Imágenes de páginas

ing, than all the drunkards in the world enjoy.” So much did he esteem the joy of faith above the pleasures of sin.—He felt that morning an unusual appetite to food, with which his mind seemed to be exhilarated, looking on it as a sign of the very near approach of death. At this time he also said, “I was born on a Sabbath-day; and I have reason to think 1 was newborn on a Sabbath-day ; and I hope I shall die on this Sabbathday. I shall look upon it as a favour if it may be the will of God that it should be so: I long for the time. O, why is his chariot so long in coming 2 why tarry the wheels of his chariot 2 I am very willing to part with all; I am willing to part with my dear brother John, and never to see him again, to go to be for ever with the Lord.” O, when I go there, how will God's dear church on earth be upon my mind " Afterwards, the same morning being asked how he did, he answered, “I am almost in eternity? I long to be there. My work is done; I have done with all my friends ; all the world is nothing to me. I long to be in heaven, praising and glorifying God with the holy angels. All my desire is to glorify God. During the whole of these last two weeks of his life, he seemed to continue in this frame of heart; loose from all the world, as having finished his work, and done with all things herebelow. He had now nothing to do but to die, and to abide in an earnest desire and expectation of the happy moment, when his soul should take its flight to a state of perfect holiness, in which he should be found perfectly glorifying and enjoying God. He said, “That the consideration of the day of death, and the day of judgment, had a long time been peculiarly sweet to him.” From time to time he spoke of his being willing to leave the body and the world immediately, that day, that night, that moment, if it was the will of God. He also was much engaged in expressing his longings that the church of Christ on earth might flourish, and Christ's kingdom here might be advanced, notwithstanding he was about to leave the earth, and should not with his eyes behold the desirable event, nor be instrumental in promoting it. He said to me, one morning, as I came into his room, “My thoughts have been employed on the old dear theme, the prosperity of God's church on earth. As I waked out of sleep, I was led to cry for the pouring out of God's Spirit, and the advancement of Christ's kingdom, for which the Redeemer did and suffered so much. It is that especially which makes me long for it.”—He expressed much hope that a glorious advancement of Christ's kingdom was near at hand.

* He had, before this.expressed a desire, if it might be the will of God, to live till his brother returned from New-Jersey: who, when he went away, intended if possible, to perform his journey, and return in a fortnight: hoping once more to meet his brother in the land of the living. The fortnight was now near expired, it ended the next day.

He once told me, that “he had formerly longed for the outpouring of the Spirit of God and the glorious times of the church, and hoped they were coming ; and should have been willing to have lived to promote religion at that time, if that had been the will of God; but, says he, I am willing it should be as it is ; I would not have the choice to make for myself, for ten thousand worlds " He expressed on his death-bed a full persuasion that he should in heaven see the prosperity of the church on earth, and should rejoice with Christ therein ; and the consideration of it seemed to be highly pleasing and satisfying to his mind.

He also still dwelt much on the great importance of the work of gospel ministers, and expressed his longings, that they might be filled with the Spirit of God. He manifested much desire to see some of the neighbouring ministers, with whom he had some acquaintance, and of whose sincere friendship he was confident that he might converse freely with them on that subject, before he died. And it so happened, that he had opportunity with some of them according to his desire.

“Another thing that lay much on his heart, from time to time, in these near approaches of death, was the spiritual prosperity, of his own congregation of Christian Indians in New-Jersey: and when he spake of them, it was with peculiar tenderness; so that his speech would be presently interrupted and drowned with tears.

He also expressed much satisfaction in the disposals of Provi

dence, with regard to the circumstances of his death; particularly that God had before his death given him an opportunity in Boston with so many considerable persons, ministers, and others to give in his testimony for God against false religion, and many mistakes that lead to it, and promote it. He was much pleased that he had an opportunity there to lay before pious and charitable gentlemen the state of the Indians, and their necessities to so good effect, and that God had since enabled him to write to them further concerning these affairs; and to write other letters of importance, which he hoped might be of good influence with regard to the state of religion among the Indians, and elsewhere, after his death. He expressed great thankfulness to God for his mercy in these things. He also mentioned it as what he accounted a merciful circumstance of his death, that he should die here. When he was sick at Boston, nigh unto death, it was with reluctance he thought of dying in a place where funerals are often attended with a pomp and show, to any appearance of which he was very averse: and though it was with some difficulty he got his mind reconciled to the prospect then before him, yet at last he was brought to acquiesce in the divine will, with respect to this circumstance of his departure. However, it pleased God to order the event so as to gratify his

Vol. X. 59

desire which he had expressed, of getting back to Northampton, with a view particularly to a more silent and private burial. And speaking of these things, he said, “God had granted him all his desire;” and signified, that now he could with the greater alacrity leave the world.

Sept. 28. “I was able to read and make some few corrections in my private writings; but found I could not write, as I had done ; I found myself sensibly declined in all respects. It has been only from a little while before noon, till about one or two o'clock, that I have been able to do any thing for some time past: yet this refreshed my heart that I could do any thing either public or private, that I hoped was for God.”

