Table of Contents

The Heavenly Trade Or The Best Commerce - The Only Way to Live Well in Impoverishing Times
Brief Table of Contents
Detailed Table of Contents
Important Notes to the Reader
Change Log
Editor’s Introduction
Helpful Background: Ashwood’s Style
Emotions: Goals or Indicators
The Translation Process
Contemporary Relevance of the Historical Background
Biography of Bartholomew Ashwood
The Epistle Dedicatory
Author’s Introduction — The Epistle to the Readers
The Heavenly Trade
The Occasion of the Discourse and Introduction to the Work
Introduction to the Doctrine and Scriptures Teaching It
Proof That the Heavenly Trade is the Best Trade
The Nature of Those Things about which Wisdom’s Merchants Deal
Scripture Proves That Heavenly Wares Are the Best in Their Own Nature
Experience Proves That Heavenly Wares Are the Best in Their Own Nature
Reason Proves That Heavenly Wares Are the Best in Their Own Nature
Heavenly Wares Are Rare
Heavenly Wares Are Expensive
Heavenly Wares Are Worth Greatly More Than Their Price
Heavenly Wares Have Eternal Duration
The Person with Whom Heavenly Traders Deal
Christ’s Greatness
Christ’s Goodness
Christ’s Ability
Christ’s Faithfulness
The Terms of the Heavenly Trade
Goods Will Be Freely Given to Heaven’s Merchants
Wisdom to Manage Goods Will Be Given to Heaven’s Merchants
God Will Ensure a Blessing on the Good Use of These Goods
God Will Get All the Glory
The Heavenly Trade Is the Most Profitable Trade
The Heavenly Trade Brings Great Returns
The Heavenly Trade Brings Sure Returns
The Justice of God Assures the Returns
The Blood of Christ Assures the Returns
The Holy Spirit of God Assures the Returns
The Partnership of the Lord Jesus Assures the Returns
The Heavenly Trade Brings Quick Returns
But We Must Often Wait Patiently for God to Answer
Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…
Personal Application
Cause for Lamentation, Repentance, and Labor
Symptoms of the Decay of the Heavenly Trade
Decline in the Price of Heavenly Goods
Fewness of Buyers of Heavenly Goods
Little Employment and Slothfulness of Spirit about Heavenly Things
The Poverty of Heavenly Traders
Little Investment in Heavenly Goods
Many Bankruptcies Show That Commerce Has Decayed
The Sad and Dangerous Effects of the Decay of Heavenly Trade
God and Souls Become Estranged
There is Poverty and Spiritual Wasting Away of Souls
Earthly Trading and Affairs Are Blasted
It Is an Easy Way to Ruin
It Makes One’s Accounts Payable Burdensome
The Blameworthiness of People’s Inordinate Pursuit of Earthly Things
Question: How May We Know When Pursuit of Earthly Things Is Inordinate?
When the Pursuit Uses Up Too Much of Our Time
When Earthly Things Consume Too Much of Our Hearts
More Reasons Why an Earthly Mind Is Evil
Your State Is Dangerous
Your Folly Is Great
Exhortation and Counsel to Strangers to the Heavenly Trade
Reasons to Pursue the Heavenly Trade
Strangers to the Heavenly Trade Are Lacking and Needy
Strangers to the Heavenly Trade Are in Great Danger
Strangers to the Heavenly Trade Are Neglecting Duties and Obligations
The Heavenly Trade Has Great Advantages
How to Get the Heavenly Trade
Get the Ability and Heavenly Nature Needed for the Heavenly Trade
Stop Doing Your Own Works
Commit and Give Yourselves to the Lord in an Everlasting Covenant
Come Over into the Family of Christ
Be Dead to This Present World
Submit to All the Instructions of the Lord Jesus
Make Haste to Do It Now
Exhortation and Counsel to Professors of Christianity
Have and Keep Up a Heavenly Spirit
Properties of a Heavenly Spirit
Seek to See Heavenly Things
Seek to Delight in Heavenly Things
Directions to Keep Up a Heavenly Spirit
Make Secure Your Portion of Heavenly Treasures
How to Know That Heavenly Treasures Are Yours
Work to Obtain Heavenly Treasures
What Should I Do to Get These Heavenly Goods?
How to Know that Christ Will Furnish Me If I Come for These Heavenly Goods
Carry on Heavenly Work
Four Motives to Encourage You to Do Heavenly Work
What Is This Heavenly Work That Christians Must Do?
