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CHAPTER LII

“We have now matter of mourning: for our sin is cause of Christ’s pains; and we have, lastingly, matter of joy: for endless love made Him to suffer”

AND thus I saw that God rejoiceth that He is our Father, and God rejoiceth that He is our Mother, and God rejoiceth that He is our Very Spouse and our soul is His loved Wife. And Christ rejoiceth that He is our Brother, and Jesus rejoiceth that He is our Saviour. These are five high joys, as I understand, in which He willeth that we enjoy; Him praising, Him thanking, Him loving, Him endlessly blessing.

All that shall be saved, we have in us, for the time of this life, a marvellous mingling194194"medlour," "medle." both of weal and woe: we have in us our Lord Jesus uprisen, we have in us the wretchedness and the mischief of Adam’s falling, dying. By Christ we are steadfastly kept, and by His grace touching us we are raised into sure trust of salvation. And by Adam’s falling we are so broken, in our feeling, in diverse manners by sins and by sundry pains, in which we are made dark, that scarsely we can take any comfort.

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But in our intent195195"menyng." we abide in God, and faithfully trust to have mercy and grace; and this is His own working in us. And of His goodness He openeth the eye of our understanding, by which we have sight, sometime more and sometime less, according as God giveth ability to receive. And now we are raised into the one, and now we are suffered to fall into the other.

And thus is this medley so marvellous in us that scarsely we know of our self or of our even-Christian in what way we stand, for the marvellousness of this sundry feeling. But that same Holy Assent, that we assent to God when we feel Him, truly setting our will to be with Him, with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might. And then we hate and despise our evil stirrings and all that might be occasion of sin, spiritual and bodily.196196 "And thus is this medle so mervelous in us that onethys we knowen of our selfe or of our evyn Cristen in what way we stonden for the marveloushede of this sundry felyng. But that ilke holy assent that we assenten to God when we feel hym truly willand to be with him with al our herte, with al our soule and with al our myte, and than we haten and dispisen our evil sterings and al that myte be occasion of synne gostly and bodily." And yet nevertheless when this sweetness is hid, we fall again into blindness, and so into woe and tribulation in diverse manners. But then is this our comfort, that we know in our faith that by virtue of Christ which is our Keeper, we assent never thereto, but we groan there-against, and dure on, in pain and woe, praying, unto that time that He sheweth Him again to us.

And thus we stand in this medley all the days of our life. But He willeth that we trust that He is lastingly 122 with us. And that in three manner.—He is with us in Heaven, very Man, in His own Person, us updrawing; and that was shewed in [the Shewing of] the Spiritual Thirst. And He is with us in earth, us leading; and that was shewed in the Third [Shewing], where I saw God in a Point. And He is with us in our soul, endlessly dwelling, us ruling and keeping; and that was shewed in the Sixteenth [Shewing], as I shall tell.

And thus in the Servant was shewed the scathe and blindness of Adam’s falling; and in the Servant was shewed the wisdom and goodness of God’s Son. And in the Lord was shewed the ruth and pity of Adam’s woe, and in the Lord was shewed the high nobility and the endless worship that Mankind is come to by the virtue of the Passion and death of His dearworthy Son. And therefore mightily He joyeth in his falling for the high raising and fulness of bliss that Mankind is come to, overpassing that we should have had if he had not fallen.—And thus to see this overpassing nobleness was mine understanding led into God in the same time that I saw the Servant fall.

And thus we have, now, matter of mourning: for our sin is cause of Christ’s pains; and we have, lastingly, matter of joy: for endless love made Him to suffer. And therefore the creature that seeth and feeleth the working of love by grace, hateth nought but sin: for of all things, to my sight, love and hate are [the] hardest and most unmeasureable contraries. And notwithstanding all this, I saw and understood in our Lord’s meaning that we may not in this life keep us from sin as wholly in full cleanness as we shall be in Heaven. But we may well by grace keep us from the sins which would lead us to 123 endless pains, as Holy Church teacheth us; and eschew venial [ones] reasonably up to our might. And if we by our blindness and our wretchedness any time fall, we should readily rise, knowing the sweet touching of grace, and with all our will amend us upon the teaching of Holy Church, according as the sin is grievous, and go forthwith to God in love; and neither, on the one side, fall over low, inclining to despair, nor, on the other side, be over-reckless, as if we made no matter of it; but nakedly acknowledge our feebleness, finding that we may not stand a twinkling of an eye but by Keeping of grace, and reverently cleave to God, on Him only trusting.

For after one wise is the Beholding by God, and after another wise is the Beholding by man. For it belongeth to man meekly to accuse himself, and it belongeth to the proper Goodness of our Lord God courteously to excuse man. And these be two parts that were shewed in the double Manner of Regard with which the Lord beheld the falling of His loved Servant. The one was shewed outward, very meekly and mildly, with great ruth and pity; and that of endless Love. And right thus willeth our Lord that we accuse our self, earnestly and truly seeing and knowing our falling and all the harms that come thereof; seeing and learning that we can never restore it; and therewith that we earnestly and truly see and know His everlasting love that He hath to us, and His plenteous mercy. And thus graciously to see and know both together is the meek accusing that our Lord asketh of us, and Himself worketh it where it is. And this is the lower part of man’s life, and it was 124 shewed in the [Lord’s] outward manner of Regard. In which shewing I saw two parts: the one is the rueful falling of man, the other is the worshipful Satisfaction that our Lord hath made for man.

The other manner of Regard was shewed inward: and that was more highly and all [fully] one. For the life and the virtue that we have in the lower part is of the higher, and it cometh down to us [from out] of the Natural love of the [high] Self, by [the working of] grace. Atwix [the life of] the one and [the life of] the other there is right nought: for it is all one love. Which one blessed love hath now, in us, double working: for in the lower part are pains and passions, mercies and forgiveness, and such other that are profitable; but in the higher part are none of these, but all one high love and marvellous joy: in which joy all pains are highly restored. And in this [time] our Lord showed not only our Excusing [from blame, in His beholding of our higher part], but the worshipful nobility that He shall bring us to [by the working of grace in our lower part], turning all our blame [that is therein, from our falling] into endless worship [when we be oned to the high Self above].

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