I suppose that it is profitable, rather than bold, for me to endeavor to teach the art of meditation. It is as heavenly a business as any that belongs to either men or Christians. And it is such a heavenly business as does unspeakably benefit the soul. For it is by meditation that we ransack our deep and false hearts, find out our secret enemies, come to grips with them, expel them, and arm ourselves against their re-entrance. By meditation we make use of all good means, fit ourselves for all good duties. By meditation we ...
I suppose that it is profitable, rather than bold, for me to endeavor to teach the art of meditation. It is as heavenly a business as any that belongs to either men or Christians. And it is such a heavenly business as does unspeakably benefit the soul. For it is by meditation that we ransack our deep and false hearts, find out our secret enemies, come to grips with them, expel them, and arm ourselves against their re-entrance. By meditation we make use of all good means, fit ourselves for all good duties. By meditation we see our weaknesses, obtain redress, prevent temptations, cheer up our loneliness, temper our occasions of delight, get more light unto our knowledge, add more heat to our affections, put more life into our devotions. It is only by meditation that we are able to be strangers upon the earth (as we are commanded to be), and by this we are brought to a right estimation of all earthly things, finally into a sweet enjoyment of invisible comforts. It is by meditation that we see our Saviour, as Stephen did; we talk with God, as Moses did; we are ravished into Paradise, with blessed Paul, seeing that Heaven that we shall be so loath to leave, which things we cannot utter. Meditation alone is the remedy for security and worldliness. It is the pastime of saints, the ladder to Heaven; in short, it is the best way to improve Christianity. Learn it, if you can. Neglect it if you so desire, but he who does so shall never find joy neither in God, nor in himself. And though some of old have appropriated this duty to themselves (confining it within their cells, professing nothing but contemplation), claiming their immunity from those cares which accompany an active life, might have the best leisure for meditation, yet I deem it an envious wrong to conceal meditation from many, for its benefit may be universal. There is no man who is so taken up with action that he does not at some time have a free mind. And no reasonable mind is so simple as not to be able to better itself by secret thoughts. Those who have but little stock need best to know the rules of thrift. Surely divine meditation is nothing else but a bending of the mind upon some spiritual object, through different forms of discourse, until our thoughts come to an issue. And this must either be unpremeditated, occasioned by outward occurrences offered to the mind; or else it must be deliberate, wrought out of our own heart. And if it is deliberate, then it is either in matter of knowledge (for finding out some hidden truth, or overcoming some heresy by profound traversing of reason); or it is in matter of affection. Joseph Hall (July 1, 1574 - September 8, 1656), English bishop and satirist, was born at Bristow park, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, on the 1st of July 1574. Joseph Hall received his early education at the local school, and was sent (1589) to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Hall was chosen for two years in succession to read the public lecture on rhetoric in the schools, and in 1595 became fellow of his college. In 1612 Lord Denny, afterwards earl of Norwich, gave him the curacy of Waltham-Holy-Cross, Essex, and in the same year he received the degree of D.D. Later he received the prebend of Millennial in the collegiate church of Wolver Hampton.
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