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in this kind, and neglect God that gave it.

(6.) Helps to thankfulness.

The helps to thankfulness, are most of them directly
contrary to the former hindrances; of which, take
these ,*



130 THE christian's DAILY WALK.

First, Get sound knowledge of God, and of his
infinite excellencies, Psa. viii. 1, 9, and absoluteness
every way. Matt. vi. 13. Rom. xi. 36, and of his
independency on man, or any other creature; whence
it is that he needeth not any thing that man hath,
Psa. 1. 12, 15. 1 Chron. xxix. 14 — 16, or can do;
neither can he be beholden to man. But know, that
you stand in need of God, Acts xiv. 17. xvii. 28, and
must be beholden to him for all things. Know, also,
that whatsoever God doth, by whatever means it be,
he doth it from himself, Isaiah xliii. 25. Hosea xiii. 4,
induced by nothing out of himself, being free in all
that he doth. Know likewise, that whatsoever was
the instrument of your good, God was the author of
both the good and the instrument, James i. 17.

Next, get a clear understanding of the full worth
and excellent use of God's gifts, both common and
special. Wealth, honour, liberty, health, life, senses,
reason, &c., considered in themselves, and in their use,
will be esteemed to be great benefits ; but if you con-
sider them in their absence, when you are sensible of
poverty, sickness, and the rest; or if you be so blessed,
that you know not the want of them ; then if you
considerately and humbly look upon the poor, base,
imprisoned, captive, sick, deaf, blind, dumb, distracted,
&c. putting yourself in their case, Heb. xiii. 3, you
will say that you are unspeakably beholden to God
for these corporal and temporal blessings.

But chiefly learn to know, and consider well the
worth of spiritual blessings. One of them, the peace
of God, passeth all understanding, Phil. iv. 7. To
enjoy the gospel upon any terms, to have salvation,
such a salvation as is offered by Christ, to have faith,
hope, love, and other the manifold saving graces of
the Spirit, though but in the least measure, in the very
first seed of the Spirit, though no bigger than a grain
of mustard seed, Luke xvii. 6, with never so much
outward affliction, is of such inestimable value and
consequence, that it is more than eye has seen, or ear
has heard, or ever entered into the heart of man,
1 Cor. ii. 9. For besides that the least grace is



131

invaluable in itself, it is also the evidence of better
gifts, namely, that God has given you his Spirit, has
given you Christ, and in him has given himself, a
propitious and gracious God, and with himself has
given you all things, Rom. viii. 32. When you know
God aright, and his gifts aright, knowing all things in
God, and God in all things, then you will be full of
praises and thanks.

Secondly, Be humble and base in your own eyes,
1 Chron. xxix. 13, 14. Let all things be base in your
eyes, in comparison of God, account them worthless
and helpless things, without him, Psa. cxlvi. 1, 3;
xxxiii. 16, 17. Judge yourself to be, as indeed you
are, less than the least of God's mercies. Gen. xxxii.
10. For what are you of yourself, but a compound
of dust and sin, unworthy any good, deserving of all
misery? You stand in need of God, but not he of
you ; it is of his mercy that you are not consumed,
Lam. iii. 22. When you are thus sensible of your
own need, and that help can come only from God, and
that you are worthy of no good thing, then you will
be glad and thankful at heart to God for any thing.
An humble man will be more thankful for the least
mercy, than a proud man will for the greatest.

Thirdly, Frequently reflect upon the infinite excel-
lencies of God and his great benefits. Commune with
your soul, and cause it to represent lively to your
thoughts, what God is in himself, what to his church,
and to you, how precious his thoughts are to you-
ward, Psa. cxxxix. 17. Consider often what God has
done, and what he will do for your soul, Psa. xl. 5.
-Call to mind with what variety of good gifts he
enriches his church, and has blessed you: and you
will find that they will pass all account and number.
When also you consider that God is free in all his
gifts to you, who are unworthy the least of them; if
you would thus dwell upon these, and such like
thoughts, they would excite in you a holy rapture and
admiration, causing you to break out, with David,
into these, or in the like praises; O Lord, our Lord,
how excellent is thy name in all the earth ! Psa. viii.



132 THE christian's daily walk.

1. I thank thee, I praise thee, I devote myself, as my
best sacrifice to thee, Rom. xii. 1. I will bless thy
name for ever and ever.

