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Attend only to the truths of my word, which enlighten the understanding, and inflame the heart; which excite compunction, and pour forth the balm of true consolation. But read my word, not for the reputation of critical skill and controversial wisdom, but to learn how to mortify thy evil passions ; a knowledge of infinitely more importance, than the solution of all the abstruse questions that have perplexed men's minds and divided their opinions.
2. When, however, thou hast meekly and diligently read my word, still thou must have recourse to me as the only principle of Divine truth. I am he that teacheth man knowledge, and giveth to the simple that light and understanding, which no human instruction can communicate. He who listeneth only to my voice, shall soon become wise, and be renewed in the Spirit of truth. But, wo be to them, who, instead of turning to me to learn what is my will, devote their time and labour to the vain theories of human speculation! A day will come, when CHRIST, the teacher of teachers, the light and lord of angels, shall appear, and at his omniscient tribunal hear the lessons which conscience has given to all : and then “shall Jerusalem be searched with candles ; the hidden things of darkness shall be brought to light ;" and the clamorous tongue of reasoning and disputing man shall be silent as the grave !
3. I am he, that exalteth the humble and simple mind, and suddenly imparteth to it such a perception of eternal truth, as it could not acquire by a life of laborious study in the schools of men.
I teach not, like men, with the clamour of uncertain words, or the confusion of opposite opinions ; with vain learning, or the ostentation of learning yet more yain; or with
the strife of formal disputation, in which victory is more contended for than truth : Í teach, in still and soft whispers, to relinquish earth, and seek after heaven; to loath carnal and temporal enjoyments, and sigh for spiritual and eternal ; to shun honour, and to bear contempt; to place all hope and dependence upon me, to desire nothing besides me, and above all in heaven and on earth most ardently to love me.
4. By an intimate and supreme love of me, some have been wonderfully filled with Divine knowledge, and spoken truths beyond the comprehension of man ; and thus, by forsaking themselves, they have found that light, to which the most subtle disquisitions of their own minds could not lead them.
5. To some, I speak only of common truths; to others, of those that are singular and exalted : I make myself known to some, under the more familiar appearance of human forms; and, by a sudden and immediate communication of Divine light, open the deepest mysteries to others. Though my written word speaks the same language to all, yet without me it does not impart the same instruction : 1, as the internal principle of light to angels and men, am the only teacher of Divine truth ; I search the heart, and comprehend the most secret thoughts; I am the author and finisher of every good work; and, for the ornament and perfection of my mystical body, I bestow upon the members of it “a diversity of gifts, dividing to every man severally as I will."
CHAP. XXXIV. OF DISENGAGEDNESS FROM THE BUSINESS OF THE WORLD, AND THE OPINIONS OF MEN.
CHRIST. 1. It is expedient for thee, my son, to be ignorant of many things, and to consider thyself
crucified to the world, and the world to thee." Like one deaf, let what is said pass by thee unnoticed, that thou mayst keep thy thoughts fixed on things that belong unto thy peace.”. It is better to turn away from all that produces perplexity and disturbance, and to leave every one in the enjoyment of his own opinion, than to be held in subjection by contentious arguments.
If thou wert truly ciled to God," and didst regard only his unerring judgment, thou wouldst easily bear the disgrace of yielding up the victory in the debates of men.
Something is wanting here, in the original MS.
DiscipLE. 2. O Lord! into what depths of this earthly life must we be fallen, that the loss of what is called its good, should be lamented in the bitterness of sorrow; and the acquisition of it pursued with ardent desire, and unremitted labour ; while the injury that in both is done to the immortal spirit, is either not felt, or so soon and so much forgotten, as scarce ever to be recollected more. things,” that have neither worth nor duration, we are perpetually vigilant and busy; while the one things supremely "needful,” is neglected and passed by as of no importance. The whole man plunges into the stream of sensual life; and unless thou awaken in him a sense of danger, and suddenly stop his course, he is borne away with the torrent, and is lost.
One leaf, at least, is wanting here. M. VALART.
CHAP. XXXV. OF CREDULITY IN THE PROMISES AND PRO.
FESSIONS OF MEN.
DiscipLE. 1. DO thou, O LORD, give me help from trouble ; for vain is the help of man!” How often have I failed of support, where I thought myself sure of it ; and how often found it, where I had least reason to expect it! Vain and deceitful, therefore, is all trust in man ; but the salvation of the righteous, O LORD, is in thee! Blessed, therefore, be thy holy name, O Lord, my God, in all things that befal us! We are weak and unstable creatures, easily deceived, and suddenly changed.
2. Where is the man, that by his own most prudent care and watchful circumspection, is always able to avoid the mazes of error and the disorders of sin ! But he, O LORD, that puts his whole confidence in thee, and in singleness of heart seeks thee alone, will not easily be betrayed into either; and though he chance to fall into some unexpected trouble, and be ever so deeply involved in it; yet thy merciful hand will soon deliver him from it, or thy powerful consolations support him in it; for thou wilt not utterly forsake him that putteth his whole trust in thee. A comforter, that will continue faithful in all the distresses of his friend, is rarely to be found among
the children of men : but thou, LORD, thou art most faithful at all times, and in all events; and there is none like unto thee in heaven or earth. O how di. vinely wise must be that holy soul, who could say, "My heart is firmly established, for it is rooted in CHRIST." If this was my state, I should no longer tremble at the threats of wrath, nor be disturbed by the calumnies of enyy.
3. Who can foresee future events? who can guard against future evil ? If those evils that are foreseen, often hurt us ; we cannot but be grievously wounded by those that are unforeseen. But wretched creature that I am, why did I not provide more wisely for the security of my peace? Why have I given such easy credit to men like myself, who are all destitute both of wisdom and power, though many think us and call us angels? Whom ought I to have believed ? whom, LORD! but thee, who art the truth, that can neither deceive, nor be deceived ? But “all men are liars ;" so frail and inconstant, so prone to deceive in the use of words, that hasty credit is never to be given, even to those declarations that wear the appearance
of truth. 4. How wisely hast thou warned us, O LORD, to “ beware of men!” How justly said, that “a man's enemies are the men of his own house !" and how kindly commanded us to withhold belief, when it is said, “ Lo, CHRIst is here; or, lo, he is there !" I have learnt these truths, not only from 'thy word, but at the expense of peace ; and I pray, that they may more increase the caution, than manifest the folly of my future conduct.
5. With the most solemn injunctions of secrecy, one says to me, “ Be wary, be faithful ; and let what I tell thee be securely locked up in thy own breast :" and while I hold my peace, and belicve the secret inviolate, this man, unable to keep the silence he had imposed, to the next person he meets betrays both himself and me, and goes his way to repeat the same folly. From such false and imprudent spirits, protect me, O Lord! that I may neither be deceived by their insincerity, nor imitate their practices. Give truth and faithfulness to my lips, and remove far from me a deceitful tongue ; that I may not do