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  13.    <published>London, H. R. Allenson [1909?]</published>
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  27.     <DC.Title>Meister Eckhart's Sermons / first time translated into English by Claud Field</DC.Title>
  28.     <DC.Title sub="short">Meister Eckhart's Sermons</DC.Title>
  29.     <DC.Creator sub="Author" scheme="file-as">Eckhart, Johannes (c. 1260-1327)</DC.Creator>
  30.     <DC.Creator sub="Author" scheme="short-form">Johannes Eckhart</DC.Creator>
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  33.     <DC.Creator sub="Translator" scheme="file-as">Field, Claud</DC.Creator>
  34.     <DC.Creator sub="Translator" scheme="short-form">Claud Field</DC.Creator>
  35.     <DC.Publisher>Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library</DC.Publisher>
  36.     <DC.Subject scheme="ccel">All; Classic; Mysticism; Sermons; Proofed;</DC.Subject>
  37.     <DC.Subject scheme="LCCN">BV5080</DC.Subject>
  38.     <DC.Subject scheme="lcsh1">Practical theology</DC.Subject>
  39.     <DC.Subject scheme="lcsh2">Practical religion. The Christian life</DC.Subject>
  40.     <DC.Subject scheme="lcsh3">Mysticism</DC.Subject>
  41.     <DC.Date sub="Created">2001-04-19</DC.Date>
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  62. <div1 title="Title Page" n="i">
  63.  
  64. <pb n="1"/>
  65.  
  66. <p>&#160;</p>
  67.  
  68. <pb n="2-3"/>
  69.  
  70. <h3>HEART AND LIFE BOOKLETS. No. 22</h3>
  71.  
  72. <p>&#160;</p>
  73.   <table border="5" cellpadding="12"> <tr> <td> <h1>MEISTER<br/> ECKHART&#8217;S<br/>
  74.   SERMONS</h1> <h2>FIRST TIME TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH</h2> <h3>BY</h3> <h2>CLAUD FIELD, M.A.</h2>
  75.  
  76. <p style="margin-top:48pt; text-align:center">LONDON: H. R. ALLENSON, LTD.<br/>
  77. RACQUET COURT, 114 FLEET STREET, E.C.</p>
  78. </td> </tr>
  79. </table>
  80. </div1>
  81.  
  82. <div1 title="Preface" n="ii">
  83.  
  84. <pb n="4-5"/>
  85.  
  86. <h3>PREFACE</h3>
  87.  
  88. <p class="first">&#8220;<span class="sc">Meister Eckhart</span>,&#8221;
  89. who has been called the &#8220;Father of German thought,&#8221; was
  90. a Dominican monk, and one of the most profound thinkers of the Middle
  91. Ages. He was born about 1260 A.D. in Thuringia, and died at Cologne 1327
  92. A.D. In 1295 he was Prior of the Dominicans at Erfurt and Vicar-General
  93. of Thuringia. In 1300 he was sent to the University of Paris, where he
  94. studied Aristotle and the Platonists, and took the degree of Master
  95. of Arts. It is possible also that he taught at Paris. He already
  96. had a wide reputation as a philosopher, and was summoned to Rome in
  97. 1302 to assist Pope Boniface VIII. in his struggle against Philip
  98. the Fair. In 1304 he became Provincial of his order for Saxony, and
  99. in 1307 Vicar-General of Bohemia. In 1311 he was sent again to act
  100. as professor of theology in the school of Dominicans in Paris, and
  101. afterwards in Strasburg. Everywhere his teaching and preaching left a
  102. deep mark. At Strasburg he aroused suspicions and created enemies; his
  103. doctrine was accused of resembling that of the heretical sects of the
  104. &#8220;Beghards&#8221; and &#8220;Brothers of the Holy Spirit.&#8221; The
  105.  
  106. <pb n="6-7"/>
  107.  
  108. Superior-General of the Order had his writings submitted to a close
  109. examination by the Priors of Worms and Mayence. The history of this
  110. episode is very obscure. It appears that Eckhart was cited before the
  111. tribunal of the Inquisition at Cologne, and that he professed himself
  112. willing to withdraw anything that his writings might contain contrary to
  113. the teaching of the Church. The matter was referred to the Pope, who,
  114. in 1329, condemned certain propositions extracted from the writings of
  115. Eckhart two years after the death of the latter.</p>
  116.  
