- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Baker Book House (August 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801009766
- ISBN-13: 978-0801009761
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 80 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
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From the Back Cover
Taken from Jonathan Edwards's edited versions of David Brainerd's 'Diary' and 'Journal', this compilation makes available a 'fairly complete' record of the self-denying life and strenuous labors of David Brainerd as he presented the gospel to American Indians.
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Here he is on a good day: "This morning..I felt a sweet longing in my soul after holiness. My soul seemed to reach and stretch towards the mark of perfect sanctity it was ready to break with longings."
Here he is on a bad day: "I appeared to myself a creature fit for nothing, neither heaven nor earth. None know, but those who feel it, what the soul endures that is sensibly shut out from the presence of God: alas it is more bitter than death."
And here he is an in-between day: "Felt my soul going forth after God sometimes; but not with such ardency as I longed for."
What is it about this book written 250 years ago that continues to inspire so many people today? It is that passion, that longing to be holy, that joy in spending hours in fasting and prayer. Whenever I read it, I feel a deep desire to live as he did, solely to God, though I confess, it does not last. Perhaps if I keep reading it will.
By the standards of today, he was not a success: he had to leave the ministry after only a few years because of ill health; he never married, he died young of consumption, and suffered greatly from depression. However, after much labor, his church numbered about 130 people, and even more, he left a legacy showing others what it means to really be a Christian.
Some may find his comments about the Indians disparaging, but it must be remembered he is a child of his times; also as his diary makes plain he suffered insults from, as he put it, "ungodly white people" for his efforts in securing land for the Indians that rightfully belonged to them.
David Brainerd was a man whose life was marked by suffering and depression. The diary is a constant up and down from one emotional and/or spiritual extreme to the other. What is so amazing is that God used this man in great ways...Not just in spite of, but because of Brainerd's struggles and afflictions.
It is a book that can encourage anyone that God can use you for his work, even though we are far from able candidates. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Not an easy read, but definitely a good read!