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This awakening was at the beginning of that extraordinary religious commotion, through the land, which is fresh in every one's memory. It was for a time very great and general at New-Haven; and the college bad no small share in it. That society was greatly reformed, the students in general, became serious, many of thein remarkably so, and inuch engaged in the concerns of their eternal salvation. And however undesirable the issue of the awakenings of that day have appeared in many others, there have been manifestly happy and abiding effects of the impressions then made on the minds of many of the members of that college. And by all that I can learn concerning Mr. BRAINERD, there can be no reason to doubt but that he bad much of God's gracious presence, and of the lively actings of true grace, at that time : but yet be was afterwards abundantly sensible, that his religious experiences and affections at that time were not free from a corrupt mixture, por his conduct to be acquitted from many things that were imprudent and blameable ; which he greatly lamented himself, and was desirous that others should not make an ill use of such an example. And therefore, although at the time he kept a constant diary, containing a very particular account of what passed from day to day, for the next thirteen months, from the latter end of Jun. 1741, forementioned, in two small books, which he called the two first volumes of bis diary, next following the account before given of his convictions, conversion, and consequent comforts ; yet, when he lay on his death-bed, he gave order (unknown to me, till after his death) that these two velumes should be destroyed, and in the beginning of the the third book of his diary, he wrote thus, (by the hand of another, he not being able to write himsell), “ The two preceding volumes, immediately following the account of the author's conversion, are lost. If any are desirous to know how the author lived, in general, during that space of time, let them read the first thirty pages of this volume; where they will find something of a specimen of his ordinary manner of living, through that whole space of time, which was about thirteen months ; excepting that here he was more refined from some imprudencies and indecent heats, than there; but the spirit of devotion running through the whole, was the sáme."
It could not be otherwise than that one whose heart had been so prepared and drawn to God, as Mr. BRAINERD's had been, should be mightily enlarged, animated, and engaged at the sight of such an alteration made in the college, the town, and country; and so great an appearance of men reforming their lives, and turning from their profaneness and immorality, 10 seriousness and concern for their salvation, and of religion reviving and flourishing almost every where. But as an intemperate imprudent zeal, and a degree of enthusiasm soon crept in, and mingled itself with that revival of religion; and so great and general an awakening being quite a new thing in the land, at least as to all the living inhabitants of it; neither people nor ministers bad learned thoroughly to distinguish between solid religion and its delusive counterfeits. Even many ministers of the gospel, of long standing and the best réputation, were for a time overpowered with the glaring ap. pearances of the latter; and therefore, surely it was not to be wondered at, that young BRAINERD, but a sophimore at college, should be so; who was not only young in years, but very young in religion and experience. He had enjoyed but little advantage for the study of divinity, and still less for observing the circumstances and events of such an extraordinary state of Vol. III.
things. To think it strange, a man must divest himself of all reason. In these disadvantageous circumstances, BRAINERD bad the unhappiness 10 have a tincture of that intemperate, indiscreet zeal, which was at that time too prevalent; and was led, from his high opinion of others whom he looked upon as better than himself, into such errors as were really contrary to the habitual temper of his mind. One instance of his misconduct at that time, gave great offence to the rulers of the college, even to that degree that they expelled him the society; which it is necessary should here be particularly related, with its circumstances.
