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Published: 1692 Categorie(s): Non-Fiction, Religion Source: Feedbooks
About Brother Lawrence: Brother Lawrence (c. 1614 - 12 February 1691) was a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery, who is today most commonly remembered for the closeness of his relationship to God as recorded in the classic Christian text, The Practice of the Presence of God. Note: This book is brought to you by Feedbooks http://www.feedbooks.com Strictly for personal use, do not use this file for commercial purposes.
SURELY if additional proof of its reality were needed, it might be found in the universal oneness of experimental Christianity in all ages and in all lands. The experiences of Thomas á Kempis, of Tauler and of Madame Guyon, of John Woolman and Hester Ann Rogers, how marvellously they agree, and how perfectly they harmonize! And Nicholas Herman, of Lorraine, whose letters and converse are here given, testifies to the same truth! In communion with Rome, a lay brother among the Carmelites, for several years a soldier, in an irreligious age, amid a sceptical people, yet in him the practice of the presence of GOD was as much a reality as the “watch” of the early Friends, and the “holy seed” in him and others was the “stock” (Isa 6:14) from which grew the household and evangelistic piety of the eighteenth century, of Epworth and of Moorfields. “When unadorned, adorned the most” is the line which deters from any interpolations or interpretations other than the few “contents” headings which are given. May the “Christ in you” be the “hope of glory” to all who read.
to enliven. the treasurer.. by which GOD tries our love to Him. that he could not tell whether it had increased in above forty years that he had lived since. That he had been footman to M. and so he should sacrifice to GOD his life. in his conversion at the age of eighteen. he received a high view of the Providence and Power of GOD. 1666. to think of trifles and fooleries. Fieubert. which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him. with its pleasures: but that GOD had disappointed him. seeing a tree stripped of its leaves. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation. which changed daily. i. or insensibilities and irksomenesses in prayer. the leaves would be renewed. by continually conversing with Him.e. which has never since been effaced from his soul. * Satisfaction in God’s presence. our faith. That we ought to give ourselves up to GOD. and that instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct. That he had desired to be received into a monastery. * Resignation the fruit of watchfulness. and after that the flowers and fruit appear.First Conversation Conversion and previous employment. for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will. and considering that within a little time. and kindled in him such a love for GOD. That it was lamentable we had so little. THE first time I saw Brother Lawrence was upon the 3rd of August. he having met with nothing but satisfaction in that state. That in the winter. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world. That we ought to quicken. That we should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of GOD. thinking that he would there be made to smart for his awkwardness and the faults he should commit. That there needed fidelity in those drynesses. and that he was a great awkward fellow who broke everything. That we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD’s Presence. men amused themselves with trivial devotions. and that it was sufficient to bring us to a high degree of perfection. with regard both to things temporal and spiritual. whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation. 4 . He told me that GOD had done him a singular favour. * Faith our duty. That the way of Faith was the spirit of the Church. whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual advancement. that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation.
he gave himself no farther trouble. without any fear of being troublesome. that I ought no more to visit him. he was surprised there were not more. that. when He pleased. sincerely to serve GOD. I might come to him (Bro.. That if this was my design. but if not.That as for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world. 5 . Lawrence) as often as I pleased. considering the malice sinners were capable of: that for his part. on the contrary. That to arrive at such resignation as GOD requires. but knowing that GOD could remedy the mischiefs they did. he was so far from wondering at them. we should watch attentively over all the passions which mingle as well in spiritual things as those of a grosser nature: that GOD would give light concerning those passions to those who truly desire to serve Him. he prayed for them. viz.
That he placed his sins betwixt him and GOD. That after this.Second Conversation Love the motive of all. That when he had failed in his duty. without selfish views. I shall never do otherwise. That he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD. ’tis You must hinder my falling. during which time he had suffered much. seeking Him only. and mend what is amiss. and that having resolved to make the love of GOD the end of all his actions. * Once in fear. * Diligence and love. * Business abroad as at home. That since that time he had passed his life in perfect liberty and continual joy. that all the men in the world could not have persuaded him to the contrary. to tell Him that he did not deserve His favours. now in joy. That in order to form a habit of conversing with GOD continually. * All scruples brought to God. LORD. not even His gifts. we must at first apply to Him with some diligence: but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty. whether I be lost or saved. whatever becomes of me. and referring all we do to Him. I shall have this good at least. and that then he received strength more than sufficient. he only confessed his fault. and I have endeavoured to act only for Him. but that he was not uneasy about it. That he expected after the pleasant days GOD had given him. That this trouble of mind had lasted four years. knowing very well. saying. saying to GOD. that till death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him. he addressed himself to GOD. 6 . That he had been long troubled in mind from a certain belief that he should be damned. That he had always been governed by love. but that he had thus reasoned with himself about it: I did not engage in a religious life but for the love of GOD. he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. but that GOD still continued to bestow them in abundance. he should have his turn of pain and suffering. he gave himself no further uneasiness about it. Simplicity the key to Divine assistance. I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me. if You leave me to myself. * times of prayer and self-mortification not essential for the practice. and nothing else. GOD would not fail to give him the strength to bear them. I will always continue to act purely for the love of GOD. That when an occasion of practising some virtue offered. that as he could do nothing of himself. as it were.
