« הקודםהמשך »
If the Heavens and the Air, Sea and Land, Light and Darkness, scorching Heats, and refreshing Shades ; if Showers and Dew, Winds and Storms, Fowls and Fishes, Beasts and Vegetables ; if Herbs and Trees, the artful and the voluntary Productions of the Earth, do all conspire to serve us, and to carefully perform their Part, to entertain us with a Variety, that may render Life not only supportable, but even delightful ; what are the Comforts, what the Entertainments, how great, how rich, how innumerable, how inconceivable, which thou hast prepared for them that love thee, in that heavenly Country where they shall behold thee Face to Face! If such Provifion be made for us in our Prison, what may we expect to find in our Palace !
Great are the Advantages of Virtue, which gives the Soul immediate Access with Confidence to God, and stands in need of no other Intro, ducer; a Soul thus affected hath God continually in its Thoughts and Discourse; all its Reflections, all its Conversation, relish of his Love.
The way to know God truly is to love him ; it is to very little purpose that we read or meditate, that we hear or pray, if this be not at the bottom of our religious Exercises.
A Confesion of Faith.
Believe in, and heartily pray to, the great King
of Heaven and Earth. I acknowledge Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons, but one Essence ; the true, the Almighty God; of one uncompounded, incorporeal, invisible, uncir. cumscrib'd Being : With whom there is nothing higher or lower, greater or lesser ; but perfect and equal all : Great, without Quantity; good,
without Quality ; eternal, without Time; Life, without Death ; Strength, without Weakness ;Truth, without Fallhood ; omnipresent, without Space ; filling all Things and Places, without Extension ; passing every where, without Motion ; abiding every where, without Confinement; communicating to all thy Creatures, without diminish. ing thy own Fulness ; governing all things, without Labour ; without Beginning, and yet giving Beginning to all; making all things mutable, and yet unchangeable thy self: Infinite in Greatness ; unbounded in Power ; of Goodness indefectible ; of Wisdom incomprehensible; wonderful in thy Counsels; juft in thy Judgments ; unsearchable in thy Thoughts; true in all thy Words ; holy in all thy Works; abundant in Mercies ; long-suffering towards Sinners; compassionate to all that repent; always the same, without Mixture or Defilement, Allay, or Accidents ; eternal, immortal, unchangeable ; thy Will alters not ; thy Justice is not bi. afs'd ; thy Mind is not disturbid with Griefs, or Pleasures, or Passions; with thee, nothing is forgotten, nothing which was once lost call'd to Re. membrance again ; but all things paft or future, are present to thy capacious Mind, whose Duration, neither begun in Time, nor encreases by length of Time, neither shall it ever end; but thou livest before, and in, and after, all Ages; thy Glory is eternal; thy Power supreme ; thy Kingdom everlasting, and World without end. Amen.
Meditation before Singing Psalms.
that you see the Heavens open, and all the glorious Choirs of Cherubims and Seraphims about the Throne of God; imagine that you hear the
Musick of those angelick Voices, which cease not, Day and Night, to sing the Glories of him that is, and was, and is to come ; contemplate on such Texts of Scripture as chese, Rev. vii. 9. ' I be' held, and lo, in Heaven a great Multitude which
no Man could number, of all Nations, and Kin• dreds, and People, and Tongues, ftanding be. • fore the Throne, and before the Lamb, cloathed • with white Robes, and Palms in their Hands, and
they cried out with a loud Voice, Salvation to
our God, which fitteth on the Throne, and unto • the Lamb; and all the Angels stood round about o the Throne, and fell before the Throne on their • Faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen.
Blefling, and Glory, and Wisdom, and Thankf"giving, and Honour, and Power, and Strength, ! be unto God for ever and ever.' Amen.
Sometimes imagine that you see Holy David, with his Hands upon his Harp, and his Eyes fix'd on Heaven ; calling in Transport upon the whole Creation, Sun, Moon, Light and Darkness, Men and Angels, to join with his rapturous Soul in praising the Lord of Heaven.
A Paraphrafe on the First Book of Canticles.
W And Teeme languifh for the melting Bliss, More sweet to me than brighe delicious Wine, Press’d from the purple Clusters of the Vine ; As fragrant too, as Ointments poured forth, Are the loud Echoes of thy matchless Worth, Which makes the Virgins, kindled by thy Fame, Wish to expire in the celestial Flame. Come then, display thy lovely Face, and we, Drawn by refiftless Charms, will follow thee
Into thy royal Chambers ; bleft where I
POEM by a YOUNG LADY.
Ndulgent Death, prepare thy gentle Dart,
Eet Smiles on all your lovely Faces shine,
POEM ON HE A V E N.
Stormy Winter enters there,
'Tis jovial Spring thro' all the Year ;
Q. What are those three Works St. Bernard so greatly wondered at, the like whereof never can, nor never shall, be done again upon the face of the Earth.
A. Three Works : Three Conjunctions hath that omnipotent Majesty, made in the Affumption of the Flesh, wonderfully fingular, and fingularly wonderful ; even such as the very Angels were amazed at it: The first, Conjunction of God and Man ; Secondly, of a Mother and a Virgin ; Third, of Faith and the Heart of Man to believe this. The first Conjunction is wonderfully great, wherein is conjoined Earth and God; Majesty and