Thursday, October 22, 2009

Absences in the Common Uneasiness of Life

Every one knows, that the mind will not be kept from contemplating what it loves in the midst of crowds and business. Hence come those frequent absences, so observable in conversation; for whilst the body is confined to present company, the mind is flown to that which it delights in. If God then be the object of our desires, we shall relieve ourselves in the common uneasiness of life, by contemplating His beauty. For certainly there cannot be a higher pleasure than to think that we love and are beloved by the most amiable and best Being. Whom the more we contemplate the more we shall desire, and the more we desire the more we shall enjoy. This desire having the pre-eminence of all other desires, as in every other thing so particularly in this, that it can't be disappointed; no one who brings a sincere heart, being ever rejected by this divine lover. Whose eyes pierce the soul, as He can't be deceiv'd by imposture, so He never mistakes or neglects the faithful affection; which too seldom finds ways to make itself understood among mortals, even by those who pretend to be the most discerning, but who give themselves up to the flatterers and deceivers, whilst they treat the plain and honest person with the utmost outrage.

Mary Astell, The Christian Religion as Profess'd by a Daughter of the Church of England (from here)

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