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ABOOKOFCONTEMPLATIONTHEWHICHIS CALLEDTHECLOUDOFUNKNOWING,INTHE WHICHASOULISONEDWITHGOD


EditedfromtheBritishMuseumMS.Harl.674 WithanIntroduction BY

EVELYNUNDERHILL
SECONDEDITION London JOHNM.WATKINS 21CecilCourt,CharingCrossRoad 1922

INTRODUCTION
THElittlefamilyofmysticaltreatiseswhichisknowntostudentsastheCloudof Unknowinggroup,deservesmoreattentionthanithashithertoreceivedfromEnglish loversofmysticism:foritrepresentsthefirstexpressioninourowntongueofthatgreat mystictraditionoftheChristianNeoplatonistswhichgatheredup,remade,andsalted withChristssaltallthatwasbestinthespiritualwisdomoftheancientworld. ThatwisdommadeitsdefiniteentranceintotheCatholicfoldaboutA.D.500,in thewritingsoftheprofoundandnamelessmysticwhochosetocallhimselfDionysius theAreopagite.Threehundredandfiftyyearslater,thosewritingsweretranslatedinto LatinbyJohnScotusErigena,ascholaratthecourtofCharlemagne,andsobecame availabletotheecclesiasticalworldoftheWest.Anotherfivehundredyearselapsed, duringwhichtheirinfluencewasfelt,andfeltstrongly,bythemysticsofevery Europeancountry:bySt.Bernard,theVictorines,St.Bonaventura,St.ThomasAquinas. EveryreaderofDanteknowsthepartwhichtheyplayintheParadiso.Then,aboutthe middleofthe14thcentury,Englandatthattimeintheheightofhergreatmystical periodledthewaywiththefirsttranslationintothevernacularoftheAreopagites work.InDioniseHidDivinite,aversionoftheMysticaTheologia,thisspiritual treasurehousewasfirstmadeaccessibletothoseoutsidetheprofessionallyreligious class.Surelythisisafactwhichallloversofmysticism,allspiritualpatriots,shouldbe concernedtoholdinremembrance. ItissupposedbymostscholarsthatDioniseHidDivinite,whichappearingasit didinanepochofgreatspiritualvitalityquicklyattainedtoaconsiderablecirculation, isbythesamehandwhichwrotetheCloudofUnknowinganditscompanionbooks;and thatthishandalsoproducedanEnglishparaphraseofRichardofSt.Victors Benjamin Minor,anotherworkofmuchauthorityonthecontemplativelife.Certainlytheinfluence ofRichardisonlysecondtothatofDionysiusinthisunknownmysticsownwork work,however,whichowesasmuchtothedeeppersonalexperience,andextraordinary psychologicalgiftsofitswriter,astothetraditionthatheinheritedfromthepast. Nothingisknownofhim;beyondthefact,whichseemsclearfromhiswritings, thathewasacloisteredmonkdevotedtothecontemplativelife.Ithasbeenthoughtthat hewasaCarthusian.Buttheruleofthataustereorder,whosememberslivein hermitlikeseclusion,andscarcelymeetexceptforthepurposeofdivineworship,can hardlyhaveaffordedhimopportunityofobservingandenduringallthosetiresome tricksandabsurdmannerismsofwhichhegivessoamusingandrealisticadescription inthelighterpassagesoftheCloud.Thesepassagesbetraythehalfhumorous exasperationofthetemperamentalrecluse,nervous,fastidious,andhypersensitive, lovingsilenceandpeace,butcompelledtoadailyandhourlycompanionshipwith personsofalesscontemplativetype:somefindinginextravagantandmeaningless gesturesanoutletforsuppressedvitality;othersoverflowingwithaterrible cheerfulnesslikegigglinggirlsandnicejapingjugglers;otherssolackinginrepose thattheycanneithersitstill,standstill,norliestill,unlesstheybeeitherwaggingwith theirfeetorelsesomewhatdoingwiththeirhands.Thoughhecannotgotothelength

3 ofcondemningthesehabitsasmortalsins,theauthoroftheCloudleavesusinnodoubt astotheirritationwithwhichtheyinspiredhim,orthedistrustwithwhichheregards thespiritualclaimsofthosewhofidget. TheattempttoidentifythismysteriouswriterwithWalterHilton,theauthorof TheScaleofPerfection,hascompletelyfailed:thoughHiltonsworkespeciallythe exquisitefragmentcalledtheSongofAngelscertainlybetrayshisinfluence.Theworks attributedtohim,ifweexcludethetranslationsfromDionysiusandRichardofSt. Victor,areonlyfiveinnumber.Theyare,first,TheCloudofUnknowingthelongestand mostcompleteexpositionofitsauthorspeculiardoctrineand,dependingfromit,four shorttractsorletters:TheEpistleofPrayer,TheEpistleofDiscretionintheStirringsofthe Soul,TheEpistleofPrivyCounsel,andTheTreatiseofDiscerningofSpirits.Somecriticshave evendisputedtheclaimofthewriteroftheCloudtotheauthorshipoftheselittleworks, regardingthemastheproductionofagrouporschoolofcontemplativesdevotedtothe studyandpracticeoftheDionysianmysticaltheology;buttheunityofthoughtand stylefoundinthemmakesthishypothesisatleastimprobable.Everythingpointsrather totheirbeingtheworkofanoriginalmysticalgenius,ofstronglymarkedcharacterand greatliteraryability:who,whilsthetooktheframeworkofhisphilosophyfrom DionysiustheAreopagite,andofhispsychologyfromRichardofSt.Victor,yetisinno senseamereimitatorofthesemasters,butintroducedagenuinelynewelementinto mediaevalreligiousliterature. What,then,werehisspecialcharacteristics?Whencecamethefreshcolourwhich hegavetotheoldPlatonictheoryofmysticalexperience?First,Ithink,fromthe combinationofhighspiritualgiftswithavividsenseofhumour,keenpowersof observation,arobustcommonsense:abalanceofqualitiesnotindeedrareamongstthe mystics,butherepresentedtousinanextremeform.Inhiseagergazingondivinitythis contemplativeneverlosestouchwithhumanity,neverforgetsthesovereignpurposeof hiswritings;whichisnotadeclarationofthespiritualfavourshehasreceived,buta helpingofhisfellowmentosharethem.Next,hehasagreatsimplicityofoutlook, whichenableshimtopresenttheresultofhishighestexperiencesandintuitionsinthe mostdirectandhomelylanguage.Soactual,andsomuchapartofhisnormalexistence, arehisapprehensionsofspiritualreality,thathecangivethemtousintheplainwords ofdailylife:andthusheisoneofthemostrealisticofmysticalwriters.Heaboundsin vividlittlephrasesCallsinalump:Shortprayerpiercethheaven:Nowhere bodily,iseverywhereghostly:Whothatwillnotgothestraitwaytoheaven,...shall gothesoftwaytohell.Hisrangeofexperienceisawideone.Hedoesnotdisdainto takeahintfromthewizardsandnecromancersontherightwaytotreatthedevil;he drawshisillustrationsofdivinemercyfromthehomeliestincidentsoffriendshipand parentallove.Askilledtheologian,quotingSt.AugustineandThomasAquinas,and usingwitheasethelanguageofscholasticism,heisable,ontheotherhand,toexpress thedeepestspeculationsofmysticalphilosophywithoutresortingtoacademic terminology:asforinstancewherehedescribesthespiritualheavenasastaterather thanaplace: Forheavenghostlyisasnighdownasup,andupasdown:behindasbefore, beforeasbehind,ononesideasother.Insomuch,thatwhosohadatruedesirefortobe

4 atheaven,thenthatsametimehewereinheavenghostly.Forthehighandthenextway thitherisrunbydesires,andnotbypacesoffeet. Hiswritings,thoughtheytouchonmanysubjects,arechieflyconcernedwiththe artofcontemplativeprayer;thatblindintentstretchingtoGodwhich,ifitbewholly setonHim,cannotfailtoreachitsgoal.Apeculiartalentforthedescriptionand discriminationofspiritualstateshasenabledhimtodiscernandsetbeforeus,with astonishingprecisionandvividness,notonlythestrangesensations,theconfusionand bewildermentofthebeginnerintheearlystagesofcontemplationthestrugglewith distractingthoughts,thesilence,thedarkandtheunfortunatestateofthose theoreticalmysticswho,swollenwithprideandwithcuriosityofmuchclergyand letterlycunningasinclerks,missthattreasurewhichisnevergotbystudybutall onlybygrace;butalsothehappinessofthosewhosesharpdartoflonginglovehas notfailedoftheprick,thewhichisGod. Agreatsimplicitycharacteriseshisdoctrineofthesoulsattainmentofthe Absolute.Forhimthereisbutonecentralnecessity:theperfectandpassionatesettingof thewillupontheDivine,sothatitisthyloveandthymeaning,thechoiceandpointof thineheart.Notbydeliberateasceticpractices,notbyrefusaloftheworld,notby intellectualstriving,butbyactivelylovingandchoosing,bythatwhichamodern psychologisthascalledthesynthesisofloveandwilldoesthespiritofmanachieveits goal.ForsilenceisnotGod,hesaysintheEpistleofDiscretion,norspeakingisnot God;fastingisnotGod,noreatingisnotGod;lonelinessisnotGod,norcompanyisnot God;noryetanyofalltheothertwosuchcontraries.Heishidbetweenthem,andmay notbefoundbyanyworkofthysoul,butallonlybyloveofthineheart.Hemaynotbe knownbyreason,Hemaynotbegottenbythought,norconcludedbyunderstanding; butHemaybelovedandchosenwiththetruelovelywillofthineheart....Suchablind shotwiththesharpdartoflonginglovemayneverfailoftheprick,thewhichisGod. Tohimwhohassolovedandchosen,andinatruewillandbyanwholeintent doespurposehimtobeaperfectfollowerofChrist,notonlyinactiveliving,butinthe sovereignestpointofcontemplativeliving,thewhichispossiblebygracefortobecome tointhispresentlife,thesewritingsareaddressed.Intheprologueofthe Cloudof Unknowingwefindthewarning,sooftenprefixedtomediaevalmysticalworks,thatit shallonnoaccountbelent,given,orreadtoothermen:whocouldnotunderstand,and mightmisunderstandinadangeroussense,itspeculiarmessage.Norwasthiswarning amereexpressionofliteraryvanity.Ifwemayjudgebytheexamplesofpossible misunderstandingagainstwhichheiscarefultoguardhimself,thealmosttiresome remindersthatallhisremarksareghostly,notbodilymeant,thestandardof intelligencewhichtheauthorexpectedfromhisreaderswasnotahighone.Heeven fearsthatsomeyoungpresumptuousghostlydisciplesmayunderstandtheinjunction toliftuptheheartinamerelyphysicalmanner;andeitherstareinthestarsasifthey wouldbeabovethemoon,ortravailtheirfleshlyheartsoutrageouslyintheirbreasts intheefforttomakeliteralascensionstoGod.Eccentricitiesofthiskindhefindsnot onlyfoolishbutdangerous;theyoutragenature,destroysanityandhealth,andhurt fullsorethesillysoul,andmakeitfesterinfantasyfeignedoffiends.Heobserveswith atouchofarrogancethathisbookisnotintendedfortheseundisciplinedseekersafter

5 theabnormalandthemarvellous,noryetforfleshlyjanglers,flatterersand blamers,...nornoneofthesecurious,lettered,norunlearnedmen.Itistothosewho feelthemselvescalledtothetrueprayerofcontemplation,tothesearchforGod, whetherinthecloisterortheworldwhoselittlesecretloveisatoncetheenergizing causeofallaction,andthehiddensweetsavouroflifethatheaddresseshimself. Theseheinstructsinthatsimpleyetdifficultartofrecollection,thenecessary preliminaryofanytruecommunionwiththespiritualorder,inwhichallsensual images,allmemoriesandthoughts,areashesays,troddendownunderthecloudof forgettinguntilnothinglivesintheworkingmindbutanakedintentstretchingto God.Thisintentstretchingthislovingandvigorousdeterminationofthewillhe regardsasthecentralfactofthemysticallife;theveryheartofeffectiveprayer.Onlyby itsexercisecanthespirit,freedfromthedistractionsofmemoryandsense,focusitself uponRealityandascendwithaprivylovepressedtothatCloudofUnknowing theDivineIgnoranceoftheNeoplatonistswhereinisknituptheghostlyknotof burninglovebetwixttheeandthyGod,inghostlyoneheadandaccordingofwill. Thereisinthisdoctrinesomethingwhichshouldbepeculiarlycongenialtothe activistictendenciesofmodernthought.Hereisnotaintofquietism,noinvitationtoa spirituallimpness.Fromfirsttolastgladanddeliberateworkisdemandedofthe initiate:anallroundwholenessofexperienceisinsistedon.Amanmaynotbefully active,butifhebeinpartcontemplative;noryetfullycontemplative,asitmaybehere, butifhebeinpartactive.Overandoveragain,theemphasisislaidonthisactive aspectofalltruespiritualityalwaysafavouritethemeofthegreatEnglishmystics. Lovecannotbelazy,saidRichardRolle.SotoofortheauthoroftheCloudenergyis themarkoftrueaffection.Doforthever,moreandmore,sothatthoubeever doing....Doonthenfast;letseehowthoubearestthee.SeestthounothowHe standethandabideththee? True,thewillalone,howeverardentandindustrious,cannotofitselfsetup communionwiththesupernalworld:thisistheworkofonlyGod,speciallywrought inwhatsoulthatHimliketh.Butmancanandmustdohispart.First,therearethe virtuestobeacquired:thoseornamentsoftheSpiritualMarriagewithwhichno mysticcandispense.Sincewecanbutbeholdthatwhichweare,hischaractermustbe setinorder,hismindandheartmadebeautifulandpure,beforehecanlookonthe triplestarofGoodness,Truth,andBeauty,whichisGod.Everygreatspiritualteacher hasspokeninthesamesense:oftheneedforthatwhichRollecallsthemendingof liferegeneration,therebuildingofcharacterasthepreparationofthecontemplative act. FortheauthoroftheCloudallhumanvirtueiscomprisedinthetwinqualitiesof HumilityandCharity.Hewhohasthese,hasall.Humility,inaccordancewiththe doctrineofRichardofSt.Victor,heidentifieswithselfknowledge;theterriblevisionof thesoulasitis,whichinducesfirstselfabasementandthenselfpurificationthe beginningofallspiritualgrowth,andthenecessaryantecedentofallknowledgeofGod. Thereforeswinkandsweatinallthatthoucanstandmayst,fortogettheeatrue knowingandafeelingofthyselfasthouart;andthenItrowthatsoonafterthat,thou shalthaveatrueknowingandafeelingofGodasHeis.

6 AsallmansfeelingandthoughtofhimselfandhisrelationtoGodis comprehendedinHumility,soallhisfeelingandthoughtofGodinHimselfis comprehendedinCharity;theselfgivingloveofDivinePerfectioninHimselfandfor HimselfwhichHiltoncallsthesovereignandtheessentialjoy.Togetherthesetwo virtuesshouldembracethesumofhisresponsestotheUniverse;theyshouldgovern hisattitudetomanaswellashisattitudetoGod.Charityisnoughtelse...butloveof GodforHimselfaboveallcreatures,andofmanforGodevenasthyself. CharityandHumility,then,togetherwiththeardentandindustriouswill,are thenecessarypossessionsofeachsoulsetuponthisadventure.Theirpresenceitis whichmarksoutthetruefromthefalsemystic:anditwouldseem,fromthedetailed, vivid,andoftenamusingdescriptionsofthesanctimonious,thehypocritical,the selfsufficient,andtheselfdeceivedintheirdiverseandwonderfulvariations,that suchatestwasasgreatlyneededintheAgesofFaithasitisatthepresentday.Sham spiritualityflourishedinthemediaevalcloister,andofferedaconstantopportunityof errortothoseyoungenthusiastswhowerenotyetawarethatthetruefreedomof eternitycomethnotwithobservation.Affectationsofsanctity,pretensetorare mysticalexperiences,wereafavouritemeansofadvertisement.Psychicphenomena,too, seemtohavebeencommon:ecstasies,visions,voices,thescentofstrangeperfumes,the hearingofsweetsounds.ForthesesupposedindicationsofDivinefavour,theauthorof theCloudhasnomorerespectthanthemodernpsychologist:andhere,ofcourse,heis inagreementwithallthegreatestwritersonmysticism,whoareunanimousintheir dislikeanddistrustofallvisionaryandauditiveexperience.Suchthings,heconsiders, aremostoftenhallucination:and,wheretheyarenot,shouldberegardedasthe accidentsratherthanthesubstanceofthecontemplativelifetheharshrindofsense, whichcoversthesweetnutofpureghostliness.Werewetrulyspiritual,weshouldnot needthem;forourcommunionwithRealitywouldthenbethedirectandineffable intercourseoflikewithlike. Moreover,theseautomatismareamongstthemostdangerousinstrumentsof selfdeception.Ofttimes,hesaysofthosewhodeliberatelyseekforrevelations,the devilfeignethquaintsoundsintheirears,quaintlightsandshiningintheireyes,and wonderfulsmellsintheirnoses:andallisbutfalsehood.Henceitoftenhappensto thosewhogivethemselvesuptosuchexperiences,thatfastaftersuchafalsefeeling, comethafalseknowingintheFiendsschool:...forItelltheetruly,thatthedevilhath hiscontemplatives,asGodhathHis.Realspiritualillumination,hethinks,seldom comesbywayofthesepsychosensualautomatismintothebodybythewindowsof ourwits.Itspringsupwithinthesoulinabundanceofghostlygladness.Withso greatanauthorityitcomes,bringingwithitsuchwonderandsuchlove,thathethat feelethitmaynothaveitsuspect.Butallotherabnormalexperiencescomforts, soundsandgladness,andsweetness,thatcomefromwithoutsuddenlyshouldbeset aside,asmoreoftenresultinginfrenziesandfeeblenessofspiritthaningenuine increaseofghostlystrength. Thishealthyandmanlyviewofthemysticallife,asagrowthtowardsGod,a rightemploymentofthewill,ratherthanashortcuttohiddenknowledgeor supersensualexperience,isoneofthestrongestcharacteristicsofthewriterofthe Cloud;

7 andconstitutesperhapshisgreatestclaimonourrespect.MeanonlyGod,hesays againandagain;PressuponHimwithlonginglove;Agoodwillisthesubstanceof allperfection.Tothosewhohavethisgoodwill,heoffershisteaching:pointingoutthe dangersintheirway,theerrorsofmoodandofconductintowhichtheymayfall.They aretosetaboutthisspiritualworknotonlywithenergy,butwithcourtesy:not snatchingasitwereagreedygreyhoundatspiritualsatisfactions,butgentlyand joyouslypressingtowardsHimWhomJulianofNorwichcalledourmostcourteous Lord.Agladspiritofdallianceismorebecomingtothemthanthegrimdetermination ofthefanatic. "ShallI,agnatwhichdancesinThyray, Daretobereverent. Further,hecommunicatestothemcertainghostlydevicesbywhichtheymay overcometheinevitabledifficultiesencounteredbybeginnersincontemplation:the distractingthoughtsandmemorieswhichtormenttheselfthatisstrugglingtofocusall itsattentionuponthespiritualsphere.Thesternrepressionofsuchthoughts,however spiritual,heknowstobeessentialtosuccess:evensin,onceitisrepentedof,mustbe forgotteninorderthatPerfectGoodnessmaybeknown.ThelittlewordGod,andthe littlewordLove,aretheonlyideaswhichmaydwellinthecontemplativesmind. Anythingelsesplitshisattention,andsoonproceedsbymentalassociationtoleadhim furtherandfurtherfromtheconsiderationofthatsupersensualRealitywhichheseeks. Theprimalneedofthepurifiedsoul,then,isthepowerofConcentration.His wholebeingmustbesettowardstheObjectofhiscravingifheistoattaintoit:Look thatnothingliveinthyworkingmind,butanakedintentstretchingintoGod.Any thoughtofHimisinadequate,andforthatreasondefeatsitsownendadoctrine,of course,directlytraceabletotheMysticalTheologyofDionysiustheAreopagite.Of GodHimselfcannomanthink,saysthewriteroftheCloud,AndthereforeIwould leaveallthatthingthatIcanthink,andchoosetomylovethatthingthatIcannotthink. Theuniverseswhichareamenabletotheintellectcanneversatisfytheinstinctsofthe heart. Further,thereistobenowilfulchoosingofmethod:nofussyactivityofthe surfaceintelligence.ThemysticwhoseeksthedivineCloudofUnknowingistobe surrenderedtothedirectionofhisdeepermind,histranscendentalconsciousness:that sparkofthesoulwhichisintouchwitheternalrealities.Meddlethounottherewith, asthouwouldesthelpit,fordreadlestthouspillall.Bethoubutthetree,andletitbe thewright:bethoubutthehouse,andletitbethehusbandmandwellingtherein. IntheEpistleofPrivyCounselthereisapassagewhichexpresseswithsingular completenesstheauthorstheoryofthiscontemplativeartthissilentyetardent encounterofthesoulwithGod.Prayer,saidMechthildofMagdeburg,bringstogether twolovers,Godandthesoul,inanarrowroomwheretheyspeakmuchoflove:and heretheruleswhichgovernthatmeetingarelaiddownbyamastershand.When thoucomestbythyself,hesays,thinknotbeforewhatthoushaltdoafter,butforsake aswellgoodthoughtsasevilthoughts,andpraynotwiththymouthbutlisttheeright well.Andthenifthouaughtshaltsay,looknothowmuchnorhowlittlethatitbe,nor weighnotwhatitisnorwhatitbemeaneth...andlookthatnothingliveinthyworking

8 mindbutanakedintentstretchingintoGod,notclothedinanyspecialthoughtofGod inHimself....Thisnakedintentfreelyfastenedandgroundedinverybeliefshallbe noughtelsetothythoughtandtothyfeelingbutanakedthoughtandablindfeelingof thineownbeing:asifthousaidestthusuntoGod,withininthymeaning,ThatwhatI am,Lord,IofferuntoThee,withoutanylookingtoanyqualityofThyBeing,butonly thatThouartasThouart,withoutanymore.Thatmeekdarknessbethymirror,and thywholeremembrance.ThinknofurtherofthyselfthanIbidtheedoofthyGod,so thatthoubeonewithHiminspirit,asthuswithoutdepartingandscattering,forHeis thybeing,andinHimthouartthatthouart;notonlybycauseandbybeing,butalso, Heisintheeboththycauseandthybeing.AndthereforethinkonGodinthisworkas thoudostonthyself,andonthyselfasthoudostonGod:thatHeisasHeisandthouart asthouart,andthatthythoughtbenotscatterednordeparted,butprovedinHimthat isAll. Theconceptionofrealitywhichunderliesthisprofoundandbeautifulpassage, hasmuchincommonwiththatfoundintheworkofmanyothermystics;sinceitis ultimatelyderivedfromthegreatNeoplatonicphilosophyofthecontemplativelife.But thewriterinvestsit,Ithink,withadeeperandwidermeaningthanitismadetobearin thewritingsevenofRuysbroeck,St.Teresa,orSt.JohnoftheCross.ForHeisthy being,andinHimthouartthatthouart;notonlybycauseandbybeing,butalso,Heis intheeboththycauseandthybeing.Itwasadeepthinkeraswellasagreatloverwho wrotethis:onewhojoinedhandswiththephilosophers,aswellaswiththesaints. Thatmeekdarknessbethymirror.Whatisthisdarkness?Itisthenightofthe intellectintowhichweareplungedwhenweattaintoastateofconsciousnesswhichis abovethought;enteronaplaneofspiritualexperiencewithwhichtheintellectcannot deal.ThisistheDivineDarknesstheCloudofUnknowing,orofIgnorance,dark withexcessoflightpreachedbyDionysiustheAreopagite,andeagerlyacceptedby hisEnglishinterpreter.WhenIsaydarkness,Imeanalackingofknowing...andfor thisreasonitisnotcalledacloudoftheair,butacloudofunknowingthatisbetwixt theeandthyGod.Itisadarkmist,hesaysagain,whichseemethtobebetweenthee andthelightthouaspirestto.Thisdimnessandlostnessofmindisaparadoxicalproof ofattainment.Reasonisinthedark,becauselovehasenteredthemysteriousradiance oftheDivineDark,theinaccessiblelightwhereintheLordissaidtodwell,andtowhich thoughtwithallitsstrugglescannotattain. Lovers,saidPatmore,putoutthecandlesanddrawthecurtains,whenthey wishtoseethegodandthegoddess;and,inthehighercommunion,thenightof thoughtisthelightofperception.Thesestatementscannotbeexplained:theycanonly beprovedintheexperienceofmeindividualsoul.Whosodeservestoseeandknow Godreststherein,saysDionysiusofthatdarkness,and,bytheveryfactthathe neitherseesnorknows,istrulyinthatwhichsurpassesalltruthandallknowledge. Then,saysthewriteroftheCloudwhisperingasitweretothebewildered neophytethedearestsecretofhislovethenwillHesometimesperadventuresendout abeamofghostlylight,piercingthiscloudofunknowingthatisbetwixttheeandHim; andshowtheesomeofHisprivity,thewhichmanmaynot,norcannotspeak. * * * * * * *

9 NumerouscopiesoftheCloudofUnknowingandtheotherworksattributedtoits writerareinexistence.SixmanuscriptsoftheCloudareintheBritishMuseum:fouron vellum(Harl.674,Harl.959,Harl.2373,andRoyal17C.xxvii.),allofthe15thcentury; andtwoonpaper(Royal17C.xxvii.ofthe16thcentury,andRoyal17D.v.late15th century).Alltheseagreefairlyclosely;exceptforthefactsthatHarl.2373isincomplete, severalpageshavingdisappeared,andthatHarl.959givesthesubstanceofthewhole workinaslightlyshortenedform.ThepresenteditionisbaseduponHarl.674;which hasbeentranscribedandcollatedwithRoyal17C.xxvi.,andinthecaseofspecially obscurepassageswithRoyal17C.xxvii.,Royal17D.v.,andHarl.2373.Obviouserrors andomissionshavebeencorrected,andseveralobscurereadingselucidated,fromthese sources. TheCloudofUnknowingwasknown,andread,byEnglishCatholicsaslateasthe middleorendofthe17thcentury.ItwasmuchusedbythecelebratedBenedictine ascetic,theVenerableAugustineBaker(15751641),whowrotealongexpositionofthe doctrinewhichitcontains.TwomanuscriptsofthistreatiseexistintheBenedictine CollegeofSt.LaurenceatAmpleforth;togetherwithatranscriptoftheCloudof Unknowingdated1677.Manyreferencestoitwillalsobefoundinthevolumecalled HolyWisdom,whichcontainsthesubstancesofAugustineBakerswritingsontheinner life.TheCloudhasonlyoncebeenprinted:in1871,bytheRev.HenryCollins,underthe titleofTheDivineCloud,withaprefaceandnotesattributedtoAugustineBakerand probablytakenfromthetreatisementionedabove.Thiseditionisnowoutofprint.The MS.fromwhichitwasmadeisunknowntous.Itdifferswidely,bothinthematterof additionsandofomissions,fromallthetextsintheBritishMuseum,andrepresentsa distinctlyinferiorrecensionofthework.Amangledrenderingofthesublime Epistleof PrivyCounselisprefixedtoit.Throughout,thepithysayingsoftheoriginalareeither misquoted,orexpandedintoconventionalandflavourlesssentences.Numerous explanatoryphrasesforwhichourmanuscriptsgivenoauthorityhavebeen incorporatedintothetext.Allthequaintandhumorousturnsofspeechareomittedor toneddown.Theresponsibilityforthesecrimesagainstscholarshipcannotnowbe determined;butitseemslikelythatthetextfromwhichFatherCollinseditionwasin hisownwordsmostlytakenwasa17thcenturyparaphrase,maderatherinthe interestsofedificationthanofaccuracy;andthatitrepresentstheforminwhichthe workwasknownandusedbyAugustineBakerandhiscontemporaries. TheotherworksattributedtotheauthoroftheCloudhavefaredbetterthanthis. DioniseHidDivinitestillremainsinMS.:buttheEpistleofPrayer,theEpistleofDiscretion, andtheTreatiseofDiscerningofSpirits,togetherwiththeparaphraseoftheBenjamin MinorofRichardofSt.Victorwhichissupposedtobebythesamehand,wereincluded byHenryPepwell,in1521,inalittlevolumeofsevenmysticaltracts.Thesearenow accessibletothegeneralreader;havingbeenreprintedintheNewMedievalLibrary (1910)underthetitleofTheCellofSelf knowledge,withanadmirableintroductionand notesbyMr.EdmundGardner.Mr.GardnerhascollatedPepwellstextwiththat containedintheBritishMuseummanuscriptHarl.674;thesamevolumewhichhas providedthebasemanuscriptforthepresenteditionoftheCloud.

