As there is not a moment but that we are under His mercy, so there is not a moment that we are out of His presence. Let us therefore look upon nothing, without thinking who stands by, without reflecting upon Him in Whom it lives, and moves and hath its being… Let us not bound our thoughts to the creatures we see, but pierce through the creature to the boundless God we do not see: we have continual remembrances of His presence; the light whereby we see, and the air whereby we live, (all things) give us perpetual notices of (God)… Yea, what a shame is our unmindfulness of (God), when every cast of our eye, every motion of our lungs, jogs (our memory of God)… How shall we do to be (more) serious? Mind God’s presence. How shall we avoid distractions in service? Think of God’s presence. How shall we resist temptation? Oppose to them the presence of God.’
Meet the author: Stephen Charnock studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, during which he was converted to the Christian faith, beginning his spiritual journey as a Puritan divine. After leaving the college, he possibly held a position as either a private teacher or tutor, then moving on to become a minister of the faith in Southwark for a short time, converting individuals to Christianity. He continued on to New College, Oxford, where he earned a fellowship and gained a position as senior proctor. He moved to Ireland in 1656 where he became a chaplain to Henry Cromwell, governor of Ireland. In Dublin, he began a regular ministry of preaching to other believers. Those who came to hear him were from different classes of society and differing denominations, and he became widely known for the skill by which he discharged his duties.
In 1660, the monarchy of England was restored after its brief time as the Commonwealth of England, and Charles II ascended the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Due to new restrictions, Charnock was now legally prevented from practicing public ministry in Ireland, and in England where he returned. Nevertheless he continued to study and to minister in non-public ways. Charnock began a co-pastorship at Crosby Hall in London in 1675; this was his last official place of ministry before his death in 1680.