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and forwardness in religion, it is then abominable pride; if for the sake of feeling the pleasure of being affected, it is then idolatry and self-gratification. Laboured also to expose the disagreeableness of those affections, which are sometimes wrought up in persons by the power of fancy, and their own attempts for that purpose, while I still endeavoured to recommend to them that religious affection, fervency, and devotion which ought to attend all our religious exercises, and without which religion will be but an empty name and a lifeless carcase. This appeared to be a seasonable discourse, and proved very satisfactory to some of the religious people, who before were exercised with some difficulties relating to this point. Afterwards took care of, and gave my people directions about their worldly affairs."
On Tuesday, he complains of want of freedom and comfort; but had some returns of these on Wednesday.
May 22. "In the evening was in a frame somewhat remarkable. I had apprehended for some days before, that it was the design of Providence that I should settle among my people here, and had in my own mind began to make provision for it, and to contrive means to hasten it; and found my heart somewhat engaged in it; hoping that I might then enjoy more agreeable circumstances of life in several respects; and yet was never fully determined, never quite pleased with the thoughts of being settled and confined to one place. Nevertheless I seemed to have some freedom in that respect, because the congregation with which I thought of settling, was one which God had enabled me to gather from among Pagans. For I never, since I began to preach, could feel any freedom to enter into other men's labours, and settle down in the ministry where the gospel was preached before. I never could make that appear to be my province. When I felt any disposition to consult my worldly ease and comfort, God has never given me any liberty in this respect, either since, or for some years before, I began to preach. But God having succeeded my labours, and made me instrumental in gathering a church for him among these Indians, I was ready to think it might be his design to give me a quiet settlement, and a stated home of my own. This, considering the late frequent sinking and failure of my spirits, and the need I stood in of some agreeable society, and my great desire of enjoying conveniences and opportunities for profitable studies, was not altogether disagreeable to me. Although I still wanted to go about far and wide, in order to spread the blessed gospel among the benighted souls far remote, yet I never had been so willing to settle in any one place, for more than five years past, as I
was in the preceding part of this week. But now these thoughts seemed to be wholly dashed to pieces, not by necessity, but of choice; for it appeared to me that God's dealings towards me had fitted me for a life of solitariness and hardship, and that I had nothing to lose, nothing to do with earth, and consequently nothing to lose by a total renunciation of it. It appeared to me just right that I should be destitute of house and home, and many of the comforts of life, which I rejoiced to see others of God's people enjoy. At the same time, I saw so much of the excellency of Christ's kingdom and the infinite desirableness of its advancement in the world, that it swallowed up all my other thoughts, and made me willing, yea, even rejoice, to be made a pilgrim or hermit in the wilderness to my dying moment; if I might thereby promote the blessed interest of the great Redeemer. If ever my soul presented itself to God for his service, without any reserve of any kind, it did so now. The language of my thoughts and disposition now was "Here I am, Lord, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage Pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort in earth, or earthly comfort; send me even to death itself, if it be but in thy service, and to promote thy kingdom." At the same time, 1 had as quick and lively a sense of the value of worldly comforts, as I ever had but only saw them infinitely overmatched by the worth of Christ's kingdom, and the propagation of his blessed gospel. The quiet settlement, the certain place of abode, the tender friendship, which I thought I might be likely to enjoy in consequence of such circumstances, appeared as valuable to me, considered absolutely and in themselves, as ever before; but considered comparatively, they appeared nothing. Compared with the value and preciousness of an enlargement of Christ's kingdom, they vanished as stars before the rising sun. Sure I am, that, although the comfortable accommodations of life appeared valuable and dear to me, yet I did surrender and resign myself, soul and body, to the service of God, and to the promotion of Christ's kingdom; though it should be in the loss of them all, I could not do any other, because I could not will or choose any other. I was constrained, and yet chose, to say, "Farewell friends and earthly comforts, the dearest of them all, the very dearest, if the Lord calls for it: adieu, adieu; I will spend my life, to my latest moments, in caves and dens of the earth, if the kingdom of Christ may thereby be advanced. I found extraordinary freedom at this time in pouring out my soul to God for his cause; and especially that his kingdom might be extended among the Indians, far remote; and I had a great and strong hope that God would do it. I continued wrestling with God in prayer for my dear little flock here; and more especially for the Indians elsewhere; as
well as for dear friends in one place and another until it was bed time, and I feared I should hinder the family, &c. But, O, with what reluctancy did I feel myself obliged to consume time in sleep! I longed to be as a flame of fire, continually glowing in the divine service, and building up Christ's kingdom, to my latest, my dying moment.
May 23. "In the morning, was in the same frame of mind as in the evening before. The glory of Christ's kingdom so much outshone the pleasure of earthly accommodations and enjoyments, that they appeared comparatively nothing, though in themselves good and desirable. My soul was melted in secret meditation and prayer; and I found myself divorced from any part or portion in this world; so that in those affairs which seemed of the greatest importance to me with respect to the present life, and in those with which the tenderest feelings of the heart are most sensibly connected; I could only say, "the will of the Lord be done." But just the same things, which I felt the evening before, I felt now, and found the same freedom in prayer for the people of my charge, for the propagation of the gospel among the Indians, and for the enlargement and spiritual welfare of Zion in general, and my dear friends in particular now, as I did then; and longed to burn out in one continued flame for God. Retained much of the same frame through the day. In the evening I was visited by my brother JOHN BRAINERD; the first visit which I have ever received from any near relative since I have been a missionary. Felt the same flame of spirit in the evening, as in the morning; and found that it was good for me to draw near to God, and leave all my concerns and burdens with him. Was enlarged and refreshed in pouring out my soul for the propagation of the gospel of the Redeemer among the distant tribes of Indians. Blessed be God. If ever I filled up a day with study and devotion, I was enabled so to fill up this day.