Fourthly, Be persuaded of God's love to you in
these good things, which he gives unto you : First, He
loves you as his creature, and if only in that respect
he does preserve you, and do you good, you are bound
to thank him. Secondly, You know not but God may
love you with a special love to salvation, 1 John iii. 16;
1 Tim. ii. 4. God's revealed will professes as much,
for you must not meddle with that which is secret. I
am sure he gives all-sufficient proof of his love, mak-
ing offers of it to you; and which you are daily re-
ceiving the tokens of, both in the means of this life,
and that which is to come. Did not he love you
when out of his free and everlasting good will towards
you, he gave his Son to die for you, that you, believ-
ing in him, should not die, but have everlasting life 1
John iii. 16. What though you are yet in your sins,
does he not command you to return to him T Hosea
xiv. 2 — 4; and has he not said, he will love you
freely t What though you cannot turn to him, nor
love him as you would, yet apply by humble faith to
the Lord Jesus Christ, as your only Saviour and great
physician, and endeavour in the use of all good means,
to be and do as God will have you ; then doubt not
but that God does love you ; and patiently wait, till
you see it in the performance of all his gracious pro-
mises unto you.

(7.) Signs to know when God gives good things
in love.

If you would consider things aright, you may pos-
sibly know with certainty, that the good things you
have received of God, are bestowed in love to you. I
will only ask these questions : Have God's mercies
excited you to labour more diligently to please him
well in all things ? Have you had a will to be thank-
ful upon the consideration thereof? Or, if you find a
defect and barrenness herein, has not this unfruitful
and unthankful receiving of blessings from God, bsen
a great burden and grief of heart to you? If



THE christian's DAILY WALK. 133

SO, this is an evident sign that God gave those good
things to you in love, because this holy and good effect
is wrought in you by them. Again, do you love
God ? Would you love God, and his ways, and ordi-
nances yet more 1 This proves that God loves you ;
for no man can love God, till God has first loved him,
1 John iv 10 — 19. Likewise, do you love the chil-
dren of God ? Then certainly you are God's child,
and are beloved of God, 1 John iv. 7. By these things
you have proof of your calling and election, that you
are now translated from death to life, 1 John iii. 14.
So that, though God may give you some things in
anger, as a father gives correction, yet he never gives
any thing in hatred and in wrath, as he does to his
enemies. All things work together for good to them
that love God, Rom. viii. 28; therefore whatsoever he
gives to such, is in love.

Fifthly, Prefer the honour and glory of God, before
and above all things that may be beneficial to your-
self; prefer likewise the kindness and love of God in
the gift, far above the gift itself; then you will never
be so taken up with the enjoyment of the gift, as to
forget to give praise and thanks to the giver.

Sixthly, Unto the former helps, add this : lay a
holy command upon your soul, and strictly charge
yourself to be thankful ; and, since you have such
good reason for it, make no excuses against it, but
say, with David, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all
that is within me, bless his holy name, &c. Psa. ciii. 1.

Lastly, To all other means, join earnest prayer to
God, to give you a thankful heart. It is not all the
reasons you can allege for it, nor all the moral per-
suasions you can propose to yourself, can effect it,
though these be good means, yea, God's means ; yet
if you go' about to raise your heart to it, in the power
of your own might, all will be vain. For as you can-
not pray but by God's vSpirit, so neither can you give
thanks but by the same Spirit. Therefore say, as
David did : Renew, O Lord, a right spirit in me ; and
open my lips, that my mouth may show forth thy
praise, Psa. li. 10 — 15.

12



134



SECT. 2. OF THE REAL PROOFS OF GRATITUDE ANr
THANKFULNESS TO GOD.

It is not enough to profess and utter praise and
thanks to God ; but you must give real proof thereof

First, By devoting and giving yourself to God,
Rom. xii. 1; to be at the will of him, who is your
sovereign Lord, who gives you all that you have,
who is always giving unto you, and always doing
you good ; paying your vows to him that performs
his promises to you, Psa. cxvi. 14. Let it appear
that you acknowledge him to be such an one as you
say in your praises, and that you stand obliged and
beholden to him indeed, as you say in your thanks, in
that both in the frame of your heart, and the conduct
of your life, you behave towards him as one who only
is excellent, who only is God, who is your God, the
God of your life and salvation; and that, in all holy
service. For thanks-living is the best way of thanks-
giving, and it is a divine saying. The good Hfe of the
thankful, is the life of thankfulness. Wherefore let
every new mercy quicken your resolution to perse-
vere and increase in well-doing, serving God so much
the more with gladness of heart, because of the abund-
ance of all things, Deut. xxviii. 47.

