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Title: Letters of Madam Guyon
Author: Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte, 1648-1717
Language: English
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LETTERS

OF

MADAM GUYON.


  BEING SELECTIONS OF HER RELIGIOUS THOUGHTS AND
  EXPERIENCES, TRANSLATED AND RE-ARRANGED
  FROM HER PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE



By P. L. UPHAM.



  "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
  alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit."



BOSTON:

HENRY HOYT, No. 9 CORNHILL.



Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1858, by HENRY HOYT,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of
Massachusetts.



PREFACE.

Madam Guyon's correspondence was very extensive, occupying five printed
volumes.  Her style of writing is somewhat diffuse.  In giving
religious advice to many persons, there would necessarily be frequent
repetitions.  It has, therefore, occurred to the writer, that a
selection and re-arrangement of thoughts, such as is found in this
little volume, would be more acceptable and useful, than a literal and
full translation of her letters.  This selection necessarily involved
much re-writing and condensing.  Great care, however, has been taken to
reach her true sentiments, and to give a just relation of her religious
experience.

In the interesting preface to her letters, published in 1767, the
writer remarks: "Next to the Holy Scriptures, we do not believe there
has been given to the world, any writings, so valuable as Madam
Guyon's; and of all these precious treasures, her letters are the most
rare.  All who have received the unction of the Holy One, whereby they
know the truth, are agreed upon her divine writings."

If the writer may be permitted to add her humble testimony, having
enjoyed the privilege of reading her writings in the original for
several years, she would say, there are no writings, excepting the
Sacred Oracles, from which she has received so much spiritual benefit.
It is on this account, she has endeavored, with divine assistance, to
portray to others, Madam Guyon's deep religious feelings.  May the same
spirit of devotion to her Lord and Master which she possessed, rest
upon the heart of the reader.

Happy are they in whose hearts burns the flame of divine love.

P. L. UPHAM.

Brunswick, Me., April, 1858.



SKETCH OF HER LIFE.

Jeannie Marie Mothe, the maiden name of Madam Guyon, was born at
Montargis, in France, April 13, 1648.  She was married to M. J. Guyon,
in 1664, and became the mother of four children.  In July, 1676, she
was separated from her husband by death.  Madam Guyon was one of that
number, who, in advance of the common standard of piety, are called to
be _Reformers_; and on this account, she suffered great persecutions.
She was several times imprisoned.  At one time eight months; and
subsequently four years in one of the towers of the celebrated Bastile.
After her release from prison, she was banished for the remainder of
her days to Blois, on the river Loire.  At the time of her release from
the Bastile, she was fifty-four years of age.  Her sufferings from the
cold, damp walls of the prison, in winter, and the confined air in
summer, with other privations and hardships, greatly impaired her
constitution, and rendered her a sufferer to the close of her days.
She died June 9, 1717, aged sixty-nine years.

During her imprisonment, she wrote her Autobiography, which has been
translated into English.  Another work of hers, "The Torrents," has
recently been translated, very happily, by Mr. Ford.  Also two essays,
"Method of Prayer," and "Concise View of the Way of God," by J. W.
Metcalf.  It is not known by the writer, that her other works have been
translated, with the exception of some of her poems by William Cowper;
and "The Life and Experience of Madam Guyon," in two volumes, written
by my husband.

P. L. U.



  CONTENTS.

   1.  REIGN OF CHRIST IN THE HEART
   2.  TURN AWAY FROM SELF TO CHRIST
   3.  STATE OF ASSURANCE
   4.  HUMILITY THE EFFECT OF LOVE
   5.  DIVINE COMMUNICATIONS
   6.  JOY IN PERSECUTIONS
   7.  LIBERTY IN CHRIST
   8.  MELANCHOLY AVOIDED
   9.  GOD'S CARE OF THE SOUL
  10.  POWER OF THE ADVERSARY
  11.  UNCTION OF GRACE
  12.  SPIRITUAL ONENESS
  13.  VICISSITUDES IN EXPERIENCE
  14.  PATIENCE WITH THE FAULTS OF OTHERS
  15.  HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE MOVEMENTS OF GOD
  16.  STATE OF SIMPLICITY
  17.  QUENCHING THE SPIRIT
  18.  SUFFERING CRUCIFIXION AND REDUCTIONS OF SELF
  19.  REPROVE IN LOVE
  20.  SILENT OPERATION OF GRACE
  21.  LIMIT NOT YOUR SPHERE
  22.  SECRET OF DIVINE OPERATIONS
  23.  NO UNION WITH SELFISH SOULS
  24.  NEVER YIELD TO DISCOURAGEMENT
  25.  WEAKNESSES.  IMPERFECTIONS
  26.  STATE OF ADVANCEMENT
  27.  GREATNESS OF SPIRITUAL POVERTY
  28.  ASSISTANCE RENDERED
  29.  SIMPLICITY AND POWER OF THE WORD
  30.  FORGETFULNESS OF SELF
  31.  DIVERSITY OF MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION
  32.  COMFORT IN AFFLICTION
  33.  BEARING FRUIT IN UNION WITH CHRIST
  34.  DESOLATE STATE
  35.  SELF-ABANDONMENT
  36.  NO DEPENDENCE ON INSTRUMENTS
  37.  CHILD OF GOD, SOON TO DIE
  38.  UNION OF SOULS IN GOD
  39.  SECRET OPERATIONS OF GRACE
  40.  TO A YOUNG FRIEND
  41.  FINAL LETTER TO HER SPIRITUAL GUIDE
  42.  GLORY OF GOD, THE ONE DESIRE
  43.  SPIRITUAL UNION AND AID
  44.  LIVE IN THE PRESENT
  45.  HOW TO ADMINISTER REPROOF
  46.  BEARING THE STATES OF CHRIST
  47.  IMPERFECTIONS NO HINDRANCE
  48.  DEATH, RESURRECTION
  49.  GRACE DEEPLY INTERIOR
  50.  SELF-RENUNCIATION
  51.  UNEXPECTED FAULTS
  52.  APOSTOLIC STATE
  53.  PAINFUL EXPERIENCE
  54.  ECSTASY OF THE MIND AND HEART
  55.  A VIEW OF SELF
  56.  STATE OF A SOUL IN UNION WITH GOD
  57.  STATE OF REST IN GOD
  58.  GREAT HUMILIATIONS
  59.  REPOSE OF THE SOUL IN GOD
  60.  POWER OF CASTING OUT DEVILS
  61.  STATE OF A SOUL RE-UNITED TO GOD
  62.  CONCISE VIEW OF THE INTERIOR WAY


  SELECTIONS FROM HER POETRY.

  63.  A LITTLE BIRD I AM
  64.  GOD EVERYWHERE



LETTERS OF MADAM GUYON.


REIGN OF CHRIST IN THE HEART.

I have read your letter, my dear brother, with great pleasure.  It is
my highest happiness to see the reign of Jesus Christ extending itself
in the hearts of God's people.  An external religion has too much
usurped the place of the religion of the heart.  The ancient
saints--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Enoch, Job--lived interiorly with God.
The reign of Christ on earth is nothing more nor less than the
subjection of the whole soul to himself.  Alas! the world are opposed
to this reign.  Many pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in
Heaven," but they are unwilling to be crucified to the world, and to
their sinful lusts.  God designs to bring his children, naturally
rebellious, through the desert of crucifixions--through the temptations
in the wilderness, into the promised land.  But how many rebel, and
choose rather to be bond-slaves in Egypt, than suffer the reductions of
their sensual appetite.

Since Jesus Christ appeared on earth, there is a general belief that
the kingdoms of this world will ultimately be subject to his dominion.
But we may ask, who hastens his coming, by now yielding up his own
heart to his entire control?

Our Lord imposed no rigorous ceremonies on his disciples.  He taught
them to enter into the closet; to retire within the heart; to speak but
few words; to open their hearts, to receive the descent of the Holy
Spirit.

The holy Sabbath has not only an external, but a deeply spiritual
meaning.  It symbolises the rest of the holy soul, in union with God.
Oh! that all Christians might know the coming of Jesus Christ in the
soul!  Might live in God, and God in them!

God alone knows how much I love you.



TURN FROM SELF TO CHRIST

You are not forgotten, my dear E.  God has engraven you on my heart.
If you have not consented to the thoughts that have crossed your mind,
do not be afflicted on account of them.  The examination and dwelling
upon these thoughts, brings them again to life.  Be on your guard
against everything that entangles you in self.  God is a Father who
bears with the innocent faults of his children, and wipes away the
stains they have contracted.  The greatest wrong you can do to God is
to doubt his love.  He regards the simplicity and purity of the
intention.  It is right to cherish great self-distrust, to realise your
weakness and helplessness; but do not stop here.  Confide as much more
in God, as you hope less from yourself.

Do not afflict yourself, because you do not at all times realise a
_sensible_ confidence in God, and other consoling, happy states.  Walk
by faith, and not by sight, or positive perception of the good you
crave.  Let us, my dear E., be closely united, and walk together; not
according to the way we might choose, but according to the way God
chooses for us.

I love you tenderly.



ASSURANCE.

Notwithstanding all that is said to me, my dear M., in opposition to my
state, I cannot have one doubt of its reality.  There is within me an
inward testimony to the truth; so deep, that all the world could not
shake it.  It is the work of God upon my heart, and partakes of his own
immutability.  It seems to me that all the difficulties of theologians
concerning this state, arise from viewing it, not in the light of
divine truth and power, but in the light of the creature.  It is true,
the creature, in itself, is only weakness and sin; but when it pleases
God to new-create the soul, and make it one with himself, it is then
transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Who will dare limit the power of God?  Who will say that God, whose
love is infinite as it is free, cannot give such proofs of love as he
pleases, to his creatures?  Has he not the right to love me as he does?
Yes, he loves me, and his love is _infinite_.  I do not doubt it.  And
he loves you, too, dear M., in the same manner.  This is eternal love
manifested,--the heart of God drawn out,--_expressed_ towards his
creature.

In this state, we understand the mutual secrets of the Lover and the
beloved.  Who will so deny the truth of the Lord, as to question this?
When I hold my beloved in my arms, in vain does one assert, "It is not
so,--I am deceived."  I smile inwardly and say, "_My beloved is mine
and I am his!_"  "If we receive the witness of men, how much greater is
the witness of God?"



HUMILITY THE EFFECT OF LOVE.

I assure you, you are very dear to me.  I rejoice very much in the
progress of your soul.  When I speak of progress, it is in descending,
not in mounting.  As when we charge a vessel, the more ballast we put
in, the lower it sinks, so the more love we have in the soul, the lower
we are abased in self.  The side of the scales which is elevated, is
empty; so the soul is elated only when it is void of love.  "Love is
our weight," says St. Augustine.  Let us so charge ourselves with the
weight of love, as to bring down self to its just level.  Let its
depths be manifested by our readiness to bear the cross, the
humiliations, the sufferings, which are necessary to the purification
of the soul.  Our humiliation is our exaltation.  "Whosoever is least
among you shall be the greatest," says our Lord.

I love you, my dear child, in the love of the Divine Master, who so
abased himself by love!  Oh! what a weight is love, since it caused so
astonishing a fall, from heaven to earth,--from God to man!  There is a
beautiful passage in the Imitation of Christ, "Love to be unknown."
Let us die to all but God.



DIVINE COMMUNICATIONS.

God communicates himself to pure souls, and blesses, through them,
other souls, who are in a state of receptivity.  All these little
rills, which water others, little compared with the fountain from which
they flow, have no determinate choice of their own, but are governed by
the will of their Lord and Master.  The nature of God is communicative.
God would cease to be God if he should cease to communicate himself, by
love, to the pure soul.  As the air rushes to a vacuum, so God fills
the soul emptied of self.

The seven blessed spirits around the throne, are those angels who
approach nearest to God, and to whom he communicates himself the most
abundantly.  St. John, perhaps, was better prepared than any of the
apostles to receive the Word, incarnate, dwelling in the soul.

