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rente. Quæ omnia sedulò cavere debet, quisquis cum Deo ambulare studet.
Quod, si quis, propriæ intellectionis lumine, salutares hasce notiones acquirere speraverit; næ, ille frustrà fuerit, operamque lųserit miserrimè. "E cælo, à Patre Luminum, petenda expectandaque est divina hæc irradiatio. Qui pedes largitur, ut moveamus, et oculos largiatur oportet, quibus inaccessæ lucis habitatorem, quadamtenus, adspiciamus. Sine ipso, ut cum ipso ambulemus impossible est.
[2.] Apprehensionem quandam habitualem immotamque Deitatis necessariò comitatur presentis agnitio : non minùs certa qui. dem illa et ocularis, quàm cujuspiam hominum, quîcum sensibili modo palam et apertè conversamur. Nempe, hoc est videre invisibilem illum; ipsumque, mentis acie, non minus clarè adstantem intueri, quàm quodcunque visibile objectum, quàm cælum terramve, corporeis oculis usurpamus.
Illud satis constat, è materiali spiritualique substantiâ, corpore et animo, conflatum esse quod nos hominem appellamus. Utrique partium sui sunt sensus, objecta sua. Nimiùm verò nobis deerimus, nisi, dum corpusculum hoc rebus corporeis, similibus sui, occupatur, et spiritus itidem nostri cum purissimis spiritibus, præsertim verò Spirituum Domino commercium exerceant: fælicitatem nobis olim perficiet illud unum, videre ipsum uti est ; videre eum ut is.
fections, he, who desires sedulously to walk with God, must beware.
But, if any one shall hope, merely by the light of his own understanding, to arrive at the knowledge of these saving truths; verily, he will find himself deceived, and that he has laboured to his own destruction. This divine illumination is to be sought and expected only from heaven, from the Father of Lights. He, that gives us feet wherewith to walk, must likewise give us eyes, whereby we may see, though but in a weak and imperfect manner, bim, that dwelleth in that light, which no mortal can approach unto. For without his aid, it is impossible for us to walk with him.
[2.] The acknowledgment of his presence necessarily accompa. nies a habitual and constant apprehension of the Deity : whose presence is not less certain and ocular, than that of any man, with whom we openly converse in a visible manner. For, this is to see him that is invisible; namely, to view him standing by us, with the eye of our minds, as plainly and clearly, as we see any visible object, as the heavens or the earth, with our bodily organs.
It is sufficiently clear, that what we call man is composed of a material and spiritual substance, of body and soul. Each of these parts of the composition has its peculiar senses, and its peculiar objects. We shall, therefore, be greatly wanting to ourselves, unJess, whilst the body is employed in corporeal concerns, in things ļike itself, our spirits converse with the purest spirits, but more es, pecially with the Lord of Spirits : for this one thing alone will nos videt, mutuâ quâdam fruitione nostri : debilis ergo fidei obtusâ acie præsentem contueri, non potest non felicitatem nobis, interea, suaviter inchoare. Visibilem quemque ipsa cernunt bestiæ, quarum aliquæ longè sunt hominibus perspicaciores; Spiritum verò simplicissimum conspicari, nobis semper obversantem, oculi est illuminati divinitùs. Interno fit hoc et sensu et lumine; non hoc, quod nobis cum brutis animalibus commune est : etiam cæcus ille Didymus Alexandrinus hoc, suo tempore, fecisse non parum gestit; et, omni ævo, quo quis sanctior fuit, eo clariùs præsentem sibi Deum conspexisse perhibetur. Veuditant nobis historicorum fabulæ quosdam, mirâ præditos spirituum videndorum facultate ; sed et collyria quædam fingunt sibi anicula, quibus hoc posse fieri
hereafter perfect our happiness, to see him as he is; to see him as he sees us, with a kind of reciprocal fruition and enjoyment of each other : to behold him, therefore, as present, though but with the dim eye of a weak faith, cannot but be an agreeable beginning of that happiness, even whilst we are here on earth. The brute part of the creation can discern every visible object, and some of them much more accurately than we can; but that most simple and uncompounded Spirit, which is always present with us, can be discerned by no eye, but that which is enlightened from above. This privilege is to be enjoyed only by our internal sense and light; and not by that which is common to us and the brutes : of which also the * blind Didymus of Alexandria, in his days, not a little rejoice, that he was partaker; for, indeed, in every age, the more holy any man was, the more clearly did he perceive that God was present with him. The fabulous writers boast of some, that were endowed with the wonderful faculty of seeing spirits; and some old wives pretend that they have an ointinent, by which they dream