10 Thiseditionisintended,notforthestudentofMiddleEnglish,norforthe specialistinmediaevalliterature;butforthegeneralreaderandloverofmysticism.My objecthasbeentoproduceareadabletext,freefromlearnedandcriticalapparatus.The spellinghasthereforebeenmodernisedthroughout:andexceptinafewinstances, wherephrasesofaspecialcharmorquaintness,orthealliterativepassagesso characteristicoftheauthorsstyle,demandedtheirretention,obsoletewordshavebeen replacedbytheirnearestmodernequivalents.Onesuchword,however,whichoccurs constantlyhasgenerallybeenretained,onaccountofitsimportanceandthedifficultyof findinganexactsubstituteforitincurrentEnglish.Thisistheverbtolist,withits adjectiveandadverblistyandlistily,andthesubstantivelist,derivedfromit. Listisbestunderstoodbycomparisonwithitsopposite,listless.Itimpliesaglad andeageractivity,orsometimesanenergeticdesireorcraving:thewishandthewillto dosomething.Thenounoftenstandsforpleasureordelight,theadverbforthewilling andjoyousperformanceofanaction:theputtingofonesheartintooneswork.The modernlust,fromthesameroot,suggestsaviolencewhichwasexpresslyexcluded fromtheMiddleEnglishmeaningoflist. MyheartiestthanksareduetoMr.DavidInward,whotranscribedthe manuscriptonwhichthisversionisbased,andthroughouthasgivenmeskilledand untiringassistanceinsolvingmanyoftheproblemswhicharoseinconnectionwithit; andtoMr.J.A.Herbert,AssistantkeeperofManuscriptsintheBritishMuseum,who hasreadtheproofs,andalsodatedthemanuscriptsoftheCloudforthepurposesofthe presentedition,andtowhoseexpertknowledgeandunfailingkindnessIoweadeep debtofgratitude. EVELYNUNDERHILL.

11

Glossary
Beholding Regard,consideration. Boisterous Rough,violent,unskilful,crude. Clergy Learning. Con Toknow,orbeable. Counsel Spiritualadviserordirector. Doomsman Judge. Evenchristian Neighbour. Fairhead Beauty. Forsobbed Soakedorpenetrated. Forsunken Immersed. Let Tohinder. Lewd Unlettered,orignorant. Namely Specially. Onehead Union. Out! Alas. Pincher Acovetousorniggardlyperson. Ravishing Ecstasy. Reckless Indifferent. Ronker Awhisperer. Ronner Agossiportalebearer. Swink Tolabour.

12 Witting Knowledge. Wode Mad,furious.

13

Herebeginnethabookofcontemplation,thewhichis calledtheCLOUDOFUNKNOWING,inthewhicha soulisonedwithGOD.


HereBeginneththePrayeronthePrologue
GOD,untowhomallheartsbeopen,anduntowhomallwillspeaketh,anduntowhom noprivythingishid.IbeseechTheesofortocleansetheintentofmineheartwiththe unspeakablegiftofThygrace,thatImayperfectlyloveThee,andworthilypraiseThee. Amen.

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HereBeginneththePrologue
INthenameoftheFatherandoftheSonandoftheHolyGhost!IchargetheeandI beseechthee,withasmuchpowerandvirtueasthebondofcharityissufficientto suffer,whatsoeverthoubethatthisbookshalthaveinpossession,eitherbyproperty, eitherbykeeping,bybearingasmessenger,orelsebyborrowing,thatinasmuchasin theeisbywillandadvisement,neitherthoureadit,norwriteit,norspeakit,noryet sufferitberead,written,orspoken,ofanyortoanybutifitbeofsuchone,ortosuch one,thathathbythysupposinginatruewillandbyanwholeintentpurposedhimto beaperfectfollowerofChristnotonlyinactiveliving,butinthesovereignestpointof contemplativelivingthewhichispossiblebygracefortobecometointhispresentlife ofaperfectsoulyetabidinginthisdeadlybody;andtheretothatdoththatinhimis, andbythysupposinghathdonelongtimebefore,fortoablehimtocontemplative livingbythevirtuousmeansofactiveliving.Forelseitaccordethnothingtohim.And overthisIchargetheeandIbeseechtheebytheauthorityofcharity,thatifanysuch shallreadit,writeit,orspeakit,orelsehearitbereadorspoken,thatthouchargehim asIdothee,fortotakehimtimetoreadit,speakit,writeit,orhearit,allover.For peradventurethereissomematterthereininthebeginningorinthemiddle,thewhich ishanging,andnotfullydeclaredwhereitstandeth:andifitbenotthere,itissoon after,orelseintheend.Whereforeifamansawonematterandnotanother, peradventurehemightlightlybeledintoerror;andthereforeineschewingofthiserror, bothinthyselfandinallother,IpraytheeforcharitydoasIsaythee. Fleshlyjanglers,openpraisersandblamersofthemselvesorofanyother,tellers oftrifles,ronnersandtattlersoftales,andallmannerofpinchers,caredIneverthat theysawthisbook.Formineintentwasnevertowritesuchthinguntothem,and thereforeIwouldthattheymeddlenottherewith;neitherthey,noranyofthesecurious, lettered,orunlearnedmen.Yea,althoughthattheybefullgoodmenofactiveliving,yet thismatteraccordethnothingtothem.Butifitbetothosemen,thewhichalthough theystandinactivitybyoutwardformofliving,neverthelessyetbyinwardstirring aftertheprivyspiritofGod,whosedoomsbehid,theybefullgraciouslydisposed,not continuallyasitispropertoverycontemplatives,butnowandthentobeperceiversin thehighestpointofthiscontemplativeact;ifsuchmenmightseeit,theyshouldbythe graceofGodbegreatlycomfortedthereby. Thisbookisdistinguishedinseventychaptersandfive.Ofthewhichchapters, thelastchapterofallteachethsomecertaintokensbythewhichasoulmayverilyprove whetherhebecalledofGodtobeaworkerinthisworkornone.

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HereBeginnethaTableoftheChapters
THEFIRSTCHAPTER OffourdegreesofChristianmensliving;andofthecourseofhiscallingthatthis bookwasmadeunto THESECONDCHAPTER Ashortstirringtomeekness,andtotheworkofthisbook THETHIRDCHAPTER Howtheworkofthisbookshallbewroughtandoftheworthinessofitbeforeall otherworks THEFOURTHCHAPTER Oftheshortnessofthiswork,andhowitmaynotbecometobythecuriosityof wit,norbyimagination THEFIFTHCHAPTER Thatinthetimeofthisworkallthecreaturesthateverhavebeen,benow,orever shallbe,andalltheworksofthosesamecreatures,shouldbehidunder thecloudofforgetting THESIXTHCHAPTER Ashortconceitoftheworkofthisbook,treatedbyquestion THESEVENTHCHAPTER Howamanshallhavehiminthisworkagainstallthoughts,andspeciallyagainst allthosethatariseofhisowncuriosity,ofcunning,andofnaturalwit THEEIGHTHCHAPTER Agooddeclaringofcertaindoubtsthatmayfallinthiswork,treatedbyquestion, indestroyingofamansowncuriosity,ofcunning,andofnaturalwit,and indistinguishingofthedegreesandthepartsofactivelivingand contemplative THENINTHCHAPTER Thatinthetimeofthisworktheremembranceoftheholiestcreaturethatever Godmadelettethmorethanitprofiteth THETENTHCHAPTER Howamanshallknowwhenhisthoughtisnosin;andifitbesin,whenitis deadlyandwhenitisvenial THEELEVENTHCHAPTER

16 Thatamanshouldweigheachthoughtandeachstirringafterthatitis,and alwayseschewrecklessnessinvenialsin THETWELFTHCHAPTER Thatbyvirtueofthisworksinisnotonlydestroyed,butalsovirtuesbegotten THETHIRTEENTHCHAPTER Whatmeeknessisinitself,andwhenitisperfectandwhenitisimperfect THEFOURTEENTHCHAPTER Thatwithoutimperfectmeeknesscomingbefore,itisimpossibleforasinnerto cometotheperfectvirtueofmeeknessinthislife THEFIFTEENTHCHAPTER Ashortproofagainsttheirerrorthatsaythatthereisnoperfectercausetobe meekedunder,thanistheknowledgeofamansownwretchedness THESIXTEENTHCHAPTER Thatbyvirtueofthisworkasinnertrulyturnedandcalledtocontemplation comethsoonertoperfectionthanbyanyotherwork;andbyitsoonestmay getofGodforgivenessofsins THESEVENTEENTHCHAPTER Thataverycontemplativelistnotmeddlehimwithactivelife,norofanything thatisdoneorspokenabouthim,noryettoanswertohisblamersin excusingofhimself THEEIGHTEENTHCHAPTER HowthatyetuntothisdayallactivescomplainofcontemplativesasMarthadid ofMary.Ofthewhichcomplainingignoranceisthecause THENINETEENTHCHAPTER Ashortexcusationofhimthatmadethisbook,teachinghowallcontemplatives shouldhaveallactivesfullyexcusedoftheircomplainingwordsand deeds THETWENTIETHCHAPTER HowAlmightyGodwillgoodlyanswerforallthosethatfortheexcusingof themselveslistnotleavetheirbusinessabouttheloveofHim THEONEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Thetrueexpositionofthisgospelword,Maryhathchosenthebestpart THETWOANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER

17 OfthewonderfullovethatChristhadtomaninpersonofallsinnerstrulyturned andcalledtothegraceofcontemplation THETHREEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER HowGodwillanswerandpurveyfortheminspirit,thatforbusinessaboutHis lovelistnotanswernorpurveyforthemselves THEFOURANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Whatcharityisinitself,andhowitistrulyandperfectlycontainedintheworkof thisbook. THEFIVEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Thatinthetimeofthisworkaperfectsoulhathnospecialbeholdingtoanyone maninthislife THESIXANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Thatwithoutfullspecialgrace,orlonguseincommongrace,theworkofthis bookisrighttravailous;andinthiswork,whichistheworkofthesoul helpedbygrace,andwhichistheworkofonlyGod THESEVENANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Whoshouldworkinthegraciousworkofthisbook THEEIGHTANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Thatamanshouldnotpresumetoworkinthisworkbeforethetimethathebe lawfullycleansedinconscienceofallhisspecialdeedsofsin THENINEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER Thatamanshouldbidinglytravailinthiswork,andsufferthepainthereof,and judgenoman THETHIRTIETHCHAPTER Whoshouldblameandcondemnothermensdefaults THEONEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Howamanshouldhavehiminbeginningofthisworkagainstallthoughtsand stirringsofsin THETWOANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Oftwoghostlydevicesthatbehelpfultoaghostlybeginnerintheworkofthis book THETHREEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER

18 Thatinthisworkasouliscleansedbothofhisspecialsinsandofthepainof them,andyethowthereisnoperfectrestinthislife THEFOURANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER ThatGodgiveththisgracefreelywithoutanymeans,andthatitmaynotbecome towithmeans THEFIVEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Ofthreemeansinthewhichacontemplativeprenticeshouldbeoccupied;in reading,thinking,andpraying THESIXANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Ofthemeditationsofthemthatcontinuallytravailintheworkofthisbook THESEVENANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Ofthespecialprayersofthemthatbecontinualworkersintheworkofthisbook THEEIGHTANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Howandwhythatshortprayerpiercethheaven THENINEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER Howaperfectworkershallpray,andwhatprayerisinitself;and,ifamanshall prayinwords,whichwordsaccordthemmosttothepropertyofprayer THEFORTIETHCHAPTER Thatinthetimeofthisworkasoulhathnospecialbeholdingtoanyviceinitself nortoanyvirtueinitself THEONEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Thatinallotherworksbeneaththis,menshouldkeepdiscretion;butinthisnone THETWOANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Thatbyindiscretioninthis,menshallkeepdiscretioninallotherthings;and surelyelsenever THETHREEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Thatallwritingandfeelingofamansownbeingmustneedsbelostifthe perfectionofthisworkshallverilybefeltinanysoulinthislife THEFOURANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Howasoulshalldisposeitonitsownpart,fortodestroyallwittingandfeeling ofitsownbeing THEFIVEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER

19 Agooddeclaringofsomecertaindeceitsthatmaybefallinthiswork THESIXANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Agoodteachinghowamanshallfleethesedeceits,andworkmorewitha listinessofspiritthanwithanyboisterousnessofbody THESEVENANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Aslightteachingofthisworkinpurityofspirit;declaringhowthatonone mannerasoulshouldshewhisdesireuntoGod,andonyecontrary,unto man THEEIGHTANDFORTIETHCHAPTER HowGodwillbeservedbothwithbodyandwithsoul,andrewardmeninboth; andhowmenshallknowwhenallthosesoundsandsweetnessthatfall intothebodyintimeofprayerbebothgoodandevil THENINEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER Thesubstanceofallperfectionisnoughtelsebutagoodwill;andhowthatall soundsandcomfortsandsweetnessthatmaybefallinthislifebetoitbut asitwereaccidents THEFIFTIETHCHAPTER Whichischastelove;andhowinsomecreaturessuchsensiblecomfortsbebut seldom,andinsomerightoft THEONEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Thatmenshouldhavegreatwarinesssothattheyunderstandnotbodilyathing thatismeantghostly;andspeciallyitisgoodtobewaryinunderstanding ofthiswordin,andofthiswordup THETWOANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Howtheseyoungpresumptuousdisciplesmisunderstandthiswordin,andofthe deceitsthatfollowthereon THETHREEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Ofdiversunseemlypracticesthatfollowthemthatlacktheworkofthisbook THEFOURANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Howthatbyvirtueofthisworkamanisgovernedfullwisely,andmadefull seemlyaswellinbodyasinsoul THEFIVEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Howtheybedeceivedthatfollowthefervourofspiritincondemningofsome withoutdiscretion

20

THESIXANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Howtheybedeceivedthatleanmoretothecuriosityofnaturalwit,andofclergy learnedintheschoolofmenthantothecommondoctrineandcounselof HolyChurch THESEVENANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER Howtheseyoungpresumptuousdisciplesmisunderstandthisotherwordup; andofthedeceitsthatfollowthereon THEEIGHTANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER ThatamanshallnottakeensampleofSaintMartinandofSaintStephen,forto strainhisimaginationbodilyupwardsinthetimeofhisprayer THENINEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER ThatamanshallnottakeensampleatthebodilyascensionofChrist,fortostrain hisimaginationupwardsbodilyinthetimeofprayer:andthattime,place, andbody,thesethreeshouldbeforgotteninallghostlyworking THESIXTIETHCHAPTER Thatthehighandthenextwaytoheavenisrunbydesires,andnotbypacesof feet THEONEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Thatallbodilythingissubjectuntoghostlything,andisruledthereafterbythe courseofnature,andnotcontrariwise THETWOANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Howamanmaywitwhenhisghostlyworkisbeneathhimorwithouthimand whenitisevenwithhimorwithinhim,andwhenitisabovehimand underhisGod THETHREEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Ofthepowersofasoulingeneral,andhowMemoryinspecialisaprincipal powercomprehendinginitalltheotherpowersandallthosethingsinthe whichtheywork THEFOURANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Oftheothertwoprincipalpowers,ReasonandWill,andoftheworkofthem beforesinandafter THEFIVEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Ofthefirstsecondarypower,Imaginationbyname;andoftheworksandofthe obedienceofituntoReason,beforesinandafter

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THESIXANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Oftheothersecondarypower,Sensualitybyname;andoftheworksandofthe obedienceofituntoWill,beforesinandafter THESEVENANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Thatwhosoknowethnotthepowersofasoulandthemannerofherworking, maylightlybedeceivedinunderstandingofghostlywordsandofghostly working;andhowasoulismadeaGodingrace THEEIGHTANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Thatnowherebodily,iseverywhereghostly;andhowouroutermancalleththe workofthisbooknought THENINEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER Howthatamansaffectionismarvelouslychangedinghostlyfeelingofthis nought,whenitisnowherewrought THESEVENTIETHCHAPTER Thatrightasbythedefailingofourbodilywitswebeginmorereadilytocometo knowingofghostlythings,sobythedefailingofourghostlywitswebegin mostreadilytocometotheknowledgeofGod,suchasispossiblebygrace tobehadhere THEONEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER Thatsomemaynotcometofeeltheperfectionofthisworkbutintimeof ravishing,andsomemayhaveitwhentheywill,inthecommonstateof manssoul THETWOANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER Thataworkerinthisworkshouldnotdeemnorthinkofanotherworkerashe feelethinhimself THETHREEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER HowthatafterthelikenessofMoses,ofBezaleelandofAaronmeddlingthem abouttheArkoftheTestament,weprofitonthreemannersinthisgraceof contemplation,forthisgraceisfiguredinthatArk THEFOURANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER Howthatthematterofthisbookisnevermorereadorspoken,norheardreador spoken,ofasouldisposedtheretowithoutfeelingofaveryaccordanceto theeffectofthesamework:andofrehearsingofthesamechargethatis writtenintheprologue

22 THEFIVEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER Ofsomecertaintokensbythewhichamanmayprovewhetherhebecalledof Godtoworkinthiswork ANDHEREENDETHTHETABLEOFTHECHAPTERS

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GHOSTLYFRIENDINGOD,IpraytheeandIbeseechtheethatthouwilthaveabusy beholdingtothecourseandthemannerofthycalling.AndthankGodheartilysothat thoumayestthroughhelpofHisgracestandstifflyinthestate,inthedegree,andinthe formoflivingthatthouhastentirelypurposedagainstallthesubtleassailingofthy bodilyandghostlyenemies,andwintothecrownoflifethatevermorelasteth.Amen.

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIRSTCHAPTER
OffourdegreesofChristianmensliving;andofthecourseofhiscallingthatthisbook wasmadeunto. GHOSTLYfriendinGod,thoushaltwellunderstandthatIfind,inmyboisterous beholding,fourdegreesandformsofChristianmensliving:andtheybethese, Common,Special,Singular,andPerfect.Threeofthesemaybebegunandendedinthis life;andthefourthmaybygracebebegunhere,butitshalleverlastwithoutendinthe blissofHeaven.Andrightasthouseesthowtheybesethereinordereachoneafter other;firstCommon,thenSpecial,afterSingular,andlastPerfect,rightsomethinketh thatinthesameorderandinthesamecourseourLordhathofHisgreatmercycalled theeandledtheeuntoHimbythedesireofthineheart.Forfirstthouwottestwellthat whenthouwertlivinginthecommondegreeofChristianmenslivingincompanyof thyworldlyfriends,itseemethtomethattheeverlastingloveofHisGodhead,through thewhichHemadetheeandwroughttheewhenthouwertnought,andsithenbought theewiththepriceofHispreciousbloodwhenthouwertlostinAdam,mightnotsuffer theetobesofarfromHiminformanddegreeofliving.AndthereforeHekindledthy desirefullgraciously,andfastenedbyitaleashoflonging,andledtheebyitintoa morespecialstateandformofliving,tobeaservantamongthespecialservantsofHis; wherethoumightestlearntolivemorespeciallyandmoreghostlyinHisservicethan thoudidst,ormightestdo,inthecommondegreeoflivingbefore.Andwhatmore? YetitseemeththatHewouldnotleavetheethuslightly,forloveofHisheart,the whichHehathevermorehaduntotheesincethouwertaught:butwhatdidHe?Seest thounoughthowMistilyandhowgraciouslyHehathprivilypulledtheetothethird degreeandmannerofliving,thewhichiscalledSingular?Inthewhichsolitaryform andmannerofliving,thoumayestlearntoliftupthefootofthylove;andsteptowards thatstateanddegreeoflivingthatisperfect,andthelaststateofall.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHESECONDCHAPTER
Ashortstirringtomeekness,andtotheworkofthisbook. LOOKupnow,weakwretch,andseewhatthouart.Whatartthou,andwhathastthou merited,thustobecalledofourLord?Whatwearywretchedheart,andsleepingin sloth,isthat,thewhichisnotwakenedwiththedraughtofthisloveandthevoiceof thiscalling!Beware,thouwretch,inthiswhilewiththineenemy;andholdtheenever theholiernorthebetter,fortheworthinessofthiscallingandforthesingularformof livingthatthouartin.Butthemorewretchedandcursed,unlessthoudothatintheeis goodly,bygraceandbycounsel,toliveafterthycalling.Andinsomuchthoushouldest bemoremeekandlovingtothyghostlyspouse,thatHethatistheAlmightyGod,King ofKingsandLordofLords,wouldmeekHimsolowuntothee,andamongstallthe flockofHissheepsograciouslywouldchoosetheetobeoneofHisspecials,andsithen settheeintheplaceofpasture,wherethoumayestbefedwiththesweetnessofHis love,inearnestofthineheritagetheKingdomofHeaven. Doonthen,Ipraythee,fast.Looknowforwardsandletbebackwards;andsee whattheefaileth,andnotwhatthouhast,forthatisthereadiestgettingandkeepingof meekness.Allthylifenowbehovethaltogethertostandindesire,ifthoushaltprofitin degreeofperfection.Thisdesirebehovethaltogetherbewroughtinthywill,bythe handofAlmightyGodandthyconsent.ButonethingItellthee.Heisajealouslover andsufferethnofellowship,andHimlistnotworkinthywillbutifHebeonlywith theebyHimself.Heaskethnonehelp,butonlythyself.Hewills,thoudobutlookon HimandletHimalone.Andkeepthouthewindowsandthedoor,forfliesandenemies assailing.Andifthoubewillingtodothis,theeneedethbutmeeklypressuponhim withprayer,andsoonwillHehelpthee.Pressonthen,letseehowthoubearestthee.He isfullready,anddothbutabideththee.Butwhatshaltthoudo,andhowshaltthou press?

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HEREBEGINNETHTHETHIRDCHAPTER
Howtheworkofthisbookshallbewrought,andoftheworthinessofitbeforeallother works. LIFTupthineheartuntoGodwithameekstirringoflove;andmeanHimself,andnone ofHisgoods.Andthereto,looktheloathtothinkonaughtbutHimself.Sothatnought workinthywit,norinthywill,butonlyHimself.Anddothatintheeistoforgetallthe creaturesthateverGodmadeandtheworksofthem;sothatthythoughtnorthydesire benotdirectednorstretchedtoanyofthem,neitheringeneralnorinspecial,butlet thembe,andtakenoheedtothem.ThisistheworkofthesoulthatmostpleasethGod. Allsaintsandangelshavejoyofthiswork,andhastenthemtohelpitinalltheirmight. Allfiendsbefuriouswhenthouthusdost,andtryfortodefeatitinallthattheycan.All menlivinginearthbewonderfullyholpenofthiswork,thouwottestnothow.Yea,the soulsinpurgatorybeeasedoftheirpainbyvirtueofthiswork.Thyselfartcleansedand madevirtuousbynoworksomuch.Andyetitisthelightestworkofall,whenasoulis helpedwithgraceinsensiblelist,andsoonestdone.Butelseitishard,andwonderfulto theefortodo. Letnot,therefore,buttravailthereintillthoufeellist.Foratthefirsttimewhen thoudostit,thoufindestbutadarkness;andasitwereacloudofunknowing,thou knowestnotwhat,savingthatthoufeelestinthywillanakedintentuntoGod.This darknessandthiscloudis,howsoeverthoudost,betwixttheeandthyGod,andletteth theethatthoumayestneitherseeHimclearlybylightofunderstandinginthyreason, norfeelHiminsweetnessofloveinthineaffection. Andthereforeshapetheetobideinthisdarknessaslongasthoumayest, evermorecryingafterHimthatthoulovest.ForifeverthoushaltfeelHimorseeHim, asitmaybehere,itbehovethalwaystobeinthiscloudinthisdarkness.Andifthou wiltbusilytravailasIbidthee,ItrustinHismercythatthoushaltcomethereto.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURTHCHAPTER
Oftheshortnessofthisword,andhowitmaynotbecometobycuriosityofwit,norby imagination. BUTforthis,thatthoushaltnoterrinthisworkingandweenthatitbeotherwisethanit is,Ishalltelltheealittlemorethereof,asmethinketh. Thisworkaskethnolongtimeoritbeoncetrulydone,assomemenween;forit istheshortestworkofallthatmanmayimagine.Itisneverlonger,norshorter,thanis anatom:thewhichatom,bythedefinitionoftruephilosophersinthescienceof astronomy,istheleastpartoftime.Anditissolittlethatforthelittlenessofit,itis indivisibleandnearlyincomprehensible.Thisisthattimeofthewhichitiswritten:All timethatisgiventothee,itshallbeaskedofthee,howthouhastdispendedit.And reasonablethingitisthatthougiveaccountofit:foritisneitherlongernorshorter,but evenaccordingtooneonlystirringthatiswithintheprincipalworkingmightofthy soul,thewhichisthywill.Forevensomanywillingsordesirings,andnomorenorno fewer,maybeandareinonehourinthywill,asareatomsinonehour.Andifthouwert reformedbygracetothefirststateofmanssoul,asitwasbeforesin,thenthou shouldestevermorebyhelpofthatgracebelordofthatstirringorofthosestirrings.So thatnonewentforby,butalltheyshouldstretchintothesovereigndesirable,andinto thehighestwillablething:thewhichisGod.ForHeisevenmeettooursoulby measuringofHisGodhead;andoursoulevenmeetuntoHimbyworthinessofour creationtoHisimageandtoHislikeness.AndHebyHimselfwithoutmore,andnone butHe,issufficienttothefullandmuchmoretofulfilthewillandthedesireofour soul.Andoursoulbyvirtueofthisreforminggraceismadesufficienttothefullto comprehendallHimbylove,thewhichisincomprehensibletoallcreated knowledgeablepowers,asisangel,ormanssoul;Imean,bytheirknowing,andnotby theirloving.AndthereforeIcalltheminthiscaseknowledgeablepowers.Butyetall reasonablecreatures,angelandman,haveinthemeachonebyhimself,oneprincipal workingpower,thewhichiscalledaknowledgeablepower,andanotherprincipal workingpower,thewhichiscalledalovingpower.Ofthewhichtwopowers,tothe first,thewhichisaknowledgeablepower,Godthatisthemakerofthemisevermore incomprehensible;andtothesecond,thewhichisthelovingpower,ineachone diverselyHeisallcomprehensibletothefull.Insomuchthatalovingsoulaloneinitself, byvirtueofloveshouldcomprehendinitselfHimthatissufficienttothefulland muchmore,withoutcomparisontofillallthesoulsandangelsthatevermaybe.And thisistheendlessmarvellousmiracleoflove;theworkingofwhichshallnevertakeend, forevershallHedoit,andnevershallHeceasefortodoit.Seewhobygraceseemay, forthefeelingofthisisendlessbliss,andthecontraryisendlesspain. Andthereforewhosowerereformedbygracethustocontinueinkeepingofthe stirringsofhiswill,shouldneverbeinthislifeashemaynotbewithoutthese stirringsinnaturewithoutsometasteoftheendlesssweetness,andintheblissof

27 heavenwithoutthefullfood.AndthereforehavenowonderthoughIstirtheetothis work.Forthisisthework,asthoushalthearafterward,inthewhichmanshouldhave continuedifheneverhadsinned:andtothewhichworkingmanwasmade,andall thingsforman,tohelphimandfurtherhimthereto,andbythewhichworkingaman shallberepairedagain.Andforthedefailingofthisworking,amanfallethevermore deeperanddeeperinsin,andfurtherandfurtherfromGod.Andbykeepingand continualworkinginthisworkonlywithoutmore,amanevermorerisethhigherand higherfromsin,andnearerandneareruntoGod. Andthereforetakegoodheeduntotime,howthatthoudispendestit:fornothing ismorepreciousthantime.Inonelittletime,aslittleasitis,mayheavenbewonand lost.Atokenitisthattimeisprecious:forGod,thatisgivenoftime,givethnevertwo timestogether,buteachoneafterother.AndthisHedoth,forHewillnotreversethe orderortheordinalcourseinthecauseofHiscreation.Fortimeismadeforman,and notmanfortime.AndthereforeGod,thatistherulerofnature,willnotinHisgivingof timegobeforethestirringofnatureinmanssoul;thewhichisevenaccordingtoone timeonly.SothatmanshallhavenoneexcusationagainstGodintheDoom,andatthe givingofaccountofdispendingoftime,saying,Thougivesttwotimesatonce,andI havebutonestirringatonce. Butsorrowfullythousayestnow,HowshallIdo?andsiththisisthusthatthou sayest,howshallIgiveaccountofeachtimeseverally;Ithathaveuntothisday,nowof fourandtwentyyearsage,nevertookheedoftime?IfIwouldnowamendit,thou wottestwell,byveryreasonofthywordswrittenbefore,itmaynotbeafterthecourse ofnature,norofcommongrace,thatIshouldnowheedorelsemakesatisfaction,for anymoretimesthanforthosethatbefortocome.Yea,andmoreoverwellIwotbyvery proof,thatofthosethatbetocomeIshallonnowise,forabundanceoffrailtyand slownessofspirits,beabletoobserveoneofanhundred.SothatIamverilyconcluded inthesereasons.HelpmenowfortheloveofJESUS! Rightwellhastthousaid,fortheloveofJESUS.ForintheloveofJESUS;there shallbethinehelp.Loveissuchapower,thatitmakethallthingcommon.Love thereforeJESUS;andallthingthatHehath,itisthine.HebyHisGodheadismakerand giveroftime.HebyHismanhoodistheverykeeperoftime.AndHebyHisGodhead andHismanhoodtogether,isthetruestDoomsman,andtheaskerofaccountof dispensingoftime.KnittheethereforetoHim,byloveandbybelief,andthenbyvirtue ofthatknotthoushaltbecommonperceiverwithHim,andwithallthatbylovesobe knitteduntoHim:thatistosay,withourLadySaintMarythatfullwasofallgracein keepingoftime,withalltheangelsofheaventhatnevermaylosetime,andwithallthe saintsinheavenandinearth,thatbythegraceofJESUSheedtimefulljustlyinvirtueof love.Lo!hereliethcomfort;construethouclearly,andpicktheesomeprofit.Butofone thingIwarntheeamongstallother.Icannotseewhomaytrulychallengecommunity thuswithJESUSandHisjustMother,HishighangelsandalsowithHissaints;butifhe besuchanone,thatdoththatinhimiswithhelpingofgraceinkeepingoftime.Sothat hebeseentobeaprofiteronhispart,solittleasis,untothecommunity;aseachoneof themdothonhis.

