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laying up treasure on earth, but in heaven, by not having our portion in this life, by making the concerns of another life our whole business, by taking God for our whole portion. I find my heart, in great part, yet adheres to the earth. O that it might be quite separated from thence. I find when I have power and reputation as others, I am uneasy, and it does not satisfy me to tell me, that I have chosen God for my whole portion, and that I have promised to rest entirely contented with him.
Saturday, Feb. 23. I find myself miserably negligent, and that I might do twice the business that I do, if I were set upon it. See how soon my thoughts of this matter, will be differing from what they are now. I have been indulging a horrid laziness a good while, and did not know it. I can do seven times as much in the same time now, as I can at other times, not because my faculties are in better tune; but because of the fire of diligence that I feel burning within me. If I could but always continue so, I should not meet with one quarter of the trouble. I should run the christian race much better, and should go out of the world a much better man. Saturday, March 2. O how much more base and vile am I, when I feel pride working in me, than when I am in a more humble disposition of mind! How much, how exceedingly much, more lovely is an humble, than a proud, disposition! I now plainly perceive it, and am really sensible of it. How immensely more pleasant is an humble delight, than a high thought of myself! How much better do I feel, when I am truly humbling myself, than when I am pleasing myself with my own perfections. O how much pleasanter is humility, than pride. O that God would fill me with exceeding great humility, and that he would ever more keep me from all pride. The pleasures of humility are really the most refined, inward and exquisite, delights in the world. How hateful is a proud man. How hateful is a worm, that lifts up itself with pride! What a foolish, silly, miserable, blind, deceived, poor worm am I, when pride works! At night.-I have lately been negligent as to reading the Scriptures. Notwithstanding my resolutions on Saturday was se'night, I have not been sedulous and diligent enough.
Wednesday, March 6.-Near sunset. Regarded the doctrines of Election, Free Grace, our Inability to do any thing without the grace of God, and that Holiness is entirely, throughout, the work of the Spirit of God, with greater pleasure than ever before. Thursday, March 7. I think I now suffer from not forcing myself enough on religious thoughts.
Saturday night, March 24. I intend, if I am ever settled, to concert measures, and study methods, of doing good in the world, and to draw up rules of acting in this matter, in writing, of all the methods I can possibly devise, by which I can in any respect do good. Saturday night, March 31. This week I have been too careless about eating.
Monday morning, April 1.
I think it best not to allow myself
to laugh at the faults, follies and infirmities, of others. Saturday night, April 7. This week I found myself so far gone, that it seemed to me I should never recover more. Let God of his mercy return unto me, and no more leave me thus to sink and decay! I know, O Lord, that without thy help I shall fall, innumerable times, notwithstanding all my resolutions, how often soever repeated.
Saturday night, April 13. I could pray more heartily this night for the forgiveness of my enemies, than ever before.—Í am somewhat apt, after having asked one petition over many times, to be weary of it; but I am now resolved not to give way to such a disposition.
Wednesday forenoon, May 1. Last night I came home, after my melancholy parting from New York.
I have always, in every different state of life I have hitherto been in, thought that the troubles and difficulties of that state were greater, than those of any other state that I proposed to be in; and when I have altered, with assurance of mending myself, I have still thought the same, yea that the difficulties of that state are greater than those of that I left last. Lord, grant that from hence I may learn to withdraw my thoughts, affections, desires and expectations entirely from the world, and may fix them upon the heavenly state, where there is fulness of joy; where reigns heavenly, sweet, calm and delightful love without alloy; where there are continually the dearest expressions of this love; where there is the enjoyment of this love without ever parting; and where those persons, who appear so lovely in this world, will be inexpressibly more lovely, and full of love to us. How sweetly will those, who thus mutually love, join together in singing the praises of God and the Lamb. How full will it fill us with joy, to think that this enjoyment, these sweet exercises, will never cease or come to an end, but will last to all eternity. Remember after journeys, removals, overturnings and alterations in the state of my life, to reflect and consider, whether therein I have managed the best way possible respecting my soul; and before such alterations, if foreseen, to resolve how to act.
Thursday, May 2.-Afternoon. I observe this, that when I was at New York, when I meditated on things of a religious nature, I used to conceive of myself as walking in the fields at home; but now I am at home, I conceive of myself as walking in the fields, which I used to frequent at New York. I think it a very good way, to examine dreams every morning when I awake; what are the nature, circumstances, principles and ends of my imaginary actions and passions in them; in order to discern what are my prevailing inclinations, &c.
