Sunday, January 29, 2006
I first setup the sturdy tripod. I leveled the top platform of it and checked it with a bubble level. Next, I bolted a metal wedge onto the platform of the tripod. I checked where north was, found the Big Dipper, traced the edge of the "cup" away from the "handle", and followed it to the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. There was the North Star. I turned the tripod so the wedge I installed faced the North Star. Next, I grabbed the orange metal tube from the foot locker. It was mounted on a "fork" with a metal circular base that contained an electric motor. I slid it onto the wedge on top of the tripod. The orange telescope pointed "straight up", but its fork mount was tilted by the wedge so that the telescope was pointing to the North Star.
I got out the battery cables from the foot locker. I walked over to the car battery and clipped the clamps on to the battery poles. I slid the cable into the base of the telescope. I could hear the faint hum of the electric motor. I slid in the eyepiece into the back of the telescope. It was on a diagonal prism. I looked through the finder scope mounted on the Celestron telescope orange tube. I carefully adjusted the controls to line the cross-hairs in the finder scope right onto the North Star. I looked into the main eyepiece; the North Star was almost perfectly centered. Great! No extra work in adjusting the finder scope. Almost ready.
I looked up at the starry canopy and could trace out Cygnus, Lyra, as well as my main focus of interest for tonight, Hercules. I found the bright star Vega in Lyra. I aimed the telescope through the finder scope to Vega. I looked through the telescope and centered it in the eyepiece. It was a very bright blue fiery speck. I turned on my little red LED light and read off Vega’s position on the star chart. I dialed its “right ascension” position on my setting circle dial on the base of the telescope. I found the star Altair in the constellation Aquila, and repeated the same sequence I did with Vega to verify my setting circles, which allows my to determine the “longitude” (right ascension) and “latitude” (declination) of the sky. I was now ready for the main event, M-13, the Globular Cluster in Hercules. It took me only 20 minutes from parking the car to this point of having the telescope setup.
With the setting circles set, I ran the motor controls to aim the telescope at right ascension of 16 hours, 40 minutes, and declination of 36 degrees and 33 seconds, right into the constellation Hercules. I always savored this moment, when I would first see a deep sky object that I’ve never seen through my eyepiece before. I had seen pictures of the great globular cluster, but the thrill of seeing it in my telescope cannot be beat. Its not that the image in my eyepiece will be better than the pictures in the astronomy magazines and textbooks, especially with the Hubble Telescope – it will be vastly inferior. My 8-inch mirror without a CCD or long exposures will not bring out all the rich detail and color seen in those photographs. In fact, most of my friends were disappointed when I showed them any of the deep sky objects. They look so faint, pale, and blah – to them. To me, I’d stare at it for a couple of hours, noting the faint trace of green (in Orion’s Nebula) or other very faint colors that after hours of practice you could begin to see traces of. The Moon was always a crowd pleaser, so was Saturn. But these things were puny compared to the deep sky objects.
I looked at the eyepiece before peering into it. I could see a glow emanating from the tiny lens I’d look through. This was only 40x magnification. Kid’s toy telescopes were advertised at 300x. But this globular cluster was huge; its apparent size was bigger than the full moon – and that being 125,000 light years away! The moon is only a quarter of a light second away. The sun is about 8 light minutes away. It means for the moon, if you turn on a flashlight and aim it to earth, it takes that light about a quarter of a second to reach the earth. Light from the sun takes eight minutes. From this globular cluster, it takes 125,000 years. It is 8,221,500,000 times further away from us than the sun (give or take a few hundered million light years)!