28 Andthereforetakeheedtothiswork,andtothemarvellousmannerofitwithin inthysoul.Forifitbetrulyconceived,itisbutasuddenstirring,andasitwere unadvised,speedilyspringinguntoGodasasparklefromthecoal.Anditismarvellous tonumberthestirringsthatmaybeinonehourwroughtinasoulthatisdisposedto thiswork.Andyetinonestirringofallthese,hemayhavesuddenlyandperfectly forgottenallcreatedthing.Butfastaftereachstirring,forcorruptionoftheflesh,it fallethdownagaintosomethoughtortosomedoneorundonedeed.Butwhatthereof? Forfastafter,itrisethagainassuddenlyasitdidbefore. Andheremaymenshortlyconceivethemannerofthisworking,andclearly knowthatitisfarfromanyfantasy,oranyfalseimaginationorquaintopinion:the whichbebroughtin,notbysuchadevoutandameekblindstirringoflove,butbya proud,curious,andanimaginativewit.Suchaproud,curiouswitbehovethalwaysbe bornedownandstifflytroddendownunderfoot,ifthisworkshalltrulybeconceivedin purityofspirit.Forwhosoheareththisworkeitherbereadorspokenof,andweeneth thatitmay,orshould,becometobytravailintheirwits,andthereforetheysitandseek intheirwitshowthatitmaybe,andinthiscuriositytheytravailtheirimagination peradventureagainstthecourseofnature,andtheyfeignamannerofworkingthe whichisneitherbodilynorghostlytrulythisman,whatsoeverhebe,isperilously deceived.Insomuch,thatunlessGodofHisgreatgoodnessshewHismercifulmiracle, andmakehimsoontoleavework,andmeekhimtocounselofprovedworkers,heshall falleitherintofrenzies,orelseintoothergreatmischiefsofghostlysinsanddevils deceits;throughthewhichhemaylightlybelost,bothlifeandsoul,withoutanyend. AndthereforeforGodslovebewaryinthiswork,andtravailnotinthywitsnorinthy imaginationonnowise:forItelltheetruly,itmaynotbecometobytravailinthem,and thereforeleavethemandworknotwiththem. Andweennot,forIcallitadarknessoracloud,thatitbeanycloudcongealedof thehumoursthatfleeintheair,noryetanydarknesssuchasisinthinehouseonnights whenthecandleisout.Forsuchadarknessandsuchacloudmayestthouimaginewith curiosityofwit,fortobearbeforethineeyesinthelightestdayofsummer:andalso contrariwiseinthedarkestnightofwinter,thoumayestimagineaclearshininglight. Letbesuchfalsehood.Imeannotthus.ForwhenIsaydarkness,Imeanalackingof knowing:asallthatthingthatthouknowestnot,orelsethatthouhastforgotten,itis darktothee;forthouseestitnotwiththyghostlyeye.Andforthisreasonitisnotcalled acloudoftheair,butacloudofunknowing,thatisbetwixttheeandthyGod.

29

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIFTHCHAPTER
Thatinthetimeofthiswordallthecreaturesthateverhavebeen,benow,orevershallbe, andalltheworksofthosesamecreatures,shouldbehidunderthecloudofforgetting. ANDifeverthoushaltcometothiscloudanddwellandworkthereinasIbidthee,thee behovethasthiscloudofunknowingisabovethee,betwixttheeandthyGod,rightso putacloudofforgettingbeneaththee;betwixttheeandallthecreaturesthateverbe made.Theethinketh,peradventure,thatthouartfullfarfromGodbecausethatthis cloudofunknowingisbetwixttheeandthyGod:butsurely,anitbewellconceived, thouartwellfurtherfromHimwhenthouhastnocloudofforgettingbetwixttheeand allthecreaturesthateverbemade.AsoftasIsay,allthecreaturesthateverbemade,as oftImeannotonlythecreaturesthemselves,butalsoalltheworksandtheconditionsof thesamecreatures.Itakeoutnotonecreature,whethertheybebodilycreaturesor ghostly,noryetanyconditionorworkofanycreature,whethertheybegoodorevil:but shortlytosay,allshouldbehidunderthecloudofforgettinginthiscase. Foralthoughitbefullprofitablesometimetothinkofcertainconditionsand deedsofsomecertainspecialcreatures,neverthelessyetinthisworkitprofitethlittleor nought.Forwhy?MemoryorthinkingofanycreaturethateverGodmade,orofanyof theirdeedseither,itisamannerofghostlylight:fortheeyeofthysoulisopenedonit andevenfixedthereupon,astheeyeofashooterisupontheprickthatheshootethto. AndonethingItellthee,thatallthingthatthouthinkethupon,itisabovetheeforthe time,andbetwixttheeandthyGod:andinsomuchthouartthefurtherfromGod,that aughtisinthymindbutonlyGod. Yea!and,ifitbecourteousandseemlytosay,inthisworkitprofitethlittleor noughttothinkofthekindnessortheworthinessofGod,noronourLady,noronthe saintsorangelsinheaven,noryetonthejoysinheaven:thatistosay,withaspecial beholdingtothem,asthouwouldestbythatbeholdingfeedandincreasethypurpose.I trowthatonnowiseitshouldhelpinthiscaseandinthiswork.Foralthoughitbegood tothinkuponthekindnessofGod,andtoloveHimandpraiseHimforit,yetitisfar bettertothinkuponthenakedbeingofHim,andtoloveHimandpraiseHimfor Himself.

30

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXTHCHAPTER
Ashortconceitoftheworkofthisbook,treatedbyquestion. BUTnowthouaskestmeandsayest,HowshallIthinkonHimself,andwhatisHe? andtothisIcannotanswertheebutthus:Iwotnot. Forthouhastbroughtmewiththyquestionintothatsamedarkness,andinto thatsamecloudofunknowing,thatIwouldthouwertinthyself.Forofallother creaturesandtheirworks,yea,andoftheworksofGodsself,mayamanthroughgrace havefullheadofknowing,andwellhecanthinkofthem:butofGodHimselfcanno manthink.AndthereforeIwouldleaveallthatthingthatIcanthink,andchoosetomy lovethatthingthatIcannotthink.Forwhy;Hemaywellbeloved,butnotthought.By lovemayHebegottenandholden;butbythoughtnever.Andtherefore,althoughitbe goodsometimetothinkofthekindnessandtheworthinessofGodinspecial,and althoughitbealightandapartofcontemplation:neverthelessyetinthisworkitshall becastdownandcoveredwithacloudofforgetting.Andthoushaltstepaboveit stalwartly,butMistily,withadevoutandapleasingstirringoflove,andtryfortopierce thatdarknessabovethee.Andsmiteuponthatthickcloudofunknowingwithasharp dartoflonginglove;andgonotthenceforthingthatbefalleth.

31

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENTHCHAPTER
Howamanshallhavehiminthisworkagainstallthoughts,andspeciallyagainstall thosethatariseofhisowncuriosity,ofcunning,andofnaturalwit. ANDifanythoughtriseandwillpresscontinuallyabovetheebetwixttheeandthat darkness,andasktheesaying,Whatseekestthou,andwhatwouldestthouhave?say thou,thatitisGodthatthouwouldesthave.HimIcovet,HimIseek,andnoughtbut Him. Andifheaskthee,WhatisthatGod?saythou,thatitisGodthatmadethee andboughtthee,andthatgraciouslyhathcalledtheetothydegree.AndinHim,say, thouhastnoskill.Andthereforesay,Gothoudownagain,andtreadhimfastdown withastirringoflove,althoughheseemtotheerightholy,andseemtotheeashe wouldhelptheetoseekHim.Forperadventurehewillbringtothyminddiversefull fairandwonderfulpointsofHiskindness,andsaythatHeisfullsweet,andfullloving, fullgracious,andfullmerciful.Andifthouwilthearhim,hecovetethnobetter;forat thelasthewillthusjangleevermoreandmoretillhebringtheelower,tothemindof HisPassion. AndtherewillhelettheeseethewonderfulkindnessofGod,andifthouhear him,hecarethfornoughtbetter.Forsoonafterhewilllettheeseethineoldwretched living,andperadventureinseeingandthinkingthereofhewillbringtothymindsome placethatthouhastdweltinbeforethistime.Sothatatthelast,oreverthouwit,thou shaltbescatteredthouwottestnotwhere.Thecauseofthisscatteringis,thatthou heardesthimfirstwilfully,thenansweredesthim,receivedesthim,andlettesthim alone. Andyet,nevertheless,thethingthathesaidwasbothgoodandholy.Yea,andso holy,thatwhatmanorwomanthatweenethtocometocontemplationwithoutmany suchsweetmeditationsoftheirownwretchedness,thepassion,thekindness,andthe greatgoodness,andtheworthinessofGodcomingbefore,surelyheshallerrandfailof hispurpose.Andyet,nevertheless,itbehovethamanorawomanthathathlongtime beenusedinthesemeditations,neverthelesstoleavethem,andputthemandhold themfardownunderthecloudofforgetting,ifeverheshallpiercethecloudof unknowingbetwixthimandhisGod.Thereforewhattimethatthoupurposesttheeto thiswork,andfeelestbygracethatthouartcalledofGod,liftthenupthineheartunto Godwithameekstirringoflove;andmeanGodthatmadethee,andboughtthee,and thatgraciouslyhathcalledtheetothydegree,andreceivenoneotherthoughtofGod. Andyetnotallthese,butifthoulist;foritsufficethenough,anakedintentdirectunto GodwithoutanyothercausethanHimself. Andiftheelisthavethisintentlappedandfoldeninoneword,forthou shouldesthavebetterholdthereupon,taketheebutalittlewordofonesyllable:forsoit isbetterthanoftwo,forevertheshorteritisthebetteritaccordethwiththeworkofthe Spirit.AndsuchawordisthiswordGODorthiswordLOVE.Choosetheewhether

32 thouwilt,oranother;astheelist,whichthattheelikethbestofonesyllable.Andfasten thiswordtothineheart,sothatitnevergothenceforthingthatbefalleth. Thiswordshallbethyshieldandthyspear,whetherthouridestonpeaceoron war.Withthisword,thoushaltbeatonthiscloudandthisdarknessabovethee.With thisword,thoushallsmitedownallmannerofthoughtunderthecloudofforgetting. Insomuch,thatifanythoughtpressupontheetoasktheewhatthouwouldesthave, answerthemwithnomorewordsbutwiththisoneword.Andifheproffertheeofhis greatclergytoexpoundtheethatwordandtotelltheetheconditionsofthatword,say him:Thatthouwilthaveitallwhole,andnotbrokennorundone.Andifthouwilthold theefastonthispurpose,bethousure,hewillnowhileabide.Andwhy?Forthatthou wiltnotlethimfeedhimonsuchsweetmeditationsofGodtouchedbefore.

33

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTHCHAPTER
Agooddeclaringofcertaindoubtsthatmayfallinthiswordtreatedbyquestion,in destroyingofamansowncuriosity,ofcunning,andofnaturalwit,andin distinguishingofthedegreesandthepartsofactivelivingandcontemplative. BUTnowthouaskestme,Whatishe,thisthatthuspressethuponmeinthiswork;and whetheritisagoodthingoranevil?Andifitbeanevilthing,thenhaveImarvel, thousayest,whythathewillincreaseamansdevotionsomuch.Forsometimesme thinkthatitisapassingcomforttolistenafterhistales.Forhewillsometime,methink, makemeweepfullheartilyforpityofthePassionofChrist,sometimeformy wretchedness,andformanyotherreasons,thatmethinkethbefullholy,andthatdone memuchgood.Andthereforemethinkeththatheshouldonnowisebeevil;andifhe begood,andwithhissweettalesdothmesomuchgoodwithal,thenIhavegreat marvelwhythatthoubiddestmeputhimdownandawaysofarunderthecloudof forgetting? Nowsurelymethinkeththatthisisawellmovedquestion,andthereforeIthink toanswertheretosofeeblyasIcan.Firstwhenthouaskestmewhatishe,thisthat pressethsofastupontheeinthiswork,profferingtohelptheeinthiswork;Isaythatit isasharpandaclearbeholdingofthynaturalwit,printedinthyreasonwithininthy soul.Andwherethouaskestmethereofwhetheritbegoodorevil,Isaythatitbehoveth alwaysbegoodinitsnature.Forwhy,itisabeamofthelikenessofGod.Buttheuse thereofmaybebothgoodandevil.Good,whenitisopenedbygracefortoseethy wretchedness,thepassion,thekindness,andthewonderfulworksofGodinHis creaturesbodilyandghostly.Andthenitisnowonderthoughitincreasethydevotion fullmuch,asthousayest.Butthenistheuseevil,whenitisswollenwithprideand withcuriosityofmuchclergyandletterlycunningasinclerks;andmakeththempress fortobeholdennotmeekscholarsandmastersofdivinityorofdevotion,butproud scholarsofthedevilandmastersofvanityandoffalsehood.Andinothermenor womenwhatsotheybe,religiousorseculars,theuseandtheworkingofthisnaturalwit isthenevil,whenitisswollenwithproudandcuriousskillsofworldlythings,and fleshlyconceitsincovetingofworldlyworshipsandhavingofrichesandvainplesaunce andflatteringsofothers. Andwherethatthouaskestme,whythatthoushaltputitdownunderthecloud offorgetting,sinceitisso,thatitisgoodinitsnature,andtheretowhenitiswellusedit doththeesomuchgoodandincreaseththydevotionsomuch.TothisIanswerandsay ThatthoushaltwellunderstandthattherebetwomanneroflivesinHolyChurch. Theoneisactivelife,andtheotheriscontemplativelife.Activeisthelower,and contemplativeisthehigher.Activelifehathtwodegrees,ahigherandalower:andalso contemplativelifehathtwodegrees,alowerandahigher.Also,thesetwolivesbeso coupledtogetherthatalthoughtheybediversinsomepart,yetneitherofthemmaybe hadfullywithoutsomepartoftheother.Forwhy?Thatpartthatisthehigherpartof activelife,thatsamepartisthelowerpartofcontemplativelife.Sothatamanmaynot

34 befullyactive,butifhebeinpartcontemplative;noryetfullycontemplative,asitmay behere,butifhebeinpartactive.Theconditionofactivelifeissuch,thatitisboth begunandendedinthislife;butnotsoofcontemplativelife.Foritisbeguninthislife, andshalllastwithoutend.Forwhy?ThatpartthatMarychoseshallneverbetaken away.Activelifeistroubledandtravailedaboutmanythings;butcontemplativesitteth inpeacewithonething. Thelowerpartofactivelifestandethingoodandhonestbodilyworksofmercy andofcharity.Thehigherpartofactivelifeandthelowerpartofcontemplativelifelieth ingoodlyghostlymeditations,andbusybeholdinguntoamansownwretchedness withsorrowandcontrition,untothePassionofChristandofHisservantswithpityand compassion,anduntothewonderfulgifts,kindness,andworksofGodinallHis creaturesbodilyandghostlywiththankingandpraising.Butthehigherpartof contemplation,asitmaybehadhere,hangethallwhollyinthisdarknessandinthis cloudofunknowing;withalovingstirringandablindbeholdinguntothenakedbeing ofGodHimselfonly. Inthelowerpartofactivelifeamaniswithouthimselfandbeneathhimself.In thehigherpartofactivelifeandthelowerpartofcontemplativelife,amaniswithin himselfandevenwithhimself.Butinthehigherpartofcontemplativelife,amanis abovehimselfandunderhisGod.Abovehimselfheis:forwhy,hepurposethhimto winthitherbygrace,whitherhemaynotcomebynature.Thatistosay,tobeknitto Godinspirit,andinoneheadofloveandaccordanceofwill.Andrightasitis impossible,tomansunderstanding,foramantocometothehigherpartofactivelife, butifheceaseforatimeofthelowerpart;soitisthatamanshallnotcometothe higherpartofcontemplativelife,butifheceaseforatimeofthelowerpart.Andas unlawfulathingasitis,andasmuchasitwouldletamanthatsatinhismeditations,to haveregardthentohisoutwardbodilyworks,thewhichhehaddone,orelseshould do,althoughtheywereneversoholyworksinthemselves:surelyasunlikelyathingit is,andasmuchwoulditletamanthatshouldworkinthisdarknessandinthiscloudof unknowingwithanaffectuousstirringoflovetoGodforHimself,fortoletanythought oranymeditationofGodswonderfulgifts,kindness,andworksinanyofHiscreatures bodilyorghostly,riseuponhimtopressbetwixthimandhisGod;althoughtheybe neversoholythoughts,norsoprofound,norsocomfortable. AndforthisreasonitisthatIbidtheeputdownsuchasharpsubtlethought, andcoverhimwithathickcloudofforgetting,beheneversoholynorpromisehethee neversowellfortohelptheeinthypurpose.Forwhy,lovemayreachtoGodinthislife, butnotknowing.Andallthewhilesthatthesouldwellethinthisdeadlybody, evermoreisthesharpnessofourunderstandinginbeholdingofallghostlythings,but mostspeciallyofGod,mingledwithsomemanneroffantasy;forthewhichourwork shouldbeunclean.Andunlessmorewonderwere,itshouldleadusintomucherror.

35

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINTHCHAPTER
ThatinthetimeofthisworktheremembranceoftheholiestCreaturethateverGodmade lettethmorethanitprofiteth. ANDthereforethesharpstirringofthineunderstanding,thatwillalwayspressupon theewhenthousettesttheetothiswork,behovethalwaysbebornedown;andbutthou bearhimdown,hewillbeartheedown.Insomuch,thatwhenthouweenestbestto abideinthisdarkness,andthatnoughtisinthymindbutonlyGod;anthoulooktruly thoushaltfindthymindnotoccupiedinthisdarkness,butinaclearbeholdingofsome thingbeneathGod.Andifitthusbe,surelythenisthatthingabovetheeforthetime, andbetwixttheeandthyGod.Andthereforepurposetheetoputdownsuchclear beholdings,betheyneversoholynorsolikely.ForonethingItellthee,itismore profitabletothehealthofthysoul,moreworthyinitself,andmorepleasingtoGodand toallthesaintsandangelsinheavenyea,andmorehelpfultoallthyfriends,bodily andghostly,quickanddeadsuchablindstirringofloveuntoGodforHimself,and suchaprivypressinguponthiscloudofunknowing,andbettertheewerefortohaveit andfortofeelitinthineaffectionghostly,thanitisfortohavetheeyesofthysoul openedincontemplationorbeholdingofalltheangelsorsaintsinheaven,orinhearing ofallthemirthandthemelodythatisamongsttheminbliss. Andlookthouhavenowonderofthis:formightestthouonceseeitasclearly,as thoumayestbygracecometofortogropeitandfeelitinthislife,thouwouldestthink asIsay.Butbethousurethatclearsightshallnevermanhavehereinthislife:butthe feelingmaymenhavethroughgracewhenGodvouchsafeth.Andthereforeliftupthy lovetothatcloud:rather,ifIshallsaytheesooth,letGoddrawthyloveuptothatcloud andstrivethouthroughhelpofHisgracetoforgetallotherthing. ForsinceanakedremembranceofanythingunderGodpressingagainstthywill andthywittingputteththeefartherfromGodthanthoushouldestbeifitwerenot,and letteththee,andmakeththeeinasmuchmoreunabletofeelinexperiencethefruitof Hislove,whattrowestthouthenthataremembrancewittinglyandwilfullydrawn upontheewillhindertheeinthypurpose?Andsincearemembranceofanyspecial saintorofanycleanghostlythingwillhindertheesomuch,whattrowestthouthenthat theremembranceofanymanlivinginthiswretchedlife,orofanymannerofbodilyor worldlything,willhindertheeandlettheeinthiswork? Isaynotthatsuchanakedsuddenthoughtofanygoodandcleanghostlything underGodpressingagainstthywillorthywitting,orelsewilfullydrawnuponthee withadvisementinincreasingofthydevotion,althoughitbelettingtothismannerof workthatitisthereforeevil.Nay!Godforbidthatthoutakeitso.ButIsay,althoughit begoodandholy,yetinthisworkitlettethmorethanitprofiteth.Imeanforthetime. Forwhy?SurelyhethatseekethGodperfectly,hewillnotresthimfinallyinthe remembranceofanyangelorsaintthatisinheaven.

36

HEREBEGINNETHTHETENTHCHAPTER
Howamanshallknowwhenhisthoughtisnosin;andifitbesin,whenitisdeadlyand whenitisvenial. BUTitisnotthusoftheremembranceofanymanorwomanlivinginthislife,orofany bodilyorworldlythingwhatsoeverthatitbe.Forwhy,anakedsuddenthoughtofany ofthem,pressingagainstthywillandthywitting,althoughitbenosinimputedunto theeforitisthepainoftheoriginalsinpressingagainstthypower,ofthewhichsin thouartcleansedinthybaptismneverthelessyetifthissuddenstirringorthoughtbe notsmittensoondown,asfastforfrailtythyfleshlyheartisstrainedthereby:withsome mannerofliking,ifitbeathingthatpleaseththeeorhathpleasedtheebefore,orelse withsomemannerofgrumbling,ifitbeathingthattheethinkgrieveththee,orhath grievedtheebefore.Thewhichfastening,althoughitmayinfleshlylivingmenand womenthatbeindeadlysinbeforebedeadly;neverthelessintheeandinallotherthat haveinatruewillforsakentheworld,andareobligeduntoanydegreeindevoutliving inHolyChurch,whatsoitbe,privyoropen,andtheretothatwillberulednotafter theirownwillandtheirownwit,butafterthewillandthecounseloftheirsovereigns, whatsotheybe,religiousorseculars,suchalikingoragrumblingfastenedinthe fleshlyheartisbutvenialsin.Thecauseofthisisthegroundingandtherootingofyour intentinGod,madeinthebeginningofyourlivinginthatstatethatyestandin,bythe witnessandthecounselofsomediscreetfather. Butifitsobe,thatthislikingorgrumblingfastenedinthyfleshlyheartbe sufferedsolongtoabideunreproved,thatthenatthelastitisfastenedtotheghostly heart,thatistosaythewill,withafullconsent:then,itisdeadlysin.Andthisbefalleth whenthouoranyofthemthatIspeakofwilfullydrawupontheetheremembranceof anymanorwomanlivinginthislife,orofanybodilyorworldlythingother:insomuch, thatifitbeathingthewhichgrievethorhathgrievedtheebefore,thererisethintheean angrypassionandanappetiteofvengeance,thewhichiscalledWrath.Orelseafell disdainandamannerofloathsomenessoftheirperson,withdespitefuland condemningthoughts,thewhichiscalledEnvy.Orelseawearinessandanunlistiness ofanygoodoccupationbodilyorghostly,thewhichiscalledSloth. Andifitbeathingthatpleaseththee,orhathpleasedtheebefore,thererisethin theeapassingdelightfortothinkonthatthingwhatsoitbe.Insomuch,thatthou restesttheeinthatthought,andfinallyfastenestthineheartandthywillthereto,and feedestthyfleshlyhearttherewith:sothattheethinkforthetimethatthoucovetest noneotherwealth,buttoliveeverinsuchapeaceandrestwiththatthingthatthou thinkestupon.Ifthisthoughtthatthouthusdrawestuponthee,orelsereceivestwhenit isputuntothee,andthatthourestesttheethusinwithdelight,beworthinessofnature orofknowing,ofgraceorofdegree,offavouroroffairhead,thenitisPride.Andifitbe anymannerofworldlygood,richesorchattels,orwhatthatmanmayhaveorbelord of,thenitisCovetyse.Ifitbedaintymeatsanddrinks,oranymannerofdelightsthat manmaytaste,thenitisGluttony.Andifitbeloveorplesaunce,oranymannerof

37 fleshlydalliance,glosingorflatteringofanymanorwomanlivinginthislife,orof thyselfeither:thenitisLechery.

38

HEREBEGINNETHTHEELEVENTHCHAPTER
Thatamanshouldweigheachthoughtandeachstirringafterthatitis,andalways eschewrecklessnessinvenialsin. ISAYnotthisforthatItrowthatthou,oranyothersuchasIspeakof,beguiltyand cumberedwithanysuchsins;butforthatIwouldthatthouweighesteachthoughtand eachstirringafterthatitis,andforIwouldthatthoutravailedstbusilytodestroythe firststirringandthoughtofthesethingsthatthoumayestthussinin.ForonethingItell thee;thatwhoweighethnot,orsettethlittleby,thefirstthoughtyea,althoughitbeno sinuntohimthathe,whosoeverthathebe,shallnoteschewrecklessnessinvenialsin. Venialsinshallnomanutterlyeschewinthisdeadlylife.Butrecklessnessinvenialsin shouldalwaysbeeschewedofallthetruedisciplesofperfection;andelseIhaveno wonderthoughtheysoonsindeadly.

39

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWELFTHCHAPTER
ThatbyVirtueofthiswordsinisnotonlydestroyed,butalsoVirtuesbegotten. AND,therefore,ifthouwiltstandandnotfall,ceaseneverinthineintent:butbeat evermoreonthiscloudofunknowingthatisbetwixttheeandthyGodwithasharp dartoflonginglove,andloathefortothinkonaughtunderGod,andgonotthencefor anythingthatbefalleth.Forthisisonlybyitselfthatworkthatdestroyeththeground andtherootofsin.Fastthouneversomuch,wakethouneversolong,risethouneverso early,liethouneversohard,wearthouneversosharp;yea,andifitwerelawfultodo asitisnotputthououtthineeyes,cutthououtthytongueofthymouth,stopthou thineearsandthynoseneversofast,thoughthoushearawaythymembers,anddoall thepaintothybodythatthoumayestorcanstthink:allthiswouldhelptheeright nought.Yetwillstirringandrisingofsinbeinthee. Yea,andwhatmore?Weepthouneversomuchforsorrowofthysins,orofthe PassionofChrist,orhavethouneversomuchmindofthejoysofheaven,whatmayit dotothee?Surelymuchgood,muchhelp,muchprofit,andmuchgracewillitgetthee. Butincomparisonofthisblindstirringoflove,itisbutalittlethatitdoth,ormaydo, withoutthis.ThisbyitselfisthebestpartofMarywithouttheseother.Theywithoutit profitbutlittleornought.Itdestroyethnotonlythegroundandtherootofsinasitmay behere,buttheretoitgettethvirtues.Foranitbetrulyconceived,allvirtuesshalltruly be,andperfectlyconceived,andfeelinglycomprehended,init,withoutanyminglingof theintent.Andhaveamanneversomanyvirtueswithoutit,alltheybemingledwith somecrookedintent,forthewhichtheybeimperfect. Forvirtueisnoughtelsebutanordainedandameasuredaffection,plainly directeduntoGodforHimself.Forwhy?HeinHimselfisthepurecauseofallvirtues: insomuch,thatifanymanbestirredtoanyonevirtuebyanyothercausemingledwith Him,yea,althoughthatHebethechief,yetthatvirtueisthenimperfect.Asthusby examplemaybeseeninonevirtueortwoinsteadofalltheother;andwellmaythese twovirtuesbemeeknessandcharity.Forwhosomightgetthesetwoclearly,him needethnomore:forwhy,hehathall.

40

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHIRTEENTHCHAPTER
Whatmeeknessisinitself,andwhenitisperfectandwhenitisimperfect. NOWletseefirstofthevirtueofmeekness;howthatitisimperfectwhenitiscausedof anyotherthingmingledwithGodalthoughHebethechief;andhowthatitisperfect whenitiscausedofGodbyHimself.Andfirstitistowit,whatmeeknessisinitself,if thismattershallclearlybeseenandconceived;andthereaftermayitmoreverilybe conceivedintruthofspiritwhatisthecausethereof. Meeknessinitselfisnoughtelse,butatrueknowingandfeelingofamansself asheis.Forsurelywhosomightverilyseeandfeelhimselfasheis,heshouldverilybe meek.Twothingstherebe,thewhichbecauseofthismeekness;thewhichbethese. Oneisthefilth,thewretchedness,andthefrailtyofman,intothewhichheisfallenby sin;andthewhichalwayshimbehovethtofeelinsomepartthewhileshelivethinthis life,beheneversoholy.AnotheristheoverabundantloveandtheworthinessofGod inHimself;inbeholdingofthewhichallnaturequaketh,allclerksbefools,andall saintsandangelsbeblind.Insomuch,thatwereitnotthatthroughthewisdomofHis GodheadHemeasuredtheirbeholdingaftertheirablenessinnatureandingrace,I defailtosaywhatshouldbefallthem. Thissecondcauseisperfect;forwhy,itshalllastwithoutend.Andthetother beforeisimperfect;forwhy,itshallnotonlyfailattheendofthislife,butfulloftitmay befallthatasoulinthisdeadlybodyforabundanceofgraceinmultiplyingofhisdesire asoftandaslongasGodvouchsafethfortoworkitshallhavesuddenlyand perfectlylostandforgottenallwittingandfeelingofhisbeing,notlookingafter whetherhehavebeenholyorwretched.Butwhetherthisfalloftorseldomtoasoul thatisthusdisposed,Itrowthatitlastethbutafullshortwhile:andinthistimeitis perfectlymeeked,foritknowethandfeelethnocausebuttheChief.Andeverwhenit knowethandfeeleththetothercause,communingtherewith,althoughthisbethechief: yetitisimperfectmeekness.Neverthelessyetitisgoodandnotwithstandingmustbe had;andGodforbidthatthoutakeitinanyothermannerthanIsay.

