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[6.] Fidelis verò in Deum repositionis cert que fiduciæ successum nemo Christianus senserit, quin illico gratam beneficiorum Dei recognitionem vovendam ipsi retribuendamque censuerit. Ex altari, igitur, puri cordis, meritò quidem offert Deo sanctus quisque juge sacrificium laudis. Recens quisque beneficentir sensus renovare nobis debet animi gratitudinem; elicereque novas gratiarum ejaculationes, secretasque lati cordis ad munificum in cælis benefactorem elevationes. A somno, mane primo, expergiscimur? quin sublatis in cælum animo, oculis, manibus, benedicimus Deo nostro; qui nobis et quietem indulsit, et reddidit lucem ? Discumbimus mensæ, saturive assurgimus ? quin laudamus magnum Mundi Patremfamilias ; qui nobis et cibum et stomachum concesserit ? Ubi jam advesperascit, lectulo decumbimus ? quin celebramus summam Dei benignitatem; qui præteritum nobis diem faustum præstiterit ? Eximus tantillum, prospicimusque vastum cæli fornicem nos à longè ambientem, immensumque pavimentum terræ pedibus nostris protensum ? quin potentiam sapientiamque illius, qui molem tam stupendam fabricaverit, veneramur? Peregrinus profectò est, cùm Deo tum ipsi sibi, qui non omnem arripit ansam laudandi Creatoris sui Redemptorisque; parùmque senserit sibi animum novæ cujusque beneficentiæ radiis incalescere.
[7.] Denique : ubi omnia quæ perceperimus beneficia divinæ
[6.] Never was any Christian sensible of the benefit resulting from this faithful reliance and sure confidence in God, but he immediately determined to vow and return grateful acknowledgments for all God's mercies. From the altar, therefore, of a pure heart, every saint worthily offers up unto God the continual sacrifice of praise. Every renewal of his beneficence should renovate the gratitude of our minds; and draw out from us new ejaculations of thanksgiving, and the secret elevations of a joyful "heart to our munificent benefactor in heaven. Do we awake in the morning from sleep? and shall we not, with mind and eyes and hands raised to heaven, bless our God; who has both given us repose, and has restored us to the light again ? Do we sit down to table, and rise up satisfied ? and shall we not praise the great Householder of the World; who hath given us both food and appetite? When evening draws on, do we lie down in our beds? and shall we not exto the goodness of God; who hath made the past day happy? Do we take but a step abroad, and behold the vast vault of heaven encircling us afar, and the immense surface of the earth stretched out under our feet ? and shall we not adore the power and wisdom of him, who formed a fabric so stupendous ? He is an entire stranger, both to God and himself, who does not seize every occasion of praising his Creator and Redeemer; and who does not perceive his mind grow warm by the rays of every fresh act of his beneficence.
[7.] Lastly: when we have gratefully acknowledged all the
munificentiæ accepta lubenter retulerimus, illud unum restat ad sacram hanc familiaritatis stationem plenè perficiendam ; ut bonis quibusque receptis in Deo fruamur, Deoque in bonis vice versa ; non autem bonis in se: quæ, dum in ipsis mens tota acquiescit, naturam suam mutant illico, bonitatemque priorem prorsùs abdicant. Ecce modò, quantum renatus homo Epicureum, quodque sensuum mancipium, pra cellit: hic nempe, non ultra meram respiciens creaturam, uti totus est caro, rebus in se solis, non sine angustâ quâdamque incertâque voluptate, perfruitur: ideoque, ubi prosperè succedunt omnia, falsà delectatione de initur fortè nimis ; verso demum fortunæ pollice, malis obruitur miser. Nimirum, quî potest ullam sibi certitudinem polliceri, qui rebus innititur incertis caducisque? Ille verò, qui inundo utitur fruiturque Deo, nec prosperis efferri, nec dejici adversis, unquam potest : siquidem Deus suus sibi semper similis sit, supraque modum transcendat illud, quicquid fuerit, quod creatura vel indligere potest vel impertire. "Magnus proculdubio vir erat, suo ævo, Henochus;
benefits which we have received from the divine munificence, there still remains one thing fully to perfect this holy state of our familiar intercourse with God; namely, to enjoy all good things in God, and God in them; but not to enjoy them as good in themselves : for, so long as the mind acquiesces exclusively in them, they immediately change their nature, and entirely lose their former goodness. Behold then, how much the regenerate man excels the Epicurean*, and every slave to sense : for this man, not looking beyond the mere creature, as lie is entirely carnal, enjoys things only as they are in themselves, not without a small and uncertain degree of pleasure: and therefore, when all things succeed well, he is too much elated with a fallacious delight; but when the wheel turns round, the wretch is overwhelmed with misery. And indeed, how can that man promise himself any lasting satisfaction, who reposes on things uncertain and transitory But he, who uses this world and enjoys God, can neither be elated with prosperity, nor dejected with adversity: because his God is always the same to him, and infinitely exceeds every thing, whatever'it be, that the creature can either inflict or bestow. Enoch was, without doubt, in his age, a great personage; and was, as et, prout tunc ferebant tempora, nobilis, dives, potens : sed et ille edebat, bibebat, dormiebat, relaxabat animum vicissim, conjugalique societate modestè usus erat, prout solebant alii: neque tamen efficere potuerunt hæc omnia, quò minùs ambularet Henochus cum Deo; nimirum, ita se ille rebus hujusce seculi commodavit, ut in illis interea Deo suo frueretur.
