« AnteriorContinuar »
with them! The sight was so It may be, you may see me alive, dreadful, that I could by no means which I should much rejoice in : bear it. My thoughts recoiled ; but if you cannot come, I must and I said (but under a more commit you to the grace of God, affecting sense than ever before) where you are. May He be your Who can dwell with everlasting guide and counsellor, your sancburnings? Oh, methought, that I tifier, and eternal portion ! could now see my friends, that I
dear brother, flee might warn them, to see to it, that fleshly lusts'; and the enchanting they lay their foundation for eter amusements, as well as corrupt nity sure.
doctrines, of the present day; and And you, my dear brother, I strive to live to God. Take this have been particularly concerned as the last line from for; and have wondered that I so Your affectionate dying brother, much neglected conversing with
DAVID BRAINERD.' you about your spiritual state, at our last meeting. Oh, my brother, With the same ardent zeal and let me then beseech you now to
love thus addressed a young examine, whether you are indeed a friend to whom he was tenderly new creature; whether you have attached, and who was at that time ever acted above self; whether the a candidate for the ministry. glory of God has ever been the • Very dear Sir, - How amazing highest concern with you; whether it is, that the living, who know you have ever been reconciled to that they must die, should notwithall the perfections of God; in a standing put far away the evil day, word, whether God has been your in a season of health and prosperity; portion, and a holy conformity to
and live at such an awful distance him your chief delight.
from a familiarity with the grave, cannot answer positively, consider and the great concerns beyond it! seriously the frequent breathings of And especially it may justly till your soul; do you not, however, us with surprize, that any, whose put yourself off with a slight an minds have been divinely enlight
If you have reason to think ened, to behold the important you are graceless, oh, give your things of eternity as they are, I self and the throne of grace no rest, say, that such should live in this till God arise and save. But if manner. the case should be otherwise, bless • And yet, Sir, how frequently is God for his grace, and press after
this the case ? How rare are the holiness.
instances of those who live and My soul longs that you
should act, from day to day, as on the be fitted for, and in due time go verge of eternity, striving to fill up into, the work of the ministry. I all their remaining moments in the cannot bear to think of your going service and to the honour of their into any
other business in life. Do great Master? We insensibly trifle not be discouraged because you see away time, when we seem to have your elder brothers in the ministry enough of it; and are so strangely die young, one after another. I amused, as in a great measure to declare, now I am dying, I would lose a sense of the holiness and not have spent my life otherwise
blessed qualifications necessary to for the whole world. But I must prepare us to be inhabitants of the leave this with God.
heavenly paradise. But, dear Sir, If this line should come to a dying bed, if we enjoy our reason your hands soon after the date, I clearly, will give another view of should be almost desirous that you things. should set out on a journey to me, I have now, for more than three
weeks, lain under the greatest de has put such a stop to the work of gree of weakness; the greater part God in the late day, as the false of the time, expecting daily and religion, the wild affections, that hourly to enter into the eternal attend it. Suffer me, therefore, world: sometimes I have been so finally, to entreat you earnestly to far gone, as to be wholly speech- give yourself to prayer, to reading less for some hours together. And, and meditation on divine truths. oh, of what vast importance has Strive to penetrate to the bottom a holy spiritual life appeared to of them; and never be content me to be in this season ! I have with a superficial knowledge. By longed to call upon all my friends, this means, your thoughts will grato make it their business to live to dually grow weighty and judicious; God; and especially all that are and you hereby will be possessed designed for, or engaged in, the of a valuable treasure, out of which service of the sanctuary.
