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A iSelf-Ohserver ; 



OF TjfE 

Rev. J. C. LAVATER, 


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




By the Rev. PETER WILL, 



The large Indidtment ftands before my View, 

Drawn forth by Confcience, moft amazing true; 

And fill'd with Secrets hid from human Eye, 

When, foolifh Man ! thy God Itood witnefs by. 

Then, oh, thou Majefty divinely great, 

Accept the fad Confefiions I repeat ; 

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

Opprefled with Sbrrow, broke with inward Smart j 

That at thy Foot-llool in Confeffion fhows 

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


iLonUon : 








Dear Friend, 

JL OU may eaflly conceive what muft be the 
feelings of a man who receives by the poft, with- 
out a letter or any other previous notice, a book 
bearing the extraordinary title. Secret Journal of a 
Self-Obferver ', and which reminds him, almoft in 
every page, of his own fituations, adions, and fen- 
timents, which he thought to be known to no per- 
fon but himfelf 5 a book that contains an important 
a 2 part 


part of his private hiftory, divided in many various 
divifions tranfplaced, altered, and fhaped in different 
forms, and thus offered to the eye of the pubhc. 

I read, turned the leaves over, wanted to read, 
and turned them over again and again; fmiled, 
blufhed ; v?as pleafed, afhamed, and did not know 

what to fay, and what not to fay and, never- 

thelefs, I can aflure you, that I could not be angry, 
for a moment, with the Editor. I could not but 
admire fo much difcretion, fo much judgement of 
choice, fo much nicety in the transformation of the 
fame moral and immoral difpofitions. 

I hoped to remain concealed, and, at the fame 
time, that this book would be very ufeful. I com- 
municated the matter to feveral of my friends whom 
Ifufpefted to have had a hand in it, and given you 
my manufcript, or rather the manufcript of the 
printed Journal. They fmiled, were rejoiced ; pre- 
tended to know nothing of the matter ; took the 
book, read; fmiled again, and fpoke of nothing 

but of the Editor's difcretion and I could not 

divine with certainty the good-natured traitor. 

I have, 


I have, however, been fo happy to receive your 
letter, which gave me fufficient information, and, 
at the fame time, provided me with a fatisfa£tory 
juftification againft all thofe who fufpeiSted me to 
be the immediate Editor and the fole genuine Au- 
thor of the Journal. 

You may eafily conceive that I have been obliged, 
ever fince, to hear multifarious, unexpected, and 
contradictory criticifms. The book contains, in- 
deed, ftill a fufficient number of paflages which 
made me known as the author of it, at leaft in our 
country: however, the reft of the performance 
puzzled many of its readers very much, and fome 
paflages appeared to them not at all applicable to 

The opinions of the German public were not 
lefs different than thofe of my countrymen. Men 
of the world, philofophers, divines, pious people, 

enemies and friends, appeared (as I fancy) 

to have miffed the proper point of criticifm, by 
criticifing rather the {u'pipo{edJuthor than his^^^r- 
naf, the Ohferver than the Obfervations, 

a 3 Indeed, 


Indeed, if the friend who has communicated the 
Journal to you, had pofTefled fufficient knowledge 
of the w^orld, the public certainly would never have 
feen this book in any Ihape or form whatever. 

However, it cannot be retrieved now; and all 
thofe that have had a fhare in the compofition and 
pubhcation of this book are fo ftrongly convinced 
of its utility, that even the moft difadvantageous 
criticifms of the pubUc, that is to fay, of fome who 
are very anxious rather to be men of letters than hu^ 
man beings ^ rather to appear to he Philofophers than 
to be Chrijlians^ w^ill have very little weight with 
them. . It cannot be unknown to you, my dear 
friend, that very few readers have read and crlti- 
cifed this performance as a hijlory of ohfervai'wns. 
Some have looked upon and valued it as a precept^ 
as a pattern^ as moral inJlruBions Jlmped in the form of 
a hiflory ; fome as the characler of a moral man^ fiib' 
knitted to the examination of the public ; and fome as a 
libel on Chriflianity \ and I have neither feen nor 
heard of a critic w4io has reviewed it as an ohferver. 
I cannot but confefs, that this caufed me fome un- 



cafinefs, and that I have been ftrongly tempted, 
feveral times, not to comply with the defire of my 
friends, who wifh m>e to publifh a fecond volume, 
I am, at the fame time, very much inclined to un- 
bofbm my heart to you with refpedt to the miferable 
mifconceptions of our modern critics, who render 
their criticifms fo intolerably fhallow, by miffing the 
poifii of view in which the works which are fub- 
mitted to their judgement ought to be regarded. 
Among a thoufand readers you will fcarcely find ten^ 
and among a hundred public critics fcarcely one^ who 
will take the trouble to find out the author's y^^/^, 
never to lofe fight of it, and, firft of all, will criti- 
cife his aim, and the defign of his performance, 
and then the book itfelf, its contents, language, 
&c. &c. &c. always paying the ftri^leffc regard to 

that defign and aim However, I fhall tell you 

my mind on that fubjeft more at large, at fome 
other opportunity. A few hints are fufiicient for 
the nvife. 

Many readers of the Journal have found fault 

ivith the Editor, becaufe he has faid; in the Preface, 

a 4 that 


that it is genuiney original, and not ifiterpolated with 

fpurious additions although I have declared, in a 

letter to Mr. Reich, which is prefixed to the fecond 
edition, " that the Editor has thought it convenient 
** to make alterations, tranflocations, and additions, 
<« which intitle me to deny it to be a produdtion of 
*• my pen ; that, as far as I can recolle£l, my hair 
« has never been dreffed by a hair-drefler ; nor that 
<^ I ever have rode in a fledge *, that I underftand 
<< as little of dancing as of mulick," &c. &c. &c. 

Many hare deemed this very contradidlory, and 
for that reafon decried the book. In order to ex- 
culpate you, my deareft friend, I declare publicly, 
that you have wrote the truth, although I fhall not 
retradl a fingle word of my aflertion, which is con- 
tained in my letter to Mr. Reich, You have added 
nothing to the manufcript which has been given to 
yotiy nor have you interpolated or altered the leaft 
thing, except the corredlion of fome grammatical 
errors, the alteration of the ftile, and the judicious 
omiilion of fome paffages. All additions, interpo- 
lat'jons, or rather tranfpofitions and transformations. 


muft, of courfe, be afcribed folely to that dear friend 
who has communicated the manuicript to you in 
the Ihape in which it was printed. And ought 
that friend to be blamed for the alterations he has 

made ? For my part, I do not think fo, if I 

place myfelf in his point of view. 

Firfl of all, he has not imputed to me a fmgle 
virtue, vice, or fentimcnt, which he has not found 
recorded in my manufcript, in fome fhape or other. — 
For inftance, I do, indeed, poflefs no knowledge of 
mufic ; and the pailage which alludes to fuch a 
knowledge is entirely his work — an incident that 
has occurred in his life — Let us, however, fuppofe 
that what has happened to him at the harplichord 
had happened to me on reading a colle£lion of 
poems on various fubje£ls, and I had transformed 
my obfervations into the ihape of his^ could that 
then be called imprudent, mifreprefented, indif- 
creet, or zJiBioti ? 

I have never rode in ajledge (not becaufe I think 
it abfohitely a iin, like many readers who are more 
}ntiniately connedled with me, croffed themfelves 



at It, and fcarcely could forgive me, believing that 
I had really done fo), but could not the dear friend 
who communicated the manufcript to you repre- 
hend iimilar vanities under the difguife of the 
above-mentioned incident, in order to conceal his 
friend from a public that fo frequently is indifcreet ? 
Secondly, let us fuppofe, this friend had defigned 
to teach the Chriftian public hovv to make obferva- 
tions upon themfelves, and to give them inftiruc- 
tions to that end ; that he had intended to throw 
out hints, important to many, Avith regard to the 
better knowledge of their heart ; and, at the fame 
time, to add many inftriictive remarks ? — Suppofe 
he had, influenced by this laudable view, compofed 
a colle^lion of real and imaginary lituations, and 
fhaped it into the intereil:ing form of a Journal P 
and, in order to attain his aim with lefi difficulty, 
introduced trifling, uninterefting circumflances, 
which had imparted to tiie work an additional 
appearance of truth ; and, for the fame reafon, 
publifhed it through the medium of a fecond per- 
fon, who, without telbrg a //>, could affiire the 



public that the Journal was genuine /'—Nay, let us 
fuppofe (the worft that can be faid, which, how- 
ever, this friend will not grant), let us fuppofe he 
had a(Si:ed thus, fhould he then have deferved praife 
or blame, applaufe or fcorn ? — Or fhould he rather 
have expofed himfeif to the torturing queflions of 
an enlightened, tafteful, nice, and fentimental pub- 
lic—of the felf-created tribunal of the reading pub- 
lic, and the Reviewers, thofe ruthlefs inquifitors, 
who would have teazed him with the tormenting 
interrogations j Who is the Author ? Who the Edi- 
tor ? Is the Journal genuine, or not ? What is in- 
terpolated, and what not ?— Could he expect that 
fo many excellent and juil men v^^ould declare the 
whole work of no value, if not genuine, if ficti- 
tious ?— This he might, indeed, have expelled, if 
he had intended to lay before the public the hiftory 
of fome known individual, in order to enable the 
public to criticife that man, and to value his cha- 
racter. Could not the book (although It were tho^ 
roughly fictitious), neverthelcfs, be very ufeful, at 



leaft as ufeful as many moral romances are deemed 
to be ? - - - Would not many a reader, on perufing 
feveral paflages, have been impelled to fay, Here I 
behold my own pidlure ! here I am drawn to the 
life ! — this is a fault, this a fentiment, of mine •, — 
here I read plainly, and in an inftrudlive manner, 
what I am frequently fo feniible of, though I am 
fo unwilling to confefs it. 

I cannot but confefs, that the above-mentioned 
cenfures have rather vexed me j and I can afTure 
you, that the gentleman who communicated the 
manufcript to you is too fincere and upright than 
that he could have apprehended thefe or fimilar 
cenfures. But, I declare once more, that he is not 
at all in that predicament ! — No moral nor immoral 
jentiments^Jiated in the Journal y arejiElitious \ although 
a great deal of the external hiftoryy and of the form^ 
IS iictitious, or altered and tranfpofed. 

And what ihall I fay to the numerous animad- 
verfions on the aufterity, the over-fevere rigour, 
the anxioufnefs, fanaticifm, &c. &c. &c. which are 
faid to prevail in this Journal ? 



Indeed, my friend, I am almoft fick of writing 
for a public that firft muft be told that a book 
which has been publifhed under the title of The 
S^lf'Obferver contains obfervations •, whofe reviewers 
firft muft be told that it contains mere obfervations^ 
and that obfervations are not precepts , rules ^ nor prin^ 
ciples, for all perfons, nor examples liable to no ex- 
ceptions ! And fuppofe the character, the adions, 
and the fentiments, of the Obferver could really be 
charged with aujleriiyy over-fevere rigour y and anxiouf- 
nefsy would he not have experienced the bad or good 
confequences arifing therefrom ? He would either 
have improved in, or declined from Chriftianity, 
faith in that God who has been revealed through 

Chrift, and love to his fellow-creatures. His 

Journal would have evinced this as clearly as pof- 
fible, and the Editor would not have negledled to 
lay faithfully before the public all good and bad 
confequences of his principles, and mode of life — 
And would this not have proved far more ufeful 
than if only a blamelefs ideal had been introduced 



to the reader?— Who can be fo fhort-fighted as 
not to fee how infinitely important it is to obferve 
the courfe and the deviations of a foul not entirely 
difingenucus — ^and her return, if fhe has taken a 
wrong courfe ? Who can be fo fliort-fighted not to 
fee equally plainly, that fuch a character is infinitely 
more acceptable to a feniible reader, than an ideal, 
s paragon of perfection, which can exifl no where ? 
I am, however, far from granting that the main 
point, the ejfence of the moral of the Obferver, is 
over-flrained and fanatical. — But I fhall not explain 
niyfelf, at prefent, more at large as t© this point, 
intending to do it at fome other opportunity, when 
I, pleafe God^ fl^all be fo explicit, that every im- 
partial man will be capable to judge whether I de- 
mand too much, or too little, from men and from 
myfelf. At prefent, I fliall fay only thus much 
concerning this point: — The gofpel contains no 
commandment, no precept, which, according to its 
elTence, is not written on the hearts of all men; 
nay, the human heart is even far greater, far more 



expanded and fublime, than the moft rigorous let- 
ter of the gofpel(rt). The gofpel conveys nothing 
into our hearty as a faithful explanator interpolates 
nothing into the text. It is to roufe only what is 
in the heart. The gofpel demands, through founds, 
and letters, and luminous examples, what our heart 
demands through defires and feelings. The gofpel 
is only the commentary on our heart. God and 
man are always the text. All letters are nothing 
but explanation ; nay, they are only image, copy, 
delineation, fketch. On this head, my friend, I 
wifh to impart to you, one time, my thoughts 
more at large. ---------- 

But what is to be done with refpeft to the con- 
tinuation of the Journal ? A difficult tafk, in- 
deed ! You might have publilhed one volume 

more, if the public had not guelTed at the author. 

(a) This pafTage h^s been literally trauflated. If the Englifli 
reader does not underftand it entirely, he will be ia the fame 
predicament v.itb the Ti.anflator. 



But now the public demands undifguifed truths 
and fragments will not do ! Yet fomething muft 
be publifhed — becaufe the Editor has made a kind 

of promife, Befides, I have received numerous 

applications for the performance of that promife ; 
the moft refpe6labie men feem to wifh for a conti- 
nuation — but how difficult is it, now, to comply 
with their defire ! I am very fenfible of all the 
reafons that ought to deter me from doing it. It 
has been faid by a number of people, who may be 
above all fufpicion of being ruled by mean paflions 
in their opinion, " Wherefore is the moft fpecial 
** private hiftory of an individual to be intruded 
*' upon half the world ? How important muft La- 
" vater appear to himfelf, if he prefumes to tell 
<« half the world at what hour he rifes, goes to bed, 
" &c. &c. &c. ? Can he be ailonifhed — and how 
«« little knowledge of the world muft he poiTefs, if 
« he is ? — Can he be aftonifiied when this is deemed 
" the higheft degree of impertinence, and when iti 
" is looked upon as the moft glaring proof of his 
«f vanity and conceit ? If he has a right to give an 

« air 


« air of Importance to his perfon, and his moft 
" trifling occupations, then any other perfon has 
" the fame right — and if this right is common to 
*' all, and every private man fhould take it in his 
" head to intrude his Journal upon us, what then 
*f will be the confequence ? What are we to think 
«« of fuch a familiarity with the public ?" 

This, my friend, will, undoubtedly, be faid ;— 
and what can we reply, if we refolve to comply 
with the wifhes of fo many other perfons ? How 
can you fet me at eafe with refpe£t to that point ? 
What will you tell the public, in that volume, in 
my defence ? 

I could fay a great deal on that head ; — however, 
I rather wifh I had lefs motives, were lefs neceffi- 
tated to publifh fome fragments of my genuine, 
real, prefent Journal ! You are at full liberty to fay 
whatever you think beft; I fhall fay only thus 

I have not yet found that man who has fo little 
of the human nature, that I fhould think him un- 
worthy to read to him what I, at prefent, am going 

Vol. 11. b to 


to venture to lay before the public, if you approve 
of it, or to let him perufe it at home, if I fhould 
think that it would afford him pleafure, and be 
profitable to him. May I now not expe£l that the 
readers of my Journal, in general, are not the worft 
people I know ? 

I wifli, farther, that all thofe who find the above- 
mentioned plaufible language natural and reafon- 
able, would have the goodnefs and equity to ima- 
gine themfelves in my place and fituation. - - - - 
Was I not necefliitated to tell my mind on what has 
happened, and to defend myfelf againft fome erro- 
neous comments which have been made ? becaufe 
many perfons believe me to be the Author and Edi- 
tor of the firft volume •, and fo many judgements, 
judgements of great influence with regard to the. 
work and its author, or rather my character, have 
been framed? Could I remain filent after fome 

have been offended at my and fome at 

my having reproached myfelf for it ? And what 
ivould you fay, if my principles (though, at bottom, 
the fame) had been more purified and fixed in the 



application, if ray ideas had been rendered more 
diftinft, fo that I could reniove all mifunderftand- 
ing caufed by the Journal which has been publifhed 
by you, by a candid communication of fome Un- 
fele(Sted Fragments of my genuine Journal, which 
I have compofed without paying any regard to the 
public, and thus fhould retra£l whatever has been 
erroneoufly ftated ; would this not fufficiently apo- 
logize for me ? 

I do not believe that I am grown worfe, though 

I a£l with more difcernment, and lefs reftraint 

I do not think that my principles are lefs evange- 
lical, though I am grown eafier concerning my oc- 
cupations, my foibles, and errors ; I do not mean, 
more carelefs — but eafter j that is, lefs fervile and 
anxious. I muft, however, not forget to add, that 
if I can contribute fomething to render the pre- 
vailing unnatural eftrangement of men from men, 
and the mutual air of indifference about their reci- 
procal happinefs which they are wont to aflum% 
ridiculous, and to promote fraternal, confidentially 
b % and 


and fincere communion between men and men, 
and a mutual intereft in the domeftic and moral 
concerns of our fellow-creatures ; if I can contri- 
bute fomething to eftablifh the idea that authors 
and readers are men, and conne£ted by th.c Jlrongeft 
ties\ — and if the publication of this book (which 
properly ought not to be accounted a literary work) 
promotes this purpofe, I can confole myfelf in this 
refpe£l for many mi {interpretations, — As for the 
reft, every one has, indeed, the fame right I have ; 
and although I may predict, with much probability, 
that not every one will make ufe of that right, yet 
I muft obferve, that I fhould think myfelf very 
much obliged to every perfon who would commu- 
nicate to me fuch a genuine hiftory of his life, and 
his heart, interfperfed with fo many trifling inci- 
dents, and enriched with fuch an accurate account 
of bad, good, and indifferent a£lions and fentiments. 
I fliould prefer the reading of fuch a book to the 
perufal of any one elfe, the Bible excepted. — Do 
fiot all philofophical hiftorians complain that, as 



yet, the hiftory of man has afforded fo little moral 
advantage, becaufe one knows fo very little of their 
private hiftory, and the detail of their life ? 

I leave it to you to refute the objedion, that the 
moft minute trifles ought not to have been pub- 
lifhed, which has efcaped fome of the wifeft men ; 
and the author, or the editor, of a journal ought to 
publifh only an account of fins and virtues ? - - - Has 
not every picTture a ground ? — and many medicines 
require a vefiel to be put in, or a vehicle. — Water 
has no tafte, nor does it nourifh ; it is, however, 

a vehicle for many forts of nouriftiment 1 

could make a great many more remarks on that 
head; you will, however, do me a favour if you 
do it in my place. 

Sending you fome Fragments of my real, un- 
altered Journal, which has not been revifed by a 
friend, I have left all remarks, obfervations, and 
converfations, in the fame ftate in which I fet them 
down, more at large, or fhortcr, according to my 

inclination and leifure I give you full liberty 

to do whatever you like with what is not ohfervation 
b 3 on 


on myfelfy of which no more muft be communicated 
to the public than the Editor of the firft volume 
has done, who has confined himfelf more to mere 
moral lituations. You may leave out whatever you 
think not ufeful, or fit for communication. I think, 
however, that variety ought to have fome value, as 
a fubordinate mean leading to a good purpofe. Yet 
you may do whatever you like ; I fhall, certainly, 
not find fault with you. Yes, I leave this work, 
or rather thefe Fragments of a work, which I have 
compofed merely for my and my children's imme- 
diate ufe, and perhaps for that of fome very inti- 
mate friends, entirely at your mercy. If you 

find that the benefit arifing from the publication 
of this Journal will overbalance the harm it may 
do ; If you find that all the cenfures and inconve- 
niencies its publication may occafion cannot be 
compared with the advantage many readers may 
probably reap from it; then you may publifh it 
without the leaft alteration of the moral text ; and, 
if you chufe, add explanatory, warning, and in- 
ftruding annotations : but if you fhould find the 



contrary, then you will have the goodnefs to return 
me the manufcript ; and I ftiall tell the publie, in 
fome future edition of the firft volume, that the 
Editor has committed no a6t of difhonefty, and 
that what he has faid is not fo very inconfiftent 
with what I have wrote to Mr. Reich. If you do 
not publifh it, I fliall be eafy and content, and in 
many refpe(5ls very glad, becaufe I Ihall not be ex- 
pofed to public cenfure. If you, however, fhould 
think it fit for publication, then I will arm myfelf 
againft all mifinterpretations, difagreeable criticifms, 
and the more pungent reproaches of my little 
modefty, by thinking with fome fenfible readers, 
<« that I never have wrote, nor ever fliall write, a 
<* book more ufeful than fuch a Journal j" and I 
fhall find confolation in the firm perfuafion, that I 
have not been influenced by vanity; and that, if 
ever I have publiflied a book with the pureft view 
of afibrding pleafure, and being ufeful to my fel- 
low-creatures, it is my Journal, 

I can, at the fame time, folemnly declare, that I 

fincerely wifli not a word might be faid to my 

b 4 pr^fe 


praife on the prefent occafiori, and that whatever 
deferves cenfure might be criticifed without mercy. 
Farewell, my friend 5 and do, at leaft, not defpife 
me, when you perceive fo many faults in my con-* 


John Caspar Lavater. 

June ij, i77«« 






JN O I my deareft friend, I am not fo unjufl: that 
I fliould fehtence to oblivion a work like your Jour- 
nal. I know that many fincere Chriilians wifh for 
its continuation, and I have every reafon to hope 
that (with the bleffing of God) it will prove ex- 
tremely ufeful, and that the utility of your perform- 
ance will greatly overbalance all accidental harm 
that may arife from the mifapplication of fome paf- 
fages that are liable to be mifconflrued. 

1 muft, indeed, confefs, that this continuation 
cannot be quite fo ufeful as the fir ft volume muft 
have been. The chief aim of the latter was to ex- 

XXvi THE editor's ANSWER 

cite Chrlftian readers to refled on themfelves, to 
obferve and to examine faithfully their fentiments 
and conduct, and to teach them, by examples, how 
to proceed in that buiinefs, and to which points to 
direct their chief attention. The moft material 
point that was to be conlidered, was not the hifto- 
rical part of the book, but its fitnefs for the attain- 
ment of that aim. This has been acknowledged 
by many of your readers, philofophers and non- 
philofophers, Chriftians and non-Chriftians ; and 
they would, merely for that reafon, have pronounced 
your book a ufeful performance, though its contents 
Ihould have been lefs interefting and good. This 
chief aim could, indeed, have been attained with- 
out the continuation ; but why fhould you not gra- 
tify the defire of fo many of your readers who 
wifh for its continuation, iince it is in your power 
to do it ? Why fhould you not improve the oppor- 
tunity that offers itfelf to vindicate yourfelf and the 
Editor, to remove a very plaufible contradiction 
between our mutual declarations, to refute the 
reproach of over-ftrained anxioufnefs, which has 



been imputed to you, and to obviate the bad con- 
fcquences which may arife from that charge, by 
convincing the world that you really poflefs a greater 
ihare of chearfulnefs and eafinefs with refpeiSl to 
whatever relates to Religion and Chriftianity ? 

This imputation could, indeed, never have been 
ftarted againft the book itfelf, which (as you juftly 
obferve) is neither precept nor pattern y hut ohfervaiion\ 
however, obfervations and experiences of a man 
who enjoys fome degree of efteem, may eafily be 
miftaken for, or mifapplied as, precepts or patterns. 
It affords me, therefore, additional fatisfation, that 
you yourfelf have cautioned your readers againft 
that over-ftrained anxioufnefs, and, in many in- 
ftances, have difplayed an eafy and ferene mind, 
and a free manner of thinking, with refpedl to reli- 
gious matters. It has, at the fame time, given mc 
a great deal of pleafure, that you fo repeatedly de- 
clare againfk fanaticifm, and have difplayed fo many 
uncontrovertible proofs of your being no fanatic. 
A fenfible heart, and a lively a^^ive zeal for what- 


ever is good, ought certainly not to be confounded 
with fanaticifm, though they may ealily lead to it. 

Many readers will, perhaps, find paffages in this 
book where you feem to overftep thefe limits ; I 
have, however, great reafon to hope, that the con- 
cifenefs of your fl;ile, and the obfcurity which ine- 
vitably muft arife therefrom, will prompt every 
candid reader to plead in your behalf. The more 
you accuftom yourfelf to arrange your ideas pro- 
perly (and that you certainly can do, becaufe you 
have attempted it already frequently with fuccefs), 
the more you endeavour to inJiruEl your readers in 
a plain and explicit manner, the more you will 
ward ofF all fufpicion of fanaticifmi 

As for the reft, I have found nothing in your 
book that could offend, or appear ridiculous to, 
readers who do not require abfolutely that an au- 
thor fliould think, feel, and exprefs himfelf, on every 
occafion, according to their own notions and plea- 
fure. Much lefs reafon have I to apprehend, that 
your countrymen and fellow-citizens, who, undoubt- 


cdly, win prefer plain fenfe to wit, and ferious tran- 
quil meditation to jocularity, will have the leaft ob- 
jection to the continuation of your Journal, or make 
its contents and their author objefts of a ridicule 
equally unfounded and offenfive. If the language 
of the Journal be not always the fame, the reafon- 
able reader will not be offended at this variety^ the 
latter being fomething very natural and unavoidable 
in the life of even the wifefl and moft pious man. — 
If in fome letters a free and dictatorial language 
occurs, it muft be confidered that thefe letters 
have been written to intimate friends, who cannot 
but be pleafed with that language. — If, finally, {tn- 
timents or maxims occur which fome readers efteem 
erroneous, or unftable, it muft be underftood that 
they are forced upon nobody, give an opportunity 
for reflexion, and ferve to improve us in fraternal 
forbea;rance, which is one of the chief duties of 
a Chriftian, 

In fhort, fince I am defired to tell my mind 
frankly, I muft declare, that I think the publica- 
tion of this book will be very yfeful. Although it 


SXX THE editor's answer 

cannot be a book of edification, like the firjl volume^ 
becaufe nothing is feledled or altered, it will never- 
thelefs promote piety ; and the refleBing reader will, 
at the fame time, be enabled, by this genuine and 
faithful Journal, to folve many apparent contradic- 
tions of your manner of thinking, your chara£ler,. 
and your writings, and fee how he has been mif^ 
taken In many refpedls in the judgement he has 
formed of you. 

This may be faid even of fome reviewers of your 
book. You are right, my deareft friend, when 
you fay that fome of them have miffed the proper 
point of view in which they ought to have exa- 
mined it. At lead what they charge on you, and 
our friend who has communicated the manufcript 
to me, as the principal defe^ of the book, namely, 
that one cannot exa£lly diftinguifh what is your 
own obfervation and hiftory, and what not, is, in 
my opinion, a real advantage which the firfl volume 
has over the fecond. This pretended defeft has 
introduced more variety into the work; and of 
iwhat concern can it be to the reader, whofe obje^ 



is inftfu^ion and edification, whether, for inftancc^ 
I have difplayed my vanity on riding in a fledge, 
or in a converfation on a book, if only the obfer- 
vation be true, and the remarks I make on that 
occafion juft and infl;ni£tive ? 

It will now be proper that I fhould account to 
you, and to the public, for the liberty I have taken 
with the fecond volume. You have, indeed, left 
a great deal to my difcretion ; more than I, per- 
haps, Ihould have accepted of any other author. 
I can flatter myfelf that I have taken the greateft 
care not to make an improper ufe of the liberty 
you have given me ; but whether I always have 
made the heft ufe of it, this is a queftion which you 
and your readers muft decide. 

I have omitted many unimportant, hiftorical in^ 
cldents which were not conncifled with your moral 
obfervations. Not becaufe I have deemed them 
abfolutely improper for publication, but becaufe 
they did not promife to be interefting to all, nor 
to moft of your readers, though fome of them 
have afforded me great pleafure. Some occurred 



too frequently, and would, therefore, have been 
tirefome to many j others required a fimpllcity of 
manners, veftiges of which can be traced only in 
few civilized copntries j and others were really un- 
important, and could he interefting to no one but 
the author and his family, Moft of your readers, 
perhaps, will think that I ought to have omitted a 
great many more incidents of that fort. Some- 
times I have done it merely for the fake of con- 
nection, fometimes for the fake of variety, fome- 
times out of confcientioufnefs, becaufe I fhould, 
otherwife, have been obliged to fubftitute fomething 
eife, and neither would nor durjft alter any thing 
of the text, grammatical errors excepted. 

It is, indeed, a particular pleafure to accompany, 
all the day long, a man whom we efleem, and who 
fignalifes himfelf by many pre-eminent qualities 
and merits, and to be an unfeen witnefs even of 
his moft trifling and unimportant actions. If we, 
however, have enjoyed this pleafure repeatedly, we 
jare, afterwards, fatisfied with learning only his moft 
remarkable fentiments and adlions, and prefer to 


- TO MR. I.AVATER. x»ii 

reprefent to our mind the trifling, unimportant in- 
cidents which occur every day, to a repeated and 
minute recapitulation of the fame^ He who, like 
you, my dear friend, writes a Journal for his own 
ufe, can, indeed, reap fome benefit even from the 
infertion of fuch trifling incidents. He can, for 
inftance, fum up, at the end of every week, or 
month, the hours which have been taken up with 
this or that fort of occupation, how much time he 
has fpent in reft and in occupation, in folitude and 
in company, in joy or grief, in his own or in foreign 
affairs, in a good or a bad ftate of mind, in felfifh 
or public-fpirited views 5 how much time he has 
loft through negligence, or gained through dili- 
gence and regularity, &c. &c. &c. The fituation 
of every individual reader differs, however, too 
much from the fituation of the author, than that 
he could draw the fame benefit from fuch minute 
accounts which the author can reap. It is fufficient 
for him to be inftru£ted, by a few examples, how 
to go about this bufinefs, and what requires his 
Vol. II, c particular 

XXXiv THE editor's ANSWER 

particular attention, if he will make fuch moral 

As for my remarks, you will be fo kind to view 
them in the light of well-meant, but, perhaps, not 
always well-executed additions, which are intended 
to render your book more ufeful. I have not made 
thefe remarks for you, but for your readers; for 
with you I can converfe, by means of letters, on 
fubje^ls of which we, perhaps, have different opi- 
nions, yet without detriment to our friendfliip and 
fraternal love. Should I, perhaps, not always have 
rightly comprehended your ideas, or gone too far 
in my apprehenfion that fome palTages might not 
be properly underftood, or mifapplied, then I beg 
you will believe that I have been prompted to it by 
the idea of the numerous clafs of your readers who 
will read your book with more pious and good fen- 
timents than clear and juft notions. I have paid 
particular attention to readers of this clafs, and 
endeavoured to guard them againft all mifinterpre- 
tation or mifapplication.— Being a natural enemy 



to all polemical language, I have found it fo much 
the lefs difficult to fteer clear of it ; and when I 
appear to contradict, Ihave generally endeavoured 
to contradict, not the maxim contained in the text, 
but the falfe conclufions which might be derived 

I need not to fay any thing farther in my defence. 
No ! you would have reafon to be offended, if I 
were to apologize to you for the ufe I have made 
of the liberty you have given me. 

May God protect and affiil you with his powerful 
aid ! May he grant you the bleffing of fucceeding 
in your endeavours to promote Chriftian piety, and 
the happinefs of human kind ! 

I am^ 

With the fincereft regard and love. 
Your faithful friend. 

The Editor, 







If we would judge ourfelves, we Hiould not be judged. 

Tuesday, Nov. io(^), 1772. 

Being at tea with my wife, I complained 
of the great extent of my bufinefs, and con- 
fulted with her on the limitation of my cor- 
refpondence 1 took the refolution not to 

{a) I had neglefted, for a confiderable time, to conti- 
nue this Journal. 

Vol. II. B enter 


enter into any new one, if not neceffitated 
to do it, except with a gentleman with 
whom I am not yet acquainted — I faid to 
myfelf, I mull make him my friend, if it 
pleafe God ; I cannot do without him ; my 
heart has panted for him more ardently than 
I dared to fay. Ten times was I going to 
write to him ; but not knowing the place 
of his abode, and having received no anfwer 
to a letter which I had written four years ago, 
and chiefly becaufe I thought it intruding to 
trouble fuch a man without having a parti- 
cular reafon, I omitted it — And this gentle- 
man is Mr. N***. 

A friend came to fee me, becaufe I was 
not quite well — We converfed on many good 
fubjefts; I am, however, not at leifure to 

write our converfation down. Leonard 

brought me a letter from the poll— An un- 
known hand — " Again a letter from a ftran- 
«• ger !'* — faid I, coolly, to my friend—" and 

" this 


" this very evening I have taken a refolution 
" not to begin a new correfpondence with- 
" out neceffity." I unfealed it — looked at 
the fignature — and exclaimed tw^ice : " From 
*' Mr. N*** ! — O ! my good, good God ! is 
" it poflible ?'* I wanted to read it, but 
could not — I related, ftammered, and laid 

the letter afide. — " O 1 thou paternal, 

" friendly, tender Providence of my God ! 
*' thou haft granted the moft fecret wifhes 
" of my heart before I have uttered them !" 

I went to bed 5 read the letter, and trem- 
bled with the defire to tell P*** of it — but 

he did not come. I wrote no anfwer to 

N*** — but only a fheet filled with expref- 
fions of the tendereft friendihip — only the 

efFufions of my joy (Z') Here follow fome 

paffages of his letter : 

(3) I infert a few paffages from this Letter, which I 

think fo inftrudive, that it would be xnjuftice and ingra- 

B 2- titudc 


^^ I cannot deny that a certain frigid, 
'^ nervelefs tone has mixed itfelf with Chrif- 
** tianity, as well as with many other obje6ts ; 
" and that moral (particularly according to 
" fome Englifli theological philofophers) is 
" become a certain found, external policy, 
'^ and an empty internal tranquillity, in a 
" higher degree than it ought to be ; I will 
" not fay according to the fpirit of religion, 
^' but only according to the condition and 
" the wants of human kind, who, certainly, 
" are not a frigid abftraiSl:, but a body com- 
" pofed of numberlefs operative powers, 
" Even with your friend N*** is this the 
" original fm of all his writings, by which 
" he does fo much mifchief, though invo- 
** luntarily. Should we, perhaps, not be 

titude towards the Providence of my God, If — vanity 
fliould prevent me from communicating them to the 
public. L. 

« fenfible 


*^fenfible of this fault which we fo fre- 
« quently commit ?— But let us difcufs this 
*' point at fome other opportunity, and exa- 
" mine the chief end of your book ; at the 
" fame time let me beg of you (not the 
*^ liberty on my part, for that you muft al- 
" low me, but) on your part that felf-denial, 
" that refignation, without which you, as I 
" find in many paffages of your performan^^> 
« look upon every thing ^s ipoken agaitill 
'' yourfelf. This is not right, although you 
'^ may reply with ever fo much modera- 
te tion. It is evident (for inftance, from 

« the preface to the fecond (r) volume), that 

[c) Mr. N*** alludes to Mr. Lavater*s Views of Eter- 
nlty, a book of very great value, though replete with 
many eccentric notions. The trauQator has attempted 
an Englifh verfion of this work, and means to offer it to 
the public, if it receives the fanAIon of fome of his 
learned friends, to whofe examination he intends pre- 
▼ioufly to fubmit it, 

B 3 " you 


'^ you always fpeak of eternity, as if it were 
*^ your own work, and not that of God. In 
" the fecond volume you have already been 
" frequently milled by expatiating too long 
" on that fort of occupation ; one fees clearly 
" that you are no longer an obferver and 
" contemplator of divine myfteries, but an 
" arbitrary arcnite6l of your own^ and, fre- 
^^ quently, very trifling, indifferent, and 
" unimportant ideas ; yon rejoice at the 
" fcafFolding which does not belong to the 
^^ building. Dear Lavater, this is already a 
^^ real ftate o^ punijhmenty is f elf -will , and you 
^' know what the confequences are, if one 
^ has been drawn into it. Eternity is a great, 
^^ nay, the greateft concern of God, which 
** we, deareft Lavater, cannot honor better 
" than if we contemplate it with all religna- 
" tion of felf-invention, and of courfe keep 
** in certain bounds, and, in proper time, 

" caji 




*^ caji down our eyes, and reftrain our thirft of 
" knowledge. This is pra£tical adoration, 
** and of far greater valiie than words. 
" What can Godperformm me, in the fmallefb 
** world ? what in all worlds ? and what can 
" Lavater guefs ? 

" You fee what a great deal of your book 
" muft be melted down, particularly in the 
fecond volume, in which your theories are 
nothing elfe but the workmanfhip of a 
** mole, and childijh reafoning. - . - - 

*' Time and paper bid me to finilli my letter, 
" and I have not yet faid what I wanted to 
"fay ... . . If we but agree v^ith refpe£t to 
*^ the point of view in which every thing 
" muft concentre, in order to roufe here the 
" future angel in us, and to teach us to fa- 
" crifice, with entire refignation, every other 

^ objeft to God alone" 

B 4 I confeft 


I confefs before God that this letter, al- 
though very humiliating, nay, even thofe few 
paflages which I think erroneous, have not 
excited in me the leaft, not the moft fecret 
anger, and that I have fmcerely thanked 
God for this very inilruftive letter No- 
thing can humble me more, nothing affords 
me more moral energy and greatnefs, nothing 
can elate me more, than fuch tender proofs 
of the divine Goodnefs to me. 

Ought I not to have tranfcribed this ? — 
O ! that I were more at leifure to fet down 
in my Journal much, very much of what 
God does for me ! how frequently fhould I 
afterwards be aftoniflied and adore ! An ad- 
ditional reafon for continuing my Journal^ 
which I have neglefted a great while ! 



LETTER /c? Mn. B***. 

Is it polTible, my dear Mrs. B. (I fay this 
by way of reply to your letter to our dear 
Mrs. H.) that you could be fo much want- 
ing m faith, although particularly favoured 
by Providence ? 

What fhall I fay to you ? — Should you be 
the only human being whom God fliould 
vifit without having a paternal view in doing 
fo ? Should he punifli all his creatures with 
tendernefs, and purfue — only you with unre- 
lenting ire ? 

The. goo dnefs of God has given you a" child 
according to the laws of nature, and not the 
fame goodnefs of God fhould have taken it 
from you, according to the fame laws ? 

If you would but begin to fum up the 
real and undeniable proofs of God's mercy 



which jou experience every day, and have 
experienced fo particularly this day ; v^ould 
then the fmall portion oijeeming evil, mixed 
with them, be able to extinguifh every fpark 
of faith which can repofe on many thoufand 
proofs ? 

It would be fliort-lightednefs, baflifulnefs, 
and felf- willed obllinacy againll God — if you 
would ferioufly maintain that you fhould be 
more content and happy if your child were 

ftill alive Certainly you would not — elfe 

your child would not be dead. — Aik all fuf- 
fering parents whether children who Jliare 
ihtix fufferings are a comfort or a burden ? 

O ! my dear, good Mrs. B. ! believe me, 
God is a better friend to you — loves you 
more tenderly than Mrs. Sch**, and better 
than a mortal can love a mortal, better than 
any one can cherilh the darling of his heart. 


Nov. 12, I772» 



To Mr. Hasencamp. 

Nov. 14, 1772, 
Is Hafencamp ftill alive ? Is he ftill my 
friend ? — Thefe queftions i have, frequently, 
put to myfelf — A printed preface told me : 
Yes ! — I thank you, my brother, for that 
preface ! I am juft beginning to read Oet- 
tinger's work on the High-prieflhood of 
Chrift (for I received it but to-day), and 
will examine it fairly — It ilrikes me, how* 
ever, that the Spirit of conviction which was 
in Chrift and in St. Paul is not in him. Hi^ 
lofty ideas force their way through every- 
thing, or rather fall foul on every thing. 
Has this been the method of Jefus Chrift i 
He brought to light what already exifted^ 
built always upon it what found reafon and- 



confcience would allow ; combined the new 
do6trines with the old ones, and fhowed the 
analogy of the former with the latter. 

1 have, neverthelefs, found in Oettinger's 
book great ideas, which, lately, I have partly 
detefted myfelf, aflifted by the light of God, 
But this is not meant to be a critique. 

The third volume of my Views of Eternity 
has been fent to Duifburg, and there awaits 
its fentence from the honcft, unbialTed, and 
enlightened Hafencamp. 

I am not quite well, p*"^^, the darling 
of my heart, is with me, and greets our 




Sunday, Nov. 15, 1772, 

I HAVE (thanks to thee, my good father 
in heaven !) had a good and eafy night, and 
my cough has not troubled me in the leaft. 

I awoke before fix o'clock, and began to 
admire my life, the Providence of God, my 
origin and death, and my future deftiny. — 
I prayed aloud, and filently, with great emo- 

It was eight o'clock when I got up ; my 
cough was violent, and ftunned my head. 
The bells were juft ringing for church. It 
was fomething new to me to be at home fo 
lonely and fo ftill, during the ringing of the 
bells ; and every new unufual iituation has 
a very fenfible effect on my feelings— a fweet, 
foft melancholy trembled through my breall 
-— — Preacher and hearers pafifed the review 


14 jbtTRNAL OF A 

in my imagination — I myfelf made obferva- 
tions as preacher and hearer — was afhamed 
and — pleafed. " So many ufeful things will 
" be heard to - day ! Many a thoughtless 
" mind will be roufed to refieiStion ! How 
" many hearts, eager to be edified, will be 

^^ comforted ! How much wickednefs 

" would be occafioned, promoted, and pro- 
" pagated, if there were no public worfhip, 
'^ no fermons ! Why are we fo indifferent 
" to this blifsfal inftitution of Providence ; 
" why am I^ as preacher, fo infenfible ? 
" why, as hearer, fo callous, although I hear 
" in the church which I frequent, in general, 
" very ufeful fermons, which could produce 
" fuch happy effects on my mind?'' 

The bells ceafed ringing: I drank my 
herb tea, and walked half an hour with 
great tranquillity up and down my room. 
The company of my little fon gave me 



great pleafure. My wife had been watch- 
ing with her fick filler. I opened the new 
edition of the Bible publifhed at Zurich, 
and read the 15th and i6th chapters of the 
firft book of the Chronicles. How much 
did my love for David increafe ! how ftrongly 
did I feel the truth of his infpiration ! Let 
the heart of them rejoice that feek the Lord ! 
Seek the Lord and his jirength ; feek his face 
continually ! Let the heavens he glady and let 
the earth rejoice ! Let the fea roar, and the 
fulnefs thereof ! Let the fields rejoice, and all 
that is therein ! O ! give thanks unto the 
Lord, for he is good ; for his mercy endiireth 
for ever ! O ! how could I have prefTed the 
anointed of God to my bofom, when he fat 
before the Lord, and fpake : tVho am I, O 
Lord God, and what is mine houfe, that thou 
hafi brought me hitherto f Ajid yet this was a 
fmall thing in thine eyes, God ! for thou haji 



alfo fjioken of thy Jervanfs hoiije for a great 
while to come, and haji regarded fne according 
to the efiate of a man of high degree. O Lord 
God I zvhat can David /peak more to thee for 
the honour of thy fervant F foi' thou knowefi thy 
fervant ! 

