« AnteriorContinuar »
or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be,
36. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. 37. Resolved, To inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed; and wherein I have denied myself; also at the end of every week, month, and year. 38. Resolved, Never to speak any thing that is ridiculous, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day. 39. Resolved, Never to do any thing that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not: except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission. 41. Resolved, To ask myself at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. 42. Resolved, Frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this 12th day of January 1722-3. 43. Resolved, Never hence-forward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's: agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday January 12. 46. Resolved, Never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family. 47. Resolved, To endeavour to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally, sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to: examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. 48. Resolved, Constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of 50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. 52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavour to imitate it. 55. Resolved, To endeavour to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. 56. Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be. 57. Resolved, When I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as Providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. 62. Resolved, Never to do any thing but duty; and then according to Eph. vi. 6, 7, 8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord. 65. Resolved, Very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and everything, and every circumstance, according to Dr. Manton's 27th sermon on the 119th Psalm. 67. Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.f
EXTRACTS FROM HIS PRIVATE DIARY.
Saturday, Dec. 22, 1722. This day revived by God's Spirit. Affected with the sense of the excellency of holiness. Felt more exercise of love to Christ than usual. Have also felt sensible repentance of sin, because it was committed against so merciful and d a God. This might made the 37th Resolution. Sabbath-day night, Dec. 23. Made the 38th Resolution. JMonday, Dec. 24. Higher thoughts than usual of the excellency of Jesus Christ and his kingdom. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1722-3. Dull. I find by experience, that let me make resolutions, and do what I will, with never so many inventions, it is all nothing, and to no purpose at all, without the
† The Resolutions are seventy in number. But part of them are here transcribed, as a specimen of the whole. The number here affixed to them is that by which they are numbered in the original manuscript; and retained here for the sake of the references made to some of them in the Diary, as the reader will presently see.
motions of the Spirit of God: for if the Spirit of God should be as much withdrawn from me always, as for the week past, notwithstanding all I do, I should not grow; but should languish, and miserably fade away.—There is no dependence upon myself. It is to no purpose to resolve, except we depend on the grace of God; for if it were not for his mere grace, one might be a very good man one day, and a very wicked one the next. Sabbath-day, Jan. 6, at night. Much concerned about the improvement of precious time. Intend to live in continual mortification, without ceasing, as long as in this world. Tuesday, Jan. 8. in the morning. Higher thoughts than usual, of the excellency of Christ, and felt an unusual repentance of sin therefrom. Wednesday, Jan. 9. at night. Decayed. I am sometimes apt to think, I have a great deal more of holiness than I have. I find now and then, that abominable corruption which is directly contrary to what I read of eminent Christians.—How deceitful is my heart! I take up a strong resolution, but how soon does it weaken! Thursday, Jan. 10. about noon. Reviving. 'Tis a great dishonour to Christ, in whom I hope I have an interest, to be uneasy at my worldly state and condition. When I see the prosperity of others, and that all things go easy with them; the world is smooth to them, and they are happy in many respects, and very prosperous, or are advanced to much honour, &c. to grudge and envy them, or be the least uneasy at it; to wish or long for the same prosperity, and that it would ever be so with me. Wherefore concluded always to rejoice in every one’s prosperity, and to expect for myself no happiness of that nature as long as I live; but depend upon afflictions, and betake myself entirely to another happiness. I think I find myself much more sprightly and healthy, both in body and mind, for my self-denial in eating, drinking and sleepIng. I think it would be advantageous every morning to consider my business and temptations: and what sins I shall be exposed to that day: and to make a resolution how to improve the day, and to avoid those sins. And so at the beginning of every week, month, and year. I never knew before what was meant by not setting our hearts upon these things. 'Tis not to care about them, to depend upon them, to afflict ourselves much with fears of losing them, nor please ourselves with expectation of obtaining them, or hope of the continuance of them. At night made the 41st Resolution. Saturday, Jan. 12. in the morning. I have this day solemnly renewed my baptismal covenant and self-dedication, which I renewed when I was received into the communion of the church. I have been before God; and have given myself, all that I am and have to God, so that I am not in any respect my own: I can challenge no right in myself, I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members: no right to this tongue, these hands, nor feet: no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell or taste. I have given myself clear away, and have not retained any thing as my own. I have been to God this morning, and told him that I gave myself wholly to him. I have given every power to him; so that for the future I will challenge no right in myself, in any respect. I have expressly promised him, and do now promise Almighty God, that by his grace I will not. I have this morning told him, that I did take him for my whole portion and felicity, looking on nothing else as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were; and his law for the constant rule of my obedience: and would fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life. And did believe in Jesus Christ, and receive him as a prince and a saviour; and would adhere to the faith and obedience of the gospel, how hazardous and difficult soever the profession and practice of it may be. That I did receive the blessed Spirit as my teacher, sanctifier, and only comforter; and cherish all his motions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and assist me. This I have done. And I pray God, for the sake of Christ, to look upon it as a self-dedication; and to receive me now as entirely his own, and deal with me in all respects as such; whether he afflicts me or prospers me, or whatever he pleases to do with me, who am his. Now, henceforth I am not to act in any respect as my own.—l shall act as my own, if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying him my whole and entire business; if I murmur in the least at afflictions; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge; if I do any thing, purely to please myself, or if I avoid any thing for the sake of my ease, if I omit any thing because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of any good that I do, or rather God does by me; or if I am any way proud.
This day made the 42d and 43d Resolutions.
JMonday, Jan. 14. The dedication I made of myself to my God, on Saturday last, has been exceeding useful to me. I thought I had a more spiritual insight into the scripture, reading the 8th chapter to the Romans, than ever in my life before.
Great instances of mortification are deep wounds given to the