Saturday, January 28, 2006

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Two things were characteristic of Rev. Dr. John Max Cox: recitation of poetry and being an encourager. Sometimes he would encourage an audience via the recitation of uplifting poetry. A few that he often incorporated into his preaching follow in hopes that they might encourage and/or motivate.

Along the Road by Robert Browing Hamilton
I walked a mile with pleasure;
she chattered all the way.
But I was none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow,
and ne're a word said she.
But oh the things I learned from her
when sorrow walked with me.

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

God, Forgive Me When I Whine by Unknown Author

Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay,
And I wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch.
But as she passed, she gave a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He seemed not to know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew he couldn't hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

House by the Side of the Road by Samuel Walter Foss
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mama always said, dying was a part of life.

Rev. Dr. John Max Cox, 1928-2006

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is ... encouraging, let him encourage..." - Romans 12:6-8; NIV

"... encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" - 1 Thess 5:11; NIV

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another" - Heb 10:24-25; NIV

Never have I met a brother in Christ who better fufilled the obligation to encourage and/or build up those in the body with whom he came in contact than John Max Cox.

I first met him when I helped him officiate a funeral for Norma Daniel, along with former pastor Rev. Kirk E. Taylor. From that initial meeting onward, I was always encouraged by him. In particular, he was the one who really encouraged me (borderline berated me) to start work on a PhD.

He was the former/founding pastor of First Baptist Church of Murphy and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved wife, Billie.

Dying is a part of life, even for believers. However, our loss is heaven's gain. In fact, for John Max to live was Christ and to die was gain (Phil 1:21). I pray that God will raise up more like this great ambassador for Christ.


DENISON — John Max Cox, born June 16, 1928 in Shamrock, Texas passed away after a brief illness on January 24, 2006 surrounded by his family and friends. He ascended peacefully to be with his dear Heavenly Father for which he was a servant for most of his life.

He graduated from Shamrock, Texas High School, Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. John Max was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Howard Payne University in 1992.

John Max was a teacher, educator and minister having served in the following colleges in staff and administrative positions: Grand Canyon University in Arizona, California Baptist University in California, El Centro and Richland College of the Dallas County Community College System and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. During his days a an educator, he was also a pastor of the following churches: First Baptist Church in Murphy, Texas, Streetman Road Baptist Church, Mead, Okla., Edhube Baptist Church in Texas and Hendrix Baptist Church in Oklahoma.

His career included music ministry and traditional ministry to his death at 77 years. During his 25-year career in the Jr. College system in Dallas, he influenced many a student. He was best known for his “mission” spirit in which he served small churches that he loved.

John Max had the uncanny ability to transform small churches and many people. He was a friend to those in need, loved deeply because of his friendliness, warmth, generous spirit and ability to care for and motivate others. His life was distinguished by a 53-year marriage and two children who he adored and an enviable number of friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Rev. Cox is survived by his wife, Billie Sue Cox of Denison, Texas; daughter, Kathy Cox of Corpus Christi, Texas; son, David Cox of Corinth, Texas; grandson, Devon Cox; three sisters, Marcia Rives of Shamrock, Texas, Martha Whatley of St. Louis, Mo. and Claudine Creel of Amarillo, Texas and a large extended family that he loved dearly. Rev. Cox was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Bethel Lea Orrick.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 28, 2006 at Parkside Baptist Church with Dr. Chet Haney officiating. Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Ridgeview Cemetery in McKinney, Texas. The family will be receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 27, 2006 at Fisher Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Norman McLaren, Charles Williams, Bud Metcalf, Steve Kretzer, Dale Ross, Roy Bass, Bob Edwards and Bill Burkhead.

Memorials may be made to the building fund of Parkside Baptist Church, 301 North Lillis Lane in Denison, Texas 75020 or to Hendrix Baptist Church, P.O. Box 68, Hendrix, Okla. 74741.

Arrangements are under the direction of Fisher Funeral Home located at 604 West Main in Denison.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Let us Lakers fans rejoice!

Last night Kobe Bryant recorded the second-highest single-game scoring mark in NBA history in a 122-104 win over Toronto at LA's Staples Center. Bryant made 28 of his 46 field goal attempts, including 7-of-13 from downtown and hit 18-of-20 from the line. He scored 55 points in the second half, just four points shy of Wilt Chamberlain's record for points in a half.

