ページの画像
PDF
ePub

than any Creature can either quench; or in a good Degree afswage. Unite me to thy self with inviolable Bands of Holy Love, so shall my Soul be satisfied; for thou alone canft answer all my Longings, and the whole world without thee is trifle, and emptiness and nothing

[blocks in formation]

M

Chrift.] Son, have a care of indulging a curi

ous Humour, and do not create to thy felf unnecessary Troubles, by meddling with Matters or Persons which are no part of thy Concern. For what is This or That to Thee? Follow thou me. What have you to do with the Virtues or Vices, the Conduct or the Indiscretions of others; how they behave themselves, what Company they keep, or with what Difcourse they entertain one another? Why all this eager and intemperate Zeal to vindicate or to accuse them? You shall not answer for their Miscarriages, nor be one whit the better for their Excellencies. Your own Words and Actions are the only things you will be called to account for ; look well to them, and beware left this busie and malicious Impertinence do not inflame that Reckoning. Trouble not your self to turn Informer,and take not upon you to be a Judge. Leave that to Me, I know every Man throughly, and nothing which is done under the Sun can escape my Observation. I am perfectly apprised of each Person's Condition; see every Action, nay, every Intention, every Design.; and not only what they do, but what they drive at. These things are far removed out of your Sight, and therefore you cannot judge truly, if

you

N 4

you might attempt it innocently. But know, once more, that Judgment is my Prerogative, and therefore it were Impudence and Usurpation in you to attempt it, if you were qualified to judge others. Study rather to be quiet, contain your self within your own Business; and let the prying, censorious, the vain and intrieguingWorld follow their own Devices; for all which they shall assuredly be one Day summoned to a severe Account; for all their Arts and specious Colours cannot impose upon me. Engage not with them in the fame Designs, nor let the Empty Phantom of a great Reputation, the Pride of numerous and honourable Relations or Acquaintance, or the particular Intimacies and Friendships of Celebrated Persons engage your Time and Thoughts. These only serve to distract and perplex the Mind, and cheat you at last with fond Expectations; they lead you into a Mift, and there they leave you, loft and bewildred. But I would shew thee the trueWay,and communicate my;Instructions freely, wert thou but at leisure to receive my Secrets, and careful to observe my Motions; by opening the Door when I knock, and watching all Opportunities of en, tertaining me in thy Heart.

CHA P. XXIX.

Of Lasting Peace, and Trụe Goodness.

Chrif.]T

*His was my Promise to my Disciples here

tofore, Peace I leave with you, my Peace I

give unto you, not as the World giveth, give Fobre xiv. 27.

I unto you. But, though Peace be in eveMan's Wishes, yet the Qualifications and Predispositions, necessary for procuring and preserving it, are the Care of very few. My Peace takes up its

ry

[ocr errors]

dwelling with the Meek and Humble. And the Peace of my Servants consists in steady Patience ; in attending diligently to my words, and following my Dire&tions. Therefore, upon every Occasion, be sure to make a Conscience of what you Do or Say : Let the pleasing Me, be your chief, your only Concern, and the Fruition of Me your ultimate, your only End and Desire. Pass no rash Censure upon other People's Words or Actions, and do not affect to be a Man of Business or Secrets; for this will be the best Expedient to make your Troubles few and light. I say, Few and Ligbt, for to escape Trouble altogether, and have no AMidion at all in Mind, Body, or Estate, is not consistent with the Nature of your present Condition, but one of the Privileges reserved for Heaven and Immortality

Do not therefore imagine, that you are then in perfect Peace, when you are sensible of no Calamity or Disturbance; Or, that a present freedom from Alsaults, is an Argument that you have no Enemy, and all is safe and well with you; Nor, when things succeed according to your Heart's desire, that this is a Proof of your extraordinary Virtue and Perfection; Nor if your Zeal and Piety be fervent, and your Contem, plations full of Delight, conclude your self a particuiar Favourite of God. For these are foreign and deceitful Inferences: Such as neither prove the Sincerity, nor the Degree and Perfection of any Man's Virtue. This is discovered by quite different Marks. The devoting and resigning your self entirely to the Will of God; not seeking your own, but his Glory in every thing you do ; confidering all Events wildly, and receiving Prosperity and Adversity with Evenness of Temper; and such a brave unshaken Perseverance in Goodnesszas, even when the Assistancesand Encouragements of Grace are withdrawn for a feason, can reso, lutely go on and harden it self to undergo yet sharper

Tryals Tryals with Conftancy ; Such Lowliness of Mind as never puffs a Man up with an Opinion of his own MeFit but in the forest Distreffes can find Matter of Praise and Thanks for that Mercy which even then inflicts much less than he deserves to suffer; And a firm Hope, that God will not forsake his Servants; This is the way of Peace, the way that leads to sure Consolation and Favour with God. And if, to not thinking highly of your own Performances, you can add that other Excellence, of despising your Self, and abhorring your own Vileness, then be assured your Peace is built upon so solid, lo impregnable a Foundation, that Mortal Man here on Earth is not capable of attaining to it in greater Perfection.

[blocks in formation]

Disciple.] T Mortality can aspire after, to aban

His is indeed the utmoft Perfection don all worldly Thoughts, and without Interruption keep the Mind upon the Business of the Soul, and heavenly Contemplations: To pass through a life thick set with Cares and Troubles, yet free and unconcerned: Provided ftill this unconcernedness proceed not from Stupidity, heaviness of Apprehension, or slothful Negled, but from a generous liberty of Soul, by which the Man gets loose from all immoderate Defires, and too tender Love of earthly Enjoyments. This Faculty I earnestly Covet, and beg thee, O my God, to protect me against the Cares of the World, left the Necessities of my Body employ me too anxiously, and, under that Pretence, my Affections be ensnared, and so I entangled in Multiplicity of Business,

to

[ocr errors]

me.

to the Prejudice and Neglect of better and weightier Concerns; Or, left I be enticed to Sin by the pleasures of Sense, or discouraged from the steady Pursuit of Virtue and Heaven, by too tender and afficting Resentments of any Calamities which may happen to

I speak not now of those vain Superfluities, which the deluded World so vehemently contend for; but beg to be preserved in these Miseries and Dangers.

For Miseries and Dangers I cannot but esteem the 1 common and unavoidable Incumbrances of Life; finice

these are heavy, and cling close about the Soul, and put it under such a strait confinement, that it cannot freely obey the Dispositions it feels within, of getting above Concern for the World, and fixing its Desires and Endeavours upon Spiritual Objects. Thou, O my God, art Sweetness inexpresible. But that my Soul may truly relish thee, turn, I beseech thee, all

!.my Worldly Comforts into Bitterness, left they vitiate my Palate, and give a Disguft to Heavenly Things, by some deluding Charm of present pretended Good. . Oh! let not Flesh and Blood prevail in their Conflictswith the Spirit, let not the World and its fading Glories cheat me into Ruin'; lef not the subtle Enemy of Souls supplant me with his tempting Wiles. Give me Courage to refift, when called to the Combat ; Patience to endure, when called to Suffering ; Firmness of Mind to persist immoveable in my Duty, when

Temptations and evil Suggeftions labour to seduce me. Exchange, if it be thy Will, the transitory and false Comforts of this World, for the Oylof true Gladness, the Affistances and sweet Satisfactions of thy blessed Spirit; and, instead of Carnal Love, and Sensual Inclination, let the Love and Desire of Thee be diffused, through my whole Heart, and Reign Unrivall’d there. We'

« 前へ次へ »