February 7: Brainerd’s Diary

Meditations of David Brainerd
by Rev. David T. Myers

We turn to the thoughts and words of missionary statesman David Brainerd who wrote in his diary on this day, February 7, the following devotional words.  He said in 1744 that he “was much engaged in some sweet meditations on the powers and affections of the godly soul in their pursuit of their beloved object: wrote something of the native language of spiritual sensation, in its soft and tender whispers; declaring, that it now feels and tastes that the Lord is gracious; that he is the supreme good, the only soul-satisfying happiness: that he is a complete, sufficient, and almighty portion: saying,

‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides this blessed portion.  O, I feel it is heaven to please him, and to be just what he would have me to be!  O that my soul were holy, as he is holy! O that it were pure, even as Christ is pure; and perfect, as my Father in heaven is perfect!  These, I feel, are the sweetest commands in God’s book, comprising all others.  And shall I break them!  must I break them! am I under a necessity of it as long as I live in the world!  O my soul, woe, woe is me that I am a sinner, because I now necessarily grieve and offend this blessed God, who is infinite in goodness and grace! Oh, methinks, if he would punish me for my sins, it would not wound my heart so deep to offend him: but though I sin continually, yet he continually repeats his kindness to me!  Oh, methinks I could bear any sufferings; but how can I bear to grieve and dishonour this blessed God!  How shall I yield ten thousand times more  honour to him?  What shall I do to glorify and worship this best of beings?  O that I could consecrate myself, soul and body, to his service for ever!  O that I could give up myself to him, so as never more to attempt to be my own, or to have any will or affections that are not perfectly conformed to him!  But, alas, alas!  I find I cannot be thus entirely devoted to God; I cannot live, and not sin.  O ye angels, do ye glorify him incessantly; and if possible, prostrate yourselves lower before the blessed King of heaven?  I long to bear a part with you; and, if it were possible, to help you. Of, when we have done all that we can, to all eternity, we shall not be able to offer the ten thousandth part of the homage that the glorious God deserves!’

David Brainerd concludes this diary portion with the statement, “Blessed be God, that he enables me to love him for himself.”

Words to Live By:
Oh to make this our prayer language and our life reality, that my soul is holy, as he is holy! that it is pure, even as Christ is pure; and perfect, as my Father in heaven is perfect.


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