I was impressed when he hung 62 on the Little Mavericks a few weeks back in just three periods, but 81 is quite historic. To put it into perspective, Michael Jordan never got 70 in a single game.

Kobe is one of only 5 players to score 70 or more points in one game.
Wilt Chamberlain (100, 73, 73, 72, 70)
Kobe Bryant (81)
David Thompson (73)
Elgin Baylor (71)
David Robinson (71)

Who knows ... Kobe may have some of his best basketball still ahead of him at age 27. Comparatively, Jordan had yet to win a single title at age 27, while Kobe already has three championships. If his team gets on track, he just might go down in history as one of the truly greats.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Yeah, I do mind. The Dude minds.

Yeah, I do mind. The Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I encourage you to prayerfully consider how you might be involved in efforts to stem the tide of legalized murder in our country due to abortion.

At church today we distributed, to those so inclined, "little feet" pins and Baby Bottles for Life. The feet are the exact size and shape of a baby's feet 10 weeks after conception are are prominently displayed as the internation pro-life symbol.

Our Baby Bottles for Life are recepticles for monetary contributions, the proceeds of which go to support Real Options for Women, a local (Christian) crisis pregnancy center.

There's is much that can be done as we prayerfully speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. May God's people rise up to take a stand against this aggression.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Something the other tour guides won't tell you

Recently I've received enquiries about the practice of head coverings as related to Paul's instructions in Corinthians 11.

I will try to address this issue and answer a few questions, all the while realizing that many more may still need to be
addressed. I don't anticipate that this will be an issue that most folks will settle in one pass anyway. I will encourage further contemplation with questions of my own in my conclusion.

Personally, this was an issue that I took years to really come to solid conclusions on, so I am more
than patient with others wrestling through such.

Paul deals with various topics in 1 Corinthians 11, including headship and its demonstration, hair length,
and regulations regarding the Lord's Supper. Our primary concern here is whether or not Paul's admonitions regarding women/wives wearing head coverings (1 Cor 11:2-16) is still binding on 21st century Christians.

Paul writes:
2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
- 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (ESV)

The majority position and/or practice among contemporary churches (at least in the USofA) is that this Paul's words are not binding. They may have been binding at one time (and/or place ... i.e., Corinth), but they are not anymore.

Let me give you a few quick points as to why I endorse the position that Paul's admonitions are still binding for Christians today.

1. There is nothing in the text that indicates this was only a situation that needed to be practiced in Corinth. In fact, the opposite is true. Paul addressed the letter to the church in Corinth and to all the churches everywhere who call on the name of the Lord (1 Cor 1:2). Also, he notes the churches of God have no other practice in 1 Cor 11:16 (i.e., this was something universally practiced by the church). In other words, nothing in the text indicates that this was a practice only to be implemented in Corinth.

2. Paul's reasons for the practice of women/wives having their heads covered has nothing to do with culture. Those not wanting to do what Paul here commands might tell us that his reasons were tied to the culture and when the culture changed Paul would say that we should change with it. However, Paul's reasons for such practice were explicitly given by him and they have absolutely nothing to do with the culture:
  1. the headship of husband over wife (the Greek word could be translated "wife" or "woman," but the ESV seems to best capture the concept of husband & wife) (11:3)
  2. woman is the glory of man (11:7)
  3. the order of creation (man then women) (11:8-9)
  4. because of the angels (presumably to demonstrate submission) (11:10)
  5. a wife should have a symbol ("on her head") that signifies her husband's ("her head") authority is recognized (11:10)
  6. the natural order of differentiation between men and women in hair length - God's already wired things so that she has a built in covering as well as the material one needed (11:13-15)
  7. universal church practice - there was no other practice among the churches but the head covering (1 Cor 11:16)

As an aside, I'm not sure what exactly Paul means regarding the length of hair. In other words, I don't know exactly what Paul would call short and what Paul would call long. Ironically, one thinks of Jesus as having long-ish hair in pictures. Of course, no one today knows really what He looked like physically (although he probably wasn't the pretty boy Caucasian with the blue eyes that one typically sees). In the OT there was something called the Nazarite vow (Numbers 6:1-21) where a man would grow his hair out as part of a vow (also abstinence from wine & grape stuff & not touching anything dead). This vow would be for a time and at the end of the time the hair would be shaved off and given up as an offering to the Lord. Then life would be back to normal.