e. and did not plead against Him to excuse them. just as they happen. as soon as we perceived their impertinence to the matter in hand. That he was very well pleased with the post he was now in. but not discouraged by them. he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him. When he had so done. That he had been lately sent into Burgundy. he had no need of a director to advise him. So. he had consulted nobody. and imploring His assistance in our affairs. but that it proved very well. likewise. That with him the set times of prayer were not different from other times: that he retired to pray. and that he afterwards found it very well performed. having accustomed himself to do everything there for the love of GOD. by doing little things for the love of GOD. That GOD never failed to grant it. nor ask for it. That however he gave himself no uneasiness about it. and as he endeavoured so to do. he had found everything easy. i. doing them with a desire to please Him. It was His business he was about. but knowing only by the light of faith that GOD was present. let what would come of it. and with prayer. which was a very unwelcome task for him. but that he was as ready to quit that as the former. speaking to Him frankly and plainly..That we ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity. according to the directions of his Superior. That useless thoughts spoil all: that the mischief began there. upon all occasions. that he could not tell how the matter passed. in his business in the kitchen (to which he had naturally a great aversion). to buy the provision of wine for the society. That in his trouble of mind. because he had no turn for business and because he was lame. That he said to GOD. because his greatest business did not divert him from GOD. and could not go about the boat but by rolling himself over the casks. for His grace to do his work well. or our salvation. during the fifteen years that he had been employed there. nor about the purchase of the wine. That as he knew his obligation to love GOD in all things. since he was always pleasing himself in every condition. as he had often experienced. but that he did not want such retirement. 7 . that he confessed them to GOD. That he was very sensible of his faults. and return to our communion with GOD. That he had been sent into Auvergne the year before upon the same account. but that we ought to reject them. but that he needed much a confessor to absolve him. he peaceably resumed his usual practice of love and adoration.
at first he had meditated for some time. to expect the pardon of our sins from the Blood of JESUS CHRIST. of this world. were not to be compared with what he had experienced of both kinds in a spiritual state: so that he was careful for nothing and feared nothing. saying. that he might not offend Him..That at the beginning he had often passed his time appointed for prayer. That all possible kinds of mortification. that he had well considered this. said he. as more signal monuments of His mercy. acknowledging that it comes from Him. That nevertheless. That the greatest pains or pleasures. when I fail in my duty. and doing all things for His sake. I am used to do so: I shall never do otherwise. but as they serve to arrive at the union with GOD by love. and falling back into them. That we ought. I readily acknowledge it. viz. That our only business was to love and delight ourselves in GOD. If I fail not. without anxiety. That GOD seemed to have granted the greatest favours to the greatest sinners. for. then I give GOD thanks. That all bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless. if they were void of the love of GOD. 8 . in a manner that he could give no account of. but afterwards that went off. That he could never regulate his devotion by certain methods as some do. and the others all. in rejecting wandering thoughts. could not efface a single sin. and found it the shortest way to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love. That he had no scruples. if I am left to myself. that the first were comparatively of little value. only endeavouring to love Him with all our hearts. desiring but one only thing of GOD. That we ought to make a great difference between the acts of the understanding and those of the will.
he did not disquiet himself for it. he did not think of it beforehand. but that the goodness of GOD assured him He would not forsake him utterly. that from the same experience. than when he left them for devotion in retirement. he returned to Him with so much the greater trust in Him. and so inflamed and transported him that it was difficult for him to contain himself. he had no other care at first. as in a clear mirror. but after having acknowledged his wretchedness to GOD. * Outward business no detriment. That he was more united to GOD in his outward employments. That when sometimes he had not thought of GOD for a good while. he had no apprehension of danger. not only that GOD should deceive. That when he had attempted to do it.Third Conversation Faith working by love. without anticipating care. but faithfully to reject every other thought. and resolved to endure everything for His sake. that he might perform all his actions for the love of GOD. That it was impossible. That of late he had acted thus. When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of GOD. he had used it in his affairs. and that as he was conscious of his readiness to lay down his life for the love of GOD. all that was fit for him to do. which when he had once well conceived. he had always come away more perplexed. and that He would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted to happen to him. He told me. but when it was time to do it. to lose that sense of GOD. but also that He should long let a soul suffer which is perfectly resigned to Him. a fresh remembrance coming from GOD invested his soul. that the foundation of the spiritual life in him had been a high notion and esteem of GOD in faith. and had no occasion to consult with anybody about his state. That he expected hereafter some great pain of body or mind. he found in GOD. 9 . and therefore that he feared nothing. That he had so often experienced the ready succours of Divine Grace upon all occasions. when he had business to do. by how much he found himself more wretched to have forgot Him. but before the experience above mentioned. which he had enjoyed so long. * Perfect resignation the sure way. and draws down great graces. that the worst that could happen to him was. That the trust we put in GOD honours Him much.
which is the end. because they stick in penances. and particular exercises. but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him. That this appeared plainly by their works. or for His sake. we ought to be faithful in doing our duty and denying ourselves. with which everything became easy. and to love Him only. but after that unspeakable pleasures followed: that in difficulties we need only have recourse to JESUS CHRIST. a way in which we had always sufficient light for our conduct. while they neglect the love of GOD. and beg His grace. 10 . That there needed neither art nor science for going to GOD. and was the reason why we see so little solid virtue. That many do not advance in the Christian progress. That in the beginning of the spiritual life.That perfect resignation to GOD was a sure way to heaven.
that all consists in one hearty renunciation of everything which we are sensible does not lead to GOD. offering them to Him before we do them. that we might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him. He told me. * The whole substance of religion. unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of GOD’s Presence. Eph. i. [Gal. as by prayer in its season. addicting themselves to certain works. That GOD always gave us light in our doubts. and giving Him thanks when we have done. That. to address ourselves to Him every moment. without being discouraged on account of our sins.Fourth Conversation The manner of going to God. as relying upon the infinite merits of our LORD. was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men. That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times. That GOD never failed offering us His grace at each action. 10. He discoursed with me very frequently. 11 . when we had no other design but to please Him. which they performed very imperfectly. adoring. but in doing that for GOD’s sake. That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works. whereof some part is related already. and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us. * Sanctification in common business. That we need only to recognize GOD intimately present with us. * Self-estimation * Further personal experience. or he had forgot to ask His assistance. with freedom and in simplicity. we are also employed in praising. vi. * Prayer and the presence of God. That the most excellent method he had found of going to GOD. That in this conversation with GOD. and loving him incessantly. and never failed of it. that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful. by reason of their human or selfish regards.] and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of GOD. for His infinite goodness and perfection. 5. which we commonly do for our own. we should pray for His grace with a perfect confidence. That we are as strictly obliged to adhere to GOD by action in the time of action. * Hearty renunciation. 6. and with great openness of heart. That it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end. concerning his manner of going to GOD. that he distinctly perceived it. * Prayer and praise prevent discouragement.
