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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.
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
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
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
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