Secondly, Do good with those blessings, which God
gives you. For every good gift is given to a man to
profit withal, 1 Cor. xii. 7; not only himself, but every
member of that body, whereof he is part. Whatso-
ever good gift God has given you, whether temporal
or spiritual, it must be employed to God's glory, and
to your neighbour's good, as well as to your own, as
you have opportunity. If riches, (and the same rule
will serve for health, strength, wisdom, skill, &c.) be
given to you, you must honour God therewith, Pi-ov.
iii. 9; and as God prosper you in any thing, you
must communicate to them that need, 1 Cor. xvi. 2,
as to the poor, sick, weak, simple, and ignorant. If
God give knowledge, faith, spiritual wisdom, abiUty to



THE christian's DAILY WALK. 135

pray, or any other of his rich graces, you must not
hoard them up, and keep them reserved for your own
private benefit ; but you must communicate them to
others, and improve them for the promoting their
spiritual good, and edifying them in faith, hope, and
love.

By communicating your good and common gifts
of God in this sort, you make yourself friends with
them, Luke xvi. 9, against a day of need ; and when
you honour God, and do good with the talents which
God puts into your hand, then you make the best
improvement of them. He who thus walks with God
in prosperity, shall certainly find him to be his sure
friend in adversity, and when he shall be put out of
his stewardship at death, then he shall be received
into the everlasting habitations, Luke xvi. 9. When,
the more you prosper, the better you desire and endea-
vour to be, and do more good, this is an infallible
proof of true thankfulness, and is an evident sign
that you walk with God in prosperity as he would
have you.

Give all diligence therefore, to learn this lessson, how
to be full, and how to abound, Phil. iv. 12 ; but know,
it can be learned no where but in Christ's school, and
can never be practised but by Christ's strength. This
is it which the apostle had learned, and said,
he was able to do it through Christ that strengthened
him, Philip, iv. 12, 13. It is a most needful and high
point of learning, to be instructed and to know, every
where, and in every thing, how to be full and how to
abound : of the two, it is more rare and difficult, than
to know how to be abased, and to suffer want, which
shall be the subject of the next chapter.



136 THE christian's daily walk.



CHAPTER X.



directions for walking with god under afflictions

Every day will bring forth its evil and cross, Matl.
vi. 34, whether lighter and ordinary, or more heavy
and extraordinary. The first sort rises partly from
the common frailties of the persons with whom you
converse, and partly from your own ; as from pride
and peevishness, and suspicion of evil, &c. Such as
discourtesies from those of whom you expected kind-
ness ; imperiousness, and too much domineering of
superiors ; sullenness, negligence, and disregard from
inferiors ; awkwardness and perverseness in the
persons and things with which you have to do.

(1.) Rules concerning lighter crosses.

First, Lay not these to heart, make them not greater
than they be through your impatience, as many do,
who, upon every light occasion of dislike, cast them-
selves into such a state of vexation and discontent,
that all the blessings the yenjoy, are scarcely observed,
or can make their lives comfortable. Whereas
wisdom should prevent, and love and prudence should
cover and pass by most of these ; seeing, as if you
saw not: or if you will give way to any passion at
these, let it be with hatred of their and your sin, which
is the cause of these, and all other crosses.

Secondly, These should cause you to pity, and pray
for them that give you this offence, and for yourself,
who many times without cause take offence. You
may if need require, show your dislike, and admonish
the offender, provided you do it with meekness of
wisdom, James iii. 13; but learn hereby to warn your-
self, that you give not the like oflence.

(2.) Directions how to bear all afflictions well.

But whether your crosses and afflictions be imagi-



THE christian's DAILY WALK. 137

nary only, or real ; whether from God immediately,
or from man, whether light or heavy, follow these
directions : 1. Be not transported with passion and
anger, like proud Lamech, Gen. iv. 23, 24, and fro-
ward Jonas, Jonah iv. 7 — 9. 2. Be not overwhelmed,
or sullen with grief, like covetous Ahab, 1 Kings xxi.
4, and foolish Nabal, 1 Sam. xxv. 37. But, 3. Bear
them patiently. 4. Bear them cheerfully and thank-
fully. 5. Bear them fruitfully.

Remedies against sinful anger.

