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The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/paul-baynes-brief-directions-unto-a-godly-life-chapter-eighteen/


Concerning outward actions, no certain rules can be given in particular, because they are variable and diverse. Yet some outward duties there are, although not necessary to be done daily, yet commonly to be observed; very profitable and helpful to live well and happily, by settling us in the practice of a daily direction. Such are these that follow:

How to Go About our Daily Business

1. That we walk with God, that is, that as soon as we have broken off our sleep, we set God before our eyes and our hearts upon him, resolving to walk with him that day. Proverbs 6:22. This accustoming ourselves to thoughts at the first awakening, by setting our hearts upon some holy and heavenly things, would be a good entrance to the well spending of the day, and a preventing of various evils.

2. That in some manner, if it may be, before we enter upon other affairs, we offer up our morning prayer to God, confessing our especial sins, remembering his particular favors; requesting both pardon for things passed and assisting us with blessings for time to come, especially for that day. Daniel 6:10. For the helping forward of this duty, it is fit that some holy meditation be joined with it. This being joined a hearty renewing of our covenant will so season us in the morning, that we shall retain the flavor, and hold the strength of such gracious beginning all the day after.

3. That event (it shall be expedient) we with our minds still kept well-ordered, betake ourselves to our calling and vocation. Wherein we must not so much mind our profit, that we cool any grace thereby or quench holy affections in us. That we must have a calling, see Genesis 3:19,  Ephesians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6. But that we must labor diligently therein, 1 Corinthians 7:20, 1 Thessalonians 3:6, 10; Proverbs  13:4, 11 & 18:9, & 24:30.

But that the walking and are calling may diligently please God, we must so use earthly dealings that we neglect not spiritual duties; we must avoid worldly mindedness on the one part as idleness on the other: both which we shall be encouraged on to, if we consider that it is the Lord who sets us in our callings, and has promised to be us, and to give us good success, and to help us to bear all tediousness therein; and further, that he wills us to do all such duties for his sake, in such manner, as if we did that to him; and from him to look for reward. Joshua 1:8.

4. That in all company we behave ourselves as we are taught of God and as it becomes us, especially so as [to] leave no ill favor behind us. We must not therefore rush unadvisedly into it, as most but do, but determined before to do good onto others, as we be able, or to take good of others[1] as occasion is offered. Colossians 4:6; Joshua 1:8; one Timothy 4:12. We must take heed of the danger which will come from fruitless and hurtful talking and behavior, which in most company we shall meet with.

Occasions of good speech must not be only taken, but sought and waited for. Acts 26:28.

If  the company be so desperate that there is no place for God, yet we must keep ourselves from their unfruitful works of darkness, by giving of apparent tokens of our dislike, leaving them also as soon as we can, attending them afterwards as much as we may conveniently [do].

Among others, we must be ready seasonably to give, or Christianly to receive reprove, exhortation, and comfort.

A. In particular for our recreations, we must first look to the time, what is needful.

B. The kind, that it be honest and of good report.

C. That we forget not God, the use thereof.

D. The manner, that it be with moderation of affection every way.

E. Our associates, that they be such as we may have comfort of.

F. Our end, that we may be fitter to the duties of our calling.

In bargaining and other covenants, they ought to be without hollowness, deceit, undermining, and such other unconscionable dealing. That so though we may be simple[2] and are meaning good, our words plain, our agreements reasonable, our promises kept, our covenants performed, and advantages not rigorously taken.

Finally, we must observe and reverence the grace of God in others when we see them,  and by that means labor to chase away from us frivolous and hurtful fantasies, faintness, discouragement, and weariness of well-doing; that we may hold the profession of our faith with joy onto the end.

When We Are Alone

That when we are alone, we have similar care for ourselves, that our behavior be unblameable, and that our thoughts be either about things lawful with moderation to dispose of them, or spiritual with the right to enjoy it, or else evil, with hatred and detestation to overcome them.

As first in things indifferent, we must take heed that we do not busy ourselves in other men’s matters needlessly. 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Secondly, that in our own we be not drowned, that our love and delight be drawn away from better things. 1 Timothy 6:9.

In holy things, we must be aware, first, lest by the common using of good, we come in them to have less reverence.  Matthew 6:6 , 15:8 24:12.

That we think not over well of ourselves when we do somewhat more in service of God than others. Philippians 3:14.

In things lawful, we must carefully be aware, that while we think of our sins or other men’s with intent  to grow in hatred of them, we be not even by that occasion tickled with some desire, but drawn into some secret liking up, as many are.