Saturday night, May 4. Although I have, in some measure, subdued a disposition to chide and fret, yet I find a certain inclina
tion, which is not agreeable to christian sweetness of temper and conversation: either too much dogmaticalness or too much egotism, a disposition to manifest my own dislike and scorn, and my own freedom from those which are innocent, sinless, yea common infirmities of men, and many other such like things. O that God would help me to discover all the flaws and defects of my temper and conversation, and help me in the difficult work of amending them; and that he would grant me so full a measure of vital christianity, that the foundation of all these disagreeable irregularities may be destroyed, and the contrary sweetnesses and beauties may of themselves naturally follow. Sabbath morning, May 5. Monday morning, May 6.
Made the 47th Resolution. I think it best commonly to come before God three times in a day, except I find a great inaptitude to that duty.
Saturday night, May 11. I have been to blame, the month. past, in not laying violence enough to my inclination, to force myself to a better improvement of time. Have been tardy with respect to the 47th Resolution. Have also been negligent about keeping my thoughts, when joining with others in prayer.
Sabbath-day morning, May 12. I have lost that relish of the Scriptures and other good books, which I had five or six months ago. Resolved, When I find in myself the least disposition to exercise good nature, that I will then strive most to feel good naturedly. At noon.-Observe to remember the meditations which I had at Westchester, as I was coming from New York; and those which I had in the orchard; and those under the oak-tree. This day, and the last night, I read over and reviewed those reflexions and remarks, which I find to be a very beneficial thing to me.After the afternoon meeting.-I think I find in my heart to be glad from the hopes I have, that my eternity is to be spent in spiritual and holy joys, arising from the manifestation of God's love, and the exercise of holiness, and a burning love to him.
Saturday night, May 18. This week past, spent in journeying to Norwich, and the towns thereabouts. This day returned, and received a letter, from my dear friend, Mr. John Smith.-The last Wednesday, took up a resolution, to refrain from all manner of evil speaking, for one week, to try it, and see the effect of it: hoping, if that evil speaking, which I used to allow myself in, and to account lawful, agreeably to the resolutions I have formed concerning it, were not lawful, or best, I should hereby discover it, and get the advantage of temptations to it, and so deceive myself, into a strict adherence to my duty, respecting that matter;-that that corruption, which I cannot conquer by main strength, I may get the victory of by stratagem. I find the effect of it already to be, to make me apt to take it for granted, that what I have resolved on this week, is a duty to be observed for ever.
I now plainly perceive, what great obligations I am under, to love and honour my parents. I have great reason to believe, that their counsel and education, have been my making; though, in the time of it, it seemed to do me so little good. I have good reason to hope, that their prayers for me have been, in many things, very powerful and prevalent, that God has, in many things, taken me under his care and guidance, provision and direction, in answer to their prayers for me. I was never made so sensible of it, as now. I think it the best way, in general, not to seek for honour, in any other way, than by seeking to be good, and to do good. I may pursue knowledge, religion, the glory of God, and the good of mankind, with the utmost vigour; but, am to leave the honour of it, entirely at God's disposal, as a thing with which I have no immediate concern; no, not although, by possessing that honour, I have the greater opportunity to do good.
Mem. To be particularly careful, lest I should be tardy in any point, wherein I have been negligent, or have erred, in days, weeks, months, or years past.
Sabbath-day morning, May 19. With respect to my journey last week, I was not careful enough, to watch opportunities of solemnly approaching to God, three times a day. The last week, when I was about to take up the Wednesday resolution, it was proposed to me, in my thoughts, to omit it until I got home again, because there would be a more convenient opportunity. Thus am I
ready to look at any thing as an excuse, to grow slack in my Christian course. At night. Concluded to add to my enquiries, as to the spending of time-at the beginning of the day, or the period, What can I do for the good of men?-and, at the end, What have I done for their good?
Tuesday morning, May 21. My conscience is, undoubtedly, more calm, since my last Wednesday resolution, than it was before. Wednesday morning, May 22. Memorandum. To take special care of the following things: evil speaking, fretting, eating, drinking and sleeping, speaking simple verity, joining in prayer, slightiness in secret prayer, listlessness and negligence, and thoughts that
Saturday morning, May 25. As I was this morning reading the 17th Resolution, it was suggested to me, that if I were now to die, I should wish that I had prayed more, that God would make me know my state, whether it be good or bad, and that I had taken more pains and care, to see and narrowly search into that matter. Wherefore, Mem. for the future, most nicely and diligently to look into the opinions of our old divines, concerning conversion. This morning made the 48th Resolution.
Monday afternoon, May 27. Memorandum. Not only to keep from an air of dislike, anger and fretfulness, in discourse or conver
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 concerned 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