An Outline of Edmund Calamy's work "The Art of Divine Meditation"What the Bible says about Godly Meditation through the Word
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Calamy, Edmund, (1600-1666). The Art of Divine Meditation, (Crossville: Puritan Publications, 2017).
Main Text: Gen. 24:63
- The Introduction
- Text divided
- The Person spoken of, Isaac.
- What is related of him, He went out to meditate.
- The place he chose, In the field.
- The time, At the eventide.
- Explication: There is a Twofold Meditation
- Sinful, and wicked; that was not Isaacs.
- Holy and godly. This Isaac practiced.
- Observation. The Meditation of Holy and Heavenly things, is a work that God requires at the hands of all people. Viz. of
1). Young Gentlemen
2). Kings, Nobles, and great Persons
3). Soldiers, Generals, and Captains
4). Learned Men
- There be two sorts of Meditation of heavenly things.
- Sudden, short, occasional. 6
- Solemn, set, deliberate.
- Of Occasional Meditation, three Things, viz. the Excellency, Examples, and Practice.
1). The Excellency of occasional, extemporary, sudden, and ejaculatory Meditation from Scripture and humane Testimony
- The Examples from Scripture and humane Testimony
- Motives to persuade to the Practice of it, viz.
1). It may be performed at all times.
2). Practiced in all places and companies 14
3). It is easy to spiritualized ones.
4). It is the excellency of a Christian to spiritualize natural things herein exceeding
5). It is the greatest affront we can give to God, not to make a spiritual use of his creatures
- It is a Soul-destroying sin not to observe the Works of God, and make a good use of them
III. Of Solemn Meditation, the Nature and Necessity
- The Nature of solemn Meditation in two particulars
- It is a dwelling and abiding upon things that are Holy, being typified two ways.
By the Beast
That did chew the cud
That had eyes within and without
- It is an act of the heart, as well as the head
It must enter into the door of the understanding, heart, and conversation
- The Necessity of it evinced from the Mischiefs of neglecting this Duty
- Advantage of practicing this Duty
- The mischiefs and inconveniencies of neglecting this duty. It is the cause of sin and punishment. 30
- The want of practicing this Duty causes sin; As particularly,
1). It is the reason of hard-heartedness.
2). Unprofitableness of hearing Sermons
3). Not relishing of sweetest promises
4). No impression from threatenings
5). No bettering by mercies
6). No amending by afflictions
7). No heart softening by Providences
8). Reason of distrustfulness of Gods Providence
9). Censoriousness of others, not of our selves
10). Offering the sacrifices of fools in worship
- The want of practicing this duty causes punishment
- The advantages and benefits by a conscientious practice of this duty, in begetting and increasing of grace, and arming against temptations
- It is a mighty help to the begetting and working of grace in 9 particulars.
- To work repentance and reformation of life
- A love to God
- A fear of God
- A love to Jesus Christ
- Faith and trust in God
1). In his Providence in all outward streights
2). Promises in all spiritual troubles
- A contempt of the world and worldly things
- Thankfulness for mercies and blessings
- A Preference of Gods house to our own
- A Keeping of all Gods Commandments
- It is helpful to preserve and increase grace
- It is helpful to arm and defend against all the temptations of the Devil
- The Application of this Doctrine concerning this necessary duty of Meditation may be for
- The Reproof of those Christians that are utterly unaccustomed to, and unacquainted with this duty: and these are of four sorts, viz.
- The ignorant Christian that knows not how to set about the work
- Forgetful Christian, that remembers not God
- Rash-headed Christian, that acts without consideration, where are four evils, viz.
1). Such is a spiritual fool in offering sacrifices to God
2) Often speaks that, he’ll wish he had not
3). Quickly runs into error and by-paths
4). Will never persevere and hold out to the end
- A slight-headed Christian, that cannot dwell long upon any thing, which argues a slight Christian
- Are then all who have slight heads, Hypocrites?
- There is a double slightness of head, viz.
- That which is a natural disease, when a child of God, of a weak head, cannot think long of any thing at all.
- That which is sinful, when a man can be serious, and dwell long upon the things of the world, not on the things of heaven: this is reproved.
- The Reproof of those who meditate upon things that are evil and wicked
- Such as design and do evil
- Such as delight in the evil they have done
- An Exhortation to all to accustom themselves to the duty of meditation, viz. To
- Young Gentlemen.
- Women. In speaking to this Exhortation six particulars proposed, viz.
- Concerning the Place, to choose one convenient, which is freest from distractions
- Time, which proves seasonable in due circumstances. Here four Rules are suggested
- It behooves all not hindered, to endeavor the setting apart of some time every day, morning, afternoon, or night.
- To set a sufficient proportion of time a-part every day
- The Sabbath-day especially all should busy themselves in this duty
- A Sacrament-day more especially
a). Here 12 Things suggested as instances of Sacramental Meditation, viz.
- The great and wonderful love of God the Father in the giving of Christ.
- Love of Christ in giving himself.
- Heinousness of sin.
- Excellency of the Sacramental feast,
- Our own unworthiness.
- Our spiritual wants and necessities.
- The cursed condition of an unworthy receiver.
- The happy condition of those that come worthily.
- The Sacramental Elements of Bread and Wine.
- The Sacramental Actions.
- Sacramental Promises.
- What retribution to make to Christ.
- Properties, ingredients, and qualities of Meditation, viz.
- Divine Meditation must be often. Because,
- We shall know more of the best things.
- Have more near and intimate acquaintance with them.
- Heavenly Duties will become more easy to us.
- It must be solemn and serious, not only formal
- Not only notional and speculative, but practical and reflective. It must be in the understanding, heart, and affections, yes and the conversation.
- It must be particular and applicative,
- It must be calm and quiet,
- It must be persevering,
There are four Arguments to persevere: Viz.
