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Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada

 Thomas Adam (1701 -1784) His "Confessions"

I thought it would be a benefit to some, to introduce some passages taken out of a book that i did obtain some years back titled, "Private Thoughts On Religion", by Thomas Adam (1701 - 1784). The book contains extracts from his own private diary , and was published shortly after his death. I came across it upon reading Andrew Bonar's "Memoir & Remains Of Robert Murray M'Cheyne", in where Robert M'Cheyne is to write:
"Sept 8 (1833) - Reading Adams' Private Thoughts. Oh for his heart-searching humility! Ah me! On what mountains of pride must I be wandering, when all I do is tinctured with the very sins this man so deplores; yet where are my wailings, where my tears, over my love of praise?" (Banner Of Truth Trust; Reprint edition 2009; Quote extracted from pages 22 & 23).
Thereupon that time, I decided within myself, "If M'Cheyne said that of this man and his book, then I must get myself a copy."

These excerpts in this initial post are taken from the chapter, "Confessions", and are recorded on pages 25 -27:

"I can forgive others more easily than myself. But, query, whether this is not rather the effect of pride to find I am no better, than real humiliation. For true compunction, repentance towards God by a work of the Spirit, is for sin as sin, and for all sin, secret as well as open. I have reason to think that I grieve and feel much more for a sin which is seen and observed, than for a greater which is not."

"I should not care if all the world saw my sin, if I could be sure that God did not. And why do I dread His knowledge of me? Not so much from a general concern for having offended so gracious and good a Being, as fear of His punishment."

"Whatever graces I pray for, whatever good I do, is too much with a view of self, for the ease and satisfaction of my mind, for reputation, to preserve my own good opinion, with too little regard for the glory of God, and the benefit of others."

"If I had been less a sinner, I should probably have known less of Christ, and of my obligation of Him that I do, and with the knowledge of Christ saving me from the curse and ruin of my sin, I am sure I should have been less concerned for it, and afraid of it, than I am."

"I never was thankful, as I ought, for the common blessings of providence, for health and abundance; and, behold! I am for pain, and think I could be so in want. Whose work is this?"

"I see the devil's hook, and yet cannot help nibbling at his bait."

"I can be courteous, humane, beneficent, and abstain from outward sin with hard struggling, but who shall make me humble, charitable, and pure in heart?"

"I believe I am not what I should be; I believe I shall be what I am not, I believe in the power of God, I believe in my own weakness."

"Inactive and silent for fear of giving offence, for ease and quiet, for want of love and real concern for the spiritual good of others, and all from a root of unbelief."

"The evil which I know and feel in myself, though not denied, causes no suitable dislike or self-abhorrence, what I see or suppose to be in others, I am too apt heartily to despise them for. What blindness, pride, and malevolence!"

"I can say truly, I have great need of Christ. Thank God, I can say boldly, I have a great Christ for my need."

"The world in my heart is a worse distemper that any that Christ cured. O Jesus!"

"What shall I do to live one day without sin?"

"Four things are a great grief of heart to me, that I do not love God more, nor hate sin more, nor abhor myself more, and that the world generally thinks so much better of me, as a Christian, than I deserve."

""Mortify your members." I have not had this end sufficiently in view, and hardly ever thought duty of any such thing."

"At the age of sixty, I thought it humility enough to confess myself a threescore years old sinner! Little imagining that I must say the same if I lived to be fourscore."

"Much forgiven, and little love; How is it?"

"Is there any thing in my heart or life displeasing to God? The question must be answered."

"I am continually looking for the substantial ground, and adequate meritorious cause of justification in myself, whereas it is solely in Christ; and though I am answerable to Him for the graitude, fidelity, and loyalty of a pure heart, it is not the cause, but the effect and consequence of my salvation by Him."

"Jan 23, 1765: It was evident to me that for a worldly advantage I could and would do and forbear what I do not for God and heaven."

"Feb 15, 1765: Is there, is there, O my soul, a call this day to God, to His obedience, to purity of heart, to love, to an humble hope of being owned by Him, and living with Him for ever? - There is."


 2014/5/4 3:27Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada

 Re: Thomas Adam (1701 -1784) His "Confessions"

These excerpts are taken from the chapter "Confessions", and are recorded on pages 4 - 6:

"I content myself with telling God that I want His graces, and yet can bear well enough to be without them."

"Devoted to ease and sloth, never easy in doing nothing, and always contriving to have nothing to do."

"If I love God, I must love Him for His holiness, and how then can I love sin? Nevertheless I have full conviction in myself that I do not hate it as I ought."

"Where I have I not sinned? The reason is evident, I carry myself about with me."

