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and a vigorous Mortification of their sensual Appetites and Passions ; they disdain the Shadow, and lay hold on the Substance; pass from Falfhood to Truth, and from Body to Spirit. These are the Men, who love and delight in God, and find no satisfaction in the Creatures, farther than as they promote the Honour, and serve the Purposes of the great Creator. The Joys they minister are subordinate and limited : Not inherent and natural, but by reflection only; and every thing is esteemed in proportion, as it tends to its Maker's Use and Praise." So very unlike, so infinitely different is the Pleasure we feel from the Creator and the Creature, from the boundless Ocean of Eternity, and the narrow Tract of Time ; from the original Self-existent Light, and those faint Beams shot down on things here below.
Shine then, O Light everlasting! in comparison whereof, all created Lights are but a less degree of Darkness : Convey thy self into my benighted Soul, purge and dispel the Clouds of Error there, purify my polluted Affections, cheer my Sadness, enliven my ftapid Mind and all its Faculties ; that I may rejoyce and triumph, and bask in thy bright Beams. O! when will that happy, that long-wilh’d-for Hour approach, when I shall be filled with thy Lustre, and satisfied with thy Presence, and my God be my All in All! For, sure I am, till that bless’d Time, my Joys must be imperfect. I feel, alas! I feel and lament in my self some Remains of the Old Man ftill. Scourged he is, but not entirely Crucified; Wounded and Bruised, but not quite Dead. My Flesh, in despight of all my painful Labours, continues to lust against the Spirit; and a domestick War distracts and breaks the Peace and good Government of my Mind: This cannot exercise its just Dominion without perpetual Broils and tumul
tuous Insurrections. But, thou who R 14 Pfal. Ixvi. left the Raging of the Sea, and stilleft the
Waves thereof, when they arise, come speedily to my af sistance, and quell this Storm. Scatter my Enemies that delight in Blood, and beat them down, O Lord, my Defence; Exert thy mighty Power, and get thee Honour by this Conqueft; for thou, O Lord, my God, art my. only Hope and Helper, O fave, or I perish.
CH A P. XL.
This Life a State of Continual Tempration.
.] O not suppose, my Sơn, that in this World
thou ever canst be in a Condition of abo solute Safety ; Dangers and Enemies await thee every where ; Violence and Stratagems are perpetually employed for thy Ruiñ; and therefore the Weapons of thy Spiritual Warfare must not be laid aside ; for useful they are, and always necessary, during this State of Mortality. Cover thy self then with the Shield of Wisdom and Faith ; for if thou expose thy Person without this Defence, the fiery Darts of the Wicked will quickly gall and wound thee. And if Dexterity and Diligence in the Use of thy Arms be not animated by a Mind fixed entirely upon Me, and a vigorous Resolution of enduring the worst that can happen for my fake; the Engagement will be found 100' hot; and that Crown of the Blessed, which is the Reward of Perseverance, can never belong to thee. Call thy Courage then, and exert thy utmost Strefigth, as occasions of Combat Ihall offer. Fur to bim that overcometh will I give the bidden Manna ; but Misery and Destructioni Rev. ii. is the Portion of faint-hearted and feeble, fochful and fleepy Soldiers.
If then these are the Conditions of thy Obedience and Reward, think how absurd it is for them, who indulge their Eafe here, to expect Peace and Happiness hereafter. In one of the two States Enduring must be thy Lot; and therefore tough Patience, and not föft Repose, is what thou should it labour for at prefent : For Rest and undisturbed Content have now no place on Earth, nor can the greatest Afluence of Worldly Good procure them; but their Dwelling is in Heaven only, and they are peculiar to the Love and Fruition of God alone. In obedience to his Will, you should contentedly undergo Labour and Toil, Tryals and Troubles, Distress and Anguish of Heart, Poverty and Want, Infirmities and Diseases, Injuries and Affronts, Scandal and Reproach, Disparagement and Disgrace, Punishment and Torture. Thefe whet and brighten a Christian's Virtue, exercise and distinguish him. These Thorns are woven into Wreaths of Glory; and to such faithful Servants I repay for their fhort Hardshipan endlefs Recompence ; and for the Shame, which is presently forgotten, Lawrels that never fade, Crowns always bright, and Honours firm and immortal as my own.
