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THE first doctrine of our Lord is this:
     "Knowest thou not, daughter, who thou art and who I am? If thou know well these two words, thou art and shalt be blessed. Thou art she that art nought; and I am He that am ought.[118] If thou have the very knowledge of these two things in thy soul, thy ghostly enemy shall never deceive thee, but thou shalt eschew graciously all his malice;[119] and thou shalt never consent to any thing that is against My commandments and precepts, but all grace, all truth, and all charity thou shalt win without any hardness."
     The second doctrine of our Lord is this:
     "Think on Me, and I shall think on thee."
     In declaring of which doctrine she was wont to say that:
     "A soul which is verily united to God perceiveth not, seeth not, nor loveth not herself, nor none other soul, nor hath no mind of no creature but only on God."
     And these words she expoundeth more expressly, and saith thus:
     "Such a soul seeth herself, that she is very nought of herself, and knoweth perfectly that all the goodness, with all the mights of the soul, is her Maker's. She forsaketh utterly herself and all creatures, and hideth herself fully in her Maker, our Lord Jesu; in so much that she sendeth fully and principally all her ghostly and bodily workings in to Him; in whom she perceiveth that she may find all goodness, and all perfection of blessedness. And, therefore, she shall have no will to go out from such inward knowledge of Him for nothing.[120] And of this unity of love, that is increased every day in such a soul, she is transformed in a manner in to our Lord, that she may neither think, nor understand, nor love, nor have no mind but God, or else in God. For she may not see herself, nor none other creature, but only in God; nor she may not love herself, nor none other, but only in God; nor she may have no mind of herself nor of none other, but only in God, nor she may have no mind but only of her Maker. And therefore," she said, "we shall have none other business but only to think how we may please Him, unto whom we have committed all our governance both in body and soul."
     The third doctrine of our Lord is this; in obtaining of virtue and ghostly strength:
     "Daughter, if thou wilt get unto thee virtue and also ghostly strength,[121] thou must follow Me. Albeit that I might by My godly virtue have overcome all the power of the fiends by many manner ways of overcoming, yet, for to give you ensample by My manhood, I would not overcome him but only by taking of death upon the Cross, that ye might be taught thereby, if ye will overcome your ghostly enemies, for to take the Cross as I did; the which Cross shall be to you a great refreshing in all your temptations, if ye have mind of the pains that I suffered thereon.[122] And certainly the pains of the Cross may well be called refreshing of temptations, for the more pain ye suffer for My love, the more like ye be to Me. And if ye be so like to Me in passion, needs ye must be like to Me in joy.[123] Therefore for My love, daughter, suffer patiently bitter things, and not sweet things; and doubt in no wise, for thou shalt be strong enough for to suffer all things patiently."
     The first doctrine of this glorious virgin is this:
     "A soul which is verily mete[124] to God, as much as it hath of the love of God, so much it hath of the hate of her own sensuality. For of the love of God naturally cometh hate of sin, the which is done against God. The soul, therefore, considering that the root and beginning of sin reigneth in the sensuality, and there principally is rooted, she is moved and stirred highly and holily with all her mights against her own sensuality; not utterly to destroy the root, for that may not be, as long as the soul dwelleth in the body living in this life, but ever there shall be left a root, namely of small venial sins. And because she may not utterly destroy the root of sin thus in her sensuality, she conceiveth a great displeasaunce against her sensuality, of the which displeasaunce springeth an holy hate and a despising of the sensuality, by the which the soul is ever well kept from her ghostly enemies. There is nothing that keepeth the soul so strong and so sure as doth such an holy hate. And that felt well the Apostle, when he said: Cum infirmor, tonc fortior sum et potens;[125] that is: When I am sick and feeble in my sensuality by hate of sin, then am I stronger and mightier in my soul. Lo, of such hate cometh virtue, of such feebleness cometh strength, and of such displeasaunce cometh pleasaunce. This holy hate maketh a man meek, and to feel meek things of himself. It maketh him patient in adversity, temperate in prosperity, and setteth him in all honesty of virtue, and maketh him to be loved both of God and man. And where this holy hate is not, there is inordinate love, which is the stinking canal of all sin, and root[126] of all evil concupiscence. Do therefore," she saith, "your business to put away such inordinate love of your own self, out of your hearts, and plant therein holy hate of sin. For certain that is the right way to perfection, and amendment of all sin."
     Here is a common answer which she used to say to the fiends:
     "I trust in my Lord Jesu Christ, and not in myself."
     Here is a rule how we shall behave us in time of temptation:
     "When temptation," she saith, "ariseth in us, we should never dispute nor make questions; for that is," she saith, "that the fiend most seeketh of us for to fall in questions with him. He trusteth so highly in the great subtlety of his malice, that he should overcome us with his sophistical reasons. Therefore a soul should never make questions, nor answer to the questions of the fiend, but rather turn her to devout prayer, and commend her to our Lord that she consent not to his subtle demands; for by virtue of devout prayer, and steadfast faith, we may overcome all the subtle temptations of the fiend."