"I would have joy of Christ, and take possession of His benefits, without His heart, without entering into His views, or taking part in his labours."

"It is my great unhappiness and curse of nature that I cannot please both God and myself."

""Grant that this day I fall into no sin." When I was saying these words, Feb 23, 1763, I sinned grievously by an uncharitable thought of C.S."

"I pray faintly, and with reserve, merely to quiet conscience, for present ease, and almost wishing not to be heard. In a full prayer for full deliverance there is hope."

"All my reading and pursuit of knowledge is more with a view to talking than my own private use, or the benefit of others."

"Day by day I am in pursuit of pleasure from animal gratifications, and my life is still propped by sensuality, only a little more decently than formerly."

"I should be ready to die with shame and vexation if others knew what I have been doing in the world, and what I am: it gives me but little concern that the eye of God is always upon me."

"In bodily ailments I look out every way for help without delay. I have no such anxiety for my soul, though I feel the plague of it and know of an infallible Physician."

"If I might have my beloved enjoyment, and live cordially to my own will as long as I pleased, I do not perceive that I should choose to die soon, and go to heaven for the sake of being with God and freed from sin."

"In a state of great danger and horror from self (January 1768) than if I was in a town on fire at midnight, with two lions, a tiger, and three bears broke loose, and devouring all before them."

"Two things I know with infallible certainty, that I cannot help myself, and that I am un-helped. I have wishes, form resolutions, make efforts, say prayers, mention particular sins, but do not find that I am a jot better. The only hopeful thing in my case is, that I do not despair."

"Whether a late occurrence was a providential direction or not, it has convinced me, beyond all doubt, that I never reflected enough upon the uncertainty and emptiness of worldly things, and that my heart and treasure are not so much in heaven as I imagined."

""Woe be to the idol (Heb. good for nothing) shepherd!" I am a sinful creature. Lord, pardon me and pity my weakness, and make me duly sensible of what I am, that I may humble myself before Thee. Perserve me from self-love, and from the love of the world, and from the workings of a carnal mind, and bring me back again to Thyself, through Jesus Christ, by the Spirit. Amen."

"I want one point of selfishness, which is to convert the word of God to my own use. All the reflections I make upon the pride, corruption, blindness, and deadly fall of man, upon the necessity of the daily cross, and death to the world, I bestow freely upon others, and am hindered by the deceitfulness of my own heart, and artifice of the devil, from turning the edge of them upon myself."


 2014/5/4 14:42Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada


These excerpts are taken from pages 7 - 8, in the same chapter:

"I have just enough religion enough to make me gloomy, morose, proud, censorious; but not enough to make me cheerful, easy, good-natured, humble, and charitable."

"The same failings, perverse tempers, and evil habits which I see, and abhor justly, in others, I know and believe to be in myself, and possibly in a higher degree; and yet in my spite of my reason, judgment, and conviction, in spite of all the efforts I can use, I neither do nor see them in the same light in myself as I do in others."

"I have lived hitherto in a continual state of darkness, deception, and lying to myself. Though I have practiced one kind of self-denial, so as to be taken by some, and almost to take myself, for a christian indeed, I now find, by a recent instance, that the chain which binds me to the world is as strong as ever. I am resolved for the future not to believe any thing of myself till after sufficient time of trail."

"I want humility for what? To be admired. My pride will hardly let me believe this, though I fear it is true."

"A certain person told me, that is advising, speaking of religious matters, and recommending religious truths, I was fierce, passionate, uncondescending. Blessed be God, I am sensible of it, and may God bless my friend for the admonition, though I fear it proceeded in part from anger. See and consider Galatians 5:19, 26; 6:1, 3. I cannot help observing that I had a very strong touch of this matter upon my spirit a day or two before my friend told me of it."

"When I hear of any crime or series of villany, I think I have got a plausible occasion of giving full scope to the passion of hatred, and my indignation immediately rises to the utmost: But then I feel distinctly within myself that it is not against the sin, but the person; and, without any mixture of pity, I fairly give him up to destruction, and could rejoice to be the author and instrument of his sufferings. And though this might be executed, as proceeding from a proper detestation of vice, yet I fear there is little in it at the bottom besides pride and self-conceit, which are always accompanied with a lurking, diabolical malignity of heart."

"When I see others astonishly blind to their own failings, I suppose it to be my own case, and should think that man my friend who helps to open my eyes."

"The great work is still to do; the heart is kept back, and God will accept nothing less from me. My guilt is damnable in with-holding it, because I know and believe His love, and what Christ has done to gain my consent; O heavens! to what? My own happiness."


 2014/5/4 16:05Profile

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