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him to the tyranny of fin, and torture of punishment: such. Lord, is the vast difference between the blessed ones of thy fold, and those unhappy ones, which stray from thee into the strange pastures of impiety,
No sorrow can surprise me but for sin, and even this too thou makest to increase my joy: what af. flictions can be evil, which is thy physick who art the fountain of all good ? if it be grievous in the taste, it is joyous in the effects; if I mark the happy close, I muft with joy confess, that these bitter storms will end in blessed calms, will bring to my remembrance those grievous fins that brought my Saviour to those bitter groans, will force me from the sorrows of this life, to my celestial harbour, will bring me on my knees to see mine own vileness, will enrich me with the graces of humility and patience, and together with them the sweet enjoyments of thy blessed spirit; and if so, how can I complain of want, when instead of earth I enjoy heaven?
Lord, what can he fear that is assured of thy favour? affiictions, tribulations, crosses, fins, satan, death, hell itself shall work to mine advantage: as my cross is more grievous, my crown shall be more glorious; where sin and satan have been most prevailing, there grace and goodness shall be more triumphing. How truly sweet Lord is the inviolable peace of thy saints ? who powerfully compellest
even the very rage of earth and hell to work to their advantage. Lord fan&tify the trials of this life unto my finful soul, that by my patient sufferings with my Saviour here, I may have peace with him, and by him hereafter.
I have hitherto looked on mine inward happiness ; if I now can cast mine eyes upon mine outward, I shall there see that all these outward blessings also are most peculiarly belonging to the Saints; the wicked ones of the world are robbers, and shall one day give an account of their thefts; children, friends, strangers, even our very enemies, are protected, preserved, enriched, blessed for our fakes ; so was Joseph and his bretheren for Jacob, Zoar for Lot, Potiphee for Joseph, the Centurian and soldiers for St. Paul: and if thou (Lord) wilt look so lovingly upon the children of this world for thine elect fake, how graciously wilt thou one day look upon those sons that shall be made partakers of thine own inheritance ?
Who would not now be holy ? seeing that in this blessed condition, there is not only safety inviolable, but peace unutter able, safety in life, and sweetness in death.
And now Lord, when I enquire for what cause thou givest me all this, I find nothing but thy meer love unto me; when I ask what thou requirest for: all this, I hear thee demand nothing but the return
of love : what is more easy, what more sweet, than love ? and what object more amiable, than that glorious Being that is the perfection of all love, and that love the beauty of all perfection ? thou canst not give, Lord, what thou hast not, the glory of thy creation is but a glimpse of that greater glory of thine essence; Lord, who can deny thee love? how sweet is this yoke, how light this burthen! when I love thee, I enjoy thee, and myself in thee, I pofsess thee, I rest in thee for ever. O my God, all that thou givest me, all that thou requirest of me, is to make me happy, to thee be glory for ever. Amen.
ALL this I joyfully confess thou hast done for me, and yet the whole course of my corrupt life hath been nothing else but a continued rebellion against thee ; mine eyes full of adultery, my tongue of corrupt communication, mine hands of oppression, mine ears open to iniquity, mine heart full of hypo; crisy, my feet lame in thy paths, and swift to walk in the ways of sinners, my whole man nothing else but the very body of death, and destruction.
I have sinned against precepts, against promises, against mercies, against judgements, against the checks of mine own conscience, and the blessed motions of thine holy spirit ; I have even tempted my temptaLions, by making daily and hourly provisions for lin; and have been so far from forrowing for all this, ho that I have resolved to continue yet still. And yet The
mall.j.21 so great is thy compassion towards me, that still thou storest up new mercies for me.
Lord, I bewail my weakness; I lament my wilful. ness,. I abhor my filthiness ; I heartily desire, and earnestly endeavour to unrip my soul, to ransack my heart, to unlock the very secrets of my thoughts, that I may have all my sins continually before me, even in their worst appearances; and I may loath them and leave them, and obtain thy gracious par. don for them.
I confess, Lord, that I am utterly unworthy to enjoy this blessed light, which I have so much abused to thy great dishonor; much more the light of grace, by which thou leadest me to that of glory; and that it were more juft with thee, for ever to deprive me of these happy lights, and to expose me to the terrors of eternal darkness.
Lord, I have finned, and cannot chuse but fin; I am a great and grievous finner, and yet I am thy child; have pity upon me, have pity upon me, for I am in misery: into the bofom of thy tender love, I thrust my finful soul for safety and protection.