A Teenager's Resolutions (Part 3)
We continue our series on "The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards" -- which were written when he was only 19. As mentioned in Part 2, each installment will include ten of Edward's Resolutions along with a short, supplementary excerpt by or about Edwards.
Today's supplement comes courtesy of JonathanEdwards.com -- an invaluable resource on the life and work of Jonathan Edwards. The following excerpt, which gives a little background to Edward's Resolutions, is nothing more than their introductory paragraph, written by the editors of JonathanEdwards.com:
As Edwards father taught him, he always thought and studied with his pen in his hand. His "Resolutions" are, like Benjamin Franklin's, a set of rules of self-discipline that Edwards believed were a set of guidelines to live his life by. The first 24 were written in one sitting in 1722, and a total of 34 were completed by mid December. There are 70 total "Resolutions" the last of which was written on August 17, 1723. Edwards pledged to read them once a week for the rest of his life.
Read Part One - Resolutions #1-10
THE RESOLUTIONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, 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. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)
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 cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, 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.
Read Part Two - Resolutions #11-20
Read Part Three - Resolutions #21-30
Read Part Four - Resolutions #31-40
Read Part Five - Resolutions #41-50
Read Part Six - Resolutions #51-60
Read Part Seven - Resolutions #61-70
Read Closing Statements