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Have I?

In the months after his conversion in 1735, George Whitefield kept a Diary to help him grow in his Christian life. “The Diary begins with a list of criteria which he used each night as a basis of judging himself on his actions during the day. The list is, Have I:

  1. Been fervent in private prayer?
  2. Used stated hours of prayer?
  3. Used [a brief private prayer] every hour?
  4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to Gods glory?
  5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?
  6. Planned business for the day?
  7. Been simple and recollected in everything?
  8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
  9. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
  10. Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?
  11. Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?
  12. Taken time for giving thanks according to Laws rules? [referring to William Law]
  13. Been diligent in studies?
  14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
  15. Confessed all sins?

“Each day’s entry in the Diary is in two parts, a page to a part. On one page he lists the specific activities of each hour of the day and makes a self-examination, on the basis of the criteria, of the merits or demerits of each hour. On the second page he records any unusual activity throughout the day, but above all, gives expression to his inner self. The longings of his soul, a searching of his motives, severe self-reproach for the slightest wrong and bursts of praise to God, are all recorded without inhibition.”