Spirit of Love

You cannot love if you reject the love of others.

Thomas Traherne Page
About The Centuries of Meditations

These life-affirming devotional messages were written in the seventeen century by Thomas Traherne. He was a minister of the Church of England and a poet who is counted among the metaphysical poets of Britain. In about the year 1904 these writings, in manuscript form, were found in a London bookstall by Bertram Dobell who was so impressed with their quality and value that he proceeded to take steps toward their publication in 1908. I first read them about four years ago, having seen a reference to Traherne in a book by James Houston of Regent College, Vancouver. Soon after that I found that CCEL (Christian Classics Ethereal Library) had scanned them and posted them online. I immediately volunteered to do the cleanup work, getting the text straightened up and corrected. As well as posting them there I decided to post them here and make them available to friends. There are four full sets of hundreds (hence, the name Century) and a fifth, an unfinished set. The full text of the 1908 edition is here.

IntroductionThe First CenturyThe Second Century
The Third CenturyThe Fourth CenturyThe Fifth Century

Here is one of my favorites from the Centuries:

This is a lesson long enough: which you may be all your life in learning, and to all Eternity in practising. Be sensible ofyour wants, that you maybe sensible of your treasures. He is most like God that is sensible of everything. Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you a Being? Did you not want one to give you a Glorious Being? Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you infinite Treasures? And some one to give you Spectators, Companions, Enjoyers? Did you not want a Deity to make them sweet and honourable by His infinite Wisdom? What you wanted from all Eternity, be sensible of to all Eternity. Let your wants be present from everlasting. Is not this a strange life to which I call you? Wherein you are to be present with things that were before the world was made? And at once present even like God with infinite wants and infinite Treasures: Be present with your want of a Deity, and you shall be present with the Deity. You shall adore and admire Him, enjoy and prize Him; believe in Him, and Delight in Him, see him to be the Fountain of all your joys, and the Head of all your Treasures.
From the First Century, meditation 45.

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