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MEDITATIUNCULÆ SUBITANEÆ.

I. Conspecto cæli motu. Nihil quicquam præter terram quiescere video: cætera quæque motu perpetuo agitantur. Etiam et aqua illa, quæ unum cum terrâ globum constituit, continuo fluxu et refluxu reciprocatur: nubes, supra caput volitantes ; supra nubes, cælum ac sydera; sic aguntur perpetim: hæc, uti præ cæteris eminent conspicua, ita nobis exempla præferunt perpetuæ activitatis.

Quid tandem æmulemur nos æquè, ac speciosam hanc mundi machinam? O Deus, quoties precamur supplices, ut fiat voluntas tua in terris sicut in cælo, tametsi præcipuè intelligamus loci illius incolas beatissimos; non tamen excludimus locum ipsum cælitum illorum receptaculum, quo minùs exemplo nobis sit veræ perfectæque obedientiæ. Circumvolutio caeli tui perpetua est et perennis; itidem faxis, ô Deus, ut nunquam non in aliquid ferar voluntati tuæ consentaneum: motus coeli tui regularis est, nunquam à constitutis sibi terminis, vel minimum divaricans ; ita faxis, in viâ præceptionum tuarum, absque omni diversione aberrationeve à lineà Legis tuæ, constanter usque obambulem. In hoc coelestium motu, quamvis stellæ quædam peculiares sibi quosdam et contrarios motus sortiantur; singulæ tamen rapidæ circumgyrationi primi motoris se ultrò subjiciunt: itidem et ego, tametsi voluntatem habeo propriam liberamque; faxis tamen, ut in omnibus vitæ viis, me totum dedam à Spiritu tuo dirigendum gubernandumque. Homo microcosmus est: anima cælum; corpus terra est: si hæc terra mea fixa maneat inersque; faxis tamen, ô Deus, ut cælum hoc meum, sicut et tuum, jugiter atque ordinatè moveatur, Spirituique tuo, velut primo motori, intelligentiæve sapientissimæ potentissimæque, perpetuò subjiciatur.

II. Ad conspectum horarii scioterici. Si sol radiis suis non illustraret horarium istud, nemo illud profectò intueretur: nubilum ubi cælum est, negligitur hoc planè, statque velut inutilis aridusque truncus; ubi, verò, radii illi paulò clariùs emicuerint, accurrit viator omnis, oculosque illo conjicit intentiùs.

O Deus, quando tu vultum à me tuum absconderis, creaturæ

thinks, all thy creatures pass by me with a willing neglect. Indeed, what am I without thee? And if thou have drawn in me some lines and notes of able endowments; yet, if I be not actuated by thy grace, all is, in respect of use, no better than nothing: but, when thou renewest the light of thy loving countenance upon me, I find a sensible and happy change of condition: methinks all things look upon me with such cheer and observance, as if they meant to make good that word of thine, Those, that honour me, I will honour: now, every line and figure, which it bath pleased thee to work in me, serve for useful and profitable direction. O Lord, all the glory is thine. Give thou me light: I shall give others information: both of us shall give thee praise.

III. On the sight of an eclipse of the sun. Light is an ordinary and familiar blessing; yet, so dear to us, that one hour's interception of it sets all the world in a wonder. The two great luminaries of heaven, as they impart light to us, so they withdraw light from each other: the sun darkens the full moon, in casting the shadow of the earth upon her opposed face: the new moon repays this blemish to the sun, in the interposing of her dark body, betwixt our eyes and his glorious beams: the earth is troubled at both.

O God, if we be so afflicted with the obscuring of some piece of one of thy created lights, for an hour or two; what a confusion shall it be, that thou, who art the God of these lights, in comparison of whom they are mere darkness, shalt hide thy face from thy creature for ever! O thou, that art the Sun of Righteousness, if every of my sins cloud thy face; yet, let not my grievous sins eclipse thy light. Thou shinest always, though I do not see thee; but, Oh, never suffer my sins so to darken thy visage, that I cannot see thee.

IV. On the sight of a gliding star. How easily is our sight deceived ! how easily doth our sight deceive us! We saw no difference betwixt this star and the rest: the light seemed alike; both while it stood, and while it fell. Now, we know it was no other than a base slimy meteor, gilded with the sun-beams : and now our foot can tread upon that, which ere while our eye admired. Had it been a star, it had still and ever shined : now, the very fall' argues it a false and elementary apparition.

tuæ omnes, ut mihi quidem videtur, prætereundo me lubenter negligunt. Certè verò, quid sum ego sine te? Si tu lineolas in me quasdam duxeris, insculpserisque mihi quædam non contemnendarum facultatum specimina; si, tamen, efficaci gratiâ tuâ, ista parùm in actum redigantur, omnia hæc, quoad usum utilitatemque, vix quid, sanè nihilo meliora sunt: ubi, verò, lumen benignissimi vultûs tui mihi tandem reddere dignatus fueris, certam fælicemque conditionis meæ vicissitudinem illico persentisco: omnia me nunc ità alacriter officiosèque contuentur, quasi propositum iis foret adserere verbum illud tuum, Honorantes me honorabo : nunc, linea omnis ac figura, quam mihi inscribere volueris, utili alicui salutarique directioni inservit. O Domine, gloria tibi redundat tota. Da tu mihi lumen: ego aliis documentum subministrabo : utrique tibi laudem tribuemus.

III. Visa eclipsi solis. Lux quidem ordinarium est ac familiare beneficium ; ita, tamen, nobis charum, ut illius, vel pro unius horulæ spatio, interceptio mundum totum attonitum penèque exanimem reddere soleat. Duo magna coeli luminaria, uti lumen nobis ambo impertiunt, ita et idem sibi mutuò subtrahunt : lunam obscurat sol, terræ umbram in oppositam ejus faciem projiciendo: vicem banc rursum soli rependit luna, opaco corpore suo, inter oculos nostros et gloriosos ipsius radios, trajecto : utroque non parùm afficitur terra.

O Deus, si nos ita affligimur obfuscatione tantillâ partis alicujus creatorum à te luminarium, vel brevi horulæ unius alteriusve momento; quæ tandem oborietur confusio, ubi tu, qui horum luminarium Deus es, et præ quo meræ sunt ista tenebræ, faciem tuam à creaturâ tuâ æternum subduxeris! O tu, qui Sol es Justitiæ, si peccatorum meorum unumquodque faciem tuam obnubilaverit; noli, tamen, sinere ut vel gravissimum delictorum meorum luminis tui deliquium mihi unquam inducat. Tu splendes semper, cum te nullus videam; noli permittere sic ut obscurent vultum tuum peccata mea, ut te videre omnino non possim.

IV. Conspectâ stella cadente. Quam facilè decipitur visus noster! sed et quam facilè nos decipit visus! Nihil nos vidimus discriminis inter stellam hanc et reliquas : par utriusque lumen visum est; stantis, cadentis

Nunc verò, novimus hanc nihil fuisse aliud, nisi vile quoddam limosumque meteorum, solaribus radiis parumper deauratum: jam igitur pes noster calcat, quod miratus est pridem oculus. Si stella fuisset, etiamnum et usque micuisset : nunc, vel casus iste satis arguit falsum et elementare spectamentum.

Thus our charity doth and must mislead us, in our spiritual judgments. If we see men exalted in their Christian profession, fixed in the upper region of the Church, shining with appearances

of

grace; we may not think them other, than stars in this lower firmament: but, if they fall from their holy station, and embrace the present world, whether in judgment or practice renouncing the truth and power of godliness; now, we may boldly say, they had never any true light in them, and were no other than a glittering composition of pride and hypocrisy.

O God, if my charity make me apt to be deceived by others, let me be sure not to deceive myself. Perhaps, some of these apostatizing stars have thought themselves true: let their miscarriage make me heedful: let the inward light of thy grace more convince my truth to myself, than my outward profession can represent me glorious to others.

V. On a fair prospect. What a pleasing variety is here of towns, rivers, hills, dales, woods, meadows; each of them striving to set forth the other, and all of them to delight the eye! So as this is no other, than a natural and real landscape, drawn by that almighty and skilful hand, in this table of the earth, for the pleasure of our view. No other creature, besides man, is capable to apprehend this beauty: I shall do wrong to him, that brought me hither; if I do not feed my eyes, and praise my Maker. It is the intermixture, and change, of these objects, that yields this contentment both to the sense and mind.

