David Brainerd was a student at Yale. He would have graduated at the top of his 1724 class. He declared himself to be a Christian. Yale would not graduate him nor would they ordain him. Finally a Scottish mission group commissioned Brainerd to work among the Indians. He was 24 years old. He was placed on the border of Massachusetts and New York, later working in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – only with the Indians.
From David Brainerd’s own diary we read, “In the afternoon I preached to the Indians. Their number was now about 65 persons – men, women and children. I spoke about how blessed is everyone who shall feast in Heaven, and about when those who were invited did not come, the host went to the highways to invite the strangers.”
“The power of God seemed to descend upon the assembly, like a mighty rushing wind – and with astonishing energy, bore all before it. I stood amazed at the influence which seized the audience almost universally and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible force of a mighty torrent. Old men and women who had been drunken for many years – and some little children, no more than six or seven years old, appeared in the distress of their souls, as well as persons of middle age. There was almost universal praying and crying for mercy in that part of the house. Many out of doors and numbers could neither come nor stand. The weeping for their sins was like the loss of a firstborn.”
David Brainerd only lived five years as a missionary, and then he was killed. But did you get the description of the Indians he tried to evangelize – wretched, drunken Indian men and women? That is the way he had seen them. But the Holy Spirit descended upon those precious souls, and Brainerd stood back and stood amazed as those wretched, drunken Indians came to Christ and brought the greatest possible joy into the life of David Brainerd.
David Brainerd died at 29 years of age. But oh did he live! What a life! He lived briefly but more fully here than most who live to see 80.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed
come again with a shout of joy , bringing his
sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6