And what fliall./ fay to thee, O Lord 
God : on this day r What haft thou done 
for me from my juvenile days to this hour ! 
How much more haft thou blefTed me than 
many thoufands of my fellow -creatures! 
How great is the number even of thy moll 
diftinguilhed bleffings ! How much haft thou 
inftru6ted me, how much enlightened and 
improved me, through friends and foes, 
through books and converfation ; how much 
through thy gofpel ! How much more ferene, 
unbiafted, and eafy, am I now ! It is true, 
my heart is not alv/ays, is not wholly thine } 
I feek thee, however, with more confidence 



and more certainty of finding thee wholly ! 
How evidently haft thou heard my prayers 
for knowledge and wifdom ! how much 
more do I now fee thee in all things ! how 
much opener is my eye and my heart on 
every, even on the moft eternal changes of 
things, to behold thee^ to adore and to love 
thee ! Although I am far diftant from the 
mark which I am to attain, and perceive 
every day that other affections befides the- 
love of Chrift and his beloved creatures are 
aftive within me, creep in among my better 
inclinations, and poifon them ; although I 
ftill have great reafon to lament my almoll 
unconquerable indolence, alas ! particularly 
with refpeft to prayers, yet I perceive, never- 
thelefs, improvement in faith, in love, and 
in hope, and find it every day lefs difficult 
to fubmit to the omnipotent and befl will 
of Providence, to believe what I do not fee, 
and to love where I am not beloved. 
Vol. II. C O! 


! how much do I rejoice at the true 
words of Jefus Chriit : Every branch in me that 
hear eth fruit he purges, that it may bring forth 
more fruit, 

1 am, however, in many points, not fo 
good as my friends tell me— -I am, certainly, 
not fo kind, fo modeft, and fo moderate! 
God knows, I do not contradi6t them out 
of an afFe6led modefly ; I know it ; I feel it ; 
I mull confefs it. I am alliamed, but will 
not be difpirited. God has fupported me, 
as yet, more than I deferved ; and he will 
continue to fupport me more than I ever 
fliall deferve ; will know how to accompliili, 
againft the day of Jefus Chrift, the good 
work he has begun in me. 

The idea of being thought better, by 
others, than I really am, is infupportable 
to me. Ol it is fuch a happinefs to be 
really what one is believed to be ; to be 
better in the eyes of God than one appears 



to men ; and I will and can not be eafy, till 
I am thoroughly better in the eyes of God, 
than I appear to men. I will, however, 
never feparate from that juft and natural 
difTatisfadion with myfelf the faith in the 
future aid of God, the hope that I can ar- 
rive to that degree of perfection which God 
defires I fhall attain. 

O ! if I could but pray more frequently 
and fervently ! — O ! my God ! how many 
of thy children may fancy that I Hand whole 
hours before thee(i) by day and by night — 
andj alas ! this is but very feldom the cafe ! 
I know, O ! father, one fmgle moment of 

(i) To dedicate whole days to devotion, to medita- 
tion, reading, ptayers, &c. &c. &c. is very good, and 
ufeful; but to fpend whole hours In what is properly 
called praying, is, in moll cafes, neither poflible nor ad- 
vifeable, if one fhall not become guilty of vain repeti- 
tions, againft which Jefus Chrift cautions us, Matth. vi. 
V, 7. Editor. 

C 2 filial 


filial faith is equal in value to a whole day 
of verbal prayers (f). My remiffnefs and 
negligence in prayers is, however, the efFe8: 
of indolence, weaknefs, averfion from thee, 
and w^ant of knowledge of love, and of a 
lively fenfe of thy blifsful amiablenefs. 

How frequently and how long (hall I be 
obliged to repeat this old complaint ? How 
needful is it to me, to fix particular hours 
for the performance of it ? becaufe I always 

(e) A good a(!lion, acceptable to God, ufeful to our 
brethren, and performed with a finccre heart, is alfo of 
4nuch greater value than the longefl verbal prayer which 
does not incite us to aft, or, which is worfc, prevents us 
from being ufeful to our fellow-creatures* Do not fuffer 
thyfelf to be mifled, my Chriftian brother ! Prayers are 
only means of promoting piety and reclitudc, but never 
mull be confounded with them. He who foilers in his 
heart the fenfe of his dependance upon God, and, con- 
forming to his fituation and calling, performs the will of 
God cheerfully and willingly, becaufe he knows that it is 
the will of God to do fo, prays without intcrmlflion. T, 



Aide over this moft important, moft natural, 
and blelTed occupation, till, at night, I can- 
not refill fleep, overcome with wearinefs. 

If God bleffes me fo much at prefent, 
how much more capable (hall I render my- 
felf to be blefTed by him, if I pray more 
repeatedly and continually (/) ! 

My little fon interrupted me frequently 
by his queftions ; I was, at iirft, rather angry 
with him, but did not fliew it, and anfwered 
him always ; at length, he and myfelf were 
more fatisfied. 

I read, afterwards, in the Odes of Klop- 
ftock, and prayed with him : " O ! let me 

(/) Not only prayers, but alfo every lawful and faith- 
ful application of our abilities and faculties, of our gifts 
and pofTeflions, render us capable of attaining a higher 
degree, and a greater meafure, of the blelHngs of God, 
Prayer is not to raife us above human nature, but is in- 
tended to render us wiUing and akle to perform the duties 
which are incumbent on us as men, Editor. 

C 3 " live 


" live, that I may die when I have attained 
'-■ :the mark ! that I may not begin my great 
" career beyond the grave, till I have fang 
" triumphantly the hymn that proclaims thy 
" glory ! O ! thou, my mafler, who halt 
" taught the greatnefs of God v^ith power 
" divine, (how me the path which thou hafl 
*' trodden, whereupon the holy feers, the 
" proclaimersof thyMajefty, fang rapturous 
^- fongs I Show me the career whereupon, 
' at the diilant mark, the palm of viftory 
" is difplayed ; that my confecrated arm may 
*' take flames from the altar of God, and 
" pour the blazing fire into the hearts of 
" thy redeemed !" 

I continued my Journal, played w^ith my 
little girl, and then went to dinner. The 
fervant came to look for my little fon ; we 
called him, fearched every where, but could 
not find him. I was feized with anxiety, 



and felt how relu6lantly Ifhould facrlfice 
him to the will of my heavenly father. I fent 
my fervant out, and fhe found him with his 
mother in the y^//-/zo^^, whither he went 
without his hat, becaufe he could not find 
her at home, and had not feen her the whole 
evening, which he was not ufed to. 

After dinner, I wrote to Frankfort, and 
refumed the Odes of Klopftock. I paffed 
fome of the Odes over, reading over and 
over again only thofe which were fubiime 
with refpe6t to the fubje6t they were written 
upon : To the Redeemer ; To the Omniprefent ; 
The Contemplation of God; Hymn on Spring'; 
The Merciful ; The World ; The Stars : I willi 
he had wrote no other Odes, but fuch (though 
even thefe Odes could bear fome more new, 
bright ideas) ; none which paint with the 
greateft poetical fublimity, trifling, though 
innocent pleafures. I alfo do not like the 
C 4 fafliion- 


fafhionable introdu£lion and revival of the 
old German mythology, and the language 
of the ancient bards, although mere poetical 
ears may relifh it ever fo much. Such pieces 
will do very well for poetical exercife j they 
ought, however, not to be laid before the 
public, which is fo fond of imitating, by an 
author whofe great celebrity cannot but be 
feducing. It gave me great pleafure to ob- 
ferve that the imitation of the ancient bat- 
tle-fong, the drinking-fong, and the love-air, 
are left out in this excellent collection, and, 
of courfe, as I hope, have been difapproved 
by the pious poet. They were, indeed, quite 
unwarrantable pieces, which, certainly, mufl 
frequently have made blufh that great author, 
that confidant of the angels. 

My wife came home, and lovingly depo- 
iited oa my face her mother's and her filler's 
blelT^ng, along with her own. We were 



fitting for fome time, hand in hand, without 
fpeaking much^ the cough having fatigued 

me. 1 read, during the evening fervice, 

the Epiftle to the Ephefians. How abun- 
dant in fublime ideas, in great hints, and 
excellent inftruclions, is this epiftle ! — God 
Jias chofen us before the foundation of the worlds 
that wejhould he holy and imthout blame before 
him in love. How infinitely much do thefe 
words imply 1 What philofopher from Eaft 
to Weft has ever fpoken that language? 
Are there any where elfe to be found ex- 
preffions, ideas, hints, and inftru61ions, fo 
important, and fo abounding in hidden 
knowledge [g] ? To knozv what are the riches 


{g) Altheugh the fubfequent apoftolical inflru6lions 
and precepts are very true and excellent, and worfjjy of 
an inflrud^or of human-kind, yet I muft caution thee, 
Chriflian reader, againft the erroneons idea, that the 



of the glory of God's inheritance in the faints^ 
and zvkat is the exceeding greatnejs of his power 
to lis ivard who believe— The church (thefociety 
of all thofe who have become good men through 
Chrift) is the body of God, the fulnefs of him 
that fiUeth all in all. God, who is rich in 

words of the Gofpel fignify whatever they can fignify, 
or that every fentence of the Bible is an inexhauftible 
fource of fmgular ideas and revelations in religious mat- 
ters. This would be the fureft means of rendering the 
Gofpel a very obfcure and myfterious book. If thou 
wilt underftand the Holy Scripture, then do not afk. 
What meaning may be found, or can I fnd, in this fen- 
tence or paiTage ? I rather would advife thee to aflc. How 
could (for example) St. Paul, who was a learned fewy 
how could the Ephelians, &c. &c. &:c. the new-con- 
verted Chridians from the Jews and Heathens, underftand 
it ? If thou, at the fame time, art better inftruAed, then 
divefl ihofe pafTages which found rather ftrange of the 
Hebrew garment they ftill wear in our tranflations. Thus 
thou wilt find (for example) that — to know what are the 
riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the faints — 
can have no other meaning, but — to know what great 
advantages Chriftians have over other people. 



mercy, for his great love zvherezvith he loved us, 
even when we were dead in fins, has quickened 
us together with Chrift, and has raifed us tip 
together, and made us fit together in heavenly 
places through Chrift Jefiis — that in the ages to 
come he might fliow the exceeding riches of his 
grace in his kindnefs tozvards us through Chrift 
Jgj^s — If^e are God's workmanfliip, created in 
Chrift Jefus unto good zvorks, which God has 
before ordained, that zveftiould walk in them. — • 
Through him zve both have accefs by one fpirit 
unto the Father — fVe are no more ftr angers and 
foreigners, but fellow- citizens zvith the faints, 

and of the houfehold of God PVe niift be 

framed unto a holy temple in the Lord Unto 

the principalities and powers in heaven fliould be 
knozj^t by the church the manifold wifdom of 

QqJ^ ff^0 muft be rooted and grounded in 

love, that we may be able to know the love of 
Chrift which pajfeth knowledge, that we might 


28 Journal of a 

I e filled v:ith all the fullnejs of God. God /> 

able to do exceeding abundantly above all we 

afk or think. There is one body^ one fjiirit, 

one hojie of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one 
baptifm, one God and Father of all, who is above 
cdly and through all, and in all -, therefore we 
fliall endeavour to keep the unity of the fjiirit in 
the bond cf peace. 

We fliall all come in the unity of knowledge 

unto a jierfe6l man, nji to the meafure of the 

flature of the fulnefs of ChriJL — JVe fliall be 

righteous, we fJiall hijhand the truth in love. — 

We fliall he kind and rnercif id— forgive each 

ether, as God has forgiven us for Chrifi's fake. — 

WefJiallbefollczvers of God, as dear children, 

walk in love ; facrifice ourfelves one for another 

to God, as the Son of God has facrifice d himfelf 

for us. We fiiall be a light of God—under' 

flanding what the will of the Lord is — and, 

full of his fjiirit, be ufeful and give pleafure to 



one another, giving thanks akvaysfor all to God-, 
piall juhmit ourfelves to one another in the fear 
of God. WefJiall love our wives and hujbandsy 
as the Son of God loveth men, who are of his 
flejii and of his bones. All infincerity of hearty 
as if do7ie to the Son of God. — We Jliall always 
look up unto the Lord of heaven, with whom 
there is no refpeB of perfons. 

O ! my heart ! how could'ft thou ever read 
thefc palTages, thefe expreffions, v^khout be* 
ing fenfible, that this is the language of the 
mofl fubhme truth ; the voice of him whofe 
work thou art, and whom thou never canft 
perceive more fweetly aad happily, than 
when thou, in loving thy brethren and iiflers 
Cncerely and difint-ereiledly," lovefl him who 
gives life unto every thing — Every one that is 
of the truth heareth, underflandeth, and fol- 
low eth the voice of God. I wrote an ode, 
intitled. My Exijlence-, then continued my 


30 Journal of a 

Journal, remained fome time longer in pri-*- 
vate, and afterwards fat a few minutes with 
my mother. I was called aw^ay ; read fome 
tender and kind congratulations which quite 
made me bluih, and returned an anfwer 
nearly in thefe words : ** O 1 ye loving and 
" beloved friends, you are too kind ! I dare 
*^ not accept your kindnefs, till I can fhow 
" myfelf to you in my real form, till nothing 
" is left within me that endeavours to con- 
" ceal itfelf from you ; then only I fliall be 
" deferving of your love and your good 
" wilhes.'' 

Some friends came to fee us — We read a 
few of Klopftock^s odes ; difcourfed on the 
caprice and the diffatisfa^lion of children. 
Converfation with fuperiors and inferiors is 
particularly beneficial to them, becaufe they 
ufe themfelves to become fenfible, that fu- 
periors and inferiors ftand in the fame pre- 


dicaments with themfelves. I fend my fon 
to the pubhc fchool for, almoft, no other 
reafon, but to make him more fociable ; to 
train him up to afTociate with men, although 
he Ihould learn nothing elfe there ; nay, even 
if he ihould (as 1 have not the leaft doubt) 
learn many improper and bad things. This 
evil feems to me not to be compared to 
fhynefs, that dreadful bane of fociable plea- 
fure — to a difpofition to defpife and to avoid 
human fociety. Individual bad difpofitions 
and faults which his mind may be tainted 
with, and which, generally, fhow themfelves 
while in the bud, at leaft foon after they 
have taken poifelTion of the mind, can more 
cafily be removed by degrees, when they are 
perceived, than the dreadful inclination of 
the whole character to man-hatred, morofe- 
nefs, and roguifli fullennefs. Befides, I think 
it alfo ought not to be neglefted, and ever 



to be kept in view by thofc who write on 
education, and make a profefiion of edu- 
cating children, as it ought to be the conftant 
obje6i: of all {)reachers and moral writers, 
tkai we mtift take the world as it isy and that 
we cannot alter its order and regulation. The 
fituations and connexions in which we are, 
may be good or bad; they are always as 
they are. It would, therefore, be foolifli to 
endeavour to alter them ; and if one cannot 
do that, to feclude and tear one's felf from 
them. Men and children muft, confequently, 
be trained up to behave prudently, and to 
a6l right in thofe fituations which cannot be 
altered ; children, therefore, muft not be ufed 
to be gentle and virtuous only in private 
and at home ; one muft not fancy to educate 
them well, if one fecludes them from the 
fociety and noife of children ; they alfo muft 
karn and ufe themfelves to be good among 



the bad, becaufe it is impolTible to prevent 
them from mixing with the bad. If they 
fhall become wife and happy, then they 
muft acquire a moral firmnefs 2.nd feif-con- 
ftfiency of their own, which is entirely inde- 
pendent upon and free from authoritative 
infpeftion ; but this they cannot acquire by 
means of any artificial education whatever. 

I perufed Oettinger's work on the High- 
friejihood of Jejus Chrift[h). A few, however. 

(h) Not having read Oettinger's works, I neither can 
nor dare judge of their deferts. They are, however, ac- 
cording to the teftimony of judicious and impartial men, 
very myfterious, and partly unintelligible ; I fhall, o£ 
courfe, never read them ; and the fame advice I would 
give to all unlearned Chrlftians. He who cannot fpend 
much time with reading, and is not, what they commonly 
call, a man of letters, ought to be very cautious in the 
choice of his books, and to read only thofe which he can 
eafily underftand, and apply to his inflru^lion and im- 
provement. Whatever is moft eafily underftood in fcrlp- 
turc is always the moft iifeful and important. Editor. 

Vol. II. D by. 


by far not fuificiently digelied great kleas 
excepted,;! have found very little in it 3 lefs 
than the worthy Haffencamp, whofe under- 
/landing and heart i-s, in every other refpecl^ 
^o found, gave me reafon to expe61. 

But why does r^y heart feel fo littk fatif- 
iaflion at being quoted by Oettinger, a man 
fo generally eileemed ? Why can I not help 
feeling ib me fecret uneaiinefs, malaije^ and 
an obfcure difpjeafure, which feems to be 
afraid of myfelf, find far that very reafojs 
paiTes • quickly, .by, when- I fee my name 
printed by< that of Oettlnger and Bengelf Is 
this vanity? childifh fear to be laughed at 
as a follower of them? — and,"ye.t, my heart 
tells me, that they are honeft, pious, and, 
in many refpefls, deferving and a6live men 3 
tells me audibly, that, iii fpite of the fam« 
^hich my ftile has procured me, I do npj 
come up with them^ neither in piety nor in 


meeknejfe;^ thattb^y have the concerns of^ 
God^-^nd of the kingdom of Ghrifly more 
at hgart thap myfelf, notwithftandiiig^ tbe 
weaknefsy peciilferky, and obfcurityj whic.hj 
may appefar in tjieir writings, afid charafter-^:) 
that Lmuii' lay afide a great- ni?iny:.tlling^^; 
and- (4s hfpther H:afenGai^j) ; adipqiijAes i?ii^j 
\yit.h' fp n^ii<?hi fraternal; kindnefe). that L muff- 

j^//r^i^i. i/,;:injtj^e wprl4": X*^ ^^r^: the 

fearehei* of heaivts certekily wiH m^e knovwij 
t^eir- virtues> and embla^e^th^i^; wkh r'acli3<i^j 
light^ I.(lially,ia t^^^^ fr^^Ji fipcerely- (^) 
lightiA't^fcandoiir Qod-. CVi.ord-.l cleanf^ 
my be^rt fe>m ^ir the' dregs^ol .vanity^ ppg^h 
OeH,. p-lld^ foulrppifpning: cniV:y If— Q^/yr 7/;^^: 
//^tf/ h^ve^Jmr-e Ikaft'S jimll h^Mti iJteey ,I^4Mi 
E*^* $;^?^,; ai^td was^ gj^: tOi ftM u§{fi;?k 
focfetl)^ ^^peacefu^y air^ni^l^; We}f[\ubfe 
of Mrs. p. and her %\ll feml)gr incm^^W 
about t}>e Ipfo of her only c)ill^^ her- foje ji^ 
' ; D z on 


on earth. I thought that if one more epiflo- 
lary attempt of confoling her fliould be 
made, it would be beft not to fay much 
more on that head, and not to comfort her 
exprefsly and direftly; becaufe her grief 
would then, perhaps-, fooner abate. — One 
can, indeed, frequently render grief more un- 
conquerable by applying confolations which 
do not ftrike home. People who are much 
affli6ted at a real misfortune, which cannot 
be retrieved, will not be comforted';, becaufe 
they find a kind of pleafure in abandoning 
themfelves to their melancholy. Every di- 
re6t attempt to tear them from their luxu- 
rious grief is a kind of violence againft 

which their heart revolts p*** told me 

that he was going to preach from the words^, 
JVho maketh thee to differ from another f and 
what kajl thou that thou didjl not receive P — 
We cannot refleft too much on the idea, 
that whatever 'vve have has been received. 



We rvh God in the full fenfe of the word, 

if mc confider the leaft thing in the world 

as our own work ; for it is literally true, in 

the fulleft fenfe of the word, that wc are not 

fufficknt of ourfelves to think any thing as of 

ourfelvex ; but our fufficiency is of God, It is 

^ne of the charaSeriftics of the fickly mode 

of interpretation, peculiar to our, in many 

lefpedts, as much as poflible unphilofophical 

century, that we call to our aid, and lavifh 

grammar and learning. In order to confine the 

mod general truths to a local fenfe, becaufe 

they have, perhaps, been applied by Jefus 

Chrift, or his apoftles, to ^particular cafe; 

and that we treat with a kind of contempt 

thofe who do not degrade ^general truth to 

a heal one, becaufe it has been applied to 

a particular cafe !!!(/) 


(i) Should it alfo be unphilofophical^ if one endeavours 

to aliign to errry feriptural paflage tfxed fenfe, adapted 

D 3 t.© 


We 'happened to difcourfe on the fublime 
'^fentence of St. Paul, All are your's ; ye are 
Chrijl's, and Chrift is God's : God has deli- 

to the rules of the language, to the purport and the con* 
nedion of the difcourfe, and the individual fituation of 
'the auditor, and refufes to make every thing of every 
thing ? In the paffage, We are not fufficlent of our/elves y 
Sec, Sec. Sec. the apofUe fpeaks evidently of himfelf and 
ills fellow- apoililes, and of their ability to adminifler the 
functions of the evapgdical niiniilr)'. Why then fliould 
we not explain that paffage to that purport , but apply it 
to a matter which, though ever fo true, is quite foreign 
to the objed in view? Certainly, none will prefume to 
deny that we derive all our abilities and faculties from 
God, and that he alone preferves them ; and he who feels 
end b<*lie'^s 'this> fincerely' cannot poflibly be proud. But 
<loes It follow' thence,' that wt can do nothing at all with 
the faculties which God has granted us. If he does not 
continually influence lis in an immediate "^nd miraculous 
cn^nhcr"? ** We apoftIes'(St. Paul fays in the paffage 
quoted above) " have not ourfelves invented the doftrlne 
«* we are preaching, but it has been revealed to us by 
*' God," Dare we, now, conclude from that, that all 
XHT good thoughts-ttre -derived, Tn-the/zm? manner, and 
In thtfamefenfe, -from God, and confequently are di'vine 
revelations ? E. 


!^ :& F - O B S E R V £li. ^ ^ 

vered every thing' ta Chrifl, ChriH to his re- 
deemed , and jet every one retains his right T 
What God' pofleffes' is Chrift's ; what Chni? 
poflefles. is the pf.oper-ty of his whole con- 
gregation (^). O^ God ! open our e^^es, tlia^ 
tve may kilo^r our dignity, and What are tHe^ 
nches of God^^ mheritance ih the faints F 

(/') Can this paflfage, if read in connedlon \vith the 
pwcedrngi and fttbfequ^nt words* Ivave^ any other m6aftinig> 
than, Do not adhere, in a fchifmatical wianHer, to an)^ 
individual teacher of the gofpel : do not boaft of one 
<-^ofile in fuch a lAatrtter-that yedefpifcthd^reifi-ztrrti zflie- 
^ate ycmdelv^s froRj themi; be not }ie, aherefc^e, fervaatfi^ 
of men.^ j^l! isjour^s: whai^yer God fpeaks. and per- 
forms through us thud's to yoiir happihefs ; and" you can, 
and ought to profit hj^ tahatevtr'. Wc. pr.each:. awd do,^al* 
though our gifts and delivery fliould differ ever fo much, 
Te are Chrlft^s : his difciplcs, his property ; and not dif- 
dples, nor fervants, of Paul or Cephas, or any mortal 
whatever, Chr'tjl is God^s : he himfelf Is the ambaffador 
of God, who taught and executed only what God has 
ordered him to teach and to perform ; and who did r^ot 
feek^iis own glory, but that of his heavenly Father. E. 


D 4 Before 


Before fupper I was alone for a little 
while. My cough was very violent; the 
excretion had a tafte of blood. This recalled 
the idea of death flrongly to my mind. 
Gentle, filial fubmiflion wreftled with a fe- 
cret wifh to live longer, and to execute firft 
this and that on earth. I would not fee 
what 1 was, nor what I had performed; 
but what I could have performed, what I 
ought to have been. O God ! how hu«ible 
ought I to be ? 

I fupped with my parents, was eafy in 
my mind; yet I melted fevcral times into 
tears at the idea, if I were to wafte my 
vital powers with coughing. 


^£XF-OSSSR,Y£]t. 4t 

M<>NDAy, Npy. i6, 177^. 

At breakfaft I communicr.ted to my wift 
the preface of Oettingefs work on the 
High'priefihoQd of Chrift. *' I fhould be glad" 
(fhe faid) ** if they would write of you nei- 
ther bad nor good !" 

I wrote a few trifles; fettled feme oeco- 
pomical concerns with my wife ; and begge^ 
P***, who called on me, on pafling my 
houfe, to fupply my place in the houfe of 
Orphans. I requefted him, at the fame 
time, to fearch for fomething among my 
papers: be could not find it immediately. 
Impatience began to be ftirring within me : 
the fam^ hjippcned to mc a quarter of ^n 


4-^ jOXfni^Ah <5P A 

hour afterwards, when I was vexed by my 
fervant. I compofed the hymn for the Or- 
phans, and theji ref^od-h^f Sahour on my 
bed, occupied ^vith different reflections. I 
rofe at nine o-cloc k., and fi nifhcd my Journal 
of yerterdaj^ .Then I received a letter from' 
a podr perfon whom I knew, and' ^a^hb wm 
out of employment. He telie^ed to havii' 
offended file, ciritd hkve been csrumniatec^ 
beeaufe. I 'had not enquired after liim fo^ 
fome time. I determined to write to him 
without delay, put Ws Mtef afide;^ sudr was 
going to read the Epiilk to the Philipprans; 
but was jnterrupted. Thig would hava 
grieved b«, fome'time ago i l^ut now -it did 
fxot. it gives itie always great ^ple^ftfte,^ i§ 
^n fuch occafions, id© not deftre t(V have a^ 
ivill of my owh, m^ Qntirely fubmit- 1© thef 
iviB of i'rovidonce. -The 1-efe I wil), the lefi 
felf-will'^l feYCyewft with r^fppp tawhat isf 
•■'•^ 1 good: 

good 5 or, rather, to the dioice of "what \%, 
good j the more I fubmit implicitly in this 
refpecl to every call of Providcn-ce ; the 
more eafy, the more evide4itly bjefled, am L 
One half of my Sermons on Jonas were 
returned to me by the Cenfurers with an 
approbation 5 and m^ Man'ujcri'pi for ServcWs 
•by a friend of miae, along with fome remarks 
and additions, which I found very ufeful and 
proper, and inftantty inferted and made ufe 

of: ■ ; ' 

Mifs A*** c^m.e to fee me, oomplaimn^ 
gently and modcftly, \\^ith tears iti her eyes, 
of the corporeal and moral daofder of her 
nature* She ftaid till nooil : I endeavoumd 
to cheer her up, and to infpir^ her with 
faitii in God through faith in men,. 

A parcel, containing the fecond part of 
my treatife on Phyfiognomy, arrived from 
Leipzig. I always^ tremble when I fee a 



new publication of mine. My writings pro^ 
duce quite a different effeft on me when 
printed than when manufcripts j I alfo view 
them in a light entirely different. 

I ran the treatife over, read the preface 
and the annotations ; w^a$ frightened at fome 
leaves which through negleft had been left 
blank ; wrote fome letters, and went to din- 
ner. — We fpoke of Mr. Schmiedlin, who is 
ill ; of the lofs .his congregation will fuffer, 
if he fhould die 3 and how much they de- 
ferve to have a worthy man in his room, if 
that event fhould happen. He is, indeed, 
a worthy and kind gentleman. I cannot 
value his mufical talents; hav^e, however, 
heard fome of his compofitions with the 
greatefl emotion. His Duft to ditfi, &c. &c, 
&c. I have already befpoke for my death- 

A citizen's wife brought me, after dinner, 

a letter 


;i letter from her poor hufband, who wants 
fome afliftance for carrying on his profeflion. 
I could give her little hope ; promifed to 
fpeak to my father, and to fend her an 
anfwer. — My father gave me fomething for 
her.-— — I continued my Journal, and fent 
fome copies of my Effays on Phyfiognomy 
abroad. My wife brought my little girl to 
me — The little, innocent, lovely child ! — 
Who gave her that innocence and loveli- 
nefs? For how many millions of children 
has the Father of all beauty, innocence and 
lovelinefs in flore ? O ! my God ! who 
could ever take a child on his arm, and 
bear the horrid idea which once I have 
heard expreffed in a fermon j Little children 
are an abode of the devils f Our Saviour can, 
certainly, not wifh us to become fuch an 
abode, when he defires us to become ciil- 

I read 


. 1 read the.Epiftle to the Pbiiippians, i 
\yifh I could always traiiicrihe tliofe paf- 
fegss, ideas, ^nd expreitians, which ftrike 
me particularly, and appear to me to deferve 
a peculiar refleclion. Indeed, we ikip over 
3 great deal' that i^ of the Idgheft inipor^taace, 
a^d ought to. improve our £k'iJHa/b tajis. 
How' imp-ortant; are, for example, the fol- 
lewung e^^'preffian^ atid fentiiijents ; a-cid^ how 
lauchiWQutid they refine Giir moral- tafte,. if 
W€r 'did not read them with fa JIttle atten-: 
Ifeni' $:(i'bejtmerey mrd' "witMut offence, till tM' 

^y.of.CJirifi r-Reing filled mtk't he fruits of 

tigkeoujnefs^ whkh are by Jefus 'Cfirifi^. unto the. 
^ory d^d' -praije-: of ' God— If only Chifl. is 
pfdctchd m^Ly. whre ; if Jki mtp it magnified{ 
i^t. my body^. tphethr Ht bt ' ky. tif^ or dmth — to 
me, iv live'. is Chriji, and to di^ is gapt^ tvMchis:. 
fim kemr^^—-Q\L£iX^V Lorji ! may this fpirit^ 
this fimplicity, and this pure, amiable. zeaJy, 


SELF- o jB s Ji R: v:r Jt . 4 ^ 

tmimate all t}iy fervarfts;, animate xxxy .faivl, 
infpire ^e, -^hen^Ver :LaGt, fpeak,. write4 

pray, fviffer, honour, ,a«d ^ni honoured. ^ 

There are moments wh6it I fancy ta have a 
right to repeat thefe words 'of the apoftle's, 
Avith application to myfejf; I am, hbvvever, 
ilill frightened when ri(«3k up to the glory 
and love of Jefus ChniX.-r-^lVkeriver f am- 
{fays the heav^ftly truth) my firvaM and f oh 
iozver Jlmllbe too. 

I cannot :^fteem, admire, and love, toa 
much, thai? raan who covld write to people 
^ho fprraerly were immerfed in ignorance 
and vfce ; Unto y^u it is given, in the behalf of 
Chrijly not Q7ily to believe in hhny but alfo to 
fitffer for his fake. 

In lozvlinefs of mindy let each efleem ctkei'S 
better than themfelves. Let this mind he in 
youy which _ '^s alfo in Cbrijl Jefus ! 



Be hlamekfs and harmlefs, as the fons of 

. God, without rebuke, in the tnidjl of a crooked 

And Jierv erf e nation y among whom ye JJmie' as 

lights in the world!- Rejoice in the Lord 

alway ; and again I fay^ rejoice I Let your 

moderation be known unto all men ! — Be careful 
for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer and 
in fupplicationy zvith thankfgivingy let your re- 

^uejls be made known unto God ! The peace 

of Gody which paffeth all underfanding, fJiall 
keep your hearts and minds, through Chrijl 

Jejus IVhatfoever things are lovely y think 

on thefe tilings The grace of our Lord Jefus 

Chrijl be with you all. Amen, 

How can we minijlersy how can I, who 
am a minifter of the gofpel, read the good 
and indifferent defcriptions of good and 
ungodly miniflers, without being fenfibljr 
affeSed ? All of them feek their own, ?iot the 


$P L Fr O B 5 B R V^ R . 4 j 

tilings which are Jejus Ckrifi' s—rr-What things 
Tifere gain to me, thoje / cQunted lojsfor Chrifi — 
/ dejirg to know hiniy and the power pf bis 
refurreBion, and being made conformable unto 
bis death— I forget thofe things which are be- 
hind, and am reaching forth mto thofe things 
wbijck are beforsr-l tellyou, weeping, that they 
arf the enernies of thecrofs of Chrifi , their belly 
is thfik God, their glory is their Jhame, and their 
end deJiruSiion, for they mind earthly things. 

When we hear the apoftle fay : Qhrifi has 
power to fubmit all things tmto himfelf-^ Gpd 
hath highly exalted him, and given him a nam^ 
V^hich is above jevery name -, that at the name of 
Jefus every knee JJiould bow, of things in heaven, 
and things 0^ earth-, and eypy tongue fhould 
confefs, that Jefus Chrifi is Lord, to the glory of 
God the Father, 

Alas ! how dare .we jniniflers^ fo void of 
CJirift^ and fo negle£tful of him, lift up pur 

Vol. IL E eyes 


eyes by the fide of the apoilles, who were 
infpired by Chrift (/) ? In vain will the whole 
world, and the moft enlightened geniufes, 
be afhamed of the name of Chrift, when 
Chrift himfelf is violently preffed forth (as 
it were), and placed upon an eminence. — ■ 
It Jhall be}, and I will not clofe my eyes -^ and 
this hand Jliall not he numbed before Jefus Chrift 
has been glorified on my body ; // he for life or 
death [m). 

(/) This paPx'age contains much truth, but, at the fame 
time, fome vague ideas, which eafily may be mifapplled. 
Whoever preaches the gofpel of Chrift, whoever, like 
him, endeavours with fincerity of heart to propagate truth, 
virtue, and honefty, is not a minifter void of Chrift, though 
he has not continually the name of Jefus Chrift on his lips. 
We find in the gofpel long fpeeches of Chrift, and whole 
apoftoHcal epiftles wherein his perfon fcarcely is men- 
tioned ? And who is ignorant that in the writings of the 
apoftles the name of Chrift frequently means nothing elfe 
but the Chriftian doarlne ? E. 

{m) Can this mean any thing elfe, than to fuffcr for 
Chrift's fake, to become a martyr for his doctrine ? And 

■ ' is 


I wrote an anfwer to the letter I had re- 
ceived in the morning. I could fay, with 
the greateft veracity, that nothing but my 
inability was the reafon why I have not 
aflifted him any longer, and feemed to have 
forgot him. — I was quite filent for a quarter 
of an hour, meditating on the declining ftate 
of theology in Germany, and fighing to my 
heavenly mailer. P*** came^ I begged 
him to (lay with me, and he confented. 
We read the fecond and third Epiftle of 
St. John, and afterwards a traft of Benfon, 
in the Britilh Theological Magazine, on the 
refufcitaied Saints, who, after the refurreQion 
of Chriil, appeared to many Chriflians at 
Jerufalem. It appeared to us not fufficiently 

is it not againft our duty to draw fufFerings wantonly and 
forcibly upon ourfelves ?. One can, indeed, be a good 
Chriilian without fuffering as a Chr'ifllan* Piety has, in 
our times, more than in thofe of the apoftles, the promife 
•f the life that now is. E. 

E 2 proved 

5f. ^OVRNAt OF A 

proved that they have been mere Chriftians 
who had but lately died ; and that, without 
their being known, the impreffioii which 
their appearance would have produced mull 
have been fruitlefs; becaufe it is evident, 
that Mofes ^nd Elias have been recognifed 
by the three apoftles on the holy mountain, 
although they had been dead many hundred 
years, and, confequently, have never been 

feen by the apoftles. Benfon is a diligent 

explanator of the fcripture, but only a 
common labourer ; yet a very ufeful labourer 
in the exegetical fcience 1 How little feel- 
ing does he, however, fhow ! I recolle£ted, 
on this occafion, to have read in the relation 
which Eufebius gives of Chrift's letter to 
Abgarus, that the apoftle Thaddeus is faid 
to have told that king, that Chrift came from 
heaven quite alone, and returned to it in 
company of many tboufand faints 



LETTER to Mrs. 3, 


Dear Mrs. B» 

Nov, i6, 1772. 

I WILL not deny that your fufFerings ar# 
unfpeakably great— ^but you have not fol- 
lowed my advice, have not gnf^vered th^ 
chief points of my letter. You muft firft 
make repeated trials -y and, if they fliould 
prove upfuccefsful, then I fhall, certainly, 
agree with you that you are inconfolable. 

You muft begin to refleS upon, and to 
fum up, the numberlefs benefa6lions which 
God has beftowed on you, and ftill conti- 
nues daily to beftow. While you add only 
to the fcale of fufFerings, and reflefl only 
E 3 upon 


Upon them^ you are unjuft to God, and in- 
capable of being comforted. My difconfo- 
late friend ! you alfo have returned no an- 
fwer to the affertion of our common friend, 
Mrs. ***, that God pofTeffes more than he 
can give to individuals — more power, more 
wifdom, and infinitely more love, than any 
one of your friends can have and receive 
from him. — What, may you expert from the 
fun, if a fmgle ray can fatisfy you! God is 
greaur than our ^^^r/.' That you have not 

I muft fpeak to you without difguife — 
Do not fancy that I am unfeeling ! — I am 
fenfible of your mifery^-^-If you, however, 
wifli for comfort, then I can and muft direft 
you only to the path whereupon it is to be 
met with. 



; -o: Tuesday, Nov. 17,^ 1772, 

I CANNOT infert fome remarkable fcenes 
of this day j I muft, how^ever, remark, for 
the fake of my own information, that I have 
w^ronged very much, and have been very 
angry in my heart with fome friends, who 
infifted that fome perfons whom they met 
in my houfe were infincere — that I fancied 
to defend innocence, and thus wounded the 
hearts of zry much more innocent friends. 

In the evening I received a letter from 
the worthy Kraemer, of Dudelheim. This 
fick and afflifted honeft man made me blufli 
by hjs too grateful friendihip. I imagined 
to have fent him the third volume of my 
E 4 Views 

^6 foit^iJAL 6P A 

Views of Eternity, which he was fo defirous 
to have ; and the worthy, poor man buys it, 
from a defire to ftrengthen himfelf for his 
journey to the next world. Such miftakes 
and neglefts, on my part, have caufed me 
already much grief 1 confole myfelf, how- 
ever; with the fdith m the faith of my friends^ 

he had inclofed ^ letter/ vi^rilten to him 
by thb ferifible and honefl Mr. Hedebmndy 
6f Buedingeni in which this g^itleman 
makes fome eXcellerit remark^ oh the third 
volume of jti<f Viems, particularly on the 
arbitrary punifhments of eterhit;^^ vrhich I 
entirely approve. We agrefe in the math 
point. What, at preftnt, apj^ear^ to us arbi- 
tVHryjiuniJhmenty \% at bottom, in the eyes of 
a fuperioT beings wh6 overlooks the virhole 
at once, natural pmlJTment. 

The reparation of the wicked from the 
righteous, their tranflocation to a place of 



torture, laborious occupations, heat and cold, 
and fuch like things, may, indeed, at prefent, 
appear to us arbitrary punijkments, and yet 
naturally originate from the fnorrJ and fihy- 
Jitdi difpofition of liian, which are clofely 

The relation of our body to certain fimilar 
and homogeneous fubftances may render its 
tranflocation to the woril climes of the uni- 
terfe natural', and this relation may chiefly 
depfend on our moral difpofition, and on the 
ittlpreflions which, here below, have been 
imprinted, by our pallions and afitions, on 
that part of our being which is to be im- 

I was rather vexed that the worthy man 
feerhs not to have underftood my plain hints 
concerning the punifhments of the wicked, 
or, at leaft, has not discovered it in his letter. 
Nothing vexes me more than mifunderftand- 
ing, or not undcrftanding, my opinions, when 



they are reprefented fo plainly, and with fo 
much fimplicity. 

P*** brought me that volurne of the Uni- 
verfal German Review of Belles Lettres which 
contains the criticifm on my Se/:ret JouniaL 
Having read already the Review, I did not 
read it quite through. I was fenfibly afFe£ted 
by fome paflages which I had overlooked, 
at firft, certainly for no other reafon but be- 
caufe I had blufhed feveral times, and was 
stTY much difpleafed with fome remarks, 

I have, indeed, wronged the author of 
that criticifm, and am fmcerely afliamed of 
it. Yet I cannot deny that fome paflages 
flill appear very fmgular to me. 

P*** dined with me. I perufed WeifTe's 
^rtiiy fpelling-book. We fpoke of Brandt*s(«) 
crime. My brother, the do6lor, joined us : 

' [n) One of tTie confpirators who defigned a plot agalnfl 
tJi-e life of the King of Denmark. 




fpoke of Mr. Schmiedlin's illnefs and death ; 
and, on that occafion, praifed Mr. E*** 
V ery much. P*** wifhed I might enlarge 
fome chapters of the EiTays on Phyfiognomy. 
I recapitulated the reafons which would not 
fufFer me to do it, though it fliould be in 
my power. *^ The only thing (faid I) I could 
do farther, would be to publiih Mifcellaneous 
Phyjtognomical Obfervations and Refle5iionSy for 
which I have a great number of fubje£ts 
amongft my drawings. And thus (added I) 
I will filence all doubts through fa6ls ; but 
I will firfl enlarge my colle6tion a little ' 


I was loft, for fome moments, in aftonifh- 
ment, at the moral disharmony of one and 
the fame man. 

" Pfenninger !" (exclaimed I, with a vio- 
lent emotion) " I will proclaim, as loud as 
" poffible, to the world, to all heroes in vir- 
*' tue, authors, minifters of the gofpel, fen- 

" timentalifts. 

6o Journal of a 

^* timentalifls, judges, fpeakers, and to all 
^^ tbofe who have fom^s authority in the 
^ kingdom of virtue, " O / ye dear^ worthy 
^ vej/ie^ab/e, and hefi of men ! if you have not 
♦* alfe fame m(mentiy mhmtes, and quarters of an 
f^ hour, when you muji defpife yourfelves, when 
^* the zvhole world would defp'fe yoUy if it could 
^ fee the inmoji recejjes of your hearts, and knew 
,*• nothing elfe of you I — O ! then banijh mefolemnly 
** from your circle I I do not belong to you ! I 
** am either the mofi unhappy or the mofi feeler att 
•* h^g on earth \ for I am certain that not d 
•* week pajjes without my having Juch a minute^ 

"^ fuch a quarter of cm hour'' 

''I will join with you'' — Pfenninger faid, 
finiling^ — "they ihall banifli me too from 
•* tbeir circle, if they perceive nothing of 
•* tEat kind with regard to themfelves(p).** - 

(o) Should not this obfervation frequently be a mere 
d:eccptron? Should it, really, render me fo defpicablc, 
^hen unavoidable external impreflions, or an involuntary 



My friend left me at nine o'clock. — I 
made a few additions to my Journal^ and 
examined my condu6t during this day. J 
have thought too little of God. I was, in- 
deed, involuntarily involved in a conftant 
buftle, and cannot accufe myfelf of an aS 
of injuftice againft any perfon whatever, i 
have, indeed, been ufeful and beneficial ta 
others ; it would, however, have been pof- 
fible, and naturally better, if I had regarded 
the concerns of V*** more than the con- 
cerns of God ; and how eafily could I have 
done that, if my mind had been occupied 

affociation of ideas produce within mc bad and wirked 
thoughts, which I, however, inftantly view in their proper 
light, rejedling and fuppreffing them with indignation. 
They may, perhaps, deprive me of I he good opinion of 
men, who fee only the effcA, and not its caufe, nor my 
ruling fcntiments; but they will, certainly, not degrade 
me in the eye of God, who fees and judges both at the 
fame time, and honpvrs my heart, E. 



with God. I did not grieve me at ali 
that I neither have read, nor could read, in 
the fcripture. Not I, but Providence, di- 
re£led it that I fhould afi, and not read. 
Some premature emotions of anger could 
alfo not pleafe me much. The fervant came 
to tell me, that my wife had flung herfelf 
on the bed as foon as fhe came home. — ^^Dif- 
pleafure at her not having firft come to fee 
me, if only for a moment, was, evidently, 
the firft and prevailing fenfation of my heart : 
I foon, however, got the better of it, affifted 
by my good opinion of her. — And how na- 
turally did fhe aft ! She had violent pains in 
her ftomach ; I was not alone— flie appre- 
hended Ihe fhould make me uneafy, or be 

detained. Having recovered a little, ilie 

came to fee me, although her pains were 
not as yet entirely gone off. — O 1 how much 
did her kindnefs abaih and rejoice me ! 


self-observ£r. 63 

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1772. 

