« PrejšnjaNaprej »
Siudium Approbationis Divinæ.
Interjectione Bonarum Cogitatio-
Piæ Animæ Responsione.
In immediatis Divisi
In Vocationis nostras
Muniis. (Motus: cujus
Declinatio Mali cujusque.
Relatio in Deum.
Plenioris Fruitionis Ambitio sancta.
s quoad Pedem.
7 quoad Viam.
PRESENCE with Apprehension.
The THING, wherein walking with God
consists ; in which are contained,
Holy Fear, and Reverence.
Desire of Divine Approbation. r Appropriation of God to ourselves, by an Act of Faith.
By his Suggestion of Good Desires. FAMILIARITY : Intercourse with God, By the corresponding Answers of which is disco.
the Pious Soul.
Consultation of God in all Difficulties.
Acknowledgment of Benefits.
In the immediate Offices
cation. MOTION: of
Careful avoiding of every Sin.
Reference in all things to God.
Holy Desire of fuller Fruition of Him.
it is thus to walk with God.
DE MODO AMBULANDI CUM DEO.
Quid est, quod ambire debemus Christiani, nisi ut hic sancti simus, alibi fælices?
Ecce istîc utrunque nobis præit, nobile exemplar, Henochus : sanctus erat, ambulavit cum Deo; fælix, abstulit eum ad se Deus : sanctitatem illius consummavit fælicitas ; fælicitati viam stravit sanctimonia : finem non potest non assequi, quisquis ingreditur viam,
Non est quòd in virum inquiramus curiosiùs. Mud unum me
MANNER OF WALKING WITH GOD.
What is there, which we Christians ought more earnestly to strive after, than that we may be holy here, and happy hereafter ?
And in both respects, Enoch precedes us, as a noble example : he was holy, for he walked with God; and he was happy, because God took him: his happiness perfected his holiness; and his holiness paved the way to his happiness : for every one must necessarily attain the end proposed, that regularly pursues the means which lead thereto.
We shall not enter into the more curious enquiries concerning ditemur, quod et arguere sanctum potuit, et præstare fælicem; ambulationem intelligo cum Deo; summam terrenæ sanctitatis, spiritualis rei fastigium.
I. 1. Agedum igitur : et directionis ergò et solatii, QUID SIT, ambulare cum Deo, seriò DISQUIRAMUS.
Ambulare verò cum Deo, quid aliud innuit, nisi PRESENTIAM, FAMILIARITATEM, MOTUM? Persona non variat modum : illud nempe suggerit nobis ratio, quisquis fuerit qui nobiscum ambulaverit, necesse fore ut præsto nobis sit, ut familiari quâdam ratione sit præsens, ut vestigia nobiscum pariter commutet commetiaturque.
(1.) A PRÆSENTIA ordiamur.
Ambulavit Abrahamus coram Deo; cum Deo Henochus : præsentiam certissimam præsupponit utrunque.
Præsentem sanè nobis semper adesse Deum, dubitari non potest : ubique is est : nec quo loco exclusus, nec inclusus mundi ambitu, terram cælumque infinitâ majestate implet ac complectitur.
De nostrâ cum illo præsentiâ nunc agitur. Jubemur nos scilicet non semel appropinquare Deo ; quasi ab ipso nimis, et mente et affectibus, elongati.
Ut nos igitur sanctè sistamus Deo, duo requiruntur: recta im.
This one thing alone we shall make the subject of our meditations, which at once evidenced his sanctity, and constituted his felicity ; I mean his walking with God; which is the utmost perfection of holiness that can be arrived at here on earth, the greatest degree of spiritual mindedness to which we can possibly attain.
I. Let us then, both for our instruction and comfort, diligently and carefully ENQUIRE,
1. WHAT IT IS, to walk with God.
Now what else can walking with God intimate to us, but PRESENCE, FAMILIARITY, and MOTION? A difference in the
makes no difference in the nature of the thing: for even reason itself suggests thus much to us, that whosoever walks with us, must necessarily be present with us, familiarly converse with us, proceed
forward with us. (1.) Let us begin then with his PRESENCE.
Abraham walked before God; and Enoch walked with God: each of these expressions supposes and implies his undoubted presence.
That God is always present with us, cannot possibly admit of any doubt: he is every where : neither excluded from any place, nor included within the circumference of the world, by his infinite majesty he fills and comprehends both heaven and earth.
But we are now speaking of our presence with him. And we are frequently exhorted to draw near to God; as if we were at too great a distance from him, both in heart and affections.
Now, in order to our appearing holily before God, two things
primis Divinæ Majestatis Apprehensio; ac, vera dein Præsentis Agnitio.
[1.] Et primo quidem in loco, illud expedit, ut animis vostris intimè imprimatur debita quædam, pro captûs nostri modulo, immensissiine Deitatis apprehendenda ratio : sine quâ, merum profectò imaginationis nostræ idolum pro vero Deo adorabimus. Ubi evigilavero, inquit Psaltes, inagine tui satiabor; Psalm xyii. 15.