- Excellency of it.
- Mischiefs by not practicing of it,
- Easiness attainable by persevering in it,
- Companions of Meditation, which are two,
- Praying must be joined with Meditation,
- Reading will do well to accompany in weak Christians with two Cautions, viz.
- Not to read much lest it hinder,
- Not to read at the Sacrament,
- Materials of Meditation,
- The four last things, Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell.
- The certainty.
- The fitness for it.
- How to be above the hurt of it.
- To live in expectation of it.
- To be free from the fear of it
- The terribleness of it.
- Solemnity of the great Assizes.
- Account to be given to God.
- Separation at that day.
- Happiness of the Godly.
- Miserableness of the wicked
- The joys of it.
- Beatifical Vision.
- Perfection. 4. Perpetuity.
- Fitness for.
- What to do to get to Heaven
- Hell: where, of the punishment of,
- God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, and thy self
- Of God, where of his,
- What Relation towards him
- Christ, where of his,
- Humane nature,
- Offices; and then of his,
- Death; where
- what he suffered,
- for whom,
- who he was,
- what love he suffered with,
- what interest you have in it,
- his Resurrection,
- Intercession at Gods right hand.
- Holy Ghost:
- Our selves in the state of,
- Further of our,
- frailty of body,
- Dependence upon God.
- Advantages God hath us at, he may throw into Hell at pleasure, therefore we should study and think on,
- our Relations,
- our hearts. Hereof,
- Sinfulness of sin,
- Vanity of the Creature
- Excellency of the Gospel
- Commandments, Threatenings, Promises, Ordinances of the Gospel; as,
- Reading the Word,
- Hearing the Word,
- The Sacrament,
- Errors of the times, Judgments of God, great changes of the Nation, several passages of Providence, the mercies of God
- 6 Rules and Directions, and those of three sorts: respecting person, subject, manner.
- For the right qualifying of the person that is to meditate, viz.
- Convince thy soul of the necessity of it,
- Of the benefits and advantages of it; as,
- The begetting Repentance.
- The Love of God.
- Fear of God.
- Love of Christ.
- The mischiefs of not-meditating
- Get a sufficient furniture of saving knowledge
- Labor to get a serious spirit, to which purpose a fourfold frame of spirit is to be avoided; as namely,
- A slight frame of spirit.
- A trifling frame of spirit.
- A watery frame of spirit.
- An inconsiderate frame of spirit.
- Labor for the love of heaven, and heavenly things,
- Labor to get an interest in Heaven, and heavenly things
- An heart disengaged from the world
- Be not discouraged though you have difficulty in the beginning,
- Do all these things by power derived from Jesus Christ
- Rules for the right ordering the subjects or materials,
- At the beginning pick out easy subjects, as of Heaven;
- the happiness of it in general;
- in particular,
- Use variety, as heads of several materials were suggested
- Pick out such subjects more especially as dispose to godly sorrow and holiness
- Such as are most seasonable to thy condition, and suitable to thy relation. As suppose thou art
- Troubled in mind, and exceedingly dejected, think of the willingness of Christ to receive poor ones,
- Troubled in conscience, think of the promises not only to grace, but of grace, to give grace,
- In outward want, consider the wonderful providences of God,
- Sick, like to thy own life, or some dear Relative, think on a seasonable subject, as Death, &c.
- To receive the Sacrament, consider the nature, thy need of it, &c.
- Rules for the manner of ordering Meditations on the forementioned, or like subjects. viz.
- To begin and enter upon the practice of Meditation; and here be six Directions,
- Be sure to pick a fit place to meditate in,
- A fit and seasonable time, according to our circumstances,
- Be sure to have a fit subject prepared, not to seek at the time,
- Then set yourself as in God’s presence, under his eye,
- Begin with some short ejaculatory, not long prayer,
- Keep your hearts with all keeping,
- To proceed better in this work, here we must know, there be two faculties of the soul, the understanding and will, or heart and affections, 175
- Rules to help the understanding more logically and plainly,
- Logically, as Topics, or Common-place-heads, viz.
- An instance in considering sin as the subject,
- Consider description as a transgression of Gods Law
- Distribution, as sin by imputation, propagation, and action,
- Cause of sin, God not the cause, but Satan and self
- Effects and cursed fruits, temporal, carnal, and eternal,
- Properties and Adjuncts in general and particular
- Opposites, grace and holiness
- Comparisons, as bruises, leprosy, etc.
- Titles given to sin in Scripture, as robbing God, etc.
- Testimonies in Scripture against sin, wrath of God, etc.
- Plainly, where particularly consider,
- What the Scripture saith of the subject you would meditate upon,
- What Sermons you have heard upon that subject,
- Take a Book that treats on the subject you would meditate upon.
- Be sure to join Application with your Contemplation,
- Consider the means how to obtain what you meditate upon,
- Rules to help the will, heart, and affections, and to raise them,
- Labor to get a relish and savor of the things you meditate on, to have the heart affected.
- Complain before God for the want of this relish.
- Wish you had a supply of the taste you want,
- Confess your inability as of yourself to do this.
- Petition to God for help.
- Confidently believe God will help you.
- Rules to conclude all, after entrance and progress,
- Lift up your heart to God with thankfulness, and bless his Name,
- Resolve to live as one who hath been thinking on the things of God,
- Recommend yourself, body, soul, relatives, &c. to God,
A Persuasion to the practice of these things, concluding in four particulars,
- Mourn before God that you have lived so long in the School of Christ, and have not practiced this duty of solemn Meditation,
- That you have misplaced your Meditation,
- Study the necessity, excellency, usefulness, and profitableness of Meditation, as the marrow of all other duties,
- Defer not to practice according to the directions given in expectation of God’s blessing