A. D. 1677.
Sept. 2. Die Dom. Mr. Slater preached from Acts v 4, whence he proved the Holy Ghost to be God. Afternoon, Mr. Keeling, from Prov. iv. 23, showed very well how we ought to keep our hearts, especially from our own corruptions, which, like a leak in a ship, though there was no rock to split upon, would, without care, sink us to all eternity.
3. I was at Mr. Lawrence's at the Fast for the Fire. Oh, that there
was a heart in me seriously to set about (what he exhorted to) the great
work of repentance and reformation !
9. Die Dom. Mr. Ralphson (though to me in-cognito, else I have a charge from my good Father not to hear him, as a person less orthodox) preached for Mr. S. from Psalm xxxvii. 5, A Christian ought to live a dependent life upon Christ. Mr. Keeling from 1 Cor. vii. 29, What would the damned give for a little time, and yet how hardly are we prevailed with to redeem this time. At night Mr. Baker, from Matth. xii. 39, showed that most of our words, if rightly considered, are idle words, because, though perhaps they have no direct tendency to evil, yet they are not edifying.
13. Mr. Baxter showed, that God gives graces and gifts for the good of his Church ; private persons as well as ministers should improve them to that purpose; and that we should labour to prevent ignorance, pride, and hypocrisy, as very dangerous though common evils.
15. At home most of the day, reading in Mr. Clark's History, Mirror, and Persecutions.
16. Die Dom. Mr. Ralphson preached again for Mr. S. from Amos iii. 7, but not to my great satisfaction, seeming, though covertly, to infuse his own principles.
18. At the Glasshouse Lecture, forenoon, though it was thronged : could hear little: at home in the afternoon.
22. I was most part at home, but might have improved time better than I did; towards night, I went with Elkana Boyse to Southwark to see the elephant, &c.
23. Die Dom. Dr. Owen preached very well of the power of Christ; but was sore thronged, that I could neither write nor hear very well.
24. Forenoon spent in doing little or nothing; after dinner went with Mr. T. D. to see the tombs in Westminster Abbey. No quality is exempted from death.
28. Most of the forenoon was near the Temple, where was a terrible fire : it was almost quenched ere I got thither; but yet to me it was so dreadful, that I can scarce suppress the terrible idea of it, especially thinking upon the miserable condition of several grievously wounded, and one laid upon the grass sadly mangled, his face and head so dreadfully burnt, broken, and mishapen, that it could scarcely be perceived to be a face. I saw a man pass his hand from the broken skull through his very mouth, which, with all the aggravating circumstances, struck such a terror into my mind, that I fear, if left to my own poor strength, would have prejudiced me.
29. I spent too much time vainly at home and abroad; was a great part of the day at Guildhall. In the chapel, Dr. Bell preached very honestly for love and amity amongst Christians ; and though we cannot close with their opinions, yet should respect their persons.
30. Die Dom. Mr. Thomson preached (Zach. ii. 10,) that the Lord will take away his staff of beauty, even his word and ordinances, from those that will not be fed by them. Mr. Buck preached very well from 1 Thess. iii. 3, concerning the afflictions of God's people. He was a very young person, and yet preached excellently, which affected me extremely; and sadly reproved my loss of time that he should be fit so notably to teach others, and I be not fit to hear, much less practise aright.
Oct. 1. Most part of the forenoon at Guildhall, to see the Sheriffs in their pomp and splendid gallantry go to take the oath at Westminster, &c. All the afternoon at home with Mrs. Mitley and Mrs. M. Madox, helping them in cutting paper, &c.
2. Forenoon, heard Dr. Owen preach at Pinners-hall ; but to my shame may I confess how many thoughts and imaginations were in me. After dinner, went to the Strand to inquire after crayons, but in vain.
3. Went thither again about crayons, and got sixty, a set, for 2s. 6d. and several in besides. Rest of the day at home.
4. At the Hall* in the forenoon, at a fast afterward.
6. At home all day, drawing a picture, writing, and reading; but yet, alas ! how little of this time is spent in matters of eternal concernment.
