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tjes and Powers originally inspired by my creating Spirit.

The High and Honourable, as well as Mean and Low, the Rich and Poor, all drink of this common Fountain, and the most Powerful of the Sons of Men can do nothing, till furnished with Ability from hence. This Spring is inexhaustible, and They who receive most, and are grateful in their Returns, I water with more liberal Measures of Grace. Them that honour me,

I never fail to honour and bless in a visible and eminent manner; But, if Men glory in any Thing but the Lord, I blaft their Devices, disappoint their Hopes, make them ashamed of their vain Boastings. For so have I ordered Matters by my Providence; that no true lasting Satisfaction shall ever fill that Heart which sets its Affections upon private and paltry Advantages. Crosses from without, and Perplexities from within, are the certain Confequence of Worldly Desires, and Selfish Principles.

If therefore thou hast received or done any good Thing, take care of misplacing the Honour and Thanks due for it, upon thy self, or any other Person. For this is robbing God of his Due, from whom Men receive whatever they have, or are, and stand in Duty and Equity bound, to pay him their Acknowledg. ments. Since therefore the whole is my Gift, when I demand the whole Thanks and Praise, I demand but the Product of my Own; and this is what, as I injure no Man in requiring, so I resolve never to de

. This is the true Principle of Justice. Necessary to be considered, and thoroughly submitted to; because it checks and utterly confounds that other most pernicious Principle of Pride and Vain-glory, to which Mankind are so exceeding prone. Nor is it lefs conducive to their Happiness, than to their Duty. For, where this generous Love and Regard of Me takes

place,

part from

place, it does not only engage my Favour, but secures the Man from Envy and Discontent, Partiality and every other Passion, that uses to torment little and worldly minded People. For this respectful Deference and fervent Love of God enlarges the Soul, and fills it with great and truly noble

Thoughts. And therefore this is a certain Mark of true and heavenly Wifdom to make Me its only Joy, and Hope ; For, how can He be wise, who does not see, that God is the Perfection and Original of all Good, and that the neceffàry Consequence of his being so, is that he is to be Praised, Honoured, Admired, in, and for, and above all : Since all the Good which Men pretend to esteem, is by Communication from him ; an Emanation from his Fulness, an Effect of that Sole, that Universal Cause?

C H A P. XI.
God's Service is perfe&t Freedom.

Disciple.}f Will again take the Confidence to speak

unto the Lord ; Nor ought I indeed to hold my Peace, but address my self to Thee, my Lord and God, my heavenly King, that fittest on thy Throne far above the Skies, and thus will I proclaim thy Mercies and my own Happiness. How pure, O Lord, how sweet, how exquisite are the pleasures thou reservest for them that fear Thee, that delight themselves in thy Love, that are entirely devoted to thy Service. No Tongue can worthily express the wondrous Joys, the Transports, and ravishing Extasies, which fill these pious Souls, inflamed with the Love, and employed in the Contemplation of Thee. For This is a Subject boundless as thy Goodness ; That

Goodness, which exerted it self in commanding me out of Nothing. And, when that Being which thou gavest was rendred liable to Eternal Misery, a fresh, and yet more valuable Instance of thy Mercy, was that of bestowing upon me a new and better Life, when I was worse than nothing. For thou hadft Compassion on my Weakness and my Wandrings. Thou soughtest and with tender Care broughtest back thy loft Sheep, taughtest me the right Way, helpedst me to walk in it, and didst instruct and guide me in thy Love.