and charity. we often failed in our endeavours. which will naturally produce its acts in us. and to our exceeding great delight. We ought. That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become. that we may arrive at our end. persons whom GOD would humble by many pains and labours. in our humours. he found no difference. we should not wonder that troubles.That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD. as well within as without. subject to all kinds of misery. to submit ourselves to them. on the contrary. the more dependent it is upon Divine grace. 12 . happen to us from men. After this. by faith and charity. who regards not the greatness of the work. That we should not wonder if. and such as do not deserve the name of Christians. That all things are possible to him who believes. temptations. what we are. heartily to put our whole trust in GOD. and bear them as long as GOD pleases. and make a total surrender of ourselves to Him. and cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health. That we ought. his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past. without our care. and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues. And then we should find ourselves worthy of all contempt. and examine to the bottom. and numberless accidents. by the practice of which we become united to the will of GOD: that all beside is indifferent and to be used as a means. once for all. so that he passed his life in continual joy. that they are less difficult to him who hopes. yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer. in this life. but that at last we should gain a habit. which trouble us. praising and blessing Him with all his might. That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of GOD. secure that He would not deceive us. as things highly advantageous to us. in the beginning. but the love with which it is performed. and be swallowed up therein. as we hope to be through all eternity. the most perfect worshippers of GOD we can possibly be. because he still continued with GOD. That when we enter upon the spiritual we should consider. hope. when he should grow stronger. they are more easy to him who loves. That the greater perfection a soul aspires after. in our internal and external dispositions: in fine. oppositions and contradictions. That the whole substance of religion was faith.
I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence. Lawrence had found such an advantage in walking in the presence of GOD.” said he.” As he proceeded in his work. he continued his familiar conversation with his Maker. That in the beginning of his novitiate he spent the hours appointed for private prayer in thinking of GOD. receive all my works. as if he had never deviated from it. resolving to use his utmost endeavour to live in a continual sense of His Presence. apply my mind to these outward things. such a sweet and calm devotion appearing in it. when he began his business. since Thou art with me. than by studied reasonings and elaborate meditations. “by rising after my falls. and without being discouraged. he had considered GOD as the end of all his thoughts and desires. and continued his exercise of the presence of GOD. “O my GOD. That by this short and sure method. imploring His grace. and I must now. he returned thanks to GOD. if he found well. and to impress deeply upon his heart. “Thus. so as to convince his mind of. he said to GOD. but his example was a stronger inducement than any arguments he could propose. and when and how each thing was to be done. he spent all the intervals of his time. That when he had thus in prayer filled his mind with great sentiments of that infinite Being. I am come to a state. with a filial trust in Him. in obedience to Thy commands. and. the Divine existence. if possible.Being questioned by one of his own society (to whom he was obliged to open himself) by what means he had attained such an habitual sense of GOD? he told him that. and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance. wherein it would be as difficult for me not to think of GOD. and by frequently renewed acts of faith and love. he set his mind right again. His very countenance was edifying. he asked pardon. and submission to the lights of faith. never to forget Him more.” As Bro. rather by devout sentiments. there having first considered severally the things his office required. and offering to Him all his actions. if otherwise. as could not but affect the beholders. it was natural for him to recommend it earnestly to others. And 13 . he exercised himself in the knowledge and love of GOD. and in which they should terminate. he examined himself how he had discharged his duty. That. as well before as after his work. When he had finished. as the mark to which they should tend. and possess all my affections. he went to his work appointed in the kitchen (for he was cook to the society). since his first coming to the monastery. in prayer. as it was at first to accustom myself to it.
while several persons are at the same time calling for different things.” said he. but did each thing in its season. he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering. with an even uninterrupted composure and tranquillity of spirit.” 14 .it was observed. “does not with me differ from the time of prayer. “The time of business. I possess GOD in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament. that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen. and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen.
which our LORD. and if I may so speak. I thought this would serve rather to puzzle me. as my GOD: I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could. and now I do it only upon the terms. even in the height of my business. that you show my letter to nobody. keeping my mind in His holy Presence. wherewith we ask. SINCE you desire so earnestly that I should communicate to you the method by which I arrived at that habitual sense of GOD’s Presence. and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. Sometimes I considered myself before Him as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge. and though I have done it very imperfectly. If I knew that you would let it be seen. I renounced. I found no small pain in this exercise. for at all times. I made this my business. of His mercy. and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world. every hour. at other times I beheld Him in my heart as my FATHER. notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred. Such has been my common practice ever since I entered into religion. every minute. than facilitate what I sought after. I well know. which was nothing but how to become wholly GOD’s. are to be imputed to the mere mercy and goodness of GOD. for the love of Him. and I still less than any. I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of GOD. because we can do nothing without Him. to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins. without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily. These. The account I can give you is: Having found in many books different methods of going to GOD. this not only hinders our offending Him. that it is with great difficulty that I am prevailed on by your importunities. the graces we stand in need of. as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer. In fine. and doing anything that may displease Him. they become 15 . I must tell you. but it also begets in us a holy freedom. all the desire that I have for your advancement would not be able to determine me to it. But when we are faithful to keep ourselves in His holy Presence. has been pleased to vouchsafe to me. and set Him always before us. This made me resolve to give the all for the All: so after having given myself wholly to GOD. and that successfully. a familiarity with GOD. everything that was not He. at least wilfully. yet I have found great advantages by it.First Letter How the habitual sense of God’s Presence was found. and divers practices of the spiritual life. by often repeating these acts. and yet I continued it.
