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delivered from all things under God, and be so swallowed
in God, that he can contemn and despise himself and all things; for the pure love of God maketh the spirit pure and simple, and so free, that without any pain and labour, it can at all times turn and recollect itself in God.
8. Mortify all bitterness of heart towards thy neighbours, and all vain complacency in thyself; all vain glory and desire of esteem, in words and deeds, in gifts and graces. To this thou shalt come by a more clear and perfect knowledge and consideration of thy own vileness, and by knowing God to be the fountain of all grace and goodness.
9. Mortify all affection towards inward, sensible, spiritual delight in grace, and the following devotion with sensible sweetness in the lower faculties, or powers of the soul, which are nowise real sanctity and holiness in themselves, but certain gifts of God to help our infirmity.
10. Mortify all curious investigation or search, all speculation and knowledge of unnecessary things, human or divine; for the perfect life of a Christian consisteth not in high knowledge, but profound meekness; in holy simplicity, and in the ardent love of God; wherein we ought to desire to die to all affection to ourselves, and all things below God; yea, to sustain pain and dereliction, that we may be perfectly knit and united to God, and be perfectly swallowed up in him.
11. Mortify all undue scrupulousness of conscience, and trust in the goodness of God; for our doubting and scruples oft-times arise from inordinate self-love, and therefore vex us; they do no good, neitlier work any real amendment in us; they cloud the soul, and darken faith, and cool love; and it is only the stronger beams of these that can dispel them, and the stronger that faith and divine confidence is in us, and the hotter divine love is, the soul is so much the more excited and enabled to all the parts of holiness, to mortifications of passions and lusts, to more patience in adversity, and to more thankfulness in all estates.
12. Mortify all impatience in all pains and troubles, whether from the hands of God or men, all desire of revenge, all resentment of injuries, and by the pure love of God, love thy very persecutors, as if they were thy dearest friends.
13. Finally, Mortify thy own will in all things, with full resignation of thyself to suffer all dereliction, outward and inward, all pain and pressures, and desolations, and that for the pure love of God: for, from self-love, and self-will, spring all sin, and all pain.
A PRAYER 14. “O! Jesus, my Saviour, thy blessed humiity! impress it on my heart; make me most sensible of thy infinite dignity, and of my own vileness, that I may hate myself as a thing of nought, and be willing to be despised, and trodden upon by all, as the vilest mire of the streets, that I may still retain these words, I AM NOTHING, I HAVE NOTHING, I CAN DO NOTHING, AND I DESIRE NOTHING BUT ONE.”
1. Never do any thing with propriety and singu. lar affection, being too earnest, or too much given to it; but with continual meekness of heart and mind, lie at the foot of God, and say, Lord, I desire nothing; neither in myself, nor in any creature save only to know and execute thy blessed will, (saying alway in thy heart), Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do ? Transform my will into thine; fill full, and swallow up as it were, my affections with thy love, and with an insatiable desire to honour thee, and despise myself.”
2. If thou aspire to attain to the perfect knitting and union with God, know that it requireth a perfect expoliation, and denundation, or bare nakedness, and utter forsaking of all sin, yea, of all creatures, and of thyself particularly: even that thy mind and understanding, thy affections and desires,
thy memory and fancy, be made bare of all things in the world, and all sensual pleasures in them, so as thou wouldst be content that the bread, which thou eatest, had no more savour than a stone, and yet, for his honour and glory that created bread, thou art pleased that it savoureth well: but yet from the delectation thou feelest in it, turn thy heart to his praises and love that made it.
3. The more perfectly thou livest in the abstraction and departure, and bare nakedness of thy mind, from all creatures, the more nakedly and purely shalt thou have the fruition of the Lord thy God, and shalt live the more heavenly and angelical a life. Therefore,
4. Labour, above all things, most exactly to forsake all for him; and chiefly to forsake and contemn thyself, purely loving him, and in a manner forgetting thyself and all things, for the vehement burning love of him: thus thy mind will run so much upon him, that thou wilt take no heed what is sweet or bitter, neither wilt thou consider time or place, nor mark one person from another, for the wonder and love of thy Lord God, and the desire of his blessed will, pleasure, and honour in all things; and whatsoever good thou dost, know and think that God doth it, and not thou.