To help you, that passion and heat of anger kindle
not, or at least break not out beyond due bounds,

First, Convince your judgment thoroughly, that
passion and rash anger is forbidden and hated of God,
Matt. V. 22 ; Eccles. vii. 9. It is a fruit of the flesh.
Gal. V. 20. A work of the devil, James iii. 14, 15.
Bred and nourished by pride, Prov. xxi. 24, folly,
Prov. xiv. 29, and self-love, Jonah iv. 1 — 3. Also,
that it surprises all the powers of right reason, putting
a man beside himself, causing him to abuse his tongue,
hands, and the whole man; making him like a fool, to
cast firebrands at every thing which crosses him, and
that not only against his neighbour and dearest friends,
1 Sam. XX. 30 — 33, but against God himself, Jonah
iv. 9. Consider likewise that it makes a man unfit to
pray, 1 Tim. ii. 8, to hear the word, 1 Peter ii. 1 ;
James i. 19, or to perform any worship to God ; and
unfit to speak, or hear reason, or to give or receive
good counsel. God forbids his children the company
of the frow^ard, Prov. xxii. 24, and saith, that such an
one abounds in transgression, Prov. xxix. 22; and
that there is more hope of a fool than of him, Prov.
xxix. 20. Wherefore he must needs be exposed to all
the just judgments of God, Prov. xix. 19, temporal
and eternal. For which cause, fix in your mind such
an abhorrence of this vice, that you may beware and
shun it with all caution.

Secondly, Observe watchfully when anger begins

to kindle and stir in you, and before it flame and

break forth into speech or behaviour, set your reason

at work, to prevent or restrain it. Nay set faith at

12*



138 THE CHRISTIAN S DAILY WALK.

work, having in readiness, upon your mind, such perti-
nent scriptures as these: Be angry, but sin not, Eph.
iv. 26 ; and, anger rests in the bosom of fools, Eccles.
vii. 9. Shall I then sin against God ? Shall I thus
play the fool 1

Rules to know when anger is sinful.

You sin in your anger, first, when it is without
cause ; as when neither God is dishonoured, nor your
neighbour or yourself indeed injured ; when it is for
trifles, and only because you are crossed in your will
and desire, and the like ; but chiefly when you are
angry with any for well doing, 1 Kings xxii. 24 — 26.
Secondly, Though you have cause, yet if it extinguish
your love to the person with whom you are angry ;
so that you neglect the common and needful oflfices
thereof. Thirdly, When it exceeds due measure, as
when it is over much, and over long. Fourthly, It is
sinful when it brings forth evil and unseemly eftects,
such as neglect, or ill perfomance of any duty to God
or man ; also when it breaks out into loud, clamorous,
or reviling speeches, or into churlish, sullen, or inde-
cent behaviour, or when it is attended with any in-
jurious act.

Thirdly, If you cannot keep anger from rising
within you, yet be sure that you bind your tongue and
hand to good behaviour. Make a covenant with them,
and charge them not to show it, nor partake with it
any further than considerate reason, and good con-
science shall advise you, Psa. xxxix. 1. Set a law to
yourself, Psa. cxli. 3, that you will not chide, nor
strike while you are in the heat of anger. If there be
cause of either, defer it until you have more govern-
ment over yourself If you say, that " If you do them
not in your heat, you shall not do them at all ;" I
answer, that, in saying so you discover a great deal
of folly and weakness. I am sure you never do them
well in passion. And conscience of duty should lead
you to chiding and correcting when there is cause,
not passion: for, in it, you serve and revenge yourself
upon the party, but not God.

Fourthly, Both before, and when you are angry,



THE christian's DAILY WALK. 139

see God, by the eye of your faith, as present with you,
in hearing and looking upon you, Psa. xi. 4, 5. This
will make you peaceable and quiet, causing you not
ofily to hold your hands and tongue, as you find by
experience you use to do, when some reverend friend
is present ; but this will calm and abate the inward
heat and passion of your mind.

Fifthly, If you feel your corruption and weakness
to be such, and the provocation to anger so great, that
you fear you cannot contain yourself, then, if it be
possible, avoid all occasions of anger, and remove
yourself, in a peaceable and quiet manner, from the
person, object, or occasion thereof And at all times
shun the company of an angry man, as much as your
calling will give you leave, lest you learn his ways,
Prov. xxii. 24, 25.

Sixthly, Howsoever it may happen that anger
kindles in you, and breaks out ; be sure that you sub-
due it before it grow into hatred of him with whom
you are angry. For this cause let not the sun go
down upon your wrath, Eph. iv. 26 ; you know not
what hatred it may grow into before morning. And
the best means that I know to subdue it, is, if you find
your heart to rise against any, pray heartily to God for
him in particular, for his good. Matt. v. 44; to this you
are commanded. And be so far from seeking revenge,
that you force yourself to be loving and kind, show-
ing all good offices of love with wisdom, as you shall
have occasion ; overcoming evil with good, Rom. xiii.
17 — 21. Pray also to God for yourself, that he would
please to subdue this passion in you. This act of love
to him with whom you ar^ angry, performed before
God, in whose sight you dare not dissemble, will ex-
cellently quench wrath, and prevent hatred against
him, and will give proof between God and your con-
science that you love him.

