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the Lord, and to comply with his dispensation; which if you do in your calling, then shall you walk with God therein. Yet,
If you would walk with God in your calling, then you must judge of things in your calling, as God judges, and measure things by his bushel. We are very apt to measure and judge of things in our callings, by the verdict of the means and second causes: if the means and second cause smile, then we smile, though God frown; if the means and second cause frown, then we frown, though God smile: if the second cause be big, and promise a great mercy or blessing to us, then in the strength of the second cause, we promise it to ourselves, though God threatens the contrary; if the second cause or means threaten a misery, then in the strength thereof, we threaten ourselves with that misery, though God promise the contrary blessing. This is not to walk with God in our callings. He that walks with God in his place and calling, must judge and measure things according unto God's verdict. But,
If you would walk with God in your place and calling, then you must spiritualize your particular calling with heavenly things, and the things of God; not put all upon a morning and an evening prayer, but your particular calling must be sprinkled with holy meditations and gracious speeches. Thus it was with Abraham's servant when he went for Rebecca, he sprinkled his service with meditation, prayer, and godly speech. And if ye look into Judges v. ye shall find that upon a glorious victory that God gave to his people, it is said, ver. 11, "They that are delivered from the noise of the archers, in the places of drawing of water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord." Not only at their church meetings, and in prayer or duty, but while they are drawing of water. Thus our particular calling is to be sprinkled with heavenly things; and if you do thus, then shall you walk with God in your calling. And oh, that there were an heart in us all, thus to walk with God in our callings. This is every man's work, and every day's work. Now, therefore, that you may do it, give me leave by way motive, to leave these few considerations with you.
If you walk with God in your particular calling, God will walk with you in your general calling. Is it not a great
mercy to meet with God in your prayers and duties; if you go up to him in your particular callings, he will come down to you in your general.
Then shall your calling be a blessing to you indeed, and you shall have another, further and greater reward than the wealth of your calling. "Servants obey your masters in all things, not with eye-service as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord," Col. iii. 22. "And whatever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men,” ver. 23. "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ." It seems then, by this scripture, that though a man be a servant, yet therein he may serve the Lord, and walk with God; and if he do so, he shall not only have wages from his master, but of the Lord he shall receive the reward of the inheritance. Now he is best paid, which the Lord pays; the Lord will not only give him his outward wages, but an everlasting inheritance. Oh, what a good thing it is to walk with God in our callings. Yea,
Thereby the knots and difficulties of your callings shall be taken off, and your way made easy; that God whom ye walk with in your callings, will lift you over all the stiles that are in your callings. If a child walk with his father in the fields, when they come at a high stile, the father lifts him over it. So if you walk with God in your callings, then he will lift you over all the stiles and difficulties of your callings. Yea,
Thereby you shall be kept from the sins and temptations of your calling. A man's calling is like to a great log or piece of timber in a green field; look upon the field, and you see it all green and handsome, but take up the log or timber that lies in the midst thereof, and there you find worms, and sows, and vermin that do breed under it. So look upon a man's carriage, and generally it is very green, civil and handsome; but if ye look under his calling, you will find nothing but sows, worms, and vermin. Now this walking with God in your calling, will keep you from the vermin of your callings. Yea,
Thereby shall your way of godliness be convincing and winning. "As God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk and abide with
God," saith the apostle in this chapter. Why so? what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt not save thine husband," or, "how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" Yea, says the apostle Peter, "Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the word, they also without the word, may be won by the conversation of the wives," 1 Peter iii. 1. It is not therefore a morning or evening duty, though that is good, that is so winning; but a constant walking with God in our places and callings, is convincing and winning. Yea,
Thereby also you shall be fit to die, and leave all the world with ease. The more a man runs his heart into the world in his calling, the harder it will be to die; and the more a man walketh with God in his calling, the fitter he will be to die, and to leave all the world with ease. Now therefore as you do desire, that you may be fit to die, that your ways of godliness may be convincing and winning, that the knots and difficulties of your callings may be taken off, that your callings may be a blessing to you indeed, and that God may meet and walk with you in your general calling, labour more and more to abide and walk with God in your particular calling; which that you may do, labour to be master of your art, be diligent in your place, deal not unjustly with men in your calling, be not too familiar with your callings, but keep your due distance from them; observe what the temptations and snares are, that are incident, and take heed thereof; labour more to live by faith in your calling; let not your general eat up your particular, nor your particular destroy your general. Whatever you do in your calling, "do all to the glory of God," be sure that you turn as God turns, give when he gives, measure all things in your callings by his bushel, and be sure that you always sprinkle your outward employments with some heavenly refreshments. And thus brethren, "Let every one wherein he is called therein abide with God." For it is the duty of every man to abide and walk with God in his calling. And thus I have done with this argument, How to walk with God in our callings.
