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CHAPTER XIX

Of Distractions and Temptations

A direct contest and struggle with distractions and temptations rather serves to augment them, and withdraws the soul from that adherence to God, which should ever be its principal occupation. The surest and safest method for conquest is simply to39 turn away from the evil and draw yet nearer and closer to our God. A little child, on perceiving a monster, does not wait to fight with it, and will scarcely turn its eyes towards it, but quickly shrinks into the bosom of its mother, in total confidence of safety; so likewise should the soul turn from the dangers of temptation to God. “God is in the midst of her,” saith the Psalmist, “she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early” (Psal. xlvi. 5).

If we do otherwise, and in our weakness attempt to attack our enemies, we shall frequently feel ourselves wounded, if not totally defeated; but, by casting ourselves into the simple Presence of God, we shall find instant supplies of strength for our support. This was the succour sought for by David: “I have set,” saith he, “the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psal. xvi. 8, 9). And it is said in Exodus, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

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