     Here is a good conceit of this holy maid to eschew the temptations of the fiend:
     "It happeneth," she said, "that otherwhile[127] the devout fervour of a soul loving our Lord Jesu, either by some certain sin, or else by some new subtle temptations of the fiend, waxeth dull and slow, and otherwhile it is brought to very coldness;[128] in so much that some unwitty folks, considering that they be destitute from the ghostly comfort the which they were wont to have, leave[129] therefore the ghostly exercise that they were wont to use of prayer, of meditations, of reading, of holy communications, and of penance doing; whereby they be made more ready to be overcome of the fiend. For he desireth nothing else of Christ's knights, but that they should put away their armour by the which they were wont to overcome their enemies. A wise knight of our Lord Jesu should not do so. But thus, the more he feeleth[130] himself dull and slow, or cold in devotion, the rather he should continue in his ghostly exercise, and not for to make them less, but rather increase them."
     Here is another doctrine of this holy maid, the which she used to say to herself in edifying of others:
     "Thou vile and wretched creature, art thou worthy any manner of comfort in this life? Why hast thou not mind of thy sins? What supposest thou of thyself, wretched sinner? Is it not enough to thee, trowest thou not, that thou art escaped by the mercy of our Lord from everlasting damnation? Therefore thou shouldest be well apaid,[131] wretch, though thou suffer all the pains and darkness of thy soul all the days of thy life. Why art thou, then, heavy and sorrowful to suffer such pains, sith by God's grace thou shalt escape endless pains with Christ Jesu without any doubt, and be comforted endlessly, if thou bear these pains patiently. Whether hast thou chosen to serve our Lord only for the comfort that thou mayst have of Him in this life? Nay, but for the comfort that thou shalt have of Him in the bliss of heaven. Therefore arise up now, and cease never of thy ghostly exercise that thou hast used, but rather increase to them more."
     Here is an answer by the which she had a final victory of the fiend, after long threats of intolerable pains:
     "I have chosen pain for my refreshing, and therefore it is not hard to me to suffer them, but rather delectable for the love of my Saviour, as long as it pleaseth His Majesty that I shall suffer them."
     Here is a doctrine of the said virgin, how we should use the grace of our Lord:
     "Who so could use the grace of our Lord, he should ever have the victory of all things that falleth to him. For as often," she said, "as any new thing falleth to a man, be it of prosperity or adversity, he should think in himself thus: Of this will I win somewhat. For he that can do so, shall soon be rich in virtue."
     Here followeth notable doctrines of this holy maid, taken of her sermon which she made to her disciples before her passing, and the first was this:
     "What so ever he be that cometh to the service of God, if he will have God truly, it is needful to him that he make his heart naked from all sensible love, not only of certain persons but of every creature what that ever he be, and then he should stretch up his soul to our Lord and our Maker, simply, with all the desire of his heart. For an heart may not wholly be given to God, but if it be free from all other love, open and simple without doubleness." And so she affirmed of herself, that it was her principal labour and business from her young age unto that time, ever for to come to that perfection. Also she said that she knew well that to such a state of perfection, in the which all the heart is given to God, a soul may not come perfectly without meditation of devout prayer, and that the prayer be grounded in meekness, and that it come not forth and proceed by any trust of any manner of virtue of him that prayeth, but alway he should know himself to be right nought. For she said that that was ever her business, to give herself to the exercise of prayer, so for to win the continual habit of prayer; for she did see well that by prayer all virtues are increased, and made mighty and strong; and, without prayer, they wax feeble and defail.[132] Wherefore she induced her disciples that they should busy them to prayer perseverauntly; and therefore she told them of two manner of prayers:[133] Vocal and Mental. Vocal prayers, she said, should be kept certain hours in the night and in the day ordained by holy Church; but mental prayer should ever be had, in act or in habit of the soul. Also she said that, by the light of quick faith, she saw clearly and conceived in her soul that what that ever befell to her, or to any others, all cometh from God, not for hate but for great love that He hath to His creatures; and by[134] this quick faith she conceived in herself a love and a readiness to obey as well to the precepts of her sovereigns,[135] as to the commandments of God, ever thinking that their precepts should come from God, either for need of herself, or else for increase of virtue in her soul. Also she said, for to get and purchase purity of soul, it were right necessary that a man kept himself from all manner of judgments of his [neighbour, and from all idle speaking of his][136] neighbour's deeds; for in every creature we should behold only the will of God. And therefore she said that in no wise men should deem[137] creatures; that is, neither despise them by their doom[138] nor condemn them, all be it that they see them do open sin before them; but rather they should have compassion on them and pray for them, and despise them not, nor condemn them. Also she said that she had great hope and trust in God's providence; for, she said, she knew well[139] by experience that the Divine providence was and is a passing great thing, for it wanteth never to them that hopeth in it.