Give Him thanks. and the presence of GOD is rendered as it were natural to us. with me. May all things praise Him. for the many favours He has done to so miserable a sinner as I am. Amen. which I can never sufficiently admire. for His great goodness towards me. if you please. 16 .habitual.
with the thoughts of death. that each of these states had its different stages. Thus I continued some years applying my mind carefully the rest of the day. for the love of Him. I commonly employed myself during the time set apart for devotion. he told me the spiritual life was a life of grace. And faith alone for me. * Faith alone consistently and persistently. which pretended to be at once where others arrive with difficulty. that for the first ten years I suffered much: the apprehension that I was not devoted to GOD. judgement. as He is in Himself. hell. which is increased by hope of eternal life. and. I have not followed all these methods. I was troubled sometimes with thoughts.Second Letter Difference between himself and others. This practice produced in me so high an esteem for GOD. as I wished to be. which begins with servile fear. and yet I must tell you. as the best satisfaction I could make for my sins. At length I came insensibly to do the same thing during my set time of prayer. NOT finding my manner of life in books. my past sins always present to my mind. that faith alone was capable to satisfy me in that point. although I have no difficulty about it. 17 . to the presence of GOD. often as in me. [I suppose he means that all distinct notions he could form of GOD were unsatisfactory. reason. and rose again presently. were the matter and source of my sufferings. On the contrary. In a conversation some days since with a person of piety. at my entrance into religion. For the first years. * Deprecates this state being considered a delusion. because he perceived them to be unworthy of GOD. and therefore his mind was not to be satisfied but by the views of faith. which caused in me great delight and consolation. by which one arrives at last at that blessed consummation. I shall be glad to know your thoughts concerning it. This was the reason why. from I know not what instincts. yet. During this time I fell often. whom I considered always as with me. I found they discouraged me. and which is consummated by pure love. and the great unmerited favours which GOD did me. heaven. and my sins. and GOD Himself were against me. for greater security. and not as He can be conceived by human ideas.] Such was my beginning. I took a resolution to give myself up to GOD. to renounce all besides. and even in the midst of my business. that to believe I had received such favours was an effect of my presumption. which apprehends GOD as infinite and incomprehensible. It seemed to me that the creatures.
an habitual. wherein I keep myself by a simple attention. with humility and with love. in faith. and which served only to increase my faith). I cannot express it. and secret conversation of the soul with GOD. and that there was no salvation for me. which till that time was in trouble. to whom I find myself often attached with 18 . and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. embraces me with love. As for what passes in me at present. which I endeavour to accomplish in all things. or. serves me with His own hands. and my soul. I consider myself as the most wretched of men. makes me eat at His table. silent. which often causes in me joys and raptures inwardly. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence. and sometimes also outwardly. I found myself changed all at once. This King. which I may call an actual presence of GOD. so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them. and to which I am so resigned. I abandon myself in His hands. I ask His forgiveness. and such a general passionate regard to GOD. that I may not be tedious to you. I have no pain or difficulty about my state. I pass over many things. and treats me in all respects as His favourite. In short. My most usual method is this simple attention. I hope that when I have done what I can. gives me the key of His treasures. whom I behold as my King. to speak better. He will do with me what He pleases. or from any other motive but purely that of love to Him. He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly. Ever since that time I walk before GOD simply. full of sores and corruption. and a general fond regard to GOD. And I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence. in a thousand and a thousand ways. yet I think it proper to inform you after what manner I consider myself before GOD. I am assured beyond all doubt. as if she were in her centre and place of rest. that my soul has been with GOD above these thirty years. full of mercy and goodness. because I have no will but that of GOD. touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness. that He may do what He pleases with me. When I thought of nothing but to end my days in these troubles (which did not at all diminish the trust I had in GOD.at other times that it was a wilful delusion. very far from chastising me. and I apply myself diligently to do nothing and think nothing which may displease Him. and prevent their appearance to others. I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me. that I would not take up a straw from the ground against His order. felt a profound inward peace.
she cannot be disturbed by such acts as she was formerly accustomed to. but would now rather hinder than assist her. and am yours in our Lord. delusion. I desire your reverence to reflect rather upon my great wretchedness. If sometimes my thoughts wander from it by necessity or infirmity. when I apply myself to prayer. and selflove: I confess that it is a holy inactivity. for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there. while she is in this repose. so charming and delicious that I am ashamed to mention them. for I have a singular esteem for your reverence. and which were then her support. I desire Him to make His perfect image in my soul. At other times. and to be wholly devoted to Him. I know that some charge this state with inactivity. it belongs to GOD to remedy it. of which you are fully informed. Let Him do what He pleases with me: I desire only Him. If this be delusion in me. I should choose to call this state the bosom of GOD. 19 . as a stone before a carver. if the soul in that state were capable of it. oblige me in sending me your opinion.greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother’s breast: so that if I dare use the expression. As for my set hours of prayer. whereof he is to make a statue: presenting myself thus before GOD. and it continues as it were suspended and firmly fixed in GOD. Sometimes I consider myself there. Yet I cannot bear that this should be called delusion. and render me entirely like Himself. because the soul which thus enjoys GOD desires herein nothing but Him. because in effect. to which I always pay a great deference. I feel all my spirit and all my soul lift itself up without any care or effort of mine. all unworthy and ungrateful as I am. they are only a continuation of the same exercise. You will. as in its centre and place of rest. however. and would be a happy self-love. than upon the great favours which GOD does me. I am presently recalled by inward motions.
in the manner here directed. I admire also the fortitude and bravery of M. who is daily exposed to dangers of life. and often of his salvation. if you please. to whom I present my service. comfort yourself then with Him. I hope the affliction which GOD has sent him will prove a wholesome remedy to him. I always thought that He would reduce you to extremity. that he think of GOD the most he can. it is an accident very proper to engage him to put all his trust in Him. being theirs and yours. I hope that GOD will assist him and all the family. let him accustom himself. they best serve to fortify it. especially in the greatest dangers. though upon a march. and nothing is easier than to repeat often in the day these little internal adorations. are prayers which. and far from lessening a soldier’s courage in occasions of danger. GOD has given him a good disposition. but there is in him still a little of the world. nobody perceives it. who accompanies him everywhere: let him think of Him the oftenest he can. it is very fit and most necessary for a soldier. and when you least expect it. WE have a GOD who is infinitely gracious. by degrees. and give thanks for all. Hope in Him more than ever: thank Him with me for the favours He does you. and a great deal of youth. He will come in His own time. one act of inward worship. 20 . and sword in hand. however short. particularly for the fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions: it is a plain mark of the care He takes of you. and make him enter into himself. Recommend to him. to this small but holy exercise. and a good will. and knows all our wants. are nevertheless very acceptable to GOD. Let him then think of GOD the most he can. A little lifting up the heart suffices.Third Letter For a soldier friend whom he encourages to trust in God. a little remembrance of GOD.
