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and adversities : for, they make a man enter into himself, that he may know that he is in a state of banishment, and may not place his hopes in any thing of this world.
It is good that we sometimes suffer contradictions, and that men have an evil or imperfect opinion of us: even when we do and intend well.
These things are often helps to humility, and defend us from vain glory.
For then we better run to God, our inward witness, when outwardly we are despised by men, and little credit is given to us.
Therefore should a man establish himself in such manner in God, as to have no need of seeking many comforts froin men.
When a man of good will is troubled or tempted, or afflicted with evil thoughts, then he better understands what need he hath of God, without whom he finds he can do no good.
Then also he lameuts; he sighs, and prays by reason of the miseries which he suffers.
Then he is weary of living longer: and wishes death to come, that he may be dissolved and be with Christ.
Then also, he well perceives, thias perfect security and full peace cannot be found in this world.
CHAP. viii. 1 Of resisting Temptation. As long as we live in this world, we cannot be without tribulation and temptation.
Hence it is written in Job : Man's life upon earth is a temptation.
Therefore ought every one to be solicitous about his temptations, and to watch in prayer; lest the devil, (who never sleep, but
about seeking whom he may devour) fud room to deceive him.
No man is so perfect and holy as not to have sometimes temptations: and we cannot be wholly without them.
Temptations are often very profitable to a man, although they be troublesome and grievous ; for in them a man is humbled, purified, and instructed.
All the saints have passed through many tri. bulations and temptations, and bave profited by them : and they who could not support temptations, have become reprobates and fell off.
There is not any order so holy, nor place so retired, where there are not temptations and adver-, sities.
A man is never entirely secure from temptations as long as he lives : because we have within us the source of temptation, having been born in concupiscence.
When one temptation or tribulation is over, another comes on: and we shall have always something to suffer, because we have lost the good of our original happiness.
Many seek to fly temptations, and fall most grievously in them.
By flight alone we cannot overcome: but by patience and true humility we are made stronger than all our enemies.
He who only declines them outwardly, and does not pluck out the root, will profit litile ; nay, temptations will sooner return to him, and he will find himself in a worse condition.
By degrees and by patience, with longanimity, thou shalt, by God's grace, better overcome them, than by harshness and thine own importunity.
In temptations, often take counsel, and deal not roughly with one that is tempted; but comfort him, as thou wouldst wish to be done to thya self.
Inconstancy of mind, and small confidence in God, is the beginning of all temptations.
For as a ship without a rudder is tossed to-and-' fro by the waves : so 'the man who is remiss, and who quits his resolution, is many ways: tempted.
Fire tries iron, and temptation tries a just
We often know not what we can do: but temptation discovers what we are.
However, we must be watchful, especially in the beginning of temptation : because then the enemy is easier overcome, when he is not suffered to come in at the door of the soul, but is kept out and resisted at his first knock.
Whence a certain man said ; Withstand the beginning, after-remedies come too late.
For first a bare thought comes to the mind: then a strong imagination : afterwards delight, and evil motion and consent.
And thus, by little and little, the wicked enemy gets full entrance, when he is not resisted in the beginning.
And how much the longer a man is negligent in resisting : so much the weaker does he daily become in himself, and the enemy becomes stronger against him.
Some suffer great temptations in the begins ning of their conversion, and some in the end.
And some there are who are much troubled in a manner all their life time.
Some are but lightly tempted, according to the wisdom and equity of the ordinanee of God, who weighs the state and merits of men, and preordains for the salvation of his elect.
We must not therefore despair when we are tempted, but pray to God with so much the more fervour, that he may vouchsafe to help us in all our tribulation : who, no doubt, according to the
saying of St. Paul, will make such issue with the temptation, that we may be able to sustain it, (1 Cor. x.)
Let us therefore humble our souls, under the hand of Goil in all temptations and tribulations : for the humble in spirit he will save and exalt.
In temptations and tribulations a man is proved what progress he has made: and in them there is greater merit, and his virtue appears more conspicuous,
Nor is it much if a man he devout and fervent when he feels no trouble : but if in the time of adversity he bears up with patience, there will be hope of a great advancement,
Some are preserved from great temptations, and are often overcome in daily little ones: that being humbled, they may never presume of them selves in great things, who are weak in such sinall occurrences.
of avoiding rash Judgment. TURN thy eyes back upon thyself, and see thou judge not the doings of others.
In judging others a man labours in vain, of, ten errs, and easily sins : but in judging and looking into himself, he always labours with fruit.
We frequently judge of a thing according as we have it at heart: for we easily lose true judg, ment through private affection.
If God were always the only object of our desire, we should not so easily be disturbed at the resistance of our opinions.
But there is often something lies hid within, or occurs from without, which draws us along with it.
Many secretly seek themselves in what they do, and are sensible of it,
They seem also to continue in good peace, when things are done according to their will and judgment: but if it fall out contrary to their desires, they are soon moved and become sad.
Difference of thoughts and opinions is too free quently the source of dissensions amongst friends and neighbours, amongst religious and devout persons.
An old custom is with difficulty relinquished: and no man is led willingly farther than himselfsees or likes.
If thou reliest more upon thine own reason or industry than 'upon the virtue that subjects to Jesus Christ, thou wilt seldom and hardly be an enlightened man: for God will have us per, fectly subject to himself, and to transcend all reason by inflamed love.
CHAP. x. [ Of Works done out of Charity. Evu, ought not to be done, either for any thing in the world, or for the love of any man: but for the profit of one that stands in need, a good work is sometimes freely omitted, or rather to be changed for a better.
For, by doing thus, a good work is not lost, but changed into a better.
Without charity the outward work profiteth nothing: but whatever is done out of charity, be it never so little or contemptible, all becomes fruitful.
Por God regards more with how much affection and love a person performs a work, than how much he does.
He does much who loves much.
He does well, who regards rather the common good than his own will. ;
That seems often to be charity which is rather