Thursday, March 18, 2010

Earnestly Pray for Brainerd

A selection from a letter by Jonathan Edwards to Rev. Joseph Bellamy. David Brainerd, missionary to the Indians, was convalescing in his home (another preacher, Eleazar Wheelock, was also sick and recuperating at the Edward's house). Edwards hoped and prayed that Brainerd's health would improve but it was not to be. The letter was written May 6, 1747, and Brainerd passed away on October 9. Bellamy was a close friend to both Wheelock and Brainerd.

Mr. Brainerd has lately been at my house with Mr. Wheelock. Mr. Wheelock is very poorly and not able to preach, and so has been for some time; tis' uncertain whether he [will] ever preach more. Mr. Brainerd is far from being so broken in his understanding, as I have heard. He is capable of conversing very agreeably, and praying in the family most admirably. He is now gone to Boston with my daughter Jerusha. She intends to stay in Boston about a fortnight while Mr. Brainerd goes to the eastward, and then he is to return with her hither again.

Mr. Brainerd is a very desirable man indeed; I am glad I have had such an opportunity of acquaintance with him. Physicians speak of the state of his bodily constitution as very dangerous and difficult, and Dr. Mather of this town gives him over, but Dr. Pynchon is not so positive that he will not recover. For my part I cannot but have some hopes of his recovery. I think it is what all that know him should earnestly pray for.

Jonathan Edwards: Letters and Personal Writings, edited by George S. Claghorn, vol. 16 in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale University Press, 1998, p. 223.

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