Long Black Doublet

While tidying a bedroom this month, I came across a long, woollen doublet, fashionable in the 1640s. Sadly, this was not some heirloom found in an old chest, but was made by a seamstress around 2003 for my re-enacting activities. I was then a member of the Sealed Knot, and regularly reenacted civil war battles. Increased sabbatarianism and a commitment to a local church this curtailed, but I kept the tailor-made clothes as they were of little use to anyone else, unlike the musket, to which a number of potential suitors applied.

The long doublet is made of wool, dyed back, and fastens down the middle with dozens of little wooden bead-like buttons. Rather helpfully, there are slits at the side through which arms can go; these can be buttoned up to create a poncho, or opened up to allow the arms to operate. Alternatively, if the front is left open and the arms fastened, it is like a cloak. Rather than having it hang there while I am all ashiver this biting January, I now wear it. On these cold winter days and nights, one may find me donning a garment that my 12th great grandfather would have recognised, while the fire crackles and the candles emit their warm glow. It is thick and warm and allows me to type perfectly well as I sit at my desk. I do not really look like an old puritan for as I write, I wear a polo neck jumper and black jeans; but people who know me will smile to think I now dress this way. Indeed, someone remarked last month that I sometimes speak like one (on account of reading their words, no doubt), and I certainly think like one, in my attitude towards apostate Christianity and the depravity it accommodates. Like the rich young ruler, however, the Lord says that only one thing do I now lack - I need to learn to pray like one.

“Do not let your way to your prayer closet be untrod. He that holds his acquaintance in heaven by being often with God, will be the most likely to prevail with God in the most pressing and difficult cases.” Richard Alleine, Directions for Grace

"Prayer as it comes from the saint is weak and languid; but when the arrow of a saint's prayer is put into the bow of Christ's intercession - it pierces the throne of grace!" Thomas Watson

“Learn to esteem and value ministers who deal faithfully with your souls. A flattering ministry will ruin the people. Flattery from a minister is worse than flattery from a friend, for such a minister flatters a man not out of his goods and lands but out of his soul and salvation.” Josiah Shute, Ezra’s Covenant Renewal and the Pursuit of a Lasting Reformation