1718 - 1747
"Life itself appeared but an empty bubble, the riches, honors and enjoyments of it extremely tasteless. I longed to be entirely crucified to all things here below."
Few men have accomplished more in such a short life than did David Brainerd. From the moment of his salvation at 21 in 1739, his life was wholly dedicated to God. He cared not for pleasure or comfort, only for the will of God.
Mr. Brainerd was expelled from Yale for criticizing the worldliness of some members of the faculty. He was deemed to be “too religious” for the then-Christian school.
His heart became burdened for the salvation of the Indians. At that time, there was almost no attempt being made to reach the “savages” with the Gospel. Church leaders argued whether they even possessed souls to be saved. Mr. Brainerd ignored their distractions and contempt and proceeded to his work. He preached all along the eastern coast, traveling thousands of miles on horseback in all kinds of weather.
He suffered from tuberculosis, but he refused to put his health needs above the salvation needs of the Indians. One well-known story tells how the Indians who had crept to his camp intending to kill him left him alone after a rattlesnake refused to bite him. The next day he was accorded a warm welcome to the village, and many were saved.
Mr. Brainerd fell in love with Jerusha Edwards, the daughter of Jonathan Edwards, but his ill health prevented them from marrying. At the age of 29, while in Edwards’ home, David Brainerd died of tuberculosis.
Jonathan Edwards edited Mr. Brainerd’s diary into a book that has been used by God to challenge Christians around the world to greater service. Among those greatly influenced by its pages were the missionary heroes William Carey and Henry Martyn.
[ Thanks to: SwordOfTheLord.com ]