OF GOOD AND BAD COMPANY, HOW TO AVOID THE ONE, AND IMPROVE THE OTHER.
"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts." Ps. cxix. 63.
My desire now is to speak something of good and bad company, and therefore have made choice of this scripture. In this section the Psalmist laboureth to confirm his faith, and to comfort himself in the certainty of his own grace, by seven or eight properties of a true believer. The first is drawn from his choice. A good man makes a right choice, he chooses God for his portion, verse 51, "Thou art my portion, O Lord." The second is drawn from the fixation of his resolution. A good man is fully resolved for to walk with God. "I have said I would keep thy words," verse 57. The third is drawn from his earnest desire of God's love and favour. A good man doth desire the favour of God above all things, "I intreated thy favour with my whole heart," verse 58. The fourth is drawn from his self examination. A good man doth ponder, weigh, and examine his own doings and ways, "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies," verse 59. The fifth is drawn from his readiness to keep God's commandments. A good man doth not put off or delay his duty, "I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments," verse 60. The sixth is drawn from his adhesion to the ways of God in times of opposition. A good man will not be driven from the ways of God by the opposition of men. "The bands of the wicked have robbed me, but I have not forgotten thy law," verse 61. The seventh is drawn from the thankfulness of his disposition under all dispensations. A good man will give thanks to God whatever his condition be. "At midnight I will give thanks unto thee, because of thy righteous judgments," verse 62. And the eighth is drawn from his company. A good man will keep company with those that are good; "I am a companion of all that fear thee." Which is explained by these following words, "and of them that
keep thy precepts, I am a companion of all that fear thee." Though I be a king, and they be never so poor, I, even I, David the king, "am a companion of all that fear thee, and do keep thy precepts." Where then you may observe thus much, that a good man will have good company. It is the property of a good man to keep good company, his companions are such as do fear the Lord. Yea, though they be much beneath him, yet if they be such as do fear the Lord, he will not boggle at their acquaintance and fellowship. "I am a companion," says David the king, "of all those that fear thee." So that a good man will have or keep good company. For the opening and clearing whereof,
First, We will inquire what this good company is, and when a man may be said for, to keep good company.
Secondly, Why, and upon what account a good man will have good company.
Thirdly, I will answer unto some objections or cases of conscience, about this company-keeping, and so come to the application.
As for the first, If you ask what this good company is, I
That is not good company which the world calls good company, nor he a good companion which the world calls a good companion. If a man will drink and take off his cups, he is a good fellow in the mouth of the world. And if a man be a jolly, frolic, merry man, that can make you laugh with some pretty tales and jests, he is a good companion; but if he be a good natured man, and will not be angry, then he is a good companion indeed. This is the world's good company, or good companion, but I say that is not good company which the world calls good company.
Neither is that good company which a man's own engagements calls good company; if a man be a good man, and I have a mind to hate him, then I will first make him wicked, that there may be room for my hatred : : if a man be a wicked man, and I have a mind to keep him company, or love him, then I will first make him good, and say he is good, that there may be room for my love and fellowship with him. It was a custom amongst the Jews, that the king should once in a year read over the chief part of Deuteronomy in the audience of the people, and as their stories tell us, when Agrippa