you may produce things new and • () dear Sir, do not think it old, to the glory of God. enough to live at the rate of com • And now, I commend you to mon Christians. Alas, to how the grace of God; earnestly desirlittle purpose do they often con ing, that a plentiful portion of the verse, when they meet together! Divine Spirit may rest on you; The visits, even of those who are that you may live to God in
every called Christians indeed, are fre capacity of life, and do abundant quently extremely barren; and con service for him in a public one,
if science cannot but condemn us for it be his will; and that you may the misimprovement of time, while be richly qualified for the inheritwe have been conversant with them. ance of the saints in glory. But the way to enjoy the Divine I scarcely expect to see your presence, and be fitted for dis
face any more in the body; and tinguishing service for God, is to therefore intreat you to accept this live a life of great devotion and as the last token of love from constant self-dedication to him ; Your sincerely affectionate dying observing the motions and dispo- friend, sitions of our own hearts, whence
DAVID BRAINERD.' we may learn the corruptions that lodge there, and our constant need To his brother John he writes, of help from God for the perform • Dear Brother,-I am now just ance of the least duty. Dear Sir, on the verge of eternity, expectlet me beseech you frequently to ing very speedily to appear in the attend to the great and precious unseen world. I feel myself no duties of private fasting and prayer. more an inhabitant of earth, and
'I have a secret thought, from sometimes earnestly long to depart some things which I have observed, and be with Christ. I bless God that God may perhaps design you that he has, for some years, given for some singular service in the me an abiding conviction, that it world. O, then, labour to be pre is impossible for any rational creapared and qualified to do much for ture to enjoy true happiness withGod. Read Mr. Edwards's piece out being entirely devoted to him. on the Affections, again and again; Under the influence of this convicand labour to distinguish clearly tion, I have in some measure acted; upon experiences and affections in Oh that I had done more so ! I religion, that you may make a saw both the excellency and necesdifference between the gold and sity of holiness in life; but never the shining dross. I say, labour in such a manner as now, when I there as ever you would be a use am just brought to the sides of the ful minister of Christ; for nothing grave. Oh, my brother, pursue
after holiness : press toward the Divine presence, both in private blessed mark; and let your thirsty and public, and may “the arms soul continually say, 'I shall never of your hands be made strong, by be' satisfied till I awake in thy the right hand of the mighty God likeness.' Although there has of Jacob!” Which are the pasbeen a great deal of selfishness in sionate desires and prayers of my views; of which I am ashamed, Your affectionate dying brother, and for which my soul has been
DAVID BRAINERD.' humbled; yet, blessed be God, I find I have really had, for the In this holy, heavenly state of most part, such a concern for his mind, Mr. B. awaited his solemn glory and the advancement of his change: 'one evening perceiving a kingdom in the world, that it is a fresh
token of the fatal progress of satisfaction to me to reflect on these his disorder, he exclaimed; • Oh, years.
the glorious time is now coming! And now, my
dear brother, as I have longed to serve God perI must press you to pursue after fectly; now he will gratify my personal holiness, to be as much in desires.' As new symptoms of fasting and prayer as your health approaching dissolution made their will allow, and to live above the appearance, he became still more rate of common Christians; so I animated and cheerful. When he must entreat you solemnly to attend spoke of the period of his death, to your public work. Labour to he used to call it, that glorious distinguish between true and false day; ' was this because he religion; and, to that end, watch should then be delivered from sorthe motions of God's Spirit on your row and pain, and raised to dignity own heart: look to him for help; and honour, for he thought that and impartially compare your ex a comparatively low and ignoble periences with his word.
consideration, but because he should • God knows, I was heartily then be able to glorify God with a willing to serve him longer in the
and perfect heart. One evenwork of the ministry, although it ing, when he was attempting to had still been attended with all the walk a little, he thought with himlabours and hardships of past years,
self: · How infinitely sweet is it, if he had seen fit that it should be to love God, and to be all for him.? so: but as his will now appears Upon which it occurred to him : otherwise, I am fully content; and • You are not an angel, not lively can, with the utmost freedom say, and active. To this, his whole The will of the Lord be done. soul instantly replied: 'I as sin
It affects me to think of leav- cerely desire to love and glorify ing you in a world of sin. My heart God, as any angel in heaven.' pities you, that those storms and The same night, he said : My tempests are yet before you, which heaven is to please God, to give I trust, through grace, I am almost up all to him, to be wholly devoted delivered from. But God liveth, to bis glory; that is the heaven I and blessed be my Rock! He is long for; that is my religion; that the same Almighty Friend; and is my happiness, and alway was, will, I trust, be your guide and ever since, I
suppose, helper, as he has been mine. true religion. I do not go to hea
And now, my dear brother, “ I ven to get honour, but to give all commend you to God, and to the possible glory and praise. It is word of his grace, which is able to no matter where I shall be stabuild you up, and give you an tioned in heaven, whether I have a inheritance among all them that high or a low seat there ; but to are sanctified.” May you enjoy the love, and please, and glorify God
I had any
is all. Had I a thousand souls, and circumstances of those whom if they were worth any thing, I he wished to instruct. His gift in would give them all to him; but prayer was
almost inimitable : I have nothing to give when all is there was such a propriety in his done. My heart goes out to the petitions, such a weight in his burying ground; it seems to me a expressions; such an appearance desirable place; but, Oh, to glo- of sincerity, reverence, and sorify God! that is it, that is above lemnity in his manner. His learnall. It is a great comfort to me to ing was very considerable: he think, that I have done a little for excelled in knowledge in general; God in the world. Oh! it is but but particularly in the knowledge a very small matter; yet I have of theology. He was truly, for done a little, and I lament I have one of his age, an extraordinary not done more for him. There is divine, especially in all matters nothing in the world worth living relating to experimental religion. for, but doing good, living to God, Grace in him appears to have been, pleasing him, and doing his whole with scarcely any interruption, in will.'
sensible and vigorous operation. • Mr. Brainerd was now daily He was distinguished by the purest growing worse ; yet ill as he was, and most ardent love to God; by he eagerly employed the little a most abasing impression of his strength which still remained, in own vileness, particularly of the some attempts to promote the glory depravity of his heart; by deep of the Redeemer and the salvation contrition of spirit, on account of of souls. It greatly refreshed him his small attainments in piety, and amidst all his bodily sickness and fervent longings after perfection in pain, that he was enabled to con- holiness; by intense desires to protribute a little towards these im- mote the glory of God, and the portant objects. Nature, how- extension of the kingdom of Christ ever, was, at length, exhausted in the world; by singular spiritHe gradually sunk under the rav- uality of mind, and entire deadness ages of his disorder, and after a to earthly things; by clear and severe struggle, breathed his last, impressive views of eternity, as if October 9, 1747, in the thirtieth' he were actually out of the body, year of his age.
and beheld with his eyes the grand • Thus died Mr. David Brainerd, realities of the other world.' a young man, whose extraordinary The last entry in his diary, in worth and piety entitle him to the his own hand, was the following, warmest admiration and respect of • Sep. 25, 1747.- This day I felt the Christian world, and whose unspeakably weak, and little better memory deserves to be embalmed
than speechless all the day. Howto the latest generations. He pos- ever, I was able to write a little. sessed, according to President Oh, it refreshed my soul to think Edwards, uncommon natural ta- of former things, of desires to glolents; a quick perception; a ready'rify God, of the pleasures of living invention: a strong memory;
to him! O my God, I am speedily clear, correct, penetrating judg- coming to thee, I hope! Hasten ment; a sound and vigorous under- the day, O Lord, if it be thy standing ; much natural eloquence, blessed will. Oh “come, Lord and a peculiar facility of commu- Jesus, come quickly!” Amen.' nicating his ideas to others. He His diary was continued a little had an extraordinary knowledge further, in a broken manner, writof men, as well as things, and a ten by his brother Israel, but inhappy faculty of accommodating dited by himself. The last entry himself to the capacities, tempers,
thus made in it here follows,
• Oct. 2.--My soul was, this might love and glorify him, for day, at turns, sweetly set on God. what he is in himself! that the I longed to be with him, that I blessed Redeemer might might behold his glory. I felt the travail of his soul, and be satissweetly disposed to commit all to fied !” Oh “ come, Lord Jesus, him ; even my dearest friends, my come quickly!' Amen.' dearest flock, my absent brother, May God vouchsafe to raise up and all my concerns for time and in his church, many who may foleternity. Oh that his kingdom
low this his departed servant, as might come in the world! that all he followed Christ. Amen.
TO A FRIEND WHO DENIES THE PERSONALITY OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
MY DEAR —, Unwittingly, yet saying, This is my beloved Son, in effectually did you, on my visit
whom I am well pleased. during the summer, lay the founda- The parallel passage in St. Luke tion of no inconsiderable drawback iii. 22. is as follows. The Holy to my religious peace. You may
Ghost descended in a bodily shape perchance recollect stating your like a dove upon him, and a wice disbelief on the personality of the came from heaven, which said, Holy Spirit. Nor even yet are Thou art my beloved Son, in whom the turbulent waves of this noisome I am well pleased. heresy entirely at rest. May he to On these passages the Homily whom the waves of the ocean paid for Whitsunday remarks. Where their due allegiance, say to my con
note three divers and distinct pertentious and erring heart, “ Peace, sons, the Father, the Son, and the be still.”
Holy Ghost. Consider me not, I pray you, as
Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore that ignorant and shackled
and teach all nations, baptizing who led by the baseness of fear, them in the name of the Father, and would feign throw aside the reason- of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. able interpretation of Scripture in
Would Christ have appointed obedience to the dogmas of com- a solemn service in his religion, mentators and expositors. For I and placed it at the door of the do maintain that' Holy Scripture church, as a test prior to admission, has explicit and conclusive testi- in the which an equality is plainly mony to the personality of the shewn between what you would Holy Ghost; and lest you should call the deity and an energy? See fancy I make assertion without Dr. Hawker. proof, I annex the following pas
Acts xiii. 2. The Holy Ghost sages.
said, Separate me Barnabas and Luke i. 35. The Holy Ghost Saul for the work whereunto I shall come upon thee, and the have called them. power of the Highest shall over- The eighth chapter of the Episcle shadow thee.
to the Romans abounds with tesMatt. iii. 16. And Jesus when timony to the personality of the he was baptized went up straight Holy Ghost. But the following way out of the water; and lo, the verses deserve especial attention. heavens were opened unto him, and Rom. viii. 26, 27. Likewise he saw the Spirit of God descend- the Spirit also helpeth our infirmiing like a dove and lighting upon ties—but the Spirit itself maketh him. And lo, a voice from heaven, intercession for us- He that search