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of joy and salvation continually sounding in the dwellings of the righteous.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord, they will be always praising thee: Blessed, indeed, is the man, whom thou choosest and receivest to thyself, and blessed are the people whom thou takest to be thy own inheritance. Behold thy holy ones grow up before thee as a lily, they are filled with the pleasures of thy house, and thou givest them drink out of thy fulness: for thou art the fountain of life, and in thy light they see light. Such light, that though they are but a derived and secondary light, yet the bright beams of thee, the great original Light, are shed so plentifully upon them, that by virtue of this strong reflection, they shine forth as the sun, in thy presence and kingdom. O how goodly, how amiable, how delicious are the tabernacles of thy dwelling, thou Lord of hosts! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; this sinful heart and flesh crieth out for the living God; it cries continually, and repeats this profession again and again, Lord, I have loved the beauties of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. As the hart panteth after the water brook, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. When shall I see the living God, whom my soul thirsteth after? When shall I see him in the land of the living? For in this land of the dying, where we now dwell, no mortal eye can see him. What shall I do, wretched man that I am! chained down to flesh and sense, and dragging after me a clog of corruption? What is this miserable condition capable of? While we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come: there is our settlement, and all our privileges, the hope of our high calling, the business and happiness of our lives, all in our native, in our heavenly country. · Wo is me, that I have so long dwelt in the tents of Kedar, and been constrained to sojourn among the enemies of my peace. O that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest. I know no pleasure comparable to that of being with my Lord. It is good for me to draw near to God, to hold me fast by God. Grant ne, therefore, gracious Lord, so close a union with thee, even while I am imprisoned in this frail hody, as to make good the Apostle's observation, He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit. Arm my soul with the wings of contemplation, that it may soar up to thee; and, because my frailty, without thee, cannot but fall, support my soul, that it sink not into the bottom of this dark vale of sense: let not any interposition of the earth, eclipse the Sun of Righteousness, and obstruct the influence of his refreshing beams; but let his light direct, and his cherishing heat warm, my frozen heart, in my prospects and pursuits of high and heavenly things. For, from this instant, I desire to bend my course to the joys of eternal peace, and leaving the clouds and storms of these lower regions of the air, aspire to the quiet and serene, the bright and blissful mansions of etherial light above.
Hold thou up my heart with thy mighty hand, for without thee it cannot mount upward: I hasten to the place where sweetest and most profound peace reigns undisturbed: 0 do thou assist and govern my flight, that by thy guidance I may come into those fruitful pastures, where thou feedest Israel with eternal truth; that my mind may dwell upon thee, the supreme Wisdom, who penetratest and governest all things. But while I aim at this ascent to thee, I find many objections and obstructions to my design: do thou, I beseech thee, remove and silence them all: command, and the tempest will be still: let my soul possess itself in quietness, and silently pass over all created objects to fix on thee: there, in her great Creator, let her eyes of faith, her desires, her hopes and thoughts, immoveably rest; and no object ever divert, none entertain her, but her true and chief good, her exquisite and endless joy.
There are, indeed, many contemplations, in which a devout mind feels wonderful satisfaction; but never can it attain to that sweet tranquillity and delight, as when it meditates on thee alone. For, O how great is thy goodness, and how great is thy beauty! and how transporting are those secret pleasures which overflow the hearts of thy beloved, who love, and seek, and desire to know nothing but thee! Happy are they who have no other hope': happy, whose constant employment is praying to, and conversing with thee: happy, whose solitude is spent in awful silence, and heavenly raptures, and constant watchfulness over themselves: happy, who, éven while in this frail body, anticipate, so far as their condition will allow, the ineffable sweetness of their future glories.
By those life-giving wounds which thou didst condescend for our salvation to suffer on the cross, those wounds, from whence streamed forth that
precious blood by which mankind are redeemed from death eternal; wound, I beseech thee, this sinful soul of mine, for which thou didst not disdain to die: strike it through with a fiery dart of thy most fervent love, which nothing can resist: for the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing the joints and marrow; strike, therefore, gracious Lord, strike this hard heart of mine to the very quick; and let the waters of penitent and affectionate tears flow out in great abundance. Let me lament my present miseries day and night, and find no comfort till I am allowed to behold my fairest and best beloved spouse, my Lord and my God, in his heavenly bedchamber. That there, for ever gazing on thy beauteous face with thy chosen, I may fall down and adore thy Majesty: and, transported with rapturous and inexpressible joy, may cry out with them that love thee--Behold, I see what I have long desired; I am in full possession of my hopes; I am inseparably united to him in heaven, whom upon earth I loved with a most eager and impatient, a most sincere and undivided affection: this is he whom my soul so earnestly panted after, he whom I will praise and bless, and most devoutly adore; he, who liveth and reigneth my God for ever and ever. Amen. ,
The Day of Adversity. Look down, O Lord, with pity and compassion upon a miserable sinner, doing the things he ought not, and enduring the things which he hath most justly deserved; every day multiplying his offences, and smarting daily for them under thy correcting rod. When I reflect upon my many and great provocations, I cannot but confess my sufferings light and gentle in comparison; and own they do by no means bear proportion to what I have incurred, and might expect. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy judgments. Yea, just and faithful is my God, and there is no iniquity in him, Thou sendest affliction, but thou sendest it upon creatures and upon sinners, and canst not therefore be charged with injustice or cruelty. For what is the utmost we groan under? How does this declare thy power, in comparison of that almighty instance of it, which commanded us into being, when we were not? How does this deserve the imputation of rigour, when set against that infinite mercy, which in wonderful pity redeemed and restored us to happiness and life, when sin had reduced us to a condition so lost and desperate, that even our being was become a curse to us?
I am abundantly convinced, that the events of this life are not left to the rash, uncertain dominion of blind chance, but under the steady governance and wise disposal of thy good providence, I know