The experience of these things gives him such an assurance that GOD is always in the depth or bottom of his soul. He complains much of our blindness. He is now so accustomed to that Divine presence. and to hinder their appearing outwardly. his continual care has been. and this without any other view than purely for the love of Him.Fourth Letter Writes of himself as of a third person. we hinder GOD. that he is forced to use means to moderate them. say nothing. which often happens when he is most engaged in his outward business: he answers with exact fidelity to these inward drawings. and sometimes so great. for above forty years past that he has spent in religion. saith he. upon any account whatever. while he continually finds in himself so great a treasure: he is no longer in an anxious search after it. has infinite treasure to bestow. but has it open before him. or by a meek and fond regard to Him. make me according to Thy heart. You must know. here I am all devoted to Thee: LORD. either by an elevation of his heart towards GOD. that he receives from it continual succours upon all occasions. reposes again. Let you and me both profit by them. there they flow 21 . He pours into it His graces and favours plentifully. GOD. and rests in the depth and centre of his soul. and because He deserves infinitely more. I HAVE taken this opportunity to communicate to you the sentiments of one of our society concerning the admirable effects and continual assistances which he receives from the presence of GOD. as for instance. his soul has been filled with joys so continual. and may take what he pleases of it. If sometimes he is a little too much absent from that Divine presence. Judge by this what content and satisfaction he enjoys. to be always with GOD. For about thirty years. and cries often that we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little. My GOD. and encourages his correspondent to press on to fuller practising of the Presence of God. And then it seems to him (as in effect he feels it) that this GOD of love. GOD presently makes Himself to be felt in his soul to recall him. and renders him incapable of doubting it. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith. Blind as we are. and stop the current of His graces. and we take up with a little sensible devotion which passes in a moment. and think nothing which may displease Him. and to do nothing. or by such words as love forms upon these occasions. satisfied with such few words.
when it has found a passage. let us redeem the lost time. and a miscarriage there is irretrievable. we often stop this torrent. it is the one thing necessary: we must. I believe you have taken such effectual measures. in the spiritual life. The time presses: there is no room for delay. who reposes in it. our souls are at stake. but known of GOD. is to go back. I will pray for you. that you may compare them with your own: they will serve again to kindle and inflame them. for we die but once. I say again. let us be well prepared for it.like a torrent. always work at it. who am yours in our LORD. I have taken the liberty to impart to you these good sentiments. Yes. and He will quickly calm the sea. death follows us close. nevertheless. for perhaps we have but little left. If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms. by the little value we set upon it. But let us stop it no more: let us enter into ourselves and break down the bank which hinders it. But those who have the gale of the HOLY SPIRIT go forward even in sleep. spreads itself with impetuosity and abundance. if by misfortune (which GOD forbid. after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course. 22 . do you pray instantly for me. which. cooled. for it would be indeed a great misfortune) they should be. though never so little. let us enter into ourselves. Let us make way for grace. who is little known of the world. Let us then both recall our first fervours. and extremely caressed by Him. that you will not be surprised. I commend you for it. let us awake the LORD. because not to advance. Let us profit by the example and the sentiments of this brother.
of all consolations. and yours in particular. and as He cannot possess it alone. without emptying it of all besides. it is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise. There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful. I know that for the right practice of it. no. contains the whole spiritual life. poor as they are: I recommend myself earnestly to yours. I should advise all the world to do it: so necessary do I think it. and to spend the rest of your days in His sacred presence. we should never lose sight of Him. and were I a director. not for a moment. and if you do it as you ought. Believe me. 23 . and it seems to me that whoever duly practises it will soon become spiritual. I RECEIVED this day two books and a letter from Sister. who is preparing to make her profession. because GOD will possess the heart alone. I will send you one of those books which treat of the presence of GOD. Ah! knew we but the want we have of the grace and assistance of GOD. and those of your holy society. the heart must be empty of all other things. unless it be left vacant to Him.Fifth Letter Prayer for a sister who is about to make a vow and profession. I will assist you with my prayers. in my opinion. but let us do it from a principle of love. Set heartily about this work. and upon that account desires the prayers of your holy society. than that of a continual conversation with GOD: those only can comprehend it who practise and experience it. I should above all other things preach the practice of the presence of GOD. Were I a preacher. if He thinks fit. and because GOD would have us. make immediately a holy and firm resolution never more wilfully to forget Him. Beg of GOD that she may make her sacrifice in the view of His love alone. be assured that you will soon find the effects of it. yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. deprived for the love of Him. pray do not disappoint her. and with a firm resolution to be wholly devoted to Him. and so easy too. * A fresh insisting upon the necessity and virtue of practising the Presence of God. and do in it what He pleases. I perceive that she reckons much upon them. so neither can He act there. a subject which.