I WAS very cold, and difinclined to pray- 
ers, when I av^oke. The thought, — Crea- 
ture I — averfionfrom God I — ftruck, or rather 
thrilled, my foul 3 and I fighed for faith and 

love. My vv^ife w^ifhed me a good and a 

more tranquil day than yefterday v^as! — 
" Juft as Providence pleafes," (faid I). " I 
" wifh, my dear ! we may increafe in faith, 
" love, hope, and patience !" My chil- 
dren came into my room ; I amufed myfelf 
with them; fliowed them fome pages in 
Weiffe's Spelling-book, and related to Henry 
the tale of the fweet-meat. 

My friend returned The Pocket-hook for 
Servants, along with fome remarks and ad- 


ditions, which I approved very much. I 
wrote the Addrefs to Mailers and Mlftreffes, 
with which that little performance begins, 
and corrected the text after the annotations 
of my friend. 

I received: a letter from Mr. •***, of St 
Gallen, in which he thanked me for my 
little poem on his deceafed mother, and for 
the communication of my opinion of the 
flate of the foul after death. — ^I was agree- 
ably furprifed that this worthy perfon is fo 
much above the prejudices of the place of 
his abode. I read his letter to my wife. — 
There is Ji ill fait every zvhere I — O ! how many 
thoufand noble and enlightened fouls more 
ihall I get acquainted with ! 

I wrote a note to Mrs. '^^*, 

" I WAS yefterday, for the firft time, not 
" pleafed with my friend — not pleafed with 
" her look of denial and miftrufi: with regard 

« to 


" to ih^Jincerity of Lady B***. This is the 
*^ firft time that our fentiments differ, or, 
" at leall, feem to differ. One ought never 
" to obferve a friend with the eye of a mer- 
" chant, even if he fhould be the beft upon 
" earth. Nothing but man himfelf ought to 
" obferve , nothing but man muft fee, and 
" fee nothing but the man : O ! why did you 
" not feel that Honefly herfelf cannot fpeak 
" more forcibly than the phyfiognomy of 
" that lady ? O ! my friend ! if that lady 
" has not the ftrongeft difpofition to virtue, 
" then all my delight in honeft human faces, 
" all my delight in your face, is at an end." 

Mr. E*** came to fee me, and gave me 
an account of his fituation ; which, indeed, 
is very lamentable — O God ! why haft thou 
given me fo ftrong a fenfe of pity, fo ftrong 
inclinations to relieve the afHi6ted, and fo 
little power? I could never conceive that 

Vol. IL F there 

66 Journal of a \ 

' "i 

there can be a greater and a more divine 
pleafure, than that which arifes from the 
harmony and the proportion of the defire and 
\hQ power of doing good. — If futurity fhould 
not procure me that happinefs, then the love 
which I have foflered here below would be- 
come to me a treafure of torments — Love 
without pozver is infernal torture, 

I received a note from Mrs. ***, in an- 
fwer to what I wrote to her to-day ; " Not 
" with the eye of the bed merchant will I 
" fee ! — No ! I will fee with you — Let me 
" bluih, and rejoice that you are right ! — 
"Alas! hov/ much is my heart afflifled I 
" Tell me that you will bury in oblivion, 
" and obliterate, all my faults. I muft con- 
" fefs, in honour of truth, and to my own 
" fhame, that your friend was right, and I 
'* wrong — I deemed the guilty innocent j 
" and, for that reafon, pronounced the in- 

" nocent 


" nocent guilty. It is, therefore, my duty 
'^ to be more cautious in future, and to beg 
'* your pardon." 

My boy came weeping into my ftudy. He 
had reftifed to come up from the itreet on 
the firft fummons of his mother, who had 
condufted him to me. He promifed to be- 
have better ^ but I would not liften to him, 
and only told him I would pardon him ^ yet 
could not believe that he was ferious, till I 
had feen proofs. 

Elkan came to fetch the manufcript of 
the book for fervants. I perufed a few 
pages of it, and wrote a continuation ©f the 
Sketch of Religion. Mr. Jacob Hefs, the 
author of the Life of Ghrift, being with me, 
we fpoke of it. — Before we inftruft any per- 
fori in religion, we ought firft to make him 
fenfible that he wants inftru£lions of that 
kind. Confcioufnefs of our wants is the main 
F 2 fP^^^S 


fpring of all human a5iions — and Xhtn faith, or 
confidence that fomething exijls which can fatisfy 
our wants, Chrifl has, for that reafon, very 
wifely encompajfed his religious inJiruSfions in two 
words, viz. repent, and believe in the 
GOSPEL ! Be fenfible of your depravity, and 
believe that God will extricate you from it 
through the Meffiah(/). 

A woman from F*** came to acquaint 
me with her poverty, and the mifery of her 
hufband, who, for many years, had been af- 
flicted, every fpring and autumn, with a fit 
of melancholy. — To tell the truth, I had not 

{p) One muft, indeed, believe the offered means of re- 
pentance and falvation to be good ones, if one fhall apply 
them willingly and faithfully. This is the confidence 
which the gofpel requires of us. But then one muft 
make a proper and conftant ufc of them, \i they fhall 
make us better and happy. Confidence in a phyfician is 
beneficial to us only as far as it induces us to follow his 
dire<Stions, and to regulate our life accordingly. £. 



fo much money in the houfe as (lie wanted, 
and could not recolle£t direftly any perfon 
to whom I could have fent her, having al- 
ready importuned my moft intimate, bene- 
volent friends too much. — O ! how much 
fecret, pungent grief has it already given 
me, that I cannot, or dare not, have fo much 
confidence in my dear auditors in general, to 
recommend to them, with all due modefly, 
one or the other deeply-affli6ted fellow Chrif- 
tian ! — But, perhaps, I wrong them ? ought, 
perhaps, not to lament their untried difin- 
clination to benevolent a6i:ions of that kind — 
but rather my timidity and my diffidence in 
their readinefs to oblige me ! 

Mr. Schinz and Mr. Voegli came to fee 
me. ,We fpoke of the felf-created and of 
the natural wants of human nature ; parti- 
cularly of death, and the little natural ap- 
pearance of the living exiftence of man, after 
F 3 death 


death and the deftruftion of the body 

I fpoke with great difficulty, becaufe my 
breafl pained me very much. 

A note from Mr. T. M***. Continued 
my Journal, &:c. &c. &c. 

Mr. *** came to fee me. We fpoke of 
the poor Z****. O God ! preferve my pa- 
tience with men who do not underftand 

men ! The honeft man faid (when going 

put of the room), " You ought to thank 
'^ God that you are not obliged to fee fo 
" many inftances of bad people and wicked 

« aaions as I do.'' " I fee," (replied I) 

" as many bad ones as any man living ; but, 
" thank God ! fo many good ones as few 
^^ people can fee ; and every day fo many 
" very good men and a6tions, that I fhall 
" never become a mifanthrope." 

Continued my Journal. P*^* came. — 
" How do you do?"—" I am tired" (faid I), 

" and 


" and diflatisfied : tired, becaufe I have talk- 
*' ed much ; and diffatisfied, becaufe I have 
" talked in vain." I related ; he fighed.... 
We unbofomed ourfelves, at fupper, to each 
other, with refpecl to many cruelties and 
infenfibilities which, frequently, are minded 
fo little — I could, feveral times, not help 
fhedding the bittereft tears — Once I dropped 
a very har{h< word — " Will that word, too, 
" be inferted in your Journal ?" P*** afked, 
kindly fmiling. " No 1 (was my reply) ; writ- 
*' ten it would appear much harfher than ut- 
" tered in the heat of juft indignation. Be- 
*^ fides, I cannot but confefs that, however 
" one fhould be determined, one cannot 
" write down in one's Journal all bad 
" aftions or thoughts, as little as one can 
" and dare infert all the good ones, however 
" we may be perfuaded that no perfon ever 
" fliaU fee it.'' 

F 4 To 


To Mrs, F***. 

Dear Madam, 

First of all, I mufl beg your pardon for 
not having fent an earlier anfwer to your 
laft kind, liflerly letter, which was accom- 
panied with a prefent as unmerited as it 
was unexpe6led. I could not poilibly write 
fooner. You may, however, be affured that 
your kind attention has given me the greateft 
pleafure. O ! w^hat would become of me, 
if not fo many good people did forbear me 
in love ? To how many whom I know, and 
not know, do I owe thanks, and the moft 
cordial love ! O ! how happy fliould I be, 
if I were to all thefe w^orthy people more 
than a dead letter ! O ! when will the Spi- 
rit of power, of love, and c f heavenly wif- 
dom, break forth from my poor hut with 
fuch an enlivening fplendour that the life 



of Jefus Chrift ihall be manlfefted on my 
mortal body ? O ! believe me, in order that 
you may be induced to pray for me with fo 
much the more ardour — believe me that I 
am infinitely more weak than your love for 
me reprefents me to you. I will, however, 
not difpirit nor difcourage you in the leaft 
by this confeflion. The unbounded patience 
and forbearance which God fhows towards 
me affords me much courage, and liberty to 
encourage all, even the weakeft fouls, and 
to proclaim his mercy to them. I have faid 
feveral times to my confidant, " that all fins 
"' I have committed prove beneficial to me, 
" and bleflings to others ; that, of courfe, I 
" ought to thank God for them too(^)." 

[q] One muft not mifapply this pafTage. The author 
does not thank God for the fins and errors he has com- 
mitted ; but he thanks God that, through his wife and 
kind providence, he has made arife much good from thefe 
very iins and errors. Woe unto him that does evil, that 
good may come ! E. 



Every thing draws us nearer towards him 
in whom the wifdom, the power, and the 
k>ve of God fhine with the brighteft fplen- 
dour — to him whofe name is like unto his 
power, who is all ajfijlance ^nd falvation, O 1 
let us look up to him, and roufe his fpirit 
wathin us through faith! — The fpirit of 
Chrift is every where. He is within myfelf 
— and within you ^ he is within all, even 
within the moft horrid finners(r). But only 
thofe kave him, perceive him, and enjoy his 
animating power, who believe that he is 
within them. Whoever can believe this 
firmly, is enabled, is enlivened, to become 
^ke unto Chrift, and to reprefent on earth 

(r) The author muft mean by the Spirit of Chrifl 
fomething fmgiilar, and unknown to us. The fcripture 
generally means by it the mind of Chrift, his manner of 
thinkings his moral charaSier. But thefe things can exift 
only in good men. £► 



the image of the eternal Father of Jefus 
Chrift. — Let me be recommended to your 
prayers, your love, and to the communion 
of your fpirit. 

May the love of God difplay itfelf v^ithin 
you according to the meafure of your faith, 
which God may increafe ! 

Prove an honour to Chrift, as Chrift has 
done to his Father ! 

I am. 

Your undeferving brother 
and fervant, 


P.S. As foon as my Sermons are pub- 
liflied, I will fend you a copy. They will, 
perhaps, be printed off before new year. 
Commend me to your family, and do not 
doubt my gratitude. May God enlighten 



US all to behold, in its proper light, his ador- 
able glory in the perfon of Jefus Chrift ! 
May Jefus Chrift become within us what he 
was without and/br us — the ViElim of Love ! 
— Nothing for himfelf, all for God, foi: the 

benefit of the world ! Do not be dif- 

pleafed with my brevity, ye dear fouls ! — 

I muft write feveral letters more. The 

mercy of Jefus Chrift be with you all ! 

To Mr, Sp**^ at C***, 

Deareft Profeflbr, 

Dec. 9, 1772. 

INDEED you have made me blufh very 
much by your too kind letter. I muft tell 
you frankly, that the notions you entertain 



of me are entirely wrong. I am a being 
exa61:ly as weak and poor as you are. Be- 
fides, my dear friend, men muft never admire 
men, nor Chriftians their fellow-Chriftians. 
We are all alike before God. The Spirit 
which is within me is alfo within you. You 
are an. abode of the Almighty ; I am a breath 

of the Almighty Ought two worms 

upon a heap of duft praife each other, look 
up to each other, and admire each other ? 

O ! my dear friend, give me leave to re- 
turn you thanks for your goodnefs, but at 
the fame time to beg you to take it as plain, 
true, and natural fincerity, when I tell you 
that I am lefs averfe than you from being 
miftaken for one of the beft of mortals. I 
am not entirely bad ; God has done a great 
deal in me and through me ; I am, never- 
thelefs, undoubtedly, fo weak a reptile, that 
I can frequently fcarcely lift up my eyes be- 


fore people who are only half-good.-— Let 
me beg one favour more of you ! Ten lec- 
tures a day are at leaft by half too many ; 
they are, certainly, too much for you ; and 
you muft leffen their number by all means. 
If you have no family, then I conjure you 
fevenfold ; but tenfold if you are blefled v^ith 
children. I (hall make free to write to your 
Prince, if you reje6l my advice, and beg of 
him the life of a man who calls him amiable, 
and w^ill not take care of his life. 

You fay, you are fo frequently led allray 
by the world ! But you are, perhaps, uneafy 
about things v/hich are innocent, or only 

fate. If you, however, fhould mean it in 

the worft fenfe, my anfwer is briefly this : 
" Do not fear — believe only[s) ! It is forgiven 


(j) In order to prevent abufe, I add, Do not become 
difpmted and faint in the conihat a^ainji fiuy and the bad 



you already — only believe it ! Your fms are 
already obliterated ; the Holy Ghofl refides 
already in your heart. Believe it only 1 You 
are dearer to God than you can conceive 1 
mly believe it. If you cannot think 


OF YOUR DIGNITY. You deferve nothings 
and /ioJf£fs every thing. — Even the moft de- 
praved prince is Hill a prince ; the greateft 
finner (and what elfe is fin but depravity of 
human nature?) is ilill the creature, the 
beautiful work of God. God can never 
hate his creatures ; he only hates what de- 
forms his beautiful work ; and to root this 

examples of the 'w'lcked nuorU : ceafe not to endeavour to 
grow better, although thou fhouldft not fucceed as thou 
doft wiih; rife when thou art fallen, and do not laviih 
thy time and powers with inaftive penitence j but apply 
them to a more cautious profecutioa of thy career. E- 



out of human nature is the work of Chriil. 
Let us believe and rejoice in him. Do not 
be difpirited, even if you fhouM be led to 
defpife yourfelf a thoufand times, nay, ten 
thoufand times — This penitential fenfation 
is falutary , but do not flop here 1 Proceed to 

faith ! Proceed to faith ! A human being 

for whom the Son of God has prayed but 
once, and for whom he fuffered himfelf to 
be fixed to the crofs, is of greater value in 
the eyes of God than ten thoufand worlds 
without fouls — And of how much import- 
ance muft a world be to him w^ho direfts, 
by his power and wifdom, even a falling 
hair of our head 1 Do, therefore, not fear ; 
only have faith [t] r 

(/) Mind well, Chriftian reader, that the author is 
fpeaking of faith which fhows itfelf aftive through a fin- 
cere love to God and our neighbours, and earneft and 
conllant endeavours to perform the will of God. E. 


$Et^-OBSERVER. n g^ 

Accept thefe remarks as a token of mj 
friendfliip for you. Commend me to all 
thofe on whom God blefles my weak endea- 
vours* I am 

Your fincere fervant^ and ' : 
brother in the Lord, 

J. C. Lavater, 

To Mrs, D****, 

Dear Madam> 

Dec. 19, 1772* 

You are perfeSly right, when you fay^ 
that fouls who are faithful in patience, iii 
filently fuffering virtue, and in negative obe- 
dience, are more fcarce, than fuch who are 
faithful in aftive, pofitive virtue ; although 
aaive virtue, if not felf-wiUingi but a filial 
Vol. IL G fervant 


fervant of Providence, has conflantly oppor- 
tunities to fhow negative obedience. 

You maintain, that there are few hearts 
who are capable of a true communion of 
fentiments and external riches 5 yet he who 
is capable of fuch a communion will eafily 
find a congenial foul^ for God creates no 
wifh within our hearts which he does not 

May I inclofe a copy of my Almanack ? 
Farewell ! and let not the inftant Chriftmas 
expel me from your memory. I mean to 
preach on that occafion from i John i. i — 5^ 
O God ! what a veil covers our eyes ! How 
little do we know what we may expeft from 
God through Jefus Chrift ! 

{u) But take care, Chrift ian reader, not to miftake 
every livelier, ftronger wifh, arifing withiji thy breaft, 
f^r an immediate produce of God. E. 



My dear wife begins to recover a little 
from her dangerous illnefs. 
I am 
Your moft devoted friend 
and brother, 


To Mr. G***. 

Dear Friend, 

.Let me perceive, during the prefent fefli- 
val of Chrift's nativity, that you pray, that 
wifdom, ftrength, and holy fervor, may be 
granted me. Whatever you pray for mc, 
you pray for yourfelf. I diflribute again 

whatever I receive. My dear wife is ftill 

very ill 5 Ihe is, however, a Iamb in patience 
G 2 ai^d 

§4 JOURNAL 01? A 

and goodnefs ; full of tranquillity of mind, 
and without felf-will — repofmg in the lap of 
heavenly love, 


To Mr, E. Gp***. 

Honoured Sir, 

Dec. 33, 1772. 

IVTy dear wife has had to-day (fince I have 
wrote to your father) one of the worft days 
of her life. Indeed, only a god-like patience 
can bear what fhe endures. 

The heart of the dear Bifchoff has a very 
beautiful fide -, yet I fear he betrays too much 
want of light, too much weaknefs of faith, and 
too much caprice. I obferve, in general, more 
and more frequently, that the bell of men 
' -^ - are 


are fo very capricious. It is a dreadful thing ; 
the ^Yiznt Jimplicity of a child, on the con- 
trary, is an excellent, heavenly difpofition.. 
We rule, undoubtedly, in the fame meafure 
in which w^e ferve, and are free in the fame 
meafure in which we make ourfelves the 
fervants of others. He who will have every 
thing mufl deiire nothing (;v). Faith, my dear 
Sir, is fomething fo unfpeakablyy?-^/^, that 
the greater number do not obtain it, becaufe 
they idLiicy faith to be fomething more than 
to believe. Whoever is a true believer fcarcely 
knows that he believes. 

Being, at prefent, overburthened with bu? 
iinefs, forrows, and fufFerings, I perceive the 

- {x) If I am not miftaken, the author means nothing 
elfe, but that we mufl refign ourfelves entirely to the wife 
iProvidence of God, chearfuUy perform what he bids us 
to do, patiently fubmit to the fufFerings he lays upon us, 
itnd never doubt that his will is always the beft. E. 

Q 3 ftrength- 


ftrengthening hand of God. I defire nothing, 

and am eafyj I believe, and my faith will 



Friday, Jan. i, 1773. 

I AM no more at leifure to compofe a 
complete Journal ; I will, therefore, as much 
as thofe moments which I cannot employ to 
a better purpofe fliall allow, write down, 
with as much brevity as poffible, only my 
moft remarkable hours, occupations, fitua- 
tions, incidents, feelings, weakneffes, incon- 
fiderate a6lions, and faults ; more at large, 
when I am more at leifure 3 when not, more 
briefly. It fliall not make me uneafy, when I 



am prevented from doing it. With regard 
to this point, I v^ill alfo fubniit to the will 
of Providence, in a filial, fimple manner, and 
without the leaft anxiety. 

I wiihj indeed, to have wrote down more, 
and to have been lefs negligent laft year : 
yet it cannot be altered. I will grieve lefs 
and lefs about fuch matters, and be lefs de- 
termined with refpe6l to futurity. 

I could not fleep the firft midnight hour 
of this new year — and I cannot tell what 
w^as the fecret caufe of it ; whether it was 
weaknefs or childilhnefs, or an inexplicable 
melancholy trembling, on account of the lofs 
of a year, and of the beginning of a new 
period of my life. I could not go to bed 
before eleven o'clock — and from eleven to 
twelve o'clock I had fufficient matter for 
refleftion, being gently roufed by the diftant 
harmonious ringing of the village bells.— 
G 4 . I at- 


1 attempted to thank my Creator for his 
iiumerous bleffings, and could not ; attempt- 
ed to- pray ; but my prayer confilled chiefly 
in tears, and in a fvveet, thrilling anxiety.— 
I thirfled after light and wifdom, in every 
refpeft — My mother, my wife, my children, 
and fome of my friends, had the largeft 
fhare in my wifhes — Some particularly pref- 

fing concerns came in for theirs. 1 fell 


I awoke a little before feven o'clock, and 
addrefled myfelf to the paternal goodnefs of 
God, burning with a defire for wifdom. — I 
h^ard the voice of my dear wife, went to 
her, and we bleiTed each other with the 
fweeteft, tendered, and moll innocent affec^ 
tion, difcourfmg on the fate which, almoft 
to certainty, will befal us in the prefent year 
—1 read the New-Year's Hymn with parti- 
cular fervor. 

I had 


I had (laid a little too long with my wife, 
and was going to drefs myfelf with too much 
impetuofity, and to afk for what one had 
forgot to keep in readinefs. — / will not begin 
this year with tineajinefs ! — This thought re- 
ftrained and pacified me. 

It coft me fome llruggle to be prepared 
for every gratulation vi^hich might come in 
my way. 

The gratulation of my fellow-labourer 
covered me with fhame, and mortified me 
unfpeakably. — O God ! how much will thy 
judgement differ from that of men ! They fee 
only what is before their eyes, but thou feeft 
the heart ! 

Alas ! what fhall I wifli to my mother, 
who is overburthened with corporeal fuffer- 
ings ? — As much patience as fufFerings 1 as 
much faith as fhe will have gloomy days ! 

After dinner — four cartes blanches for my 



friends. — P*** fent me one figned with his 
name, and I wrote upon it, " Oblivion of 
all follies and weaknefTes -, forbearance of 
all indifference -, daily interceffion with God , 
plain admonitions and reprehenfions ; more 
earnefl: in ftriking reproofs — more inilrucr 
tion, lefs partial regard, more humiliation, 
lefs praife, promifes his friend Lavater" 

J. C. Pfenninger. 

I almoft fainted on the pulpit ; head-ache, 
and the great exertion I had made in the 
delivery of my fermon, threatened to prove 
fatal to me j I acquitted myfelf, neverthelefs, 
pretty well. — I was rather regardlefs when 
I came to the congratulatory part of my 
fermon.— The prayer for wifdom for niyjelf 
was, however, more fmcere and fervent. 

Temptations to impatience, occafioned by 
idle difcourfes in a houfe where I had offered 



my wiflies for a happy new year !— I con- 
quered through faith in Providence. 

I took, by accident, a letter out of my 
pocket, which I had not yet read, and juft 
received — read it aloud — and fome comical 
ftrokes of wit which occurred in it would 
eafily have given an opportunity for pro- 
fanation, if I had not ftopt and left off 

Faith in Providence fileneed my uneafinefs 
at my not being able to fpeak a Chrlilian 
word to a Chriftian female friend. 

My fon was fitting on the bed of his mo- 
ther, and faid his prayers, which he had 
learnt without my knowledge, and which 
did not meet my approbation. Stifled 


A kind letter from Mr. G***, which I read 
to my wife : " Humility, my dear friend, i§ 
'^ nothing but- — knowledge of truth ; no one 

" ought 


^' ought to think higher of himfelf than he 
*' deferves — Let us always judge according 
" to truth — and not forget the author of our 
*' being." 

Doubts whether I fhould preach next Sun- 
day or not — reafons pro and contra — I per- 
ceived no felfifh view in this irrefolution, 
and yet could come to no determination. 
I continued my Journal with tranquillity till 
feven o'clock. 

P*** came : we were interrupted -, but 
could, neverthelefs, converfe a few minutes 
longer on want of knowledge, and of obfer- 
vation : on want of attention to ourfelves. — 
I had a fit of bleeding. — My wife begged 
me to requeft a friend to preach for me ; I 
confented, and was eafy. 

Read Mr. Irminger's laft fermon of the 
preceding year, on Eccl. xii. 13, 14. with 
great pleafure and edification, After fup- 



per we read the feeond book of Samuel — 
My partiality for David increafes, the more 
I ftudy his charaSer — How much was he a 
man ! — I cannot help repeating again and 
again, there is no hiftorical book in the 
world more ihterefting than the Bible! — • 
What chara6lers ! always illuftrated by ac- 
tions — always fo human, and fo true ; fo true 
in virtuous and vicious fituations ! 

My brother came to fee me : we fpoke of 
my mother's fituation, of her patience, and 
of other great fufferers who, perhaps, ara 
alfo ftruggling for victory, and, after their 
redemption, will certainly not wifli to have 
fuffered a fingle moment lefs. Finiihed tha 
Journal, and wrote fome verfes for my af- 
flifted mothen 



Saturday, Jan. 2, 1773. 

A LETTER from Mr. Schloffer. Wrote 
an anfvver to it. Some ideas concerning the 
Bible. All the doctrines of faith are hiflo- 
ricaL Belief in the immortality of the foul 
is belief in the refurre6tion of Chriit : the 
belief that God will give us immortality 
through Chrift is belief that God already 
diflributes through him powers of life, &c. 
&c. Sec. This afforded an opportunity of 
difcourfmg with my friend on the Jewifh 
theocracy. I hit, during our converfation, 
on fome new ideas concerning the aim 
which God has attained with regard to the 
education of the Jewilh nation, which de- 
ferve farther inveftigation and develope- 



At three o'clock I vifited a fick girl, who 
defired to fee me. I explained to her, in 
the moft fimple manner, by her defire, the 
evangelical method of comforting and re- 
forming finners. 

No man can be moi'ally corrected with- 
out confidence and frlendfhip. What no 
precept, no law^ can effe^-, confidence can. 
Confidence and faith are, therefore, always 
the firft and chief aim of the gofpel. — This 
limple principle, which is fo efiicacious in 
any other cafe, ought not to be neglected 
and ignored fo much, nor ought it to be 
fo abfolutely confounded by our modern 
moralifts, who pretend to pofiTefs fo much 
knowledge of man, with obedience, arifing 

Converfed with P*** on fanaticifm. — Al- 
though the fcripture abounds in marvellous 
(lories, and promifes of communion with 



God, yet fanaticifm is kept^ as much as pot 
fible, at a diflance. The Godhead never 
{peaks ambiguoufly^ never like heated ima- 
gination. God fpeaks always through ac- 
tions which the w^hole human race, from the 
philofopher down to the peafant's child, muji 
confefs to furpafs all known powers of man, 
Fanaticifm raifes every natural incident to a 
miraculous and fupernatural one. It calls 
the refrelhment of a fainting perfon re/ur- 
reSilon from the deady heavenly wifdom, on 
the contrary, fays of the dead, he is not dead^ 

We fpoke alfo of a certain new clafs of 
witty authors, w^ho betray too evidently that 
they fancy to be in pofTeihon of truth, and 
imagine to have it in their power to fend 
forth, merely out of grace, as many fparks of 
this heavenly light as they pleafe — who fre- 
quently triumph too wantonly, elated by their 



imaginary fagaclty — and, fpite of their boaft- 
ing of learning, difplay rhuch intolerance 
againft certain honeft and deferring, but 
weak people — who exhibit, in their writings, 
a fine fhow of fenfibility; and evince, in 
their judgments, very little common, natu- 
ral, and fimple fraternal love — who, out of 
mere greatnefs and fublimity, entirely lofe 
light of the firft rudiments of equity. 

My mother appeared to be weaker — 
Alas ! how little is it in my power, -how 
little in the power of us all, to relieve her ! 
and why fhrinks my heart fo much to pray 
for her deliverance ? 

i read a fermon of P***'s on 2 Pet, iii. 
13, 14. and copied a paflage from it: — 
" Why do we not, after all that fcripture 
" fays of the joys of heaven, conceive the 
" natural idea, that we fliall enjoy there, in 
" a higher degree, and in a greater meafure. 

Vol. II. H " what- 


^' whatever kfFords us innocent pleafure in 
" t/iis world f The fight of every beautiful 
" creature, every fine view, the ferene flcy, 
" every harmony that charms our ear, every 
" increafe of knowledge, the fight of a 
*' happy fellow-creature, the enjoyment of 
" the fweets of friendfhip, &c. &c. &c. 
" ought to produce the idea : Pleafures of 
^^ that kind we fhall tafte, one time, in greater 
^^ number, more lively and fublime, lefs in- 
" terrupted, more unbiafTed and unmixed." 
I muft accufe myfelf, to-day, of indolence 
— I have not prayed with my ufual filial 
fimplicity — w^as inattentive, and rather im- 
patient — This day was, however, not quite 



Saturday, Jan. 9, 1773. 


JdATHER of Light! open mine eyes! 
give me wifdom to know how to pray and 
to a£l ! — Thus I fighed on opening my eyes 
this morning. i^,;, 

The idea of the occupations which will 
engage me to-day made me rather uneafy^ 
and I felt fome relu6lance to fulfil the pro- 
mife I had made yefterday to my little boy, 
to explain the Lord's Prayer to him. I did 
it, however, with tranquillity and pleafure. 
Continued my fermon for to-morrow — felt 
fome fymptoms of a cold and a flying tooth- 
ache — and grew angry, becaufe the door 
oppofite me had been left open twice, with- 
H 2 out 


out need. This anger may, perhaps, have 
been increafed by an indifcretion which I 
was obliged to fubmit to. But now I (hould 
continue my fermon on religious joy ; with 
this heart ? No ! that muft not be ! that can- 
not be ! 

I continued my Journal — and, meanwhile, 
had room to compofe myfelf, and to recover 
my tranquillity. Maternal gambols with my 
little daughter, which I heard behind me, 
cheered me up again. I put warmer clothes 
on. I have frequently obferved that a neg- 
ligent and incomplete drefs in the morning 
is very difadvantageous to me, becaufe it 
makes me morofe, and diftreffes me, when 
I am requefted to come inftantly to fome 
place or other. 

I received an anfwer which convinced me 
that I had made too much of, and mifun- 
derftood, the above-mentioned indifcretion — 

" Want 


'' Want of proper information, mifunder- 
" {landing, ignorance '* (I had juft wrote in 
my fermpn), " h an inexhauftible fouree of 
" gloomin^fs of mind, fadnefs, difcontent, 
'^ and melancholy." — This is, indeed, lite- 
rally true. How neceffary is, therefore, the 
prayer for a fimple, found eye 5 for tranquil, 
heavenly wifdorft ! 

Mr. H*** came to fee me : we fpoke of 
writing, and the figure of the charafterss 
of legible writings, and of the duty to write 
legibly, which humanity fo ftrongly enforces. 
— Legibility refts upon the diftance of the 
lines, the height of the long, and the body 
of the fhbrt charafters. 

I difpatched fome letters which I had 
written yefterday, and wrote to Mr. Ifelin, 
who had requefted my opinion on Eberhard^s 
Ajiology of Socrates. 

H 3 « Eherhard\ 


^^ Eherhard'^ Aplogy of Socrates h a' well- 
" written, truth-abounding, and - luminous 
^^ work, which, in many fefpe£lSi^«//j ex- 
" cellently down, but does not rebuild. An 
"author who calls himfelf a Minifter of the 
" Gojpel ought to; recolle6t that the moft 
"candid reader will exp eft, that, when he 
" fuccefsfully refutes abfurd fcholaflic no- 
" tions which either were occafioried by 
" fcripture, or afterwards may have been 
'^ countenanced by it, hie will fubftitiite bet- 
" ter ones .in their room, and not entirely 
" difregard and 'treat as not exifting thofe 
". teiptural notions which are juft. Although 
" I have a great refpeft for all enlightened, 
'' unbiaffed, and enlightening geniufes in 
"Germany; yet I do not at all like their,' 
" almoft unanimous, attempts to decry as 
" fuperfluous, and to vilify by their /j/^ and 
" \}^€\i filencey the bleffed perfon of Chrift. 

" He 


" He himfelf, the great feope of all divine 
" revelations, is undervalued more and more, 
'^ every day ; his do6lrine (I mean fome 
" points of his do6lrine) is cried up to the 
" prejudice of his perfon I But his doftrine, 
" my friend, is not himjelf. He gives im- 
" mortality^ but not his doftrine. Refurrec- 
" tion and life in a heavenly body are phyjical 
^' things which are given us by his creating 
'^ (phylical) -power ^ and not by his doc- 
" trine (jy).'* 

[y] Although this fhould be true, without the leaft re- 
ftriAIon, yet it will certainly be of greater importance, 
If we confide In the doftrlne and In the refurredlon of 
Chrlft, exped that God will give us Immortality and 
eternal life, and endeavour by a faithful performance of 
the duties of Chriftian honefty and virtue to deferve and 
to render ourfelves capable of being admitted to future 
happinefs, than if we attempt to fix, more minutely than 
ferlpture has done, the phyfical caufes of Immortality and 
eternal life. It is neceffary, with regard to our comfort 
and amendment, to know and to believe that we are im- 
H 4 mortal, 

lajlf;^ JOURNAL OF A 

I received letters from Frankfort, along 
with forae printed fheets of my Sermons. 
I could, hardly refrain from reading them. 
How tempting, how dreadfully tempting, 
is it to an author, when he beholds, for the 
firft time, a manufcript of his mjirint. 

Wrote fome notes, and then went to 
dinner. My mother fat at table, but could 
not eat, and dozed almoft conllantly. I 
was terrified, in the midft of the Lord's 
prayer, at the negligence with which I did — 
not pray^ but only — pronounce the words. 

mortal, and fliall live for erer ; but hoiOi and by what 
meanSf this will be efFedled, that we may leave to God, 
who has given us that promifc through Jefus Chrift, As 
for the reft, we cannot honour and glorify Chrift better, 
than by forming juft ideas of his dodrine, and following 
his example and his precepts. Jefus is an uninterefted 
phyfician, who has it more at heart to reftore to health 
the fick that claim his affiftance, than to give them a mi» 
nute and fuU account of his perfonal qualities) powers^ 
and prerogatives. E. 



Wrote to Mr. Steiner, and afterwards 
continued my fermon for next Sunday. — ^1 
went feveral times to fee how my mother 
did — She (lumbered without interruption. 

I fearched for the Feftival Sermons, which 
I have promifed Mr. Broenner, and, not 
finding fome of them, could hardly refrain 
from growing impatient. I cannot poffibly 
fpare fo much time to keep all my writings 
in proper order, although I am very partial 
to regularity. This fource of ill humour, 
this inveterate enemy to love, muft be re- 
moved too. I will make this one of the 
objects of my prayers for wifdom. 

I was told that an hofpital at Paris had 
been confumed by fire, and all its inhabi- 
tants perifhed in the flames — I turned my 
thoughts inftantly to fomething elfe, when 
I heard it had been inhabited by blind peo- 
ple. — I am glad I could do it ; for I have to 



bear fufficient fufFerings of my own. It is 
at prefent, while I am writing this, ftill in 
my power to keep this too tormenting idea 
at a diftance. — Thank God ! it is over ! — 
I cannot retrieve it ! — But woe unto them 
who wilfully, or through negle^l, have been 
the caufe of that dreadful conflagration ! 

I now finilhed my fermon, but not quite 
to my fatisfaftion. How much Ikill does it 
require always to fay exactly only what one 
wants to fay ! 

I read fome part of my fermon to my 
wife, and fent to Tobler for- my Abraham. 
I can truly fay, that it would have afforded 
me pleafure, if he had been at* leifure to 
make many corre61ions; but he was ap- 
parently much pleafed with it in general. 

After fupper we read David's hiftory when 
with Achis. — This is the moll unaccount- 


able part of David's life. He appears either 
to have been a rebel againft his king and 
country, or a traitor to his benefactor. — 
It -iSj-Wwever, difficult to judge of indivi- 
dual anions, if one cannot place one's felf 
exaftiy in the fituation of the a6ling peffon. 
Divifte Providence prevented David from 
becoming one or the other effectively. 

It is furprifing how our feelings depend 
on the leaft trifles. I had faftened my cap 
on my head, becatife I had been obliged to 
lay a cufliion filled with herbs on my fwelled 
cheek ; and my hands, in which I generally 
hold the former during prayers, were, con- 
fequently, entirely at liberty. I did, at firft, 
not know what was the matter with me ; 
my devotion gained, however, evidently by: 
it, my pbfture being eafier and' more natural 
—and the fenfe of what I was doing more 

I pe- 


I perufed and corrected my fermon, fhaved 
myfelf, and obferved that my cheek was vi- 
fibly fwelled — How much fuch an accident 
can disfigure the phyfiognomy, and diffufe 
over the countenance fomething ignoble and 
aukward 1 How careful and cautious ought 
this to make me in my opinions of phy- 
fiognomies> which by accidents of that kind 
are disfigured to their difadvantage \ 

Sunday, Jan. lo, i773« 

1 Delivered my fermon pretty well. Some 
pailages of it came quite from the bottom 
of my heart. While praying, I could fcarcely 
refrain from weeping at the horrid inatten- 
tion with which we were ftanding before 



our common Creator and Father. Alas! 
how much are our prayers mere founds, and 
dead bodies! Where is fpirit? where hfe 
and feeling? 

The converfation during dinner turned on 
the painful iituation of my aunt. She begged 
me to pray for her deliverance. Alas ! when 
will my heart become fufficiently fenfible and 
fympathifmg to enable me to lay the diftrefs 
of others before the throne of God with the 
fame fervor as I am wont to addrefs myfelf 
to him in my own? I am terrified when 
fome perfon delires me to pray for him 5 fo 
much am I wanting in love and faith, and 
lively knowledge of God, to anfwer, only 
in fome meafure, the expe6lation of my 
brethren and lifters who confide fo much 
in me. — I went for a few minutes to my 
wife, who was tolerably well ; and then to 
my mother, who was alleep. — Mifs A* * * 



came to fee me. I could not converfe muck 
with her^ except a little on my fermon; 
how yd?)' on account of God is to be pro- 
duced within us. This feeling is the na- 
tural efF@ 61: of faith, or religious knowledge. 
Look at the ftriking proofs of the omnipre- 
fent love of God which are placed before 
thy eyes — refleft upon the advantages which 
flow from it , imagine thyfelf in the iitua- 
tion of a perfon who is deftitute of thefe 
proofs ; acquire a fufficient knowledge, and 
thou wilt /^^/ without difficulty! — Found 
thy faith on what thy eyes behold, and thou 
wilt enjoy what thou doll not fee. 

My uncle came to fee me. Town news. 
I liilened to his tale with as much attention 
as if I had had neither to hear, nor to do 
any thing elfe ; and this produced fome good 
.reflections, which afterwards proved very 
iifeful to me. I obferve and experience, in 



general, with a certainty that puts it beyond 
doubtj that this fimple liftening to the moft 
indifferent converfation, that this refignation 
to all the difpofitions of Divine Providence, 
even on the moft common occurrences of 
this world, is an excellent thing, an incom- 
parable fchool of benevolent humility, an 
excellent mean of being ufeful to or of de- 
riving benefit from others. 

Mr. S*** paid me a vilit. We fpoke of 
Mr. Tobler's evening fermon, and of our 
duty to dedicate ourfelves wholly to God. 
We agreed that one cannot reafonably fay, 
** I will be only middling good." — We alfo 
fpoke of that, almoft general, caprice which 
takes pofTeffion even cf good hearts ^ of grofs 
and of refined ohjiinacy ; of the infinitely bad 
effe6ls of this fault, which, in general, are 
fo feldom viewed in their proper light; of 
the combination of the moft invincible firm- 



nefs with the moft filial compliance; &c. 
ice. 8zc. 

My vifitor having left me, I went to my 
mother, and we read fele6t fcriptural paf- 
fages, adapted for fick people. She appeared 
to me to be extremely weak and exhaufted, 
yet very attentive to what I was reading. 

^It>Ki>AY, Jan. TT, 1773- 

M.R. Burkli fent me a catalogue of all my 
publications for perufal, and I was obliged to 
tranfcribe it, in order to arrange and to 
complete it. I was really frightened at the 
number of my writings, and blufhed feveral 
times, becaufe I recollefted the hafte in which 
I have compofed and publifhed fome of 



them, particularly in the earlkr part of my 
life. I have frequently thought it v^ould be 
well if I (liould make a rigorous criticifm 
upon them, and either publifh it myfelf, or 
order it to be publiflied after my death. It 
made me a little uneafy, or rather vexed me, 
to obferve, on this occafion, how little my 
moil ufeful performances, chiefly thofe for 
children, are known in Germany, through 
the innocent fault of my publiflier. I am 
afliamed no other produ6rs of my pen but 
poetry, or publications which are more for 
the learned, have found their way to Ger- 
many. I am fo much the more afliamed at 
it, becaufe I am certain that I mufl: appear, 
and really do appear, to many, in no other 
light but that of an author who makes a 
great noife, who is nothing elfe but an au- 
thor, and who defires to pleafe only the 

learned. - - - - - 

VaL. IL I I went 


I went, for a few minutes, to my mother, 
and then to my aunt, whom I found tranquil 
and eafy. I was alone with her, and fpent 
an happy half hour in her company. 

Coming home, I found my Abraham upon 
the table, with a note from Mrs. B***. — 
*' A fmgle fpark of Abraham's faith would, 
*' indeed, give flrength and comfort to my 
" foul j but on what fhall I found my hope ? 
" My facrifice is confummated ; I fee no- 
" thing but aihes inflead of my only fon. 
*' God has taken more from me than my 
" heart and life. All that I can do is to 
" proflrate myfelf in the duft, to adore and 
** to weep." - - -------- 

I will write an anfwer to Mrs. B***, thought 
Ij but previoufly finiflied the catalogue of 
my works, wrote a few lines to her, and 
went to dinner. My mother was at table, 
but almoft conftantly fleeping. We fpoke 



very little. I obferved her attentively, and 
derived, feveral times, unfpeakable pleafure 
from certain reflexions which v^^ere bright- 
ening up in my foul. — The knowledge of 
God is eternal life ! — How true is this ! One 
can, however, neither exprefs nor defcribe 
it. Feelings have no fymbols in nature j 
and what elfe are words but fymbols ? - - 

Mrs. St*** came for the papers of her 
hufband. Having miflaid the papers which 
fhe had communicated to me, I was terri- 
fied at the fight of her. — Irregularity ! what 
a fource of uneafinefs, uncharitablenefs^ and 
ill-treatment, art thou! - 

Mr. F***, my brother in law, and his wife, 
came to fee us. A town anecdote, Sec, &c- 

I 2 &C. 


