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III

That wheresoever we are, we live and move and have our being in God, so long as e we have Him within us.

BUT leaving that felicity which is to be, with the mind’s eye look for awhile also upon the greatness of the favour which He hath abundantly bestowed upon Thee even in this transitory life. He who dwelleth in heaven, who reigneth among the angels, to whom heaven and earth and all that in them is, do reverence, He hath given Himself to be thy dwelling; He hath prepared for thee His presence as an abode, for as the Apostle Paul teacheth, in Him we live and move and have our being.7474   Acts xvii. 28. Life is sweet, movement is pleasant, being is desirable. For what can be sweeter than to have life in Him, who is the Blessed Life itself? what pleasanter than to order all the course of our will and deed toward Him and in Him who maketh us strong with everlasting stability? what more desirable 61than by prayer and conversation to be continually in Him, in whom alone is true being, nay rather who alone is true being, without whom nothing can have wellbeing. I, saith He, am that I am.7575   Exod. iii. 14. This is a saying most excellent. For He Himself alone hath true being, whose being is unchangeable. Thus He, whose being is so excellent, may be said to be in so especial a sense, that He may be said alone in very truth to be; in comparison of whom all being beside His is nothing; when He, I say, created thee for a so great a height of dignity that thou canst not even comprehend the glory of thine own natural dignity, where did He appoint thy dwelling? what abiding-place did He prepare for thee? Hear what He saith unto His own in the Gospel: Abide in Me, and I in you.7676   John xv. 4. O inestimable dignity, O blessed abiding-place, O glorious intercourse between God and man! How great the condescension of the Creator that it should be His will that His creature should dwell in Him! How incomprehensible the blessedness of the creature, that he should abide in his Creator! How great the glory of the rational creature to have communion with his Creator in so blessed an intercourse, that the Creator Himself should abide in the creature, the creature itself in the Creator! So excellently then were we by His will created, so mercifully was He pleased that we should abide in Him; even He who is above all things, ruling over 62all things, yet without carefulness; who upholdeth all things, as the foundation of all things, yet without labour: surpasseth all things in excellence, yet without pride; comprehendeth all things in His embrace, yet without distinction of parts; filling all things with His fulness, yet without limitation of Himself.

He then, though He is nowhere absent, chose for Himself a kingdom of delight within us, according to the witness of the Gospel, where it is said, The kingdom of God is within you.7777   Luke xvii. 21. But if the kingdom of God is within us, and God dwelleth in His kingdom, doth He not abide in us, since His kingdom is within us? Certainly He doth; for if God is wisdom, and the soul of the righteous is the seat of wisdom,7878   Prov. xiv. 33. then he who is truly righteous has God abiding in him. For the temple of God is holy, saith the Apostle, which temple ye are.7979   1 Cor. iii. 17. Do thou therefore follow earnestly after holiness without fainting, lest thou cease to be the temple of God. He Himself saith of His own, I will dwell in them and walk in them.8080   2 Cor. vi. 16. Doubt not that wheresoever there are holy souls, He is in them. For if thou thyself too art everywhere wholly in thy members, to which thou givest life;8181   See Proslogion, ch. xiii. how much more is God wholly every where, who created both thy self and thy body? Thus it is to be with all diligence considered 63with what great circumspection and reverence we ought to exercise our senses and the members of our body, over which the Godhead itself presideth. Let us therefore, as is right, give to so great a tenant the whole command of our body, so that nothing in us may be displeasing to Him, but that all our thoughts and motions of our will, all our words and works, may wait upon His pleasure, obey His will, and be ordered by His governance. For so we shall be in truth His kingdom, and He will abide in us, and we, abiding in Him, shall live well.


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