« AnteriorContinuar »
REV. DAVID BRAINERD;
Off THE BORDERS OF MEW-YORK, ffEW- JERSEY,
CHIETLY TAKEN FROM HIS OWN DIARY.
By Rev. JONATHAN EDWARDS, or Northampton.
1SCI.UDJWG HIS JOURNAL, ROW FOR THE FIRST TIME IHCORPORATED WITH Till
BY SERENO EDWARDS DWIGHT.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-first day of May, > in the forty-sixth year of the Independence of the United States of I America, Sherman Converse, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to wit: "Memoirs of the Rev. David Brainerd; Missionary to the Indians, on the bor"ders of New-York, New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, chiefly taken from his own di"ary. By Rev. Jonathan Edwards, of Northampton. Including his Journal, now for "the first time incorporated with the rest of his diary, in a regular chronological "series. By Sertno Edwards Dwight."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." CHAS. A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
CHA'S. A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.
About the year 1740, several distinguished ministers in the city of New York and its vicinity; and among them, Rev. Ebenezer PemberTos of New York, Rev. Aaron Burr of Newark, and Rev. Jonathan Dickinson of Elizabethtown; communicated to the " Society In ScotLand For PROPAGATING Christian Knowledge," "thedeplorablc and perishing state of the Indians in the provinces of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania."
In consequence of this representation, the Society charitably and cheerfully agreed to the proposal of maintaining two missionaries among them, to convert them to Christianity; and in pursuance of this design sent those gentlemen, and some others—both clergymen and laymen, a Commission to act as their Commissioners, or Correspondents, "in providing, directing, and inspecting the said Mission."
"As soon as the Correspondents received their commission," to use their own language, "they immediately looked out for two candidates for the ministry, whose zeal for the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, and whose compassion for perishing souls would prompt them to such an exceedingly difficult and self-denying undertaking. They first prevailed with Mr. Azariah Horton to relinquish a call to an encouraging parish, and to devote himself to the Indian service. He was directed to Long Island in August, 1741, at the east end of which there are two small towns of Indians; and, from the east to the west end of the island, lesser companies settled at a few miles distance from one another, for the distance of more than a hundred miles. At his first arrival, he was well received by most, and cordially welcomed by some of them. Those at the east end of the island, especially, gave diligent and serious attention to his instructions; and many of them were led to ask the solemn enquiry, What they should do to be saved? A general reformation of manners was soon observable among most of these Indians. They were careful to attend, and serious and solemn while attending, upon both public and private instructions. A number of them were under very deep convictions of their miserable, perishing state; and about twenty of them give lasting evidences of their saving conversion to God. Mr. Horton has baptized thirty-five adults, and forty-four children. He took pains with them to teach them to read; and some of them have made considerable proficiency. But the extensiveness of his charge, and the necessity of his travelling from place to place, renders him incapable of giving so constant an attendance to their instruction in reading, as is necessary. In his last letter to the Correspondents, he heavily complains of a great defection of some of them from their first reformation and care of their souls; occasioned by strong drink being brought among them, and their being thereby allured to relapse into their darling vice of drunkenness. This is a vice to which the Indians are every where so greatly addicted, and so vehemently disposed, that nothing but the power of divine grace can restrain that impetuous lust, when they have opportunity to gratify it. He likewise complains, that some of them have grown more careless and remiss in the duties of religious worship, than they were when first acquainted with the great things of their eternal peace. But, as a number retain their first impressions, and as they generally attend with reverence upon his ministry, he goes on with his work with encouraging hopes of the presence and blessing of God with him in this difficult undertaking."
With the subsequent labours and success of Mr. Horton the Editor is unacquainted; not having been able to ascertain how long he was employed as a Missionary; or whether his Diary was ever published.
"It was some time after this, before the Correspondents could obtain another Missionary. At length they prevailed with Mr. David BrainErd to refuse several invitations to places, where he had a promising prospect of a comfortable settlement, to encounter the fatigues and perils which must attend his carrying the Gospel of Christ to these poor, miserable savages.''''
David Brainerd, the subject of the ensuing Life, and author of the Diary incorporated with it, was examined and approved as a Missionary, at the city of New York, by the Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge, Nov. 25, 1742.
* These extracts are from the Preface of the Correspondents to BrainerJ'- Letter to Pemberton.