On the bosom of Jesus,--in close affinity with him,--John learned the
heights and depths of divine love.  It was on this account our Lord
said to his mother, "seeing the disciple stand by whom he loved, Woman
behold thy Son."  He knew the loving heart of John would give her a
place in his own home.

God communicates himself to us in proportion as we are prepared to
receive him.  And in proportion as he diffuses himself in us, we are
transformed in him, and bear his image.  O, the astonishing depths of
God's love! giving _himself_ to souls disappropriated of self, becoming
their end, and their final principle, their fulness, and their all.



JOY IN PERSECUTIONS.

I am very grateful to you, my dear sir, for your sympathy in my
apparent ills.  God has not permitted that I should consider them
otherwise than blessings.  I trust what appears to destroy the truth
will, in the end, establish it.  Those who maintain the inward reign of
the Holy Spirit will yet suffer many persecutions.  There is nothing of
any value but the love of God, and the accomplishment of his will.
This is pure and substantial happiness.  This joy no man taketh from us.

It is my only desire to abandon myself into the hands of God, without
scruples, without fears, without any agitating thoughts.

Since I am there, O Lord, how can I be otherwise than happy?  When
divine Love has enfranchised the soul, what power can fetter it?  How
small the world appears to a heart that God fills with himself!  I love
thee, my Lord, not only with a sovereign love, but it seems to me I
love thee alone, and all creatures only for thy sake.  Thou art so much
the soul of my soul, and the life of my life, that I have no other life
than thine.  Let all the world forsake me; my Lord, my Lover lives, and
I live in him.  This is the deep abyss where I hide myself in these
many persecutions.  O, abandonment! blessed abandonment!  Happy the
soul who lives no more in itself, but in God.  What can separate my
soul from God?  Surely, none can pluck me from my Father's hands.  All
is well, when the soul is in union with him.



LIBERTY IN CHRIST.

"If the Son make ye free, ye shall be free indeed."  When the man of
sin is destroyed, and the new man established in the soul, it finds
itself in perfect liberty.  As a bird let loose from its cage, the soul
goes forth, unfettered, to dwell in the immensity of God.  The natural
selfish life restricts the soul at every point; and even God, the great
_I am_, is unseen, or deprived of his glory.

When Paul asked, "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" he
added, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."  That is, when by
the grace of God, the new man is established in my soul, I shall be
delivered.  And, subsequently, when deliverance came, he cried out in
transport, "I live, and yet not I.  Christ liveth in me!"  He was now
no more occupied of himself, but let Jesus Christ live and act in him;
he was animated by him, as the body is of the soul.  If another soul
animated our body, the body would obey this new soul; it would become
the moving-spring of its operations.  Thus Jesus Christ becomes the
life of the new man.  And what can be more free, more enlarged, than
the soul of Jesus?  His nature is divine, eternal, boundless.  Alas! to
what a narrow point does self reduce us!  Who that looks at the freedom
and expansion of the soul, as it puts on the new man, Christ Jesus,
will not crush the reptile self to the dust, that the life of God may
again, as in its first creation, animate the soul?

This liberty is as the eagles' wings, of which the prophet speaks,
which carries the soul on high.  The dove that lighted on Jesus, was an
emblem, not only of innocence, but of freedom,--of liberty of spirit to
soar and dwell in God.  May it please God to give you an experience of
this liberty.  Quit self, and you will find the freedom and enlargement
of the All in All.



MELANCHOLY AVOIDED.

I assure you, my dear M., I sympathize deeply in your sufferings; but I
entreat you, give no place to despondency.  This is a dangerous
temptation,--a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary.
Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to
receive the impressions of grace.  It magnifies and gives a false
coloring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear.
Your ill-health and the little consolation you have from friends, help
to nourish this state.  God's designs, regarding you, and his methods
of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise.

There are two methods of serving little children.  One is, to give them
all they want for present pleasure.  Another is, to deny them present
pleasure for greater good.  God is a wise Father, and chooses the best
way to conduct his children.

A sad exterior is more sure to repel than attract to piety.  It is
necessary to serve God, with a certain joyousness of spirit, with a
freedom and openness, which renders it manifest that his yoke is easy;
that it is neither a burden nor inconvenience.

If you would please God, be useful to others, and happy yourself, you
must renounce this melancholy disposition.  It is better to divert your
mind with innocent recreations, than to nourish melancholy.  When I was
a little child, a nephew of my father's, a very godly man, who ended
his days by martyrdom, said to me, "It is better to cherish a desire to
please God, than a fear of displeasing him."  Let the desire to please
God, and honor him, by an exterior all sweet, all humble, all cordial
and cheerful, arouse and animate your spirit: For this I pray.  Ever
yours.



GOD'S CARE OF THE SOUL COMMITTED TO HIM.

O, that you could realize, my dear friend, how much God loves you.  As
a painter draws upon his canvas what image pleases him, so God is now
preparing your soul, by these inward crucifixions, to draw upon it his
own likeness, He cherishes you as the mother her only son.  He would
have you yield readily to his will, even as the branches of the tree
are moved by the light breath of the wind.  In proportion to your
abandonment to God, he will take care of you.  When you yield readily
to his will, you will be less embarrassed to discern the movements of
God.  You will follow them naturally, and be led, as it were, by the
providencies of God.  God will gently arrest you if you mistake.  God
has the same right to incline and move the heart as to possess it.
When the soul is perfectly yielding, it loses all its own consistency,
so to speak, in order to take any moment the shape that God gives it;
as water takes all the form of the vases in which it is put, and also
all the colors.  Let there be no longer any resistance in your mind,
and your heart will soon mingle in the ocean of love; you will float
easily, and be at rest.



POWER OF THE ADVERSARY.

I am deeply afflicted that so many, at the present day, and even some
good persons, allow themselves to be openly seduced by the Evil One.
Has not our Lord warned us against "false prophets, and the lying
wonders of the _last days_?"  All true prophets have spoken in the name
of the Lord--"_Thus saith the Lord._"  Nothing gives the enemy greater
advantage than the love of extraordinary manifestations.  I believe
these external movements are a device of the evil one, to draw away
souls from the Word of God, and from the interior tranquil way of faith.

The tendency of all communications from God, is to make the soul die to
self.  An eminent saint remarks, that she had often experienced
illuminations from the angel of darkness, more pleasing, more enticing,
than those that came from God.  Those delusory manifestations, however,
leave the soul in a disturbed state, while those that come from God
humble, tranquilise and establish the soul in Him.  The most dangerous
seductions are those, which assume the garb of religion and have the
semblance of truth.

Elias appeared alone among four hundred prophets of Baal.  These
prophets were much agitated, attracting great attention, "crying
aloud," etc.

When Elias was told by the angel, that he would see the Lord in Mount
Horeb, he _hid himself_ in a cave.  He saw a great trembling of the
earth.  God was not there.  There came a great whirlwind.  God was not
there.  Then there came a little zephyr.  _God was in the still small
voice_.

The only true and safe revelation, is the internal revelation of the
Lord Jesus Christ in the soul.  "My sheep hear my voice."  This
involves no disturbance of our freedom, of the natural operations of
the mind; but produces a beautiful harmonious action of all the powers
of the soul.  I beseech you, my friend, in the name of the Lord, to
separate yourself from all these delusions of the adversary.



UNCTION OF GRACE.

Friday morning, the 15th, I suffered very much, on account of _the
individual_, whom you know.  It seemed to me, that God wished that _the
all of self_ in him should be destroyed.  I perceived, that although
the troths be uttered, proceeded from the inward work of the spirit
upon his heart, his reasoning faculty operated so powerfully, without
his perceiving it, that the effect of these truths was in some degree
lost.  Souls are won more by the unction of grace--by the weapons of
love--than by the power of argument.

Are not the truths you utter, my friend, too much elaborated by the
intellect, and polished by the imagination?  Their effect seems to be
lost, for want of simplicity and directness.  They fall pleasantly on
the ear, as a lovely song, but do not reach and move the heart.  There
is a lack of unction.  Are you not always laboring for something new
and original, thus exhibiting your own powers of mind, rather than the
simple truth?

Receive this suggestion, and light will be given you upon it.  Do I
speak too plainly?  To speak the truth, and the truth only, is all I
desire.  I have this morning prayed, rather to be taken out of the
world, than to disguise the truth.  I have proclaimed it, in its
purity, in the great Congregation, and it will be seen that Thou, O
Lord, hast distilled it in my heart; or rather, O Sovereign Truth, that
Thou art there thyself, to manifest thyself plainly, and that Thou dost
make use of weak things to confound the strong.  God is truth and love.
In Him yours.



SPIRITUAL ONENESS.

My union with you, my dear child, is steadily increasing.  I bear you
in my heart with a deep and absorbing interest, and seem anxious to
communicate to you the abundant grace poured into my own soul.  How
close, how dear is the union of souls, made one in Christ!  Our Savior
beautifully expressed it, when he said, "Whosoever shall do the will of
my Father, the same is my mother, sister and brother."  There is no
union more pure, more strong, than the union of souls in Christ!  In
this manner, pure as delightful, the saints in Heaven possess each
other in God;--a union which does not interrupt the possession of God,
although it is distinct from God.

Let your soul have within it, a continual _Yes_.  When the heart is in
union with God, there is no _Nay_,--it is _Yes, be it so_, which
reverberates through the soul.  This _Yes_, this suppleness, renders
the heart agreeable to the heart of the Spouse.  It was thus with Mary,
the mother of our Lord, when the angel messenger came to her, she
replied, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to
thy word."  It was thus with the child-like soul of Samuel, when he
said, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."  It was thus with our
divine Lord, "Lo, I come to do thy will."

Yours in the fellowship of the Saints.



VICISSITUDES IN EXPERIENCE.

As the outgoings of life proceed from the living man, while we live in
ourselves, we have a strong will and eager desires, and many
fluctuating states.  But in proportion as our will passes into the will
of God, the desires which are the offspring of the will, are
subjugated, and the soul is reduced to unity in God.

As the soul advances in the life of God, its natural or selfish
movements decrease; and it depends less on mere emotional exercises,
and there is really less _variation_ of the emotions.

Rest assured, it is the same God who causes the scarcity and the
abundance, the rain and the fair weather.  The high and low states, the
peaceful and the state of warfare, are each good in their season.
These vicissitudes form and mature the interior, as the different
seasons compose the year.  Each change in your inward experience, or
external condition, is a new test, by which to try your faith and love;
and will be a help towards perfecting your soul, if you receive it with
love and submission.

Leave yourself therefore in the hands of Love.  Love is always the
same, although it causes you often to change your position.  He who
prefers one state to another, who loves abundance more than scarcity,
when God orders otherwise, loves the gifts of God more than God himself.

God loves you; let this thought equalise all states.  Let him do with
us as with the waves of the sea, and whether he takes us to his bosom,
or casts us upon the sand, that is, leaves us to our own barrenness,
all is well.

For myself, I am pleased with all the Lord orders for me.  I hold
myself ready to suffer, not only imprisonment but death; perils
everywhere--perils on the land--perils on the sea--among false
brethren; all is good in Him, to whom I am united forever.



PATIENCE WITH THE FAULTS OF OTHERS.

I love you very much, my dear M.  If my love could be of any avail, it
would console you, for I feel a greater tenderness and sympathy for
you, than I am able to express.  I am more certain than ever, that God
designs you for himself.  Live exteriorly with N., as being entirely
reconciled.  Make not too much account of his coldness, his passionate
temper, his contempt.  It is not by these you are to regulate your
conduct, but by a motive more elevated--God and his glory.  Let your
heart endure his bitterness, for the love of Him, who preferred grief
to pleasure.  At the same time, do no violence to your own sacred
feelings, to accommodate yourself to him, in order to give him a
pleasure he cannot appreciate.  Regard your present condition, as a
means God has given you, to manifest your love to himself, by a
willingness to sacrifice yourself.  Reject not this cross, shall I not
rather say _crown_, and let all be accomplished between God and your
soul, in such a quiet manner, that the struggle with your own feelings
will not be perceived.