I couldn’t wait any longer. I looked into the eyepiece. I gasped, “Oh my God! It is beautiful!” There it was, a tight circular ball of stars, filling the entire view in my eyepiece. Less stars on the outer circle, getting dense into the middle. I had the illusion of seeing in 3 dimensions. The stars started to blur. I realized my eyes had teared up. I backed off, wiped my eyes, and looked again. I could only see about half the diameter of the cluster in my telescope, but what I saw spanned 80-90 light years across. “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. … When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…” I felt very small, very, very tiny. Who am I against this holy and perfect God? I thought of Isaiah when he beheld God and was undone. But out of all this vastness, God sent his Son to rescue His people, which includes me. I worshiped God as I looked at M-13 for a couple of hours that night. As I looked at the beauty of this jewel of the night, I saw this reflected God’s beauty, glory, His omnipotence, power, His presence, His wisdom, and His intelligence.
I love looking though telescopes at the night sky. As I see the night sky and see the amazing wonders, I am reminded that God is a basic belief of mine. I cannot help but know that God exists, that He is holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. I sense His good pleasure as I look through the eyepiece. I see His play, and sense His delight in showing this to me.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
In the previous post I discussed a version of Rationalism called Foundationalism. Foundationalism is the view that all beliefs are either basic self-evident beliefs, or beliefs that are directly supported by self-evident beliefs by beliefs that in turn are supported by other beliefs that trace all the way back to the basic self-evident beliefs. Foundationalism then asserts that there is a "moral duty" to only have beliefs in your life that are either proper basic, self-evident beliefs, or beliefs that are properly supported that trace their way back to the self-evident beliefs. One of the interesting issues that Alvin Plantinga pointed out is that belief of Foundationalism itself is not provable in a Foundational system. It is not a basic self-evident belief. It has not be shown to logically fit in the layers of beliefs built up from generally accepted basic beliefs.
While Foundationalism as a philosophy can not be consistently applied, it does not mean that there is no such thing as basic, self-evident beliefs and beliefs that are built on top of those beliefs based on an evidential chain that traces back to the basic beliefs.
What is the nature of self-evident, basic beliefs? Usually are classed as:
1. Self-evident beliefs, such as 1+2=3.
2. Beliefs about your own person and your feelings, such as I feel dizzy.
3. Beliefs that come from the senses, such as seeing a tree.
But these beliefs may not be so reliable as they may appear. If I see a tree, but am told by a reliable authority that there are many artificial trees in this area that look like real trees, I might find that I may doubt my senses on this point. Also, basic beliefs often are built out of inductive examples. For instance, small children will see many examples of trees and through all of that learn "treeness." This also fits with how neural-network systems are programmed, they are given various inputs and are informed which fit and do not fit what the programmer desires the neural network to learn. With basic beliefs built from many examples, each person may have their own set of basic beliefs that are built with examples specific to them. The basic beliefs and the examples can vary from person to person.
Does this mean that anything goes for basic beliefs? Not really. There can be counter examples to the examples that use to support a basic belief. For instance, if it is the Christmas season and I'm in a Seasonal Concepts store where I see a tree, I am in a situation where I've learned that those "trees" that I see are probably not real trees. Thus basic beliefs can have a contextual situations that limits whether that belief is valid or not.
Further, there is training. Usually we don't learn 1+2=3 by ourselves, but are taught that as small children. Someone may be mis-taught that 5x5=20, but later examples and other authorities can provide conflicting information that leads a child to abandon 5x5=20 and adopt 5x5=25, which then can become a basic self-evident belief. This also points that basic beliefs can and do change over time for each individual.
So basic beliefs are not whims, groundless beliefs.
One question I've got is where does the belief in God fit in all this? There are many who would argue that belief in God has no room in a logical/evidential belief system. Others argue that belief in God is a secondary belief that requires evidential support. Another view is that belief in God is a basic, self-evident belief. I would argue that for many Christians, this latter is the form of belief, and rightly so. This is because Scripture seems to indicate that those who come to God do so because they "see God" in some real sense. In this case, God is as basic a belief to them as the belief that their spouse is sitting in the same room with them.
Does this mean that for those whose belief in God is a basic, self-evident belief, that this is a groundless belief, a belief that runs counter to evidence? No, just as other basic beliefs, such as seeing trees, are not isolated from contrary examples or evidence. However, these people reject the notion that God must not be a basic belief. They would ask what the criteria would be to eliminate God from basic belief.
