Monday, October 4, 2021


More from Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667) on "Means of hope and remedies against despair":
Gather together into your spirit, and its treasure-house the memory, not only all the promises of God, but also the remembrances of experience, and the former senses of the divine favours, that from thence you may argue from times past to the present, and enlarge to the future and to greater blessings. For although the conjectures and expectations of hope are not like the conclusions of faith, yet they are a helmet against the scorchings of despair in temporal things, and an anchor of the soul sure and steadfast, against the fluctuations of the spirit in matters of the soul. St. Bernard reduces to these three the instruments of all our hopes : First, the charity of God adopting us; secondly, the truth of His promises; thirdly, the power of His performance. This was St. Paul's instrument: 'Experience begets hope, and hope maketh not ashamed'.
He offers "A Prayer for a contented spirit":
O Almighty God, Father and Lord of all the creatures, by secret and undiscernible ways bringing good out of evil; give me wisdom from above; teach me to be content in all changes of person and condition, to be temperate in prosperity, and in adversity to be meek, patient, and resigned; and to look through the cloud, in the meantime doing my duty with an unwearied diligence, and an undisturbed resolution, laying up my hopes in heaven and the rewards of holy living, and being strengthened with the spirit of the inner man, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living, 1650.

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