Christianity

THE PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN PRACTICE – 1665

Containing the Institution of a Christian man, in twelve heads of Doctrine:

which are set down in the next side.

By

THOMAS TAYLOR D. D. and late Pastor of Aldermanbury London.

Perfected by himself before his decease.

Christi nomen indere, & non per Christi viam pergere, quid aliud quàm praevaricatio est divini nominis, quàm desertio imeris salutaris?

LONDON, Printed by R. Y. for J. Bartlet, in Cheap-side at the Golden-cup in Goldsmiths Row. 1635.

The Principles of Christian Practice: Containing the Institution of a Christian Man, or of a Disciple of Christ:

In these chief heads of Doctrine.

  • Self-Denial.
  • Taking up the Crosse.
  • Imitation of Christ.
  • Life temporal and eternal.
  • The worlds worthlessness to a soule.
  • The last judgment.
  • The kingdom of Grace.
  • The Christan race.
  • The divine Teacher and Scholler.
  • Epicurisme described and disgraced.
  • Abuse of the Creatures, unlawful.
  • The Physitian of soules.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL, SIR EDWARD CLERKE Knight, one of the Masters of his Majesties Court of Chancery, and Steward of the Towne of Reding: And to his worthie Consort, the Lady ANN CLERKE: all Happiness.

Honored Friends:

By your experienced kindnesse, I have emboldened myself at this time, to present you with a few papers of our ancient friend, Reverend Doctor Taylor, whom alive you heard gladly. The subject of them is, the Principles of Christian Practice. All Philosophie saith: such as the Principles are, such are the Affections, and the Conclusions. The world seeth it in those famous divisions, of Gentilisme, Judaisme, Mahometisme, and Christianisme: wherein, as any is more throughly grounded, so he is more resolved in himself, and divided from others. The Church also seeth and bewaileth it in her wofull divisions. To let passe the Theorie, and consider the Practice (wherewith we have now to do:) we shall easily observe in the course of Christians, that, as they lay downe their Principles, and frame their plots and projects, so their lives also, and particular passages thereof, are framed.

The main aime and plot of a true Christian is, to please God and save his soul howsoever. Accordingly he resolves to denie himself, that he may give up himself wholly unto God: he seekes out after Christ, and will get this great pearle, though he sell himself out of all his worldly endowments and comforts: he meanes afterward to follow Christ, even through thicke and  thinne, and though he be daily compelled to take up his crosse in following him: He knowes, that by overmuch daintinesse and delicacie in the way of holy obedience, he may hazzard his soule, which, if he had lost a a temporall life, he might have received againe in life eternall. He considers, that if he could get or hold never so much of these worldly comforts, yet all would be meere losse upon the losse of his soule: and, if his soule be once lost, it can never be recovered againe. And howsoever he may cheare up himself for a while with those vanities, yea perhaps for a long while, yet in the day of judgement at farthest; when Christ comes to reckon’ for every mans talent and employment; he knowes he must rue the time of his former securitie, or licentiousnesse; whenas only those that have aimed aright, and rightly steared  their course for God and heaven, shall (though with much hardship) arrive at the wished haven of rest and glorie. Hereupon it is, that many a poore Christian wades against the streame, and labours still to approve himself unto God, by  honour and dishonour, by good report and bad report, by the armour of righteousnesse on the right hand, and on the lest. So that he may obtaine that incorruptible crowne of life, which is set before him, he cares not what paines he takes in running, nor how hard censures he endureth from carnall spectatours. That he may not mistake his way, through blindenesse in himself, or false guides abroad, he useth the means of sound and heavenly knowledge, and in them all intreats the Lords helpe and guidance, who alone is able to direct, comfort, and strengthen him in his pilgrimage: and, when he  obtaines this, he soots it lustily along, till in the strait way, though rough, and full of crosses, he gets into his Fathers house, where is bread enough, and comfort, and glory. And whereas in his travelling he espies a number of sensuall men, who are wholly taken up with  their pleasures, treasures, honours, friends, seastings, or other trifles, these he pitieth, and prayeth for them, and resolveth for his owne part, not to entangle himself with the affaires of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a souldier.

