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I am resolved, by the grace of God, to improve every good thought to the producing of good affections in myself, and as good actions with respect to God.

WHATSOEVER comes from God, being a talent to be improved to him, I cannot but think good thoughts to be as precious talents, as it is possible a creature can be blessed with. But let me esteem them as I will, I am sure my Master will reckon them amongst the talents he entrusts me with, and for which he will call me to an account; and, therefore, I ought not to neglect them. The Scripture tells me, ‘I am not sufficient of myself to think any thing as of myself, but that my sufficiency is of God.’209209   2 Cor. iii. 5. And if I be not sufficient to think any thing, much less am I able of myself to think of that which is good; forasmuch as to good thoughts there must always be supposed a special concurrence of God’s Spirit; whereas to other thoughts there is only the general concurrence of his presence. Seeing, therefore, they come from God, how must I lay them out for him? Why, by sublimating good thoughts unto good affections. Does God vouchsafe to send down into my heart a thought of himself? I am to send up this thought to him again, in the fiery chariot of love, desire, and joy. Doth he dart into my soul a thought of holiness and purity? I am to dwell and meditate upon it till it break out into a flame of love and affection for him. Doth he raise up in 216my spirit a thought of sin, and show me the ugliness and deformity of it? I must let it work its desired effect, by making it as loathsome and detestable as that thought represents it to be.

But good thoughts must not only be improved to produce good affections in my heart, but likewise good actions in my life. So that the thoughts of God should not only make me more taken with his beauty, but more active for his glory; and the thoughts of sin should not only damp my affection to it, but likewise deter and restrain me from the commission of it.

And thus every good thought that God puts into my heart, instead of slipping out, as it does with some others without regard, will be cherished and improved, to the producing of good actions: these actions will entitle me to the blessing of God, and that to the kingdom of glory.

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