This evening, he was supposed to be dying. He thought so himself, and was thought so by those who were about him. He seemed glad at the appearance of the near approach of death. He was almost speechless, but his lips appeared to move: and one that sat very near him, heard him utter such expressions as these, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.—Oh why is his chariot so long in coming.” After he revived, he blamed himself for having been too eager to be gone. And in expressing what he found in the frame of his mind at that time, he said, he then found an inexpressibly sweet love to those whom he looked upon as belonging to Christ beyond almost all that ever he felt before, so that it seemed, to use his own words, “like a little piece of heaven to have one of them near him.” And being asked, whether he heard the prayer that was, at his desire, made with him ; he said, “Yes, he heard every word, and had an uncommon sense of the things that were uttered in that prayer, and that every word reached his heart.” On the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 29, as he lay on his bed, he seemed to be in an extraordinary frame; his mind greatly engaged in sweet meditations concerning the prosperity of Zion. There being present here at that time two young gentlemen of his acquaintance, who were candidates for the ministry, he desired us all to unite in singing a Psalm on that subject, even Zion's prosperity. And on his desire we sung a part of the 102d Psalm. This seemed much to refresh and revive him, and gave him new strength ; so that, though before he could scarcely speak at all, now he proceeded, with some freedom of speech, to give his dying counsels to those two young gentlemen beforementioned, relating to their preparation for, and prosecution of that great work of the ministry for which they were designed ; and in particular earnestly recommended to them frequent secret fasting and prayer: and enforced his counsel with regard to this from his own experience of the great comfort and benefit of it. which said he. I should not mention, were it not that I am a dying person. After he had finished his counsel, he made a prayer, in the audience of us all : wherein, besides praying for this family, for his brethren, and those candidates for the ministry, and for his own congregation, he earnestly prayed for the reviving and flourishing of religion in the world,—Till now he had every day sat up part of the day; but after this he never rose from his bed.

Sept. 30. “I was obliged to keep my bed the whole day, through weakness. However, redeemed a little time, and with the help of my brother, read and corrected about a dozen pages in my MS. giving an account of my conversion.

Oct. 1. “I endeavoured again to do something by way of writing, but soon found my powers of body and mind utterly fail. Felt not so sweetly, as when I was able to do something which I hoped would do some good. In the evening, was discomposed and wholly delirious; but it was not long before God was pleased to give me some sleep, and fully composed my mind.” O blessed be God for his great goodness to me, since I was so low at Mr. Bromfield's on Thursday, June 18, last. He has, except those few minutes, given me the clear exercise of my reason, and enabled me to labour much for him, in things both of a public and private nature; and perhaps to do more good than I should have done if I had been well; besides the comfortable influence of his blessed Spirit, with which he has been pleased to refresh my soul. May his name have all the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Oct. 2. “My soul was this day, at turns, sweetly set on God; I longed to be with him, that I might behold his glory. I felt sweetly disposed to commit all to him, even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, my absent brother, and all my concerns for time and eternity. O that his kingdom might come in the world; that they might all love and glorify him, for what he is in himself; and that the blessed Redeemer might “see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied " Oh, come Lord Jesus, come quickly Amen.”f

The next evening, we very much expected his brother John from New-Jersey; it being about a week after the time that he proposed for his return, when he went away. Though our expectations were still disappointed, yet Brainerd seemed to continue unmoved, in the same calm and peaceful frame, which he had before manifested; as having resigned all to God, and having done with his friends, and with all things here below.

* From this time forward, he had the free use of his reason till the day before his death: except that at some times he appeared a little lost for a moment, when first waking out of sleep.

t Here ends his diary. These are the last words which are written in it either by his own hand, or by any other from his mouth.

On the morning of the next day, being Lord's day, Oct. 4, as my daughter Jerusha, who chiefly attended him, came into the room, he looked on her very pleasantly, and said, “Dear Jerusha, are you willing to part with me?----I am quite willing to part with you: I am willing to part with all my friends, I am willing to part with my dear brother John, although I love him the best of any creature living : I have committed him and all my friends to God, and can leave them with God. Though if I thought I should not see you, and be happy with you in another world, I could not bear to part with you. But we shall spend an happy eternity together "" In the evening, as one came into the room with a Bible in her hand, he expressed himself thus: “O that dear book that lovely book ' I shall soon see it opened the mysteries that are in it and the mysteries of God’s providence will be all unfolded!” His distemper now very apparently preyed on his vitals in an extraordinary manner: not by a sudden breaking of ulcers in his lungs, as at Boston, but by a constant discharge of purulent matter, in great quantities: so that what he brought up by expectoration, seemed to be as it were mouthfuls of almost clear pus; which was attended with very inward pain and distress, On Tuesday, Oct. 6, he lay, for a considerable time, as if he were dying. At which time, he was heard to utter, in broken whispers, such expressions as these : “He will come, he will not tarry.—I shall soon be in glory.—I shall soon glorify God with the angels.”—But after some time he revived. The next day, Wednesday, Oct. 7, his brother John arrived from New-Jersey; where he had been detained much longer than he intended by a mortal sickness prevailing among the christian Indians, and by some other circumstances that made his stay with them necessary. BRAINERD was affected and refreshed

* Since this, it has pleased a holy and sovereign God to take away this my dear child by death, on the 14th of February, next following, after a short illness of five days, in the eighteenth year of her age. She was a person of much the same spirit with Brainerd. She had constantly taken care of, and attended him in his sickness, for nineteen weeks before his death: devoting herself to it with great delight, because she looked on him as an eminent servant of Jesus Christ. In this time, he had much conversation with her on the things of religion; and in his dying state, often expressed to us, her parents, his great satisfaction concerning her true piety, and his considence that he should meet her in heaven, and his high opinion of her, not only as a true Christian, but a very eminent saint, one whose soul was uncommonly fed and entertained with things which appertain to the most spiritual, experimental, and distinguishing parts of religion: and one who, by the temper of her mind, was fitted to deny herself for God and to do good, beyond any young woman whatsoever, whom he knew. She had manifested a heart uncommonly devoted to God, in the course of her life, many years before her death; and said on her death bed that “she had not seen one minute for several years, wherein she desired to live one minute longer, for the sake of any other good in life but doing good, living to God, and doing what might be for his glory.”

« AnteriorContinuar »