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duced to follow vain and wretched Objects, or think any Advantage can deserve thy Praise or Admiration, chy Love and Pains; except fuch only as are fix'd and Eternal. Let Truth be thy chief Delight, for This is unchangeable ; let thy own Unworthiness be the chief Object of thy Hatred and Contempt, for this is the vileft, the justeft thing, upon which thy Displeafure can discharge it felf. Fear and decline no Calamity comparably to Sin. For no Lofs, no worldly Disappointment or Disaster can have fo, fatal Confequences, as the Loss of a Good Conscience and God's Favour, 'by tranfgrefsing his Righteous Commands.
Some Men are' miore concerned for Subtilty of Knowledge in Religion, than for an humble and fincere Obedience. They are acted by a Spirit of Pride and Curiosity, and affe&t to penetrate the Mysteries of Faith ; and value themfelves much more for being able learnedly to dispute for Truth, than for adorning it by their Lives, and rendring that Knowledge effectual'to Salvation. These Men frequently fall into dangerous Snares. I set my Face against their Arrogance, and suffer them to perish thro' the Vanity of their own Imaginations. But do Thou employ thy 'Mind upon other sorts of
fly to Almighty God. His Ways are unsearchable, and past finding out ; but thy awn are necef- Rom. xi. sary to be nicely examined. And the. Consideration of the Evil thou hast done, and the Good thou hast left undone, will turn to better Account, than thy Scholaftick Speculations, concerning the Divine Nature and Counsels. Some place their Religion in Images, some in Good Books, fome'in an outward Shew and Pomp of Devotion, measuring their Piery by the Prayers they say, the Sermons they hear, the Meals they abstain from: Others honour me with their Lips,
änd talk familiarly of me, whose Hearts I am as utter a Stranger to, as their allowing me no place in their Thoughts and Affections can make me. But some again, without such formal Pretences, are Men of true Spiritual Wisdom, and inward Purity ; their Defires and Converfation are in Heaven, and earthly Entertainments are no longer welcome to them, they even grudge those Hours, which the necessary Cares for supporting these Bodies cut off from the greater Concerns of their Souls. And these are the Men, that lend a willing Ear, and bring a Temper truly teachable to the Instructions of my Spirit : In Them he reigns and triumphs. For, having vanquished the Corrupt Inclinations of Flesh, and inspired them with a true Christian Bravery of,Soul, they despise the treacherous Vanities of this world, and lay out all their Love and Labour upon the Joys of that better World, which till God thinks fit to admit them into, they strive to anticipate, by keeping their Minds Night and Day intent upon it.
Disciple.]Laud and magnifie thy glorious Name, o
Father of Heaven, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the Goodnefs and Tender Compassions with which thou hast been pleafed to remember and relieve ny Mifery. For unto thy Loving. kindness alone, O Father of Mercies, and God of all Comfort, are owing all the Supports, with which the Soul of thy unworthy Servant hath been at any time refreshed in the midst of my Trouble. And therefore to Thee alone be che Praise." To Thee, O Father, with
thy only Begotten Son, and the Blessed Spirit the Comforter, will I render Honour and Thanksgiving for evermore. Descend then, Blessed God, into that Soul, for which thou hast expressed so great a Tene derness, and let thy Presence fill me with Gladness: For thou art my Health, my Joy and my Glory, my Hope and my Refuge in the Day of Distress.
I must confess with Sorrow, that my Love is weak, and my Virtue imperfect; nor can the One be supported without thy Grace, nor the Other be cherish ed, unless thou fan the Holy Fire, and feed it with thy Heavenly Comforts. O visit me then with thy: Salvation, and make me to improve under thy Holy. Discipline. Deliver and purifie my Heart from all corrupt Affections, and irregular Passions ; heal my Spiritual Diseases, and take away that Dross and Filth, which obstructs my purer Delights of Divine Love, discomposes my Patience, and shakes my Intentions of Perseverance.