of many little pleasures which are innocent and lawful: for GOD will not permit that a soul which desires to be devoted entirely to Him should take other pleasures than with Him. I wonder that you have not given me your thoughts of the little book I sent to you. Pray set heartily about the practice of it in your old age. you must do yourself violence. that is more than reasonable. and to whom he again enlarges on his favourite topic. it is then useless to return to the means. though very good in themselves. necessary to put our whole trust in GOD. however. or thanksgiving.the things which you gave her for me. however. . No. I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. laying aside all other cares. without trouble or disquiet. so when by this exercise of the presence of GOD we are with Him who is our end. recalling our mind to GOD mildly and with tranquillity. and in all the manner which our spirit can invent. and yours in particular. Be not discouraged by the repugnance which you may find in it from nature.Sixth Letter To a member of the order who had received from him a book. At the first. 24 . and even some particular forms of devotion. but you must go on. one often thinks it lost time. we must do our business faithfully. yet such as one often engages in unreasonably: because those devotions are only means to attain to the end. we must serve GOD in a holy freedom. as often as we find it wandering from Him. I do not say that therefore we must put any violent constraint upon ourselves. proper to deprive it sometimes. persevering in His holy presence: one while by an act of praise. * Encouragement to persevere. This exercise does not much fatigue the body: it is. and while I am so with Him I fear nothing. and which you must have received. but we may continue with Him our commerce of love. nay often. I am yours in our LORD. of adoration. It is. but the least turning from Him is insupportable. or of desire. one while by an act of resignation. and resolve to persevere in it to death. I recommend myself to the prayers of your holy society. notwithstanding all the difficulties that may occur. I HAVE received from Mrs. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth of centre of my soul as much as I can. it is better late than never.
25 . with love and humility. sometimes even at your meals. and yours particularly. to live and die with God and promises and asks for prayer. and still gives you. who is sixtyfour. You may assure . He is nearer to us than we are aware of. and spend the remainder of your life only in worshiping GOD. sometimes to offer Him your sufferings. He requires no great matters of us. humility. without Him. a little remembrance of Him from time to time. and to console yourself with Him the oftenest you can. perhaps He expects but one generous resolution on our part. or particular forms of devotion. you are near sixty-four. Amen. We have but little time to live. It is not necessary for being with GOD to be always at church.Seventh Letter At the age of nearly fourscore exhorts his correspondent. and that I am their servant. Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules. I PITY you much.of my poor prayers. Let us begin then. to beg His grace. Use yourself then by degrees thus to worship Him. and when you are in company: the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him. a cruel punishment to us. and love. in the midst of your troubles. and I am almost eighty. wherein to retire from time to time. Lift up your heart to Him. we may make an oratory of our heart. even every moment if you can. to offer Him your heart from time to time. May He be blessed for all. to converse with Him in meekness. Every one is capable of such familiar conversation with GOD. Have courage. Let us live and die with GOD: sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to us. some more. in the midst of your business. and sometimes to return Him thanks for the favours He has given you. a little adoration: sometimes to pray for His grace. It will be of great importance if you can leave the care of your affairs to. while we are with Him: and the greatest pleasures will be. some less: He knows what we can do. but act with a general confidence in GOD. You need not cry very loud.
of the advantages we may draw from this practice of the presence of GOD: let us set about it seriously and pray for one another. One way to re-collect the mind easily in the time of prayer. you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer. and withdraw itself from Him. they are difficult to overcome. at our first engaging in devotion. to the things of the earth. I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer. If it sometimes wander. YOU tell me nothing new: you are not the only one that is troubled with wandering thoughts.Eighth Letter Concerning wandering thoughts in prayer. or at least to recall it from its wanderings. and preserve it more in tranquillity. and carry them to GOD. Our mind is extremely roving. I have told you already at large. and commonly draw us. the will must bring it back in tranquillity. even against our wills. I believe one remedy for this is. as their last end. for want of being sufficiently reduced by recollection. if you persevere in this manner. many words and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering: hold yourself in prayer before GOD. in my former letters. has contracted certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation. to confess our faults. she must recall them. GOD will have pity on you. do not much disquiet yourself for that. trouble and disquiet serve rather to distract the mind. When the mind. than to re-collect it. 26 . is not to let it wander too far at other times: you should keep it strictly in the presence of GOD. and being accustomed to think of Him often. but as the will is mistress of all our faculties. like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man’s gate: let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the LORD. and to humble ourselves before GOD.
You and I have lived above forty years in religion [i..Ninth Letter Enclosing a letter to a corresponding sister. She seems to me full of good will. with which we can do all things. me. and as I use no other. but she would go faster than grace.. when I reflect on the one hand upon the great favours which GOD has done. Have we employed them in loving and serving GOD. upon the ill use I have made of them. let us generously renounce. let us begin in earnest. a monastic life]. and yet more by our good examples. for this is the best and easiest method I know. Let us put all our trust in Him: I doubt not but we shall soon find the effects of it. and without which we can do nothing but sin. I recommend her to you: we ought to help one another by our advice.e. for the love of Him. but by a holy habit which we should form of it? You will tell me that I am always saying the same thing: it is true. in receiving the abundance of His grace. Since by His mercy He gives us still a little time. let us then pray to Him for it continually. * His old theme concisely put. without the actual and continual help of GOD. who by His mercy has called us to this state and for that very end? I am filled with shame and confusion. Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to please GOD. and incessantly continues to do. let us repair the lost time. we must often think of Him. He deserves infinitely more. This is an argument which well deserves your consideration. You will oblige me to let me hear of her from time to time. I advise all the world to it. We must know before we can love. and whether she be very fervent and very obedient. One does not become holy all at once. that perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity. we shall then also think of Him often. let us return with a full assurance to that FATHER of mercies. pray deliver it to her. Let us renounce. How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him but in thinking of Him often? And how can we often think of Him. Let us think of Him perpetually. In order to know GOD. who is always ready to receive us affectionately. THE enclosed is an answer to that which I received from . for our heart will be with our treasure. whom he regards with respect tinged with fear. all that is not Himself. We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life. and my small advancement in the way of perfection. 27 . and when we come to love Him. and on the other.