* The blind Didymus of Alexandria flourished about the year 370, lost his sight when he was very young (say Socrates, Sozomen, Theodorit, and Nicephorus ; at four
years of age, says Cardinal Fleury ; from the age of five years, says Dupin) as he was just beginning to learn to read. Yet he notwithstanding made himself master of every branch of literature. He added prayer to study, incessantly beseeching God to enlighten his mind ; insomuch that he became so learned in divinity, that the Christian school at Alexandria was committed to his
He was looked upon as a kind of prodigy. Therefore he was visited by many, and esteemed by all as a person of the greatest sanctity. The great and pious St. Anthony waited upon him, and said to him, " Let not the loss of your bodily eyes
For you are indeed deprived of such eyes, as fies and gnats can see with. But rather rejoice that you have those eyes with which an. gels see, with which God himself is discerned, and his light is comprehended. And it is much better to see with the eyes of the understanding, than with those of the body." See Socrates's Eccl. Hist. b. iv. ch. 25. Sozomen's Eccl. Hist. b. ii. ch. 15. Theodorit’s Ecclesiast. Hist. b. iv. ch. 23. Si. Jerome to Castrutius Ep. 33. towards the end. Nicephorus's Eccl. Hist. b. ix. ch. 17, Cave's Hist. Litere vol. I, p. 253, Dupin's Eccl. Hist. vol. II. p. 103. Fleury's Ecel. Hist. b. xvii. vol. II. p. 449, 450. TRANSLATOR,
somniant: ecce! quod superstitiosuli isti perperam delirant, reapse certissimè indies factitatum: nemo non regenitorum Deum ipsum sibi præsentem, non minùs clarè certòque, quàm suam ipsius carnem, contuetur.
Neque verò præsentem modò nobiscum agnoscimus Deum, sed et in ipso vivere nos semper et movere persentiscimus. Verè suos Athenienses docuit Paulus, ' uangan, non procul, ab unoquoque nostrûm abesse quem nun cernimus, Deum. Imò, ne nos quidem ita nobis intimi sumus, ac nobis ipse : quis nostrům vitam sibi indulsit; creator sui ? quis sibi, vel tantillum, intra fauces continere animam potest? quis motricem indidit animæ facultatem ? quis dedit exercere?
Aliter tamen homo fuxinos Deum in se, se in Deo viventem motitantemque sentit, aliter regenitus. Renatus quidem vitam agnoscit motumque, spiritualem ac divinum ; carnalis verò naturalem prorsùs, indolique suæ congruum. Qui duplicem ergo in Deo vitam motumque sortimur, et nature et gratiæ, quin ipsụm in quo bis sumus, fideliter usque agnoscimus; et sine quo nec esse nec movere possumus, cum ipso constanter ambulamus?
(a.) Agnitam hanc Omnipotentis Dei præsentiam necessariò sequetur, primo in loco, Humilis quædam Reverentia et Sanctus Tremor: nec cui verò sistimur principi viro, quin venerabundo quodam
that this can be effected : behold! what these superstitious wretches vainly imagine, is really done every day: every regenerate man as clearly and certainly perceives, that God is present with him, as he sees his own body.
We do not only acknowledge that God is present with us, but are also fully persuaded that in him we always live and move. Truly did Paul instruct the Athenians, that the God, whom we see not, is not far from every one of us. Nay, he is nearer to us, than we are to ourselves : which of us brought himself into being ; his own creator ? who can, by his own power, keep body and soul together, but for a moment? who endowed the soul with the faculty of motion ? who gave it power to use that faculty ?
The carnal man conceives very differently concerning God's living in him, and of his living and moving in God, from the regenerate man. The regenerate man acknowledges both his life and motion to be spiritual and divine; but the carnal man conceives them to be altogether natural, and congruous to his own disposition. Why then do not we, who have a twofold life and motion in God, both of nature and of grace, always faithfully acknowledge him, in whom we have a double existence; and constantly walk with him, without whom we can neither live nor move?
(a.). The presence of Almighty God being owned and acknowledged, Humble Reverence and Holy Fear, will, in the first place, necessarily succeed : for, as when we appear before the presence of nos affici sentímus ; quanto magis, ubi verendissimam Dei majestatem nobis præsentem cernimus!
Visâ cælesti illâ angelorum scalâ, evigilans Patriarcha, quàm tremendus est, inquit, iste locus ! Ecce sanctum Jacobum, ad ipsius loci, in quo se Deus repræsentari voluit, conspectum, piè contremiscentem ; vixque se continentem, quin solum ipsum, in quo machina illa angelica figi visa est, pronus adoràrit. Quo demum stupore, divinæ illius gloriæ, quæ in summitate scalæ resplenduit, radiis, perculsum judicabimus! Certè, uti semper uobiscuin Deus est, ita nunquam non aliter adest, quàm incomprehensibiliter gloriosissiinus: neque agnosci à nobis unquam potest, nisi sacro quodam metu concussis, quasique adorabundâ tantæ majestatis admiratione planè absorptis.
