SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
Can there be any thing in the world more precious or valuable, or that better deserves our esteem and love? Or what greater happiness can a man enjoy in this life than to have God for his father, his mother, his shepherd, his physician, his tutor, his master, his mediator, his will, his defence, and, what is yet more, for his spouse, in short, for his all? Has the world any thing comparable to this to give to its admirers ? How much reason, then, have those who enjoy such a benefit, to rejoice, to comfort, to encourage themselves, and to glory in him above all things! "Be glad in the Lord," says the prophet, "and rejoice, ye just; and glory, all ye right of heart;" Ps. xxxi. 11. As if he said more clearly, Let others rejoice in their worldly riches and honour, others again in their birth and quality others in their favour and esteem of their prince, others in their great employments and dignities; but as for you, who lay claim to God for your share, do you more truly rejoice in this inheritance, which as far exceeds all other inheritances as God himself does all other things. This we may learn from the royal psalmist, when he says, " Deliver me, and rescue me out of the hand of strange children; whose mouth hath spoken vanity; and their right hand is the right hand of iniquity. Whose sons are as new plants in their youth; their daughters decked out, adorned round about after the similitude of a temple: their storehouses full, flowing out of this into that. Their sheep fruitful in young, abounding in their goings forth: they have called the people happy, that hath these things: but happy is that people whose God is the Lord." Ps. cxliii. 11, 12, 13, 15. The reason why David delivers himself thus is evident, because in God alone we possess every good thing that is to be desired. Let others value themselves as much as they please on riches, but as for me, though I am a rich and powerful king, in God alone shall be all my glory. Thus another holy prophet glorified, saying, " but I will rejoice in the Lord; and I will joy in God my Jesus. The Lord God is my strength; and he will make my feet like the feet of harts ; and the conqueror will lead me upon my high-places, singing psalms:" Habac. iii. 18, 19. This is the treasure, this the glory, which he has prepared even here for those that serve him. This is a great reason why all men should desire to serve him, and on this will he ground the greatest complaint he can make against those who serve him not. Thus it was he complained, by the prophet Jeremy (ii. 5), of his people: "What iniquity," says he, " have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain ?" and a little lower: " Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land?" (ver. 31) as if he said, It is plain, it is not so, since by my means they have been so successful and victorious. " Why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to thee no more ? Will a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her stomacher? but my people hath forgotten my days without number" (ver. 32), who am all their ornament, their glory and their beauty. If God complained thus in the time of the old law, when his favours were so great, how much more reason has he to complain now when they are so much greater, as they are more spiritual and divine?