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gree of Union and every Degree of Likeness is a De gree of Love; and it can endure any thing but the Displeasure and the Absence of its Beloved For we are not to ufe God and Religion as Men ufe Perfumes, with which they are delighted when they have them, but can very well be without them. True Charity is Amoris ut restless till it enjoys God in such Instances in which morsum qui it wants him: It is like Hunger and Thirst, it muft verè fenderis be fed or it cannot be anfwered; and nothing can fupply the Presence, or make Recompence for the Absence of God, or of the Effects of his Favour, and the Light of his Countenance. 7.
True Love in all Accidents looks loved Person, and observes his Countenance, and how he
approves or difapproves it, and accordingly looks fad or cheerful. He that loves God is not displeased at those Accidents which God chufes, nor murmurs at those Changes which he makes in his Family, nor envies at those Gifts he bestows: But chufes as he likes, and is ruled by his Judgment, and is perfe&tly of his Persuasion, loving to learn where God is the Teacher, and being content to be ignorant or filent where he is not pleased to open
himself. 8. Love is curious of little Things, or Circumftan- Plutarchoue ces and Measures, and little Accidents, not allowing citans carmen any Infirmity which it ftrives not to master,
line, adjicitex aiming at what it cannot yet reach, defiring to be Herodoto quafi of an Angelical Purity, and of a perfect Innocence, de fuo, De co and a Seraphical Fervour, and fears every Image of as meum.com
tinens eftos. Offence; is as much afflicted at an idle Word as fome at an A&t of Adultery, and will not allow to itself so much Anger as-will' disturb a Child, nor endure the Impurity of a Dream. And this is the Curiosity and Niceness of Divine Love ; this is the Fear of God, and is the Daughter and Production of Love.
de fuo Apolo
The Measures and Rules of Divine Love. But because this Passion is pure as the brightest and fmootheft Mirrour, and therefore is apt to be fullied
with every impurer Breath, we must be careful that our Love to God be governed by these Measures.
1. That our Love be sweet, even and full of Tranquility, having in it no Violences or Transportations, but going on in a course of holy Actions and Duties which are proportionable to our condition and present ftate; not to satisfie all the Defires, but all the Probabilities and Measures of our Strength. A new Beginner in Religion hath paffionate and violent Defires : But they must not be the measure of his Actions: But he must consider his Strength, his late Sickness and State of Death, the proper Temptations of his Condition, and stand at first upon his Defence ; not go to form a strong Fort, or attack a potent Enemy, or do Heroical Actions, and fitter for Giants in Religion.' Indiscreet Violences and untimely Forwardness are the Rocks of Religion, against which tender Spirits often fuffer Shipwreck.
2. Let our Love be prudent and without Illusion that is, that it express itself in such Instances which God hath chofen, or which we chuse ourselves by Proportion to his Rules and Measures. Love turns into Doting when Religion turns into Superftition, No Degree of Love can be imprudent, but the Expressions may: 'We cannot love God too much, but we may proclaiın it in undecent Manners.
3. Let our Love be firm, conftant and inseparable ; not coming and returning like the Tide, but defcending like a never-failing River, ever running into the Ocean of Divine Excellency, passing on in the Chanels of Duty and a constant Obedience, and never ceasing to be what it is, till it comes to what it defires to be; still being a River till it be turned into Sea and Vaftness, even the Immenfity of a Blessed Eternity.
Although the confideration of the Divine Excellencies and Mercies be infinitely fufficient to produce in us Love to God, (who is invisible, and yet not diftant from us, but we feel him in his Blessings, he dwells in our Hearts by Faith, we feed on him in the Sacrament, and are made all one with him in the Incarration and Glorification of Jesus ;) yet that we may
the better enkindle and encrease our Love to God, the following Advices are not useless. Helps to encrease our Love to God, by way of
Exercise. 1. Cut off all earthly and fenfual Loves, for they pollute and unhallow the Pure and Spiritual Love. Every Degree of inordinate Affection to the things of this World,' and every Act of Love to a Sin is a perfe& Enemy to the Love of God; and it is a great Shame to take any Part of our Affection from the Eternal God, to beitow it upon its Creature in Defiance of the Creator ; or give it to the Devil, our open Enemy, in Disparagement of him who is the Fountain of all Excellencies and Celestial Amities.
