When she speaks of this in general, she says it always requires a living as in his sight, in conformity to him and communion with him; that a Christian, walking with God, must be humble, under a sense of his own vileness and God’s great condescension; and close, and steady, and persevering, and lively, and cheerful – in opposition to sluggishness and melancholy. And her own practice very much corresponded with her right knowledge of the duty, if we observe (by her diary) how she lived in a daily awe of God’s omniscience, in holy meditation of him, in humble expectations from him, and in constant devotedness of herself entirely to him.

She always began her day with God by consecrating her first and freshest thoughts to him, that she might guard against vanity and temptation and worldly discomposures, and keep her heart in tune for the following duties of the day.

She always accounted the morning not only a friend to the Muses but also to the Graces,[1] and found it the fittest time for the best services. She never – or very rarely – entered upon any worldly business till she had begun with God and consecrated the first-fruits of the day to him in her closet by reading, meditation and prayer, before family worship; often urging on herself the words of the psalmist, My voice shalt thou hear in the morning; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.[2]

When reading, singing and prayer in the family was over, she constantly withdrew again to her closet, and ordinarily spent most of her morning there. She first lighted her lamp (as she expressed it) by reading the Holy Scripture, for the most part with Mr Henry’s Annotations;[3] diligently compared parallel texts, and took a great pleasure in synchronizing the history of the Bible and reducing things to their place and time. She then poured out her soul to God in prayer, with constant regard for the intercession of Christ; would often bitterly bewail the wanderings of her heart in that duty, and plead covenant grace and faithfulness; and so finish her morning work with some hymn of praise, and giving herself an account of all in her diary.

Through the rest of the day, she walked with God and carefully observed her goings; avoided the occasions of sin, watched over her heart and guarded her lips; accustomed herself to hourly conferences with others; was frequently lifting up her heart to God in ejaculatory prayers or praises, upon any occurrence. When at any time she had been surprised by sin, she presently reflected, confessed, repented, and had fresh recourse to the blood of Christ,[4] and solemnly engaged to God for greater circumspection for the future.

In the evening, as early as she could, she called herself to an account for all that had passed in the day, and again stated the account in her diary. Having opened her heart to God, and committed herself and her all to him, and sung to his praise, she then cheerfully joined in family worship.

[1] In Greek mythology, the Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, were inspirers of poetry, music etc.; the Graces were three beautiful goddess sisters, the bestowers of beauty and charm.

[2] Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

[3] Op. cit.

[4] I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.


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