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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 Longing of his own vain Mind.
The surest Way then never to offend God in thy Defires, 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 fuch Reservations, as may testify an entire Submission 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 fome Check upon themifelves, and mighty Caution in restraining their Tongues from asking any Thing in a. Peremptory Manncr ; but leaving the Matter entirely to God's better choice. As thus ;
As thus ; 6C Lord, thou knowest whetber, the having, or the being denied the 6 Matter of my Petition, be most convenient ; 'aid - therefore all I beg is, that what thou seeft most expe“ dient, may be done ; I ask, indeed, as is my Duty, " but I presume not to prescribe to thy Heavenly Wilet dom. Give therefore, Lord, fuchi Things, and 6 in such Measures, and at such Times, as thou feest « fit: Deal with me as thou knowest is necessary : " For that I am well assured is best for me, which is s most agreeable to thy Will, and most conducive to « thy Glory. Appoint me any Post, and use me as
thy own ; turn and change me, and my Fortune, « at Pleasure : I only beg to be qualified for thy DiSC spensations, to use them rightly, and greatly to
improve under them. For I am thy Servant, devoted to thee without the least Reserve : I desire not to live to my felf, 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 Ả P. XVII.
Ear me, most merciful Saviour, I
“ humbly beseech thee, and let thy " Grace be ever present with thy weak unworthy Ser
I am not of my self able to do, or think any “ thing that is good. O ! let thy Spirit aslift my poor “ Endeavours, vanquish the Temptations that so thick «' befet 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 Affecticons and Desires, and confine them to such Objects o only, as are well-pleasing in thy Sight. Let thy 6 will be the Guide and Measure of mine, and let “ mine steddily conform to thy Pleasure. Remove « far from me all Inclinations and Aversions, but « such as agree with those of the Blessed Jesus. Help “ me to die daily to the World, and to the Things of 166 the World ; and mortify my Vanity to that degree,
that even Shame and Contempt for thy Sake, may 6 be not only supportable, but welcome to me. Let « all my Hopes and Wishes center in Thee alone; and “ nothing appear desirable, in comparison of a pure
Heart and peaceful Conscience. For Thou, O Lord,
art my, Peace, Thou my only Rest; 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 bere “ below, and find soft Ease and sweet Repofe in thy « Love and Favour, Thou True, Thou Chief, Thou “ Eternal Good, of Pious Souls.
CH A P. XVIII.
Hatever Comforts and Happiness I
propose Place of enjoying them, but I expect that Blessed Fruition in another State. Por, what would it avail, could I attain the utmost Delights the World can af ford, when a very short Space-muft of Necessity put a Period to them? Do not then mistake thy Happines, my Soul ; for these Things are not, cannot be, thy Reft. The Fulness of Joy and undisturbed Pleasure is no where to be found, fave 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 afpire 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 fhalt desire Earthly Blessings, and not be filled ; and at the same Time shalt lofe those heavenly and eternal Joys, which alone can satisfy, and make thee happy. Use then these Temporal Things, but love none but the Things that are Eternal. The present were not defign'd 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 ; tho’all this mortal State is capable of, were united together for that parpose. For God alone is a Good, large enough to fill the Desires of an Immortal Soul ; He only is proportion'd to
thy Wants and noble Faculties : and the Happiness to be met with in Him, is not that transıtory, imperfect Thing, which the Children of this Generation fonda ly Covet and Admire ; but that exquisite, that infinite and inward Delight, of which the Pure in Heart, and Spiritual Persons receive some sweet Foretastes and Pledges, by having their Conversation in Heaven, while they themselves are upon Earth. For Man is vain; and all his Comforts like him ; Empty and unsatisfa Etory, false and fleeting, swift in decay, and of short continuance : But those from God resemble the Pera fections of their Author, Spiritual and True, Immutable and Eternal. A truly pious Soul can never be destitute, because he constantly bears his Happiness about him, even the Blessed Jesus, the Divine Com. forter ; and, when bereft of all besides, can thus con. verse with him in the profoundest Solitude.
Blesed be thy Mercy, O dearest Jesus ! Bleffed be thy cheering Presence ! O let me never be depriv?d of this inestimable Bliss. While I have this Consolation within, I feel no want of Earthly. Enjoyments : For this fupplies, exceeds them all. Oh ! let me thankful. ly rejoice in thy Favour, and the Light of thy Counteriance lifted up upon me! Or, if at any time thou withdraw those bright Beams, and interpose a Cloud of Sorrow ; yet even then preserve me from fad Dia strust, and let the Conlideration of thy Will, which is always beft, be my Support in my blackest and most Melancholy Circumstances. Let me not cast away my Hope and Confidence, because thou hidest thy Face for a Season ; but help me to discern the great Wisdom and Benefit of such trying Dispensations, and to fupport my Faith with the Prospect of that Reward, which is laid up in Heaven for those upon whom Patience hath its perfect Work. For thou, O Lord, art Gracious and
Merciful, and though we perpetually ofPfal ciii.
fend and provoke thee, yet wilt thout not al
ways be chiding, nor keep thy Anger for ever ; but wilt turn again, and in much Compassion quicken thy Suffering Servants, that they may rejoice in thee, and triumph over their Calamities.
CHA P. XIX. Of Casting our Care upon GOD. ] Y Son, be content, that I should dif
, my Divine Wisdom sees fit ; for I best know what is convenient for thee. Thou judgest rashly, 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 Șight, must not be govern'd by the fame Measures, 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 learn that Leffon, of being satisfied with all thy Dispensations, and casting his Care upon Thee. All therefore that I beg, is the establishing my Heart in the way of thy 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 Juft, and Good ; and such, I am sure, are all the Methods of thy Providence ; tho' Human Understandings may not distinctly perceive, nor be able to account for the Reasons of them. If therefore thou condemn me to Darkness and Afiction, I will praise and