But there is a sight, O my soul, that, without all variety, offers thee a truer and fuller delight; even this heaven, above thee. All thy other prospects end in this. This glorious circumference bounds, and circles, and enlightens all that thine eye can see: whether thou look upward, or forward, or about thee, there thine eye alights; there let thy thoughts be fixed. One inch of this lightsome firmament hath more beauty in it, than the whole face of the earth: and yet, this is but the floor of that goodly fabric; the outward curtain of that glorious tabernacle. Couldest thou but (Oh that thou couldest!) look within that veil, how shouldest thou be ravished with that blissful sight! There, in that incomprehensible light, thou shouldest see him, whom none can see and not be blessed: thou shouldest see millions of pure and majestical angels, of holy and glorified souls: there amongst thy Father's many mansions, thou

Ita et charitas nostra decipere nos et solet et fortè etiam debet, in spiritualibus rerum alienarum judiciis. Si quem videmus Christianâ professione elevatum eminentiùs, in suprema Ecclesiæ regione fixum, specie quâdam gratiæ clarè splendentem; non alium fas est hunc judicare, quàm stellam veram in sublunari istoc firmamento conspicuam : quòd, si iste demùm à statione sanctâ penitùs exciderit, præsens seculum amplexus, sive quoad judicium sive praxin veritati renuntiaverit, virtutemque pietatis omnem abnegaverit ; nunc, fidenter dicere possumus, veram hunc in se lucem parùm habuisse, nihilque fuisse aliud nisi gloriosulum quiddam ex hypocrisi et superbiâ conflatum.

O Deus, si charitas me mea aliorum deceptioni exposuerit, faxis ne ego me fallam ipse. Fortassis, istarum apostaticarum stellarum aliquæ se veras arbitratæ sunt aliquando : cautum ac solicitum me reddat horum casus: internum gratiæ tuæ lumen veracitatem meam magis evincat mihi ipsi, quàm externa quævis professio me aliis gloriosum representare poterit.

V. Viso luculento quodam prospectu. Quàm jucunda se heic exhibet varietas oppidorum, fluminum, montium, vallium, nemorum, pascuorum ; quorum singula ornare sese mutuò, omnia verò oculum delectare contendunt! Ita ut istoc spectaculum non aliud quidem videatur, quàm vera ac nativa pictura chorographica, in hâc terræ tabulâ, oblectando spectatoris oculo, à dædalâ omnipotentis manu concinnata. Nulla creaturarum omnium, præter hominem solum, capax est pulchritudinis hujusce discernendæ : injurius planè ero illi, qui me huc adduxerit ; nisi et oculos mihi unà pascam, et laudem Conditorem. Vicissitudo quædam est, sed et mistura objectorum, quæ voluptate hâc tantâ sive sensum sive animum afficit.

Est tamen spectaculum quoddam, quod tibi, ô mea anima, absque omni varietate, solidiorem plenioremque delectationem offert; cælum hoc intelligo, quod supra te cernitur. Prospectus alii omnes tui in hoc desinunt. Splendidissimus hujus ambitus continet, definit, illuminat quicquid oculus tuus poterit contemplari: sursum ne spectes, deorsumve, aut circumcirca, determinatur illo visus; sed et inibi cogitationes tuæ fixæ acquiescant. Lucidissimi hujus firmamenti vel palmus unus plus in se venustatis, habet quàm tota terræ facies: et tamen, hoc totum nihil aliud est quam pulcherrimæ illius fabricæ pavimentum imum ; nitidissimi tabernaculi velum extimum. Possesne (ô si posses !) intra velum illud prospicere, quali te illico beatificâ visione illâ raptum ecstasi sentires ! In illâ luce incomprehensibili, videres eum, quem nemo non beatus videre unquam potest: multas purissimorum potentissimorumque angelorum, sanctarumque et glorificatarum animarum myriadas aspiceres: ibique, inter innumeras Paternæ domûs tuæ mansiones, tuam tibi fæliciter

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