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and I hope in thy good time thou wilt, visit me with more abundant Measures of thy Grace, and fulfil all my Desire. This Confidence I cherish, because my very
Desires are from thee. And it is fome Comfort to me, that,
tho' I am sensible of my Weakness and my Wants, yet I long and pant after Supplies and Strength; that I am not content with my Misery, but labour, and pray, against my Defects, and would fain be better. And thus I will continue to do, till thou remove and vanquish my Frailties, inspire a bright and ardent Zeal, and make me a happy Partaker, first of the vircuous Disposition of thy devouter Saints, and then of their Reward and Happiness.
CH A P. XV.
] Ince thy ,
thy Desires struct thee, how thou shalt obtain it. Know then, this Blessing is fufpended upon certain Conditions. It must be fought instantly, asked fervently, waited for patiently, received thankfully, preserved by Humility, improved with Diligence, and the Time and Measures of it submitted entirely to the Wisdom and Goodness of the heavenly Giver.
If thou feel few or no Sparks of it in thy Mind, this is a proper Subject, to exercise thy Meekness and Godly Sorrow, but not to provoke Despair, or immoderate Concern. For God frequently gives that in an Instant, and with a liberal Hand, which Men had long expected without Success. He gratifies their Constancy and Patience, their Importunity and Perfeverance in Prayer, with Benefits, which excellent Reafons mov'd him
to deny to their first Requests, for the Petitioners mighty Advantage.
Should Mens earliest Expectations be answered, or prevented, the mighty Blessing would be too exquifite for frail Nature to bear. And therefore holy Raptures, and exalted Virtue, are wisely made the flow Fruit of long Time, and much Patience. But, when thy Desires are not fulfilled, whợp thou receivest no Increase, or when the Grace thou once enjoyedst is insensibly withdrawn; charge not God foolishly, but lament thy Sins, as the Occasion of this Unhappiness. A small Provocation may sometimes be a Bar to great Advantages. Tho' nothing indeed ought to be reputed small, which intercepts and hinders so valuable Blessings. But be it little or great, let it be thy Care to vanquish and remove this Obstruction, and then thy Heart's Desire shall be performed.
When once corrupt Self-love is fubdued, and thy Soul entirely submitted and resign'd to God, Peace and Satisfaction will flow in apace upon thy Mind. For nothing can be grievous or unpalatable, to one, who hath renounced all Interests of his own, and hath 110 Inclinations or Desires left, but only, that he may be made an Instrument of God's Glory, and have all the Counsel of the Divine Will, which is always best, fulfilled in and upon him. This Man, fo weaned from private Respects and all created Comforts, is in a proper Posture for receiving Grace, and tasting the Spiritual Delights of Contemplation and Devotion. The Vessel must be empty, before Grace can be poured in; and when it is perfectly fo, God delights to fill it up to the Brim. The more a Man is dead to the World and himself, the more heavenly-minded, the more mortify'd and humble; the swifter are the Motions of heavenly Grace towards him, the more liberal are itş Distributions, the more sensible, and delightful, and wonderful, its Comforts and Effects upon his Heart.
Then shall he see the Loving-Kindness of the Lord, then shall he feel his Soul and all its Powers enlarged, and even stand amazed at the happy Change. Lo! Thus shall the Man be blessed that feareth, and feeketh the Lord with all his Strength, and fuffereth not his Heart to wander after Vanity. This Man shall rem ceive the Blessed Sacrament with wondrous Efficacy. He shall as truly be united to Christ in his Soul, as the Bread and Wine, which represent him, are incorporated with the Substance of his Body. And that, which inclines God to be so particularly Propitious and Bountiful to such a oné, is that resigned Temper of Mind, which proposes the Advancement of God's Honour and Glory, rather than his own Profit; and comes, more out of a Sense of Duty and just Homage to his Saviour, than with a Prospect of Comfort and Satisfaction to himself.
CH A P. XVI,
Ear me, O fweetest kindest Jesus, whom
I now approach, with most hearty Desires of receiving thee into my Soul, But how can I expect, that thou wilt not despise a Place so unfit to entertain thy pure, thy glorious Majesty ? Thou knowest, Lord, my Weaknesses and my Wants ; how great my Sufferings, and how black my Sins; how Į am oppressed and afflicted, tempted and overpower'd; disorder'd with Passion, and stained with Pollution, To Thee I fy for Succour against my Infirmities, for Physick against my Diseases, for Support under my Calamities and Distresses. I cannot dissemble my Con
dition, I need not publish it, when addressing to One
slender and low my Stock of Virtue is. Behold I stand before thee, a helpless Creature ;
Miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, Rev. iii.
and weak, imploring thy Grace, or at least fome Fragments of it, to this hungry starving Beggar. O let me not be famish'd, but revive this sinking Wretch, with some Crumbs of heavenly Sustenance. Let me not perish with Cold, but warm me with thy Love; Let me not fall into the Pit, but enlighten my blind Eyes with the Shine of thy gracious Presence. Give me a fettled Difrelish of Worldly Pleasures, and make all here below infipid and bitter to me. Reconcile me to Crosses and Afflictions, by Submission and steady Patience; and lessen every thing in this World, whether Enjoyment or Suffering, by teaching me to despise and forget it. Raise my stupid Heart up to Heaven, and settle my Affections there, that they may no longer wildly rove after the trifling Objects of Flesh and Şense. Let me henceforth taste delight in nothing
but Thee, nor spend my Money and Labour Ifa. iv.
for that which is not Bread; for thou alone art Meat indeed, and Drink indeed; my Love and Joy, my Delight and exceeding great Reward, my perfect and fole Good.
O that, 'now I am approaching the Throne of Grace, thou would'st command thy Divine Fire to defcend from Heaven into my Soul! O that my Sins and corrupt Dispositions might be the Burnt-offering consumed by it! that it might flame, and burn, and melt me down, purge away all my Drofs, and, by the violence of its powerful Heat, refine, and change, and
incorporate me with thy self. Let me not, I beseech thee, be sent empty away: Let me not return hungry and thirsty from so splendid an Entertainment; but work in me mightily, and deal bountifully with thy Servant, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy Name. I hope to find a wondrous Alteration, and cannot think it strange, if I feel my benummed Heart all sublimated, when I come to that Fire, which ever burns without consuming ; Or, if I find an entire Separation of all my worldly and gross Affections, when heated thoroughly with that Love, whose Excellence it is, to purify the Heart by the Activity, and to enlighten blind Understandings by the Brightness of its Flame.
CH A P. XVII.
An A&t of Praise.
Disciple.] Look do wnceptivored, with Favour and
Ook down, O Lord
good Acceptance worthy, but sincere Servant, now prostrating himself before thine Altar, with a most devout Zeal, and all the passionate and tender Refentment, of which my Heart is capable: Wishing still, that these good Affections were greater and more worthy of thee, and that I might meet and embrace my Lord, with all that Perfection of Holiness and eager Joy, by which thy best and dearest Saints recommended their Prayers and Praises, and so eminently signalized themselves, in the Celebration of this Bleffed Sacrament. Love and Life, my only and eternal Bliss ; Were but my Power proportioned to my Will, None of those excellent Patterns ever express’d more awful Reverence, more ardent Devotion, more eager Love, more
O God! my