The Diary and Journal of David Brainerd

With Notes and Reflections by Jonathan Edwards

Weight 1.66 lbs
Dimensions 7.7 × 5.25 × 1.8 in
ISBN 9781800403796
Binding

Cloth-bound, eBook (ePub & Kindle), Cloth-bound & eBook (ePub & Kindle)

Topic

18th Century, Missionary Biography, Missions

Original Pub Date

1749

Banner Pub Date

Jun 1, 2007

Recent Pub Date Year

2023

Page Count

520

Format

Book

Book Description

The Diary and Journal of David Brainerd is of much more than merely historical interest. The first internationally recognized biography ever to be published, it has had a profound impact on successive generations of Christians around the world. This edition features a fresh, new typeset.

The Diary covers the period from April 1742 to October 1747, and although written as a private and personal record, was published in abridged form by the great New England pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards in 1749.

Brainerd wrote the Journal, which covers the twelve months from June 1745 to June 1746, at the request of the Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, which was supporting his missionary work amongst the indigenous peoples of North America. As Sir Marcus Loane has noted in They Were Pilgrims, ‘the Diary and Journal were each written for a distinct purpose, and each had its separate character. The Diary is a remarkable record of the interior life of the soul, and its entries still throb with the tremendous earnestness of a man who whose heart was aflame for God. The Journal is an objective history of the missionary work of twelve months, and its details are an astonishing testimony to the grace of God in the lives of men.’

Jonathan Edwards’ own ‘Reflections and Observations’ on Brainerd’s life, included in this volume, are, according to Iain H. Murray in his Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, ‘among the most important descriptive pages on the Christian life which Edwards ever wrote.’

Between 1742 and his death in 1747 David Brainerd took the gospel to the North American Indians of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. He willingly ran any risk and accepted any hardship to fulfil his calling as a missionary. The amount of work which he achieved in such unpromising and difficult circumstances now seems almost incredible. Moreover his total dedication to the cause of making Christ known inspired the finest of missionaries who followed in his footsteps.

Few books have done so much to promote prayer and missionary action as The Diary and Journal of David Brainerd.

Endorsements

‘Brainerd’s life is a vivid, powerful testimony to the truth that God can and does use weak, sick, discouraged, beat-down, lonely, struggling saints, who cry to him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for his glory.’ JOHN PIPER

‘I was much humbled today by reading Brainerd. O, what a disparity betwixt me and him! He always constant; I as inconstant as the wind.’  WILLIAM CAREY

‘Oh! blessed be the memory of that beloved saint! No uninspired writer ever did me so much good.’  HENRY MARTYN

Reviews

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Table of Contents Expand ↓

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Preface 3
MR. BRAINERD’S LIFE AND DIARY IN EIGHT PARTS
I From his birth to the time when he began to study for the ministry 13
II From his beginning to study, till his being examined and licensed to preach 32
III From his being licensed to preach, till he was appointed Missionary to the Indians 49
IV From his appointment, to his entrance on the mission at Kaunaumeek 62
V From his beginning to instruct the Indians, to his ordination 74
VI From his ordination, till he began to preach to the Indians at Crossweeksung, where he had his most remarkable success 120
VII Return from his last journey to Susquehannah in a consumption, whereof he died 162
VIII From his return to Susquehannah, till his death 212
MR. BRAINERD’s JOURNAL, IN TWO PARTS
Advertisement 258
Preface 259
I The Rise and Progress of a remarkable Work of grace, etc.—from A.D. 1745, June 19, to Nov. 4, at Crossweeksung and Forks of Delaware 263
II From A.D. 1745, Nov. 24 to Jine 19, 1746, ditto 308
FIRST APPENDIX</strong< 359
I The doctrine preached to the Indians 359
II Morality, sobriety, and external duties promoted by preaching Christ crucified 362
III Continuance, renewal, and quickness of the word 366
IV But little appearance of false religion 370
SECOND APPENDIX 375
Introduction 375
I His method of learning the Indian language 376
II His method of instructing the Indians 379
III Difficulties attending the christianizing of the Indians—First difficulty, Their rooted aversion to Christianity 383
IV Second difficulty, To convey divine truths to their understanding, and gain their assent 393
V Third difficulty, Their inconvenient situations, savage manners, and unhappy method of living 400
VI Fourth difficulty, The designs of evil-minded persons to hinder the work 404
VII Attestations of divine grace displayed among the Indians 407
THIRD APPENDIX—Containing his brief account of the endeavours used by the Missionaries of the Society in Scotland, for propagating Christian Knowledge, to introduce the Gospel among the Indians, on the boarders of New York, etc. in a letter to the Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton 413
MR. BRAINERD’S REMAINS 427
Advertisement 427
I Letter to his brother John, then a student 427
II Letter to his brother John, then a student 429
III Letter to his brother John, then a student 430
IV Letter to a special friend 432
V Letter to a Minister of the Gospel 434
VI Letter to his brother John 435
VII Letter to his brother Israel 436
VIII Letter to his brother Israel 437
IX Letter to a young gentleman, a candidate for the ministry 438
X Letter to his brother John, at Bethel 440
DETACHED PAPERS 443
I Scheme of a Dialogue in the Godly Soul 443
II Thoughts of a Soul under Conviction 449
III Some signs of Godliness 450
A Sermon preached in Newark at the ordination of Mr. David Brainerd, by E. Pemberton, A.M. 451
Reflections and Observations 469

1 testimonial for The Diary and Journal of David Brainerd

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  1. marcdanielrivera

    This recently released, full re-typeset edition from Banner of Truth, reproduced from the two-volume works of Jonathan Edwards, is sewn-bound in a cloth-over-board cover with fresh and highly readable font and typeface. Edited by the great American Puritan Jonathan Edwards, this volume includes his preface, notes, and reflections.

    Covering April 1742 to October 1747, the Diary was initially private but published in abridged form by Jonathan Edwards in 1749. Brainerd’s Journal, from June 1745 to June 1746, was written at the request of the Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, documenting his missionary efforts among North America’s indigenous peoples. Despite facing considerable challenges, Brainerd dedicated himself to spreading the gospel among Native Americans until his death in 1747, inspiring future missionaries with his unwavering commitment to Christ.

    In his diary and journals, we see Brainerd as an individual troubled by life’s challenges, wrestling with loneliness and depression. Nevertheless, his commitment to personal devotion and holiness remained steadfast, even in times of perceived distance from God. His obedience, humility, and recognition of his own sinfulness are commendable qualities deserving of contemplation.

    Brainerd’s diary offers an intimate glimpse into his spiritual life, while his journal provides an objective account of his missionary work. However, they lack extensive descriptions of his interactions with the Native Americans he ministered to. So, if you want to learn more about his missionary work on the Natives, you need to consult other references aside from this.

    Although containing repetitions common in diary entries, reading it really strengthened my admiration for David Brainerd. His passionate commitment to God, and love and compassion for others are deeply inspiring. His example challenges me to live with passion, purpose, and excellence, for the glory of God. Furthermore, in a time when worship is often seen as contingent on feelings, Brainerd’s adherence to obedience over emotions is really encouraging. His steadfastness provides inspiration to endure difficulties and trials.

    There are only a few books that I would call life-changing, and I must say that The Diary And Journal Of David Brainerd is one of them. The faith, resilience, and courage that this brave missionary has shown despite trials and tribulations of life are extraordinary and worth emulating. This book will surely inspire you to serve God and others, and proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. If you haven’t read this life-changing book, I highly recommend this fine edition from Banner of Truth!

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