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God, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. O my God and King, I will extol thee, and will bless thy name for ever and ever. I will bless thee daily, and praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised, and his greatness is incomprehensible. I will meditate of the beauty of thy glorious majesty, and thy wonderful works. Hosanna, thou that dwellest in the highest heavens. Amen.
SOUL'S FAREWELL TO EARTH,
AND APPROACHES TO HEAVEN.
Section I. Be thou ever, O my soul, holily ambitious; always aspiring towards thy heaven, not entertaining any thought that makes not towards blessedness. For this cause, therefore, put thyself upon thy wings, and leave the earth below thee; and when thou art advanced above this inferior world, look down upon this globe of wretched mortality, and despise what thou wast, and hadst: and think with thyself—there was I not a sojourner, so much as prisoner, for some tedious years; there have I been thus long tugging with my miseries, with my sins; there have my treacherous senses betrayed me to infinite evils, both done and suffered. How have I been there tormented with the sense of others' wickedness, but more of my own! What insolence did I see in men of power! what rage in men of blood! what gross superstition in the ig. norant! what abominable sacrilege in those that would be zealous ! what drunken revellings, what dreadful filthiness, what hellish profanations, in
atheistical ruffians! what perfidiousness in friendship! what cheating in contracts! what cruelty in revenge! in short, what a hell upon earth! Farewell then, sinful world! whose favours have been no other than snares, and whose frowns no less than torments. Farewell for ever, for if my flesh cannot yet clear itself of thee, yet my spirit shall ever know thee at a distance, and behold thee no otherwise than the escaped mariner looks back upon the rock whereon he was lately wrecked. Let thy bewitched clients adore thee for a deity, all the homage thou shalt receive from me, shall be no other than defiance; and if thy glorious shows have deluded the eyes of credulous spectators, I know thee for an impostor: deceive henceforth those that trust thee; for me, I am out of the reach of thy fraud, out of the power of thy malice.
Thus do thou, O my soul, when thou art raised up to this height of thy fixed contemplation, cast down thine eyes contemptuously upon the region of thy former miseries, and be sure ever to keep up in a constant ascent towards blessedness; not suffering thyself to stoop any more upon these earthly vanities. For, tell me seriously, when the world was disposed to court thee most of all, what did it yield thee but unsound joys, sauced with deep anguish of spirit; false hopes, shutting up in a heart-breaking disappointment ; windy proffers, mocking thee with sudden retractions; bitter pills, in sugar : poison, in a golden cup! It showed thee, perhaps, stately palaces, but stuffed with cares ; fair and populous cities, but full of toil and tumult; flourishing churches, but onnoyed with schism and sacrilege; rich trea.