Moncure Daniel Conway Journal, January 1, 1853.

    Source citation
    Moncure Daniel Conway, Diary, 1851-1853, MC 1999.6, Moncure Daniel Conway Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, p. 123-125.
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    January 1st Another Year has dawned on me. I watched for it last night and at midnight I sang on my knees the covenant of hymn. I hope I did so with a true and sincere Revolution to dedicate myself afresh to God. The old sacrifices of ceremony are done away with, but God demands the sacrifice of my entire being to him.

    This morning by engag't. I went to have a conv. With N. Wilson. It was a serious one. He protested before that I should wait till grown old before deciding. I told him that I thought that this cure was said to be in age for skepticism was simply, that persons got so entwined with earth's cares & uses that they became to wd. the last inclined to temporize! He said that he supposed I was sincere when I spoke of being converted, - but he thought he could awaken a doubt of it in my mind. I went over all my religious experience. He found fault only with the fact that I did not speak of having the Bible with me in all my exercises: but I think he was convinced of my conversion.

    I met with Jack Marys who gave me a Lecture & afterward fr. wht he said Pa was excited thinking I had been divulging my "peculiar news" it grieves me very much that my opinions excite him so much. O if only I could do anything to relieve it: - I cannot. The other ev'g he almost gave away to Mr. Wilson 4 Scholarships at Dickinson wh. he paid $25 apiece for simply because he believed they had helped to unsettle my faith there in latitudinarian teaching! We all dined at Uncle Eustace's - discussed politics & as Dr. D. said "beef & literature." Purchased 1 pr. boots $3.50 footed. - Tonight Uncle John & I got into a discussion bearing upon Ancient & modern Literature - he upholding the former & abusing this wh. I took up for. In this course some of the modern radicals were mentioned wh. Brought out Pa's interpretive power. O what a time!

    I feel tonight somewhat sad: I find how little sympathy I have with the exciting state of things. As I saw the Slave - hiring today I found out how much hatred I had of the Institution - and how much contempt for the persons engaged in it. "You look," said a friend "as if you were not in the world." I am not. My dear relations and friends cannot sympathize with & encourage the deepest chords of Faith & Reverence in my soul. Courage my soul! Your Infinite Father has not forgotten Thee! To him thou art more precious than many sparrows; with him thy every hair is numbered. O My Father do thou love me in this line of fire. O do thou guard me through the dark valley. Wilt thou be my father & I thy child - obedient loving: make my heart purer - may the relation between my heart & Thee be enduring and constant. Bless my Father & mother may they find support in Thee & do then help me to act by the Resolution that I write hereafter live a more tender son to them. Do then bless Mildred. my dear sister - may see be in they care. O Lord thou knowest how I love her. And do then bless my little brothers & may they grow up in thy ways. And O be with all my friends, - and all others - the poor & sorrowful. I feel like the sorrows of life have entwined new chords in my soul with all who mourn. Wilt then be pleased, O my Father, to guide me aright especially in the effort to seek after the Truth: illuminate my feeble mind; help me to be humble to the "Spirit of Truth" and in that Truth whereinto it shall lead me may it be a Comforter. O for Light & Humility.

    Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah

    Pilgrim through the barren land

    I am week but Thou are mighty

    Hold me by Thy Powerful hand. Amen!

    It is now late. I sat up till near one last night. I will lay down & sleep; and I feel tonight the full blessing of the words, "Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not then have we confidence toward God." I feel that tonight I love God & my friends & all men: "Who so loveth is borne of God!" I can say now with my early Trust.

    And now I lay me down to sleep;

    I pray the Lord my soul to to keep

    And if I die before I wake

    I pray the Lord my soul to take

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