gia Thou ordereft my Steps, thou art about my 090

Bed, and about my Paths, and doftpreserve me

in all my ways; many a time should I have s stumbled, and fallen, and perished irrecovera

bly, but that thou hast supported me, and given charge to thy holy Angels to be my Guardians. I had been a barren Wilderness, if thou hadft not rained showers of Grace upon me, and made me fruitful. I had brought forth nothing but Death, if thou hadftnot. Ihined upon me. I had continued lying in the Mire, if thou hadftnot pulled me out; and must have remained in the horrible Pit for ever if thou hadft not set my Feet upon a Rock. I had continued blind, if thou hadít not opened mine Eyes; deaf to thy Admonitions, if thou hadft not unlocked mine Ears. I could never have rifen, if thou hadft not lent me thy helping Hand. I must have sunk, if thou hadít not supported me; and perished, if thou hadft not guided and directed me. I had committed greater Sins, if thy reftraining Power had not kept me; and what could have hindred me from running with others into excess of Riot, if thou hadît not removed the Snares which were laid for me to catch me in Ruin ? It is thy doing that I have not done so; that I have abstained from these Evils, thy assistance is the cause; and that I have believed thee, I am beholden-to thy.Mercy. O my God! how often have I deserved thine Anger? And yet in the midst of thy Wrath thou thinkeft upon Mercy. What Judgments mightest not thou have inflided on me for my wilful Sins ? But thou haft fent none as


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

yet, and all to magnifie thy Mercy. Every Morning thy Mercies are renewed upon me, and with the Natural there rises upon me the Sun of Righteousness, with healing under his Wings, Thou profpereft my Endeavours, givelt success to all my lawful Undertakings, thou preserveft me from those Disasters which befal Other Men. How wisely doft thou order my Affairs? How often dost thou bring Light out of Darkness, and turnelt my Afidion into the greatest Joy? How wonderful are thy Provi. dences to me and mine? How often have I feared such an accident would be my ruine, and God hath turned it into the greatest good ? How wisely hast thou many times denied me temporal Mercies, because thou hadft a mind to enrich me with fpiritual Blessings in heavenly Places? What Friends, what Benefactors haft thou raised me? How miraculously haft thou turned the Hearts of Men sometimes into Mercy and Compassion for my Good? How often halt thou heard my Prayer, and granted me the request of my Lips? When I have been in the greatest Straits, how hast thou shewn me a way to escape? How strangely haft thou wheeled things about for my deliverance? How haft thou allured me. by the various tokens of thy Love to love thee better than the World? How great hath beep thy care of my temporal concerns, but how far greater thy care of the concerns of my Soul? How Itrong have been the convictions thou hast vouchsafed me? How great the light thou hast imparted to me? How bright that knowledge thou hast revealed to


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


How numerous the checks of my own :: Conscience which thou hast sent me? How fre

quent the motions of thy Spirit thou hast lhed into my Soul? How often haft thou reasoned the Cafe, and expoftulated with me, and, as the Angel did to Balaam, stood in a narrow way, where there was no turning neither to the right nor to the left; and all, because thou would'At not have me ftand out any longer against thy most gracious offers of Salvation How haft 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 Righteousness? How strange hath been thy condescension ! and doth not all this deserve my Love? Is not here enough to warm my Affections towards thee!

False, stubborn Heart! What canst thou plead 1

for thy averseness from God, after such a profpe&t 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 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 bis Name! How should I study to please him! What pains should I take to manifest my gratitude! How should I revere his Memory! How should I speak of his Favours! How should I praise his Munificence! How should I employ my Rhetorick, and ransack my Poetry, study Eloquence, speak by my Eyes, my Posture, my Gestures, to make him understand my Affecti

on !

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

an! Can Man's kindness 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? To love him is my happiness, my interest, 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 Father and Mother, and not love thee, who haft been better to me than my Parents, and when my Father and Mother have forsaken me haft taken me up, and with everlasting kindness visited me? Shall I love my Friend, and shall I not love thee, my Joy, my Treafure, my Hiding-place? But How can I love thee,except Ikeep thyCommandments? How can I be thy Friend, except I do whatsoever thou commandest 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 Sins, 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 tedi. ousness of thy Yoak? What great, what noble, what generous Adions 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 Lye? How can I be faid 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

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

i to Obedience here? The Angels love thee, and

they have no other way to demonstrate their Love but by running at thy Commands. Thy 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 nothing above thee. When no eye pitied me to have compafion upon me, when I was cast into the openi field to the loathing of my person ; thou didst pass by me, and saweft me polluted with my Blood; and saidji unto me when I was in my Blood, Live ; thou didft 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 coveredít my nakedness, and

fwarest untome, and enteredft into a Covenant with me, and I became thine, Ezek. 16. 5, 6, 7, 8. And, shall my Soul be married to so great a Prince, and play the Harlot? O my Lord! haft thou united me so close unto thee, and shall I defile my self, by setting my Love on Trifles ? It hath

gone altray too long, it hath wandred up and down, and found no reft ; and shall it lose it self for ever, and, like a Mole, run blindly from one Bury to another? What Man, what Devil can

while I love thee, without whose Command no Creature dares fir or move? What lhould discourage me from loving thee, when

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



« VorigeDoorgaan »