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right perception of his fallen state ; for thou, O God, hast chosen the poor in spirit, the humble, the selfdespised, and the despised of the world, for thy intimate friends, and the children of thy family. Of this, thy own apostles are eminent instances, whom thou hast appointed to "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel :" yet these passed a life of indignity and opposition without complaint ; and were so humble, so meek, so free from malignant passions and selfish views, that they even rejoiced to
suffer shame" and reproach " for thy name;" and with ardent affection embraced that poverty which the world despises, and with unshaken patience endured those afflictions which the world abhors.
7. Nothing, therefore, should give so much joy to the heart of him that truly loveth thee, and is truly sensible of thy undeserved mercies, as the perfect accomplishment of thy blessed will, not only in his temporal, but in his eternal state ; in which he should feel so much complacency and acquiescence, as to be abased as willingly as others are exalted ; to be as peaceful and contented in the lowest place, as others are in the highest ; and as gladly to accept of a state of weakness and meanness that is destitute both of ability and reputation, as others do of the most splendid honours and the most extensive power. The accomplishment of thy will, and the glory of thy name, should transcend all other considerations, and produce more comfort and peace, than all the personal benefits which have been or can possibly be conferred.
CHAP. XVII. OF FOUR STEPS THAT LEAD TO LIBERTY AND
PEACE. CHRIST. 1. I WILL now teach thee, my son, the way to liberty and peace.
DISCIPLE. Gracious LORD! do what thou hast condescended to offer. Such instruction I shall rejoice to hear, for such instruction I greatly need.
Christ. Constantly endeavour to do the will of another, rather than thy own :
Constantly prefer a state of want to a state of abundance :
Constantly choose the lowest place, and to be in. ferior to all : and
Constantly desire and pray, that the will of God may be perfectly accomplished in thee, and concern. ing thee.
Verily, I say unto thee, he that doeth this, enters into the region of rest and peace.
DISCIPLE. 2. LORD! this short lesson teacheth great perfection ; it is expressed in few words, but it is replete with truth and fruitfulness ; and if I could faithfully observe it, trouble would not so easily rise up within me; for as often as I find myself disquieted and oppressed, I know I have wandered from the strait path which thou hast now pointed out. But do thou, O Lord! who canst do all things, and evermore lovest the improvement of the soul, increase the power of thy grace, that I may
be enabled to fulfil thy word, and accomplish the salvation to which thou hast mercifully called me.
3. “O God, be not far from me : O my God, make haste for my help!” for a multitude of evil thoughts have risen up within me, and terrible fears afilicung
my soul. How shall I pass them'unhurt? How sliall I break my way through them, and adhere to thee?
CHŘIŠT. 4. I will go before thee, and humble the lofty spirits that exercise dominion over thee : I will break the doors of thy dark prison, and reveal to thee the secrets of my law.
DISCIPLÈ. 5. Do, O Loró! what thou hast graciously proinised : lift up the light of thy countenance upon my soul, that every thought which is váin and evil may vanish before it. This is my strength and comfort, to fly to thee in every tribulation, to confide in thy support, tò call upon thee from the lowest depths of my heart, and patiently to vait for the superior coñsolations of thy Spirit.
6. Illuminate me, most merciful Jesus! with the splendour of thy presence, and cast out all darkness from the secret dwelling of my heart. Restrain my wandering thoughts that are carried out after evil, and repulse the temptations that so furiously assault my soul. Fight thou my battles; and with thy Omnipotent arm scatter all my enemies, those deceitful lusts, and malignant passions, that are continually at work to betray and destroy me ; that in thy power I may obtain peace, and my purified soul, as a living temple consecrated to thee, may resound with song's of thankfulness and praise ! Rebuke the storms that rise up within me : say to the sea, “ Be still ;" and to the north-wind,“ Blow thou not;" and á heavenly calm shall instantly succeed ! 7. Send forth thy light and thy truth, that they
move upon” this barren“ earth :” I am “ earth, avithout form, and void ;” a deep covered with dark. ness, till thon sayest, " Let there be light.” Pour forth thy treasures from the throne of grace ; Water
my heart with the dew of heaven, that the barren soil may produce good fruit worthy to be offered up to thee. Raise my fallen soul, oppressed with the burthen of sin ; draw all my desire after thee ; and give me such a perception of the permanent glories of heaven, that I may despise and forget the fleeting vanities of earth! O force me from myself! snatch me away
from the delusive enjoyment of the creatures, who are unable to appease my restless desires. Unite me to thyself by the indissoluble bonds of love :
: for thou only canst satisfy the lover, to whom the whole universe, without thee, is “vanity and nothing!"
CHAP. XVIII. OF AVOIDING A CURIOUS INSPECTION INTO
THE CONDUCT OF OTHERS.
CHRIST. 1. SON, indulge not vain curiosity, nor surrender thy spirit to the dominion of unprofitable
what is" this, or “ that to thee? follow thou me." What, indeed, to thee, are the words, the actions, and characters, of the idle and the busy, the ignorant and the vain ? The burthen of thy own sins is as much as thou canst bear, and thou wilt not be required to answer for the sins of others : why, then, dost thou perplex thyself with their conduct ? Behold, I understand the thoughts afar off, and nothing that is done under the sun can escape my no. tice. I search the personal secrets of every heart, and know what it thinks, what it desires, and to what its intention is principally directed. All inspection, therefore, and all judgment being referred to me, do thou study only to preserve thyself in true peace, and leave the restless to be as restless as they will; they
cannot deceive Omniscience ; and whatever evil they have done or said, it will fall upon their own heads.
2. Hunt not after that fleeting shadow, a great name ; covet not a numerous acquaintance, nor court the favour and affection of particular persons ; for these produce great distraction and darkness of heart. I would freely visit thee with instruction, and, reveal my secrets to thee, if, in abstraction from useless cares, thou didst faithfully watch my coming, and keep the door of thy heart open to receive me. Be wise ; " watch and pray;" and humble thyself con tinually, under the sense of thy numcous imperfec, tions and wants.
CHAP. XIX. IN WHAT TRUE PEACE OF MIND AND SPIRIT,
UAL PERFECTION CONSIST. CHRIST. 1. SON, I once said to my disciples, « Peace I leave with you ; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." Peace is what all desire ; but the things that belong to peace, few regard. My peace dwells not but with the humble and the meek, and it is found only in the exercise of much patience. If thou wilt hearken to me, and obey my voice, thou mayst enjoy a large portion of true peace.
DISCIPLE. LORD! what shall I do? CHRIST. 2. Keep a strict guard over all thy words and actions ; and let the bent of thy mind be to please me only, and to desire and seek after no good but me : and if, with this, thou refrainest from ; censuring the words and actions of other men, and dost not perplex thy spirit with business that is not committed to thy trust, thou wilt but seldom feel trouble, and never feel much.