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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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LETTER II.

To his brother John, at Yale college, New Haven.

dear brother

Kaunaumeek, Dec. 27, 1743.

I long to see you, and know how you fare in your journey through a world of inexpressible sorrow, where we are compassed about with “vanity, confusion, and vexation of spirit.” I am more weary of life, I think, than ever I was. The whole world appears to me like a huge vacuum, a vast empty space, whence nothing desirable, or at least satisfactory, can possibly be derived; and I long daily to die more and more to it; even though I obtain not that comfort from spiritual things which I earnestly desire. Worldly pleasures, such as flow from greatness, riches, honours, and sensual gratifications, are infinitely worse than none. May the Lord deliver us more and more from these vanities! I have spent most of the fall and winter hitherto in a weak state of body; and sometimes under pressing inward trials, and spiritual conflicts: but “having obtained help from God, I continue to this day;” and am now something better in health than I was some time ago. I find nothing more conducive to a life of Christianity, than a diligent, industrious, and faithful improvement of precious time. Let us then faithfully perform that business, which is allotted to us by Divine Providence, to the utmost of our bodily strength and mental vigour. Why should we sink, and grow discouraged, with any particular trials and perplexities we are called to encounter in the world? Death and eternity are just before us; a few tossing billows more will waft us into the world of spirits, and we hope, through infinite grace, into endless pleasures, and uninterrupted rest and peace. Let us then “run with patience the race set before us,” Heb. xii. 1, 2. And oh that we could depend more upon the living God, and less upon our own wisdom and strength! Dear brother, may the God of all grace comfort your heart, and succeed your studies, and make you an instrument of good to his people in your day. This is the constant prayer of Your affectionate brother,

DAVID BRAINERD.

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