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CHA P. XXVII.
"Hoot forth, 0 Blessed Jesus, the bright
Beams of thy Heavenly and Eternal Light, that it may enlighten all the dark Corners of my Heart, and effectually scatter every Cloud of Ignorance and Error, which now hang so thick over me. Call home my wandring Thoughts, and repulse the Temptations which furiously assault me. Fight thou my Battels, and subdue those fierce wild Beasts, those brutish Lufts, which range in this Desart, and are ever striving to devour me ; that by thy Power the Wilderness may be turned into a Palace, and instead of the violent Cries and Howlings of raging Passions, no Sounds
niay be heard there, but Songs of Praise. Thou
Lord, who commandest the Winds and the Mark i.
Waves, and they obey thee, silence the Storms within my Breast; say to that troubled Sea, Be stil, and immediately there shall be Peace and a profound Calm. Send out thy Light aird thy Truth, and warm this barren Soil; for such am I, till mellowed and impregnated by the Sun of Righteousness. Pour down thy Grace upon me plentifully, and water me with thy refreshing Moisture, which like feasonable Showers and gentle Dew, may fatten my Soul, and enable it to bring forth generous Fruit in great abundance. Raise and refine my Mind, prest down with the Dross of earthly Desirés,and draw my Affections up to Heaven and heavenly Objects ; that the sweet Relish of that Bliss above may give me a disgust and loathing to all the nauseous Pleafures here below. Deliver, or rather snatch me away with a holy Violence, from all the perishing Comforts of this mortal State; for myThirst of Happiness I find is greater
than any Creature can either quench, or in a good degree aflwage. Unite me to thy self with inviolable Bands of Holy Love ; fo shall my Soul be fatisfied ; for thou alone canst answer all my Longings, and the whole world without Thee is trife, and emptiness,
CH A P. XXVIII.
Cbrift.] Son, have a care of indulging a curi
ous Humour, and do not create to thy self 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 Difcourfe 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. Therefore look well to them, and beware, left this busy 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, fee 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 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 intriguing World follow their own Devices. For all which they fhall assuredly be one Day fummoned 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 Intịmacies and Friendhips 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 Mist, and there they leave you loft and bewildred. But i would shew thee the true Way, 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 entertaining me in thy Heart.
CHA P. XXIX. of Lafling Peace, and True Goodness. Corih:
His was my Promise to my Disciples hereJohn şiy...I give unto 304"; not as the World, givetb
give I unto you. But tho' Peace be in every Man's Wishes, yet the necessary for procuring and preserving it
, are the Care of very few. My Peace takes up
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 Directions. 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 Cenfure 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 Light ; for to escape Trouble altogether, and to have no Affliction 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 sensīble of no Calamity or Disturbance ; Or, that a present Freedom from Alfaults 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 Contemplations full of Delight, conclude your self a particular 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 ; considering all Event's wisely, and receiving Prosperity and Adversity with Evenness of
Temper ; and such a brave unshaken Perseverance in Goodness; as,even when the Asistances and Encouragements of Grace are withdrawn for a Season, can refolutely go on, and harden it self to undergo yet sharper
Tryals with Constancy ; Such Lowliness of Mind, as never puffs a Man up with an Opinion of his own Merit, but in the forest Distresses 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 fo folid, so impregnable a Foundation, that Mortal Man here on Earth is not capable of attaining to it in greater Perfection.
CHA P. XXX.
True Freedom of Mind. Disciple.] T Mortality can aspire after, to aban
THIS is indeed the utmost Perfection don all worldly Thoughts, and without Interruption keep the Mind upon the Business of the Soul, and heavenly Contemplations : To pass thro’a Life' thick fer with Cares and Troubles, yet free and unconcerned. Provided still this Unconcernedness proceed not from Stupidity, Heaviness of Apprehension, or Nothful Neglect ; 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 enfnared, and so I entangled in Multiplicity of Business,