During the awakening at college, there were several religious students who associated together for mutual conversation and assistance in spiritual things. These were wont freely to open themselves one to another, as special and intimate friends: BRAINERD was one of this company. And it once happened, that he and two or three more of these intimate friends were in the hall together, after Mr. Whittelsey, one of the lutors, had been to prayer there with the scholars; no other person now remaining in the hall, but BRAINERD and his conipanions. Mr. Whittesley having been unusually pathetical in his prayer, one of BRAINERD's friends on this occasion asked him what he thought of Mr. Whittelsey; he made answer, " He has no more grace than this chair.” One of the freshmen happening at that time to be near the hall (though not in the room) over-heard those words. This perbon, though he heard no name mentioned, and knew not who was thus censured, informed a certain woman in the town, withal telling her his own suspicion, viz. that he believed BRAINERD said this of some one or other of the rulers of the college. Whereupon she went and informed the rector, who sent for this freshman and examined him. He told the sector the words he heard BRAINERD utter, and informed him who were in the room with bim at that time. Upon which the rector sent for them: they were very backward to inform against their friend what they looked upon us private conversation, and especially as none but they had heard or knew of whom he had uttered those words; yet the rector compelled them to declare what he said, and of whom he said it.-BRAINERD looked on himself very ill used in the management of this affair; and thought, that it was injuriously 'extorted from his friends, and then injuriously required of him-as if he had peen guilty of some open, notorious crime to make a public confession, and to humble bimself before the whole college in the hall, for what he had said only in private conversation. He not complying with this demand, and having gone once to the separate meeting at New Haven, when forbiddeo by the rector; and also having been accused by one person of saying concerning the rector, “that he wondered he did not expect to drop down dead for fining the scholars who followed Mr. Tendent to Milford, though there was no proof of it, (and Mr. BRAINERD ever prosessed that lie did not remember his saying any thing to that purpose); for these things he was erpelled the college.
Now, how far the circumstances and exigencies of that day might jus. tify such great severity in the governors of the college, I will not undertake to determine ;' it being my aim, not to bring reproach on the authority of the college, but only to do justice to the memory of a person, who was think eminently one of those whose memory is blessed. The reader will see, in the sequel of the story of Mr. BRAINERD s life *, what his own thoughts afterwards were of his behaviour in these things, and in how Christian a manner be conducted himself, with respect to this affair: though he ever, as long as he lived, supposed himself ill used in the management of it, and in what he suffered. - Ilis expulsion was in the winter, 1742, while in his third year at college.
* Particularly under the date, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1743.
FROM ABOUT THE TIME THAT HE FIRST BEGAN TO DEVOTE
HIMSELF MORE ESPECIALLY TO THE STUDY OF DIVINITY,
MINISTERS BELONGING TO THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF THE COUNTY OF FAIRFIELD, IN CONNECTICUT.
(R. Reverend Mr. Mills of Ripton, to pursue his studies with him, in order to his being fitted for the work of the ministry; where he spent the greater part of the time, till the Association licensed him to preach; but frequently rode to visit the neighbouring ministers, particularly Mr. Cooke of Stratford, Mr. Grabam of Southbury, and Mr. Bellamy of Bethlehem. While with Mr. Mills, he began the third book of his diary, in which the account he wrote of himself, is as follows.
Thursday, April 1, 1742. I seem to be declining, with respect to my life and warmth in divine things; had not so free access to God in prayer as usual of late. O that God would bumble me deeply in the dust before him! I deserve hell every day, for not loving my Lord more, who has, I trust, lmed me, and given himself for me; and every time I am enabled to exercise any grace renewedly, I am renewedly indebted to the God of all grace for special assistance. Where then is boasting? Surely it is excluded, when we think how we are dependent on God for the being and every act of grace. Oh, if ever I get to heaven, it will be because God will, and nothing else; for I never did any thing of myself, but get away from God! My soul will be astonished at the unsearchable riches of divine grace, when I arrive at the mansions, which the blessed Saviour is gone before to prepare.
Friday, April 2. In the afternoon I felt, in secret prayer, much resigned, calm, and serene. What are all the storms of this lower world, if Jesus by his spirit does but come walking on the seas !--Some time past, I had much pleasure in the prospect of the Heathen being brought home to Christ, and desired that the Lord would employ me in that work :- but now, my soul more frequently desires to die, to be with Christ, O that my soul were wrapt up in divine love, and my longing desires after God increased !--- In the evening, was refreshed in prayer, with the hopes of the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world.
