Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

sation; but, let me also have as much of an appearance of love, cheerfulness, and benignity, as may be, with a good grace. These following things, especially, to beware of, in order to the better observation of the 47th Resolution: distrust, discontent, uneasiness, and a complaining temper, self-opinion, self-confidence, melancholy, moroseness, slight antipathy, privacy, indolence, and want of resolution to beware of any thing, in discourse or conversation, that savours of these.

Saturday night, June 8, at Boston. When I find myself listless and dull, and not easily affected by reading religious books, then to read my resolutions, remarks, reflexions, &c.-One thing, that would be of great advantage to me, in reading to my-profit, would be, the endeavouring, with all my might, to keep the image and picture of the thing in my mind, and be careful that I do not lose it, in the chain of the discourse.

Sabbath-day, June 9, after the afternoon meeting. Mem. When I fear misfortunes, to examine whether I have done my duty; and at the same time, to resolve to do it, and let it go, and be concern-. ed about nothing, but my duty and my sin. Saturday morning, June 15, at Windsor. Have been to blame, this journey, with respect to strict temperance, in eating, drinking and sleeping, and in suffering too small matters to give interruption to my wonted chain of religious exercises.-Concluded to protract the Wednesday Resolution, to the end of my life.

Tuesday morning, June 18. Mem. To do that part, which I conveniently can, of my stated exercise, while about other business, such as self-examination, resolutions, &c., that I may do the remainder in less time.

Friday afternoon, June 21. I have abundant cause, O my merciful Father, to love thee ardently, and greatly, to bless and praise thee, that thou hast heard me, in my earnest request, and so hast answered my prayer, for mercy, to keep me from decay and sinking. O, graciously, of thy mere goodness, still continue to pity my misery, by reason of my sinfulness. O, my dear Redeemer, I commit myself, together with my prayer and thanksgiving, into thine hand!

Saturday morning, June 22. Altered the 36th Resolution, to make it the same with the Wednesday Resolution. If I should take special care, every day, to rise above, or not to fall below, or to fall as little as I possibly could, below what I was the day before, it would be of great advantage to me.-I take notice, that most of these determinations, when I first resolve them, seem as if they would be much more beneficial, than I find them.

Tuesday morning, June 25. Last Sabbath, at Boston, reading the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses of the 6th to the Ephesians, concluded that it would be much to my advantage, to take the greatest care, never to do any thing but my duty, and then to do it willingly, cheerfully, and gladly, whatever danger or unpleasant circumstances it

may be attended with; with good-will doing it, as to the Lord, not as pleasing man, or myself, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.

Saturday morning, June 25. It is best to be careful in prayer, not to put up those petitions, of which I do not feel a sincere desire: thereby, my prayer is rendered less sincere, less acceptable to God, and less useful to myself.

Monday noon, July 1. I find I am not careful enough, to keep out all thoughts, but religious ones, on the Sabbath. When I find the least uneasiness, in doing my duty, to fly to the 43d Resolution.

Wednesday night, July 3. I am too negligent, with respect to improving petty opportunities of doing good; thinking, that the good will be very small, and unextended, and not worth the pains. Resolved, to regulate this, as that which is wrong, and what ought not to be.-Again confirmed, by experience, of the happy effects of a strict temperance, with respect both to body and mind.

Thursday morning, July 4. The last night, in bed, when thinking of death, I thought, if I was then to die, that, which would make me die, in the least degree fearfully, would be, the want of a trusting and relying on Jesus Christ, so distinctly and plainly, as has been described by divines; my not having experienced so particular a venturing, and entirely trusting my soul on Christ, after the fears of hell, and terrors of the Lord, encouraged by the mercy, faithfulness and promises, of God, and the gracious invitations of Christ. Then, I thought I could go out of the world, as much assured of my salvation, as I was of Christ's faithfulness, knowing that, if Christ did not fail me, he would save me, who had trusted in him, on his word. At night.-Whenever things begin to seem in the least out of order, when things begin to feel uneasy within, or irregular without, then to examine myself, by the strictest examination.Resolved, for the future, to observe rather more of meekness, moderation and temper, in disputes.