&c. The converfatlon turned on young 
Schw***, who is to go to Marfeilles. 1 
faid, with fome warmth, that I thought this 
would not be well done j becaufe it would 
be almoft impoflible that a young man^, with- 
out public and private religious infliu61ion> 
and dellitute of all moral infpe6lion, could 
remain only tolerably good in fuch a fitua- 
tion, although he might have the befl prin- 
ciples. They were forry that ray advice 
came too late. 

Wrote an anfwer to Mrs. B***'s note - 
" Ygu behold, indeed, nothing but ajl/es , 
'^ but faith beholds immortality.— You have 
" not been obliged to kill your only fbn. If 
^' you had brought your facrifice, fupported 
*' by/^/V/^, then you would certainly behold 
" the glory of God, although your child 
" fhould remain in the grave. But you 
^*' wanttd to reap before you had fown, to 

'' fee 


" fee God before you had acquired faith. 
** What you fee of him in nature, in your 
," heart, and mfcripture, ought to induce you 
*^ to believe in him, even when you do ?wt 
"fie." - - 

My brother in law, Qu — S*** came to 
fee me '-, and my Abraham juft lying on the 
table, I read the two firft acts to him. I 
am, indeed, not accullomed to read my per- 
formances to other people, although I am 
convinced that it is very advantageous to 
the author, becaufe he feels the flrength 
and weaknefs of his writings more accu- 
rately than any critic can difclofe it to him. 

P**^ came. We fpoke o'i fanaticijm. It 
rejects all intermediate caiifes, and is difgufted 
with nature, although the whole nature proves 
that God a6ts through it as our foul through 
our body. — But where does the fcripture 
reject intermediate c^ufes? — " When the 
I 3 '' fcrip- 


" fcripture*' (P*** obferved very juftly) 
" teaches an important doclrine, then it 
" never wants clearnefs, ftrength, energy, 
" pictures, and fimilies, to ftate it fo that 
" every honeft and attentive reader muft 
" find and underftand it ; and if the rejec- 
" tion of intermediate caufes were the moll 
" confummate wifdom (as it is to fanaticifm) 
^' how di{lin6t]y ought it to be expreflfed in 
" holy fcripture ! We find, however, on 
" every page of the gofpel, jufl the con- 

" trary." We could not conceive how 

the perfons who occafioned this difcourfe 
can, neverthelefs, efleem the fcripture fo 
highly, that they never will read any thing 
befides the Bible. We apprehended that 
they will reje6l it too, by degrees ; at leaft 
look upon it as fomething very indifferent 
to them. 

<* A lively knowledge of God" (faid I) 


*' Is fo efficacious with refpecl to love and 
" humanity, that thofe who have attained it 
" are humihty, patience, forbearance, love, 
" and relignation itfelf — and that in fo plain, 
" fimple, artlefs, natural, harmonious, and 
" correfponding a manner, that they do not 
" become ridiculous y even when they are not 
*^ imitated, and are infufferable." 

I was called to fupper. My mother was 
fleeping — awoke, and was feized with dread- 
ful pains — I could not bear to think of her 
fufferings, and was quite ftunned. — Mifery 
which concerns us too nearly generally fluns. 
I fliould, perhaps, be able to weep over her, 
and to pray with more ardour for her releafe, 
if I (hould hear her fufferings related, and 
if file were a ftranger to me ; but now my 
heart is flraitened fo much, that I can do 
neither as flie deferves. 

1^4 Wf. 


We faid our evening prayers, and read 
the firft chapter of the fecond book of Sa- 
muel. How great, how fablime, is David's 
tltgy on his perfectitor Said I 

Wifliing my mother a good night, fhe faid 
to me, " Do not forget to remember agahi^ to- 
*' morrow mornings poor fick people ! Do not for- 
'^ get^ nor -poftpone it T - - 

I continued my Journal, corre61ed the 
fecond flieet of m.y Sermons on Jonas, and 
fearched for a letter which I had received 
this evening, and forgot to read. I could 
not find it, but found another from Mr. H. 
a vintner, of Wuertemberg, to Mr. S***, 
which I read. I vvas very much ftruck by 
the words, " If our life fhould fhine and 
^^ glare with every virtue, and every one 
" praife and fpeak well of us, and our fancy 
'' fhould make us believe that we needs mvfi 
^' be faved, and our Saviour fhould neither 

*^ approve 


*^ approve of nor praife fuch a foul, then 
" we would, neverthelefs, be on the brink 
" of a dangerous precipice. Our Saviour 
^^ can always find fome caufe or other, why 
" he cannot praife fuch a foul, although 
" every body iliould do it ; and He^ our Lord, 
" can always find fome reafon or other for 
'^ approving of and praifin^ fuch a foul, al- 
" though the whole world fliould do the 
'' reverfe." — I muft, however, confefs, that 
the reft of this letter did not appear to me 
fufficiently plain, nor purely evangelical (2:), 
There are fome adopted phrafes and expref- 
fions, taken from the Bible, from prayer- 
books, and fermons, which are liable to a 

{%) The fame can be applied to the pafiage quoted br 
Mr. Lavater, The writer means, very likely, nothing" 
elfe, than that God does not always judge of us, and our 
conduct, as men do, and that the approbation of God 
ought to be of more value to us than that of men. E- 



great m^ny mifapplications, and entirely 
contrary to the fimple, found, evangelical, 
and apoflolical tone, although they are, at 
the fame time, if judged with equity and 
indulgence, not quite fo improper, as they 
may found in a rigorous and critical ear. 

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1773. 

I AWOKE half an hour after fix o'clock. 
The fufferings of my mother were my firft 
thought. Another night of woe is paft ! — 
Yes, indeed, a night of woe ! — My filler 
came to inform us of it. — I could fcarcely 
bear to liften any longer to her mournful 



Having vlfited my mother, and wltneiTed 
her mifery with heart-felt emotion, I read 
the firil epiflle to Timothy, in the Greek 
Teftament ; the firft chapters in private, and 
the reft with my wife, who followed me in 
the German tranflation. I cannot deferibe 
how fenfible I am of the divine origin of 
the gofpel, whenever I read it, particularly 
the epiftles of Paul to Timothy and Titus ! 
How fenfible am 1 that it is impoffible an 
impoftor, or a fanatic, could write thus; 
and I am always feized with anger and 
horror againft human beings who can talk, 
nay, only think, of impofition or fanaticifm, 
when they hear men fpeak thus to men. I 
do not know whether it be fo improper, and 
fomething of the old leaven of intolerance, 
when, in moments of the mod iincere moral 
joy at the fimple and plain voice of hea- 
venly truth, I caunot look without contempt 



upon thofe who are not afFe61ed by thofe 
facred flows of the pureft reafon and the 
moft cordial fenfibility — and are capable to 
ridicule or to fmile at them in a cavalier- 
like manner. ---- 

After dinner, I read with benefit and 
pleafure, in Brechter'^ Ohjervations on Bafedow's 
Elementary Work^ although I was enabled by 
the moft evident experience to prove the 
falfity of one point or the other. It appears 
exceedingly humane on the paper to baniih 
the rod. No one can be more averfe from the 
application of the rod than myfelf, and I 
have never chaftifed my fon with it myfelf y 
from fear of ufing it with too much paffion, 
leaving the chaftifement of him always to 
my more gentle wife. My child has the 
beft of hearts, and yet I w^ould not wifh to 
be a father for the four firft years without 
having recourfe to the rod, as our modem 



phyficians would not like to be phyficians 
without I?ark. The advice of many edu- 
cators to leave children to the bad confe- 
quences of their anions, looks, indeed, very 
fpecious on the paper; but whoever has 
had the charge of children will certainly 
know that, among a thoufand, cafes, this is 
fcarcely poffible in one inflance. The very 
thing which appears fo natural in this rule, 
renders education artificial. In this point £ 
agree with Solomon^ when he fays, " He that 
^' fpareth his forty hateth his fonT I am, for 
inflance, obliged to leave fciflars and pen- 
knives on the table ; it is impoffible to re- 
move them always ; and if it vrere poffible, 
yet I would not do it. Why not ? External 
circumllances Ihall not accommodate them- 
felves to my children ; on the contrar)% my 
children (hall accommodate themfelves to 
circumllances. They Oiall not learn — not to 
touch a penknife where there is none, but 



they ihall be trained — not to touch one where 
ten are. I would leave them with all my 
heart to the natural confequences of their 
difobedience, if I were fure that they would 
not hurt themfelves too much. But if they 
fhould damage an eye, or a hand ! — O ! ye 
wife friends of children ! what would then 
be the confequence ? I defire my child, not 
to touch the penknife 3 if he difobeys, I put 
it out of his reach, and give him a fenfible 
clap on the hand, which, though ever fo hard, 
is flill a punilhment more gentle than the 
leaft hurt he might receive. I believe, in 
general, that if one would view things in 
their proper light, and not with abilraft no- 
tions, one would have a thoufand opportu- 
nities to obferve, that the author of nature 
punilhes, or, at leaft, feems to punifli, in an 
arbitrary manner 3 and that if every fault 
could be correded by natural punifhments, 



the all-wife Creator would not have recourfe 
to arbitrary chaftifements. How many thou- 
fand times can a ten thoufand times feverer 
natural evil be averted by means of arbitrary 
punifliments ! My notions of difpenfations 
from threatened punifliments alfo differ very 
much from thofe of Mr. Brechter ; and here 
I am likewife guided by experience. The Pfy- 
chology which God difplays in the educa- 
tion of the human race, guides me in the 
education of my children. My fon knows 
that he dares not touch a knife. I found, 
lately, a razor full of notches, and was go- 
ing to put myfelf in a paffion, but pacified 
myfelf inftantly. *' Have you damaged the 
" razor in that manner ?" (I aiked in a ferious 
tone). ' Yes, Papa!' " Well! I will not 
" punifh you this time, becaufe you have 
" confefled the truth. Look ! how unhappy 
" you could have made yourfelf;, if you had 



^' cut off a part of your Hnger, or the whole." 
— I would certainly have punifhed, or or- 
dered him to be puniflied, if I had caught 
him in the fa6f . — Having, however, nothing 
more at heart than that my fon may never 
tell lies \ or, with other words, fincerity and 
veracity being virtues of the higheft value 
with me, I declined infli6ling the threatened 
puniihment. Children will certainly never 
tell lies, except from fear of being chaftifed. 
It is, therefore, much better to acquit them 
of the deferved punifiinient, than to expofe 
them to temptations Vvhich are too ftrong to 
be withftood. I am not at all afraid that 
children will grow worfe on that account. 
One catches them but too frequently in 
tranfgreflions which afford us the lament- 
able opportunity to execute our threats, and 
thus to render them efficacious. Punifhment 
without previous menaces is cruelty; and 


S Et F-0 B S E R V E R . 1 29 

not to punifh at all, or to punilh and to 
chaftife in an arbitrary manner, is either 
dangerous or impoffible. I intend to open 
my mind, one time, on that fubje6t (perhaps 
in my mifcellaneous works), and to appeal 
to the experience of all fathers who are pa^- 

rmts, A miftake of my fervant excited 

my anger, but only for a few moments. - « 

I received a note, and betrayed difpleafure 
while reading it — rofe, and was going to 
write an anfwer. — " I would moderate my- 
*'^ felf, my dear, and not return an anfwer 
*^ at prefent," faid my wife. My paffion 
fubfided inftantly, and I difplayed not the 
leaft anger in my reply. 

Received a letter from the worthy Mr. 
Hcdebrand, who informed me of Kraemer's 
death and poverty. I now have again one 

Vol. II. K burden 


burden lefs to bear, at lead one half of it 
is taken from my flioulders. The ftapefac- 
tion which the mifery of beloved perfons 
caufes me, makes me frequently apprehend 
it might be hard-heartednsfs,^ infenfibiUty, 
or indifference; y-: .; can'. declare, without 
flatterin^^Liinyfeify'.'that. even. a frnall diftrefs, 
and an irui.i,. . cant^imeaiiirefsry.of one of my 
fellow-creatures, ^.\ • me pain,- and that I 
always feel a heavy load K.l:en from- my hearty 
whenever fuch a diftrefs which rather ftunned 
than affected me ceafes, and tnac I rrank 
God for fuch a deliverance, although 1 fnculd 
not be able to fhed a tear for the living fuf- 
ferer, particularly if I fliould fee him, or if 
he were any way dear to me. - - - - - 
I now am eafy at the honeft Kraemer's 
death, but am at prefent too much over- 
burthened with diftrefs, to feel it in fuc/i a 
manner as I fliould, if I were fuffering lefs 



mifery of my own. I hope to God that care 
will be taken of thofe he has left behind. 
I can do little or nothing for them. O ! if 
there but were a communion among Chrif- 
tians I it would then be eafy to fell his li- 
brary, without lofs, for the benefit of his 
family (^) ! Well ! I will expert what God 
will put hi my mind. 

I refted a little, and then walked up and 
dowii the room. My cheek was inflamed ; 
my wife looked at it, and found it dangerous. 
P*** and my brother, the do6lor, came to 
fee me. My cheek was examined, and they 
feared I had a tooth-fiflula. — Although pains 
affect me very fenfibly, and I know that I 
have very little courage to fubmit to the 
molt trifling operation, fo that 1 never could 

{a) This has really been done through the care of 
fome very refpcdable divines. E. 

K z refolve 

rj^ JOURUAL «r A 

refolve to have a tooth drawn, particula,rly 
one which is rooted fo deep, overgrown, and 
already half gone, yet I was not afraid of 
this misfortune which is likely to liappen. 

I believe the fufFerings of my mother in- 
fpired me w^ith this fortitude. Befides, how 
much foever I am fubje£t to yield to impa- 
tience in the beginning of an illnefs, or on 
the iirft prefenfion of its approach, yet I be- 
came always eafy, from the moment I am 
obliged to keep my bed, or to ftay at home ; 
and all days of illnefs have been the moll 
tranquil and happy of my life, and proved 
to me real days of reft. I have never been 
able to enjoy myfelf and my friends more, 
and better, than on fuch days, and always 
been capable jto do at leaft fomething, I 
will tlierefore patiently await whatever God 
ft^all fend, will not take thought for the 
morrow. Befides, I and my friends ought 



frequently to have made the obfervatioriy 
that if I had been more of the Chriilkn 
than I really am, I ihouid find it ver.y eafy 
to be what I am — becaufe I am furroundedr 
with joys and pleafures of every kind, and 
that all my fufferings cannot be compared 
with- my- numberlefs joys and pleafures, nor 
are proportionate to my ability of end.uring 
pains. — I will, with refpe£l to this point, 
pray neither for nor againft any thing what- 
ever. — Amongft all bodily fufferings, I dread 
none more than chirurgical operations, and 
a fore throat — I cannot exprefs how much 
the mifery of Mrs. P*** diftreffes me !— 4 
recollect, jufl now, that I have been defired 
to-day, by a female friend, to implore God 
(o relieve this poor, patient fufferer. — Why 
can I do this eafier for a friend — though not 
with the fervor of a heart quite replete w^ith 
fraternal tendernefs — than for my poor mo- 
K 3 ther, 


ther, although fhe faid to me and to my 
brother,* when we took leave of her this 
evening, " Do not forget to pray for me !" 
-—Well, then ! in the name of God 1 I will 
go and implore the mercy of our heavenly 
Father for thefe fufFerers ! 

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1773. 

I DREADED to hear how my mother had 
paffed the night — Alas! how humiliating 
was the account I received 1 how I deteft 
my remiffnefs in praying ! 

I fpoke w^ith my wife of our children. — 
" I have a prefenfion'* (faid I) " that they 

" will 


*^ Will not grow old, though they are very 
" healthy in general !" — It gave me great 
fatisfacllon to hear her fay, with great re- 
lignation, " The will of God be done ! — 
"Thank God! that they exift; they have 
" not been created in vain ! They are our 
*^ children, and children of God, whether 
" they live or die.'* — 

My cheek pained me violently feveral 
times ; I knocked my hand againfl it in get- 
ting up, and this increafed my pain-; yet I 
remained eafy. My mother fat in a chair 
near the bed, trembling with mifery, w^hen 
I came to bid her a good morning ! — I could 
fay nothing to her but repeat my favourite 
pafTage from Klopftock : 

Ever nigh Is my Redeemer, 
Though concealed from mortal fight ; 
Deeper in the vale of darknefs 
Is my Saviour and his light, 

K 4 Yonder 


Yonder I fliall meet his mercy, 
And the bleffings of his fight ; 
Now, now is the time of trials ! 
Soul ! pufh boldly on the fight ! 

I received a letter from Mr. H***, of St. 
Gallen, concerning my EJfays on Thyfiognomy^ 
ray Views of Eternity^ and my Work on Spi- 
ritual Experience^ which contained many ufe- 
ful remarks; but the bare idea of writing 
an anfwer, in my prefent fituation, fatigued 
me ; and not to return an anfwer would be 
deemed indifcretion and pride. 

Wrote a letter to Mr. Haas, at Bafil, con- 
cerning a fmall chamber printing-office for 
my fon, which will afford him ufeful occu- 
pation. - - - - - ---.-- 

Alas 1 how much did my poor mother 
fuffer during dinner !— My pains increafed. 



Thursday, Jaa. 14, 1773^ 


I HAD, thank God ! a better night than I 
expelled; awoke at fix o'clock, and my 
face was tolerably eafy. — ^My firft thought 
was my mother, and my anxiety and inabi- 
lity to pray for her. I fighed, however, for 
relief from her pains; but without faith, 
without filial fabmilTion. My fon, who alfo 
was a little indifpofed, came to fee me ; and 
I gave him fome tender admonitions. — It 
was near eight o'clock when I got up. I 
read the manufcript news-paper of H***— 
Almoft nothing but unlucky accidents ! - -^ 

My mother was in violent pain,. She was 


13S Journal of a 

lifted out of her bed ; and I could not leave 
the room, although*! could aflift her very 
little, being myfelf in great pain, and al- 
though my wounded heart which, at other 
times, is ufed to flruggle againft impatience, 
was feverely afflifted at that fight. — It af- 
fords, perhaps, fome com.fort to a fufferer, if 
he only has a witnefs of his mifery, though 
he fhould be entirely unfit to affifl and com- 
fort him ! I went to my ftudy as foon as my 
poor mother was replaced in her bed. 
Several informations and anfwers which I 
was to give, almoft had tempted me to grow 
impatient. I got, however, the better of 
it y wrote the anfwers, and gave a fmall pre- 
fent to the boy who was ftanding before me, 
in order to punifli myfelf for having yielded 
to impatience. I was, at the fame time, 
cheered up by a note from a female friend. 
" God certainly will not forfake you, the 

'' joyful 


"joyful meffenger of laft Sunday.** - - - 
I continued my Journal, feated myfelf by 
the bed of my fon, and told him (Brechter 
had reminded me of it yefterday), that I 
would make a white and a black book for 
him ; the former for his good and the latter 
for his bad aflions ; a book of honour and a 
book o{ JJiame. He did not diflike it. I 
made it inftantly, and his mother too was 
pleafed with it. — 

I heard a woman groan before my door, 
and gave her a trifle. She went away- 
very well fatisfied. 

L. J. came to fee me, and we fpent half 
an hour in mutual pleafure. We fpoke of 
the fimplicity of praftical Chriftianity. All 
is love ; wife piety and felf-denial is nothing 
but love. Every a6l of felf-denial whofe 
fcope is not love, nor does promote love, 
is virtuous pedantry, body without foul. 


il4a Journal of a 

Though' I bejlow ail my goods to feed the foor^ 
and though I give my body to he burnt ^ and have 
fwt charity, it profit eth me nothing. This is a 
favourite idea of mine which I with to re- 
prefent to all my auditors, readers, and 
friends, in a manner fo pra6lieal and fo clear, 
that it ihould be impoiTible to difpute it 
any longer. This idea I would particularly 
recommend to forTiC anxious and good 
minds, v/ho fancy to honour and to -pleafe 
God by tormenting themfelves with volun- 
tar}^ felf-denials and bodily fatigues, without 
being infpired with love, and without having 
the wife view to acquire ftrength for felf- 
denial for the fake of others, and are want 
to weep and to grieve for hours, imagining 
to be bound to implore the mercy of God 
with trembling and doleful lamentations, 
when they have not pun6lually performed 
fome feif-impofed law of that nature. — But 


is this an evangelical, a filial fplrit ? Is this 
plain, enlightened knowledge of truth? — 
I have had times, or rather a few days, 
when I too thought fo fervile, but now I 
have experienced the truth : that wherever 
the Jpirit of God is, there is liberty, 

I received a letter from the worthy prefi- 
dent Ulifles de Salis, who has procured em- 
ployment for a poor man whom I recom- 
mended to him, and, at the fame time, 
begged to have a catalogue of my works, of 
which the printer juft has fent me a proof 

fheet. - 

Joy at having again a poor man lefs to take 
care of, and, perhaps, the demand of a cata- 
logue of my works which I was going to 
corredt, exhilarated me vifibly. - - - - 

- ------- An honeft Swabian 

with a letter from Heoilingen. It delight- 
ed me to hear him fay in his fimple dialed : 

" The 

142 Journal of a 

" The Lord our God has moved my heart 
" in a particular manner ; I would not take 
*^ the whole town of Zurich for this call !*' 
On fifting him particularly concerning his 
love, he faid, in a very natural and uncom- 
monly fimpVe manner : " Alas ! that is the 
" very thing ! Love is wanting ; I improve, 
" however, every day : a neighbour of mine 
" cut a hole an inch deep in my fon's belly ; 

" I could have crufhed him like a flea; 

" yet w^hen 1 killed a fwine lately, I fent 
" him a piece of it, with the mefiage that 
'^ we would be friends again. All our dif- 
" ferences are now made up." I gave him 
fome admonitions, with the flrongeft con- 
fcientioufnefs that I have derived more bene- 
fit from him, than he from me. - - - . 

Mr. N*"'* begged me to change him fome 
money, thanking me, at the fame time, for a 



fmall fum I have lent him, and begged me 
to have patience a little longer. — His rea- 
fons v^rere unexceptionable, and his modeliy 
and poverty did not fuffer me to heiitate a 
moment to forgive him that trifling debt 
vv^hich I had forgot long ago. 

Mr. M*** came to fee me. We fpoke 
of fufFerings, prayer, and the knov^ledge of 
the unknow^n God — but, alas ! this time 
almofl nothing but empty words. 

I went to my wife. The fwelling of 

my cheek was decreafed by half, and I found 
myfelf extremely well. The condition in 
which I find myfelf immediately after I 
have fufFered great pain, is to me rather a 
ftate of felicity than of mere painfulnefs. — 
P*** came to fee me ; I made him lay his 
hand on my cheek, and he fmiled like love 
herfelf, when I prefled it hard upon my face, 
in order to convince him that my pain had 



entirely abated. We fpoke of the inftruc- 
tion of children in religion. To relate, to 
defcribe, and to make palpable to them, 
without reftraint and with unaffected feren- 
ity of looks, whatever in God and in Chrifl 
can infpire us with confidence and love -, to 
reprefent to them with brevity and feeling 
our heavenly Savior, now walking through 
the flreets, furrounded with fufFerers whom 
he relieves ; now in friendly confidential 
converfation with his difciples ; now con- 
defcending to a converfation with a poor 
woman; now at dinner, or diftributing 
nourifliment among many thoufand hungry 
people, or fondling little children, &:c. &c. 
&c. to moralize little, and to relate many 
fa6ls which roufe the moral fenfe, and flrikes 
the mind. — Good God ! how much more 
beneficial would this prove, than the eternal 
4ry dogmatizing method of moft teachers. 



We were angry, almoft to intolerance, with 
all catechifms, which are entirely deftitute 
of the moral charm of kiftory^ related in a pal- 
pable manner. - - - My filler came to 
tell me fhe fancied to obferve a vifible 
change in the Hate of my mother. I took 
leave of P***, and found ihe had not been 
miftaken. I aiked my mother whether ihe 
was Hill in pain? "No! not at all!" was 
her reply. — 1 ftood by her bedfide, as if ani- 
mated with new life. — She was, however, fo 
altered that we feared her end was drawing 
near. My heart now was opened to prayer, 
and I implored God to cleanfe her foul by 
all the fufFerings of this world, and her in- 
ward feelings, from all ungodlinefs, and to 
animate her through fimple faith, with pure 
heavenly love. I wrote a few notes to fome 
friends, informing them of the fituation of 
my mother, and recommended her to their 
Vol. II. L prayers. 


prayers. ----- She defired us to 
go to reft. ^' Let me fleep ! God blefs and 
" prote6t you ! I will refign myfelf entirely 
*' to God r* She appeared, however, to be 
a little beyond herfelf, infifting on our going 
to reft, becaufe fhe fancied it was paft mid- 
night. — We fupped in the back room; I 
went feveral times to look after her ; and 
opening her eyes, fhe wondered why I had 
got up. I repeated fome fcriptural paflages 
to her; but fhe feemed not to attend to 
what I was faying ; breathed with difficulty, 
and exclaimed : " breath ! breath 1" imagi- 
ning that her diffolution was drawing near, 
I called my father, my brother, and my 
fifter. They came ; I prayed ; fhe wanted 
to get up. " I fhall not die yet," faid fhe, 
and my poor father wept aloud like a child_ 
We made her lay down again, and perceived 
that fhe was very much bloated. — I read 



fome hymns, and begged my family to go to 
bed, becaufe we faw that no change was 
likely to happen. My brother and myfelf 
offered to ftay with her. 

On my return to my mother, I found her 
very uneafy; fhe groaned almoft all the 
night, overpowered with bodily agonies. I 
fat m the great chair 'till eleven o'clock, 
fighing for her. We then laid ourfelves 
down on the bed. I was fo weary and 
fatigued that it would have been impoffible 
for me to continue watching and praying. 

L 2 Friday, 


Friday, Jan. 15, 1773. 

Alas I my dear mother will probably die 
to day ! With this idea I raifed myfelf up in 
my bed, and began to pray aloud ; fhe 
feemed> however, to take no notice of it. — 
1 went up to my wife, and ftaid near half an 
hour with her. We promrfed each other 

I then converfed with my good, good father, 
on fome domeflic concerns, &;c. &c. &c. con- 
tinued my Journal by the fide of my mother, 
who flept fweetly in the great chair — gentle 
tranquillity animated my foul, which was 
entirely free of anxiety and impatience. .- 

I went to my mother, repeated to her fome 



parages from the Scripture, and converfed 
with my brother D*** on life, death, and im- 

My mother repeated feveral times : *' Do 
not forfake H***, forget all his errors, and 
make him no reproaches !" 

At noon we thought my mother^s laft 
painful hour was arrived. I prayed with 
tears, but not like on former lefs important 
and affefting occafions.— My brother read 
the prayer for dying people from the hymn 
book, and I could now pray with fervor ; 
but alas ! not entirely with true, filial 
faith. --- -------- 

Mr. H*** came to fee my mother ; he could, 
however, fpeak very little witli her ; yet ilie 
feemed to underftand every word he faid. 
He now prayed for her, and we joined him. 
The great number of people {landing around 
her, feemed to make her uneafy ; we retired, 
L 3 therefore, 


therefore, a little, and kept up a ufeful con- 
verfation for half an hour. " How little," 
(we faid, almoft unanimoufly) " how little 
*^ ufeful can one be to dying people ! How 
" little can we fay to them with the leaft 
" hope of fuccefs, particularly when we 
" have no thorough knowledge of the fick 
*' perfon, nor have been ufed to converfe 
" with them in a confidential drain." 

Some refleftions on the bleffing which, 
oftentimes, attends the moft indifferent and, 
within themfelves, fruitlefs actions and dif- 
courfes, which, confonant with the fituation 
in which we are, originate from fincere faith 
in the all protefting providence of God, and 
from obedience to our duty, &;c. &c. &c. 

The worthy, modeft, and enlightened Mr. 
Sch. H***, of Hirzel, came to fee us, and I 
enjoyed his company with great benefit for 
half an hour. We converfed on prayer for 

wifdom y 


wifdom ', on not forrowing for the following 
day with regard to moral improvement ; on 
the effential equality of repentance, and faith 
as the moft important part of our adtions, 
viz. th confcioufnefs of our wants y and the ex-^ 
pe5lation that thefe wants can he fatisfied by 
what we are doing. — We alfo fpoke of un- 
evangelical anxiety and fanaticifm. — I have 
nothing to accufe myfelf of, with refpeft to 
what I was fpeaking of 5 I muft, however, 
confefs that I was vifibly deftitute of Chriftian 
fimplicity, humility, and filial refignation. 
My wife reminded me of my mother, who 
was taken out of the bed when I entered her 
room. I called my friend P*** in ; but fhe 
did not know him j at leaft fhe faid nothing : 
fhe was fitting in her eafy-chair half alive 
and half dead. My friend and myfelf were 
equally fenfible how impoflfible it would be 
L4 to 


to produce a moral efFeft on any human 
being /t? ill and fufFering in fuch a manner. 
Whatever fuch a perfon fees and hears, has 
almoft as little efFe£l on her as on a corpfe. 
We ftarted, at the fame time, fome reflections 
on the (late of the foul, or rather of the in- 
vifible man after death. I mentioned fome 
beautiful flrokes of my mother's charac- 
ter. - - - - 

I received a letter from the pious w^idow, 
G*** of S***5 in which ihe enquired after 
the continuation of my fecret Journal ; I 
confefs that, fmce I have again begun to 
write a journal, though not always regularly, 
I have frequently thought that it is an occu- 
pation not entirely fruitlefs. I am, at leaft, 
convinced that in writing it, I have no 
temptation to diihonefty, and that I confefs 
my faults and weakneffes as far as it may 



tend to be uffeful to others. I confefs them 
without fear ^ nay I may fay, with more Jincerity 
than my good qualities. 

At fupper I fpoke of the hard trials of a 
man who lives at Tatlingen, and called to- 
day at my houfe. One of his children fell 
down from the oven, and died on the fpot ; 
another out of the windows, yet without 
receiving any hurt \ a third has been feverely 
cut with an axe, and a waggon has gone 
over himfelf, but without doing him any 
material injury. He alfo related to me, 
(Oh ! how did my heart, which fo frequently 
is of fo little faith, and fo averfe from pray- 
ing, beat and cover me with blufhes), that 
he had a very wicked fon, whofe heart was 
harder than flint, and who had never wiflied 
him a good day; that he, however, had 
prayed to God to convert him, and that he 
now was the bell, moil obedient, gentlell, 



and kindeft of fons, and one heart and foul 
with him {i^). 

Jf any man offend not in wordy the fame is a 
JierfeEl many and able aljo to bridle the whole 

We read the fixth and feventh chapter of 

{b) Chriflian reader, pray for thy wicked and abandoned 
fon, brother, friend, &c. &c. &c. This prayer, if con- 
fonant with reafon, and if fervent, will render thee the 
more willing and capable to work with a gentle fpirit, and 
indefatigable zeal his amendment and repentance. But 
do not think that thy prayers alone will effefl his con* 
verfion in a miraculous manner. God has never promifed 
any thing of that kind ; and if prayers could have that 
effedl all men would, long ago, have been pious and vir- 
tuous. The honeft countryman of whom the author is 
fpeaking has probably been promifed by his prayers to 
endeavour to gain the heart of his fon, to treat him with 
more gentlenefs and kindnefs, and not to fuffer himfelf to 
be deterred or galled by fruitlefs attempts, and thus he has 
fucceeded, affiited by the providence of God who niles 
every thing, in foftening his heart, winning his reciprocal 
love, and enforcing his admonitions. E. 



Samuel II. and the hymn for fick people, 
&c. &c. &c. — — My good father fpoke 
afterwards very tenderly and chriftianlike to 
my mother, and ihed many bitter tears. 
She was likely to live twenty-four hours 
longer. Moft of my family went to bed ; 
but I fat up fometime longer, not only an ac* 
count of my mother, becaufe I could give 
her no relief, but in order to finifli a prayer, 
containing a confejjion of Jtns, which my fa- 
ther had defired me to write for him. Alas \ 
every word I wrote Hung me to the heart ; 
yet this was far from being a lively fenfe of 
my own unworthinefs. 



Saturday, Jan. i6. 

Alas l how much have I to meditate, 
and how little am I able to do it ! The moll 
common man would perhaps make me 
afhamed. Yet I cannot help being fur- 
rounded with that buflle. 1 will now, at 

this noontide hour, fit down and draw a 
Iketch of the incidents of this day. Thi^ 
afternoon, if it pleafe God, I may be more 

difpofed to refleft. — 

The fervant came after four o*clock in 
the morning to tell me Ihe fancied a change 
would happen. — I got up in a hurry 3 my 
wife was much frightened ; I prefled her 
hand tenderly, went and faw her to whom I 
owe my life, breathe with difficulty. — Her 
eves grew dim, and I implored God to have 



mercy upon her. — My elded fifter was 
praying too. I went to awaken my father; 
prayed and refle6ted how much more ufeful 
J could have been to my mother than I 
really was, and prayed with more ardour. I 
inclined myfelf towards her, and reminded 
her, foftly, and as diftinguifliable as my tears 
would allow, of the comforting promifes of 
God. ------ Half an hour after 

four o'clock Ihe was a lifelefs corpfe. - « 

I cannot recolleft what I faid to thofe that 
were in the room when fhe died ; I only 
know that I endeavoured to remind them 
forcibly of their mortality and immortality. 
I then read to them that part of Xh^ farewell 
hymn of a dying fierfon, which was applicable 
to our lituation. My mother was drefled in 
a fhroud, and I went to my wife, and then 
to my father, I had no time to reflect on 



myfelf, my afllifted parent being the firft 
obje6t of my attention. 

I wrote fome notes to feveral friends, and 
then went for a few minutes to my wife, 
who had my boy, who is very fickly with 
her. — " Yes !" (faid we one to another), 
" Yes ! we will act in every individual mo- 
*' ment of our life as we, on our death-bed, 
" ihall wifli to have a£led ; we will execute 
" with tranquillity every, even the mofl 
" worldly bufinefs, if it mtifi be done, and do 
" every thing as if we had nothing elfe to 
" do in this world, and as if it were our laft 
" occupation." --.,-.-- 

I received a letter from Sch***, " God 
•^ blefs your family through you, Jiartiadar/y 
" now ! May many a word of everlafting 
"^ bleffing flow from your lips for them ! 
" Oh ! raife them above the vanity of this 
" world — and then teach and learn how to 



'* live; that you one time may fee your 
" friends die v^ith joy unutterable." - - - 

I was to give a manufcript to a perfon 
for to take a copy, and loft near a quarter of 
an hour with fruitlefs fearches. — Impatience 
began to raife her head powerfully, and 
difplayed herfelf, at leaft, in my looks. An- 
other trifling incident encreafed my impa- 
tience. I grew, however, foon eafy again. 
All my impatience is, on fuch occafions, 
foon filenced, if I only can refrain from 

I received a little treatife from Strafbourg, 
The Sacrifice of IJaaCy which I haftily perufed, 
but not with great emotion of heart, becaufe 
it was only one fheet, and I wanted a little 
reft ; yet I found a line in it which I will 
infcrt in my Abraham, 

Some fhort vifits.— Comforted an atHi6led 



perfon by the idea : ^^ What I can not 
*^ do God can; God is greater than my 
'' heart 1** 

A note from Mifs M**% '' I only muft 
'*' add," (fays flie), '' that I very frequently 
" have read with unutterable pleafure the 
" words : 

** Nearer to eternal bleffing 
" -Leads thee' God through every night; 
" What he gives and takes is bleffing 
" Trull in his paternal might ! 
** Peace ! my foul ! look up rejoicing 
** To his all-paternal grace j 
*' Mercy are his words and mercy 
" Are for ever all his ways !" 

My wife told me at dinner, that our 
little boy is growing very ill ; and he looked, 
'indeed, very pale. I can truly fay, that 
Jiaving been freed of a great burden by my 
fuffering mother's releafe from mifery and 
>roe, I was fo fatisfied with God that this 



information did not afFeft me very much. — 
He will always be under the prote6tion of 

God. After dinner I went to my aunt, 

who feemed to be very weak, and on the 
brink of the grave. — I do not expeft her to 
live many days longer. I fpoke to, and 
prayed with, her as well as I could, that is 

very faintly. My prayer would have been 

more fervent, if a lively experience on my part 
had had a greater fliare in it. 

I was obliged to retire for a few moments. 
— My uncle related, meanwhile, the hiftory 
of her illnefs. — I fcarcely heard what he 
faid, my attention being occupied with too 
many other things, " I alfo am a fliadow, 
•* encircled by the light of God — a handful 
" of duft, animated by an invifible, unex- 
" plorable power." This truth flruck my 
foul forcibly — I was called up flairs, llaid a 
little while with my aunt, and feeino; that 
Vol. II. M Ihe 


fhe was inclined to fleep, recommended her 

to the mercy of God. 

On my way to my houfe, I called on an 
artift who had painted my mother lying in 
her cofiin, as ferene as a redeemed, who 
has conquered. I could not help telling 
him : " Indeed 1 I could never believe that 
*' the dead will rife, if I did not believe hi 
'' the refurrcaion of Chrift [c] V The firil 

[c). Chrift has indeed, brought to Tighly by his gofpel 
•and refarreftion, life and immortality ; a bleiJing for 
which we never can be tKankfid enough. All other argu. 
ments for the immortality of the foul are too difficult to be 
underllood by the generality of mankind ; and even thofc 
who can comprehend them, sre not always entirely eafed 
by them. But we ought neverthelefs, not to rejedl nor to 
decry and to weaken thefe arguments. They come from 
God, as well as thofe particular promifes of the divinity, 
and have a great weight with him who has learnt to refledl 
on God, on himfelf, and on his prefent flate. Chriftianlty 
was never intended to render human reafon ufelefs or 
contemptible, but to aid and to lead her to the path of 
truth, E. 



man who announced and promifed refurrec- 
tion, a phyfical life in a new animated body 
— died, and was dead, as fure as my mother 
here in the coffin — and returns to life again. 
Here all metaphyfical reafoning is cut off at 
once, that fpecious reafoning which, againft 
all experience, talks of living zvithout a body, of 
fouls as of fouls, and feparates what God ever 
and everywhere has joined. — Here experi- 
ence, fa6t, refiirreElio7i of one who was dead, is 
placed before our eyes 1 If we behold mat- 
ters in this light, how much gratitude do 
we owe to the firft harbinger and the firlt 
witnefs of immortality, not of the foul, but of 
man, of man .'--------- 

My little boy begged me to fhow him 
his grand-mama ; I carried him down flairs, 
and he viewed her attentively, without fay- 
ing a word. I faid nothing to him, except 
M 2 at 


at laft : " This is a body without a foul;, 
" and, for that reafon, it is dead. What 
" has animated this body, though one could 
" not fee it, is the fpirit.'* " Where is now 
« the fpirit r" he afked,— " With God" was 
my reply, " from whom it came." 

Oeconomical concerns —I then defcribed 
the mifery of a fick perfon. — I fancied now to 
be freed of all mifery, and ftrong enough to 
bear all foreign and perfonal diilrefs, becaufe 
God has taken from me the mifery of my 
mother ; but, alas ! the miferv of Mrs. S*** 
who implores the pity of all men, is ftill 
greater than the fufferings, the weight of 
which almoft crufhed my fainted mother. 

Oh ! my unfpeakably good God and 
father ! give me a pure, humane, and tender 
heart, which is as much afFeded by the 
mifery of others as by its own, and equally 



eager to procure relief, comfort, and aid to 
all fellow-fufferers ! There is ftill a leaven 
left in my heart, which frequently ileals 
from me the fublime happinefs of pure, un* 
mixed fraternal love. Is it indolence, vanity, 
too much felf-conceif, or v^hat is it that, as 
it were, fetters my love ? 

A heedlefs perfon in the houfe of correc- 
tion afforded us, after my return up ftairs, an 
opportunity to fpeak of different degrees of 
crimes, and of the immorality of certain 
fms. We fpoke afterwards of the Englifli 
clergyman Duchal — of the happinefs that 
flows from the fubmiflion to the will of God, 
and from our accommodation to it. — The 
more we obey, the greater our dominion 
will be — not only beyond the grave-^but 
already here. No life is more tranquil and 
more evidently bleffed, than the artlefs and 
childlike life, accommodating itfelf quickly 
M 3 to 


to every hint of divine providence [d). How- 
ever, if it pleafe God, I fliall elucidate this 
better on forae other opportunity. 

P*** w^as with us, and we fpoke of thofe 

(J). We muft certainly accommodate ourfelves to ex- 
ternal circumftance?, confider them with refpedl to their 
dependance on God and his will, and willingly and faith- 
fully take hold of every opportunity of being ufeful and 
kind to others ? but we neither can, nor ought to accom- 
modate ourfelves only to external circumftances. Reafon 
inftrudls us as well and generally furer of what God will 
we (hall do in every individual cafe, than the external things 
around us. We can and ought to fee farther than children 
can fee. Children are generally guided merely by prefent 
objedls and incidents, but ive ought alfo to reflect on the 
more diflant confequences of our actions, and to compare 
what is prefent with what is to come. Our conduct can 
therefore, not be entirely like their's. The child is 
governed by fenfible impreflions, the man^ however, is 
guided by principles of the juilnefs of which he is con- 
vinced. And how many are the duties of our calling, 
fituation, and employment from the accurate and imme- 
diate performance of which no external circumilances dare 
pt event us ! 



whom Scripture calls ungodly, and of the 
internal natural health of foul with refpc6t 
to love. The merciful Jhall Ghtain mercy \ the 
kv'ing JJiall he beloved. Of nothing in the 
world am I furer than that love is the chief 
ornament of human nature. We can never 
be tired ©f love ; love can never create dif- 
guft and averfion. — Love is joy, on account 
of the happinefs of others ; and to endeavour 
to make our fellow creatures happy, is the 
fureil way to render ourfelves happy. All 
love that can make us repine is felf-in- 
terefted and felfifli, how little foever we may 
think fo. All verbal knowledge, verbal 
prayers, and all that is fymbolical and typi- 
cal, is nothing, but fcafFolding is only a light 
covering of the foul, is only local and tem- 
poral matter. Love is fentiment and life, 
tiot type nor word. All fcaffolding, all 
fymbols muft vaniili in the hour of death ; 
M 4 love 


love only remains. So much love we take 
along with us into eternity, fo much, ^nd 
not more, happinefs will attend us. The 
value of our faith is always proportionate to 
its producing love in a moral manner ; faith 
is valuable only as a mean, but not as ^fcojie^ 
Faith works only in a moral way; and 
what is all faith enforced by the Gofpel, 
but intuitive per cep ion of the love of God f We 
have believed and known the love which God 
bears us. If Godfo loved us, we ought alfo t9 
kve one another, God is love — If we believe 
this, then we can and fhall become love as 
he is love, give as he gives, and forgive as 

he has forgiven. 

