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ed; O renew me in the spirit of my mind, my understanding is dark, let the eyes of my understanding be enlightened. O what a wandering heart have I, Lord, fix it upon thee, and some profitable object; renew a constant spirit within me; there is a baneful enmity in my mind to God, and alienation by wicked works, now at last reconcile my mind and whole soul to thyself and goodness.* Lord, I will do what I can to bring this mind to thee, that thou mayest rectify it; thou hast placed in me a noble faculty of conscience, which I am resolved shall be ruled by no dictates of man, but by the rule of thy holy word. I may lay my body as the ground to them that go over, but if they say to my soul or conscience, bow down, that we may go over, they must excuse me;t by the grace of God I will keep my conscience clear for him, without offence towards God and man: it acts as God's vicegerent, and to him only must it give an account, I pass not under man's judgment, yea, I judge not mine own self, there is a supreme judge whom conscience shall keep in view, that God the Holy Ghost may bear witness with my conscience, that my heart may not reproach me as long as I live, but witness for me at death, with the testimony of a good conscience.|| Lord, thou hast given me a self-communing faculty, this candle of the Lord, that thereby I may search into the inward parts of the belly; God almighty assist me in the due improvement of this important faculty, to commune with mine own heart, § and make diligent search, and let every searching preacher commend himself to my conscience in the sight of God,¶ and let my conscience echo
Eph. iv. 23. i. 18. Psal. li. 10. Col. i. 21.
+ Isa. li. 23.
Acts xxiv. 16. xxvii. 6. 2 Cor. i. 12. T2 Cor. iv. 2.
1 John iii. 21. John xiv. 26. Heb. ii. 1. § Hos. xiii. 9.
back to every divine truth, that my heart not condemning me, I may have confidence towards God.* My memory also, O Lord, I give up to thee; let that be sanctified and strengthened, to be retentive of divine and spiritual things. O that I could remember my Creator in the days of my youth, and that every day I may set God before mine eyes;† I purpose this day to forget trifles and vanity, help me with that art of forgetfulness, but let the Holy Ghost bring the things of God to my remembrance; I am resolved to remember my sins, that I may be ashamed of them, and thy mercies that I may be thankful, thy marvellous works also shall not slip from me. But that my heart were as the ark of the covenant, wherein were the tables of the law. Lord, let me never be regardless of the things announced by the gospel, but let me give more diligent heed, lest at any time I let them slip, and so be in danger of believing in vain. Lord, what is of use to my soul do thou keep for me, and bring to my mind when I have most special occasion for it. As for my will, that ungovernable faculty, and my affections, which are the acts or movements of my will, my soul desires that they may be directed to thee, and that thou mayest have the management of them. My Lord Jesus came from heaven, not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him; much more must I say so: Lord, my own wilful will hath ruined me, cure me of this stubbornness, cross my forward will, and conquer it by an act of thy power; give me a willing mind, make me willing and obedient; § thou
+ Eccl. xii. 1. Psal. xvi. 8.
Ezek. xvi. 61. Psal. cv. 5. Heb. ix. 4.
John vi. 38.
2 Cor. viii. 12. Isa. i. 19.
1 Cor. xv. 2.
only must work in me both to will and to do; my desire is to choose the right object, and then cleave unto God with purpose of heart; Lord, confirm this honest resolution within me.* As for my affections, I am resolved to place them no where but upon thyself, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, with my whole strength and most lively affection; thy word is very pure, therefore doth thy servant love it; I love thy house, thy saints, and every thing that bears thine image. "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, when shall I come and appear before God?" my hope shall be placed only on God;† O that I could gird up the loins of my mind and hope to the end; I will delight myself in the Lord, which is both my duty and my privilege. Lord, make me sit down under thy shadow with great delight, and let thy fruit be sweet to my taste. And with respect to ‡ my feelings and passions of an opposite description, they also shall be employed for thee in grieving for, hating and fleeing from what is in opposition to thee, since I profess my love to thee I will hate evil, even every false way; O that I could be angry and not sin, by being angry at sin; O that I could behold transgressors and be grieved. I will endeavour after godly sorrow that may bring forth repentance to salvation, not to be repented of. I will study all those decisive evidences and properties of this godly sorrow, pray for them, and endeavour after them, namely, carefulness, clearing of myself, indignation, fear, vehement desire, zeal, and revenge. O that my soul might be weaned from the world, as a weaned child; and that I could
Luke x. 42. Acts xi. 23.
* Phil. ii. 13.
Isa. lviii. 14. Song. ii. 3.
suck and be satisfied at the breasts of consolation; where my treasure is, there shall my heart be. * Amen, so be it. Lord, confirm these breathings of my soul.
2. In reference to your bodies, you are bound also to give them up to the Lord, both generally and particularly, thus:
O Lord, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I was curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth, in thy book were all my members written; thou art he that took me out of the womb, and by thee have I been holden up from the womb, therefore I will present my body a living sacrifice, which is but a reasonable service,† Lord, make it holy, and thus acceptable to God, make it a member of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost; my desire is that Christ may be magnified, God glorified in my body, living and dying; I resolve to keep under my body, and bring it into subjection to thee my Lord, and cleanse myself from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit:‡ for fleshly lusts war against the soul; I will possess my vessel in sanctification and honour; it is true, bodily exercise profiteth little, and may consist with a forma of godliness, but O that my spirit, soul, and body were wholly sanctified, and so presented blameless at the coming of my Lord Jesus, "who shall change this vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his own glorious body." Which that it may,
I will devote all the members of it to thy service and glory: my tongue shall speak of the things I have made touching my heavenly King, and be as the pen
* Psalm cxxxi. 2. Isa. lxvi. 11.
Matt. vi. 21.
+ Psalm cxxxix. 14–16. xxii. 9. lxxi. 6. Rom. xii. 1.
1 Cor. vi. 15, 19, 20. Phil. i. 20. 1 Cor. ix. 27. 2 Cor. vii. 1.
1 Pet. ii. 11. 1 Thess. iv. 4. v. 23. Phil. iii. 21.
of a ready writer; only I put the government of my mouth into thy hands, for though I may say, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue, yea, though I keep my mouth as with a bridle, yet I am afraid I shall speak unadvisedly, unless thou, Lord, set a watch before my mouth, and keep the door of my lips. I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress: God forbid that corrupt communication should ever proceed out of my mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may glorify God, and minister grace to the hearers.* I am resolved to rule my palate, and not to make provisions to fulfill the lusts of the flesh; nay, rather to put a knife to my throat, if I feel myself given to appetite, and not so much as look upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, lest being bewitched by it, I be drunk with wine wherein is excess. I vow this day against chambering, wantonness, strife, envy, or misusing any of my bodily members to make them instruments of unrighteousness to iniquity; no, I will now yield my members servants to righteousness unto holiness; yea, if God call me to it, I will yield my body to the flames rather than serve or worship any god, save my own God; my hands will I wash in innocence, and compass thine altar; O Lord, I will lift up my heart with my hands to thee in the heavens; ‡ O that I could lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting! I will keep my feet when I go to the house of God; yea, I will ponder the path of my feet, that all my ways may be established.|| Lord, suffer me
* Psalm xxxix. 1.
cvi. 33. cxli. 3. xvii. 3. Eph. iv. 29. Rom.xv.6.
Lam. iii. 41.
Psalm xxvi. 6.