Centuries of Meditations – First Century 13-14


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Thomas Traherne (1637 – September 27, 1674) was an English poet, Anglican cleric, theologian, and religious writer. Traherne’s writings frequently explore the glory of creation and what he saw as his intimate relationship with God. His writing conveys an ardent, almost childlike love of God, and is compared to similar themes in the works of later poets William Blake, Walt Whitman, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. His love for the natural world is frequently expressed in his works.

The work for which Traherne is best known today is the Centuries of Meditations, a collection of short paragraphs in which he reflects on Christian life and ministry, philosophy, happiness, desire and childhood. This was first published in 1908 after having been rediscovered in manuscript ten years earlier. Before its rediscovery this manuscript was said to have been lost for almost two hundred years and is now considered a much loved devotional.

THE FIRST CENTURY

13

To be Holy is so zealously to desire, so vastly to esteem, and so earnestly to endeavor it, that we would not for millions of gold and silver, decline, nor fail, nor mistake in a tittle. For then we please God when we are most like Him. We are like Him when our minds are in frame. Our minds are in frame when our thoughts are like His. And our thoughts are then like His when we have such conceptions of all objects as God hath, and prize all things according to their value. For God doth prize all things rightly, which is a Key that opens into the very thoughts of His bosom. It seemeth arrogance to pretend to the knowledge of His secret thoughts. But how shall we have the Mind of God, unless we know His thoughts? Or how shall we be led by His divine spirit, till we have His Mind? His thoughts are hidden: but He hath revealed unto us the hidden Things of Darkness. By His works and by His attributes we know His Thoughts: and by thinking the same, are Divine and Blessed.

14

When things are ours in their proper places, nothing is needful but prizing to enjoy them. God therefore hath made it infinitely easy to enjoy, by making everything ours, and us able so easily to prize them. Everything is ours that serves us in its place. The Sun serves us as much as is possible, and more than we could imagine. The Clouds and Stars minister unto us, the World surrounds us with beauty, the Air refresheth us, the Sea revives the earth and us. The Earth itself is better than gold because it produceth fruits and flowers. And therefore in the beginning, was it made manifest to be mine, because Adam alone was made to enjoy it. By making one, and not a multitude, God evidently shewed one alone to be the end of the World and every one its enjoyer. For every one may enjoy it as much as He.

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Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations, ed. Bertram Dobell (P. J. & A. E. Dobell, 1927)

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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