It was December 22, 1745 when David Brainerd preached from the text, Matthew 19, concerning the rich and self-righteous rich young ruler at the Native American outpost of Crossweeksung, where Brainerd did much of his service for Christ.  That Sunday morning, some Indians who had recently arrived at Crossweeksung were in attendance.  These Indians, unlike many of those whom Brainerd ministered to, had the (Brainerd would say ‘unfortunate’) encounter with something like biblical Christianity known as Quakerism.  Brainerd would write of the falsehoods that these Indians were taught, “(these Indians) had imbibed some of (the Quakers) errors; especially this fundamental one, viz., that if men will but live soberly and honestly, according to the dictates of their own consciences (or the light within) there is then no danger or doubt of their salvation.”

Vance Christie, the author of this particular biography of Brainerd, then followed with an interesting proposal, one not altogether new to me, but one which I might pose to others for your insight and thoughts.  Speaking of Brainerd, Christie writes:

He had generally found those types of individuals, with their self-righteous foundation to stand upon, much harder to deal with concerning spiritual matters than were total pagans who made no pretenses of possessing any Christian knowledge.

Providentially, on this particular day, not only had the Lord inclined Brainerd to a text that, Lord willing, would directly address their situation, but in God’s mercy, it actually did.  All but one of them, Christie records of Brainerds diary, “appeared now convinced that this sober honest life, of itself, was not sufficient to salvation; since Christ Himself had declared it so in the case of the young man; and seemed in some measure concerned to obtain that change of heart which I had been laboring to show them the necessity of.”

From David Brainerd: A Flame for God, 198.


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