Read With Me – Through David Brainerd’s Life and Diary

Hello, all, I hope this finds you doing well! Currently, on social media, I’m reading through David Brainards Life and Diary by Jonathan Edwards. It’s been such a blessing to hear from others how much this book is encouraging them. In particular, I was overjoyed to share his testimony yet again. We’ve moved to the first point of illness for him, now. I’m going to include links below to all the posts so far, and here is today’s portion.

In Jan. 1740, the measles spread much in college; and I having taken the distemper, went home to Haddam. But some days before I was taken sick, I seemed to be greatly deserted, and my soul mourned the absence of the Comforter exceedingly. It seemed to me all comfort was for ever gone; I prayed and cried to God for help, yet found no present comfort or relief. But through divine goodness, a night or two before I was taken ill, while I was walking alone in a very retired place, and engaged in meditation and prayer, I enjoyed a sweet refreshing visit, as I trust, from above; so that my soul was raised far above the fears of death. Indeed I rather longed for death, than feared it. O how much more refreshing this one season was, than all the pleasures and delights that earth can afford! After a day or two I was taken with the measles, and was very ill indeed, so that I almost despaired of life; but had no distressing fears of death at all. However, through divine goodness I soon recovered; yet, by reason of hard and close studies, and being much exposed on account of my freshmanship, I had but little time for spiritual duties: my soul often mourned for want of more time and opportunity to be alone with God. In the spring and summer following, I had better advantages for retirement, and enjoyed more comfort in religion. Though indeed my ambition in my studies greatly wronged the activity and vigour of my spiritual life; yet this was usually the case with me, that “in the multitude of my thoughts within me, God’s comforts principally delighted my soul;” these were my greatest consolations day by day.

“One day I remember, in particular, (I think it was in June, 1740,) I walked to a considerable distance from the college, in the fields alone at noon, and in prayer found such unspeakable sweetness and delight in God, that I thought, if I must continue still in this evil world, I wanted always to be there, to behold God’s glory. My soul dearly loved all mankind, and longed exceedingly that they should enjoy what I enjoyed. It seemed to be a little resemblance of heaven. On Lord’s day, July 6, being sacrament-day, I found some divine life and spiritual refreshment in that holy ordinance. When I came from the Lord’s table, I wondered how my fellow-students could live as I was sensible most did. — Next Lord’s day, July 13, I had some special sweetness in religion. — Again, Lord’s day, July 20, my soul was in a sweet and precious frame.

“Some time in August following, I became so weakly and disordered, by too close application to my studies, that I was advised by my tutor to go home, and disengage my mind from study, as much as I could; for I was grown so weak, that I began to spit blood. I took his advice, and endeavoured to lay aside my studies. But being brought very low, I looked death in the face more stedfastly; and the Lord was pleased to give me renewedly a sweet sense and relish of divine things; and particularly, October 13, I found divine help and consolation in the precious duties of secret prayer and self-examination, and my soul took delight in the blessed God: — so likewise on the 17th of October.

If you’d like to follow along through social media, I’m posting these portions on Facebook and Instagram. The links below are all from Facebook, I believe it’s easier to see than Instagram posts. What are you reading currently? I’d love to hear any suggestions for future Read With Me posts. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Part 1 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/146639186769719

Part 2 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/147345860032385

Part 4 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148014696632168

Part 5 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148459803254324

Part 6 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148815963218708

Lord, it Belongs Not to my Care – by Richard Baxter

Hello, dear ones, I hope you’re fellowship today is sweet. The hymn I want to share with you this morning was written by Richard Baxter. The Puritans hold a special place in our hearts and bookshelves. The way they wrote is convicting, and yet beautifully designed to glorify God. I’m reading David Brainerd’s Life and Journal again this week. I saw a quote from him the other day and it gave me the strangest feeling! I missed the writing of him and Jonathan Edwards as if I had been away from dear friends for too long. God’s children are a body of believers, connected throughout history by our adoption. I’m very thankful that Edwards stopped David from burning his journal. I’m very thankful that in God’s providence Baxter wrote such wonderful hymns. I’m thankful for the historical Church that Christ has built, that the gates of hell will not prevail against.  


Lord, it belongs not to my care
whether I die or live:
to love and serve thee is my share,
and this thy grace must give.

Christ leads me through no darker rooms
than he went through before;
he that into God’s kingdom comes
must enter by this door.

Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
thy blessed face to see;
for if thy work on earth be sweet,
what will thy glory be!

