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CHAP. VII.

 

To the end the Soul may attain to the supreme internal peace, it is necessary, that God purge it after his way, because the exercises and mortifications that of it self it sets about, are not sufficient.

 

42. So soon as thou shalt firmly resolve to mortifie thy external senses, that thou may’st advance towards the high mountain of perfection, and union with God; His divine Majesty will set his hand to the purging of thy evil inclinations, inordinate desires, vain complacency, self-love and pride, and other hidden vices, which thou knowest not, and yet reign in the inner parts of thy Soul, and hinder the divine union.

43. Thou’lt never attain to this happy state, though thou tire thy self out with the external acts of mortifications and resignation, until this Lord purge thee inwardly, and discipline thee, after his own way, because he alone knows how secret faults are to be purged out. If thou persevere constantly, he’ll not only purge thee from affections and engagements to natural and temporal goods, but in his own time also he will purifie thee with the supernatural and sublime, such as are internal communications; inward raptures and extasies, and other infused graces, on which the Soul rests and enjoys it self.

44. God will do all this in thy Soul by means of the cross, and dryness, if thou freely giveth thy consent to it by resignation, and walking through those darksom and desart ways. All thou hast to do, is to do nothing by thy own choice alone. The subjection of thy liberty, is that which thou oughtest to do, quietly resigning thy self up in every thing whereby the Lord shall think fit internally and externally to mortifie thee: because that is the only means, by which thy Soul can become capable of the divine influences, whil’st thou sufferest internal and external tribulation, with humility, patience, and quiet; not the penances, disciplines and mortifications, which thou couldest impose upon thy self.

45. The husbandman sets a greater esteem upon the plants which he sows in the ground, than those that spring up of themselves, because these never come to seasonable maturity. In the same manner God esteems and is better pleased with the vertue, which he sows and infuses into the Soul (as being sunk into its own nothingness, calm and quiet, retreated within its own center, and without any election) than all the other vertues which the Soul pretends to acquire by its own election and endeavours.

46. It concerns thee only then, to prepare thine heart, like clean paper, wherein the divine wisdom may imprint characters to his own liking. O how great a work will it be for thy Soul to be whole hours together in Prayer, dumb, resigned, and humble, without acting, knowing, or desiring to understand any thing.

 

 

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