While you are bearing this daily cross--this real crucifixion--I am
certain God will sustain you, from the fulness of his love.  All is
alike good, when God is with us.  I love you tenderly.  God loves you;
let this make amends for all.  In Him devotedly yours.



HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE MOVEMENTS OF GOD.

You enquire, how one who desires to follow the movements of God's
spirit, may distinguish these movements, from the natural operations of
the mind.  There is not, at all times, a positive certainty regarding
divine movements.  If it were so, we should become infallible as the
angels; that is, if we were as pure in our intentions.  We must walk
with God, in entire abandonment and uncertainty, at the risk of
sometimes making mistakes, which in the infancy of experience is
unavoidable.  He who wishes for a particular inspiration, or direction
in common matters, which his own reason and judgment can determine, is
liable to deception.

A pure soul acts in simplicity, and without certainty, being persuaded
that what is good comes from God, and what is not good from self.  The
greater the simplicity,--the more separate from the mingling of
self-activity--the purer are these operations; because the soul in this
state is only a simple instrument, that the Word, which is in her,
moves, so that it is the Word which speaks and not herself.  This
manner of speaking, relates to matters of importance, and not to the
minute concerns of every-day life.  The divine Word, _in all
exigencies_, is found in the soul, that is wholly consecrated to
Christ.  "When they bring you before magistrates and kings, etc., it
shall be given you in _that hour_ what ye shall speak."  This method of
divine leading--by the hour and by the moment--leaves the soul always
free and unencumbered, and ready for the slightest breath of the Lord.
This breath, in the pure soul, is as the gentle zephyr, and not as the
whirlwind, which shakes the earth.  Do not then expect to have
anticipated movements, or movements beforehand from God.  I have an
experience of many years, that God often makes known his will, only in
the time of action.

If a pure soul, wholly sacrificed to God, should undertake something
contrary to the will of God, it would feel a slight repugnance, and
desist at once.  If one does not feel this repugnance, let the act be
performed in simplicity.  A mother who holds her child by a
leading-string, loosens it, that it may walk; but if about to make a
mis-step, she draws the string.  The repugnance which a holy soul feels
to do a thing, is as when the mother draws the leading-string.



STATE OF SIMPLICITY.

I experienced recently, a marked perception of your state, as one in
which God took delight, and upon which he had infinite designs,
regarding himself and his glory.  I saw clearly the state to which God
desired to bring you--the means to be used, and the obstacles in the
way--the mutual sympathy and confidence he required between us--and the
openness and freedom of communication necessary for our mutual benefit,
and that we should not hesitate to speak freely of each other's faults.

The peculiarity you remark in my experience, needs some explanation.
You say I do not seem to be wounded, nor blame myself when reproved for
a fault.  To which I reply simply, there is no more of self remaining
in me to be wounded.  This indifferent state you notice in me, arises
from the state of innocency and infancy in which I find myself.  Our
Lord holds me so far removed from myself, or from my natural state,
that it is impossible for me to take a painful view of myself.  When a
fault is committed by me, it leaves no traces on the soul; it is as
something external, which is easily removed.  Do not infer that I am
blind to my faults.  The light of truth is so subtle and penetrating,
that it discovers the slightest fault.  Souls which are in the natural
life, have real faults, as a paper written over with ink is strongly
marked, therefore they see and feel them.  But souls, transformed into
God, have faults, as a writing traced on sand when the wind is high,
the wind defacing it as soon as it is traced.  This is the economy of
divine wisdom, relating to souls in union and harmony with God.  Oh!
the greatness and simplicity of the way of Truth!  How unlike the
world's apprehension of it!



QUENCHING THE SPIRIT.

Desiring to follow closely the divine leading, I expressed to you the
other day, some sentiments you were not able to receive.  I perceived
at once, that on account of your resistance, I could say no more.  From
this experience, although painful as regards yourself, I learnt the
extreme delicacy of the spirit that seeks to aid others; and the
strength of man's freedom to oppose this operation.  I realized, also,
my inability to act of myself; for, as soon as the spirit in me was
silent, I had nothing to say.  I had, however, the extreme satisfaction
of knowing, that this good spirit alone conducted me; and that I would
not, in the least degree, add, nor diminish from its operations.

It was from a knowledge, gained by experience, of the extreme delicacy
and purity of this divine spirit, that I remarked to you, the other
day, that if you did not receive the instructions I then imparted, I
should have nothing farther to communicate to you.  O, how pure and how
unlike the impetuous operation of man's spirit, is this operation of
God!



SUFFER THE CRUCIFIXIONS AND REDUCTIONS OF SELF.

All the graces of the Christian, spring from the death of self.  Let
us, then, bear patiently the afflictions, which reduce this overflowing
life.  There is a suffering in connection with confusions and
uncertainties, very trying to bear.  Unbounded patience is necessary,
to bear not only with ourselves, but with others, whose various tempers
and dispositions are not congenial with our own.  "Offences,"--wounds
of spirit will occur while we live in the flesh.  These offences must
be borne in silence, and thus subjugated and controlled by the spirit
of grace.  By a law of our nature, we feel, more or less, the influence
of the spheres in which we move.

While we honor, we think, the true cross, the affliction that comes
from God, let us remember, that these instruments, so disagreeable, are
the true cross that providence daily furnishes us.

Do not sully the cross and mar its operations, by your murmurs and
reflections.  Let us welcome any trials, that teach us what we are, and
lead us to renounce ourselves and find our all in God.

Jesus Christ says, "He who renounces not all that he hath, cannot be my
disciple."  Of all possessions, that of ourselves is the most dangerous.

Please present my cordial regards to your brother.  I sympathize deeply
in his misfortunes.  I use this expression, in conformity to common
usage, but it does not express the sentiments of my heart.  I am
convinced that the loss of wealth, worldly honor, persecutions, are the
best instruments to unite us to Jesus Christ.  All evils, or apparent
evils, are great blessings when they unite us to our All in All.  I
pray God, to sustain him.  His sufferings only increase my sympathy and
love for him in our Lord.  My health is still feeble, but all is well
in the depths of my heart.  God is there.



REPROVE IN LOVE.

It is important to use great care and sweetness in reproving others.
Reprove only when alone with the person, and take not your own time,
but the moment of God.  As we are not free from faults ourselves, we
must not expect too much from others.  Be yourself very humble and
child-like, and this character will act sympathetically on others.
Jesus Christ was full of sweetness and charity.  How patiently did he
bear with his imperfect disciples, even with Judas, without anger,
without bitterness, and even without coldness.

How lowly was Jesus!  He "did not break the bruised reed."  He imparts
to his little ones no tyrannic power.  They use no violence in dealing
with souls, but say with John, "Behold the _Lamb of God_, who taketh
away the sins of the world." Our Lord, "rejoiced in spirit," in an
unusual manner, such as we find nowhere else in Scripture, when he
said, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou
hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto
_babes_."  How happy are we in the presence of a little child; how much
at ease!  It imposes on us no burden of restraint, of fear, of
management!  It is in this childlike disposition of meekness, of
sweetness, of innocency, that we should seek to benefit others.

In the love of Jesus, yours.



SILENT OPERATION OF GRACE.

I perceive, by your letter, you are in doubt about the grace which
passes interiorly from heart to heart.  We notice an illustration of
this in the woman who touched our Lord, when he said: "I perceive that
virtue is gone out of me."  In a similar manner, without words, one
heart may communicate grace to another heart, as God imparts grace to
the soul.  But if the soul is not in a state to receive it, the grace
of the interior is not communicated, as is expressed in another
passage; "If they are not children of peace, your peace will return to
you again."  This illustrates, according to my view, pure interior
communications of the grace of God, from heart to heart, which the soul
relishes in silence, and which silence is often more efficacious than a
multitude of words.

At our last interviews I had an inclination for silence, but finding in
you an aversion to silent communion, I entered into conversation, but
without any interior correspondence on my part, and, evidently, without
any benefit to you.  God would teach you, my dear child, there is a
silence of the soul through which he operates, filling it with the
unction of grace, to be diffused on other hearts who are in a state of
receptivity, often more efficacious than words to replenish the soul.

We find this still harmonious action in nature.  The sun, the moon, and
stars, shine in silence.  The voice of God is heard in the silence of
the soul.  The operation of grace is in silence, as it comes from God,
and may it not reach and pass from soul to soul without the noise of
words?  O, that all Christians knew what if means to _keep silence_
before the Lord!



LIMIT NOT YOUR SPHERE.

Let me urge you, my child, to enlarge your heart; or, rather, suffer it
to become enlarged by grace.  This contraction shuts you up in
yourself, and hinders an agreeable openness which we should ever
maintain, even towards those who have no particular affinity with
ourselves.  An open, frank exterior wins confidence.  Let it not
appear, that you have so much relish for yourself, as not to think of
others.  What seems to us a virtue is sometimes regarded by God as a
fault; and which we shall so perceive, when we have clearer light.

You seem to mark out for yourself a certain sphere, and if you go
beyond it, you think you do yourself an injury.  Thus, while you have
an apparent movement, you are only describing a circle, whose centre
and circumference is self.  I entreat you, pass beyond the narrow
bounds of self;--suffer yourself to be led out of self into the will
and way of God.  Thus you will be much more happy and useful.  If I
loved you less, I should be less severe.

Let God be the sovereign Master over our hearts, and instruct, and
reprove, and operate in us, by himself, or through others, as pleases
him.

Adieu.  God bless you, my child.



SECRET OF DIVINE OPERATIONS UPON THE SOUL.

Do not suppose, Dear Sir, that you are to be purified by great trials
and extraordinary events.  All is accomplished in you by the suppleness
of your will,--by the state of infancy.  It must be so on account of
the pride of your natural reason.  God conducts the soul in a way
opposed to human philosophy.  Hence the necessity of being reduced to
the state of infancy, and to the subjection of the will.  What we call
the _death_ of the _will_, is the passage of our will into the will of
God.  This change implies not only a change in externals, but the
inward subjection of the desires and sentiments of the heart.  Here
most persons, who commence the religious life, stop short.  They cannot
submit to the interior crucifixion, which lays prostrate the whole of
the natural carnal life, and consequently there follows a mingling of
the spirit of the flesh with grace, and it is this which produces such
monsters in the religious world.  Do we not read in Scripture, that in
consequence of the alliance of the sons of God with the daughters of
men, giants were born, who so filled the earth with wickedness, they
drew down a deluge of wrath upon the world?  It is from this abominable
alliance of the flesh with the spirit, that all those who appear in the
world, as "mighty men, men of renown," are produced and sustained.  One
may be full of the natural life, while apparently dead to the external
things of the world.  Thus they are dead to inferior things, and alive
in the most essential points--dead in name, but not in reality.

By an authority as gentle as efficacious, God accomplishes his will in
us, when we have surrendered our souls to him.  The consent we give to
his operations, and our relish of them, is sweet and sustaining, in
proportion to the perfection of our abandonment.  God does not arrest
the soul with violence.  He adjusts all things in such a manner, that
we follow him happily, even across dangerous precipices.  So good is
this Divine Master, so well does he understand the methods of
conducting the soul, that it runs after him, and makes haste to walk in
the path he orders.

Suppleness of soul is, therefore, of vital consequence to its progress.
It is the work of God to effect this.  Happy are the souls, who yield
to his discipline.  God renders the soul, in the commencement, supple
to follow illuminated reason; afterwards to follow the way of faith.
He then conducts the soul by unknown steps, causing it to enter into
the wisdom of Jesus Christ which is so different from all its former
experience, that without the testimony of divine filiation, which
remains in the soul in a manner hidden, and the ease and liberty the
soul finds in this unknown way, it would consider itself as being
separated continually from God, being left, as it were, to act of
itself.  Human wisdom being here lost, and the powers of the soul
controlled by the wisdom of Jesus Christ, born in the soul, it
increases in its proportions, even unto the stature of a perfect man in
Christ Jesus.

