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A Self-Observer; 



or Tftt 

Rev. J. C. LAVATER, 


MAN, VIEWS OF ETERNITY, &c. &c. &c. 



By the Rev. PETER WILL, 


VOL. I. 

The large Indiftmcnt flands before my View, 

Drawn forth by Confcience, moft amazing true ; 

And fill'd with Secrets hid from human Eye, 

When, fooliih Man ! thy God Uood witnefs by. 

Then, oh, thou Majefty divinely great, 

Accept the fad Confeflions I repeat ; 

For thine's the contrite Spirit, thine's an Heart 

Opprefled with Sorrow, broke with inward Smart ; 

That at thy Foot-ftool in Confeflion ihows 

How well its faults, how well the Judge it knows, 


lonUon : 





Sentimental works and books which tend to 
promote the knowledge of the human heart, being, 
at prefent, read with fo much avidity, the fubfe- 
quent Journal may hope to be not entirely unaccept- 
able to many a feeling and fenfible heart. 

Thus much, at leaft, is certain, and it has fre- 
quently been repeated by keen-lighted obfervers, 
that a faithful and circumftantial moral hiftory of 
the moft common and unromantic character is infi- 
nitely more important, and fitter for improving the 
human heart, than the moft extraordinary and in* 
terefting Novel. The number of thofe that may 
expert to derive a real and lafting moral benefit fronv 
A 2 the 


^hc former, are as thoufand to one, if compared 
with thofc that, perhaps, may reap the fame ad- 
vantage from the latter. Few only arc called to be- 
come heroes on the public^^?^^ of the world ; but 
all, without exception, are deftinated to become 
heroes in domejlic virtue. 

It ought to be entirely indifferent to the reader by 
what accident the following fheets are come in my 
pofleflion. Suffice it to fay, that they are the real 
and genuine Journal of a man, whofe firft and laft 
concern it was to get thoroughly acquainted with his 
heart ; that the Author is a man of a cheerful and 
open difpofltion, and not in the leaft given to gloomy 
melancholy; in fhort, of a man who .but I 

will not add a word more to his praife, left I point 
out his perfon more diftindtiy than the fcope of the 
prefent work requires •. The dear man will certainly 

* If the reader will take the trouble to read the two letters 

which are prefixed to the fecond volume of the Journal, he will 

learn why, notwithflanding this, declaration of the Editor, Mr. La- 

▼ater i$ mentioned, on the title page, at the real author of the 

fobfeqiient wcrk. 




never have imagined that his fentiments and obfer- 
vations would one time be difcloled to the Public ; 
of which the negligence, and the fimj^icity with 
which they are written, will eafily convince every 
candid reader. He will, undoubtedly, be terrified 
at the fight of a printed copy j however, he will, at 
the fame time, be generous enough not to be angry 
with the Editor for having taken a liberty which, 
probably, will occafion the beautifulleft fentiments. 
It is natural to expe£t that nothing has been inter- 
polated in the Journal, although fome part of it has 
been omitted, left the author would have been 
known, or expofed to mifreprefentations. 

The Editor flatters himfelf that the Public will 
not be difpleafed with the infertion of thofe paflages 
which properly do not belong to the Author's obfer- 
vations on himfelf, but contain either the charac- 
teriftic of others, or criticifms on books or paflages, 
which made a particular imprefiion on him, &c. 
&c. &c. 

Only one month has previoufly been offered to the 
Public as a Specimen, and if the aim of the Editor 

. fhould 


fhould be attained, it will be in his power to publifh 
two more. 

As for the reft, we wifh that our readers may pof- 
fefs that candour which charaderifes the Author of 
the Journal, and the publication of the prefent work 
will need no further apology, 

A. P. R. 

R Oaober, 1770* 



The fcope of the fubfequent work, as well as the 
hiftory of its publication, being fully explained in 
Mr. Lavater's letter, which is prefixed to the fccond 
volume, the Tranflator has nothing to add, but to 
beg the Reader not to impute it to him, if the ftile 
in which the Journal is written fhould appear rather 
lingular. Mr. Lavater*s manner of exprelling his 
ideas, being as extraordinary as his manner of think- 
ing, thofe who are not intimately acquainted with 
the writings of this eccentric, but truly venerable 
man, will eafily be induced to miftake for a foreign 
idiom what, in reality, is an idiom of the Author, 
and could not be exchanged for a genuine Englifh 
one, as it is the peculiar charadteriftic which diftin- 
guiihes his way of thinking. Conlidering this, the 
Tranflator flatters himfelf that he will not be pro- 
nounced arrogant, if he hopes that not all exprel- 
fions, which may found rather flrange in an elegant 



car, Will be charged on him as proofs of negle£l, or 
of a too deficient knowledge of the language. The 
prcfent Tranflation, which originally was intended 
to be circulated only in manufcript, among fome ad- 
mirers of Mr, Lavater, would certainly never have 
hecn intruded on the Public, if the Tranllator were 
not folly perfuaded, that its great utility will over- 
balance its many defe£):s, and contribute to propa- 
gate piety and religious prudence, for which purpofe 
he recommends the perufal of it particularly to his 
congregation, who always have difplayed the moft 
laudable deflre to improve in Chriftian knowledge 
and virtue. 

May the divine Author of Truth give his blefling 
to the weak efforts of the Tranflator, to contribute 
his mite to the encreafe of ferious meditation and 
Chriftian circumfpe6lion, and animate the readers 
of thefe pages with a (incere and a6live defire to 
profit by the example of their venerable Author i 

Upper Thornhaugh.Strcct. 





January, 1769. 


1 AM going to begin a Journal with this 
prefent year. O that not one of my future 
days might be entirely loft to heaven and 
myfelf! that every one might be diftin- 
guifhed by at leaft one good deed, and moft 
of them entirely dedicated to Thee, my God ; 
becoming an immortal foul, and a fource of 
eternal happinefs. 

Vol. I. B Spirit 


Spirit of Grace remind me every day to 
watch and to pray, becaufe I do not know 
when my Judge fhall come : — yes, my foul, 
w^ork while it is day, for the night cometh 
when no man can work. O Lord, teach me 
to number my days, that I may apply my 
heart unto wifdom. 

Let me, Father, let me never 
Sink in flumbcr's peaceful lap, 
Till I have furveyed the adions. 
And the errors of the day. 

And thou, my heart, be fincere : do not 
conceal from me thy fecret receffes 3 I will 
make friendfhip, and ere6t a covenant with 
thee. Know, my heart, that no friendfhip 
upon earth is wifer, and more abounding in 
bleffings, than the friendfliip and intimacy of 
a heart with itfelf. He who is not his own 
confidant, can never become a friend of 
God and virtue. The more we fhun our- 



felvcs, the nearer we approach to hypocrify ; 
and there is nothing in the world I defpife 
more than an hypocrite. 

Thofe that know the human heart have 
made the juft remark, that we ceafe being 
fincere, as foon as we perceive that we are 
obferved. But it is juft the reverfe with a 
rigorous obfervation of ourfelves ; we always 
begin to be fmcere, as foon as our heart per- 
ceives that we watch its fentiments. 

Left I fliould deceive myfelf, I will make 
a firm refolution never to ftiew thefe re- 
marks to any perfon whatever ; to conceal 
them with the greateft care, and to write 
every thing that could produce the leaft bad 
confequence in ciphers entirely arbitrary, 
which no one but myfelf fhall be able to 
folve J and to write down every thing remark- 
able. I ftiall perceive in thecourfe and fluc- 
tuation of my fentiments, all the fecret 
B 2 artifices 


artifices of pafTions ; every thing which may 
have a remarkable influence upon the im- 
provement of my moral charafter, Szc. &c. 
&c. as carefully, as if I were to read my 
journal to God : fo carefully, that on my 
death-bed I fliall be enabled, by thefe re- 
cords, to give to myfelf an account of my 
life, like that which will be laid before me, 
w^hen my fpirit fliall have taken its flight to 
better regions. 


The following rules fliall always be before 
mine eyes 5 they fliall be fufpended fome- 
where in my ftudy, and read and revolved 
by me every morning and evening. 


I will never rife in the morning without 
offering thanks and prayers to God -, nor 



without reflecting that it, perhaps, may be 
the laft time. 


I will never begin my daily occupations, 
neither in the morning nor in the afternoon, 
without having previoufly implored God, on 
my knees, in a retired place (at leaft for a 
few moments), to grant me his aid and 


I will not do nor defign any thing I would 
omit if Jefus Chrill: were Handing vifibly be- 
fore me 'y nothing which I might repent of 
at the uncertain hour of death. I will, with 
the affiftance of God, accuflom myfelf to do 
every thing, without exception, in the name 
of Jefus Chrift ; and, as his difciple, to figh 
every -hour to God for the bleffings of the 
Holy Ghoft, and always to be difpofed to 

B 3 IV. I will 



I will read every day a chapter in the 
Bible, and particularly in the gofpel; and 
feleft fome fentiment or other from the 
chapters I fhall read, and revolve it fre- 
quently in my mind. 


Every day fhail be marked with at leaft 
one particular work of charity. 


I will make it every day my principal 
bufinefs to be ufeful to my family. 


I will never eat or drink fo much as to 
caufe the leafl inconvenience or hindrance 
in the performance of my occupations ; and 
between meals abllain, as much as poffible, 



from drinking wine, and from eating (a morfel 
in the evening excepted). 


Whitherfoever I may go, I vs^ill previoufly 
figh to God that I may not commit a fm, but 
always leave behind me fomething ufeful , 
the fame I will do before every meal where- 
foever I may take it. 


I will never fleep longer than eight hours, 
at moft, whilft in health. 


I will never lay down to fleep without 
having prayed firft. 


In my prayers for others, which I will 

never omit, I will mention by name my pa- 

B 4 rents, 


rents, my wife, my children, my fervants^, 
and my friends, &c. 


I will examine myfelf after thefe rules 
every night, and honeftly mark in my jour-, 
nal the number which I fhall have omitted; 
the fame I will obferve with regard to what- 
ever I fhall have read, tranfafted, finned, an4 
learned. God, thou feed what I have wrote ; 
may I be able to read it every morning with 
fmcerity, and every night with joy, and the 
loud applaufe of my confcience. 



JANUARY I, 1769. 

THIS morning I awoke at three o'clock, 
gnd heard the watchman : I never hear him 
without fome fweet melancholy, accompa- 
nied by a nice perception of the fleetnefs of 
my life, and of the imperfeft ideas of fleep- 
kfs philofophers, fighing, and fick people, 
women in labour, dying, &c. &c. This morn- 
ing I had a livelier fenfe of that idea than 
ufual; I proftrated myfelf in my imagination 
before God, and offered to him the firft fen- 
timents of this new year (I could not check 
my tears as I was filently praying), and re- 
commended to the mercy of God all my 
brethren and filters in the whole world. I 
revolved in my mind the above-mentioned 
rules ; renewed my pious refolutions, and 
with a ferene confidence refigned my whole 
temporal and eternal happinefs to the care 



of my befl and faithfulleft Father in hea* 

Then llept again with tranquillity till half 
an hour paft fix, when I awoke with joy and 
gratitude, prayed, repeated the new year*s 
hymn of Gellert, and read the four firfl 
chapters of St. Matthew. — My fentiments 
for the day was : Thou flialt not tempt the 
Lord thy God. 

O, my God ! I will look up to Thee for 
every blefling during the enfuing year, and 
never doubt but that thou wilt grant me 
more than thou hall promlfed, and never 
afk what thou haft not promifed. 

I took the firm refolutlon to wifh to-day 
to no one an happy new year with my lips 
only. O ! what an offence againft truth is it 
to wifh one with the lips a bleffing which 
the heart does not concur in ; and, perhaps, 
might envy another in the enjoyment thereof. 



Be thoUj therefore, ever prefent to my heart 
to-day, thou facred fenfe of iincerity ; and, 
oh ! my heart, never forget that it is mean 
hypocrify to pronounce a wlih without mean- 
ing any thing with it. I found it difficult to 
execute this refolution. My words overfliot 
my fentiments feveral times. I overtook them 
again, and always felt an inward pleafure 
when I perceived that my wifhes were 
anointed with fincerity and love for human- 

Good God ! how many inward and valu- 
able pleafures do we chafe away from our 
foul, by baniftiing frqm it humanity, the moll 
precious jewel of our nature. Mortals, like 
niyfelf, brothers and fifters are all of you, 
who with me inhabit one globe, breathe one 
air, and imbibe the light of one fun, and 1 
ihould force myfelf to wifh you happy ; I 
(hould mean and feel nothing, w^hen I am 



wiihing you, in the prefence of the. omnipre- 
fent Father, the Father of all, happy days, 
health, new ftrength for behig virtuous, and 
every thing that God himfelf calls bleilings. 
Wiiliing an happy new year to my maid, I 
fupprelTed fome bitter reflexions which were 
going to mix with my wifh. I fpoke with 
that natural mild refignation which is alvvays 
the companion of true funplicity : however, 
I cannot deny that I conquered my acrimony; 
I believed to have performed fomething 
great, and fomething very mean: if thou, 
my heart! hadil conquered thyfelf a little 

Alas! how inattentive was I at church — 
and yet I had prayed fervently at ftrfl — what 
a trifle was it that took away rny attention ! 
Good God! if I did but know by what means 
I could fix my foul 1 How fudden is the tran- 
sition from ferious devotion to wild fancies— 

a mien. 


a mien, a mufF. Alas', what infignificant 
trifles withdraw my attention from heaven 
to earth ! The fermon on the fleetnefs of 
human life made mCj how^ever, again very 
ferious, until the preacher began to pro- 
nounce his wiflies. What an art is it to 
gratulate in an artlefs manner ! 1 will, how- 
ever, firft learn myfelf how to gratulate with 
fmcerity, before I weigh the gratulations of 
others on the balance of criticifm. 

In the evening I endeavoured to be alone 
as foon as poffible. I muft converfe with 
myfelf. Shall I live this year more happy 
and virtuous ? faid 1 to myfelf this morning. 
I began my tafk with writing down my jour- 
nal, and continued it thus far. Now it 
ftruck five o'clock — already Rvq o'clock, faid 
I, and I have not yet performed any parti- 
cular work of charity ; to-morrow I could 
indeed perform two, inllead of one, and thus 



make up the omiffion of this day ; however, 
I will not tranfgrefs, knowingly, a rule, the 
performance of which I have to-day folemnly 
promifcd to God and my confcience ; for 
that reafon I would not let pafs the prefent 
firil day of the year without having per- 
formed a particular work of charity. An- 
other reafon perhaps was, becaufe I wifhed 
to have the pleafure, on the firft day of the 
next year, to look back on this day with the 
joy of a benevolent heart ; for I have fre- 
quently remarked, that I have a particular 
defire of marking with virtuous a6lions, and, 
above all, with deeds of charity, thofe days 
which diftinguifh themfelves in the almanack 
by fome extraordinary feftivity, or fomething 
elfe remarkable. How eafy do we recollect 
them when they return the next year 1 On 
Ncw-year*s-day, on my birth-day, on Eafler- 
day, I have been here or there ; have per- 


formed this or that — that haplefs fufferer 

who is now reftored to his health — or that 

brother who, perhaps, is now in the other 

world — or a third who fufFers ftill. Oh? 

how did he rejoice on that day, when I fur- 

prifed him with a charitable relief. But now 

I will rife; will leave off writing. I will not 

write a line more, but go and acl. But 

whither am I going ? and what do I intend 

to do ? Thou needed not go far. Has not 

my maid a iick mother, who, moreover, is 

poor ? How often has flie already begged 

foft old linen to drefs her wounds with ? — 

i went down to my wife: " My dear! I 

" want a new-year's gift ;" — " For whom ?*' 

" For myfelf, or rather for a poor perfon ; 

" — or for him who has faid : inafmuch as ye 

" have done it unto one of the leajl of my brethren^ 

*' ye have done it unto me J* " Well, what is it 

« then ?'* " Some old linen for Kitty's mo- 

'^ ther." 


" ther.*' " Is that all ? I will inftantly gd 
" and look for fome : but then I beg of 
" you a reciprocal kmdnefs — let us fmg 
" fome hymns." I confented to it, and did 
it with inward pleafure, with a pious fatis- 
fa6lion, and with tears of joy. 

What is the reafon that I am never more 
pious than when I hear fpiritual mufick ? 
Are the fine, fweet, melting fenfations-, 
which it commonly thrills the foul with, 
really of a moral nature ; although they are 
nothing but the immediate effe£l of tones^, 
^f certain circular vibrations of the air ; 
although they feem to be merely mechani- 
cal, vanifliing as foon as the tones are heard 
no more, leaving fo rarely a lading impref- 
fion behind ? And yet I have frequently been 
proud of them y have numbered them on the 
fcore of my moral feelings: but ihould virtue 
be nothing elfe but the effect of a vibration 



of the air, regulated in this or that manner, 
can a true moral nature be afcribed to a 
fentimeilt which does not root in the foul j 
coming only on certain occafions, and difap- 
pearing with them ? Should noi felf-fufficiency 
be the eflential character of virtue ? The con- 
fcioufnefs of a£ling right under all circum- 
ftances j the inward conviction of the law- 
fulnefs of our aftions— fliould not that be 
the criterion of our chara6ler? But cannot 
ientiments be fincere, and of a moral nature, 
although they be produced only by acci- 
dental circumflances ? A difficult query. It 
can, however, not be denied 3 only thofe 
fentiments which I can create within myfelf, 
as often as I choofe, through juft and great 
ideas which I can produce, and which are 
natural and familiar to me on all occafions 
— only thofe fentiments I (hall take over 
with me into the other world. Mufick can 
Vol. I. C raife 


raife my feelings ; yet my God and my Re- 
deemer will not be lefs amiable, although 
^e mufick flioyJd have died a.way like a foft 
ftream of harmonies. It is ^ilways true, that 
I owe him my exillence, and rny immorta- 
lity 5 and this idea, ever true arid inconteft- 
able, ought always to have a felf-fufiicienti 
power of roufmg within myfelf fentimenta 
of gratitude and love. ji 

Thus far I had wrote, when my wif^ 
brought me the little bundle of linen I had 
defired. " Will that do r" " Perfeaiy well I 
" I will give it to the fervant," faid L The 
fervent was called -, flie anfwered, crofsly, 
flie could not corne. Her anfwer did not 
provoke me -, and it made me quite proud 
that I was not angry, and fliould be able to 
Ihame her, by a gift for her mother. Five 
minutes after Ihe came : " What are your 

". commands r" " Kitty/' faid I, in a firm 



jind gentle accent, " there is fomething for 
" your mother ; you may go prefently, and 
" take it to her." It was indeed a triumph 
to me, to fee her furprifed, and fo much 
afliamedi fhe went away, and I was fatis- 

We flipped foon after, and I was very 
cheerful during our meal. When the table 
was going to be cleared, I ftruggled with 
myfelf, whether I fhould, or Ihould not fay,, 
" henceforward we will always join iq our 
" evening prayers." How cowardly is it of 
the father of a houfe not to dare to make 
the firfl: advances towards fo laudable a cuf- 
tom ? Hov^ever, I attempted it ; fetched in- 
ftantly the excellent hymns of Gellert, and 
prayed : then we parted, and I perufed my 
rules, and my journal. Have I performed 
every thing in the name of Jefus Chrift ? 
Have I prayed for the perfons nanxed in my 
C 2 eleventh 


eleventh rule ? No ; I have not ; I will do 
it now. O ! merciful God ! with Thee will 
I converfe, before mine eyes ihall be clofed. 

JANUARY the Second. 

I AWOKE at fix o'clock, remembered 
that I am a mortal, gave thanks to God, 
and read the fifth, fixth, and feventh chap- 
ters of St. Matthew. What a treafure of 
morals! How difficult to fmgle out a parti- 
cular paiTage ! I went direftly to my occu- 
pations, and continued them fucceflively till 
noon. I ate with a good appetite. My wife 
alked me, during dinner, what fentiment I had 
chofen for the prefent day : — " Henceforth, 
*• my dear," anfwered I, " we will pray and 
" read together in the morning, and choofe 
" a common fentiment for the day -, I have 

" been 


'* been angry with myfelf to-day, for having 
" neglected it fo long. The fentiment which 
*^ I have chofen for this day is : Give to him 
" that asketh thee, and from him that would 
'^ borrow of thee ^ turn not thou away.'' 

'^ Pray how is this to be underftood?" faid 
ilie. « Literally,'* replied I. " Literally ? 
" very flrange, indeed!'* " We, at leafl, mufl 
" take it fo, my dear, as we would do if 
" we had heard Jefus Chrifl himfelf pro- 
" nounce thefe words. No doubt we mufl 
" take thefe words fo as if he himfelf had 
** fpoken them to us, iince he has caufed 
" them to be committed to writings for 
'* whatever is writteny can have no other 
'^ meaning than the word simply. The gofpel 
" contains, as I think, anfwers, either general 
" or particular ones; yet they are always ea- 
V fily to be comprehended by our confcience j 
'* they are unequivocal to him who reads them 
C 3 " with 


*^ With a plain, fimple fenfe of truth ; they are, 
*^ in every refpe£l, divine anfwers to all moral 
*' queflions, folutions of all problems which 
*' ever can be ftated. However, only hearts 
" which are plain, iincere unto the voice of 
" truth, and void of paffions, can compre- 
*' hend thefe anfvVers and folutions : Give to 
" him that ajketh thee, and from him that would 
*"' borrow of thee, trim not thou away ; fays he 
^* whofe property all my pofleffions are. I 
" am the fteward, and not the proprietor of 
*' my fortune. The proprietor commandeth 
*' me to give unto hiiil that afketh of me, 
" and not to refufe the prayer of him who 
*^ wants to borrow of me, while it ihall be 
" in my power to ^ve and to lend ; I muft, 
*' of courfe, give to him who has nothing ; 
" ot, to ufe other words, if I have two coats y 
'^ / mttfl give one unto him who has none ; and 
"^'^ if I have rneat^ IthuJI dofo likewife, though 

" Ifliould 


*^ 1 JJionld not he ajked. How much more 
" will it be incumbent upon me if that 
*' fhould be the cafe ?" This was fo clear to 
me, that I fpok^ it rather witb warmth. 
My Wife made ho reply, except, ^^ that fht 
*^ would take it into consideration." 

I was juil rifen from dinner, when a widow 
defired to fpeak with me ; I ordered her to 
be fhewn into my ftudy, " You will excufe 
*' me, dear Sir !'* faid flie, " I entreat you to 
*' excufe me. Ala^ ! I can fcarcely tell it ; 
*^ I muft pay my houfe-rent, and I am fix 
•' dollars too fhort ; I have been ill a whole 
" month, and could hardly keep my poor 
*' children from ftarving ; I have laid by 
" every penny — but, gracious heaven ! I am, 
" neverthelefs, fix dollars too fhort, and muft 
** have them to-day, or to-morrow; pray 
** hear me, dear Sir!" Here fhe took afmall 
parcel out of her pocket, untied it, and faid, 
C 4 « There, 


" There, Sir, is a book enchafed with filver ; 
*' my late hufband gave it me when we 
*« were betrothed, it is all I can fpare ; I 
" affure you, I part with it with reluftance; 
" yet I know it will not be fufficient ; and 
« I alfo do not know how I fhall redeem it. 
« Oh ! dear Sir, can't you affift me r" " My 
" God ! good woman, I cannot ajjijl you /'* fo 
faying, I put my hand (accidentally, or from 
habit) into my pocket, touching my money, 
which confifted of about tw© dollars and a 
half. That will not be fufficient, faid I to 
myfelf, fhe mufl have the whole fum j and 
if it would do, I want it myfelf. " Have 
" you no friend, no patron,** faid I, " who 
" would give you that trifle ?'' " No ! not a 
*' living foul ; and I do not like to go from 
" houfe to houfe, I rather will work whole 
*^ nights — I have been told that you are a 
" good-natured gentleman. Well! in the 

<' name 


^ name of God ! if you cannot affift me, 
" you will, I hope, excufe me for having 
" given you fo much trouble. I v^ill try 
" how I can extricate myfelf: God has 
" never forfaken me ; and I hope he will 
*^ not begin to turn his back on me in my 
" feventy-fixth year." — The fame moment 
my wife entered the room. 

I was — O thou traitorous heart ! — I was 
angry, afhamed, and ihould have been glad, 
if I could have fent her away under fome 
pretext or other; becaufe my confcience 
whifpered to me. Give to him who afketk 
tJiee, and do not turn away from him who would 
borrow of thee. My wife too, whifpered irre- 
fiftibly in my ear : " She is a pious, honefl 
" woman ; fhe has certainly been ill ; affift 
" her if you can." Shame, joy, avarice, and 
^he defire of affifting her, ftruggled alter- 
pately in my heart. " I have no more than 

« two 


** two dollars by me/' anfwered I In a whif- 
per, " and (he wants fix 5 how therefore can 
" I anfwer her demand? I will give her 
*' fomething, and fend her away.'* My wife 
fqueezed my hand tenderly; fmlling, and 
befeeching me by her looks. She then faid 
aloud, what my confcience had whifpcred 
to me : Give to him who ajketk thee^ and do 
not turn away from him who would borrow of 
thee, I fmiled, aflving her archly, " whether 
** fhe would give her ring, in order to enable 
« me to do it ?" " With great pleafure !" faid 
ihe, pulling off her ring. The good old 
woman was either too fimple to obferve 
this, or too modeft to take advantage of it : 
however, when flie was going, my wife told 
her to wait a little in the pafTage. *' Was 
*^ you in earneft, my dear, when you offered 
** your ring ?" faid I, as foon as we were in 
t)rivate. " Indeed I was-^I am furprifed 

" that 

s£lf-observer. *iy 

^ that you can a(k that qiieftion. Do yon 
^' think I fport with charity ? Remember 
^' what you have faid a quarter of aii hour 
*' aoro : I entreat vou not to make an often- 
^' tation of the gofpel. You have always 
*^ been fo benevolent i and n^w you are fo 
*' backward to aflift that poor woman. Why 
" did you not inftantly give her what money 
*^ you had in your purfe ? Did you not know 
*' that there are fix dollars in your bureau, 
■ ' and that it will be quarter-day in eight or 
" ten days?" I preffed my wife to my bofom, 
and dropped a tear. ^' You are more righte- 
'^ ous than I ! I thank you ! kee^p your ring ; 
^' you have made me blufli." I then went 
to the bureau, and took the fix dollars* 
When I was going to open the door, to call 
the widow, I was feized with horror, be- 
caufe I had faid, " My God! I cannot help 
^' ygii!^ O thoxi traitorous tongue ! thou de- 


ceitful heart! — " there, t^ke the money you 
*' want." She feemed, at firft, not to under- 
ftand me, thinking it was only a fmall con- 
tribution ; kifled my hand, and her aflonifh- 
ment was fo great, that flie could not utter 
a word, when fhe faw that it was more — 
that it was the whole fum which fhe wanted. 
" O 1 God ! how fhall I thank you ? I can- 
" not repay you ; have you underftood me 
^^^ right ? I have got nothing but this poor 
*^ book, and it is old." " Keep jour book, 
^' and the money ; and thank God, and not 
" me. Indeed, I do not deferve your thanks, 
*^ becaufe I have hefitated fo long to alTift 
« you — go, in the name of God, and fay 
" not a word more.'* I fhut the door after 
her, and v^s fo much afhamed, that I hardly 
could look at my wife. " My dear !" faid 
fhe, " make yourfelf eafy j you have yielded 
" to my admonitions j while I fhall wear a 

" golden 


*^ golden ring on my finger (and you know 
" I have feveral), you need not tell a fellov;^- 
" creature in diftrefs that you cannot aflill 
" him." I prefled her to my bofom, and 
w^ept. As foon as I v^''as left to myfelf, I 
continued my journal, in order to humble 
thee, my heart ! that heart which has in- 
duced me yefterday to write, / rather would 
he any thing than an hypocrite ; and yet it is 
downright hypocrify to preach rigorous mo- 
rals, and to perform only the lefs difficult 

Haft thou comprehended me, my heart ? 
Couldft thou have dared to refufe giving 
afliftance to that poor woman, if thou, ac- 
cording to the fecond rule, hadft prayed 
only a few moments ? I was bufy till fix 
o'clock in the evening, when my wife called 
me to the harpfichord. I went down, and 
fang half an hour ; then 1 haftened to my 

clofet ; 

JO ^ Journal of a 

clofet 5 prayed, kneeling, about fevcit mn 
nutes, and bewailed the difbonefty I had 
committed to-day. Having perufed once 
more the chapters I had read in the morn* 
ing, with fo little benefit, my fhame was 

i ate little at fupper, and then prayed with 
the whole family ; not one of the Jervants was 
Juffered to ftay away \ they are Chrifiians^ and 
were edified. How peaceably could I have 
clofed this fecond day of the year, if I had 
performed all my rules ! 

JANUARY the Third. 

A DAY full of confufion 1 — I could nei- 
ther read, meditate, nor work ; however it 
was my own fault. I Hept with an unac- 


countable heavinefs till it was broad day ; 
very likely I fliould have toffed myfelf about 
ip my bed fome time longer, if the infufFer- 
able llench of the extinguiftied night lamp 
had not caufed me to open my eyes. I v^as 
a-bed till nine o'clock — v^^hat a fight to 
angels I what a fight to myfelf would it. 
have been if I had rifen early, and vifiting 
an healthy man, at nine o'clock in the morn- 
ing, had feen in his bed-roora> what I am 
now going to draw. 

