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thing besides thee, the love of God is not in him. O love of exquisite pleasure, and exquisite pleasure of love! Love, all delight without allay of torment; love, chaste and perfect, whose bright flame never can be extinct, but burns pure and cheerful to all eternity; my God, my Jesus, inflame my soul with this holy fire, pour thy transporting joys, thy inexpressible comforts abundantly into my heart; kindle there desires chaste and holy, peaceful and calm, pleasant and secure, that thus overflowing with delight, and inflamed with desire, I may love thee, my God, with all my heart, and soul, and strength. That thou mayest be in my mind, and mouth and sight, at all times, and in all places; and so refresh me, that no room may be left for any other, which are indeed no better than unfaithful and adulterous passions.
Hear me, my God; hear, thou light of my eyes; hear what I ask, and grant my petitions; and that thou mayest hear me effectually, do thou inspire and direct my petitions. O merciful and gracious Lord! let not my manifold offences stop thy ears against my prayers, nor shut out thy mercy from me: but let thy servant obtain his requests, though not for any merit of his own, yet for the sake of his merits and intercession in whom alone he trusts, and by whom alone he presumes to ask any thing: even the blessed Jesus, the Son of thy love, the one, the powerful mediator between God and man; who, with thee and thy blessed Spirit, liveth and reigneth for ever. Amen.
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Prayer to Christ. O LORD JESUS, the anointed of God, the Word of the Father, who camest into the world on purpose to save sinners! I conjure thee by the most enlarged bowels of thy indulgent mercy, let me cease to do evil, learn to do well, and reduce all my actions to rule and due order; take away from me whatsoever is offensive to thee, and hurtful to myself; and implant in me all those virtues and graces which may conduce to my soul's advantage, and thy good liking and acceptance of me. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, but thou alone ? Thou art a God infinite in goodness and power, justifying the ungodly, quickening them that lay dead in trespasses and sins, changing the hearts of men, and forming them into new and different creatures. Thy eyes behold my many and great imperfections: look down upon them with an eye of pity, send down thy hand of compassion from above, and remove far from me whatever is displeasing in thy sight. My spiritual health and diseases are both in thy sight, O strengthen, I beseech thee, and preserve the former, and in much mercy heal the latter.
Heal thou me, blessed Physician of souls, and so shall I be healed; hold thou me up, thou Almighty preserver of men, and so shall I be safe. Thou who givest medicines for the cure of our sickness, and sustainest that health which is thy own; thou
who repairest our breaches, and buildest up our decayed ruins with a word of thy mouth. If thou think fit (as I hope thou wilt) to sow the good seed in thy field my heart, the first part of that blessed work must be to prepare and correct the soil, by rooting out the weeds and thorns of vicious habits and dispositions, which else will choke the work, and make it unfruitful. O gracious Jesus! pour into me, I beg thee, the abundance of thy love, that there may be no remains of earthly or sensual desires or thoughts in my breast, but may thou and thy love reign unrivalled there, and possess my heart entirely. Write thy name in my mind, that thou and thy commands may be ever before my eyes. Kindle in my soul that holy fire which thou hast sent into the world, that it may melt away my dross, and qualify me for offering to thee the daily sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit.
Most merciful Redeemer, as thou hast given me the sincere desire, so give me the attainment of thy chaste and holy love, fervent as my desire, and entire as the sincerity with which I ask it. Let my head be waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that these may speak for me, and testify the great. ness of my love, and the inward delights I feel, too big to be contained within my heart, and perpetually running over in tears of joy.
I frequently call to mind the devout addresses of thy servant Hannah, who came to thy tabernacle to beg a son from thee: and, upon each remembrance of her remarkable piety and perseverance in prayers, I find myself tormented with grief, and confounded with shame, for my own coldness and deadness in devotion. For, if she did not only weep, but continue weeping in hopes of obtaining a son
what affectionate complaints, what measure of tears become my soul, which comes to thee in prayer, which seeks and loves my God and Saviour, desiring to receive him, and be received to him! What sighs and groanings, what earnest gaspings, what impatient thirstings ought I to bring, who am in pursuit of my God day and night, and desire to love and to enjoy nothing but him only! O look then upon me, and extend thy mercy to me, for the sorrows of my heart are enlarged. Permit me to taste of thy heavenly comforts, and do not disdain that sinful soul, for which thou didst not grudge to die. Give me plenteousness of tears flowing from an affectionate heart, such as, by lamenting, may prevail for forgiveness of my sins, a release from the bands with which I have so long been tired, and a godly sorrow, which may produce spiritual and heavenly joy. That, if I cannot rise to the same exalted pitch of zeal, with some illustrious martyrs and confessors, and eminently devout men, whose bright examples I despair of coming up with; I may however not suffer myself to be outdone by the weaker sex, but be admitted to a share in thy kingdom with devout women.
Another instance of female devotion comes also often into my remembrance. Her, I mean, whose vehement affection for thee put her upon waiting at thy sepulchre; who, though thy disciples went away, would not depart with them, but sat there weeping, and deploring the supposed loss of her dear Lord, and rising frequently, returned to search the empty cave with anxious eyes, not trusting her own senses, but hoping and seeking still, in despite of their former reports, to see him whom her soul loved. She had, no doubt, examined the grave with a most nice diligence before; but still her passionate desires could not be satisfied, that she had sought thee with sufficient care. For that which crowns and recommends every good work, is the virtue of perseverance. This person, then, because she loved more than the rest, and expressed that love by her weeping, and sought thee carefully with tears, and still continued seeking, notwithstanding so many former disappointments, obtained the preference above the rest, and had the honour to find, and see, and converse with thee, before any other person whatsoever.
Not only so, but she was made choice of, to be the first preacher of thy glorious resurrection. By her thon didst impart the joyful tidings to thy disconsolate disciples, and refresh their memories with thy promise of visiting them again, saying, Go tell my brethren, that I go into Galilee, there shall they see me. If then, this woman wept so tenderly, who sought the living among the dead, and touched thee with the hand of faith, how should that soul be affected, and how lasting ought that affection to be, which believes in the heart, and confesses with the mouth, a glorified Redeemer enthroned in heaven, and reigning over the whole world? What sighs and tears should breathe out from that heart, which loves nothing but thee, and above all things longs to gain a sight of thee; of thee, the only refuge and hope of the miserable, who art never addressed without a comfortable expectation of mercy?
In this confidence I entreat thee, for thy own sake, and for the glory of thy holy name, to grant me such a tender and affectionate sense of thy goodness, and my own unworthiness, that every