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Recovering the zeal of David Brainerd

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If you would like to study the life of a missionary or are thinking of becoming one I would highly recommend you read (see link below for free ebook) about a young man called David Brainerd…

David Brainerd died 265 years ago. [9th October] was the anniversary of his home going.

Brainerd’s life ended when he was only 29 years old. He was not exactly famous when he died; he was expelled from Yale for declaring that an empty chair had more evidence of grace than the seminary president (the original Clint Eastwood!), and then spent the rest of his life serving the Lord in anonymity among the Indians.

Because he did not have a seminary degree, Brainerd refused to pastor a church. In the 1700’s a pastor was expected to have been to seminary, and despite the fact that some churches wanted him, Brainerd was reluctant to participate in what he viewed as the downgrade of the pastoral office by pastoring without a degree. Instead, he learned Indian dialects, translated a few Psalms into one language, and planted a “Christian community” in another.

He literally rode himself to death. …Read More!

Quote of the day from David Brainerd

“We should always look upon ourselves as God’s servants, placed in God’s world, to do his work; and accordingly labour faithfully for him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can.” — David Brainerd

Missionaries: Remembering The Always Sick Missionary David Brainerd

David Brainerd (1718-1747) was a missionary to the American Indians in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. Born in Connecticut in 1718, he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-nine. During his short life he was beset by many difficulties. As a result, his biography has become a source of inspiration and encouragement to many Christians, including missionaries such as William Carey and Jim Elliot, and Brainerd’s cousin,  evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801–1829).

David Brainerd

He enrolled at Yale. In his second year at Yale, he was sent home because he was suffering from a serious illness that caused him to spit blood. It is now believed that he was suffering from tuberculosis, the disease which would lead to his death seven years later. Brainerd began working as a missionary to Native Americans, which he would continue until late 1746 when worsening illness prevented him from working. This illness, generally considered to be tuberculosis, had begun to affect him at Yale, but worsened when he entered the mission field. In his final years, he also suffered from a form of depression that was sometimes immobilising and which, on at least twenty-two occasions, led him to wish for death. He was also affected by difficulties faced by other missionaries of the period, such as loneliness and lack of food. Here are few words of wisdom from David Brainerd while in the mission field:

“Oh, that I could dedicate my all to God. This is all the return I can make Him.”

“It is impossible for any rational creature to be happy without acting all for God. God Himself could not make him happy any other way… There is nothing in the world worth living for but doing good and finishing God’s work, doing the work that Christ did. I see nothing else in the world that can yield any satisfaction besides living to God, pleasing Him, and doing his whole will.”

“Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom.”

“My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and a stranger here below, that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desert, till I arrive at my Father’s house.” …Read More!