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-, Perening the themeluch Fo Thallen tho submithout
long, finds the Delusion out at last : And what he imputed to the Spirit of God, proves in the End a Suggestion of the Devil, or the eager Longings of his own vain Mind. .
The surest way then never to offend God in thy Desires, and to be accepted in thy Addresses to him, will be to temper all thy Inclinations with his Fear, and not so much as indulge a secret Wish, without - such Reservations as may teftify an entire Submiffion to the Divine Disposal. And when those Wishes break out into Words, Men shall do well to conceive and present them in such Forms, as may express some Check upon themselves, and mighty Caution in re
Itraining their Tongues from asking any thing in a .. Peremptory Manner; but leaving the Matter entire- ' ly to God's better Choice. As thus; “Lord, thus “ knowveft whether the baving, or the being denied the Mat"iter of my Petition, be most convenient, and therefore all " I beg is, that what thou leeft most expedient may be done; "I ask, indeed, as is my Duty, but I presume not to "prescribe to thy Heavenly Wisdom : Give there"fore, Lord, fuch Things, and in such Measures, "and at such times as thou feeft fit. Deal with me “as thou knowest is necessary : For that I am well "assured is best for me, which is most agreeable to “thy Will, and most conducive to thy Glory. Ap“ point me any Poft, and use me as thy own; turn "and change me and my Fortune at Pleasure : I on"ly beg to be qualified for thy Dispensations, to use " them rightly, and greatly to improve under them. "For I am thy Servant, devoted to thee without the "least Reserve: I defire not to live to my seif, but
“to Thee ; Oh! that I might be enabled faithfully ."and worthily to perform that Homage and Duty,
"to all which my Heart is most freely and sincerely “disposed.
| C H A P. XVII.
Disciple.]“ LTEar me, most merciful Saviour, I
M “humbly beseech thee, and let thy « Grace be ever present with thy weak unworthy “ Servant. I am not of my self able to do, or think
any thing that is good! O! let thy Spirit assist my “ poor Endeavours, vanquish the Temptations that so " thick beset me, fix my inconstant Mind, and follow “me all the Days of my Life, that I may persevere “ in good Works, unto the End. Regulate my Affe“ctions and Desires, and confine them to such Ob“ jects only, as are well-pleasing in thy fight. Let
thy Will be the Guide and Measure of mine, and
let mine steadily conform to thy Pleasure. Remove s far from me all Inclinations and Aversions, but such " as agree with those of the Blessed Jesus. Help me rs to die daily to the World, and to the Things of “the World ; and mortify my Vanity to that " degree, that even Shame and Contempt, for “thy fake, may be not only supportable, ' but wel“ come to me. Let all my Hopes and Wishes center " in Thee alone ; and nothing appear desirable, in “ comparison of a pure Heart and peaceful Consci“ence : For Thou, O Lord, art my Peace, Thou “ my only Reft ; in Thee alone is Pleasure and true " Satisfaction, and all without Thee is Misery and “ Torment. Oh! grant me this Blessed Retreat, " this happy Security ; that I may abandon all the “ false Appearances of Happiness" here below, and so find soft Ease and sweet Repose in thy Love and “ Favour, Thou True, Thou Chief, Thou Eternal Good of Pious Souls.
| C H A P. 1
CHA P. XVIII.
Disciple.] I Hatever Comforts and Happiness I
W propose, This is not the Time, and Place of enjoying them, but I expect that Blessed Fruition in another State. For, what would it avail, could I attain the utmost Delights the World can af
ford, when a very short space must of necessity put a - Period to them? Do not then mistake thy Happi
ness, my Soul, for these things are not, cannot be thy - Reft : The fulness of Joy and undisturbed Pleasure is
no where to be found, save in God only ; He is the Comforter of the Afflicted, He the Wealth of the Poor, He the Support and Strength of the Weak, He the Glory and great Reward of the Humble.