Theseare the Difficulties of the present State, which Men are to be upon their Guard against from without. But alas ! they must not hope always to enjoy Peace and Satisfaction within. No, even the Saints of old, whose purer Innocence and eminent Virtues might bètrer entitle them to this Tranquility, yet often
found occasion to complain, That their Pfal.lv.cxliii. Heart was disquieted, their Spirit desolate, and an borrible Dread overwhelmed them. Doubts and Scruples, Temptations and Fears, and cutting Perplexiries of Heart are frequently the Lot of the most excellent Persons. But in all these Streights, the Good behave themselves with Meeknessand Patience; reposing their Confidence in God, and humbly distrusting them
felves, selves, but supported with the Hopes of Divine Grace and Favour, to comfort and assist them; and with the Consideration, that the Sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that shall be revealed in them. This was the Case of those glorified Saints who are thy Patterns; and what pretence canft thou have, 'to hope for that Joy in present, which chey waited long for, and purchased at the Expence of Tore Pains and many Tears, and great Difficulties; and thought themselves well paid even thus ? Waic then thy Master's leisure, quit thy self manfully, banish Impatience and Distruit, persevere in Faith and good Works ; grudge not to lay out Person, Life, All, for the Service and Glory of God; and doubt not but I will one Day abundantly reward, and in the mean time will stand by thee, to sustain and deliver thee in every Danger and Calamity.
Chrift.] Y Son, repose thy Soul upon God, cast
all thy Care there, and let it be thy great, thy only. Concern, to approve thy self to Him. When this is done, a Man should not much regard what the World thinks of him, nor fear the Censures of others, while his own Conscience bears Testimony to his Piety and Innocence. To be ill thought of is sometimes for thy good; it conforms thee to the Image of thy Saviour, and if thy Soullike his be meek and humble, if thou seek not thy own Glory, but his that fent thee, the Affi&tion will not be very grievous 'to be born. The Opinions of Men are as many and as different as cheir Persons ; P 2
I Cor. ix.
The greatest Diligence, and most prudent Conduct
can never please them all. And therefore
even St. Paul himself, than whom none ever laboured more to recommend his Actions to the good Acceptance of the World : He who became all things to all Men, yet found it necessary to appeal to a higher
Court, and declared it a small thing with 1 Cor. iv. him to be judged of_Man's Judgment. He did his utmost to promote the Interest and Salvation of Others, but even the utmost he could do was not sufficient to skrcen him from the wrongful Censures, and perverse Misconstructions of Men. And therefore he removed his Cause, and referred the whole Matter to that God who knew his Integrity; and defended himself against the Calumnies and Reproaches of licentious Tongues, with great Humility and Invincible Patience. Sometimes he heard and passed their Slanders by in Silence : At other times he vindicated his own Innocence, and reproved the unreasonable Malice of his Accusers; not so much in tenderness to his own Honour, as to prevent any Offence which might be taken from his forbearing to do so ; and least the Weak and Ignorant should conclude, that too obftinate a Silence
was an Argument of his Guilt.
But what is there fo terrible in the Condemnation of Man : For what indeed is Man? He lives and flourishes to Day, but to Morrow he is gone, and his Place shall know him no more. Fear God then, and his Judgment ; for this is Omniscient and Everlasting; and the more thou fearest him, the less thou wilt be afraid of any but him. Consider well what hurt can come to thee, by injurious and reproachful Treatment. Alas! they who accuse and blacken thee wrongfully, are much the greater Sufferers by their own Malice and Injustice; their Slander and Detraction can have no Influence, can make no Impreslion, +