The soul, having now passed into God, is in its proper place, and will
be happy, provided it remains fixed and separate from its former manner
of acting.

Reason may at times oppose with all its strength, and cause some fears,
some hesitations; but, being fixed in God, it is impossible for the
soul to change its course; and, after the experience of many useless
sufferings, having their origin in self, it suffers itself to be drawn
in the current of love.  There is now no more of violence to nature.
The soul is in its natural state.  The ease and naturalness of this
state causes, at times, some fear, some anxiety.  It is as much the
nature of man, originally, and in his new creation in the likeness of
Christ, to be in God, and to be there in perfect enlargement,
simplicity, and innocence, as it is the nature of water to flow in its
channel.  When man is as he should be, his state is one of infinite
ease and without limitations, because he is created sovereign, or
master of himself, and cannot be subjected by anything created,
although he is subjected to God, if that may be called subjection,
which brings the soul into affinity with God, and makes it partaker of
his nature.

Be therefore persuaded, that God uses no violence in dealing with the
soul.  This commotion in the soul, arises from the resistance of man's
will to divine operations.  When the soul is disenfranchised of all
that is opposed to the will of God; when it is not arrested either by
desires or repugnancies, it runs without stopping or weariness in the
way.  This is what is called death,--death to self; but the soul was
never so much alive; it now lives the true life, the life of God.

When the soul becomes one with God by the loss of its own will and
life, it has purposes, and it is important to follow them; but they are
purposes in God, and have in them nothing of self.  All that has
rapport to self is no more, and God is all.  Being passed into God, the
soul is changed and transformed in him.  This is what the mystics call
_Resurrection_.  But the word used in this way, does not bear its usual
signification.  To resuscitate is to revive the former life.  But in
this case, the will, or natural life is consumed, and gives place to
the will or life of God.  Thus the Holy Spirit operates effectively in
the soul, transforming it into the likeness of the Son of God.

Now the soul participates in the qualities of God, one of which
qualities, is that of communicating itself to other souls.  Or rather,
it is as a stream, which, being lost in a large river, follows the
course of the river, communicating itself where the river communicates,
watering where it waters, drawing into itself all the smaller rivers,
which are destined alike to lose themselves in the great ocean of Love.
These streams have no independent life, but proceed from, and flow back
into their origin.  Here is the consummation of souls in oneness, as
Jesus Christ has expressed it,--"_One in us_."

There is divine reality in this truth.  Blessed are those who
comprehend it!  How many walk side by side along these rivers, and yet
never mingle their waters!  And many there are, also, who haste with
eagerness, to precipitate themselves into this divine stream, and flow
together, as the souls of the celestial ones, in the fulness of divine
love.

This is not a chimera of the fancy; it is the wonderful economy of
divinity.  It is the end and object of the creation of the soul--the
end and compass of all the efforts of God, regarding his creatures.
Here is consummated all the glory, God derives from their existence.
All beside are only the means approaching this final end, this glorious
termination, and absorption of the soul in Deity.  Here is the light
which ravishes the soul.  A light which does not precede, but follows
the soul in its progress; unfolding more and more, as a man in a dark
cavern, discovers the concealed places, only when he has remained in it
for some time.

This is the pure Theology in which God instructs the angels and the
saints.  It is the Theology of Experience, that God teaches only to his
children, who having abandoned their own wisdom, he has himself become
their wisdom and their life.  This is the law of wisdom, my friend, for
us,--the way of the Lord in us.  In him we are one.



NO UNION WITH SELFISH SOULS.

There are some souls which cause me great suffering.  These are selfish
souls, full of compromises, speculations and human arrangements, and
desiring others to accommodate themselves to their humors and
inclinations.  I find myself unable to administer in the least degree
to their self-love; and when I would be a little complaisant, a Master,
more powerful than myself, restrains me.  I cannot give such persons
any other place in my heart, than God gives them.  I cannot adapt
myself to their superficial state, neither respond to their professions
of friendship; these are very repulsive to my feelings.

The love which dwells in my heart, is not a natural love, but arises
from a depth which rejects, what is not in correspondence with it, or
rather what is not in unison with the heart of God.  I cannot be with a
child without caressing it, nor with a child-like soul without a tender
attachment.  I do not regard the exterior, but the state of the soul;
its affinity and oneness with God.  The only perfect union, is the
union of souls in God; such as exists in heaven, and on earth after the
resurrection, life takes effect in the soul.



NEVER YIELD TO DISCOURAGEMENT.

Do not be disheartened, my friend, on account of your slow progress.  A
long martyrdom is sometimes necessary, in order to purify our souls
from the concealed faults of self-love--faults interwoven in our
nature, and strengthened by long indulgence.  As you cannot control at
once the agitations of nature, arm yourself with patience, to
accomplish the task little by little; not in the way of direct effort,
but rather by ceasing from effort, remaining quiet, permitting neither
gestures nor words to betray your feelings.

Could we enter into the highest state of grace, as we enter into a
room, it might be easily accomplished.  But alas! the door is straight,
and there are many deaths to pass; in a word, death to self.  It is
this long martyrdom, or dying of the old man of sin, which causes all
the pains of the interior life.  It is rare to find persons, who are
willing to die entirely to self, and therefore few reach the highest
state of grace.

Have good courage.  It is a great work to draw a large ship from her
moorings, but when she is in the waters, how easily she rolls!  What
happiness, when by perseverance, you have triumphed over nature, to
find yourself in the abundant waters of grace!  I pray God to put his
own hand to the work.  He will.

In Him, devotedly yours.



WEAKNESS AND IMPERFECTION.

I reciprocate your friendship, madam, with all my heart.  Our divine
Master knows how happy I am to serve you in any possible way.  Oh!
madam, it is better to be feeble, when God leaves us in our weakness,
than to have a strength which is our own.  I once thought, that the
pure soul was free from all faults, but I now see otherwise.  God
clothes his children with frailties, that they may be humble in their
own eyes, and be concealed from the eyes of the world.  The Tabernacle
was covered with the skins of the beasts, while the Temple of Herod was
ornamented with gold.  Let us not afflict ourselves on account of our
littleness and infirmities, since God so orders it, but become as
little children.  When a little child falls, it cannot raise itself,
but lets another do for it all that it needs.

It does not depend on ourselves to make the presence of God more or
less sensible.  Let the desire for a lively sense of this presence, be
crucified to the will of God.  Take what is given you.  Be as the
little child, who eats and sleeps and grows.  God gives you the best
nourishment, although not always the sweetest to the taste.  Adieu! my
heart sympathises with you.



ADVANCEMENT.

During the process of the soul's purification and advancement, it loses
sight not only of itself, but of all things else; except God; and even
of the distinct apprehension of our Lord, in his humanity.  That is,
there are no longer distinct, bounded views and perceptions of Christ,
the soul becoming identical with Christ.  This is necessary in order to
draw the soul into oneness with God.  Let all go in the divine order.
When the soul has returned to its end and origin, and is lost in God,
it finds all it lost, without going out from God.

When the soul is yet in itself, it draws all things to itself, and sees
God and all creatures in itself.  But when the soul is in oneness with
God, it carries all creatures with it in God, and sees nothing separate
from God.  Seeing all in God, it sees all things in the true light, as
with the eye of God.  This is what David calls, "Seeing light in thy
light."

May God give you understanding of what I say, and docility and
acquiescence in the truths, which he causes to penetrate your soul.  I
make no reserves, but express freely all my thoughts.  The least
reserve for self, is as a strong breath against a mirror, it obstructs
the view of God.  My soul, it seems to me, is clear and transparent,
reflecting only what the Master presents; and the execution of his will
renders the soul always increasingly pure and transparent.  May God be
all in all to you.



GREATNESS OF SPIRITUAL POVERTY.

Do not measure yourself by others, who may not be led as you are.  God
chooses to enrich some souls with brilliant gifts, but he has chosen
you, stripped of all, in the depths of spiritual poverty.  This is the
perfect self-renouncement, without which, one cannot be the disciple of
the Lord Jesus.  All other states, however elevated they may be, are
inferior to this pure, naked state of the soul.  It is a state, which
despoils the lover of all he possesses in favor of his Beloved.  It is
a state in which the soul is shielded from all inroads of the enemy;
who can reach only what remains of self in the creature, and not what
is enclosed in God.

God has chosen you for himself alone.  You are the sanctuary, which is
open only to the high priest, in which is contained the ark of the
covenant--the essential, will of God--the sacred place, encompassed by
the clouds, where the glory of God appears.  Oh! blessed poverty of
spirit, in which state the soul is enriched with the best gifts a God
can bestow!

Measure not your advancement by relation to the road passed over, but
by rapport to the end.  There yet remains a great road to pass over,
since God himself is the way.

The more fully you enter into his designs, the more I love you.



ASSISTANCE RENDERED BY ONE SOUL TO ANOTHER.

The interest I feel in your spiritual welfare, my dear F., is very
great--so deeply absorbing, that I slept but little during the past
night, presenting you in prayer before our Lord.  I have an inward
conviction, that God is enriching your heart by my humble
instrumentality; thus, while he elevates you on one side, he debases
you on the other, by communicating his grace through so unworthy a
channel as myself.  The Spirit has revealed to me your state, when I
have received no intelligence from you.  God has thus ordered it, for
his own glory; and when many years hence, this method of God's
operations will be better known--the assistance rendered by one soul to
another, without the mediation of the body--the use he has made of this
feeble instrument to communicate to you his grace, will serve to
substantiate this divine truth and heavenly mode of operation.

There is therefore for you, a means of interior advancement, which no
distance of place can interrupt.  It will be only from lack of
correspondence on your part, that it will be diverted.  God desires it,
at least for a time, until your soul is entirely in union with himself.
This method of communication is only a superior fountain discharging
itself into another; or, as two rivers bearing each other to the same
sea.

Receive then this poor heart in the fulness of Christ's love, and
believe me, no one can be more fully united to you than I am.



SIMPLICITY AND POWER OF THE WORD.

You enquire, my friend, why I do not use obscure terms and
extraordinary expressions, in explaining the Scriptures.  My Lord
teaches me, that while there are no writings so profound as the
Gospels, there are none so simple.  And further, that simplicity of
soul gives simplicity of expression.  When we speak of a state beyond
our experience, we do so with difficulty, and have recourse to learning
to aid us, and use forced expressions.

In the natural, simple expressions of Scripture, there are deep
sentiments, adapted to the wants of each soul--to those less and more
advanced.

The word of God enters the centre of the soul; it has a penetrating
quality; an operative efficiency.  No words of man can produce the same
effect; at least, none but such as come from souls, who are pure
channels of the word of God.  It is the good pleasure of our Lord, to
express and reproduce himself upon the self-abandoned soul.  Who does
not admire the profound mystery of the creation of the world, where God
produced all things by his word?  When God created man, he formed him
of the dust of the earth--the lowest form of matter--made of dust, that
he might not rob God of his glory!  But man thus created, received _the
spirit_--the breath of the Word.  This dust of the earth became the
living breath of God.  When Jesus Christ is formed in the soul, he
imparts not only a clear understanding of the word, but is himself the
Word, reproduced in the soul.  Those only in whom Christ dwells,
fulfill the word, or have the word accomplished in them.  Such only are
able fully to interpret the word.  It is not learning which best
explains the truths of God, but the reproduction of these truths in the
life---the experience of them.



FORGETFULNESS OF SELF.

I cannot compliment you, dear sir, and I am persuaded, that you will
expect from me, only the simplicity of the Christian.  This simplicity
leads me to say, only what our Lord gives me.  You need more of this
simplicity.  The frequent self-returns you make, dwelling so much on
your unworthiness, although it may have the appearance of humility, is
only a refined self-love.  True simplicity regards God alone; it has
its eye fixed upon him, and is not drawn towards self; and it is as
pleased to say humble as great things.

