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SECTION I: That a Man should be industrious to recover again his ancient Dignity and reform within him the Image of the Trinity, and how it may be done

NEVERTHELESS, though this that I have said be true, through the endless mercy of God to thee and to me and to all mankind we are not, therefore, in confidence hereof to be more careless, or wilfully negligent in our living; but the more busy to please Him, and the rather, because now we are restored again in hope by the passion of our Lord, to the dignity and bliss which we had lost by Adam’s sin. Though we should prove not to be able to recover it fully here in this life, yet should we desire and endeavour to recover the image and likeness of the dignity we had, so that our soul might be reformed, as it were in a shadow, by grace to the image of the Trinity which we had by nature, and hereafter shall have fully in bliss. For that is the life which is truly contemplative to begin here, in that feeling of love and spiritual knowing of God, by opening of the spiritual eye, which shall never be lost nor taken away, but shall be perfected in a far higher manner in heaven. Thus did our Lord promise to St Mary Magdalen (that was a true Contemplative) when He told her that she had chosen the better part (which was the love of God in Contemplation) that should never be taken from her.9696    Luke 10.

I do not say that in this life thou canst recover so whole and so perfect a cleanness and innocency, knowing and loving of God, as thou hadst at first, and shalt have hereafter, neither mayest escape all the wretchedness and pains of sin; nor that thou living in mortal flesh canst wholly destroy and kill within thee all false vain loves, nor eschew all venial sins, but that they will (unless they be stopped by great fervour of charity) spring out of thy heart, as water doth out of a stinking well. But I wish that if thou canst not fully quench it, yet thou mayest somewhat slack it, and come as near as thou canst to cleanness of soul. For our Lord promised to the children of Israel, when He led them into the land of Promise, and in them by a figure to all Christians, saying: All the land which thy foot shall tread upon shall be thine.9797    Deut. 11. That is to say, so much land as thou canst tread upon with thy foot of true desire, so much shalt thou have in the land of Promise, namely, in the bliss of Heaven, when thou comest thither.


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