Then shall I end my sad complaints
and weary, sinful days,
and join with the triumphant saints
that sing my Saviour’s praise.

My knowledge of that life is small,
the eye of faith is dim;
but ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
and I shall be with him.


Wow, where is the writing like this today? Has anyone else had to completely shut off the modern Christian radio channels? Man centered music can never be considered worship music, even if those who push it label it as such. Worship music must be glorifying to God, or else we are worshipping something else. What is your favorite hymn, dear ones, and did you grow up hearing them? As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

#davidbrainerd #puritans #jonathanedwards

Beloved the day is finally here, I get to review one of the most impactful books I’ve read since becoming a believer. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (published in 1749 by Jonathan Edwards) is one of those books that stays with you. After reading it myself I’m now reading it with Kayliegh, and have ordered copies as gifts for Christmas.

Brainerd (1718-1747) was a Puritan missionary to the Native Americans. He kept a daily journal of his spiritual progress. Many of his entries are heart wrenching, as he describes the struggles we have day to day in our walk with Christ. Brainerd often expresses his desire to be with the Lord. A beautiful prayer God answered, as he went home at the young age of 29.

His writing is very honest, and he is upfront with his struggles in prayer. I’m often tempted to be more enthusiastic in my description of my walk for the encouragement of others. It actually can just heap burdens on brothers and sisters, when we are dishonest about our own trials. It gives them the idea that perfect is possible, just not for them. Often times the most encouraging thing we can do is be truthful. I found Brainerd’s truthfulness very encouraging, as I read his words that reflected my own thoughts I wouldn’t dare voice. Some days my prayer is dull and lifeless, and it does feel like God has left me. Other days my prayer can be filled with sweetness.

I heard Puritans once described as the Redwood trees of the Christian forest. I think that’s a fair assessment, as they often stand tall in their love, obedience and devotion to God. Brainerd is most certainly one of those Redwood trees. We have visited the Redwood forest in our travels, as we walked through a trail of trees so tall you couldn’t see the tops, everything was silent and still. That was one place where Gods creation doesn’t whisper, it sings of His majesty. In the same way, Brainerd’s diary and all he accomplished in his life doesn’t whisper of Gods power to change mans cold heart of stone, it sings of a new creature in Christ, glory to God!

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd is a book I would recommend to every believer, young and old, particularly those who have a love for Puritan writings. I would also suggest this as a gift this Christmas for anyone you know who is considering going into the missions field, is already in the missions field, is an elder, or a pastor. This book is in the public domain, although there does not seem to be a free audio version just yet, you can download the free pdf. Or you can get a Kindle version for less than a dollar. And of course the paperback or hardback copies are available.

I pray this book will bless you, friends. There are so many books that have short daily encouragements or commentaries, however I think an entry or two of this book would be far more helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – Preview

Beloved, I did not finish the book I wanted to review today. It’s too good of a book not to do it justice so, instead, I’m going to get you all amped up with a preview. Next Thursday I’ll give you my opinion on this book, but for this week here is a little treat for you all! The preface for The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, written by Jonathan Edwards himself.

Wednesday Testimony- David Brainerd

The following excerpt is from the Life and Diary of David Brainerd, which I hope to review for you tomorrow, beloved. This is the testimony of how one lost wretch, working day and night to earn his salvation, was found by the grace of the sovereign God.

“I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty; it was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost; but it appeared to be divine glory. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious Divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied that he should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought (as I remember) at first about my own salvation, and scarce reflected there was such a creature as myself.

Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace, and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before.If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ.

David Brainerd’s testimony is one that is very similar to many of ours, dear friends. Once we knew there was certainly a God, and that we would be held accountable to Him on judgment day, we set forth in attempting to earn His forgiveness. I confess I did a very bad job of this, before getting saved. It was laughable to have assumed the little effort I put into it would have saved me. Then again, it’s laughable to think any effort can save. Brethren, we all now know and see, owing to the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that salvation can come only by grace alone. We are not saved by merit, good works, obedience to the law, speaking in tongues, or sacraments. We are saved by faith in Christ Jesus, because of the grace of a just and loving God.

Friend, if your reading this and have never experienced what Brainerd described, I implore you to work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Today is the day of salvation! We have sinned against an infinite God, thus our due judgment is infinite. The Good News of the Gospel is that God became man, lived a sinless life, died in our place, had the wrath of God poured out on Himself, rose from the dead for our justification, and is now making intercession for us in heaven. Repent of your sins, place your trust in Christ alone, flee from the wrath to come.

As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.