All our uneasy feelings and reflections, arise from self-love, whatever
appearance of piety they may assume.  The lack of simplicity inflicts
many wounds.  Go where we will, if we remain in ourselves, we shall
carry everywhere our sins and our distresses.  If we would live in
peace, we must lose sight of self, and rest in the infinite and
unchangeable God.  These self-returns have a tendency to establish the
soul more and more in itself, and hinder it from running into its great
original.  But it is to this, God is calling you.  You withhold from
God the only thing he desires--_the possession of your heart_.  The
time is short; wherefore spend it in the compass and surroundings of
self?  The single eye sees only God.  You act as a person who being
called before a king, instead of regarding the king and his benefits,
is occupied only with his own dress and appearance.  God wishes to
disarrange you--to destroy self; and you wish to preserve what he would
destroy.  Be more afraid of self than of the evil one.  It is the
spirit of Satan to exalt self above God, and this spirit is fostered by
these continual returns you make upon your own doings and misdoings,
which leaves no place in your mind for the occupation of God.



DIVERSITY OF MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION.

Although there are impenetrable mysteries in God's dealings with souls,
in order to promote their sanctification, it is true that each soul,
aside from the ordinary means, common to all, has a specific training,
and this method of the divine order can alone accomplish the work.  The
means that sanctifies another may not sanctify you.  You, my friend,
will not be led by great crosses and severe sufferings, but in the way
of helpless infancy.  The child-like, yielding soul is necessary for
you; therefore God has chosen a child, myself, to be your helper.
Forget yourself as the man to whom many eyes are turned, and become the
little, helpless one, who cannot take care of itself, but lets another
care for it.  The pride, presumption and vanity, of the natural man,
must give place to the littleness and simplicity of the child.  Says
our Saviour, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."  O, when shall we learn that
it is littleness, and not greatness, that God requires of his child!

God has given me a maternal yearning for your soul.  I sympathize
deeply in your wants and burdens.  Be assured, the eyes of the God of
Love are upon you.  I entreat you, yield to the influences which are in
operation to restore your soul to God.  I can offer no apology for my
letter; for in all things, I obey my Lord.



COMFORT IN AFFLICTION.

I assure you, Dear Sir, I sympathize deeply in your afflictions.  With
all my heart I present you before our Lord.  I have prayed, and still
pray, that if you are called to participate in the sufferings of Jesus
Christ, you may partake also of his patience and submission.  You will
find the Lord at all times near your heart, when you seek him by a
simple and sincere desire to do and suffer his will.  He will be your
support and consolation in this time of trouble, if you go to him, not
with fear and agitation of spirit, but with calm, confiding love.

Jesus said to the blind man, whose eyes he anointed with clay, "Go wash
in the waters of Siloam"--waters soft and tranquil.  O, that you might
experience the abiding peace which Christ gives.  O, that you might
become reduced to the simplicity of the little child!  It is the child
who approaches the nearest to Jesus Christ.  It is the child whom he
takes in his arms and carries in his bosom.  O, how lovely, how
attractive, is child-like simplicity!  May the sufferings you are now
experiencing, render you, child-like and submissive to all the will of
your Father.  My ill health forbids my writing more fully.  God loves
you, and you are very dear to me in him.  Amen.  Jesus, help.



BEARING FRUIT IN UNION WITH CHRIST.

God has united my soul to yours in the oneness of his own nature, and
when all the obstructions on your part are removed, you will realize
this same divine union.  "We have many masters, as said St. Paul, but
only _one Father in Christ_."  This Father unites himself to us by the
impartation of his own nature, and from this communication, of himself
to the soul, proceeds our spiritual paternity; or the power by which we
communicate to others what we receive from him.  We are not always
sensible how this power, or aid we render others, is imparted.  In some
individuals it is more manifest than in others.  It always adapts
itself to the subject who receives it.  All the gifts and graces of the
spirit are either more sensible and apparent, or more spiritual and
inward, according to the power of receptivity in the individual.

It seems to me that when I am with you, there is only a simple,
imperceptible transmission from my soul to yours.  You do not perceive
any marked results, and they are not great, because you are not in a
state to receive much, and often interrupt me by speaking, which causes
in me a vacillation of grace.  If we were together some considerable
time without distraction, you would perceive more marked results.  It
is the desire of God that there should be, between us, perfect
interchange of thoughts, of hearts, of souls;--a flux and reflux, such
as there will be when souls are new-created in Christ Jesus.  At
present, my soul in rotation to yours, is as a river which enters into
the sea, to draw and invite the smaller river to lose itself also in
the sea.

This truth,--the fruitfulness of souls who are in God, whereby they
communicate grace,--however much it is rejected, is, nevertheless, a
truth.  This flux and reflux of communication, like the ebbing and
flowing of the great ocean-current, is the secret of the heavenly
hierarchy, and makes a communication from superior orders to
inferior,--and of equality, between angels of the same order.

During all eternity, the communication of God the Father, and the Son,
to angels and saints, and their reciprocal communication to each other,
will be a well-spring of blessedness.  The design of God, in the
creation of men, has been to associate to himself living beings, to
whom he could communicate himself.  He could create nothing greater
than likenesses of himself.  All the splendor of angels and saints, is
but light reflected from God.

God could not see himself reflected in saints, without their
participating of these two qualities, fruitfulness and reciprocal
communication.  In this life all perfection consists, in that which
makes the consummation of this same perfection in heaven, No one can be
perfect, if he is not perfect _as_ the Father in heaven is perfect;
that is, partaking of his nature.

Jesus Christ is the Father of souls; his generation, or the souls that
are begotten of him, are eternal in their nature as he is.  The figure,
"giving us his flesh to eat," is the nourishment he gives the soul in
communication with himself; or himself reproduced, or begotten in us.
The eternal Word is the essential, undying life of the soul.



DESOLATE STATE.

Believe me, dear madam, I take a deep interest in your spiritual
welfare, and I earnestly hope your confidence in God will not fail, on
account of your present desolate state.  As the winter plunges still
deeper the roots of the trees in the earth, so the wintry state of the
soul plunges it deeper in humiliation.  Remember the confidence of Job,
"Although he slay me, I will trust in him."  Although stripped of all
consolation, and left in the desolation of nothingness, you may yet
rejoice in God--out of, and separate from, self.  Let the earth be
stripped of her foliage; let neither flowers nor fruit appear; yet _God
is_, therefore you may be happy.  The mother loves to sacrifice herself
for her child, and finds her life in what affords it happiness; thus
die to self, in relation to God.

When your weaknesses rise up before you, when you would weep over some
error in judgment, or some unguarded expression, do as the little
child, who having fallen into the mud, carries its hands to its mother,
who cheerfully wipes them, and consoles him after the fall.  Can you
not believe God loves you, as much as you love the little one enfolded
in your arms?  Does he not say, "A mother may forget, yet I will never
forget thee!"

The discovery of your weakness and emptiness, is an evidence of God's
love; and while it is ground for humiliation, it is also of
thanksgiving.  When it pleases God to fill this void with his grace, it
is cause of thankfulness; but if we realized at all times this
fullness, we should be in danger of appropriating the grace of God to
ourselves.  Thus, our times of desolation are necessary, and we should
accept them joyfully, as a portion of the bread our father gives us.

Yours in tender sympathy.



SELF-ABANDONMENT.

The death of self is not accomplished at once.  It is for some time a
living death.  Its opposite, spiritual life, is represented by
Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones.  First, the bones were rejoined;
afterwards covered with sinews; then the flesh appeared; and finally,
the spirit of the Lord animated them.  When the soul begins to incline
towards God, it finds many obstructions; but in proportion as we yield
to the will of God, these obstructions are removed.  The following
simile will help to illustrate my idea.  The rivers empty themselves
into the sea; before they lose themselves there.  Wave by wave
following its course, seems to urge onward the river, to lose itself in
the sea.  God imparts to the soul some waves of pure love, to urge on
the soul to himself; but as the river does not lose itself in the sea,
until its own waters are exhausted, so the soul reaches God, and loses
itself in God, only when the means of supply from self are at an end.
As the waves, which are precipitated into the sea, roll many times
before they are lost in the sea, so the soul undergoes many changes,
before it is received into God.

The results of self-crucifixion are happy, because God then becomes all
to the soul.  We lose self, and substitute God in its place.  We take
away the finite, and receive the Infinite.  This is blessed.



NO DEPENDENCE ON INSTRUMENTS.

What shall I say regarding the state in which you find yourself, in
relation to me?  I have no movement either to promote our re-union, or
hinder it.  Let God direct.  Are you leaning upon him, or upon the
creature?  If on the creature, it is a bruised reed, which will fail
you.  God sometimes makes use of instruments, whom he finds it
necessary afterwards to reject.  If he designs to remove me from you,
can I have any wish to retain you?  God forbid.  He may design this
separation, to make you die to any confidence in the creature.  He may
no longer design to use me for your benefit.  I might have mingled my
own impurity, with his pure light flowing through me.  If God permit me
to err, it is on account of my pride.  I have never given you any
assurance of my infallibility.  What am I but an erring creature?
Leave me, leave me, and unite yourself only to God, who will never
mislead you.  Means are good, only in the order of God.  They injure
us, if we rest in them.  If God remove me from you, acquiesce in his
will, with a devotion worthy of a child of God.  Be humble, and
courageous enough to own your fault, in leaning on an arm of flesh.
Men of the world may be obstinate, but the child of God should be
supple.  Whatever separation there may be between us, believe me, you
will always be dear to me in our dear Lord.  I hope, when you are lost
in him, you will find this little drop of water, (myself) in the same
great ocean of love.



CHILD OF GOD SOON TO DIE.

I have had a presentiment that you would not survive this illness.  I
lose in you the most faithful, and the only friend on whom I could
rely, in the persecutions which threaten me.  I feel my loss, but
rejoice in your happiness, I could envy you.  Death only lends a
helping hand to rend away the veil, which hides infinite beauties.  Our
Lord has strongly cemented our souls.  May the benediction of the
divine Master rest upon you.  Go, blessed soul, and receive the
recompense prepared for all those, who are wholly the Lord's.  Go, we
separate in the name of the Lord; I cannot say a last adieu, for we
shall be forever united in him.  I hope, in the goodness of God, to be
present with you in heart and spirit, at the time of your departure,
and to receive with you, the divine Master who is waiting for you.  Be
my ambassador in the courts above, and say to him I love him.



UNION OF SOULS IN GOD.

The assurance you give me of the union of your soul with mine, is a
great consolation.  It is a union to which my heart fully responds, not
in a way of emotional transport, but in the depths of peace; there is
nothing of nature in it.  It is a union in Jesus Christ.  We are one in
a sense of our lost condition, and one in self-abandonment.  Oh!
blessed oneness with Christ, where all evils perish; and there remains
only the casualties inseparable from the state of humanity.  How
wonderful is this operation--the sacred mingling of a poor creature
with its God, where all the evils of our fallen nature, are removed
from the depths of the soul, and the soul, in its elemental being is
lost in its original!  There all the little ones are united in
Him,--these little drops of water reassembled in the divine ocean!  How
swiftly do the streams embrace each other, and flow into one channel,
when the obstructions are removed!  When souls become pure in Jesus
Christ, they flow into one another with the same rapidity.  Purity of
soul consists in an entire separation from self, and re-union with God.
The soul _can_ return to self; it has the power, and therefore is not
infallible.

Our union, my dear friend, is independent of the relish or disrelish of
all created things and events.  You could not be separated from me
without being separated from God; for it seems to me, that I am one
with him, and inseparable, and you are the same; and thus, we are one
in Him, and one with each other.

Ever yours, in the heart of Jesus.



SECRET OPERATIONS OF GRACE.

My heart has been tenderly united to you, during all my bodily
sufferings.  In proportion as the outward man has been reduced, God
seems to be more the life of my soul.  Although the operations of God
upon your soul may be less marked than formerly, they are no less real.
There is a secret fire in your heart, which burns continually, although
imperceptibly.  This keen and continual operation enfeebles you,
because it consumes so rapidly the more sensible and marked operations
of the soul.  This is, I apprehend, your ordinary state; with
occasionally the unction of the oil of grace poured upon the concealed
fire, to give you a sweet and clear manifestation of the loving
presence of God.