Saturday, April 3. Was very much amiss this morning, and had a bad night. I thought, if God would take me to himself now, my soul would exceedingly rejoice. O that I may be always humble and resigned to God, and that he would cause my soul to be more fixed on himself, that I may be more fitted both for doing and suffering!
Lord's day, April 4. My heart was wandering and lifeless In the evening God gave me faith in prayer, made my soul melt in some measure, and gave me to taste a divine sweetness. O my blessed God! Let me climb up near to him, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle, and stretch after him, and for deliverance from the body of sin and death.-Alas! my soul mourned to think I should ever lose sight of its beloved again. “O come, Lord Jesus, Amen."
On the evening of the next day, he complains, that he seemed to be void of all relish, of divive things, felt much of the prevalence of corruption, and saw in himself a disposition to all manner of sin ; which brought a very great gloom on his mind, and cast him down into the depths of melancholy ; so that he speaks of himself as amazed, having no comfort, but filled with hor. ror, seeing no coinfort in heaven or earth.
Tuesday, April 6. I walked out this morning to the same place where I was last night, and felt as I did then; but was somewhat relieved by reading some passages in my diary, and seemed to feel as if I might pray to the great God again with freedom; but was suddenly struck with a damp, from the sense I had of my own vileness.-Then I cried to God to cleanse me from my exceeding filthiness, to give me repentance and pardon. I then began to find it sweet to pray; and could think of undergoing the greatest sufferings, in the cause of Christ, with pleasure; and found myself willing, if God should so order it, to suffer banishment from my native land, among the Heathen, that I might do something for their salvation, in distresses and deaths of any kind.—Then God gave me to wrestle earnestly for others, for the kingdom of Christ in the world, and for dear Christian friends. I felt weaned from the world, and from my own reputation amongst men, willing to be despised, and to be a gazing stock for the world to behold. It is impossible for me to express how I then felt: I had not much joy, but some sense of the majesty of God, which made me as it were tremble. I saw myself mean and vile, which made me more willing that God should do what he would with me; it was all infinitely reasonable.
Wednesday, April 7. I had not so much fervency, but felt something as I did yesterday morning, in prayer.—At noon I spent some time in secret, with some fervency, but scarce any sweetness; and felt very dull in the evening.
Thursday, April 8. Had raised hopes to-day respecting the Heathen. O that God would bring in great numbers of them to Jesus Christ! I cannot but hope I shall see that glorious day.-Every thing in this world seems exceeding vile and little to me: I look so on myself.--I had some little dawn of comfort to-day in prayer; but especially to-night, I think I had some faith and power of intercession with God. I was enabled to plead with God for the growth of grace in myself; and many of the dear children of God then lay with weight upon my soul. Blessed be the Lord! It is good to wrestle for divine blessings.
Friday, April 9. Most of my time in morning devotion was spent without sensible sweetness; yet I had one delightful prospect of arriving at the heavenly world. I am more amazed than ever at such thoughts; for I see : ayself infinitely vile and unworthy. I feel very heartless and dull; and though I long for the presence of God, and seem constantly to reach towards God in desires; yet I cannot feel that divine and heavenly sweetness that I used to enjoy. No poor creature stands in need of divine grace more than I, and none abuse it more than I bave done, and still do.
Saturday, April 10. Spent much time in secret prayer this morning, and not without some comfort in divine things; and, I hope, had some faith in exercise: but am so low, and feel so little of the sensible presence of God, that I hardly know what to call faith, and am made to possess the sins of my youth, and the dreadful sin of my nature. I am all sin; I cannot think, nor act, but every motion is sin.--I feel some faint hopes, that God will, of his infinite mercy, return again with showers of . converting grace to poor gospel-abusing sinners ; and my hopes of being employed in the cause of God, which of late have been almost extinct, seem now a little revived. O that all my late distresses and awful apprehensions might prove but Christ's