The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/paul-baynes-brief-directions-unto-a-godly-life-chapter-12-meditation/
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: PRIVATE DISCIPLINES, RELIANCE UPON SPIRITUAL ARMOR
The third private help is the armor of a Christian: concerning which four points are fit to be known.
The Pieces of Armor
First what it is, and which be the chief is parts of it. It is that spiritual furniture of the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, by which God does deliver his people from all adversarial power, and bring them to the obedience of his will. 2 Corinthians 10:4. The parts are set down, Ephesians 6:14.
A. Whereof the first is sincerity, which is the general grace whereby a Christian is made simple and without fraud or hypocrisy bearing sway in him, both towards God in his neighbor. Psalm 32:2. Matthew 5:8. Proverbs 30:6.
B. The second is righteousness; which is that gift of the Spirit whereby our hearts are bent to all manner of goodness and righteous dealing; approving of it as most excellent, desiring fervently and delighting in it, and that because it is good and delighting, and hating all naughtiness and evil. Proverbs 28:1. Psalm 1:7.
C. The third is the shoes peace, which is, that having received the gospel, and found the sweetness of it, we are now thereby as they who are ready to take a journey Chardon prepared, ready to deny ourselves, and to take up our cross and follow Christ, through this our pilgrimage. Romans 5:1, Luke 22:33, 57; Philippians 4:7; John 16:33.
D. Forth as the shield of faith, which is to build our persuasion on God’s faithful promises, but Christ Jesus is ours. And that God has given him to us to obtain forgiveness of our sins and salvation by him, yea, and all other good things also fit for this present life. Colossians 1:33.
E. The fifth is hope, which is a joyful longing and steadfast desire in looking for the performing accomplishing of all those mercies, temporal and eternal, which God has promised, and we by faith are assured of. Luke 2:30, Peter 1:13.
F. The sixth is sort of the Spirit, which is to be well instructed in the sound and living knowledge of the Scriptures, and to digest the same, also to season our understanding within us. In such wise [in this way] that we may know the will of God and have the same and remembrance in the things which most concern us (as we can) that thereby we may at all times in all cases be readily led by it. Psalm 119:5. Where it is to be remembered, that he which has most knowledge, if it be not guided by what he understands, he knows nothing as they ought. 1 Corinthians 3:18, Proverbs 3:6, Isaiah 13:7.
The Necessity of the Armor
The second general point is the necessity of this armor, that is, we should clothe and furnish our souls with every part of it: which is so great [a necessity], but the right Christian life cannot stand without it. For to venture upon the manifold tribulations of this life without the shoes of preparation is as much as to go barefoot among thorns or to run naked through the pikes.
To be destitute of the shield of faith is the undoubted way either to despair utterly or else in deadly presumption and security to drown ourselves in perdition.
To leave off the breast plate of righteousness is to expose oneself into the danger of every temptation. For he that does not from time to time afresh indent with his heart against all unrighteousness, he may look to be carried into those unlawful actions which shall bring disgrace to himself, and his holy profession also. 1Corinthians 6:4-5.
He that has not the sword of God’s Spirit, so that he be able to say in temptations it is written to the contrary, shall never be able to cut asunder those bonds of sin wherewith he shall be compassed.
He that has not all these gird up to him with sincerity and truth, shall but deceive himself and others also.
He that has not true hope of salvation, to keep life in his soul, how can he be void of fainting, irksomeness , heaviness, destruction, dump it is common sundry such discouragements? Or how can he have any cheerfulness in his life or contentedness, but has not this hope of passing his afflicting days under the wing of God’s protection.
So that we may well affirm without this complete armor of God, that the Christian life cannot be conducted.
Put on the Armor
The third point is, how this armor should be put on. For the answer whereof we are to know, that it is not wholly lacking in any true Christian. For every true believer at his first conversion is made partakers (though in week measure) of all things appertaining to life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:4.
What then means the apostle when he bids us to put on this armor? His meaning is that we should not have it as men in the time of peace have their bodily armor hanging by them, unfit for use. But as soldiers have theirs in battle, we must be sure that in all places and upon all occasions we have it with us so far as we are able. We must lie down and rise up with it. Because our battle lasts all our life long, and are enemies be deadly, and all our strength is in our armor.
Now to put on and also to keep on, and to have the feeling of every part of this armor (faith against distrust, hope against fainting, uprightness against hypocrisy; knowledge against the deceitfulness of sin; righteousness against all kinds of iniquity; and the preparation of the gospel of peace against all crosses) to have, I say, this armor in readiness, we must use continue watching, hearty prayer, and frequent meditation about them. Matthew 26:4.
Here is to be observed that the sword of the Spirit has two branches, that is, that knowledge which we get out of the letter of the Scripture only, and so have at but by rule. [Second,] the knowledge which we learn by proof and trial for the bettering of us.
For as in all trades and sciences there is a great difference between the experimental knowledge of them and the bare naked skill of them; so is there great distance between one that has only attained so much knowledge as will enable them to give account of his faith; and him who has had the proof of this knowledge, how it has been effectual in him. He considers, observes, and applies the things which he hears and sees, and does, to his own use. And by these things past thus duly recorded, he learns and gives wisdom to at eyes to guide him for the present, and for a time to come.
This is experience, which makes us wise in all things that are profitable for godliness and eternal life.
The observation of the reward of evil make us avoid it. And experience of the fruit of a godly life is the best means to continue it. Our own trial [teaches us] how afflictions may be easiest borne and come to [the] best end is our best rule for ever after. The example we have in David, Psalm 120:1, 1 Samuel 17:34, Psalm 77:10, Psalm 37:37.
In sum, as in all trades the beginning is hardest and experience brings facility, so it is in the practice of Christianity. Woeful therefore it is that in this, of all other, men will not labor for experience.
The Benefit of the Armor
The fourth general fruit is the benefit of this armor, which is not small, for he that puts it on, goes clothed with it through the day; though the Devil and his instruments to assault by craft and deceit, or by force and might, he shall mightily prevail against them, and preserve himself. He shall be able to live with comfort in all estates [circumstances] that God shall set him in, and in all places which he show bring him to, and change by no occasions, but hold out until an end be made of all difficulties these and uncertainties.
Objection: We may serve God well enough without putting on this armor after so strict a manner.
Answer: It is true indeed that a Christian serving God may be ignorant of this armor. But he cannot then say, he serves God well enough. Because that kind of life must needs be wandering, unsettled, and not to be rested in.
Objection: At least it is not expedient to impose so heavy a burden upon weak Christians.
Answer: The child of God is no sooner born but he desires to continue in that life and salvation and to please God in all things, and to maintain peace and joy within himself; all which is effected by the use of this armor.
 If one does not have the true hope of salvation, he will not be able to avoid fainting – that is, giving up; et cetera.
 Those times when he will be afflicted, that is, days in which he suffers.
 This is a phrase which is used commonly up through the 19th century. It means to have an actual experience of the thing at issue, not merely a secondhand knowledge. An “experimental” religion is one which the human experiences the truth, as opposed to merely hearing about the matter.
 A “reward” would be the natural consequence, which could be good or bad. Reward, at this time, did not have a solely positive connotation.
 It is sad and unfortunate that people will make great effort to learn a job or play a sport, but when it comes to the exercise of godliness people will make no efforts at all.