Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

09766: The Life and Diary of David Brainerd The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

By Edited by Jonathan Edwards / Baker

CBD writes: "Pioneer missionary to Indians, David Brainerd rode over 3,000 miles on horseback through the wilderness of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His journal, kept during his travels, was edited by Jonathan Edwards after Brainerd's death in 1747. His accounts of setbacks, successes, and intense spiritual devotion have inspired believers ever since. This new edition includes a biographical sketch of Edwards by Philip E. Howard, Jr. 385 pages, softcover from Baker."





David Brainerd (1718-1747)

I first read The Life and Diary of David Brainerd as a much younger Christian and three things really leapt out of the book at me: 1) Brainerd’s prayer life. 2) The way he seemed to loath himself and 3) The mighty way in which God used this man and answered his prayers.

Mr. Brainerd never published these papers nor did it seem to be his intention while writing them. He fell ill from his missionary labors among the Native American Indians and kept going till it literally killed him. He died at the age of 29 at the home of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards read the papers that Brainerd left behind and realizing the invaluable treasure that he had he proceeded to edit and published them.

Mr. Brainerd only spent 29 years and about 5 months or so on this planet and only 8 of those years as a Christian but he changed this world forever as this story of his life was in large part one of the main impetus behind the modern missionary movement.

William Carey once wrote: “It is true all the reward is of mere grace, but it is nevertheless encouraging; what a treasure, what and harvest must await such characters as Paul, and Elliot, and Brainerd, and others, who have given themselves wholly to the work of the Lord….”

 Gideon Hawley, a missionary to the Iroquois Indians in Massachusetts tells us: “I need, greatly need, something more than human to support me. I read my Bible and Mr. Brainerd's Life, the only books I brought with me, and from them have a little support”

After reading Brainerds Life Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: “I thought of David Brainerd, and ardently desired his devotedness to God and holy breathings of soul…I long to be like him; let me forget the world and be swallowed up in a desire to glorify God…”

John Wesley urged: “Let every preacher read carefully over the Life of David Brainerd.”

Robert Murray McCheyne “steeped himself in the journals and writings of Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd and Henry Martyn, and longed that the power of the Holy Spirit that had been so evident in their lives would also be granted him.”

We could go on and on with such stories.

This particular edition has a brief biographical sketch of Jonathan Edwards included in the book (including his 70 Resolutions) which itself is worth the price of the book in my own opinion.

If you have never read this wonderful book I would highly, highly recommend it.
CONTENTS
Prefatory Note.............................................................. 7
A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Work of JonathanEdwards.................................................................... 11
The Works of President Edwards.................................. 41
Preface......................................................................... 43
Introductory Note......................................................... 53
brainerd's life and diary
Part I............................................................................. 57
From His Birth to the Time When He Began to Study for the Ministry, 1718-1742
Part II............................................................................ 75
From About the Time That He First Began to Study Divinity Till He Was Examined and Licensed to Preach, April-July, 1742
Part III........................................................................... 93
From the Time of His Being Licensed to Preach Till He Was Appointed as Missionary to the Indians, July-November, 1742
Part IV........................................................................... 107
From the Time of His Examination and Appointment to His Entrance Among the Indians at Kaunaumeek, 1742-1743

Part V 
        From His Beginning to Instruct the Indians at Kaunau-meek to His Ordination, 1743-1744

Part VI.
        From His Ordination Till He First Began to Preach to the Indians at Crossweeksung, Among Whom He Had His Most Remarkable Success, 1744-1745

BRAINERD S JOURNAL
Part I.......................................................................... 203
From June 19 to November 4, 1745, at Crossweeksung and the Forks of Delaware
Part II............................................................................ 255
From November 24, 1745 to June 19, 1746 at Cross­weeksung and Forks of Delaware
Part VII......................................................................... 311
From the Close of His Journal to His Return from the Susquehannah, June-September, 1746
Part VIII........................................................................ 331
After His Return from His Last Journey to Susquehannah Until His Death, 1746-1747
Appendix I.................................................................... 379
Appendix II................................................................... 383