Friday morning, July 5. Last night, when thinking what I should wish I had done, that I had not done, if I was then to die; I thought I should wish, that I had been more importunate with God, to fit me for death, and lead me into all truth, and that I might not be deceived, about the state of my soul.-In the forenoon, made the 50th Resolution.

Thursday night, July 11. This day, too impatient, at the Church meeting. Snares and briars have been in my way, this afternoon. It is good, at such times, for one to manifest good nature, even to one's disadvantage, and so as would be imprudent, at other times.

Saturday morning, July 13. Transferred the conclusion of June 9, to the Resolution, No. 57; and the conclusion of May 27, to No. 58; and May 12, and July 11, to No. 59; and of July 4, at night, to No. 60; and of May 24, to No. 61; and of June

25, to No. 62; and, about noon, the Resolution of January 14, to No. 63.-In times past, I have been too free, in judging of the hearts of men, from their actions.

Thursday, July 18, near sunset. Resolved, to make sure of that sign, which the Apostle James gives, of a perfect man: James iii. 2. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able, also, to bridle the whole body.

Friday afternoon, July 19. 1 Peter, ii. 18. Servants, be subject to your masters, with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward: How then, ought children to honour their parents. This verse, together with the two following, viz. "For this is thank-worthy, if a man, for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully; for what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently; but if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."

Saturday noon, July 20. Dr. Manton's Sermon, on the 119th Psalm, pp. 140, 141, Of Evil-speaking, Use 2d. To them that either devise or receive reproaches. Both are very sinful. Hypocrites, and men that put themselves into a garb of religion, are all for censuring, take a mighty freedom that way: these men bewray the rottenness of their hearts.-Alas, in our own sight, we should be the worst of men. The children of God do ever thus speak of themselves, as the least of saints, the greatest of sinnersmore brutish than any man"- "of sinners, whereof I am the chief." You rob them of the most precious treasure. He that robs thee of thy name, is the worst kind of thief. Prov. xxii. 1. "A good name is rather to be chosen, than great riches."-Object. But, must we, in no case, speak evil of another; or may we not speak of another's sin, in any case?-Solution 1. It is a very hard matter, to speak evil of another, without sin.-In one way, or another, we shall dash upon the command: better let it alone.-If you speak of the failings of another, it should be, with tenderness, and grief; as, when they are incorrigible, and likely to infect others; or, when it is for the manifest glory of God.—To them, that receive the slander; he is a slanderer, who wrongs his neighbour's credit, by upholding an ill-report against him.

Monday afternoon, July 22. I find, it would be desirable, on many accounts, always to endeavor, to wear a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking, in all companies, except it should so happen, that duty requires it otherwise.-I am afraid, I am now defective, in not doing whatever my hand finds to do, with my might, with respect to my particular affairs. Remember to watch, see and know how it is. Vid. Aug. 31.-I see there is danger, of my being drawn into transgression, by the power of such temptations, as the fear of seeming uncivil, and of offending friends. Watch against it. I might still help myself, and yet not hurt myself, by VOL. I.

12

going, with greater expedition, from one thing to another, without being quite so nice.

Tuesday afternoon, July 23. When I find those groanings which cannot be uttered, of which the Apostle speaks, and those soul-breakings for the longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, (Ps. cxix. 20,) Resolved, to favour and promote them, to the utmost of my power, and not to be weary of earnestly endeavouring to vent my desires, and not to be weary of the repetitions of such earnestness.

To count it all joy, when I have occasions of great self-denial; because, then, I have a glorious opportunity of giving deadly wounds to the body of sin, and of greatly confirming, and establishing the new creature. I seek to mortify sin, and increase in holiness. These are the best opportunities, according to Jan. 14.

