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    BECAUSE thou, Lord, wouldest have us to love thee, not only dost thou will, entice, allure, and provoke us, but also dost command us so to do, promising thyself unto such as love thee, and threatening us with damnation if we do otherwise: whereby we may see both our great corruption and naughtiness, and also thine exceeding great mercy towards us.

    First, concerning our corruption and naughtiness, what a thing is it that power, riches, authority, beauty, goodness, liberality, truth, justice, which all thou art, good Lord, cannot move us to love thee! Whatsoever things we see fair, good, wise, mighty, are but even sparkles of that power, beauty, goodness, wisdom, which thou art. For to the end thou mightest declare thy riches, beauty, power, wisdom, goodness, etc., thou hast not only made, but still dost conserve all creatures to be, as David saith of the heavens, declarers and setters-forth of thy glory, and as a book to teach us to know thee.

    How fair thou art, the beauty of the sun, moon, stars, light, flowers, rivers, fields, hills, birds, beasts, men, and all creatures, yea, the goodly shape and form of the whole world, doth declare.

    How mighty thou art, we are taught by the creation of this world even of nought, by governing the same, by punishing the wicked mighty giants thereof, by overthrowing their devices, by repressing the rages of the sea within her bounds, by storms, by tempests, by fires: these and such-like declare unto us thine invisible, almighty, and terrible power, whereby thou subduest all things unto thee.

    How rich thou art, this world, thy great and infinite treasure-house, doth well declare. What plenty is there not only of things, but also of every kind of things; yea, how dost thou yearly and daily multiply these kinds! How many seeds dost thou make of one seed; yea, what great increase dost thou bring it unto! These cannot but put us in remembrance of the exceeding riches that thou hast; for if to thine enemies which love thee not (as the most part in this world be), if to them thou givest so plentifully thy riches here, what shall we think that with thyself thou hast laid up for thy friends!

    How good thou art, all creatures generally and particularly do teach. What creature is there in the world which thou hast not made for our commodity? I will not say how that thou mightest have made us creatures without sense or reason, if thou hadst would. But, amongst all things, none doth teach us so thy great love towards us as doth the death of thy most dearly beloved Son, who suffered the pains and terrors thereof, yea, and of hell itself, for our sakes.

    If this thy love had been but a small love, it would never have lasted so long, nor Christ should never have died.



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