan. 28. Here I found some fallen into extravagances; 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 his 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, e
Wednesday, 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 hav. ing 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-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 lotb 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 nert 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-Ponds on Long. Island, and travelled from thence to East-Hampton. And the secen following days be 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.
Saturday, 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 de voted to him.
The next day, he had comfort and dejection intermingled,
* The reason why the commissioners or correspondents did not order Mr. BRAINERD to go immediately to the Indians, and enter on his business as a missionary, was, that the winter was not judged to be a convenicot season for him first to go ont into the wilderness, and enter on the difficulties and hardships be must there be exposed to
Tuesday, Feb. 15. Farly 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 coaters, 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 bis in. ward distress returned.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, Feb. 18. Felt something 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. O that I night be serious, solemn, and always vigilant, while in an evil world! Had some opportunity alone to day, and found some freedom in study. O, I long to live to God!
Saturday, 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 long to die; and yet, tbrough 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 inportant 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