Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear Diary: I am His

From the Diary of

 Jonathan Edwards

Saturday - Jan 12, 1723





(In the morning)

I have, this day, solemnly renewed my baptismal covenant* and self-dedication [to God] which I renewed when I was taken into the communion of the church. I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God; so that I am not, in any respect, my own. I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections, which are in me. Neither have I any right to this body or any of its members. [Ro 6:12-14] - no right to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell, or this taste. I have given myself clear away, and not retained any thing as my own. I gave myself to God in my baptism, and I have been this morning to him and told him that I gave myself wholly to him. I have given every power to him; so that, for the future, I'll challenge no right in myself, in no respect whatever. I have expressly promised him; and I do now promise Almighty God, that by his grace I will not. I have told him this morning that I did take him for my whole portion and felicity [happiness.]

(In the evening)


This week, the weekly account rose higher than ordinary. It is suggested to me, that to constant a mortification, and too vigorous application to religion, may be prejudicial to health; but nevertheless, I will plainly feel it and experience it, before I cease on this account. It is no matter how much tired and weary I am, if my health is not impaired.


[Note: Edwards used the word "religion" in the sense of regular Christian activities. He did not imply what we think of stereo-typical and hypocritical religionists practicing ritualistic duties. Also note, even in 1723 someone told him that to much application of Godly things could harm his health. His reply, I don't want to impair my health, but I will not let weariness derail me from being obedient. God give us Christians like this.]

* Baptismal Covenant - a commitment of believer's lives to follow the example and teaching of Jesus. Some churches at baptism have the candidate enter into a covenant or vows as they are baptized. Some common questions asked of the candidate are: will you continue in the apostle's teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers; will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin repent and return to the Lord; will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ; will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself, and etc.?

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5 comments:

Seams Inspired said...

I think I'm going to print this and use it as part of my daily affirmation. It definitely puts the responsibility of Christianity into perspective. Thanks for sharing. Happy Wednesday! :o)

Becky said...

Love this! I will jot down these words in my journal.

Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

His faith was amazing! Thank you for sharing. I need to book this for myself!

Persis said...

A needed daily reminder:

"I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God; so that I am not, in any respect, my own."

Thanks for posting this.

Cathy M. said...

The baptismal covenant seems like a good idea. I think it might be helpful to renew the terms regularly too, like it seems Edwards is doing here.