This is the disposition, and these the behaviours of a Christian well principled and bottomed; The effecting whereof, both the Authour intended in preaching these things, and I now intend in publishing them: together with encouragement to all those, who stand stoutly, wisely, and constantly to their own Principles, whatever the affections and conclusions of the world be toward them.

But on the other side, numbers of men and women, missing of these Principles, and falling upon other which are deceitfull, do spend their lives in meere vanities, and lose both God and their soules before they are aware. Some meane to be rich howsoever, esteeming wealth to be the blessednes of man: according to which ground, they sticke not for injustice, bribery, oppression, cheating, and other indirect arts of getting. Others attend their pleasures, and account it happinesse to live deliciously for a season: which therefore they will enjoy, though with uncleannesse, intemperance, unthriftinesse, prodigalitie, other sinnes, and totall forgetfulnesse of the Afflictions of Joseph. Others  admire the honours of the world, or credite with men of the world, or  applause of the people: which to obtaine and hold, they care not though they undermine, traduce, flatter, smooth, betray religion, any thing: Yet honour me before the people. And others, taking up other  ends, and grounding themselves upon Principles of their owne, goe wide of Christ and heaven, as farre as East and West.

Yea though they will seeme sometimes to put on a vizard of religion. The Hypocrite mindes nothing but his owne self-respects; to have his Minister thinke well of him, to be accounted some body in the profession, to get credite with some who may do him a good turne another day, to get friends, customers, chapmen, and worke out his owne advantages the more freely and slily: Accordingly he holds none but an hobling course in professing religion, halts             betweene two opinions, sayes and unsayes; in one  companie speakes well of good men, and good things, in another companie quite otherwise, pretends God, and intends himself, in fine, makes nothing of his religion, and if the winde serve right, he will take the next occasion to strike saile, and become a Persecutour of religion and religious persons.

The like of many Apostates. What other cause can be given, why numbers of Christians fall off from the profession or obedience of the Gospell, but that they never learned well and throughly these Principles of Christian Practice, to denie themselves, to take up their crosse, to follow Christ, to           Look to the welfare of their soules howsoever, to provide for the day of their accounts, to run and strive lawfully, to depend on God by prayer for direction and blessing, and to save themselves from this untoward generation, of Epicures  and worldlings? If these grounds had bene well laid, they had never left off building so shamefully, as now have done: nor had their house come tumbling upon their heads, but that their foundation was laid in the sands.

Others there are, that abuse good Principles (as, concerning the infinite mercie of God, and merit of Christ:) or settle upon false and insufficient Principles, outward prosperity, deliverance out of trouble and danger, example of the multitude, rulers, preachers, and the like; thereby bolstering up themselves, either in gross profaneness, or a refined Atheism, till their soules be utterly lost, unless the mercie and grace of God do greatly prevent them.

They are thrice happy, who are thus prevented. It is the Lord only, who gives us both a Saviour, and the knowledge of salvation, and wisedome to attend our Principles aright: he doth it for us, and must therefore have all the glory. To his grace and mercie I commend you both (my much respected Friends:) intreating your acceptance of this small present, and pardon for this large Preface. The Lord often renew your yeares upon you, with all heavenly and earthly blessings, and peace upon Sion. So prayeth,

Dec. 20. 1634.

WILLIAM JEMMAT.

THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOKE.

The Institution of a Christian man in twelve heads of Doctrine.