* The Epicureans, a sect of philosophers so called from Epicurus their founder, maintained that God was a lazy, indolent, and inactive being, that concerned not himself either in the making or governing of the world ; that he was happy in the enjoyment of himself alone, and that his happiness arose from his indolence and inactivity; that the world was made, and all things therein happen, by chance ; that man is not designed for a future state, but will after this lite be as though he had never been; that pleasure is his greatest good, or only happiness; and that He therefore acts the most wisely and prudently, who lives as' gaily and as pleasantly as he can, either by gratifying and indulging his lusts and passions, or by any other means whatsoever. --TRANSLATOR,
Ut paucis ergo rem contraham; si jus nostrum ad Deum, in Deo stabilierimus; si mutuis illum exceperimus alloquiis; si in dubiis omnibus consuluerimus; si solicitaverimus precibus assiduis; si in illum fidenter recubuerimus; si beneficia ipsius universa grato animo recoluerimus; si, lenique, ipso in bonis quibuscunque fructi fuerimus ; sanctâ quâdam Familiaritate Deo nostro conversabimur, atque ita cum ipso ambulabimus.
(3.) Ultima sequitur statio, quæ MOTU absolvitur: ambulare enim, quid, nisi moveri est? Neque verò dicitur Henochum Deo adstitisse, assedisseve; sed cum Deo ambulâsse: certè igitur, mot quodam continuo exercebatur Henochus. Sanè, verù, Peripatetici sunt fideles quique. Quæ ipsis via est ? non alia quim mandatorum Dei. Qui gressus ? non alii quàm actus obedientiæ.
[1.] 'EXOs einew, Externa omnis cælicæ hujus ambulationis Motio in
times then were, both noble, rich, and powerful: but he, like others, eat, and drank, and slept, recreated occasionally his mind, and moderately enjoyed the pleasures of conjugal society: and yet all these things did not hinder his walking with God; for, he so accommodated himself to the concerns of this world, that he enjoyed his God, even in them.
In a word; if we have established in God our right to God; if we have entertained him with mutual conferences; if we have consulted him in all our difficulties; if we have solicited him in assiduous prayers ; if we have confidently reposed on him; if we have reflected on all his benefits with a grateful mind; if, lastly, we have enjoyed him in all our good things; we shall then converse with our God with a holy Familiarity, and thus we shall walk with him.
(3.) I come now to the last state, which consists of a progressive MOTION : for what else can walking intimate to us, but moving forward? Nor is it said that Enoch stood still, or sat still with God; but thạt he walked with God: certainly therefore, Enoch was employed in a continually progressive motion. All the faithful are, indeed, Peripatetics *. . And which is the way they go? none other than the commandments .of God. And what is the
progress they make? none other than acts of obedience. [1.] In a word, all the External Motion of this heavenly walking
* Peripatetics is a Greek word, which signifies Walkers : and the disciples of Aristotle, a sect of Philosophers in former ages, were so called because they used to be continually walking, when they discoursed or disputed on philosophical sub, jects.Translator.
actione consistit. Quæ verò illa, nisi boni cujusque à Deo præcepti observatio sedula; malique omnis prohibiti solicita declinatio ? (a.) Sed et Bonum hoc à Deo nobis Injunctum, et pietatis officia, et justitiæ insuper charitatisque, ac in vocationibus nostris diligentiæ, exercitia complectitur.
