The Young Convert’s Resolutions

The following text is from the “Probationer’s Hand-book: Religious, Historical, Doctrinal, Disciplinary and Practical” by Rev. S. Olin Garrison, M.A. The handbook, also known as the Probationer’s Catechism, is a series of lectures in catechetical form, intended to prepare probationary members for full membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The following resolutions are included after the final lecture. Numbers are added.

  1. I will at once begin family and private worship.
  2. I will silently or vocally ask God’s blessing upon every meal.
  3. I will secure as soon as possible, besides my Bible, a Hymnal, a Discipline, since I believe these, among other good books, will aid me to live a blameless life and to form a habit of faith.
  4. I earnestly pray that I may never drop into a mere form of godliness, thereby losing its comfort and power.
  5. I am fully determined to live a life hid with Christ in God. By faith I will take Jesus as my perfect Saviour from sin.
  6. I would ever grow in the spirit of prayer to Christ, without hypocrisy; of humble testimony of Christ, without cant; of zealous work for Christ, without boasting.
  7. I will endeavor always to think and to speak charitably, and to avoid all evil-speaking.
  8. I will study to know the difference between infirmities and sins, always remembering that my High priest will not only forgive me if I confess my sins, but that he also sympathizes with me in all my sicknesses and infirmities.
  9. I would not presume on his love, but I will trust his mercy.
  10. I will try to set an example of meekness under provocation, of quietness in contention, of sweetness in the midst of bitterness.
  11. I would win more by my life than by my words.
  12. I will guard against all waste of time, talent, or money, knowing that for all these things I must render an account. I will rid myself of all companionship with men or books which I find to be spiritually unprofitable, since I believe that many things, innocent in themselves, will be hurtful to me if I indulge them.
  13. I will not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but I pray ever to be tender and loving as I denounce evil and evildoers. I should, indeed, be a great sinner to fight sin in a sinful spirit.
  14. If I ever wrong another I will make prompt and generous restitution.
  15. If I find my brother Christians not as holy and blameless as I think they ought to be, I pray God to save me from speaking or acting with bitter feelings, since I am sure I will the sooner get a chance to win them to the right if I myself am gentle, pure, and blameless.
  16. If at any time I am perplexed which thing to do, I will always give the Lord the advantage of the doubt.
  17. If I become puzzled over the doctrine of our Church upon Christian holiness, I will not impatiently denounce the doctrine, but will rather earnestly study it, praying the great Teacher to instruct me through his word and his servants. I say this because I fear Satan has tempted and destroyed many souls by coaxing them to a carnal opposition to the deeper things of God.
  18. At all events I must not, by any means, lose my sweet joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.
  19. To keep me humble I will deny myself daily and take up such crosses as Jesus calls me to bear. I will, by God’s help, be slow to anger, plenteous in mercy, and never let the sun go down on my wrath.
  20. I fully intend the six months of my probation to be but the threshold of my Christian joy and usefulness. My motto is “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.” Hungering and thirsting after righteousness, I know I “shall be filled.”