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Point; what is it then to be separated from hito And what must the condition of those Wretched Spirits be, who have no more Union with God, than what is just enough to sustain them in Being and make them capable of sublisting under that Privation of God, which would otherwise Annihilate them? What must be the Darkness, what the Poverty, what the Barrenness, what the Coldness, Dryness, Deadness, Emptiness, Desolation and Solitude,of such a State ! Depart from mé, je Curfed ! I need not add into Everlasting Fire, for here we have Hell enough already. What, to be thrown off from our Center, to be forc'd away from the Point of our Tendency and our Rest, to be banilh'd from the only Good, the foy, the Pleasure, the Life, the Light, the Warmth, the Sun of our Souls : Eye hath not seen, neither hath Ear heard, nor can it enter into the Heart of Man to conceive, what a fate of Misery and Unhappiness this must be. If the Partial and *short Eclipse of the Light of this great Sun made even the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roar out in a bitter Agony, My God, woman Ġod, iphy bast thout forsaken me; what must be the Misery, 'the Damnation, the Hell of that Spirit, who is throughly and eternally forsaken of his God?
It is good then for me, may every rational Son say, to draw near unto God; since my whole Pers fećtion, both Natural and Moral,confists in my Union with him. It is good for me, indeed the best thing I can do, to hold me fast by my God, to unite my self to him by as many Ties and M2
Bands as I can, by all the Cords and Chains of ? Love, and by every Link of that Chain; to make
this Union as close and as strong as is possible, and so to draw near to him, and fasten my self
upon him by the most Cleaving Love, that he 9 may reward my imperfe& Union here, with a
Perfect and Everlasting one hereafter. This is the true and only interest of every Rational Soul; tho' there are but few that are so rational as to be duly sensible of it, or that consider how advantagious, how necessary it is for them to draw near unto God, and to enter into a close union with him. But to those few, who are sensible of the Interest and Necessity of this Union with God, and would know by what means they might | be best affifted towards the effecting it; I would | advise,
y 1. To Retire. The Noise, Hurry, Business, Itn4906. pertinence, Folly, Sin, Vanity and Contagion of 6.141. the World, do not well comport with either the con la 2 Habit or the Practice of Divine Love, The Spi1999 rit of Devotion and Divine Application cannot
breathe in such thick gross Air, Cant. 7. 11. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the Field, let us lodge in the Villages, is the Voice and Language of the Spouse to Christ; and so it is of every Devout and Divinely affected Soul. And says God to his Church, Hof. 2. 14. I will lead her into the Wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. Solitude and Retirement is the proper Advantage and Opportunity of Divine Love, and of uniting our Souls with God, and of relishing and enjoy..
ing that Union : The Sense of which made a Devout Soul once break forth into this Seraphick, Rapture,
Solitudo, Mentibus #
Hic lucra Conscientia
Optet Superba Culmina,
2. To Contemplate. And now thou art retired, a thou may'st advantagiously do so; and must, if
thou wilt ever unite thy self to thy God, and
from the Elevations of Contemplation. Medi.) tate upon him frequently and attentively, (for
he will bear that levere Test,), and contemplate 9 the infinite Perfection, the fovereign Goodness,
the Transcendent Excellency, the Centrality of his Divine Effence ; think of his Beauty, think
of his Loveliness, think of his Love to thee; and | whilst thou art thus Mufing, the Fire mill kindle. m2 3. To Martify. A very harsh. and ungrateful, 22 3• but very necessary, Method for the Love of God, and our Union with him. We must first Dye ta
our Selves and to the World;before we can either Love God, or Live unto him. Mortifie therefore both thy Body and thy Soul, but especially_thy Soul; purge it, first of all, of Self-Love, which of , all Dispositions of Mind is molt oppolite to, and inconsistent with the Love of God." Next, empty it of the World, and of all Love towards Sensio 9 ble things ; unburthen it of all Covetouspels, Ambition, Pride, Lust, Envy, and all manner of 2 Carnal and Worldly Sentiments;cleanse it, purify . it, strip it, simplify it, let nothing adhere to it that favours either of Self, or of the World ; nothing that may by its interposal hinder that, im, mediate Contact, that Central Touch,between thee and thy God. And when once thou hast redue' ced thy Soul to this Singleners and Simplicity, thou wilt find that the least Attraction of the Divine Spirit will draw thee after it. When once one Scale of the Ballance is thus emptied of the 9 Creature, the least weight of Divine Grace will weigh down the other. The more we draw off , from our Selves and from the World, the nearer we shall draw to God ; and the clolerwe are united to him, the nearer we shall be to our Hap 9 piness; and the more we shall be still convincd, as we draw nearer and nearer, that the Perfe&tion of the Soul is her Union with God.
To whom be all Glory Amei!