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This Confession must derogate all from ourselves, and ascribe all to God.

“ Thus I desire, O Lord, to be aright affected towards thee, and thy glory. I desire to come to thee; but, alas, how weakly! how heartlessly! Thou knowest that I can neither come to thee, nor desire to come, but from thee. It is nature, that holds me from thee: this treacherous nature favours itself; loveth the world; hateth to think of a dissolution; and chooseth rather to dwell in this dungeon with continual sorrow and complaint, than to endure a parting, although to liberty and joy. Alas, Lord, it is my misery, that I love my pain. How long shall these vanities thus besot me? It is thou only, that canst turn away mine eyes from regarding these follies, and my heart from affecting them thou only, who, as thou shalt one day receive my soul into heaven, so now beforehand canst fix my

soul upon heaven and thee."

CHAP. XXXII. 5. An earnest Petition for that which we confess to want. AFTER Confession, naturally follows PETITION ; earnestly requesting that at his hands, which we acknowledge ourselves unable, and none but God able to perform.

“Oh, carry it up, therefore, thou, that hast created and redeemed it, carry it up to thy glory. Oh, let me not always be thus dull and brutish: let not these scales of earthly affection always dim and blind mine eyes. O thou, that layedst clay upon the blind man's eyes, take away this clay from mine eyes; wherewith, alas, they are so daubed up, that they cavnot see heaven. Illuminate them from above, and in thy light let me see light. Othou, that hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place; prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire : and, even while it sojourneth ou earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee; beholding ever the beauty of thy face, the glory of thy saints, and of itself.'

CHAP. XXXIII. 6. A vehement Enforcement of our petition. AFTER Petition, shall follow the FNFORCEMENT of our request, from argument and importunate obsecration : wherein we must take heed of complimenting in terms with God; as knowing, that he will not be mocked by any fashionable form of suit, but requireth holy and feeling entreaty.

“ How graciously hast thou proclaimed to the world, that whoever wants wisdom shall ask it of thee, which neither deniest nor upbraidest! O Lord, I want heavenly wisdom, to conceive aright of heaven: I want it, and ask it of thee: give me to ask it instantly; and give me, according to thy promise, abundantly. Thou seest it is no strange favour, that I beg of thee: no other than that, which thou hast richly bestowed upon all thy valiant Martyrs, Confessors, Servants, from the beginning; who never could have so cheerfully embraced death and torment, if, through the midst of their flames and pain, they had not seen their crown of glory. The poor thief on the cross had no sooner craved thy remembrance when thou camest to thy kingdom, than thou promisedst to take him with thee into heaven. Presence was better to him, than remembrance. Behold, now thou art in thy kingdom; I am on earth: remember thine unworthy servant; and let my soul, in conceit, in affection, in conversation, be this day and for ever with thee in paradise. I see, man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieleih himself in vain : they are pitiful pleasures he enjoyeth, while he forgetteth thee: I am as vain; make me more wise: Oh, let me see heaven; and I know, I shall never envy, nor follow them. My times are in thy hand I am no better than my fathers; a stranger on earth. As I speak of them, so the next, yea this generation shall speak of me, as one that was. My life is a bubble, a smoke, a shadow, a thought : I know, it is no abiding in this thoroughfare: Oh, suffer me not so mad, as, while I pass on the way, I should forget the end. It is that other life, that I must trust to: with thee it is, that I shall continue: Oh, let me not be so foolish, as to settle myself on what I must leave; and to negłect eternity. I have seen enough of this earth; and yet I love it too much: Oh, let me see heaven, another wille ; and love it so much more than the earth, by how much the things there are more worthy to be loved. O God, look down on thy wretched pilgrim, and teach me to look up to thee; and to see thy goodness in the land of the living. Thou, that boughtest heaven for me, guide me thither; and, for the price that it cost thee, for thy mercies' sake, in spite of all temptations, enlighten thou iny soul, direct it, crown it.”

CHAP. XXXIV, 7. A cheerful Confidence of obtaining what we have requested and

enforced. AFTER this Enforcement, doth follow CONFIDENCE: wherein the soul, after many doubtful and unquiet bickerings, gathereth up her forces, and cheerfully rouseth up itself; and, like one of Da. vid's Worthies, breaketh through a whole army of doubts, and fetcheth comfort from the Well of Life ; which, though in some later, yet in all is a sure reward from God of sincere meditation.

“Yea, be thou bold, O my soul; and do not merely crave, but challenge this favour of God, as that which he oweth thee: he oweth it thee, because he hath promised it; and, by his mercy, hath made his gift, his debt: Faithful is he, that hath promised, which will also do it. Hath he not given thee not only his hand, in the sweet hopes of the Gospel ; but his seal also, in the Sacraments? Yea, besides promise, hand, seal, hath he not given thee a sure earnest of thy salvation, in some weak, but true graces? Yet more, hath he not given thee, besides earnest, possession; while he, that

is the Truth and Life, saith, Ile, that believeth, hath everlasting life, and hath passed froin death to life? Canst thou not then be con tent, to cast thyself upon this blessed issue ; If God be merciful, I am glorious : I have thee already, O my life? God is faithful, and I do believe: who shall separate me from the love of Christ? from my glory with Christ? who shall pull me out of my heaven? Go to them, and return to thy rest, O my soul : make use of that heaven, wherein thou art; and be happy."

