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I prayed through all the collects of medi
tation, with some extemporary prayers; recommended
my friends, living and dead. When I returned to the table, I staid till most had communicated, and in the mean time tried to settle my mind; prayed against bad and troublesome thoughts; resolved to oppose sudden incursions of them; and, I think, had -- thrown into my mind at the general confession. When I went first to the table, the particular series of my thoughts I cannot recollect.
When I came home I returned thanks, by
accommodating the General Thanksgiving; and used this Prayer again, with the Collects, after receiving. I hope God has heard me.
Shall I ever receive the Sacrament with
tranquillity? Surely the time will come.
Some vain thoughts stole upon me while I
stood near the table; I hope I ejected them effectually, so as not to be hurt by them.
I went to prayers at seven, having fasted;
read the two Morning Lessons in Greek. At night I read Clarke's Sermon of the Humiliation of our Saviour.
First Sunday after Easter. I have been recovering from my rheuma
tism slowly, yet sensibly; but the last week has produced little good. Uneasy nights have tempted me to lie long in the morning. But when I wake in the night, the release which still continues from the
my throat, gives me great comfort.
The plan which I formed for reading the
Scriptures, was to read 600 verses in the Old Testament, and 200 in the New, every week.
The Old Testament in any language, the
New in Greek.
This day I began to read the Septuagint,
but read only 230 verses, the nine first
On this evening I repeated the Prayer for
Easter-Day, changing the future tense
to the past.
June 1, 1770. EVERY man naturally persuades himself
that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time, and frequency of experiment. This opinion of our own constancy is so prevalent, that we always despise him who suffers his general and settled
purpose to be overpowered by an occasional desire. They, therefore, whom frequent failures have made des
perate, cease to form resolutions; and they who are become cunning, do not tell them. Those who do not make them are very few, but of their effect little is perceived; for scarcely any man persists in a course of life planned by choice, but as he is restrained from deviation by some external power. He who may live as he will, seldom lives long in the observation of his own rules. I never yet saw a regular family, unless it were that of Mrs. Harriot's, nor a regular man, except Mr. - whose exactness I know only by his own report, and Psalmanaazar, whose life was, I think, uniform.
March 31. ALMIGH
ZMIGHTY and most merciful Father, I am now about to commemorate once
more, in thy presence, the redemption of the world by our Lord and Saviour thy Son Jesus Christ. Grant, О most merciful God, that the benefit of his sufferings may be extended to me. Grant me faith, grant me repentance. Illuminate me with thy Holy Spirit, enable me to form good purposes, and to bring these purposes to good effect. Let me so dispose my time, that I may discharge the duties to which Thou shalt vouchsafe to call me; and let that degree of health, to which thy mercy has restored me, be employed to thy glory. O God, invigorate my understanding, compose my perturbations, recal my wanderings, and calm my thoughts; that having lived while Thou shalt grant me life, to do good and to praise Thee, I may, when thy call shall summon me to another state, receive mercy from Thee, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.