Keep Up Heavenly Thoughts
Keep Up Heavenly Conversations
Use Everything for Heavenly Advantages
Use Your Privileges for Heavenly Advantage
Get Good from Ordinances
Get All the Good You Can from Providences
Get Good from the World and the Things in It
Get Good from Your Callings and Employments
Get Good from Your Company
Get Good from Real Solitude
Get Good from Occasional Providential Things and Events
Get Good from Your Falls and Failures
Exhortation and Counsel to Earthly Traders
Counsel One: Be Convinced of the Excellence of the Heavenly Trade
Counsel Two: See God in Your Afflictions
Counsel Three: Search for the Cause of Your Afflictions
Cause: Backsliding in the Christian Life and Decline in One’s Heavenly Trade
Cause: Decline in the Worship of God
Cause: Covetous Withholding from God
Cause: Greedy Desires for the World
Cause: Unfaithfulness in One’s Callings
Cause: God Does It to Bring People Down to His Feet and Bring Them Back to Himself
Counsel Four: Get the Breach between God and Your Souls Closed Up
Counsel Five: Get Advantage from Earthly Decays to Further Your Heavenly Trade
Advantage: Decays Help Convince You of the Vanity and Uncertainty of Things Lower than God
Advantage: Decays Help Uncover the Sins That Caused the Losses
Advantage: Decays Help You See the Necessity of Pursuing and Obtaining Better Treasure
Advantage: Decays Help, through Grace, Loosen the Heart from Things Below
Advantage: Decays Help Liberate the Soul from Things Below and Let It Grow
Advantage: Decays Help Make Heavenly Things Sweeter
Exhortation and Counsel to Those Who Began the Heavenly Trade But Have Backslidden
Advice: Be Deeply Affected by Your Evil Condition
Consider the Change Your Backsliding Has Brought upon You
Consider What an Ugly and Displeasing Object You Have Become in God’s Eyes
Consider How Undesirable You Are in People’s Sight
Consider That You Are a Big Loser
Consider That Your Case Is Dangerous and Your Recovery Very Difficult
Dangerous Symptoms That Your Falling Back Will Be Restored Only with Difficulty
Advice: Search Out the Causes of Your Soul’s Decay and Get Them Removed
Cause: Entering the Heavenly Trade without a Stock of Goods with which to Set Up
Cause: Entering the Heavenly Trade without Skill to Manage It
Cause: Lack of Diligence in Following the Heavenly Trade
Cause: Great and Frequent Losses in the Heavenly Trade
Cause: Needless Expenses and Waste of Resources
Cause: Great Debts Cause Bankruptcy
Advice: Settle on Friendly Terms with Your Creditor
Advice: Set Up No More for Yourselves, But Become Factors for Christ
Trade with Another’s Stock of Goods
Trade by Another’s Instructions
Trade in Christ’s Best Interests, Not Yours
Advice: Follow Your Trade Better than You Have Done Previously
Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity
Advice: Bless God for Good Trading
Question: How Do I Know If I Have Good Trading?
Answer to Those Who See from These Things That They Are Not Good Traders
Objection: My Fear Remains That I Am a Barren Soul and Will Perish at Last
Objection: But May Not a Hypocrite Do All This by an Enlightened Conscience and Common Grace?
Objection: But Change from Nature to Grace Is Not Growth in Grace
Advice: Enlarge Your Trade
Advice: Lay In for Bad Times
Times of Temptation
Times When God Withdraws the Sense of His Presence from You
Times of Great Affliction
The Time of Death
Advice: Lay Out for God
To Lay Out for God Is Reasonable Work
To Lay Out for God Is Pleasing Work
To Lay Out for God Is Honorable Work
To Lay Out for God Is Profitable Work
To Lay Out for God Is Proof of Your Love for God
Direction: Lay Out Your Time for God
Direction: Lay Out Your Strength for God
Direction: Lay Out Your Gifts and Graces for God
Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God
Advice: Lay Up for Glory
Lay Up Sound Hopes for Glory
Lay Up Desires for Glory
Lay Up All the Treasures You Can for Greater Glory
Lay Up Preparations for Glory
Last, Always Be Ready for the Coming of the Lord
Appendix A: The Open Manhole
The Nightmare
The Cure Explained
Will You Take the Cure and Inherit Eternal Life?
Appendix B: Editorial Philosophy
Scripture Index
Alpha Index