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Sept. 18, 1771, Nine at Night. I am now come to my sixty-third year.
For the last year I have been slowly recovering both from the violence of my last illness, and, I think, from the general disease of my life. My breath is less obstructed, and I am more capable of motion and exercise. My mind is less encumbered, and I am less interrupted in mental employment. Some advances, I hope, have been made towards regularity. I have missed church since Easter only two Sundays, both which I hope I have endeavoured to supply by attendance on divine worship in the following week. Since Easter, my evening devotions have been lengthened. But indolence and indifference has been neither conquered nor opposed. No plan of study has been pursued or formed, except that I have commonly read every week, if not on Sunday, a stated portion of the New Testament in
Greek. But what is most to be considered, I have neither attempted nor formed any scheme of life by which I may do good, and please God.
One great hindrance is want of rest; my
nocturnal complaints grow less troublesome towards morning; and I am tempted to repair the deficiencies of the night. I think, however, to try to rise every day by eight, and to combat indolence as I shall obtain strength. Perhaps Providence has yet some use for the remnant of my life.
LMIGHTY and everlasting God, whose mercy is over all thy works, and who hast no pleasure in the death of a sinner, look with pity upon me, succour and preserve me; enable me to conquer evil habits, and surmount temptations. Give me grace so to use the degree of health which Thou hast restored to my mind and body, that I may perform the task Thou shalt yet appoint me. Look down, O gracious Lord, upon my remaining part of life; grant, if it please Thee, that the days few or many which Thou shalt yet allow me, may pass in reasonable confidence, and holy tranquillity. Withhold not thy Holy Spirit from me, but strengthen all good purposes, till they shall produce a life pleasing to Thee. And when Thou shalt call me to another state, forgive me my sins, and receive me to happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen,
Safely brought us, &c.
Sept. 23, 1771, On the 18th, in the morning, before I went
to bed, I used the general prayer (beginning of this year) when I rose. I came home from Mr. Thrale's that I might be more master of my hours. I went to church in the morning, but came in to the Litany. I have gone voluntarily to church on the week day but few times in my life. I think to mend.
At night I composed and used the
prayer, which I have used since in my devotions one morning. Having been somewhat disturbed, I have not yet settled in any plan, except that yesterday I began to learn some verses in the Greek Testa. ment for a Sunday's recital. I hope, by trust in God, to amend my life.
Jan. 1, Two in the Morning. Almighty
MIGHTY God, who hast permitted me to see the beginning of another year, enable me so to receive thy mercy, as that it may raise in me stronger desires of pleasing Thee by purity of mind and holiness of life. Strengthen me, O Lord, in good purposes, and reasonable meditations. Look with pity upon all my disorders of mind, and infirmities of body. Grant that the residue of my life may enjoy such degrees of health as may permit me to be useful, and that I may live to thy glory; and, O merciful Lord, when it shall please Thee to call me from the present state, enable me to die in confidence of thy mercy, and receive me to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.