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DISCIPLL. 2. Consider these transcendent bles. sings, O my soul! and perpetually exclude the ob. jects of sensual desire, that thou mayst be able to hear and understand the voice of the LORD thy God. Thy beloved speaketh again.
CHRIST. I am thy life, thy peace, and thy salva tion: keep thyself united to me, and thou shalt find rest. Remove far from thee the transitory enjoy ments of earth, and desire and seek after the eternal enjoyments prepared for thee in heaven; for what are those transitory enjoyments, but delusions and snares? and what can all creatures avail thee, when thou hast forsaken the CREATOR ? Abandon, therefore, all created things, that, by a faithful and pure adherence, thou mayst be acceptable to him in whom thou hast thy being, and in union with his Spirit enjoy everlasting felicity.
THAT CHRIST, WHO IS THE TRUTH, SPEAKETH
TO THE SOUL, WITHOUT THE SOUND OP
DISCIPLE. 1. “ SPEAK, LORD, for thy servant heareth. I am thy servant ; give me 'understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.” Incline my heart to the words of thy mouth: “ let thy speech distil as the dew !"
2. The children of Israel once said to Moses," speak thou with us, and we will hear: let not God speak with us, lest we die." I pray not in this manner: noy LORD, I pray not so; but, with the prophet Samuel, Kumbly and ardently entreat, “speak, LORD, for the
servant heareth." Let nbt Moses speak to me, nor any of the prophets; but speak thou, O LORD God, the inspirer and enlightener of all the prophets : for thou alone, without their intervention, canst perfectly instruct me; but, without thee, they can profit me nothing. They, indeed, can pronounce the words, but cannot impart the spirit: they may entertain the fancy with the charms ef eloquence; but, if thou art silent, they do not inflame the heart. They adminis. ter the letter, but thou openest the sense: they utter the mystery, but thou revealest its meaning: they publish thy laws, but thou conferest the power of obedience: they point out the way to life, but thou, bestowest strength to walk in it: their influence is on, ly external, but thou instructest, and enlightenest the mind: "they water, but thou givest the increase: their voice soundeth in the ear, but it is thou that giyest understanding to the heart.
3. Let not, therefore, Moses, speak: but do thou, O LORD my God, Eternal Truth! speak to my soul; lest, being only outwardly warned, but not inwardly quickened, I die, and be found unfruitful: lest the word heard and not obeyed, known and not loved, professed and not kept, turn to my condemnation.
Speak," therefore, " LORD, for thy servant heareth; Thou" only " hast the words of eternal life:” O speak, to the comfort of my soul, to the renovation of my, heavenly nature, and to the eternal praise and glory of thy own holy name.
| ; * CARIST. 4. Son, hear my words; words full of Heavenly sweetness, infinitely transcending the learning and eloquence of all the philosophers and wise men of this world. « The words that I speak, they are spirit, and they are life:" not to be weighed in the
balance of human understanding, nor perverted to the indulgence of vain curiosity; but to be heard in si. Jence, and received with meek simplicity, and ardent affection,
DISCIPLB. Blessedi is the man, whom thou: inja piruetest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; that
thou mayat give him rest from the days of adversity, Jest he be left desolate upon the earth: · CHRIST. 5. I taught the prophets from the begins ping, and even till AOW-cease not to speak unto all:: but many are deaf to my voice. Most men listens more attentively to the world, than to God; they more readily submit to the painful tyranny of sensual appea tites, than to the mild and sanctifying restraints of God's holy will. The world promiseth only impure and transitory joy, and men engage with -- ardour in its-unholy service; I promise that which is supreme and everlasting, and their hearts are insensible and anmoved. Where is the man that serveth and obey, eth me; with that affection and solicitude, with which the world and the rulers of it are served and obeyed ? Even the sea exelaimeth, Be thou ashamed, o Zidon/" because, for a trifling acquisition of wealth or honouri a tedious and fatiguing journey is cheerfully undertaken; but, to obtain eternal life, not a foot is lifted from the earth. The sordid gain of perishing riches engages the pursuit, and employs the industry of all; and the most inconsiderable share of this imaginary property is obstinately and bitterly contested. For the vain expectation of a vainer possession, men dread not the fatigue of sleepless nights and restless days: but, deplorable insensibility! 'for unchangeable good, for an inestimable récompence, for unsullied glory and endless happiness, the least solicitude and the least labo ought too dear a purchase.
6. Be ashamed, therefore, o slothful and discos tented servant! that the children of the world should, with more ardour, seek after destruction and death, than thou to obtain eternal life ; that they should rejoice more in vanity, than thou in the truth. Their hope-is, indeeds vain, as that on which it is erected ; but the hope that dependeth on my promises, is never sent empty away: to all that faithfully persevere in my love, what I have promised I will give, what I have said I will fulfil. I am the rewarder of them that dili. gyntly seek me: I am he, which searcheth” and trieth " the hearts" of the devout.
7. Write my words upon thy heart; ponder them day and night: in the time of trouble thou wilt find their truth and efficacy; and what thou now readest and understandest not, the day of temptation will ex plain. I visit man, both by, trials and comforts; and continually read him two lessons, one to rebuke his selfishness and impurity, and the other to excite him to the pursuit of, holiness. He that hath my word, and despiseth it, hath that which “ shall judge him in the last day?
CHAP. III. THE SOUL IMPLORING THE INFLUENCE OF GRACE, IS INSTRUCTED TO WALK BEFORE GOD IN HUMILITY AND TRUTH,
DISCIPLE. 1. O LORD my God, thou art my su preme and consummate good! and what am I, that I should presume to open my-lips-before thee? I am thy least and most unprofitable servant ; an abject worm ; much more poor and contemptible than 1 dare to express, or am able to conceive! Yétrenaema bér me, O LORD,' and have mercy 'upon me ; for, without thee, I have nothing, can do nothing, and am nothing. Thou alone art just, and holy, and good; thy power is infinite, and the manifestations of it boundless ; thou fillest all things, except the heart of the impenitent sinner, that obstinately rejects the offers of thy redeeming love. Remember, O LORD, the love that brought me into being ; and as thou madest all things for the communication of thy 'perfections and blessedness, O fill me with thyself! 1:2. How can I sustain the darkness and misery of this fallen life, unless thy truth enlightenme, and thy strength support mé? O turn not thy face from me, delay not thy fatherly visitation, suspend not the consolations of thy Spirit, lest my soul become like a barren and thirsty land, where no water is !” LORD, " teach me to do thy will ;” teach me to walk before thee in humility and faith, in fear and love! Thou art my wisdom, who knowest me in truth, and didst know me before I was born into the world, and before the world was made !
CHRIST. 3. Son, walk before me in truth, and in singleness of heart seek me continually. He that walketh before me in truth, shall be defended against the assaults of evil spirits, and delivered from the delusions and calumnies of wicked men. “ If the truth make thee free, thou shalt be free indeed;" and shalt hear, without emotion, the vain commendations and çensures of the world.
DISCIPLE, 4. LORD, thy word is truth! As thou hast spoken, so, I beseech thee, be it done unto thy servant : let thy truth teach, protect, and preserve me to my final redemption ; let it deliver me from every evil temper and inordinate desire, so shall I