Outside of that, it seems Paul's
words indicate that there should be a visible distinction between the length of hair on males & females and that there was back in his day (perhaps Jesus' hair was much shorter than is typically portrayed). I might be the wrong guy to ask what short is, because I like Marine cuts as a personal preference.

I think the reality is that Paul is saying one should be able to tell the difference between men and women and there
shouldn't be confusion by one having hair too long or the other having hair too short.

Is long hair the covering about which Paul speaks? Would lon
g hair suffice for him? First, the Greek word used earlier in the chapter regarding covering and uncovered is not the same as that used in verse 15. I'm convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that Paul is not saying that a woman should have long hair when she prays. There seems to be something specific Paul wants women in the assembly to do (wear a head covering) that differs from what he wants them to do all the time (have long hair). I think his words about long hair are an appeal to nature as if to say just as a lady physically has her hair long as a type of covering, so should she have a visible sign to all of her spiritual covering.

When should this covering be in practice? I would have you snoop around in the context and see that
we're in the midst of Paul's teachings regarding how worship should be conducted (see Chapters 10, the rest of 11, and 12-14). Thus, I think the admonitions are for when the saints come together for worship and at a minimum I would say that entails the "main" Sunday morning service.

Beyond that, it's a hard for me to b
e too dogmatic. What about Sunday school and/or Sunday nights? What about family devotions? Some of that stuff is more a matter of conscience of application, it seems to me. The fact that it's a sign of authority ... on her head seems to me that it is a practice that is meant to communicate to others a wife's submission to her husband (although there may be some disagreement here among head covering proponents, I don't find this binding to unmarried women). Thus, other people have to be gathered for this worship. I know some that advocate any and every time prayer is offered up, up comes the hat/covering. I certainly would not fault anyone for what I would consider "playing it safe."

To further illustrate, the case has been made that with regard
to the whole thing of head covering one should cover up even if not convinced. The argument goes like this: if it's not necessary and a head covering is still worn, there is certainly no sin that has been committed. Conversely, if it is binding and not done then grave sin would have been committed where the order of creation and the angels are snubbed.

Interestingly enough, we still observe one aspect of this pretty much universally, that is the removal of hats for gentlemen during prayer (and really upon
entering a church in many instances). Also, historically the ladies wearing head coverings was practiced in our country (and all throughout Christian churches) pretty uniformly at least up into the 1950s and some churches are still doing it. It seems to have fallen out of vogue in the 60s, but so did a lot of things (e.g., modesty, chastity, sobriety, etc.). Granted, there were probably many who lost sight of why they were doing what they were doing, but the practice was still there even then.

Some practical questions for those contemplating implementation:
  • When/Where to wear a head covering? all the time? at all times in a church building? during the full assembly (i.e., main worship time)? only when a prayer is actually offered?
  • What to wear for a covering? a veil? a lace scarf? a hat? a handkerchief?
  • Who to cover? wives? all women? all females?

These are not irrelevant issues, but I also hope they would not be seen as the essential issues.

In my mind the principle is espoused in 1 Cor 11:10: the wife "ought to have a sign of authority on her head." Thus, I would suggest that while I would commend those who practice the wearing of some form of head covering in congregational worship, I would also urge any and all so doing to be sure to know what you're doing and why. You're communicating to those watching (humans and angels) your willing submission to your husband's authority. Now, if that's not counter-cultural, I don't know what is.

Recently, I had a conversation with R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries about this topic at a pastor's conference. I wanted to gain some insight from him. I said, "Dr. Sproul, I'm an advocate of the practice of head coverings and I understand that you lean in that direction as well." To which he emphatically replied, "Oh, I don't just lean there ... I STAND there."

My last question: For those who say that the principle is binding, but not that particular practice, how do your congregations practice that principle? In other words, if not with a head covering, how do your women/wives communicate submission to their men/husbands? I'm convinced Paul gave a binding principle and binding practice for that principle, but I'm curious to hear how others might have alternate practices for said principle.

I encourage all to prayerfully study this topic so you too can have somewhere to stand with a clear conscience on this issue.

P.S. As it has been my experience that this concept is more reluctantly embraced by ladies, I thought a feminine perspective might prove helpful. The purpose of the following site is to inform and encourage women in their faith and daily living from a practical Reformed view.Reformed Puritan Home: For Women of Like Faith and Daily Living ... Why Should One Cover?