You would think it rude to leave a friend alone. but without encroaching upon the love of GOD. which must be the principal. If M. in a word. He disposes of hearts as He pleases. . if we do not know it we must learn it. which is. live and die with Him. I am very well pleased with the trust which you have in GOD: I wish that He may increase it in you more and more: we cannot have too much in so good and faithful a Friend. by night. and puts all his confidence in GOD.was too much attached to him he has lost. this is the glorious employment of a Christian. I will endeavour to help you with my prayers. but sacrifices his will. to think often on GOD. -. leave Him not alone. but think on Him often. Pray write the directions and send it to him. Perhaps M. and am yours in our LORD. He is always near you and with you. who came to visit you: why then must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him. We ought to love our friends. by day. who will never fail us in this world nor in the next. and even in your diversions. more powerful and more inclined to serve him. He will soon give him another friend. to write as requested. adore Him continually.makes his advantage of the loss he has had. this is our profession.Tenth Letter Has difficulty. I HAVE had a good deal of difficulty to bring myself to write to M. in your business. . 28 . Pray remember what I have recommended to you. * The loss of a friend may lead to acquaintance with the Friend. and I do it now purely because you and Madam desire me.
in sickness than in health. to eat at the king’s table. and notwithstanding such favours to be without assurance of pardon? I believe he would feel exceeding great uneasiness. and you will soon find the effects of it in your recovery. and the means which He employs for their salvation. which we often retard. and not as a favour from GOD. Rely upon no other Physician. * Feels that he would gladly suffer at His wish. and seek from Him the strength to endure as much. I DO not pray that you may be delivered from your pains. though in truth that torment itself is pleasing. The men of the world do not comprehend these truths. according to my apprehension. He often sends diseases of the body. and seeing it only in that light. nor is it to be wondered at. and such as nothing could moderate. commonly find in it great sweetness and sensible consolation. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross: He will loose you when He thinks fit. He reserves your cure to Himself. as the effects of His mercy. torment me. as He shall judge to be necessary for you. they find nothing in it but grief and distress. God is the Physician of body and of soul. Comfort yourself with the sovereign Physician both of soul and body. But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of GOD. to cure those of the soul. but only his trust in the goodness of his sovereign. Put then all your trust in Him. ever present before my eyes. that whatever pleasures I taste at the table of my King. and be served by him.Eleventh Letter To one who is in great pain. and as long. Be satisfied with the condition in which GOD places you: however happy you may think me. but I pray GOD earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases. I envy you. for. yet my sins. YOU have reason: but think you that it would be a small pain to the greatest criminal in the world. that I eat and drink at the table of the LORD. Whatever remedies you make use of. and not like Christians: they consider sickness as a pain to nature. they will succeed only so far as He permits. as well as the uncertainty of my pardon. Pains and suffering would be a 29 . by putting greater confidence in physic than in GOD. since they suffer like what they are. I wish you could convince yourself that GOD is often (in some sense) nearer to us and more effectually present with us. When pains come from GOD. He only can cure them. I foresee that you will tell me that I am very much at my ease. Happy those who suffer with Him: accustom yourself to suffer in that manner. So I assure you.
in a little time. What comforts me in this life is. all my consolation would be to suffer something for His sake. I shall beseech Him to be with you. I will live and die with Him. go to GOD. I feel what faith teaches us. I present my service. and the greatest pleasure would be hell to me. that I now see Him by faith.paradise to me. I believe no more. 30 . while I should suffer with my GOD. and I see Him in such a manner as might make me say sometimes. but I see. if I could relish them without Him. I must. Continue then always with GOD: ’tis the only support and comfort for your affliction. and. in that assurance and that practice of faith.
Let us live and die in His presence. and so great. and I. I shall endeavour to assist you with my poor prayers. but that I know my weakness. offer Him your pains incessantly. and expresses his own abiding comfort through faith. and forget Him the least you can. Do you pray for me. that He never forsakes us. GOD has many ways of drawing us to Himself. feel joys so continual. I would willingly ask of GOD a part of your sufferings. as I for you. pray to Him for strength to endure them. Adore Him in your infirmities. And yet I know not how He can leave me alone. and. GOD often permits that we should suffer a little. offer yourself to Him from time to time.Twelfth Letter To the same correspondent probably. get a habit of entertaining yourself often with GOD. to purify our souls. in the height of your sufferings. who deserve the severest discipline. all bodily diseases would be much alleviated thereby. that if He left me one moment to myself. He sometimes hides Himself from us: but faith alone. and the foundation of our confidence. IF we were well accustomed to the exercise of the presence of GOD. I should be the most wretched man alive. till we have first forsaken Him. which will not fail us in time of need. Let us fear to leave Him. Take courage. which is so great. beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a child his father) to make you conformable to His holy will. that I can scarce contain them. I know not how GOD will dispose of me: I am always happy: all the world suffer. Let us be always with Him. because faith gives me as strong a conviction as sense can do. 31 . which must be all in GOD. ought to be our support. and oblige us to continue with Him. Above all.
and resign yourself entirely to the providence of GOD. it will not be tempting GOD to abandon yourself in His hands. but strength to bear resolutely. are a little hard to nature. and your malady still increases. I will help you with my prayers.Thirteenth Letter To the same he exhorts for fuller and entire confidence in God. ’tis my opinion that you should leave off human remedies. perhaps He stays only for that resignation and a perfect trust in Him to cure you. and sweet to those that love Him. I beseech you. and sweetens the feeling I have of your griefs. but most acceptable to GOD. for the love of Him. always. and seek not consolation elsewhere: I hope you will soon receive it. I AM in pain to see you suffer so long. poor as they are. 32 . for body and soul. yours in our LORD. Since notwithstanding all your cares. indeed. and as long as He shall please. that He sometimes permits bodily diseases to cure the distempers of the soul. comfort yourself with Him. one suffers for His sake with joy and courage. and expect all from Him. Adieu. Love sweetens pains. Have courage then: make a virtue of necessity: ask of GOD. Do you so. in my last. and when one loves GOD. what gives me some ease. He is the FATHER of the afflicted. all that He should please. physic has hitherto proved unsuccessful. As your case is. and you will bear them more easily. He loves us infinitely more than we imagine: love Him then. always ready to help us. and shall be. I told you. Such prayers. is that they are proofs of GOD’s love towards you: see them in that view. not deliverance from your pains. who is the only Physician of all our maladies.