To improve afflictions, of all kinds, as blessed opportunities of forcibly bearing on, in my Christian course, notwithstanding that which is so very apt to discourage me, and to damp the vigour of my mind, and to make me lifeless; also, as opportunities of trusting and confiding in God, and getting a habit of so doing, according to the 57th Resolution; and as an opportunity of rending my heart off from the world, and setting it on heaven alone, according to Jan. 10, and the 43d and 45th Resolutions; and according to Jan. 12, Feb. 17, and 21, and May 1.-To improve them, also, as opportunities to repent of, and bewail my sin, and abhor myself, and as a blessed opportunity to exercise patience, to trust in God, and divert my mind from the affliction, by fixing myself in religious exercises. Also, let me comfort myself, that it is the very nature of afflictions, to make the heart better; and, if I am made better by them, what need I be concerned, however grievous they seem, for the present.

Wednesday night, July 24. I begin to find the success of my striving, in joining with others, in the worship of God; insomuch, that there is a prospect, of making it easy and delightful, and very profitable, in time. Wherefore, Resolved, not to cease striving, but to continue it, and re-double it.

Thursday morning, July 25. Altered, and anew established, -the 8th Resolution. Also, established my determination of April 1.-Memorandum. At a convenient time, to make an alphabet of these Resolutions and Remarks, that I may be able to educe them, on proper occasions, suitable to the condition I am in, and the duty I am engaged in.

Friday afternoon, July 26. To be particularly careful, to keep up, inviolably, a trust and reliance, ease and entire rest, in God, in all conditions, according to the 57th Resolution; for this, I have found to be wonderfully advantageous to me.-At night. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all. my life long: viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable, to declare my ways

to God, and lay open my soul to him:-all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance, according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon, on the 119th Psalm.

Saturday forenoon, July 27. When I am violently beset with temptation, or cannot rid myself of evil thoughts, to do some sum in Arithmetic, or Geometry, or some other study, which necessarily engages all my thoughts, and unavoidably keeps them from wandering.

Monday afternoon, July 29. When I am concerned how I shall prepare any thing to public acceptance, to be very careful that I have it very clear to me, to do what is duty and prudence in the matter.—I sometimes find myself able to trust God, and to be pretty easy when the event is uncertain; but I find it difficult, when I am convinced beforehand, that the event will be adverse. I find that this arises, 1. From my want of faith, to believe that that particular advantage will be more to my advantage, than disadvantage: 2. From the want of a due sense of the real preferableness of that good, which will be obtained, to that which is lost: 3. From the want of a spirit of adoption.

Tuesday night, July 30. Have concluded to endeavour to work myself into duties by searching and tracing back all the real reasons why I do them not, and narrowly searching out all the subtle subterfuges of my thoughts, and answering them to the utmost of my power, that I may know what are the very first originals of my defect, as with respect to want of repentance, love to God, loathing of myself,-to do this sometimes in sermons.-Vid. Resolution 8. Especially, to take occasion therefrom, to bewail those sins of which I have been guilty, that are akin to them; as for instance, from pride in others, to take occasion to bewail my pride; from their malice, to take occasion to bewail the same in myself: when I am evil-spoken of, to take occasion to bewail my evil speaking and so of other sins. Mem. To receive slanders and reproaches, as glorious opportunities of doing this.

:

Wednesday afternoon, July 31. After afflictions, to enquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them; and what I might have got by them.-Never, in the least, to seek to hear sarcastical relations of others' faults. Never to give credit to any thing said against others, except there is very plain reason for it; nor to behave in any respect otherwise for it.

Sabbath morning, Aug. 4. Concluded at last, at those times when I am in the best frames, to set down the aspirations of my heart, as soon as I can get time.

Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 6. Very much convinced of the extraordinary deceitfulness of the heart, and how exceedingly affection or appetite blinds the mind, and brings it into entire subjection. There are many things which I should really think to be my duty,

[graphic]
« ElőzőTovább »