Friends – David Brainerd

Excerpts from the diary of David Brainerd

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 8, 1742. Felt very sweetly when I first rose in the morning. In family prayer, had some enlargement but not much spirituality till eternity came up before me and looked near. I found some sweetness in the thoughts of bidding a dying farewell to this tiresome world. Though some time ago I reckoned on seeing my dear friends at commencement, yet, being now denied the opportunity for fear of imprisonment, I felt totally resigned and as contented to spend this day alone in the woods as I could have done if I had been allowed to go to town. Felt exceedingly weaned from the world today. In the afternoon, I discoursed on divine things with a dear Christian friend, by which we were both refreshed. Then I prayed with a sweet sense of the blessedness of communion with God. I think I scarcely ever enjoyed more of God in any one prayer. Oh, it was a blessed season indeed to my soul. I know not that ever I saw so much of my own nothingness in my life, never wondered so that God allowed me to preach His Word. This has been a sweet and comfortable day to my soul. Blessed be God. Prayed again with my dear friend with something of the divine presence. I long to be wholly conformed to God and transformed into His image.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 9. Spent much of the day alone. Enjoyed the presence of God in some comfortable degree; was visited by some dear friends and prayed with them. Wrote sundry letters to friends; felt religion in my soul while writing. Enjoyed sweet meditations on some Scriptures. In the evening, went very privately into town from the place of my residence at the farms and conversed with some dear friends. Felt sweetly in singing hymns with them and made my escape to the farms again, without being discovered by any enemies as I knew of. Thus the Lord preserves me continually.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 10. Longed with intense desire after God. My whole soul seemed impatient to be conformed to Him and to become “holy, as he is holy.” In the afternoon, prayed with a dear friend privately and had the presence of God with us. Our souls united together to reach after a blessed immortality, to be unclothed of the body of sin and death, and to enter the blessed world, where no unclean thing enters. Oh, with what intense desire did our souls long for that blessed day that we might be freed from sin and forever live to and in our God! In the evening, took leave of that house but first kneeled down and prayed. The Lord was, of a truth, in the midst of us. It was a sweet parting season. Felt in myself much sweetness and affection in the things of God. Blessed be God for every such divine gale of His Spirit to speed me on in my way to the new Jerusalem! Felt some sweetness afterward and spent the evening in conversation with friends and prayed with some life and retired to rest very late. (327–28)