It is possible, then, to be rational and hold to God's existence as being a basic belief.
There is much more to write about this, but my time is very limited today.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Imagine a wall made of bricks. At the bottom of the wall is the foundation layer of bricks. Bricks and stacked on top of that wall until the whole wall is constructed. Imagine that those bricks represent logical ideas or propositions. The bottom layer is the foundation. Each of those bricks are: (1) self-evident (such as 1+2=3), (2) immediate knowledge about ourselves (I feel dizzy), (3) immediate knowledge gained through our senses (I see a tree outside). The layers on top of the foundation bricks are ideas supported by the bricks below it.
A foundationalist says we need to order our thoughts like that brick wall, and if we don't, we aren't rational. Any logical idea that is not properly foundational nor completely supported by the logical ideas below it, should be rejected. This idea has been popular in the Western world. However, there is a problem with foundationalism (in fact, there are many problems with foundationalism). The logical idea of foundationalism itself has never been proven within this framework. Hence, a foundationalist, in order to be consistent, needs to reject the logical idea of foundationalism.
I should note immediately this is not a rejection of logic. Rather, logic is employed to show the logical contradition of the foundations of foundationalism, which is a method of thinking which assumes certain premises, which logic finds that those premises are inconsistent.
I'm expand on this idea in later posts.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
As I am reading the first essay in Faith & Rationality (by Plantinga), I was reminded of a discussion I had with an atheist in an Internet discussion group (I'll call him Fred, not to protect the innocent, but to cover my forgetting his name). Fred was big on the notion that unusual claims required unusually strong evidence. As you might guess, any evidence offered for Christianity did not meet the requirements for strength for what he saw was the unusually strong claims of Christianity. After watching others discuss things with Fred, I decided to turn the tables on him. I noted that his claim was very remarkable -- that there was absolutely no God, since he was an atheist and strongly advocated that God did not exist. How did he know? What evidence could he offer that God positively did not exist? That was a remarkable claim, and hence the evidence should also be unusually strong.
Of course he didn't see it my way. It was fun to see Fred try to wiggle out of that.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
This paragraph starts the chapter of the Holy Trinity in the Westminster Confession of Faith. This paragraph could be unpacked into volumes.
Here are some brief notes:
- The old language of the Confession sepaks of God without "passions." This is not saying that God doesn't have anger, love, or hate -- because othe rest of this paragraph expresses that God has those. What is meant is that God does not have "inordinate passions" or is ruled beyond reason by emotion.
- God as immutable speaks primarily of God's unchangeable attributes and His steadfast purpose.
- God as incomprehensible does not mean that there is nothing about God that can be comprehended in any way, rather it speaks that God cannot be comprehended fully.
Monday, January 16, 2006
- A-Theory: Viewing time as moving "now," where the future doesn't exist, versus
- B-Theory: The view that the past, present, and future always exist and time is our ordering of all those things into a past, present, and future.
In viewpoint B, all events exist throughout all eternity. Time is viewed as the ordering of all those events into a before (history) and after (future). Time itself does not really exist, as it does in viewpoint A. It is merely the ordering of all the events.
J.M.E McTaggart presented this description of these contrasting view of time in 1908, in a paper called the Unreality of Time. McTaggert makes a distinction within viewpoint B, breaking that viewpoint into B series and C series. For the purposes of our discussion, I'll refer to those two viewpoints as viewpoint B (or B Series).
William Lane Craig has a series of articles using this terminology.
How you view God in relation to time will depend in part in how you view time. Those people who hold to the timelessness of God often view time as B-Theory (to use Craig's terms). Those who view God working in some kind of time (not necessarily with time associated with the universe or time we are in) often view time as A-Theory.
People will often use these time theories to explain Biblical predestination. Those who do not take a "Calvinistic" view on predestination, namely that God makes the sovereign choice independently and prior to human existence, sometimes explain predestination in terms of God, existing outside of time, seeing the existence of each human and determining His choice based on what He sees in that person's life (such as exercising faith in Christ). This description uses the B-Theory view of time.
Others, often Calvinists, will describe predestination in terms of God, before the foundation of the world, makes His choice prior to the existence of any human, before they have lived their life, before they have done anything. This description uses some of the A-Theory viewpoint.
So, which theory is correct? Craig writes in detail about each of these two views in his papers I listed above. They make for interesting reading.
Personally, I favor the A-Theory. There are several reasons I hold to this:
- God is described in the Bible as being an active God, initiating things. God is the principal actor in the Bible. In my mind this makes the most sense in A-Theory time.
- God created ex nihilo (out of nothing). This implies that at one point in "time," all the created things did not exist -- they had no ontological existence. B-Theory seems to imply an ontological existence of all created things in eternity, which contradicts ex nihilo creation.
What are your thoughts?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I plan on continuing the Westminster Confession of Faith series. In the WCF series, I anticipate discussing some issues about God and time. There are a variety of views about God and time. Augustine advocated a "timeless God" position, where God is completely outside of any time and there is no time associated with God's being. There are other views (at least 3 others, as the book title implies).
Over the past few years, I've thought that Augustine's "timeless God" has a few logical issues. Time, by its definition, involves an ordering of "events." The Bible paints a picture of God doing things, not an static God. Because God does things, it implies that there are things that can be ordered in such a way we can legitimately say that was, in God's view, prior to what He did, and after His action.
We must take several things into account. God is not "under" time in the universe. As cosmologists and physicists have observed, time that we are familiar with in the universe is something that is bound to this universe and did not exist prior to the existence of the universe (admittedly, the concept of "prior" before time is somewhat problematic). So, this hypothetical time associated with God is independent of the universe's existence. It is something that is part of God Himself. There also seems to be a "mapping" (used in the mathematical sense) of God's time with time we are familiar with. I don't think the mapping is necessarily linear, nor possibly describable with any mathematical function we can discern.
Secondly, descriptions about God are often anthropomorphic; these descriptions often use human analogies to describe God. Time related activity with God has some of those elements in it, such as God changing His mind, repenting. We've got to be very careful to observe the distinction we are created in God's image, but not to return the favor in creating God in our image.
These concepts are not completely out of line with others in my tradition or denomination. I remember some of the conversations I had with a past pastor at my church about the subject. His view was that God does have time associated with Him, there is a notion of past, present and future with God, in addition to God knowing all of the past present and future.
These are just some of the worthless idle thoughts I have while commuting to and from work.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I'm home with the flu today. I've been listening to various Internet podcasts. Renewing your mind is broadcasting a series on The Christian Mind. R.C. Sproul says what I've been saying, but he says it much better than I did:
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Thursday, January 05, 2006
This is probably one of the most differenct (perhaps bizzarre) ways of approaching a discussion on Revelation.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Sunday, January 01, 2006
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.
(Resolutions 1 through 21 written in on 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 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. Dec.26, 1722.
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. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
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. Dec.22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord's day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
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. Jan. 7, 1723.
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. Jan. 11, 1723.
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, 1722-23.
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 12. Jan.12, 1723.
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. Jan.12, 1723.
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. Jan.12 and 13.1723.
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. Sabbath morning. May 5,1723.
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. May 26, 1723.
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. July 5, 1723.
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. July 8, 1723.
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. July 8, 1723.
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. July 8, 1723.
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. July 8, 1723.
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. July 8, 1723.
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. June 9, and July 13 1723.
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. May27, and July 13, 1723.
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. May 12, July ii, and July 13.
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. July 4, and 13, 1723.
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. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
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." June 25 and July 13, 1723.
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. Jan.14' and July '3' 1723.
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. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
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. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.
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. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. Aug. 17, 1723