1 will make it a rule henceforward to 
draw, as well as I can, and to keep in my 
journal all fituations, the ocular infpeftioa 
of which fliall ftrike me more with fliame 
than if they were defcribed only by words. 
Good God ! if I had before my eyes faithful 
drawings of .all fituations of that kind, of 



every day of my life, would it be pofTibk to 
be proud or vain, even for a fingle mo- 
ment ! 

It w^as nine o*cIock, as I have mentioned, 
when I rofe, vexed at the difagreeable flench 
—the tea-kettle was on the table, the water 
almoft: boiling over ; the fun flione through 
the half frozen windows, fo dazzling, that I 
was afhamed of myfelf, and grew fo uneafy, 
that 1 did ngt know w^hat to do. Why did 
not fome one awake me? What a terrible 
ftench is this 1 Where is my tobacco and 
my pipe ? Thus I was putting one queftion 
^fter the other to the fervant who was juft 
entering the room. — Only the third day of 
the year, faid I to myfelf, as foon as I was 
left alone, and commenced in Co fhameful a 
manner ! — It is fo cold in the room, thought 
I, at the fame moment, before I purfued the 
firft idea. I went to the fire-fide — No fire 

yet — 


yet. — Somebody knocked at the door, I opened 
it, and Mr. M*** was {landing there. — " Ihope 
'' I do not difturbyou," faid he. — '' Not in the 
" leall ! I am extremely glad you are come" 
— and yet I was very much difpleafed at it, 
becaufe I had fomething to do. — " Walk 
" in ! it is cold ; let us fit down by the 
" fire." I put my pelife {a) on, and feated 
myfelf by the fire. — '' If you will give me 
" leave, I will read to you a trifle I com- 
'^ pofed, a few days ago ; I iliould like to 
" have your opinion of it :" fo faying, Mr. 
M^*^ took a paper out of his letter-cafe, 
whilft I replied, " with great pleafure !" — 
He began to read; I was aftonifhed ^ he 
read with emphafis, and his looks feemed to 
demand applaufe. I fmiled and nodded, as 
if highly pleafed ; and to confefs the truth. 

(«) Coat, lined with fur. 

Vol. I. D I hardly 


I hardly knew what he was reading, fo much 

was I abforbed in thoughts, and fo little dif- 

pofed to be attentive. Now he finifhed — 

" Excellent!" exclaimed I, " I hope you 

" will publifh it." — " Your approbation," 

replied he, " has fufEcient weight with me, 

*' to encourage me to venture it — but you 

" are too indulgent ! Dare I leave this manu- 

" fcript with you, that you may look it 

" over, it has ftill many defe6ts?" &:c. &c. — 

'• There is no occafion for it," anfwered 1 3 

" however, if you infift upon it, I will pe- 

" rufe it once more ; I am fure I fliall like 

" it better on the fecond perufal." Alas 1 

what a nonfenfical flatterer I was ; I have 

flattered, O ! heart, and confequently have 

been an hypocrite. 

Mr. M*** went away, and looking his 
manufcript over, I found unpardonable de- 
feas.— -Thou haft deferved it, oh ! heart ; 


iEL!?-OBSERVER. '3^5 

now thou art puniflied ! but how Ihall I re- 
tract my firll opinion ? Shall I confirm it ? 
that would be abominable ; give a contrary 
one; how humiliating ! 

Firft of all I will draw the fcene fo humi- 
liating to me, in order to punifh myfelf, and 
then fend back the manufcript, with the 
following: letter : 


" DEAR sir! 

" I have read your manufcript ; you will 
" expert my opinion of it in writing. Firft 
" of all, give me leave to tell you, that the 
" opinion I have given concerning it, has 
'' been that of an inattentive, regardlefs, 
'' and difcompofed man. I have taken the 
" liberty of marking thofe paffages which, 
" as I think, require corre£ling -, the very 
'' fame paffages which I, as far as I can 
" remember, feemed to approve. It is /, 
D 2 " and 


" and not youy who ought to blufh, that my 
" prefent opinion is quite the reverfe of the 
" former, however, you Teemed to perceive 
" yourfelf, that my applaufe did not come 
" from the heart. I thank you for your 
" kind, and in every refpeft unmerited, con- 
" fidence, in leaving the manufcript with 
" me. How uneafy would it have made 
" me, if my unlimited applaufe had prompt- 
*^ ed you to omit making fuch alterations, 
" which I now think fo neceffary. You 
*^ fee I take revenge on myfelf, for my in- 
" confiderate approbation, by a franknefs 
" which, perhaps, would difpleafe you, if 
" you were not fo noble-minded, fo modeft, 
" and fo humane. I am ready to give you 
'* every fatisfaftion for my firft, and this my 
" fecond, opinion," — &c. &c. 

Having wrote this note, I fent it before 
dinner to his houfe. It now was noon. — ■ 

" Good 


" Good day to you, my dear T' faidmy wife, 
when I came down flairs. — I was (as I ima- 
gine, on account of my note) rather more 
cheerful, and in a jocofe mood. — After dinner 
I went up flairs to my fludy. To-day, faid I 
to myfelf, thou hafl neither read thy rules, 
nor faid thy prayers. — I now was alone, and 
could have performed what I had negledled 
this morning, however I was too lazy — I 
was indifpofed — filled my pipe, and called 
for a candle — the candle was brought, and 
company announced. This day promifes 
very little, faid I to myfelf; and told the 
fervant, I fhould be glad to receive the 
company. I fmoked my pipe, put on my 
clothes, and had my hair drefled, when it 
flruck three o'clock. 

The whole evening was fpoiled ; news, 

political, and family tales ; difcourfes on the 

weather -, fome new publications , feveral 

D 3 odd 


odd marriages ; the laft play of the pre- 
ceding year -, comparifons between the the^ 
atre at Hambourg, Vienna, and Leipzig. 
Thefe were the important matters which 
were the fubje£t of converfation the whole 

Which of my rules has been executed to 
day ? I will, however, perufe them, in order 
to be put to the biufh — I will read them, 
and carefully commit to writing what my 
confcience accufes me of. I rofe in the 
morning without the leafl fenfe of gratitude, 
without even offering a llgh to God — with- 
out recollecting my mortality — without bend- 
ing my knees to God — in the name, and as 
a difciple of Jefus Chrift. I am feized with 
a trembling. — Nothing ha§ been done ! An 
heathen could not have fpent this day worfe 
than 1 5 and a rational heathen would have 
made a better ufe of it.— I have not read in 



the gofpel, nor chofen a fentiment for the 
day — and with what deed of charity has this 
day been marked. Have the members of 
my family had an opportunity of deriving 
the leaft benefit from my example or con- 
verfation. — It is nothing to me, whether 
other people will look upon this day, fo void 
of virtuous deeds, as a mark of a very un- 
chriftian heart j the leaft confideration makes 
me fenfible, that fuch a day is a very poor 
one, a difgrace to a Chriftian, and will not 
be viewed without horror in the hour of 
death. However, it is the firft, and fhall be 
the laft day I will fpend this year in fuch a 



JANUARY the Fourth. 

YES ! I had a hard ftruggle this morn- 
ing, before I could difpofe my mind to 
prayer; — to converfe with the Creator of 
heaven and earth, who is alfo my creator — 
this, certainly, is an occupation requiring the 
efforts of all the intelle6lual powers. I rofe 
very early ; I bent my knees ; but with re- 
lu61:ance, and with a fort of timid bafhful- 
nefs — but who made me blufh ! God ? his 
holy angels ? or myfelf ? I know it is indif- 
ferent to the eternal God, in what pofture 
we adore him ; he is not moved by bended 
knees, nor flowing tears, nor pompous words, 
nor fighs ; he is not moved by pfalms, nor 
empty founds. However I alfo know that 
timidity, lazinefs, and the ftrugglcs of the 
flefli, which prevent us from praying to 



him in a poflure which we know is fitter 
than any other, to infpire us with a fenfe of 
humility, and of our dependance on him, or, 
at leaft, to promote thefe fentiments ; I 
know that thefe unbecoming figns of weak- 
nefs cannot be indifferent to h'm. I cannot 
tell what has prevented me from extinguifli- 
ing the candle, or from pulling the fkreen 
down, and why I preferred to let it burn ; 
though I could not conceal from my felf, that 
I fliould have prayed with more devotion, 
with more compofure, &:c. &c, &c. if I had 
been in the dark. 

I read the morning hymn, the general 

prayer, and the fupplications of Gel/erf.-. 

Alas ! why did I rife as foon as they were 
finifhed ? And why did I not continue pray- 
ing from the heart, what neither Gellert, nor 
Klopjiock', what neither the greatefl poet, 
nor the befl adorers of God can teach me? 



—Why muft I have recourfe to the words 
of another perfon, of a fellow-creature, when 
converfing with my Creator? What an horri- 
ble eftrangement from God does this pray- 
ing, with the words of others, fuggeft to 
me ! 

I fhivered a little — put on warmer clothes, 
took up the Bible, and read from the 
feventh to the eleventh chapter of St. Mat- 
thew. I chofe, as a fentiment for the pre- 
fent day, thefe words : He that loveth father 
or mother more than me, is not worthy of me ; 
and he that loveth Jon or daughter more than me^ 
is not worthy of w?^— -words which thrill my 
foul. How can I apply them to myfclf with-t 
out trembling ? Whom of my friends do \ 
not love more than Chrili ? Whom of my 
friends would I not rather like to pleafe than 
my Saviour ? — I am undoubtedly no worthy 
difciple of Chrifl ^ and yet I muft needs be* 



come worthy of him, if he gives me eternal 
life. — Oh Lord I fill my foul with love for 
thee. — I can for hours familiarly converfe 
with a friend ; I leave him with relu6lance ; 
and when I am converfing with thee, I think 
each moment an hour. There is ftill fome 
conftraint in my prayers — I am ftill deftitute 
of true love. Oh ! thou moft amiable of 
beings ! Illuminate my foul with a ray of thy 
love, and let the fpirit of adoption give wit- 
nefs to my fpirit, that I am thy child. 

I continued my journal from yeilerday, 
executed the neceflary drawing, and wrote 
the journal of this day fo far — prayed with 
my wife ^ read the tenth chapter of St. Mat- 
thew to her ^ drank my tea, and then wrote 
till dinner-time. I refolvcd to ftay at home 
the whole day, and to converfe with myfelf 
in folitude. I fucceeded pretty well ^ from 
three till feven o'clock I read the three iirft 



cantos of Klopflock's Meffiah, without hardly 
ever flopping — What a noble foul ! that can 
compofe fuch a poem. — Wretched beings 
who abufe poetry by afiailing him who has 
intruded that gift to you, for the promo- 
tion of truth and virtue ! I played on the 
harpfichord ; ate my fupper ; read the rules 
— and blufhed, becaufe I had not performed 
a charitable work this day ; though I fliould 
not have been in want of proper obje6i:s, if 
I had but taken a little pains to look out for 

JANUARY the Fifth. 

f AWOKE in good time, and alked my 
wife if {\^e would join me in praying. I 
roufed her — we rofe up and prayed. I was 

— God 


— God be praifed ! not without feeling and 
devotion. — Yes! — O! how do I praife thee, 
omniprefent Love ! — Tears of heart-felt joy 
bedewed my cheeks , and the moil noble 
and chrillian thoughts flafhed through my 
tranquil and ferene mind. — How lively did 
I feel the value of a ilill and early hour of 
devotion ; how was I grieved at the thought, 
of having fo frequently facrificed that hea- 
venly pleafure to a beaftly lazinefs I 

We-fead, in bed, the eleventh and twelfth 
chapters of St. Matthew. At firll I intended 
to choofe for a fentiment, for the prefent 
day, thefe words : He that is not for me, is 
againft me ; and he that gather eth not zvith me^ 
fcattereth abroad. Hov/ever, I preferred the 
words : Whojoever JJiall do the zviil of my father^ 
which is in heaven, the fame is my brother, and 
fifter, and mother. — So fayeth the fon of God ; 
he who gave me exiftence. Should any 



thing in the world detain me from afpiring 
to that honour and that blifs, to which to 
compare the honours and the happinefs of 
the world would be Infanity ? 

I went to my work with a ferene and 
tranquil mind, the time, till dinner, appeared 
very fhort ; mean while I found it eafy to 
raife, now and then, my heart fweetly in the 
confidence of God, and to refle£l: with fc; 
- rioufnefs on that pafTage : Ckrijl, who is God 
ever all, hlejjedfor ever, is not ajhamed of call- 
ing thee brother ! and who will grant to thee the 
rights of a brother^ and co-heir. — Heirs of God\ 
co-heirs zvtth Chrifi ; children of God ; brothers 
ofChriji. — What magnificent denominations! 
what a dillin6tion for a Chriftian ; for man, 
who exifteth but fmce yelierday 1 

A converfation on true and hypocritical 
piety, which took place during dinner, in- 
duced me to read the Devotee, a poem of 



Gellert. I was writing letters till three o'clock ; 
one to my brother at Paris, whom I cautioned 
againft diflipation, quoting the words of Gel- 
lert ; "^ Once loft and parted with/' &c. &c. 
and one to Mr. *^\ on fome undemonftrated 
and furreptitious definitions, on w^hich ob- 
jeftions againft the Revelation have been 
founded. As foon as I had fent my letters 
to the poft, I received, with much chagrin, 
a parcel of tra6ls and letters, which I had 
colle«Sted fome years ago, and communicated 
to a friend. I began to read it with indif- 
ference, and put it afide, filled with ftiame; 
ordering the fervant to wait while I wrote 
nearly the following anfvver : 

" Your note, dear friend, is very incom- 
" prehenfible to me; the little modefty, 
" which my bad inclinations have left un- 
'' touched, was in great danger of being en- 
" tirely difpelled from my w^eak heart by 

« your 


/^ your treating me thus. Indeed you have 
" a6led very wrong ; you have entirely for- 
^^ gotten the rule ; — All things whatfoever ye 
" would that menJJiould do to you, do ye even fo 
" to them. You have forgot that I am a 
" poor, fraii, erring mortal^ that 1 am ftill 
" under the fway of thofe paffions, which 
" I cannot recoiled w^ithout blufliing ; that 
" I frequently have confeffed to you my 
" being given to faults, which make it in- 
" comprehenfible to me, how you can be 
" fo indulgent, and how you can conti- 
" nue my friend ; you have forgot that I 
^' dared to withhold, for whole hours and 
" days, the due praife from him to whom 
" praife and honour ought to be given ; and 
" that I have applied it to myfelf, who am 
" but a poor reptile. O ! my friend, if you 
" look up to me, miferable, ftnful mortal 3 if 
" you call a frail creature great, what ex- 

" preffions 


*' prciiions ^vill be left to you for addreffing 
'' the Almighty, and the Father of Spirits ! 

'' If it had not been you, I Ihould have 
*' looked upon fuch language as a mark of 
^' jwn-friendf/.'ipj oi fiatterry \ my own heart, 
*' and a thoufand inftances I have expe- 
" rlenced, forbid me to fufpeft you of any 
" thing of that kind. I only add, that, if 
" your good heart mifguides you, to think 
" too highly of me ; if you can ever ftray {o 
*' far from truth, as to think me great, O ! 
" then recolle£t at the fame time my great 
" and wicked corruptions, which I fome> 
" times am very fenfible of; and if that idea 
" fliould prompt your heart to withdraw 
'' from me, and fill it with coolnefs and 
" contempt, which I indeed deferve, then 
'* firil recollect the fmcerity with which I 
*' am fometimes praying and doing good ; 

VoL.r, E particularly 


" particularly the fincerity with which I 
" am/' &c. &;c. 

Having fent this anfwer by the fervant, I 
was pretty eafy in my mind -, I flattered my- 
felf, at the fame time, to be void of vanity ; 
and I can affirm — thanks to thee, O! my 
Creator, thou firft and fole author of every 
pious thought! that nothing humbles me 
more than praife, w*hich I am fenfible I do 
not deferve --- --^:--- 

After fupper I read the newfpaper ; ex- 
tinguifhed the candle, and walking up and 
down the room, bemoaned the mifery of my 
fellow-believers in Poland. O ! Lord and 
Father of men, be merciful unto thy peo- 



JANUARY the Sixth. 

I HAVE again begun the day with an 
unpardonable lazinefs. I tremble at my 
glaring inconfiftency In whatever is good; 
at the incredible contradiclions which I daily 
perceive in my principles, aftlons, and omif- 
fions.-— O ! fhall I never be able to bring 
them to a perfe6l harmony — T fear, I fear I 
fliall never fucceed. How long fhall I wait 
and figh, meditate and ftruggle, before I fliall 
be more able to rely on my fincereil refolu- 
tions ! Although I awoke before feven o'clock, 
yet I toffed myfelf about in my bed, deaf to 
the voice of confcience, and callous to the 
recolleftion of the pleafure which my early 
morning devotion had afforded me yefter- 
day, and (lumbered till it had ilruck eight 

E a Angry 


Angry at my wife's queftion — '^ whether 
" I could not pray and read with her," I fat 
down, and at firft could not refift the im- 
patient wifh to have finifhed the morning 
prayer, which I was reading from ZoUiko- 
fers hymn-book : yet fome good thoughts 
penetrated through the mift which over- 
clouded my mind and my brow. Reading 
the words, / renew hereby, in thy prefence, the 
fincere refolntion to fupprejs all irregular dejires 
rijing in my foul, to combat all bad habits I am 
given to, my heart feemed to be convulfed 
with fhame. I began to roufe myfelf; I 
read the paffage once more, and felt fenfi- 
bly how abominable it is to be fo evidently 
averfe from praying, and> neverthelefs, to 
talk to the omniprefent God of 2. fincere re- 
folution to combat all bad habits* 

Reading the paflage. Let me frequently re- 
€olk6l that I mujl die I I remembered having 



taken a folemn refolutlon to dedicate fotne 
minutes, every morning, to the contempla- 
tion of my mortality ; I therefore repeated 
that prayer, and not v^ithout benefit. Having 
finifhed my prayer, to which I added (bme 
hymns, my mind grew more ferene ; I felt 
fome inclination to atone for the bad be- 
ginning of the day. I took up the New 
Teflament, and read the thirteenth chapter 
of St. Matthew, taking particular notice of 
the laft words ; and he did not many mighty 
works there, hecauje of their unbelief. 

Unbelief, and want of confidence, are the 
natural caiifes of a fick man's not recovering 
his health, though he ihould have the bell 
medicines; fhould not unbelief, in matters 
of religion, likewife, be an impediment 
founded on the nature of our foul, which 
prevents God from difplaying his power and 
goodnefs to uy, as it is his intention, 

E 3 I now 


I now went to work with great ferenity ; 
kifled my wife, and thanked her. — " If you 
" had not invited me to prayers," faid I, 
*^ God knows what would have become of 
'' this day!'* '-^^ 

She prefled my hand tenderly, replying, 
with unfpeakable meeknefs — '' Go with 
^' cheerfulnefs to your work; you ftill can 
'' do much good this day." 

I breakfafled, perufed the newfpaper, and 
then went to work. Every thing fucceeded 
pretty well ; I thanked God, kneeled down, 
and attempted to adore him for a few mo- 

Being called to dinner, I fcarcely could 
believe that it was fo late. 

When I came down, I found my friend 
**** in the room, whom my wife had in- 
vited to dinner, in order to give me an un- 
expefted pleafure. We faid grace, filently, 



every one for himfelf. — It is very ftrange 
that we do not, as at other times, fay grace 
aloud when a dear friend, who is a fellow- 
chriftian, dines with us. Is it bafhfulnefs, 
modefty, or humility, our not being accuf- 
tomed to it, or what is it that prevents us 
from doing it ? I, at leaft, think it indicates 
fomething unnatural ; weaknefs, timidity, and 
want of thankfulnefs of heart, which ought 
to flow from our lips. 

During our fdent prayers I repeated my 
fighs, which I had vented before when con- 
verfmg with God in private, befeeching him 
to afford me, during dinner, an opportunity 
either to hear or to fay fomething ufeful 
like a Chriftian. 

The company feemed to have done pray- 
ing before I had finiflied, which is a new 
proof how unbecoming filent prayers, before 
and after meals, are. One mult always 
watch the company, in order to fee whether 
E 4 they 


they have done praying, or not. What a 
miferable anxioufnefs to which our timidity 
in religious matters ^ives rife ! 

We fat down to dinner; i ftruggled fome 
moments with myfelf, whether I ihould conir 
municate to the company my thpughts on 
filent prayer, before and after our meals ; 
however, this momentary interval had de-. 
privcd me of the courage of attempting it. 
— O ! thou narrow-minded foul, whofe vir- 
tues can be deftroyed by fuch trifles ! 

A l)otllc \vas overturned, and broken to 
pieces. — A tranquil, gentle, fmiling look of 
my wife, reftained my rifmg anger. 

On this occafion one of tlie company re- 
lated the following ftory :—' A pious man 
' once received a prefent.of a very coftly fet 

* of china. He would not accept it; how- 
' ever, it vras fent back again to him. At 
' lafr he accepted it, and gave the porter 

* fome money to drink his health — took a 

' kev 


* key out of his pocket, and broke it to 

* pieces with the greateft coolnefs.' 

" Very Jikely," faid he, " fome perfon may 
'' happen to break it, and it is not lefs 
^^ likely that it then may occafion a finful 
" anger in the heart of the poffefibr, or a 
^' fecret anxiety in the mind of him that 
*' breaks it. If it fliould be admired, and 
" frequently ufed on my table, I might by 
^' degrees grow fo fond of it, that it might 
^' irritate me if any body, or perhaps my- 
" felf, fliould break it through careleffnefs. 
f' I will therefore prevent any thing of that 
^ kind.". 

This ftory edified me very much. A great 
deal was faid for and againft it. — I thought 
that it was a wife and noble deed(^). 

(b) Many people will be of a diiferent opinion; the 
Tranflator at leaft is. For if the principles of our holy 



At fix o'clock in the evening I was left to' 
myfelf, wrote my journal, frnoked a pipe, 
amid different thoughts and fancies, and then 
fat down to fupper. The converfation, 
during our meal, was neither good nor bad ; 
we all prayed together. After fupper I read 
my rules, and was — praifed be God ! — not 
ill fatisiied with this day, though the begin- 
ning of it wTiS fo bad. I then kneeled down 
and prayed, particularly for my friends. 

religion Ihould juilify an adion of that nature^ it v/ould 
then be laudable and wife to refule to accept any gift of 
that benevolent Being, whcfe holy will it is that we 
ihould enjoy the blel'llngs of this world ; bccaufe they 
could tempt us to give vent to our paflions, which would 
entirely the intention of God to cheer our pilgri- 
mage to eternity, by the nurnberkfs earthly bleffings 
fee fhowers-down upon us. If the Author's opinion could 
fland the teft of reafon, and the gofpel doctrine, it then 
would be equally noble and laudable to throw away our 
money, becaufe it can lead us to avarice. — 



SUNDAY, January the Seventh, 

WHEN I awoke a meflenger was waitf 
ing for mej delivering a letter from my friend 

****, at H , who entreated me to pay 

him a vifit, if poffible, for he was very ill. 

I was frightened, and yet this intelligence 
had fomething pleafing in it, though, God 
knows ! I love my friend fincerely ; his 
death would grieve me much. It is not the 
firft time that my fright, occafioned by af- 
flicting intelligence, feemed to be mixed 
with fecret joy. I recollect to have felt once, 
on a fudden alarm of fire, fomething fo very 
pleafmg, that, on cool refleftion, makes me 
fhudder. Was this fenfation the effe6t of 
the novelty, and the faddennefs of the alarm, 
or of the prefentiment of the concern which 
thofe with whom I iliould have an opportu- 


nity of converilng on that ^incident would 
fliow, and which is always fo me what flatter- 
ing to the narrator ? Or \^''as it the effeft of 
the confufed idea of the changes which in- 
terrupted the famenefs of my thoughts or 
occupations? Or was it, which -is mofl likely, 
the confequence of the joyful fenfation of 
being exempted from the misfortune which 
befalls or threatens others? 

I fhould like to know what pafles in the 
minds of other people, and, particularly, of 
thofe w^ho have an humane, feeling heart, 
when they are furprifed by important, and, 
at the fame time, afflidling intelligence. How- 
ever, I apprehend that moft of them either 
do not pay proper attention to fituations of 
that kind, or are too anxious to hide their 
feelings from others, and, perhaps, from 
themfelvcs. Yet, I think, one ought to 
obferve one*s felf with the utmoft care in fuch 

cafes J 


cafes ; and, in order to recollect afterwards, 
to one's own benefit, the moll fecret emotions 
of the mind, one ought to commit them faith- 
fully to writing in the firft tranquil moment. 

I communicated the letter to my wife, 
made preparations for my journey, fettled in 
hafte fome bufinefs, gave fome orders, and 
then ftepped into the carriage. 

Conflernation, anxiety, uneafinefs, and a 
fecret fatisfa8:ion, on account of the joy my 
fpeedy arrival would afford my friend, but 
not only on account of that joy, but alfo of 
the praife whichlexpefted himfelf and his fa- 
mily would give me — and fliame on account 
of that fatisfa6tion — fucceeded each other, 
alternately, in the fir ft quarter of an hour. 

I began to pray : " O ! my God ! how 
" irregular and impure are my thoughts 1 
" When will my heart be in fuch a condi- 
" tion that I (hall be able to look upon my- 

« fclf 


" felf without blufhing! — Merciful God! 
*^ guide my thoughts and fenfations, parti- 
'^ cularly at prefent." 

I was cold, and I had pulled up the coach 
windows. Some poor children, who were 
going to church, begged a fmall charity ; 
their hands wqvc blue with the cold. 1 fuf- 
fered them to run awhile, by the fide of the 
coach, without ftirring, and, half fmiling — 
Lazinefs ! was it thou that prevented me 
from letting down the window, or did ava- 
rice not fuffer me to give a few halfpence to 
thofe poor children ; or was 1 prompted by a 
childifli pride to let them feel, and to en- 
hance my greatnefs and my charity, if I 
Ihould give them fomething ; or what was it 
that made me a6t thus, a few minutes after 
I had been praying to God to guide my 

thoughts and fenfations ? It was at leaft 

not handfome, and not noble. — However, I 



let down the window at lall:, put my hand 
in my pocket, rather out of humour, becaufe 
the pelife 1 had on was in my w^ay, and 
threw a couple of groats in the fnow. — 
They were obhged to pick them up with 
their hands, fwelled through cold. — ^Thus I 
a£i:ed, on a journey to a man who was dan- 
geroufly ill. 

I was afliamed ; but endeavoured to rid 
myfelf of my fhame by directing my thoughts 
to my friend -, yet it was lefs the friendfliip, 
ihan a fecret ftruggle of difpelling the dif- 
agreeable recollection of the bafenefs of mj 
condu6l, that prompted me to think of mj 
friend. However, inftead of praying for 
him, and of confidering what I fhould fay to 
him; how I might caufe his laft days to be a 
beffing to him, and to myfelf; inftead of 
•giving way to the more natural and tender 
feelings of pure friendship, I recalled to my 



mind many fweet fcenes of my lifc^ which 1 
had enjoyed in the company of that dear 
man. At once the thought, he is ill, is dan- 
geroujly ill ! fell heavy upon my heart. 

I now faw him on his couch, emaciated 
and pale, his wife melting in tears.— I began 
to weep, to figh, and to wring my hands. 
I took my handkerchief out of my pocket 
— and fentiments of pity and friendfhip 
warmed my heart. " Good God !'* ex- 
claimed I, " preferve my beft, my faithfulleft 
*' friend-— do not take him from me fo foon ! 
" Give thy bleiling to the medicines which 
" are adminiftered to him ; let him recover ; 
" reftore him to me !'* Here I flopped, and 
flared a while, and prayed with more fer- 
vor. " O ! let the tears of his wife be 
" dear in thy fight ! Reftore to her the beft 
« of hufbands, and to me the beft of friends ! 

Meanwhile I had put my hand in my left 



pocket, and felt there was a book in it, 
which I had not recollected at firfl. It re- 
curred to my memory that it was the New" 
Teftament, which I had taken with me, in 
order to feleCl fome paffages, which I in- 
tended to converfe about with my friend. — 
I took it out of my pocket, and opened it.— 
The iirft pafTage which ftruck me, was : What- 
foever ye do in word or deedy do all in the name 
of the Lord, Jefus Chrift — and when praying 
for my fick friend, I had not had one thought, 
not the leaft refle6lion, on Jefus Chrift — I 
had forgot entirely that I and my friend 
were Chriftians, that I ought to have prayed 
for him as for a difciple of Chrift, and as a 
follower of Jefus ; but, alas ! I feel, I know 
that I am deftitute of the true fpirit of Chrift. 
O Chrift 1 Chrift ! how much art thou neg- 
lected by men, for whom thou haft purchafed 
immortality with thy precious blood !My 
Vol. I. F friend 


friend would die without hope, if thou hadH 
not facrificed thy life for fuch as trufl in 
thee. Now he will die in full confidence of 
the atonement thou haft made for repenting 
' finners, and at the laft day rife to life im- 
mortal, to live for ever to praife thy holy 
name. And could I forget thee in my 
prayer ; thee who art the author and giver 
of immortality ?—Thefe were my thoughts. 

