By David Brainerd
Oct. 28. Discoursed from Matt. xxii, 1-13. I was enabled to open the Scripture, and adapt my discourse and expressions to the capacities of my people, I know not how, in a plain, easy, and familiar manner, beyond all that I could, have done by the utmost study: and this, without any special difficulty; yea, with as much freedom as if I had been addressing a common audience, who had been instructed in the doctrine of Christianity all their days.
The word of God at this time seemed to fall upon the assembly with a divine power and influence, especially toward the close of my discourse: there was both a sweet melting and bitter mourning in the audience. - The dear Christians were refreshed and comforted, - convictions revived in others, and sundry persons newly awakened who had never been with us before; and so much of the divine presence appeared in the assembly, that it seemed "this was no other than the house of God, and the gate of heaven." And all that had any savour and relish of divine things were even constrained by the sweetness of that season to say, "Lord, it is good for us to be here!" If ever there was amongst my people an appearance of the New Jerusalem - "as a bride adorned for her husband," there was much of it at this time; and so agreeable was the entertainment where such tokens of the divine presence were, that I could scarce be willing in the evening to leave the place, and repair to my lodgings. I was refreshed with a view of the continuance of this blessed work of grace among them, and its influence upon strangers of the Indians that had of late, from time to time, providentially fallen into these parts.
Nov. 1. Discoursed from Luke xxiv. briefly explaining the whole chapter, and insisting especially upon some particular passages. - The discourse was attended with some affectionate concern upon some of the hearers, though not equal to what has often appeared among them.
Lord's day, Nov. 3. Preached to my people from Luke xvi. 17. "And it is easier for heaven and earth," &c. more especially for the sake of several lately brought under deep concern for their souls. There was some apparent concern and affection in the assembly, though far less than has been usual of late.
Afterwards I baptized fourteen persons of the Indians, six adults and eight children: one of these was near fourscore years of age, and I have reason to hope God has brought her savingly home to himself. Two of the others were men of fifty years old, who had been singular and remarkable, even among the Indians, for their wickedness; one of them had been a murderer, and both notorious drunkards, as well as excessively quarrelsome; but now I cannot but hope both are become subjects of God's special grace, especially the worst of them.* I deferred their baptism for many weeks after they had given evidences of having passed a great change, that I might have more opportunities to observe the fruits of the impressions they had been under, and apprehended the way was now clear. There was not one of the adults I baptized, but what had given me some comfortable grounds to hope, that God had wrought a work of special grace in their hearts; although I could not have the same degree of satisfaction respecting one or two of them, as the rest.
Nov. 4. Discoursed from John xi. briefly explaining most of the chapter. - Divine truths made deep impressions upon many in the assembly; numbers were affected with a view of the power of Christ, manifested in his raising the dead; and especially when this instance of his power was improved to show his power and ability to raise dead souls (such as many of them then felt themselves to be) to a spiritual life; as also to raise the dead at the last day, and dispense to them due rewards and punishments.
There were sundry of the persons lately come here from remote places, that were now brought under deep and pressing concern for their souls, particularly one - who not long since came half drunk, and railed on us, and attempted by all means to disturb us while engaged in the divine worship - was now so concerned and distressed for her soul, that she seemed unable to get any ease without an interest in Christ. There were many tears and affectionate sobs and groans in the assembly in general, some weeping for themselves, others for their friends. And although persons are doubtless much easier affected now, than they were in the beginning of this religious concern, when tears and cries for their souls were things unheard of among them; yet I must say, their affection in general appeared genuine and unfeigned; and especially this appeared very conspicuous in those newly awakened. So that true and genuine convictions of sin seem still to be begun and promoted in many instances.
Baptized a child this day, and perceived sundry of the baptized persons affected with the administration of this ordinance, as being thereby reminded of their own solemn engagements. -
I have now baptized in all forty-seven persons of the Indians, twenty-three adults, and twenty-four children; thirty-five of them belonging to these parts, and the rest to the Forks of Delaware: and, through rich grace, none of them as yet have been left to disgrace their profession of Christianity by any scandalous or unbecoming behaviour.