You bear two marked results of the divine presence--interior
recollection, and a continual _amen_ in your heart; a true and just
response to all God's dealings with your soul.

I realise a very close union with you.  This union is not in the
emotions, and not in the will of man, but in the will of God.  It is a
union, from which I could no more separate myself, than from God; it is
a fulfillment of the prayer of our Lord, "that they may be one, as we
are one."  It is a union which death cannot interrupt, but will
substantiate more and more fully in God.

Ever yours, in our Lord.



TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

You are very dear to me, my child.  Do not think I have forgotten you.
God alone can render you happy.  Give yourself wholly to him, never
more to take yourself back.  Love him with all your heart.  Retire
often within the closet of your heart to commune with God.  Do not pray
to him in a constrained and formal manner, but all simple and natural.
God loves better the affectionate language of the heart, than, the cold
and discursive thoughts of the intellect.  The prayer of love softens
the heart.

Do not shrink from your ordinary duties.  We are often more united to
God, in our daily avocations, than in retirement.  The reason is, our
good Father holds us more closely, when we are most exposed to
temptations.  Endeavor to maintain, at all times, harmony and oneness
with God.  You have only to abandon yourself wholly to divine love, and
perform all the duties that devolve upon you.  Do not be restive, and
thus mar God's beautiful design and operation upon your soul.  Place in
his bosom of rest, all your inquietudes, and allow him to carry you, as
a little child is borne by its mother.  This little one has only to
regard, lovingly, the smiles of its tender mother.

God will give you a wise discernment as to food and drink, and all the
pleasures of life.  He calls us to a temperate life, but not to a life
too austere.  We should avoid the _too much_ and the _too little_ in
eating and drinking.

I pray our divine Lord, to enlighten, strengthen and comfort your heart.



LETTER TO HER SPIRITUAL GUIDE.

The state in which I find myself, my Father, takes away from me
entirely, the liberty to address you any longer as my Spiritual Guide.
I realize so great a detachment from all things, that there remains in
me only a triumphant, dominant love, which acknowledges no master but
Love.  It is my experience, that the closer the union of the soul with
God, the more it is separated from all dependence on the creature.  I
find also, that the secret operations of divine love upon the soul,
cannot be expressed.  These operations do not consist in sweet and
flattering expressions, neither in consolations, in the ordinary way,
but in the discovery of mysterious truths; truths, which give so
profound a knowledge of God, that the soul can find no language to give
expression to these views.

To speak, and to act, is the same thing with God.  "He spake, and it
was done."  When the divine Word operates in the soul, without any
obstruction, the soul becomes what this Word wills it should become.
When Mary Magdalene was made whole, it was no more Mary Magdalene, but
Jesus Christ, who lived in her.  St. Paul says, "I live, yet not I,
Christ liveth in me."  In the same manner, the Word is incorporated
into my soul.

Some time since, there was given me a view of the States of Mary, the
mother of our Lord.  I was alone in my chamber, and my soul was
completely filled with divine love.  The divine Word seemed to say
within me, "I will show thee the chief work of my hands,--a perfect
nothing in itself,--the heart of Mary."  In this manner was conveyed to
me, the inexpressible love of God for men--his operation in pure souls.
It was shown me, that her silence and acquiescence in the will of God;
her entire self-crucifixion and hidden life were worthy of imitation;
and that this same love which had operated so powerfully upon this
soul, emptied of self, desired to draw other souls also to her states,
and to make an effusion of the same grace and love in them, as in her.
O divine love! how great are thy wonders, how marvellous thy operations
on human hearts!  My soul is lost in the depths of thy secret wonders!
Silence, silence--only silence!

I write to you, my Father, for the last time, to bid you a final adieu.
I can no longer listen to any other teachings, than this divine Word of
eternal Truth, which is spoken in the depths of my heart.  But however
far separated from you, in the relation of Director, you are very near
and dear in the affections of my heart; in that pure love, which is
alone the operation of our Lord Jesus Christ.



GLORY OF GOD THE ONE DESIRE.

What have we to desire in heaven and on earth, only the glory of God?
But it is necessary to desire the glory of God as he desires it.  He
who has absolute power over the heart of man, has a plan of operations;
he does all things in their time; he waits until the hour is come.  In
coming into the world, our Lord could have converted the world at once,
and destroyed all its vices; but the economy of his wisdom did not so
direct.  When I hear our Lord say, "_Mine hour is not yet come_," and
wishing neither to advance nor retard, for a moment, the hour that his
Father had appointed, I am plunged into my nothingness.  We are only
instruments in his hands, which he may lay aside, or use according to
his good pleasure.  We should be so dead to self, as to be indifferent,
whether he makes use of us or not.

Remain, therefore, my dear friend, in the hand of God.  Let him
accomplish in you, and by you, all his good pleasure, whether to cast
down, or build up.  God knows how much I love you.



SPIRITUAL UNION AND AID.

Spiritual union, is a state of the soul very clear in my perception,
although I may not be able to give you a definite impression of this
state.  In order to benefit you, it became necessary for me to enter
into your state, to have an experimental knowledge, an endurance and
suffering of the same state.  By this experience I have been brought
into closer relation to God, partaking more fully of the Christ-like
nature by being rendered capable of bearing the infirmities of others.
And I have had, also, a clearer idea of that quality of God, whereby he
multiplies holy souls, by the communication of himself.  In this
experience, the soul appears to be in God, and God in her, as first
cause, drawing and penetrating the soul nearest to himself, and by
penetration, in this soul, drawing, through her instrumentality, many
other Souls.

Although, by these powerful rays the soul itself may seem to penetrate
and draw other souls, yet it is God who draws them by his efficiency;
and he communicates this efficiency, most powerfully, to those in
closest contact with himself.  So pure and transparent is this soul,
that there seems to be no space between the first Mover and the souls
moved by the agent or instrumentality.  There is a difference between
the ray and the body of the sun, although it is difficult to separate
the ray from the sun.  It is the divine ray, which is transmitted
through this soul, as the natural ray through the medium of the
atmosphere.  These same rays, transmitted through many souls, and from
soul to soul, unite them in one common centre, and thus the bond of
filiation is complete in God.  I may not express myself so as to be
understood.  May your light supply, what is wanting in clearness of
expression.



LIVE IN THE PRESENT.

Do not expect, my dear E., that the will of God will be made apparent
to you in any extraordinary way.  The most remarkable events occur
naturally.  It was by an order of the Emperor, that Joseph, being of
the house and lineage of David, went to be taxed at Bethlehem, where
the holy child Jesus was born.  The fountain of water was near to
Hagar, when she laid down the child to die with thirst.  Behold God, my
friend, in the present arrangement of his providence for you, and
submit wisely to passing events.  He sees the end from the beginning,
and plans wisely for his children.  O, how good to submit our limited
view to his far sight, reaching through time and eternity!

Remember, the present moment comes to you, as the moment of God.  Use
it for his glory, and every succeeding moment.  Thus the present
becomes the eternal moment, for which we must render account to God.
May God be All in All to us in every passing moment, now and forever.



HOW TO ADMINISTER REPROOF.

A single word, spoken in the spirit of Christ, with humility and
sweetness, will have more weight, in correcting others, than many words
uttered in our own spirit.  The reason is this: when passion mingles
with correction, although the truth may be spoken, Jesus Christ does
not coöperate with us.  Therefore, the person is not corrected by what
we say, but, being opposed to the manner of correction, is more
confirmed in the evil.  In proportion as Jesus Christ speaks by us,
without us, or without the minglings of self, his word is efficacious,
and turns the heart of the person to whom we speak, to receive what we
say.  I know there are some who resist, knowingly, _his_ word, but our
passionate zeal does not correct them.

It is important to wait the moment of God to collect others.  We may
see real faults, but the person may not be in a state to profit by
being told their faults.  It is not wise to give more than one can
receive.  This is what I call _preceding_ the _light_,--the light
shines so far in advance of the person, that it does not benefit him.
Our Lord said to his apostles, "I have many things to say to you, but
you cannot bear them now."

The prophet says, the Lord carries his children in his arms, as a
nurse.  A nurse could wish that the child could walk alone, but she
waits in patience the time.  Let us do the same, and never discourage
the weak.  Let us not destroy the good grain with the tares.  Who does
not admire "the long suffering patience of God?"  And I may add to St.
Paul's words, all unworthy as I am, and of those who admire it, how few
imitate it!  If those to whom God has given so much grace, have so many
faults themselves, with how much patience should they bear with those
who are less favored.



BEARING THE STATES OF CHRIST.

During my late severe illness, a strong impression rested on my mind,
that I was called to participate in the last sufferings of Jesus
Christ.  The language of my heart was, I am ready, O, Father, to suffer
all thy will!  In thus yielding my heart, as Abraham when called to
sacrifice his beloved Isaac, I realized a new bond of alliance with
Christ, and these words, "I will betroth thee unto me forever," was the
voice of the Bridegroom to my soul.

When Paul said, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus," he did
not refer to any external marks in the flesh, but to bearing the states
of Jesus Christ.  In David are expressed all the states of Christ, with
the difference only there is between the type and the original.  Job
was an eminent instance of being reduced to nothingness, and also of
exaltation by the favor of God.  Those who pass through the furnace,
and suffer with Christ, are prepared to wear the white robe, which
adorns the bride, the Lamb's wife.  Their souls become the
dwelling-place of the Most High.

Are not those beautiful subterranean palaces, which we read of in
fable, and which are reached after crossing deep caverns, and so hidden
that none can find them, only those to whom the secret is revealed,
representative of the interior palace of the soul, where the Lord
inhabits.  "The king's daughter is all glorious within."



OUR IMPERFECTIONS SHOULD NOT HINDER OUR LABORS FOR OTHERS.

Although I am so weak and unworthy in myself, God uses me for the good
of others.  The many defects of our temperament, should not hinder our
labors in behalf of others.  These faults have nothing to do with the
grace, which operates effectively on the souls for whom we labor.  God
reveals himself, through the fathers and mothers in Israel, and thus
increases confidence in them; while, at the same time, their weaknesses
forbid placing too much dependence on them.

Although our Lord acquaints us with his designs regarding others, and
the aid we may render them, yet this should not give us the least
desire to aid them, only in the order of his providence.  Neither
should we be arrested in his work, although the souls we aid repulse
the effort.  God will make good the results in due time.  It implies
great death to self, never to put our hand selfishly to the work of the
Lord, as it does, also, never to go a step out of the path in which he
leads us.  When we mingle self, we retard, rather than advance, his
work.  Nature is so corrupt that it deeply infests spiritual things,
and so subtle as to conceal itself under all artifices.

I do not know why I have written you thus.  God knows, and that is
sufficient.



DEATH, RESURRECTION.

This is no time to be disheartened.  When the sinful lusts rebel, leave
them to their disorderly cravings.  Let them cry, as a child from whom
we take away a dangerous yet pleasing toy.  Strengthen yourself for
crosses and humiliations.  You will soon be made alive in Jesus Christ.

The extraordinary peace you have tasted, is the commencement of the
resurrection-life.  This peace is not invariable, because the new life
is given little by little, yet, I assure you, it will soon fill your
whole soul.  As God has rapidly advanced inward death, and caused you
to run, with a giant step, in the way of self-crucifixion, and this,
notwithstanding all the oppositions of the carnal man, he will also
thus rapidly advance the resurrection.

The loss, of all things of the earthly life, which follows the
resuscitated life, will be deep and extended.  The death and burial
which precede the resurrection, cannot compare with that total loss,
which follows the resuscitated life.  This is something different, and
in a new state.  You will arise from the sepulchre, as the Spouse of
the Beloved.