If, pleading for yourself, you shall say, " It is my
natural constitution to be choleric, and flesh and blood
will have their course ;" know, this is to nourish your
passion. Know also, it is a wicked and hateful con-
stitution of body, whick came in with the fall. And



140 THE christian's DAILY WALK.

flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God,
1 Cor. XV, 50. Say not, " I am so crossed and pro-
voked, never " any the like ;" for Christ v^^as more in-
jured and more provoked than you, and yet never
was in a passion, 1 Peter ii. 23; Heb. xii. 2, 3. And
you provoke God a thousand times more every day,
yet he is patient with you. Say not, " It is such a
headstrong passion, that it is impossible to bridle and
subdue it ;" for, I can assure you, that by using means,
these prescribed, if you also do often and much abase
yourself before God for your passion and folly, and
daily repent thereof, and watch over yourself, you
may, of most hasty and passionate, become most
meek and patient before you die. I have seen it in
old men whose age in itself giveth advantage to
peevishness and forwardness, who w^ere exceedingly
passionate in their youth, yet through the grace of
God, by constant conflict against this vice, have
attained to an admirable degree of meekness.

2. The cure of worldly grief.

Next, as carnal anger, so worldly grief must be
avoided in all sorts of crosses. For, by it, you repine
against God, fret against men, and make yourself unfit
for natural, civil, and spiritual duties, 1 Kings xxi. 4;
and if it be continued, it works death, 2 Cor. vii. 10.

The best remedy against worldly sorrow for any
affliction, is to turn it into godly sorrow for sin, which
is the cause of all our troubles. This will work re-
pentance to salvation, never to be repented of, 2 Cor.
vii. 10; and will drive you to Christ, in whom, if you
believe, you will have joy and comfort ; even such joy
unspeakable as will dispel and dry up both this and
all other griefs whatsoever, 1 Peter i. 6, 8. For godly
sorrow does always, in due time, end in spiritual joy.

(3.) The nature of Christian patience.

In the third place, I proceed to show the nature of
Christian patience. By patience, I do not mean a
stoical senselessness, or dull stupidity, like that of
Issachar, Gen. xlix. 14, 15; nor yet a counterfeit
patience, like Esau's, Gen. xxvii. 41, 42, and Absa-
lom's, 2 Sam. xiii. 13, 22 ; nor a mere civil or moral



THE christian's DAILY WALK. 141

patience, which wise heathens, to free themselves from
vexation, and for vain glory and other ends, attained
unto ; nor yet a profane patience. Rev. ii. 2, of men
insensible of God's dishonour or afflicting hand ; nor
a patience per-force, when the sufferer is merely
passive, because he cannot reheve himself: but a
Christian holy patience, wherein you must be sensible
of God's hand, and when you cannot but feel an un-
willingness in nature to bear it, yet, for conscience
towards God, you do submit to his will, and that
voluntarily, with an active patience, causing yourself
to be willing to bear it so long as God shall please ;
after the example of Christ, Matt. xxvi. 39, 42, Not
my will, but thine be done. The excellency of Christ's
sufferings was not in that he suflered, but in that he
was obedient in his sufferings. He was obedient to
the death, Phil. ii. 8. So likewise no man's suffering
is acceptable, if he be not active and obedient in
suffering.

This patience is a grace of the Spirit of God,
wrought in the heart and will of man, through believ-
ing, and applying the commandments and promises of
God to himself; whereby, for conscience sake towards
God, 1 Peter ii. 19, he does submit his will to God's
will, quietly bearing, without bitterness and vexation,
all the labour, changes, and evil occurrences which
befal him in the whole course of his life, whether from
God immediately, or from man : as also waiting
patiently for all such good things as God has pro-
mised, but yet are delayed and unfulfilled.

(4.) Motives to Christian patience under adver-
sities.

To induce you to get, and to show forth this holy
patience, know, that you have great need of it, Heb.
X. 36, and that in these respects :

First, You are but half a Christian, you are imper-
fect, and want a principal grace in the Christian life,
if you want patience : thus James argues, imply-
ing that he who will be entire, James i. 4, and want


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