O thou overflowing Spring of endless Love, how Shall I worthily magnify thee, how can I forget thee; Thee, who in my lowest Ebb of Misery, didft condescend fo graciously, fo effectually, to remember Me? Whose Kindness rescued me from Death, and far exceeded all my Hopes; restored me to that Favour, which my Sins had forfeited, and shewed it self á Friend to that Wretch who was become Thine, and

his own Enemy. What Mall I render to | Psal. cxvi.

the Lord for all the Benefits be bath done unto me? If I refolve to serve thee, yet how poor a Tribute is that, to Him whom all Created Nature is bound to serve? This is so far from a sufficient Return, that I ought rather to admire thy Mercy, and esteem it an Honour to my felf, when thou vouchsafest to accept the Service of so poor, so worthless a Creature, and doft not disdain to reckon me amongst those, whom thou fufferest to do thee Homage.

For even in this I pay thee but thy own, since I and all I have are thine. But why do I speak of ferving thee, when by a most astonishing Condescenfion, even Thou, the mighty God, art pleased to serve Me. For this is the Effect of that excellently good Providence, which hath contrived and ordered Heaven and Earth, and all the Creatures in such a manner, that they should be useful and beneficial to Mankind; which hath appointed Blessed Spirits above for Guards and

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Ministers to the Heirs of Salvation ; And, which is most surprizing, when Thou thy self, for my Sake, hadst taken upon thee the form of a Servant, and wert made a frail, an afficted Man! When Thou didst give thy Life for undone Sinners, and still doft give ihy self in Grace, and haft engaged to give thy self, even the full and eternal Fruition of thy glorious Godhead, to every sincere Believer.

O! that it were in iny Power to make a suitable Return, for Love which passes, not my Thanks only, but éven?

Knowledge ! O! that my Ways were made so direct, that my whole Life might be one continued Act of Gratitude and Obedience! Nay, such is my Infirmity, that I must be content to wish, that any one Day of that Life might be employed as it ought in thy Service. I know, O Lord, that Thou art worthy to receive all Duty, and Honour,and Praise for ever. I am sensible that Thou art my rightful Lord, and I thy poor Servant ; That the utmost I can do is thy just Due, and that I ought to take unspeakable Delight in Thanking and Obeying Thee ; That nothing elfe but this should give me any Satisfaction, and that, when I have laid my self out entirely upon it, I still have done too little. This is the real Persuasion, this is the earnest Desire of

my
Soul; and where

my

Pow er falls short of my Inclination, there do Thou, I beseech thee, strengthen and supply what is wanting, by thy Grace, that my Deeds and Deportment may bear Testimony and Proportion to my Pious Disposition.

To be the meanest of thy Servants is the highest Advancement ; To despife and forsake all for Thee, is true Riches and Honour. They who thus enter themselves into thy Family, and chearfully undertake this Task, shall have a glorious Reward ; they will feel the Pleasures of this World, infinitely paid, infinitely outdone, by the better and larger Amends of Grace and

Divine

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Divine Comforts in exchange. They who thus bind themselves to thee, that abandon worldly Cares, and attend to the One Thing necessary, attain to true and generous Freedom of Soul. For the strait Way of thy Commandments is the only perfect Law of Liberty. O happy Confinement ! which sets Men at large from the Slavery of Sin, from Worldly Cares and Incumbrances, from the insupportable Tyranny of unruly Appetites and domineering Paffions! O blessed Dependance ! which makes us of the most High God's Retinue, raifes us up to a Level with the Angels, renders us dear to the Almighty, a Terror to evil Spirits, Conquerors over our greatest and fiercest Enemy, and recommends us to the Love, the Praife, the Imitation, of all good Men. Who would not greedily embrace such a Service, where the very Work is pleasant, the Encouragements paid down in hand noble and great, and the Wages promised in Recompence for our Labours, Happinefs exquisite, unspeakable, and everlasting ?

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Cbrift.] ET still, my Son, there are many

Things, in which thou art not fufficiently instructed.

Disciple.] Lord be thou pleased to let me know, and enable me to receive, and do them.

Cbrift.] Thy Desires must be reduced into Subjetion, and my Will take place in every Thing ; Nor must thy own Private Interest, but the Zeal and Reo

my Honour, and the Obedience due to my Commands, be the governing Principle of all thy

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