O’ how sweet it is to read this part of David Brainerd’s diary.
“God is unspeakably gracious to me continually. In times past, He has given me inexpressible sweetness in the performances of duty. Frequently my soul has enjoyed much of God; but has been ready to say, ‘Lord, it is good to be here,’ and so to indulge sloth while I have lived on the sweetness of my feelings. But of late, God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry almost continually, so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable, and my thirsting after holiness the more unquenchable. And the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward. I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live without more of God; I feel ashamed as 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 hard after God…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!” (Life and Diary of David Brainerd, page 103-104)
I have scarcely found the amount of interwoven passion and struggle in one man. You can understand what he is saying as you read, but you can also feel what he is feeling as he penned the words. Few writers have felt so close to my soul as David Brainerd has; the more I read him, the more knit to him I feel.