From beginning to end, this is a beautiful work on how a Christian is to live in order to please God. Lewis Bayly, Bishop of Bangor, originally wrote this book in the early 1600's. It went through more than 70 editions by 1800, and was translated into several European and Native American languages.
Bayly's love for God can be seen from the first, as he meditates upon His essence, person, and attributes in the first chapter. The depth of his insight and passion is a great example of the Puritan concept of God.
From God, Bayly turns to man, displaying his need for conversion and his need for piety. He writes not only about the overarching theological ideas on this subject, but also dives deep into the mechanics of individual and family prayer, meditation, Bible reading, and singing.
To Bayly, piety was something to be lived all day, every day. Therefore, the material in this book begins with the moment we awake, runs through the day, and ends with the moment we return to sleep. In times of health, sickness, and even death itself, Bayly calls the Christian to follow Christ in every time of life.
This is not an easy read! As with so many of the Puritans, the quantity of information dealt with in just one chapter is enough for us to meditate on for a long time. But if you read through this book, you will certainly feel a passion stirred within your own soul, calling you to Christ-likeness and piety.