Page images

the communion of the church; and which'I have fol emnly re-made this 12th day of January 1722-3.

43. Refolved, Never hence-forward, till I die, to al 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. Refolved, Never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneafinefs at my father or mother. Refolved to fuffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye and to be efpecially careful of it, with refpect to any of our family.

47. Refolved, To endeavour to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and univerfally, fweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, content ed, eafy, compaffionate, generous, humble, meek, modeft, fubmiffive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, fincere temper; and to do at all times what fuch a temper would lead me to: Examine ftrictly every week, whether I have done fo.

48. Refolved, Conftantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the ftricteft fcrutiny, to be looking into the state of my foul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I' come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of..

50. Refolved, I will act fo as I think I fhall jutge would have been beft, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

52. I frequently hear perfons in old age fay how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Refolved, that I will live juft fo as I can think. I fhall wifh I had done, fuppofing I live to old age.

54. Whenever I hear any thing fpoken in converfation of any person, if I think it would be praife-wor-thy in me, Refolved to endeavour to imitate it.

55. Refolved, To endeavour to my utmost to act as I can think I fhould do, if I had already feen the happinefs of heaven, and hell torments.

56. Refolved,

56. Refolved, Never to give over, nor in the leafb. to flacken my fight with my corruptions, however unfuccefsful I may be.

57. Refolved, When I fear misfortunes and adverfities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and refolve 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 fin.

62. Refolved, 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 mant; knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the fame shall he receive of the Lord.

65. Refolved, Very much to exercife my felf 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 foul to him: all my fins, temptations, difficulties, forrows, fears, hopes, defires, & every thing, and every circumftance, according to Dr Manton's 27th fermon on the 119th Pfalm.

67. Refolved, 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.*

[ocr errors]


Extracts from his PRIVATE DIARY. SATURDAY, Dec. 22. 1722. This day revived by.

God's Spirit. Affected with the fenfe of the excellency of holinefs. Felt more exercife of love to Chrift than ufual. Have alfo felt fenfible repentance of fin, because it was committed against fo merciful andgood a God. This night made the 37th Refolution. Sabbath

*The Refolutions are feventy 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 manufcript and retained here for the fake of the references made to fome of them in the Diary, as the reader will presently fee.

Sabbath-day-night, Dec. 23. Made the 38th Refo


Monday, Dec. 24. Higher thoughts than ufual of the excellency of Jefus Chrift and his kingdom.

Wednesday, Jan. 2. 1722-3. Dull. I find by experience, that let me make refolutions and do what I will, with never so many inventions, it is all nothing, and to no purpose at all, without the motions of the Spirit of God: for if the Spirit of God fhould be as much withdrawn from me always, as for the week paft, notwithftanding all I do, I fhould not grow; but fhould languish, and miferably fade away.-There is no dependence upon myself. It is to no purpose to refolve, 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 ceafing, as long as in this world..

Tuesday, Jan. 8. in the morning. Higher thoughts than ufual, of the excellency of Chrift, and felt an unufual repentance of fin therefrom.

Wednesday, Jan. 9. at night. Decayed. I am fometimes 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 Chriftians.-How deceitful is my heart! I take up a ftrong refolution, but how foon does it. weaken!

Thursday, Jan. 10. about noon. Reviving. 'Tis a great difhonour to Chrift, in whom I hope I have an intereft, to be uneafy at my worldly ftate and condition. When I fee the profperity of others, and that all things go easy with them; the world is fmooth to them, and they are happy in many respects, and very profperous, or are advanced to much honour, &c. to grudge and envy them, or be the leaft uneafy at it; to wifh or long for the fame profperity, and that it would ever be fo

with me.

Wherefore concluded always to rejoice in every one's profperity, 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 felf-denial in eating, drinking, and fleeping.

I think it would be advantageous every morning to confider my bufinefs and temptations: and what fins I fhall be expofed to that day: and to make a refolution how to improve the day, and to avoid thofe fins. And fo 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 ne day, them, to depend upon them, to afflict ourselves much with fears of lofing them, nor please ourselves with expectation of obtaining them, or hope of the continuance end to of them. At night made the 41ft Resolution. as long Saturday, Jan. 12. in the morning. I have this day folemnly renewed my baptifmal covenant and selfought dedication, which I renewed when I was received into an un the communion of the church. I have been before God; and have given myself, all that I am and have to fome God, fo that I am not in any respect my own: I can lines challenge no right in myfelf, 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 fenfes, these eyes, thefe ears, this smell or taste. I have given myself clear away, Tisa and have not retained any thing as my own. I have n in been to God this morning, and told him that I gave tion. myfelf wholly to him. I have given every power to ing him; fo that for the future I will challenge no right and in myself, in any refpect. I have exprefsly promifed rous, him, and do now promise Almighty God, that by his grace I will not. I have this morning told him, that I ong did take him for my whole portion and felicity, looking

e fo



h Ref

ufual d


d by er at I will


Spirit of ch with


ald lan depend.

, excep

not f

inable ead of art!!



on nothing else as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were; and his law for the conftant 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 Jefus Chrift, and receive him as a prince and a faviour; and would adhere to the faith and obedience of the gofpel, how hazardous and difficult foever the profeffion and practice of it may be. That I did receive the bleffed Spirit as my teacher, fanctifier, and only comforter; and cherish all his motions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and affift me. This I have done. And I pray God, for the fake of Chrift, to look upon it as a felf-dedication; and to receive me now as entirely his own, and deal with me in all refpects as fuch; whether he afflicts me or profpers 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. I fhall act as my own, if I ever make use of any of my powers to any thing 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 profperity 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 pleafe myself, or if I avoid any thing for the fake of iny cafe, if I omit any thing because it is great felf-denial; if I truft to myfelf; 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 refolutions.

Monday, Jan. 14.-The dedication I made of myfel to my God, on Saturday laft, has been exceeding ufeful to me. I thought I had a more fpiritual infight into the fcripture, reading the 8th chapter to the Romans, than ever in my life before.

Great inftances of mortification are deep wounds given to the body of fin, hard blows that make him ftagger and reel we thereby get great ground and footing against him. While we live without great inftanc


« PreviousContinue »