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If you

own Sins, and your constant deploring of their Guilt, will give your Prayers Entrance into your Heart, and put you upon Measures how to amend your Life.

confess

your self only to be a Sinners, you only confess your self to be a Man, but when you describe and confess your own particular Guilt, then you find Cause for your own particular Sorrow, then you give your Prayers all the Power they can have, to affect and wound your Hearts In like manner, when you pray for God'. Grace, don't be satisfy'd with a general Petition, but make your Prayers suitable to your Defects; and continue to ask for such Gifts and Graces of the Holy Spirit,

find

your self most Defective in, for this will not only give Life to your Petitions, and make your Heart go along with them, but will also be the surest Means to fit and prepare you for such Graces, as you

LASTLY, This Particularity in our Prayers, is the greatest Trial of the Truth of our Hearts.

A MAN perhaps thinks he prays for Humility, because he has the Word, Humility, in his Prayers. But if he was to branch out Humility into all its particular Parts, he would perhaps find himself not dispos'd to pray for them. If he was to

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as you

pray for.

represent to himself the several Particulars, which make a Man poor in Spirit, he would find his Heart not desirous of them. So that the only way to know the Truth of our Hearts, and whether we really pray for any Virtue, is to have all its Parts in our Prayers, and make our Petitions ask for it in all its Instances. If the proud Man was to pray daily, and frequently for Humility in all its kinds, and to beg of God to remove him from all Occasions of such Pride, as is common to his particular State, and to disappoint him in all his Attempts, that were contrary to Humility, he would find, that such Prayers, would either conquer his Pride, or his Pride would put an End to his Prayers. For it would be impossible to live long in any Instances of Pride, if his daily and frequent Prayers, were Petitions against those particular Instances. Now every one may make his private Devotions thus useful to him, if he has but Piety enough to intend it. For every one may know his own State if he will; we indeed commonly say, that People are blind to themselves, and know the least of their true State. We pass this Judgment upon People, because we see them pretending to so many Virtues, which do not belong to them, and declaiming against Vices, to which they are the most subject. There

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fore we say, that Men don't know themselves, but this is false Reasoning.

We see People often pretending to be Rich, now this is not, because they don't know their State, but because they would not have you to know it, and they presume it possible to impose upon you. Now the Case is just the same in all other Pretences. The false, the proud, the worldy Man that pretends to Fidelity, Humility, and heavenly Affection, knows that he is neither Faithful, nor Humble, nor Heaveny-minded; he no more thinks he has these Virtues, than a Man thinks he has a great Estate, when he endeavours to be thought rich; he knows that he only affects the Reputation of these Virtues, and is only blind in this, that he imagines he imposes upon you, and passes for the Man he is not.

EVERY Man therefore has Knowledge enough of himself, to know how to make his Prayers particularly fitted to the Corruption and Disorders of his Heart, and when he is so desirous of Salvation, as to enter into such a Method of Prayer, he will find, that he has taken the best Means, to make his Prayers eftectual Remedies against all his Sins. Let me now only add this one Word more, that he who has learn'd to pray, has learn’d the greatest Secret of a holy and happy Life. Which

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way soever else we let loose our Hearts, they will return unto us again empty and weary. Time will convince the vainest

and blindest Minds, that Happiness is no है

more to be found in the Things of this World, than it is to be dug out of the Earth. But when the Motions of our Hearts, are Motions of Piety, tending to God in constant Acts of Devotion, Love and Desire, then have we found Rest unto our Souls, then is it, that we have conquer'd the Misery of our Nature, and neither Love nor Desire in vain, then is it, that we have found out a Good suited to our Natures, that is equal to all our Wants, that is, a constant Source of Comfort and Refreshment, that will fill us with Peace and joyful Expectations here, and eternal Happiness hereafter. For he that lives in the Spirit and Temper of Devotion, whose Heart is always full of God, lives at the Top of humane Happiness, and is the fartheft removed from all the Vanities and Vexations, which disturb and weary the Minds of Men, that are devouted to the World.

CH A P. XIII. All Christians are required to imi

tate the Life and Example of Jesus Christ

.

UR Religion teaches us, that as we have born the Image of the Earthly, so we shall bear the Image

of the Heavenly, that after our Death we shall rise to a State of Life and Happiness, like to that Life and Happinels, which our Blessed Saviour enjoys at the Right Hand of God. Since therefore it is the great End of our Religion to make us Fellow-Heirs with Christ, and Partakers of the same Happiness, it is not to be wonder'd at, that our Religion should require us to be like Christ in this Life, to imitate his Example, that we may enter into that State of Happiness, which he enjoys in the Kingdom of Heaven.

For how can we think that we are going to the Blessed Jesus, that we are to be hereafter as he is, unless we conform

to

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