Scilicet agendum nobis Christianis est, non speculandum. Quæ hactenus percurrimus sancti hujusce ambulacri stadia, cognitio Deitatis, præsentiæ agnitio, offensæ metus, studium approbationis, appropriatio quædam Dei, colloquium, consultatio, petitio, fiducia, beneficiorum recognitio, ac Dei denique fruitio, ejusmodi sunt, quæ, quoniam et intimo profitentis sensu solò judicentur, et voce externâ facillimè exprimi ac venditari possint, non rarò nec verò difficulter simulari solent. Arrogant sibi vulgò pias hasce dispositiones hypocritæ illi, qui actionibus interea suis haud ægrè discerni sese patiuntur. Ex fructibus cognoscetis eos, inquit Christus : non ex cortice quidem professionis externæ; non ex verborum foliis; sed ex fructibus solis ferendum de arboribus hisce judicium; non nostrum modò, sed et Supremi illius Rerum Arbitri, pro tribunali novissimo. Coram hominibus et Deo silent verba, facta loquuntur, imò clamant. Justus ille Paterfamilias neminem ferre potest desidiosum et inertem. Iracunda erat illa olim expostulatio
consists in action. And what car. this action be, but a diligent observance of every good thing which God hath enjoined ; and a solicitous abstaining from every evil thing which he hath forbidden? (a.) But the Good Enjoined on us by God, comprehends both the duties of piety, and also the practice of justice and charity, and of diligence in our particular callings.
The life of a Christian then is a life of action, not of speculation. All those stages of this holy walking, which we have already passed through, as the knowledge of God, acknowledgment of his presence, the fear of offence, the desire of being approved, the appropriating of God to ourselves, conference, consultation, petition, confidence, a grateful remembrance of benefits, and lastly the fruition of God, are of that kind, which, because they can only be judged of by the inward feeling of him that professeth to have them, and may easily be counterfeited by outward shew and done to gain the praise and esteem of men, may be and often are without much difficulty only pretended to. Those hypocrites, that do not permit themselves to be discovered by their actions, generally lay claim to these pious dispositions. Ye shall know them by their fruits, saith Christ: not by the outward rind of an external profession; not by the foliage of words; but by their fruits alone must judgment be passed on these trees; and not only ours, but that also of the Supreme Judge, at the last tribunal. Before God and men words are silent, while actions speak, nay cry aloud. That just and righteous Householder cannot bear any idle or slothful person. This question has already been proposed, in an angry
Quid statis toto die otiosi? Movendæ sunt manus, pedes movendi; nisi cum Deo nolumus ambulare.
Praxis verò hæc ambulatoria, non modò immediata, quibus Deum colimus, officia; sed et opera vocationum nostrarum complectitur. Etenim, ut bonarum illarum dispositionum, quas modo transegimus, ratione, semper conversamur Deo, neque unquam ab ipso nos abesse sinimus ; ita, aliquando, quodam intimiore, ut ita loqui fas sit, modo, illi sistimur et cum ipso agimus : ubi propriis cultûs divini exercitiis toti occupa mur; precatione nempe solenni, verbi sacrosancti auditione lectioneque, sacramentorum communicatione, ac jugi meditatione, denique ; in quorum quidem singulis, quilibet verè Christianus et frequentissime et devotissimè versari et solet et debet. Alibi semper, cælum in nobis est; atqui, ista dum fiunt, nos in cælo sumus. Nemo verò interea cogitet, dum necessaria quæque vocationis nostræ munia soliciti obimus, abesse nos tantillum à Deo, parùmque cum ipso, tunc temporis, ambulare : vana sunt hæc cerebrosorum hominum deliria. Apage imaginarias hasce inter nos et Deum inimicitias : non ita nobis profectò inter nos disconvenit, quin ut, eâdem operâ, utrisque vacare liceat. Si negotiis quibusque secularibus necessariò renunciandum illi fuerit, qui Deo servire voluerit ; quin totus orbis unum fit monasterium ? quin
tone; Why stand ye here all the day idle? Both our hands and our feet must be employed; if we are desirous of walking with God.
But this practical progress, vot only comprizes those duties, which more immediately relate to God; but also the duties of our several callings. For, as by means of those good dispositions, of which we have already treated, we are always conversant with God, and never willingly suffer ourselves to be absent from him; so we, sometimes, are present and treat with him in a more close, if I
may so speak, and intimate manner: as when we are wholly occupied in the direct exercises of divine worship; such as are, solemn prayer, the hearing or reading God's holy word, the participation of the sacraments, and, lastly, intense meditation; in each of which, every true Christian is and ought to be very frequently and devoutly engaged. At all other times, heaven is in us; but, on these occasions, we are in heaven. Let not any one therefore vainly imagine, that whilst we are carefully attending upon the necessary business of our particular callings, we are at a distance from God, and caunot be said, during that time, to walk with him: these are the frantic ravings of brainsick men. Away then with these imaginary enmities betwixt God and us: there is no such discord between us, but that we may, with equal diligence, apply ourselves to both parts of our duty. If he, who is desirous of serving God, must necessarily renounce all secular employments; why is not the whole world turned into a monastery? why do we not all embrace the he