By Lewis Bayly
1. Almighty God can, in the resurrection, as easily raise up thy body out of the grave, from the sleep of death, as he hath this morning wakened thee in thy bed, out of the sleep of nature. At the dawning of which resurrection day, Christ shall come to be glorified in his saints; and every one of the bodies of the thousands of his saints, being fashioned like unto his glorious body, shall shine as bright as the sun (2 Thess. i. 10; Jude, ver. 14; Phil. iii. 21; Luke ix. 31;) all the angels shining likewise in their glory; the body of Christ surpassing them all in splendour and glory; and the Godhead excelling it. If the rising of one sun make the morning sky so glorious, what a bright shining and glorious morning will that be, when so many thousand thousands of bodies, far brighter than the sun, shall appear and accompany Christ as his glorious train, coming to keep his general session of righteousness, and to judge the wicked angels, and all ungodly men (Acts xvii. 31; 1 Cor. vi. 3; Jude, ver. 15;) and let not any transitory profit, pleasure, or vain glory of this day, cause thee to lose thy part and portion of the eternal bliss and glory of that day, which is properly termed the resurrection of the just (Luke xiv. 14.) Beasts have bodily eyes to see the ordinary light of the day: but endeavour thou with the eyes of faith, to foresee the glorious light of that day.
2. Thou knowest not how near, the evil spirit which night and day, like a roaring lion, walketh about seeking to devour thee (1 Pet. v. 8; Job i. 7) was to thee while thou wast asleep and not able to help thyself; and thou knowest not what mischief he would have done to thee, had not God hedged thee and thine with his ever-waking Providence, and guarded thee with his holy and blessed angels (Job i. 10; Psal. cxxi. 4; Psalm 34:7; Gen. xxxii. 1, 2; 2 Kings vi. 16.)
3. If thou hearest the cock crow, remember Peter, to imitate him (Luke xxii. 61, 62;) and call to mind that cock-crowing sound of the last trumpet, which shall waken thee from the dead. And consider in what case thou wert, if it sounded now, and become such as thou wouldst then wish to be; lest at that day thou shouldst wish that thou hadst never seen this; yea, curse the day of thy natural birth, for want of being new-born by spiritual grace (Jer. xx. 14; Job iii. 1; Tit. iii. 5.) When the cock crows the thief despairs of his hope, and gives over his night's enterprise: so the devil ceases to tempt, or attempt any further, when he hears the devout soul wakening herself with morning prayer.
4. Remember that Almighty God is about thy bed, and seeth thy down-lying, and thy up-rising; under-standeth thy thoughts, and is acquainted with all thy ways (Psal. cxxxix. 2, 3.) Remember likewise that his holy angels, who guarded and watched over thee all night, do also behold how thou wakest and risest (Gen. xxxi. 55; xxxii. 1, 2.) Do all things, therefore, as in the awful presence of God, and in the sight of his holy angels (Psal. xci. 5, 11; Acts xii. 11.)
5. As thou art putting on thine apparel, remember that they were first given as coverings of shame, being the effects of sin; and that they are made but of the offals of dead beasts. Therefore, whether thou respect the stuff, or the first institution, thou hast so little cause to be proud of them, that thou hast great cause to be humbled at the sight and wearing of them, seeing the richest apparel are but fine covers of shame. Meditate rather, that as thine apparel serves to cover thy shame, and to fence thy body from cold, so thou shouldst be as careful to cover thy soul with that wedding garment which is the righteousness of Christ (because apprehended by our faith), called the righteousness of the saints (Matt. xxii. 11; Rom. xiii. 14; 1 Cor. i. 30; Philippians 3:9; Revelation 19:8; Ephesians 4:24;) lest, while we are richly apparelled in the sight of men, we be not found to walk naked (so that all our filthiness be seen) in the sight of God (Rev. xvi. 15.) But that with his righteousness, as with a robe, we may cover ourselves from perpetual shame; and shield our souls from that fiery cold that will procure eternal weeping, and gnashing of teeth (Matt. xxii. 13.) And withal consider how blessed a people were our nation, if every silken suit did cover a sanctified soul. And yet a man would think, that on whom God bestowed most of these outward blessings, of them he should receive greatest inward thanks (Luke xii. 48.) But if it prove otherwise, their reckoning will prove the heavier in the day of their accounts.
6. Consider how God's mercy is renewed unto thee every morning, in giving thee, as it were, a new life Lam. iii. 23; Psal. xix. 5), and in causing the sun, after his incessant race, to rise again to give thee light. Let not, then, this glorious light burn in vain; but prevent rather (as oft as thou canst) the sun rising to give God thanks (Luke xii. 48;) and kneeling down at thy bedside, salute him at the day-spring with some devout antelucanum or morning soliloquy: containing an humble confession of thy sins, seeking the pardon of all thy faults, a thanksgiving for all his benefits, and a craving of his gracious protection to his church, thyself, and all that belong to thee.