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

Sola Scriptura ... Scripture Alone

Is God's truth preeminent in our lives as Christians?

Jesus said, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17) It's is God's Word that nourishes us (Deut 8:3; Luke 4:4). It is God's Word that God has breathed in order to mold us and shape us, albeit painfully at times, to make us equipped for the work He has for us. (2 Tim 3:16-17).

Most Christians & churches would heartily endorse the priority of Scripture, but far too many of both subjugate the Scriptures to the following:
  1. Tradition
  2. Culture
  3. Preferences
  4. Experience
Sadly, the practical outworking of the lives of Christians and churches comprised of such Christians reflects not an attitude of Sola Scriptura governing our traditions, cultural expressions, preferences, and interpreting our experiences.

If there is going to be serious reform in the body of Christ, it has to start with Sola Scriptura.

Semper Reformanda ... Always Reforming ...

BUT reforming to what end? What is the goal?

That which dictates the reform necessary for a Christians and/or a church is Scripture. That which defines the goal to which we are reforming is Scripture.

But, can we handle the truth? First, we must know & properly understand it. Second, by God's grace we must humbly submit to it (i.e., to Him).

When your tradition conflicts with Scripture, change the tradition.

When your culture conflicts with Scripture, be counter-cultural.

When your preferences conflict with Scripture, change your preferences.

When your experience conflicts with Scripture, question the experience.

THESIS ONE: Sola Scriptura
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.

We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation. -- The Cambridge Declaration

Friday, January 13, 2006

He's a good man ... and thorough.

At a faculty workshop for professors of preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this week we got to spend some time listening to and conversing with the president, Dr. Paige Patterson.

Dr. Patterson presented goals for our preachers (i.e., the ones we produce at SWBTS) and the effect(s) they will have on their congregations.
  1. A Biblically Literate Congregation - Far too many sheep are barely surviving in their malnourished congregations.
  2. A Doctrinally Orthodox Congregation - People need to be taught what is essential and what is not.
  3. A Congregation with a Theocentric Worldview - Too many churches have adopted the culture's values and perspective instead of seeing things from God's viewpoint and persective.
  4. A Congregation with a New Testament Ethic - They need to have a spiritually balanced perspective (e.g., not too committed to law that they become legalistic or too focused on grace that they forget there is law AND understand the tensions that exist betwen sovereignty & responsibility, love & justice, propositional truth & experience, life & eternity, family & church, etc.).
  5. A Responsibly Missionary Congregation - Churches need to be concerned about individual growth (i.e., discipleship) and evangelism & mission.
He encouraged us in our teaching of expository preaching and succinctly defined exposition as "helping people to read the Bible and motivating people to obey the Bible."

Personally, I really enjoyed the conversation I got to have with him regarding the pitfalls of pragmatism for those in ministry, which he noted as his greatest concern. (In our conservative circles, the struggle is no longer for the inerrancy of Scripture, but for the sufficiency of Scripture.)

It was encouraging to have the president of the school share our same outlook as homiletics professors with regard to our approach to the biblical text and our goals for training those who will teach & preach it.

All in all, it was a great experience, especially for my first time to get to meet Dr. Patterson. I can heartily say, I'm glad he's on our side. He's a good man ... and thorough.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

This is the time of year when New Year's Resolutions are made ... and, Lord willing, kept.

I feel inclined in 2006 to do the same (partially due to inspiration of the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards listed below), though mine may not be as easily quantified. I do have some mundane thoughts and aspirations about being more physically fit in 2006 and being more self-disciplined.

However, my resolution for 2006 is to better glorify God through greater manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. I want to really live, which entails glorifying God.

True Christian living is God living in and through a believer. Then God is glorified, when He is seen in and through us. Then God is pleased, for He sees that which is lovely, Himself, in us.

Edwards' #56 gives me further inspiration/resolve:
Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

By God's grace I will glorify Him by displaying the Fruit of the Spirit more so in 2006 and, by His grace, I will not be a slacker ... regardless of what little progress I perceive.

Resolved, that I will really live in 2006.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

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.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

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

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

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

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don't hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

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

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

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.

21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God's glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

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.

26. Resolved, to east away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

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.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is

perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, "A faithful man who can find?" may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects.

34. Resolved, in narration's never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord's day.

39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.

41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1723.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12th.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

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.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.

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

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin.

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.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.

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.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord."

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear', of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon on Psalm 119.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

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.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

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

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