I continued my Journal, but could hardly 
keep my eyes open, becaufe I had flept very 
little laft night, and was obliged to go to 
bed. However, before I went to fleep, I 
read firft a letter from a young lady to her 



inftru£lor in religion, communicated to me 
by a friend of mine. One of the chief 
ideas that adorn this letter, is the following : 
" I will conftantly remember the following 
*^ three head fources of virtue : the conjiant 
'^ reflexion on death ; the part divine Jirovi- 
*^ dence takes even in the mofl trifling incidents ; 
*^ and the lovelinefs of religion in general. I 
** will clofely adhere to thefe ideas ^ which are 
*' the fources of all virtues ; will never lofe fight 
" of them ^ and then I hope your labour in the 
" Lord will not be in vain" — 

Sunday, Jan. 17, 1773- 

1 WAS fent for by my aunt, as foon as I 
awoke, becaufe Ihe was very weak and dif- 



treffed in her mind. I found her, indeed, 
very faint and comfortlefs ; this was, how- 
ever, the natural confequence of her con- 
flitution and illnefs. I was obliged to 
ilruggie very hard, in order to get rid of the ^ 
drowfinefs which lay heavy on my eyes. 1 
read to her the confeffion of fms which I had 
compofed yefterday. I find, indeed, that if 
one cannot fpeak direftly, and in a moft 
confidential manner to fick people (a very 
uncommon cafe), one can, by means of 
prayers and hymns, convey to their mind 
every thing one ought to fay, and yet dares 
not venture to fay without offending and 
lofing the moft neceffary confidence, provided 
one does not negle6t the natural precaution 
to begin with general fuhje 51 s, and to become 
by degrees more fpecial and affc6ling. — 

Being again in private, I refle6led on 
funerals, grave, and other fimilar things. — 



Mr. Sell***, my brother-in-law, came to 
fee me. We fpoke of an action which, at 
firil: fight, appeared to be very mean. I was 
very angry at it, at firfl ; however, cooler 
refleftion convinced me that I had been too 
precipitate. I imagined myfelf in a fimilar 
fituation, and we agreed that a great deal of 
the feeming injuftice of that adion disap- 
peared . It is one of the moft commoa 
vanities of good hearts, that they put them- 
felves too precipitately and too violently in 
a paffion, on account of certain aclions and 
certain kinds of behaviour. — It looks fo 
moral and fo fentlmental, to alTame a 
fcornfid air on occafion of certain faults com- 
mitted by other Jieope ; but, alas ! how 
mafterly do pride and cenforioufnefs conceal 
themfelves behind that look ! I v/Ill accuftom 
myfelf to change names, and to imagine 
myfelf in the room of others — and never to 



lofe fight of myfelf in criticifing others. - - 
- - - After dinner, Ihort vifits. Con- 
tinued my Journal. Stifled anger, becaufe 
I had called my fervant in vain, four or five 
times, and received a letter from a friend 
who informed me that he would not come 
to fee me, being afraid to be troublefome, 
on account of my prefent fituation. — P*** 
came, " How are you r" "I do not know 
" it myfelf; I am, however, eafy with re- 
" fpe61 to the paft fufferings of my mother ; 
'' but neverthelefs not quite free of care in 

*' many other refpe6i:s." He went with 

me down flairs to fee the corpfe. I flood at 
the top of the cofiin, and my friend on one 
fide. Both of us complained of the fcarcity 
of important ideas and feelings at fo impor- 
tant a fight {e). *' The body in which I 

(e). However important the objefts we fee and hear 
may be, yet they cannot always produce the fame lively 



began to exift, and to grow a living being, 
now lies inanimate, cold, and ftifF, before 
me. — What is mv eye that fees it, and the 
clofed eye that does not fee ? What is life 
and death ?" So I thought after my friend 
had left me — went to the apartment of my 
wife, feating myfelf filently by her fide, gave 
vent to my refle6lions, and was abforbed in 
foft, devout, and fweet meditations, and 
prayer. - - - My father fent for me, 
to read a fermon to him, and to my brother- 
in-law. Although I had longed very much 

and deep impreffions on our mind. In this matter a great 
deal depends on our bodily difpofition, and on the pre 
eeding train of ideas and occupations, and frequently on 
trifling circumftances which are not in our power. Pious 
Chriftian do, therefore, not forrow nor complain, if thou 
canft not think nor feel fo much good, nor raife thy good 
ideas and feelings to fuch a degree of livelinefs and 
ftrength as thou wifiieft. The moie anxioufly thou wik 
ihive to effcd it, the Icfs thou wilt fucceed, Z, 



for this folitary hour, and was In a fair way 
to pray moft fervently, and to enjoy the 
happiefl raptures in God— yet I rofe after 
a fsw moments. Every call of providence 
fnall be performed by me (this is my ardent 
defire), fo quickly, fo w^illlngly, and child- 
like, as if it were the Immediate voice of 
God. I fearched amongft my fermons for a 
proper one, and found one on the words : 
" Therefore watch ^ye^ for ye know neither the 
day nor the hour zvhen the Lord cometh.*^ 1 read 
it, and my heart fmote me. Alas ! I fleep 
frequently, and watch feldom. How fre- 
quently ought 1 (lili to fear the coming of 
the Lord ! How frequently would he not 
find me in his hufinefs /------ 

I fpoke with a fem.ale friend, who came to 
fee my wife, of the evening ferm.on (with 
indifference), of my fituation : of the turn of 
my heart at the death of my mother. She 




could not conceive how I could have flood 
the fight of her deaths and that of my two 

befl friends, the darlings of my heart. 

I replied : '' I rather will witnefs fuch a 
'^ fcene, than not fee it. Imagination repre- 
" fents fuch fcenes always more dreadful 
" than they are in nature. Befides, there 
" always occur fo many incidents which 
" moderate our fenfibility, occupy and di- 
*' vert the mind, &c. 8:c. &c. that I could 
" fland thofe fcenes pretty well. I was 
" frequently not able to weep ; though every 
^^ one around me wept ; but afterwards, 
"^ when I was in private, the longing of 
" love and the melancholy of painful defire 
'^ awoke. - - -->_-_., 
'^ When fitting with them in private, I en- 
" joyed their fociety as much as poiTible, and 
" could not endure the idea of their death 
" their ab fence and difappearance. The 

" funeral 


" funeral of Felix Hefs almoft overpowered 
** me, and yet his brother was left me. 
" Both of us could hardly bear his lofs y we 
*^ miffed him everywhere 3 but when the 
" fecond brother died too, I was almoft 
^' ftupified. ^ - . - Our feelings are* 
*^ in general, not in our power." - - - _ 
We fpoke of other important matters ; of 
life and death, hope and doubt, Chrift and 
immortality. --------- 

Our friend left us, and Mr. Tobler came 
to fee me. I fpent a very pleafant hour in 
his company. I wufh I were at leifure to 
repeat our whole converfation. We fpokc 
a great deal of the fufferings of the deceafed, 
of her good qualities and her death, and her 
probable fate after death ^ of the great ig- 
norance in which we are kept with refpeft 
to the invifible animating part of man ; of 
the unfpeakably comforting hiftorical cer- 


tainty of Chrift's refurreftion, of the natural 
doubts concerning immortality and re^anima- 
tion to which man is fubjeft at the fight of a 
fick or a dying perfon, and of the fupporting 
power of Evangelical Revelation with refpe£t 
to this point ; — of vifiting the fick ; of our 
inability to command our feelings, of the in* 
tuitive knowledge of feelings that originate 
in a natural manner ; of the found and fingle 
eye which fees every thing as it is and not 
as we wifh it to be j of the wifdom of facri- 
ficing ourfelves always to providence, and of 
fubmitting to every call of our heavenly 
father ; of the ftriking ftrokes in the hiftory 
of Chrift, who always fubmitted in that 
manner to providence ; of the famenefs of 
moral fufferings and aftions — farther : of my 
father, his good nature, his Angular love of 
equity ; of his anxious care to wrong no 
one, and always to examine whether every 
Vol. II. N 


one has received his due, and fomething 
more over and above, &c. &c. &c. 

I continued my journal in my wife's apart- 
ment after my friend had left me. — The fre- 
quent ufelefs and teazing queftions which 
my little boy troubled me wuth almoft 
provoked me to impatience. - - _ - 

At table — my thoughts were conftantly 
occupied with my mother. — *^ Will flie have 
^' nothing to complain of againfl thee before 
^^ that incorruptible judge, who dwells in 
*^ heaven, and before his holy angels ?" - - 

When I was going to bed, and wilhed a 
good night to my little fon who was juft 
awake, he faid : " Papa ! do you know what 
*' I am thinking ? I refleft on all the good 
" grand-mama has done me."— I rejoiced at 
2t, and blelTed him. 

Hf: ^ ^ mt ^ 


self-observer. i79 

Monday, Jan. i8, 1773. 

I AWOKE at fix o'clock, and fang Gel- 
lert*s hymn. My life glides rapidly along, &c. 
&c. &c. I was extremely lazy and ftretched 
out in my bed as if I had no foul. The re- 
colIe6tion of my abfent brother who, by this 
time, probably will have received the news 
of my mother's death, and, without doubt, 
will fhed the bittereft tears on that account, 
roufed my feelings, and excited me to pray 
for him and for myfelf. ------ 

I went to my father. — A diftreffing day for 

him ! He requefted me to read to him 

the daily morning prayer from Weiffe's prayer 
book. Some obfcure expreffions which I 
was fure would not be underftood, difturbed 
my attention a little.— After prayer I went 
N2 to 

j8o journal of a 

to fee the coffin which had been carried out 
of the alcove, and placed in the paffage. I 
removed the covering, and ftied a filial tear 
over her corpfe. - - - - We did not 

fuffer the coffin to be fcrev^red up yet, be« 
caufe my mother had obferved the fame 
rule with refpe£l to all thofe who had died in 
our family. --------- 

I continued ray Journal, and was called to 
breakfaft. The beautiful groupe which was 
^Hembled almoft moved me to tears ; my 
dear wife in the bed ^ little Henry at her left, 
and Nanette on her flool upon two chairs 
before the bed. She was giving them their 
foup ; I took a pencil, and drew a fketch of 
that family-fcene on a flip of paper. " But 
*' you forget one perfon that belongs to the 
" groupe, and ihares our pleafure !'* my 
wife faid, fmiling. - - - - Now my 

joy was complete — God blefs you, ye dar- 

«fEtF-0»SERVEtt. l8l 

lings of my heart ! the giver of joy, God — 
God blcfs you 1 

As foon as breakfaft was over I went to 
imprint this fcene indelibly on my mind. — 
It is fo extremely fweet to recolle£l fuch 
fcenes, particularly if they occur on days 
which are rendered remarkable by other 
incidents. - --..----- 
We fpoke at my aunt's, to whom I paid a 
vifit, of books of devotion, and of Trefcho's 
Bible for dying people, which was lying on 
the t able. *--I judge very relu6tantly of books 
of that fort; I almoft dare neither recom- 
mend, nor difapprove one. It is cruel to 
make fick people loathe a book from which 
they derive comfort and edification ; but it 
is, at the fame time, very dangerous to 
recommend a book which contains fo many 
confufed, obfcure, unevangelical and mif- 
applicable things, and is not written in the 
N $ found 


found and manly tone of the Gofpel that 
elevates our heart and our foul, and, never- 
thelefs, contains many good and excellent 
paflages which may overbalance all mifchief 
that might arife from its defe6ls. But v^here 
can w^e find a book of that fort w^hich would 
be called perfeQ ? I am ahvays perplexed 
when I am defired to point out one. All 
the books of devotion which I can recom* 
mend in fome refpeft, as for example : 
ToblerSy Sjiinks's, fome colIeSions of hymns, 
the Meditations of the Afcetic Society, &c. 
&c. &;c. are far from being what is wanted 
and wifhed for, and do not enlighten the 
mind, and warm the heart at the fame time. 
They contain too many pafTages which can 
be read only to few fick people, and too 
much common place matter ; are either too 
fpecial, or written in a language which the 
ikk are either too much ufed or entire 



ftrangers to. They are, in general, very ex- 
cellent for people who are ufed to reading > 
however, amongft a hundred fick people are 
fcarcely two who are accuftomed to it* 
One ought to publifli no prayer, no hymn, 
nor meditaticHis for fick people, before they 
have been tried at the fick bed, and polifhed 
till they fit exa6lly. I have compofed feveral, 
and found that few of them are applicable. 
In this refpe6l too I ought to pray to God 
for wifdom. 

I received a note from a bookbinder. I 
was rather angry at his fuppofed indifcre- 
tion to trouble me on fuch a day, and faid on 
opening it : " could he not have fent at 
fome other time ?" why muft he fend to-day ? 
— However, it contained an apology for his 
not being able to alTift at the funeral of my 
mother, his wife being ill. I changed my 
N 4 language 


language inftantly, and bluflied a little. - • 

The coffin was going to be fcrewed up, 
and I went down flairs. My mother was 
not at all disfigured j her lineaments being 
rather prettier and more exprefiive than at 
any time of her life. J put my hand once 
more - - - for the lafl time to her cold 
forehead. — My brother flood filent, and with 
weeping eyes by the fide of the coffin, my- 
felf at the top, and my eldefl fifler clofe by 
me. The lid of the coffin now was fhut — I 
removed it once more after the refl of the 
company was gone. — It now was fcrewed 
up j I leaned myfelf againfl the coffin which 
flood on a table in the back part of the 
houfe, and thanked God with tears for all 
the good he has beflowed on me through my 
mother who now enjoys her eternal refl. 



Alas! how much more grateful could I 
have been ! — Reward her, merciful God ! 
and do what is no longer in my power ! — 
Forgwe / Jhe too has forgiven ! — This was my 
firft thought ; and my fecond, when will my 
coffin be fcrewed up. When fliall my wife, 
my children, my friends, and my kindred 
ftand around my coffin? and what fhall 1 
then be ? 

My guardian Angel has already fixed the fpot 
Where in dark night my mortal frame fhall rot ; 
Perhaps the oaken boards which then fhall hide 
My clay-cold corpfe, by my anceftors iide, ■ 
Were cut ere now, to form the darkfome lodge 
Where I fhall refl with thenl to rife again ; 
What God immortal made cannot the grave retaia ! 

The coffin was carried out, and covered 
with a white and a black cloth ; every pin 
which it was faftened with renewed the idea 
in my mind ; again a ftep farther removed 



from mef — thus thou wilt be coveyed one 
day !--------.--» 

I went to the apartment where the 
mourners were aflembled, and was filent and 
abforbed in meditation. They were fpeak" 
ing of the mofl trifling fubjeds. — I went 
mournfully down ftairs, and flood before the 
houfe almoll; petrified. The weather was 
very bad, the coffin carried out of the houfe, 
and I almofl wept, becaufe I could not flied 
a tear of love, at a fight of fuch a nature. 
My ftupefaftion was eafily accounted for ; 
I endeavoured, however, to divert my 
thoughts as little as pofTible, and prayed as 
well as I could at church, and in going 
home. — At fupper we fpoke of my mother's 
illnefs and death, and of the judgment after 
death. — I could not repel the idea : "all of 
" us," — and then my looks wandered from 
one to the other — " every one of us will die 

" one 


'' one day, either before, or with, or after 
" me; either of an illnefs or fuddenly — and 
" what will then be the fituation of the 
" dying, the dead, or the living ?" — I viewed 
one eye after the other : " Thou wilt break- 
" wilt be clofe one day ; wilt fee no longer, 
" nor be feen T* — faid I, foftly to myfelf — 
and then heaved a deep figh ; ** O God ! 
«* open my eyes that I may fee what I am, 
*^ and what will become of me !" - - - 

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 1773 

I AWOKE for the firfl time in my life to 
find neither a living nor a dead mother in 
my houfe. I fearch in vain for a mother 
who, notwithftanding all her failings, was an 



extraordinary faithful parent. — Not even a 
flaadow of her can I fee ! She has been {o 
good to me, and alas ! I have returned her 
fo very little ! So foon (although her fuffer- 
ings lafted long for her), alas 1 fo foon has 
fhe been taken from me — is gone for ever, 
before I could enjoy her, before fhe could 
enjoy me, as a mother^ with hr virtues, and 
a fon with my fentimefits ought to have en- 
joyed one another during the fleeting days 
of a toiifome life. O ! God ! if I had but 
been endowed with more fkill and with a 
heart more compliant to correct her foibles, 
and to make a good ufe of her excellent 
qualities 1 The knowledge of the human 
heart, which experience has taught me, 
would now have enabled me to take more 
advantage of the many virtues fhe difplayed, 
and rather to build on this foundation than 
merely to combat her faults, either by words, 



looks, or anger. — And yet I have done this 
fo very rarely, and now can do it no more ! 
- . . - - What reproaches would my 
heart make me on that account, if I only 
wer^ humble and honeft enough to liften to 
its reprobating voice. — Well then ! although 
this cannot be retrieved nor repaired with re. 
fpe6l to her perfon, yet I have ^v^ fiflers and 
brothers, the children of this mother, who 
is fled for ever ; I have an old, good, honeft, 
and infirm father. I will make it my chief 
bufinefs to give fo much the more pleafure, 
and to be fo much the more ufeful to thefe 
objeGs of my tendernefs. I will repay to 
them what I have neglefted in a moft 
blameable manner with refpe6l to my mother, 
who diftinguiflied me fo eminently, and 
fought and valued my company in fo abafh- 
ing and flattering a manner. — I will (for the 
mercy of God is not confined to a few days> 



and Jefus Chrifl is the Lord of the dead and 
the living), I will fmcerely, and with filial 
fubmiflion, implore the father of fpirits to 
prefent their fouls unblameable and unre- 
proveable on the day of Jefus Chrift ! - - 

- - - - The world, at lead my friends 
will, perhaps, expert that thefe and fimilar 
thoughts and fentiments have occupied my 
foul on the firfl morning when I found my 
mother neither dead nor alive in my houfe ; 
this they will, perhaps, jullly expe6l of a 
man who preaches in profe and in verfes to 
his country, and to the world, and who ever 
has done moralizing ; but the world and my 
friends will, in this cafe, be very much mif- 

I awoke, on this firft motherlefs morning, 
without any thoughts and fentiments, as in- 
dolent, as inanimated piece of fiefh, as 
callous as a ftone. — Alas! when fhall I 



awake from this fleep (/) ? I rofe with re- 
lu6tance, but came, by degrees, a little to 
myfelf, and went to begin my occupations. — 
Almofl: the whole day was dedicated to 
CBConomical bufmefs, which left me little 
time for refle£tions on myfelf. — I went to 
reft at eleven o'clock, diflatisfied with my- 
felf, and yet not without hope. 

(/). Where can we find that man who always could 
ufe his inteiletftual powers as he wifhes to do ? who is not 
fometimes more flefti than fpirit, who fhoiild not frequently 
be involved againft his will, in infenfibility and inadlivity? 
The greateft philofophers, and men of the niceft fenfibility, 
are, perhaps, moft frequently fubjeft to fuch, although 
difagreeable, yet unavoidable changes. 



Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1773. 

I AWOKE half an hour after fix o'clock 
from horrid dreams, and very tired. Oh ! 
Lord ! open my eyes, that I may fee what I 
ought to fee (g) ! 

{g). Do not expe<a, Chriftlan reader, that God will in- 
ilru6l thee by dreams, for he has never promifed it, and 
we have furer means to know his will. "Whoever liftens 
to dreams is in great danger to be deceived by his imagi^ 
nation and to be mifled. When the body is fleeping, the 
foul can, indeed, rcprefent to herfelf certain things more 
lively and clearly than when it is awake, or hit upon cer- 
tain ideas which fhe would not have found in a waking 
ftate ; yet fhe nev€r can forefee, with a degree of certainty* 
future events, neither in one nor in the other cafe. I do 
not doubt but the author is of the fame opinion. He 
efteems fcripture and reafon too much, and knows the 
turns of the human foul too well, than to give much 
credit to dreams* E. 

A fliort 


A lliort refle6lion on the exiftence and the 
death of my mother, reminded me that my 
life is fufpended by a hair. — I endeavoured 
to raife my heart to God ; but the overbur- 
dened and giddy heart did not find him. I 
was obliged to get up and to refume an oc- 
cupation which I have begun yefterday ; I 
did it almoft with reluctance; however, it 
could not be poftponed. 

Received a letter from a female friend, 
&c. &:c. &c. God knows that my heart 
always condemns me when I am praifed 
more than I deferve, though it fhould be 
done with the bcft and moft unflattering 
view; for, fuppofe I really had all the good 
qualities which are afcribed to me, and 
which ft ill are very imperfe6t, why do not 
thofe that praife me fpeak.alfo of my faults 
and bad inclinations, which cannot poflibly 
efcape the notice of my intimate friends, my 
Vol. 11. O heart 


heart being fo communicative, and my cha- 
rafter fo open ? Or, if they do not like to 
fpeak of what they mud obferve, why does 
their knowledge of my failings not lower 
the defcription they give of me ? Not only 
love, but friendfliip too muft be blind, if it 
were poflible that one of my friends could 
overlook the lightnefs and levity of my 
character, and the many proofs I give of 
vanity, lazinefs, neglect, and fenfuality, fo 

very humiliating to me. - 

P*** came to fee me ; we fpoke of Wie- 
land, &c. &c. &;c. Mrs. G*** informed 
me of her being very much diftrefled about 
the money for the board of her fon, a very 
clever boy. The whole fum amounting to 
no more than four guilders, I gave it her, 
from the money which my father had given 
me for the poor in the name of my mother, 
and file accepted it with gratitude, - - - 

I went 


I went to put my papers In order, and 
was frequently obliged to have recourfe to 
the idea : // muft be done ! — I can not do a 
greater work of charity than this ; not only^ 
becaufe it pleafes my wife, who is fo fond of 
regularity, nor becaufe I am enabled thereby 
to reflore the property of every one who has 
lent me books or manufcripts, and is either 
too polite or too negligent to remind me of 
my impolitenefs and negligence ; but chiefly 
becaufe the conftant fearches for papers or 
books rob me of my time and good humour. 
— Ill humour is the moll noxious poifon to 
the foul ; ill humour is the firft natural efFe£t 
of fearching ; and not finding, is the confe- 
quence of irregularity, v/hich always has 
this bad efre61:, although it be owing ever fo 
little to negle6t;» or ever fo unavoidable. — 
The fight of the crowded tables, chairs, 
chefts, Sec. &c. &:c. the profpe6l which next 
week, when I hardly fhall have a moment 
O2 Xq 

196 Journal of a 

to fpare, offered to my mind, and fome 
preffing oufinefs, which could not be de- 
layed, invited ill-humour with a loud voice. 
■ — My affiflant cheered me up. L. Z. came, 
and I was glad to fee him. I was, indeed, 
at firft, rather uneafy on account of my bufi- 
nefs, and becaufe I had not one empty chair 
to offer him ; I recovered, however, my 
ferenity very foon, and enjoyed his company 
for half an hour with great fatisfaftion. We 
fpoke of our duty to lillen to the voice of 

religion in all fituations. 1 wifh to fee 

but one inflance when love fliould not know 
how to fleal upon us ; I wifli to fee that in- 
fignificant, inane, dry occupation for the 
performance of which all-fufHcient love 
could not afford us light and w^armth (>^)* . - 

(/»). It is certainly very excellent when a fincere, cor- 
dial love to our fellow creatures-animates us in whatever 


1 wifli I could always record the ideas 
which frequently occur to my mind much 
eafier in a confidential difcourfe with a friend, 
who is a lover of truth, than when I am me- 
ditating ever fo ferioufly. I can, indeed, 
not part with the idea, that if 1 were more 
at leifure, I could write nothing more ufeful 
and entertaining for my children and friends, 
and, perhaps, for the world too, than a com- 
plete Journal ; however, I can not fpare fo 
much time. If I am brief, the advantage 
which I {hall derive from it will, indeed, be 

we have to fpcak or to perform with or for them, and when 
it renders important, and fweetens even our moft trifling 
and infignificant occupations and fervices. However, I 
caution thee, Chriftian reader, in the name of the author, 
not to miftake for fymptoms of love, the friendly mien. and 
countenance, the fmooth and fawning tone of voice, and 
the wheedling deportment, whereby love fometimes is 
meant to difcover itfelf, nor to dcfpife and to condemn 
thofe who arc not tuned to that key, but are colder and 
more ferious in their deportment, though more fmcere 
and honeft. E. 

O 3 great 

ipS Journal of a 

greaf enough ; but then it will afford very 
little benefit to my friends and my fon, after 
my deceafe, and for that reafon, I have fre- 
quently vi^iflied for a ferene and tranquil day, 
when I lliould be difpofed to defign general 
fhort hand charafters, which would fave me, 
at lead, half the time and paper, if accuf- 
tomed to them. — One of the principal ideas 
which this evening flafhed upon my foul 
with a glaring light (ought not every one to 
record the birth-days of his beft ideas) ? was 
the following : " The merit, foundnefs, and 
" integrity, of a Chriftian fyftem of religion, 
" can be fixed in three different ways. 
" There are three different kinds of examina- 
" tion by which it can be put to the tefl. 
" I. It muft be entirely confonant with the 
•' whole fyftem of the whole fpirit of Divine 
'* Revelation, -^//and every individual parts 
*' of Revelation muft have a reference to 
" thofe ideas which one calls one's religion. 

" Religion 


" Religion muft not only be uniform^ it mufl, 
*' at the fame time, be adapted to the mod 
" different-feeming manners of conception 
" of its authors, diftinguifhed and impower- 
" ed by God \ word and fpirit, example and 
*' fate of Chrift muft concentre in thefe 
*^ notions in the moft harmonious manner, 
" II. It muft always be parallel with the 
" nobleft, pureft, and moft fublime inclina- 
" tions and fentiments of every found human 
" heart. — The beft human heart muft be its 
" prototype. III. It muft be applicable to 
** all fituations of our life ; muft not defire us 
" to change the nature of things, but enable 
*' us to be tranquil, content, and happy in 
" the exifting nature of things. It muft be 
<' applicable to all mankind, at all times, at 
" all places, and in all fituations, and capable 
" to difplay itfelf through actions and fuf- 
" ferings." — This idea is not quite ripe^ 
O 4 however^ 


however, it charms me. - - - - ^ - 
In the afternoon I paid a fhort vifit to 
Mr. P***. We fpoke of my mother, of 
her fufferings, of the unfpeakably unhappy 
Mrs S***, who fufFers flill more than my 
parent did, of love, of the fliortnefs of life, 
&:c. &:c. &c. P*** was juft writing a ferm^on 
on love, the chief points of which I will im- 
print on my memory. /. The Jacrifice of our 
wealthy nay of Jfe itjef^ is not fufficient to con- 
ftittite love. II. In love every thing depends 
upon the fiate of our heart. III. Lovejhows 
itfef through various effe^ls, and dijlinguijhes 
itfelf in the clear eft manner from the falje appear* 
ance of love. IV. Without love all pretenftony 
to Chriflianity are falje and ufelefs. Wieland's 
Golden Mirror was lying on the writing delk. 
An excellent frontifpiecc 1 a happy family. 
P*** was half enchanted with the beautiful 
ideal of an happy people which he had 



found in it. He communicated to me feve- 
ral other ideas from this book, which 
pleafed me extremely well, I fhould like 
to read it, if I could fpare fo much time. 
Such performances, written with fo much 
tafte, knowledge of the human heart, and of 
mankind, and fo much ingenuity — are cer- 
tainly excellent food for manly fouls. Kow 
little foever 1 can be entirely fatisfied with 
Wieland (not becaufe he is jocund, but be- 
caufe he is fometimes wanton and offends 
decency), yet I read none of his perform- 
ances without benefit. Nay, I mull confefs 
(I would do it publicly, if I did not forefee 
that many weak and erroneoufly devout 
minds, particularly thofe whom Wieland 
calls : Hermaphrodites of hypocrify and fayiati- 
cifniy would mifunderftand my confeffion, and 
make an ill ufe of it). I muft confefs that 
many afcetic works, as they are called, do 


202 Journal of a 

not afford me that benefit (not to mention 
the improvement of my tafle, which has fo 
great an influence on morality) which I de- 
rive from fome pafTages in his writings. It 
cannot be denied, that it is ofFenfive to a 
heart which is not lofl to every fenfe of vir- 
tue, to meet with paiTages which one can 
read neither aloud nor filently without blufh- 
ing. The vehicle of what is really good is 
fometimes more efhcacious than the medi- 
cine itfelf. I look upon it as if one were to 
give to a perfon a bitter medicine mixed 
with a fweet poifon. However, P*** has 
told me that this lafl publication of Wieland 
is, without comparifon, better and more ge- 
nerally ufeful than all his former ones(/). 

(/} I have read this work, and have read it with a plea- 
sure which has been interrupted by nothing but the end 
of it. Happy the excellent author, and happy the pub- 
lic, which almoft devours his original and pleaiing writings, 



Thursday, Jan. 21, 1773. 

1 AWOKE at feven o'clock ; ^Yas again 
extremely lazy, and much troubled in my 

mind Powerful impulfions to prayer ! — 

Important concerns which I will not intruft 
even to my Journal. So very inilru6live 
for me ! I promifed to do what fliould be 
in my power, and had fome hopes to fuc- 

if he never degrades himfelf fo far as to become a priefl 
of fenfual luft, and exerts all his genius, his power of lan- 
guage, his graces, his learning, and his criticifm, for the 
propagation of truth, virtue, peace, contentment, and hap- 
pinefs in the enjoyment of the all-animating God ! 

L. June, 1773. 



Thursday, Jan. 28, 1773. 

I FOUND it almofl impofTible, for fome 
days, to continue my Journal. I will try 
what I can do to-day ; for I would certainly 
render this ufeful occupation more difficult 
by difcontinuing it too long. The intermif- 
fion of a good occupation, although ever fo 
excufable and necefTary at firll, can become 
a motive for not refuming it at all, though 
the obflacles which have been thrown in 
our way fliould have been entirely removed. 
We are difinclined to begin again, only be- 
caufe we left off doing it , we poilpone the 
continuation till we are, at laft, afhamed to 
refume it. This I experience almoft every 
day with refpe6l to anfwers due to letters I 



have received. If I am obliged to delay 
returning an anfwer, only for a few days, 
then I poftpone it generally longer than I 
am necejfitated to do. 

I had begged P***, or, rather, he had 
offered, to aflift me in arranging my manu- 
fcripts and letters, which I had been doing 
already for fome days, though my patience 
had almoft been exhaufted by continual in- 
terruptions. We began after fix o'clock, 
and fucceeded very well till half an hour 
paft eight. I received, mean time, a viiit 
from a young countryman whom I knew, 
and whofe mind appeared to me uneafy and 
difordered, and bordering on infanity. He 
liliened attentively to what 1 faid to him, 
but feemed not to comprehend my queftions. 
To fpeak the truth, I had no inclination to 
have any thing to do with him, becaufe I 
was occupied with the arrangement of a 



large heap of papers, and perceived that I 
could be of very little ufe to him. - - - 
Mrs. N^** came on her fon's account, and 
was rather timid, at leaft pretended to be 
fo. Nothing can offend me more, than when 
people are afraid of me ; and they cannot 
offer me a greater incivility, than by paying 
me the compliment, / wi/I taka the heart in 
both handsy 8zc. &c. &:c. The more confi- 
dence one repofes in me, the lefs one fup- 
plicates — the more willingly, and the fooner, 
1 afford afTiftance. I wiili to fpeak my mind 
on this point one time more at large. The 
matter is, with refpect to religion, of great 
importance. Every fign of miifruft and ti- 
midity offends m.y heart. — This obfervation 
ought to make it impoHible for me to har- 
bour the leaft miflruft in God, the Author, 
the Father, of my heart. God is greater than 
my heart. This truth is to me the moft cer- 


tain and comforting which I can take hold 
on and keep firmly to ; and I think that, if 
in any kind of fentiment the exprelfion, offence 
againft God, which is fo very improper, and 
liable to the greateft mifapplication, could 
be juftified, it mull be with refpe6l to mif- 
truft in God. Our faith in God will always 
increafe proportionably to the faith in our 
own hearts. 

Friday, Jan. 29, 1773. 

I AWOKE before fix o'clock, not quite 
deftitute of good fentiments. My heart was 
itrongly impelled to feek God wnth addi- 
tional diligence, and to implore him to en- 
able me to bring bleffing upon the great 



number of people to whom I am to point 
out the road to virtue and happinefs ; to 
rouze myfelf more and more, to exert all 
my abilities, and to be more rigorous to 
myfelf. I was unfpeakably fenfiblc of what 
1 already have felt a thoufand times, that 
one afcribes to me more religion, more love 
to God and men, than I really poiTefs, and 
that the little I am in poffeffion of cannot be 
compared with w^hat I ought to polTefs, and 
really could poiTefs. I have engraven on 
my heart not an unattainable, but an attain- 
able original ; or, rather, my heart has made 
me fenfible a thoufand times, that it is pof- 
fible for me to attain a degree of virtue 
much more fuperior to that which 1 zmfup- 
jiofed to have attained, than the latter is fu- 
perior to that which i really am in pofTcilion 
of. - 

I read 


I read the two Chriftmas fermons of F***, 
which had been fent me a fortnight ago, 
and maiked the paffages 1 difapproved; ap- 
prehending, however, that without an ex- 
planation (for which I can fpare no time) 
fome marks will appear fufpicious to him. 
Men are ufed to repeat certain hallowed 
formulas, without fufpecling that they imply 
the greateft errors -, and it is difficult to men- 
tion them without entering upon a circum- 
llantial explanation. 

Saturday, Jan. 30, 1773^ 

Awaking this morning, I refleaed 

upon and examined the preceding day. — 

My imagination reprefented me to myfelf 

Vol. IL P in 


in all fituations. How frequently had I rea- 
fon to blufh ! In how different a light do 
we fee and cenfure ourfelves, if we look 
upon ourfelves with the eye of an impartial 
witnefs. I wifli, for that reafon, to be more 
at leifure^ and better fkilled in drawing, in 
order to imprint on my mind, by means of 
drawings, many fituations of my life which 
hardly can be defcribed by words. I am 
fully perfuaded that fuch a collection of 
faithful reprefentations of that fort would 
be the moft efficacious means of improve- 
ment. I could, in this refpeCl, fafely appeal 
to the feelings of every human heart, which 
certainly would bear me witnefs, that fuch 
teftimonies and palpable records of our life 
could not but have a confiderable influence 
on our morality. How I if I Ihould fee 
another perfon doing what I am doing ? if 
I could look into the foul of one who thinks 



as I am thinking now ? if I fhould preferve 
that fituation by a drawing ? how would I 
then appear to myfelf in tranquil hours, 
when the paffions are filent ? 

I united fome fighs to my heavenly Father 
with thefe ideas, and then got up. My 
dear wife was not well. My little Nanette 
ihouted when I entered the room, and I was 
obliged to flruggle againft the defire of 
taking her out of the bed, left I fhould lofe 
my time ; becaufe I wanted to continue my 
Journal. — I wrote a little while, but could 
not refift longer ; took up the child, and car- 
ried her to her mother and brother, &c. &c. 
&c. — Some trifles vexed me -, my wife ob- 
ferved it, and filently offered me her hand — 
" 1 will be good 1" faid I, with a filial voice, 
and my ferenity returned, &;c. &c. &;c. 

After dinner, I went to Sch. H. to medi- 
tate there on my fermon, and to get out of 
P 2 the 


the way of vlfitors. 1 converfed with P*** 
on the difficulty of criticifing fermons and 
trafts which are fent me for that purpofe. 
One is always in danger, either not to be 
fincere, or to offend by fmcerity. In that 
refpe6t, too, I (land in need of wifdom, wif- 

dom of fraternal love. 

I converfed for half an hour with Mrs. 
Pf. on the improvement in virtue. The ex- 
cellent woman fhed the moft beautiful tears 
on account of her moral frailty. I could 
comfort her in more than one refpe6l. She 
complained chiefly of her backwardnefs in 
praying. " I have, formerly, prayed with 
'* more fervor and cordiality," faid (he. — 
" I have, indeed, improved in knowledge 
** and child-like liberty, have difencumbered 
'* myfelf from many prejudices and little 
** anxieties; but I am ftill deftitute of a 
** lively fenfe of love and efficacious faith 


" in the omniprefent Godhead." I told her, 
amongft others, that fhe was certainly better 
than file fancied, her love for virtue and all 
virtuous people having vifibly increafed; 
adding, " If you v^ill accuftom yourfelf to 
*^ concentre all your duties in one point of 
.^^ view, in love to human kind founded on faith 
" in God', if you will acknowledge, in every 
** thing, fmall or great, the guiding hand of 
" Providence ^ affift, for the fake of God, 
" fincerely, and as much as your ability 
*' and fituation will allow, all your fellow- 
*^ creatures -, honour and love God in all 
" things ; not look upon religion and virtue 
" as two different things ; you will be much 
" eafier, much more cheerful and child-like, 
" always in communion with God, and never 
" alienated from mankind and your own 
.*' heart. This ftmplification of all my duties 
" makes me very happy, how frequent and 
P 3 humi- 


^^ humiliating foever my daily faults be. If 
" I devote myfelf to God by facrificing my- 
" felf for the bell of mankind, with the full 
*^ aflurance that I (hall fucceed, at laft ; if I 
" meafure God always after my own heart {^) ; 
*^ if I pay proper attention to the numberlefs 
*' proofs of God's goodnefs, particularly to- 
'*' wards myfelf, and judge by what is before 
'^ my eyes of what I may expe£l in future 
*^ from fuch a God ; if I remove the preju- 

(k) The author probably means nothing elfe, but, K 
/ can be juft, equitable, benevolent, charitable, merciful, 
indulgent, and placable, if / can keep my promifes, &c. 
&c. &c. then God, who has rendered my heart capable 
of thefe good fentiments and virtues, niufi and W//, un* 
doubtedly, be fo, and zdi thus to an infinitely higher de- 
gree. In the fame fenfe our Saviour fays. If yet being 
sv:i, failing mefiy hw<w how to give good gifts unto your chil" 
dretiy hoiu much more Jhall your Father y <who is in heaven^ 
give good things to them that ajk him ? As for the reft, we 
muft be very careful not to afcribe to GK)d, the moft per- 
feA Being, human feelings ; and every, even the beft hu- 
man heart, has its weak fide. E. 

" dice. 


'^ dice, that God really could be offended. 
** and, after a thoufand and ten thoufand 
« tranfgreffions, could love me lefs(/); if I 
" believe that God is ever fufficiently willing, 
*' as well as powerful, to forgive our lins, 
" having given us through Jefus Chrift the 

(/) The love of God towards us can, Indeed, not be 
forfeited, nor fo eafily weakened, as the love and favour 
of men. He knows how to diftingulfh moft exadly guilt 
from misfortune, and weaknefs from wickednefs. Ten 
thoufand involuntary tranfgreflions and failings cannot de- 
prive us of his fervor ; for he knows our nature, and never 
forgets that we are frail mortals. However, want of 
honefty, hypocrify, deceit, and premeditated fms, mull 
needs always difplcafe him : although he never can be of- 
fended, that is, hurt, diftreffed, and irritated, yet a ratio- 
nal, free-afting man muft ever be dearer to him than the 
wicked, and he muft be fo much the more pleafed with 
him, the more guiltlefs and perfeft he is. It is true, this 
manner of reprefenting God, perhaps, ftill contains too 
much of the human ; and the thoughts of God are, in 
this refped too, not the thoughts of man : we muji, how- 
ever, think humanly of God, becaufe— w^ cannoi think 
other wife, E. 

P 4 " mofl 


^^ mofl undoubted proofs of this readinefs 
" and power to take away all the bad con- 
5^ fequences of fin, and to fet again in the 
" beft order whatever we have difordered 
" by our paffions ; — if I do this, my friend 1 
^' then I am eafy, cheerful, child-like, always 
" in communion with God, and never alie- 
" nated from mankind, nor froni my own 
" hc^rt.—K you can forgive thofe who have 
'• offended you and trefpaffed againft you, 
" He will, undoubtedly, be more inclined to 
'' do it, becaufe it is Him who has rendered 
" your heart prone to forgivenefs, and given 
^' you all the love you poflefs,'* &;c. &c. &c. 
1 was obliged to beg my friend and his wife 
to leave rne, becaufe I was not far advanced 
in my fermon. — I muft not forget to infert 
an idea of a friend of mine, who obferved 
that nature exhibits a phcenomenon fimilar 
to the early refurreftion of thofe whom St. 



Matthew mentions to have been recalled to 
life when Chriil expired. " In nature" 
(faid he) " every thing has, indeed, its fixed 
"time for ripening; yet there are many ex- 
" ceptions from that regulation ; for feveral 
" plants, nay, even animal beings, can be 
" brought to maturity before their ufual 
*^ time through men, through rational, free, 
" intermediate beings." 

I continued my fermon, and then was 
called to tea. We fpoke of Mr. S* J*. I 
aflerted, that I had not found him to be that 
keen-fighted man for which he is taken by 
many people. Of his heart I would not 
judge. — ^There is a difference between aSling 
the hypocrite^ and [peaking of religion from ha- 
bit, and without feeling. The latter is, indeed, 
bad enough, and the neareft way to hypo- 

1 refumed my fermon on 2 Cor. v. V. i — 9- 



How would a minifler fpeak, afFe£l and raife 
the minds of his auditors, if he, when re- 
peating the words of St. Paul, We know that 
if our earthly houfe, of this tabernacle^ were dij- 
folved, we have a building of God, an houfe not 
made with hands, eternal in the heavens ! fliould 
know and feel the whole tenor of thefe 
words 1 

I paufed repeatedly till half an hour after 
live o'clock. Converfing with my wife for 
half an hour, I faid, I believed God would 
not prolong my life much longer; but, if 
he fhould, I would firft begin to live pro- 
perly ; adding, " I am not yet, with refpe£t 
" to my family, my friends, and my congre- 
*' gat ion, what I ought to be, and am con- 
" fcious I could be 1'* I then related fome 
anecdotes of oiy youth, and fpent half an 
hour very agreeably. - - - - - - - 



We fpoke, after fupper, of the death of 
Mr. H***. My father pitied him ; and I 
reproached myfelf filently, becaufe I was 
not more ufeful to him when I paid him 
my laft vifit. We read the eleventh chapter 
of I. Kings, and I endeavoured to defend 
David^s and Solomon's chara6i:er againll the 
attacks of my father. Thefe hiftories teach 
me, in general, how difficult it is to pro- 
nounce a juft judgment on individual a£lions, 
particularly on anions of great men, whofe 
views encompafs the whole* 

Sunday, Jan. 31, 1773- 

jVIY imagination difturbed my reft by 
horrid dreams. Methought I had died, and 



heard my furroundiiig friends fay, as if at 
a diftance, " He is dead !" and a thrilling 
horror trembled through the nerves of my 

heart Methought I wanted to fold my 

hands, but could not do it, and — expired. 
I awoke with a palpitating heart, and wiflied 
for reft, I would not llir, at iirft, but en- 
deavoured to fall again afleep, in order to 
have that dream once more, or at leaft to 
continue it ; for I have frequently obferved, 
that when I do not change my fituation after 
a dream (important or not), and fall inflantly 
afleep, the fame dream returns, or is conti- 
nued. But this time I longed too much for 
foothing words from the lips of my dear 
wife. I fell, however, again afleep, and 
dreamed of nothing but of microfcopes. — I 
could not forget thefe two dreams when I 
awoke, began already to join glafi^es, and 
probably would have been entirely abforbed 



in this experimental idea, if that of my 
death had not always forced itfelf on my 
imagination.—" And lliall I then, one day, 
" really be ftretched out thus, deprived of 
« I'^fe p — Will, one time, this laft tremor 
" really thrill my bones and my heart ? — 
'' And if then fo much has been neglected, 
" through my own fault ; fo much that I 
" could and {hould have done, according to 
« the inclinations and difpofitions of my 
" nature, and the manifold admonitions of 
*^ God r" Thefe and fimilar ideas occu- 
pied my foul. I animated myfelf a-new, 
before God, to prefer the concerns of my 
heavenly Father, and of religion, to every 
thing elfe ; and to have them more at heart 
than any thing in the world. I prayed to 
God for new ftrength, for zeal, fmcerity, 
wifdom, courage, and for his bleffing. - - 

I went 


I v/ent to church. The Rev. Mr. Hefs 

preached, from Matth. x. v. 26. on hypo- 

crifV. His fermon contained many good, 
true, and iiriking obfervations. The words, 
X^ere is nothing covered that Jhall not he revealedj 
and hid that Jhall net be knozvny which he pro- 
nounced with a particular emphafis, ftruck 
my heart, not without a good effe6t. — I was, 
on the whole, pretty attentive. 

