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ARTICLE THIRTEENTH

The soul, in the state of pure love, acts in simplicity. Its inward rule of action is found in the decisions of a sanctified conscience. These decisions, based upon judgments that are free from self-interest, may not always be absolutely right, because our views and judgments, being limited, can extend only to things in part; but they may be said to be relatively right: they conform to things so far as we are permitted to see them and understand them, and convey to the soul a moral assurance, that, when we act in accordance with them, we are doing as God would have us do. Such a conscience is enlightened by the Spirit of God; and when we act thus, under its Divine guidance, looking at what now is and not at what may be, looking at the right of things and not at their relations to our personal and selfish interests, we are said to act in simplicity. This is the true mode of action.

Thus, in this singleness of spirit, we do things, as some experimental writers express it, without knowing what we do. We are so absorbed in the thing to be done, and in the importance of doing it rightly, that we forget ourselves. Perfect love has nothing to spare from its object for itself, and he who prays perfectly is never thinking how well he prays.

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