Building on the challenges and encouragements in Traherne’s First Century, Professor Martz helps us embrace Traherne’s Second Century as an aid to finding the traces of God in creation. Martz points to two Traherne passages that could stimulate our imaginations over a lifetime:
“The Services which the World doth you, are transcendent to all Imagination. . . . it Discovers the Being of GOD unto you, It opens His Nature, and shews you his Wisdom Goodness and Power. . . It enflameth you with the Lov of God, and is the link of your Union and Communion with Him.”
“If you desire Directions how to enjoy [the world], Place yourself in it as if no one were Created besides your self. And consider all the services it doth, even to you alone”.
One may, on first pass, be inclined to think of this as a selfish view of the world. But, on the contrary, it is a step towards freedom from selfishness. This way of viewing the world is a path back towards Eden and Paradise. As Martz says, “One must return by memory to Eden, become like the unfallen Adam in imagination.” (The Paradise Within, p. 69). It is not surprising that Martz connects Traherne to the essence of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Traherne will elaborate on this theme of finding traces of God in Creation throughout the rest of his Centuries.