Thursday, August 26

August 26, 1745

That would be 259 years ago today. Here's missionary David Brainerd's journal entry for that date:

Preached to my people from John vi. 51-55. After I had discoursed some time, I addressed those in particular who entertained hopes that they were "passed from death to life." Opened to them the persevering nature of those consolations Christ gives his people, and which I trusted he had bestowed upon some in that assembly; showed them that such have already the "beginnings of eternal life," (ver. 54.) and that their heaven shall speedily be completed, &c.

I no sooner began to discourse in this strain, but the dear Christians in the congregation began to be melted with affection to, and desire of, the enjoyment of Christ, and of a state of perfect purity. They wept affectionately, and yet joyfully, and their tears and sobs discovered brokenness of heart, and yet were attended with real comfort and sweetness; so that this was a tender, affectionate, humble, delightful melting, and appeared to be the genuine effect of a Spirit of adoption, and very far from that spirit of bondage that they not long since laboured under. The influence seemed to spread from these through the whole assembly, and there quickly appeared a wonderful concern among them. Many who had not yet found Christ as an all-sufficient Saviour, were surprisingly engaged in seeking after him. It was indeed a lovely and very desirable assembly. Their number was now about ninety-five persons, old and young, and almost all affected either with joy in Christ Jesus, or with utmost concern to obtain an interest in him.

Being fully convinced it was now my duty to take a journey far back to the Indians on Susquehannah river, (it being now a proper season of the year to find them generally at home,) after having spent some hours in public and private discourses with my people, I told them, that I must now leave them for the present, and go to their brethren far remote, and preach to them; that I wanted the Spirit of God should go with me, without whom nothing could be done to any good purpose among the Indians--as they themselves had opportunity to see, and observe, by the barrenness of our meetings at some times, when there was much pains taken to affect and awaken sinners, and yet to little or no purpose--and asked them, if they could not be willing to spend the remainder of the day in prayer for me, that God would go with me, and succeed my endeavours for the conversion of those poor souls. They cheerfully complied with the motion, and soon after I left them (the sun being then about an hour and a half high at night) they began, and continued praying all night,) till break of day, or very near, never mistrusting, they tell me, till they went out and viewed the stars, and saw the morning-star a considerable height, that it was later than common bed-time. Thus eager and unwearied were they in their devotions! A remarkable night it was, attended, as my interpreter tells me, with a powerful influence upon those who were yet under concern, as well as those that had received comfort.

There were, I trust, this day two distressed souls brought to the enjoyment of solid comfort in him, in whom the weary find rest.--It was likewise remarkable, that this day an old Indian, who has all his days been an obstinate idolater, was brought to give up his rattles (which they use for music in their idolatrous feasts and dances) to the other Indians, who quickly destroyed them; and this without any attempt of mine in the affair, I having said nothing to him about it; so that it seemed it was nothing but just the power of God's word, without any particular application to this sin, that produced this effect. Thus God has begun, thus he has hitherto surprisingly carried on a work of grace amongst these Indians. May the glory be ascribed to him, who is the sole Author of it!


[David Brainerd was a missionary to the Indians of some of the northeastern areas of what is now the United States.]
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