Hall - HP BX5133 .H34 1647

The Artof1Jivine Meditation. 108 - A whence they are raifed; in which cafe ourrhoughts prove loofe and he.mldfe, making nomemorableimprdlion in the mind. Super!litious , when we make choifeof thofegronnds ofMeditation, which are forbidden us as Teachers?fVanity; or imploy out own devices (though well grounded) to an ufe above thetr reach ; niakmg them,upon our own pkafures, not ondy futtherances, but parts of God$ worlhip; in both which,ourMeditations dcgenerate1and grow m her pcrillous to the foule. Whereto adde, thatthc mind be not too much cloyed with too frequent iteration of the fame thought; which at!a!l breeds 0\Vearindfe in our [elves, and an unplcafantndfeofthat conceit, which arthe fir!l entertainment, promifed much ddighr. Our naturc is too ready to abufe familiarity in any kind: and it is with Meditations, as with Medicines; whi<h with over-ordinary uf<, lofe thdr foveraignty 1 aod fill, B in !lead ofpurging. God bath nor !lraired us for matter,having given us the fcope of the whole world; fothatthere is no creature, event, atlion, fpecch, which may nor afford us new matter ofMeditation. And that which we are wont to fay offine wit<, wemayastmlyatlirme oftheChri!lianheort, that ir can make ufeof any thing. Wherefore as travellers in a forainc country make every fighta leffon; fo ought we in this our pil~image. Thpu feeft the heaven rolling above thine head, in a con!lane and unmovea lc motion; the !larres{o overlooking one another , that the greard! ihew iirtle, tbelea!l grtate!l, all glorious: the aire full of the bot<les of raine,or fleeces offnow,or diversformes offiery Exhalatioos: the Sea under one uniforme face,full of!lrangeand moo!lrous ihapes beneath: the earth foadoroed with variety c ofplants, thatthou can!l not bot treadon many at once with every foot; befides the ftore ofcreamres, that flie about it, walke upon ir, livein it. Thou idle Truant, doe(! thou learne nothing of fo many ma!lcrs~Hall thou fo long read thefe capital! letters ofGods great Book,and c~n!l thou nor yet fpdl one wordof them! The brute creatures fte the fame things,with as clecr,perhaps better-eies. If thine inward eytS fet not thtirufe,as well as tljy bodily eics their ihlpe, I know not whether is more reafonable or lelfe brutith. CHAP. V. DEliberateMeditation is that we chiefly inquire for; which both may be well OfMedit:~.tion guided,and iball not be a little furthered by precepts; parr whereof the la- deliberate, D bours ofothers ihallyedd us; and part the plaine!l mi!lrelfe, Experience: Wherein lirll-, wherein order requires ofus fir(!, the ~uJ!ities ofthe p:rfon fir for meditation; then the qu<~lities thtcircum!lances,manner,and procec iogs ofthe work. of the pttfon. The hillofMeditation may not be climbed with a profane foof; but as in the de- Ofwhomi>rcquircd; Firll, livery ofthe Law, fo here, nobea!l '!'•Y touch Gods hill, left he die; only the pure th3.thce !xc of heart, have prom1!etofee God. Sm d•mmeth and dazcleth the eye, that irean- pare fromhis not behold fpiritual things.The Guard ofheavenlySouldierswas about Elifh•a fer_ fin,. vaot before1 he faw them not before, through the fcales of his infidelity. The foule mull therrfure be purged, ere it can profitably meditate. And asofold they were wontto fearch for, and thru!l ourma!efatlors from the prefence, ere they went to E facnfice; fu mull weour fins, ere we offer our thoughts to God. Firft, faith David I will wa!h my hands in ionocency, then I will compa!fe thine Altar. Whereupo~ not unfidy did that worthy Chanccllourofl.ris make the fir!l ft1ire of his Ladder of Contemplation, Hum~/eRtf'»t•nce. Thecloththatis white (which is wont to be the colourofinnocency) is capJble of any Dye; theblack, of none other. Not that we require an abfolute perfedioo,(which,as it is incident unto none,fo ifit were wouldexcl~d~all need ~nd uf~ ofMediratio~) bur rather an hone!! fincerity of the hcart,n~tw•_lhogly finm~g,wl!hngly repennng when we h1vc finned: which who fo finds mhimfc!fe,let h•m notthink any weakne!fe a la.vfu\1 b;;rre to Meditation. He that pleads this excufe, is like fame limple man, which being halfe !larved with cold,refafcth to come nttr the lire,becaufe hc findeth not heat enough in himlclfe. K ; cHA P.