8. At home all the day, mostly imitating a picture Joseph and his Mistress.
9. Dr. Jacomb, at Pinners-hall, showed, from Job xi. 7, it is impossible for a finite creature to comprehend an infinite God : we ought to bless God for the little knowledge we may have of him, but where he sees good to conceal himself, we should not be sinfully curious. The rest of the day at home drawing. Evening, the Tuesday-night meeting at our house. Mr. Darrington repeated an excellent sermon of Mr. West's: it is a hard matter to perform any good duty and not to overvalue it, but the best are unable to save us, nor were they appointed by God for that end.
16. Mr. Baxter, from the eighth commandment, showed very well the different sorts of stealing : when they overreach in their bargains ; entice others to game to get their money; when servants or others are not true in their accounts, but take of their masters' money to maintain their lewd courses ; when children get any thing surreptitiously from their parents, &c. These are all forbid, as well as downright stealing. Afternoon, at Westminster Abbey, transcribing some epitaphs.
20. Called up in the night with the alarm of fire ; went with Mrs. M. to give the best assistance we could to a friend without Bishopsgate.
22. Forenoon at home ; after, walked to Newing-ton to see the church, and the eminent Dr. Manton's funeral, who, being deservedly styled the King of Preachers, was attended with the vastest number of ministers of all persuasions, &c. that ever I saw together in my life.
23. Forenoon heard Dr. Bates at Pinners-hall. He showed that it is a duty to exercise faith and patience in our greatest troubles.
28. Die Dom. Mr. Ralphson made a sermon, but, in my opinion, none of the best. His subject should have been, that sufferings precede the glory of God's children ; he more than hinted at Christ's personal reign. Afternoon, Mr. White, from Phil, ii. 12, showed very well the freeness and immensity of God's grace, but that we should work out our own salvation with fear and trembling ; for the operation of God's power and grace do not exclude our industry.
29. I was to see the Lord Mayor's show, where I got a sight of the King, Queen, Duke of York, Prince of Orange and Princess, Lady Anne, many of the nobility, &c., and have great cause to bless God for preserving me from imminent danger, a great part of the lofts we stood upon falling down, but, through mercy, I got away before the end came down.
31. Mr. Lawrence showed very well the excellency and necessity of Christ's Love. Afternoon at Hyde Park, to see the soldiers train before the King.
Nov. 2. At the monthly fast, where Dr. Jacomb, from 1 Cor. x. 13, showed very well that God doth not chastise his people according to what he is able, they deserve, or their enemies desire, but in measure, according to his own good pleasure.
4. Die Dom. Mr. Taylor, from 1 Tim. iv. 18, showed that the refusal of Christ, as he is offered in the Gospel, doth expose sinners to eternal punishment. Mr. , from Matt. xvi. 18, confuted the Popish tenet of Peter's being the foundation of their Popes, and showed that Christ himself is the rock upon which the true church is so built, as that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
5. Mr. Lawrence, from Isaiah xxvii. 23, showed very well that God will have a special care and providence in all ages. Evening, to see the fireworks, &c.
7. All, or most of the day, imitating the pictures of Huss and Jerome of Prague.
8. At the Hall, and at home making Luther and Zuinglius's pictures.
10. At Guildhall hearing some causes tried, and at home made Knox's picture.
13. At Westminister Hall to see the Judges, &c. and at home making Beza's picture, &c.
20. Dr. Bates preached at the Glasshouse, of the New-birth ; but I could scarcely hear anything. Rest of the day writing part of a sermon, &c.
27. Mr. Jenkins preached from 2 Cor. ii. 14. In the afternoon at the Tower, to see the French Ambassador's entrance in state, &c.
Dec. 4. Dr. Bates showed, that in a true Christian there must be ,a perseverance to the end in well doing. At home rest of day. Evening, at the private Meeting, where Mr. West's sermon concerning the knowledge of God was repeated :* he knows himself and every creature, all the good and evil done in the world, the end thou hast in all duties, &c.
25. Cousin D. was pleased to go along with me to several churches to see the tombs, &c.; after dinner to see Cousin Ibbetson, &c.
29. Forenoon at home, writing, &c. ; after dinner, at Lord Privy Seal's in Drury Lane, with a letter to Mr. Hurst.