41

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURTEENTHCHAPTER
Thatwithoutimperfectmeeknesscomingbefore,itisimpossibleforasinnertocometo theperfectVirtueofmeeknessinthislife. FORalthoughIcallitimperfectmeekness,yetIhadlieferhaveatrueknowinganda feelingofmyselfasIam,andsoonerItrowthatitshouldgetmetheperfectcauseand virtueofmeeknessbyitself,thanitshouldanallthesaintsandangelsinheaven,andall themenandwomenofHolyChurchlivinginearth,religiousorsecularsinalldegrees, weresetatoncealltogethertodonoughtelsebuttopraytoGodformetogetme perfectmeekness.Yea,andyetitisimpossibleasinnertoget,ortokeepwhenitis gotten,theperfectvirtueofmeeknesswithoutit. Andthereforeswinkandsweatinallthatthoucanstandmayest,fortogettheea trueknowingandafeelingofthyselfasthouart;andthenItrowthatsoonafterthat thoushalthaveatrueknowingandafeelingofGodasHeis.NotasHeisinHimself, forthatmaynomandobutHimself;noryetasthoushaltdoinblissbothbodyandsoul together.Butasitispossible,andasHevouchsafethtobeknownandfeltofameek soullivinginthisdeadlybody. AndthinknotbecauseIsettwocausesofmeekness,oneperfectandanother imperfect,thatIwillthereforethatthouleavestthetravailaboutimperfectmeekness, andsettheewhollytogettheeperfect.Nay,surely;Itrowthoushouldestneverbringit soabout.ButhereforeIdothatIdo:becauseIthinktotelltheeandlettheeseethe worthinessofthisghostlyexercisebeforeallotherexercisebodilyorghostlythatman canormaydobygrace.Howthataprivylovepressedincleannessofspirituponthis darkcloudofunknowingbetwixttheeandthyGod,trulyandperfectlycontainethinit theperfectvirtueofmeeknesswithoutanyspecialorclearbeholdingofanythingunder God.AndbecauseIwouldthatthouknewestwhichwereperfectmeekness,andsettest itasatokenbeforetheloveofthineheart,anddidstitfortheeandforme.Andbecause Iwouldbythisknowingmaketheemoremeek. Forofttimesitbefalleththatlackingofknowingiscauseofmuchprideasme thinketh.Forperadventureanthouknewestnotwhichwereperfectmeekness,thou shouldestweenwhenthouhadstalittleknowingandafeelingofthisthatIcall imperfectmeekness,thatthouhadstalmostgottenperfectmeekness:andsoshouldest thoudeceivethyself,andweenthatthouwertfullmeekwhenthouwertallbelappedin foulstinkingpride.Andthereforetryfortotravailaboutperfectmeekness;forthe conditionofitissuch,thatwhosohathit,andthewhileshehathit,heshallnotsin,nor yetmuchafter.

42

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIFTEENTHCHAPTER
Ashortproofagainsttheirerrorthatsay,thatthereisnoperfectercausetobemeeked under,thanistheknowledgeofamansownwretchedness. ANDtruststeadfastlythatthereissuchaperfectmeeknessasIspeakof,andthatitmay becometothroughgraceinthislife.AndthisIsayinconfusionoftheirerror,thatsay thatthereisnoperfectercauseofmeeknessthanisthatwhichisraisedofthe remembranceofourwretchednessandourbeforedonesins. Igrantwell,thattothemthathavebeeninaccustomedsins,asIammyselfand havebeen,itisthemostneedfulandspeedfulcause,tobemeekedunderthe remembranceofourwretchednessandourbeforedonesins,evertillthetimebethat thegreatrustofsinbeingreatpartrubbedaway,ourconscienceandourcounselto witness.Buttootherthatbe,asitwere,innocents,thewhichneversinneddeadlywith anabidingwillandavisement,butthroughfrailtyandunknowing,andthewhichset themtobecontemplativesandtousbothifourcounselandourconsciencewitness ourlawfulamendmentincontritionandinconfession,andinmakingsatisfactionafter thestatuteandtheordinanceofallHolyChurch,andtheretoifwefeelusstirredand calledbygracetobecontemplativesalsothereisthenanothercausetobemeeked underasfarabovethiscauseasisthelivingofourLadySaintMaryabovethelivingof thesinfullestpenitentinHolyChurch;orthelivingofChristabovethelivingofany othermaninthislife;orelsethelivingofanangelinheaven,thewhichneverfeltnor shallfeelfrailty,isabovethelifeofthefrailestmanthatishereinthisworld. Forifitsowerethattherewerenoperfectcausetobemeekedunder,butin seeingandfeelingofwretchedness,thenwouldIwitofthemthatsayso,whatcause theybemeekedunderthatneverseenorfeelnornevershallbeinthem wretchednessnorstirringofsin:asitisofourLordJESUSCHRIST,ourLadySaint Mary,andallthesaintsandangelsinheaven.Tothisperfection,andallother,ourLord JESUSCHRISTcallethusHimselfinthegospel:whereHebiddeththatweshouldbe perfectbygraceasHeHimselfisbynature.

43

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXTEENTHCHAPTER
ThatbyVirtueofthisworkasinnertrulyturnedandcalledtocontemplationcometh soonertoperfectionthanbyanyotherwork;andbyitsoonestmaygetofGodforgiveness ofsins. LOOKthatnomanthinkitpresumption,thathethatisthewretchedestsinnerofthis lifedaretakeuponhimafterthetimebethathehavelawfullyamendedhim,andafter thathehavefelthimstirredtothatlifethatiscalledcontemplative,bytheassentofhis counselandhisconsciencefortoproferameekstirringoflovetohisGod,privily pressinguponthecloudofunknowingbetwixthimandhisGod.WhenourLordsaidto Mary,inpersonofallsinnersthatbecalledtocontemplativelife,Thysinsbeforgiven thee,itwasnotforhergreatsorrow,norfortherememberingofhersins,noryetfor hermeeknessthatshehadinthebeholdingofherwretchednessonly.Butwhythen? Surelybecauseshelovedmuch. Lo!heremaymenseewhataprivypressingoflovemaypurchaseofourLord, beforeallotherworksthatmanmaythink.AndyetIgrantwell,thatshehadfullmuch sorrow,andweptfullsoreforhersins,andfullmuchshewasmeekedinremembrance ofherwretchedness.Andsoshouldwedo,thathavebeenwretchesandaccustomed sinners;allourlifetimemakehideousandwonderfulsorrowforoursins,andfullmuch bemeekedinremembranceofourwretchedness. Buthow?SurelyasMarydid.She,althoughshemightnotfeelthedeephearty sorrowofhersinsforwhy,allherlifetimeshehadthemwithherwheresoshewent,as itwereinaburthenboundentogetherandlaidupfullprivilyintheholeofherheart,in mannernevertobeforgottenneverthelessyet,itmaybesaidandaffirmedby Scripture,thatshehadamoreheartysorrow,amoredolefuldesire,andamoredeep sighing,andmoreshelanguished,yea!almosttothedeath,forlackingoflove,although shehadfullmuchlove(andhavenowonderthereof,foritistheconditionofatrue loverthateverthemoreheloveth,themorehelongethfortolove),thanshehadforany remembranceofhersins. Andyetshewistwell,andfeltwellinherselfinasadsoothfastness,thatshewas awretchmostfoulofallother,andthathersinshadmadeadivisionbetwixtherand herGodthatshelovedsomuch:andalsothattheywereingreatpartcauseofher languishingsicknessforlackingoflove.Butwhatthereof?Cameshethereforedown fromtheheightofdesireintothedeepnessofhersinfullife,andsearchedinthefoul stinkingfenanddunghillofhersins;searchingthemup,byoneandbyone,withallthe circumstancesofthem,andsorrowedandweptsouponthemeachonebyitself?Nay, surelyshedidnotso.Andwhy?BecauseGodletherwitbyHisgracewithininher soul,thatsheshouldneversobringitabout.Forsomightshesoonerhaveraisedin herselfanablenesstohaveoftsinned,thantohavepurchasedbythatworkanyplain forgivenessofallhersins. Andthereforeshehungupherloveandherlongingdesireinthiscloudof unknowing,andlearnedhertoloveathingthewhichshemightnotseeclearlyinthis

44 life,bylightofunderstandinginherreason,noryetverilyfeelinsweetnessoflovein heraffection.Insomuch,thatshehadofttimeslittlespecialremembrance,whetherthat evershehadbeenasinnerornone.Yea,andfullofttimesIhopethatshewassodeeply disposedtotheloveofHisGodheadthatshehadbutrightlittlespecialbeholdingunto thebeautyofHispreciousandHisblessedbody,inthewhichHesatfulllovely speakingandpreachingbeforeher;noryettoanythingelse,bodilyorghostly.Thatthis besooth,itseemethbythegospel.

45

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENTEENTHCHAPTER
ThataVerycontemplativelistnotmeddlehimwithactivelife,norofanythingthatis doneorspokenabouthim,noryettoanswertohisblamersinexcusingofhimself. INthegospelofSaintLukeitiswritten,thatwhenourLordwasinthehouseofMartha hersister,allthetimethatMarthamadeherbusyaboutthedightingofHismeat,Mary hersistersatatHisfeet.AndinhearingofHiswordshebeheldnottothebusinessof hersister,althoughherbusinesswasfullgoodandfullholy,fortrulyitisthefirstpart ofactivelife;noryettothepreciousnessofHisblessedbody,nortothesweetvoiceand thewordsofHismanhood,althoughitisbetterandholier,foritisthesecondpartof activelifeandthefirstofcontemplativelife. ButtothesovereignestwisdomofHisGodheadlappedinthedarkwordsofHis manhood,thitherbeheldshewithalltheloveofherheart.Forfromthenceshewould notremove,fornothingthatshesawnorheardspokennordoneabouther;butsatfull stillinherbody,withmanyasweetprivyandalistylovepresseduponthathighcloud ofunknowingbetwixtherandherGod.ForonethingItellthee,thattherewasnever yetpurecreatureinthislife,norneveryetshallbe,sohighravishedincontemplation andloveoftheGodhead,thatthereisnotevermoreahighandawonderfulcloudof unknowingbetwixthimandhisGod.InthisclouditwasthatMarywasoccupiedwith manyaprivylovepressed.Andwhy?Becauseitwasthebestandtheholiestpartof contemplationthatmaybeinthislife,andfromthispartherlistnotremovefornothing. Insomuch,thatwhenhersisterMarthacomplainedtoourLordofher,andbadeHim bidhersisterriseandhelpherandlethernotsoworkandtravailbyherself,shesatfull stillandanswerednotwithoneword,norshewednotasmuchasagrumblinggesture againsthersisterforanyplaintthatshecouldmake.Andnowonder:forwhy,shehad anotherworktodothatMarthawistnotof.Andthereforeshehadnoleisuretolistento her,nortoanswerheratherplaint. Lo!friend,alltheseworks,thesewords,andthesegestures,thatwereshewed betwixtourLordandthesetwosisters,besetinensampleofallactivesandall contemplativesthathavebeensinceinHolyChurch,andshallbetothedayofdoom. ForbyMaryisunderstoodallcontemplatives;fortheyshouldconformtheirlivingafter hers.AndbyMartha,activesonthesamemanner;andforthesamereasoninlikeness.

46

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTEENTHCHAPTER
HowthatyetuntothisdayallactivescomplainofcontemplativesasMarthadidofMary. Ofthewhichcomplainingignoranceisthecause. ANDrightasMarthacomplainedthenonMaryhersister,rightsoyetuntothisdayall activescomplainofcontemplatives.Forantherebeamanorawomaninanycompany ofthisworld,whatcompanysoeveritbe,religiousorsecularsIouttakenonethe whichmanorwoman,whicheverthatitbe,feelethhimstirredthroughgraceandby counseltoforsakealloutwardbusiness,andfortosethimfullyfortolivecontemplative lifeaftertheircunningandtheirconscience,theircounselaccording;asfast,theirown brethrenandtheirsisters,andalltheirnextfriends,withmanyotherthatknownot theirstirringsnorthatmanneroflivingthattheysetthemto,withagreatcomplaining spiritshallriseuponthem,andsaysharplyuntothemthatitisnoughtthattheydo. Andasfasttheywillreckonupmanyfalsetales,andmanytruealso,offallingofmen andwomenthathavegiventhemtosuchlifebefore:andneveragoodtaleofthemthat stood. Igrantthatmanyfallandhavefallenofthemthathaveinlikenessforsakenthe world.AndwheretheyshouldhavebecomeGodsservantsandHiscontemplatives, becausethattheywouldnotrulethembytrueghostlycounseltheyhavebecomethe devilsservantsandhiscontemplatives;andturnedeithertohypocritesortoheretics,or fallenintofrenziesandmanyothermischiefs,inslanderofHolyChurch.OfthewhichI leavetospeakatthistime,fortroublingofourmatter.Butneverthelesshereafterwhen Godvouchsafethandifneedbe,menmayseesomeoftheconditionsandthecauseof theirfailings.Andthereforenomoreofthematthistime;butforthofourmatter.

47

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINETEENTHCHAPTER
Ashortexcusationofhimthatmadethisbookteachinghowallcontemplativesshould haveallactivesfullyexcusedoftheircomplainingwordsanddeeds. SOMEmightthinkthatIdolittleworshiptoMartha,thatspecialsaint,forIlikenher wordsofcomplainingofhersisteruntotheseworldlymenswords,ortheirsuntohers: andtrulyImeannounworshiptohernortothem.AndGodforbidthatIshouldinthis worksayanythingthatmightbetakenincondemnationofanyoftheservantsofGodin anydegree,andnamelyofHisspecialsaint.Formethinkeththatsheshouldbefullwell hadexcusedofherplaint,takingregardtothetimeandthemannerthatshesaiditin. Forthatthatshesaid,herunknowingwasthecause.Andnowonderthoughsheknew notatthattimehowMarywasoccupied;forItrowthatbeforeshehadlittleheardof suchperfection.Andalsothatshesaid,itwasbutcourteouslyandinfewwords:and thereforesheshouldalwaysbehadexcused. Andsomethinkeththattheseworldlylivingmenandwomenofactivelife shouldalsofullwellbehadexcusedoftheircomplainingwordstouchedbefore, althoughtheysayrudelythattheysay;havingbeholdingtotheirignorance.Forwhy? RightasMarthawistfulllittlewhatMaryhersisterdidwhenshecomplainedofherto ourLord;rightsoonthesamemannerthesefolknowadayswotfulllittle,orelse nought,whattheseyoungdisciplesofGodmean,whentheysetthemfromthebusiness ofthisworld,anddrawthemtobeGodsspecialservantsinholinessandrightfulnessof spirit.Andiftheywisttruly,Idaresaythattheywouldneitherdonorsayastheysay. Andthereforemethinkethalwaysthattheyshouldbehadexcused:forwhy,theyknow nobetterlivingthanisthattheyliveinthemselves.AndalsowhenIthinkonmine innumerabledefaults,thewhichIhavemademyselfbeforethistimeinwordsand deedsfordefaultofknowing,methinkeththenifIwouldbehadexcusedofGodfor mineignorantdefaults,thatIshouldcharitablyandpiteouslyhaveothermensignorant wordsanddeedsalwaysexcused.Andsurelyelse,doInottoothersasIwouldtheydid tome.

48

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWENTIETHCHAPTER
HowAlmightyGodwillgoodlyanswerforallthosethatfortheexcusingofthemselves listnotleavetheirbusinessabouttheloveofHim. ANDthereforemethinketh,thattheythatsetthemtobecontemplativesshouldnot onlyhaveactivemenexcusedoftheircomplainingwords,butalsomethinkeththat theyshouldbesooccupiedinspiritthattheyshouldtakelittleheedornonewhatmen didorsaidaboutthem.ThusdidMary,ourexampleofall,whenMarthahersister complainedtoourLord:andifwewilltrulydothusourLordwilldonowforusasHe didthenforMary. Andhowwasthat?Surelythus.OurlovelyLordJesusChrist,untowhomno privythingishid,althoughHewasrequiredofMarthaasdoomsmanfortobidMary riseandhelphertoserveHim;neverthelessyet,forHeperceivedthatMarywas ferventlyoccupiedinspiritabouttheloveofHisGodhead,thereforecourteouslyandas itwasseemlyforHimtodobythewayofreason,Heansweredforher,thatforthe excusingofherselflistnotleavetheloveofHim.AndhowansweredHe?Surelynot onlyasdoomsman,asHewasofMarthaappealed:butasanadvocatelawfully defendedherthatHimloved,andsaid,Martha,Martha!TwiceforspeedHenamed hername;forHewouldthatsheheardHimandtookheedtoHiswords.Thouartfull busy,Hesaid,andtroubledaboutmanythings.Fortheythatbeactivesbehove alwaystobebusiedandtravailedaboutmanydiversethings,thewhichthemfalleth, firstfortohavetotheirownuse,andsithenindeedsofmercytotheirevenchristian,as charityasketh.AndthisHesaiduntoMartha,forHewouldletherwitthatherbusiness wasgoodandprofitabletothehealthofhersoul.Butforthis,thatsheshouldnotthink thatitwerethebestworkofallthatmanmightdo,thereforeHeaddedandsaid:But onethingisnecessary. Andwhatisthatonething?SurelythatGodbelovedandpraisedbyHimself, aboveallotherbusinessbodilyorghostlythatmanmaydo.Andforthis,thatMartha shouldnotthinkthatshemightbothloveGodandpraiseHimaboveallotherbusiness bodilyorghostly,andalsotheretotobebusyaboutthenecessariesofthislife:therefore todeliverherofdoubtthatshemightnotbothserveGodinbodilybusinessandghostly togetherperfectlyimperfectlyshemay,butnotperfectlyHeaddedandsaid,that Maryhadchosenthebestpart;thewhichshouldneverbetakenfromher.Forwhy,that perfectstirringoflovethatbeginnethhereiseveninnumberwiththatthatshalllast withoutendintheblissofheaven,forallitisbutone.

49

HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Thetrueexpositionofthisgospelword,Maryhathchosenthebestpart. WHATmeaneththis;Maryhathchosenthebest?Wheresoeverthebestissetornamed, itaskethbeforeitthesetwothingsagood,andabetter;sothatitbethebest,andthe thirdinnumber.Butwhichbethesethreegoodthings,ofthewhichMarychosethe best?Threelivesbetheynot,forHolyChurchmakethremembrancebutoftwo,active lifeandcontemplativelife;thewhichtwolivesbeprivilyunderstoodinthestoryofthis gospelbythesetwosistersMarthaandMarybyMarthaactive,byMary contemplative.Withoutoneofthesetwolivesmaynomanbesafe,andwherenomore bebuttwo,maynomanchoosethebest. Butalthoughtherebebuttwolives,neverthelessyetinthesetwolivesbethree parts,eachonebetterthanother.Thewhichthree,eachonebyitself,bespeciallysetin theirplacesbeforeinthiswriting.Forasitissaidbefore,thefirstpartstandethingood andhonestbodilyworksofmercyandofcharity;andthisisthefirstdegreeofactive life,asitissaidbefore.Thesecondpartofthesetwolivesliethingoodghostly meditationsofamansownwretchedness,thePassionofChrist,andofthejoysof heaven.Thefirstpartisgood,andthispartisthebetter;forthisistheseconddegreeof activelifeandthefirstofcontemplativelife.Inthispartiscontemplativelifeandactive lifecoupledtogetheringhostlykinship,andmadesistersattheensampleofMartha andMary.Thushighmayanactivecometocontemplation;andnohigher,butifitbe fullseldomandbyaspecialgrace.Thuslowmayacontemplativecometowardsactive life;andnolower,butifitbefullseldomandingreatneed. Thethirdpartofthesetwoliveshangethinthisdarkcloudofunknowing,with manyaprivylovepressedtoGodbyHimself.Thefirstpartisgood,thesecondisbetter, butthethirdisbestofall.ThisisthebestpartofMary.Andthereforeitisplainlyto wit,thatourLordsaidnot,Maryhathchosenthebestlife;fortherebenomorelivesbut two,andoftwomaynomanchoosethebest.ButofthesetwolivesMaryhathchosen, Hesaid,thebestpart;thewhichshallneverbetakenfromher.Thefirstpartandthe second,althoughtheybebothgoodandholy,yettheyendwiththislife.Forinthe totherlifeshallbenoneedasnowtousetheworksofmercy,nortoweepforour wretchedness,norforthePassionofChrist.Forthenshallnonebeabletohungernor thirstasnow,nordieforcold,norbesick,norhouseless,norinprison;noryetneed burial,forthenshallnonebeabletodie.ButthethirdpartthatMarychose,choosewho bygraceiscalledtochoose:or,ifIsoothliershallsay,whosoischosentheretoofGod. Lethimlustilyinclinethereto,forthatshallneverbetakenaway:forifitbeginhere,it shalllastwithoutend. AndthereforeletthevoiceofourLordcryontheseactives,asifHesaidthus nowforusuntothem,asHedidthenforMarytoMartha,Martha,Martha!Actives, actives!makeyouasbusyasyecaninthefirstpartandinthesecond,nowintheone andnowinthetother:and,ifyoulistrightwellandfeelyoudisposed,inbothtwo

50 bodily.Andmeddleyounotofcontemplatives.Yewotnotwhatthemaileth:letthemsit intheirrestandintheirplay,withthethirdandthebestpartofMary.

51

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
OfthewonderfullovethatChristhadtomaninpersonofallsinnerstrulyturnedand calledtothegraceofcontemplation. SWEETwasthatlovebetwixtourLordandMary.MuchlovehadshetoHim.Much morehadHetoher.Forwhosowouldutterlybeholdallthebehaviourthatwasbetwixt Himandher,notasatriflermaytell,butasthestoryofthegospelwillwitnessthe whichonnowisemaybefalseheshouldfindthatshewassoheartilysetfortolove Him,thatnothingbeneathHimmightcomforther,noryetholdherheartfromHim. Thisisshe,thatsameMary,thatwhenshesoughtHimatthesepulchrewithweeping cheerwouldnotbecomfortedofangels.Forwhentheyspakeuntohersosweetlyand solovelyandsaid,Weepnot,Mary;forwhy,ourLordwhomthouseekestisrisen,and thoushalthaveHim,andseeHimlivefullfairamongstHisdisciplesinGalileeasHe hight,shewouldnotceaseforthem.Forwhy?Herthoughtthatwhososoughtverily theKingofAngels,themlistnotceaseforangels. Andwhatmore?Surelywhosowilllookverilyinthestoryofthegospel,heshall findmanywonderfulpointsofperfectlovewrittenofhertoourensample,andaseven accordingtotheworkofthiswriting,asiftheyhadbeensetandwrittentherefore;and surelysowerethey,takewhosotakemay.Andifamanlistfortoseeinthegospel writtenthewonderfulandthespeciallovethatourLordhadtoher,inpersonofall accustomedsinnerstrulyturnedandcalledtothegraceofcontemplation,heshallfind thatourLordmightnotsufferanymanorwomanyea,notherownsisterspeaka wordagainsther,butifHeansweredforherHimself.Yea,andwhatmore?Heblamed SymonLeprousinhisownhouse,forthathethoughtagainsther.Thiswasgreatlove: thiswaspassinglove.

52

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
HowGodwillanswerandpurveyfortheminspirit,thatforbusinessaboutHislovelist notanswernorpurveyforthemselves ANDtrulyanwewilllustilyconformourloveandourliving,inasmuchasinusis,by graceandbycounsel,untotheloveandthelivingofMary,nodoubtbutHeshall answeronthesamemannernowforusghostlyeachday,privilyintheheartsofall thosethateithersayorthinkagainstus.Isaynotbutthatevermoresomemenshallsay orthinksomewhatagainstus,thewhilesweliveinthetravailofthislife,astheydid againstMary.ButIsay,anwewillgivenomoreheedtotheirsayingnortotheir thinking,nornomoreceaseofourghostlyprivyworkfortheirwordsandtheir thoughts,thanshedidIsay,then,thatourLordshallanswertheminspirit,ifitshall bewellwiththemthatsosayandsothink,thattheyshallwithinfewdayshaveshame oftheirwordsandtheirthoughts. AndasHewillanswerforusthusinspirit,sowillHestirothermeninspiritto giveusourneedfulthingsthatbelongtothislife,asmeatandclotheswithallthese other;ifHeseethatwewillnotleavetheworkofHisloveforbusinessaboutthem.And thisIsayinconfusionoftheirerror,thatsaythatitisnotlawfulformentosetthemto serveGodincontemplativelife,butiftheybesecurebeforeoftheirbodilynecessaries. Fortheysay,thatGodsendeththecow,butnotbythehorn.Andtrulytheysaywrong ofGod,astheywellknow.Fortruststeadfastly,thouwhatsoeverthatthoube,thattruly turnesttheefromtheworlduntoGod,thatoneofthesetwoGodshallsendthee, withoutbusinessofthyself:andthatiseitherabundanceofnecessaries,orstrengthin bodyandpatienceinspirittobearneed.Whatthenreckethit,whichmanhave?forall cometooneinverycontemplatives.Andwhosoisindoubtofthis,eitherthedevilisin hisbreastandreevethhimofbelief,orelseheisnotyettrulyturnedtoGodashe shouldbe;makeheitneversoquaint,norneversoholyreasonsshewthereagain, whatnoteverthathebe. Andthereforethou,thatsettesttheetobecontemplativeasMarywas,choose theerathertobemeekedunderthewonderfulheightandtheworthinessofGod,the whichisperfect,thanunderthineownwretchedness,thewhichisimperfect:thatisto say,lookthatthyspecialbeholdingbemoretotheworthinessofGodthantothy wretchedness.Fortothemthatbeperfectlymeeked,nothingshalldefail;neitherbodily thing,norghostly.Forwhy?TheyhaveGod,inwhomisallplenty;andwhosohath Himyea,asthisbooktellethhimneedethnoughtelseinthislife.

53

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Whatcharityisinitself,andhowitistrulyandperfectlycontainedintheworkofthis book. ANDasitissaidofmeekness,howthatitistrulyandperfectlycomprehendedinthis littleblindlovepressed,whenitisbeatinguponthisdarkcloudofunknowing,allother thingsputdownandforgotten:soitistobeunderstoodofallothervirtues,and speciallyofcharity. Forcharityisnoughtelsetobemeantothineunderstanding,butloveofGodfor Himselfaboveallcreatures,andofmanforGodevenasthyself.Andthatinthiswork GodislovedforHimself,andaboveallcreatures,itseemethrightwell.Forasitissaid before,thatthesubstanceofthisworkisnoughtelsebutanakedintentdirectedunto GodforHimself. AnakedintentIcallit.Forwhy,inthisworkaperfectPrenticeaskethneither releasingofpain,norincreasingofmeed,norshortlytosay,noughtbutHimself. Insomuch,thatneitherhereckethnorlookethafterwhetherthathebeinpainorin bliss,elsethatHiswillbefulfilledthatheloveth.Andthusitseemeththatinthiswork GodisperfectlylovedforHimself,andthataboveallcreatures.Forinthiswork,a perfectworkermaynotsufferthememoryoftheholiestcreaturethateverGodmadeto communewithhim. Andthatinthisworkthesecondandthelowerbranchofcharityuntothine evenchristianisverilyandperfectlyfulfilled,itseemethbytheproof.Forwhy,inthis workaperfectworkerhathnospecialbeholdinguntoanymanbyhimself,whetherthat hebekinorstranger,friendorfoe.Forallmenhimthinksequallykinuntohim,andno manstranger.Allmenhimthinksbehisfriends,andnonehisfoes.Insomuch,thathim thinksallthosethatpainhimanddohimdiseaseinthislife,theybehisfullandhis specialfriends:andhimthinketh,thatheisstirredtowillthemasmuchgood,ashe wouldtothehomeliestfriendthathehath.

