The Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705)

January 7th, 1653


If the unloving carriages of my pupils can goe so to my heart as they doe; how they doe my vain thoughts, my detestable pride, my unnatural filthy lust that are so oft and even this day in some measure stirring in me how does these griev my lord Jesus that loves me infinitely more than I do them? Do I take it heavily that my love is so lightly made of?    ah! I cannot love thee, not fear to sin against thee, although thou exercise me with such crosses, as again this day, wherein I may read my own ill carriages towards thee. And dost thou yet make any bean of thy love break out toward me, after nay fears? Nay have so oft and so long comforted my self with thy love amidst my daily sins. The enmity and contrariety of my heart to seeking thee in earnest, with my want of dear affection to thee, these make me afraid, but thou did give me thy self in the Lords supper, thou dist give me a heart (though vile) to lay hold of the desiring all from thee.     and this gives me hope.     bless be thy name.

Pride and vain thoughts again prevail over me to the grief of my god, cleanse me, o lord, when shall it once be? I had opportunity (purposely takeing of it) to discourse with one of my pupils much of the things of god: as also with another out of the colledge whom I went to visit, who spake something to me about his spiritual condition, the lord helping me to speak much to him again with some affection: the Lord bless it to them both. My pupil was John Haines. I spoke to them both what a blessed thing it was to serve and seek the Lord.




February 5th, 1653


These petitions the Lord heard in part, giving me some measures of content to goe or stay. And after all this he graciously prosper’d me, I still continuing my endeavors a horse. Some comfort god gave me in himself finding my love to man not rewarded with like love again: he helpt me to rejoyce in the testimony of a good conscience, and looking to him not to man for reward of my labours.     he kept my heart this day somewhat nearer to him than ordinary.      yet both this day pride, and the next day pride and vain distracting thoughts molested me in holy duty’s. I find my spirit so exceeding carried with love to my pupils that I cant tell how to take up my rest in God     Lord for this cause I am afraid of my wicked heart     Fear takes hold of me. God assisted me so to speak to my pupils this day that I could hardly utter my self without pouring forth tears through notwithstanding I desire to look up to the Lord and wait his time for a blessing upon it and in the man time oh make thy face upon me and be thou my savior     Suffer me not suffer me not

            O my God to dote upon the creature wherein is nothing but vanity and vexation of spirit. Show me thy glory O my God




February 22nd, 1654

I was much carryd away with too much frothiness and love to vanity on thursday and friday having cheerful company in the hous with me. I found myself much overborn with carnal concupiscence nature being suppressed for I had not had my afflux in 12 nights     Friday night it came again without any dream I know of. Yet after if I am still inclined to lust     The Lord help me against it and against discouragement by it and temptations of another nature and disquietments.




March 1st, 1654


I have been much troubled with the spleen these divers days     And all I can do wil not get it remov’d. This hath exposed me to temptations of 3 sorts. 1. Too much frothiness and unsavoury discours, finding a necessary of some mirth; readiness to be too much addicted therto. so that I find no power to attent or love serious and savoury discours. 2. To weariness of religious dutys, and negligent performance of them at some times. 3. To Carnal lusts, by reason of the abundance of flatulent vapours that annoy me     And this maketh my very life a burden.     so that I comfort my self with these hopes, either the Lord wil in pitty and compassion provide for me so that I may live and not sin; or els he will shortly put an end to this wretched life. And this I pray for. 4. To Melancholy scrupulosity, and a multitude of distractions that way. Lord thou seest how I am oppressed, father undertake for me. It is greif of my heart that I can serv the no better. Oh! teach me, and enable me to do thy wil.     oh! Lift up the light of thy countenance for the Lords sake. Pardon my sins, heal my backslidings mortify corruption, and heal in mercy my bodily infirmitys which both expose inevitably to sin, and make me with difficulty attend my calling as thou Lord knowest.     yet it is thy mercy that I have a little time, and a little strength th serv thee, so good a master.      oh that I could do more! woe is me! I can do but little (of the little I do) for thee, as my heart desireth.

I began to think marriage wil be necessary for me (as an ordinance of god appointed to maintain purity which my heart loveth) what ever the event may be. Let me live no longer than I may live honestly good Lord.




May 18th,  1655


At the time appointed with fear and trembling I came to Rowley to be marryed. The great arguments unto me were, 1: physicans counsel: 2 the institution of marryage by god himself for the preservation of purity and chastity, which with most humble and hearty prayers I have begged and stil wil beg of the Lord.    so that I went about the business which god call’d me to attend And consummated it now is by the wil of God May 18. 1855./    oh Lord! let me cry come up unto thee for all the blessings of a marryed estate, A heart sutable thereto, chastity especially therby, and life and health if it be thy will.     oh crown thy own ordinance with thy blessing, that it may appear it is not in vain to wait upon thee in the ways of thy own appointment     I feel the stirrings and strongly of my former distemper even after the use of marriage the next day which makes me exceeding afraid. I know not how to keep company with my dearest friend but it is with me as formerly in some days already.      oh pitty the poorest and vilest of thy creatures for the Lords sake, And let not thy servants be a curs each to other but a blessing in this new relation.