We must never in solitariness be unoccupied, because but danger which ensues, as examples to teach: 2 Samuel 11:2; Genesis 3; Matthew 4; and our own experience confirms. [Those] who alone and idle, but swarms of vain, foolish, noisome and perilous thoughts and desires are soliciting and offering themselves up on to us.

That we use our prosperity and all the liberties which are lawful of this life soberly and so as we labor to be bettered by them. How hard this is, it appears by experience, wherein it is so found, that the more a man has of these earthly commodities the less he is enriched with spiritual  graces. And as they are increased and multiplied, so this decays is diminished.

Few by earthly things are drawn on and encouraged to love of the heavenly; which yet is the end that the Lord has in giving them. Few did as they did, which are mentioned.[3]  Most make riches their strong tower. Proverbs 18:11. Whereby they are emboldened to do many things willfully which otherwise they would not.

Do Not Love the World

Now that we may effect this, notwithstanding all difficulties, we must consider that inordinate love which is in us [for] the liberties and blessings of this life. In this we must by all means possible weaken and abate.

First, we must often  and earnestly weigh how momentary and fleeting all things under the sun are, and how uncertain [a] hold we have of them. Ecclesiastes 1:2; 1 Corinthians 7:29; Luke 12:15; Proverbs 23:4.

Secondly, we must consider seriously the danger that comes to us by them: in which regard they are termed in Scripture snares, thorns, chokes, because they entangle us, prick, holding and smothering the main grace of God in but they bud not out and fructify.  Matthew 13:21, 1 Timothy 6:10.

We must often record that these earthly things are not our own, but borrowed, and so every day they may be required again. Luke 16:12.

We must remember what hurt they have done, as by causing distractions, unsettling, etc.

We must often meditate upon examples of such as have enjoyed the like or greater commodities and what has been their end.

It will be good to visit others, so those also in their sickness which have had these outward things, that so we may both see how little such outward things help at such times, and also be put in mind of our latter end [our death]. This cannot but something wean us from this world.

Prepare for Afflictions

That we be ready to receive our afflictions meekly and patiently. Lamentations 3:33, 1 Corinthians 11:31, James 1:2, 1 Peter 1:6, Romans 5:5. Afflictions we must expect. 1 Peter 4:12, Romans 8:29, 2 Timothy 3:12.

Therefore we must be ready not to shrink back from bearing afflictions. Job 11:8, Hebrews 12:11. We must prepare ourselves to bear them meekly and cheerfully, even in our youth. Lamentations 2:27. We know that Satan will be ready to seek our mischief even by crosses. Job 1:6.

For preventing thereof, we must every day arm ourselves against the fear of such troubles as may come, and against impatience of such troubles as already have come upon us, Luke 9:23, James 5:10-11, and that not only in great troubles, but also for common troubles.

This, if we do with observation, we shall get experience and by experience hope, that will not cause shame. Romans 5:5; Psalm 102:1. Otherwise, if we neglect this, every affliction love settle and bring us out of frame, in which estate we shall be both utterly unfit for any service of God, and also on meet grainy Christian society with men. And so both add new troubles to her former troubles, and make them which God sends upon us far more grievous than otherwise they should have been.

Daily Worship

That we constantly keep the exercise of prayer and thanksgiving in our families, and such other helps (as reading, catechizing, conference at times convenient) to maintain the knowledge and true worship of God, and of true happiness amongst us. To have prayer twice in the day is little enough. Psalm 55; Daniel 6:10.

First, our necessities do require this daily serving of God, though we be of the best sort.

Secondly, your family being a little church, there should be a trimming up  and a fitting for the public worship, especially seeing experienced teachers all that is little enough.

Thirdly, by this means we have communion with the Lord, and therefore we should often and cheerfully perform this duty.

Fourthly, we should cause our conversation to favor the Lord  and his graces, whereas otherwise earthly dealing will cause earthly minds.

Lastly, will we have many examples of this. Genesis 18:16, Joshua 24:15, Acts 10:2.

Recount the Day

The ninth and last duty is to look back upon our day, when we go to sleep. First, we must consider our blessings and be thankful for them. Second, he must consider our faults, and to seek to be reconciled to God before sleep. Ephesians 4:26-27.

The Result

The use of all these duties is that every day we read and withdraw our hearts from any noisome bias or provocation. First, to arise in the morning and to walk through the day and then to lie down at night in peace and safety under God’s protection. We must be careful always, but especially when unusual occasions fallout which may unsettle us.


[1] Do good to others.

[2] Without deceit, subterfuge.

[3] At this point, the text has “Acts 9:31” – which makes no sense here.