I Am Resolved
The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards
Whenever we think of revival, our minds often turn to one of the men God greatly used in the past: Jonathan Edwards. During his brief life of fifty-five years, he became known as a great thinker, theologian and pastor.
Edwards was committed to a desire and discipline unto godliness. He fleshed out some of his hunger for God by making personal commitments he termed “resolutions.” These resolutions provided a framework or pathway for him to follow so he would not stray from God and become cold and indifferent.
I believe these resolutions are appropriate for us to consider today. We might
change the terminology slightly, but not the theology. If we
are to be men and women who would be used of God for the cause
of revival, we too should make these resolutions our own.
-Dr. Wynne Kimbrough
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.
Resolved, if I ever 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.
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and the common circumstances which attend to death.
Resolved to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
Resolved, that I will live so, as I wish I had done when I come to die.
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.
Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
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 anyway that can be thought of.
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 natural of it.
Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is which causes me in the least to doubt the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find to abate my assurance.
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.
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.
Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent—what sin I have committed—and wherein denied myself; also at the end of every week, month and year.
Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day.
Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.
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 eye; and to be especially careful of it with the respect to any of our family.
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.
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.
Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin.
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.
Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yet at such time, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.
Resolved, that I will not give way to listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, what ever excuse I may have for it.
Resolved, when I find those groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26) of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of the 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 weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, not of the repetitions of such earnestness.
Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, with the greatest openness, of which 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 everything, and every circumstance.
Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what am I better for them, and what I might have got by them.
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.
Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
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