Thursday, January 31, 2013
Rare Jewel: Conclusion, Chapters Twelve and Thirteen
Ah, the meat. The help. The final installment of notes which are so practical. Hope the notes have been encouraging. Many thanks to Burroughs!
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen
How to Attain Contentment
1. Consider the great mercies you have and the little you lack. Above all, you have salvation.
2. Consider how you have been blessed with mercies before.
3. Consider how vast the sea of mercies is. A pail of affliction into a sea of mercy is swallowed.
4. Consider the vicissitude of all things in the world: light to dark to light.
5. Consider how all creatures (food sources and animal assistance) suffer for us, ought we not be willing to suffer for God?
6. Consider how little time you have in the world.You will only suffer here. It will be over soon.
7. Consider others who had little: Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Luther, Christ.
8. Before, you were content with a world without grace. Now be content with grace without the world.
9. Think how little glory you gave to God when you had all things. Let that quiet you now.
10. Think on the abundance of good that God brought through your past afflictions.
What Course to Take
1. Have a good temper through grace.
2. Do not grasp too much of the world.
3. Be sure of your to call to your business and then go about it with good conscience.
4. Walk according to the rule of the Word, and you will likely be blessed with peace.
5. Exercise much faith in God and his Word. God is careful for you. In the sea storm, let faith get on the shoulders of reason and spot land, saying good will come from this tempest.
6. Labor to meditate on the things above. A heavenly conversation is the way to contentment.
7. Don't promise yourselves too much beforehand. Rather, aim high for spiritual growth.
8. Labor to have hearts dead to the world. If you are dead, your bones need not be broken by afflictions.
9. Don't dwell too much on your afflictions. Think of comforts instead, things which stir us to thankfulness.
10. Make a good interpretation of providences: maybe God is trying me, protecting me from sin, this will better my soul, this will exercise grace, this will prepare me for work. This is opposed to the worst interpretation: this is his wrath, he delivers evils to me. Remember, Love thinketh no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5 God makes the best interpretation of our efforts and calls us saints.
11. Don't regard the fancies of other men and let them belittle your own blessings and state.We may not even count ourselves afflicted when others do.
12. Don't be taken up by worldly comforts when you have them. Their loss then will be less.
You may live happy lives in the midst of storms. There is an ark where you may live comfortable, cheerful, and contented. It may take many, many years to learn these lessons. Persevere. Do not be content until you have obtained better skill than before at being content.