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CHAPTER VIII

Of Mysteries

It may be objected, that, by this method, we shall have no mysteries imprinted on our minds: but it is quite the reverse; for it is the peculiar means of imparting them to the soul. Jesus Christ, to whom we are abandoned, and whom “we follow as the way, whom we hear as the truth, and who animates us as the life” (John xiv. 6) in imprinting Himself on the soul, impresses the characters of His different states; and to bear all the states of Jesus Christ is far more sublime, than merely to reason concerning them. S. Paul bore in his body the states of Jesus Christ: “I bear in my body,” says he, “the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. vi. 17), but he does not say that he reasoned thereon.

In our acts of resignation, Jesus Christ frequently communicates some peculiar views or revelations of His states: these we should thankfully receive, and dispose ourselves for what appeareth to be His will. Indeed, having no other choice, but that of ardently24 reaching after Him, of dwelling ever with Him, and of sinking into nothingness before Him, we should accept indiscriminately all His dispensations, whether obscurity or illumination, fruitfulness or barrenness, weakness or strength, sweetness or bitterness, temptations, distractions, pain, weariness, or doubtings; and none of all these should, for one moment, retard our course.

God engages some, for whole years, in the contemplation and enjoyment of a particular mystery; the simple view or contemplation of which gathers the soul inward, provided it be faithful: but as soon as God is pleased to withdraw this view from the soul, it should freely yield to the deprivation. Some are very uneasy at feeling their inability to meditate on certain mysteries; but this disquietude hath no just foundation, since an affectionate attachment to God includes every species of devotion: for whosoever, in repose and quiet, is united to God alone, is, indeed, most excellently and effectually applied to every divine mystery: the Love of God comprehends, in itself, the love of all that appertains to Him.

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