54

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatinthetimeofthisworkaperfectsoulhathnospecialbeholdingtoanyonemanin thislife. ISAYnotthatinthisworkheshallhaveaspecialbeholdingtoanymaninthislife, whetherthathebefriendorfoe,kinorstranger;forthatmaynotbeifthisworkshall perfectlybedone,asitiswhenallthingsunderGodbefullyforgotten,asfallethforthis work.ButIsaythatheshallbemadesovirtuousandsocharitablebythevirtueofthis work,thathiswillshallbeafterwards,whenhecondescendethtocommuneortopray forhisevenchristiannotfromallthiswork,forthatmaynotbewithoutgreatsin,but fromtheheightofthiswork,thewhichisspeedfulandneedfultodosometimeas charityaskethasspeciallythendirectedtohisfoeastohisfriend,hisstrangerashis kin.Yea,andsometimemoretohisfoethantohisfriend. Nevertheless,inthisworkhehathnoleisuretolookafterwhoishisfriendorhis foe,hiskinorhisstranger.Isaynotbutheshallfeelsometimeyea,fullofthis affectionmorehomelytoone,two,orthree,thantoalltheseother:forthatislawfulto be,formanycausesascharityasketh.ForsuchanhomelyaffectionfeltChristtoJohn anduntoMary,anduntoPeterbeforemanyothers.ButIsay,thatinthetimeofthis workshallallbeequallyhomelyuntohim;forheshallfeelthennocause,butonlyGod. SothatallshallbelovedplainlyandnakedlyforGod,andaswellashimself. ForasallmenwerelostinAdamandallmenthatwithworkwillwitnesstheir willofsalvationaresavedorshallbebyvirtueofthePassionofonlyChrist:notinthe samemanner,butasitwereinthesamemanner,asoulthatisperfectlydisposedtothis work,andonedthustoGodinspiritastheproofofthisworkwitnesseth,doththatinit istomakeallmenasperfectinthisworkasitselfis.Forrightasifalimbofourbody feelethsore,allthetotherlimbsbepainedanddiseasedtherefore,orifalimbfarewell, alltheremnantbegladdedtherewithrightsoisitghostlyofallthelimbsofHoly Church.ForChristisourhead,andwebethelimbsifwebeincharity:andwhosowill beaperfectdiscipleofourLords,himbehovethstrainuphisspiritinthisworkghostly, forthesalvationofallhisbrethrenandsistersinnature,asourLorddidHisbodyon theCross.Andhow?NotonlyforHisfriendsandHiskinandHishomelylovers,but generallyforallmankind,withoutanyspecialbeholdingmoretoonethantoanother. ForallthatwillleavesinandaskmercyshallbesavedthroughthevirtueofHis Passion.Andasitissaidofmeeknessandcharity,soitistobeunderstoodofallother virtues.Foralltheybetrulycomprehendedinthislittlepressingoflove,touched before.

55

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatwithoutfullspecialgrace,orlonguseincommongrace,theworkofthisbookis righttravailous;andinthiswork,whichistheworkofthesoulhelpedbygrace,and whichistheworkofonlyGod. ANDthereforetravailfastawhile,andbeatuponthishighcloudofunknowing,andrest afterward.Nevertheless,atravailshallhehavewhososhallusehiminthiswork;yea, surely!andthatafullgreattravail,unlesshehaveamorespecialgrace,orelsethathe haveoflongtimeusedhimtherein. ButIpraythee,whereinshallthattravailbe?Surelynotinthatdevoutstirringof lovethatiscontinuallywroughtinhiswill,notbyhimself,butbythehandofAlmighty God:thewhichisevermorereadytoworkthisworkineachsoulthatisdisposed thereto,andthatdoththatinhimis,andhathdonelongtimebefore,toenablehimto thiswork. Butwhereinthenisthistravail,Ipraythee?Surely,thistravailisallintreading downoftheremembranceofallthecreaturesthateverGodmade,andinholdingof themunderthecloudofforgettingnamedbefore.Inthisisallthetravail,forthisis manstravail,withhelpofgrace.Andthetotherabovethatistosay,thestirringof lovethatistheworkofonlyGod.Andthereforedoonthywork,andsurelyIpromise theeHeshallnotfailinHis. Doonthenfast;letseehowthoubearestthee.SeestthounothowHestandeth andabideththee?Forshame!Travailfastbutawhile,andthoushaltsoonbeeasedof thegreatnessandofthehardnessofthistravail.Foralthoughitbehardandstraitinthe beginning,whenthouhastnodevotion;neverthelessyetafter,whenthouhastdevotion, itshallbemadefullrestfulandfulllightuntotheethatbeforewasfullhard.Andthou shalthaveeitherlittletravailornone,forthenwillGodworksometimesallbyHimself. Butnotever,noryetnolongtimetogether,butwhenHimlistandasHimlist;andthen wiltthouthinkitmerrytoletHimalone. ThenwillHesometimesperadventuresendoutabeamofghostlylight,piercing thiscloudofunknowingthatisbetwixttheeandHim;andshewtheesomeofHis privity,thewhichmanmaynot,norcannotspeak.Thenshaltthoufeelthineaffection inflamedwiththefireofHislove,farmorethanIcantellthee,ormayorwillatthis time.Forofthatwork,thatfallethtoonlyGod,dareInottakeuponmetospeakwith myblabberingfleshlytongue:andshortlytosay,althoughIdurstIwoulddonot.Butof thatworkthatfallethtomanwhenhefeelethhimstirredandhelpedbygrace,listme welltellthee:forthereinisthelessperilofthetwo.

56

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Whoshouldworkinthegraciousworkofthisbook. FIRSTandforemost,Iwilltelltheewhoshouldworkinthiswork,andwhen,andby whatmeans:andwhatdiscretionthoushalthaveinit.Ifthouaskethmewhoshallwork thus,Ianswertheeallthathaveforsakentheworldinatruewill,andtheretothatgive themnottoactivelife,buttothatlifethatiscalledcontemplativelife.Allthoseshould workinthisgraceandinthiswork,whatsoeverthattheybe;whethertheyhavebeen accustomedsinnersornone.

57

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatamanshouldnotpresumetoworkinthisworkbeforethetimethathebelawfully cleansedinconscienceofallhisspecialdeedsofsin. BUTifthouaskethmewhentheyshouldworkinthiswork,thenIanswertheeandI say:thatnoteretheyhavecleansedtheirconscienceofalltheirspecialdeedsofsindone before,afterthecommonordinanceofHolyChurch. Forinthiswork,asouldriethupinitalltherootandthegroundofsinthatwill alwaysliveinitafterconfession,beitneversobusy.And,therefore,whosowilltravail inthiswork,lethimfirstcleansehisconscience;andafterwardwhenhehathdonethat inhimislawfully,lethimdisposehimboldlybutmeeklythereto.Andlethimthink, thathehathfulllongbeenholdentherefrom.Forthisisthatworkinthewhichasoul shouldtravailallhislifetime,thoughhehadneversinneddeadly.Andthewhilesthata soulisdwellinginthisdeadlyflesh,itshallevermoreseeandfeelthiscumbrouscloud ofunknowingbetwixthimandGod.Andnotonlythat,butinpainoftheoriginalsinit shallevermoreseeandfeelthatsomeofallthecreaturesthateverGodmade,orsome oftheirworks,willevermorepressinremembrancebetwixtitandGod.Andthisisthe rightwisdomofGod,thatman,whenhehadsovereigntyandlordshipofallother creatures,becausethathewilfullymadehimunderlingtothestirringofhissubjects, leavingthebiddingofGodandhisMaker;thatrightsoafter,whenhewouldfulfilthe biddingofGod,hesawandfeltallthecreaturesthatshouldbebeneathhim,proudly pressabovehim,betwixthimandhisGod.

58

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINEANDTWENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatamanshouldbidinglytravailinthiswork,andsufferthepainthereof,andjudgeno man. ANDtherefore,whosocovetethtocometocleannessthathelostforsin,andtowinto thatwellbeingwhereallwoewanteth,himbehovethbidinglytotravailinthiswork, andsufferthepainthereof,whatsoeverthathebe:whetherhehavebeenanaccustomed sinnerornone. Allmenhavetravailinthiswork;bothsinners,andinnocentsthatneversinned greatly.Butfargreatertravailhavethosethathavebeensinnersthantheythathavebeen none;andthatisgreatreason.Nevertheless,ofttimesitbefalleththatsomethathave beenhorribleandaccustomedsinnerscomesoonertotheperfectionofthisworkthan thosethathavebeennone.AndthisisthemercifulmiracleofourLord,thatsospecially givethHisgrace,tothewonderingofallthisworld.NowtrulyIhopethaton Doomsdayitshallbefair,whenthatGodshallbeseenclearlyandallHisgifts.Then shallsomethatnowbedespisedandsetatlittleornoughtascommonsinners,and peradventuresomethatnowbehorriblesinners,sitfullseemlywithsaintsinHissight: whensomeofthosethatseemnowfullholyandbeworshippedofmenasangels,and someofthoseyetperadventure,thatneveryetsinneddeadly,shallsitfullsorry amongsthellcaves. Herebymayestthouseethatnomanshouldbejudgedofotherhereinthislife, forgoodnorforevilthattheydo.Neverthelessdeedsmaylawfullybejudged,butnot theman,whethertheybegoodorevil.

59

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Whoshouldblameandcondemnothermensdefaults. BUTIpraythee,ofwhomshallmensdeedsbejudged? Surelyofthemthathavepower,andcureoftheirsouls:eithergivenopenlyby thestatuteandtheordinanceofHolyChurch,orelseprivilyinspiritatthespecial stirringoftheHolyGhostinperfectcharity.Eachmanbeware,thathepresumenotto takeuponhimtoblameandcondemnothermensdefaults,butifhefeelverilythathe bestirredoftheHolyGhostwithininhiswork;forelsemayhefulllightlyerrinhis dooms.Andthereforebeware:judgethyselfastheelistbetwixttheeandthyGodorthy ghostlyfather,andletothermenalone.

60

HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Howamanshouldhavehiminbeginningofthisworkagainstallthoughtsandstirrings ofsin. ANDfromthetimethatthoufeelestthatthouhastdonethatintheeis,lawfullyto amendtheeatthedoomofHolyChurch,thenshaltthousettheesharplytoworkinthis work.Andthenifitsobethatthyforedonespecialdeedswillalwayspressinthy remembrancebetwixttheeandthyGod,oranynewthoughtorstirringofanysineither, thoushaltstalwartlystepabovethemwithaferventstirringoflove,andtreadthem downunderthyfeet.Andtrytocoverthemwithathickcloudofforgetting,asthey neverhadbeendoneinthislifeoftheenorofothermaneither.Andiftheyoftrise,oft putthemdown:andshortlytosay,asoftastheyrise,asoftputthemdown.Andifthee thinkthatthetravailbegreat,thoumayestseekartsandwilesandprivysubtletiesof ghostlydevicestoputthemaway:thewhichsubtletiesbebetterlearnedofGodbythe proofthanofanymaninthislife.

61

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Oftwoghostlydevicesthatbehelpfultoaghostlybeginnerintheworkofthisbook. NEVERTHELESS,somewhatofthissubtletyshallItelltheeasmethink.Provethouand dobetter,ifthoubettermayest.Dothatintheeis,toletbeasthouwistnotthatthey presssofastupontheebetwixttheeandthyGod.Andtrytolookasitwereovertheir shoulders,seekinganotherthing:thewhichthingisGod,enclosedinacloudof unknowing.Andifthoudothus,Itrowthatwithinshorttimethoushaltbeeasedofthy travail.Itrowthatanthisdevicebewellandtrulyconceived,itisnoughtelsebuta longingdesireuntoGod,tofeelHimandseeHimasitmaybehere:andsuchadesireis charity,anditobtainethalwaystobeeased. Anotherdevicethereis:provethouifthouwilt.Whenthoufeelestthatthou mayestonnowiseputthemdown,cowerthoudownunderthemasacaitiffanda cowardovercomeinbattle,andthinkthatitisbutafollytotheetostriveanylonger withthem,andthereforethouyieldesttheetoGodinthehandsofthineenemies.And feelthenthyselfasthouwertforedoneforever.TakegoodheedofthisdeviceIpray thee,formethinkintheproofofthisdevicethoushouldestmeltalltowater.And surelymethinkanthisdevicebetrulyconceiveditisnoughtelsebutatrueknowing andafeelingofthyselfasthouart,awretchandafilthy,farworsethannought:the whichknowingandfeelingismeekness.AndthismeeknessobtainethtohaveGod Himselfmightilydescending,tovengetheeofthineenemies,fortotaketheeup,and cherishinglydrythineghostlyeyen;asthefatherdoththechildthatisinpointtoperish underthemouthsofwildswineorwodebitingbears.

62

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Thatinthisworkasouliscleansedbothofhisspecialsinsandofthepainofthem,and yethowthereisnoperfectrestinthislife. MOREdevicestellItheenotatthistime;foranthouhavegracetofeeltheproofof these,ItrowthatthoushaltknowbettertolearnmethanIthee.Foralthoughitshould bethus,trulyyetmethinkthatIamfullfartherefrom.AndthereforeIpraytheehelp me,anddothoufortheeandforme. Doonthen,andtravailfastawhile,Ipraythee,andsuffermeeklythepainifthou mayestnotsoonwintothesearts.Fortrulyitisthypurgatory,andthenwhenthypain isallpassedandthydevicesbegivenofGod,andgraciouslygottenincustom;thenitis nodoubttomethatthouartcleansednotonlyofsin,butalsoofthepainofsin.Imean, ofthepainofthyspecialforedonesins,andnotofthepainoftheoriginalsin.Forthat painshallalwayslastontheetothydeathday,bethouneversobusy.Nevertheless,it shallbutlittleprovokethee,incomparisonofthispainofthyspecialsins;andyetshalt thounotbewithoutgreattravail.Foroutofthisoriginalsinwillalldayspringnewand freshstirringsofsin:thewhichtheebehovethalldaytosmitedown,andbebusyto shearawaywithasharpdoubleedgeddreadfulswordofdiscretion.Andhereby mayestthouseeandlearn,thatthereisnosoothfastsecurity,noryetnotruerestinthis life. Nevertheless,hereforeshaltthounotgoback,noryetbeoverfearedofthyfailing. Foranitsobethatthoumayesthavegracetodestroythepainofthineforedonespecial deeds,inthemannerbeforesaidorbetterifthoubettermayestsurebethou,thatthe painoftheoriginalsin,orelsethenewstirringsofsinthatbetocome,shallbutright littlebeabletoprovokethee.

63

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
ThatGodgiveththisgracefreelywithoutanymeans,andthatitmaynotbecometowith means. ANDifthouaskestmebywhatmeansthoushaltcometothiswork,IbeseechAlmighty GodofHisgreatgraceandHisgreatcourtesytoteachtheeHimself.FortrulyIdothee welltowitthatIcannottellthee,andthatisnowonder.Forwhy,thatistheworkof onlyGod,speciallywroughtinwhatsoulthatHimlikethwithoutanydesertofthe samesoul.Forwithoutitnosaintnornoangelcanthinktodesireit.AndItrowthatour Lordasspeciallyandasoftyea!andmorespeciallyandmoreoftwillvouchsafeto workthisworkinthemthathavebeenaccustomedsinners,thaninsomeother,that nevergrievedHimgreatlyincomparisonofthem.AndthiswillHedo,forHewillbe seenallmercifulandalmighty;andforHewillbeseentoworkasHimlist,whereHim list,andwhenHimlist. AndyetHegivethnotthisgrace,norworkethnotthiswork,inanysoulthatis unablethereto.Andyet,thereisnosoulwithoutthisgrace,abletohavethisgrace: none,whetheritbeasinnerssouloraninnocentsoul.Forneitheritisgivenfor innocence,norwithholdenforsin.Takegoodheed,thatIsaywithholden,andnot withdrawn.Bewareoferrorhere,Ipraythee;forever,thenearermentouchthetruth, morewarymenbehovethtobeoferror.Imeanbutwell:ifthoucanstnotconceiveit,lay itbythysidetillGodcomeandteachthee.Dothenso,andhurttheenot. Bewareofpride,foritblasphemethGodinHisgifts,andboldenethsinners.Wert thouverilymeek,thoushouldestfeelofthisworkasIsay:thatGodgivethitfreely withoutanydesert.Theconditionofthisworkissuch,thatthepresencethereof enablethasoulfortohaveitandfortofeelit.Andthatablenessmaynosoulhave withoutit.Theablenesstothisworkisonedtotheworksselfwithoutdeparting;so thatwhosofeeleththisworkisablethereto,andnoneelse.Insomuch,thatwithoutthis workasoulisasitweredead,andcannotcovetitnordesireit.Forasmuchasthou willestitanddesirestit,somuchhastthouofit,andnomorenornoless:andyetisit nowill,nornodesire,butathingthouwottestneverwhat,thatstirreththeetowilland desirethouwottestneverwhat.Recktheeneverifthouwittestnomore,Ipraythee:but doforthevermoreandmore,sothatthoubeeverdoing. AndifIshallshortliersay,letthatthingdowiththeeandleadtheewheresoit list.Letitbetheworker,andyoubutthesufferer:dobutlookuponit,andletitalone. Meddletheenottherewithasthouwouldesthelpit,fordreadlestthouspillall.Bethou butthetree,andletitbethewright:bethoubutthehouse,andletitbethe husbandmandwellingtherein.Beblindinthistime,andshearawaycovetiseof knowing,foritwillmorelettheethanhelpthee.Itsufficethenoughuntothee,thatthou feelesttheestirredlikinglywithathingthouwottestneverwhat,elsethatinthisstirring thouhastnospecialthoughtofanythingunderGod;andthatthineintentbenakedly directeduntoGod.

64 Andifitbethus,trustthensteadfastlythatitisonlyGodthatstirreththywill andthydesireplainlybyHimself,withoutmeanseitheronHispartoronthine.Andbe notfeared,forthedevilmaynotcomesonear.Hemaynevercometostiramanswill, butoccasionallyandbymeansfromafar,beheneversosubtleadevil.Forsufficiently andwithoutmeansmaynogoodangelstirthywill:nor,shortlytosay,nothingbutonly God.Sothatthoumayestconceiveherebythesewordssomewhat(butmuchmore clearlybytheproof),thatinthisworkmenshallusenomeans:noryetmenmaynot cometheretowithmeans.Allgoodmeanshanguponit,anditonnomeans;norno meansmayleadthereto.

65

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
OfthreemeansinthewhichacontemplativePrenticeshouldbeoccupied,inreading, thinking,andpraying. NEVERTHELESS,meanstherebeinthewhichacontemplativeprenticeshouldbe occupied,thewhichbetheseLesson,Meditation,andOrison:orelsetothine understandingtheymaybecalledReading,Thinking,andPraying.Ofthesethree thoushaltfindwritteninanotherbookofanothermanswork,muchbetterthanIcan tellthee;andthereforeitneedethnotheretotelltheeofthequalitiesofthem.Butthis mayItellthee:thesethreebesocoupledtogether,thatuntothemthatbebeginnersand profitersbutnottothemthatbeperfect,yea,asitmaybeherethinkingmaynot goodlybegotten,withoutreadingorhearingcomingbefore.Allisoneinmanner, readingandhearing:clerksreadingonbooks,andlewdmenreadingonclerkswhen theyhearthempreachthewordofGod.Norprayermaynotgoodlybegottenin beginnersandprofiters,withoutthinkingcomingbefore. Seebytheproof.Inthissamecourse,Godswordeitherwrittenorspokenis likenedtoamirror.Ghostly,theeyesofthysoulisthyreason;thyconscienceisthy visageghostly.Andrightasthouseestthatifafoulspotbeinthybodilyvisage,theeyes ofthesamevisagemaynotseethatspotnorwitwhereitis,withoutamirrorora teachingofanotherthanitself;rightsoitisghostly,withoutreadingorhearingofGods worditisimpossibletomansunderstandingthatasoulthatisblindedincustomofsin shouldseethefoulspotinhisconscience. Andsofollowing,whenamanseethinabodilyorghostlymirror,orwotsby othermensteaching,whereaboutsthefoulspotisonhisvisage,eitherbodilyor ghostly;thenatfirst,andnotbefore,herunnethtothewelltowashhim.Ifthisspotbe anyspecialsin,thenisthiswellHolyChurch,andthiswaterconfession,withthe circumstances.Ifitbebutablindrootandastirringofsin,thenisthiswellmerciful God,andthiswaterprayer,withthecircumstances.Andthusmayestthouseethatno thinkingmaygoodlybegotteninbeginnersandprofiters,withoutreadingorhearing comingbefore:norprayingwithoutthinking.

66

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Ofthemeditationsofthemthatcontinuallytravailintheworkofthisbook. BUTitisnotsowiththemthatcontinuallyworkintheworkofthisbook.Fortheir meditationsbebutastheyweresuddenconceitsandblindfeelingsoftheirown wretchedness,orofthegoodnessofGod;withoutanymeansofreadingorhearing comingbefore,andwithoutanyspecialbeholdingofanythingunderGod.These suddenconceitsandtheseblindfeelingsbesoonerlearnedofGodthanofman.Icare notthoughthouhaddestnowadaysnoneothermeditationsofthineownwretchedness, norofthegoodnessofGod(Imeanifthoufeeltheethusstirredbygraceandby counsel),butsuchasthoumayesthaveinthiswordSIN,andinthiswordGOD:orin suchother,whichastheelist.Notbreakingnorexpoundingthesewordswithcuriosity ofwit,inbeholdingafterthequalitiesofthesewords,asthouwouldestbythat beholdingincreasethydevotion.Itrowitshouldneverbesointhiscaseandinthis work.Butholdthemallwholethesewords;andmeanbysin,alump,thouwottestnever what,noneotherthingbutthyself.Methinkthatinthisblindbeholdingofsin,thus congealedinalump,noneotherthingthanthyself,itshouldbenoneedtobinda madderthing,thanthoushouldestbeinthistime.Andyetperadventure,whosolooked upontheeshouldthinktheefullsoberlydisposedinthybody,withoutanychangingof countenance;butsittingorgoingorlying,orleaningorstandingorkneeling,whether thouwert,inafullsoberrestfulness.

67

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Ofthespecialprayersofthemthatbecontinualworkersinthewordofthisbook ANDrightasthemeditationsofthemthatcontinuallyworkinthisgraceandinthis workrisesuddenlywithoutanymeans,rightsodotheirprayers.Imeanoftheirspecial prayers,notofthoseprayersthatbeordainedofHolyChurch.Fortheythatbetrue workersinthiswork,theyworshipnoprayersomuch:andthereforetheydothem,in theformandinthestatutethattheybeordainedofholyfathersbeforeus.Buttheir specialprayersriseevermoresuddenlyuntoGod,withoutanymeansorany premeditationinspecialcomingbefore,orgoingtherewith. Andiftheybeinwords,astheybebutseldom,thenbetheybutinfullfew words:yea,andineverthefewerthebetter.Yea,andifitbebutalittlewordofone syllable,methinkitbetterthanoftwo:andmore,too,accordingtotheworkofthe spirit,sinceitsoisthataghostlyworkerinthisworkshouldevermorebeinthehighest andthesovereignestpointofthespirit.Thatthisbesooth,seebyensampleinthecourse ofnature.Amanorawoman,afraidwithanysuddenchanceoffireorofmansdeath orwhatelsethatitbe,suddenlyintheheightofhisspirit,heisdrivenuponhasteand uponneedfortocryorfortoprayafterhelp.Yea,how?Surely,notinmanywords,nor yetinonewordoftwosyllables.Andwhyisthat?Forhimthinkethitoverlongtarrying fortodeclaretheneedandtheworkofhisspirit.Andthereforeheburstethup hideouslywithagreatspirit,andcryethalittleword,butofonesyllable:asisthisword fire,orthiswordout! Andrightasthislittlewordfirestirrethratherandpiercethmorehastilythe earsofthehearers,sodothalittlewordofonesyllablewhenitisnotonlyspokenor thought,butprivilymeantinthedeepnessofspirit;thewhichistheheight,forin ghostlinessallisone,heightanddeepness,lengthandbreadth.Andratheritpierceth theearsofAlmightyGodthandothanylongpsalterunmindfullymumbledinthe teeth.Andhereforeitiswritten,thatshortprayerpiercethheaven.

68

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Howandwhythatshortprayerpiercethheaven ANDwhypiercethitheaven,thislittleshortprayerofonelittlesyllable?Surelybecause itisprayedwithafullspirit,intheheightandinthedeepness,inthelengthandinthe breadthofhisspiritthatprayethit.Intheheightitis,foritiswithallthemightofthe spirit.Inthedeepnessitis,forinthislittlesyllablebecontainedallthewitsofthespirit. Inthelengthitis,formightiteverfeelasitfeeleth,everwoulditcryasitcryeth.Inthe breadthitis,foritwilleththesametoallotherthatitwillethtoitself. InthistimeitisthatasoulhathcomprehendedafterthelessonofSaintPaulwith allsaintsnotfully,butinmannerandinpart,asitisaccordinguntothisworkwhich isthelengthandthebreadth,theheightandthedeepnessofeverlastingandalllovely, almighty,andallwittingGod.TheeverlastingnessofGodisHislength.HisloveisHis breadth.HismightisHisheight.AndHiswisdomisHisdeepness.Nowonderthough asoulthatisthusnighconformedbygracetotheimageandthelikenessofGodhis maker,besoonheardofGod!Yea,thoughitbeafullsinfulsoul,thewhichistoGodas itwereanenemy;anhemightthroughgracecomefortocrysuchalittlesyllableinthe heightandthedeepness,thelengthandthebreadthofhisspirit,yetheshouldforthe hideousnoiseofhiscrybealwaysheardandhelpedofGod. Seebyensample.Hethatisthydeadlyenemy,anthouhearhimsoafraidthathe cryintheheightofhisspiritthislittlewordfire,orthiswordout;yetwithoutany beholdingtohimforheisthineenemy,butforpurepityinthineheartstirredand raisedwiththedolefulnessofthiscry,thourisestupyea,thoughitbeabout midwintersnightandhelpesthimtoslackhisfire,orfortostillhimandresthimin hisdistress.Oh,Lord!sinceamanmaybemadesomercifulingrace,tohavesomuch mercyandsomuchpityofhisenemy,notwithstandinghisenmity,whatpityandwhat mercyshallGodhavethenofaghostlycryinsoul,madeandwroughtintheheightand thedeepness,thelengthandthebreadthofhisspirit;thewhichhathallbynaturethat manhathbygrace?Andmuchmore,surelywithoutcomparison,muchmoremercy willHehave;sinceitis,thatthatthingthatissohadbynatureisnearertoaneternal thingthanthatwhichishadbygrace.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHENINEANDTHIRTIETHCHAPTER
Howaperfectworkershallpray,andwhatprayerisinitself;andifamanshallprayin words,whichwordsaccordthemmosttothepropertyofprayer. ANDthereforeitis,toprayintheheightandthedeepness,thelengthandthebreadth ofourspirit.Andthatnotinmanywords,butinalittlewordofonesyllable. Andwhatshallthiswordbe?Surelysuchawordasisbestaccordinguntothe propertyofprayer.Andwhatwordisthat?Letusfirstseewhatprayerisproperlyin itself,andthereafterwemayclearlierknowwhatwordwillbestaccordtotheproperty ofprayer. Prayerinitselfproperlyisnotelse,butadevoutintentdirectuntoGod,for gettingofgoodandremovingofevil.Andthen,sinceitsoisthatallevilbe comprehendedinsin,eitherbycauseorbybeing,letusthereforewhenwewill intentivelyprayforremovingofevileithersay,orthink,ormean,noughtelsenorno morewords,butthislittlewordsin.Andifwewillintentivelyprayforgettingof good,letuscry,eitherwithwordorwiththoughtorwithdesire,noughtelsenorno morewords,butthiswordGod.Forwhy,inGodbeallgood,bothbycauseandby being.HavenomarvelwhyIsetthesewordsforbyallother.ForifIcouldfindany shorterwords,sofullycomprehendinginthemallgoodandallevil,asthesetwowords do,orifIhadbeenlearnedofGodtotakeanyotherwordseither,Iwouldthenhave takenthemandleftthese;andsoIcounselthatthoudo. Studythounotfornowords,forsoshouldestthounevercometothypurpose nortothiswork,foritisnevergotbystudy,butallonlybygrace.Andthereforetake thounoneotherwordstoprayin,althoughIsetthesehere,butsuchasthouartstirred ofGodfortotake.Nevertheless,ifGodstirtheetotakethese,Icounselnotthatthou leavethem;Imeanifthoushaltprayinwords,andelsenot.Forwhy,theybefullshort words.Butalthoughtheshortnessofprayerbegreatlycommendedhere,nevertheless theoftnessofprayerisnevertheratherrefrained.Forasitissaidbefore,itisprayedin thelengthofthespirit;sothatitshouldnevercease,tillthetimewerethatithadfully gottenthatthatitlongedafter.Ensampleofthishaveweinamanorawomanafraidin themannerbeforesaid.Forweseewell,thattheyceasenevercryingonthislittleword out,orthislittlewordfire,erethetimebethattheyhaveingreatpartgottenhelpof theirgrief.