Ego verò non parùm vereri mihi videor, ne hic affectus animi non ita, uti par est, apud Christianorum plerosque obtinere soleat. De magno illo et omnipotente Cæli Numine, et sentire et loqui assolent non pauci, stupido quodam neglectu, temerâque et incuriosâ familiaritate : haud unquam, nisi ubi tonuerit, ad potentiam ipsius pertrementes ; nec quo metu Infinitæ Deitatis unquam confusi, nisi cùm insigni aliquo judiciorum suorum specimine sese terribilem exhibuerit. Ecce, seraphici illi spiritus faciem sibi abscon
any great personage, we find ourselves struck with an awful tremor; how much more must we be affected, when we apprehend ourselves to be in the presence of the most dreadful Majesty of Heaven!
When the Patriarch awoke, having seen that celestial ladder of the angels, he said, How dreadful is this place ! See lere holy Jacob affected with a pious tremor, at the sight of that place, in which God was pleased to represent himself unto him; and scarce able to contain himself, from falling down, and adoring that spot of ground, on which the angelic machine seemed to be fixed. But with what amazement must we conceive him to be struck, by those rays of the divine glory, which shone forth at the top of the ladder! For, as God is always present with us, so certainly never otherwise, than incomprehensibly most glorious : nor can we be really sensible that he is present with us, but we shall be affected with a sacred fear, and almost confounded with an awful and reverential admiration of so great majesty,
I cannot, indeed, but greatly fear, that this state of mind does not prevail so much, as it ought to do, amongst the generality of Christians. Not a few are wont both to feel and to speak, of the great and almighty God of Heaven, with a certain stupid negligence, and a pert and careless familiarity: scarcely ever seeming to reverence his
unless when he thunders; nor to be struck with any dread of his Infinite Majesty, unless when he renders bimsolf terrible to them by some remarkable display of his judgments. Behold, the seraphic spirits cover their face with their wings; not
dunt alis ; fulgorem Presentia Divinæ intueri parùm sustinentes : quorum tamen unusquisque, ita totus gloriâ ac majestate splendet, ut meritò quidem Manoah, horum uno semel conspecto, de vitâ suâ subinde desperaverit : nos verò, cinis ac pulvisculus, faciem gloriosissimam illius, qui horum Spirituum Deus est, audaci fronte, negligentibus oculis, securâ mente, intueri non dubitabimus? Difficile, profectò, judicatu est, pejusne fuerit, Deum præsentem non agnoscere, vel agniti præsentiâ parùm affici reverenter: quorum, illud, stupidæ cujusdam negligentiæ est ; hoc, impii cujusdam stuporis ; quædam certè in utroque atheismi species delitescit.
(6.) Secundo in loco, Sanctum Obedientiæ Studium, Divinæque Approbationis ambitiosa quædam Cura ac Solicitudo : enimvero, qui tam potentem Deum sibi perpetuò præsentem agnoverit, næ ille parùm ausus fuerit quicquam præstare, quod tanto Numini displiceat ; quinimmo, dabit operam sedulò, ut à Summi Judicis misericordi manu fidelitatis suæ lauream reportare mereatur. Quicquid, verò, agendum susceperit, ex animo suo anxiè sciscitabitur clanculùm ; “ Quomodo hoc Deo meo arridebit?”
Mandavit olim Abrahamo Deus, Ambula coram me, et rectus esto. Præcepti pars una subinfert alteram : non potest non esse rectus, quisquis coram Deo ambulaverit. Gnaviter oportet sit im
being able to look upon the brightness of the Divine Presence: and yet each of those spirits shines with so much glory and majesty, that Manoah, on the sight of one of them, despaired, with some reason, of living any longer: and shall we, who are but dust and ashes, presume to look upon the most glorious face of him, who is the God of these Spirits, with an audacious forehead, careless eyes, and intrepid mind ? It is, indeed, very difficult to determine, which is worst, not to acknowledge God's presence, or not to be affected with a becoming reverence of his acknowledged presence: of which, the one, is a kind of stupid negligence; the other, a sort of impious insensibility; and it is most certain that some seeds of atheism lie lurking under each of them.
(6.) In the second place, it is necessary that a Holy Pursuit of Obedience, and an anxious Care and Solicitude to obtain the Divine Approbation be implanted in us : for, he who is conscious that so powerful a God is always present with him, will not dare to attempt any thing, that may displease so great and glorious a Being; but, will rather use his utmost endeavours, worthily to obtain the reward of his fidelity from the merciful hand of the Supreme Judge. Whatsoever, therefore, he is about to perform, he will seriously, carefully, and privately ask himself; “ How will this please my God?"
The Lord heretofore enjoined Abraham, Walk before me, and be thou perfect. One part of the precept implies the other: hé cannot but be perfect, that walks before God." He must needs be an