We came to a farrier's — " We muft ftop 
" here," faid the poftillion^ " the horfes flioes 
" muft be faftened, and one which is loft, 
" replaced."— Impatience ! Impatience ! how 
bufy waft thou in my heart; I hefitated, whe- 
ther I ftiould get out and walk, as we 
were only one league diftant from the abode 
of my friend. At laft, being told that we 
fliould not ftop above a quarter of an hour, 
I refolved to remain in the carriage ; took 
out my memorandum-book, and continued 



thy journal thus far. — " JVell ! Pqftillion ! 
" have you not done yet P You make it dam — 'd 
" longT — Like a flalh of lightening it 
darted through my foul : Whatjoever ye do^ 
in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord 
Jejus ! No ! No ! I cannot hide it from my- 
felf ^ I do not, for a fingle hour, continue to 
think, to aft, and to talk like a Chriftian. 

The farrier had done — how glad was I to 
be diverted again, and recalled from my late 
fhameful fenfations. 

The poflillion doubled his fpeed. I fan- 
cied the joftling, which promifed to bring 
me a little fooner to the arms of my friend, 
would acquit me of reflefting and praying ; 
however, the proximity, the proximity of my 
Tick, dying friend preffed my hearty all within 
me was in a flutter. I came to myfelf— the 
ftupor vaniflied— I grew all life, fenfibility, 
warmth and friendlhip— the goftillion found- 
F^^ ^ ed 


ed his horn, and — I aim oft fainted away. The 
wife of my beloved friend was ftanding at 
the door. — " G\ come, come my blefled 
" friend!" exclaimed llie, " Good God! how 
" pale you look." I went up Hairs with 
tottering fteps, pulled off my pelife, and 
walked — alas ! into the dark room. I ap- 
proached the bed on tip-toe — the wan, fee- 
ble hand of my friend was ftretched out to 
nie ; I laid my face on his, which was be- 
dewed with fweat — and was, God be praifed ! 
entirely the man, and the friend. I could 
not recolleft what I intended to fay, or not 
to fay ; however, God be praifed ! I could 
weep and figh. — The hiftory of the illnefs 
was related. — Aly ardent defire was, to pro- 
ilrate myfelf by the bed-fide, to pray and to 
weep. — " Don't weep fo much, my dear 
" friend ! make yourfelf eafy ; I have many 
" things to tell you 5 we lliall foon be left 




^' to ourfelvesf faid my fick friend, with a 
tranquillity which afforded me unfpeakable 

Tea was brought in, and I requefted to 
ufc my commodity. I did it ; but every 
nioment, which delayed the converfatlon 
with my friend, lay heavy upon me. At 
length the room was cleared, and I left alone 
with him : — " Come nearer," faid he. O ! 
tha.t I could but imprint faithfully on my 
memory, and never forget all, all his laft in- 
eflimable words ! O ! that, I alfo could do it 
with t;hat fimple, fmcere, heart-cutting tone 
wdth which he pronounced them. I flood 
by his bed-fide ^ he was lying on his back, 
almoft exhaufled, and faid : — *^ I have many 
*' things to tell you, dear friend ; however, 
" my weaknefs bids me to mention only 
•'' what is moft neceffary ; I need not to ei^- 
^' treat you to double your attention*"— Firfl 
F 3 '' of 


" of all, I thank God that I enjoy once 
" more, before I leave this world, the un^ 
" fpeakable pleafure of difcloling my heart 
" to you. I hope God will grant me fuffi- 
" cient ftrength, and give his blefling to my 
" words. I am dying, my friend ! I fhall 
" tarry here below only a few days longer, 
*^ perhaps only a few hours. God be praifed ! 
" that after unfpeakable ftruggling, I can 
" bear the idea of dying ; that I can endure 
" it at lafl — at lafl — O! my friend! after 
" an unfpeakable ftruggle; and can, with 
" confidence in Jefus Chrift, behold, with 
" an ardent defire, my approaching diffolu- 
'* tion. It is true, my much beloved and 
" faithful wife — her tears, her languifhing 
" countenance, and the fight of you — O ! 
" how could that be indifferent to me." 
Here he fi:opped, feeing that my tears and 
diftVefs prevented me from liflening to his 




words. I conftrained myfelf to fupprefs my 
emotion. — ^^ Yes, my friend V* continued he, 
*^ your tears afFe6l me ; but I have con- 
^' quered — I die without relu6lance ; but 
^' (here he fqueezed my hand with tender- 
^^ nefs) to your care I entruft the foul of my 
" wife ; comfort her — cheer her up — pray 

'' for her ! 

" However, we muft make the beil ufe 
** of the few remaining moments ; 1 begin 
^' already to feel the efFe6ls of talking, and 
*^ the emotions of my foul. Let me tell 
^' you, in few words, but enforce it on 
" yout foul— I have not led the life of a 
*' Chriftian — I have not been an hypocrite, 
•*' my friend, not what the world calls an 
'" hypocrite ; however, I have not been a 
" Chriftian ; and, I truft, that you will thank 
" me in the next world, for this wound 
■^ which I mu^ inflift on your heart. We 
F 4 " have 


" have not been Chrijlian friends ; the fpirlt, 
" and the love of Jefus Chrift, has not dwelt 
" in us. Our friendlhip was not founded 
'' on him, not animated by him, not active 
" in promoting his honour. How many 
" hundred hours of our fliort, fhort Hfe, 
" have we killed with the moil idle and ufe- 
" lefs converfation — with plans of ambi- 
*^ tion — of ambition, my friend 1 God knows 
*•''' I am fpeaking with the greateft delibera- 
" tion. Even what the world calls rightful 
" and noble ambition, is abominable in the 
'^ fight of God, an ever deftroying poifon to 
'•' the foul, a bane to "^i virtues \ a hell to 
'^ the heart which beghis to perceive that it 
*^ is near the gates of death \ which begins 
*' to be fenfible of the eternity of God, ojF 
" Chrift's unfpeakable majeily, and his in- 
*' comparable humility. — O! my friend! that 
^* paiTion has caufed me a thoufand burn- 

" in 



'^ ing, burning tears of unutterable grief, 
^^ ftruggles full of woe — deeper than I can 
^' defcribe it, in a manner which you can- 
'^ not conceive an idea of — unfpeakably 
" deep have I been affli£led by every inir 
" pulfe of that jnoniler, which rufhed upon 
*' my mind on the brink of eternity. — O ! how 
" heavenly true are thou, word of my Sa? 
*^ viour : ^Vhqfpeyer JJmll exalt himfelf, JJiall be 
f' abafed! Jefus Chrift was humility itfelf, \n 
" the fi^ll fenfe of the word — // is enough for 
" the difciple that he be as his Lord ! and the 
" Jervant as his majier, — O ! friend, ^o not 
" forget thefe words ! I die — but truth fhall 
" never die. Heaven and earth fhall pafs 
y away> but not the wgrds of Jefus Chrift. 

" O ! my dear, dear friend j how arc my 
*' befl a£tions dwindling away on the brink 
^' of the grave ; and how horribly are my 
" faults and foibles, which I formerly thought 

" little 


" jittle, towering up. — Alas ! how little do 
" we know ourfelves, although the buftle 
*' of life fhould be ever fo gentle. — O ! how 
** dreadful is the filence of death ; how 
*' dreadful the ftillnefs of eternity ! — O ! how 
** terrible the heavy load, the load of our 
** own heart, fo extremely corrupted ! — 

'' God ! God ! Creator ! Jefus Chrift ! 

** What words are thefe ! What thoughts 
** do they contain ! How many thoufand 
** times have I pronounced thefe words, 
*' without reflecting on the impenetrable 
" and ever adorable author of my exiilence, 
" my life, and immortality. — Creatoi* ! Fa- 
*' ther ! What name fhall I give to thy 
'^ mercy, which will forgive for ever thef 
" numberlefs, enormous a6ls of thoughtlefl- 
" nefs ; thy mercy which will forget them, 
*' and deftroy, through Jefus Chrift, all the 
** bad confequences they produced to me, 

« and 


*^ and others. I am almoft fpeechlefs." — 
" Thou art ; yes, thou art, love.'" 

" My friend ! I have nov^ three things 
" more on my mind 3 I have feveral God- 
^' children, whom I intended to inflruQ, 
" and to educate. I thought it fo much 
" the more incumbent on me, becaufe it 
*^ did not pleafe providence to blefs me 
■' with children of my own. — I entreat you 
" to fupply my place ; I have fet apart four 
" hundred dollars for four of them, whofe 
" names and abode my wife will tell you. I 
" bequeath them to you ; I need not tell 
" you more. 

" You will find a volume of Buffon's 
" Hiftoire Naturelle in my library. I have, 
" out of an unpardonable careleffnefs, de- 
" layed, from one day to the other, to re- 
" turn it to Mr. N. to whom it belongs, 
" and who mult have forgot that he lent it 

" me. 


'^ nic. R.etiirn it to him, beg his pardon inmy 
^' nanic, and aik him if there is any book in 
*• niv library he fliould like to have ; if there 
" is, let him have it -, if he iliould ailc none, 
^' give. him rny elegant edition of Horace. 
*' Alas 1 there was much petty vanity in 
^' the choice of my books. How many dol- 
^' lars could I have employed to better pur- 
*' pofcs — and how many hours tool O! my 
" friend, how important is every hour of f^ 
*■' iliort a life- — -." 

Here my friend ftopped — tears bedewed 
•my cheeks — he looked at me with inward 
2:rief. — " O ! mv friend !" refumed he, " I 
" have, knowingly, uttered a calumny againfL 
*^ an honeft man^ have done it from mo- 
*.' tives, which, I hope, God will forgive me, 
** and erafe the impreflion of it for ever 
'^ from my immortal foul. — Go to him as 
'' icon .as I am dead -, I would fay while I 

" am 


" am living, if I did not want all my remain- 
" ing moments to converfe with you. Go, 
" and offer him this hand, which I am now 
" preffing within mine, and which is be- 
" dewed with the fweat of my approaching 
" death, tell him that I have flied bitter 
" tears on account of that calumny — em- 
" brace him, in my name, and then go to 
'' Mr. M. and D. Go (I conjure you by 
" my dying moments not to omit it, in 
*' order to fpare n^e after my death) and tell 
" them what anguifli of foul this calumny 
" has given me on my death-bed/' 

Here my friend flopped; I promifed to 
execute his requefts faithfully. — " God will 
" reward you for it, bell of men !'' added 
he, and ordered his family to come agaia 
into the room. My heart was now fo traa^ 
quil that I feemed to have entirely forgot 
the greatnefs of the impending lofs. He fell 



afleep, and I haflened to infert in my jour- 
nal, as accurately as poffible, whatever I 
had heard. — O I facred hour ! and ye laft 
heart-thrilling words of my dying friend, be 
for ever prefent to my mind. — O ! that this 
leaf, and the drawing I am going to make 
of this affli6i:ing fcene, could render them 
for ever prefent to my memory. 

The whole afternoon paffed quietly; I was 
fitting by his bed-fide the greatefl part of it, 
abforbed in ferious meditations, fighing, 
weeping — and yet, almoft the whole time, 
eafy and ferene. I could do very little befides 
reading to my friend fome dying hymns, 
flopping now and then, interrupted by many 
fighs and tears. My friend appeared to be 
very much affefted while I was reading to 
him 5 repeated with great emotion, and many 
fighs, fmgle words and (hort paiTages of the 
hymns, but talked very little the whole 



afternoon. My heart was bleeding, becaufe 
I was not enabled to fay the lead word that 
might have afforded him comfort and plea- 
fure in his dying moments. He was ex- 
tremely weak, and faid once, " it afforded 
" him unfpeakable comfort that he could 
" figh fo filently, and meditate without 
" being interrupted.** Although I was figh- 
ing fo frequently, yet I was not difpofed to 
pray filently and continuedly — I ventured 
to take up my journal, and continued it 
thus far — and frequently liflening to the 
broken accents of my friend, I now ventured 
to write down fome thoughts by his bed- 
fide, for I know what a deep imprefEon 
fuch recolleftions fometimes produce in the 



Thoughts and Senfations by the Death-bed of 
my Friend, 

Sunday the Seventh of January y 1769. 

Six 0^ Clock in the Evening, 

ONE of my deareft friends on earth is 
now ftretched out before me, too weak to 
litter a fingle word to his tender wife, or to 
me — the fame man, whom I fo often have 
preffed to my bofom, who was fo lively and 
fo aflive. — But, God be praifed ! tranquil- 
lity and peace are poured in his foul, and 
he burns with a filent delire for immortality 
^for the fight of him he loves, though he 
never faw him — in whom he rejoiceth with 

an unfpeakable and heayenly pleafure. 

O ! that I on my death-bed might be as eafy 
as my friend, and, Tike him, await the glory 



,0f the In vlfible World, with refignatlon and 
hopeful confidetite ! But the; .words he ad- 
dreffed to. tn^ to day — yes \ all my limbs, are 
itill trembling-^yes, deareft foul! I have felt 
die truth pf thy words ; however, I am afraid 
of my heart, I dread the time when thoti 
(halt leave me— for I know, I kn6vi^ my for- 
getfulnefs — but is it poffible that I ever 
ihould forget thy words. — O ! .thou, mean 
ambition! Shouldft thou ever refOme- again 
the fvvay over i^e. I have oftentimes been 
fenfible how foolifh thOu art y I have fre- 
quently bernoaned thy power over me, and 
curfed thee in the pre fence of my God.— 
The voice of a dying friend, which peuQ- 
trates to the deepeft recelTes of liiy huma*- 
nity, now warns me likewife againft thee— 
that I fhould not again court the applaufe of 
mortal men. My friend wanted fome dfrink ; 
I mixed k little raiberry wine with water, 
Yql.L G and 


• and gave it him. His wife raifcd him up, 
and he took the glafs — *^ Good God ! what 
" an undeferved refrefhment I How many 
" poor people long in vain for what my be- 
" nevolent, faithful God now grants me. O! 
** ye fellow-flrugglers I who arc with me on 
" the brink of the grave — could I but relieve 
^^ you> as God has relieved my body and foul. 
*' — Let me now reft again, my friends T' 

We fat down to fupper , he feemed to 

fleep. — " You will not forfake me/' faid his 
wife to me , " he has bequeathed to me 
** your friendfhip. Has he not ? thou faith- 
" ful friend of my deareft hufband." — O 1" 
faid I, " my whole heart is yours ; I wifh I 
" did not live at fo great a dillance from 
" you." I then fhewed her, in my journal, 
the pafTages relating to her ; flie wept, and 
I flied tears with her. God ! haw we were 
terrified !— we heard him rattle in the throat 



—he breathed with difficulty — he opened 
his eyes, ftaring — his hand trembled. " Let 
" us kneel down and pray l"" exclaimed I, 
bending my knees, and directing my face 
towards the bed, I prayed aloud, whilft a 
ftream of tears ran down my face : " Lord I 
" Lord ! our God ! rtierciful and gracious, 
" have mercy on our dear dying brother 1 
" he is thy creature I have mercy on himt 
*' Jefus Chrift has fuffered death for him. 
" Have mercy on him y pour light into his 
" foul ! fupport him, thou God of love 1 let 
" him powerfully feel thy mercy I grant him, 
" in the agony of death, a diftant foretafle 
" of the joys of the eternal contemplation of 
" thee I O ! Jefus Chrift ! thou haft tafted 
*' the bitternefs of death for us all; haft 
f* tafted it alfo for our dying friend ! Thou 
" knoweft the agonies of the dying ; thou 
*' knoweft his fufferings ^ thou art all com- 
G z " paffion. 


" pafTion, and powerful to fupport thofe 
" who are wreftling with death. O! pene- 
" trate him with the animating power of 
" thy eternal fpirit ! Purify and fandify him 
*' entirely through and through, that his foul 
•' and body may be kept unfpotted until th^ 
" day of thy coming in glory. Give him a 
*' foretaf!e of the joys of the refurreftion, 
•* and of the raptures which thy eternal love 
" infpires 3 give him courage, that he may 
" not be terrified by death 1 Make him truly 
" fenfible of thy love, that he may not be 
^'^ afraid of appearing before the light of 
•' thy countenance. — Have mercy on him ; 
^' ftrengthen him! fave him! make him 
*^ happy for ever !" 

Thus I prayed, and, God be praifed ! did 
it with great fervour, with a lively belief, 
and an overflowing heart. 

I got up, looked at my dying friend, who 



appeared to have recovered a little, and we 
relaxed in praying. My heart exhorted me 
to go on; but my knees would not bend 
any longer. I went to the window in order 
to reft myfelf a little ; 1 folded my arms^ and 
fighed a few moments —heard my dear friend 
ftill breathe with difficulty, and flied feme 
tears. I then feated myfelf by the fide of 
his afflidled wife, took her by the hand, and 
addreffed her thus : — " Our dear friend will 
*' foon have conquered , he will foon be de- 
" livered for ever from his prefent agony 
'^ and every pain. I am fure his mind is 
" ferene, and probably he. feels no longer 
** the fting of death. Don't grudge him the 
^* blifs which awaits him, and always recol- 
*^ left that God is your father, and Jefus 
*' your faithfulleft and eternal friend. A 
** few years, dear friend, a few years longer, 
G ^ '' and 


" and they will fleet away like days — and 
" you will be united to him for ever." 

" Yonder we behold in brightnefs, 

" All the friends who went before 5 
" Foes and death fhall then not part us ; 

** Death and grave affli(f]t no mo^c." 

'' O! dear friend!'' faid fhe, " do not for^ 
" fake me ! If you could but always remain 
" with me — but when the darling of my 
" heart is dead, and you are returned to 
" your family — alas ! how gloomy will my 
« life then be !'* 

'' Yes !" replied I, " I feel the greatnefs 
" of your grief, and the burthen which 
" threatens to lie heavy on your foul ! How- 
*' ever, this dear man will then ftill be 
** living, and pray to our heavenly father to 
*^ grant you bleffing and flrength ; and I 
f* know, and many fmcere fouls will know 

" it 


** it too, X\'^^t pure religion, and undefiled wor- 
" fiip before God the Father, is this : to vijit 
*^ the fatheiiejs and the widozvs in their afflic- 


** SPOTTED FROM THE WORLD !'* exclaim- 
ed my dying friend, turning towards us. 
Wc llarted up, feized with aflonifhment, 
leaned ov^er him, and looked at each other, 
exclaiming, Heflill hears what we are fpeak- 
*' ing :— " Woe unto us if we ev,er forget his 
" powerful admonitions!'* Nothing would 
liave been more natural than to pray with 
my dying friqnd, or to read to him the moil 
jiertinent paffages of the ^ofpel j but, God 
"knows, timidity or halhfulnefs prevented 
jne from doin^^ it — ^and how incapable I 
found myfelf to entertain my friend with due 
fervor. I endeavoured to lull my confcience 
afleep, perfuading myfelf that he had no 
pccafion for it, and that he was capable to 
' - G 4 feed 


feed his foul with the comforting truth of 
the gofpel without my afTiftance. Never- 
thelefs, I could not help feeling, with a 
pungent fhame, my want of that true fenfc 
of chriftianlty, and of that fullnefs of fenfi- 
bility, with which our lips are wont to over- 

The condition of my friend remained uni 
altered till twelve o'clock j he dill breathed 
diilin6tly5 but uttered not a fingle word 
more, I continued my journal thus far, in 
<Drder to avoid falling afleep. At length we 
fancied that he was departed : taking the 
candle, and approaching^ the bed, we found 
that he was drawing near his diffolution — 
be breathed with difficulty ; I heard a gentle 
figh : his wife began to weep aloud—" O ! 
*' dear, dear foul ! alas ! he is dying— God 
*' have mercy on me! — he is dying !'^ I now 
ventured to fay — and indeed it came from 



xny heart — while tears guflied from my eyes 
— ^^ / am the reJurreEiion and the life ; he that 
*' believeth in me Jliall live, though he %vere dead. 
" This, my dear friend ? feels the darling of 
*' our heart much ftronger than we can con* 
^^ ceive." No fooner had I faid this, but 
he expired. — ^' Jefus! Chrift! he is dead!'* 
j^xclaimed hjs wife, leaning over him, " he 
^' is dead ! AI^s ! he is de^d !''— " No, my 
^ friend ! h^ is living, as true as Jefus Ckrift 
?' lives." However, when I cad my eyes 
towards him, and applied my hand to his 
cheeks, all my courage and comfort fled. 
J was ready to drop down, and could not 
help repeating, with tears in my eyes, he is 
4eadl my feelings were unutterable s I tried 
to compofe myfelf. 

We wrapped rny deceafed friend up— I 
filmoft fainted away. 



Thas thoa alfo (halt be wrapt one time 
Then weeps the comfort of ray life, 
My friend, and with him weeps in vain 
The darling of ray heart, my wife ; 
No tears will call me back again. 

O ! God ! what is the fon of dull ? What 
am I, who am yet among the Hving ? This 
hand, which holds and guides the pen, fhall 
foon be ftiff and cold ; not feel the warming 
breath, not feel the darling's kifs whom I, 
fhall leave behind. And thou, my weeping 
eye, thy tears will ceafe one time to flows 
thou fhalt one time be dimm'd like thefe 
fightlefs eyes of my dear fleeping friend. 
Thou fnalt then breathe no more, my mouth! 
my tongue fliall ceafe to talk ; I ihall then 
be ftretched on the bed, and hear no more, 
what, nigh and far from my cold corpfe, they 
then will talk of me, hear neither praife ncK 


blame. O 1 God I how deep do I now fee], 
what I, many thoufand times, have been 
repeating without fenfe, and what I fecretly 
have laughed at with difgaft, as if it had 
been the mod common trifle — that I am a 
tnortaL O ! what a difference is it to profefs 
a truth, and to feel a truth ! 

Thus far I wrote in my bed-chamber, after 
my deceafed h'iend had been wrapt in his 
fliroud, and laid on a clean bed. 

Being quite alone, one-pair of ftairs higher 
than the corpfe, I wa^ feiz.ed with f^ch hor- 
ror, that I hardly ventured to lift up my 
pyes, and to leave off writing. 1 hefitateci 
>vhether I fliould extinguifh the candle, or 
not. O ! what a w^ak philofopher I am j 
\vhat a pitiful Chriftian ! who am I afraid 
of? Do I dread thp body o;* the foul of my 
dear friend ? And is not God prefent where 
J ani ?- " --I grew a little more compofed— 



rofe up, undrefled myfelf, extlngulfhed the 
fire, and went to bed. O 1 how much had I 
to think, to feel, and to pray! however, I 
was tired, and fell afleep. 

JANUARY the Ei-hth. 


IT flruck fix o'clock v/hen I awoke, and 
I was fo eafy in the fird moment of awak- 
ing, that I feemed to have entirely forgot 
the lofs of my bell friend -, but that tranquil- 
lity lafted only a few moments. He is dead 
—my friend — beneath me lies his breathlefs 
corpfe — where may now his foul be, where 
he himfelf? Alas! far diftant from me! I 
cannot overtake him, not weep him back 
again ; he is furrounded with light, and I 
with darknefs: Alas! 1 can enjoy no longer, 



not for a fingle hour, even not for a moment^ 
my faithful, pious, and amiable friend. — I 
wept bitterly, and was glad that I could 
weep — Alas! how little did I enjoy him, 
thought I, but now my repentance comes too 
late; how little have I converfed with him 
on his and my immortality: I have, iadeed, 
frequently difcourfed with him on immorta- 
lity in general, and on religion too, but Jiow 
feldom on our immortality, on his and my 
Creator and Redeemer! And now he is 
gone over to better regions, in order to be- 
hold him who has created and regenerated 
him, leaving me behind, in the night and 
buftle of this lite, O what an unhappy year 
is this to me ! All the feelings of wounded 
friendlhip are roufed-w^ithin me; how quickly 
have you flipt away, ye fweet, but, alas I 
only half enjoyed days ! — How was I blinded'. 
—He invited me fo tenderly laft year to fee 


him, and I dreaded to make that fliort jour- 
ney in winter. Alas 1 how fenfrbiy mull I 
now fmart for that lazinefs I Alas 1 I was to 
fee him now only one fmgle day, and on that 
very day I mull be a witnefs of his death !— - 
Such thoughts frequently occurred in my 
mind ^ I wrapped myfelf repeatedly in my 
blanket, and could not leave off weeping. 
— Some perfon knocked at the door ; T was 
much frightened, becaufe I did not recolle£f 
that I had defired yefterday to be awakened 
foon after fix o'clock. — How little did I ap- 
pear to myfelf, as foon as I recollected it ^ 
• — I called for a light, got up, and did 7iot 
p^ay — O! God 1 why did I not pray? I 
fancied my grief, my tears, and my gloomy 
reveries, would ferve inftcad of prayers ; I 
jather would give myfelf up to them, than 
prav — I feated myfelf by the chimney-fide^ 
lighted the fire, and fpent a full quarter of aii 



hour with this trifling occupation. Notliing 
but tranfitory fancies, though gloomy, yet 
not in the lead connc£ted with morality or 
religion, entered my mind. 

The clock ftruck feven, and now the con- 
fcioufnefs of my mortality was roufed again. 
Again 1 have trifled away half an hour — fix 
hours are already pad, fince my dear friend 
has been admitted to adore God in the light 
of eternity, enjoying the fruits of his life. 
O heart ! O heart I canfl thou refufe to pray ? 
— I tremble at thy thoughtlellnefs. 

I rofe, placed the table clofe to the fire- 
fide, and did nol pray, but continued my 
journal thus far. — I cannot but confefs, 
though relu£lantly, that love of diverfion, and 
a fecret averfion from praying, prompted me 
to do it ; I would rather write down, and con- 
fefs all my follies — but no^ not all —I never 
w^ould confefs them all — I have no true de- 


fire to mend my life. My better feelings^ 
my good refolutions, and my virtues, depend 
all on accidental external circumilances j and 
even thefe circumliances lofe frequently their 
efficacy after a few minutes. — I will not 
write a word more ; I will lay down the pen, 
and pray -, will pray, becaufe I have a fecret 
averfion from doing it- 

What a horrid thought ! I walked up and 
down the room, began to figh repeatedly, 
and to be afflicted on account of the ftub- 
bornnefs and inconilanCy of my heart. " 1 
'' God," faid I, " merciful God ! why am I 
*' fo averfe from converfmg with thee ? Shall 
*^ my heart ever remain cold ? Shall it ever 
*' love thee in fo imperfe6t, ambiguous^ 
^^ and ungrateful a manner ? O ! when fliall 
** I be enabled to confide in my feelings ? — 
^' Canft thou not break this heart of Hone ? 
" not infpire me with a love entirely fmcere, 

*' conllant. 

lELlS'-OBStRVER. 5^ 

^ conflant, and invincible.— O ! why do I 
" forget thee fo foon ? Why do I forget my- 
" felf almoft every moment ? O! mull I then, 
*^ even to day, v/hile I am furrounded with 
" the ftrongeft incitements, complain of my 
" poor heart. Alas ! I am ftill deftitute of 
^* a lively conviftion of that fundamental 
" ftrength which poffefTes the whole foul, 
" has an innate energy, and is, in fome rc- 
" fpe6ls, entirely independent on external 
" impulfes! O! fhew me what is needful 
*' for me, and give me what will lead me to 
" piety, and eternal happinefs !" 

Thus I prayed, kneeled down, and ftrug- 
gled with God for his bleffing to my virtue, 
and for every comfort to the widow of the 

Hearing fomebody come up flairs, I rofe 
haflily up in the midll of my prayers, as if I 
had been aihamed, or doing fome bad aftion. 

Vol. I. H —In 


— In order to avoid being thought an hypo- 
crite (whifpered my heart to me, in a pal- 
liating manner), 1 wafhed myfelf, and rinfed 
my mouth; the water was cold, and got 
into an hollow tooth. Angry with myfelf, 
and vexed at this trifling accident, I became 
again deftitute of all pious fenfations — I was 
again (hocked at myfelf. — I find I have not 
yet learned how to bear a trifling momentary 
pain, or the anguifh caufed by a little neg- 
ligence, with that gentle tranquillity and pa- 
tience, which becomes the wife, and is fo 
requifite in a Chriftian. 

I was writing this journal till eight o'clock, 
and then went down flairs, full of grief, and 
in a ferious mood. The widow looked pale, 
and was clad in black (God ! what a fight 
to me I) : I embraced her, and bedewed her 
cheek with fympathetic tears. — " Alas !" faid 
/he, weeping, " this is the firfl day of my 

" widow- 


*^ Widowhood — I cannot believe that he is 
*' dead ! God 1 what a night have I had — 
" I have not enjoyed a wink of fleep ; how- 
" ever, my iifter kept me company, and 
" comforted me, by reading prayers and 
*^ hymns to me." 

I endeavoured to make her eafy, and went 
with her to fee the corpfe. She leaned over 
it, and wept bitterly. 

JANUARY the Ninth. 

I COULD fpare no time yeflerday for the 
continuation of my journal ^ having aflifted 
in fettling feveral matters, and wrote fome 
letters to the relations of the deceafed, giving 
frequent vent to the fervent efFufions of my 
heart, and to the tears of fincere fenfibility. 
H 2 However, 


However, my abominable vanity mixed noW 
ind then with thefe fenfations; my heart 
mifgave me when I perceived it, and recalled 
to my mind my departed friend, and his laft 
words y I got up, and wept for myfelf. 

Copy of a Letter to the Brother of the 

" YOU have loft a brother, and I a friend, 
*^ v^ho, without contradiftion, deferves our 
" tears and tender remembrance. — I have 
<^ had the mournful fatisfaftion of feeing 
" him expire. O ! God ! how he died ! — 
" fo e'afy, fo tranquil, fo ferene, and fo re- 
'^ plete with the moft Chriftian fenfations 
'' and holy belief j yes, I never fhall forget 
'-' his laft converfation. Ol how I thank 
" God, or rather, how much reafon have I 
''. to thank God, that I faw him the laft day 

" of 


*^ of his life — it was an unfpeakable bleffing 
" to me ! O ! that I may never, in my whole 
" life, render myfelf unworthy of it! He 
" went to his eternal reft without the leaft 
** conceit or afFe6lation 5 as artlefs as a child, 
" and as fublime as an angel, if angels could 
*^ die. His whole mind was occupied with 
^' his expefted diffolution, in the beginning 
" of his illnefs, of which he, at the latter end 
^ of laft year, appears to have had a fore- 
" boding ; having endeavoured to fettle all 
** his affairs with an unufual accuracy, and 
" copied his will. 

" He frequently begged to be left alone y 
*' and was oftentimes found in his bed, lying 
" on his face, in a kind of fwoon, his eyes 
" being wet with tears. His fins, even his 
" fmalleft faults, grieved him very muchj he 
" confeffed them not only in general, but 
" mentioned them fmgly ; he did not attempt 
H 3 "to 


" to palliate them, but confeffed them with 
^^ fo innocent, fo modeft, and fo amiable a 
*^ fimplicity, that it is not in my power to 
" give you an adequate idea of my joy and 
^^ admiration. His humility was fo great, 
" fo unaffe6ted, fo wife, that I could not 
" enough admire and adore the greatnefs of 
*' God's grace, which was fo evidently work- 
" ing in his foul. I fhould never have done 
" writing to you, if I were to enlarge, as I 
" wifh to do^ on the many fources of com- 
" fort he has opened to his friends in his laft 
" days ; however, I mean to do it ere long, 
" if it pleafe God. The widow of my de- 
" ceafed friend, feels indeed heavy enough 
" the lofs fhe has fuffered ; yet, I hope, her 
" being certain that our late dear friend has 
^^ changed for the better, and other confo- 
" lations of our holy religion, againll which 
"her pious heart is not fliut up, will foon 

" entirely 


" entirely reftore to her the refignatioa 
" which is fo becoming and falutary to us, 
" and does fo much honour to the power of 
" the Gofpel. It would, indeed, contribute 
" much to it, if you, dear brother of my beft 
" friend, would vifit her as foon as poffible, 
" which will be the more neceffary, on ac- 
" count of the arrangement of different 
" ceconomical concerns, which the deceafed 
•* has, indeed, left in the beft order, as far 
" as it lay in his power." 

Having finifhed my letters, I fealed and 
fent them to the poft, after I had read them 
to the widow, who found no fmall confola- 
tion in it. I fcarcely had reflected on my- 
felf a moment, when it ftruck twelve 

During dinner we were pretty eafy, and 

converfed frequently about the deceafed. His 

wife related, among other things, that laft 

H 4 November 


November he had fecretly fold, for twelve 
(Jucats, a very valuable book, and a gold 
medal, and paid with that money the board 
of a poor child, that had run away from his 
vicious parents, v/ho wanted to bring him 
up to begging. Another time, he fent fe- 
cretly by the poll ten dollars, alopg with a 
confolatory note, to a poor widow, of whom 
he accidentally had heard a very good cha- 
raSter. ^^ O! my friend," faid I, when flie- 
related this, " how bleffed muft the widow 
" of fuch a man be ! The tears of widows, 
" which God counts, will mix with yours, to 
" your bleffing." 

Thus far I continued my journal after din- 
ner, We were engaged almoft the whole 
afternoon in receiving vifits ; I had a great 
deal to relate, and feveral things to fettle, 
and yet could, God be praifed ! think now 
and then with devotion on God, and, with 



pious fenfations, - on my deceafed friend. 
—The whole day appeared to me to have 
been only an hour. We did not fup before 
nine o'clock ; prayed together, fang fome 
hymns, and went to bed at eleven o'clock. 

JANUARY the Tenth, 

TO-DAY my friend was buried— O! 
how (hall I fufficiently animate and collect 
my thoughts and feelings ? How fenfible am 
I, that I am flill very deficient in meditating 
on the moft important obje6ls of human 
knowledge. — O I God ! how weak I am ftill 1 
—I have already pall the meridian of life, 
and never yet dedicated half a day to the 
contemplation of myfelf, my deflination, my 
mortality, and immortality. O ! thou abo- 

106 JOURNAL or A 

iHinablc love of amufement, thou foe to rea- 
fon and true wifdom ! thou deftroyer of peace 
of mind — thou robber of happinefs — thou 
fourceof all follies and vices ! When fhall I 
be freed from thy di6lates, which prevent 
me from converfing wdth myfelf ? 

I w^illgo to the coffin of my beloved friend, 
before it is fcrewed up ; I will go thither, and 
meditate there before the face of the Lord, and 
give vent to my grief; it may, perhaps, pleafe 
God to blefs my meditation in fuch a man- 
ner, that this mournful but important day, 
may prove to me a fource of everlafting 
joy, and the beginning of a new and better 

Thus far I wrote — went down flairs, and 
begged to be only one hour by myfelf — I 
opened the door of the room, where my de- 
ceafcd friend lay — the fmell of corruption 
aifailed me as I entered. I was feized with 

horror ; 


horror ; however, I took courage, fhut the 
door after me, opened the lid, rather fear- 
fully, and placed it againfl the wall ; re- 
moved, with fecret awe, the cloth which 
covered the clay-cold face of my deceafed 
friend, and looked at it awhile, half kneel- 
ing and muling ; this is the fubftance of my 
meditations :— — 

" Here thou art lying, my brother, thou 
*^ faithfulleft and bed of friends ! — pale, cold, 
" fpeechlefs, and without fenfation, art th^u, 
" lying in thy coffin, the limits of mortality 
" and human mifery. — My eyes are weep- 
" ing over thee — thou feed me no more ; 
" thy ine^preffible mild, ferene, never-to-be- 
" forgotten, and heart-piercing look, meets 
" my eyes no more. Alas! with a trem- 
" bling hand do I take hold of thine ; but it 
" does not return the preffure of mine. 
" Thou haft no fpeech; not a word, not 

" one 


" one look ; no prefTure of thy hand, no 
" breath for thy friend. Nothing is left to 
" me, but to ftay a few hours with thy 
" corpfe, and all will be taken from me ; 
" Alas ! thy forfaken friend fhall then have 

" nothing left of thee l- 

" O 1 my brother ! how many hours have 
" I fpent by thy fide ! — how many joys and 
" pains fhared with thee !— how much haft 

" thou taught me! but. alas! how much 

" more could I have learned ! Open was 
" thy ear to truth, and infatiable thy thirft 
" after virtue — patient, like a lamb ; hum- 
" ble, like a child, didft thou clofe thy days, 
" dreamed away fo foon. — O ! that I could 
" implore heaven to grant me a death-bed 
" like thine— thy heroic ftruggles w^ith thy 
" felf, and thy triumph over thy heart 1 — 
" Alas ! only a few weeks ago, 1 received 
" a letter from thee — hov/ little did I appre- 

" hend 


"hend that it would be the lafl— that I 
" ihould fee thee only once more, only for a 
*^ few hours — and then dying — and now 

*^ dead. — —Yes — dead — in thy coffin. — 

" Alas ! thy fpeechlefs tongue, thy motion- 
'* lefs hands, thy ftiff feet, tell it me but too 
" plainly 1 — O ! if I knew — if I could but 
" faintly guefs, that thou doft hear me, how 
" would I raife my voice, how loud exclaim: 
" Do not forget me, my brother, do not, 
" furrounded by immortals, forget a mortal 
" man ! And if thou ftill canft do any thing 
*' for me, O then intercede for me with our 
" heavenly Father, that I may be enabled to 
" live as pioufly, and die as tranquilly, as 
" thou didft live and die j pray, that two 
" parts of thy fincerity and humility, of thy- 
" love to human-kind, and of thy genero- 

" fity, may be granted me. 

*' Thou haft fent for me to thy death-bed 

— thou 


" — thou didfl fmile at me (o kindly when I 
" came — thou heardeft my prayer, which, 
" alas! expired fo foon!— thou gaveft me 
" thy blelTmg — but when I (hall be ftretched 
" out and languifh, and ftruggle with death, 
*' I fhall not have the heavenly pleafure, and 
'* the unfpeakable comfort, of feeing thee 
" by my death-bed, lifting up thy hands, 
" and bending thy knees for me. No gof- 
" pel-comfort for me ; no ftrengthening 
" prayer for me ; no heart-confoling hymn 
" will then flow from thy lips, and pene- 
" trate my faintly-hearing ears. Thou flialt 
" not then fee me ; at leall I fliall not fee 
*' thee, nor know whether 1 fhall be fo 
" happy of being feen by thee." 

Hearing fomebody come, I ftarted up, 
wiping the duft from my knees, and went 
to open the door. It was ------ 

I went to my room, inferting my feelings in 



my journal, as well as I could remember 
them. Once more, thought I, I will go 
down, and converfe a few minutes longer 
with the corpfe of my beloved friend. 

I was left to myfelf for half an hour. — 
How mournfully pleafed was I in that awful 
folitude ! — It is true, the marks of corrup- 
tion filled me an&w with horror on opening 
the door. I put the lid upon the coffin, 
leaving it open fcarcely a third part. — 
" Alasl" thought I by myfelf, " I have feen 
" thy face for the laft time, my now happy 
" friend! Alas! the traces of corruption 
*' chafe me away from the fight of thee, 
" once fo pleafing to me : Alas ! mull I bend 
" my head fo foon over thy half-fhut coffin, 
" and tell my feelings, in a trembling ac- 
" cent, to this gloomy folitude, without 
" feeing thee. 

" O ! I will once more vow to thee, on 
" thy coffin, to remember thy virtue, and 

" thy 

112 JOURNAL or A 

" thy friendfhip, until I alfo fhall be ftretched 
" out in my coffin. — Yes, once more will I 
" lay my hand upon thy heart — that hand 
" which has clofed thy eyes — I promife 
" thee before God, and, perhaps, in the 
" prefence of thy immortal fpirit, that I 
" will n^w^r forget thee ; / will live in fuch a 
" manner^ as if thou zvert fill a conflant wit^ 
'' nefs of my life — Good deeds y nothing but good 
" deeds jhall this hand perform ; pious words ^ 
" nothing but pious zvords fliall flow from thefe 
*^ lips, which are now pronouncings over thy 
" coffin^ vows fo f acred r 

Having walked up and down the room 
feveral times, I ihut the coffin, a tear of 
friendfhip darting from my eye ; I went 
back to my room, in order to imprint this 
important hour on my memory, and, if pof- 
fible, to engrave it indelibly on my mind, by 
writing my feelings carefully down. 

If I may make a drawing of my fituation, 



and if I can expeft that an intuitive repre- 
fentation of it will afford me fome inftruc- 
tion, why then fhall I not draw a defign of 
it ? Can there exift one which promifes to 
afford me more inftruftion, and to make a 
livelier impreffion on my mind, than this? 
— O ! may I never forget thee, facred hour 
of my firfl view ! — O ! may I frequently con- 
template thee, feint remembrance of my 
glorified friend ! — Mayeft thou deter me for 
ever from every folly, and every fm ; deter 
me as powerfully as his laft fpirited dif- 

courfe ! 1 put my hand to my burning 

forehead — touched my eyes — and — like a 
rapid torrent — this thought ruilied on my 
mind : " Thefe eyes fhall moulder away ; 
" thefe limbs, which are fo dear to me, 
" and fo neceffary, which appear, and which 
" I am fo fenfible to be very effential parts 
" of my being, fhall all become ufelefs and 
Vol. L I '' cor- 


" corruption — they are nothing : FkJJi and 
^^ Mood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. 
" My friend is not corruption, he is immor- 
" tal ; but yonder in that coffin is mere 
" corruption, and it contains not a fpark 
" of immortality." It matters not, whe- 
ther thy fpirit, O my beloved! dwells among 
corruption like God, who even in the grave 
refides — whether thoUy who art dear to my 
foul — not thou earthen veiTel, houfe of clay 
— not thoUy vifible image of the invifible — 
but thou thyfelf, thou invifible light and life, 
quietly refteth yonder among the — alas ! al- 
ready noifome — wrecks, like fire, covered 
with cinders ; or whether thou art out of 
the reach of corruption, and the vifible 
things be as invifible to thy new-modelled 
fenfes, as night is to an inhabitant of the 
fun ! — Yes, perhaps, thou art yet here; per- 
haps clofe by my fide, but yet out of my 



reach. God is here, he is every where ; if 
thou, my dear happy friend, art living in 
him, then thou art in heaven ; for zvherever 
God is prefent, there is heaven ; and he who 
feels and feeth God, is in heaven, although 
the eye of mortals fhould fee nothing around 
them but corruption j yea, nothing but hen(f ). 
Therefore, wherever thou mayeft be, my dear 
departed friend, thou art in heaven. 

A Quarter after Eleven 6*Clock. 

I now will go and fee thee to thy grave, 
with thoughts as Ihall occupy none of the 
mourners, who are going to accompany thee ; 

[c) I need not to fay that Mr. L. is no profejjhr of 
logic. T. 

I 2 with 


with fenfations as even no female foul, among 
all thofe who bewail thee, fhall feel. 

I intended lo follow, filently meditating, 
thy funeral train, my deareft friend, whofe 
lofs I feel more livelier every moment, and 
with encreafmg sffeftion; but, alas! I found 
it very difficult. The moll trifling objects 
were, at firft, capable of amuling and di- 
verting me for a few moments ; however, 
every diverfion, which wanted to intrude 
upon me, was difgufting and infupportable 
to me. I beheld with a mild, tranquil, and 
melancholy look, the black coffin upon the 
bier — Alas I that alfo is the laft time ! Di- 
verfions were intruding again ; I was angry 
with myfelf! — Ol how could I, unfeeling 
wretch, think of any thing but thee. 

The idea of the joy v^hich the adoration 



and contemplation of God. does now afFord 
to my dear- friend, defcended with ferenity 
and' comfort upon my gloomy foul. I fol- 
lowed the fuiieral train, and the idea of the 
blifs my departed friend enjoys, darted alfo 
a little through my fouh 

Jt the Clofe of the Day, Six 0' Clock. 

" My God !" faid I to myfelf, '' I mud 
*^ pray with more fervour and perfeverance, 
" or I fhall be the unhappiefl being on earth. 
'' With this important day, with the pre- 
" fent day will I therefore begin to exercife 
" myfelf in praying, and earneflly and faith- 
" fully fix a particular time of the day for 
" thatpurpofe. God will become my friend ; 
" I will learn to converfe with him. I will 
" endeavour to become perfeftly happy 
I 3 '^ through 


*^ through my Creator, and heavenly Fa- 

" then his love fhall occupy my foul. I 

^^ vi^ill every day, at lead once, without hefi- 

" tating, fall on my knees, and pray for the 

" love of Jefus Chrift, and the confolation 

" of the Holy Ghofl: yes, I will go di- 

" reftly and pray." 

JANUARY the Eleventh. 

I TRAVELLED back mournful, and 
yet replete with reviving and pious refo- 

I came to an inn, wholly occupied with 
meditations on death, and my own morta- 
lity. Four people were fitting in the room : 
" Savage fouls," thought I (they were talk- 
ing in a low, vulgar manner), " how deeply 

" are 


" are ye immerged in night and infenfibi- 
" lity. Ye are mortals, like myfelf, mortals, 
" like my friend, and fubje6t to death as 
" well as we ; but far diftant from reflefting 
" on death and eternity ! Deplorable beings ! 
" who will remove the veil from your eyesl" 
Thus I faid within myfelf, and was much 
exafperated at every pofture, at every look, 
at every gefture and word of theirs. 

I now pitied, and now defpifed them 
from the bottom of my foul. I thought they 
ought to feel what I was feeling, to have no 
other thought but that of their mortality, 
and to be as much occupied with ferious 
meditations, as if they had juft left the grave 
of a dear friend. 

Their laughter, their geflures — and their 

tobacco-pipes, appeared to me fo ungodly, 

fo thoughtlefs, that I was almoft tempted to 

read them a fevere le£lure -, however, the 

I 4 ferioufnefs 


ferloufnefs of my own fituation foon led me 
back again to myfelf. I fent up to heaven, 
in their behalf, a few not very humble fighs. 
" O God ! open the eyes of thefe uninlight- 
" ened people." I went to one corner of 
the room, taking the New Teflament out 
of my pocket, and read a little in it, grew 
angry at the noife thefe people made, and 
defired the landlord to let me have a room 
to myfelf; having conducted me to one, he 
fhewed me his fon*s ftudy. ^^ My fon," faid 
he, " is a furgeon, and a great adept in 
'^ anatomy." He then preffed me to fee his 
collection of ikeletons and foetufles. I did 
not much like it at firfl: ; however, as foon 
as I entered the room, and beheld the 
drawers, I was much pleafed, and looked 
upon that incident as fent by providence. 
What difgufted me moft, was the garrulity 
of the landlord, and his repeating ever and 



anon, how forry he was that his fon was not 

prefent.- 1 wiflied to be left alone. — In 

order to get rid of him, I enquired whether 
he would not give me leave to examine the 
books. — " Certainly !" — He did not, how- 
ever, guefs at my drift. I took a book from 
the fhelf, turning over its leaves, and put it 
again in its former place. I then took down 
another, with anatomical tables, afking him 
whether J might take it with me into my room. 
" I fhould be welcome to flay in the room, 
" and perufe it there, as long as I fhould like 
" if it would be more convenient ;'* faid he 
with great kindnefs, and left me. I laid the 
book down, took pencil and paper, and 
drew a fkull, as well as I could, after one 
which I found in the room. Having finilhed 
my drawing, I perceived that the fkull could 
be taken off from the fkeleton. I took it 
down, an^ held it in my hand fome time. 

" This," 

12,2 Journal of a 

" This," thought I, " has been the fkull of 
" a human being, who once had life, as I 
" have now. My body too, may be differed 
" one time or other, and ornament the col- 
'^ leftion of an operator: perhaps my fkull 
" will alfo be looked at, drawn, taken down, 
" and carried about. Is it poffible that my 
" head, this refidence of fo many intellec- 
" tual powers, this mirror of the foul, Ihould 
'' one time refemble this fkull ? — within this 
" fkull, which I am now holding in my hands, 
^' refided formerly fomething — that was of 
" greater value than the whole inanimated 
*' creation. — Alas ! my friend I alas ! foon, 
" foon, thou alfo fhalt be a fkeleton. — Hor- 
** rible thought — I cannot bear thee any 
'' longer ! — I now replaced the fkull again 
" on the fkeleton, becaufe fomebody was 
" coming, and went to take a view of the 
" little unripe foetufifes, which were pre- 

" ferved^ 


*^ ferved in brandy — fo little, and fo unfi- 
^' niflied, I alfo was once. O! what a weak 
" beginning of my exiflence ! what a ftrange 
*^ end 1 I here behold the two limits of my 
" abode on earth — I was at firft, God knows 
" what. I began to exifl — My little frame, 
" fcarcely vifible to the eye, was fixed to a 
" firing. 1 grew in fize, my h^art began 
" to beat— it panted, it began to live — in 
" the midnight darknefs of my mother's 
" womb. I was born with pains and 
" groans — the navel-ftring was cut afunder 
'^ — I grew a whining, helplefs babe — flefli 
** and bone, living and fenfitive ; 1 grevv in 
" fize, and exercifed my limbs ; fell ill, and 
*^ recovered my health again ; at prefent I 
" am alive, and perhaps to-morrow, per- 
" haps to-day, warmth and life may take 
" their flight from my body. I then (hall 
" be ftretched on my couch — my flelh will 

" be 


" be lacerated — either by vermin or man — - 
^ and my bones, alas ! will be the only 
" thing remaining of my frame I now be- 
'* hold, like that Skeleton before my eyes; 
" — O I what an unfathomable beginning, 
" what an im^penetrable end of my exift^ 
" ence on earth ! How did I originate, 
*^ when begin to exift ? How this my frame 
*^ will be changed, perhaps in a few days ! 
*' O ! what an evident proof is this, that an 
" invifible, almighty, and eternal fpirit ex- 
*' ifts, to whom I owe my exiftence ; and 
" that I have contributed nothing towards 
" it, becaufe there is nothing of which I 
" know lefs than of what concerns my ex- 
^ iftence. Thefe meditations I revolved in 
*' my mind, and could not help thinking it 
*^ very ftrange, that mofi: people difregard 
" themfelves fo much, as never to refle6t, 
** with wonder and aftonifliment, on their 

'^ own 


" own exiftence, the beginning and the end of 
" their body, which feems to be fo infepara- 
" bly and eflentially conne6ted with their 
*' being; and live — dream (I rather fhould 
" fay) in conftant amufement and ignorance 
*' with refpeft to themfelves, and, as one 
** might fay — as aliens to themfelves. 

" It came into my mind to provide myfelf 
*' with a human Ikull — the fight of it will 
*' certainly remind me frequently mofl pow- 
" erfully of my mortality; I fliall then more 
*' frequently a6t wifer, and with more feri- 
" oufnefs, and be lefs capable to forget the 
" vow I made at the coffin of my friend," 

I afked the landlord whether his fon could 
not fpare me a ikull ; I fhould like to take 
one home with me. — The lively, good-na- 
tured man knew not what to think of my 
requeft ; he fancied I was joking, — " What 



" do you intend to do with a ikull," a(ked 
he, fmiling ; " you are certainly no furgeon, 
" nor intend to become one -, however, I 
" will give you one, I will account for it 
" to my fon ; I think it an honour to oblige 
" you with it." Having faid this, and many 
more kind things, he went directly to the 
clofet, and brought me a beautiful white 
Ikull, dufted, and gave it me, with many en- 
comiums on the fkill of his fon, whom he 
humbly and earnellly recommended to my 
favour. I might keep it, he faid, he would 
make me a prefent of it. 

Never has a gift afforded me fo much 
pleafure as this fkull. I could not help look- 
ing upon it as a kind of relick — the former 
abode of an immortal fpirit, for whom Jefus 
Chrift became man and died — I was ready 
to embrace the landlord out of gratitude — 

" I never 


** I never faw any thing fo odd," faid he, 
" to rejoice in fuch a manner at a fkull — 
" Pray, Sir, tell me the reafon of it !" 

" I have," faid I, abruptly, " loft a friend 
" a few days ago, and I wifh never to lofe 
" fight of my own mortality — that fkuil 
" there, which you was fo kind to give mfe, 
" ihall be my remembrancer." — " O !" re- 
plied he, " is it nothing elfe ? that will foon 
" wear off: Nu//us Dolor, quern non Longin- 
" qnitas Temporis minuat, atque molliatr This 
reply made me fmile, and at the fame time 
ftao-t^ered me — I took up the Ikull, went to 
my room, and continued my journal thus 
far ; dined, and went away as foon as I had 
finifhed my meal. Several incidents on the 
road, and the defire to be with my wife and 
friends, diverted me, or rather difpelled a 
little the gloom of my mind. — An old man 
was carrying a child in a bafket, which he 



fet down now and then, nurfing the infant, 
and covering its feet from the cold. 

It was four o^clock when I arrived at 
home; my wife ran to me, exclaiming, 
" How does your friend do r" — " Alas ! he 
^' is dead !" faid I, without (hedding a tear, 
aVid without feeling that lively emotion with 
which I had left his grave. 

I changed my clothes ; the ladies * 

and their brother, were with my wife. I 
fpoke much of my deceafed friend s ray nar- 
rative fe.emed to intereft them; this made 
me more talkative and regardlefs. The at- 
tention of the company, the intereft they 
took in my narrative, the applaufe I met 
with, and fome other trifling incidents, ef- 
faced, by degrees, the ferious and religious 
fentiments which feemed to have occupied 
my heart this morning. 

I alfo fpoke of the innkeeper, his fon, 



the anatomical collection, his recommenda- 
tion — yet without mentioning any thing of 
the prefent he had made me — being, as I 
thought, too timid, and too much alhamed, 
to fay a word about my (already pretty much 
over clouded) joy caufed by a Ikull. I fpoke 
alfo of the man 1 had met on the road, and 
thus began, by degrees, to be garrulous, and, 

at laft, to joke and to laugh. My con- 

fcience was not quite eafy at it. 

" My ladies, will you give me leave to 
" fmoke a pipe ? You indulged me with it 
« the other day."—" Why not ?" I lighted 
my pipe, drank aglafs of wine — and, as foon 
as they ceafed talking — I blulhed at myfelf. 
(Good God 1 how heavy didil thou let fall 
on my heart the judgment 1 pronounced to- 
day on the people in the public-houfe). I 
was filent for fome moments. The whole 
company took notice of my difcompofure, 

VoL.L K a^d 


and afcribing it to the recolle£lion of the 
iofs of my friend, endeavoured to comfort 
me, though very unfeafonably. I v^ent dir 
re£lly to my ftudy, and made a drawing 
(God be praifed that I could do it) of the 
company at the public-houfe, in order to 
(hame myfelf, and to derive fome inftru6tion 
from it — and one of the company of this 
evening. — But what difference is there be? 
tween the people at the public-houfe and 
me ? They had jugs of beer before them, and 
I a bottle of pontac ; they \\2idJIiort tobacco- 
pipes, and I a longer one. — They were talk- 
ing of indifferent things, forgetting their mor- 
tality and immortality, and did not come 
from the death-bed, and the funeral \ but I 
did, was talking of it — and forgot, in a few 
moments, like thefe people, my mortality; 
and immortality ; my friend, and my vows. 
I ate little at fupper, did not pray with 



my family, under the pretext of being tired, 
and went to bed. 

JANUARY the Twelfth. 

I AWOKE half an hour after eight, lazy, 
fatigued, melancholy, and angry with my- 
felf j I got up, and was terrified when I faw 
my journal lying open upon the table. I 
neither read, nor prayed — having recourfe 
to the ufual fecret excafe, that I was not 
difpofed to do it — befides that, fome bufi- 
nefs had been accumulated during my ab- 
fence ; a few letters were to be anfwered ; 
and thus the whole morning flole away with- 
out my having once recolle8:cd to refie61 on 
my deceafed friend, or myfelf. 

At dinner my mind was occupied with a 
K 2 number 


number of things. My wife begged me to 
relate to her all the particulars of the illnefs, 
and the death of my deceafed friend — God 
knows, I did it relu6tantly at firft — O ! Jefus 
Chrifl ! how double-minded is my heart. — I 
grew warm by degrees ; my tears began to 
flow ! fhe wept with me, enquiring why I 
had not brought the widow with me. 

I felt again as a man, as a friend, and, for 
fome moments, as a Chriftian — but, alas! 
why am I always fo terribly alienated from 
myfelf ? 

I began to work, w^as eafy, and not much 
confufed ; a tear Hole now and then down 
my cheek — I fighed feveral times, and the 
ikull I had brought with me was^ for the firft 
time, not in vain, placed on my defk. 

Mr. *** was with me from four till five 
o'clock — my deceafed friend, and the fkull, 
were the fole theme of our converfation. — I 



was forry that my vifitor did not ftay longer. 
At five o'clock I fmoked a pipe, and read 
the newfpaper, being very ferene, meditating, 
and replete w^ith the beft fentiments. I then 
fettled fome money matters, and read the 
fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of St. Mat- 
thew. If the v^icked king Herod, thought 
I, ordered the head of John the Baptiil to 
be ftruck off, on account of his having fworn 
an oath, although it gave him great pain, 
fhould not the merciful, true, and veracious 
God fulfil what he has folemnly promifed. 

Jefus cured all the fick w^ho applied to 
him ; fed, one time, more than five thbufand, 
and at another time more than four thoufand 
people, with a few loaves, and delivered his 
difciples from their perilous fituation on the 
lake. — Should I be miftaken, if I were to 
make the following conclufion from it : 
" Confequently Jefus is alfo a Saviour from 
K 3 " bodily 


" bodily mifery, who deferves my belief, 
" and my entire confidence. He not only is 
" willing that my foul fhould be happy, 
" through him, in the world to come, but 
" he alfo is fufficiently powerful and in- 
" clined to blefs my belief, if I apply to 

*' him in bodily diftrefs and dangers." 

Having fmifhed thefe meditations, I found 
a manufcript of one of my friends, which 
muft have been fent during my abfence. I 
read it with great pleafure, and fhould have 
been glad to have kept it a little longer, 
but was dejfired (in a note) to return it as 
foon as read. — It was a tra6i: 071 the Strength 
of the Soul. — My heart burnt with the defire 
of feeing it printed, or, at leaft, of taking a 
copy of it. Having neither hope to fee the 
one, nor leifure to do the other, I tranfcribed 
a few paiTages in my journal. 

" Th Jirengtk of the Jouly of the virtuous, 

" remains 


*^ remains frequently concealed. He enjoys 
" the rare happinefs of having no other 
*' witnefs of his virtue, but God, and his 
*• confcience ; however, the Judge of our 
*^ actions, who does not overlook the leafl 
^^ thing, when weighing the value of our 
" deeds, will add this concealment to the 
" meafure of the virtue of the righteous. 
" His name will be contained in no other 
" book, but that of life, and his fecret 
" greatnefs of mind will be a faving to him 
" againft the day of judgment. Whoever 
^* fiippreffes a dangerous paffion, after having 
** ft'ruggled long, whether it would be better 
** to overcome, or to be vanquiflied ; whoever, 
" like the Emperor Titus, gives up his Be- 
" fehice, v^hen his country calls to him, 
" Refpe5i my laivs ! fhews Jlrength of mind. 
*' Vet Ms viftofy will hot be known, if he 
^ does not a£t a principal part on the theatre 
K 4 « of 


" of the world, and his virtue will be num^ 
" bered among the unknown private virtues, 
*' if he is no Emperor. God has, however, 
" counted his tears : 

*« His guardian angel takes the charge 
« Of all his tears ; till, at the clofe 
" Of time, they are transform 'd to pearls, 
" To ornament the vi dor's crown. 

" One {hcwsjlrengi/i of mind againfl exter- 
" nal and internal enemies. The former 
*^ has always the advantage of being known j 
'^ the latter, very frequently, remains un- 
" known. How many people ftruggle, every 
" day of their life, againfl rooted vicious in- 
*' clination, againfl prejudices, &c. &;c. they 
" flruggle, and, perhaps, vanquifli firfl — on 
" the brink of eternity. Their names arc 
" recorded in the bills of mortality, and the 
" whole congregation confounds them with 
" the common herd. Strength of mind fre- 

^* quently 


« qiiently degenerates in caprice, which 
" more frequently is cried up for it. Every 
" century, every nation, every town, and 
*' every individuum, have their own fcale 
*' for poizing vice and virtue; whoever \i{es 
" a different one, is looked upon by them 
♦* as an impoftor -- - ----- 


After fupper I fmoked a pipe, reading in 
RotiJJeau's Lettres de la Montague. What a 
riddle is that man ! how much in contradic- 
tion with himfelf ! — But who is not like him? 
Every one conceals that contradi6tion from 
himfelf, and from others; Rouffeau fpeaks 
as he thinks, confeffes candidly all the con- 
tradictions of his underftanding and heart, 
and of eourfe ofFqnds the whole world. How- 

[d) The publiihcr thinks it his duty to leave out a 
great pait of this cxtraft. 



ever, I could fooner forgive him every thing-, 
than his glaring fophifm, that the miracles 
of Chrift are only virtus^ and parallel to his 
legerdemains I O^ God! enlighten his 
erring foul. 

JANUARY the Thirteenth. 

I ROSE to day at an early hour, after I 
had prayed with foriie devotion^ firll filently 
for myfelf, and then aloud with my wife. I 
■wanted to refunie my reading in the Gofpel, 
where I had left off, but happening to turn 
up the hiflory of Cornelius (A61:. lo), 1 read 
it with the greateft pleafure. What afFe8:ed 
me mofb, was, that the individual particular 
actions of man, are fo much taken notice of 
and rewarded by our all bountiful Father 



In heaven. Thy prayers, and thine alms, are 
come lip for a memorial before God. What an 
encouragement to have the Lord before our 
eyes in private, and to pray to him ! What 
an encouragement to pray, and to exercife 
every virtue, though ever fo much mifcon- 
ftrued by men. AH, all of them notices, 
approves, and rew^ards, points out to us the 
author of every virtue. 

I began to work — fome perfon knocked 
at the door— I opened it — it w^as N****. I 
perceived that he wanted alms* — very fortu- 
nately I recollefted thefe words : Thine alms 
are come up for a memorial before God. " What 
" do you want ?'* — He begged me to lend 
him ten dollars. — I know that he is an honed 
man, thought I by myfelf, but he will hardly 
ever be able to return me the money.— ^ 
" What fecurity can you give me, my 
** friend ?" — " My honefty." Poor cringing 



heart, why didft thou defire more? Why waft 
thou tormented by a fecret mieafmefs and 
fear to lofe — What? — ten dollars, two pieces 
of metal, which thou haft received to give 
away — poor heart 1 — and yet all the world 
calls thee charitable, and thy generofity is 
praifed. — Can that be called to lend, wkers 
one has to expeSl nothing!' — Thefe refle^lions 
darted through my foul, one after the other. 
At length I faid, after fome aftonilbment — - 
" I will fee what I can do ; it is almoft im- 
•' poflible; I don't know — it is rather too 
^^ much •-" and yet I had already refolved to 
give him the w^hole fum, and knew that it 
was in my power to do it. Why then did 
I pretend to find it difficult ? What a mean, 
mean affectation ? Why do I ftain even my 
good a£lions ? And why can I not perform 
a fingle a61ion with a chriftian fpirit, and 
the fimplicity of Jefus Chrift ? Will not the 



omnifcient God notice thefe low mean eva- 
fions, as well as mine alms ? I counted him 
the money down, made him fign a bond, 
and then refumed my former occupations. 

At eleven o'clock Mr. *** came to fee 
me — " Is it true, that our friend is dead, and 
" you did not let me know it, and I mult 
*' hear it from ftrangers ?" 

The melancholy air he affumed was into- 
lerable to me ; I made a fhort excufe, and 
repeated fome of the laft fpeeches of ray 
dear happy friend. How it grieved me that 
he affected to make an oftentation of the 
nobleft feelings, and artfully attempted to 
decry what my friend had faid with refpe6l 
to ambition, as the fruit of a weakened un- 
derflanding of a dying man. — " It is unjuft," 
faid I, *^ if we have not the confidence in a 
** dying, honeft man, whofe humility and 
*' fimplicity is fo little fubjeft to the fufpi- 


'^ cion of hypocrify, that he will be more 
*^ impartial than the wifell, who are ftill 
" blinded by a thoufand refieciions on the 
" world, and the opinion of men !'' — He 
blufhcd. — " I hope you don't think that I 
** believe our friend has been an hypocrite?'* 
— " No ! that I do not think ; however, I 
" wifh you might feel what our friend, in 
^ the laft hour of his life, with fo much fnn- 
** plicity, and fuch an overfloAving of entire 
*' conviction, has fpoken to my heart, as 
" forcibly as I, thank God ! have felt it at 
*' his death-bed." 

During dinner one of the company re- 
lated, that a certain perfon had been laid 
out for dead, and returned to life again the 
next morning. 1 hree days after this, that 
fome perfon did expire, and was buried 
without delay, while ahnofl warm, for fear 


{he fliould return to life 9gain , becaufe llie 
was poor, and a burthen to her family. " 1 
^' God! I thank thee," faid I to myfelf, " that 
*^ I have friends by whom I am beloved and 
" efteemed. Affift me to employ every law- 
*^ ful means to preferve their love to me — 
♦* but, at the fame time, grant me the blef- 
*^ fing to affift, with plcafure and cheerfal- 
** nefs, to the utmoft of my ability, all thofe 
*' that are forfaken, that others may not do, 
<' from felfifhnefs, what want of friendfhip 
" and humanity might bid them to perpc- 
" trate ! If that per Jon ^' faid I, after a fliort 
paufe, " had found a charitable proteBor, JJi^ 
*' would not have been treated fo cruelly.^* 

After fupper I perufed my rules. Alas \ 
this is but the thirteenth day of the new 
year, and I have already fo frequently, and 



fo far flrayed from the ftrait path of pure 
chriftian piety. 

How much ufeful knowledge could 1 have 
acquired in this important week ! How good 
has my heavenly Father been to rne ! He has 
granted me almoft every blefling he can be- 
llow on mortal man ! I am in good health ! 
my mind is^ upon the V/hole^, tranquil and fe- 
rene ; how many good thoughts, how many 
noble and unmerited fenfationshashe created 
in my heart ! — Yes I have loft, but alfo gained 
much.— O 1 that I might not fo foon forget 
the death-bed of my friend — ^how abounding 
in unmerited mercy was this death-bed to 
me 1 — O 1 that I never may be undeferving 
of it \ — 1 read the journal of the whole week 
with bitter tears, with pungent fhame — with 
much gratitude — and great fear of my own 
heart. Good God! how rapidly has this 
week ilipt away ! — Lord, teach me to rcfle61 



on my mortality, that I may grow wife — let 
me live as when, on the brink of mortality, 
I (hall wifh to have lived i 

SUNDAY, January the Fourteenth. 

I AWOKE at five o'clock. « Alas! 
" eight days ago," thought I, " my friend 
*^ was alive, and when I arofe I received the 
** fad news of his illnefs — I found him fick 
" — and he died. — Now his lifelefs corpfe 
** lies in the dark grave — the friend whom I 
" preffed to my heart, is a prey to corrup- 
" tion — and his fpirit is returned to him that 
" gave it him." — What may now be thy 
fituation, my dear, happy friend? How little 
-—how very little do we know of the life be- 

VoL.L L yond 


ybrid the grave 1 Not a ray of that heavenly 
blifs defcends into the abyfs of our night : — 
What doft thou think, O ! my beloved friend ? 
— No mortal being can conceive that 1 What 
are thy feelings ? — No mortal man can feel 
that. Thou lived a new life, of w^hich we, 
probably, can form an idea as little as a plant 
of the life of an animal, and an .animal of 
the life of man. One moment of that life 
qf iinmediate contemplation, perhaps, ten- 
4^rs the fon of ^ peafant, borm in a place 
which nqver hais been vifited by a ray of 
human learning, or what We call the fine 
arts — a philofopher; whofe difciple to be, 
Newton would not have been afliamed, while ■ 
in this world. — O! God! what will become 
of the wife, and the illiterate of this world ! 
-^But why do I not refleft upon myfelf? 
Am I not alfo a mortal ? What will become 
of my foul? I alfoam a citizen of yon invifible 



heavenly world of light ; I alfo am defti^ 
nated to contemplate God, and to refemble 
Jefus Chrift.— When this fhall happen, Ol 
thou omnipotent, invifible being, whom' I 
call Fat/ier, Jefus C/irifi, and Ho/y Ghojl, to 
whom I pray with trembling lips — Almighty, 
inexplorable— being of all beings! what will 
then become of mey of this felf ; fo incomprcr 
henfible and inexplorable to me. — O ! how 
my foul languifhes to have here below a 
profpe£t of my future exiftence, of that di^ 

vine life !- O ! that I were permitted, ray 

dear, happy friend, to look only for a fmgle 
moment into thy heart.— Alas ! in the be- 
ginning of lall week, I was fo near thecj 
and. now I am fo far dillant from thee !— 
thou heardeft me, and I could hear thee— 
but now I call in vain for a word or a look 
from thee — an impenetrable gulph is fixed 
between thee and me — and yet how foon, 
L 2 how 


how very foon may I be with thee \ live the 
life which thou art living ; imbibe the light 
which thou art imbibing, and fee the God 
whom thou art contemplating. — How ra^ 
pidly has the time of my life flipt away to 
this moment ! Soon, foon, I alfo fhall be at 
the mark — at the mark which 1 can view as 
little as my eye can look at the fun. — While 
I am revolving this in my mind, I am draw- 
ing nearer towards it ; every breathing I 
perceive is a ftep that carries me nearer to- 
wards that dazzling mark. O ! God ! en- 
able my eyes to bear the brightnefs of that 
mark; at prefent, I am too fenfible that I 
cannot fland it yet. — Thefe and fimilar ob- 
fcrvations darted through my foul \ I heard 
a few filent fighf, and felt fome inclination 
to rife, and to write down the fubftance of 
them. I did it with fome reluftance ; I 
thought it was very cold, yet I attempted it, 
and wrote thus faK 

I perufed 


I pcrufcd thefe reflexions once more— not 
with a view of edifying myfelf, but becaufe 
I was fecretly proud of them — out of — ^I 
will candidly confefs it — Lord Jefus Chrift ! 
meditations of a nature fo ferious — out of 
mean, fecret vanity ! It is true, tears flarted 
from my eyes — however, I am fhocked at 
myfelf — even thefe tears feemed to proceed 
partly from vanity. Can I acknowledge this 
without blufhing at myfelf? — but if fomc- 
body (hould fee it ? — who can fee it ? — It 
was, neverthelefs, vanity, my heart, thou 
flialt hear it, though it (hould make thee 
burft. It is vanity which makes thee dread 
{0 much, fome perfon might fee this confef- 
fion (e). 

{e) The Editor, perhaps, will be blamed for not having 
omitted this paflage ; however, the continuation — or the 
ufeful view he has, and which cannot hurt the Author, 
will plead his excufe. 

L 3 O ! thou 


O ! thou mean, double-minded heart ! how 
terribly quick is thy tranfition from the no- 
'bleft fentiments to the worft. Have I not 
reafon to be almofl more afraid of my vir- 
tueSj and pious fenfations, than of my vices ? 
-—The former pleafe (/) me but too foon, and 
too much ; but the latter alw^ays difpleafe 
me ! To be proud of our virtues, is foolifh ; 
I am very fenfible of it. It is folly and mad- 
nefs to boaft, even in the moft diilant man- 
ner, before an intimate friend — ourfelves, or 
God, of our virtuous fenfations, thoughts, or 
deeds ; for every, every thing comes from 
thy mercy, is thy gift — Father of my Saviour 
Jefus Chrill I 

(/■) Do not think it finful, chriftian reader, if thy vir- 
tues afford thee pleafure ; for it is the will of God that 
thou fhalt be pleafed with whatever is good ; but, at the 
fame time, take care not to forget, that what thou art, 
thou art by the free grace of God, the fole author of 
virtue. T. 


<ELP-O^SERVER, t ^t 

Thus far I wrote, rofe, and walked up and 
down my room, blulfting fo much at myfelf, 
that I dropped a tear of wild anger with my- 
felf, and took a new onfet towards repent- 
ance : " Thi5 curfed paffion muft be rooted, 
*^ out, if peace fhall refide in my foul. How 
*' is it polTible that I can ftain the moft holy 
" fentiments, which flowed from a pure heart, 
*' with fo childifh a vanity ! I bluOi more at 
^' it, than if I had committed a theft — and 
<< yet— no day may perhaps pafs, without 
*' my making myfelf guilty of the very error^ 
" the heinoufnefs of which I at prefent feel 
** in fo lively a manner.'* 
■ I went to church, with the firm refolution 
to be attentive, to meditate, and to apply, as 
much as poffible, whatever I Ihould pray, 
fmg, and hear, as a nourilhment and fupport 
of my fliame and repentance. 

I did it with great difficulty, and only 
L 4 with 


with a lukewarm zeal — until the fermon 
began i however, during the whole difcourfe 
of the preacher, I forgot myfelf entirely, and 
did not hear it with a lively defire to be edi^ 
fied, nor did I apply it to myfelf; but lift* 
ened from the beginning to the end with 
curiofity, and the ear of a critic. — " This 
" effeft," thought I, '' —it mud produce ; 
" thus it will work on this perfon, and thus 
" on that — excellently charafterifed !" — 
I could have killed the preacher: — but, 
alas ! I did not refle£l once upon myfelf. I 
was frightened a little at it when I recurred 
to myfelf, and recolIe6led my refolution. I 
therefore refolved more firmly, to make up 
at home for what I fo fliamefully had neg- 
lefted. I did it with fome fervour ; but I 
was foon tired ; a wi(h that it might be 
dinner time, began to mix by degrees with 
my meditations : — " for," thought I, fecretly 
, , within 


within myfclf, " then I may amufe myfelf, 
*' and drop thefc humiliating ideas." 

Before it was dinner time, I had an incll* 
nation to go to the harpfichord. My con- 
fcience feemed not pleafed with it , however, 
I drove to filence it, flattering myfelf, that I 
could play foraething which might exprefs 
my prefent fenfe of repentance, and perhaps 
give it an additional ftrength. — I fat down, 
being only >^^^ convinced, and began with a 
lacrymofo — without perceiving it, I began 
to play in a tender — melancholy — then in a 
tranquil— in a content — playful — brilliant-— 
merry — and, at laft, in a jocofe ftrain ! In 
the midfl of a moft airy fherzo I recollecled 
myfelf, and darted up from my chair. — This 
is always the cafe, thou deceitful heart, when 
1 liftcn to thy whims, and plaufible excufes : 
not purfuing ftraitways and quickly, the path 
pointed out to me by my confcience. 



To day I heard that Mr. O ufed, 

every Sunday after church, to affemble his 
domeilics, and to repeat the principal parts 
of the fermon, to converfe with them in a 
ufeful manner, and to confult, in the tender 
language of confidence, on what has been 
omitted in the' week paft, what is to be 
made amends for in the beginning of th6 
week, or what elfe is to be done; and always 
to conclude with pious converfation, w^ith a 
prayer flowing from the heart ; I cannot but 

efteem Mr. O for it. I have had many 

a proof of his ferene and undifguifed piety, 
void of all vanity. — So much good has this 
worthy man been able to do, without much 
difficulty and noife ! — I heard him fay once, 
with the moft amiable fimplicity : " Whoever 
" talks much of virtue, will do fo much the 
"" lefs virtuous aftions. One ought to a£l: 
" firfl, before one talks of virtuous deeds 5 

" God 


** God knows we can do whatever we wifh, 
*^ if we only are in earneft." Indeed this 
man has fomething fo pleafing about him, 
is fo gentle and modeft, that I have fre- 
quently wifhed to be a member of his happy 
family, or, at leafl, one of his intimate 
friends 1 — But hov/ I forget myfelf ! I always 
negle6t to go, and to aB. 

I am fo fond of inferting in my journal 
noble traits of others ^ I hear and relate them 
with fo much pleafure — and if I had now the 

good fortune to number Mr. O^- among 

iny intimate friends — (I have a ftrong pre- 
fentiment that God will make him my con- 
fidant, in the room of my dear, happy friend). 
I fhould behold his virtues with pleafure ; I 
fhould admire them ; every page of my jour- 
nal would fpeak of them -, — I Ihould do every 
thing that would feem to befpeak delight in 
virtue, and a fenfe of religion — I Ihould, 


15^ Journal of a 

however, perform little; preparations, plans, 
difcourfes on this or that fubje£l, would not 
be wanting — and yet the chief objeft, the 
filent, fimple perfornnance of the duties of 
religion and virtue, would be neglected. — I 

am pleafed with Mr. O *s chara6ler ; I 

tnd much in it, which "^reatlv deferves beinsr 
imitated ; I am charmed with his wife and 
pious inflituticns and endeavours — I am en- 
raptured with them — but why do I not 
rather attempt to imitate him ? Why do I 
not fpend the Sunday like him, if I am 
pleafed fo much with his proceedings ? — I 
perceive but too clearly, that lazinejs and 
habit have no fmall fliare in my not being 
much inclined, at prefent, to introduce fuch 
a new regulation ; yet if I will be iincere, I 
muft take care not to afcribe that remiflhefs 
to lazinefs alone — becaufe it feems fome 
other mean weaknefs has a hand in it. 

" If 


" If I do as he does — then it will be mere 
" imitation. If I had flarted that idea firft, 
'* then, perhaps, I fliould have got the better 
" of my lazinefs ; but now I think it would 
" caufe me difagreeable reproaches. One 
" would call me an imitator, an ape, ^fzrvile 

" follower of Mr. O , and that would be 

" painful to me — yes, it would hurt my am- 
** bition, which I am fo anxious to hide from 
" myfelf, and others.'* Thefe ideas, mc- 
thinks, are lurking in the moft fecret and in- 
mofl receiTes of my heart. The merit of 
being the^r/?, has fomething charming for 
me — and now the laft complaints of my de- 
ceafed friend, againft ambition, ruflifuddenly 
upon my rccolledion. — Jefus Chrill 1 who 
will tear thefe roots of that mean, dread- 
ful, childi(h, and ridiculous pafTion from my 
heart ? 

And yet, alas ! I feel it, witli a pleafur^ 


fo lively, what it is to perform a good a£lion 
with a pure foul, without art, and without 
paying the leaft regard to the opinions of 
men ; and yet when I am fo happy to per- 
form, or to have performed fomething with 
a true fpirit of chriftian humility, I am always 
fenfible that this only exalts virtue to its pro- 
per dignity — Why do I then conilantly re- 
lapfe into the fame folly, which appears to 
me fo ridiculous and deteftable ? 

Whatever is good cannot change its na- 
ture ; I may be the firfl, or the fecond, who 
does it. I will therefore go and perform it, 
though it be ever fo difagreeable to me, and 
ever fo humiliating to my pride,to hear others 
exclaim : t^at I only can 'ape other people. 
• ' I converfed, during fupper, on many good 
fubjefts ; began to fpeak of the fermon, and 
put my family in mind of fome poor people, 
whom we ought not to forget. I kept my mefT- 



mates longer at table than ufual. Ifuccecded 
in ftarting (as I fancied) in a limple, natural 
manner, many good ideas, and feafonable 
admonitions. Every one was attentive and 

** Have we not been very happy together? 
*^ Would it not be well to conclude every 
" Sunday in the fame manner?" 

No fooner had I pronounced thefe words, 
w^hen a heavy burden was .taken from my 
heart — for this w^as what I w^anted to men- 
tion in proper time. — We now joined in fing- 
ing fome hymns. — My wife was particularly 
pleafed with this evening, and myfelf. I 
thanked God for it, and prayed to him to 
grant me grace to continue. This, perhaps, is 
one of the bleihngs which I owe to the 
prayers of my happy friend. 

Thank God ! this has been happily exe- 
Guted— O ! what a pleafure it. is to have 
o- . carried 


carried a good deed— from the firfl point of 
an unripe refolution — into execution.' 
Strengthen me, (Irengthen me, fweet hea- 
venly pleafure, which fprings from good 
actions, againfl: the fneaking voice of lazi- 
nefs and indulgence unnerving our fouls — I 
will not beg (Irength of thee, praife of man ; 
thou canft blind only for a few moments. 
Thou now appeared to me mean, and unde- 
ferving of my mod diftant wifli — O 1 that I 
might never fwcrve from this difpofition of 
mind, and could firmly rely upon it at all 
adventures — O God ! thou author of every 
good fentiment, I thank thee for the tran- 
quillity of mind which thou art pouring out 
upon me, frail mortal : O 1 how (Irongly do 
I feel that thy blefling is far fuperior to all 
endeavours which are attempted without 
thee, and unafliiled by confidence in thy 
bleffing — I thank thee for every figh to thee 



drawn from my breaft, by thy all-guarding 

JANUARY the Fifteenth. 

1 BEGAN to read the fixteenth and feven- 
teenth chapters of St. Matthew, as foon as I 
was rifen, and after I had fighed to God for 
fome minutes, proftrated myfelf on my face. 
— Every thing around me was fo filent, my 
mind fo eafy, and fo open to meditation and 
pious fenfations — Only now and then an 
anxious apprehenfion, that I foon ihould fuf* 
fer myfelf to be diverted again, feemed to 
rufh upon my heart. 

I fat down to infert in my journal fome 
reflexions and fenfations, which arofe while 

Vol. L M I was 


I was reading thefe two chapters. Matth. 
xvi. V. 23. Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art 
an offence unto me: for thou savourest 


THOSE THAT BE OF MAN. Thefc lafl words 
I found very noble. Neither the terror of 
the impending difgrace, and the moll dread- 
ful fufferings, nor the well-meant admoni- 
tion and oppofition of a friend, can make 
the heavenly friend of human kind lofe fight, 
for a moment, of the purpofe of his miffion 
into the world. He who is all meeknefs 
grows angry — at what? at the oppofition 
which is made againft the execution of the 
moft difficult talk, which can be impofed 
upon a fenfible being, at his being oppofed 
to be executed as a criminal. — O! that only 
a fpark of this noble zeal for God might 
light upon my cold, lazy, and timid foul, 
given fo much to eafe ! I do indeed, gene- 


rally, nol favour the things that are of God^ hut 
thofe that are of man}, however, if the fpirit of 
Chrift did animate me, the mind fhould be 
in me, which was alfo in Jefus Chrift, who 
is my Lord and Mafter. 

Whofoever will lofe his life for my fake, fhall 
find //—What could now prevent me to 
facrifice all my faculties in the fervice of 
Jefus Chrift ? M^hat is a man profited, if he 
fhall gain the whole world, and lofe his own 
foulf Or what fhall a man give in exchange for 
his foul f — Every man, and of courfe, I alfo, 
muft be very dear to God, elfe Jefus Chrift 
would not have been angry, becaufe he was 
difadvifed to fuffer, and to die for me — defray 
not him for whom Chrift ditd : fays St. Paul, 
Rom. xiv. — Can I therefore negleft my foul 
for a fingle moment ? — We are fo proud of 
perifhable, external [prerogatives ; but it is 
quite the contrary with the internal ones, 
M z which 


which are of more value than the whole 
world 1 

Matt. xvli. V. 5. Behold ! a voice out of the 
cloud, which Jaid : this is my beloved Jon, in 
whom I am well pleajed; hear ye him. O ! that 
this voice, this evidence of God, might thrill 
my marrow and my bones, when, in the 
hours of temptation, the fecret voice of my 
paffions attempts to whifper in my foul 
doubts againft the God-head of my Lord. 
— Could his difciples eyes and ears be de- 
ceived ? Are thefe the words of an impoftor, 
or a credulous perfon, who dares to write : 
Wi have not followed cunningly devifed fables y 
when we made knoivn unto you the power and 
coming of our Lord Jefus Chriji, but were eye- 
wit nejfes of his Majejiy^for he received from God 
the Father honour and glory : zvhen there came 
fuch a voice to him from the excellent glory : 




WELL PLEASED; and this voice, which came 
from heaven, we heard when zve were zvith him 
in the Holy Mount. (2 Pet. i. v. 16--18).— O ! 
God, I thank thee that I am fully fenfible 
of this truth — Jefus of Nazareth is thy f on — 
O ! excellent truth, which contains all others 
that can be important to me. — Grant me, 
O Father ! to hear this thy Son, hear him 
alone, at all times, readily and faithfully. 

Matt. xvii. V. 19-20. Why could 

not we cafl him out ? — hecanfe of your unbelief 
(a fimilar pafTage fays : he did not many won. 
ders at Nazareth —becaufe of their unbelief). — 
C7;/^^//(?/' therefore, nothing but unbelief pre- 
vents Jefus Chrift from evincing his power 
on us. 

Matt. xvii. v. 27. Lejl we fhould offend them, 

go thou to the fea, and cafl an hook, and take up 

the fijli that firfl comet h up : and when thou hafl 

opned his mouth, thou fJialt find apiece of money, 

M 3 that 

i66 Journal of a 

that take, and give unto them for me and thee. 
How inftru6live : Lejl we Jliould offend them. 
— Jefus the Son of God would not have 
been bound to pay the temple-duty — but he 
will give no offence — rather forego his pre- 
rogative, than give offence — I feel how noble 
this was — Let me imitate thee, my befl and 
dearefl Mafter ! — Jefus Chrifl is fo poor, that 
he and his difciples do not poffefs fo much 
as two fhillings [g] : Though he was richy yet 
for our Jakes he became jioor^ that we through 
his poverty might become rich; 2 Cor. viii» 
V. 9. How much matter for meditation ! — 
Here I ought to refleft on, and to apply to 
myfelf, another word of our Lord : The dij 
ciple is not above his mafier^nor the Jervant above 
his lord. It is enough for the dijciple that he be 

\£) Stater, Shekel of the famf^uary, about 2S. 6d. 



as his mafleTy and the fervant as his lord (Matt. 
X. V. 25). — Go thou to thefea, and caftan hooky 
and take up the fijh thatfirft comet h up, and when 
thou haft opened his mouth, thou flialt find a 
STATER. — How occularly this demonftrates 
the omnifcience of God ! — Jefus Chrift of 
courfe fees every piece of money I poflefs ; 
that I fhould give away, and yet keep back. 

let me ponder this when the poor cometh, 
and begs a charity. 

This day has been fpent well ; I had an 
opportunity of performing feveral important 
charitable anions. — O God ! let them have 
an ever falutary effeft on the hearts of thofe 

1 have relieved ! Now I am very tired, and 
it is late ; I cannot infert in my journal at 
large, what has happened to-day ; and, be- 
fides, our Saviour fays : let not thy left hand 

M4 knoxv 


know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. vi. v. 3.) 
I am not certain that this journal will never 
be feen by others, though I may be ever fo 
precautious. ■ ■ And what I have done 
to-day, nobody living fhall know, but thou, 
my God and Saviour, until that day when 
every thing that is concealed fliall be made 
known, and publicly rewarded by Thee. 

JANUARY the Sixteenth. 

I CONSIDERED laft night what might 
be the reafon that ten or, perhaps, twenty 
years ago, I had made greater progrefs in 
Chriflianity, than at prefent, though blefled 
by the fame, and additional, and more ef- 
ficacious means of grace — and with the 
fame fmcere defire to become entirely good 



and virtuous which then animated me. I 
traced the true reafons of that lamentable 
ftand with impartial rigour, and filent atten- 
tion, and found, at laft, clearly, that it pro- 
ceeded from the following caufe — I had cul- 
tivated with the greateft diligence the ac- 
quaintance of men of the beft charadler, 
and the worthiefl: divines. 1 was fo fortu- 
nate to get acquainted with the mod cele- 
brated members of that order. A more in- 
timate connexion with them convinced me 
that they, at the bottom, were equally fen- 
fual, and, at leail, as much as myfelf, at- 
tached to diverfions, I mean thofe which 
are held more genteel ; they ft rove, like the 
generality, although in a different manner, 
in their own way, to pleafe the world, and 
to be looked upon by every body as good 
and worthy people. — This gave me, by de- 
grees, a good opinion of myfelf, although it 



flruck me at firft. Thefe great men, ef- 
teemed by every body as patterns of virtue, 
were, in good and ferious companies, good 
and ferious, much like myfelf — In the com- 
pany of wits and lively people they endea- 
voured to difplay their wit and fprightlinefs 
— they grew merry, and, as I fancied, be- 
traved now and then childifh vanity, when 
leligionhappenedtobe the fubje8: of the con- 
verfation — then I heard, indeed, fome af- 
fedled common place remarks, in the fafh- 
ionable language of the book which they 
feemed to have read lait, and repeated 
without feeling. 

This manner, this tone, was called good 
breeding: it was not c^Wed conforming to t/iis 
world, but io pleafe all men in all things^ not 
to ferve God and Mammon, but to rejoice with 
them that do rejoice. 

When I came home, and refleSled upon 



myfelf, I rejoiced fecretly that I, at leaft, 
had not played, danced, or uttered wanton 
words^ — and that thefe great and refpefled 
men were fo fond of me. 

However, what good had I done, heard, 
or fpoken ? Moft certainly, little or nothing 
at all ; to confefs the truth, I was as regard- 
lefs, vain, and worldly minded as I had 
been before ; yet I was not worfe than other 
people, and perhaps better, becaufe I was 
no clergyman, and frequently had been mil 
led by the prejudice that a clergyman ought, 
by virtue of his office, to be a little more 
pious than myfelf, being a lay-man. This 
idea made me, by degrees, more indifferent 
to Chriftian piety, and more tardy in doing 
good, and averfe from every virtue which 
feemed to require more than common exer* 
tion and watchfulnefs. 



Every thing contributed to tempt me to 
improve only fo much in virtue, as would be 
requifite to render me happy in this world ; 
and to gain the good opinion of people of 
all claffes -, in particular of thofe who were 
renowned for wifdom and honefly. I read 
the neweft moral publications, difplayed in 
companies fine and well worded fentiments, 
and negle6led on the other fide almoft en- 
tirely, thofe better means of attaining true 
piety, prayers and the reading of the Bible. 
I prayed, indeed, now and then, but with- 
,out a lively fenfc, without a heart-elevating 
convi6lion of the necellity and the powerful 
effefls of prayers ; I read in the Bible, 
but frequently, only to be able to fay, that 
I had read it; I alfo cannot conceal from 
myfelf, that the fimplicity of the Bible which 
now appears to me to be the moft unequivo- 


cal ilandard of truth, frequently offended 
my tafte, and that I paffed lightly over cer- 
tain paffages w^hich now appear to me very 
important and material, only becaufe thofe 
clergymen I was fpeaking of, never cited 
them, and I fancied to obferve that they 
ufed to pafs them over with a fingular 
anxiety, arifing, God knows, from what 
fource — I mean thofe paffages which con- 
tain the principal doftrines of Chriftianity, 
as for example : thofe which treat on rege- 
neration, on the god-head of Chrift ; on the 
real, not only moral redemption from fin 
through Jefus Chrift, as far as it is imme- 
diately connefted with his obedience unto 
death, and his voluntary facrifice ; on jufti- 
fication through faith 5 on the immediate 
affiftance of the Holy Ghoft in true fan£lifi- 
cation ; on the entire denial of the world 5 
on the duty of doing every thing, though 



ever fo indifFerent, in the name and as a dif- 
ciple of Jefus Chrift, &c. &c. 

In the light in which I, mifguided by 
thefe gentlemen, had ufed myfelf to view 
the Bible, I could fee neither the excellence 
nor the divine origin of it \ on the con- 
trary, all other books had a greater efFe£l 
upon my heart, becaufe I read moft of them 
with more attention. I even did not think 
that there were pafTages in that book which 
I did not underfland, nor that I fhould find 
in it fome new and great truth — that every 
thing which was faid in it to men in general 
was alfo of great concern to me. — A dread- 
ful prejudice (O ! God^ how much gratitude 
do I owe thee, that thou hafl opened my 
eyes) had by degrees, ftolen upon my under- 
ftanding, and at the fame time taken full 
polTeffion of my heart — viz. that the precepts 
and proraifes of the Gofpel did concern, 



and in fome refpe^: exclufively, only the 
firft Chriftians (k). This I had heard faid by 
thefe intelligent divines, fo frequently, and 
on fo many occafions, fometimes without 
difguife, and fometimes indire611y, that my 
former fimple belief in the immediate autho- 
rity and infallibility of the Bible dwindled 
away imperceptibly, and that, at length, I 
could not but obferve that my pretended 
Chriftianity was at bottom nothing but a 

[h] This matter is here not diftindly enough exprefled, 
and in general has not yet been placed in its proper 
light. The opinion which the author here combats, is, 
perhaps, not fo dreaiful as he fancies, if ftated properly 
and with the requifite reftridions. Every difcourfc or 
book, no matter whether divine or human, is always re- 
gulated after the individual relation exifting between its 
author and thofe to whom it is addreffed ; and futmre 
readers, or foreign auditors, ought to apply them tQ 
themfelvcs, only as far as they are in the fame, or fimilar 
fituations and relations, 




very refined deifm, in fpite of my endea- 
vours to conceal it from myfelf, and the fre- 
quent invectives v^hich, in our company, 
were uttered againft unbelief and deifm. — 
My friends alfo fpoiled my heart not a little, 
by their too frequent flatteries. They 
fpoke much of the few good qualities they 
fancied I had, and valued them by far too 
high. They were too indulgent to my 
faults, and always pleaded my good heart 
as an excufe ; they thought it impoffible 
that I could ever be guilty of malice. My 
honefly feemed now and then to draw from 
them a fmile fo fweet and fo pleafing, that 
I difplayed frequently a fenfe of probity 
which was not even on the furface of my 
heart: — ^They diverted me as foon as I 
fliewed figns of uneafmefs. My fecurity, 
which really frequently was nothing but the 
moll thoughtlefs carelefsnefs, they miftook 



for contentment ; my giddinefs appeared to 
them cheerfulnefs, my — indeed frequently 
fecret — malicious — criticifm on others, par- 
ticularly on thofe who were not very high in 
their favour, and whofe opinions in philofo- 
phical and theological matters were different 
from theirs, they called wit. — Alas ! if they 
had called thefe things by their proper 
names, I ihould never have funk fo low. 

JANUARY the Seventeenth. 

THUS far I wrote after I v/as rifen. Ob- 
fervations of that nature I am wont to evade 
under various pretexts, God be praifed, that 
I have wrote them down at length. 

I was very bufy all the day ; I had two 
V©L. I. N vifits. 


vifits, one from Mr. M and one from 

Mr. S which left not many good im- 

preffions behind.— -Why can I not always, 
turn the converfation on ufeful fubje6ls ? 
Why do I fuffer myfelf to be fo eafily 
guided by other people ? O ! God 1 how 
foon do I lofe fight of my duty and defti- 
nation ! 

In the evening I read in Rabener's Sa- 
tyres. — I know no fatyric equal to him in 
point of morality 5 one fees, in fpite of his 
fportive fancy, that he always has laudable 
views. How much fuperior does he appear 
to me in this refpeft to Swift ; yet I cannot 
but confefs — That the reading of this book 
did me not much good to-day — I hardly 
could lay it down , I began to laugh, and 
every ferious idea vaniflied. There was 
time enough left for reading in the Bible for 
half an hour, or for praying; however, my 



heart was averfe from it. I had not the 
lead defire to do it. I fmoked a pipe, and 
read the newfpaper. 

Mr. * * * * invited us to dine with him 
to-morrow -, I am, indeed, not quite eafy at 
it; however, methinks, I want to conceal 
this uneafinefs from myfelf, and to pafs it 
lightly over ; this is no good fign, my heart ! 
why wilt thou not, with refignation, exa- 
mine whether it be right or not to idle away 
the beft part of the enfuing day ? Why do I 
feel fuch a ftrong averfion to prepare myfelf 
for fuch a day, and fuch a company ? To 
refle£l upon, and to imprint deeply on my 
mind, the principles which can be applied 
to all poflible (ituations in which man ever 
can come. Thofe principles which I fhall 
(land fo much in need of to-morrow ? — Can 
I conceal from myfelf, that the nice dinner 
to which I am invited, already charms my 
N 2 dainty 


dainty palate, and that fuch a turbulent 
noify day has never been advantageous to 
me, but always has had a bad efFeft on my 
heart and confcience ? - - ^ - - - . 

JANUARY the Eighteenth. 

I COULD have knov^n before hand that 
yefterday would caufe me a great deal of 
uneafinefs; thank God that I am at liberty 
to dedicate this morning to meditations. 

I fpent almoft the whole morning with 
drawing four defigns. — If I were to write 
down the ideas and fenfations which 
crowded upon me during this occupation, 
a whole day fcarcely would be fufficient. 

Sometimes I hardly dared to lift up my 

eyes ; 


eyes ; the idea of the death-bed of my friend 
was infupportable to me ; the total want of 
pious fentiments, and of virtue, as well as 
the ruling thoughtlefsnefs of yefterday, 
grieved me fo much, that I rofe feveral 
times, putting paper and pencil afide, and, 
angry with myfelf, ran up and down the 
room, groaned, wept, and trembled at my 
invincible giddinefs and inconftancy. I muft, 
however, finifli my drawings, thought I; 
feating myfelf again, and fixing my medita- 
tions principally upon the whole courfe of 
this prefent day, and on my gradual pro- 
grefs in thoughtlefsnefs. 

Firft of all, I had prepared myfelf neither 
In the morning nor in the evening, in fpite 
of all the admonitions of my heart; I had 
not taken particular meafures which was ab- 
folutely neceffary, according to many fad 
experiences, if I would remain mafter of 
N 3 myfelf. 


myfelf, wife and virtuous. I had a very 
diftin£l prefenfion that the other day would 
not be fpent well. I prayed, in the morn- 
ing, without devotion — I was thoughtlefs — 
my confcience was not quite filent ; I rea- 
foned, however, againft its fecret admoni- 
tions, whifpering foftly in its ear, " There 
" certainly will be no harm in going to dine 
" with a friend. Jefus Chrift, himfelf, 
" went to the wedding at Cana. If it be 
" no lin to go out to dinner, then, certainly, 
" it will be right to drefs myfelf properly j 
" and to have my hair put in order alfo, 
" will be no fin ! To confult the looking- 
" glafs whether one is drefled cleanly and 
" properly can, at moil, be childifh — but it 
" can certainly not be finful." I went s one 
hour, or one hour and an half were fpent 
in gazing, gaping, and chattering. " It 
" would, however, have been impoffible to 

" fay 


*' fay fomething ufeful ; it would have been 
" the moft ridiculous and unfupportable af- 
'^ fe6tation if I had attempted to force fome 
** moral or chriftian converfation upon the 
" company! Our difcourfe was, at leafl, 
" not fmful." 

We fat down to table — began to chatter 

and to laugh : I joined in laughing, and the 

curfed itch of amufing, and intereiling a 

whole company by my talk, raifed my fpi- 

rits j I contributed my fhare of anecdotes — 

and then went on by degrees, till not the 

leafl fpark of ferioufnefs was left in my foul. 

Every moment which was unoccupied by 

narrations, every paufe between anecdote 

and anecdote, rendered me uneafy. This 

was quite fufficient for me not to decline 

an airing in fledges, " That exercife'* — 

thought I — " is innocent and wholefome ; 

" it will pleafe the ladies j how odd would 

N 4 « it' 


" it be if 1 were to afFe6t a pious mein, and 
^^ retire from the company. How abfurd 
" would it be to bring religious fubje£ls on 
" the carpet in a fledge, which advances fo 
*' rapidly that one mufl take care not to be 
" thrown off one's guard, and where one 
" intends to enjoy an innocent pleafure!'* 

This argument feems, in the moment of 
amufement, and in the fituation itfelf, to be 
pretty juft. — However, the fum of all thefe 
ideas and arguments is, neverthelefs, the 
lofs of a day (not to mention a word of the 
confequences of bad example, which may be 
much more dreadful, than we perhaps ever 
imagine) the lofs of a day — ^what an irrepar- 
able lofs ! — Who gives me the liberty and 
the right to throw away a day, which is the 
property of my God ? A whole day not to 
liye as my Lord and Mafter wants me to 
live ! To conform to the world a fingle day. 



To negle£l one day to fow feeds for the har- 
veft of eternity ! — What a dreadful delufion ! 
1 God ! how much good could I have 
done yefterday ; how much good which now 
has not been and never will be done ! — Al- 
though whatever I have done ihould have 
been innocent, and whatever I have omitted 
Ihould have been omitted innocently, after 
the opinion of all moraliits, yet I cannot but 
refleft with inward grief, that this day could 
have been fpent in a manner more ufeful to 
myfelf and others in all eternity, — A mer- 
chant who could have gained a thoufand dol- 
lars in one day, and has gained only three or 
four, will fcarcely perfuade himfelf that he 
has had a good day, although fome other 
perfon who is^ ufed to gain little or nothing 
in many days, would think that trifling 
fum large enough. 

Yet many people might, perhaps^ think 



that it would be too anxious, to weigh our 
days in that manner — however, he who 
know^s how much good we can do in one 
day, will certainly think one day which he 
has idled away, a very lamentable lofs. Be- 
iides the idea of the death-bed of my friend 
forces itfelf conftantly on my imagination, 
though ever fo much againft my inclination. 
How ill fpent would I think fuch a day to 
be with every other perfon, and how much 
fhould I pity fuch a perfon if I were to view 
it by the fide of a dying man ! 

*' Live, as thou at the gates of eternity 
*' fhalt wifli to have lived" — can I repeat this 
too frequently — Whatever prevents me from 
reflecting with tranquillity and pleafure on 
my laft moment fhall be fufpe6ted by my 
heart, although the whole world ihould de- 
clare it innocent ; — or, which is the fame, 
whatever I do not perform in the name, as 

a difci- 


a difciple and follower of Jefus Chrift, what 
Jefus Chrift in my place, and in my fituation 
would not have done, and what I would 
not do if he were vifibly {landing before 
me ! 

I prayed, not without repentance and de- 
votion, for the forgivenefs of my fins, particu- 
larly thofe of the other day. O ! God ! pre- 
vent, through Jefus Chrift, all bad confe- 
quences of my thoughtleffnefs and inatten- 
tion. Thou canft and wilt do it — O what 
an ineftimable comfort is this — how little 
do we value it ? - - - ' - 

I went to bed at half an hour after eleven, 
and prayed for conftancy in my good refolu- 
tions ; I heard the watchman cry twelve 
o'clock, and then fell afleep. 



JANUARY the Nineteenth. 

ALTHOUGH I had fat up laft night 
later than ufual, yet I awoke before fix 
o'clock, with an uncommon tranquillity and 
ferenity ; I fighed, and thanked God for it- 
As foon as my wife awoke I told her how 
ferene I was ; however, I would not boafl 
of that fenfation, becaufe it was perhaps not 
fo deeply rooted in my heart, as it appeared; 
I told her, it was no merit to be eafy at 
heart when there feemed to be no occafion 
for uneafmefs. But to remain tranquil when 
people do whatever they can to difturb our 
peace of mind ; then not to lofe one's equa- 
nimity — is the efFe£t of fuperior wifdom and 
a firmer virtue. Our converfation became 
more and more ferious j I faid (thank God, 



with conviftion, and not without fhame and 
forrow), " I become every day more fenli- 
" ble, that I am not yet a true difciple of 
" Jefus Chrift; I fhould be horribly mif- 
" taken, if, in fpite of all the good qualities 
" I may have attained, which I am not in- 
" clined to deny out of a falfe humility, I 
^* were to fancy to poffefs only in a tolerable 
'* degree, that faith and love which the 
" €^ofpel fo clearly requires." 

My wife fancied that I carried matters 
rather too far ; that I made myfelf uneafy 
without need — " You have," ihe faid, '^ vir- 
*' tue and your eternal happinefs more at 
" heart, than a thoufand other people ; you 
" do every day fo much good, and I am 
" convinced you do it with the greateft fin- 
" cerity of heart — why fliould you be difla- 
" tisfied with yourfelf ? Who could hope to 

'' be 


*^ be faved, if one muft be better, and do 
" more good than you." 

I can fay that I heard this fpeech of my 
wife, not only with indifference, but alfo 
with pungent fhame, and almoft with tears; 
though it came from the lips of my ten- 
dered friend, and the ocular witnefs of my 

" Alas !" faid I, " we deceive ourfelves in 
" a moft fliocking manner, if we compare 
" ourfelves to other people, and not to our 
'^ great and fole prototype. Do you think, 
" my deareft love, God will judge us after 
*' the example of thofe who are worfe than 
" ourfelves, or after the law of liberty ? Do 
" you think it poffible, according to the na- 
" ture of things, to fhare the happinefs of 
" Chrifl, if the mind is not in us which was 
** alfo in Jefus Chrift? Is not the pureft love 

« of 


•* of God and man, the natural and Imme- 
" diate fource of the happinefs of a mortal 
" being ? Although God be ever fo power- 
" ful and merciful, yet he cannot take us 
" into his communion without that love 5 and 
^^ without the commu;iion with him, we 
" ihall b^ as little capable of tri^e happinefs, 
" adequate to our rational, moral, and fpi- 
" ritual nature, as an idiot,-of an unlettered 
" man is^fceptible of the pure pleafures 
" of wifdom and meditation ; our foul can, 
" without an intimate and immediate com- 
" munion with God, be as little happy, as 
" our body can live without air. 

" Love God above all things, and thy 
" neighbour like thyfelf. — O my God 1 how 
" far diftant am I Hill from that mark ! No 
" general love, including all human-kind ! 
" No love, as St. Paul defcribes it, i Cor.xiii, 
" is in my heart — No love of God — Alas ! 

" my 


" my dear ! and my heart is ftill enflaved by 
" fo much thoughtleffnefs, heavinefs, weak' 
" nefs, world! inefs, vanity, ambition, and 
" irafcibility. — I never can be fure ; to be, 
" only one day, I will not fay, perfe6lly vir- 
*^ tuous, but only free of all voluntarily^ 
" excited, or foftered emotions of thefe 
'' vices!'* 

I rofe not before eight o'clock, and read 
the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of 
St. Matthew. My fentiment for this day 
fhall be : " Ferily I fay unto you, except ye be 
" converted, and become as little children, ye 
'' /Iiall not enter into the kingdom of heaven : 
" Whoever fJiall therefore humble hiwfelf as this 
" little child J the fame is greatefi in the kingdom 
** of heaven r 

I find this fentence more grand, than it 
can be expreifed by words. O, my good 
God ! let my whole deportment, and my mofl 



fecret fenfations, be a living interpretation 
of thefe words !- - - ----- 

This was one of the beft days of this year. 
To-day — thanks to thee, O merciful God ! 
—I have lived — all in all — true to all my 
principles, as much as poffible ! 

JANUARY the Twentieth. 

I ROSE at fix o'clock. It was cold; and 
I was not quite well, and tempted to lay 
myfelf down again ; however, i wrapt my- 
felf in my pelife, lighted the fire, which em- 
ployed and amufed me half an hour, but 
gave me head-ache and tooth-ache — I was 
angry with myfelf — yet I read the twentieth 

Vol. L O and 


and twenty-firft chapters of St. Matthew. 
The fentiment I chofe for the prefent day 
W'^s : All things whatjoever ye Jhall-ajk in prayer^ 
believing^ yejhall receive, 

I reflected ferioufly upon thefe words, 
having little elfe to do, and felt an uncom- 
mon tranquillity and ferenity in my foul at 
it. — One limilar pafTage after the other oc- 
curred to my recolle6tion. — I was aflonifhed 
that fuch a number of plain paiFages, treat- 
ing on the efficacy of devout prayers, which 
I had fo frequently heard and read, fliould 
now, for the firfl time, ftrike me fo power- 
fully j I rejoiced however as much at it, as if 
I had found a great treafure. — Yet I was 
very fenfible that I was ftill deilitute of faith, 
and a lively attachment to the divine truth 
— I fighed therefore, that that faith which is 
acceptable to God, might be encreafed and 
animated within me. 



In the afternoon Mr. M cam^ to fee 

me. My whole heart was replete with the 
new truth which I fancied to have found 
out. I converfed with him upon it ^ he lift- 
ened attentively to me with a fmiling mien, 
and at laft faid: " It is very remarkable, that 
" you introduce this fubje6t to my attention; 
" I affure you, that in fpite of what one is 
" ufed to obferve, in order to reftrain thefe 
" divine promifes, I am fully convinced that 
" we wrong the Gofpel very much, if we 
'^ deny that the great reward, which has 
*^ been promifed to faith and prayers, does 
'* not extend to our times. However, I can- 
" not but confefs, that to this hour I have 
" kept this convi6lion to myfelf, apprehend- 
" ing to expofe myfelf to idle litigations of 
" words and ridicule ; but now I will thank 
** God, that he has granted you the fame 
"^ perfuafion." 

O 1 He 

J96 Journal of a 

. He then related to me, with an amiable 
fimplicity, modeily, and warmth, feveral ex- 
tremely remarkable incidents of very ftriking 
and aimoft wonderful grants of. prayers, 
which he himfelf had experienced in very 
im.portant concerns, and of which he as yet 
had fpoken to no one. He begged me to 
divulge to no one, even not to my wife, what 
he had told me ; I promifed it : the tears 
flarted feveral times from my eyes^ I thanked 
God, with great emotion of heart, for this 
confirmation in my faith, for which I had 
prayed to-day. O God ! how good, how 
unfpeakably more merciful art thou than 
men will believe thee to be, notwithftanding 
all thy pofitive promifes ! They difpute thy 
goodnefs, inftead of fimply trying to expe- 
rience it, according to the inftruftion of thy 

O I give me the fpirit of fimple filial faith, 



and I {hall certainly experience, that, although 
heaven and earth ihould pafs away, yet the 
words of Jefus Chrift never will. 

Thefe refle6lions employed me the whole 
(]ay — and yet — I did not pray half an hour 
without interruption.— O ! how giddy is my 
heart 1 how much does it a6l in contradi£lion 
with itfelf 1 when (hall it be wholly conform- 
able to its feelings. 

JANUARY the Twenty-firft and Second. 

THESE two days I had the tooth-ache, 
though not very violent, and a fwelled face. 
1 could neither read nor write much ; and 
now I am not at leifure to write down feve- 
ral fituations of my mind which I have ob- 

O 3 My 


My wife read to me Jerufalem's Sermons 
on the Bleflmgs of Heaven. — My mind was 
very tranquil and ferene. — Thefe two nights 
I had the fourth and fifth canto of the Meffiah 
read to me. What a paftime for the mind, 
and the heart ! — What an excellent perform- 
ance it would be, if a poet would paint with 
majefty and fimplicity, and without ^5/o;/, 
the life, and all the deeds of Chrift ^ in ihort, 
the whole hiftory of the Gofpel ! w . . 

JANUARY the Twenty-third. 

I DID not rife before half an hour after 
feven, prayed without attention, and felt 
x\)me uneafmefs in my mindj however, 

I became 


I became more eafy, as foon as I began to 
read in the Gofpel,— I read three chapters 
of St. Matthew, and chofe, as a fentiment for 
this day, the words: Thou Jhalt love thy neigh- 
bour as thyfelf!- 1 drank chocolate, 

wrote a letter to O — , and another to N — . 
To the latter I remitted a book, which he 
had lent me long ago. I recolle£led the re- 
quell of my deceafed friend ; elfe I fhould 
have felt fome relu6lance to return the book j 
God knows, not out of diflionefty or felfifh- 
nefs, but partly from lazinefs and commodi- 
oufnefs, and partly becaufe 1 was rather 
afhamed of having kept the book fo long ; I 
would willingly have given him one into the 
bargain, if that would have fpared me the 
fhame of my negligence. ------ 

My fervant afked me after dinner, whe- 
ther ihe lliould fweep my room. " Yes, 
O 4 " but 


*' but you muft not touch my books, nor 
^' my papers." This I fpoke not with the 
gentle, mild accent of a good heart 1 No ! a 
fecret uneafinefs and fear, that it would give 
me fome vexation, feemed to have taken 
place in my heart. After fhe had been gone 
fome time, I faid to my wife, " I am afraid 
" fhe will caufe fome confufion up ftairs/' 
My wife ftole away a few moments after, 
with the beft intention, in order to prevent 
any vexation of that fort, and commanded 
the fervant to be careful. — " Is my room not 
^^ fwept yet?" I exclaimed at the bottom of 
the flairs. However, inflead of waiting pa* 
tiently for an anfwer, I ran up flairs, and on 
my entering the room, the fervant overturned 
an ink-fland, which was flanding on the 
fhelf. She was very much terrified s and I 
called to her in very harfh terms ; " What 
^' a flupid heaji you are ! Have I not pofi- 

** tively 


** tively told you to be careful ?" — My wife 
followed me up flairs, flow and fearful. — 
Inftead of being afliamed, my anger broke 
out anew; I took no notice of her; runnins: 
to the table, lamenting and moaning, as if 
the moll important writings had been fpoiled 
and rendered ufelefs ; although the ink had 
touched nothing but a blank iheet, and forae 
blotting paper. — The fervant watched an 
opportunity to fneak away, and my wife ap- 
proached me with timid mildnefs. " My 
" dear hufband,'* fhe faid — I flared at her 
with vexation in my looks— flie embraced 
me — I wanted to get out of her way — her 
face reiled on my cheek for a few moments 
— " you hurt your health, my dear !" flie 
faid at lafl, with unfpeakable tendernefs. — 
I now began to be afliamed. I remained 
filent, and at lafl began to weep 1 " What a 
" miferable flave to my temper I am 1 I dare 

" not 


^ not lift up my eyes ! I cannot rid myfelf 
" of the dominion of that fmful paffion !" 
" But, my dear," replied my wife, " confider 
" how many days and weeks pafs without 
" your being overcome by your anger'— 
" come along with me, we will pray toge- 
" ther." — She went with me into her clofet, 
praying fo naturally, fervently, and fo much 
to the purpofe, that I thanked God fmcerely 
for that hour and my wife, being extremely 
revived by her prayers. 

We were interrupted ^ I went to my ftudy, 
fighed a few moments, tore the flained paper 
to pieces, and threw it away. — It ftruck me, 
that the TkuII was alfo flained with ink. — It 
fhall be my remembrancer. 

Thus far I had wrote when Mr. M 

came to fee me. We converfed on different 
news and books, fmoked a pipe, and I for- 
got myfelf almofl entirely. The fervant 



brought tobaeco^ I fcarcely could look at 
her 5 the fight of her pierced my foul ; and 
yet I rejoiced fecretly that I was not alone 
when I faw her the firil time, after I had 
given vent to my pailion ; I Ihould not have 
known what carriage to aflame. Very for- 
tunately (he feemed herfelf afliamed and de- 
je6led5 as if begging my pardon ^ this drew 
a tear from my eye. 

My fpirits revived again when Ihe had left 
the room, and my friend went away at five 
o'clock. I fliould have been, glad to have 
had his company longer, becaufe I was afraid 
of being left to the reflexions on myfelf. — I 
tried to read a little ; and yet my confcience 
told me that I fliould not read now. — Soon 
after I laid the book afide, and was going to 
converfe with God, and with myfelf; how- 
ever — it would not do — I was obdured like 
a ftone. — I fat down, vexed at myfelf, and 



continued my journal thus far : and (alas ! 
why am I ftill fo ftubborn, fo inflexible, 
and tearlefs ?) I was much lefs afhamed of 
my difgraceful raihnefs, than I ought to have 
been ; however, I perceive very well, that 
I amufe myfelf as much as I can. And I 
know, neverthelefs, that I fhall repeat this 
£n, as fure as I now neglect to poftpone 
every thing, though ever fo innocent and 
ever fo good, in order to refle6t upon, and 
to feel the whole force of the abominable- 
nefs of my fault ^ if I do not endeavour, at 
prefent, with the greateft diligence, to lament 
it iincerely, and to pray to him who, through 
Jefus Chrift, can take away and repair all 
the bad confequences of our fms, to forgive 
me my tranfgreffions. O, God ! let my heart 
become fincere and artlefs ; I am more afraid 
of it than of the moil inveterate enemy, and 
the moft artful traitor. It deceives and 



blinds me never more efFeQually than after 
I have made a flip — ^Then it impels me to 
go and to do a good aftion, to perform 
fomething ufeful, to give advice, to write 
an important letter which was forgotten, to 
aflift the poor, &:c. &c. &c. for no other rea- 
fon but to divert me imperceptibly from 
myfelf, and from the refie£tion on my 

Whatever good I can do at prefent, is of 
lefs confequence than reflefting now in pri- 
vate and iilently, in the prefence of God, 
upon myfelf — and endeavouring to advife 
and to aflift myfelf in preference to others. 
I will therefore dedicate the prefent mo- 
ments to faithful and exaft reflections on 
the heinoufnefs of the fln I have com- 

God was prefent when I gave vent to my 
anger— the mofl: holy and meek Saviour has 


2d6 journal of a 

witnefTed the unbecoming and wild erup- 
tion of my paffion ; Jefus Chrift to whom I 
have vowed, hundred and thoufand times, to 
be more upon my guard againft that paffion 
— Jefus Chrift who has already forgiven me . 
many premeditated fms, which were a thou- 
fand times more glaring — Jefus, w^ho amid 
the moft painful fufferings that could be in- 
fli£led upon him, exclaimed: Father forgive 
them I he has witneffed my uncharitable and 
ihameful paflion and bitternefs. He faw 
me, although I did not fee hhn \ he has heard 
my words ; the whole diforder of my abomi- 
nable incenfed heart was laid open before 
his flaming eyes. The holy angels too, who 
are conftantly reforting to this earth, and 
return joyfully to heaven, when they behold 
the fincere repentance of a finner upon earth 
— they too have been prefent — Alas ! you 
could not but turn your face from me, ye 



friends to virtue, ye heroes in meeknefs and 
love — and if now you fliould return to my 
happy friend with forrowful looks, and if he 
fhould enquire the reafon of it — O ! how am 
I covered with fliame ! — O ! turn your faces 
again to a finner, who begins to weep, that 
he has fmned in the fight of God and heaven! 

And thou, Satan, didft rejoice when thou 
faweft me in a paflion — Horrible idea ! to 
have made heaven weep, and hell rejoice 1 — 
I have not a6led as a future citizen of hea- 
ven — not as a difciple of Jefus Chrift, but 
as a child of hell, as a follower of Satan! 

My foul too I have difordered and ruffled! 
immortal like herfelf is the imprelTion, the 
venemous impreffion which fin has made 
upon me, if Jefus Chrifl blots it not out 
again, through the power of his omnipotent 



Every repetition of a fin ; every repeated 
eruption of a paflion, improves the hei- 
nous habitude — of finning without compunc- 

And if I fhould happen to die, or to be 
furprifed by death, in fuch a fituation of 
mind, O ! my God, make me very fenfible 
of the infuiferable horror of that idea — let 
me fenfibly feel the fhame and terror at my» 
felf, which would feize me, if I (hould be 
fummoned before thy moft holy tribunal; 
and view, in the bright light of thy prefence, 
the horrors of my own heart. — And the im- 
preilion which my anger may have made on 
the heart of my fervant (not to mention the 
fecret grief which it has caufed to my tender 
wife) — how fatal can it be ! which is fo 
much the more to be feared, as it has been 
produced by a man, of whofe probity and 



virtue (he has no mean idea ! How much 
eafier will fhe now fuffer herfelf to be ruled 
by fimilar paffions ! 

What renders this accident ftill more vex- 
atious to me, is the idea: how good, how ex- 
cellent my behaviour would have been, if I had 
remained cool and moderate! — if I had been 
prepared for an accident of that kind, and 
confidered how eafily one can commit fuch 
a flip ! if I had aiked myfelf, how would thy 
Lord and Majler have behaved in fuch a cafe f 
or how wouldfl thou aEl if his prefence were vifu=. 
hie to thee f if I had awaited the eafy anfwer 
to that queftion, and really direSled my 
thoughts to this my Lord and Mafter — " O 
" Lord ! imprint the image of thy meeknefs 
" .deeply upon my foul 1 Let thy fpirit be 
" a£i:ive in my heart ! bellow upon me the 
" moft precious of all gifts in heaven and 
" upon earth — thy mind I" If in that fitua* 

Vol. L P tion 


tlon of mind I had ftept in my room, aiid 
taken care not to do it while I perceived 
the leaft uneafinefs, or inclination to anger, 
in the remotefl receffes of my heart — if then 
I had faid to my fervant, in a mild accent, 
*' It feems you have had a little accident ! 
" Well ! well 1 I do not think it will be of 
" confequence, and if you fhould have da- 
**■ maged my papers, I will not fcold you, 
*' Kitty j I know you did not do it defign- 
'^ edly, and you will be more careful in fu- 
" ture." O God ! how eafy fhould I be now ! 
how many vexations could I have avoided ! 
wiih how much pleafure would the holy 
angels — would Jefus Chrift have looked upon 
me 1 how much fhould I have been improved 
by a fingle victory of that kind ! what a 
ftrength fhould I have acquired againll any 
future trial 1 and what an example could I 
have fet ! 



Thefe reflexions make the deepeft and 
moft efficacious impreffion upon my heart, 
and overwhelm me with forrow and grief— 

God, in whom I live and move, and have 
my being, keep this idea alive in my foul — 
arm my heart with thefe fenfations againft all 
attacks of temptations, and of my paffions. 

1 deferve the additional humiliation fo vex- 
atious to my vanity — to make a drawing of 
"that fatal fcene, to put it up as an ever 
prefent monitor. 

JANUARY the Twenty-fourth. 

I AWOKE at fix o'clock, my mind being 
ftill occupied with the idea of the fault I 
had committed yefterday ; and toifed myfelf 

P 2 to 


to ^nd fro in my bed, tormented by uneafi- 
tiefs, fhame, anxiety, and fear of myfelf. I 
began to weep gently, and a loud groan 
dole from my breafl ; at length I began to 
"pray, and became eafier and more ferene. 
My wife comforted me, praying with me 
the hymn : 

** O Lord how boundlefs is thy mercy !"&c. &c. &c. 

I almoft melted in tears when we came to 

the words : .- 

•oltn-v ' • 

<* O Saviour that I equalled thee in mceknefs ! 

" But I confefs my guilty weaknefs, 

" Confefs that wild unbridled paffion, 

" Stains but too frequently my mind ; 

" Makes me to every chriftian virtue, blind." 

I took the refolution to remain the whole 
morning in private, and to refleft, as much 
as poffible, upon myfelf. Having drank tea, 
I walked up and down the room, and recalled 
to my mind the image of my crucified Saviour, 


.5ELF-0BSERVBR, 21^ 

when he exclaimed : " Father ! forgive them\ 
" for they know not what they do^ 

I fat myfelf down, and began to draw a 
defign of that fituation, as^well a^ I could. 

Good God! what fenfations thrilled my 
foul, while . I was doing it I— Unutterable 
pains, the moft provoking infults, and a ma- 
lice never equalled, could not difturb thy 
equanirnity, thou eternal love in human 
Ihape ! did not animate thee with refent- 
ment ! No ! Vv^ith pity 1 I take hold of thy 
crofs, and adore thee — Give me thy fpirit, 
and I fliall become thy difciple ! (/). 

(/) The Editor has been obliged to leave out the fccond 
part of the obfcrvations of this day. 


214 Journal of a 

JANUARY the Twenty-fifth. 

HAVING not much to do to-day, I will 
make fome obfervations which may ferve to 
improve my virtue, and to produce pious fen- 
timents in my heart. 

I read the twenty-fifth chapter of St. Mat- 
thew with filent attention, much emotion, 
and fincere edification. 

I cannot comprehend entirely the parable 
of the ten virgins ; at moft, the chief pur- 
port of it. — What may it mean : all of them 
have been ajleep ^ the wife virgins too — Go ye 
rather to them that fell^^This too I do not 
comprehend. I know very well that one 
ought not to lay a particular ftrefs on every 
individual part of a parable ; however, the 
wifdom of our heavenly inflruftor intitles me 
to expe£t that every head part of the para- 


ble muft relate to fomething. Should, per- 
haps, this parable be a kind of prophecy, 
the meaning of which will be cleared up 
either during the completion of it, or after- 
wards? {k). 

Watch^ therefore^ for ye know neither the day^ 
nor the hour, wherein the f on of man comet h. O 
God ! grant that I always may be ready to 
appear before thee — Stop, O my foul ! and 
refleft upon the important words: before thee 
— before thee, my Father — my Creator— my 

[k) If we look upon this parable as a prophecy of the 
fiegc and fall of Jerufalcm, and the different behaviour of 
the Chriftians and Jews, the former of whom properly 
may be called *wi/e, in oppofition to the latter, the doubts 
of the Author can eafily be cleared up. Both parties flept ; 
or (which is the fame) had no idea that the Romans 
would be able to take a town fo ftrongly fortified, and 
garrifoned with an immenfe number of defenders, far fu- 
perior to that of the befiegers; till they were roufed from 
their fecurity by the encreafing danger. 


P 4 >4^, 


Judge, and — my Redeemer y who only has immor- 
tality , dwelling in the light which no man can 
approach unto ; whom no man hasfeen^ nor can 


* i^ ^ ^ 

Well done, thou good and faithful fervant ; 
thou haji been faithful over a few things , I will 
make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into 
the joy of thy Lord! — How important ! how 
unfpeakably comforting ! to be pronounced 
by Gody good and faithful ! by him whofe 
judgment alone is ]\i^— faithful over a few 
things — procures dominion over, and pojejion of 
many things, — Chrlfl will make the faithful 
ruler over many things ! will, confequently, 
pronounce him worthy, and capable of taking 
care of a great part of the concerns of his 
kingdom in the next world — he fhall parti- 
cipate of the joy of his Mafter. 

Thou wicked and flothful fervant ! thou 



htowejl that I reaped where I /owed not^ and 
gather where I have not.Jirewed ! — How many 
men defame the goodnefs of God, and yet 
are not afraid to bid defiance to a God, and 
wilfully to tranfgrefs the laws of a God, 
whom they think to be too hard and rigour- 
ous 1 

Unto every cue that has JJiall he given^ and he 
Jhall have abtmdance-, but from him that has not. 
Jhall he taken azvay^ even that which he has. ^ 

The truth of this fentence is implied in 
the nature of the fubje6l. We pofTefs fome- 
thing only if we make a proper ufe of it ; if 
I make no ufe of the fmall light which God 
has given me, it foon will extinguiih en- 
tirely. Non-tife is certain lofs. 

yfc "^ '^ -^ "^ 

JVhen the f on of man JJiall come in his glory, 
and all the holy angels with him^ then he fJi^all lit 



Upon the throne of his glory, and before him Jhall 
he gathered all nations : and he Jhall feparate 
them one from another, as ajhepherd divideth his 
Jheejifrom the goats. If future falvation would 
be defirable, and future damnation dreadful, 
for no other reafon they certainly would be 
fo on account of that feparation ! — What a 
heaven where there are none but good men ! 
what a hell where there are none but vil- 
lains I How infinitely mufl this feparation 
and aflbciation multiply the happinefs of the 
former, and the defpair of the latter 1 

Come, ye hlejfed of my Father, inherit the king- 
dom prepared for you f'om the foundation of the 
world! — What a kingdom, the glory of 
which has been founded from all eternity by 
the Infinite—and mufl encreafe, and come 
to its maturity, by divine inftitutions, which 



have been carried on through many thou- 
fand years ! 

/ was an kunp'ed, and ye gave me meat--^ 
Here I cannot reftrain the ftartins: tear - 
Jefus Chrift! I a poor reptile, can feed 
thee 1 Thee, who art the foiirce of ail nou- 
rilhment, and the fountain of life ! — O if I 
did but believe this^ always believe it! what 
a different fhape would then my charities af* 
fume ! If a king went about begging, with- 
out being known, and I had certain intel- 
ligence that I beheld a king before me, how 
would I treat him, although I fhould be de- 
firous, or obliged to conceal my knowledge 
of his being a king ! Alas ! I will confefs 
that I feldom believe, faithfully believe, what 
Jefus Chrift fays: Verily^ 1 Jay unto you^ inaf- 
muck as ye have done it unto one of the leaji of 
thefe my brethren, ye have done it unto me ! 
Verily y I fc^ unto you, inajmuch as ye did it 



not to one of the leaji of thefe, ye did it not tt> 

The ibie omiffmi of charitable deeds caufes 
the dreadful fentence : Depart from me, ye 
curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the 
4evil and his angels. Who will be able to 
BflTocIate with the aiTembly of the enemies to 
God, truth, virtue, happinefs, and the human 
-race, without being utterly miferable? O 
God ! have mercy on me 1 Even thofe who 
only have neglected being charitable, /^W/^o 
into everlafting punijlwient ; but the righteous into 
-life eternal. Righteonfnefs y that is, loving ChriJ 
in his memberSy and life everlafiingy are mate- 
rially conneEied -.----- 


(/) The EditDr muft omit the remainder of this day's 



JANUARY the Twenty-fixth. 

I READ the three firft chapters of St. 
Mark ; and chofe for the fentiment of this 
day, the words : Tkey that are whole have m 
need of the phyfidan, hut they that are fick : I 
came not h call the right eons ^ hut finners to re- 

I was occupied ail the morning ; yet I 
remained tranquil, and aimofl: conftantly fe- 
rene, fome little inward emotions excepted. 
I difpatched my dinner, perufed my rules, 
bluflied at my negligence, giddinefs, and 
inconftancy, and prayed with no fmall con- 
fidence. — I was occupied with writing fome 
letters till near four o'clock. I could intro- 
duce fome good ideas, which occurred to 
my mind, in a very natural manner ; I tlianked 



God while I was writing, and fighed to him 
to make them, by his power, efficacious in 
the hearts of my friends. — Emotions of va- 
nity were feveral times rifmg within me ; I 
repelled them with pungent fliame and fcorn- 
ful pride, and conquered them courageoufly, 
without liftening to their enchanting voice. 

I was quite alone in the evening, and felt 
fome inclination to devotion. I began to 
fing the hymns : 

*f How often does thy heart complain," &c. &c. Scz» 
'« When once tlie trials of this life," &c. &c. &c. 

My mind was very much afFe6i:ed, and my 
filent joy rofe by degrees. to a real rapture, 
— One tear of joy followed the other; I be- 
came fo unfpeakably happy, that I funk 
down upon my face, forgetting every thing 
around me, and feeling only the prefence of 
God. I w'as fenfible of my great weaknefs, 
my want of merit, my nothing — and, O God ! 



how unfpeakably did I perceive thy great- 
nefs, thou fource of life ! — God, all in all! I 
prayed with a fervour fo powerful, penetrat- 
ing, and confiding in God, with fuch a 
humility, devotion, warmth, and joyfulnefs, 
that I fancied to be tranflated to a new and 
better world. Several doctrines and paf- 
fages of the Gofpel made an inutterable 
impreffion upon me ; but I was particularly 
ftruck by the words : in him we live and movCy 
and have our being. Here, here where I am 
praying, the infinite God is prefent ! My 
Creator (O, what llrong and powerful fenfa- 
tions roufes this word: Creator^ within my 
breail !) my Creator is here — the fpirit of fpi- 
rits, who lives from eternity to eternity— 
the creator of all the numberlefs worlds — 
He who converfed with Mofes and Abra- 
ham, and Ifaiah, with St. Paul, and John, 
the Father of all — He whofe breath I am — 



my — my Creator! — O! how many thoufand 
times have 1 forgot thee (thou Father in 

concealment 1 Omniprefent 1 Invifible I - 

My prayers encompaffed all human-kind— 
all the inmates of my houfe, friends, fellow- 
citizens, enemies, all Chriflians, all the in- 
habitants of the earth were the objefts of it; 
I penetrated to the moft dhlant feas — ^into 
the deepeft mines — dungeons — I included 
the whole human race — prefent and future 
times and nations — infants in their mothers 
womb — deceafed — damned — yea — Satan 
himfelf. I prayed for all to the Infinite, who 
is prefent every where ; prayed with the moft 
affectionate love, and with the deepeft fenfe 
of my nothingnefs, fliedding a ftream of 
melting tears of love and joy — I fupplicated 

him to have mercy on all in all eternity 

*^ Thou art love — yes, thou art love — and 
" thou haft extended thy mercy to the moft 

" unworthy 


^* unworthy of all — Father of all ! Creator 
" of all ! Love — eternal love ! extend foon 
*' thy mercy to all !" This, and far more 
than I can defcribe, I felt — but then I v^as 
alfo repeatedly feized with a fecret dread, 
and an obfcure apprehenfion, that this happy 
fituation of mind would foon pafs away, and 
that I fhould relapfe again into my former 

This too forced fervent fighs to God from 
my bofom, and I befought him with tears, 
always to keep me firm in fentiments, which 
wull enable me to look joyfully back on this 
hour. I am well aware, that if I fhould 
communicate this happy fituation to any per- 
fon, the firft word, or the firft look, of him 
to whom I fhould relate it, would not be 
very propitious to me. That look would, 
perhaps, accufe me of fanaticifm , I know, 
however, that my heart and underflanding 

Vol. I. Q fUr^ 

226 j6l?RNAL OF A 

are equally far remote from fanaticifm. 
Lively fentiments of truth, or fentiments 
which the pureft and cooleft reafon would 
find conform to truth, although they fliould 
not be under our controul, cannot be fanatic 
or fufpe6led. 

It is impoffible that I ever could be too 
humble, or too joyful, when contemplating 
the infinite love of God. Chrifl entertains 
fuch fentiments towards me, he has done for 
me things fo infinitely great, that even the 
moft fervent adoration, and the moft fervent 
reciprocal love, never can be compared with 
it. — The cooleft reafon will always find dif- 
proportions between the love of Chrift and 
ours. The chief point is, as far as I can fee 
in the prefence of God, that our feelings be 
founded on truth. 

I know the nature of my foul, as little as 
the manner in which the omniprefent God- 


head can influence fpirits. If it be the will 
of God that I fhall look upon a fentiment as 
his immediate work, he certainly will diftin- 
guifh it fufficiently from all fentiments which 
may arife in a natural way. Suffice it, that 
every fentiment conform to truth, which 
carries me nearer to the connection with 
God in which Chrift has placed me, mufl 
oricrinate in fome manner or other from God, 
the fource of all that is good. He alone is 
the only author of fuch fentiments — and I 
can never perfuade myfelf, that when I am 
fenfible of my weaknefs, of my nothingnefs, 
the omnipreferlce, the all-fufficiency of God, 
and the infinite mercy of Chrift, when I am 
fenfible of all this in profound adoration, and 
amid tears of joy, and feem almoft to be 
melted by thefe feelings, that this be fanati- 
cifm, delufion of fancy, or fomething blame- 
able. During all the time I am indulging 
Q 2 thefe 


thefe feelings, I am in a fituation in which 
it is impoffible I fhould difpleafe God. 1 
mud only take care not to look upon that 
kappy fituation, as a fymptom of my being 
in a ftate of grace ; that is, as a proof of my 
perfonal and conftant capacity to be exalted 

to the heavenly communion with God. 

Although that fituation fhould be ever fo 
good, fo fubllme and God-like, yet it would 
contribute to my condemnation, if it Ihould 
not make me more virtuous, honeft, aftive, 
and humble in my behaviour, &c. &:c. &c. 
in the fame degree as a virtuous aftion does, 
indeed, not ceafe being a good deed, al- 
though I fhould again tranfgrefs; but, never- 
thelefs, is infuflicient by itfelfio promote my 
falvatiouy if not new -affions, flowing from 
the purefl fources, coiiflantly fucceed it. 

I thank God, with fincere affeftion, for 
tne unfpeakable mercy he has to-day granted 



to me, themofl unworthy of his fubj efts, and 
have not the lead doubt that this fenfe, fo 
conformable to truth, is his work, fome how 
or other ; I will pray to him to preferve it 
within my heart, as much as the nature of 
things will allow, and to render it a new 
fource of fublime virtues — And, in order to 
imprint that fituation deeper upon my heart, 
and to have a livelier fenfe of its contrail 
with other thoughtlefs and vicious fituations, 
I will defign a drawing of it, which fhall be 
a conftant remembrancer to me. 



Z'^Q Journal of a 

JANUARY the Twenty-feventh. 

My Birth-Day. 

Seven o'Clock in the Morning, 
I KNOW that before the Eternal all days 
are alike ; however, we mortals ought to 
mark out certain days, and dedicate them, 
in a particular manner, to certain medita- 
tions and feelings. The day which reminds 
us of our birth in fo natural a manner, de^ 
ferves, without doubt, to be celebrated in 
that moral and chriftian manner. In that 
light I have viewed it thefe twelve years. It 
has had long ago fomething very animating 
and folemn for me. The farther I advanced 
in life, the more important and folemn it 
appeared to me. With every return of that 

# day 


day I felt, in a more lively manner, the bre- 
vity and fleetnefs of my life^ with every 
return I learned to know myfelf better , be- 
came more fenfible of the high degree of 
my weaknefs and failings, the depth of my 
moral corruption, and, at the fame time, of 
the indifpenfable necellity of attaining a 
higher degree of fan6lity ; and yet — 1 what 
a humiliating and, neverthelefs, but too 
true idea — I always remained the fame to 
this prefent day, which is my thirty-third 
)birth-day. Thirty-two years of a life, which; 
at moft, may laft feventy or eighty years — 
perhaps may clofe to-day — ^Thirty-two years 
are fled for ever Vvith the preCent day I My 
life may laft only a day longer, or be coa- 
tinned to the higheft degree of eighty years; 
yet it is c^ertain, but too certain, that more 
than a third part of it is irrevocably paft for 


Q 4 jind 


And how quick, how almoft incompfe^ 
henfibly quick has it pafl away ! Will the 
days or ye^rs, which I yet have to live, pafs 
away with lefs fleetnefs? Will their duration 
feem longer to me than the fame number of 
days and years which I have lived already ? 
— According to my experience and feelings, 
much quicker and ihortcr — -More occupa- 
tions, relations, and connections, &c. Sec. 8ic, 
will make my future days appear to me 
fhorter and fleeter than thofe that are pad. 
On every journey, in every new fituation of 
life, and in every occupation, I have ol> 
ferved that the fecond part feemcd fliorter 
to me than the firft, and the third fhorter 
than the fecond — All the young people I 
interrogate about it tell me, unanimoufly, 
that every year feems ihorter to them than 
the preceding one, 

Two-and thirty years fhall I have clofed 




With this day ; two-and-thirty years of a life 
which has been allotted to me, as well on 
account of myfelf, as with refpe6l to another 
better and longer life^ of a life which is 
nothing elfe but an apprenticefliip, a time 
of education and preparation, the feed time 
for an eternal, endlefs life. Two-and-tl irty 
years which were to be dedicated to thee my 
Creator, Father, and Redeemer— that is, to 
my own eternal and true happinefs, and that 
of my fellow-creatures — are now paft away 
— and at laft I mufl confefs, voluntarily or 
not, others may think of me whatever they 
chufe ; if I will fpeak the truth, I muft 
confefs wiih fliame that, at bottom, I am 
ftill the fame ungodly corrupted being, I nin 
fenfible I have been in the beginning of my 
rational life ; the fight of which has made 
me blufh fo often, has forced fo many bitter 
'tears from my eyes, fo many, and as I flatter 



myfelf, fincere fighs from my breaft, and 
which I have bemoaned and detefted fo fre- 
quently, and fo flrongly, I will not conceal 
from myfelf that my chara6ter, generally 
fpeaking, has evidently improved. My ideas 
have been enlarged in many branches of 
Icnowledge — the exterior of my deportment 
may, in general, have a more ferious,,fedate, 
and vrife appearance ; I will alfo not con- 
ceal from mvfelf, that within thefe lall nine 
or ten years, I have done a great deal of 
good with a laudable intention, and fre- 
quejitly with humility and fimplicity, with 
joy and zeal before God through Jefus 
Chrift. — O God 1 thefe tears which are flow- 
ing down my cheeks, are witneffes of my 
adoring gratitude for every good and pious 
fenfation which thou haft worked in me — 
yet, for all that, I dare not conceal from 
myfelf, that I am neverthelefs, at bottonv 



the fame finfu]^ corrupted, and ungodly 
being ; thofe fins which arife from my tem- 
per, weakn^fs, lazinefs, fenfuality, are ftill 
in full power, and, at mofl:, prevented from, 
breaking out openly by external and human 
political reafons. Ambition, vanity, anger^ 
falfe fliame, and frequently (who would 
think it) a fecret diJJionefty^ which, however, 
I am very fenfible of, and rebellion againil 
the voice of my confcience — have ftill a very 
powerful fway over me. 

No ! ye do not occupy and animate my 
foul ! Days and weeks pafs, while, notwith- 
ftanding all my endeavours to promote the 
honour of God, and the happinefs of human 
fociety — I do not continue for an hour to 
feel onh fuck a real love for God, and my 
fellow-creatures, as I frequently kol for 
whole hours and days for my wife, and, at 
prefent, for my dcceafed friend^. I am fo 


2^6 JOl^RNAL OF A 

certain, and. feel it as ftrongly as ever I can 
feel any thing in the world, that thefe fen- 
timents are by far not ruling in my foul ; 
and although the whole world fhould fay 
that thefe fentiments prevail in my foul, yet 
my heart does not tell me fo. My heart 
condemns me ; and the praife of a whole 
world is nothing to me while my heart con- 
demns me. I alfo fee, I perceive and know 
to the hjgheil degree of certainty, that a re- 
form of my heart will not be the work of a 
moment 5 not of a day, or a week. I am 
Tcry fenfible how difficult it is to become 
mafler of one's paiTions, habits, inclinations, 
•r averfions; in fhort, mqfier of one s f elf. 

And yet this is the great taik I am charged 
with ; and it muft abfolutely be performed, 
if my hope of eternal happinefs fliall not be 
founded on a fandy bottom. If I will be 
Chrifl's, I muft have crucified the fleih with 



the affeftions and lulls. O ! my God ! mj 
Creator ! I bcfcech thee, author of my life, 
jny foul, and of all my abilities ! Father of 
Jefus Chriil, who art alfo my Father — I pro- 
jftrate myfelf before thee, befeeching thee to 
animate my indolent heart on this important 
and ever memorable day, that I may w^atch 
over myfelf with new zeal, and, affifted by 
thee, may work my own improvement, and 
my real and eternal happinefs ! Animate mj 
foul, that I may love thee, love thee, above 
all things in this world which are dear to 
me ! that I may love nothing but thee, and 
every thing in thee, and for thy fake ! that 
I may believe thee more than all men ! that 
I may unite myfelf to thee through Jefus 
Chrifl, thy Son, mofl cordially and holy 
affifted by the power of thy omniprefcnt 
Holy Ghoft, thou fole^ eternal, and inex- 


238 JOUitNAL OF A 

ha^ftible fource of light, truth, virtue, and 
eternal life ! 

Thou, O moii merciful being of beings, 
haft granted me temporal life without my 
prayers ; fhouldft thou be able to refufe me 
the life divine, the life of the foul, confifting 
in the knowledge of truth, arid the pra6tice 
of virtue — if I pray to thee with the moil 
fervent ardour ? — But, alas ! I have already 
befought thee fo frequently to grant me this 
prayer, particularly on my birth -day — and 
yet I am ftill the fame !— -Alas! all the apart- 
ments of my houfe, and particularly this 
fpot, where in thy prefence I now am writ- 
ing down, with trembling and fliame, my 
feeble fenfations witnefs againfl me ! how 
many vows have I made ' here and there ! — 
and yet, alas ! I am flill the fame. To-day 
I muft flill exclaim and figh with agony and 



{Iiame, as I have done five, ten, fifteen years 
ago : who Jhall deliver me from the body of this 
death? ' ' 

I feel myfelf weaker than ever ; I know 
and am very fenfible that I cannot fave my- 
felf, and yet I muft be faved. Whoi can 
fave me, but thou, O Father of my life? 
Who can deliver me from the dominion of 
fin and death, but thou, through Jefus 
Chrift ? O Father, vv^ho haft formed me in 
my mother's v^romb, w^ho haft animated mt 
with thy immortal breath— O my Father, 
who haft guided me with unfpeakable love, 
from the firft moment of my life till now ; 
dare I doubt that thou wilt grant my prayer, 
if I implore thee for nothing but faith and 
love, for nothing but the Holy Ghoft. 

Alas ! 


Six o'clock, P. M. 
Alas ! the more I refle£l upon myfelf, and 
my life, the more do I perceive how defli- 
tute I am of the true fentiments of a Chrif- 
tian 1 Alas ! this day will foon be clofed, 
and I have not yet been able to commune 
properly with myfelf — and only a few mo- 
ments are left me which I can devote to 
ferious meditation. 1 my God ! let not 
this day pafs away, before I perceive within 
me a new lively defire of uniting myfelf 
tjruly and firmly with thecj but grant me an 
animation which exiils not only in my ima- 
gination and my blood, but takes root in 
my foul, and extends to the life everlafling. 
O! Father of my life, who giveft me every 
breath I draw, give me alfo, through thy 
omniprefent fpirit, the heavenly flame of the 
new fpiritual life. Convey me, with thy all- 


powerful hand, into the kingdom of thy be- 
loved fon, which is not in word, but in 
power; which is righteoufnefs, peace, and 
joy in the Holy Ghoft ! What I have felt but 
yefterday, is unfpeakable adoration of thy 
divine majefty and lovelinefs. That far ex- 
tending fenfation of true fpiritual love, which 
encompaffes all mankind, O let it not dart 
tranfitorily through my foul ! let it always 
animate me to great deeds of felf-denial and 
charity ! O ! Father ! my life paffes away 1 
I perceive it ! I thank thee, Father, for this 
lively, falutary fenfation I This very fenfa- 
tion impels me to feek thee, and not to 
negleft to pray to thee for mercy— and really 
to obtain mercy. 

O my omniprefent God 1 how I defire to 

know thee better, to adore thee better, and 

to love thee with a more filial afFe£tion! how 

I wifh to be more eternally happy in thee. 

Vol. I. R in 


in thee alone ! 1 willi I could enter in a 
heavenly communion with thee, before this 
day is paft ! Yes, to-day, O Father of mercy 1 
alas ! elfe my foul will find no reft. — O that 
this day might become one day of my fpiri- 
tual regeneration, and the firft day of a new, 
quite God-like, and heavenly life 1 Alas ! 
why can I not renew the humility and the 
raptures of adoration which I experienced 
yefterday ! I will, however, pray to thee as 
well as I can ; tinto every one that has Jhall be 
given. — O Father ! who art above all, and 
through all, and in us all, who art prefent 
in thoufand heavens, and in all the number- 
lefs worlds and funs, diftributing inexhaufti- 
ble life and happinefs throughout the whole 
immenfe creation, bleiTmg many millions of 
angels and faints with unfpeakable joys, 
looking down with mercy upon thoufands 
of mortals who now are hailing, for the firll 

* time. 


time, the light of this worlds fupporting 
and relieving with thy omnipotent power5 
thoufands who now are leaving this world. 
— Yea who fetteft up as a witnefs of thy 
glory, even the worm creeping on the duft 
— Father of all fpirits ! eternal Father of my 
fpirit ! grant me this day a penetrating, en- 
livening look of thy divine, paternal love I 
reveal, O reveal thyfelf unto me 1 let me 
tafte the ineftimable happinefs, but let me 
alfo polTefs it as a conftant property — to wor- 
JJiiji thee in fpirit and truth ! 

