It is not, I suppose, a more bold than profitable labour, after the endeavours of so many contemplative men, to teach the Art of Meditation: a heavenly business, as any that belongeth either to man or Christian; and such as, whereby the soul doth unspeakably benefit itself. For, by this, do we ransack our deep and false hearts; find out our secret enemies; buckle with them, expel them; arm ourselves against their re-entrance: by this, we make use of all good means; fit ourselves to all good duties: by this, we descry our weakness; obtain redress; prevent temptations; cheer up our solitariness; temper our occasions of delight; get more light into our knowledge, more heat to our affections, more life to our devotion: by this, we grow to be, as we are, strangers upon the earth; and, our of a right estimation of all earthly things, into a sweet fruition of invisible comforts: by this, we see our Saviour, with Stephen; we talk with God, as Moses: and, by this, we are ravished, with blessed Paul, into paradise; and see that heaven, which we are loth to leave, which we cannot utter. This alone is the remedy of security and worldliness, the pastime of saints, the ladder of heaven; and, in short, the best improvement of Christianity. Lean it who can, and neglect it who list: he shall never find joy, neither in God nor in himself, which doth not both know and practise it.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The Benefit of Meditation
Joseph Hall, The Art of Divine Meditation in Works, Vol. 7, p. 44: