Sunday, October 10

Remarks from the Summary

David Brainard takes a couple weeks off from his journal here. My very, very uneducated guess is that he sees he is running out of pages in his journal (there are only a few short entries left before he starts a new one) and circumstances prevent him from acquiring a new one yet, and so he writes sparingly for a month. While David's taking a break, I'm going to post excerpts from the summary remarks at the end of Journal 1.

I MIGHT now justly make many remarks on a work of grace so very remarkable as this has been in divers respects; but shall confine myself to a few general hints only.

1st, It is remarkable that God began this work among the Indians at a time when I had the least hope, and, to my apprehension, the least rational prospect of, seeing a work of grace propagated amongst them. My bodily strength being then much wasted by a late tedious journey to Susquehannah, where I was necessarily exposed to hardships and fatigues among the Indians: my mind being also exceedingly depressed with a view of the unsuccessfulness of my labours. I had little reason so much as to hope that God had made me instrumental in the saving conversion of any of the Indians except my interpreter and his wife. Whence I was ready to look upon myself as a burden to the Honourable Society, that employed and supported me in this business, and began to entertain serious thoughts of giving up my mission; and almost resolved I would do so at the conclusion of the present year, if I had then no better prospect of special success in my work than I had hitherto had. I cannot say I entertained these thoughts because I was weary of the labours and fatigues that necessarily attended my present business, or because I had light and freedom in my own mind to turn any other way; but purely through dejection of spirit, pressing discouragement, and an apprehension of its being unjust to spend money consecrated to religious uses, only to civilize the Indians, and bring them to an external profession of Christianity. This was all that I could then see any prospect of having effected, while God seemed, as I thought, evidently to frown upon the design of their saving conversion, by withholding the convincing and renewing influences of his blessed Spirit from attending the means I had hitherto used with them for that end.

And in this frame of mind I first visited these Indians at Crossweeksung, apprehending it was my indispensable duty, seeing I had heard there was a number in these parts, to make some attempts for their conversion to God, though I cannot say I had any hope of success, my spirits being now so extremely sunk. And I do not know that my hopes respecting the conversion of the Indians were ever reduced to so low an ebb, since I had any special concern for them, as at this time. - And yet this was the very season that God saw fittest to begin this glorious work in! And thus he "ordained strength out of weakness," by making bare his almighty arm at a time when all hopes and human probabilities most evidently appeared to fail. - Whence I learn, that it is good to follow the path of duty, though in the midst of darkness and discouragement.


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