When Jonathan Edwards was but nineteen years of age, he wrote thus in his diary:—
I have this day solemnly renewed my covenant and self-dedication which I made when I was received into the communion of the Church.
I have given myself, all that I am and have, to God
I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God, so that I am not in any respect my own; I can challenge no right in myself; I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members: no right to this tongue, these hands, nor feet; no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell, or taste. I have given myself clear away, and have not retained anything as my own.
I gave myself wholly to Him
I have been to God this morning, and told Him that I gave myself wholly to Him. I have given every power to Him, so that for the future I will challenge no right in myself in any respect. I have expressly promised Him, and do now promise Almighty God, that by His grace I will not.
I did take Him for my whole portion
I have this morning told Him that I did take Him for my whole portion and felicity, looking on nothing else as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were; and His law for the constant rule of my obedience; and would fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life. That I did believe in Jesus Christ; and receive Him as a Prince and a Saviour; and would adhere to the faith and obedience of the gospel, how hazardous and difficult soever the profession and practice of it may be. That I did receive the blessed Spirit as my teacher, sanctifier, and only comforter; and cherish all His motions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and assist me. This I have done. And I pray God, for the sake of Christ, to look upon it as a self-dedication, and to receive me as entirely His own, and deal with me in all respects as such, whether He afflicts me or prospers me, or whatever He pleases to do with me who am His.
I am not to act in any respect as my own
Now henceforth I am not to act in any respect as my own. I shall act as my own, if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying Him my whole and entire business; if I murmur in the least at afflictions; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge; if I do anything purely to please myself; or if I avoid anything for the sake of my ease; if I omit anything because it is a great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of any good that I do, or rather which God does by me; or if I am any way proud.