Thus we have found, that our meditation, like the wind, gathereth strength in proceeding: and, as natural bodies, the nearer they come to their places, move with more celerity ; só doth the soul, in this course of meditation, to the unspeakable benefit of itself.

CHAP. XXXV. The CONCLUSION of our meditation, in what order it must be.-1. Il'ith

Thanksgiving THE CONCLUSION remaineth : wherein we must advise, like as physicians do in their sweats and exercise, that we cease not over-suddenly; but leave of, by little and little. The mind may not be suffered to fall headlong from this height; but must also descend, by degrees.

The first whereof, after our Confidence, shall be a hearty GRATULATION, and THANKSGIVING: for, as man naturally cannot be miserable, but he must complain, and crave remedy; so the good heart cannot find itself happy, and not be thankful: and this thankfulness, which it feeleth and expresseth, maketh it yet more good; and affecteth it more.

“What shall I then do to thee for this mercy, O thou Saviour of Men? What should I render to my Lord, for all his benefits? Alas! what can I give thee, which is not thine own before? Oh, that I could give thee but all thine! Thou givest me to drink of this cup

of salvation : I will, therefore, take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord : Praise thou the Lord, O my soul ; and all, that is within me, praise his holy name. And, since here thou beginnest thy heaven, begin here also that joyful song of thanksgiving, which there thou shalt sing more sweetly, and never end.

CHAP. XXXVI. 2. With Recommendation of our souls and ways to God. AFTER this Thanksgiving, shall follow a faithful RECOMMENDATION of ourselves to God: wherein the soul doth cheerfully give up itself, and repose itself wholly upon her Maker and Redeemer; committing herself to him, in all her ways; submitting herself to him, in all bis ways; desiring, in all things, to glorify him, and to walk worthy of her high and glorious calling.

Both which latter shall be done, as I have ever found, with much life and comfort, if, for the Full Conclusion, we shall lift up our heart and voice to God, in singing some versicle of David's divine Psalms, answerable to our disposition and matter; whereby the heart closes up itself with much sweetness and contentment.

This Course of Meditation, thus heartily observed, let him, that practiseth it, tell me whether he find not that his soul, which, at the beginning of this exercise did but creep and grovel upon earth, do not now in the conclusion soar aloft in heaven ; and, being before aloof oil, do not now find itself near to God, yea with him and in him.


An Epilogue : Reproving the neglect, and exhorting to the use of


Thus have I endeavoured, Right Worshipful Sir, according to my slender faculty, to prescribe a Method of Meditation : not upon so strict terms of necessity, that whosoever goeth not my way, erreth. Divers paths lead ofttimes to the same end, and every man aboundeth ju his owu sense. If experience, and custom, hath made another form familiar to any man, I forbid it not: as that learned Father said of bis Translation, “ Let him use his own, not contemn mine." If any man be to choose and begin, let him practise mine, till he meet with a better miaster. If another course may be better, I am sure this is good. Neither is it to be suffered, that, like as fantastical men, while they doubt what fashioned suit they should wear, put on nothing; so, that we Christians should neglect the matter of this worthy business, while we nicely stand upon the form thereof. Wherein give me leave to complain, with just sorrow and shame, that, if there be any Christian duty whose omission is notoriously shameful and prejudicial to the souls of professors, it is this of Meditation. This is the very end God hath given us our souls for: we mis-spend them, if we use them not thus. How lamentable is it, that we so employ them, as if our faculty of discourse served for nothing but our earthly provision! as if our reasonable and Christian minds were appointed for the slaves and drudges of this body, only to be the caters and cooks of our appetite!

The world filleth us, yea cloyeth us: we find ourselves work enough to think; “What have I yet? How may I get more? What must I lay out? What shall I leave for posterity? How may I pre. vent the wrong of mine adversary? How may I return it? What answer shall I make to such allegations ? What entertainment shall I give to such friends ? What courses shall I take in such suits ? In what pastime shall I spend this day? In what the next? What ad. vantage shall I reap by this practice, what loss? What was said, answered, replied, done, followed ?

Goodly thoughts, and fit for spiritual minds ! Say there were no other world; how could we spend our cares otherwise ? Unto this only neglect, let me ascribe the commonness of that Laodicean temper of men; or, if that be worse, of the dead coldness which

hath stricken the hearts of many, having left them nothing but the bodies of men, and vizors of Christians; to this only, THEY HAVE NOT MEDITATED. It is not more impossible to live without a heart, than to be devout without meditation. Would God, therefore, my words could be in this, as the Wise Man saith the words of the wise are, like unto goads in the sides of every reader, to quicken him up out of this dull anil lazy security, to a cheerful practice of this Divine Meditation. Let him curse me upon his death-bed; if, looking back from thence to the bestowing of his former times, he acknowledge not these hours placed the most happily in his whole life; if he then wish not he had worn out more days, in so profitable and heavenly a work.


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