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CHAPTER LXXIII

“Two manners of sickness that we have: impatience, or sloth;—despair, or mistrustful dread”

ALL the blessed teaching of our Lord was shewed by three parts: that is to say, by bodily sight, and by word formed in mine understanding, and by spiritual sight. For the bodily sight, I have said as I saw, as truly as I can; and for the words, I have said them right as our Lord shewed them to me; and for the spiritual sight, I have told some deal, but I may never fully tell it: and therefore of this sight I am stirred to say more, as God will give me grace. Generally, He shewed sin, wherein that all is comprehended, but in special He shewed only these two. And these two are they that most do travail and tempest us, according to that which our Lord shewed me; and of them He would have us be amended. I speak of such men and women as for God’s love hate sin and dispose themselves to do God’s will: then by our spiritual blindness and bodily heaviness we are most inclining to these. And therefore 177 it is God’s will that they be known, for then we shall refuse them as we do other sins.

And for help of this, full meekly our Lord shewed the patience that He had in His Hard Passion; and also the joying and the satisfying that He hath of that Passion, for love. And this He shewed in example that we should gladly and wisely bear our pains, for that is great pleasing to Him and endless profit to us. And the cause why we are travailed with them is for lack in knowing301301 "for unknowing." of Love. Though the three Persons in the Trinity302302 seen as Might, Wisdom, Love. be all even303303 i.e. equal. in Itself, the soul304304 i.e. Julian (xiii., xxiv., xlvi.) took most understanding in Love; yea, and He willeth that in all things we have our beholding and our enjoying in Love. And of this knowing are we most blind. For some of us believe that God is Almighty and may do all, and that He is All-Wisdom and can do all; but that He is All-Love and will do all, there we stop short.305305 "astynten." And this not-knowing it is, that hindereth most God’s lovers, as to my sight.

For when we begin to hate sin, and amend us by the ordinance of Holy Church, yet there dwelleth a dread that letteth us, because of the beholding of our self and of our sins afore done. And some of us because of our every-daily sins: for we hold not our Covenants, nor keep we our cleanness that our Lord setteth us in, but fall oftentimes into so much wretchedness that shame it is to see it. And the beholding of this maketh us so sorry and so heavy, that scarsely we can find any comfort.

And this dread we take sometime for a meekness, but it is a foul blindness and a weakness.306306 S. de Cressy: "a wickedness"; but the MS. word is "waykenes." And we cannot 178 despise it as we do another sin, that we know [as sin]: for it cometh [subtly] of Enmity, and it is against truth. For it is God’s will that of all the properties of the blissful Trinity, we should have most sureness and comfort in Love: for Love maketh Might and Wisdom full meek to us. For right as by the courtesy of God He forgiveth our sin after the time that we repent us, right so willeth He that we forgive our sin, as anent our unskilful heaviness and our doubtful dreads.


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