70

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFORTIETHCHAPTER
Thatinthetimeofthisworkasoulhathnospecialbeholdingtoanyviceinitselfnorto anyvirtueinitself. DOthou,onthesamemanner,fillthyspiritwiththeghostlybemeaningofthisword sin,andwithoutanyspecialbeholdinguntoanykindofsin,whetheritbevenialor deadly:Pride,Wrath,orEnvy,Covetyse,Sloth,Gluttony,orLechery.Whatrecksitin contemplatives,whatsinthatitbe,orhowmuckleasinthatitbe?Forallsinsthem thinkethImeanforthetimeofthisworkalikegreatinthemselves,whentheleastsin departeththemfromGod,andletteththemoftheirghostlypeace. Andfeelsinalump,thouwottestneverwhat,butnoneotherthingthanthyself. Andcrythenghostlyeveruponone:aSin,sin,sin!Out,out,out!Thisghostlycryis betterlearnedofGodbytheproof,thanofanymanbyword.Foritisbestwhenitisin purespirit,withoutspecialthoughtoranypronouncingofword;unlessitbeany seldomtime,whenforabundanceofspirititburstethupintoword,sothatthebody andthesoulbebothfilledwithsorrowandcumberingofsin. OnthesamemannershaltthoudowiththislittlewordGod.Fillthyspiritwith theghostlybemeaningofitwithoutanyspecialbeholdingtoanyofHisworks whethertheybegood,better,orbestofallbodilyorghostly,ortoanyvirtuethatmay bewroughtinmanssoulbyanygrace;notlookingafterwhetheritbemeeknessor charity,patienceorabstinence,hope,faith,orsoberness,chastityorwilfulpoverty. Whatrecksthisincontemplatives?ForallvirtuestheyfindandfeelinGod;forinHim isallthing,bothbycauseandbybeing.FortheythinkthatantheyhadGodtheyhad allgood,andthereforetheycovetnothingwithspecialbeholding,butonlygoodGod. Dothouonthesamemannerasfarforthasthoumayestbygrace:andmeanGodall, andallGod,sothatnoughtworkinthywitandinthywill,butonlyGod. Andbecausethateverthewhilesthoulivestinthiswretchedlife,theebehoveth alwaysfeelinsomepartthisfoulstinkinglumpofsin,asitwereonedandcongealed withthesubstanceofthybeing,thereforeshaltthouchangeablymeanthesetwowords sinandGod.Withthisgeneralknowing,thatanthouhaddestGod,thenshouldest thoulacksin:andmightestthoulacksin,thenshouldestthouhaveGod.

71

HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Thatinallotherworksbeneaththis,menshouldkeepdiscretion;butinthisnone. ANDfurthermore,ifthouaskmewhatdiscretionthoushalthaveinthiswork,thenI answertheeandsay,rightnone!Forinallthineotherdoingsthoushalthavediscretion, asineatingandindrinking,andinsleepingandinkeepingofthybodyfrom outrageouscoldorheat,andinlongprayingorreading,orincommuninginspeech withthineevenchristian.Inalltheseshaltthoukeepdiscretion,thattheybeneithertoo muchnortoolittle.Butinthisworkshaltthouholdnomeasure:forIwouldthatthou shouldestneverceaseofthisworkthewhilesthoulivest. Isaynotthatthoushaltcontinueeverthereinalikefresh,forthatmaynotbe.For sometimesicknessandotherunordaineddispositionsinbodyandinsoul,withmany otherneedfulnesstonature,willlettheefullmuch,andofttimesdrawtheedownfrom theheightofthisworking.ButIsaythatthoushouldestevermorehaveiteitherin earnestoringame;thatistosay,eitherinworkorinwill.AndthereforeforGodslove bewarywithsicknessasmuchasthoumayestgoodly,sothatthoubenotthecauseof thyfeebleness,asfarasthoumayest.ForItelltheetruly,thatthisworkaskethafull greatrestfulness,andafullwholeandcleandisposition,aswellinbodyasinsoul. AndthereforeforGodslovegoverntheediscreetlyinbodyandinsoul,andget theethinehealthasmuchasthoumayest.Andifsicknesscomeagainstthypower,have patienceandabidemeeklyGodsmercy:andallisthengoodenough.ForItellthee truly,thatofttimespatienceinsicknessandinotherdiversetribulationspleasethGod muchmorethananylikingdevotionthatthoumayesthaveinthyhealth.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Thatbyindiscretioninthis,menshallkeepdiscretioninallotherthings;andsurelyelse never BUTperadventurethouaskestme,howthoushaltgoverntheediscreetlyinmeatandin sleep,andinalltheseother.AndheretoIthinktoanswertheerightshortly:Getthat thougetmayest.Dothisworkevermorewithoutceasingandwithoutdiscretion,and thoushaltwellkenbeginandceaseinallotherworkswithagreatdiscretion.ForImay nottrowthatasoulcontinuinginthisworknightanddaywithoutdiscretion,should errinanyoftheseoutwarddoings;andelse,methinkthatheshouldalwayserr. Andtherefore,anImightgetawakingandabusybeholdingtothisghostlywork withininmysoul,Iwouldthenhaveaheedlessnessineatingandindrinking,in sleepingandinspeaking,andinallmineoutwarddoings.ForsurelyItrowIshould rathercometodiscretioninthembysuchaheedlessness,thanbyanybusybeholdingto thesamethings,asIwouldbythatbeholdingsetamarkandameasurebythem.TrulyI shouldneverbringitsoabout,foroughtthatIcoulddoorsay.Saywhatmensaywill, andlettheproofwitness.Andthereforeliftupthineheartwithablindstirringoflove; andmeannowsin,andnowGod.Godwouldestthouhave,andsinwouldestthoulack. Godwanteththee;andsinartthousureof.NowgoodGodhelpthee,fornowhastthou need!

73

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Thatallwittingandfeelingofamansownbeingmustneedsbelostiftheperfectionof thiswordshallverilybefeltinanysoulinthislife. LOOKthatnoughtworkinthywitnorinthywillbutonlyGod.Andtryfortofellall wittingandfeelingofoughtunderGod,andtreadalldownfullfarunderthecloudof forgetting.Andthoushaltunderstand,thatthoushaltnotonlyinthisworkforgetall othercreaturesthanthyself,ortheirdeedsorthine,butalsothoushaltinthiswork forgetboththyselfandalsothydeedsforGod,aswellasallothercreaturesandtheir deeds.Foritistheconditionofaperfectlover,notonlytolovethatthingthatheloveth morethanhimself;butalsoinamannerfortohatehimselfforthatthingthatheloveth. Thusshaltthoudowiththyself:thoushaltloatheandbewearywithallthat thingthatworkethinthywitandinthywillunlessitbeonlyGod.Forwhy,surelyelse, whatsoeverthatitbe,itisbetwixttheeandthyGod.Andnowonderthoughthou loatheandhatefortothinkonthyself,whenthoushaltalwaysfeelsin,afoulstinking lumpthouwottestneverwhat,betwixttheeandthyGod:thewhichlumpisnoneother thingthanthyself.Forthoushaltthinkitonedandcongealedwiththesubstanceofthy being:yea,asitwerewithoutdeparting. Andthereforebreakdownallwittingandfeelingofallmannerofcreatures;but mostbusilyofthyself.Foronthewittingandthefeelingofthyselfhangethwittingand feelingofallothercreatures;forinregardofit,allothercreaturesbelightlyforgotten. For,anthouwiltbusilysettheetotheproof,thoushaltfindwhenthouhastforgotten allothercreaturesandalltheirworksyea,andtheretoallthineownworksthatthere shallliveyetafter,betwixttheeandthyGod,anakedwittingandafeelingofthineown being:thewhichwittingandfeelingbehovethalwaysbedestroyed,erethetimebethat thoufeelsoothfastlytheperfectionofthiswork.

74

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Howasoulshalldisposeitonitsownpart,fortodestroyallwittingandfeelingofits ownbeing. BUTnowthouaskestme,howthoumayestdestroythisnakedwittingandfeelingof thineownbeing.Forperadventurethouthinkestthatanitweredestroyed,allother lettingsweredestroyed:andifthouthinkestthus,thouthinkestrighttruly.ButtothisI answertheeandIsay,thatwithoutafullspecialgracefullfreelygivenofGod,and theretoafullaccordingablenesstoreceivethisgraceonthypart,thisnakedwittingand feelingofthybeingmayonnowisebedestroyed.Andthisablenessisnoughtelsebuta strongandadeepghostlysorrow. Butinthissorrowneedeththeetohavediscretion,onthismanner:thoushaltbe waryinthetimeofthissorrow,thatthouneithertoorudelystrainthybodynorthy spirit,butsitfullstill,asitwereinasleepingdevice,allforsobbedandforsunkenin sorrow.Thisistruesorrow;thisisperfectsorrow;andwellwerehimthatmightwinto thissorrow.Allmenhavematterofsorrow:butmostspeciallyhefeelethmatterof sorrow,thatwottethandfeeleththatheis.Allothersorrowsbeuntothisincomparison butasitweregametoearnest.Forhemaymakesorrowearnestly,thatwottethand feelethnotonlywhatheis,butthatheis.Andwhosofeltneverthissorrow,hemay makesorrow:forwhy,hefeltyetneverperfectsorrow.Thissorrow,whenitishad, cleanseththesoul,notonlyofsin,butalsoofpainthatithathdeservedforsin;and theretoitmakethasoulabletoreceivethatjoy,thewhichreevethfromamanallwitting andfeelingofhisbeing. Thissorrow,ifitbetrulyconceived,isfullofholydesire:andelsemightnever maninthislifeabideitnorbearit.Forwereitnotthatasoulweresomewhatfedwitha mannerofcomfortofhisrightworking,elseshouldhenotbeabletobearthepainthat hehathofthewittingandfeelingofhisbeing.Forasoftashewouldhaveatruewitting andafeelingofhisGodinpurityofspirit,asitmaybehere,andsithenfeeleththathe maynotforhefindethevermorehiswittingandhisfeelingasitwereoccupiedand filledwithafoulstinkinglumpofhimself,thewhichbehovethalwaysbehatedandbe despisedandforsaken,ifheshallbeGodsperfectdisciplelearnedofHimselfinthe mountofperfectionsooft,hegoethnighmadforsorrow.Insomuch,thatheweepeth andwaileth,striveth,curseth,andbanneth;andshortlytosay,himthinkeththathe bearethsoheavyaburthenofhimselfthathecarethneverwhatbetideshim,sothat Godwerepleased.Andyetinallthissorrowhedesirethnottounbe:forthatwere devilsmadnessanddespiteuntoGod.Buthimlistethrightwelltobe;andheintendeth fullheartilythankingtoGod,fortheworthinessandthegiftofhisbeing,forallthathe desireunceasinglyfortolackthewittingandthefeelingofhisbeing. Thissorrowandthisdesirebehovetheverysoulhaveandfeelinitself,eitherin thismannerorinanother;asGodvouchsafethfortolearntoHisghostlydisciplesafter Hiswellwillingandtheiraccordingablenessinbodyandinsoul,indegreeand

75 disposition,erethetimebethattheymayperfectlybeoneduntoGodinperfectcharity suchasmaybehadhereifGodvouchsafeth.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Agooddeclaringofsomecertaindeceitsthatmaybefallinthiswork. BUTonethingItellthee,thatinthisworkmayayoungdisciplethathathnotyetbeen wellusedandprovedinghostlyworking,fulllightlybedeceived;and,buthebesoon wary,andhavegracetoleaveoffandmeekhimtocounsel,peradventurebedestroyed inhisbodilypowersandfallintofantasyinhisghostlywits.Andallthisisalongof pride,andoffleshlinessandcuriosityofwit. Andonthismannermaythisdeceitbefall.Ayoungmanorawomannewsetto theschoolofdevotionheareththissorrowandthisdesirebereadandspoken:howthat amanshallliftuphisheartuntoGod,andunceasinglydesirefortofeeltheloveofhis God.Andasfastinacuriosityofwittheyconceivethesewordsnotghostlyastheybe meant,butfleshlyandbodily;andtravailtheirfleshlyheartsoutrageouslyintheir breasts.Andwhatforlackingofgraceandprideandcuriosityinthemselves,theystrain theirveinsandtheirbodilypowerssobeastlyandsorudely,thatwithinshorttimethey falleitherintofrenzies,weariness,andamannerofunlistyfeeblenessinbodyandin soul,thewhichmakeththemtowendoutofthemselvesandseeksomefalseandsome vainfleshlyandbodilycomfortwithout,asitwereforrecreationofbodyandofspirit: orelse,iftheyfallnotinthis,elsetheymeritforghostlyblindness,andforfleshly chafingoftheirnatureintheirbodilybreastsinthetimeofthisfeignedbeastlyandnot ghostlyworking,fortohavetheirbreastseitherenflamedwithanunkindlyheatof naturecausedofmisrulingoftheirbodiesorofthisfeignedworking,orelsethey conceiveafalseheatwroughtbytheFiend,theirghostlyenemy,causedoftheirpride andoftheirfleshlinessandtheircuriosityofwit.Andyetperadventuretheyweenitbe thefireoflove,gottenandkindledbythegraceandthegoodnessoftheHolyGhost. Truly,ofthisdeceit,andofthebranchesthereof,springmanymischiefs:much hypocrisy,muchheresy,andmucherror.Forasfastaftersuchafalsefeelingcometha falseknowingintheFiendsschool,rightasafteratruefeelingcomethatrueknowing inGodsschool.ForItelltheetruly,thatthedevilhathhiscontemplativesasGodhath His. Thisdeceitoffalsefeeling,andoffalseknowingfollowingthereon,hathdiverse andwonderfulvariations,afterthediversityofstatesandthesubtleconditionsofthem thatbedeceived:ashaththetruefeelingandknowingofthemthatbesaved.ButIset nomoredeceitsherebutthosewiththewhichItrowthoushaltbeassailedifeverthou purposetheetoworkinthiswork.Forwhatshoulditprofittotheetowithowthese greatclerks,andmenandwomenofotherdegreesthanthouart,bedeceived?Surely rightnought;andthereforeItelltheenomorebutthosethatfalluntotheeifthoutravail inthiswork.AndthereforeItelltheethis,forthoushaltbewarytherewithinthy working,ifthoubeassailedtherewith.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Agoodteachinghowamanshallfleethesedeceits,andworkmorewithalistinessof spirit,thanwithanyboisterousnessofbody ANDthereforeforGodslovebewaryinthiswork,andstrainnotthineheartinthy breastoverrudelynoroutofmeasure;butworkmorewithalistthanwithany worthlessstrength.ForeverthemoreMistily,themoremeeklyandghostly:andever themorerudely,themorebodilyandbeastly.Andthereforebewary,forsurelywhat beastlyheartthatpresumethfortotouchthehighmountofthiswork,itshallbebeaten awaywithstones.Stonesbehardanddryintheirkind,andtheyhurtfullsorewhere theyhit.Andsurelysuchrudestrainingsbefullhardfastenedinfleshlinessofbodily feeling,andfulldryfromanywittingofgrace;andtheyhurtfullsorethesillysoul,and makeitfesterinfantasyfeignedoffiends.Andthereforebewarywiththisbeastly rudeness,andlearntheetolovelistily,withasoftandademurebehaviouraswellin bodyasinsoul;andabidecourteouslyandmeeklythewillofourLord,andsnatchnot overhastily,asitwereagreedygreyhound,hungertheeneversosore.And,gaminglybe itsaid,Icounselthatthoudothatintheeis,refrainingtherudeandthegreatstirringof thyspirit,rightasthouonnowisewouldestletHimwithowfainthouwouldestsee Him,andhaveHimorfeelHim. Thisischildishlyandplayinglyspoken,theethinkperadventure.ButItrow whosohadgracetodoandfeelasIsay,heshouldfeelgoodgamesomeplaywithHim, asthefatherdothwiththechild,kissingandclipping,thatwellwerehimso.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Aslightteachingofthisworkinpurityofspirit;declaringhowthatononemannerasoul shouldshedhisdesireuntoGod,andonyecontraryuntoman. LOOKthouhavenowonderwhythatIspeakthuschildishly,andasitwerefollilyand lackingnaturaldiscretion;forIdoitforcertainreasons,andasmethinkeththatIhave beenstirredmanydays,bothtofeelthusandthinkthusandsaythus,aswelltosome otherofmyspecialfriendsinGod,asIamnowuntothee. Andonereasonisthis,whythatIbidtheehidefromGodthedesireofthine heart.ForIhopeitshouldmoreclearlycometoHisknowing,forthyprofitandin fulfillingofthydesire,bysuchanhiding,thanitshouldbyanyothermannerof shewingthatItrowthoucouldestyetshew.Andanotherreasonis,forIwouldbysuch ahidshewingbringtheeoutoftheboisterousnessofbodilyfeelingintothepurityand deepnessofghostlyfeeling;andsofurthermoreatthelasttohelptheetoknitthe ghostlyknotofburninglovebetwixttheeandthyGod,inghostlyoneheadand accordingofwill. Thouwottestwellthis,thatGodisaSpirit;andwhososhouldbeoneduntoHim, itbehovethtobeinsoothfastnessanddeepnessofspirit,fullfarfromanyfeignedbodily thing.SoothitisthatallthingisknownofGod,andnothingmaybehidfromHis witting,neitherbodilythingnorghostly.Butmoreopenlyisthatthingknownand sheweduntoHim,thewhichishidindeepnessofspirit,sithitsoisthatHeisaSpirit, thanisanythingthatismingledwithanymannerofbodilyness.Forallbodilythingis fartherfromGodbythecourseofnaturethananyghostlything.Bythisreasonit seemeth,thatthewhilesourdesireismingledwithanymatterofbodilyness,asitis whenwestressandstrainusinspiritandinbodytogether,solongitisfartherfrom Godthanitshouldbe,anitweredonemoredevoutlyandmorelistilyinsobernessand inpurityandindeepnessofspirit. AndheremayestthouseesomewhatandinpartthereasonwhythatIbidthee sochildishlycoverandhidethestirringofthydesirefromGod.AndyetIbidtheenot plainlyhideit;forthatwerethebiddingofafool,fortobidtheeplainlydothatwhich onnowisemaybedone.ButIbidtheedothatintheeistohideit.AndwhybidIthus? SurelybecauseIwouldthatthoucastitintodeepnessofspirit,farfromanyrude minglingofanybodilyness,thewhichwouldmakeitlessghostlyandfartherfromGod inasmuch:andbecauseIwotwellthateverthemorethatthyspirithathofghostliness, thelessithathofbodilynessandtheneareritistoGod,andthebetteritpleasethHim andthemoreclearlyitmaybeseenofHim.NotthatHissightmaybeanytimeorin anythingmoreclearthaninanother,foritisevermoreunchangeable:butbecauseitis morelikeuntoHim,whenitisinpurityofspirit,forHeisaSpirit. Anotherreasonthereis,whythatIbidtheedothatintheeistoletHimnotwit: forthouandIandmanysuchaswebe,webesoabletoconceiveathingbodilythe whichissaidghostly,thatperadventureanIhadbiddentheeshewuntoGodthe stirringofthineheart,thoushouldesthavemadeabodilyshewinguntoHim,eitherin

79 gestureorinvoice,orinword,orinsomeotherrudebodilystraining,asitiswhenthou shaltshewathingthatishidinthinehearttoabodilyman:andinsomuchthywork shouldhavebeenimpure.Forononemannershallathingbeshewedtoman,andon anothermanneruntoGod.

80

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
HowGodwillbeservedbothwithbodyandwithsoul,andrewardmeninboth;andhow menshallknowwhenallthosesoundsandsweetnessthatfallintothebodyintimeof prayerbebothgoodandevil ISAYnotthisbecauseIwillthatthoudesistanytime,ifthoubestirredfortopraywith thymouth,orfortoburstoutforabundanceofdevotioninthyspiritfortospeakunto Godasuntoman,andsaysomegoodwordasthoufeelesttheestirred:asbethese, GoodJESU!FairJESU!SweetJESU!andallsuchother.Nay,Godforbidthoutakeit thus!FortrulyImeannotthus,andGodforbidthatIshoulddepartthatwhichGod hathcoupled,thebodyandthespirit.ForGodwillbeservedwithbodyandwithsoul bothtogether,asseemlyis,andwillrewardmanhismeedinbliss,bothinbodyandin soul.Andinearnestofthatmeed,sometimesHewillenflamethebodyofdevout servantsofHishereinthislife:notonceortwice,butperadventurerightoftandasHim liketh,withfullwonderfulsweetnessandcomforts.Ofthewhich,somebenotcoming fromwithoutintothebodybythewindowsofourwits,butfromwithin;risingand springingofabundanceofghostlygladness,andoftruedevotioninthespirit.Sucha comfortandsuchasweetnessshallnotbehadsuspect:andshortlytosay,Itrowthathe thatfeelethitmaynothaveitsuspect. Butallothercomforts,soundsandgladnessandsweetness,thatcomefrom withoutsuddenlyandthouwottestneverwhence,Ipraytheehavethemsuspect.For theymaybebothgoodandevil;wroughtbyagoodangeliftheybegood,andbyan evilangeliftheybeevil.Andthismayonnowisebeevil,iftheirdeceitsofcuriosityof wit,andofunordainedstrainingofthefleshlyheartberemovedasIlearnthee,orbetter ifthoubettermayest.Andwhyisthat?Surelyforthecauseofthiscomfort;thatistosay, thedevoutstirringoflove,thewhichdwellethinpurespirit.Itiswroughtofthehand ofAlmightyGodwithoutmeans,andthereforeitbehovethalwaysbefarfromany fantasy,oranyfalseopinionthatmaybefalltomaninthislife. Andofthetothercomfortsandsoundsandsweetness,howthoushouldestwit whethertheybegoodorevilIthinknottotelltheeatthistime:andthatisbecauseme thinkthatitneedethnot.Forwhy,thoumayestfinditwritteninanotherplaceof anothermanswork,athousandfoldbetterthanIcansayorwrite:andsomayestthou thisthatIsethere,farbetterthanitishere.Butwhatthereof?ThereforeshallInotlet, noritshallnotnoyeme,tofulfilthedesireandthestirringofthineheart;thewhich thouhastshewedtheetohaveuntomebeforethistimeinthywords,andnowinthy deeds. ButthismayIsaytheeofthosesoundsandofthosesweetnesses,thatcomeinby thewindowsofthywits,thewhichmaybebothgoodandevil.Usetheecontinuallyin thisblindanddevoutandthisMistystirringoflovethatItellthee:andthenIhaveno doubt,thatitshallnotwellbeabletotelltheeofthem.Andifthouyetbeinpart astonishedofthematthefirsttime,andthatisbecausethattheybeuncouth,yetthis shallitdothee:itshallbindthineheartsofast,thatthoushaltonnowisegivefullgreat

81 credencetothem,erethetimebethatthoubeeithercertifiedofthemwithin wonderfullybytheSpiritofGod,orelsewithoutbycounselofsomediscreetfather.

82

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINEANDFORTIETHCHAPTER
Thesubstanceofallperfectionisnoughtelsebutagoodwill;andhowthatallsoundsand comfortandsweetnessthatmaybefallinthislifebetoitbutasitwereaccidents. ANDthereforeIpraythee,leanlistilytothismeekstirringofloveinthineheart,and followthereafter:foritwillbethyguideinthislifeandbringtheetoblissinthetother. Itisthesubstanceofallgoodliving,andwithoutitnogoodworkmaybebegunnor ended.ItisnoughtelsebutagoodandanaccordingwilluntoGod,andamannerof wellpleasednessandagladnessthatthoufeelestinthywillofallthatHedoth. Suchagoodwillisthesubstanceofallperfection.Allsweetnessandcomforts, bodilyorghostly,betothisbutasitwereaccidents,betheyneversoholy;andtheydo buthangonthisgoodwill.AccidentsIcallthem,fortheymaybehadandlacked withoutbreakingasunderofit.Imeaninthislife,butitisnotsointheblissofheaven; forthereshalltheybeonedwiththesubstancewithoutdeparting,asshallthebodyin thewhichtheyworkwiththesoul.Sothatthesubstanceofthemhereisbutagood ghostlywill.AndsurelyItrowthathethatfeeleththeperfectionofthiswill,asitmay behadhere,theremaynosweetnessnornocomfortfalltoanymaninthislife,thatheis notasfainandasgladtolackitatGodswill,astofeelitandhaveit.

83

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Whichischastelove;andhowinsomecreaturessuchsensiblecomfortsbebutseldom, andinsomerightoft. ANDherebymayestthouseethatweshoulddirectallourbeholdinguntothismeek stirringofloveinourwill.Andinallothersweetnessandcomforts,bodilyorghostly, betheyneversolikingnorsoholy,ifitbecourteousandseemlytosay,weshouldhave amannerofrecklessness.Iftheycome,welcomethem:butleannottoomuchonthem forfearoffeebleness,foritwilltakefullmuchofthypowerstobideanylongtimein suchsweetfeelingsandweepings.Andperadventurethoumayestbestirredfortolove Godforthem,andthatshaltthoufeelbythis:ifthougrumbleovermuchwhentheybe away.Andifitbethus,thyloveisnotyetneitherchastenorperfect.Foralovethatis chasteandperfect,thoughitsufferthatthebodybefedandcomfortedinthepresence ofsuchsweetfeelingsandweepings,neverthelessyetitisnotgrumbling,butfullwell pleasedfortolackthematGodswill.Andyetitisnotcommonlywithoutsuch comfortsinsomecreatures,andinsomeothercreaturessuchsweetnessandcomfortsbe butseldom. AndallthisisafterthedispositionandtheordinanceofGod,allaftertheprofit andtheneedfulnessofdiversecreatures.Forsomecreaturesbesoweakandsotender inspirit,thatunlesstheyweresomewhatcomfortedbyfeelingofsuchsweetness,they mightonnowiseabidenorbearthediversityoftemptationsandtribulationsthatthey sufferandbetravailedwithinthislifeoftheirbodilyandghostlyenemies.Andsome therebethattheybesoweakinbodythattheymaydonogreatpenancetocleanse themwith.AndthesecreatureswillourLordcleansefullgraciouslyinspiritbysuch sweetfeelingsandweepings.Andalsoonthetotherparttherebesomecreaturesso stronginspirit,thattheycanpickthemcomfortenoughwithinintheirsouls,in offeringupofthisreverentandthismeekstirringofloveandaccordanceofwill,that themneedethnotmuchtobefedwithsuchsweetcomfortsinbodilyfeelings.Whichof thesebeholierormoredearwithGod,onethananother,GodwotsandInot.

84

HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Thatmenshouldhavegreatwarinesssothattheyunderstandnotbodilyathingthatis meantghostly;andspeciallyitisgoodtobewaryinunderstandingofthiswordin, andofthiswordup. ANDthereforeleanmeeklytothisblindstirringofloveinthineheart.Imeannotinthy bodilyheart,butinthyghostlyheart,thewhichisthywill.Andbewellwarythatthou conceivenotbodilythatthatissaidghostly.FortrulyItellthee,thatbodilyandfleshly conceitsofthemthathavecuriousandimaginativewitsbecauseofmucherror. Ensampleofthismayestthousee,bythatthatIbidtheehidethydesirefrom Godinthatthatintheeis.ForperadventureanIhadbiddentheeshewthydesireunto God,thoushouldesthaveconceiveditmorebodilythanthoudostnow,whenIbidthee hideit.Forthouwottestwell,thatallthatthingthatiswilfullyhidden,itiscastintothe deepnessofspirit.Andthusmethinkeththatitneedethgreatlytohavemuchwariness inunderstandingofwordsthatbespokentoghostlyintent,sothatthouconceivethem notbodilybutghostly,astheybemeant:andspeciallyitisgoodtobewarywiththis wordin,andthiswordup.Forinmisconceivingofthesetwowordshangethmucherror, andmuchdeceitinthemthatpurposethemtobeghostlyworkers,asmethinketh. SomewhatwotIbytheproof,andsomewhatbyhearsay;andofthesedeceitslistmetell theealittleasmethinketh. AyoungdiscipleinGodsschoolnewturnedfromtheworld,thesameweeneth thatforalittletimethathehathgivenhimtopenanceandtoprayer,takenbycounselin confession,thathebethereforeabletotakeuponhimghostlyworkingofthewhichhe hearethmenspeakorreadabouthim,orperadventurereadethhimself.Andtherefore whentheyreadorhearspokenofghostlyworkingandspeciallyofthisword,howa manshalldrawallhiswitwithinhimself,orhowheshallclimbabovehimselfas fastforblindnessinsoul,andforfleshlinessandcuriosityofnaturalwit,they misunderstandthesewords,andween,becausetheyfindinthemanaturalcovetyseto hidthings,thattheybethereforecalledtothatworkbygrace.Insomuch,thatifcounsel willnotaccordthattheyshallworkinthiswork,assoontheyfeelamannerof grumblingagainsttheircounsel,andthinkyeaandperadventuresaytosuchotheras theybethattheycanfindnomanthatcanwitwhattheymeanfully.Andthereforeas fast,forboldnessandpresumptionoftheircuriouswit,theyleavemeekprayerand penanceoversoon;andsetthem,theyween,toafullghostlyworkwithinintheirsoul. Thewhichwork,anitbetrulyconceived,isneitherbodilyworkingnorghostly working;andshortlytosay,itisaworkingagainstnature,andthedevilisthechief workerthereof.Anditisthereadiestwaytodeathofbodyandofsoul,foritismadness andnowisdom,andleadethamaneventomadness.Andyettheyweennotthus:for theypurposetheminthisworktothinkonnoughtbutonGod.

