Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Need a Good New Year's Resolution?

It's funny how things coincide sometimes! On Sunday our pastor mentioned some of the resolutions written by 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards, back in 1722-1723. Then today I received a link to all 70 resolutions!

Who was Jonathan Edwards? According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian. His work as a whole is an expression of two themes -- the absolute sovereignty of God and the beauty of God's holiness."

Truly, his resolutions are remarkable and inspiring at any age (and at 19, almost unfathomable). I'll post some below, but for the full list, go to http://www.gracegems.org/SERMONS/Resolutions.htm

RESOLUTIONS of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723) 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. Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

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.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

3 comments:

Renee said...

Very INSPIRING!!!

Thanks for sharing,
Renee
(kidsRus)

Joyce said...

So fascinating to read! I am going to look at the whole list. I need some inspiration for good resolutions and I think you've provided it!

Happy New Year!

Kim & Dave said...

That was sure an interesting read, Merry!

I sure wasn't anywhere close to that devoted at that age (or for that matter-I'm not now!)