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If the Heavens and the Air, Sea and Land, Light and Darkness, fcorching Heats, and refreshing Shades; if Showers and Dew, Winds and Storms, Fowls and Fishes, Beafts and Vegetables; if Herbs and Trees, the artful and the voluntary Productions of the Earth, do all confpire to ferve us, and fo carefully perform their Part, to entertain us with a Variety, that may render Life not only fupportable, but even delightful; what are the Comforts, what the Entertainments, how great, how rich, how innumerable, how inconceivable, which thou haft prepared for them that love thee, in that heavenly Country where they shall behold thee Face to Face! If fuch Provifion be made for us in our Prifon, what may we expect to find in our Palace!
Great are the Advantages of Virtue, which gives the Soul immediate Accefs with Confidence to God, and ftands in need of no other Introducer; a Soul thus affected hath God continually in its Thoughts and Difcourfe; all its Reflections, all its Converfation, 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 Exercifes.
A Confeffion of Faith.
Believe in, and heartily pray to, the great King of Heaven and Earth. I acknowledge Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, three Perfons, but one Effence; the true, the Almighty God; of one uncompounded, incorporeal, invifible, uncircumfcrib'd Being: With whom there is nothing higher or lower, greater or leffer; but perfect and equal all: Great, without Quantity; good,
without Quality; eternal, without Time; Life, without Death; Strength, without Weakness; Truth, without Falfhood; omniprefent, without Space; filling all Things and Places, without Extenfion; paffing every where, without Motion ; abiding every where, without Confinement; communicating to all thy Creatures, without diminishing thy own Fulnefs; governing all things, without Labour; without Beginning, and yet giving Beginning to all; making all things mutable, and yet unchangeable thy felf: Infinite in Greatnefs; unbounded in Power; of Goodness indefectible; of Wisdom incomprehenfible; wonderful in thy Counfels; juft in thy Judgments; unfearchable in thy Thoughts; true in all thy Words; holy in all thy Works; abundant in Mercies; long-fuffering towards Sinners; compaffionate to all that repent; always the fame, without Mixture or Defilement, Allay, or Accidents; eternal, immortal, unchangeable; thy Will alters not; thy Juftice is not biafs'd; thy Mind is not difturb'd with Griefs, or Pleasures, or Paffions; with thee, nothing is forgotten, nothing which was once loft call'd to Remembrance again; but all things paft or future, are prefent to thy capacious Mind, whofe Duration, neither begun in Time, nor encreases by length of Time, neither fhall it ever end; but thou livest before, and in, and after, all Ages; thy Glory is eternal; thy Power fupreme; thy Kingdom everlafting, and World without end. Amen.
MEDITATION before Singing PSALMS.
EFORE you begin to fing a Pfalnr, imagine that you fee the Heavens open, and all the glorious Choirs of Cherubims and Seraphims about the Throne of God; imagine that you hear the
Mufick of those angelick Voices, which cease not, Day and Night, to fing the Glories of him that is, and was, and is to come; contemplate on fuch Texts of Scripture as thefe, Rev. vii. 9. • I be
held, and lo, in Heaven a great Multitude which no Man could number, of all Nations, and Kindreds, 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 ftood round about the Throne, and fell before the Throne on their Faces, and worshipped God, faying, Amen. Bleffing, and Glory, and Wifdom, and Thanks'giving, and Honour, and Power, and Strength, be unto God for ever and ever.' Amen.
Sometimes imagine that you fee 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 Darknefs, Men and Angels, to join with his rapturous Soul in praifing the Lord of Heaven.
A Paraphrafe on the First Book of Canticles.
ILT thou deny the Bounty of a Kifs,
W And see me languish for the melting Blifs,
More fweet to me than bright delicious Wine,
Into thy royal Chambers; bleft where I
POEM by a YOUNG LADY.
Ndulgent Death, prepare thy gentle Dart, To ftrike a willing and unguarded Heart; Where are thy dreadful Looks and gloomy Train? Fantastick Mortals all these Terrors feign, Thou haft an Angel's Smile and heavenly Grace, I find transporting Beauties in thy Face, And yield, unforc'd, unto thy cold Embrace : I come a joyful Captive to thy Arms, This Moment has for me ten thousand Charms; For thee all human Things I here refign, My fpotless Faith, and Virgin Vows are thine, Mirtillo's Sighs, and Silvia's Tears in vain, In thefe dull Regions would my Soul retain ; Forbear your fruitlefs Grief, I go to prove Unbounded Pleasures and immortal Love: O let ine unmolefted clofe my Eyes, We'll meet again in yonder blissful Skies : Young Virgins hafte, a flow'ry Wreath prepare, And drefs with guiltlefs Ornaments my Hair: Adorn me with the Summer's painted Pride, And lay the Veftments of the Dead afide : Nor let a penfive Look, nor mournful Tear, To cloud the Luftre of your Eyes appear; Each Nymph be drefs'd in Robes of fpotless white, The folding streaming far with filver Light;
Let Smiles on all your lovely Faces fhine,
With decent Joy conduct me to the Tomb,
POEM ON HEAVEN.
Stormy Winter enters there,
'Tis jovial Spring thro' all the Year;
Q. What are those three Works St. Bernard fo 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 Majefty, made in the Affumption of the Flesh, wonderfully fingular, and fingularly wonderful; even fuch as the very Angels were amazed at it: The firft, Conjunction of God and Man; Secondly, of a Mother and a Virgin; Third, of Faith and the Heart of Man to believe this. The firft Conjunction is wonderfully great, wherein is conjoined Earth and God; Majefty and Infirmity