Conclusion of this Month. 

1 HIS month, fo important to me, is paft 
too !^ ilow many fufferings, how much relief! 
how many failings, how much mercy ! — 
What refolutions have I taken r — Livelier 
refleftions on my death, vrhich is drawing 



nearer and nearer ! — More refignatlon, more 
fpiritual liberty, more filial fentiments to- 
wards God !— But, alas ! I am flill too fen- 
fual, too indolent, too obftinate, and too com- 
modious ! I yield flill too eafily to my whims 
and fancies. I maintain my character too 
little, and too ambiguoufiy, mifled by the 
prevailing defire to oblige other people, by 
weaknefs, vanity, or indolence. I am ftili 
far from being what I really could be in my 
iituation, with my abilities and talents. My 
felf is ftill too aftive within me ; or, to fpeak 
plainer, my love is not yet pure, not cordial 
enough ; is not fufficiently active, fubmiffivCy 
and general. I fliould be afraid to let all 
my words be heard, or the thoughts and 
fentiments of my heart feen ; I tremble al- 
moft every night at myfelf and my heart, 
when, fecluded from the noify buftle of the 
day, I judge myfelf before the Omnifcient. — 



Not one day of this year could I be fully 
fatisfied with myfelf ; and yet I do not re- 
quire of myfelf an ideal or an Unattainable 
perfection ; I require nothing of myfelf, but 
what I jullly may expeft from my Ghara6ter, 
and my fituation. I know what human na- 
ture and what I can do ; I do not know it 
from books, but (thank God !) from my ozvn 
repeated experience. Knowing true love, I 
know, of courfe, the dead body of love^ the 
mechanical part of virtue. I know that our 
feelings cannot always be equally ftrong and 
lively J but how can I conceal from myfelf, 
that it is not right, not juilifiable, not to 
make room for ftronger, nobler, and more 
humane feelings ? that it is not right to en- 
deavour to exclude them from our hearts, 
to think of and to hunt after fuch only as 
gratify our fenfes, while we are furrounded 
with invitations to nobler and better ones- ? 
How can this be palliated ? 



No ! I cannot repeat too frequently, I 
mull endeavour to fide more immediately 
with God ! I mud ftrive to render my belief 
in him, and in his providence, more lively 
and efEcacious, by paying greater attention 
to his works, his ways, and his revelations. — 
However, attention requires tranquillity — and 
tranquillity 2indfolitude are YQudQVQdfolemn and 
animating to attention by prayers. I mtijl be- 
come more tranquil^ more eafy. Thank God ! 
I am partly fo already, but by far not fuffi- 
ciently. The more I believe in God, the 
plainer I fee, aiiifted by reafon, and a fenfe 
for truth or morality, v/hat is invifible ; the 
more the mod amiable, the moft immediate 
image of God, tbe receptacle of all human 
and divine perfe6tions, Jefus Chrift, is pre- 
fent to my mind, the nearer he is to me, 
the more fhall I love him, and every thing 
he commands me t'o love, every thing that 
is like him, and animated by his Spirit. — 

Vol. If. Q I do 


I do not know whether my friends will 
be fatisfied with me; or, rather, I know 
they are : however, I do not deferve it. /, 
at leaft, have reafon to be fatisfied with them ; 
but t/iey are certainly too indulgent. I rely 
too eafily upon their goodnefs, am too com- 
modious, and too negligent, than to be with 
refpe£l to them what I could and ought to 
be. I could relate to them, I could tell them, 
fo much which would pleafe and intereft, 
and, perhaps, at the fame time, be ufeful 
to them ; I am, however, too commodious, 
too indolent ; and — to confefs the truth — 
they meet mc with the too kind compliment, 
** You call reft wearinefs and indoloice — make 
** yourfelf eafy ; don't fay any thing \ we 
"are fatisfied, if you only continue to be 
" our friend T* Whom fhould this language 
not flatter ? but whom ought it not, at the 
fame time, to animate toTCturu their kind- 
nefs with effeftual love? And am I not 



(properly fpeaking) ungrateful and mean^ 
becaufe I fuffer myfelf to be lulled afleep 
by their indulgence? The many fervices 
which I and my Tick wife have received, 
lafl: month, from our friends, are without 
example. I know they do not expert the 
leaft reward, or thanks — but how eafily could 
I give them much more heart-felt pleafure 
than I really do I — Oh ! forgive me, ye be- 
loved! and if you, one day, when I fhall 
be no more, fhould find my Journal, and 
read this pafTage, oh ! then do not entirely 
difvalue this confeffion of my frequent indif- 
ference, which I have made already fo often, 
and now repeat before God, with a heart 
Itung with ihame, becaufe you are wont to 
put fome value on the lealt trifle that comes 

from me ! 

1 muil add a few obfervations more, 
I have not wrote a line for the public, 
the lafl and the antecedent month, except a 
Q 2 preface; 


preface ; and yet I fee fo many, and, as I 
think, important works before me, which 
are begun, and ought to be continued. If 
I would rife only one hour earlier every day 
(and it would certainly improve my health ; 
for I lleep, indeed, much too long), I could 
w^ith little trouble write down fo many things 
which come in my mind, diiturb my atten- 
tion, and make me uneafy. If I had but 
fuitiCient iirmnefs of mind to carry this into 
execution, I fhould then undoubtedly be- 
come every day eafier ; provided I had, ^t 
the fame time, the refolution — 7iot to begin a 
new performance^ except I ihould receive an 
immediate call to do it : I ought to coyifine, 
but not to extend myfelf ; I then fhould be 
able to aft in a more ftriking and decifive 
manner, and, at the fame time, perform more, 
the lefs I fhould feem to a5i. — I rather will 
diftontinue my Journal, or only confine my- 
/df io a few words or cyphers, than negleft 



what I either am bound by duty, or have 
Jiromifed to do. Whatever I have begun, 
what always lies before my eyes, and makes 
me uneafy, and ill-humoured, at leaft for the 
moment, when I conceive only the bare idea, 
// ought to have been done, and has not been done ; 
what caufes fenfations in my bread like thofe 
a debtor feels at the fight of his creditor, 
ought to be taken in hand by degrees, and 
a part of it finished every week. 

To thefe diftrefiing ideas, which are fo 
evidently hurtful to my virtue, to my liberty 
of mind, my peace, my hilarity, and my 
energy of foul, I muft add the confufion in 
which my manufcripts and letters are j which 
I, however, will remove without further de- 
lay, and endeavour to guard againft for the 
future by a better regulation. God grant, 
that I may not poftpone this extenfive and. 
fatiguing, but to myfelf and others, particu- 
Q 3 larly 


larly to my heart and virtue, important buii- 
nefs ! — that I may not be tired of it before 
it is finifhed ! 

This month my dear wife has entirely re- 
covered from her dangerous and painful ill- 
nefs ; and the fwelHng of my cheek, which 
might have caufed me much pain, is entirely 
gone oif. — All-bleffing father 1 I praife thee 
particularly for this rehef ^ and thank thee, 
more fervently than for this fuccour, for the 
fweet contentment which thou haft poured 
into my heart at the clofe of the laft and the 
beginning of the prefent year, when I groaned 
under very heavy trials 1 

I was firmly convinced that I fhould have 
willingly fubmitted to any thing. I was not 
proud of this confcioufnefs ; but a filent tear 
of joy ftrayed down my cheeks when I con- 
fided fo firmly in my God, that I had no 
other will but his. 



The death of my mother has rendered 
this month particularly important to me. 
Who but a thoughtlefs mortal can with in- 
difference behold the death of a human be- 
ing, and particularly if this our fellow- 
creature has been mofl: intimately conne6ted 
with us, and, notwithftanding many occafi- 
onal frailties, has, befides many good and 
amiable qualities, that particular claim to 
our affeftion, to have fhared a great part of 
his life with us? What a deep impreflion 
ought fuch a death to make upon us ! 

I have a tender, feeling heart, and yet 
the death of my mother has not made fuch 
a deep imprefllon upon my mind. I endea- 
voured, indeed, to palliate the indifference 
which I have fhown on her death, afcribing 
its caufe to her delivery from her great and 
almofl infupportable pains, of which death 
has releafed her : however, I ought, never- 
Q 4 thelefs, 


thelefs, to have reflected more ferioufly on 
fuch an extraordinary incident ; ought to 
have fummed up, and reviewed more con- 
fcientioufly, the bleffings which the Divine 
Goodnefs has beftowed on me, for more 
than thirty years, by means of her. I ought 
to have fet forth, and recounted to my fa- 
mily more dihgently, her evident good qua- 
lities, and her merits wdth refpect to us, the 
recolleclion of which fo frequently crowded 
on my mind: this could have been done 
eafily enough, and without detriment to any 
other ufeful occupation. I abandoned my- 
felf too much to the voluptuous eafe which 
arofe from the exemption from the painful 
ideas of her fufferings, which frequently ap- 
peared to me to have originated rather from 
too much fenfibility and irritability of my 
nerves, than from real tendernefs. The filent 
prefenfion of more liberty perhaps contributed 



alfu fomething to that Hate of my ii^d. In 
fliort, my /^^ was, on that occafion, too much 
alive (w). I confider my felf ftill too much 
as purjiofe, mark, fcope, and centre ; and this 


[m] Take heed, Cliriillan reader, not to mifapply, ror 
to mifunderlland, what the author, here and on other 
occafions, fays of the too great iafiuerce with regard to 
hhfelf produces on his a6lions and fentiments. Learn to 
diftinguifh /J-y/i/'u.-' horn feljijhnefsy and do not condemn 
the former along with the latter. However reprovablc 
the latter be, yet the former is innocent. I have the mod 
immediate and olcar notion of my ft If ; all other external 
objects are no farther known to me, than as far as they 
hear fome relation to my fJf. What an unnatural and 
what a vain effort would it be, if Ave were to attempt to 
pay, as it were, no regard to ourfcif, or, to ufe the ex- 
preiTion of fome myftics, as they are called, if we were to 
mortify our fi If ! No ! not even the moil fublime morality 
can ever dare to combat againft our natural feelings and 
iiiclinations ; its fole aim ought to be to confine and to 
guide them in the heft manner that is poflible. We can- 
rot always Immediately and intentionally think and ^^ ^^^ 
the common benefit ; however, we can never improve our 
own perfe6tion and liappinefs without promoting thereby 
immediately the happinefs rnd perfeftion of others. The 



is, undoubtedly, the head fource of all my 
uneafinefs. The lefs I live for myself, the 
more do others^ the more does love and the God- 
head live hi me. This I fpeak from my own 
experience. I know it as fure, as I know 
that I am better in health when I do not eat 
too much, than when I am immoderate in 

eating. ----- 

Father of Truth ! oh! that thefe filent 
meditations might bring me nearer to Thee, 
and to a perfect exemption from fm, which 
encompafles me on all fides I Might I pay 
more regard to Thee than to men ! hear 
more and talk lefs, learn more and teach 
lefs ! have more faith, in order to have more 
love ! Amen. 

dcfire of IWin^ and being happy only for and in others^ and 
the defire of Itvir.g and being happy only for and in one's 
SELF, are extremes which we mull equally avoid : the one 
h unnatural and hrpojjthh dlfnierejlednefs, and the latter is 
meanfeljifincf:. The rod.d^ to virtue lies in the middle, T. 



To Mr. N***. 

My dear Friend, 

Feb. 4, 1773. 

When I have faith in a friend, I ceafe 
calculating. Imagine him not to be N**^, 
nor myfelf Lavater, but look upon him and 
myfelf as mere human beings — him animated 
by the Spirit of God, and myfelf replete with 
the fame Spirit. I neither entreat, nor thank, 
nor apologize; neither do I forgive, nor 
examine ; I only have faith in him as I have 
faith in myfelf; nay, more than in myfelf: 
and now, my brother ! let me tell you that 
I cannot but agree with you in many points, 
^ly Views of Eternity, if confidered as a book, 
may be ufeful ; but, as fources of advice, 
they may, indeed, be of fmall benefit. I 
am, however, glad that they have brought 
me fome hundred fteps nearer towards you. 

I have. 


I have, as yet, wrote — nothing ; but only 
learnt that I know nothing, and that I am 
a fool — and, neverthelefs, I continue writing 
what the Providence of God and my heart 
bid me to write, becaufe God blefles my 

A moment of free contemplation, of foli- 
tary, filent contemplation, of filent awe of 
midnight ecftafy, which obliterates drefs, 
form and name, foibles and follies, awakens 
nothing but man, and melts him into one 
with men ; — that moment I expe6l and ob- 
tain by faith — and am happy enough. Yet 
I do not fpeak of it ^ for it is not letter j 
not ink, nor paper — not fit for communica- 
tion («). 

(//) If the Englifh reader does not underftand this paf- 
fage, then he 15 in the fame predicament with tlve Tranf- 



As to my poems, I have not wrote a word, 
as yet, except a iketch of a fimple intro- 
du6iion, in lambicks. .Writing for the pub- 
lic is, in general, of lefs moment to me than 
it muft appear. 

I rejoice twenty times at my being im- 
mortal, at my being the image of God, and 
at my fellow-immortals, without thinking of 
my poem((?). I am alfo difgulled with writ- 
ing down every thing. It will be bell if I 
make occafional remarks, and continue to 
communicate them (/iropiorem Deum) to my 
friends by way of letters. 

(o) The author intended to write a poem on Eternity, 
the materials for which work he has communicated in his 
Views of Eternity. T. 



To Ss***. 

Feb. 8, 1773. 

I MUST addrefs you once more. — When 
will you have eyes to fee, and ears to hear, 
that you make the enemies of the Lord 
blafpheme? I am, however, afraid that it 
will be ufeiefs ; for you do not want to learn, 
but to teach. Oh 1 thou heavenly, evange- 
lical, child-like fenfe I when wilt thou difpel 
that iaexorable, u on finbbornnefs of thefe law- 
giving fouls ? Oh ! thou divine love of hu- 
man kind, thou ray of Chrill's glory ! when 
wilt thou beam forth from their eyes ? Oh ! my 
verboje friend, verbofe in inflru£ting others, 
and in ftunning and repelling thofe who 
want to inflru6t you through the word of 
God, when will the prayer of a man whofe 
work on you has been bleiTed by God, I fay, 



when will the prayer (for adjurations without 
arguments, and without miracles^ are fpells of 
an inflated felf-love, and of a pride, furioufly 
haftening to meet the molt dreadful morti- 
fications), when wHl the prayer of a maa 
who, formerly, was your brother, be able to 
move you, by the moll folemn conjurations, 
to lift en patiently to him only for a quarter of 
an hour ? — Read the hillory of that hero in 
praying, and let me tell you. If thefe things 
are done in a green tree, zvhat Jhall he done in 
the dry? . . . 

February 26, lyyj* 

It is time to refame my Journal again. — 
This whole month I have added nothing to 
it, except copies of fome letters; and yet 

I have 


I have experienced fomc important fcenes, 
which are very inflruclivc to me, and the 
defcription of which may, perhaps, prove 
very ufeful to my friends and children. It 
is evidently a proof of the unfpeakable and 
paternal love of God to me, that he keeps 
me fo pov^erfully back from all religious fa- 
naticifm. — Ambition, a lively imagination, 
and a good, fenfible heart, can eafily hurry 
us to fanaticifm ; and hovv^ frequently have 
they already dragged me to the brink of 
this dreadful abyfs, from v/hich no mortal 
hand can fave ! 

However, Divine Providence has vv'orked, 
from my earJy youth, through friends and 
foes, to draw me back from that dreadful 
precipice. My irrefiftible propenfity to think 
clearly y which God iias increafed and bleffed 
more and more, my numerous occupations, 
fome falffc religious lieps and pious devia- 


tions of my friends which timely came to 
my knowledge, and chiefly the errors of 
others which Divine Providence placed clofe 
before my eyes, and the conftant reading of 
the fcripture (which, although it continually 
fpeaks of extraordinary and wonderful events, 
infpirations, and divine revelations, is, never- 
thelefs, the moft efficacious antidote againft 
fanaticifm, becaufe it always gives palpable 
proofs of the revelation, and the prefence 
of God, whom it exhibits to the faith of 
men), have been employed by my good and 
eternal God as means to guard me againft 
that peft of the foul. The prefent month 
abounds particularly in fuch manifeftations 
of Providence — perhaps ohiefly that I may 
accuftom myfelf not to behold with a proud 
fmile, but with humble and modeft pity, 
and as one who has obtained mercy , thofe men 
who unite great virtues with a large fhare 
Vol. II. R of 


of fanaticifm. — One of the worthieft, moft 
learned and pious men fent me this month 
a dreadful printed memorial of fanaticifm, 
on reading of which I could not help ex- 
claiming, ever and anon, '' Lord Jefus ! Lord 
" Jefus 1 fo much truth ! fo much divine 
" truth ! but fo dreadfully mifapplied, and 
*' intermixed with the moft infupportable 
" vanity 1" — I received, at the fame time, 
an anfwer to an admonitory note w^hich I 
had fent, along with the above-mentioned 
work, to a very fublime fanatic — an anfwer 
which was dreadfully bold, fo di6latory, fo 
devoid of the fpirit of humility, of meek- 
nefs, and love of Chrifl, that I was feized 
with aftonifliment and forrow, not on ac- 
count of the reproaches it contained, but 
becaufe they were made in fo fliocking and 
unfraternal a martner. I infilled upon a 
conference, and an amicable explanation. 

I was 


1 was fent for — and went, determined to be 
offended with nothing, to lillen patiently, 
and to contradict as little as poffible. How- 
ever, although I had not the leaft reafon to 
fufpeft the honefty of my friend, and could 
not but admire his zeal for God and virtue, 
his eloquence, and his numerous quotations 
of fcriptural paffages and examples, and how 
much foe ver I felt my felf humbled and abaflied 
thereby, yet I could find fo little clearnefs, 
preciiion, and fcriptural tafte, in his dif- 
courfe, fo little light and humanity — and, 
on the contrary, found fo much confufion, 
fo many contradictions, and unaccountable 
abfurdities, that I could not help dropping 
fome harlli expreflions, and accufmg him of 
confufion and fanaticifm — fo that we were 
under the necellity to break off, and to part, 
with the promife to pray for one another. 
I muff, however, not forget to obferve, that 
R 2 Mr. 


Mr. F***5 who was prefent, notwithftand- 
ing his regard for Mr. Ss***, and the great 
affection he bears him, has (hown himfelf a 
pattern of uncommon honefty, modefly, and 
juft difcernment. I have, indeed, learnt a 
great deal of him. It is true, I cannot con- 
ceal from myfelf, that the viftory which 
I, indeed, had not gained, but fancied to 
have well deferved — that the equity of this 
moderate, wife, and modeft friend, who re- 
peatedly took my part againft his intimate 
friend, at leaft told him plainly enough that 
he returned me no diftin6t anfwer to my 
diftin8: queftions — and the hope of having 
perfuaded him to avoid, in future, all noto- 
rious extravagancies of his friend^s fanatic 
manner of thinking — and the idea of the 
fatisfaftion, the applaufe, and the praife, 
which I could expecl from my few intimate 
friends, to whom I intended to relate the 



whole fcene at large— flattered me much in 
going home, and fevetal times afterwards, 
and caufed a vifible fenfe of pride within 

me ; which I, however, foon fabdued. 

However, the whole tranfa6lion mortified 
me fenfibly, not only becaufe I have, per- 
haps, fome years ago, fcattered fome fparks 
of this evil by fome vague proportions, and 
too much heat, but alfo becaufe the many 
reproaches he has made me are not un- 
founded. This excited in my mind new 
refolutions to feek God with fincerity and 
humility, and to attend more to watching 
and praying. 

A few days after this tranfa£lion, which, 
for many reafons, was fp important to me, 

I received a letter from my friend H , 

which contained a great part of the hiflory 

of his life. I could have kifled that honeft, 

enlightened, pe^fecuted, erring, and repent- 

R 3 ing 


ing man, a hundred times. Oh ! that all 
men would write their life thus, and publifli 
it ! It could not but afford pleafure and 
inftruftion. The hiftory of Mr. H — is, in- 
deed, very inftru6tive, and warning, with re- 
fpefl: to fanaticifm. 

This morning, when I was going to v/rite 
down thefe obfervations, I received a letter 
from the Rev. Mr. Meyer, of Pfungen, 
along with fome remarks of Mr. B**, of 
S**, on danci7ig, and the theatre. Mr. Meyer 
concludes, by thefe remarks, that Mr. B** 
S**'s intelle8:s muft be affected. — The dear, 
honeft man ! How differently honeft and 
enlightened people can view the fame ob- 
je6ls 1 I cannot but confefs, that I, who, 
fome moments ago, have wrote in my Jour- 
nal, that I believe the author of thefe remarks 
to be a fanatic, fliould (if they had come 
firft into my hands) have been induced to 

* believe 


believe thofe equally honeft men w^ho refute 
him to be fanatics, and himfelf an enlight- 
ened man. I have great reafon to look upon 
this incident as a hint, given me by Provi- 
dence, to judge with the greateft caution 
and modefty of this man. I did, indeed, 
never think that he pofleffed fo much judge- 
ment, and could reafon fo forcibly. I wrote 
to Mr. Meyer, " My honeft friend! what 
" will you think of me, when I tell you, 
*' that I think Mr. S** to be really an arch- 
*' fanatic ; but his remarks, which you have 
" communicated to me, a few lines except- 
" ed, very reafonable, and the reverfe of fa- 
" naticifm ? To j udge by thefe remarks 
** (though I do not entirely, approve their 
."ftile, and the form in which they have 
" been publiihed), Mr. S*** is a very en- 
" lightened and reafoning man. But take 
" care not to let him know my opinion of 
R 4 '' him, 


" him, elfe we (hall read, in the next pam- 
"phlet he publiflies," 'Mr. Lavater' (and 
certainly he will honour me with fome fine 
epithet) * firaifes mcy in a letter to one of his 
^ friends^ as an enlightened^ reafoning man ; but 
^ a man who is enlightened never can he afana- 
^ tic. Fanaticifm and found reafoning contradiSl 
^ each other diametrically ; confeqiiently I am no 
"^ fanatic i according to the teftimony of Mr, La- 
* vater' — " To fpeak the truth, the good 
"' man cannot bear the leaft praife ; all the 
" world muft affift him in bearing it j and I 
'^ could certainly have faid more to his praife 
" in my laft letter to him, and fhould have 
" done fo, if I had not been afraid that he 
" would have had it publiflied inftantly, . 
'^ and applied it as an argiimentum ex concejjis 
" inimici. As to the fubjeft itfelf — dancing , 
" and the theatre — no man of a found un- 
" derftanding can deny that they are in- 

*^ nocent 

*^ nocent />; t&emf^Jvts, and can be very ufe- 
** ful ; yet there is no doubt that the prefent 
" condition of the theatre renders it, in fome 
** refpe£t, necelTary to fpeak with gentle 
" prudence againft it, or rather to reform its 
" abufes. It is, however, difficult to fpeak 
*' publicly of tliefe matters. If one defends 
" them, though with ever fo many reftric- 
" tions, and the greateft precaution, the po- 
** pulace, all friends of devotion, and all 
** thofe that cannot judge of innocence, ex- 
" claim, Behold ! this pious man, this divine, 
*' defends the play, that fchool of the devil ! 
" and, what is worfe, mod people pay on 
" purpofe no regard to all the precaution 
" one has taken, and to all the reflriSions 
" one has added, and quote before the pub- 
*' lie what we have faid, but quote it wrong, 
" and without alledging what we have faid, 
** in order to prevent mifunderftanding and 

" mif- 


" mifapplication. If one fpeaks agaiiijl 

" plays, and attacks (though with ever fo 
" much prudence and judgement) not the 
'' obje5l itjelf, but only X\\q Jirefent Jiate of the 
" theatre, and the bad efFe6t which, in our 
'^ times, is, almoft unavoidably, connefted 
" with the theatre, and dancing, the witty 
" fcoffers.of our jovial age are ever ready to 
" pronounce their fcornful anathema againft 
" us, and to decry us, with the lofty air of 
*^ healthy men, as fick people. And thefe 
" preachers of tolerance treat us not only 
" in the moft intolerant manner, but even 
" refufe us a fair trial," &c. &;c. &c. 

The doctrine of tneeknefs^ which 1 had to 
explain and to enforce, to-day, in the houfe 
of orphans, feemed to have fome effect on 
my mind. J found it, feveral times, very 
eafy to fupprefs the firft emotions of anger. 
I was tempted to give vent to it, when in 



the houfe of correSion ; however, I checked 
my paflion entirely. I fucceeded pretty well 
in fpeaking with fome energy to a prifoner. 
After dinner, I met Mr. P***, who was 
coming to intercede with me for a m.elan- 
choly perfon who was afraid to come to me 
herfelf. I went, and faid to her all w^hat I 
could fay, but as briefly as poffible, becaufe 
I could not fl:op long. Thefc good people 
never will recollett that w^e have not much 
time to fpare, though tkey may be at leifure. 
Yet this is very pardonable. — A certain re- 
ligious w^eaknefs, an indolent, anxious rumi- 
nation of their grief, joined with an antipa- 
thy to correftion and occupation \ an incef- 
fant lons:ino; to diiburthen their heart, and 
a perfe61: difregard to whatever is faid to 
them, in order to comfort, to encourage, and 
to advife them ; a fecret averfion from every 
advice w^hich is given with the beft inten- 


tion y — this kind of melancholy, which is not 
uncommon, and of which fome inftances 
occur to me almoft every week, is, indeed, 
intricate and difgufling enough to give my 
tone a form which does not entirely pleafe 
felf-love, and very eafily can induce fome 
people to fay, / was afraid ! I did not dare 
to open my mind ! Yet I can truly fay, that, 
whenever I obferve fomething of that nature 
in my mind, I Ihow it lefs than I really feel 
or fancy to feel it. 

I wrote a letter to the worthy Mr. G***, 
of Schafhaufen. " The more you reprefent 
" to yourfelf the variety and greatnefs of 
•' the blejGTmgs of God, the more you endea- 
" vour to quicken within yourfelf the great 
" fundamental truth (I almoft had faid, the 
*' only truth), God is love I The more you 
** look upon your frailties and fins as things 
** which, however they deferve contempt /';; 

" them- 


*' them/elves^ can, neverthelefs, be turned into 
" blellings, either for yourfelf or others (^), 
" by that God who is all love, and rules 
"*^ every thing, as foon as you are afliaraed 
" of them, and unite with that iliame the 

(p) We know, Indeed, that all things work together 
for good to them that love God, viz. all, even the mofl: 
unfortunate things that happen to them ; this can, how- 
ever, not be applied to fin without the greatefl reflriciion^ 
Sin is, and ever will be, the greateft evil ; it always hmts 
us; it always impairs our perfection and happinefs ; and 
Qther people, too, generally fuffcr more or lefs thereby ; 
though Providence knows how to apply it to good ends. 
Chriftian reader ! take, therefore, care not to make light 
©f thy failings and fins, on that account, nor to guard lefs 
againil them, becaufe God can turn this poifon into a fa- 
lutary medicine for thyfelf and others, elfe thou wilt make- 
a very bad ufe of the advice of the author to render the 
duties of Chriftianity comfortable and cheerful. He -onl^^ 
defires thee not to wafte thy time in an anxious and fruit- 
lefs repentance, but to apply it, without delay, to a more 
prudent and a better conduft, and then to expert with 
confidence that the promifes God has made us through 
Jefus Chrift wiU be fulfilled. T, 

*' con- 


*' confidence in the goodnefs and power ot 
" Chrift : in fliort, the more courage you have, 
^* the Jefs difficult you will find it to become 
'•' virtuous, Without this belief, without 
" this confidential looking up to Chrift, the 
•' vifible image of the ciTential Goodnefs ; 
" without this tranquil imraerfion Into the 
" love of God, no real virtuous life is pof- 


I carried my fick child on my arm for a 
quarter of an liour, proud that he ahvays 
wants to be w^ith me, and will be carried 
by no one elfe. I then went to Rechberg. 
We read the firft fix chapters of the epiflle 
to the Romans, and I explained the moil 
difficult pafiages, which have been rendered 
more obfcure by our unintelligible tranflation. 
I went home at feven o'clock. The female 
friend whom I hoped to find wdth my wife 
being gone, I was vexed for a few moments ; 



however, my vexation vanilhed as foon as 
my wife told me that Ihe had been very 

happy in her company. 1 complained to 

my wife, amongft other things, of my being 
of fo little ufe to my friends, who love me 
fo fmcerely ; and told her, that I frequently 
confidered myfelf as a cheat, on that ac- 
count. We fpoke of the impending re- 
volutions in the political world — read the 
eleventh and twelfth chapters of II. Kings. 

1 looked with fome uneafmefs at my 

wife, who was half afleep, and fqueezed her 
hand tenderly. I then read to her a paffage 
from the ReJurreElion of the Righteous^ and a 
hymn of Klopdock. We went to bed at 
eleven o'clock. I awoke about a quarter of 
an hour after I had fallen aileep, and was 
pretty well fatisiied with this day — although 
I am Hill infinitely below a middling idea 
of a Chriftian. 


25^ rcJtrRKAL OF A 

SAtuRDAY, Feb. 27, 1773' 

I AWOKE at fix, and was lying in my 
bed till feven o'clock, with a weary and 
heavy heart, amid many good thoughts, 
feelings, and filent fighs. The chief objefts 
of my meditation were the orphan — and my 
own children. I rofe at feven o'clock, w^ith 
a ferene mind , and when the idea of the 
different occupations which I was to take in 
hand, and to iinilh, to day, began to make 
me uneafy and gloomy, I fat inftantly down 
to make a lift of what I had to tranfa6t to- 
day, and then to execute one thing after the 
other, with all poiTible tranquilhty 5 an ex- 
pedient which has already ferved many a 
time to eafe and to chear me up. - - - 


5E1F-OBSERV3BR. ti5) 

Mrs. Z*** qame with a treatUe of her 
hufband's, in which he attempted tQ prove, 
that St. Paul alludes, in his epijftle to the 
Hebrews, to Roman euftoms. I read it 
through while fhe was prefent, and the wholq 
appeared to me very aiFe£tedvand extremely 
unimportant, eveji if he ihould not be mif- 
taken. I informed him of it in a note, arid 
felt the neceffiity to think of miother occ^ 
pation for this honeft, Tenfible,. and learned 
man, becaufe T was well aware that tbiB 
will be the only way to prompt him to abaaap 
-don his opinion. .-: - - - - 4m v.) ^o-^ 
n3;;4,----.»Viy^fH» b»: - - - . : r '.;ft ; ^ ■>• 
- b A poor' woman frona W*** came to be 
inftru6led in religion, telling me that fhe 
was determined to mend her life.— O God! 
how far am. I ftill from behig that man who 
is to lead -to thee with power and light 
every one, even the weakeft of my brethren ! 
Vol, IL S —lam 


— I am always frightened, though I always 
ought to rejoice, when I fee fuch a perfon 
before me. However, I fpoke to her as well 
as I could, and fhe appeared to have under- 
ilood and comprehended at leaft a part of 

what I faid. Another woman came, as 

it appeared, with the fame view. 1 con- 
tinued my Journal, and thus paffed the morn- 
ing in regularity and tranquillity. 

At dinner, we fpoke of the great misfor- 
tunes and fufferings of a friend. I took lefs 
intereft in it than I ought to have done, and 
yet could not account for it. Should per- 
haps the great mifery and diftrefs of which 
I, almoft every day, am informed, have hard- 
ened and rendered me lefs fenfible ? I am, 
at leaft in the prefent cafe, not confcious of 
any mediate or immediate paflion. -^ . - 

I went 


I went to the Schwanenhof, and Pf *** 
gave me a note to read which concerned 
the lall publication of Mr. S***. ^^ Some 
" antecurfory narrations, and the prefixed 
" remark of our dear Lavater, feduced me 
" to the precipitate judgement, that this man 
" muft be a complete fanatic ; having, how- 
" ever, perufed the treatife, though only in 
*^ hafte, I think myfelf bound to retraft 
" my judgement, to recommend him to the 
" Lord, and his good and faithful guidance 
"and prote6lion againft all deviations ; and, 
" meanwhile, to \^ait patiently what will 
** be the confequence of this extraordinary 
" guidance." 

I have inferted this note for my inftruc- 
tion. I am, indeed, ftill too precipitate in 
my judgements, although I ftrive every day 
to become lefs fo. I was extremely pleafed 
with this gentle and frateroal manner of 
S z judging. 


judging, and rejoiced that I was pleafed with 
it, although I have given my opinion of this 
man (o deeifively. ----- --- 

We fpcke of the impending calamities of 
war, and i felt myfelf animated by our dif- 
courfe to adhere earneftly to God, particu- 
larly by interceding for the great number of 
fufFering and diftreffed brethren. - - - - 

I now could continue with eafe and tran- 
quillity my fermon on the defence of the 
apoftle Paul before the Sanhedrin at Jerufa- 
jem (A6ls v. 1 7 — 24.), and wrote with eafe 
and fluency. — I had a violent cough, which 
I regarded as a warning and admonition of 
Providence. ---- .-r-.- 
V ;l^While I was writing my fermon, the fol- 
lowing ideas, which I inftantly wrote down, 
flafhed on my mind ; 



Art thou not better, God ! than i ? 
Then I can never love thee ; 
But art thou better, God ! than I ? 
How much wilt thou then love me ! 

I went home at feven o'clock, guided by 
fhe twinkling of the ftarj, and the foft light 
of the moon. Sweet fenfations of the ma- 
jefty of the Infinite thrilled my heart : how- 
ever, a trifle, the ignes minores of Horace, which 
the fight of the ftars brought to my mind, 
led me, for a few minutes, aftray into the 
regions of criticifrti. Yet I recovered myfelf 
foon. When I came home, I (laid a little 
while with my father, and then continued 
my fermon. After fupper, we read the tentbf 
chapter of the fecond book of Kings. I 
was ftruck with the paffage, i^ut Jehu took m 
heed to walk hi the law of the Lord God of 
IJrael with all his heart. I do not like at all 
the ambiguous, falfe, and double-minded 
ftrokes in JehuV eharadter. What- a mix- 
S 3 turc 


ture of ambition and duplicity, of piety and 
religious zeal ! O Lord ! cleanfe and fim- 
plify me more and more, that all my thoughts 
and wifhes, that all my a6tions, may ever 
concentre in one pointy in the pure love of 
Thee, in loving all my brethren, and Chrift 

Going to our apartment, we heard our 
little boy fcream violently. He was half 
afleep, and did not know why he was fcream- 
ing. " He is the very counterpart of his 
" father," faid my wife. I have frequently 
made the fame remark, and many a time 
trembled at the idea, *^ if he fliould fuffer 
*^ as much from dreams as I do, and if he 
" Ihould come to the fame horrid gulfs of 
" doubt to which I came !'*— O ! Jefus Chriil ! 
what will he have to fuffer ! — However, God 
has fupported me, as yet, fo unfpeakably, 
will he not alfo be the God of my fon? 



Sunday, Feb. 28, 1773. 

A DREADFUL night! I dreamed as 
plainly as poflible that I was to be be^ 
headed. A look at my children melted 
me to tears ; and — death — -death itfelf — 

chilled me with dreadful fear. 1 knelt 

down, prayed to God, awoke half dead 
with terror, and funk in the arms of my 
wife, meditating on nothing but death. — 
I mull die ! This idea (truck my mind fo 
forcibly, that I thanked God for having been 
roufed thus. I fell again afleep, and had 
another dream, much more dreadful, which 
I, however, cannot recolle6l. — I awoke in 
the morning pretty eafy, though very much 
fatigued. I iighed, meditated, rofe at feven 
o'clock, and finiihed my fermon. I went 
S 4 not 


not to church, becaufe I coughed violently, 
but read the two epiilles to Timothy. Thi 
following paffages and expreffions I muft 

Jefus Chrift, our hojie ! — Charity out of a pure 
hearty and of good conjcience^ and of faith un- 
feigned. --^The law is not made for righteous 
men-^The goffiel of the blejfed God-^If a man 
knotv not how to rule his own houfe, how fhall 
he take care of God f— To kee/i the myfiery of 
faith in a good confcience — Every creature of 
God is goody and nothing to be refufed, if it be 
received with thank/giving— The living God is 
the Saviour of all men, ejpecially of thofe thai, 
helieve, — Be thou an exam/ile of the believers ^ 
in wordy in converjaiion^ in charity y in Jpirity in 
faithy in Jiurity — Give attendance to reading — 
Negl0 not th^ gift that is in thee, that thy pro- 
fiting may appear to all. — Take heed unto thyfelfy 
for in doing this thou flialt both fave thy f elf and 



them that hear thee.-^He that livetk infileafure 
is dead while he liveth. — Do not partake of 
ether men's Jins : keep thyfelf fture I — Thou, O 
man of God, follow after right eoujnejs, godlinefs, 
faith, patience, meeknefs -, fight the good fight of 
faith, lay hold on eternal life f — Keefi thefe com* 
mandments without fpot, tinrebukeable, until the 
appearing of our Lord Jefus Chrifi — Laying up 
in Jiore for themfelves a good foundation againfi 
the time to come — Promifes of life zvhich is /« 
Jefus Chri/f—God has not given us the fpirit of 
fear, but of power, and of love, and of a found 
mind^~~Hold fafi the form of found zvords which 
thon haft heard of me I Endure hardnefs, as a 
good foldier of Jefus Chrifi I No man that war^ 
reth entangkth himfelf with tlve affairs of this 
life — If a man a If o fir rue for mafieries, yet he ii 
not crowned, except he firive lawfully — Remem^ 
her that Jefus Chrifi was raifedfrom the dead-^^ 
I fuffer trouble as an evil-doer y even imto bonds ^ 



but the werd of God is not bound ! — I endure 
all things for the ek5i's fakes ^ that they alfo may 
obtain the falvation which is in Chrifi Jefus with 
eternal glory . — // is a faithful faying^, if we be 
dead with him, we fhall alfo live with him ; if 
wefuffer, we fliall alfo reign with him\ if we 
deny him, he alfo will deny us — If we believe 
noti yet he abideth faithful : he cannot deny him- 
felf — Study to fliozv thyfelf approved unto Gody 
a workman that needeth not be ajliamed, rightly 
dividing the word of truth. — The Lord knoweth 
them that are his — To call on the Lord out of a 
'pure heart — The fervant of the Lord muft not 
firive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teachy 
-patient. — Do not be led captive by the devil , at his * 
will — To have a form of godlinefs, but to deny 
the pozver thereof — Ever learning, and never 
able to come to the knowledge of the truth — All 
that will live godly in Chrifi fliall fuffer jierfe- 
cution. — The man of God fliall be perfedi, tho- 


roughly furnijhed unto all good works — Watch 
thou in all things^ endure affliElions^ do the work 
of an Evangelijl, make full proof of thy mini- 
fry — To love the Lord's appearing. — The Lord 
fhall deliver me from every evil zvork, and will 
preferve me' unto his heavenly kingdom, — Lord 
Jefus Chrift be with my fpirit ! Amen, 

After dinner, I finilhed my letter to Mr. 
H***. " I can alTure you, that the recol- 
" leftion of all the good I do (and I dare 
" fay that no day pafTes on which Divine 
" Providence does not give me an opportu- 
*' nity to perform a good a6lion) does not 
" puff me up. Nay, nothing humbles me 
" more than all the good, the execution of 
" which God has charged me with. No- 
" thing animates me naore to perfevere, and 
" not to flop, than the recolle£lion of what 
'' I have already done. A comparifon with 
*' others cannot (I proteft befpre God), as 

" far 


" far as I know, make me proud with re- 
** gard to my moral qualities ; becaufe I 
" perceive, by conftantly obferving myfelf, 
" which, as it were, is become habitual with 
" me, every day, fo many wounds, fo mafty 
'* unguarded and weak fides of my heart, 
" that I (hould be mad if I could be proud. 
*' The more good I do, the eafier I find it 
•* to be humble. I am, however, not equally 
" humble with refpe6l to my talents. Com- 
** paring myfelf with the greatefi: geniufes of 
" our age, I find, indeed, a great indiflference 
'^ between them and myfelf; I hide myfelf 
" from them. But when I compare myfelf 
" with thofe people with whom I converfe 
** moft frequently, I am fometimes foolifh 
'^ enough to abandon myfelf, for fome mo* 
'* ments, to the enchanting fancies of vanity. 
" Obferving, however, every day, that fre- 
** quently the weakeft geniufes think wifer, 


S£LF-0&$£RV£R. 269 

" in many points, than myfelf ; that all the 
" year long no one converfes with me of 
*^ whom I could not learn fomething ; know- 
^^ ing that my little learning and knowledge 
*^ is nothing but a colleftion obtained by 
" begging ; feeling deeply with how much 
" pains I learn ; being frequently fe^ree^y 
'^ able to bear with my own flialJowneft 
*^ and weaknefs ; I can fincerely confefs t^ 
" you, that this kind of pride too never wiU 
** become a prevailing fentiment with me — 
" and never attacks me longer than, at moft, 
" for a few moments in the week. If ev^r 
*^ I fhould prevail on myfelf to publifli ^ 
^* part of my Journal, to which I am preffed 
" by all my friends, I will certainly be fin- 
** cere, and not fpare myfelf j and no rea- 
*^ fonable man fhall accufe me of having 
** trumpeted on/y my good deeds." 


t^o Journal of a 

Some Remarks. 

The interval during which I could not 
continue my journal, partly from negle£t, 
and partly for other reafons^, would perhaps 
have been more important, and more de- 
fervingof being recorded, than all the other 
days of this year. I fhould, perhaps, give 
an opportunity of being fufpeQed to have 
intentionally fuppreffed my obfervations on 
fome of thefe days, if it fhould be known 
that I have recorded nothing that has hap-t 
pened during that time. However, God 
knows that I have not done it with a view 
to hide from myfelf, or my friends, the faults 
which J perhaps may be fufpe61:ed of. I 
am, on the contrary, as fure, as I can be of 
any thing in this world, that nothing could 



be more favourable to myfelf, and my ex* 
culpation, than if I were . to difclofe to an 
impartial eye the whole of my proceedings 
in fome ftrange cafes, though I fhould be 
willing to confefs fome inconfiderate a&ions; 
I am, however, quite tired of apologizing. 
My friends know that, with refpe6l to thofe 
points I am alluding to, I have nothing to 
reproach myfelf, before the tribunal of my 
confcience, v/hich is quite at eafe, and every 
moment ready to account to thofe who may 
call me to an account ; and the world wilJ 
never fee this Journal. Some of my letteis 
have been circulated, God knows, without 
my knowledge and confent. I confoled my^ 
■felf with my faith in Providence, and for- 
gave thofe who had occafioned that circula- 
tion — The public has judged miferably ; — ^I 
was lilent, and gave to my few friends a 
faithful account of the whole matter. They 


tjt JOITRKAL or A 

were aftonifhed at the fecret motives which 
I pointed out to them ; but the public fliall 
not know them. I rather will fuffer myfelf 
to be condemned, than to commit a mean* 
nefs in order to defend myfelf. 

