Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
 
Renunciation
By Robert Leighton (1611–1684)
 
From Rules and Instructions for a Holy Life

1. THOU shalt have much to do in mortifying of thy senses or five wits, which must be shut up in the crucified humanity of Christ, and be as they were plainly dead.
  1
  2. Thou must learn to have a continual eye inwardly to thy soul and spiritual life, as thou hast used heretofore to have all thy mind and regard to outward pleasure and worldly things.  2
  3. Thou must submit and give thyself up to the discipline of Jesus, and become His scholar, resigning and compelling thyself altogether to obey Him in all things; so that thy willing and nilling thou do utterly cast away from thee, and do nothing without His license: at every word thou wilt speak, at every morsel thou wilt eat, at every stirring or moving of every article or member of thy body, thou must ask leave of Him in thy heart, and ask thyself whether, being so done, they be according to His will and holy example, and with sincere intention of His glory. And even the most necessary actions of thy life, though lawful, yet must be thus offered up with a true intention unto God, in the union of the most holy works and blessed merits of Christ.  3
  4. Pray: “Lord Jesus, bind up in the merits of Thy blessed senses all my feeling and sensation, and all my wits and senses, that I hereafter never use them to any sensuality!”  4
  5. Thus labour to come into this union and knitting up of thy senses in GOD and the Lord Jesus, and remain so fast unto the cross that thou never part from it, and still behave thy body and all thy senses as in the presence of the Lord thy God, and commit all things unto the most trusty providence of thy loving Lord, who will then order all things delectably and sweetly for thee. Reckon all things beside Him for right nought; and thus mayest thou come to wonderful illuminations and ghostly influences from the Lord thy God, if, for His love, thou canst crucify, renounce, and forsake perfectly thyself and all things.  5
  6. Thou must so crucify thyself to all things, and love and desire God only with thy whole heart, that in this most strong and stedfast knot and union unto the will of God, if He would create hell in thee, or put thee therein, thou mightest be ready to offer thyself, by His grace, for His eternal honour and glory to suffer it, purely for His will and pleasure.  6
  7. Thou must keep thy memory clean and pure, as it were a wedlock chamber, from all strange thoughts, fancies, and imaginations; and it must be trimmed and adorned with holy imaginations and virtues of Christ’s holy crucified life and passion, that God may continually and for ever rest therein. Pray to Him and say,  7
  8. “Lord, instead of knowing Thee, I have sought to know wickedness and sin; and whereas my will and desire were created to love Thee, I have lost that love, and declined to the creatures. While my memory ought to be filled with Thee; I have painted it with the memory of innumerable fancies, not only of creatures but of sinful wickedness. Lord, blot out these by Thy blood and imprint Thy own blessed image on my soul, blessed Jesus, by that blood which issued from Thy most loving heart when Thou hangedst on the cross. So knit my soul to Thy most holy will that I may have no other will but Thine, and may be most heartily and fully content with whatsoever Thou wilt do with me in this world and for ever; yea if Thou wilt put me in hell, to suffer all the pains there, so that I hate not nor sin against Thee, but retain Thy love, I may be content.  8
 
 
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