how sweet is it to suffer with GOD! however great the sufferings may be. nor think anything that may displease Him. 33 . but I prayed for strength to suffer with courage. 'Tis paradise to suffer and be with Him. Adieu. affectionate conversation with Him: we must hinder our spirits wandering from Him upon any occasion: we must make our heart a spiritual temple. humility. so that if in this life we would enjoy the peace of paradise. Accordingly I did not pray for any relief. Knock. for having relieved you a little. I hope to see Him quickly. persevere in knocking. and grant you all at once what He has deferred during many years. as I pray to Him for you. according to your desire. Ah. wherein to adore Him incessantly: we must watch continually over ourselves.Fourteenth Letter Gratitude. for we must act purely in faith. though I was never so much satisfied as then. we must accustom ourselves to a familiar. and I answer for it that He will open to you in His due time. When our minds are thus employed about GOD. receive them with love. nor say. we know also that we can do all things with the grace of GOD. suffering will become full of unction and consolation. I RENDER thanks to our LORD. But though it is difficult. and love. Pray to Him for me. for mercies to his correspondent. I have been often near expiring. humble. the beginning is very difficult. I know that to arrive at this state. and measure of relief while he has himself been near death. that we may not do. which He never refuses to them who ask it earnestly. but with consolation in his suffering.
Let us pray for one another. Let us not amuse ourselves to seek or to love GOD for any sensible favours (how elevated soever) which He has or may do us. GOD knoweth best what is needful for us. I hope from His mercy the favour to see Him within a few days. He would possess them alone. which do not please Him and perhaps offend Him? ‘Tis to be feared these trifles will one day cost us dear. to busy ourselves about trifles. the greater will be our love: and if our love of GOD were great we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures. if we leave Him alone. seek Him not elsewhere. though never so great. who abases and distresses us: our sufferings will lose their bitterness. all would please that came from Him. we should be always ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter. Beg this favour of Him. Let all our employment be to know GOD: the more one knows Him. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love. cannot bring us so near to GOD as faith does in one simple act. Let us seek Him often by faith: He is within us. If we do what we can on our parts. When we see them in the hand of GOD. Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts. who dispenses them: when we know that it is our loving FATHER. and all that He does is for our good. we shall soon see that change wrought in us which we aspire after. that we may love. * Repeats the same exhortation to knowledge. If we knew how much He loves us. Let us begin to be devoted to Him in good earnest. Such favours. Are we not rude and deserve blame.Fifteenth Letter From his death-bed. the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be. The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable. the more one desires to know Him. and become even matter of consolation. but when we see them in the wrong light.] 34 . I cannot thank Him sufficiently for the relaxation He has vouchsafed you. [He took to his bed two days after and died within the week.
Chesterton considered this book a companion to his other work. Throughout Heretics he provides a very personal critique of contemporary religious notions. the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy. and has remained in print for over a century. during adolescence Chesterton was troubled by thoughts of suicide. the "answer to a riddle" in his own words. Heretics. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs. In Christianity he found answers to many of the dilemmas and paradoxes of life. K. In the book's preface Chesterton states the purpose is to "attempt an explanation. Gilbert Keith Chesterton Heretics Though he was on the whole a fun loving and gregarious man. Gilbert Keith Chesterton Orthodoxy Orthodoxy (1908) is a book by G. Soon after its publication. and a casual reading for the general public.Loved this book ? Similar users also downloaded William James The Varieties of Religious Experience These lectures concerning the nature of religion were delivered at the University of Edinburgh between 1901 and 1902. and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience. not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed. but of how he personally has come to believe it. Chesterton that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. John Bunyan The Pilgrim's Progress The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of English literature. Chesterton presents an original view of Christian religion. and has never been out of print." In it. Bertrand Russell The Problems of Philosophy A lively and still one of the best introductions to philosophy. 1678. has been translated into more than 200 languages. His 35 . this book pays off both a closer reading for students and specialists.
and give up all longing to know the why and how. This is not the case in the United Kingdom where the rights to the Authorized Version are held by the British Crown under perpetual Crown copyright.one that continues to exercise leading thinkers in the present one. tending instead towards forms that were already slightly archaic.consistently engaging but often wayward humour is mixed liberally with daring flights of fancy and some startling turns of thought. in a period of rapid linguistic change. While the Authorized Version remains among the most widely sold. and contains her introduction. for knowing will be more of a hindrance than a help. The text is a spiritual guide to contemplative prayer. providing an invaluable contribution to one of the major debates of the last century . Evelyn Underhill Practical Mysticism 36 . King James Version The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible began in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England. Anonymous The Cloud of Unknowing The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. like "verily" and "it came to pass". they avoided contemporary idioms. A highly original collection of essays. dignified and resonant in public reading. Anonymous The New Testament. modern critical New Testament translations differ substantially from the Authorized Version in a number of passages. [Source: Wikipedia] Thomas Watson The Beatitudes A classic English Puritan exposition of Matthew 5:1-12. primarily because they rely on source manuscripts not then accessible to (or not then highly regarded by) early 17th Century Biblical Scholarship. Hence." This 1912 edition was edited by Evelyn Underhill. In most of the world the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. A primary concern of the translators was to produce a Bible that would be appropriate. "Be willing to be blind.
and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide. Likewise. largely of the Church of England.In this short work (subtitled "A Little Book For Normal People") Evelyn Underhill. one of the 20th Century's leading scholars of Christian Mysticism. and to suggest the practical conditions under which ordinary persons may participate in their experience. the English Parliament called upon "learned. For more than three centuries. subordinate to the Bible. godly and judicious Divines". and Baptists would together (with others) come to be known as Nonconformists. over a period of five years. because they did not conform to the Act of Uniformity (1662) establishing the Church of England as the only legally-approved church. Congregationalists. the Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession (1689). In 1643. doctrine." The Westminster Divines The Westminster Confession of Faith The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. English Presbyterians. The Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration (1658). built on the Westminster Confession. government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings. in the Calvinist theological tradition. though they were in many ways united by their common confessions. as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly. it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland. 37 . produced the confession of faith. various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine. seeks "to put the view of the universe and man's place in it which is common to all mystics in plain and untechnical language. to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship.
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