Sunday, May 22, 2011

Many Candles, One Light

Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, Memoir of Lady Warwick, pp. 296-297:

Meditation VIII. Upon the Lighting of Many Candles at One.

This candle, that hath lighted so many, still gives as much light as it did before, and hath lost nothing by what it hath imparted to them.

Improve this, O my soul, by considering that some excellent Christians (who, as the inspired volume tellus of that admirable person, St. John the Baptist, "was a burning and a shining light,") are so conspicuous, that all beholders take notice of their well ordered conversation; their light so shining before men, that others seeing their good works are thereby excited to glorify God; and are also so communicative of that light, wherewith God hath vouchsafed to enlighten their understandings, that they are, in a spiritual sense, what Job said he was in another, eyes to the blind: and are still teaching young disciples what they, who are old, have been taught of God, and so train them up in the school of Christianity. Yet these by imparting their knowledge of God, know him not the less themselves, but many times the more; and by informing others of the pleasures of religion, bring them into the holy path which leads to eternal life, yet hinder not their own progress toward heaven.

O Lord, I most humbly beseech thee, let this meditation provoke me, more than ever yet I have done, to impart to my fellow Christians (especially my family, under my authority,) what I know of thee; that, by my declaring how good a God thou art, I may bring many others to know thee, not only with a general, but an experimental knowledge, which will make them say as I do, that thou art good, and doest good. Oh let me, by declaring what thou hast done for my soul, cause others to join with me in adoring thee for thy greatness, and loving thee for thy goodness; that so we may magnify thy name altogether. And I may be instrumental to impart light to others, and be made a burning and a shining light myself.

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