    • 1 The doctrine of self-deniall, out of 16. 24. Wherein is shewed, who are Christs Disciples.
    • What things self-denyall comprehends,
    •  The difficultie of this dutie.
    • The necessitie of denying ourselves.
    • Mischiefes of not beginning in this dutie
    • Helps to further us therein.
    • Motives to deny our selves.
    • Notes of one that denies himself. 39
  • The doctrine of takin up the Crosse, out of the same verse.
    • Where is shewed,What the Crosse is.
    • Why called the Crosse.
    • What it is to take it up.
    • Why take it up daily.
    • That every Christian hath his Crosse. ibid
    • That we must both beare & take up the crosse.
    • Meanes to be willing so to do.
  • The doctrine of following Christ, Ow of the same verse.
    • Where is shewed,In what we must follow Christ.
    • Instances of Christs pietie and charitie.
    • De fr the brethren, as Christ did.
    • How Christ can and must be followed.
    • Motives to follow him.
    • Danger of not following him.
    • Safetie of following him.
  • The doctrine of life temporall and eternall. Verse 25. Whosoever will save his life, &c.
    • Where is shewed,How a life is saved and lost. 101
    • Who lose their lives for Christs sake. 104
    • Who may not flie in persecution, & who may. 107
    • Christians must take their lives in their hands for Christ. 115
    • Objections answered. 121
    • Practices and Meditations preparing for Mar 126
  • The worlds worthlesnesse in respect of a soule. Verse 26. What shall it profit a man
    • Where is shewed,What the world and winning of it is. 139
    • That we must preach well for matter and man 142
    • That in weightie matters we must use speciall vehemencie. 147
    • That we are naturally addicted to the world. 149
    • Where is treated of covetousnesse. 151
    • There is danger by earthly gaine to lose the soule. 154
    • How this commeth to passe. 155
    • Damnable to seeke the world out of order or measure. 161
    • How to avoid the danger of earthly gaine. 166
    • That many lose their soules for the world: and who they be. 169
    • Signes of Christ undervalued for the world. 171
    • Speeches of the world how to be limited. 173
    • Lawfull callings abused, & callings unlawfull. 176
    • How wealth casts men back in the way of salva 178
    • No cleare gaine, nor thriving in an evill way. 180
    • Further thy salvation by wealth: motives: and how. 182
    • What friends are to be made by unrighteous Mammon. 184
    • Riches unprofitable, how, & in what respects. 190
    • That the soule is a most pretious thing. 198
    • Evils that hurt it, to be avoided. 202
    • A great worke to save soules. 205
    • No helpe for a soule once lost. 210
    • The estate of a lost soule, what. 211
    • What makes a lost soule irrecoverable. 214
    • All unable to recover a lost soule, how and why. 217
    • What goes to the ransome of a soule. 219
    • Uses of that doctrine. 221
  • The last judgement. Verse27. For the Sonne of man shall come, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed,how Christ is called the sonne of man. 228
    • Christ content with meane les. 235. so should we too. 237
    • Christ comes from heaven, whither, when. 241
    • The time unknowne, for sixe reasons. 248
    • Opinions about it. 249
    • Meet Christ comming to judgement: how. 256
    • Of Christs glory in that day: of person: office. 258
    • Preparation and execution, glorious. 264
    • Divers sorts of evidences. 266
    • Waite and wish for the appearance of this glory. 278
    • Prepare for it, and how. 280
    • Angels number, relation, office, comming with Christ. 287
    • The end of Christs comming. 314
    • Good works not meritorious as evill are: why. 321
    • Why workes are the rule of judgment. 322
    • Whether the Law or Gospell be the rule of judging. 324
    • The last judgement glorious and righteous. 327
    • Live well and fare well in judgement. 331
    • Be patient in all confusion and injustice. 334
    • Be sincere in matter of religion. 335
    • Watch and judge thy self before-hand. 336
    • How to know what will become of us in the day of judgement. 338
  • The Kingdome of grace. Verse 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed,Christs comming in his Kingdome, what.
    • Christs Kingdome, and how it comes.
    • Kingdome of God generall and speciall.
    • How the Kingdome of Christ comes.
    • Of the accomplishment hereof.
    • Christs Kingdome enlarged in the Gospell.
    • Evidences of Christs Kingdome enlaged. ibid.
    • Of the times when the Gospels were written.
    • Preaching and obeying the word advances Christs Kingdome. 360
    • Christ like to Kings, and superiour to them. 361
    • Eminence of Christ above other Kings. 362
    • Enemies of the word, enemies of Christ. 365
