In 1890, Andrew Bonar commented in his diary on the effect of reading The Life of David Brainerd. Without at all questioning the excellence of that man of God, Bonar wrote:
It seemed to me that he [Brainerd] did not hold fellowship with the living Saviour as he might have done, and did not see himself covered with Christ's merits whereby God's eye was turned away from his imperfections, corruptions, ignorance, failures, because the obedience of Christ was imputed to him. I would be like Brainerd every day, mourning and sad, if I did not see myself so covered with the obedience of Christ that the Father saw me in Him to be beautiful and attractive, because of the garment of righteousness [July 20, 1890].Beautiful and attractive? Not in ourselves, nor need we try to make ourselves so, but our 'beauty is perfect, through my comeliness, which I put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD' (Ezekiel 16:14).