Sunday, November 1, 2009

Leadbeater's Rules for the Christian Life

When Puritan Edward Taylor was still in England (before he emigrated to New England), he was a member of Thomas Leadbeater's congregation at Hinckley, who was among those ejected for nonconformity in 1662. In Taylor's unpublished "Commonplace Book" he wrote down three sets of rules given Leadbeater for the direction of godly living. The first was 21 "commanding rules" (one of which is unaccounted for), followed by nine additional "commanding rules," then five "disposing rules".

1. Do not content yourselves with a name to bee Religious, but labour to be Religious indeed.
2. Studie well the nature of those great Gospel Duties of Faith & Repentance.
3. Labour to get the power of everie publique Ordinance upon your hearts.
4. Prize a Soule-Searching Ministrie, & if the Lord shall blesse you to this mercie, do the utmost to encourage it.
5. Performe familie Duties with all diligence, do not denie God the morning & the evening Sacrifices.
6. Be Conscientious in a strict observation of the Sabbath our Lords Day.
7. Redeem that time you can for reading, meditating & Prayer in secret.
8. Strive to perform everie Dutie, publick private & secret, as the Lord hath Commanded it to be done.
9. Studie therefore well the great Mysterie of Justification through Faith in the blood of Christ.
10. Be much in studying your own hearts, especially as to your growth in Grace & Mortification.
11. Account the maine of Religion to consist in a steadie walking with God continuallie.
12. Be communicative of those abilities that God hath given you (as you have oppertunities) for the good of others.
13. In every Spirituall Worke improve the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ.
15. Choose Suffering before Sin.
16. Labour for an assurance of the Love of God, & intrest in Christ, & Adoption.
17. Get acquainted with the Promises of God & live on them when you have nothing else to live upon.
18. Be carefull of the discharge of the Duties of the Second Table.
19. Let the glorie of God bee the ultimate End of all your life and Actions.
20. Be often meditating upon the four last things, viz, Death, Judgment, Heaven, & Hell.
21. Be dying dailie whilst you live.

1. That true Religion is the great Intrest of your Lives.
2. Consider the vanities of all earthy things.
3. Heaven, Hell & Eternitie are the greatest realities in the world.
4. That the Gate is straite & the way narrow to heaven.
5. That this life is given us to make provision for life eternall.
6. That meere Customarinesse in Religion will not serve Your turn.
7. That you can never be happie but in an absolute freedome from Sin & participation of the Divine nature.
8. That you are engaged to no lesse than this in your Covenant with God.
9. That Heaven obtained will make amends for all the pains & labour you are, or shall be at in the businesse of your Salvation.

1. In every thing resolve Providence into the best.
2. Studie & admire the wisdome, the goodnesse & the justice of God in every dispensation.
3. Be content & patient in everie Condition.
4. Be thankfull for your Mercies, & accept[a]ble of your Punishments.
5. Conclude by Faith that all events shall be directed to the glorie of God & the eternall well faire of his people.

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