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/
CHAPTER NINETEEN: GENERAL RULES FOR DAILY LIFE
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 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].
Continue reading →