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“My sin shall not hinder His Goodness working. . . . A deed shall be done—as we come to Heaven—and it may be known here in part;—though it be truly taken for the general Man, yet it excludeth not the special. For what our good Lord will do by His poor creatures, it is now unknown to me”71
And I saw that the beholding of this is a heavenly joy in a fearing soul which evermore kindly by grace desireth God’s will. This deed shall be begun here, and it shall be worshipful to God and plenteously profitable to His lovers in earth; and ever as we come to Heaven we shall see it in marvellous joy, and it shall last thus in working unto the last Day; and the worship and the bliss of it shall last in Heaven afore God and all His Holy [ones] for ever.
Thus was this deed seen and understood in our Lord’s signifying: and the cause why He shewed it is to make us rejoice in Him and in all His works. When I saw His Shewing continued, I understood that it was shewed for a great thing that was for to come, which thing God shewed that He Himself should do it: which deed hath these properties aforesaid. And this shewed He well blissfully, signifying that I should take it myself faithfully and trustingly.
But what this deed should be was kept secret from me.
And in this I saw that He willeth not that we dread to know the things that He sheweth: He sheweth them because He would have us know them; by which knowing He would have us love Him and have pleasure and endlessly enjoy in Him. For the great love that He hath to us He sheweth us all that is worshipful and profitable for the time. And the things that He will now have privy, yet of His great goodness He sheweth them close: in which shewing He willeth that we believe and understand that we shall see the same verily in His endless bliss. Then ought we to rejoice in Him for all that He sheweth and all that He hideth; and if we 72 steadily114114"wilfuly." and meekly do thus, we shall find therein great ease; and endless thanks we shall have of Him therefor.
And this is the understanding of this word:—That it shall be done for me, meaneth that it shall be done for the general Man: that is to say, all that shall be saved. It shall be worshipful and marvellous and plenteous, and God Himself shall do it; and this shall be the highest joy that may be, to behold the deed that God Himself shall do, and man shall do right nought but sin. Then signifieth our Lord God thus, as if He said: Behold and see! Here hast thou matter of meekness, here hast thou matter of love, here hast thou matter to make nought of 115115 "to nowten." thyself, here hast thou matter to enjoy in me;—and, for my love, enjoy [thou] in me: for of all things, therewith mightest thou please me most.
And as long as we are in this life, what time that we by our folly turn us to the beholding of the reproved, tenderly our Lord God toucheth us and blissfully calleth us, saying in our soul: Let be all thy love, my dearworthy child: turn thee to me—I am enough to thee—and enjoy in thy Saviour and in thy salvation. And that this is our Lord’s working in us, I am sure the soul that hath understanding116116 "is a perceyvid" (S. de Cressy, "pearced"; Collins, "pierced";) = has perception. therein by grace shall see it and feel it.
And though it be so that this deed be truly taken for the general Man, yet it excludeth not the special. For what our good Lord will do by His poor creatures, it is now unknown to me.
But this deed and that other aforesaid, they are not both one but two sundry. This deed shall be done 73 sooner (and that [time] shall be as we come to Heaven), and to whom our Lord giveth it, it may be known here in part. But that Great Deed aforesaid shall neither be known in Heaven nor earth till it is done.
And moreover He gave special understanding and teaching of working of miracles, as thus:—It is known that I have done miracles here afore, many and diverse, high and marvellous, worshipful and great. And so as I have done, I do now continually, and shall do in coming of time.
It is known that afore miracles come sorrow and anguish and tribulation117117See v., xlviii., lix., lxi. ; and that is for that we should know our own feebleness and our mischiefs that we are fallen in by sin, to meeken us and make us to dread God and cry for help and grace. Miracles come after that, and they come of the high Might, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, shewing His virtue and the joys of Heaven so far at it may be in this passing life: and that to strengthen our faith and to increase our hope, in charity. Wherefore it pleaseth Him to be known and worshipped in miracles. Then signifieth He thus: He willeth that we be not borne over low for sorrow and tempests that fall to us: for it hath ever so been afore miracle-coming.
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