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' walk, that we may reform it; which will

point out to us the subject and matter of

our future daily care.'--This day (faith the Christian upon his review of things at night) I loft so much time; particularly at I took too great a liberty; particularly in I omitted such an opportunity that might have been improved to a better purpose. I mismanaged such a duty---I find such a corruption often working ; my old infirmity --

ftill cleaves to me: how easily doth this fin beset me ! ---Oh! may I be more attentive for the time to come, more watchful over my heart ; take more heed to my ways ! May I do so the next day !---" The • knowledge of a distemper is a good step

to a cure ; self-acquaintance leads to self• reformation, He who daily calls over · what hath passed, and inspects himself, his

behaviour and manners, will not fall into • that security, and those uncensured follies, • that are so common and so dangerous (e).'

In order to make us sensible of, and attentive to, some of the more secret faults and foibles of our tempers, it may not be improper to pen them down at night, according as they appeared during the transactions of the day. By which means, we


shall (e) Bennet's Christ. Orat. pag. 578.

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shall not only have a more distinct view of that part of our character to which we are generally most blind; but shall be able to discover some defects and blemishes in it, which perhaps we never apprehended before. For the wiles and doublings of the heart are sometimes so hidden and intricate, that it requires the nicest care and most steady attention to detect and unfold them.

For instance ; ... This day I read an au

thor, whose sentiments were very different ' from mine, and who expressed himself

with much warmth and confidence. It ' excited my spleen, I own, and I imme

diately passed a severe censure upon him. .

So that had he been present, and talked in 'the same strain, my ruffled temper would

have tempted me to use harsh and ungrate'ful language, which might have occasioned

a very unchristian contention. But I now

recollect, that tho' the author might be ' mistaken in those sentiments, (as I still be. lieve he was) yet by his particular circum• stances in life, and the method of his ' education, he hath been strongly led into ' that way of thinking. So that his prejudice is pardonable; but my

uncharitable (nefs is not; especially, considering that

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in many respects he has the ascendancy of me.- This proceeded from uncharita

bleness, which is one fault of my temper • I have to watch against ; and which I ne

was heretofore fo sensible of, as I am now upon this recollection. Learn

moderation, and make more allowances • for the mistaken opinions of others. Be • as charitable to those who vary in opinion

from you, as you desire they should be ' to you who differ as much from them. For it may be you cannot be more assured of being in the right than they are.' Further; · This day I found myself strongly inclined to put in something by

way of abatement to an excellent cha'racter given of an absent person, by one ' of his great admirers. It is true, I had * the command of myself to hold my

tongue. And, it is well I had ; for the • ardour of his zeal would not have ad• mitted the exception, (tho' I still think " that in some degree it was juft) which

might have raised a wrangling debate • about his character, perhaps at the expence


my own; or however occasi* oned much animosity and contention."But I have since examined the fecret


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spring of that impulse, and find it to be

envy; which I was not then sensible of; . but my antagonist had certainly imputed • it to this. And had he taken the liberty

to have told me fo, I much question • whether I should have had the temper ' of the Philosopher; who, when he was

really injured, being asked, whether he Was angry or not; replied, No; but I am considering with myself whether I ought not

to be so. I doubt I should not have ' had fo much composure ; but should • have immediately resented it as a false, . and malicious aspersion : it was certainly

envy ; for the person, who was the object of the encomium, was my superior in

many respects. And the exception that ' arose to my mind was the only flaw in ' his character ; which nothing but a quick

fighted envy could descry. Wherefore • take heed of that vice for the future.'

Again; · This day I was much surprized * to observe in myself the fymptoms of ! a vice, from which I ever thought myself * clear; and I have always expressed the greatest detestation of it in others, and that is covetousness.

For what else I could prompt me to with-hold my cha


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rity from my fellow-creature in distress,

on pretence that .he was not, in every • respect, a proper object; or to dispense • it so sparingly to another, whom I knew

to be really so, on pretence of having

lately been at a considerable expence on • another occasion ? This could proceed * from nothing else but a latent principle 6 of covetousness; which, tho' unremarked ' in myself, yet it is likely others discerned. 50 how inscrutable are the depths and • deceits of the human heart !--Had my

enemy brought against me a charge of indolence, léif-indulgence, pride, impatience, or a too quick resentment of af

fronts and injuries, my own heart musį · have confirmed the accusation, and forced me to plead guilty.

Had he charged me with bigotry, self-opinion and cen

foriousness, I should have thought it • proceeded from the same temper in himself. · But had he charged me with covetous

ness, I should have taken it for downright calumny, and despised the censure

with indignation and triumph. And yet 6 after all, I find it had been but loo

true a charge.-0! how árduous is it to know myself ?--This, like all other knowX 3

• ledge,

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