85

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Howtheseyoungpresumptuousdisciplesmisunderstandthiswordin,andofthe deceitsthatfollowthereon. ANDonthismanneristhismadnesswroughtthatIspeakof.Theyreadandhearwell saidthattheyshouldleaveoutwardworkingwiththeirwits,andworkinwards:and becausethattheyknownotwhichisinwardworking,thereforetheyworkwrong.For theyturntheirbodilywitsinwardstotheirbodyagainstthecourseofnature;andstrain them,astheywouldseeinwardswiththeirbodilyeyesandhearinwardswiththeir ears,andsoforthofalltheirwits,smelling,tasting,andfeelinginwards.Andthusthey reversethemagainstthecourseofnature,andwiththiscuriositytheytravailtheir imaginationsoindiscreetly,thatatthelasttheyturntheirbrainintheirheads,andthen asfastthedevilhathpowerfortofeignsomefalselightorsounds,sweetsmellsintheir noses,wonderfultastesintheirmouths;andmanyquaintheatsandburningsintheir bodilybreastsorintheirbowels,intheirbacksandintheirreinsandintheirmembers. Andyetinthisfantasythemthinkthattheyhavearestfulremembranceoftheir Godwithoutanylettingofvainthoughts;andsurelysohavetheyinmanner,fortheybe sofilledinfalsehoodthatvanitymaynotprovokethem.Andwhy?Becausehe,that samefiendthatshouldministervainthoughtstothemantheywereingoodwayhe, thatsame,isthechiefworkerofthiswork.Andwitthourightwell,thathimlistnotto lethimself.TheremembranceofGodwillhenotputfromthem,forfearthatheshould behadinsuspect.

86

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Ofdiversunseemlypracticesthatfollowthemthatlacktheworkofthisbook. MANYwonderfulpracticesfollowthemthatbedeceivedinthisfalsework,orinany speciesthereof,beyondthatdoththemthatbeGodstruedisciples:fortheybe evermorefullseemlyinalltheirpractices,bodilyorghostly.Butitisnotsoofthese other.Forwhosowouldormightbeholduntothemwheretheysitinthistime,anitso werethattheireyelidswereopen,heshouldseethemstareastheyweremad,and leeringlylookasiftheysawthedevil.Surelyitisgoodtheybewary,fortrulythefiend isnotfar.Somesettheireyesintheirheadsastheyweresturdysheepbeateninthe head,andastheyshoulddieanon.Somehangtheirheadsononesideasifaworm wereintheirears.Somepipewhentheyshouldspeak,asiftherewerenospiritintheir bodies:andthisistheproperconditionofanhypocrite.Somecryandwhineintheir throats,sobetheygreedyandhastytosaythattheythink:andthisistheconditionof heretics,andofthemthatwithpresumptionandwithcuriosityofwitwillalways maintainerror. Manyunordainedandunseemlypracticesfollowonthiserror,whosomight perceiveall.Neverthelesssometherebethatbesocuriousthattheycanrefrainthemin greatpartwhentheycomebeforemen.Butmightthesemenbeseeninplacewhere theybehomely,thenItrowtheyshouldnotbehid.AndneverthelessyetItrowthat whosowouldstraitlygainsaytheiropinion,thattheyshouldsoonseethemburstoutin somepoint;andyetthemthinkthatallthatevertheydo,itisfortheloveofGodandfor tomaintainthetruth.NowtrulyIhopethatunlessGodshewHismercifulmiracleto makethemsoonleaveoff,theyshallloveGodsolongonthismanner,thattheyshallgo staringmadtothedevil.Isaynotthatthedevilhathsoperfectaservantinthislife,that isdeceivedandinfectwithallthesefantasiesthatIsethere:andneverthelessyetitmay bethatone,yea,andmanyone,beinfectwiththemall.ButIsaythathehathnoperfect hypocritenorhereticinearththatheisnotguiltyinsomethatIhavesaid,or peradventureshallsayifGodvouchsafeth. Forsomemenaresocumberedinnicecuriouscustomsinbodilybearing,that whentheyshalloughthear,theywrithetheirheadsononesidequaintly,andupwith thechin:theygapewiththeirmouthsastheyshouldhearwiththeirmouthandnot withtheirears.Somewhentheyshouldspeakpointwiththeirfingers,eitherontheir fingers,orontheirownbreasts,orontheirsthattheyspeakto.Somecanneithersitstill, standstill,norliestill,unlesstheybeeitherwaggingwiththeirfeetorelsesomewhat doingwiththeirhands.Somerowwiththeirarmsintimeoftheirspeaking,asthem neededfortoswimoveragreatwater.Somebeevermoresmilingandlaughingatevery otherwordthattheyspeak,astheyweregigglinggirlsandnicejapingjugglerslacking behaviour.Seemlycheerwerefullfair,withsoberanddemurebearingofbodyand mirthinmanner. Isaynotthatalltheseunseemlypracticesbegreatsinsinthemselves,noryetall thosethatdothembegreatsinnersthemselves.ButIsayifthattheseunseemlyand

87 unordainedpracticesbegovernorsofthatmanthatdoththem,insomuchthathemay notleavethemwhenhewill,thenIsaythattheybetokensofprideandcuriosityofwit, andofunordainedshewingandcovetyseofknowing.Andspeciallytheybeverytokens ofunstablenessofheartandunrestfulnessofmind,andspeciallyofthelackingofthe workofthisbook.AndthisistheonlyreasonwhythatIsetsomanyofthesedeceits hereinthiswriting;forwhy,thataghostlyworkershallprovehisworkbythem.

88

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
HowthatbyVirtueofthiswordamanisgovernedfullwisely,andmadefullseemlyas wellinbodyasinsoul. WHOSOhadthiswork,itshouldgovernthemfullseemly,aswellinbodyasinsoul: andmakethemfullfavourableuntoeachmanorwomanthatlookeduponthem. Insomuch,thattheworstfavouredmanorwomanthatlivethinthislife,antheymight comebygracetoworkinthiswork,theirfavourshouldsuddenlyandgraciouslybe changed:thateachgoodmanthatthemsaw,shouldbefainandjoyfultohavethemin company,andfullmuchtheyshouldthinkthattheywerepleasedinspiritandholpen bygraceuntoGodintheirpresence. Andthereforegetthisgiftwhosobygracegetmay:forwhosohathitverily,he shallwellcongovernhimselfbythevirtuethereof,andallthatlongethuntohim.He shouldwellgivediscretion,ifneedwere,ofallnaturesandalldispositions.Heshould wellconmakehimselflikeuntoallthatwithhimcommuned,whethertheywere accustomedsinnersornone,withoutsininhimself:inwonderingofallthathimsaw, andindrawingofothersbyhelpofgracetotheworkofthatsamespiritthatheworketh inhimself. Hischeerandhiswordsshouldbefullofghostlywisdom,fulloffire,andoffruit spokeninsobersoothfastnesswithoutanyfalsehood,farfromanyfeigningorpipingof hypocrites.Forsometherebethatwithalltheirmight,innerandouter,imaginethin theirspeakinghowtheymaystuffthemandunderpropthemoneachsidefromfalling, withmanymeekpipingwordsandgesturesofdevotion:morelookingafterfortoseem holyinsightofmen,thanfortobesointhesightofGodandHisangels.Forwhy,these folkwillmoreweigh,andmoresorrowmakeforanunordainedgestureorunseemlyor unfittingwordspokenbeforemen,thantheywillforathousandvainthoughtsand stinkingstirringsofsinwilfullydrawnuponthem,orrecklesslyusedinthesightof Godandthesaintsandtheangelsinheaven.Ah,LordGod!wheretherebeanypride within,theresuchmeekpipingwordsbesoplenteouswithout.Igrantwell,thatitis fittingandseemlytothemthatbemeekwithin,fortoshewmeekandseemlywords andgestureswithout,accordingtothatmeeknessthatiswithinintheheart.ButIsay notthattheyshallthenbeshewedinbrokennorinpipingvoices,againsttheplain dispositionoftheirnaturethatspeakthem.Forwhy,iftheybetrue,thenbetheyspoken insoothfastness,andinwholenessofvoiceandoftheirspiritthatspeakthem.Andifhe thathathaplainandanopenboisterousvoicebynaturespeakthempoorlyand pipinglyImeanbutifhebesickinhisbody,orelsethatitbebetwixthimandhisGod orhisconfessorthenitisaverytokenofhypocrisy.Imeaneitheryounghypocrisyor old. AndwhatshallImoresayofthesevenomousdeceits?TrulyItrow,unlessthey havegracetoleaveoffsuchpipinghypocrisy,thatbetwixtthatprivyprideintheir heartswithinandsuchmeekwordswithout,thesillysoulmayfullsoonsinkinto sorrow.

89

90

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Howtheybedeceivedthatfollowthefervourofspiritincondemningofsomewithout discretion. SOMEmenthefiendwilldeceiveonthismanner.Fullwonderfullyhewillenflame theirbrainstomaintainGodslaw,andtodestroysininallothermen.Hewillnever temptthemwithathingthatisopenlyevil;hemakeththemlikebusyprelateswatching overallthedegreesofChristianmensliving,asanabbotoverhismonks.ALLmenwill theyreproveoftheirdefaults,rightastheyhadcureoftheirsouls:andyettheythink thattheydonotelseforGod,unlesstheytellthemtheirdefaultsthattheysee.Andthey saythattheybestirredtheretobythefireofcharity,andofGodsloveintheirhearts: andtrulytheylie,foritiswiththefireofhell,wellingintheirbrainsandintheir imagination. Thatthisissooth,itseemethbythisthatfolloweth.Thedevilisaspirit,andof hisownnaturehehathnobody,morethanhathanangel.Butyetneverthelesswhat timethatheoranangelshalltakeanybodybyleaveofGod,tomakeanyministration toanymaninthislife;accordingastheworkisthatheshallminister,thereafterin likenessisthequalityofhisbodyinsomepart.EnsampleofthiswehaveinHolyWrit. AsoftasanyangelwassentinbodyintheOldTestamentandintheNewalso, evermoreitwasshewed,eitherbyhisnameorbysomeinstrumentorqualityofhis body,whathismatterorhismessagewasinspirit.Onthesamemanneritfarethofthe fiend.Forwhenheappearethinbody,hefigurethinsomequalityofhisbodywhathis servantsbeinspirit.Ensampleofthismaybeseeninoneinsteadofalltheseother.For asIhaveconceivedbysomedisciplesofnecromancy,thewhichhaveitinscienceforto makeadvocationofwickedspirits,andbysomeuntowhomthefiendhathappearedin bodilylikeness;thatinwhatbodilylikenessthefiendappeareth,evermorehehathbut onenostril,andthatisgreatandwide,andhewillgladlycastitupthatamanmaysee inthereattohisbrainupinhishead.Thewhichbrainisnoughtelsebutthefireofhell, forthefiendmayhavenoneotherbrain;andifhemightmakeamanlookinthereto,he wantsnobetter.Foratthatlooking,heshouldlosehiswitsforever.Butaperfect prenticeofnecromancyknoweththiswellenough,andcanwellordaintherefore,so thatheprovokehimnot. ThereforeitisthatIsay,andhavesaid,thatevermorewhenthedeviltakethany body,hefigurethinsomequalityofhisbodywhathisservantsbeinspirit.Forhe enflamethsotheimaginationofhiscontemplativeswiththefireofhell,thatsuddenly withoutdiscretiontheyshootouttheircuriousconceits,andwithoutanyadvisement theywilltakeuponthemtoblameothermensdefaultsoversoon:andthisisbecause theyhavebutonenostrilghostly.Forthatdivisionthatisinamansnosebodily,andthe whichdeparteththeonenostrilfromthetother,betokeneththatamanshouldhave discretionghostly;andcandisseverthegoodfromtheevil,andtheevilfromtheworse, andthegoodfromthebetter,erethathegaveanyfulldoomofanythingthatheheard

91 orsawdoneorspokenabouthim.Andbyamansbrainisghostlyunderstood imagination;forbynatureitdwellethandworkethinthehead.

92

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Howtheybedeceivedthatleanmoretothecuriosityofnaturalwit,andofclergylearned intheschoolofmen,thantothecommondoctrineandcounselofHolyChurch. SOMEtherebe,thatalthoughtheybenotdeceivedwiththiserrorasitissethere,yet forprideandcuriosityofnaturalwitandletterlycunningleavethecommondoctrine andthecounselofHolyChurch.Andthesewithalltheirfavourersleanovermuchto theirownknowing:andfortheywerenevergroundedinmeekblindfeelingand virtuousliving,thereforetheymerittohaveafalsefeeling,feignedandwroughtbythe ghostlyenemy.Insomuch,thatatthelasttheyburstupandblasphemeallthesaints, sacraments,statutes,andordinancesofHolyChurch.Fleshlylivingmenoftheworld, thewhichthinkthestatutesofHolyChurchoverhardtobeamendedby,theyleanto thesehereticsfullsoonandfulllightly,andstalwartlymaintainthem,andallbecause themthinkthattheyleadthemasofterwaythanisordainedofHolyChurch. NowtrulyItrow,thatwhothatwillnotgothestraitwaytoheaven,thatthey shallgothesoftwaytohell.Eachmanprovebyhimself,forItrowthatallsuchheretics, andalltheirfavourers,antheymightclearlybeseenastheyshallonthelastday,should beseenfullsooncumberedingreatandhorriblesinsoftheworldintheirfoulflesh, privily,withouttheiropenpresumptioninmaintainingoferror:sothattheybefull properlycalledAntichristsdisciples.Foritissaidofthem,thatforalltheirfalse fairnessopenly,yettheyshouldbefullfoullechersprivily.

93

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
Howtheseyoungpresumptuousdisciplesmisunderstandthisotherwordup;andofthe deceitsthatfollowthereon. NOmoreoftheseatthistimenow:butforthofourmatter,howthattheseyoung presumptuousghostlydisciplesmisunderstandthisotherwordup. Forifitsobe,thattheyeitherread,orhearreadorspoken,howthatmenshould liftuptheirheartsuntoGod,asfasttheystareinthestarsasiftheywouldbeabovethe moon,andhearkenwhentheyshallhearanyangelsingoutofheaven.Thesemenwill sometimewiththecuriosityoftheirimaginationpiercetheplanets,andmakeanholein thefirmamenttolookinthereat.ThesemenwillmakeaGodasthemlist,andclothe Himfullrichlyinclothes,andsetHiminathronefarmorecuriouslythaneverwasHe depictedinthisearth.Thesemenwillmakeangelsinbodilylikeness,andsetthem abouteachonewithdiverseminstrelsy,farmorecuriousthaneverwasanyseenor heardinthislife.Someofthesementhedevilwilldeceivefullwonderfully.Forhewill sendamannerofdew,angelsfoodtheyweenitbe,asitwerecomingoutoftheair,and softlyandsweetlyfallingintheirmouths;andthereforetheyhaveitincustomtosit gapingastheywouldcatchflies.Nowtrulyallthisisbutdeceit,seemitneversoholy; fortheyhaveinthistimefullemptysoulsofanytruedevotion.Muchvanityand falsehoodisintheirhearts,causedoftheircuriousworking.Insomuch,thatofttimesthe devilfeignethquaintsoundsintheirears,quaintlightsandshiningintheireyes,and wonderfulsmellsintheirnoses:andallisbutfalsehood.Andyetweentheynotso,for themthinkthattheyhaveensampleofSaintMartinofthisupwardlookingand working,thatsawbyrevelationGodcladinhismantleamongstHisangels,andofSaint StephenthatsawourLordstandinheaven,andofmanyother;andofChrist,that ascendedbodilytoheaven,seenofHisdisciples.Andthereforetheysaythatweshould haveoureyesupthither.Igrantwellthatinourbodilyobservanceweshouldliftupour eyesandourhandsifwebestirredinspirit.ButIsaythattheworkofourspiritshall notbedirectneitherupwardsnordownwards,norononesidenoronother,nor forwardnorbackward,asitisofabodilything.Forwhy,ourworkshouldbeghostly notbodily,noronabodilymannerwrought.

94

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
ThatamanshallnottakeensampleofSaintMartinandofSaintStephen,fortostrainhis imaginationbodilyupwardsinthetimeofhisprayer. FORthatthattheysayofSaintMartinandofSaintStephen,althoughtheysawsuch thingswiththeirbodilyeyes,itwasshewedbutinmiracleandincertifyingofthingthat wasghostly.ForwittheyrightwellthatSaintMartinsmantlecameneveronChrists ownbodysubstantially,fornoneedthatHehadtheretotokeepHimfromcold:butby miracleandinlikenessforallusthatbeabletobesaved,thatbeonedtothebodyof Christghostly.AndwhosoclothethapoormananddothanyothergooddeedforGods lovebodilyorghostlytoanythathathneed,surebetheytheydoituntoChristghostly: andtheyshallberewardedassubstantiallythereforeastheyhaddoneittoChristsown body.ThussaithHimselfinthegospel.AndyetthoughtHeitnotenough,butifHe affirmeditafterbymiracle;andforthiscauseHeshewedHimuntoSaintMartinby revelation.Alltherevelationsthateversawanymanhereinbodilylikenessinthislife, theyhaveghostlybemeanings.AndItrowthatiftheyuntowhomtheywereshewed hadbeensoghostly,orcouldhaveconceivedtheirbemeaningsghostly,thatthenthey hadneverbeenshewedbodily.Andthereforeletuspickofftheroughbark,andfeedus offthesweetkernel. Buthow?Notasthesehereticsdo,thewhichbewelllikenedtomadmenhaving thiscustom,thateverwhentheyhavedrunkenofafaircup,castittothewallandbreak it.Thusshouldnotwedoifwewillwelldo.Forweshouldnotsofeedusofthefruit, thatweshoulddespisethetree;norsodrink,thatweshouldbreakthecupwhenwe havedrunken.ThetreeandthecupIcallthisvisiblemiracle,andallseemlybodily observances,thatisaccordingandnotlettingtheworkofthespirit.Thefruitandthe drinkIcalltheghostlybemeaningofthesevisiblemiracles,andoftheseseemlybodily observances:asisliftingupofoureyesandourhandsuntoheaven.Iftheybedoneby stirringofthespirit,thenbetheywelldone;andelsebetheyhypocrisy,andthenbe theyfalse.Iftheybetrueandcontaininthemghostlyfruit,whyshouldtheythenbe despised?Formenwillkissthecupforwineistherein. Andwhatthereof,thoughourLordwhenHeascendedtoheavenbodilytookHis wayupwardsintotheclouds,seenofHismotherandHisdiscipleswiththeirbodily eyes?Shouldwethereforeinourghostlyworkeverstareupwardswithourbodilyeyes, tolookafterHimifwemayseeHimsitbodilyinheaven,orelsestand,asSaintStephen did?Nay,surelyHeshewedHimnotuntoSaintStephenbodilyinheaven,becausethat Hewouldgiveusensamplethatweshouldinourghostlyworklookbodilyupinto heavenifwemightseeHimasSaintStephendid,eitherstanding,orsitting,orelse lying.ForhowsoHisbodyisinheavenstanding,sitting,orlyingwotsnoman.And itneedethnotmoretobewitted,butthatHisbodyisonedwiththesoul,without departing.Thebodyandthesoul,thewhichisthemanhood,isonedwiththeGodhead withoutdepartingalso.OfHissitting,Hisstanding,Hislying,needethitnottowit;but thatHeisthereasHimlist,andhathHiminbodyasmostseemlyisuntoHimfortobe.

95 ForifHeshewHimlying,orstanding,orsitting,byrevelationbodilytoanycreaturein thislife,itisdoneforsomeghostlybemeaning:andnotfornomannerofbodilybearing thatHehathinheaven.Seebyensample.Bystandingisunderstoodareadinessof helping.Andthereforeitissaidcommonlyofonefriendtoanother,whenheisin bodilybattle:Beartheewell,fellow,andfightfast,andgivenotupthebattleover lightly;forIshallstandbythee.Hemeanethnotonlybodilystanding;for peradventurethisbattleisonhorseandnotonfoot,andperadventureitisingoingand notstanding.Buthemeanethwhenhesaiththatheshallstandbyhim,thatheshallbe readytohelphim.ForthisreasonitwasthatourLordshewedHimbodilyinheavento SaintStephen,whenhewasinhismartyrdom:andnottogiveusensampletolookupto heaven.AsHehadsaidthustoSaintStepheninpersonofallthosethatsuffer persecutionforHislove:Lo,Stephen!asverilyasIopenthisbodilyfirmament,the whichiscalledheaven,andlettheeseeMybodilystanding,trustfastthatasverily standIbesidetheeghostlybythemightofMyGodhead.AndIamreadytohelpthee, andthereforestandthoustifflyinthefaithandsufferboldlythefellbuffetsofthose hardstones:forIshallcrowntheeinblissforthymeed,andnotonlythee,butallthose thatsufferpersecutionforMeonanymanner.Andthusmayestthouseethatthese bodilyshewingsweredonebyghostlybemeanings.

96

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINEANDFIFTIETHCHAPTER
ThatamanshallnottakeensampleatthebodilyascensionofChrist,fortostrainhis imaginationupwardsbodilyinthetimeofprayer:andthattime,place,andbody,these threeshouldbeforgotteninallghostlyworking. ANDifthousayaughttouchingtheascensionofourLord,forthatwasdonebodily, andforabodilybemeaningaswellasforaghostly,forbothHeascendedveryGodand veryman:tothiswillIanswerthee,thatHehadbeendead,andwascladwith undeadliness,andsoshallwebeattheDayofDoom.Andthenweshallbemadeso subtleinbodyandinsoultogether,thatweshallbethenasswiftlywhereuslistbodily aswebenowinourthoughtghostly;whetheritbeupordown,ononesideoronother, behindorbefore,allIhopeshallthenbealikegood,asclerkssay.Butnowthoumayest notcometoheavenbodily,butghostly.Andyetitshallbesoghostly,thatitshallnotbe onbodilymanner;neitherupwardsnordownwards,norononesidenoronother, behindnorbefore. Andwitwellthatallthosethatsetthemtobeghostlyworkers,andspeciallyin theworkofthisbook,thatalthoughtheyreadliftuporgoin,althoughallthatthe workofthisbookbecalledastirring,neverthelessyetthembehovethtohaveafullbusy beholding,thatthisstirringstretchneitherupbodily,norinbodily,noryetthatitbeany suchstirringasisfromoneplacetoanother.Andalthoughthatitbesometimecalleda rest,neverthelessyettheyshallnotthinkthatitisanysuchrestasisanyabidingina placewithoutremovingtherefrom.Fortheperfectionofthisworkissopureandso ghostlyinitself,thatanitbewellandtrulyconceived,itshallbeseenfarremovedfrom anystirringandfromanyplace. Anditshouldbysomereasonratherbecalledasuddenchanging,thanany stirringofplace.Fortime,place,andbody:thesethreeshouldbeforgotteninallghostly working.Andthereforebewaryinthiswork,thatthoutakenoneensampleatthe bodilyascensionofChristfortostrainthineimaginationinthetimeofthyprayerbodily upwards,asthouwouldestclimbabovethemoon.Foritshouldonnowisebeso, ghostly.Butifthoushouldestascendintoheavenbodily,asChristdid,thenthou mightesttakeensampleatit:butthatmaynonedobutGod,asHimselfwitnesseth, saying:ThereisnomanthatmayascenduntoheavenbutonlyHethatdescendedfrom heaven,andbecamemanfortheloveofman.Andifitwerepossible,asitonnowise maybe,yetitshouldbeforabundanceofghostlyworkingonlybythemightofthe spirit,fullfarfromanybodilystressingorstrainingofourimaginationbodily,eitherup, orin,ononeside,oronother.Andthereforeletbesuchfalsehood:itshouldnotbeso.

97

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXTIETHCHAPTER
Thatthehighandthenextwaytoheavenisrunbydesires,andnotbypacesoffeet. BUTnowperadventurethousayest,thathowshoulditthenbe?Fortheethinkestthat thouhastveryevidencethatheavenisupwards;forChristascendedtheairbodily upwards,andsenttheHolyGhostasHepromisedcomingfromabovebodily,seenof allHisdisciples;andthisisourbelief.Andthereforetheethinkestsincethouhastthus veryevidence,whyshaltthounotdirectthymindupwardbodilyinthetimeofthy prayer? AndtothiswillIanswertheesofeeblyasIcan,andsay:sinceitsowas,that ChristshouldascendbodilyandthereaftersendtheHolyGhostbodily,thenitwas moreseemlythatitwasupwardsandfromabovethaneitherdownwardsandfrom beneath,behind,orbefore,ononesideoronother.Butelsethanforthisseemliness, Himneededneverthemoretohavewentupwardsthandownwards;Imeanfor nearnessoftheway.Forheavenghostlyisasnighdownasup,andupasdown:behind asbefore,beforeasbehind,ononesideasother.Insomuch,thatwhosohadatruedesire fortobeatheaven,thenthatsametimehewereinheavenghostly.Forthehighandthe nextwaythitherisrunbydesires,andnotbypacesoffeet.AndthereforesaithSaint Paulofhimselfandmanyotherthus;althoughourbodiesbepresentlyhereinearth, neverthelessyetourlivingisinheaven.Hemeanttheirloveandtheirdesire,thewhich isghostlytheirlife.Andsurelyasverilyisasoultherewhereitloveth,asinthebody thatDoethbyitandtothewhichitgivethlife.Andthereforeifwewillgotoheaven ghostly,itneedethnottostrainourspiritneitherupnordown,norononesidenoron other.

98

HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Thatallbodilythingissubjectuntoghostlything,andisruledthereafterbythecourseof natureandnotcontrariwise. NEVERTHELESSitisneedfultoliftupoureyesandourhandsbodily,asitwereunto yonbodilyheaven,inthewhichtheelementsbefastened.Imeanifwebestirredofthe workofourspirit,andelsenot.Forallbodilythingissubjectuntoghostlything,andis ruledthereafter,andnotcontrariwise. EnsamplehereofmaybeseenbytheascensionofourLord:forwhenthetime appointedwascome,thatHimlikedtowendtoHisFatherbodilyinHismanhood,the whichwasnevernornevermaybeabsentinHisGodhead,thenmightilybythevirtue oftheSpiritGod,themanhoodwiththebodyfollowedinoneheadofperson.The visibilityofthiswasmostseemly,andmostaccording,tobeupward. Thissamesubjectionofthebodytothespiritmaybeinmannerverilyconceived intheproofofthisghostlyworkofthisbook,bythemthatworktherein.Forwhattime thatasouldisposethhimeffectuallytothiswork,thenasfastsuddenly,unwitting himselfthatworketh,thebodythatperadventurebeforeerehebeganwassomewhat bentdownwards,ononesideoronotherforeaseoftheflesh,byvirtueofthespirit shallsetitupright:followinginmannerandinlikenessbodilytheworkofthespiritthat ismadeghostly.Andthusitismostseemlytobe. Andforthisseemlinessitis,thatamanthewhichistheseemliestcreaturein bodythateverGodmadeisnotmadecrookedtotheearthwards,asbeanother beasts,butuprighttoheavenwards.Forwhy?Thatitshouldfigureinlikenessbodily theworkofthesoulghostly;thewhichfallethtobeuprightghostly,andnotcrooked ghostly.TakeheedthatIsayuprightghostly,andnotbodily.Forhowshouldasoul,the whichinhisnaturehathnomannerthingofbodilyness,bestraineduprightbodily? Nay,itmaynotbe. Andthereforebewarythatthouconceivenotbodilythatwhichismeantghostly, althoughitbespokeninbodilywords,asbethese,upordown,inorout,behindor before,ononesideoronother.Foralthoughthatathingbeneversoghostlyinitself, neverthelessyetifitshallbespokenof,sinceitsoisthatspeechisabodilywork wroughtwiththetongue,thewhichisaninstrumentofthebody,itbehovethalwaysbe spokeninbodilywords.Butwhatthereof?Shallitthereforebetakenandconceived bodily?Nay,butghostly,asitbemeant.

99

HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Howamanmaywitwhenhisghostlyworkisbeneathhimorwithouthim,andwhenit isevenwithhimorwithinhim,andwhenitisabovehimandunderhisGod. ANDforthis,thatthoushaltbeablebettertowithowtheyshallbeconceivedghostly, thesewordsthatbespokenbodily,thereforeIthinktodeclaretotheetheghostly bemeaningofsomewordsthatfalltoghostlyworking.Sothatthoumayestwitclearly withouterrorwhenthyghostlyworkisbeneaththeeandwithoutthee,andwhenitis withintheeandevenwiththee,andwhenitisabovetheeandunderthyGod. Allmannerofbodilythingiswithoutthysoulandbeneathitinnature,yea!the sunandthemoonandallthestars,althoughtheybeabovethybody,neverthelessyet theybebeneaththysoul. Allangelsandallsouls,althoughtheybeconfirmedandadornedwithgraceand withvirtues,forthewhichtheybeabovetheeincleanness,nevertheless,yettheybebut evenwiththeeinnature. Withininthyselfinnaturebethepowersofthysoul:thewhichbethesethree principal,Memory,Reason,andWill;andsecondary,ImaginationandSensuality. AbovethyselfinnatureisnomannerofthingbutonlyGod. Evermorewherethoufindestwrittenthyselfinghostliness,thenitisunderstood thysoul,andnotthybody.Andthenallafterthatthingisonthewhichthepowersof thysoulwork,thereaftershalltheworthinessandtheconditionofthyworkbedeemed; whetheritbebeneaththee,withinthee,orabovethee.

