Saturday, January 3, 2009

Facing 2009 (2)

I have just come across Jonathan Edwards' (1703-1758) resolutions. Apparently he committed to reading over these resolutions at least once a week, and they had a key role in shaping his character and life. He listed 70 resolutions! Let's note a few.

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will for Christ's sake:
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but improve in the most profitable way I possibly can.
7. Resolved, never to do anything that I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
14 Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
28. Resolved to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do if I had already seen the happiness of heaven and the torments of hell.
69. Resolved, always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70 Resolved, let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.

Yes, they're in eighteenth century language, but what a corrective they give to much twenty-first century spiritual flabbiness!