I am almost finished reading, "The Life and Diary of David Brainerd" (Edited by Jonathan Edwards). It has given me such a desire after spirituality and true communion with God. The Excellency of Christ is made manifest in his writing, surely inspired by Christ Himself.
David Brainerd was a missionary to the American Indians. Despite a language barrier, David was able, by the grace of God, to preach to the Indians the Gospel, which brought many to true repentance and salvation. From what I read, it was a remarkable awakening, done only by the work of the Holy Spirit. Brainerd himself said, "God seemed to be building up that congregation for Himself."
Brainerd suffered for many years with an ailing sickness that often left him feeling "useless" for the sake of God's glory. However, the everyday struggles he went through, sometimes feeling "dejected, melancholy and weak in body" he still persevered onward, for the sake of advancing the kingdom of God. God blessed him often with a refreshed soul, although his body was sickly.
Some of the many, many quotes that have effected me were:
"Oh! one hour with God infinitely exceeds all the pleasures and delights of this lower world."
"Yet after all my sorrows, I trust, through grace, this day and the exercises of it have been for my good, and taught me more of my corruption and weakness without Christ than I knew before."
"I wanted not the favor of man to lean upon; for I knew Christ's favor was infinitely better, and that it was no matter when, nor where, nor how Christ should send me, nor what trials He should still exercise with me, if I might be prepared for His work and will."
"I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live without more of God; I feel ashamed and guilty before Him. Oh! I see that "the law is spiritual, but I am carnal." I do not, I cannot live to God. Oh, for holiness! Oh, for more of God in my soul! Oh, this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God; the language of it is, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness"(Psalm 17:15); but never, never before. Consequently I am engaged to "press towards the mark," day by day. Oh, that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated by every cluster from Canaan to reach forward in the narrow way, for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance! Oh, that I may never loiter in my heavenly journey!"