The third Chapter. A recounting of Gods benefits, with praier to obtaine a free and cleane mind, with hartie wisdome and deliuerance.
OIesu, King of euerlasting glorie, the ioie and comfort of all Christian people, that are wandering as Pilgrims in the wildernes of this world: my hart crieth to thee by still de∣sires, and my silence speaketh vnto thee, and saith: How long tarieth my Lord God to come to mee?
Come O Lord, and visit mee: for without thee I haue no true ioie, without thee my soule is heauie and sad.
I am in prison, and bounden with fetters of sorowe, till thou O Lord, with thy gratious presence vouch∣safe to visit me, and to bring me againe to libertie and ioie of spirit, and to shew thy fauourable countenance vnto me.
Open my hart (Lord) that I may behold thy lawes, and teach me to walke in thy commandements.
Make me to knowe and folowe thy will, and to haue alwaies in my remembrance thy manifold benefits, that I may yeeld due thanks to thee for the same.
Page 86 But I knowledge and confesse for truth, that I am not able to giue thee condigne thanks, for the least be∣nefit that thou hast giuen me.
O Lord, all gifts and vertues that anie man hath, in bodie or soule, naturall or supernaturall, be thy gifts, and come of thee, and not of our selues; and they declare the great riches of thy mercie and goodnesse vnto vs.
And though some haue mo gifts than other; yet they all proceed from thee, and without thee the least cannot be had.
O Lord, I accompt it for a great benefit, not to haue manie worldlie gifts, whereby the laud and praise of men might blind my soule, and deceiue me.
Lord, I knowe that no man ought to be ashamed or miscontent, that he is in a lowe estate in this world, and lacketh the pleasures of this life; but rather to be glad and reioice thereat:
For so much as thou hast chosen the poore and meeke persons, and such as are despised in the world, to be thy seruants and familiar friends.
Witnesse be thy blessed Apostles, whome thou ma∣dest chiefe pastours and spirituall gouernours of thy flocke, which departed from the counsel of the Jewes, reioising that they were counted worthie to suffer re∣buke for thy name.
Euen so (O Lord) grant that I thy seruant may be as well content to be taken as the least, as other be to be greatest; and that I be as well pleased to be in the lowest place, as in the highest; and as glad to be of no reputation in the world for thy sake, as other are to be noble and famous.
Lord, it is the worke of a perfect man, neuer to se∣quester his mind from thee; and among manie world∣lie cares to go without care: not after the maner of an idle or a dissolute person, but by the prerogatiue of a Page 87 free mind, alwaie minding heauenlie things, and not cleauing by inordinate affection to anie creature.
I beseech thee therefore, my Lord Iesu, keepe me from the superfluous cares of this world, that I be not inquieted with bodilie necessities; ne that I be not taken with the voluptuous pleasures of the world, ne of the flesh.
Preserue me from all things, which hinder my soule health, that I be not ouerthrowne with them.
O Lord God, which art sweetnesse vnspeakable, turne into bitternesse to me all worldlie and fleshlie delights, which might drawe me from the loue of eter∣nall things, to the loue of short and vile pleasures.
Let not flesh and bloud ouercome me, ne yet the world with his vaine glorie deceiue me, nor the feend with his manifold crafts supplant me: but giue me ghostlie strength in resisting them, patience in suffe∣ring them, and constancie in perseuering to the end.
Giue me for all worldlie delectations, the most sweet consolation of thy holie spirit, and for all fleshlie loue, indue my soule with feruent loue of thee.
Make me strong inwardlie in my soule, and cast out thereof all vnprofitable cares of this world, that I be not led by vnstable desires of earthlie things: but that I may repute all things in this world (as they be) transitorie and soone vanishing awaie, and my selfe al∣so with them, drawing toward mine end.
For nothing vnder the sunne may long abide; but all is vanitie, and affliction of spirit.
Giue me (Lord) therefore heauenlie wisdome, that I may learne to seeke and find thee, & aboue all things to loue thee.
Giue me grace to withdrawe me from them that flatter me, and patientlie to suffer them that vniustlie greeue me.
Lord, when temptation or tribulation commeth, Page 88 vouchsafe to succour me, that all may turne to my ghostlie comfort, and patientlie to suffer, and alwaie to saie, Thy name be blessed.
Lord, trouble is now at hand; I am not well, but I am greatlie vexed with this present affliction. O most glorious father, what shall I do? Anguish and trouble are on euerie side, helpe now, I beseech thee in this houre: thou shalt be lauded and praised, when I am perfectlie made meeke before thee, and when I am cleerelie deliuered by thee.
May it therefore please thee to deliuer me. For what may I most sinfull wretch do? Or whether may I go for succour, but to thee?
Giue mee patience now at this time in all my troubles; helpe me, Lord God, and I shall not feare ne dread, what trouble so euer fall vpon me.
And now, what shall I saie, but that thy will be done in me? I haue deserued to be troubled and greeued; and therefore it behooueth that I suffer, as long as it pleaseth thee.
But would to God that I might suffer gladlie, till the furious tempests were ouerpassed, and that qui∣etnesse of hart might come againe.
Thy mightie hand, Lord, is strong ynough to take this trouble from me, & to asswage the cruell assaults thereof with them, as thou hast oftentimes done be∣fore this time; that when I am cleerelie deliuered by thee, I may with gladnesse saie, The right hand of him that is highest, hath made this change.