All is consumed in myself, not in the ordinary way, but in a total
loss; so that there remains nothing which can be named or known.  It
seems to me, the death of self is carried almost to infinity, it makes
so many unknown steps.  Since this morning, this unworthy creature
experiences a still greater reduction of self than ever before.  Die,
live; lose yourself, and find yourself again; then you will have
experience of this state.



GRACE DEEPLY INTERIOR.

While you perceive nothing sensible, or apparent, in your religious
state, there is, at the same time, evidence to others of a hidden
spring of life within your soul.  God does not give you the sweet rain
which, falling, clothes all the surface of the soul with verdure, but
he gives you the deep well-spring, by which means you live and
flourish, and produce, not herbs and flowers, which are born and die in
the same day, but substantial fruits, ripening for eternity.  David
said, the life of man upon the earth is as grass, which groweth up in
the morning, and withers in the evening.  This refers to the natural
life, but it is also true of the selfish life of man.  It flourishes in
the morning of the spiritual life, but no sooner does the sun of
righteousness arise in his warmth, than this life withers and is cut
down.  The righteous are as a tree planted by the rivers of water,
whose leaf is always green.  This is because the roots are well watered
by the deep-flowing current.

God never ceases to operate in your heart.  The calm, resigned state of
your soul is proof of this.

Take good care of your health.  Do not labor beyond your strength.  God
will abundantly reward you for your labors of love in behalf of others.
These are labors he never fails to recompense.  I pray God, my dear F.,
to preserve you for his work.  I have many things to say, but I
forbear.  Your time is precious.



SELF-RENUNCIATION.

God designs you, my friend, for himself, but he will lead you by a way,
entirely opposed to what you have marked out.  He does this in order to
destroy your self-love.  This is accomplished only by the overthrow of
all your purposes, preconceived views, natural reason and sagacity.
Self-love has many hiding-places.  God alone can search them out.  You
seek the honor that cometh from man, and love to occupy a high
position.  God wishes to reduce you to littleness, and poverty of
spirit.  Believe me, dear sir, you will grow in grace, not by knowledge
acquired from books; not from reasonings upon divine truths, but by an
efflux from God.  This efflux will reach and fill your soul, in
proportion as you are emptied of self.  You are so much occupied of
yourself in speaking, reading and writing, that you give no place to
God.  Make room, and God will come in.

You speak of your many cares.  If you will give yourself wholly to God,
these cares will be greatly diminished.  God will think for you, and
arrange by his Providence, what you cannot effect by long years of
planning.  In the name of God, I entreat you to renounce your own
wisdom, your self-leadings, and yield up yourself to God.  Let Him
become your wisdom.  You Will then find the place of rest, you so much
need.

May you read this letter, with dependence on the Spirit, which has
dictated it, and without regard to the instrument, and your heart will
testify to the truth of what I have written.  Take courage, and be
persuaded that if God destroys the natural life, it is only to give you
himself.  Endeavor to be nothing, that God may be all.  When void, God
himself fills the space.



UNEXPECTED FAULTS.

Yesterday, after I left the parlor, I uttered some words hastily, and
suffered very much in consequence; a suffering not like the pangs of
penitence I formerly experienced, but more subtle and interior; and the
soul was more acquiescent.  Whether it was the words I uttered too
precipitately, or the reflections that followed, which caused this
suffering, I could not determine.  A part of myself seemed to be thrown
out of God, as we see the ocean reject certain things, which it
receives again more deeply into its bosom.  Thus I seemed to myself to
be rejected, and without any power to make the least movement to
return, and without even a regret that I was rejected.  I was willing
to remain where God placed me, until the moment he received me again to
himself.  If I should afflict myself on account of this experience,
which was new and unexpected, I believe it would be wrong, and sully
still more the soul.  The depths of my soul remain unchanged--fixed in
God.  He removes the impurity, that has exteriorly sullied it, and
holds the soul still his own.



APOSTOLIC STATE.

I have read your letter, my dear F., with great pleasure.  The true
Apostolic state is to become all things to all men; that is, to impart
to each one spiritually, according to his necessities.  Only those who
are reduced to littleness and simplicity, have this power of
communicating grace.  They have also the ability to sympathise deeply
in the states of others; of bearing in some measure their burdens, and
are sometimes in great heaviness on their account.  This communication
of grace and aid, is not necessarily restricted to the personal
presence of the individual.  We may be "absent in body, yet present in
spirit," after the manner of God's operations; and as the angelic
powers communicate to us.  It is only by the enlightening of God's
Spirit, that we realise the state of those to whom we are spiritually
united.

Unity of souls is experienced, not only with those in the body, who
have affinity with ourselves, but also with those out of the body.  I
realise with the holy prophet David, a correspondence and unity, which
renders our souls one in God.  You will experience this unity with the
saints more fully, when all perception of self is taken away.  St. Paul
says, "_Ye are come_ to an innumerable company of _angels_--to the
_spirits of just men made perfect_."  David was in the Old Testament,
what Paul was in the New.  They were both deeply interior Christians.
The Apostles, after having received the Holy Ghost, spake all
languages.  This has also a spiritual meaning.  They communicated
grace, according to the necessities of each one.  This is speaking the
word--the efficacious word, which replenishes the soul.  This
nourishing, life-giving word is represented by the manna, and the
reality is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is himself the bread of
life in the soul.  Amen, Jesus!



PAINFUL EXPERIENCE.

To-day my health is better, and I find myself able to reply to your
letter.  Let the view of yourself that God gives you, be accepted,
whether it relates to your fallen condition in general, or to
particular faults; but add nothing to this view by your own
reflections.  These continual reflex acts of the mind, do not help you;
they do not remove the faults.  I am not surprised, that you find in
yourself so many evils; evils which render you almost insupportable to
yourself.  When God accomplishes the work of purification, he removes
all that is opposed to the divine inflowing life.

These evils of your nature, which are now apparent, and which were
deeply concealed, are perceived by you, only because they are passing
out from their hiding-places.  All persons do not have so deep a
knowledge of themselves; therefore do not suffer so much, because all
are not destined to so profound a death and burial while in the body.
Be silent, and drink the bitter cup.  These humiliations will endure
until your state is in some degree perfected; after which they will
become more and more slight, and only at intervals, until the death and
burial is consummated.



ECSTACY OF THE MIND, AND THE WILL OR HEART.--THE DIFFERENCE.

The intellectual part of man can be in some degree united to God; but
the soul loses itself in God, only by the loss of the will and by love.
This loss of the will is the true ecstasy, which is a permanent state,
and is effected without any violence to nature.  When love is the
controlling exercise, the will follows, and the soul is reduced to
unity; as in the natural exercise of love, the stronger the love, the
greater the submission of the soul to the object beloved.  Sacred love
does not bind parts, but draws it fully, until it is absorbed wholly in
this divine oneness.

The mind may tend towards its divine object, with ardor, but the will
not concurring, causes dissonance and swooning, or impetuous
transports.  I call this momentary ecstasy; it cannot long endure
without separating the soul from the body.

The difference between these two states is, as that of water, retained
in the air by a machine, and of a river, running naturally into the
sea, as ordered by the grand Architect of the universe.  Love, which
carries the will in its train, changes the whole man; this is the
divine, the true ecstasy.  This is what is called transformation, and
loss of the soul in God.  It is certain, however, that the creature
always remains a being distinct from God.



A VIEW OF SELF.

The activity of the natural selfish life, is the greatest obstacle to
your progress.  Allow of nothing which gives sustenance to this life.
Be on your guard against applause.  Applaud not yourself when you have
done well.  Admit no reflections in regard to the good you have
accomplished, so that all that nourishes self-complacency may die.

Possess your soul in peace as much as possible; not by effort, but by
ceasing from effort; by letting go everything that troubles you.  Be
quiet, that you may settle, as we leave water to settle when agitated.
When you discover your errors and sins, do not stop, under whatever
good pretext, to remedy them.  Rather abandon yourself at once to God,
that he may destroy, in you, all that its displeasing to him.  I assure
you, you are not capable of yourself, to correct the least fault.  Your
only remedy is abandonment to God, and remaining quiet in his hands.
If you discovered the depth of inward corruption in your heart, your
courage would fail!  On this account, God conceals from us, in part,
the view of our sins, and discovers them to us, only as he destroys
them.

Rest assured, God loves you.  He will take care of you.  Have faith in
his love and mercy.  You will see farther by and by.  When you are in
trouble, do not fail to write me.  Have good courage, and all will be
well.  You are very dear to me in our Lord.



STATE OF A SOUL IN UNION WITH GOD.

Although, in the latter part of my life, I do not perceive those marked
states of abandonment and submission, neither of interior sorrows, such
as I formerly experienced, this does not prove that these distinct
states no longer exist; but the soul having become more fully
established in God, it makes less account of them, or is less affected
by external impressions.  As pure flowing water leaves no trace where
it passes, so these _distinct_ states leave no durable impression.  The
soul seems to have lost its own qualities of resistance and aversion,
and runs, without ceasing into its Original.  It is on this account I
cannot write so fully of my states of mind as formerly.  My soul, in
its depths, rests in God.  "My peace, says Christ, _I give unto you_."

I pray for the church; I mourn at times that God is so little known and
loved; but these feelings are transient, and the soul is ready to take
any impression that God gives it. While it seems to have no consistency
of its own, so to speak, it adapts itself to the state of others with
wonderful facility. Sometimes even relating amusing stories, to
children, and to those who cannot be entertained in any other way.

The soul, in this state of union with God, is sometimes permitted to
foretell things to come, which appear very obscure to man, but which
are, nevertheless, infallibly true, because proceeding from God.  The
knowledge of the event, and its full explanation, will come in the
fulness of time. The soul is ready for anything; ready for nothing. All
that is true comes from God; what is not true, from the creature. The
soul does not seek to justify itself, nor produce humiliation, but
passes on, disregarding self, and absorbed in God.



STATE OF REST IN GOD.

If I do not reply to you, Dear Sir, as soon as you might expect, it is
because I hold myself in reserve, until I have a movement to write, and
not from any want of regard to you.  Relative to the distinct,
voluntary acts of resignation, renouncement, it would be difficult, in
my present state, to make such acts, because such acts would seem to
imply something of self-appropriation still remaining; whereas, I have
given to my Sovereign, all that I am; and as far as I know, I have
nothing more to give him.  My soul is at rest in his will.

It is the same in regard to prayer, or petitions.  The soul having a
very simple method of prayer, all other prayer seems foreign to it.
When it would make a request, and as soon as the soul knows distinctly
what it demands, there is something which goes before to accomplish it,
without the utterance of words.  When the soul utters words, or makes
petitions, if the spirit accompanying approves, the prayer is made with
ease.  If the spirit do not coöperate, the words are uttered with
difficulty, or not at all.  God takes the place of self in the soul,
and there prays for things agreeable to his will.  This is a state of
the soul, in which it has no desire to originate prayer, but loves to
be silent in the presence of God.  This is an experience more
satisfactory than I am able to express.  O, that all the earth knew
what it means to keep silence before the Lord!



GREAT HUMILIATIONS.

I have a clear discernment of your state.  It seems to me, I see it in
some measure as God sees it; that is, in the pure light of truth,--the
reasons why you suffer, and the blessed results of these sufferings.  I
have known that the period of discipline would be long, and very long,
because you suffer not only on your own account, but also for the
benefit of others.  God destines you to accomplish great things for his
glory, and exterior humiliations in your case not being suited to his
designs, he makes use of concealed humiliations, known only to yourself
and God.  I will repeat to you the words addressed by our Lord to St.
Paul.  "My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in
weakness."

It will be in companionship with humiliations, that you will be saved
from falling into sin and error, and be prepared to be come a vessel
fit for the Master's use.  You will experience from time to time, a
return of these humiliating states, and when you may think they have
entirely passed away, they will suddenly revive.  But the greater your
humiliation, the more God will use you to perform his most excellent
works.  In this state of entire self-reduction and humiliation, your
words will be clothed with power.