100

HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Ofthepowersofasoulingeneral,andhowMemoryinspecialisaprincipalpower, comprehendinginitalltheotherpowersandallthosethingsinthewhichtheywork. MEMORYissuchapowerinitself,thatproperlytospeakandinmanner,itworkethnot itself.ButReasonandWill,theybetwoworkingpowers,andsoisImaginationand Sensualityalso.Andallthesefourpowersandtheirworks,Memorycontainethand comprehendethinitself.AndotherwiseitisnotsaidthattheMemoryworketh,unless suchacomprehensionbeawork. AndthereforeitisthatIcallthepowersofasoul,someprincipal,andsome secondary.Notbecauseasoulisdivisible,forthatmaynotbe:butbecauseallthose thingsinthewhichtheyworkbedivisible,andsomeprincipal,asbeallghostlythings, andsomesecondary,asbeallbodilythings.Thetwoprincipalworkingpowers,Reason andWill,workpurelyinthemselvesinallghostlythings,withouthelpoftheothertwo secondarypowers.ImaginationandSensualityworkbeastlyinallbodilythings, whethertheybepresentorabsent,inthebodyandwiththebodilywits.Butbythem, withouthelpofReasonandofWill,mayasoulnevercometofortoknowthevirtueand theconditionsofbodilycreatures,northecauseoftheirbeingsandtheirmakings. AndforthiscauseisReasonandWillcalledprincipalpowers,fortheyworkin purespiritwithoutanymannerofbodilyness:andImaginationandSensuality secondary,fortheyworkinthebodywithbodilyinstruments,thewhichbeourfive wits.Memoryiscalledaprincipalpower,foritcontainethinitghostlynotonlyallthe otherpowers,buttheretoallthosethingsinthewhichtheywork.Seebytheproof.

101

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
OftheothertwoprincipalpowersReasonandWill;andoftheworkofthembeforesin andafter. REASONisapowerthroughthewhichwedeparttheevilfromthegood,theevilfrom theworse,thegoodfromthebetter,theworsefromtheworst,thebetterfromthebest. Beforeeremansinned,mightReasonhavedoneallthisbynature.Butnowitisso blindedwiththeoriginalsin,thatitmaynotconworkthiswork,unlessitbeillumined bygrace.AndboththeselfReason,andthethingthatitworkethin,becomprehended andcontainedintheMemory. Willisapowerthroughthewhichwechoosegood,afterthatitbedetermined withReason;andthroughthewhichwelovegood,wedesiregood,andrestuswithfull likingandconsentendlesslyinGod.Beforeeremansinned,mightnotWillbedeceived inhischoosing,inhisloving,norinnoneofhisworks.Forwhy,ithadthenbynatureto savoureachthingasitwas;butnowitmaynotdoso,unlessitbeanointedwithgrace. Forofttimesbecauseofinfectionoftheoriginalsin,itsavourethathingforgoodthatis fullevil,andthathathbutthelikenessofgood.AndboththeWillandthethingthatis willed,theMemorycontainethandcomprehendethinit.

102

HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Ofthefirstsecondarypower,Imaginationbyname;andoftheworksandtheobedienceof ituntoReason,beforeSinandafter. IMAGINATIONisapowerthroughthewhichweportrayallimagesofabsentand presentthings,andbothitandthethingthatitworkethinbecontainedintheMemory. Beforeeremansinned,wasImaginationsoobedientuntotheReason,tothewhichitis asitwereservant,thatitministerednevertoitanyunordainedimageofanybodily creature,oranyfantasyofanyghostlycreature:butnowitisnotso.Forunlessitbe refrainedbythelightofgraceintheReason,elseitwillnevercease,sleepingorwaking, fortoportraydiverseunordainedimagesofbodilycreatures;orelsesomefantasy,the whichisnoughtelsebutabodilyconceitofaghostlything,orelseaghostlyconceitofa bodilything.Andthisisevermorefeignedandfalse,andnextuntoerror. ThisinobedienceoftheImaginationmayclearlybeconceivedinthemthatbe newlingsturnedfromtheworlduntodevotion,inthetimeoftheirprayer.Forbeforethe timebe,thattheImaginationbeingreatpartrefrainedbythelightofgraceinthe Reason,asitisincontinualmeditationofghostlythingsasbetheirownwretchedness, thepassionandthekindnessofourLordGod,withmanysuchothertheymayin nowiseputawaythewonderfulandthediversethoughts,fantasies,andimages,the whichbeministeredandprintedintheirmindbythelightofthecuriosityof Imagination.Andallthisinobedienceisthepainoftheoriginalsin.

103

HEREBEGINNETHTHESIXANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Oftheothersecondarypower,Sensualitybyname;andoftheworksandoftheobedience ofituntoWill,beforesinandafter. SENSUALITYisapowerofoursoul,reckingandreigninginthebodilywits,through thewhichwehavebodilyknowingandfeelingofallbodilycreatures,whethertheybe pleasingorunpleasing.Andithathtwoparts:onethroughthewhichitbeholdethtothe needfulnessofourbody,anotherthroughthewhichitservethtothelustsofthebodily wits.Forthissamepowerisit,thatgrumblethwhenthebodylackeththeneedfulthings untoit,andthatinthetakingoftheneedstirrethustotakemorethanneedethin feedingandfurtheringofourlusts:thatgrumblethinlackingofpleasingcreatures,and lustilyisdelightedintheirpresence:thatgrumblethinpresenceofmislikingcreatures, andislustilypleasedintheirabsence.Boththispowerandthethingthatitworkethin becontainedintheMemory. BeforeeremansinnedwastheSensualitysoobedientuntotheWill,untothe whichitisasitwereservant,thatitministeredneveruntoitanyunordainedlikingor grumblinginanybodilycreature,oranyghostlyfeigningoflikingormislikingmadeby anyghostlyenemyinthebodilywits.Butnowitisnotso:forunlessitberuledbygrace intheWill,fortosuffermeeklyandinmeasurethepainoftheoriginalsin,thewhichit feelethinabsenceofneedfulcomfortsandinpresenceofspeedfuldiscomforts,and theretoalsofortorestrainitfromlustinpresenceofneedfulcomforts,andfromlusty plesaunceintheabsenceofspeedfuldiscomforts:elsewillitwretchedlyandwantonly welter,asaswineinthemire,inthewealthsofthisworldandthefoulfleshsomuch thatallourlivingshallbemorebeastlyandfleshly,thaneithermanlyorghostly.

104

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Thatwhosoknowethnotthepowersofasoulandthemannerofherworking,maylightly bedeceivedinunderstandingofghostlywordsandofghostlyworking;andhowasoulis madeaGodingrace. LO,ghostlyfriend!tosuchwretchednessasthouheremayestseebewefallenforsin: andthereforewhatwonderisit,thoughwebeblindlyandlightlydeceivedin understandingofghostlywordsandofghostlyworking,andspeciallythosethewhich knownotyetthepowersoftheirsoulsandthemannersoftheirworking? ForeverwhentheMemoryisoccupiedwithanybodilythingbeittakentonever sogoodanend,yetthouartbeneaththyselfinthisworking,andwithoutanysoul.And everwhenthoufeelestthyMemoryoccupiedwiththesubtleconditionsofthepowers ofthysoulandtheirworkingsinghostlythings,asbevicesorvirtues,ofthyself,orof anycreaturethatisghostlyandevenwiththeeinnature,tothatendthatthoumightest bythisworklearntoknowthyselfinfurtheringofperfection:thenthouartwithin thyself,andevenwiththyself.ButeverwhenthoufeelestthyMemoryoccupiedwithno mannerofthingthatisbodilyorghostly,butonlywiththeselfsubstanceofGod,asitis andmaybe,intheproofoftheworkofthisbook:thenthouartabovethyselfand beneaththyGod. Abovethyselfthouart:forwhy,thouattainesttocomethitherbygrace,whither thoumayestnotcomebynature.Thatistosay,tobeonedtoGod,inspirit,andinlove, andinaccordanceofwill.BeneaththyGodthouart:forwhy,althoughitmaybesaidin manner,thatinthistimeGodandthoubenottwobutoneinspiritinsomuchthat thouoranother,forsuchoneheadthatfeeleththeperfectionofthiswork,may soothfastlybywitnessofScripturebecalledaGodneverthelessyetthouartbeneath Him.Forwhy,HeisGodbynaturewithoutbeginning;andthou,thatsometimewert noughtinsubstance,andtheretoafterwhenthouwertbyHismightandHislovemade ought,wilfullywithsinmadestthyselfworsethannought,onlybyHismercywithout thydesertaremadeaGodingrace,onedwithHiminspiritwithoutdeparting,both hereandinblissofheavenwithoutanyend.Sothat,althoughthoubeallonewithHim ingrace,yetthouartfullfarbeneathHiminnature. Lo,ghostlyfriend!herebymayestthouseesomewhatinpart,thatwhoso knowethnotthepowersoftheirownsoul,andthemanneroftheirworking,mayfull lightlybedeceivedinunderstandingofwordsthatbewrittentoghostlyintent.And thereforemayestthouseesomewhatthecausewhythatIdurstnotplainlybidthee shewthydesireuntoGod,butIbadetheechildishlydothatintheeistohideitand coverit.AndthisIdoforfearlestthoushouldestconceivebodilythatthatismeant ghostly.

105

HEREBEGINNETHTHEEIGHTANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Thatnowherebodily,iseverywhereghostly;andhowouroutermancalleththewordof thisbooknought. ANDonthesamemanner,whereanothermanwouldbidtheegatherthypowersand thywitswhollywithinthyself,andworshipGodtherealthoughhesayfullwelland fulltruly,yea!andnomantrulier,anhebewellconceivedyetforfearofdeceitand bodilyconceivingofhiswords,melistnotbidtheedoso.ButthuswillIbidthee.Look onnowisethatthoubewithinthyself.Andshortly,withoutthyselfwillInotthatthou be,noryetabove,norbehind,norononeside,noronother. Wherethen,sayestthou,shallIbe?Nowhere,bythytale!Nowtrulythou sayestwell;fortherewouldIhavethee.Forwhy,nowherebodily,iseverywhereghostly. Lookthenbusilythatthyghostlyworkbenowherebodily;andthenwheresoeverthat thatthingis,onthewhichthouwilfullyworkestinthymindinsubstance,surelythere artthouinspirit,asverilyasthybodyisinthatplacethatthouartbodily.Andalthough thybodilywitscanfindtherenothingtofeedthemon,forthemthinkitnoughtthat thoudost,yea!doonthenthisnought,anddoitforGodslove.Andletnottherefore, buttravailbusilyinthatnoughtwithawakingdesiretowilltohaveGodthatnoman mayknow.ForItelltheetruly,thatIhadratherbesonowherebodily,wrestlingwith thatblindnought,thantobesogreatalordthatImightwhenIwouldbeeverywhere bodily,merrilyplayingwithallthisoughtasalordwithhisown. Letbethiseverywhereandthisought,incomparisonorthisnowhereandthis nought.Recktheeneverifthywitscannotreasonofthisnought;forsurely,Iloveit muchthebetter.Itissoworthyathinginitself,thattheycannotreasonthereupon.This noughtmaybetterbefeltthanseen:foritisfullblindandfulldarktothemthathave butlittlewhilelookedthereupon.Nevertheless,ifIshallsoothliersay,asoulismore blindedinfeelingofitforabundanceofghostlylight,thanforanydarknessorwanting ofbodilylight.Whatishethatcallethitnought?Surelyitisourouterman,andnotour inner.OurinnermancallethitAll;forofitheiswelllearnedtoknowthereasonofall thingsbodilyorghostly,withoutanyspecialbeholdingtoanyonethingbyitself.

106

HEREBEGINNETHTHENINEANDSIXTIETHCHAPTER
Howthatamansaffectionismarvelouslychangedinghostlyfeelingofthisnought, whenitisnowherewrought. WONDERFULLYisamansaffectionvariedinghostlyfeelingofthisnoughtwhenitis nowherewrought.Foratthefirsttimethatasoullookeththereupon,itshallfindallthe specialdeedsofsinthateverhedidsincehewasborn,bodilyorghostly,privilyor darklypaintedthereupon.Andhowsoeverthatheturnethitabout,evermoretheywill appearbeforehiseyes;untilthetimebe,thatwithmuchhardtravail,manysore sighings,andmanybitterweepings,hehaveingreatpartwashedthemaway.Sometime inthistravailhimthinkthatitistolookthereuponasonhell;forhimthinkthathe despairethtowintoperfectionofghostlyrestoutofthatpairsThusfarinwardscome many,butforgreatnessofpainthattheyfeelandforlackingofcomfort,theygobackin beholdingofbodilythings:seekingfleshlycomfortswithout,forlackingofghostlythey havenotyetdeserved,astheyshouldiftheyhadabided. Forhethatabidethfeelethsometimesomecomfort,andhathsomehopeof perfection;forhefeelethandseeththatmanyofhisfordonespecialsinsbeingreatpart byhelpofgracerubbedaway.Neverthelessyeteveramonghefeelethpain,buthe thinkeththatitshallhaveanend,foritwaxetheverlessandless.Andthereforehe callethitnoughtelsebutpurgatory.Sometimehecanfindnospecialsinwritten thereupon,butyethimthinkthatsinisalump,hewotneverwhat,noneotherthing thanhimself;andthenitmaybecalledthebaseandthepainoftheoriginalsin. Sometimehimthinkthatitisparadiseorheaven,fordiversewonderfulsweetnessand comforts,joysandblessedvirtuesthathefindeththerein.SometimehimthinkitGod, forpeaceandrestthathefindeththerein. Yea!thinkwhathethinkwill;forevermoreheshallfinditacloudofunknowing, thatisbetwixthimandhisGod.

107

HEREBEGINNETHTHESEVENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatrightasbythedefailingofourbodilywitswebeginmorereadilytocometo knowingofghostlythings,sobythedefailingofourghostlywitswebeginmostreadilyto cometotheknowledgeofGod,suchasispossiblebygracetobehadhere. ANDthereforetravailfastinthisnought,andthisnowhere,andleavethineoutward bodilywitsandallthattheyworkin:forItelltheetruly,thatthisworkmaynotbe conceivedbythem. Forbythineeyesthoumayestnotconceiveofanything,unlessitbebythelength andthebreadth,thesmallnessandthegreatness,theroundnessandthesquareness,the farnessandthenearness,andthecolourofit.Andbythineears,noughtbutnoiseor somemannerofsound.Bythinenose,noughtbuteitherstenchorsavour.Andbythy taste,noughtbuteithersourorsweet,saltorfresh,bitterorliking.Andbythyfeeling, noughtbuteitherhotorcold,hardortender,softorsharp.Andtruly,neitherhathGod norghostlythingsnoneofthesequalitiesnorquantities.Andthereforeleavethine outwardwits,andworknotwiththem,neitherwithinnorwithout:forallthosethatset themtobeghostlyworkerswithin,andweenthattheyshouldeitherhear,smell,orsee, tasteorfeel,ghostlythings,eitherwithinthemorwithout,surelytheybedeceived,and workwrongagainstthecourseofnature. Forbynaturetheybeordained,thatwiththemmenshouldhaveknowingofall outwardbodilythings,andonnowisebythemcometotheknowingofghostlythings.I meanbytheirworks.Bytheirfailingswemay,asthus:whenwereadorhearspeakof somecertainthings,andtheretoconceivethatouroutwardwitscannottellusbyno qualitywhatthosethingsbe,thenwemaybeverilycertifiedthatthosethingsbe ghostlythings,andnotbodilythings. Onthissamemannerghostlyitfarethwithinourghostlywits,whenwetravail abouttheknowingofGodHimself.Forhaveamanneversomuchghostly understandinginknowingofallmadeghostlythings,yetmayheneverbytheworkof hisunderstandingcometotheknowingofanunmadeghostlything:thewhichis noughtbutGod.Butbythefailingitmay:forwhy,thatthingthatitfailethinisnothing elsebutonlyGod.AndthereforeitwasthatSaintDenissaid,themostgoodlyknowingof Godisthat,thewhichisknownbyunknowing.Andtruly,whosowilllookinDenisbooks, heshallfindthathiswordswillclearlyaffirmallthatIhavesaidorshallsay,fromthe beginningofthistreatisetotheend.Onotherwisethanthus,listmenotcitehim,nor noneotherdoctor,formeatthistime.Forsometime,menthoughtitmeeknesstosay noughtoftheirownheads,unlesstheyaffirmeditbyScriptureanddoctorswords:and nowitisturnedintocuriosity,andshewingofcunning.Totheeitneedethnot,and thereforeIdoitnot.Forwhosohathears,lethimhear,andwhosoisstirredfortotrow, lethimtrow:forelse,shalltheynot.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHEONEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER
Thatsomemaynotcometofeeltheperfectionofthisworkbutintimeofravishing,and somemayhaveitwhentheywill,inthecommonstateofmanssoul. SOMEthinkthismattersohardandsofearful,thattheysayitmaynotbecometo withoutmuchstrongtravailcomingbefore,norconceivedbutseldom,andthatbutin thetimeofravishing.AndtothesemenwillIanswerasfeeblyasIcan,andsay,thatitis allattheordinanceandthedispositionofGod,aftertheirablenessinsoulthatthis graceofcontemplationandofghostlyworkingisgivento. Forsometherebethatwithoutmuchandlongghostlyexercisemaynotcome thereto,andyetitshallbebutfullseldom,andinspecialcallingofourLordthatthey shallfeeltheperfectionofthiswork:thewhichcallingiscalledravishing.Andsome therebethatbesosubtleingraceandinspirit,andsohomelywithGodinthisgraceof contemplation,thattheymayhaveitwhentheywillinthecommonstateofmanssoul: asitisinsitting,going,standing,orkneeling.Andyetinthistimetheyhavefull deliberationofalltheirwitsbodilyorghostly,andmayusethemiftheydesire:not withoutsomeletting(butwithoutgreatletting).Ensampleofthefirstwehaveby Moses,andofthisotherbyAaronthepriestoftheTemple:forwhy,thisgraceof contemplationisfiguredbytheArkoftheTestamentintheoldlaw,andtheworkersin thisgracebefiguredbythemthatmostmeddledthemaboutthisArk,asthestorywill witness.AndwellisthisgraceandthisworklikeneduntothatArk.Forrightasinthat ArkwerecontainedallthejewelsandtherelicsoftheTemple,rightsointhislittlelove putuponthiscloudbecontainedallthevirtuesofmanssoul,thewhichistheghostly TempleofGod. MoseserehemightcometoseethisArkandfortowithowitshouldbemade, withgreatlongtravailheclombuptothetopofthemountain,anddwelledthere,and wroughtinacloudsixdays:abidinguntotheseventhdaythatourLordwould vouchsafefortoshewuntohimthemannerofthisArkmaking.ByMosesslongtravail andhislateshewing,beunderstoodthosethatmaynotcometotheperfectionofthis ghostlyworkwithoutlongtravailcomingbefore:andyetbutfullseldom,andwhen Godwillvouchsafetoshewit. ButthatthatMosesmightnotcometoseebutseldom,andthatnotwithoutgreat longtravail,Aaronhadinhispowerbecauseofhisoffice,fortoseeitintheTemple withintheVeilasoftashimlikedfortoenter.AndbythisAaronisunderstoodallthose thewhichIspakeofabove,thewhichbytheirghostlycunning,byhelpofgrace,may assignuntothemtheperfectionofthisworkasthemliketh.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHETWOANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER
Thataworkerinthisworkshouldnotdeemnorthinkofanotherworkerashefeelethin himself. LO!herebymayestthouseethathethatmaynotcomefortoseeandfeeltheperfection ofthisworkbutbylongtravail,andyetisitbutseldom,maylightlybedeceivedifhe speak,think,anddeemothermenashefeelethinhimself,thattheymaynotcometoit butseldom,andthatnotwithoutgreattravail.Andonthesamemannermayhebe deceivedthatmayhaveitwhenhewill,ifhedeemallotherthereafter;sayingthatthey mayhaveitwhentheywill.Letbethis:nay,surelyhemaynotthinkthus.For peradventure,whenitlikethuntoGod,thatthosethatmaynotatthefirsttimehaveit butseldom,andthatnotwithoutgreattravail,sithenaftertheyshallhaveitwhenthey will,asoftasthemliketh.EnsampleofthiswehaveofMoses,thatfirstbutseldom,and notwithoutgreattravail,inthemountmightnotseethemanneroftheArk:andsithen after,asoftasbyhimliked,sawitintheVeil.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHETHREEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER
HowthatafterthelikenessofMoses,ofBezaleel,andofAaronmeddlingthemaboutthe ArkoftheTestament,weprofitonthreemannersinthisgraceofcontemplation,forthis graceisfiguredinthatArk. THREEmentherewerethatmostprincipallymeddledthemwiththisArkoftheOld Testament:Moses,Bezaleel,Aaron.MoseslearnedinthemountofourLordhowit shouldbemade.BezaleelwroughtitandmadeitintheVeilaftertheensamplethatwas shewedinthemountain.AndAaronhaditinkeepingintheTemple,tofeelitandseeit asoftashimliked. Atthelikenessofthesethree,weprofitonthreemannersinthisgraceof contemplation.Sometimeweprofitonlybygrace,andthenwebelikeneduntoMoses, thatforalltheclimbingandthetravailthathehadintothemountmightnotcometo seeitbutseldom:andyetwasthatsightonlybytheshewingofourLordwhenHim likedtoshewit,andnotforanydesertofhistravail.Sometimeweprofitinthisgraceby ourownghostlycunning,helpedwithgrace,andthenbewelikenedtoBezaleel,the whichmightnotseetheArkerethetimethathehadmadeitbyhisowntravail,helped withtheensamplethatwassheweduntoMosesinthemount.Andsometimeweprofit inthisgracebyothermensteaching,andthenbewelikenedtoAaron,thewhichhadit inkeepingandincustomtoseeandfeeltheArkwhenhimpleased,thatBezaleelhad wroughtandmadereadybeforetohishands. Lo!ghostlyfriend,inthiswork,thoughitbechildishlyandlewdlyspoken,Ibear, thoughIbeawretchunworthytoteachanycreature,theofficeofBezaleel:makingand declaringinmannertothinehandsthemannerofthisghostlyArk.Butfarbetterand moreworthilythanIdo,thoumayestworkifthouwiltbeAaron:thatistosay, continuallyworkingthereinfortheeandforme.DothensoIpraythee,fortheloveof GodAlmighty.AndsincewebebothcalledofGodtoworkinthiswork,Ibeseechthee forGodslovefulfilinthypartwhatlackethofmine.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHEFOURANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER
Howthatthematterofthisbookisnevermorereadorspoken,norheardreadorspoken, ofasouldisposedtheretowithoutfeelingofaveryaccordancetotheeffectofthesame work:andofrehearsingofthesamechargethatiswrittenintheprologue. ANDiftheethinkthatthismannerofworkingbenotaccordingtothydispositionin bodyandinsoul,thoumayestleaveitandtakeanother,safelywithgoodghostly counselwithoutblame.AndthenIbeseechtheethatthouwilthavemeexcused,for trulyIwouldhaveprofiteduntotheeinthiswritingatmysimplecunning;andthatwas mineintent.Andthereforereadovertwiceorthrice;andevertheofterthebetter,and themorethoushaltconceivethereof.Insomuch,peradventure,thatsomesentencethat wasfullhardtotheeatthefirstorthesecondreading,soonafterthoushaltthinkit easy. Yea!anditseemethimpossibletomineunderstanding,thatanysoulthatis disposedtothisworkshouldreaditorspeakit,orelsehearitreadorspoken,butifthat samesoulshouldfeelforthattimeaveryaccordancetotheeffectofthiswork.And theniftheethinkitdoththeegood,thankGodheartily,andforGodsloveprayforme. Dothenso.AndIpraytheeforGodslovethatthouletnoneseethisbook,unless itbesuchonethattheethinkisliketothebook;afterthatthoufindestwritteninthe bookbefore,whereittellethwhatmenandwhentheyshouldworkinthiswork.Andif thoushaltletanysuchmenseeit,thenIpraytheethatthoubidthemtakethemtimeto lookitallover.Forperadventurethereissomematterthereininthebeginning,orinthe midst,thewhichishangingandnotfullydeclaredthereasitstandeth.Butifitbenot there,itissoonafter,orelseintheend.Andthusifamansawonepartandnotanother, peradventureheshouldlightlybeledintoerror:andthereforeIpraytheetoworkasI saythee.Andiftheethinkthattherebeanymatterthereinthatthouwouldesthave moreopenedthanitis,letmewitwhichitis,andthyconceitthereupon;andatmy simplecunningitshallbeamendedifIcan. Fleshlyjanglers,flatterersandblamers,ronkersandronners,andallmannerof pinchers,caredIneverthattheysawthisbook:formineintentwasnevertowritesuch thingtothem.AndthereforeIwouldnotthattheyheardit,neithertheynornoneof thesecuriousletterednorunlearnedmen:yea!althoughtheybefullgoodmeninactive living,foritaccordethnottothem.

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HEREBEGINNETHTHEFIVEANDSEVENTIETHCHAPTER
OfsomecertaintokensbythewhichamanmayprovewhetherhebecalledofGodtowork inthiswork ALLthosethatreadorhearthematterofthisbookbereadorspoken,andinthis readingorhearingthinkitagoodandlikingthing,benevertherathercalledofGodto workinthiswork,onlyforthislikingstirringthattheyfeelinthetimeofthisreading. Forperadventurethisstirringcomethmoreofanaturalcuriosityofwit,thanofany callingofgrace. But,iftheywillprovewhencethisstirringcometh,theymayprovethus,ifthem liketh.Firstletthemlookiftheyhavedonethatinthemisbefore,ablingthemtheretoin cleansingoftheirconscienceatthedoomofHolyChurch,theircounselaccording.Ifit bethus,itiswellinasmuch:butiftheywillwitmorenear,letthemlookifitbe evermorepressingintheirremembrancemorecustomablythanisanyotherofghostly exercise.Andifthemthinkthatthereisnomannerofthingthattheydo,bodilyor ghostly,thatissufficientlydonewithwitnessoftheirconscience,unlessthisprivylittle lovepressedbeinmannerghostlythechiefofalltheirwork:andiftheythusfeel,then itisatokenthattheybecalledofGodtothiswork,andsurelyelsenot. Isaynotthatitshalleverlastanddwellinalltheirmindscontinually,thatbe calledtoworkinthiswork.Nay,soisitnot.Forfromayoungghostlyprenticeinthis work,theactualfeelingthereofisofttimeswithdrawnfordiversreasons.Sometime,for heshallnottakeoverpresumptuouslythereupon,andweenthatitbeingreatpartin hisownpowertohaveitwhenhimlist,andashimlist.Andsuchaweeningwerepride. Andevermorewhenthefeelingofgraceiswithdrawn,prideisthecause:noteverpride thatis,butpridethatshouldbe,wereitnotthatthisfeelingofgracewerewithdrawn. Andthusweenofttimessomeyoungfools,thatGodistheirenemy;whenHeistheir fullfriend. Sometimesitiswithdrawnfortheircarelessness;andwhenitisthus,theyfeel soonafterafullbitterpainthatbeateththemfullsore.SometimesourLordwilldelayit byanartfuldevice,forHewillbysuchadelayingmakeitgrow,andbehadmorein daintywhenitisnewfoundandfeltagainthatlonghadbeenlost.Andthisisoneof thereadiestandsovereignesttokensthatasoulmayhavetowitby,whetherhebecalled ornottoworkinthiswork,ifhefeelaftersuchadelayingandalonglackingofthis work,thatwhenitcomethsuddenlyasitdoth,unpurchasedwithanymeans,thathe haththenagreaterfervourofdesireandgreaterlovelongingtoworkinthiswork,than everhehadanybefore.Insomuch,thatofttimesItrow,hehathmorejoyofthefinding thereofthaneverhehadsorrowofthelosing. Andifitbethus,surelyitisaverytokenwithouterror,thatheiscalledofGodto workinthiswork,whatsoeverthathebeorhathbeen. Fornotwhatthouart,norwhatthouhastbeen,beholdethGodwithHismerciful eyes;butthatthouwouldestbe.AndSaintGregorytowitness,thatallholydesires growbydelays:andiftheywanebydelays,thenweretheyneverholydesires.Forhe

113 thatfeeletheverlessjoyandless,innewfindingsandsuddenpresentationsofhisold purposeddesires,althoughtheymaybecallednaturaldesirestothegood,nevertheless holydesiresweretheynever.OfthisholydesirespeakethSaintAustinandsaith,thatall thelifeofagoodChristianmanisnoughtelsebutholydesire. Farewell,ghostlyfriend,inGodsblessingandmine!AndIbeseechAlmighty God,thattruepeace,holycounsel,andghostlycomfortinGodwithabundanceof grace,evermorebewiththeeandallGodsloversinearth.Amen. HEREENDETHTHECLOUDOFUNKNOWING.