For Love is great and powerful, an excellent Virtue, and mighty Advantage in Well-doing. It lightens the heaviest Burthens, makes Difficulties easie, and smooths the rugged Ways of Duty ; takes out the Bitterness of Sufferings, and gives them a delightful Relish. This is the Principle which fires us with a vigorous and active Zeal, inspires brave and noble Attempts, and spurs us on with an impatient Desire of Atill higher Degrees of Perfection. For Love ever labours to be uppermoft, and disdains to take up with low and vulgar Attainments. It hates Confinement, and would fain get loose from all Worldly Affections ; that so its inward and spiritual Prospects may not be intercepted by any, temporal Good or Evil, which darken and block it up. In Love is the Perfection of Pleasure and Strength; it is higher than Heaven ;
broader than the Sea ; it fills the spacious Universe, • for it is born of God; The first and best of all his
Creatures, and, as it came from Him, so it never rests till it have got above all Finite Beings, and center again in that Only, that Infinite Good from whence it originally sprung:
The Person acted by it flies with eager Halte, does every thing with Cheerfulness and Pleasure, and fuffers no Impediments to stop him in his Course : He gives all things liberally, and yet possesses All, because his Soul is united to that Supreme Good, in and from whom is all Perfection. He looks not so much at the Gift as the Giver, and be the Quality of that what it will, it only serves to render him more grateful to its Author. Love '
knows no Bounds, no Measure ; but thinks it can never do enough ; and attempts things even above its Strength,not considering so much what it is able, as what it is desirous and disposed to effe&; The Vehemence of Desire takes off all fenfe of Diffculty, and thinks nothing so great, but that it may and ought to aim at it. And hence proceed those mighty and astonishing Archievements, which Love does daily bring to pafs, where the Fire continues strong, and is not damped by Sloth and Faint-heartedness.
Love is eternally awaké, never 'tired with Labour, nor oppressed with Aficion,nor discouraged by Fear; But like a clear and strong Flame is ever mounting upwards, and makes its way through all Oppofition. It cries continually in the Ears,(for fervent Love is that Cry which pierces the Ears) of the most Highest, and all the Language of Devout Souls inflamed with it, is to this Effect : My God, My Love, thou art my All, and all mine ; and I'an entirely Thine. Enlarge my Heart
, and make me capable of yet more Love, that I may feel and feast upon the Sweetness of the delightful Affection, and even melt away and lose my felf in the Extasies and Charms of this heavenly Disposition. Increase and blow up chis divine Flame,that, noi content
to excel Others, I may daily excel my self. Teach me the Song of Love,and receive me up on high, to Him in whom my Soul delighteth, and fill me with such Raptures of Joy and Praise, that even Sense and Life may be swallowed up ini Bliss. Let me love thee much more than my self; nay, love my self and all good Men, to whom thou art dear, only in and for Thee; For so haft thou commanded in that Law of Love, which is but as it were a Beam and Efflux of thy own Glorious and Divine Excellence.
The Love of God is nimble in its Motions, sincere in its Intentions, ardentand zealous in Devotion, sweet to the Soul, brave in Attempting patient in Enduring, faithful in Executing, prudent in Action, flow in Resentment, generous and manly,and feeks not to please the Person's self, but the Person beloved. For, where a Man seeks his own Advantage only, there Interest, not Love, is the Principle upon which he moves. Love * is cautious and circumspect, upright and humble, not soft and effeminate, not fickle and fanciful; not fond
of Vanities; but sober and grave, chaste and refined, i constant and sedate, severe and referved. This dispo
ses us to submission and respect towards towards out Superiors,to a mean and modest Opinion of our selves; to Gratitude and Devotion towards God; it inspires Hope and holy Trust,even in Times of Calamity and Discomfort : And necessary it is that it should do so, fince no Man is so happy as to love without Pain, or always to live under the Light of God's Countenance, fo as that no Clouds should ever intercept the cheering Warmth of his Favour, and create some dark Intervals.
That Man therefore does not deserve the Character of One that loves God, who is not disposed and con
tent to fuffer any Aflictions, which the Divine Proi vidence fees fit to inflict; or thinks much to do whacever his will declares fit to be performed. Irr a' word,