David Brainerd 1718-47

In the summer of 2008 Judy and I visited Northhamptn Massachusetts., the home of the great 18th century theologian, Jonathan Edwards. In Edwards’ home David Brainerd died of tuberculosis in 1747. He was only 29. During that time Edwards teen daughter, Jerusha, nursed him. A few months later she also died.

Rumors of romance have swirled around the couple ever since.
Because of their closeness the Edwards family buried Jerusha in a grave paralell to Brainerd.

Brainerd was one of the first missionaires to the Native Americans. He left a journal of his work in the Edwards home. Jonathan edited and published it, and it became his best selling work. For the next 150 years Brainerd’s piety and exertions became the model for thousands of 19th century missionaries.

Knowing all of this, Judy and I went to the local cemetery looking for their graves. Long forgotten by the citizen of Northhampton, no one could direct us to their resting places. Finally we found two deteriorating slabs about 12 x 18 inches surrounded by weeds and dead grass. They marked the graves of Brainerd and his nurse, Jerusha. As the condition of their graves indicated their rewards were not in this life, but in the world to come.

I have said all of this because John Piper has just published a free online 30 page biography of Brainerd. It is a condensation of Edwards’ original work. You can find it here. I hope you will take the time to read and  learn about this godly man.