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This night, I endured a dreadful turn, whereie my life was expected scarce an hour or minute together. But blessed be God, 'I have enjoyed considerable sweetness in divine things, this week, both by night and day.
Thursday, September 24.-My strength began to fail exceedingly; which looked further as if I had done all my work : however, I had strength to fold and superscribe my letter. About two I went to bed, being weak and much disordered, and lay in a burning fever until night, without any proper rest. In the evening I got up, having lain down in some of my clothes; but was in the greatest distress that ever I endured, having an uncommon kind of hiccough; which either strangled me, or threw me into a straining to vomit; and at the same time was distressed with griping pains. O, the distress of this evening! I had little expectation of my living the night through, nor indeed had any about me: and I longed for the finishing moment! I was obliged to repair to bed by six o'clock, and through mercy enjoyed some rest; but was grievously distressed at turns with the hiccough. My soul breathed after God, while the watcher was with me: When shalữ I come to God, even to God, my exceeding joy? O for this blessed likeness !
Friday, September 25.—This day, I was unspeakably weak, and little better than speechless all the day: however, I was able to write a little, and felt comfortably in some part of the day. O, it refreshed my soul, to think of former things, of desires to glorify God, of the pleasures of living to him! O my dear God, I am speedily coming to thee, I hope! Hasten the day, O Lord, if it be thy blessed will: 0 come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.*
Saturday, September 26.-I felt the sweetness of divine things, this forenoon; and had the consolation of a consciousness that I was doing something fos God.
Lord's day, September 27.-This was a very comfortable day to my soul; I think, I awoke with God. I was enabled to lift up my soul to God, early this morning; and while I had little bodily strength, I found freedom to lift up my heart to God for myself and others. Afterwards, was pleased with the thoughts of speedily entering into the unseen world.
Early this morning, as one of the family came into the room, he expressed himself thus: I have had more pleasure this morning, than all the drunkards in the world enjoy, if it were all extracted! 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, as looking on it a sign of the very near approach of death; and said upon it, I was born on a Sabbath day; and I have reason to think I was new-born on a Sabbath day; and I hope I shall die on this Sabbath day: I should look upon it as a favor, 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? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots ? 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 forever with the Lord.t 0, 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
This was the last that ever he wrote in his Diary with his own hand : though it is continued a little farther, in a broken manner, written by his brother Israel, but indited by his mouth in this his weak and dying state.
+ He had before this expressed a desire, if it might be the will of God, to live until his brother return. ed 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 londo
a fortnight ; hoping once more to meet his brother in the land of the living. The fortnigbt was now Rear expired, it ended the next day.
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 done his work, and done with all things here below, having nothing to do but to die, and abiding in an earnest desire and expectation of the happy moment, when his soul should take its flight, and go to a state of perfection of holiness and perfect glorifying and enjoying God, manifested in a variety of expressions. He said, that the consideration of the day of death, and the day of judgment, had a long time been peculiarly sweet to him. He from time to time spake of his being willing to leave the body and the world immediately, that day, that night, and that moment, if it was the will of God. He also was much 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 the 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, which the dear Redeemer did and suffered so much for. It is this that especially makes me long for it. He expressed much hope that a glorious advancement of Christ's kingdom was near at hand.
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 ministers of the gospel; and expressed his longings, that they might be filled with the Spirit of God; and manifested much desire to see some of the neighboring ministers, whom he had some acquaintance with, and whose sincere friendship he was confident of, 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, and that he spake of, 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 Providence, with regard to the circumstances of his death; particularly that God had before his death given him the opportunity he had had in Boston, with so many considerable persons, ininisters and others, to give in his testimony for God, and against false religion, and many mistakes that lead to it and promote it; and there to lay before pious and charitable gentlemen, the state of the Indians and their neces sities, to so good effect; and that God had since given him opportunity to write to them further concerning these affairs; and to write other letters of importance, that 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. And speaking of these things, he said, God had granted him all his desire; and sig. nified, that now he could with the greater alacrity leave the world.
Monday, September 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, until 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. O, 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 tine, he said, he then found an inexpressibly sweet love to those that 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 the next day, viz., Tuesday, September 29, as he lay in 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, that 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 before mentioned, relating to their preparation for, and prosecution of that great work of the ministry they were designed for; and in particular, earnestly recommending 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. And 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.
