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ARGUMENT

THESE stanzas describe the career of a soul from its first entrance on the service of God till it comes to the final state of perfection — the spiritual marriage. They refer accordingly to the three states or ways of the spiritual training — the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways, some properties and effects of which they explain.

The first stanzas relate to beginners — to the purgative way. The second to the advanced — to the state of spiritual betrothal; that is, the illuminative way. The next to the unitive way — that of the perfect, the spiritual Marriage. The unitive way, that of the perfect, follows the illuminative, which is that of the advanced.

The last stanzas treat of the beatific state, which only the already perfect soul aims at.

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