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HERE BEGINNETH THE THREE AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

 

How that after the likeness of Moses, of Bezaleel, and of Aaron meddling them about the Ark of the Testament, we profit on three manners in this grace of contemplation, for this grace is figured in that Ark.

 

THREE men there were that most principally meddled them with this Ark of the Old Testament: Moses, Bezaleel, Aaron. Moses learned in the mount of our Lord how it should be made. Bezaleel wrought it and made it in the Veil after the ensample that was shewed in the mountain. And Aaron had it in keeping in the Temple, to feel it and see it as oft as him liked.

At the likeness of these three, we profit on three manners in this grace of contemplation. Sometime we profit only by grace, and then we be likened unto Moses, that for all the climbing and the travail that he had into the mount might not come to see it but seldom: and yet was that sight only by the shewing of our Lord when Him liked to shew it, and not for any desert of his travail. Sometime we profit in this grace by our own ghostly cunning, helped with grace, and then be we likened to Bezaleel, the which might not see the Ark ere the time that he had made it by his own travail, helped with the ensample that was shewed unto Moses in the mount. And sometime we profit in this grace by other men’s teaching, and then be we likened to Aaron, the which had it in keeping and in custom to see and feel the Ark when him pleased, that Bezaleel had wrought and made ready before to his hands.

Lo! ghostly friend, in this work, though it be childishly and lewdly spoken, I bear, though I be a wretch unworthy to teach any creature, the office of Bezaleel: making and declaring in manner to thine hands the manner of this ghostly Ark. But far better and more worthily than I do, thou mayest work if thou wilt be Aaron: that is to say, continually working therein for thee and for me. Do then so I pray thee, for the love of God Almighty. And since we be both called of God to work in this work, I beseech thee for God’s love fulfil in thy part what lacketh of mine.

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