Until now he had every day sat up part of the day; but after this he never rose from his bed.]
Wednesday, September 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.
Thursday, October 1.- I endeavored again to do something by way of writ. ing, but soon found my powers of body and mind utterly fail. Felt not so sweetly as when I was able to do something that I hoped would do some good.
In the evening, was discomposed and wholly dehrious; but it was not long before God was pleased to give me some sleep, and fully composed my mind.* 0, blessed be God for his great goodness to me, since I was so low at Mr. Broomfield's, on Thursday, June 18, last past. He has, except those few minutes, given me the clear exercise of my reason, and enabled me to labor 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 influences of his blessed Spirit, with which he has been pleased to refresh my soul. May his name have all the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Friday, October 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 hun, even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, and 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. O come Lord Jesus, come quickly.t Amen.
[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. And though our expectations were still disappointed, yet Mr. Brainerd seemed to continue unmoved, in the same calm and peaceful frame, that he had before manifested; as having resigned all to God, and having done with his friends, and with all things below.
On the morning of the next day, being Lord's day, October 4, as my daughter Jerusha, who chiefly tended 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: Lam 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 a happy eternity together!
In the evening, as one came into the room with a Bible in her hand, he expressed himself thus : 0, 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 inatter, 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 great inward pain and distress.
On Tuesday, October 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, viz. Wednesday, October 7, his brother John arrived, being returned 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 things in their circumstances that made his stay with them neces. sary. Mr. Brainerd was affected and refreshed with seeing him, and appeareu fully satisfied with the reasons of his delay; seeing the interest of religion and of the souls of his people required it.
* From this time forward, he had the free use of his reason until the day before his death; except. ing that at some times he appeared a little lost for a moment, at first waking out of sleep.
Here ends his Diary: these are the last words that are written in it, either by his own hand, or by any other from his mouth.
The next day, Thursday, October 8, he was in great distress and agonies of body; and for the bigger part of the day, was much disordered as to the exercise of his reason. In the evening he was more composed, and had the use of his reason well; but the pain of his body continued and increased. He told me it was impossible for any to conceive of the distress he felt in his breast. He manifested much concern lest he should dishonor God, by impatience under his extreme agony ; which was such, that he said, the thought of enduring it one minute longer was almost insupportable. He desired that others would be much in lifting up their hearts continually to God for him, that God would support him, and give him patience. He signified that he expected to die that night; but seemed to fear a longer delay: and the disposition of his mind with regard to death appeared still the same that it had been all along. And notwithstanding his bodily agonies, yet the interest of Zion lay still with great weight on his mind; as appeared by some considerable discourse he had that evening with the Rev. Mr. Billing, one of the neighboring ministers, who was then present, concerning the great importance of the work of the ministry, &c. And afterwards, when it was very late in the night, he had much very proper and profitable discourse with his brother John, concerning his congregation in New Jersey, and the interest of religion among the Indians. In the latter part of the night, his bodily distress seemed to rise to a greater height than ever; and he said to those then about him, that it was another thing to die, than people imagined; explaining himself to mean that they were not aware what bodily pain and anguish is undergone before death. Towards day, his eyes fixed: and he continued lying immovable, until about six o'clock in the morning, and then expired, on Friday, October 9, 1747, when his soul, as we may well conclude, was received by his dear Lord and Master, as an eminently faithful servant, into that state of perfection of holiness, and fruition of God, which he had so often and so ardently longed for; and was welcomed by the glorious assembly of the upper world, as one peculiarly fitted to join them in their blessed employments and enjoyments.
Much respect was shown to his memory at his funeral; which was on the Monday following, after a sermon preached the same day, on that solemn occasion. His funeral was attended by eight of the neighboring ministers, and seventeen other gentlemen of liberal education, and a great concourse of people.]
REFLECTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS ON THE PRECEDING ME
MOIRS OF MR. BRAINERD.
1. We have here an opportunity, as I apprehend, in a very lively instance, to see the nature of true religion; and the manner of its operation, when exemplified in a high degree and powerful exercise. Particularly it may be worthy to be observed,
1. How greatly Mr. Brainerd's religion differed from that of some pretenders to the experience of a clear work of saving conversion wrought on their bearts; who, depending and living on that, settle in a cold, careless and carnal frame of mind, and in a neglect of thorough, earnest religion, in the stated