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CHAP. XII.

 

Inward solitude is that which chiefly brings a Man to the purchase of Internal Peace.

 

119. Know that although exteriour Solitude doth much assist for the obtaining internal Peace, yet the Lord did not mean this, when he spake by his Prophet, (Hos. 2. 14.) I will bring her into solitude, and speak privately to her: But he meant the interiour Solitude, which joyntly conduces to the obtaining the precious Jewel of Peace Internal. Internal Solitude consists in the foregetting all the Creatures, in disengaging ones self from ‘em, in a perfect nakedness of all the affections, desires, thoughts, and ones own will. This is the true Solitude where the Soul reposes with a sweet and inward serenity in the arms of its cheifest good.

120. O what infinite room is there in a Soul that is arrived at this divine Solitude! O what inward, what retired, what secret, what spacious, what vast distances are there within a happy Soul that is once come to be truly Solitary! There the Lord converses and communicates himself, inwardly with the Soul: there he fills it with himself, because it is empty; cloaths it with Light, and with his Love, because it is naked; lifts it up, because ‘tis low; and unites it with himself, and transforms it, because it is alone.

121. O delightful Solitude, and Gifer of eternal Blessings! O Mirrour, in which the eternal Father is always beheld! There is great reason to call thee Solitude; for thou art so much alone, that there is scarce a Soul that looks after thee, that loves and knows thee. O Divine Lord! How is it that Souls do not go from Earth to this Glory! How come they to lose so great a good, through the only love and desire of created things! Blessed Soul, how happy wilt thou be, if thou do’st but leave all for God! seek him only, breathe after none but him, let him only have thy sighs. Desire nothing, and then nothing can trouble thee; and if thou do’st desire any good, how spiritual soever it be, let it be in such a manner, that thou mayest not be disquieted, if thou missest it.

122. If, with this liberty, thou wilt give thy Soul to God, taken off from the World, free and alone, thou wilt be the happiest creature upon Earth; because the most High has his secret habitation in this holy Solitude; in this Desart and Paradise, is enjoyed the conversation of God, and it is only in this internal Retirement that that marvellous, powerful and divine Voice is heard.

123. If thou would’st enter into this Heaven of Earth, forget every care and every thought; get out of thy self, that the love of God may live in thy Soul.

124. Live as much as ever thou canst, abstracted from the Creatures; dedicate thy self wholly to thy Creator, and offer thy self in Sacrifice with Peace and quietness of Spirit: Know, that the more the Soul disrobes it self, the more way it makes into this interiour Solitude, and becomes cloathed with God, and the more lonesome and empty of it self the Soul gets to be, the more the divine Spirit fills it.

125. There is not a more blessed Life than a solitary one; because in this happy Life, God gives himself all to the Creature, and the Creature all to God by an intimate and sweet union of Love. O how few are there that come to relish this true Solitude!

126. To make the Soul truly Solitary, it ought to forget all the Creatures, and even it self; otherwise it will never be able to make any near approach to God. Many men leave and forsake all things, but they do not leave their own liking, their own will, and themselves; and therefore these truly solitary ones are so few; wherefore if the Soul does not get off from its own Appetite and Desire, from its own will, from spiritual Gifts, and from repose even in the Spirit it self, it never can arrive at this high felicity of internal Solitude.

127. Go on, blessed Soul! go on, without stop, towards this blessedness of internal Solitude: See how God calls thee to enter into thy inward Center, where he will renew thee, change thee, fill thee, cloath thee, and shew thee a new and Heavenly Kingdom, full of joy, peace, content and serenity.

 

 

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