As for the reft, [will not conceal that I 
am ftill not cautious enough, and too unre-^ 
ferved, to many whom I fancy to have more 
honefty, fecrecy, and prudence, than they 
really pofTefs. When I write letters, I for- 
get the world, and addrefs myfelf to the 
heart and the underilanding of him to whom 
I write, and whofe letters I have before me. 
He, and not iht public y infpires me. He has 
put queftions to me, and I anfwer. He has 
obliged me to fay fomething which is ufeful 
to him, and hurtful to no one, if only he 
and myfelf fees that letter. If he, or fome 
other perfon, circulates the letter, then I can 
be anfwerable for nothing. The public has 



not the eyes of him to whom I write. What 
is moft fit for him, can appear very unfit to 
the public -, and what ftrikes him moft, can 
appear very infipid to others — The public 
hears only one party, and the other finds no 
hearing — That I know, and as far as I can 
view this as the decree of Providence, I am 
eafy, and thank God that I am fo, and can 
write with large chara6ters in my Journal. 

To Mrs. N***, 

My dearefl Friend, 

Saturday, March 13, 1773. 

1 WI LL give you fome pafTages of my life, 
or rather of my charafter. 

God led me one way, from my earliefl 
youth to the prefent day. I was always 

Vol. IL T weak 


weak and bold — fooliih and happy — childifb 
and ftrong — meek and paflionate — both in 
a very high degree — ^God always treated me 
with the greateft tendernefs. — My greatefl 
faults were known to no one but myfelf 

and only a few friends. God has ever 

brought to light my good anions, however 
anxious I was to conceal them — He has ac- 
compliflied my mod fecrct wifhes, when I 
expefted it leaft.— He has given me what- 
ever I have begged of him with filent, bold, 
and filial confidence. You hardly can con- 
ceive how confidential I was in praying — 
before I had acquired theory. With the 
improvement of theory, the fecret, fublime, 
heart-elevating experience has decreafed(5). 


(y) Experiences of this nature, which are not founded 
on theory, that is, on juft and preclfe notions of human 
nature, and the operations of our mind, are always de- 
ceitful — ^They can afford us great pleafure ; however, they 



^ — The fpirit evaporated — I wanted to feek 
God from knowledge — However, he has no 
ear for any thing but for the filent, fimple, 
and warm feelings of the heart. — There was 
a time when I carried this treafure only in 
my breaft — felt myfelf all-powerful — when 
no diftrefs could damp my fpirit— when I 
triumphantly hailed, in every darknefs of 
my path, with a noble heroic pride, and filent 
faith, the dawning light, ere I beheld the 
fainteft ray of it— No fooner felt a friend of 

alfo can lead us to dangerous precipices ; and the joy they 
create cannot always Hand the teft. The more we fufFef 
ourfelves to be guided by violent, lively fenfatlons, the 
more v. ill the ftate of our mind, and our morality, depend 
upon the condition of our body, and of external, acci- 
dental objeds ; and the more will our virtue and happi- 
nefs be fubjeft to changes. On the contrary, the more 
we accuftom ourfelves to regulate our adions after clear 
notions and principles, the firmer we will proceed on the 
path of Chriftian probity, and the more ferenity and peace 
of mind will accompany us on our road. Editor. 

T 2 mj 


my bofom, no fooner felt my fainted Hefs^ 
at the time when the fweet prefentiment of 
immortality thrilled his heart, at the dark 
evening of life, fomething of the great myf- 
tery of faith (r), when my heart fmote me. 

I preferved it for a long, long time in my 
heart, arid adored the father of fublime pre- 

(r) The greatell myftery, or rather the ftrongeft proof 
of our faith in God, confiils in our firm belief that God,, 
as the beft and wifeft of fathers, will give us every thing 
that, according to our individual capacities and fituations, 
is uffful and falutary to us, as far as it is confiftent with 
the eftabliflied order of things, with the welfare of the 
reft of his ehildren, and with the fecret, but certainly 
moft perfeA plan of his government. If I believe this 
firmly, and fubmit patiently to all decrees ©f Godj fhould 
I then not a(^ more confiftent with my frailties, and my 
dependence upon him, than when I make bold to prefcribc 
to him, as it were, how he fhall govern myfelf and others, 
and tuhat he (hall do in this oe that individual cafe ? I do 
iH)t know myfelf and others, prefence and futurity, as I 
cught to do, if I would demand of God uncondit'tonallji 
diirA peremplorilyf for myfelf or others, Q&xlmu.Jlxcdy Indl- 
x'idual^ fpiritual ojr bodily advantages or gifts. Editor,. 



fentlments with many a fweet tear be- 
came again thoughtlefs, — forgot God and 
my duty, and the name which nobody knows 
except who receives it, fwayed by paflion 

and fcepticifm 1 then was plunged in 

diftrefs— in threatening diflrefs — labyrinths 
without an outlet furrounded me — I beheld 
nothing but gaping gulphs — however, I did 

not fmk 1 called to the Lord, and 

he anfwered me, and delivered me from all 
my diftrefs. 

To Mrs. S. E. G. 

My dear Mrs. G***, 

I WAS juft going to fend you a few lines 

along with the inclofed fermons, and begged 

Mifs M*** to write for me, when I received 

T 3 your 


your valuable letter and the inclofed from 
you ; I fhall therefore be under the neceffity 
to endeavour to fpare a little time for a few 

lines more Afcribe my brevity to no^ 

thing elfe but to neceffity. I am poor in 
every refpe6t — this all my friends mufl do 
jne the favour to believe. There are too 
many v^^ho think me to be rich — and for 
that very reafon I am poor. — Let not your 
fpirit give way, although I fhould not be 
able to procure you, in your great diftrefs, 
the affiftance I v/ifh fo ardently to afford. 
I cannot alter the decrees of God. The lefs 
we fee, the firmer, the more approved and 
pure, our faith will be. I inclofe the trifles 
you have defired ; of all my writings I have 
left only one copy, a few pamphlets ex- 
cepted. I have been affli£led for a con- 
fiderable time with a dry cough ; hov/ever, 
it is not fo violent as it ufed to be formerly. 



My bufmefs increafes every day ; but God 
has fent me fome time fmce an afliftant, 
v^hom I, how^ever, very likely, fliall not be 
able to retain long. 

May the paternal grace of God fhine 
upon you, from the face of Jefus Chrift(j-) ! 

I recommend myfelf to your love and 
prayers. My wife fends her beft wifhes ; 
and I am, with fraternal afre6i:ion, 

Your, &c. 


{s] The author wifhes here that his friend might every- 
day learn to know better the benign and loving fentiments 
of God towards us, from what Jefus Chrift has taught us 
in his gofpel with refpe6l to his Father, and from what 
he has done for the benefit of mankind, according to the 
win of God. T, 

T 4 March 


March 20, 1773, 

!bO fure as it Is, my dear friend, that the 
father of every love can only love, fo fure 
you may be that you never v^ill be deceived 
in confoling yourfelf (/) — We have ftill from 
our childhood the falfe notion that v^e could 
offend God immediately, that he was injured 

(/) Mark well, Chriftiari reader, that the author fpeaks 
here to a perfon of whofe probity he was perfedly fure. 
Such a perfon can, indeed, not falfely confole himfelf ; he 
can be affured of the moll merciful indulgence of God, 
If our heart condemn us noty then have we confidence tonvard^ 
God. Whoever appropriates to hirnfelf the divine pro- 
mifes, and yet does not ferioufly and indefatigably ftrive 
to fulfil the conditions annexed to them, confoles himfelf, 
indeed, falfely. He experts advantages and blefSngs he 
is not capable of receiving. As for the reft, God can, 
indeed, not be ojfended nor injured^ in the hteral fenfe of 
the word, however we offend and injure ourfelves ; and our 
peace of mind, and our perfeftion, fuffer by every relapfe 
into fin. Therefore let him that Jlandeth take heedy hjl he 
Jalll Editor. 



by our relapfes. This deprives of our joy, 
and retards our coming to God. However, 
this darknefs, too, is neverthelefs a bleffing, 
although it fnould furround us till we arrive 
at the end of our career ; yet I wifli that 
every brother and fifter might be freed of 
it. Whoever has the fenfe of childhood 
will comprehend this. Infmitely much is 
included therein. 

My dear Mrs. Gr. 

March 37, 1773. 

JlIKRE 1 fend you a fmall token of my being 
alive, and of my friendlhip. I have no time, 
and the weak Hate of my health, which is 
very much enfeebled by a conftant dry cough, 
does not allow me to write much. I greet 
you in the Lord, from the bottom of my 



heart. Remember me frequently in your 
prayers — that the glory of the unknown God 
may be difplayed in me, and through me, 
to the mortification of unbelief, and the in- 
creafe of faith. — O how unknown is God, 
even to thofe w^ho fancy t)iemfelves enlight- 
ened («) ! 

(u) We can, indeed, form no adequate notions of God. 
Yet, if we pay proper regard to what the fcriptiire and 
reafon teach us, we can know as much of him as he will 
\vejl:all know; and that is fufficient for our happinefs. 
If we know what God is with regard to ouifelves, then 
we need not to trouble ourfelves about what he is /// /jim- 
feJf, This knowledge is hidden from mortal men ; and 
whoever is impatient to pry into it, will certainly be dif- 
appointed : for he tranfgreffes the bounds fct to mortal 
beings by the infinite wifdom of God. T. 



March 29, 1773. 

IT Is out of my power to write a long 
letter ; want of health, and bufmcfs, do not 
allow me to do it. Accept, with your in- 
nate goodnefs, the fmall token of my friend- 
ihip, which I have inclofed, and let me hear 
your opinion upon it, as foon as convenient 
to yourfelf. 

The prefent ilate of Chriftianifm, particu 
larly in Germany, appears to me to haften 
towards a great revolution. Mofl Chriftians 
conftantly keep too boldly, and too obfti- 
nately, to extremes. It requires great honefty 
and wifdom to keep firm to the gojfel of 
Chrift. Ere long the trufh will be con- 
firmed. Whoever is not with me^ is againji me I 

May the truth and goodnefs of God be 
aftive within us ! Let us feek with an up- 


right heart the unknown God— who cannot 
be known otherwife than through Jefus 
Chrift — and then w^e fhall behold his glory, 
and rejoice ! Amen. 

To Mr. H. 

April 10, 1773. — On the great Sabbath 
of our Redeemer. 

Dear Brother, 

On Good-Friday eve I received your la- 
mentatory letter, in which you defire me to 
pray for K***. — What effect do you think 
it has had upon me ? Quite a contrary one 
to what you probably expecfed. " That 
"his errors might be kept fecret" — this 
alone prompted me to prayers. Not the 
other reafon. You poffefs, ftill, too much 
paiTion, brother 3 and too little tranquil, fim- 



pie, filial faith — You have a childifli fear of 
the devil — but no child-like faith in God. 
I do not pay fo much honour to Satan as to 
be afraid of hiin. I have very little to do 
with this vanquiflied and crulhed enemy (;t). 

I cannot implore God that K*** may 
not fludy phyfic. Let him ftudy it if he 

{x} The leis the better, Chriftian reader. To be afraid 
of Satan, or to afcribe to him the leaft power over men, 
belongs to what the fcripture calls the kingdom of Satan, 
or of darknefs ; arid thereby it means the idolatry, fuper- 
ftition, and wickednefs, prevailing among the then hea- 
thenifh nations. As Chrillians, we are tranfplanted out 
of the kingdom of darknefs into the kingdom of light. 
Wicked defires, and bad, feducing people, are our Satans, 
our adverfarlesy againil whom we mull guard. James i, 
13 — 15. I would advlfe thee, Chriftian reader, to care 
as little as poflibic for the devil, and to behave, with re- 
fpeft to him, as if he did not ^rSi^. So I have done 
thefe twenty years, after having been deceived in my early 
youth by childiTh prejudices and fancies ; and I find my- 
felf very happy by doing fo. Editor. 



has an inclination to do fo. A good voluft- 
tary phyfician is better than a forced fervant 
of Chrift. Do you not, dear brother, create 
unneceifary wants merely for the fake of 
having occafion for praying. Thou haft 
fufficient reafon for it already — and never 
wilt be in want of occafion for praying. 
Do not mlfunderfland me. I love brevity, 
like my mafter. Pray for nothing more ar- 
dently than for wifdom. Wifdom will teach 
thee for w^hat thou oughtft to pray, and for 
what not {y). Have faith — faith is of more 
value than praying. 

(j) Should not this v/ifdom teach us, too, that we arc 
not,- wife enough to demand of God without rejlnd-hn 
fuch particular and individual bleffings, and, as it were, 
to prefcribe to him, who is alone lo'ifey how he fnall govern 
the world ? He is the Lord, he may do ivhatc'ver he thinhs 
Jit. Father, not mine, but thy will he dene ! This, I think, 
is the language of true Chriftian wifdom. Adore the 
greatnefs and giory of God, ChrJilian reader ; rejoice with 

a grateful 


Thy dear letters of the 7th and 5th of 
February I received in bed ; for I have been 
ill a long time — and v^orfe, or rather weaker, 
than ever I was. Juft now the megrim 
forces one tear after the other from my left 
eye, and 1 cough very much. My illnefs 
bears particularly heavy on me in the Paf- 
iion week, when I ought to preach fix times. 

In fuch a cafe, you, dear D*****, would 
have again done too much honour to Satan, 
and fufpe61:ed him of fome malicious trick; 
I do not think fo. 

My wife, too, is not v/ell — yet roQ has 

a grateful heart at hia bleflings ; let his providence fet thy 
heart at eafe ; acquire before him llrength in every virtue 
and pious fentiment, and efpecially in the fentiments of 
univerfal fraternal love. Join, in thy mind, with all thy 
brethren before God, the father of all men, and leave to 
his guidance their and thy fate ; then thy prayers certainly 
will be wife, acceptable to God, and ufeful to thyfelf and 
others. Editor. 



faith for me, and I have faith for her. — Now 
a few words more in anfwer to your letter. 

I neither refemble Ifaias, nor does O 

refemble Jeremias. — Your advice to make a 
careful ufe of every flone thrown down by 
Oettinger, which may be ferviceable for 
ere6ling the great edifice, deferves not to 
be difregarded. I fympathize, indeed, with 
Ifaias. I prefer him to all the great men of 
the old covenant, David excepted ; of whofe 
heart, fometimes, one fees more than of his 
fpirit. With regard to inftru6lion, Ifaias, 
St. Paul, and St. John, are ahnoll alone very 
important to m.e among the authors of holy 

Oettinger's defence of the fenfe of fmgle. 
words is evidently carried too far, how fond 
foever I am of fettling the proper fenfe of 
words. To build whole theories upon fmgle 
expreffions — is to build on the point of a. 



pin. — Farewell, my dear. Give my love to 
your wife and children, and never ceafe to 
be my friend and brother* 

To Mr. K. 

April 10, 1773. 

Hearken, my weak brother, for a few 
moments, tt> a brother \Vho is equally weak 5 
for I can converfe with you only a few mo- 
ments. There is no fm fo deadly poifonous 
as unbelief— Unbelief is the fm of all fms 
in the territory of Satan — Unbelief, con- 
cealed under the mafk of piety — unbelief, 
arifing from falfe humanity — is one of the 
mofl crafty ftratagenls of the enemy of God 
and truth. — I intreat you earneftly not to be 
difheartened — God is unalterable, though 
we are not. He never ceafes to love, though 
VoL.IL U we 


we fhouId(2;) ceafe to love. He who is 
within us is greater than him who is in the 
world. Refill Satan, and he will flee from 
you. Drive him away with a few words of 
fcripture, which will cut his black {ou\{a). 


(2) Very true ! Yet God always fees and judges us as 
we really are j and the more aAIve and fmcere our love 
towards him is, the more capable are we to profit by hl& 
love, his favour, and his bleflings. He never can miftake 
the finner for gwiftlefs, the weak for ftrong, the wavering 
for ftedfaft, nor faults for perfeftions. The greater, O 
Chriftian ! thy love to God is, the more ardently oughtfl 
thou to defire to do what pleafes him. Editor, 

(a) The author's meaning is, that we ought to fup- 
prefs, and to reje6l tnflantly, all bad ideas and defires arifing 
within us, and replace them by pious, Chriftian ideas. 
For holy fcripture fays no-where, that Satan is about and 
near us in fuch a manner, that he could hear us, and be 
put to flight by what we are faying to him. This would 
make him omn'tprejcnt, becaufe there are fo many people, 
living at fo great a diftance from each other, who are 
tempted and enticed to wicked ideas and deeds, at one 
and the fame time ; and omtiiprejence is an attribute only 



Continue in the calling to which you are 
called by God, elfe you will repent of it. 
If you are fallen, God is powerful enough 
to raife you up again. — Whoever is tired of 
rifing up again a thoufand times, becaufe he 
is fallen a thoufand times, never will attain 
his aim — becaufe of his want of faith. He 
who commands us to forgive feventy times 
feven in a day, will certainly forgive us at 
leaft fo many times within a whole year. — 
God will certainly hide your tranfgreffions [b) 1 

of God. What St. Peter fays, i Pet. v. 8. can be ap» 
plied very well to a man then living, who was a violent 
adverfary and a cunning defamer of the ChriftianSi 

{b) Yes, he will do it, if it is conformable to his wif- 
dom, and fubfervient to his defigns, unknown to us. If 
this is not the cafe, he brings to light the fins and faults 
of many pious people, In order to humble them, and to 
caution others. God has given us no particular promifes 
on that head. Could we therefore expert It fo abfolutely 
and without reftridion ? Editor. 

U 2 Believe 


Believe it only fimply and boldly. I fpeak 
from '' repeated experience. — Begin with a 
nezv courage, and God will return to you with 
new blejfings. Forget what is behind you — 
and do not forrow for the following day. 
The mercy of Jefus Chrift be with you ! 

To L***. 

April 10, 1773. 

O THOU dear, dear L***, why am I fo 
inactive with refpeft to you — why fo un- 
kind? — But you know my fituation. My 
health is mending by little and little — I 
fliall preach to-morrow and next Thurfday, 
if it pleafes God. I wifh to be of more 
ufe to you ; but, God knows, it is not in 
my power. I am too much beloved. I am 
frequently (fo I think) near the great mark — 



but more frequently very near the moft 
dreadful abyfs. Yet I have more faith, than 
I dare fay — although my dear friends repofe 
too much faith in me. — You have in general 
too much confidence in me, and too little in 

God. A few w^ords more ! — May Jefus 

Chrift be revived in you through the belief 
of his being alive — and along with him the 
power of God, wifdom, and goodnefs.— Give 
my love to whomfoever you like, and as 
much as you like, with the full blelfmg of 
the gofpel. 

To Mr, S, ^/ L. 

AprU 15, 1773. 

Your whole inflru6live letter contains 

lothing that ought to have made you afraid 

)i my being angry at it, except the words — 

U 3 " If 


*^ If you, perhaps, fhould be angry at it !'* — 
However, this too I will pafs over without 
anger. Believe me, my dear friend, charity 
is not ealily provoked. What you write 
flows from a iincere heart, and befpeaks 
an amiable fimplicity — and even the ardour 
which I fancy to perceive, is noble and 
amiable in your fituation. 

Whether I fhall wifh lefs for your pifture I 

O you dear, fufpicious man! — Forgive 

me ! You are a good man, whatfoever may 
have made you fo — You love Jefus ChriiT: 
lincerely — whatever notions of him may af- 
feft you mofl. — Should I then defpife you? 
Should I not think you good, and a friend 
of Jefus Chrift ? It was a noble admonition 
your brother Frank, of Montmiral, addreffed 
to the affembled brethren, when my name 
was mentioned: " Brethren ! remember what 
" Jefus faid, when he was informed that a 

" perfon 


" perfon who was not numbered among his 
" apoftles, was driving out the devils in his 
" name : Do not oppofe him ; for no one 
" can do a deed in my name, and yet fpeak 
*' ill of me. Whoever is not againft us is 
" for us." The fame admonition fhall guide 
me with regard to you. Why fhould I de- 
fpife you, becaufe I know you follow a 
fyftem which differs from mine? — or, per- 
haps, you only exprefs my fyftem with other 
words than I do ? Whether I really have 
the love I profefs — whether I, as many think, 
belong to thofe prond cavillers, to thofe un- 
feeling makers of fyftems, who arc fo detri- 
mental to religion, which is nothing but 
faith and love ; whether I am proud of my 
merits ; whether I do not think myfelf the 
moft guilty fmner ; whether I feek any thing 
elfe but the mercy of God through Chrift ; 
whether I endeavour to hide my faults from 
U 4 fear 


fear to ftrike my felf-love a deadly blow? 
dear Mr. S. I will be filent with regard to 
thefe points, will leave the decifion of them 
to God, and patiently wait till he fhall de- 

It is true, we exprefs ourfelves differently 
with refpe6l to our notions of our dear Lord. 
It is true, your notions are as intolerable to 
me, as mine are to you — but why fhould 
we quarrel about it ? Let us love our great 
Redeemer as well as we can — for to love 
him is our only fcope — and let us not look 
upon each other with an evil eye, becaufe 
each of us is arrived to that love through 
notions of his own, which he believed to 
be juft. 

Suppofe, my dear friend, both of us fhould 
be in danger of life at the fame time — and 
a noble-minded man plunged into the flames 
to fave us J and, in effecting our delivery, 



facrlficed his life — fuppofe we could not 
find words fufficlently to praife the genero- 
fity of our deliverer ; and endeavoured, and 
thought it the greateft pleafure, to (hew all 
poflible love to his children— only with that 
difference, that you called his generous deed 
an atonement ox fatlsfaSlioUy but I fliould pre- 
fer to ufe expreflions which fhould appear 
to me clearer, more natural, more affe6ling 
ami jufl: j as, / o%ve my life to this man ; alas ! 
he fell a vitlim for me I his death zvas my life ! 
&€. &:c. — would it not be ridiculous, if you 
would call me ungrateful, proud, cavilling, 
if you would fufpecl me of uncharitablenefe, 
becaufe I ufed thefe natural expreffions with 
a heart overflowing w^ith gratitude ? 

My language may found fooliflily in your 
ears ; however, I (liali never renounce, nor 
confent to be deprived of, the liberty which 
God and his light gives me. — Humility and 



ajfurance oi faith are as little incompatible 
with each other as light and fire. However, 
man commonly feparates what God wants 
to be united. 

Partiality is a fault moft common with 
tliofe who do not receive the whole gofpel 
with a filial love of truth. 

An important obfervation which I mull 
make to you, and which is of the greateft 
confequence to you, is this ; 

" The bed, noblell, and moft divine fen- 
" tinients, which owe their origin to 
" certain ideas and notions, are no 
" proof that theie ideas and notions 
" are juft." 
If you would take the trouble to examine 
this idea, what a light would arife to you ! 

There are fome Roman Catholics, to whom 
the belief m the tranfmutation of bread af- 
fords moft unutterable fweet fenfations — as 



there are certainly Calvinifts, to whom their 
notion affords the moft grateful, pureft, and 
moft divine fentiments. 

One of thefe notions miifl be erroneous. — '- 
It muft therefore be poffible that falfe no- 
tions, too, can produce, in a good heart, 
excellent, good, and divine fentiments ; and 
it is wrong to conclude — this or that notion 
edifies me very much, it procreates within 
me divine fentiments, confequently it muft 
be juft and divine. 

Fancy yourfelf, with your good, excellent, 
and noble heart, in the room of a fenfible 
Roman Catholic : how would you then write 
to me? — Without doubt, you would fay, 
" O ! my dear Mr. Lavater, pray become as 
" a little child ; believe willingly ! The doc- 
" trine of the tranfmutation of bread ftrikes 
" indeed a deadly blow to reafon. However, 
" if you would believe, you would experi- 


■^ ence what I experience : it cannot be ex. 
** prefTed by words what I experience when 
" I receive the real body of the Lord ! how 
" I am melted with heavenly fenfations ! 
" how it legitimates itfelf in my foul as the 
" effential body and blood of God ! how the 
" blood of the God-man tranfports me be- 
" yond myfelf ! — If you but knew it, if you 
*^ had honelly and fimplicity enough to make 
" a trial — how intolerable would reafon, 
** which tells you/' VBread is bread, and 
' wine is wine/ " appear to you !" — Dear Mr. 
S. would you not, very probably, fpeak fo to 
me ? Well, fhall I then believe a Ju'ece of 
bread to be the creator of heaven and earthy 
and the juice of the grajie the blood of God^ 
becaufe 1 do not deny your pious fentiments, 
which your faith may have produced, to be 
divine, and becaufe you admonidi nie fo 
brotherly and tenderly ? 

I wiili 


I wifli to know how our brother Bufgman 
has received my frank and undifguifed an* 
fwer, which I have fent him by our brother 
Hafencamp. Of a man of his noble and 
humane charafter I expe6t fraternal fenti- 
ments in cenfuring my ideas — and along with 
thefe fraternal fentiments reafons — light and 
wifdom-:i fc)r — forgive me that I once more 
recur to this point ! — for even the moft gen- 
tle admonition is a mere charm for weak and 
good hearts, if not founded on plain and 
clear arguments. Dear Mr. S. let us take 
care not to miftake for truth what is erro- 
neous, becaufe a falfe notion has afforded 
us edification and good fentiments ! — Truth 
is fuperior to edification, as juftice is fupe- 
rior to love. — Error produces a temporary, 
truth a lading edification — One muft not 
offer violence to human nature. To bring 
to light what is hidden in its utmoft re- 



cefles — and it contains nothing artificial — 
this is (to ufe your own words) Jefus-like 
wifdom. God is all love; Jefus Chrift is 
all love ! and man, too, ought to be all love. 
There you have, in a few words, my whole 
fyftem of religion. — Who believes in the 
love of God through Chrift Jefus, he, and 
he only, can love as Chrift has loved — or 
rather, through him God can love as he has 
loved through Jefus Chrift. All love comes 
from God fo dire6lly and immediately as 
Chrift came from him. — Whoever believes 
that God is love in Chrift, is love, and happy 
in love. All happinefs confifts in love, and 
without love no happinefs is poflible. No 
happinefs is poflible w^ithout God, as there 
is no love without him. — Jefus Chrift is the 
centre of the love of God. — Whofoever di- 
refts his eye towards it, and is caught by it, 
becomes a ray of the divine love. ------ 



liils, my dear friend, you will certainly un- 
derftand(r). In this you certainly agree with 
me. If this doftrine fhould be intolerable to 
you, we will put a flop — not to our love — - 
but to our correfpondence, till it fhall be 
tolerable to you or intolerable to me. — The 
wounds of Chrift certainly will teach , you 
to be jufl: to thofe of whom you know no- 
thing difpleafing, except that they neither 

{c) Although the author is "fully perfuaded, that his 
friend will underftand him, yet I muft confefs that I can» 
not underftand him entirely ; and this will probably be 
the cafe with many of his readers. "We will, therefore, 
fufpend our judgement of fome obfcure paflages and ex« 
preffions, till the aithor {hall, one time, have explained 
himfelf better. — I have, however, been obliged to omit 
fome pafTages, becaufe not every one fees with the eye of 
a friend, /cannot be offended by whatever a man fays, 
of whofe probity and love of truth I am convinced ; and 
I hften to him with pleafure, and learn at Icaft fomething 
of him, even when he fecms to err: but probably not 
every reader may think fo. Editor* 



will nor can make ufe of certain expreffions, 
becaufe they appear to them to be contrary 
to the whole fyllem of fcripture. If I be- 
lieve all what God fays, all what he has 
done through Chrift Jefus ; if I adore Chrift 
as the/o/^, immediate, and eternal author^ 
not only of my immortality, but alfo of all 
happinefs, I adore him with the lincereft 
love and cordiality ; if I believe that I owe 
him every thing, every thing without excep- 
tion ; if I (incerely rejoice at his incom- 
parable love, furpaffing all underftanding ; 
if I believe his death to be the life of the 
world, and the greatefl facrifice which ever 
has been offered to God -, if he is to me all 
in all ; if I begin every thing with him, 
continue every thing with him, and do every 
thing with regard to him ; if I rejoice even 
at hearing only his name mentioned ; if I 
deem his reproach my reproach, and his 



honour my honour; if I look upon every 
mortal as one for whom Chrift died ; if I 
devote myfelf to God for the benefit of man- 
kind, to the joy of Chrift Jefus ; if I devote 
myfelf fo entirely to him as he has devoted 
himfelf to God; if I do and fufFer every 
thing in his name, that is, if I always a6l 
and fufFer as Chrift would a£l: and fufFer, if 
in my place ; if I do, or only endeavour to 
do that ; am I then, my dear S. a Socman — 
or a Chriftian(J) ? I entreat you, my deareft 


{J) I am always grievsd when I hear a Soclnian pro- 
nounced to be the reverfe of a Chrilllan. The author, 
^K) doubt, is no Socinlan, nor am I one. However, ought 
and dare we pronounce infidels thofe who commonly are 
called Socinlans ? How can this b- confiftent with truth, 
with. Chri/Iian charity f ci.nd forbearance P How erroneous 
foever fome do^rines of the Socinians may be ; yet they 
believe Chrift to be fent by God, to be their infti-u<Elor 
and benefaftor, their Lord and Mafter ; they beheve the 
do6lrine of Chrift to be true, and of a divine origin ; con* 

Vol. IL X fide 


fellow-redeemed, do not condemn me, though 
with the purefl heart — till you know me bet- 
ter, and have carefully examined, only after 
the gofpel, my aflertions ! — 

I am no great Mr. Lavater, and have there- 
fore no occafion for taking another courfe 
in i/iat re£ieSl, as your well-meant wifn feems 
to indicate ; although I muft confefs that I 
have, every day, reafon to be afhamed of 

fide ill his promifes, and endeavour to execute his com- 
mandments, and to imitate his example. Should a perfon 
who believes and does that be no Chrifllan ? Who of us 
is free of a/I errors ? Have the difciples of Chrift har- 
boured no errors at all v^hile he was alive ? Have the pri- 
niitive Chriftians, many of whom wanted to retain the 
Judaic laws, fo evidently inconfiftent with Chriftianifm, 
have they been infidels ? And what man rejefts truth as 
ii'uth ? Thank God, Chriilian reader, if thou haft more 
knowledge of truth than others, and live conforming to 
this knowledge ; but take care not to condemn nor to 
defpiie thofe whom thou fancieft to be lefs enlightened and 
k/s happy i\idXiX\iyk\[\ T. 



many deviations from thofe amiable, child- 
like fentiments of a true Chriftian. 

I now v^ill and mull finifh my letter. May 
God render the communications of our ideas 
a bleffing both for us and others. 

Love me, as I am beloved by Chrift ; if 
Chrift abides in your heart, you will not 
deny me your forbearance and love, and 
imitate the example of God, who loves me 
through Chrift Jefus. 

I thank you fmcerely for your friendly and 
kind offer. The grace of Chrift be with 
us. Amen. 

X £ 7h 


To Mrs. D. de B. 

April 1 6, 1773. 

Although your kind prefents give 
great pleafure to my children, yet they 
make me blafh too much. Your defire to 
find out pleafures for others carries you too 
far. How much do I wifli^ — not to reward 
(for it is alfo a duty of friendly gratitude to 
.leave to others di^ fatisfa8:ion of bellowing 
a kindnefs without receiving a reward for 
it), but to give you a hint at leaf!:, how much 
pleafure it would afford me to return your 

Our dear Mr. **** will flay with me till 
Sunday, perhaps longer. He has informed 
me of your offer. I fliall take the liberty 
of making ufe of it— if it pleafes God to 



grant us the pleafure of feeing each other 
once more in this world. 

The idea that the beil-natured people dif- 
fer fo much in their opinions, and frequently 
are fo fufpicious of .each other, is extremely 
gloomy and diftreffing to beings who are 
either too (liort-fighted, or incapable to look 
a few inches forward into futurity. It is a 
very good obfervation of Mofes Mendelfohn, 
The more limited our underfianding is, the more 
exclufive our principles will be. 

My wife and myfelf have recovered, as % 
well as poffible, from a very fevere illnefs. 
My two children are alfo reflored to health. 
My too anxious friends fay that my health 
requires a capital cure. In matters of that 
nature, my motto always is, 'Nihil velle ^ 
nihil nolle. — Farewell ! My dear wife begs 
to be remembered to you, and I beg you to 
remember me before the Lord. 

X 3 To 


To Mr. H***. 
My dear Mr. H***, 

April 17, 1773. 

X OU have put the important queftlon to 
me, *^ How and by what means the king- 
" dom of God could be propagated by you 
" at S*** in the befl manner poffible r" I 
will tell you my opinion as plain and brief 
H as poffible. Happinefs arifes from faith, 
faith from hearing, and hearing comes by the 
word of God. Endeavour to read, not only 
in private, but alfo once every week in a 
fociety of very intimate friends, the hiflo- 
ricai and moral pieces of the Old and New 
Tellament, without prejudice, and in fuch 
a manner as if you were readhig them the 
fir ft time. Hear firji thefe witnejjes of God-^ 



faith comes by hearings by tranquil, undi- 
flurbed, and impartial attention. Above 
all, do not negle6l the hiftorical part 5 repre- 
fent to your imagination, as if you were an 
eye-witnefs, the deeds of relieving Omnipo- 
tence-, make from thefe incidents the fame 
applications a fenfible fpe6lator vv^ould make. 
Yxomfuck a hearing faith will arife and in- 
creafe. Attend carefully to what you have 
before you^ forget all interpretations and 
opinions of others j make few remarks for 
edification — pra6life firft the true, childg 
like, fimple hearing ; then you will con- 
ftantly hear of one and the fame thing — 
namely, of an all-powerful love, relieving^, 
pardoning, and bleffing, all thofe who con- 
fide in it. You will conftantly find one and 
the fame almighty, beneficent, and general 
Godhead — and you will be excited to believe 
the love which God bears us, and which has 
X 4 difplayed 


difplayed itfelf and aflumed a human fliapc 
in the perfon of Jefus Chrift. — And if you 
believe in this love, you will be able to love j 
and according to the degree of that faith, 
and according to the degree of that love, 
you will be happy. — The reading of the 
fcripture in a fociety, the members of which 
are of the fame mind, friends of truth, and 
of an humble difpofition (the number of 
whom ought, however, not to be too great 
at firft), is one of the fimpleft and fafeft 
ineans to propagate the kingdom of God ; 
that is to fay, to render more public, and 
more efficacious, the comforting truth, God 
is king \ God is a beneficial^ helping power. 


SfEtF-'OiSERVER. 313 

To Hasencamp. 

Thurfday, April 29, 1773. 

Fanned by gentle, vernal breezes, I 

write an anfwer to your letter from the 

at the caftle of my friend's father- 
in-law, who is fitting by my fide. Upon my 
right, an extenfive field, encircled with rifing 
hills, and covered with wood, hails my eye — 
while P - - is fixing his looks on the garland 
which the hand of his excellent virgin fifl:er 
has wreathed around my hat, inhaling its 
fragrant fmell with ferene, cheerful looks, 
and joining with me in adoring, with a filent, 
panting heart, the goodnefs of the Father of 
nature which is fi:ored up around us. - - - 

I can- 


I cannot condemn verbal prayer, nor can 
I think it ufelefs, if it has fpirit and life. 
Words are the body of the fpirit. We mull 
receive every fpirit of life in fome fhape or 
other. All is body and fpirit, A verbal 
prayer, therefore, is confiflent with the ge- 
neral anology. 

At one time Chrift a5fed^ and at another 
time he uttered oral prayers^ infpired by faith. 
Let us never view the Bible partially ! and 
never form general exclusive rules from 
fingle ftrokes. Pardahty is the fource and 
the chara6ter of all fe£is. — So much of 

I am again at Zurich. On my arrival, I 
found my wife very ill. She has juft now 
violent pains in her fide, and fuch a dread- 
ful xough, that it cuts the heart of thofe 
that hear her. The dear, patient, lamb !— 
She would not embitter the pleafure I en- 


joyed in the country — I was therefore left 
ignorant of her illnefs, and dreadful pains, 

till my return. 

God grant that I may be able to pray, or 
to have faith. My fweet little daughter has 
alfo a violent cough — and I am affli6led with 
the fame complaint. Yet I am in good 
health, in comparifon with my wife. 

Brother, be not urgent in your prayers, 
if you feel no impulfe — impulfe of faith (^). 
Let thy oral prayer be the offspring of un- 
feigned truth — let thy looks befpeak /}?//// — 

[e] I would rather fay, Be not urgent at all! for It ill 
fuits beings, who are fo flioiL-fr^hted and ignorant as we, 
and it avails nothing. Take care not to miliake the effects 
of a fenfible heart, or of a heated imagination, for a«- 
impulfe of faith. Pray God, in general, to grant what- 
ever his unerring wifdom, and his paternal goodnefs, may 
deem falutary to thyfelf and others, and then expe6l with 
confidence that he v. ill grant what ihali be bell for thy- 
felf and others, whether thou haft prayed cxprefsly for it 
or not. Editor. 



thy uplifted arm unjhaken confidence — thy 
bended knee thank/giving for what thou art 

fupplicating. 1 hope you have received 

my Jonas by this time. I am informed that 
they are amazed in Germany at our inti- 
mate friendfliip. I am not allonifhed that 
Germany is amazed at it. I forefaw it; 
nay, I forefaw ftill more than that ; and the 
more I could expe6t it, the firmer was my 
refolution to dedicate my Sermons on Jonas 
to'you — and to do it in the manner I have 

done. Pf-- is flill at H. There abides 

ferenity and humility, hunger for edification, 
and unbiaffed enjoyment of the beauties of 
nature; thirfl for knowledge, light, inno- 
cence, and hilarity ; there ferious attention 
goes hand in hand with refie61ion, with con- 
fidential, v/arning, cheering, and feafoned 
jells. — There the poor find bread, fhelter, 
^ird kind hofts — There one learns, what fo 



few of the godly know, that to be pleafed 
and fatlsfied with God for the fake of na- 
ture, and with nature for the fake of God — 
with ourfelves for the fake of both — confti- 
tutes wifdom, happinefs, and rehgion (/). 

(/) It Is fincerely to be lamented, that fo many worthy 
people, who have a true regard for religion and piety, have 
the falfe notion, that godhnefs is inconfiftent with hilarity 
and a cheerful enjoyment of the things of this world. 
This prejudice, and the gloominefs which it begets, is 
extremely detrimental to the propagation of the kingdom 
of God, the great fcope of which is to fweeten the toils 
of this hfe, and to teach us to enfure future happinefs in 
the world hereafter. One of the greateft fources of aver- 
fion from piety and religion fprings from the falfe idea, 
that one muft ceafe to be a human being, and renounce 
for ever the pleafures of this world, if one will be a Chrif- 
tian. If the unbeliever and the fceptic ihould fee that the 
true Chriftian, by his reHgion, is rendered the moft cheer- 
ful companion, the beft citizen, parent, and child, the 
falthfulleft friend, the beft mafter and fervant, and un- 
daunted in misfortune, then his own intereft would prompt 
him to become a believer,, a true Chriftian. T, 

I tell 


I tell thee, brother, not in order to pay 
thee a compliment, but in full earneft, thou 
oughtll not, oughtft never think thyfelf infe- 
rior to me — becaufe I am ftill inferior, much 
inferior, than thou canft imagine, to many 
who are inferior to thee. Therefore not a 
word more of that, if thou wilt inftru£t, 
reprove, warn, and direct me. 

Thou art not miftaken ; I have faid little, 
too little, in my Views of Eternity, about the 
angels, and the intermediate ftate of the 
foul which will take place between our 
death and refurre6tion -, becaufe I know 
little of it, but expeft to receive better in- 
formation from thee and others* 



To Dr. Zimmerman. 
Dear DoQor, 

May 4, 1773. 

I RECEIVED your dear letter the evening 
after our fynod, and, confequently, exa6lly 
half a year after the laft you wrote me. — 
Well, well ! — my anger on that fcore is over 
now. Witnefs thereof, I am going to write 
to you — not a note — but a letter — though 
the compofing of it fliould take up eight 
days. I will endeavour to return your kind- 
nefs — But, in order to be fatisfied with little, 
you muft not forget that I am not phyfician 
to the King of Great Britain, but only — a 
poor, humble prieft. 

Firft of all, I muft tell you, that there is 
not a fyllable of truth in what has been re« 
ported about the riots at Zurich. We live 



together like children, and let things go in 
their ufual train. A new regulation of our 
military eflabliiliment is the only thing pof- 
fible which can have given birth to that 
omniprefent lie — not to the leafl difturb- 
ance — but to a lie of a difturbance — There 
never has a report been more unfounded 
than that. 

Your Quejiions of Pedantry, I ihall read, 
pleafe God, caufe to be read, and circulate — 
not without edification. On the evening of 
our fynod I read them to a circle of col- 
leagues — and foon after another perform- 
ance, ten times more ftriking, was read. 
You muft read and circulate it, and praife 
or cenfure it as it will be beft to make it 
known. Its title is. Letter from ike Pqftor at 
***** fQ tJiQ Pajlor at ****, tranflated from 
the French. 

As for your long filence — you may make 
yourfelf eafy ; although every one of your 



letters gives me the greateft pleafure, and 
aiFords me much inftruftion. Make no ex? 
cufes — believe in my faith in you* 

I thank you fincerely for all that you have 
done for poor Peter Kra,enier. Give my 
thanks to all v^ho have been charitable tQ 
him and his family. 

Mrs. N . . . is a very poor, pious widow, 
who indeed miftakes a great deal of theolo- 
gical ignis fatuus for the fun, and is pretty 
well converfant in a certain phrafeolpgy* 
I am forry that ihe has troubled ypu. I 
mufl have patience with more than ^ hun- 
dred perfons of that fort — and this is very 
falutary to me, and better than to be a 
braggart, and to write Views of Eternity, 

The critique on the third volume of the 
FiewSy in the Frankfurter Anzeigeny I think, 
is one of the beft that ever has been made. 
I fhall certainly make ufe of the remarks 

Vol. IL Y which 


which it contains. However, it is as clear 
as twice two are four, that the Reviewer 
has millaken, as much as poffible, the fcope 
of thefe letters. It is not Herder, but Nie- 
meyer, who has reviewed the Idylles of 
Gefner. I expedt him foon at Zurich, and 
his acquaintance will undoubtedly prove in- 
finitely ufeful to me. 

The reft of what they have faid concern- 
ing the Views and Poems I fhall fairly and 
honeftly anfv^er in the additions : 

What is the view of the author ? 

Is that view of importance ? 

Does his work anfwer that view ? 
Thefe, my dear Zimmerman, are the only 
queftions we ought to put to ourfelves when 
we are going to review a work, and which 
not one reader among a hundred, not one 
Joumalift among a thoufand, puts to him- 
felf ; thence the eternal, fuperficial cenfures. 



Every reader comes to the book with his 
prejudices, and his tafte ; never inquires. For 
whom has this book been written, and with 
what view ? He never puts himfelf in the 
author's place ; his only queftion is. Does it 
aiFord me amufement ? is it adapted to my 
tafte ? — However, this cannot be altered, and 
will continue fo to the end of the world j 
we (hall continue to write, and the public 
will continue to criticife and to read our 

As for the reft, you muft give me leave 
to make a free remark. I think your opi- 
nion on the fame fubje6l is like wife not 
fettled enough. You waver too frequently 
between praife and cenfure, merely out of 
friend/hiji for your friends. 

