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love to, and concern for the flock to whom he miniftred, which hé laboured above all things to preserve upon his mind. But he often reviews these services with

great fatisfaction and pleasure, expressing much joy in the exercise of the best affections and confidence of divine acceptance. In one part of the diary he concludes his reflections with these words: “ The

: The great difference I ** find in my mind, as to clearness and con* fufion of thought, sometimes seized with " such languor and indisposition, such stu

pidity and barrenness, I can have no dif"tinct perceptions, I cannot think with

any relish ; at other times I find such { e surprising vigour and freedom of spirit, “ such strongly affecting views of those

things, which before were covered with

thick darkness, and this attended with “ the greatest pleasure, that I seem to mys felf quite another person ; this difference, " I say, I cannot account for. I know not « the dependance the soul has upon the

body, and how far the temper of the

one may be affected by the state of the “.other ; but for the mind itself, surely “ such changes do not depend upon choice,

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or an act of the will, here another cause “ must be acknowledged.”

BESIDÈs the daily services of the closet, it

appears from his diary, that he frequently shut himself up the whole day, which he spent in prayer, reading the scriptures, and religious meditation. These days he often marks, as very entertaining and useful to him; and the exercises of his mind, with respect to the state of his own soul, that of his family, his congregation, and the public interest, are all fet down, in which such a spirit of piety and charity breathes, as is rarely to be met with.

The reader will, I believe, be pleased with an account of the reasons of his spend ing so much time in the secret exercises of devotion, in his own words, which are as follow : " I have resolved to set apart this

day for the solemn exercises of devotion ;

not that I place religion in such things, “ for certainly it consists in a conformity of

the habitual disposition of the mind to si the will of God, and an uniform tenor. “ of conversation. When I was a child in religion (that is, beginning to be serious)

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my soul!

many a danger I was exposed to, particusi larly that of being imposed upon by a

warm imagination, laying too great stress upon what I accounted divine impressions, upon

fervours and raptures in religion : “: This, I believe, some young and unex

perienced christians are 'apt to fall into ;

but true christianity consists in love to « God, and charity to men, which is the & bond of perfectness : It consists in doing justly, and loving mercy ; in m ekness

patience, and contentment. O! « endeavour to grow in these virtues, that e is the fure way of pleasing God; and it « is essentially necessary to real religion, that

a design of pleasing God, be constantly “ and uniformly pursued; whenever that is “ neglected, sincerity is lost. But I apply

myself to these exercises, first, because

they are a noble employment of the mind, « most worthy of its rational powers, tend« ing to their highest perfection, and af“ fording most solid joy: Secondly, in fo" lemn transactions with God, I may hope " for such a confirmation in virtuous senti.

ments and dispositions; and such advantages over worldly lusts, as may be of great use to me in future life; and this

hope

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hope is justified by experience. Thirdly, “ I would lay stricter obligations upon my“'self to greater watchfulness and caution

against the springs of error, and perplexity, and guilt, into which I have been

formerly misled, and my life rendered un« comfortable.

To all which it may be added, that to his conversing so much with himself, and these extraordinary labours in the closet, were, no doubt, in a great meafure owing, not only the uncommon goodness of his fpirit, and the exact regularity and usefulness of his life; but that intimate acquaintance with the human heart, and those amazing strains of reasoning, which appear in his · fermons, which could be the effect of nothing but the closet, application to thinking, and the most careful attention to his own mind.

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BESIDES all this, he gives an account, in his diary, of several alterations of opinion in religious matters, and has been very particular in the reasons of them; and upon what principles he embraced some opinions, contrary to what he had formerly received ;

and

and in several places sets down his reasonings upon the importance of various articles of faith, as they affect the christian life. One of these passages concludes thus :

My mind has been often disturbed about “ some particular points of orthodoxy; but I

am persuaded, with that measure of know

ledge God has given me (little, when “ compared with the attainments of others) " no mistake about the christian truth will “ deprive me of acceptance, unless, which “ I hope is not my case, it arises from sel“ fish irregular desires, opposing the design "c. of christianity itself: And the most sub“ stantial enjoyment, conformable to the

scope of the gospel, is that fincere fatis5 faction, which results from a true dispo“ fition, to fall in with it universally.”

It has been already observed, that his diary contains an account of all the important events that befel him, with his reflections upon them; his own resolutions and the principles upon which he founded them. In these things he has descended very

minutely, and made

many
observations

upon his own schemes in life, and the many difappointments he met with, which tended b 3

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