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CHAP. II.

 

Pursues the Same.

 

6. In the external Way they take care to do continual Acts of all the Vertues, one after another, to get to the attainment of ‘em: They pretend to purge Imperfections with Industries, proportionable to Destruction; they take care to root up Interests, one after another, with a different and contrary Exercise. But though they endeavour never so much, they arrive at nothing: because we cannot do any thing which is not Imperfection and Misery.

7. But in the inward Way and loving Entertainment in the Presence Divine, as the Lord is he that works, Vertue is established, Interests are rooted up, Imperfections are destroy’d and Passions removed; which makes the Soul free unexpectedly, and taken off, when occasions are represented, without so much as thinking of the good which God of his infinite Mercy prepared for ‘em.

8. It must be known that these Souls, though thus Perfect, as they have the true Light of God, yet by it they know profoundly, their own miseries, weakness and imperfections, and what they yet want to arrive at Perfection, towards which they are walking; they are afflicted and abhor themselves; they exercise themselves in a loving fear of God, and contempt of themselves, but with a true Hope in God, and Dis-confidence in themselves. The more they are humbled with true contempt and knowledge of themselves, the more they please God, and arrive at a singular respect and veneration in his Presence. Of all the good Works that they do, and of all that they continually suffer, as well within as without, they make no manner of account before that Divine Presence.

9. Their continual Exercise is, to enter into themselves, in God, with quiet and silence; because there is his Center, Habitation and Delight. They make a greater account of this interiour Retirement, than of speaking of God; they retire into that interiour and secret Center of the Soul, to know God and receive his Divine Influence, with fear and loving reverence; if they go out, they go out only to know and despise themselves.

10. But know that few are the Souls which arrive at this happy State; because few there are that are willing to embrace contempt, and suffer themselves to be Refined and Purified; upon which account, although there are many that enter into this interiour Way, yet ‘tis a rare thing for a Soul to go on, and not stick upon the entrance. The Lord said to a Soul, “This inward Way is tread by few; ‘tis so high a Grace, that none deserves it; few walk in it, because ‘tis no other than a Death of the senses; and few there be that are willing so to Die and be Annihilated; in which disposition this so soveraign a Gift is founded.”

11. Herewith thou wilt undeceive thy self, and perfectly know the great difference which there is between the external and internal Way, and how different that Presence of God is which arise from Meditation, from that which is Infused and Supernatural, arising from the interior and infused Intertainment, and from passive Contemplation; and lastly, you will know the great difference which is between the outward and inward Man.

 

 

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