From The Christian’s Daily Walk
After starting the day with prayer…
When you have [thus] begun the day in prayer by yourself, seeking peace with God through Jesus Christ, and craving his gracious presence to be with you and for you that day, you must then conscientiously, according to the nature of the day (be it one of the six days or the Lord’s Day) apply yourself to the business of that day, whether it be in acts of religion, or of your personal calling, or in any other works belonging unto you, as you are [a] superior or inferior in family, church, or commonwealth; doing all as in God’s sight.
And because all lawful business is sanctified by the word and prayer, 1 Tim 4:5, and it is part of your calling (if you are master of a family) to govern your children and servants in the fear of God, and to teach them to live godly; therefore it is your duty to take the fittest time in the morning to call them together, and pray with them; before which [i.e., along with] prayer, it will be profitable to read the Scripture in order, with due reverence, taking all opportunities, in fit times, to instruct them in the principles of religion, often pressing the Word upon them, Deut. 6:7.
If it be a working day, with cheerfulness and diligence, attend to the work of your particular calling. For whosoever hath no calling whereby he may be profitable to the society of man in family, church, or commonwealth; or having a lawful calling doth not follow it, he lives inordinately, 2 Thess 3: 10, 11. God never made any man for play or to do nothing. And whatever a man doth, he must do it by virtue of his Christian calling, receiving warrant from it, else he cannot do it in faith, without which no man can please God, Heb 11:6. Besides, whosoever is called to Christianity, has no way to heaven but by walking with God in his personal and particular calling, as well as in his general calling, 1 Cor 7:17-24.
- That you may do this, be sure that the thing whereabout you labour, either with head or hand, be lawful and good.
- Be diligent and industrious, Eph 4:28; for the sluggard and idle person desireth but has nothing; but [conversely] the diligent hand maketh rich, Prov 10:4.
- Let there be truth, plainness, and equity in all your dealings with men, Prov 10:4. Circumvent [deceive] and defraud no man, 1 Thess 4:6. Make not your own gain the weight and measure to trade by.
I will propose to you “sealed weights and rules”, according to which you must converse with all men:
- Consider your neighbour’s good as well as your own. Weigh impartially with yourself what proportional advantage (in common estimation) your neighbour is like to have for that which you receive of him. For you must love your neighbour as yourself, Matt 22:39. In whatsoever you have to do with men, you must not look only to your own advantage, but to the benefit also of your neighbour, Phil 2:4. Observe therefore the royal law, the standard of all equity in this kind: Whatsoever you (with a rectified judgment and honest heart) would that men should do unto you, do you even so unto them: for this is the law and the prophets, Matt 7:12.
- Be watchful that you let not slip your opportunities of lawful advantage, Prov 6: 6-8. And take heed lest in these evil times you be circumvented by fraud and falsehood, and be ensnared by unnecessary suretyship, Prov 6:1-6, Prov 11:15, Prov 22:26.
In every calling there is a mystery [i.e., hidden dangers], and for the most part each calling and condition of life has its special sin or sins (which the devil and custom, for gain or credit sake amongst evil men, have made to seem lawful; yea, have put a kind of necessity upon it which cannot be shunned without exposing one’s self to censure). Look narrowly therefore by the light of God’s Word, and by experience, to find out those sins, and then be careful to avoid them.