Animate, enliven, cherilli, and ftrengthen 
my faith in thee, and in Jefus Chrift whom 
thou haft fent. 

Behold ! O Lord ! I have taken upon me 
to fpeak unto thee, who am but duft and 
afties — O condefcend to return an anfwer to 
thy creature, the breath of thy mouth, thy 
child, to a brother of Jefus Chrift, for whom 
R 2 Chrift 


Chrlfl has facrificed his life, to me, who 
without thee, am an inanimated corpfe I 
grant me the fpirit of wifdom and revela- 
tion, that I may know thee ; enlighten the 
eyes of my underftanding, that I may know 
and perceive the greatnefs of my calling, 
and my deftination; that I alfo may perceive 
the love of Chrift, which furpaffes all under- 

Yes, Father of my life ! give me the fpirit 
of faith and love — animate me from moment 
to moment more powerfully, not to relax in 
the combat of faith, till I have conquered 
thee by my prayers and tears, like Jacob of 
old ; till I am entirely devoted to thee, and 
feel myfelf filled with all the fullnefs of 

O ! revive me that I may be powerful and 
fervent to refufcitate others along with my- 
felf, and to lead them to the ever blifsful 



communion with thee ; that every one of 
my future days be rich in God-like deeds, 
which bring forth fruit of eternal blifs, 
through Jefus Chrift, my ever bleffed Sa- 
viour, Amen ! 

Eleven o'CIock at Night. 

Now — God be pralfed ! I am going to 
finifli this day — however, I will not finifh 
it before I have offered to thee thankfgivings 
for my exiftence, and brought before thee 
once more the fmcerefl prayer for the fpirit 
of faith, and thy faithful paternal love.— 
I thank thee for the firft and greateft of all 
thy bleffings — for my exijlence^ which thou 
haft given me through Jefus Chrift, which 
thou haft preferved to this day, and haft pro- 
mifed to preferve for ever, as long as thou 
thyfelf (halt exift ! 

O ! Father ! give thy blefting, that I may 
R 3 enjoy 


enjoy my exiftence for ever in thy commu- 
nion! O! there are moments when I feel 
with tears of gladnefs the bleffings of my 
exiftence ; O ! that this happy fenfation 
might be for ever prefent and a6i:ive in my 
mind ! O ! Father ! this too is in thy power ! 
open my heart for this and other good fenti- 
ments. Lead me always through thy truth 
to virtue, and through virtue to eternal hap- 
pinefs. Let me never forget that I exift 
through thee, in order to be happy with thee 
for ever, through Jefus Chrift. Amen 1 

I now will go to bed, and raife my heart 
to thee fome moments longer ! Have mercy 
upon me, and give me the fpirit of faith and 
love, through Jefus Chrift. Amen ! 



JANUARY the Twenty-eighth. 

MUCH bufmefs? much mercy!— I have 
hardly time to write my journal ; yet I will 
write down at leaft a few words. — Letters 
to Mr. M*** and O*** — ten rix dollars for 
hymn books— fealed up, and fent away. 

The godfon of my deceafed friend — of the 
choice of a profeffion, &c. Szc. &c. 

After dinner a vifit from Mrs. *** (I pro- 
mifed to recommend her, and wrote inilantly 
a note for that purpofe), afterwards from 
Mr. ***, who returned me ten rix dollars 
w^hich I had lent him, and forgot. I wanted 
to make him a prefent of the money ; but 
he refufed to accept it ; " I could make a 
'^ better ufe of it !" I was tempted to keep 
the ten dollars, becaufe I had laid out that 
R 4 fum 


fum to day. I blufhed. It was as if a mift 
were rifing up before my eyes. Lord Jefus 
Chrift ! preferve me againft avarice. 

I hefitated not long! I had no reft till 
they were difpofed of. — God be praifed ! 
O ! forgive me •' 

I prayed 3 and then fang a few hymns 
with my wife ; ate a little too hafty and too 
much at fupper. 

JANUARY the Twenty-ninth. 

I ROSE at length with more reluflance 
than I ought to have done. However, I 
roufed myfelf and prayed; but, alasi not 
quite without oppofition from my heart ; yet 

I trembled 


I trembled at It, and began to combat it. I 
fucceeded, and tears flowed from my eyes 
— tears at my averfion from prayer — from 
prayer ? , O, my Creator ! who has poifoned 
the work of thy hands ? Who has infpired 
it with averfion from thee, ^imiable Love ! 

I read to my v^ife the twenty-fixth chapter 
of St. Matthew ; and chofe for a fentiment 
for this day, the words : Watch and pray that 
ye enter not into tempt ation\ the fpirit indeed is 
willing, but thejiejh is weak. — Watch. I muft 
not be indolent and drowfy. The fleep of 
indolence prevents from praying, and plunges 
into temptation. I ought to be watchful in 
every refpe6i:, and look about me, that no 
enemy approach me, no angel of Satan in 
the fhape of an angel of light. 

On a former reading of this chapter, I 
have made fome obfervations which, being 
at leifure for half an hour, I will write 



down, and thus imprint indelibly in my 
heart. — v. 13. Verily I fay unto you, zvliarejo^ 
ever this Gofpel fliall be preached in the whole 
world, there Jliall alfo this that this woman has 
done, he told for a memorial of her. — How 
many pious fentimentS;, how many chriftian 
deeds, and how much love may this exam- 
ple of tendernefs have occafioned, in think- 
ing and feeling minds, during thefe feven- 
teen hundred years. What a reward to that 
pious woman, that, by the order of Jefus 
Chriil, her deed was recorded and made 
known every where, Hov/ much bleiling 
will fhe reap from it on the day of judg- 
ment ! Should it be an improper wiih, that 
my memory might be blelTed in a fimilar 
manner after my death ? 

This pafTage appears alfo to me a very 
deciding proof, that it v^^as the earneil defire 
of Jefus Chrifi, that the moft remarkable in^ 



cidents of his hiftory fhould be made known 
to poiterity, and fet down in writing, be- 
caufe written accounts are the fafeft, and 
moft pofitive. Nay, it appears partly from 
thefe words of Jefus Chrift, that he has 
attefted in a particular manner thofe inci- 
dents which were to be recorded for the 
benefit of pofterity, that he, at leaft, after 
his refurrection, will have reminded his dif- 
ciples of them in a particular manner, and 
afterwards imprinted them more ftrongly on 
their memory through his Holy Gholl, and 
affifled them in writing them down more 
diftinctly than others. 

Moreover is it not remarkable, that the 
fail fermons almoll every where in chriftian 
countries, generally begin with the hiilory 
of the un6lion of Jefus Chrifl, and of courfe 
the words of Jefus Chrifl : Ferily I fay unto 
you^ wherefover this Gofpeljhall be preached in 


252 Journal of a 

the whole world, there fiall aljo this that this 
woman has done he told for a memorial of her, 
are fulfilled in their fullefl fenfe (;/). 

Woe unto that man by whom the f on of man is 
betrayed ; // had been good for that man if he 
had not been born. — Dreadful fentence on 
the unhappy traitor — and alfo on me, if I 
fuffer thy enemies to vilify thy do6lrine, thy 
gofpel ; if I crucify thee, as one may fay, a 
fecond time, by premeditated fms, which 
induce others to degrade and to diilionour 
thy name ! — O ! give me the fpirit of fmce- 
rity, my faithful Redeemer, in order that no 

[n) Here the Author certainly has been mifled by his 
glowing fancy, which however does honour to his pious 




pallion prevail upon me to commit the leail 
treachery againil thee ! 

Then did they f pit in his face, and huffeited 
him, and others f mote him with the palms of their 
hands. Matt. xxvi. v. 67. This is incontefta- 
ble truth, O my foul ! He who now is fitting 
on the right hand of God ; he whom all the 
holy angels adore ; he who could fay : Be- 
hold , at my rebuke, I dry up the fea, I make the 
rivers a wildernefs ; I clothe the heavens with 
blacknefs, and make fackcloth their covering («?), 
fulfills the words of an ancient prophecy : / 
gave my back to the fmiters, and my cheeks to 
them that plucked off the hair-, I hid not my face 
fromfhame and /pitting . 

{0) Ifaiah 1. 



He, whofe name is unutterable, fuffered 
himfelf to be ill treated in the moil ihame- 
ful, agonizing, and difgufling manner, by 
the meaneft wretches, and he was filent ; no 
ray of his omnipotence ftrack his creatures 
dead. He concealed the power which created 

What feelings, what combinations of feel- 
ings, fuffice to adore in a proper manner the 
greatnefs of that divine virtue? — I (hould be 
writing whole days and nights if I were to 
commit to paper all my feelings (and how 
weak, how unadequate are they if compared 
wdth what they ought to be !) which this fcene 
has procreated within me 1 — -Jefus Chriil ! 
Lord Jefus Chrifl! let my mind be raifed in 
adoration to thee ^ let me be fenfible of thy 
prefence when any thing in the world fliall 
ofier to excite my anger, and to ftir up my 
'paffionsl — What an excellent and fmiple 



commentary on the command: I fay unto you, 
that ye refijl not evil-, but whofoever Jkall fmite 
thee on thy right cheeky turn to htm the other 
alfo. — How mean, how alienated from the 
fenfe of true greatnefs do all thefe appear to 
me who can difpute, after the length and 
the breadth, our duty to interpret this com- 
mandment literally.!- But how mean muft 

I appear to myfelf, when I confider that I 
am of that opinion, and yet — O Jefus Chrift! 
how am I covered with fhame ! — am fo angry, 
fo enraged, and fo inclined to revenge, when 
the fmalleft offence, an a61 of imprudence or 
heedleifnefs, has been committed againfl me 

Three o'Clock, Afternoon, 
It came into my mind to read once more. 



T^e Sentiments of a Chriftian [p). I read this 
book, without making a flop, from the de- 
dication to the Rev. Mr. Sack to the end. 
What may be the reafon that it now and 
then affe5ied me fo little ? How fre- 
quently, thought I, is imagination miilaken 
for feeling ! Imagination, which, perhaps, 
has no other merit but that of combining 
falliionable words, and piclures of the times, 
with a few new ideas and half fentences 1 
— This made me tremble at the author, or 
rather at human nature. If theje things are 
done in a green tree^ what fliali be done in 

the dry r Do_ not confide too much 

in thyfelf, my heart 1 Beware of pride ; 
tremble at thy danger. Waich and pray — 
fa\ s the fentiment 1 have chofen this dav : 

(/) A performance of the celebrated V»^leland. 




that thou enter eft not into temptation. — Let him 
that thinketh he Jiandeth, take heed leji he 

Twelve years ago this celebrated author 
wrote : *' The greateft of thefe favourites of 
" nature has llept out of the career ap- 
^^ pointed to him, feduced by external clr- 
" cumftances or paffions, and an innate in- 
^^ clination to exceffes, and has lavifhed his 
" genius, his enthufiafm, and the tendernefs 
" of his feelings, intrufted to him for the at- 
" tainment of great ends, on undeferving ob- 
" je6ls, yea on chimeras. I am not fpeaking 
" here only of thofe mijerahle zvr etches, who mif- 
" f end their fhamelefs wit in celebrating the coarjeft 
" and moft infamous hifts, and thus acquire a 
" fame, on account of which even Satan him- 
*^ felf will not envy them. I am chiefly fpeak" 
" ing of the more refined excefles of great 
^- poets, who have exerted their genius to 

Vol. I. S "the 


" the higheft degree, in order to deify un- 
'* worthy kings, or blooming damfels ; who 
" have exerted all their power, in order to 
" intereft our hearts for immoral heroes ;. 
" who, with a mean complacency, have de^ 
" raeaned themfelves to celebrate fafliion- 
" able prejudices, and to exalt as great trea- 
" fures, and far above their intrinfic value, 
" power, wealth, beauty, and whatever has 
" a gloffy outfide, to place thefe things in a 
*' falfe light, &;c. &c. &c. Tindar deferves 
^* to be excufed for having employed, from 
" regard for the religion of his country, his 
" great genius in beautifying the mytholo- 
" gy (^)s and, by doing fo,he puts to the blufli 

{q) And our — Author, a Chriftian, exerts all his wit 
to paint and to celebrate what would make blulh Pindar, 
the Heathen* 



" many poets living among Chriftians, who 
'' have not been tempted by the true, far 
" more fublime, and interefting revelation 
" of God, to attempt what Pindar has done 
" with refpe6l to the traditions of the appa- 
" ritions of God, and the feats of the demi- 
'' gods." 

Twelve years ago, the fame celebrated 
author wrote : " How little can a great genius 
*^ Jhow himfelf in his proper light, if there is no 
" Jirojiortion between his mental powers and his 
^^ fubje5l! What therefore fliall we think 
" of the numerous flocks of Anacreontic 
** bards, who, ever fince a great wit has 
" made a but too fuccefsful beginning, 
" ftrive to proceed in the fame ftrain, and, 
" although their performances are far infe- 
** rior, in point of beauty, to their original, 
" yet furpafs it greatly in wantonnefs and 
" imprudence? What ihall we think of thofe 
S 2 ^' authors 


'^ authors who rival la Fontaine in point of 
^^ licentioufnefs ; of thofe fanatic adorers of 
" Bacchus and Venus, whom one, if judg- 
" ing from their fervent devotion, with which 
" they adore and celebrate the miferable 
.^* idols, fhould think to be a band of E/ii* 
" curfan Heathens^ who are leagued- to ridi- 
*^ cule whatever is facred and fublime, and 
" to extirpate entirely the few religious feel- 
^' ings which are lying dormant in the heart 
" of heedlefs youth." 

Twelve years ago, the author of The Send-' 
merits of a Chrijiian, of whom religion and vir- 
tue fojuftly entertained great expectations, 
wrote : " O ! how long fhall we tamely fuf- 
" fer fuch nonfenfe to creep about among 
** Chriftians ? Nay, what is ftill more abo- 
" minable, that it be publickly taught and 
" defended amongll them? Or is it pardon- 
" able to be indulgent to thefe preachers of 

" lewdnefs 


'* lewdnefs and wickednefs, becaufe they 
" are witty? In my opinion, every body who 
" does not think it an honour to be indif- 
*^ ferent to religion, ought to prefer a thou- 
" fand times the worfl ancient and modern 
" church hymns to the moft charming fong 
« of Utz." 

And now this rigid cenfor of illicentiouf- 
nefs writes Agathons, Comic Tales, Mufarions, 

&c. &c. &c. O that I could know the 

fecret turn of his foul, and learn, by the fall 
of great genius, to ftand without falling my- 
felf. — O God ! who art his and my creator 1 
thou canft not disapprove it, if I bend my 
face before thee for one who is a mortal, 
and deftined for immortality like myfelf, 
and pray to thee, with filent fighs, to have 
mercy on a foul which has alienated itfelf 
from thee, and which reminds me not to 
wander from thee. — Father ! nothing is impof- 
S 3 fibk 


^i?/e with thee ! thou canft reclaim that man 
who once could fay : " I call to witnefs the 
" ftars, and the immortal fpirits, and fay : 
" If ever I alienate myjelf from thee ^ who hafi 
" created me a rational and immortal beings if 
"'"' ever I ceafe to obey thee cheerfully, then, ye 
^^ fiars! conceal your face from me, and ye fera^ 
" -phim I pronowice my heavenly name no more I** 

The prefent day was, thank God ! one of 
the beft of this month ! How tranquil, how 
ferene do I now lay down my pen and my 
body before thee, 1 my God, and Father I 



JANUARY the Thirtieth. 

I AROSE in good time; prayed with 
fineere devotion ; and read with pleafure — 
my rules, and the twenty-feventh chapter of 
St. Matthew.— Dreadful were the fufFerings 
which the Lamb of God bore with divine 
patience, meeknefs, and love! How little 
attention do we pay to them ! how little 
time do we dedicate to the contemplation of 
the crofs of Jefus Chrift 1 There we ought 
to learn, amongft many other things, to 
brook and to fcorn derifion. This is indeed 
the moft difficult facrifice which my ambi- 
tion ever can offer ; however, I cannot re- 
fufe it to him who did not open his lips ! 

I chofe to-day, for a fubjeft of my ferious 
meditations, the impenetrable words: My 
God! my God! why haft thou forjaken me? 

S 4 I now 


I now began to work; wrote letters to 
N***, and to my brother ^ G. H. L. M. P. 
came to beg me to give him a letter of re- 
commendation — 1 faid, " I rather would 
" give money," and, indeed, fo it is ; it is 
very difagreeable to dire6l letters of recom- 
mendation to people, who are not fo ge- 
nerous either to make fome allowance, or 
to be charitable without recommendation. 
I pitied the honeft man. I was more firmly 
convinced of his honefly than I could ex^ 
peft, or promife to convince any body elfe. 
Why then did fuch a flruggle arife in my 
breaft ? Such a fecret llrife to conceal from 
myfelf, that I could and ought to affifi: him 
myfelf ? I had indeed not fufficient money 
to do it immediately ; however, different 
means which would make it eafier and pof- 
fible came to my mind, nay, even forced 
themfelvcs upon me. — Books, trinkets, plate ; 



things which during the whole year I never 
made ufe of, or at moft only once, and then 
without any reafonable view. — How many 
things had I, therefore, by the fale of which 
I could extricate the honeit man from his 
great difficulty ! — if I were only inclined to do 
it! I Thus I^fuddenly thought by myfelf, and 
God worked in me both to will and to do \, 
" Come again to-morrozv ; you JJiall find ajjifi- 
" anceT O! how happy I was when I had 
pronounced thefe words ! I was certainly 
happier than the^honeft man when he left 
me, how great foever his fatisfa6lion feemed 
to be. — I took all my money; changed fome 
old dollars, in order to make up the whole 
fum ; put the money in a paper, and fent it 
without delay to the place of its defllna- 

I read 


Seven o'Clock in the Evening. 
I read Bafedow's Addrefs to the Friends of 
Mankind. A great and ufeful idea ! I ad- 
mire the man ! How honeft, how wife, how 
aclive, how bold and enterprifing ! It is 
true his theology pleafes me not quite, al- 
though I have derived from it many im- 
portant inftruftions, and moft inftru6ting 
hints. I cannot help loving that man ; he 
inveiligates acutely ; he thinks for himfelf, 
and is no blind follower of others, as fo 
many are ^ he errs ? — fo I think — however, 
he is a mortal like myfelf, although more 
learned and virtuous than I am. — God blefs 
him ! and guide his foul to the fan6luary of 
truth ; my foul too, guide, O my God ! to 
truth through thy word and fpirit — His great 
plan may fucceed or mifcarry, yet the bare 
idea of undertaking a matter of fuch im- 


portance dcferves a monument. But what 
will a monument benefit him ? — Blefs thou 
him, beft of Fathers, and pave through him 
a more open and beaten path for better 

knowledge and truth. After fupper 

we fang a few evening hymns at the harpfi- 

ys '<^' ^ *¥•' *T' ^' 

JANUARY the Thirty-firft. 

I ROSE again later than I ought to have 
done ; prayed with little attention till the 
thought ftruck me, that it was t/ie lafl day of 
the month, I read the rules^ and the laft 
chapter of St. Matthew j chufmg for a fen- 
timent for this day the words j Go ye there- 



fore mid teach all nations ; teaching them to eh- 
Jerve all things. Whatjoever I have commanded 
you^ and lo I I am with you already^ even unto 
the end of the world. 

Tbele words of Chrlft are the fimple key 
to all moral and religious laws of our Saviour: 
all nations fhould become dijciples of Jefus 
Chrifi: ; all fhould keep all what the Lord has 
commanded his apoftles, &;c. &:c. &;c. - - 

Five o'clock, Afternoon. 

O ! Is then alfo the laft day of this firft 
month arrived r I will in this ftill evening- 
hour fum up the moral accounts of my heart, 
and perufe my journal from the firft day of 
this year to the prefent hour. 



After Six o'Clock. 

O ! my God ! how much has happened 
within this month ! — My friend ! my friend ! 
— I have loft thee, and half and whole days 
are paft, without my — is it poffible ? — having 
thought a little, or at all of him ? — I blufh 
at myfelf — I have reafon to wifli, that the 
deceafed may know nothing of it — becaufe 
I was capable of forgetting him — for whole 
days, fo frequently, and fo foon. 

Indeed I do not know where I fhall begin 
to accufe and to reproach myfelf 1 

How dreadfully inconftant and inconfi- 
derate have I been ! how fhamefully unlike 
myfelf 1 

How many good, excellent, and fweet 
hours!— But, O God! how m^ny have I 
mifpent, in an indolent, thoughtlefs man- 
ner, with talking, gaping, trifling, and 

fleeping ! 


fleeping! And my drawings! — how can I 
look at them ? how compare them with 
each other ? A powerful warning ! O that I 
always might liften to it ! No ! nothing can 
humble my heart more, than this lamentable 
inconftancy ! 

Here, on my knees — yonder, fnoring in 
my bed, when I ought to have been awake, 
praying and working. 

Here, by the death-bed of an excellent 
friend — yonder, an idle hour under the hands 
of the hair-dreffer — before the looking-glafs 
— at a dinner — in the fledge. 

Here, at the coffin of a deceafed friend, 
pronouncing facred vows — Yonder, angry 
at a trifle, infane I fliould fay — V. A. T. H, 
D. G. — No 1 I will write it plainly without 
ciphers, that I may eaflly notice it in run- 
ning over my journal — beast! — fo I have 
called a fellow-creature, a fellow-chrifl:ian ^ 



how abominable does it appear to myfelf 
now 1 — The tongue with which I have 
prayed at the death-bed, at the coffin, when 
going to reft, and rifing — that very tongue 
has called a fellow-creature, made after the 
image of God, a beast ! I am afraid of 
myfelf ; I dare not open my lips, not lift up 
my eyes ! 

It is true I have during this month learnt, 
taught, and done much good ; have been 
blefled with many pious, fmcere, humane 
fentiments, and difplayed them in an art- 
lefs manner ! I have infer ted almoft all of 
them ; but not all thofe of which I ought 
to be aihamed before God, and my con- 

Many a thought of which perhaps my 
moft inveterate enemy would not fufpe6i: 
me, has darted through my foul ; it is true, 
I abominated them very foon — but, never- 



helefs, they make me feniible with terror^ 
how impure and muddy the bottom of my 
heart ftill is. 

My rules? — Alas how feldom have I pe- 
rufed them, and taken in confideration, as 
I had determined to do ! How readily did I 
forget them ! How many a time did I fling 
back, and endeavoured to find pretexts when 
it was neceffary to take them into confidera- 
tion, as I ought to have done. 

How feldom did I mark, at the clofe of 
the day, the number of thofe which I had 
not performed carefully ! How much more 
frequently could I, particularly in the day 
time, have prayed and communicated confi- 
dently with God ! 

Works of love and charity ; — It is true I 
have performed fome — and more than for- 
merly in two months — however, I ought to 
have performed fome of them with a better 



and purer heart — I ought, in general, to 
have done a greater number. I could 
have performed it. Perhaps I have per- 
formed more than other people who are 
thought generous ; I have, however, cer- 
tainly not performed fo many as I ought to 
have done, and was able to do. 

To my wife I behaved with tendernefs ; 
yet I could have been — God knows how 
much — more ufeful to her. I do not know 
why I have fo rarely converfed wkh her, who 
Hftens fo eagerly to every good word, on our 
mutual important concerns. I fear a finful 
commodioufnefs has been the reafon of it. 

I think, in general, that I am not yet on 
a truly chrifUan footing with my wife. There 
were hours when I, or rather whence was 5 
— however, that true intimacy, that mutual 
concern for one and the fame great objeft, 
is not yet fufficiently eafy atid natural to us. 

Vol. L T The 


- "The duty — but this word, if addreflcd by 
a friend to his moft intimate confidant, is too 
hard — the pleafure of inftrufting and en- 
lightening her, of clearing up, of combining, 
and giving her ideas a certain felf-confiftent 
(labiJity, appears to me not rarely too trou- 
blefome — curfed indolence 1 muft I repeat 
again — and not lefs cwxitd fondnefs for diver- 
fiom : ye, ye are the foes of my virtue, and 
my peace of mind. 

But what do I call diverfion? — Whatever 
makes me lofe fight of, or obfcures the end 
of my exigence and life ; whatever prevents 
me from acting, fpeaking, and thinking, in 
a manner confonant with my deftination, and 
from performing the firft and moil indifpen- 
fable duties. The nioft Jerloiis matters, per- 
haps, may become diverfions for me, and 
thofe which appear moft indifferent are, per- 
haps,, not fo. O, my heart ! be honeft m 



fingling out whatever makes me lofe fight of 
the great end for which thou art defigned. 

Learn to dire6l towards that end, and to 
ufe conformable to it, the mofl common and 
indifferent things, and even what concerns 
only thy body, or thy external profperity ; at 
the fame time do not fuifer the reading of 
the moft ferious books, nor the moll virtuous 
deeds, to make thee lofe fight of it, or to 
interrupt thy attention to thyfelf y for then 
onlyy and only while thou art obferving thy- 
felf, and the turn of thy ideas and feelings, 
while thou art fenfible of thy deftiny, only 
while thou art communicating with, and 
paying attention to thyfelf, only then thou 
wilt be able to pay a fincere and fixed re- 
gard to the great end of thy exifi:ence. — O, 
my heart ! I know thou wilt underfi:and this 
language, if thou art inclined to do it — do 
not think of obje61ions, but how thou wilt 
obey ! 

T 2 OLord! 


O Lord 1 keep my fpirit in proper bounds ; 
let my defires be fubjeft to reafon, and all my 
anions to my confcience, enlightened by thy 
word and fpirli; ! Thy omniprefent providence 
reprefent to mine eyes every day clearly, and 
from all fides, the great truth: that I have 
been placed in this world, not merely on my 
own account, but rather for the fake of 
others, and for the voluntary performance of 
thy will ; that I, neither in a lelTer nor a 
higher decree belong to myfelf, but that I 
am entirely and folely thy property ; that all 
my abilities, all my property, my fortune, and 
every moment of my time, belong to thee^ 
that I can be at eafe and happy in the world 
hereafter,-only through thee, v/ith thee, and 
in thee. While thou art the author of my 
life, and I am thy creature, it will ever be 
the unalterable nature of things, that I can- 
not be content and happy but through thee, 

and in thee. 



After Supper, Ten o'Clock. 

But I muft not forget, O my faithful God! 
to recall to my mind in a lively manner, be- 
fore I go to reft the laft time in this month, 
all the important and particular favours 
which thou haft fhewn me in the courfe of 
this firft month of the year, and to give vent 
to fentiments of joy and gratitude. 

On running over my journal, I find, be- 
fides numberlefs general benefaftions, v^hich 
I ov^e to thy paternal mercy and goodnefs, 
every day particular and diftinguifhing proofs 
of thy indefatigable and tender mercy. How- 
many admonitions ! how many feelings 1 how 
many opportunities of doing good a6lions ! 
how many inftru61ions, fo particularly ufeful 
and neceflary to me ! — how much forbear- 
ance with regard to my tranfgreffions ! how 
much light and encouragement, in particular 


2^8 Journal of a 

fituations and temptations, have I found In 
thy word ! how many opportunities of get- 
ting a better knowledge of myfelf ! how 
many improvements in the knowledge of 
religion \ ^nd thou; death-bed of my deceafed 
friend ! how beneficial haft thou proved to 
ijie — what a durable advantage for my heart 
— if it will make a proper ufe of thee ! even 
my faults and errors. haft thou rendered be- 
neficial to me. 

Satan, or myfelf, frequently thought evil 
againft me^ but thou haft turned it into good. 
How falutary were, under the guidance of 
thy grace, the mortifications, the refie6lion&, 
prayers, and tears, which my errors gave rife 
to — And what excellent fentiments haft thoiii 
revived within me but a few days fmce 1 - - 

Thanks, fincere thanks to thee for this and 
all other evident and ineftimable favours 



which thou hafl beftowed upon me, and 
extended to my family, and my friends ! — 
Thou doeft exceeding abundantly above all 
what we afk, or think. 

O ! grant me the bleffing that I may forget 
thy benefa6lions as little as my own exifl- 
ence ; that my heart may be drawn more 
powerfully towards thee ; that my confidence 
and my rejoicing in thee, may acquire, from 
day to day, more firmnefs, aftivity, and do- 
minion over me 1 — I cannot lay myfelf down 
to reft, till I feel renewed and lively in my 
heart, the refolution to devote the following 
month more faithfully to thee ; to penetrate 
deeper into the communion with thee ; to 
watch more carefully over myfelf; to exer- 
cife myfelf with more fmcerity in the moft 
manly felf-denial ; to become more fenfible 
of my mortality and immortality ; to keep 
more firmly and fincerely to the Gofpel, and 


28o Journal, &c. 

to weigh every thing on the balance of Reve- 
lation and Death, as this Ikull, vv^hich is Hand- 
ing on the table, reminds me now. — Yes 1 
henceforward — henceforward — (I vow it to 
thee, my omniprefent, invilible Father, in 
this filent hour of wife and tranquil medita- 
tion) henceforward I w^ill endeavour to exer- 
cife myfelf daily, to weigh all my aftions, 
words, thoughts, and wiflies on the balance 
of Scripture and Death, Thou who beared 
my vows, hear alfo my fmcere wifhes to 
fulfil them \ 


Date Due 








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