Every Good Impulse

Daniel Sommer near ninety years old

I am currently reading through the autobiography of Daniel Sommer (1850-1940). Daniel lived an amazing life that saw the close of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. He got to see the fundamental transformation of this country and live through some of the most consequential debates within the American church, such as the use of instrumental music in worship and missionary societies.

As I read about Daniel’s early life and early religious experiences, I came across a quote that has embedded itself in my mind that I thought would be good to share. Regarding his purpose after he had come to believe in Jesus, Daniel said this:

“After a deep, thorough change had taken place in my thoughts, affections, will and life, the battle for permanent self-control commenced in earnest. I decided I would follow every good impulse and repress every bad impulse. no one ever adopted a wiser decision. To that decision I owe all the moral and religious strength I have ever attained. And that the reader may know how it worked in me, I will explain. When the thought occurred to me that I should pray or repeat passages of Scriptures I had learned, I recognized that thought as good, and my decision to follow out every good impulse required that I should at once begin to pray or repeat Scripture. Thus many times and, I presume, hundreds of times, I stopped in the woods and turned quickly aside from the path in which I was walking to my work or back therefrom, and kneeled down and prayed. When I was where I could not kneel in secret, I simply turned my thoughts heavenward as I walked along or followed the plow. I soon learned to delight in holding communion with God and Christ, and could truly say I loved to pray! The conviction that God was my Father and Christ was my Savior was to me a constant joy.”

Wallace, William E. “Daniel Sommer 1850-1940 A Biography.” pg. 41-42. Emphasis added.

Just think of the radical change in our lives if we decided to “follow every good impulse and repress every bad impulse.” Something to think about!

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