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to run after thee. They say, that thou despisest not the poor, nor refusest the returning sinner. We are told, that thou didst pardon the thief, when he confessed his sin, and confessed thee; and Mary Magdalen, when she wept; and didst accept the Syrophænician when she prayed; and wouldst not give sentence of condemnation upon the woman taken in adultery, even because she looked sadly, and was truly ashamed: thou didst not reject him, that sat at the receipt of custom, nor the humble publican, nor the disciple that denied thee, nor them that persecuted thy disciples, no, not them that crucified thee. These are thy precious ointments, apt, with their sweetness, to allure all the world after thee, and with their virtue to heal them. After thee and thy sweet odours, O blessed Jesu, we will run.”-Happy is he that says so, and does so ;“enkindling his charity in the blood of Christ,” as St. Ignatius's expression is, transcribing his example into our conversation, for we can no way please him but by being like him: and in the blessings of Christ, and in the communion of his body and blood, the uncharitable and revenging man shall never have a portion.
Devotions relative to this Grace of Charity : to be used by way
of Exercise and Preparation to the Divine Mysteries, in any Time or Part of our Life; but especially before and at the Communion.
The Hymn, containing Acts of Love to God and to our
Neighbour. Come, behold the works of the Lord : what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
But unto the wicked said God, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant
1 'Aναζωπυρήσαντες εν αίματι Χριστού.-Ad Ephes.
in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee?
Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
These things thou hast done, and I kept silence; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
Now consider this, ye, that forget God; lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
Blessed is he, that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble :
The Lord will deliver him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth ; and thou wilt not deliver him into the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing : thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
But I said, Lord, be merciful to me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
O send out thy light and thy truth ; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Do good, O Lord, to them that are true of heart, and evermore mightily defend them. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Sion, build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
In God will I praise his word : in the Lord will I praise his word: thy vows are upon me, O God; I will render praises unto thee,
For thou hast delivered our souls from death ; wilt thou not deliver our feet from falling, that we may walk before God in the light of the living ?
I will love thee, O God, and praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it; and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before the saints.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
A Prayer for the Grace of Charity, 8c. O most gentle, most merciful and gracious Saviour Jesu, thou didst take upon thee our nature, to redeem us from sin and misery: thou wert for us led as a lamb to the slaughter: and as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so thou openedst not thy mouth; thou turnedst thy back to the smiters, and thy cheeks to the nippers ; thou wert mocked and whipped, crucified and torn, but thou didst nothing but good to thy enemies, and prayedst with loud cries for thy persecutors, and didst heal the wound of one that came to lay violent hands upon thee: O plant in my heart gentleness and patience, a meek and a long-suffering spirit, that I may never be transported with violent angers, never be disordered by peevishness, never think thoughts of revenge ; but may, with meekness, receive all injuries that shall be done to me, and patiently bear every cross accident; and, with charity, may return blessing for cursing, good for evil, kind words for foul reproaches, loving admonitions for scornful upbraidings, gentle treatments for all derisions and affronts; that living all my days with meekness and charity, keeping peace with all men, and loving my neighbour as myself, and thee more than myself, and more than all the world, I may, at last, come into the regions of peace and eternal charity, where thou livest, who lovest all men, and wouldst have none to perish, but all men to be saved through thee, O most merciful Saviour and Redeemer Jesu. Amen.
An Act of Forgiveness to be said, with all Earnestness and
Sincerity, before every Communion. O God, my God, I have sinned grievously against thee: I am thy debtor in a vast and an eternal debt, and if thou shouldest take the forfeiture, I shall be for ever bound in eternal prisons, even till I pay the utmost farthing. But I hope in thy mercies, that thou wilt forgive me my ten thousand talents; and I also do, in thy presence, forgive every one that hath offended me : whoever hath taken my goods privately and injuriously, or hurt my person, or contrived any evil against me, whether known or unknown; whoever hath lessened my reputation, detracted from my best endeavours, or hath slandered me, or reproached, reviled, or, in any word
or way, done me injury; I do, from the bottom of my soul, forgive him; praying thee also, that thou wilt never impute to him any word, or thought, or action done against me; but forgive him, as I desire thou wouldst also forgive me all that I have sinned against thee, or any man in the world. Give him thy grace, and a holy repentance for whatever he hath done amiss : grant he may do so no more ; keep me from the evil tongues, and injurious actions of all men, and keep all my enemies from all the expresses of thy wrath : and let thy grace prevail finally upon thy servant, that I may never remember any injury, to the prejudice of any man, but that I may walk towards my enemies, as Christ did, who received much evil, but went about seeking to do good to every man: and if ever it shall be in my power and my opportunity, to return evil, O then grant, that the spirit of love and forgiveness may triumph over all anger, and malice, and revenge ; that I may be the son of God, and may love God, and prove my love to thee, by my love to my brother, and by obedience to all thy laws, through the Son of thy love, by whom thou art reconciled to mankind, our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus. Amen.
Vers. Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers, neither take thou vengeance of our sins.
Resp. Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood; and be not angry with us for eyer, Amen.
OF REPENTANCE, PREPARATORY TO THE BLESSED
SECTION I. “When Isaac and Abimelech had made a covenant of peace and mutual agreement, they would not confirm it by a sacramental oath till the next morning, that they might swear fasting, for the reverence and religious regard of the solemn oath,” saith Lyra. But Philo says, 'they did it, symbolically to represent that purity and cleanness of soul, which he that swears to God, or comes to pay his vows, ought to preserve
with great religion.'-He that in a religious and solemn address comes to God, ought to consider whether his body be free from uncleanness, and his soul from vile affections. “ He that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is justified, let him be justified yet more," saith the Spirit of God“; and then it follows , “ He that thirsts, let him come and drink of the living waters freely, and without money;" meaning that when our affections to sin are gone, when our hearts are clean, then we may freely partake of the feast of the supper of the Lamb.
For, as in natural forms, the more noble they are, the more noble dispositions are required to their production,-so it is in the spiritual : for when Christ is to be efformed in us, when we are to become the sons of God, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, we must be washed in water, and purified by faith, and sanctified by the Spirit, and cleansed by an excellent repentance; we must be confirmed by a holy hope, and softened by charity. So God hath ordered in the excellent fabric of human bodies : first, our meat is prepared by fire,-then macerated by the teeth,- then digested in the stomach, where the first separation is made of the good from the bad, the wholesome juices from the more earthy parts: these being sent down to earth, the other are conveyed to the liver, where the matter is separated again, and the good. is turned into blood, and the better into spirits : and thence the body is supplied with blood, and the spirits repair into the heart and head, and thence they may be sent on embassies for the ministries of the body, and for the work of understanding. So it is in the dispensation of the affairs of the soul : the ear, which is the mouth of the soul, receives all meat; and the senses entertain the fuel for all passions, and all interests of virtue and vice. But the understanding makes the first separation, dividing the clean from the unclean. — But when the Spirit of God comes and purifies even the separate matter, making that which is morally good, to be spiritual and holy, first cleansing us from the sensualities of flesh and blood, and then from spiritual iniquities that usually debauch the soul; then the holy nourishment which we receive, passes into divine excellences. But if sensuality