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CHAP. VIII.

 

Pursues the Same Matter.

 

73. You must know, that the Lord will not manifest himself in thy Soul, till it be denied in it self, and dead in its senses and powers: nor will it ever come to this state, till being perfectly resigned, it resolves to be with God all alone; making an equal account of Gifts and Contempts, Light and Darkness, Peace and War. In summ, that the Soul may arrive at perfect quietness and supreme internal peace, it ought first to die in it self, and live only in God and for him: and the more dead it shall be in it self, the more shall it know God: but if it doth not mind this continual denying of it self and internal mortification, it will never arrive at this state, nor preserve God within it; and then it will be continually subject to accidents and passions of the mind, such as are judging, murmuring, resenting, excusing, defending, to keep its honour and reputation, which are enemies to Perfection, Peace, and the Spirit.

74. Know that the diversity of states amongst those that be spiritual, consists only in dying all alike; but in the happy, which die continually, God hath his honour, his blessing and delights here below.

75. Great is the difference which is between doing, suffering, and dying; doing is delightful and belongs to beginners; suffering, with desire, belongs to those who are proficients; dying always in themselves, belongs to those who are accomplished and perfect; of which number there are very few in the world.

76. How happy wilt thou be, if thou hast no other thought, but to die in thy self! thou wilt then become not only victorious over thine enemies, but also over thy self: in which victory thou wilt certainly find pure love, perfect peace, and divine wisdom.

77. It is impossible for a man to be able to think and live mystically in a simple understanding of the divine and infused wisdom, if he does not first die in himself by the total denying of sense, and the reasonable appetite.

78. The true lesson of the spiritual man, and that which thou oughtest to learn, is, to leave all things in their place, and not meddle with any, but what thy office may bind thee to: because the Soul which leaves every thing to find God, doth then begin to have all in the eternity it seeks.

79. Some Souls there are, who seek repose: others without seeking have the pleasure of it; others have a pleasure in pain; and others seek it. The first do as good as nothing; the second are in the way towards it; the third run, and the last fly.

80. The disesteem of delights, and the counting of ‘em torment, is the property of a truly mortified man.

81. Enjoyment and Internal Peace are the Fruits of the Spirit Divine; and no man gets ‘em into his possession, if in the closet of his soul he is not a resigned man.

82. Thou seest that the displeasures of the good pass presently away; but for all that endeavour never to have ‘em, nor to stop in ‘em: for they damnifie thy health, disturb thy reason, and disquiet thy spirit.

83. Amongst other holy Counsels which thou must observe, remember well this that follows: Look not upon other mens faults, but thine own: keep silence with a continued internal conversation: mortifie thy self in all things and at all hours, and by this means thou wilt get free from many imperfections, and make thy self Commander of great Vertues.

84. Mortifie thy self in not judging ill of any body at any time; because the suspicion of thy neighbour disturbs the purity of heart, discomposes it, brings the Soul out and takes away its repose.

85. Never wilt thou have perfect resignation, if thou mind’st humane respects, and reflectest upon the little idol of what people say. The Soul that goes by the inward way, will soon lose it self, if once it come to look at reason amongst the creatures, and in commerce and conversation with ‘em. There is no other reason, than not to look at reason; but to imagine that God permits grievances to fall on us, to humble and annihilate us and make us live wholly resigned.

86. Behold how God makes greater account of a Soul that lives internally resigned, than of another that doth miracles, even to the raising of the dead.

87. Many Souls there are, which, though they exercise Prayer, yet because they are not mortified, are always imperfect and full of self-love.

88. Hold it for a true maxim, that no body can do a grievance or injury to a Soul despised by it self, and one that is nothing in its own account.

89. Finally, be of hope, suffer, be silent, and patient: let nothing affright thee: all of it will have an time to end: God only is he that is unchangeable: patience brings a man in every thing. He that hath God, hath all things; and he that hath him not, hath nothing.

 

 

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