May 24. "Visited the Indians, and took care of their secular business; which they are not able to manage themselves, without the constant care and advice of others. Afterwards discoursed to some of them particularly about their spiritual concerns. Enjoyed this day somewhat of the same frame of mind which I felt the day before.
Lord's day, May 25. "Discoursed both parts of the day from John xii. 44-48. "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, &c." There was some degree of divine power attending the word of God. Several wept, and appeared considerably affected, and one, who had long been under spiritual trouble, now obtained clearness and comfort, and appeared to rejoice in God her Saviour. It was a day of grace and divine goodness; a day wherein something I trust was done for the cause of God among my people; a season of comfort and sweetness to
numbers of the religious people; although there was not that influence upon the congregation which was common some months ago."
This week, at least the former part of it, he was in a very weak state, but yet seems to have been free from melancholy, which often had attended the failing of his bodily strength. He from time to time speaks of comfort and inward refreshment this week.
Lord's day, June 1, 1746. "Preached both forenoon and afternoon from Matt. xi. 27, 28. The presence of God seemed to be in the assembly; and numbers were considerably melted and affected under divine truths. There was a desirable appearance in the congregation in general, an earnest attention and an agreeable tenderness; and it seemed as if God designed to visit us with further showers of divine grace. I then baptized ten persons: five adults, and five children; and was not a little refreshed with this addition made to the church of such as I hope will be saved. I have reason to hope that God has lately, at and since our celebration of the Lord's supper, brought to himself several persons who had long been under spiritual trouble and concern; although there have been few instances of persons lately awakened out of a state of security. Those comforted of late seem to be brought in, in a more silent way; neither their concern, nor consolation being so powerful and remarkable, as appeared among those more suddenly wrought upon in the beginning of this work of grace.
June 2. "In the evening, enjoyed some freedom in secret prayer and meditation.
June 3. My soul rejoiced, early in the morning, to think that all things were at God's disposal. Oh, it pleased me to leave them there! Felt afterwards much as I did on Thursday evening last, May 22, and continued in that frame for several hours. Walked out in the wilderness, and enjoyed freedom, fervency and comfort in prayer, and again enjoyed the same in the evening.
June 4. "Spent the day in writing, and enjoyed some comfort, satisfaction and freedom in my work. In the evening, I was favoured with a sweet refreshing frame of soul in secret prayer and meditation. Prayer was now wholly turned into praise, and I could do little else but try to adore and bless the living God. The wonders of his grace displayed in gathering to himself a church among the poor Indians here, were the subject matter of my meditation, and the occasion of exciting my soul to praise and bless his name. My soul was scarcely ever more disposed to inquire, What I should render to God for all his benefits? than at this time. Oh, I was brought into a strait.
a sweet and happy strait, to know what to do: I longed to make some returns to God; but found I had nothing to return: I could only rejoice that God had done the work himself; and that none in heaven or earth might pretend to share the honour of it with him. I could only be glad that God's declarative glory was advanced by the conversion of these souls, and that it was to the enlargement of his kingdom in the world; but saw I was so poor that I had nothing to offer to him. My soul and body, through grace, I could cheerfully surrender to him; but it appeared to me this was rather a burden than a gift; and nothing could I do to glorify his dear and blessed name. Yet I was glad at heart, that he was unchangeably possessed of glory and blessedness. Oh that he might be adored and praised by all his intelligent creatures to the utmost extent of their capacities! My soul would have rejoiced to see others praise him, though I could do nothing towards it myself."
The next day he speaks of his being subject to some degree of melancholy; but of being somewhat relieved in the evening.
June 6. "Discoursed to my people from part of Is. liii. The divine presence appeared to be among us in some measure.Several persons were much melted and refreshed; and one man in particular, who had long been under concern for his soul, was now brought to see and feel, in a very lively manner, the impossibility of his doing any thing to help himself, or to bring him into the favour of God, by his tears, prayers and other religious performances; and found himself undone as to any power or goodness of his own, and that there was no way left him but to leave himself with God, to be disposed of as he pleased.
June 7. "Being desired by the Rev. WILLIAM TENNENT to be his assistant in the administration of the Lord's Supper, I this morning rode to Freehold to render that assistance. My people also being invited to attend the sacramental solemnity; they cheerfully embraced the opportunity, and this day attended the preparatory services with me.
"In the afternoon I preached from Psalm lxxiii. 28. But it is good for me to draw near to God,' &c. God gave me some freedom and warmth in my discourse and I trust his presence was in the assembly. Was comfortably composed, enjoyed a thankful frame of spirit, and my soul was grieved, that I could not render something to God for his benefits bestowed. O that I could be swallowed up in his praise !
Lord's day, June 8. Spent much time in the morning in secret duties, but between hope and fear respecting the enjoyment of God in the business of the day then before us. agreeably entertained in the forenoon by a discourse from Mr.