5. Choose always (to the best of thy skill) what is most to God's honour, and most like unto Christ and his example, and most profitable to thy neighbour, and most against thy own proper will, and least serviceable to thy own praise and exaltation,
6. If thou continue faithful in this spiritual work and travel, God at length, without doubt, will hear thy knocking, and will deliver thee from all thy spiritual trouble, from all the tumults, noise, and incumbrance of cogitations and fancies, and from all earthly affections, which thou canst by no better means put away, than by continual and fervent desire of the love of God.
7. Do not at any time let or hinder his working, by following thine own will; for, behold, how much thou dost the more perfectly forsake thine own will, and the love of thyself, and of all worldly things, so much the more deeply and safely shalt thou be knit unto God, and increase in his true and
1. If thou still above all things, seek that union, thou must transfund and pour thy whole will into the high pleasure of God; and whatsoever befals thee, thou must be without murmuring and retraction of heart, accepting it most joyfully for his love whose will and work it is.
2. Let thy great joy and comfort evermore be, to have his pleasure done in thee, though in pains, sickness, persecutions, oppressions, or inward griefs and pressures of heart, coldness, or barrenness of mind, darkening of thy will and senses, or any temptations, spiritual or bodily: And,
3. Under any of these, be always wary thou turn not to sinful delights, nor to sensual and carval pleasures, nor set thy heart on vain things, seeking comfort thereby, nor in any wise be idle, but always, as thou canst, compel and force thyself to some good spiritual exercise or bodily work: and though they be then unsavoury to thee, yet are they not the less, but the more, acceptable to God.
4. Take all afflictions as tokens of God's love to thee, and trials of thy love to him, and purposes of kindness to enrich thee, and increase more plentifully in thee his blessed gifts and spiritual graces, if thou persevere faithfully unto the end; not leaving off the vehement desire of his love, and thy own perfection.
5. Offer up thyself wholly to him, and fix the point of thy love upon his most blessed increated love; and there let thy soul and heart rest and delight, and be, as it were, resolved and melted, most happily, into the blessed Godhead; and then take that as a token, and be assured by it, that God will grant thy lovely and holy desire; then shalt thou feel, in a manner, no difference betwixt honour and shame, joy and
sorrow: but whatsoever thou perceivest to appertain to the honour of thy Lord, be it ever so hard and unpleasant to thyself, thou wilt heartily embrace it, yea, with all thy might, follow and desire it; yet, when thou hast done what is possible for thee, thou wilt think thou hast done nothing at all, yea, thou shalt be ashamed, and detest thyself, that thou hast so wretchedly and imperfectly served so noble and worthy a Lord; and therefore, thou wilt desire and endeavour every hour to do and suffer greater and more perfect things than hitherto thou hast done, forgetting the things that are behind, and pressing forward, &c.
6. If thou hast in any measure attained to love, and abide in, God, then mayest thou keep the power of thy soul and thy senses, as it were, shut up in God, from gadding out to any worldly thing or vanity, as much as possible, where they have so joyfully a security and safeness: satiate thy soul in him, and in all other things still see his blessed presence.
7. Whatsoever befalleth thee, receive it not from the hand of any creature, but from him alone, and render back all to him, seeking in all things his pleasure and honour, the purifying and subduing thyself. What can harm thee, when all must first touch God, within whom thou hast inclosed thyself.
8. When thou perceivest thyself thus knit to God, and thy soul more fast and joined nearer to him than to thine own body, then shalt thou know his everlasting, and incomprehensible and ineffable goodness, and the true nobleness af thy soul, that came from him, and was made to be reunited to him.
9. If thou wouldst ascend and come up to thy Lord God, thou must climb up by the wounds of his blessed humanity, that remain as it were for that use; and when thou art got up there, thou wouldst rather suffer death than willingly commit any sin.
10. Entering into Jesus, thou castest thyself into an infinite sea of goodness, that more easily drowns and happily swallows thee up, than the ocean does a drop of water. Then shalt thou be hid and transformed in him, and shalt often be as thinking without