"I am come," says our Lord, "to bring fire on the earth."  O martyr of
Pure Love,--_a sacrifice_ for the good of others, what if the fires be
already kindled in your bosom, shrink not! If you were less to God, he
might spare you.

Do not hesitate to speak to me of your sufferings, because it appears
to you useless.  It is not so.  If you speak of them in simplicity,
your heart will be relieved, and strengthened.  I know how to
sympathise with you.  God bless you.



REPOSE OF THE SOUL IS GOD.

Having given up myself wholly to God, and loving Him far better than
myself, how can I find any opposition to his good pleasure?  How can I
do otherwise than yield to one I love better than myself?  How can a
soul withdraw from the dominion of a Sovereign, that it loves with the
whole heart?  "What can separate us from the love of God, in Christ
Jesus?"  Although, while we remain in this life, there is a possibility
of sinning, and of separation from God, and it is true, that the soul
remains in oneness with Him, only by the continuance of his mercy, and
that if he should leave it, it would immediately fall into sin, yet I
cannot have the least fear, that my God will leave me, or that I shall
ever separate myself in any degree from his love.

The creature can take no glory to itself, to whatever state it may
arrive.  O that you might comprehend what I cannot express--the sense I
have of the goodness of God, to keep what is his own!  How jealous, how
watchful he is over the soul!  God seems so truly all things to me,
that I seem to see nothing, to love nothing, relish nothing, only what
he causes me to see, love and relish in himself.  I am only capable of
loving and submitting to him, so much is he my life.  I believe God
blindfold, without questioning or reasoning.  _God is_; this is
sufficient.   How immense is the freedom of the soul in him!  O may you
not doubt, that when all of self is taken away from the creature, there
remains only God.  O God, can I have any self-interest, or appropriate
aught as mine? In what can I take it? How strange the thought! how far
removed from the possession of God!  I am lost.  God is.



POWER OF CASTING OUT EVIL SPIRITS.

Although for many years, profound truths have been revealed to me, and
God has manifested his power through me, in an extraordinary manner, my
state has invariably been one of infancy, simplicity and candor.  God's
grace has rendered me equally willing to lie concealed, or to execute
his will more publicly.  During seven years, without my knowing how it
was accomplished, as soon as I have approached some persons, possessed
by demons, the evil spirits have departed.  I have realised simply a
desire to relieve them, and this desire, or prayer, has been answered
in a way unknown to myself.  Of myself, I have no goodness nor power at
all.  I have only the capacity of a child--of letting myself be used by
God, as pleases Him.  My life appears natural.  I am encompassed with
infirmities.  My health is greatly impaired.  My infirmities are a
balance-wheel, a counterpoise to exaltation.  Yet life is ever flowing,
without any thought of the means of sustaining it, as we live in the
air, without thinking of the air we breathe.



STATE OF A SOUL RE-UNITED TO GOD.

In reply to your enquiry, my dear children, concerning my state, I
would say, that exteriorly, I am open, simple, childlike.  My interior
resembles a drop of water, mingling and lost in the ocean, and no more
discerning itself,--the sea not only surrounding, but absorbing it.  In
this divine immensity, the soul discerns and enjoys all objects in God.
All is darkness and obscurity in respect to itself; all is light on the
part of God.  Thus, _God is all_ to me.  This has been my state more
than thirty years, although in latter years I have realized greater
depths in these experiences.  Think of the bottomless sea; what is
thrown therein, continues sinking, without ever reaching the end.  Thus
divine love is the weight of the soul, that sinks it deeper and deeper
in God.  "God is Love, and he who dwells in love, dwells in God, and
God in him."  O immensity!

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of truth and love, has explained the
Scriptures by fulfilling them.  So when the soul has passed into God,
the Word is fulfilled in the soul, as it was in Christ.  O Love! thou
art thyself the pure, naked, simple truth, which is expressed, not by
me, but by thyself, through me.  Amen.



CONCISE VIEW OF THE INTERIOR WAY.

_The soul seeks God in faith not by the reasonings of the mind and
labored efforts, but by the drawings of love; to which inclinations God
responds, and instructs the soul, which co-operates actively.  God then
puts the soul in a passive state, where he accomplishes all, causing
great progress, first by way of enjoyment, then by privation, and
finally by pure Love._

What do we understand by the Interior way?  It is to seek the kingdom
of God within us.  Luke 17, 21.  We find this kingdom only where God
has placed it, _within the soul_.  It becomes necessary, then, to
withdraw the eyes of the soul from external landmarks and observations,
which man, in the pride of reason, has located around it, and rest the
eye in faith, on the Word of the Lord,--"_Seek and ye shall find_."
This seeking, involves an interior activity of the soul; a desire, a
determination, and searching after what is hidden.

When the soul has thus earnestly sought the kingdom of God within, this
kingdom is developed little by little.  Interior recollection becomes
less difficult, and the presence of God more perceptible and agreeable.
Formerly it was supposed, that the presence of God was only the thought
of God, and that it was necessary to force the mind--to concentrate the
thoughts with violence to find God.  This is true in some sense, but,
as the soul cannot long endure this tension, and as the kingdom of God
is not found in the external vestments of the soul, but in its depths,
this labor is of little avail.  So little progress is made, the soul
becomes discouraged, and the evil one, who fears nothing so much as the
reign of God in the soul, makes an effort to draw the soul to
externalities.

In order to accomplish this object, he takes two methods, either by
excessive labors, persuading the soul that this is the way to find God,
and thus choking the internal process of the interior life, or, by this
tension of the mind, of which I have spoken.  Neither of these methods
open in the soul, the interior way.

You reply, how, then, is this life accomplished?  I answer, God, seeing
the heart of him who seeks him within, draws near to him, and teaches
him a just moderation in all things; and, by this retrenchment of all
excess in externals, the soul begins to perceive the peaceful kingdom.
It realizes within itself a guide, who provides for its necessities,
according to divine laws, who takes away the burdens that sin imposes;
a guide who does not foster corrupt nature, nor forbid innocent
pleasures.

When the soul begins to perceive this kingdom, and that the King
himself is manifested in some degree, it thus communes, (and we may
call this the second step), O, my Beloved, I have sought thee with all
the strength of my heart, in the place where thou hast taught me to
seek thee, and I have there found thee!  Days and nights have I passed
in seeking thee.  All the desires of my heart go after thee.  But now I
have found thee.  I pray thee to reign as Sovereign, to establish thine
empire in my soul.  I will do thy will alone.  I will resign to thee
all the right I have to myself; all that thou, by thy goodness, hast
given to me.

At this stage of progress, the soul ceases from self.  Its work is to
regard, lovingly, the operation of God, without a desire either to
advance it, or place any obstacle in the way of its progress.  The soul
has been active, in the first stage, to destroy, with all its power,
that which might hinder the kingdom of God within; and this was a great
effort; for habit had rendered interior recollection very difficult,
and the powers of the soul did not easily reunite themselves in one
centre.

Now the soul seeks no longer to combat the obstacles, which hindered
its return within, but lets God combat and act in the soul.  Saying, it
is time O, Lord, that thou shouldst take possession of thy kingdom!  Do
so, I pray thee, exclusively.  I desire, on my part, only to observe
thine operation.

This commencement of the reign of God, and of the passive way, is very
highly relished by the soul.  The soul passes days, and even years,
separated from creature enjoyments without weariness.  It advances very
much more by this way, in little time, than by all the efforts of many
years.  It is not without faults and imperfections, but divine love
diminishes them little by little, or does not permit the soul to become
disturbed by them, lest it become discouraged and its love hindered.
This state is called passive love.  The soul sees no cause to fear; it
supposes that all the work is done, and that it has only to pass into
eternity, and to enjoy this good Sovereign, who already gives himself
to the soul in so much fulness.

But in the onward progress of the soul, it becomes no longer doubtful,
whether the soul is to remain in the passive enjoyment of God and his
communications.  The soul begins to feel a drawing, to let God not only
be all things in the soul, but there to reign separate from the soul's
enjoyment of his gifts.  The soul now experiences what is called, by
the author of the Imitation of Christ, _the exile of the heart_.  It
hears a voice in the depth of the soul, or, rather, has an impression,
that God reigns there alone.  This exile is at first very painful, for
it is important to notice, that, from the commencement of seeking God
in the depth of the soul to the possession of him, there are many
trials, temptations, sorrows.  _Every successive state is marked by a
purifying process_.  Persons often mistake, and take the first
purification for the last.  When God reigns alone in the soul, separate
from the action of self, and self is destroyed, it is beyond any
previous state.

When the soul has ceased from its own selfish operations, and the man
of sin is exterminated, its defects become more apparent, because God
wishes it to comprehend what it is by itself, and what it would be
without him.  The soul is thus afflicted, believing it has lost the
virtues, acquired with so much care, and seems to have faults that it
had not before perceived.  It says, with the spouse in the Canticles,
"I have washed my feet, how shall I sully them?"  You do not perceive,
O, soul beloved, that you do not sully them in going to "open to the
spouse," and that if you contract some slight impurity, he will remove
it so perfectly, that you will become more beautiful.  In the mean
time, it is not the desire of the spouse to become beautiful in her own
eyes, but to see only the beauty of her Lover.  When the soul is
faithful in this state, and really desires to die to itself, she is
pleased only with the beauty of her Beloved, and says his beauty shall
be my beauty.  But it is necessary to advance beyond this, for, after
being despoiled of her beauty, it would be a selfishness much greater
to appropriate to herself, the beauty of her Beloved.  His beauty must
remain untarnished, unappropriated by her; she must leave him all, and
remain in her nothing, for the nothing is her proper place.  This is
Perfect Love, which regards God alone.



SELECTIONS FROM HER POETRY.


A LITTLE BIRD I AM.

  "A little bird I am,
    Shut from the fields of air;
  And in my cage I sit and sing
    To Him who placed me there;
  Well pleased a prisoner to be,
    _Because, my God, it pleases thee_.

  "Nought have I else to do;
    I sing the whole day long;
  And He, whom most I love to please,
    Doth listen to my song;
  He caught and bound my wandering wing,
    But still he bends to hear me sing.

  "Thou hast an ear to hear;
    A heart to love and bless;
  And, though my notes were e'er so rude,
    Thou wouldst not hear the less;
  Because though knowest as they fall,
    That Love, sweet Love, inspires them all.

  "My cage confines me round,
    Abroad I cannot fly;
  But, though my wing is closely bound,
    My heart's at liberty.
  My prison walls cannot control
    The flight, the freedom of the soul.

  "Oh! it is good to soar,
    These bolts and bars above,
  To Him whose purpose I adore,
    Whose Providence I love;
  And in thy mighty will to find
    The joy, the freedom of the mind."



GOD EVERYWHERE, TO THE SOUL THAT LOVES HIM.

    "Oh! Thou by long experience tried,
    Near whom no grief can long abide;
    My Lord! how full of sweet content,
    _I pass my years of banishment_.

    "All scenes alike engaging prove,
    To souls impressed with sacred love;
    Where'er they dwell, they dwell in Thee,
    In Heaven, in earth, or on the sea.

    "To me remains nor place nor time,
    My country is in every clime,
    I can be calm and free from care
    On any shore, since God is there.

    "While place we seek, or place we shun,
    The soul finds happiness in none;
    But with a God to guide our way,
    'Tis equal joy to go or stay.

    "Could I be cast where Thou art not,
    That were indeed a dreadful lot;
    But regions none remote I call,
    Secure of finding God in all.

    "My country, Lord, art Thou alone;
    No other can I claim or own;
    The point where all my wishes meet,
    My law, my love; life's only sweet.

  "I love my God, but with no love of mine,
    For I have none to give;
  I love thee, Lord; but all the love is thine,
    _For by thy life I live_.
  I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
  Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in thee.

  "Thou, Lord, alone, art all thy children need,
    And there is none beside;
  From thee the streams of blessedness proceed;
    In thee the bless'd abide.
  Fountain of life, and all-abounding grace,
  Our source, our centre, and our dwelling-place."





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