2. Lay Fetters and Restraints upon the imaginative and phantastick Part; because our Fancy being an im, perfect and higher Faculty is usually pleased with the Enternainments of Shadows and Gauds; and because the things of the World fill it with such Beauties and phantastick Imagery, the Fancy presents such Objects as amiable to the Affections and elective Powers. Perfons of Fancy, such as are Women and Children, have always the most violent Loves : But therefore if we be careful with what Representments we fill our Fancy, we may the sooner re our Loves. To this Purpose it is good that we transplant the Instruments of Fancy into Religion : And for this Reason Mufick was brought into Churches, and Ornaments and Perfumes, and conely Garments, and Solemnities, and decent Ceremonies, that the busie and lefs difcerning Fancy being bribed with its proper Objects may be instrumental to a more celestial and Spíritual Love.
3. Remove Solitude or worldly Cares, and Multitudes of secular Businesses : For if these take up the Intention and actual Application of our Thoughts and our Employments, they will also poffefs our Passions, which if they be filled with one Object, though igno ble, cannot attend another, though more excellent.
We always contract a Friendship and Relation with those with whom we converse : our very Country is dear to us for our being in it; and the Neighbours of the fame Village, and those that buy and fell with us, have seized upon some l'ortions of our Love: and therefore if we dwell in the affairs of the World, we fhall also grow in love with them, and all our Love, or all our Hatred, all our Hopes, or all our Fears, which the eternal God would willingly secure to him. felf, and esteem amongst his Treasures and precious things, shall be spent upon Trifles and Vanities.
4. Do not only chuse the things of God, but fecure your Inclinations and Aptneffes for God, and for Refigion. For it will be a hard thing for a Man to do fuch a personal Violence to his firft Desires, as to chuse whatsoever' he hath no Mind to. A Man will many times fatisfie the Importunity and daily Solicitations of his first Longings and therefore there is nothing can secure our Loves to God, but stopping the natural Fountains, and making Religion to grow near the first Defires of the Soul.
5. Converse with God by frequent Prayer. In particular, defire that
may be right, and love to have
Affe&tions regular and holy. To which Purpofe make very frequent Addresses to God, by Ejaculations and Communions, and an affiduous dáily Devotion: Discover to him all your Wants, complain to him of all your Affronts ; do as Hezea kiahdid, lay your Misfortunes, and all your ill News before him; spread them before the Lord; call to him for Health, run to him for Counsel, beg of him for Pardon : and it is as natural to love him to whom we make fuch Addreffes, and of whom we have such Dependences, as it is for Children to love their Pa, rents,
6. Confider the Immenfity and Vaftnefs of the Divine Love to us, expressed in all the Emanations of his Providence; 1. In his Creation ; 2. In bis Conservation of us. For it is not my Prince, or my Patron, or my Friend that supports me, or relieves my needs; but God, who made the Corn that my Friend sends me,
who created the Grapes, and supported him who hath as many Dependences, and as many natural Neceflities, and as perfect Disabilities as myself. God indeed made him the Instrument of his Providence to me,' as he hath made his own Land or his own Cartel to 'him: With this only Difference, that God by his Miniftration to me inrends to do him a Favour and a Reward which to natural Instruments he doth not. 3. In giving his Son; 4. In forgiving our Sins ; 5. In adopting us to Glory; and Ten Thous fand times Ten Thoufand little Accidents and Inftan: ces happening in the doing every of these'; and it is not pollible but for fo great Love we should give Love again, for God we should give Man, for Felicity we Thould
with our Mifery. Nay, so great Sic Jefus di: is the Love of the Holy Jefus, God Incarnate, thať xit S. Corpe he would leave all his Triumphant Glories, and die apud Diorang once more for Man, if it were necessary for procuring Demophilus Felicity to him.
In the Ufe of these Instruments Love will grow in several Knots and Steps, like the Sugar-Canes of India, according to a Thousand Varieties in the Person loving; and it will be great or lefs in several Persons, and in the fame, according to his Growth in Chriftianity : But in general discoursing there are but two States of Love, and those are Labour of Love, and the Zeal of Love: The first is Duty, the second is Per fe&tion.
The two States of Love to God. The leaft Love that is must be obedient, pure, fimple and communicative: That is, itinutt exclude all Af fection to Sin, and all inordinate Affection to the World, and must be expressive according to our Power in the Instances of Duty, and must be Love for Love's Sake : And of this Love Martyrdom is the highest Instance, that is, a Readiness of Mind rather to suffer any Evil tha to do any. Of this our Bleffed Saviour affirmed, That no Man had greater Love than this: that is, this is the highest Point of Duty, the greatest Love that God requires of Man. And yet he that is the most imper