From the Back of the Book:


"A remarkable story of genuine piety, in heart
and in practice
The autobiographical account of a courageous
preacher who daily ' 'walked with God,'' but who
also mourned when the light of God's countenance
was dimmed or absent
Taken from Jonathan Edwards's edited versions of David Brainerd's Diary and Journal, this compilation makes available a "fairly complete" record of the self-denying life and strenuous labors of David Brainerd as he presented the gospel to American Indians. It was originally published as one of the titles in the Wycliffe series of Christian classics.
Preceding the Brainerd accounts is a brief but revealing biographical sketch of Jonathan Edwards by Philip E. Howard, Jr."



Some Quotes From the Book:
 

"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. Oh. that my soul were rapt 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."

"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."

"....Then God gave me to wrestle earnestly for others, for the kingdom of Christ in the world, and for dear Christian friends. I was 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."

Monday, April 19. I set apart this day for fasting and prayer to God for His grace; especially to prepare me for the work of the ministry, to give me divine aid and direction in my preparations for that great work, and in His own time to send me into His harvest. Accordingly, in the morning, I en­deavored to plead for the divine presence for the day, and not without some life. In the forenoon, I felt the power of intercession for precious, immortal souls; for the advance­ment of the kingdom of my dear Lord and Saviour in the world; and withal, a most sweet resignation and even con­solation and joy in the thoughts of suffering hardships, dis­tresses, and even death itself, in the promotion of it. Had special enlargement in pleading for the enlightening and con­version of the poor heathen.

In the afternoon, God was with me of a truth. Oh, it was blessed company indeed! God enabled me so to agonize in prayer that I was quite wet with perspiration, though in the shade and the cool wind….”

Wednesday, June 30. Spent this day alone in the woods in fasting and prayer; underwent the most dreadful conflicts in my soul that ever I felt, in some respects. I saw myself so vile that I was ready to say, "I shall now perish by the hand of Saul." I thought, and almost concluded, I had no power to stand for the cause of God, but was almost "afraid of the shaking of a leaf." Spent almost the whole day in prayer, incessantly. I could not bear to think of Christians showing me any respect. I almost despaired of doing any service in the world. I could not feel any hope or comfort respecting the heathen, which used to afford me refreshment in the darkest hours of this nature. I spent the day in bitterness of my soul. Near night, I felt a little better; and afterwards enjoyed some sweetness in secret prayer.”

Thursday, July 22. Journeying from Southbury to Ripton, I called at a house by the way; where being very kindly en­tertained and refreshed, I was filled with amazement and shame that God should stir up the hearts of any to show so much kindness to such a dead dog as I. Was made sensible, in some measure, how exceeding vile it is not to be wholly de­voted to God. I wondered that God would suffer any of His creatures to feed and sustain me from time to time.”
“Friday, August 20.1 appeared so vile to myself that I hardly dared to think of being seen especially on account of spiritual pride. However, tonight I enjoyed a sweet hour alone with God (at Ripton); I was lifted above the frowns and flatteries of this lower world, had a sweet relish of heavenly joys, and my soul did as it were get into the eternal world and really taste of heaven. I had a sweet season of intercession for dear friends in Christ, and God helped me to cry fervently for Zion. Blessed be God for this season.”

Monday, November 28. In the evening, I was obliged to spend time in company and conversation that was unprofit­able. Nothing lies heavier upon me than the misimprovement of time.”

“…I continued my discourse, with some fervency, till almost every one in the house was melted into tears; and divers wept aloud and appeared earnestly concerned to obtain an interest in Christ. Upon this, numbers soon gathered from all the houses round about and so thronged the place that we were obliged to remove to the house where we usually meet for public worship. The congregation gathering immediately, and many appeared remarkably affected. I discoursed some time from Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost"; endeavoring to open the mercy, compassion, and concern of Christ for lost, helpless, and undone sinners…..”

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