Nor let it disturb thy Peace, or discourage thy Hope, that thou canst not yet aspire to thy promised Felicity ; For God is Faithful and cannot Lie : Only wait his own time patiently, and thou shalt not fail of his Mercy, and an abundant Recompence of thy Faith and patient Trust in due season. But if this delay draw off thy Affections to present Comforts, and abate thy Zeal for future and distant Rewards, thou shalt desire Earthly Blessings and not be filled ; and at the same time lore those heavenly and eternal Joys, which alone can satisfie, and make thee happy. Use then these Temporal things, but love none but the things that are Eternal. The present were not designed for - Enjoyment, but for Necessity and Convenience. Thy Nature is not cut out for them,nor is it in their Power to make thee perfect, though all this mortal State is capable of, were united together for that purpose : For God alone is a Good, large enough to fiil the defires of an immortal Soul ; He only is proportioned to
Weight, or the Continuance of any Burthen thou shalt lay upon me in the present World. If any thing here seem heavy, yet it is rendred much easier and more supportable, by the Aflistance of thy Grace, by the Con.templation of thy Example, and by the many Patterns of Constancy and Virtue, which thy now glorious Saints, but once afflicted Servants, who travelled the same rugged Journey of Life, have in all Ages set for my Imitation and Encouragement. I plainly see under this Gospel-state, a mighty Support, which even thy own peculiar People wanted under the Old Law. For then the Way to Heaven was dark, and the Prospect at their journey's end less glorious and inviting. Few then applied themselves with Zeal to seek a Future and Spiritual Kingdom ; nor could they do so with equal Encouragement, tillthy Meritorious Death had open’dan Entrance into the High and Holy Place. But, how contentedly, how thankfully, ought I to tread in thy blessed Steps, sustained by the Assurance of Eternal Rewards, and directed in the Right Way by
the Light of thy Doctrine. For thou art John Xiv. the way, the Truth, and the Life; Thy Afflictions have taught Me and all Believers, that Tribulation is the Passage to thy Heavenly Kingdom ; and that the proper Methods of attaining thy Crown, is being made a Partaker of thy Cross. Hadst thou not gone before us, who would have the Heart to follow ? who could persevere in a Course of Sufferings. Nay, though thou hast thus shewed us the Way, yet how loth, how backward are we to follow still ? And, if neither thy Miracles, nor thy Precepts, thy wondrous Humiliation, nor thy glorious Exaltation, can warm us into greater Zeal and Resolution, than by lamentable Experience we daily see and feel they do; How wretchedly slothful, alas! how cold, and motionless should we have stood, had not thy Grace and marvelous Condescention vouchsafed to grant us the Advan
ation is theve taught it be Truth, costrine? For
ways be chiding, kor keep thy Anger for ever; but will turn again, and in much Compassion quicken thy Suffering Servants, that they may rejoyce in thee, and triumph over their Calamities.
Ć HA P. XIX.
Of Casting our Care upon GOD.
Christ.] M Y Son, be content, that I should dif
VI pose of Thee and all thy Affairs, as my Divine Wisdom fees fit; for I best know what is convenient for thee. Thou judgest rafhly, and art liable to Human Frailties. Sense and present Satisfactions blind thy Eyes, and byass thy Reason; but Christians, who should walk by Faith, and not by
Sight, must not be govern'd by the same Measures en on which common Men make use of in distinguishing Good and Evil Accidents. .
Disciple. Lord, I acknowledge my Infirmity; and am sensible, that thy Care and Concern for me is more prudent, more tender, than that I have for my own self. And He hath made but small Progress in the School of Christ, whose weak Faith is still to learti that
Lesson, of being satisfied with all thy Dispensations, pand casting his Care upon Thee. All therefore that
I beg, is the establishing my Heart in the way of thiy Commandments; and, so long as I swerve not from Truth and Righteousness, secure my Soul, and, for the rest, do thy Pleasure : For thou art Wise, and Just, and Good; and such, I am sure, are all the Methods of thy. Providence; tho' Human Understand
ings may not distinctly perceive, nor be able to acS count for the Reasons of them. If therefore thou condemn me to Darkness and Afliction, I will praise and