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"Whether it be the Soul itself, or God in the Soul, that shines by Lov, or both, it is difficult to tell: but certainly the Lov of the Soul is the sweetest Thing in the world." (Thomas Traherne, Centuries 4:83).

Saturday, January 09, 2010

"a strange life to which I call you"

Centuries, 1.


Infinite Wants satisfied produce infinite Joys; and in the possession of those joys are infinite joys themselves. The Desire Satisfied is a Tree of Life. Desire imports something absent: and a need of what is absent. God was never without this Tree of Life. He did desire infinitely, yet He was never without the fruits of this Tree, which are the joys it produced. I must lead you out of this, into another World, to learn your wants. For till you find them you will never be happy: Wants themselves being Sacred Occasions and Means of Felicity.


You must want like a God that you may be satisfied like God. Were you not made in His Image? He is infinitely Glorious, because all His wants and supplies are at the same time in his nature, from Eternity. He had, and from Eternity He was without all His Treasures. From Eternity He needed them, and from Eternity He enjoyed them. For all Eternity is at once in Him, both the empty durations before the World was made, and the full ones after. His wants are as lively as His enjoyments: and always present with Him. For His life is perfect, and He feels them both. His wants put a lustre upon His enjoyments and make them infinite. His enjoyments being infinite crown His wants, and make them beautiful even to God Himself. His wants and enjoyments being always present are delightful to each other, stable, immutable, perfective of each other, and delightful to Him. Who being Eternal and Immutable, enjoyeth all His wants and treasures together. His wants never afflict Him, His treasures never disturb Him. His wants always delight Him; His treasures never cloy Him. The sense of His wants is always as great, as if His treasures were removed: and as lively upon Him. The sense of His wants, as it enlargeth His life, so it infuseth a value, and continual sweetness into the treasures He enjoyeth.


This is a lesson long enough: which you may be all your life in learning, and to all Eternity in practising. Be sensible of your wants, that you may be sensible of your treasures. He is most like God that is sensible of everything. Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you a Being? Did you not want one to give you a Glorious Being? Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you infinite Treasures? And some one to give you Spectators, Companions, Enjoyers? Did you not want a Deity to make them sweet and honourable by His infinite Wisdom? What you wanted from all Eternity, be sensible of to all Eternity. Let your wants be present from everlasting. Is not this a strange life to which I call you? Wherein you are to be present with things that were before the world was made? And at once present even like God with infinite wants and infinite Treasures: Be present with your want of a Deity, and you shall be present with the Deity. You shall adore and admire Him, enjoy and prize Him; believe in Him, and Delight in Him, see him to be the Fountain of all your joys, and the Head of all your Treasures.


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