Ecce, procul omni idololatriâ, imaginem Numinis Divini; sacram illam quidem, et, pro naturâ Dei, spiritualem ; quæ nihil aliud est quàm simplicissima quædam Idea, et abstractissima animis nostris infigenda Divinæ Majestatis recognitio : puræ nempe oportet constanterque admirabundæ menti nostræ usque insideant de Deo cogitationes; quales tantam decent gloriæ immensitatem. Representemusque, non tam intellectui nostro quàm fidei, Infinitum Spiritum, Spirituum Deum; essentiâ unum, distinctum gloriosissimis personis; actum purissimum; lucem spiritualem ; principium entitatis omnis æternum ; vitæ motusque authorem incomprehensibilem; omnipotentem Opificem Moderatoremque Universi; totum potentiam, totum sapientiam, totum justitiam, bonitatem totum;
are requisite : first, a just and right Apprehension of the Divine Majesty ; and, secondly, a true and certain Acknowledgment of his presence.
[1.] And indeed it is, in the first place, expedient, that the most true and proper notion of the immensity of the Deity, that can possibly be framed or apprehended by persons of such shallow and finite capacities, be very deeply impressed on our minds: for, without some such impression or apprehension, we shall doubtless worship a mere idol of our own imaginations, instead of the true God. I, says the Psalmist, shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness ; Psalm xvii. 15.
Behold then, free from every degree of idolatry, the likeness of the Divine Being; sacred indeed, and, agreeable to the nature of God, entirely spiritual; which is nothing but the most simple and uncompounded Idea, and the most abstracted conception of the Divine Majesty that can possibly be framed by our imaginations : for we should never entertain any other thoughts of God, than such as are pure and unmixed, and continually fill us with admiration ; even such as become this immensity of glory. We should likewise represent, not so much to our understandings as to our faith, that Infinite Spirit, the God of Spirits; who is one in essence, but distinct in three most glorious persons; pure act; spiritual light; the eternal first principle of all being; the incomprehensible author of life and motion; the almighty Creator and Governor of the Universe ; who alone is possessed of all power, wisdom, justice, and goodness; nay, he is the very essential and living goodbonitatem verò, justitiam, sapientiam, potentiam, essentialem vl. vamque : à certà lucidique notione gloriosa Humanitatis Divinis. simi Mediatoris, assurgentes ad contemplationem Infinitæ Deitatis, cui illa sacro-sanctissima natura adunitur.
Nimirum hæc ipsissima basis est omnis veræ pietatis ; neque tam dux viæ est, quàm ipse oculus quo dirigimur, ipsum solum cui insistimus: sine quo, ambulamus quidem; sed, quod dicitur ÉXTOS 688, ambulamus; sed cum phantasmate nostro, non cum Deo.
Vereor equidem, ne istinc nimis multi, qui magnos in re Christianâ se progressus fecisse autumant, vel constitisse planè, vel haud parum certè aberrasse tandem deprehendantur.
Unum, profectò, libere ausim accusare : memet ipse comperio vel justo hujusce apprehensionis modo nimis imparem, errori proclivem admodum : difficillimum quidem sentiens, cogitationes animi vel rectè collocare ; vel, sic locatas, figere demum ac stabilire. Nunc, sanè, necesse habeo queri de nimià cordis angustiâ ; quâ sit ut Deitatem Immensam, intra quosdam quasi terminos impotenter coercere videar; nunc verò, de inerti quâdam animi vacuitate, tristique incogitatione : nunc, de nescientiæ tenebris ; nunc, denique, de falsă vani intellectûs luce, perperam mihi Deum refe
ness, justice, wisdom, and power itself: proceeding from a clear and lively notion of the glorious Humanity of the Divine Mediator, to a contemplation of that Infinite Godhead, to which that most sacred and holy nature is united.
This really is the very basis and groundwork of all true piety; and not so much the guide of our way, as the very eye by which we direct our steps, and the very ground on which we stand: without which, we may be said to walk indeed; not in the direct road, but in by-paths; not with God, but in the imaginations of our own hearts.
And indeed I fear, lest from hence too many, who think they have made a great progress in the Christian race, will be found at last either to have entirely stood still, or to have deviated not a little from the right course.
One, however, I may venture freely to accuse: for I find myself unable to attain to this just manner of apprehending him, being very much prone to error: feeling indeed, that it is a most difficult exertion, either to fix the thoughts and imaginations of the mind on a right object; or, when they are so fixed, to preserve them firm and immovable. For, sometimes, I find I have too much reason to complain of the narrowness of my conception, by which I seem impotently to restrain the Immense Deity within certain limits ; sometimes, of an inert emptiness of mind, and gloomy incapacity of thought : sometimes, of the darkness of ignorance; and, sometimes, of the false light of a vain understand. ing, which rashly pictures to me the Deity. Of all which imper