[118]So Pepwell and MS. Reg. 17 D.V.; Caxton has: "Thou art she that art not, and I am he that am"; which is nearer to the Latin.

[119]Caxton reads: I escape gracyously all his snares."

[120]Cf. Dante, Par. xxxiii. 100-105:--

" A quella luce cotal si diventa,

Che volgersi da lei per altro aspetto,

È impossibil che mai si consenta;

Però che il ben, ch'è del volere obbietto,

Tutto s'accoglie in lei, e fuor di quella

È difettivo ciò che lì è perfetto."

" Such at that light does one become, that it were impossible ever to consent to turn from it for sight of ought else, For the good, that is the object of the will, is wholly gathered therein, and outside it that is defective which there is perfect."

[121]So Pepwell: Caxton has: "yf thou wilt gete the vertu of ghostely strength."

[122]Pepwell and the MS. add: "and temptations" (Caxton: "of temptacyons"); which is clearly out of place. Cf. Legenda, SS 104 (Acta Sanctorum, Aprilis, tom. iii.).

[123]2 Cor. i. 7.

[124]Mated. Caxton has: "vertuously y-mette." Cf. Legenda, SS 101: "Talis anima sic Deo conjuncta."

[125]2 Cor. xii. 10.

[126]"And the cause and the rote" (Caxton).


[128]Caxton has: "It happed she sayde that other whyle deuoute feruour of a sowle leuyng oure lorde Jhesu other by somme certeyne synne, or ellys by newe sotyll temptacyons of the fende wexyth dull and slowe, and other whyle it is y-brought to veray coldenesse." Pepwell and the MS. are entirely corrupt: "It happeneth (she sayth) that otherwhyle a synner whiche is leuynge our Lord Jhesu by some certeyn synne, or ellys by some certeyn temptacyons of the fende," &c. The original of the passage runs thus: "Frequenter enim (ut inquiebat) contingit animae Deum amanti quod fervor mentalis, vel ex divina providentia, vel ex aliquali culpa, vel ex haustis adinventionibus inimici, tepescit, et quandoque quasi ad frigiditatem usque deducitur" (Legenda SS 107).

[129]So Caxton; Pepwell has: "leaving."

[130]Caxton has: "seeth"; the Latin text: quantumcumque videat seu sentiat.


[132]So the MS.; Pepwell reads: "were feble and fayle"; and Caxton: "wexed feble and defayled."

[133]Caxton reads: "prayng" (praying).

[134]So Caxton: Pepwell and MS. have: "in."

[135]Latin, Praelatorum suorum (i.e. of her ecclesiastical superiors), Legenda, SS 361.

[136]Omitted in Pepwell and in MS.

[137]Judge. Cf. above, p. 14.


[139]"Also she sayd that she hadde alwaye grete hope and truste in Goddes prouydence, and to this same truste she endured her dysciples seyng unto theym that she founde and knewe" (Caxton).

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