    • Rejoyce in the thriving of the Gospell. 368
    • Helpe Christ into his Throne. 379
    • How Christs Kingdome is erected and maintained within us. 372
    • Defend Christs right and be loyall. 374
    • Motives to be loyall to Christ. 376
  • The Christian Race. 1 Cor.9. 24. So run that you may obtaine.
    • Where s shewed,The similitude, and reason of it 350
    • That every Christian must run. 354
    • Our life in five respects is a race. 355
    • Reasons why we must run this race. 357
    • Even our whole life, and not at the end only. 359
    • Who conceit not aright of Christian profession. 361
    • Motives to run as we ought. 362
    • Direct ons thereunto, and preparation. 364
    • Hinderances to be removed. 365
    • Helpes in running the Christian race. 367
    • Conditions of running aright five. 369
    • The right marke we must run at. 370
    • The right way in which we must run. 371
    • The right foot wherewith we must run. 373
    • The right motion, humble, cherefull, constant. 374
    • The right end of running twofold. 379
    • The reward of running, no merit. 382
    • How to runne and obtaine. 384
    •             Look not backe. 386
    • Respect the way, and not by-matters. 387
    • Renew strength continually, and how. 390
    • Encouragements thus to run. 393
    • Excellency and eternity of this goale. 39
  • 9 The divine Teacher and Scholler. 119. 33. Teach me O Lord, the way, &c.
    • Where is shed,The Prophets holy prayer and vow. 399
    • What the Statutes are, and why Statutes. 400
    • Why called the Statutes of God. 402
    • Their eminency above other Statutes. 404
    • The metaphor of a way, and singularity. 406
    • God teacheth foure things, above all teaching of man. 411
    • A good heart still desires to be taught. 414
    • That all true knowledge is from God. 416
    • What this knowledge hath above natures reach 418
    • In the meanes repaire unto God. 421
    • Ministers must pray for themselves & their peo 423
    • That sound knowledge is ever humble, and why 424
    • Defect of knowledge, whence. 425
    • Knowledge of good men and others, how it dif 431
    • Good men are ever dstrous of more holy knowledge. 435
    • What fearefull effects ignorance hath. 436
    • Benefits of knowledge within & without us. 439
    • Motives to get heavenly knowledge. 44
    • How unseemly ignorance is. 444
    • Knowledge delightfull to mans understanding 446
    • Excellent properties of Gods way. 448
    • Reproofe of them that desire not know451
    • Excuses refuted. 455
    • Hinderances of saving knowledge. 461
    • Disposition to it, wherein it stands. 464. meanes. 467
    • Of vowes, what are lawfull. 469
    • Ld of sound knowledge is obedience. reas. 477
    • Notes of one carefull to keepe his way. 484
  • Epicurisme discribed and disgraced. Exod.32. 6. The people sate downe to eate, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed,that Idolatrie is ever attended with sloth and luxurie. 489
    • People secure in sin, are nearest to mischiefe. 496
    • Rules for eating and drinking. 500
    • Meditations in eating and drinking. 504
    • Sports and recreations are lawfull, and how. 507
    • In sports is much sin. 509
    • Coyee to be made of sports, 510 use limited 512
    • Our selves how to be ordered in them. 513
    • What may not be lost in play. 517
  • Abuse of the creatures unlawfull. An Appendix to the former. 1 Cor.15. 32. Let us eate and drinke, &c.
    • Wherein is taxed,the abuse of the creatures. 522
    • Heathens and Epicures abuse them 4 waies. 525
    • Rules of right using naturall comforts. 529
    • Times seasonable for sports. 533
    • Right ends of our liberties. 537
  • The Physitian of soules. Luke5. 31. The whole need not the Physitian, &c.
    • Wherein are sundry generall notes. 541
    • Christ takes our causes on himself. 543. and 544
    • None is whole, unlesse in conceit: and how  545, 546, 547
    • The miserie of them that are conceitedly whole 548
    • Discoverie of diseases in the soule: foure signe549, 550, 551
    • Sin is a most dangerous sicknesse: five resem 552, 553, 554
    • Christ is a most excellent Physitian: in five re 561, 562, 563
    • Come to him for cure: and how this may be. 565
    • Great comfort to afflicted soules. 571. to 576
    • The author, matter, and vertue of this heavenly Confection. 577. to 579
    • The Physick precious and powerfull: in five re 580, 581
    • See our owne misery, and admire Christs cure: five particulars. 582. to 588
    • Love we our Physitian: and ow. 589, 590. 591
    • How the physick is applied: to whom: and when 592. to 600
    • Notes to know we are cured: foure. 600. to 606
    • And foure means to preserve health in the soule. 606. to ult.

FINIS.


 

Categories: Christianity

Tagged as: