Sunday, November 29, 2009

Promises to God

Cotton Mather writes (Magnalia Christi Americana, Vol. 1, pp. 408-409) that among his grandfather's private papers was found a manuscript containing Richard Mather's promises to God, written in 1633, and renewed in 1636.

Promissiones Deo factae, per me, Richardum Matherum.

21 D. 6 M. 1633. [June 21, 1633]

Psal. lxvi. 13, 14.
Psal. cxix. 106.
Psal. lvi. 12.
Neh. ix. 33, with x. 29, 30, 31, &c.

I. Touching the Ministry.

1. To be more painful and diligent in private preparations, for preaching, by reading, meditation, and prayer; and not slightly and superficially. Jer. xlviii. 10. Eccl. ix. 10. 1 Tim. iv. 13, 15.

2. In and after preaching, to strive seriously against inward pride, and vain-glory.

3. Before and after preaching, to beg by prayer the Lord's blessing on his word, for the good of souls, more carefully than in time past. 1 Cor. iii. 6. Acts xvi. 14.

II. Touching the Family.

1. To be more frequent in religious discourse and talk, Deut. vi. 7.

2. To be more careful in catechising children. Gen. xviii. 19. Prov. xxii. 6. Eph. vi. 4. And therefore to bestow some pains this way, every week once; and if by urgent occasions it be sometimes omitted, to do it twice as much another week.

III. Touching My self.

1. To strive more against worldly cares and fears, and against the inordinate love of earthly things. Mat. vi. 25, &c. Psal. lv. 22. 1 Pet. v. 7. Phil. iv. 6.

2. To be more frequent and constant in private prayer. Mat. vi. 6. and xiv. 23. Psal. lv. 17. Dan. vi. 10.

3. To practise more carefully and seriously, and frequently the duty of self-examination. Lam. iii. 40. Psal. iv. 4. Psal. cxix. 59; especially before the receiving of the Lord's Supper. 1 Cor. xi. 28.

4. To strive against carnal security, and excessive sleeping. Prov. vi. 9, 10, and Prov. xx. 13.

5. To strive against vain jangling, and mispending precious time. Eph. v. 16.

IV. Touching Others.

1. To be more careful and zealous, to do good unto their souls, by private exhortations, reproofs, instructions, conferences of God's word. Prov. x. 21, and xv. 17. Lev. xix. 17. Psal. xxxvii. 30.

2. To be ready to do offices of love and kindness, not only, or principally, for the praise of men, to purchase commendation for a good neighbour, but rather out of conscience to the commandment of God. Phil. ii. 4. 1 Cor. x. 24. Heb. xiii. 16.

Renewed with a profession of disabilities in my self, for performance, and of desire to fetch power from Christ, thereunto to live upon him, and act from him, in all spiritual duties.

15. D. 6. M. 1636. [June 15, 1636]

Richard Mather

No comments:

Post a Comment