Biblical Counseling, Brief Directions Unto a Godly Life, Discipleship, Genesis, godliness, Mortification, Mortification of Sin, Original Sin, Paul Baynes, Puritan, Sin
(To the best of my knowledge, this book by Puritan Paul Baynes has remained unpublished since the 17th century. Here is the first bit of the book. I have modernized the spelling and some punctuation.)
Brief Directions Onto a Godly Life:
Wherein every Christian is furnished with most necessary helps for the furthering of him in a godly course here upon earth, that he so may attain eternal happiness.
Written by Mr. Paul Bayne, minister of God’s Word, to Mr. Nicholas Jordane, his brother.
Printed by A.G. for I.N. and are to be sold by Samuel Enderby at the Starre in Pope’s Head Alley, 1637
The Epistle Dedicatory
To the right worshipful, Mr. Nicholas Jordane, Esquire, and one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace and Quorum, in the County of Suffolk’s,
It has been an ancient custom to reserve some lively representation of worthy friends deceased, to thereby continue the remembrance of their virtues, persons, and love. This holy treatise ensuing has served you to that purpose, and that very fitly; for herein you have a true representation and remembrance of your most worthy and loving brother, especially of the most noble and worthy part of it, I mean of his excellent understanding of the mystery of godliness, his most zealous and earnest will and desire of all men’s practice of godliness; and a sincere love unto you in particular, unto whom he primarily directed these directions onto a godly life; which as they do lively express that he had put on the new man, created and renewed in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness. So it is most worthy of our reservation, both in the remembrance in imitation of him. Yea, I confidently affirm, that this faithful remembrance is most worthy and fit always to be carried about us, and daily to be looked upon by us: for it will help us well to put on that new man, and to be conformable to our head Jesus Christ, and to walk before the Lord in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. For there is this difference between those former corporeal images of earthly bodies and this that men with too much love and use of them, easily fell into superstitious wickedness; but this the more it is loved and used of man, the more will all wickedness be rooted out of their hearts, and the more will they glorify God by a holy life and conversation [conversation means the sum total of on’s conduct] having received this holy treatise at your worship’s hands to publish unto to the world, I am bold to return it unto you for safeguard, both that the world may know unto whom it is obliged for so excellent a monument, as also for the great benefit that shall be reaped thereby. So, Sir, accounting it a wise part in him that cannot speak well, to say but little; I commend you and this treatise to God’s grace which is able to build us up further, even to do wondrously above all that we can ask or think.
Your Worship’s humbly at command,
N.N. (N.N. means anonymous — it would something like “so-and-so”).
Sure it is, that it was not thus with mankind in the beginning as now it is.
God created man happy, ye mutable [subject to change, able to change]; but Satan by deceit did cast him from that happy condition; whereby besides the loss of that felicity, he was plunged into extreme misery, which consists in two things.
First, in sin.
Second, the curse following upon it.
First, sin is not only that first transgression of Adam whereby we are all guilty, but also that infection of soul and body arising from the former. Hence it is that the understanding is filled with blindness; the conscience wounded, seared and defiled; the memory forgetting good things, or not remembering anything right.
The will captive, of no strength to good but only to evil; the affections altogether disordered. The cogitations about heavenly matters are error, falsehood, and lies. The wishes and desires of the heart are earthly and fleshly. The outward behavior is nothing else but a giving up of the members of the body as instruments of sin.
The curse makes them subject in this life for his use of the creatures to dearths, famine, etc. For his body, to sickness and other pains.
In his sense for his friends to like calamities; in his soul to vile affections, to blindness, hardness of heart, desperation, madness, etc. And both body and soul to endless and easeless torture in the world to come.
Objection: all are not in this case or estate.
Answer: all are subject by nature to the same wrath of God; they which feel it not, that case is no better, but rather worse than the other.