The second Chapter, A confession of our infirmities, with a desire to rest in God aboue all things.
LOrd, I will knowledge vnto thee all mine vnrighteousnesse, and I will confesse to thee all the vnstablenesse of my hart.
Oftentimes a verie little thing troubleth me sore, and maketh mee dull and slowe to serue thee.
And sometime I purpose to stand stronglie: but when a little trouble commeth, it is to mee great an∣guish and greefe, and of a right little thing riseth a greeuous temptation to mee.
Yea when I thinke my selfe to bee sure and strong, and that (as it seemeth) I haue the vpper hand: sud∣denlie I feele my selfe readie to fall with a little blast of temptation.
Behold therefore (good Lord) my weakenesse, and consider my frailenesse best knowne to thee.
Haue mercie on me, and deliuer me from all iniqui∣tie and sinne, that I bee not intangled therewith.
Oft times it greeueth mee sore, and in a maner con∣foundeth mee, that I am so vnstable, so weake, and so fraile, in resisting sinfull motions.
Which although they drawe me not alwaie to con∣sent, yet neuerthelesse their assaults bee verie gree∣uous vnto mee.
And it is tedious to mee to liue in such battell, al∣beit I perceiue, that such battell is not vnprofitable vnto mee: for thereby I knowe the better my selfe, and mine owne infirmities, and that I must seeke helpe onlie at thy hands.
O Lord God of Israel, the louer of all faithfull soules, vouchsafe to behold the labour and sorowe of mee thy poore creature.
Assist mee in all things with thy grace, and so streng∣then Page 84 me with heauenlie strength, that neither my cru∣ell enimie the feend, neither my wretched flesh (which is not yet subiect to the spirit) haue victorie or domini∣on ouer mee.
O what a life may this bee called, where no trouble nor miserie lacketh! Where euerie place is full of snares of mortall enimies!
For one trouble or temptation ouerpassed, another commeth by and by; and the first conflict yet during, a new battell suddenlie ariseth.
Wherefore Lord Iesu, I praie thee giue me thy grace, to rest in thee aboue all things, and to quiet mee in thee aboue all creatures, aboue all glorie and ho∣nour, aboue all dignitie and power, aboue all cunning and policie, aboue all health and beautie, aboue all ri∣ches and treasure, aboue all ioie and pleasure, aboue all fame and praise, aboue all mirth and consolation that mans hart may take or feele besides thee.
For thou Lord God, art best, most wise, most high, most mightie, most sufficient, and most full of all good∣nesse, most sweet, and most comfortable, most faire, most louing, most noble, most glorious, in whom all goodnes most perfectlie is.
And therefore, whatsoeuer I haue besides thee, it is nothing to mee. For my hart may not rest, ne fullie bee pacified, but onlie in thee.
O Lord Iesu, most louing spouse; who shall giue mee wings of perfect loue, that I may flie vp from these worldlie miseries, and rest in thee?
O when shall I ascend to thee, and feele how sweet thou art?
When shall I wholie gather my selfe in thee so per∣fectlie, that I shall not for thy loue feele my selfe, but thee onlie aboue my selfe, & aboue all worldlie things, that thou maist vouchsafe to visit mee in such wise, as thou dooest visit thy most faithfull louers?
Page 85 Now I often mourne and complaine of the mise∣ries of this life, and with sorowe and great heauinesse suffer them.
For manie things happen dailie to mee, which of∣tentimes trouble mee, make mee heauie, and darken mine vnderstanding.
They hinder mee greatlie, and put my mind from thee, and so encumber me manie waies, that I can not freelie and cleerelie desire thee, ne haue thy sweet con∣solations, which with thy blessed Saints be alwaie present.
I beseech thee, Lord Iesu, that the sighings and in∣ward desires of my hart may moue and incline thee to heare mee.