Mere readers will find the fecond volume 

of my Eflays on Phyfiognomy injupjiortable-'-^ 

however, fpeculating geniufes * - - - - 

Y ^ A plan 


A plan of a new fcience, no matter whether 
good or bad, is important. This yon will 
fee, though the whole world fhould not; 
this you will affirm, though the whole world 
ftiould deny it. A literary performance may 
be ufeful to few, but to thefe few extremely 

Do you think — or, rather, you think — that 
I cannot forget my judgment of the R . . . • 
No, my dear friend, 1 do not forget fo eafily 
what I feel more ftrongly every day, and 
what makes me groan heavier every moment. 

However, if I ftep into the country of 
Gofen, called Knowledge of Marty then I learn 
to h^fileniy and, inflead oi tranfmoulding eter* 
nal things after myjef, I tranfmould myjelf after 
them s or, if it fhould not found too afcetic 
to your nice ear, to be made all things to all 
metir—oi courfe, a pedant to the pedant — No ! 
rather any thing than that. 



Dear foul ! .... If you were as fure that I 
WRITE this without the leaft rejentment^ as 
you would be of it, if you were to hear me 
titter what I fhould wifh to write to you, I 
would write, that you deceive yourfelf ex- 
tremely, if you believe that I ever have been 
under the hands of Pietifts^ Jfcetics^ and -£«- 
thujiajis, how much foever I may have been 
in danger to become one of them — although 
I was never inclined that way longer than 
twice twenty-four hours. As for the reft, 
your folemn declaration, that it wouid not 
have been of the leaft detriment to my eternal 
jalvation, if I never had been conne£ted with 
people of that fort, is perfeftly juft, a priori 
and afiofteriori — becaufe / never have been. 

Do not care, I entreat you, what people 
think of me. To you I will fhew myfelf as 
I really am — As for the reft, / can wait^. 

It is true, why fliould I conceal it, that I 
Y 3 was 


was in great danger to becorne a fpiritual 
Don Quixotte — however, you cannot be 
furer of your exigence, than that I never 
fhall be one. 

You would be aftonifhed if you were to 
know how I have improved in tolerating— 
not errors and vices, but the erring and vi- 
cious. Truly you would not know me. 
You will fee by my Sermons on Jonas, par- 
ticularly the fecond volume, but you will 
fee ftill clearer one time, will obferve with 
aftonifhment by my works on different fubje 51$ ^ 
that I would be a villain if I had declined a 
hair's breadth from ih^ fubjiance of my theo- 
logical and moral ideas — however, if you 
liften to the groundlefs prejudices of the 
world, rather than pay attention to my argu- 
ment s-^'Ca^n I fhall certainly gain nothing 
by it. If 1 had but the fmallefl fatirical 
vein, I would ridicule the frivolous cavils of 



(o many bright geniufes, as you and your 
fellows ridicule the fu/ipofed fanaticifm of 
many people. Man, dear Zimmerman, is 
as little all foul as he is all body — Man is as 
little all light and all fire as the fun. In our 
modern times, it is deemed a kind of gal- 
lantry^ and feems to h^ fajhionable language^ 
which, however, will not be of long dura- 
tion, to pretend perceiving certain things by 
means of the intelle^ual powers. Vide the 
Franckfort Advertifer of 1772, and the Letter 
from the Pallor of *** to the Paflor at ***. 

Apropos ! Have you read Herder on Lan- 
guage f If not, go and fell all your books, 
and buy this valuable work. At the fame 
time let me tell you, that a work like this 
has never before been feen in Germany; 
and yet Herder is thought by fome people, 
by a certain public, to be a (hallow head. 
What, friend, (liall one think of a public 
Y 4 that 


that can undervalue a man thus? Why its 
judgment, efteem, or fear? 

There is a proverb in the Country of Know- 
ledge of Man^-Sjieak to every one in his own 

If I could cure only one perfon (yoii 
would fay) with a gilt pill of bread, then 
J fhould not care to be called a charlatan 
by the beholder, if I can but cure him. I 
mufl^, however, alfo remark, the fine fafhion- 
able tafte of our age condemns many fcrip- 
tural and theological expreflions, for which 
neither philofophy nor tafte can fubflitute 
better ones. But of that at another time, 
and in a manner more clear and ftriking. 

Now a word more on the manner of con- 
verfing with and gaining the affeElion of men. 
Dear friend, I know that I have infinitely 
lefs knowledge of man than you ; and yet I 
will jay any thing that you, by your method, 


gain lefs men in two or three years than I 
do. All the arts of knowledge of msaa 
which do not evince immediate, pure, and 
difmterefted goodnefs, may perhaps be em* 
ployed with fuccefs three, four, eight, or 
ten times ; however, the beft method a man^ 
who (lands every day In need of them, who 
conftantly is ex/iofed to the obfervation of 
friends and foes, ought to apply, appears 
to me to be the moil fuccefsful, if confift- 
ing in the moil: Cmceve franknefs of /ove; for 
the credit of a man fmks as foon as a fmgle 
fliift or artifice mifcarries, or is perceived — 
and then the damage is irretrievable. — Up- 
right, conftant, uniform, firm, benign, hum- 
ble, and noble frauknefs, upon whofe praife 
or cenfure one can rely as confidently as on 
the word of God, always commands reJ/ieSIy 
although it ihould not have the defired ef- 
feft. The moft admirable finefle or flattery, 



though ever fo well in cant, is always in 
danger to be obferved, and, if once de- 
tedled, renders fufpicious the moft cordial 
honefly* All men are fenfible of the lan- 
guage of an honefty which is confcious of 
its not meaning to offend. And fuch an ho- 
nefty is a thoufand times eafier forgiven a 
fault, than artificial /r/^^^wr^ will be forgiven 
a real offence. I fhall certainly gain the 
heart of a fanatic (if it be poftible to gain 
fuch a man — the moft difHcult problem) — 
much fooner by undifguifed franknefs, even 
if it fhould offend a little, if he is only fen- 
fible that I do not difguife my real fentiments, 
than by all the methods of mere forbearing 
prudence. Forbearance, however, will al- 
- ways be necefiary. 

I ihall take care not to tell him direftly, 
Thou an a fanatic : however, I Ihall ftate in- 
ftances to him, of which he muft confefs 



two things ; firft, that they are fanatical^ 
and then, that they are fimilar to fuch as 
occur in his own life. 

If one afts thus upright, but as cordially 
as poflible, fuch a man muft be gained, if 
ever it be poflible. 

The general principles which I endeavour 
to follow, in gaining the hearts of men, are, 
on my fide, — to fhew to him, whom I wifh 
to gain, and to make him fenfible, that I do 
not mean to gain any thing by it — that I am 
entirely void of all intereft which is not in- 
tereft of pure charity; and then to lay 
down, as a bafe, an opinion of my anta- 
gonift, of the juftnefs of which he is fully 
convinced, and demonftrate as clearly as 
poflible, by defcending gradually from a 
general to a particular parallel cafe, that 
the cafe which I want to elucidate is per- 
f^aiy fimilar to that which my antagonift 



takes for granted. This was the conflant, 
unalterable method of Jefus Chrifl. This 
may truly be called uniting wifdom of fer- 
pents with harmleffnefs of doves ; and thus, 
I think, we muft meet at lafl. This method (I 
fpeak from experience) is certainly not fruit- 
lefs. But on that point I will fpeak more 
at large in fome other place. 

What Spalding and Bafedow v/ould be 
with regard to religion, if mixed together, 
Baldinger is with regard to phyfic, as much 
as I can conclude from what 1 have read of 

Let me add a few trifles more. I have 
juft been reading Wieland's Golden Mirror, 
with great pleafure. You know, without 
doubt have heard, that he has wrote a fatire 
upon me, of ^which I know only a fingle line 
by heart, becaufe I have only heard it read, 
and could not get here the Almanac of the 


Mtijes, publiflied at Goettingen. " What, 
" does not that man fee through Bonnet's 
« fpeaacies ?" 

May your heahh bloflbm like fpring, and 
your friendlhip for me be as immortal as 
your foul 1 1 embrace you. 


May 19, 1773. 

JLOVE, what art thou? O Love ! who of 

all mortals has ever pronounced thy glory 
divine ? To give, and to teach, to gladden, 
to comfort, to relieve, and to warn; is this 
the whole compafs of Love ? Or is it the 
province of Love to forgive and relieve our 
foes \ to fupplicate bleflings, with tears, for 



thofe that wilh evil to us ? Or is it the duty 
of Love to wafte our fortune for friends, to 
die in their fervice, unknov^ing to them? 
To grafp the mifery of nations, to carry the 
burden of ages, to foar up to heaven, to 
plunge into bottomlefs chafms, for groaning 
mankind's relief; to be entranced with the 
happy, to groan with the haplefs in darknefs 
of night ; to be all for all ; to live but in 
others, as the heart's blood does live in every 
limb s is this the ftandard of Love ? Speak I 
anfwer me, Love ! Thou fmileft, art filent ! 
Thy fmile, what tells it me, heaven-born 
Love ? — / am all in all\ mfpeakable like him y 
unfathomable like him ! 



June 2, 1773, 

JEVER fince February I have not added a 
line to my Journal, fome letters excepted 5 
and yet I have had many remarkable 
things to infert. I w^ill begin once more 

to continue it I wanted at firft to 

write down the incidents of yeflerday, but 
that would have made me negle£i: the oc- 
currences of the prefent. — I awoke, almoft 
difpirited by the light of the number of 
letters which I faw heaped up before me j 
melancholic on account of E***. I rofe, 
cheered by looking up to God; blelTed my 
wife, and fat myfelf down to write to G***, 
H***, and E***, being almoft angry when 
I was interrupted. However, my work went 
on pretty well. At coffee, I related to my 
wife, and my fon, that a boy of eight years, 



the fon of a female friend of ours at ShafF- 
haufen, was drowned, along with another 
boy ... a warning to my fon 1 1 then wrote 
a letter to the mother of the drowned boy . . . 
The letter was fo fiat, that I was myfelf fen- 

fible of it however, I could not help it, 

being too much occupied. I wrote alfo to 
Mr. Wolke for Bafedow. Mr. Wolke wrote 
to me — " Bafedow would have anfwered, 
*^ without delay, your queftion, concerning 
" his opinion of the prefent Hate of Chrifti- 
** anifm in Germany, if his firm refolution 
** to continue his Elementary work without 
" interruption had allowed him that plea-» 
** fure. However, he deplores, with you, 
" the corruption, and the impending ruin, 
'* of the beft of religions. Yet the arm of 
" God is not fliortened, that he could not 
" prevent the farther increafe of unbeliefi 
" We muft hope more than fear, though w^e 

*' can 


** can neither forefee nor divine the wiflied- 
" for fuccefs of his interpofition." I an- 
fwered him: " The beft of religions will 
*^ never be entirely overthrown ; I am fure 
" of it. It will, however, come very near 
*^ a feeming overthrow. Deifm and Atheifm 
*^ are almoft univerfal, and every defender 
" of Chriftianity will be ridiculed. Many 
*' divines are paving the road towards it, . . . 
*' and other celebrated men imitate them, 
" though with more precaution. I have too 
*' many fa6ls before me, which prove that 
"Deifm is gaining ground very fafl; and 
" then A^theifm will be the unavoidable con- 
" fequence, fooner than one thinks. Who- 
" ever reafons rationally, will adopt Atheifm, 
*' if he cannot believe in Chrifl. I rather 
" can conceive how one can be an Atheifi:, 
" than how it is pofTible to be a Deift -, be- 
" caufe all the difficulties which occur in 
Vol. II. Z Chrifti- 


" Chriftianifm attend Deifm equally. If 
" ;God has not fpoken and a6led through 
. " Chrifl, then there ne^-jer has been a God 
" who has a6led and fpoken. If Chrift is 
" the work of chance, then man and the 
** whole world is the work of chance alfo. 
" If Chrift did not want the affiftance of a 
" God to the performance of his wonderful 
" deeds, nature alfo can perform her works 
" without the interference of a God. — I re- 
" peat it 5 Atheifm will become common (^), 

" and 

(^) Chrlllian reader, let not this prophecy make thee 
uneafy. It is a mere human conjecture, which fometimes 
muft indeed appear very probable to a mind dedicated to 
the Chriftian dodrine ; yet, as it is hoped, never will be 
realifed. God will certainly know how to feparate truth 
from error, and to bring it to light. Chriftianity will be 
purified of all human additions, and thereby become more 
refpefted, and more efficacious. To this the free but 
well-meant examinations of many divines, as well as the 
malicious attacks and ridicules of the enemies of religion, 



*^ and then God will again— ^^5? vifibiy, will 
" Ihew himfelf as the author of his works, 
« and fay, Here am~I ! Then t\iQ file article of 
*' faith fcripture teaches, will become again 
" ihtfole article of faith with the divines — God 
« rewards through Chrijl thofe who feek him /" 

Mr. B. came to fpeak to me about a new 
edition of my Swifs Hymns. It ftruck me to 
the heart. I neither can nor will revife 
them a-new; and yet they have fo many 

contribute their fharc. But take care not to confound 
Deifm with Atheifm. They differ from each other moft 
ftrikingly in words and notions. It can, indeed, not be 
denied, that among the Deifts, as they are called, all of 
whom are reckoned to be adverfaries to the Chriftian re- 
ligion, many Atheifts are found. But there are alfo honeft 
Deifts, who fincerely belieye in God, his providence, and 
a future reward, and certainly never will degenerate into 
Atheifts. Therefore be careful not to pronounce Atheifta 
all thofe who cannot fubfcribe to all the doArines of 
Chriftianity. Thou wouldft offend many of them by fo 
doing, and injure them before God and men. Editor. 

Z 2. defefts 


ldefe£ts which ought to be ameliorated, fo 

much the more, the more frequently thefe 

'^J1yJIlns.are fung. - -- - --- - - 

d was at firil tempted to add feme new 

'ones y however, I was deterred from doing 

.it, by the recoIle6lion of the mai ly works 

I had promifed, and begun, but not finifhed. 

iYet at length I promifed to revife them.— 

tWe fpoke of Mr. Steiner, the new book- 

feller, whom: I fo much wiflied to fupport. 

;My heart bled at the felfiilmefs and cabals 

of the bookiellers, who threaten to reprint 

his publications. Mr. B. thought it would 

-be befl for him to procure a patent. — Alas ! 

I have 'prattled away an hour and a half in 

^difcuffing what might have been fettled in 

ihalf a quarter of an hour. — ^Providence, 

'however, would have it fo. This comforted 

, me again. - - - - nw m>HT r; - - - 

. ^ - •« -■ » - - 4*"-ii »■y^L^L^*i'^-*S'ii<^^■- 
^..^.,.i^ s; S I wrote 


I wrote a letter to L. Z. " May light 
^ beam forth from your ferene countenance 
** in every dark corner of the heart of M- 
^ L. M. thirfting for comfort I— Be to your 
" dear mother whatever you wifh your future 
« children to be to you. Improve every day 
" in the grace and knowlege of our Lord 

« Jefus Chrift." I went to the Reech- 

bero", where I was invited to dine in the 
company of Mr. Rigaud, of Geneva. The 
ladies being bufy, and the guefts not yet 
arrived, I re-penifed the difcourfe on the 
different kinds of verfes, which is printed 
before the fourth volume of Klopftock's 
Meffiah. I could not help being angry that 
the greateft poet diihes up before his readers^ 
amongft whom one out of a thoufand fcarcely 
underftands any thing of profody, his refine- 
ments in numbering of fyllables. The fub- 
}e6t itfelf appeared to rae as ridiculous and 
i Z 3 trifling, 

342 Journal of a 

trifling, as if Raphael had wrote underneath 
his grand pifture of the transfiguration of 
Chrifl upon mount Tabor, receipts how to 
grind colours which would rather be infe- 
rior than fuperior to the common method. — 
The guefts arrived. My not being ufed to 
fpeak French fhackled me very much. The 
more I obferved the young gentleman of 
Geneva, the more amiable he appeared to 
me. We fpoke of Bonnet^ his Eflay de Pfy- 
chologie, his ftile, of fatalifm, of travelling ; 
of the folly of fuffering young men of eighteen 
or twenty years to travel without tutors 3 of 
the gift of obfervation which Mr. Schinz 
poflefTes, of his excellent character, his mo- 
defty, and artlefs civility ; of the learned at 
Geneva, particularly of Mr. Mallet ; of the 
want of tafte, with regard to the fine arts 
and fciences, which prevails there j of the 
eleftion of miniflers of the gofpel; of the 



increafing Deifm and Atheifm ; of the in- 
tolerance of the Deifts againft the Atheifts. — 
I related what I have wrote to-day to Bafe- 
dow, in a letter to Wolke. We alfo fpoke 
of Voltaire, and of L . . . and D . . . 3 of the 
endeavours of the latter two gentlemen to 
convert Voltaire to Atheifm, and of the 
fruitlefs pains they took for a whole night 
to attain their aim. — It was related that at 
Paris an Atheift met a beggar, whom he fent 
away without giving him any thing ; but, 
conceiving by the difcontent and blafphe- 
mous anfwer of the beggar, that he likewife 
was an Atheift, he gave him fomething, 
inquired into his circumftances, and main-^ 
tained him for three months. — The more 
extraordinary the fyftem of man is, the more 
he rejoices to find one who thinks like him- 

It was near three o'clock when we parted, 
Z 4 and 


and I felt myfelf pretty much heated. — I 
went to Pfenninger ; he was not at home ; 
and finding a fermon of Mr. *** on the 

table, I read it. Pf. came. — I ob- 

ferved, I (hould like to know the reafon 
why fo many enlightened men are afliamed 
of being connefted with me, from fear of 
being fufpe6led of being fanatics, although 
I dare to fay that fanaticifm has no enemy 
more implacable than myfelf. - - - - - 
At fix o'clock I took a walk to the water 
with Pf. and his wife. The lake was as 
fmooth as a mirror ; the town was covered 
with a foft darknefs 3 the fteeples and coun- 
try-houfes along the lake were flill encircled 
with light; and the failing veffels feemed to 
emerge from a dark ground. The chain of 
fnow-mountains was embroidered with filver 
and their edges di{lin6lly delineated. The 
flone bench upon which we were feated 
-; was 


was furrounded with a luxuriant turf^ be-' 
fore us was a nodding corn-field. On our 
way to this delightful fpot, we had been 
fpeaking with pleafure of the unknown God; 
but now our fenfes were more open to per- 
ceive him, and our hearts warmer to feel 
his prefence. We were all difpleafed with 
having, in our youthful days, read books 
that had fhut our eyes againft nature, which 
may properly be called the book of books, 
the text of the Bible. I cannot record all 
w^e were fpeaking of; how^ever, w^e were 
truly happy. Pf^** went home with me. 
I was told my brother, the do61or, was ill. 
I went up flairs to him ; he was better, but 
had been attacked violently. He told me, 
that the PoHili clergyman, w^ho had been 
colle6ting for a congregation, had proved to 
be an impoilor. It rather ftruck than vexed 
me. We fpoke of it at Aipper, when Frankei 



was prefent. He related much of the Jewifh 

cuftoms. I had jufl received a parcel from 
Frankfort, which contained a new explana- 
tion of the Epiflle to the Romans. The ar- 
dent defire to read it made me forget guefts 
and fupper. I know my father does not 
like me to read while at table — however, I 
could not help reading a few pages by 
ftealth, while the company were difcourf- 
ing — He rebuked me gently; I ftifled my 
arifmg anger, fhut the book, and fancied to 
have made him a great facrifice. We read 
the twenty-firft chapter of Job, and a peni- 
tential hymn of Muenter, who appears to 
me not to be the worft compofer of hymns, 
but alfo not the beft. It might coft him 
but little trouble to be plainer, without de- 
triment to energy. Before I went to bed, 1 
read the tranflation of the EpilUe to the 
Romans I had received, which indeed not 



entirely fatisfied me, yet much better than 
all thofe I had ever feen. The author has 
ftudied St. Paul very much, and has language 
and clearnefs at his command. 

Thursday, June 3, 1773. 

I AWOKE at half an hour after five o'clock, 
and was extremely lazy. My v^ife roufed 
me : " It is feven years to-day," llie faid, 
"that we were married; I fliould be re- 
" joiced, were I to celebrate this day by my 
" being brought to-bed." — " Yes," replied 
I, " we will give a little feaft to our chil- 
*' dren to-day, and thus dillinguifh it." - - 



- Young Lips, of Cloten, came to (hew me 
his drawings. It would be a great pity, if 
he fhould not be fupported as much as pof- 
fible, to be enabled to improve more and 
more. I made him fit down, and draw, the 
whole morning (/^). 

GofTip AJfer came. I wrote to the mini- 
fler of his village, and fent him a Louis-d*or, 
which he had colle6led. I added a few lines 
to his letter of recommendation, and proved 
to him how impoffible it was to me to do 
any thing farther on my fide. 

A poor chalk-feller came : he wanted to 
be recommended , which I refufed, becaufe 
Idid not know him. He appeared much 
diftreffed at it ; on w^hich I promlfed to 

[h) Mr. Lips is, at pr?fent, one of the bell engravers 
living ; and it is much to Mr. Lavater's honour that he 
hsts. encouraged this great genius. T, 



fpeak in his behalf to the gentleman who 
he pretended had given him hopes heiw.QuW 
do fomething for him. ;o7"> oj 

A citizen's w^ife, whofe child had die^ 
fuddenly (ihe found it dead in the cradle), 
and who reproached 'herfelf for it, related 
the accident to me, and feemed to leave xap 
comforted. — I continued my Journal. Soiiife 
ihort viiits. Againft noon a letter fro^ Mr. 
Str . . . He reproved me in a friendjy,^^t|' 
ner. Foi{s vons fervez fouvent de ce^s\j^pref- 
ftons (efjirits foibles fans lumiere, fans gqul^^Ja^s 
liberie) pour marquer ceux^ a qui vous neUeuvqs 
pas cette facilite d'admettre comme inconte^abje 
tout ce, qui vous Jiarolt Ji clair(i). , I cannot 
: ^- . ;i 

(/) You make frequently ufe of thefe expreffibns*- 

(weak minds, without light, without tafte, and without 

liberty) — in order to denote thofe in whom you do not 

find the fame facility to admit as incontrovertible ■aS'HvKU 

• appears fo clear to you. bns ilnAO 

£ deny 


deny the truth of this reproach ; nay, I muft 
confefs, that I find it more and more difficult 
to avoid it, the more I fee ftubbornnefs, 
averfion from inftru6lion, and timidity, united 
in other people, in order to rejeft truth. I 
ought certainly to be more indulgent, and 
to ufe more precaution in what I am fpeak- 

He alfo mentioned that the Preface to my 
Sermons on different SubjeBs did not lefTen the 
fufpicion entertained againft my orthodoxy. 
I can fubmit very well to being denied all 
theological orthodoxy, if they but leave me 
to the biblical orthodoxy. God will never 
call me to an account for not having thought 
like Calvin and Athanafms — becaufe 1 can fee 
no reafons why I (hould afcribe to thefe men 
a divine authority ; I fliould, however, be 
made anfwerable for my not thinking of 
Chrift and his death as Paul and John did> 



becaufe I believe to have fufficient reafon to 
afcribe to thefe men a divine authority. - - 

After dinner 1 v^as requeiled to fee tv^o 
lick people. I promifed to come. The fer- 
vant vvrho was fent by one of them fpoke 
very fenfibly of the different ways to repent- 
ance, of the preaching rage of all thofe who 
call themfelves chofenjieople, &c. &;c. — Some 
detentions which very near tempted me to 
grow impatient, becaufe I wanted to have 
a little pleafure in the company of my wife 
and children. At length I was at Hberty to 
do it. We went to the apartment where 
my wife and myfelf had kneeled down — 
and flept the firft time, and recalled to our 
memory all the particulars of our wedding- 
day, running over the feven years which, 
notwithftanding all our paft trials, we had 
fpent fo happily. We related to our boy 



how we had been united, and he Hftened 
-with great concern, which filled our hearts 

with pleafare. We fetched all the 

flowers we could get, ftrewing feme of 
them on the lap of Nanette, whom I pufhed 
^forwards iti her little carriage, while Henry, 
whofe hair I adorned with the reft, was 
(drawing the vehicle. Their mother, who is 
: big with child, beheld it with pleafure. I 
cordered Henry to be dreiTed in his Sunday's 
.garments, and read to him a little fong, 
.which, notwithftanding I had compofed it 
in great hurry, drew a pearly tear of joy 
from the eyes of the mother and his.— I left 
this happy circle with relu£lance. — Pf. came, 
and fhared in our pleafure. — I paid fome 
• vifits, took a walk with IVie land's Mercury ^ 
and fpent the evening at Zettweg with Hefs, 
among relations. We fpoke of the giant— 
pf travelling — of literary vifits — of the ju- 

^elf-ob4erver. 353 

venile years of Jefus, which Hefs is going 
to add to his Life of Chrijl — of the almofl 
inconceivable endeavours of almoft all the 
enlightened nnen, to feparate the doftrine 
of the gofpel from Chrift— of the unnatural- 
nefs of th« general zeal to leflfen the attach- 
ment to Chrift, and to extol his precepts 
particularly (/^). Of unenlightened divines ; 

[h] Whoever has a due regard for the do6lrine and 
precepts of Chrift, and is fenfible of their value, will alfo 
certainly have the higheft regard for his perfon, although 
he fhould not have his name conftantly on his lips, and 
perhaps entertain notions of Chrift different from thofe 
of the generality. How can one honour a teacher and 
majler more, than by executing his precepts, and obeyincr 
his commands ? How can one thank a noble and generous 
henefa^or and Saviour better, than by enjoying the blefs- 
ings he has beftov.*ed upon us, and by endeavouring to 
make the beft ufe of them ? It was the worl: of Chrijl to 
promote amongil men truth, probity, and happinefs : 
whoever imitates him in that with a fmcere heart, carries 
on the work of Chrijl^ and promotes his views, although 
he fhould, as we think, ufe the wrong ways and means 
of doing it. Editor. 

Vol. IL A a why 


why Forfter touches the heart, notwlth- 
ftanding all his feeming frigidity and dry- 
nefs ; becaufe one perceives that he is Jure 
of his fubje6l, and contemplates it. He pof- 
fefles light, much light — and much light, 
although dire6led to one point from a few- 
fiat and bright mirrors, produces warmth. — 
Of the new tranflation of the Epiftle to the 

I fhewed the biblical prints, which were 
finiflied, to my friend and my wife, and re- 
lated to them the almoft inconceivable efcape 
of two thieves who had been ftrongly fet- 
tered. // is incredible zvhat man can do, if he 
hut will — ^if all his intelleftual powers, ftrain- 
ed by neceffity, by preiTmg neceffity, are 
directed to one point. — I would fay to every 
prifoner, ThouJJialt he free, if thou canji effe5l 
thy liberty ! Every effort of human nature 
ought in fome refpe6l to be facred to man. 
One of thefe thieves Ihowed a generofity 



which we would admire in any other man, 
and, if our falfe modefty would permit, praife 
to our brethren from the pulpit, in imitation 
of Chrift and the apoftles, as modern and 
ftriking examples of magnanimity. Having 
broken his fetters with inconceivable pains, 
burft open the door with incredible ftrength, 
he did not yet think of his own efcape — 
but firft went to aflift his fellow-prifoner, 
who was in another part of the prifon, and 
fo far diftant from him, that he could not 
preconcert matters with him. His aflbciate 
was more itrongly fettered than himfelf ; he 
found him in the dark, unfaftened the bolts 
and padlocks, broke his four chains, and led 
him out of prifon. But ftill they had not 
regained their liberty. The one dragged, 
with a weary arm, (the other impeded by 
part of the chains,) a mill-ftone to a bench, 
lifting it upon it, in order to reach a fliutter, 
A a 2 which 

'^i^(y JOURNAL OF A- 

which they burfl open. Thjus they effected 
their efcape. I faw the prifon as I palled 
by, coming from the orphan-houfe, and ex- 
amined every thing minutely. I was feized 
with an aftonifhment which changed into 
awe — and almoft drew tears from my eye. 

Friday, June 4, 1773 

A VERY important day, of which I can 
record but very little. If I were to relate 
all the good I. have done to-day, one would 
think me a faint ; and yet my confeience 
tells me, that I have acted rather in a me- 
chanical manner than prompted by fenfibi- 
lity ; and if I were to relate all the weak- 
neffes and faults I have been guilty of this 



day, one would think me to be an hypocrite 
and a reprobate ; and yet my confcience tells 
me that I am as little an hypocrite as 1 am 
a faint; I mean a,n hypocrite in the com- 
mon fenfe of the word. Neverthelefs, I 
think this day to be one of the good and 
blelTed days of my life. To have from 
morning till night conftant opportunities of 
being ufefiil and giving pleafure, of being 
inftrucled and receiving pleafure, and to 
make a proper ufe of thefe opportunities — 
that I cannot call a bad day— However, I 
fhould have fpent it better, if I had not 
yielded fo much to my fenfuality. 

In the morning, a couple who wanted to 
come over to the reformed church, w^hom I 
however was obliged to fend away without 
acceptjing their offer. — A vifit from Mr. 
Thut, a giant of (even feet and a half, and 
'.porter to the Duke of Wirtemberg. He 
A a 3 and 


and his little wife ftaid with us till after 
dinner. He appeared to be an honefl and 
modeft man, who, though it has become 
habitual with him to fpeak pioufly, and after 
the fcripture, (hews neverthelefs not the leaft 
affe£lation; pretends to be nothing, and is 
not like many of the godly of Wirtemberg, 
who attack the hearts of others in order to 
queftion them apoftolically about the ftate 
of their mind, and intrude themfelves as 
confeflbrs. He is indeed not fo enlightened 
as I could wilh, not fo infplred by Clirift as 
I think ^friend of Chrift ought to be ; how- 
ever, confidering his enormous mafs of bo- 
dily fubftance, he is pofTeffed of more fpirit, 
fweetnefs, goodnefs, knowledge, fenfibility, 
and delicacy, than many of our tender, fen- 
timental gentlemen. It is very remarkable 
that his parents were very little — that he, 
in his fixteenth year, was the fmalleft among 



twenty young men who were confirmed with 
him — ^fo little that the clergyman hefitated 
to admit him to the Lord's fupper. He was 
nurfed up with milk, and bread and butter, 
and. grew every year between three and 
four inches. Many children from the neigh- 
bourhood, and other people, came to fee 
him. This feemed neither to make him 
proud nor to offend him. He was obliging 
to every one, rofe kindly up, and took the 
children tenderly in his arms, faying always 
fomething pleafmg to them, in a fimple, unre- 
ftrained manner. — I wrote, meanwhile, fome 
letters which he was to take with him — to 
Mr. Clemm — and to MefTrs. Hartmann, fa- 
ther and fon. — After dinner, I corrected a 
fheet of my Sermons on Jonas, which gave 
me pleafure while reading it, becaufe I flat- 
tered myfelf it would afibrd confolation to 
many of my readers. — I received a note 
from a female friend, dreffed myfelf, and) 
A a 4 paid 


paid a fhort vifit. Of the new tranflation 
of the Epiftle to the Romans, of Zimmer- 
man's book on Solitude, of my wife. From 
thence I went to Pf . . . . read in Wieland's 
Mercury with great benefit and pleafure, 
particularly the treatife on the book of Her- 
der, which carried the prize. 

Then I compared the 9th, loth, and nth 
chapters of the Epiftle to the Romans with 
the new tranflation, which 1 now found very 
flat in fome places. -------« 

nSaturday, June 5, 1773- 

Expecting that my wife would be 
brought to-bed to-day or to-morrow, I had 
begged Pf... to preach for me to-morrow 



evening. I therefore intended to anfwer 
fome letters, and particularly that of Hafen- 
camp. I did it with great cheerfulnefs 5 
and, amongft others, wrote to Stroehlin : — 
"Your admonitions I received with the 
" greateft gratitude ; and I cannot but con- 
" fefs, that I am frequently too quick in 
*' talking, and very often too precipitate — 
" that I am too haily in pronouncing the 
'' YJor^^JiubbornnefSy confuftd, oxA tajielejs - - - 
'' O my dear friend, one exclaims to me from 
" all fides, not too quick ; and I exclaim, on 
" all fides, not too hnfty I I \vill proceed 
" flower, if you will promife me to proceed 
" fafter !" 

To Hafencamp, amongft others : — " Bro- 
" ther, and brethren, do not Jlun me, but 
" give me light and arguments. I will fub- 
*' mit to the word of God every thing, even 
'^ my favourite (3pinions -, however, [ will not 

" be 



'"^ be refuted by groans and fighs, but by 
" arguments. T/wu, therefore, wilt not figh 
" and fret about me, nor bemoan my thotight- 
" lejjhefs — for that is, in virtue of the magical 
" power of felf-conceit, the common way 
" of all the ignorant promoters of the moil 
" irreligious notions — but thou wilt, on the 
'* contrary, lay before me clear arguments, 

" drawn from the fource of light 

" O ye dear fouls ! why would ye, by your 
" admonitions and fighs, aflail me, with all 
" the power of tender anxiety, in order to 
" prevail upon m.e to give up my filial fen- 
*' timents, and give me, in lieu of it, your 
*' fpirit of fear ? Dear Hafencamp, dear 
^' Peter, and Samuel, and John, and what- 
" ever may be your names, ye dear, anxious, 
" fraternal fouls, give me leave to fmile when 
" I refiecl: upon you ; let me fmile tenderly, 
'^ kindly, and inquifitivcly, when you are 





'' going to weaken my fentiments by your 
'' doubts, to darken my clear notions of the 
" gofpel, which is not fettered by rules, and 
" truly Jew-like endeavour to deprive me of 
" my liberty, which Chrill: gave me, or at 
^' leaft to confine it. I am not watching for 
" lightnings and impulfes to do this or that 
" great deed. I obey my moral fentiments — 
" the gofpel, and Providence j that is, I be- 
*' lieve in God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoil-. 
" But forgive me 1 I fear you do not yet 
*^ comprehend this. 

" Not too quick ! my wife calls to me at 
" every meal — Not too quick! calls Mr. Stroeh- 
*' //;/ of Bern to me — Not too quick ! calls to 
" me a dear fociety at Duifburg. I will 
" liflen to you, good folks ! I will fuffer you 
^'^ to render me more cautious ; but I will 
" not cringe ; — I will rather foar aloft, and 
*^ be able to fink dovv-n, than not to be able 


^^ to fink down, and to — cringe. Indeed, 1 
" am well aware that my letters, which I 
^^ could not pen in the leaft with more timi- 
" dity, in order to obtain your applaufe by 
" furreptitious means, will not impart to you 
*' ray fenfe for liberty (though I make myfelf 
^' every body's fervant). However, if we 
*^ could converfe with each other for a few 
" months, then we fhould impart to one 
" another, byway of exchange, each other's 
" good qualities ; and many things which 
" now glitter, though they are not gold, 
" would be poliflied away on both fides. 

" Prayers for wifdom and illumination are 
*' almofi: the only, at leaft the principal, fup- 
*' plications I offer to God ; and providence 
grants them, for the moll: part, through 
the gofpel or men. I do not pray for this 
" or that miraculous gift.; I train m}felf to 
" fubmit all, even the moft god-like inclina- 

*' tions. 


^' tions,- to the words of C/nyl ; for they 
" have more weight with me than the w^ords 
" of the apoftles, becaufe the latter addreft; 
** themfelves principally to Jews and Hea- 
*' thens, but Chrift fpeaks more to man(/), 

" Yet 

(/) Chrift always addrefled himfelf chiefly and princi- 
pally to that' man, or i/jofe men, whom he faw before 
him ; and with ihefe men he vras obliged to converfe in 
their language, according to their notions and manner of 
thinking, to their wants and circumflances, the nature 
and degree of their knowledge of philofophical and reli- 
gious matters, if he wifhedtobe underftood by them, to 
adapt his do6lrine to their fyftem of thinking, and thus 
to lead them to piety and falvation. We therefore mufi 
karn to diftinguiih, in his inftruftions, what is faid to all 
men from what is faid to individuals, with relation to 
dmc, perfons, and circumftances, and- not mix both toge- 
ther ; we muji pay more regard to the fubjedls, th?.n to • 
the words and exprefiions of his difcourfes. The former 
are eternal, unalterable truths ; the latter are always adapt- 
ed to the changing exigencies of time and circumftances. 
If God atprefent were to fpcak to us through Chrift. or other ' 
meflengers enlightened and authorifed by him, he would 
indeed tell los the fmn; truth ; however, he would, very ■ 



" Yet not fo, that I fliould oppole the word 
" of the apoftles, or, which is the fame, 
" Chrift to Chrift. One cannot take too 
" much precaution, if one will not be mif- 
" taken by you, ye dear fouls — You have 
" (I fay it without rancour) a very unhappy 
" gift of being rendered apprehenfive by 
" the lead trifle, and can't put yourfelf fuf- 
" ficiently in my fituation j for I can fpare 
" no time to be more explicit, and I prefer 
*' to give you feeds to giving fruits. Once 
'' for all, I muft repeat it. You mijlake my 
'- principles entirely. 

probably, fpeak in a tnanner entirely different as to ex' 
^reffions, and the manner of reprejenting tt» Do not take 
offence at this idea, which may appear novel to thee, 
Chriftian reader. 1 have added it, not from contempt 
of fcripture, which I, as well as thyfeif, eileem an ex- 
ceeding precioiw gift of God, but in order to exercife thy 
Chrifiian meditation, and to promote the ftability of tru^ 
Chriftian faith. Editor. 

'' Have 


" Have you feen my hymn, which I daily 
" wifh to pray with you, and which always 
^' gives me fo much heavenly pleafure ? It 
" feems you have not yet received my Ser- 
^ mons on Jonas, ^\iz you would certainly 
" not be uneafy on my account, with refpe6^ 
" to feveral points which, at prefent, make 
" you fear fo much for me. — Yet, I cannot 
" remember that I have done the devil the 
'' honour once, in thefe fourteen Sermons, to 
" mention his name — and this, perhaps, ap- 
^^ pears fufpicious to you. Well, if you are 
" weaky you may eat greens, and I will 
" never touch a morfel of meat, if, in a fcrip- 
" tural fenfe, it fliould give offence to you. 
" If you cannot bear this innocent joke — 
*' dear brother — then I will take care not 
^^ to repeat it for yo2ir fake, out of love for 
" you, and think like St. Paul : 

" JVe ought to be guided by cur duty, and 7Wt 


'^ by our inclinations ; that is, by our mora/fenfe, 
" and not by what is moit pleanng to us. 
" Herein I am entirely of your opinion. 

^' Abjiainfor Jorne time from thy favourite oc- 
" cujiations^ though ever fo good and ufeful, and 
" examine whether thou cayifl not find out fome- 
" thing which for the prefent may be more necef- 
^^ faryy or at leafi equally ufeful^ to which, 
'' however, thou art not, at leajl, much inclinedT 
I will examine this advice of your's, by way 
of applying it to my heart and my fituation. 
One of my favourite occupations is preach- 
ing-, writing letters which enlighten, warn, 
and pleafe ; vifiting friends \ affifiing the poor y 
who inform me of their diftrefs, &;c. &c. — 
thefe have, as yet, been my favourite occupa- 
tions. Is not iiiis expelling imaginary s^ocxo 
d^sva-Asiotv im) by a real one ?~Yet I muft con- 

[ni] Self-created religion j artificial worfliip of God. 



fefs, that it is a very good maxim, Of many 
things which thou mujl perform^ take that firft 
in hand which goes moft againfi thee, — Greet 
the dear foul, Mrs. L . . . who has adopted 
that maxim. » 

The apojlolical dignity is different from ours. 
Very true ; however, we muft endeavour to 
refemble them as much as polFible j that is, 
to glorify Chrifi through life and death. 

Thefe notions of God's order and rights, which 
I am deflitute of, I beg you will tranfmit to 
me in your next letter, and put to my ac- 
count : I fhall keep what will fuit me ; what 
fiot, ril fend back. 

True humility is — not td pretend to what I do 
notjiojfefs — and to lofk upon all what I/ioffefs 
as received, as a gift of the divine grace ; and 

to ferve my neighbour as I ferve my Lord 

IVhat is falfe humility^ — To pretend to what 
one does not Jioffefs — to declare what one poffejfes 
to he a gift of the divine mercy ^ and neverthe- 

Vol, II. B b kfs 


le/s to be fa vaht as if one had received nothing ; 
or to cringe y and tn flatter , when one ought to be 
a I RAT EiJ A h/erv ant P Dear brother, where- 
in confifls thefal/e humility to whiph the. devil 
feeks to feduce me ? — Dear brother, let us^ 
pray! -■. :\ \.---"' ■ 

Nothing but thy holy Spirit , ; 
Does thy child, O God, defire ; 
Then my path will lead to bleffing ; 
Safe, and boldly, and with fpeed, 
^ T Shall I on niy path proci?ed. — 

Have you read the Letter of the Paftor 
at *** to the Paftor at ***?— Oh! read it I 
read it! - - i-^is^ri^, - - - - - - 

-:a1)r^ V - - 

- ^ - - - - - - - ^v^l^^y* - - 

After dinner, I read a raanufcripta com- 
pofed by a female friend. I found it very 
inllruftive— met with many jull remarks 
vvhich ftruck, afhamed, and pleated me— 
on my indifference with regard to the opi- 
nion which the world entertains of me. — I 


Hiall be obliged to . grow every day more 
indifFeretrt;. 'the more i' perceive how very 
fewi of the grekt number of cenfurers reflect 
coolly and without paflion ; how little they 
care for giving me an attentive and impartial 
heading ; bow little they care for obfervation y 
and how few take the pains, or think it 
naturally juft, to put themfelves in my fitu- 
ationr^how impoffibl6 I fliould find it to 
aft right, if I always would aik only fix 
enlightened m^VLy what I am to do? how 
much they would contradifl: each other in 
advifing me, and perhaps none of them 
would advife me to do what would be beft 
and fitteft for my perfon, my chara6ler, my 
fituation, and ray tafte ; the more I perceive 
how partial thofe cenftirers are who are near 
me, how anxious they are with regard to 
other clamorous cenfurers — how my difiani 
cenfurers are in want of a fufEcient number 
of fafts to foiind a juft judgement upon. — 



For that reafon I fhall indeed — fubmit to all 
cenfures, and endeavour to hear patiently, 
and to make honeflly the beft ufe of what- 
ever faid ; — but, neverthclefs, I mull 
have my own balance — and a felf-fubjtftency 
entirely independent on all cenfures of the 
world; I muft be careful to a6l honeflly 
and laudably, not only before the Lord, but 
alfo before men : — As for the reft — I muft 
patiently wait till it fhall pleafe the divine 
providence of my heavenly Father to unfold 
to my friends and enemies, in due time, 
what appears to them myfterious in me; 
wait till the etern^ Truth and Love, who 
will make known my deferts, and amend 
and forgive my errors, fhall decide. 

I fell afleep, amid good fentiments, re- 
plete with ferenity and gratitude, and ut- 
tering the important figh, " Let me awake 
•^ before I fall afleep, and live before I die /" •