Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life and Soul of Christianity

Meditation is very much a lost or neglected art among Christians today. Few even consider its importance, if they consider it at all. But according to one Westminster Divine, meditiation is the very "life and soul of all Christianity."

Edmund Calamy the Elder, The Art of Divine Meditation, pp. 82-84, 144, 205:

1. It is the duty of all those that are not hindred by necessary business, if it be possible to set apart some time every day for meditation, whether it be morning, afternoon, or night: For Meditation is the life and soul of all Christianity; it is that which makes you improve all the Truths of Christian Religion, (you are but the Skeletons of Christians without Meditation) it is as necessary as your daily bread; and as you feed your bodies every day, so you ought to feed your souls every day with meditating on your sins, or your Evidences for Heaven, or the everlasting burnings of Hell, or of the day of Judgment, the great account you are to give at that day, or of the joys of Heaven, or of the Promises, &c. We are every day assaulted with the Devil, therefore we should every day put on the armour of Divine Meditation, to consider how to resist the wiles of the Devil; we are every day subject to death, we are every day subject to sin, therefore we should every day consider how to prepare our selves for death, and every day consider how to resist sin. Meditation is nothing else but a conversing with God, the souls colloquie with God; and it is fit we should every day walk with God. Divine Meditation is nothing else but the souls transmigration into heaven; the souls ascending up into Heaven; now it is fit every day that we should have our conversation in Heaven. David when he describes the blessed man, Psal. 1. 2. saith he, His delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in his law will he meditate day and night. And he saith of himself, though he was a King, and had many worldly businesses, the affairs of his Kingdom to hinder him, yet he saith, Psal. 119. 97. Oh how do I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day. v. 148. Mine eyes prevent the night-watches, that I might meditate on thy word. There is the morning-time for Meditation, I prevent the dawning of the morning that I might meditate in thy word. v. 15. I will delight my self in thy statutes, and I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto all thy ways. And Ioshua, that great General of the Army, though he was a man surely of great imployments, yet God doth lay an injunction upon him, Iosh. 1. 7, 8. The book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day & night. [pp. 82-84]
1. Convince thy soul of the absolute necessity of Divine Meditation; I have shewed it is a duty expresly commanded by God, a duty required of all sorts of persons, of Kings, of Generals of Armies, of young Gentlemen, of Women, of Ministers; David, Ioshua, young Isaac in my Text practised this duty; and many Women, and many holy men. Let me add, that this very duty is the life and soul of all Christianity; you are but carcasses of Christians if you be not acquainted with it; it is as impossible to live without a soul, as it is to be a good Christian without Divine Meditation. As it is impossible for a man to be nourished by meat if he want digestion and concoction; so it is impossible for a man to be nourished in grace, if he neglect the duty of Divine Meditation; for Divine Meditation is the spiritual concoction and digestion of all holy things, and all holy duties. As a man without concoction, I mean without a faculty of digestion and concoction, so is a Christian without the practise of Divine Meditation. [p. 144]
3. I would perswade you to study the necessity, the excellency, the usefulness, and profitableness of Divine Meditation; let me tell you for the conclusion, this duty is not only a duty, but the quintessence and marrow of all other duties; there is no duty will take impression upon your souls without the practise of this duty; it is the very life and soul of Christianity, without which a Christian is but the carcass of a Christian. I have shewed, that the want of Divine Meditation is the cause of all sin, and all punishment; I have shewed you, that the practise of Meditation will help to beget Grace, and increase Grace, and resist the Devil and all his temptations. [p. 205]

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