The Journals & Notebook of
 Nathan Bangs 1805-1806, 1817


Contents    Introduction    Maps    Images    Chronology    Bibliography    Archival Resources

Editorial Annotations

Bangs's sincerity in this entry can hardly be doubted. The moral compass we glimpse here is fleshed out more completely in a letter to an unnamed preacher published as part of his Letters to Young Ministers of the Gospel in 1826. Both texts make clear Bangs's view that a preacher's private spirituality is not some rarified abstraction, but a moral framework in which he discharges the eminently practical duties of a circuit rider. See right-hand pane.


Thursday 28 [November 1805]

The Lord is still gracious unto me in lengthening out my days here b[e]low and granting me to enjoy now and then a glimpse of Glory. I have been endeavouring to examine myself deeply, especially the motives of my actions. Do I not seek my own honor or praise in my public exercise. Do I strive to touch the heart as well as to work upon the affections? Do I endeavour to press truth upon the conscience, regardless of either praise or dispraise. Do I endeavour to convince the Judgement and inform the understanding rather than please the fancy? With regard to myself. Am I calm and even in my temper in adversity as well as prosperity? Do I feel as well when people smite me, as if they defended me. Am I as well pleased with dishonour when I am conscious of having given no offense, but only by speaking the truth, as I am with honor under the like circumstances. Can I submit my course to God, and trust him without murmuring at all times. Do I love my Enemies and pray for them as heartily as for my friends [Mt 5.44]. Again: Do I mind the manner or the matter most? Am I as intent to be nothing as something, to be despised for Christ's sake, or to be loved and esteemed. Am I as concerned for the Prosperity of Zion at large as I am in that Particular place where my lot is cast? Do I rejoice as much at hearing of other's labors being blessed as I do to have mine own blessed. Am I willing to hear another's opinion, and to have mine own scorned and to retract it if convinced by fair and manly arguments of it's being erroneous? Do I grow in Grace? Am I more and more dead to the World? Do I love sweet devotion, and am I as much engaged to get an answer to prayer, as I am to pray? Do I pray in public as knowing God hears me, or do I pray to be admired, as tho none but Man heard me: O God do thou help me to [unintelligible word] my better knowledge in practice. Pardon my shortcoming, and help me infirmities for Christ's sake.

7 November 1805


9 December 1805

Primary Sources

Nathan Bangs Letters to Young Ministers of the Gospel Bangs on the duties of a Methodist preacher



Prosperity of Zion: The work of the church in attracting new converts and fostering holiness in existing members


Edited by Scott McLaren
Book History Practicum
University of Toronto