Imágenes de páginas

How halt thou shewn me a way to escape ? How strangely halt thou wheeld 'things about for my deliverance? How hast thou allur'd me by the various tokens of thy love, to love thee beta ter than the World ?. How great hath 'been thy care of my temporal concerns, but how far greater thy care of the concerns of my Soul? How strong have been the convictions thou haft vouchsafed me? How great the light thou haft imparted to me? How bright that knowledge thou hast revealed to me. How numerous the checks of my own Conscience which thou hast sent me? How frequent the motions of thy Spirit, thou hast (hed into my Soul? How often halt thou reasond the case, and expoftu. lated with me, and, as the Angel did to Bala4m, stood in a narrow way, where there was no turning, geither to the right nor to the left; and all because thou would'st not have me stand out any longer against thy molt gracious offers of Salvation? How halt thou adjured me by the bowels of Jesus, by the wounds and agonies of the Son of God, to die unto sin, and to live unto righteonsness? How strange hath been thy condescension, and doth not all this deserve my love?' Is not here enough to warm my affections towards thee? Falle, stubborn heart! What canst thou plead for thy averfeness from God, after such a prospect of his favours ? Notwithstanding my long contempt of these loving kindnesses of the Lord, I am yet alive, and on this side Hell! How may I stand



[ocr errors]

amazed at this prodigious long-suffering of my God! Had any man shewn me but the ten thousandth part of that love , which God hath manifested to me, how should I love him! how should I adore his name? how should I study to please him! what pains should I take to ma. nifest my gratitude ! how should I revere bis memory! how Ihould I speak of his favours ! how should I praise his munificence! How should I employ my Rhetorick, and rapsack my Poetry, study Eloquence, speak by my Eyes, my posture, my gestures, to make him understand my affection! Can man's kindnesles be so prevalent, and shall not the goodness of God fire my Soul into a practical love to his Name? Can I do less than love him, to whom I owe all I have? Tolove him is my happiness, my interelt, my greatest felicity : O my God, shall I love a little shining clay, a little dust, a little earth, and not love thee, who art worth more than ten thousand Worlds ? Shall I love Fa. ther and Mother, and not love thee, who hast been better to me than my Parents, and when my Father and Mother have forsaken me, haft taken me up, and with everlasting kindness vifited me.? Shall I love my Friend, and shall not I love thee my Joy, my Treasure , my hidingplace? But how can I love thee, except I keep thy Commandments? How can I be thy Friend, except I do whatsoever thou commandcst me? Shall I love thee in words only, who haft loved me in deeds ? Shall I flatter thee

with my lips, and hate thee in my heart ? Shall I (Judas-like ) kiss thee, and betray thee? love thee, and love my fins, which are thy greatest enemies? Did I but love thee as I do a dear Friend, how easie would all thy Precepts seem? How little reason should I have to complain of the tediousness of thy yoke? What great, what noble, what generous actions would thy love put me upon & Should I pretend to love my Prince, and affront his Law, how foon would my love be accused of a lie? How can I be said to love thee, while I hate to conform my self to thy will and pleasure? How. vain will my love appear in the last day, if it. hath been a stranger to obedience here? The Angels love thee, and they have no other way to demonstrate their love, but by running at thy commands? The holy fire burns in their breast, and makes them fly to execute thy orders. Do I hope to be like unto the Angels of God hereafter, and shall not I take pattern by their obediential love, while I sojourn here! O my God, thou art the proper object of my love'; I rob thee of thy Honour, and commit Sacrilege, if I love any thing here below better than thee. I am married to thee,and I must love notbing above thee. When no eye pitied me, to have compassion upon me, when I was cast into the open field, to the loathing of my person, Ezek. 16.5, 6, 7, 8. thou didst pass by me, and Jawest me polluted in my Blood, and saidst unto me when I was in my Blood, live; thou didst



cause me to multiply as the bud of the field, and when it was the time of Love, thou didst Spread thy skirt over me, and coveredst my nakedness , and fwareft unto me, and entredft into a Covenant with me, and I became thine ; and, Shall my Soul be married to so great a Prince, and play the Harlot ? O my Lord, Hast thou united me so close unto thee', and, Shall I defile my self, by setting my love on trifles ? It bath gone artray too long, it hath wandred up and down and found no rest, and shall it lose it self for ever, and like a Mole run blindly from one bury to another? What Man, What Devil can hurt me, while I love thee, without whose command no creature dares stir or move? What should discourage me from loving thee, when I have a!l the Promises of the Bible to prompt me to it? If I lose any thing in this world by loving thee , Haft not thou Treasures enough to 1 recompence my loffes ? If Men despise me for loving thee, hast not thou Honour and Glory enough to crown me withal ? if I do not thrive in outward Riches,by loving thee, halt not thou who art rich in Mercy, a pearl of price to bestow upon me, when this life is ended I'll trust thee, O my God, and when my Lusts invite me to act like a Beast,l'll obey thee, and strive to be perfect asthou art perfect: when Men entice me to fin, I'll bearken to thee, and venture the disgrace or injury they can inflict upon me; when the World tempts me to be careless of my Salvation, I'll follow thee, and work out my Salva

tion, with fear and with trembling. Thus I'll manifelt to the World, that thou art dearer to mę, than all that's great, or rich, or glorious in the World. Othat I were drunk with love! O that all my faculties were filled with love! O that I could love thee, till I fainted away for love ! O that my mind were so intent upon thee , that I could relish nothing but thy love! O that my Soul did overflow with love! 0 that this stream might rise above it's banks! O that it might know no bounds! Othat I were so swallowd up of divine love , that I could not tell, whether I were in the body or out of the body! O that the contemplation of Gods love were so sweet to me, that all other objects might be gall, and bitterness to me! O that I were able to go out of my self into the vast light of the love of God! O that I had more of this fich Wine! O that the King would lead me into his Wine-Celiar ! O that my Soul did thirst more after him! O that this dew of Heaven might fall on my fleece, day and night! O that the love of God might totally conquer me! O that every thought of mine might breathe nothing but love! O that it were my meat and drink to love thee! This is perfect Angels food. Meat's for the belly, and the belly for meats; God Shall destroy both it, and them, but this food bafts for ever.

Delight in God, is a Duty as necessary as the former,but how is it possible I should ever arrive


« AnteriorContinuar »