  117. <p>The importance of Eckhart in the history of scholastic philosophy
  118. is considerable. At that period all the efforts of religious philosophy
  119. were directed to widen theology, and to effect a reconciliation between
  120. reason and faith. The fundamental idea of Eckhart&#8217;s philosophy
  121. is that of the Absolute or Abstract Unity conceived as the sole real
  122. existence. His God is the <span class="Greek">&#920;&#949;&#959;&#962;
  123. &#945;&#947;&#957;&#959;&#963;&#964;&#959;&#962;</span> of the
  124. neoplatonists: He is absolutely devoid of attributes which would be a
  125. limitation of His Infinity. God is incomprehensible; in fact, with regard
  126. to our limited intelligence, God is the origin and final end of every
  127. being. How then, it may be asked, can God be a Person? The answer is,
  128. that by the eternal generation of the Son the Father becomes conscious
  129. of Himself, and the Love reflected back to the Father by the Son is the
  130. Holy Spirit. Together with the Son, God also begets the ideal forms of
  131. created things. The Absolute is thus the common background of God and
  132. the Universe. Like as the Son does, so everything born of God tends to
  133. return to Him, and to lose itself in the unity of His Being.</p>
  134.  
  135. <p>This theology is really Pantheism. Of the Absolute we have no
  136. cognizance but only of phenomena, but by the resolute endeavour to
  137. abstract ourselves from time and space, we can, according to Eckhart, at
  138. rare moments, attain to the Absolute by virtue of what he calls &#8220;the
  139. spark&#8221; (Funkelein) of the soul, which comes direct from God. This
  140. is really God acting in man; to know God is to be one with God. This is
  141. the final end of all our activity, and the means of attaining thereto is
  142. complete quietism. But Eckhart shrank from carrying his doctrines out to
  143. their extreme logical conclusion, though some of the more fanatical among
  144. his followers did so. On account of his insistence on the immediacy of
  145. man&#8217;s approach to God, apart from Church institutions, he may be
  146. justly regarded as a fore-runner of the Reformation.</p>
  147.  
  148. <p class="quote" style="margin-top:12pt"><span
  149. class="sc">Note</span>.&#8212;The best account of Eckhart in English
  150. is probably to be found in Vaughan&#8217;s &#8220;Hours with the
  151. Mystics,&#8221; vol. i.</p>
  152.  
  153. <pb n="8-9"/>
  154.  
  155. </div1>
  156.  
  157. <div1 title="I. The Attractive Power of God" n="iv">
  158.  
  159. <pb n="10-11"/>
  160.  
  161. <h2>ECKHART&#8217;S SERMONS</h2> <h3>I</h3> <h3>THE ATTRACTIVE POWER OF GOD</h3>
  162.  
  163. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="John
  164. 6:44"/><scripRef passage="John 6:44"><span class="sc">St John</span>
  165. vi. 44.</scripRef>&#8212;&#8220;No one can come unto Me, except the
  166. Father which hath sent Me draw him.&#8221;</p>
  167.  
  168. <p class="first"><span class="sc">Our</span> Lord Jesus Christ hath in
  169. the Gospel spoken with His own blessed lips these words, which signify,
  170. &#8220;No man can come to Me unless My Father draw him.&#8221; In another
  171. place He says, &#8220;I am in the Father and the Father in Me.&#8221;
  172. Therefore whoever cometh to the Son cometh to the Father. Further,
  173. He saith, &#8220;I and the Father are One. Therefore whomsoever the
  174. Father draweth, the Son draweth likewise.&#8221; St Augustine also
  175. saith, &#8220;The works of the Holy Trinity are inseparable from each
  176. other.&#8221; Therefore the Father draweth to the Son, and the Son draweth
  177. to the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost draweth to the Father and the
  178. Son; and each Person of the Trinity, when He draweth to the Two Others,
  179. draweth to Himself, because the Three are One. The Father draweth with
  180. the might of His power, the Son draweth with His unfathomable wisdom,
  181. the Holy Ghost draweth with
  182.  
  183. <pb n="12-13"/>
  184.  
  185. His love. Thus we are drawn by the Sacred Trinity with the cords of Power,
  186. Wisdom and Love, when we are drawn from an evil thing to a good thing,
  187. and from a good thing to a better, and from a better thing to the best
  188. of all. Now the Father draws us from the evil of sin to the goodness
  189. of His grace with the might of His measureless power, and He needs all
  190. the resources of His strength in order to convert sinners, more than
  191. when He was about to make heaven and earth, which He made with His own
  192. power without help from any creature. But when He is about to convert
  193. a sinner, He always needs the sinner&#8217;s help. &#8220;He converts
  194. thee not without thy help,&#8221; as St Augustine says.</p>
  195.  
  196. <p>Therefore deadly sin is a breach of nature, a death of the soul, a
  197. disquiet of the heart, a weakening of power, a blindness of the sense,
  198. a sorrow of the spirit, a death of grace, a death of virtue, a death of
  199. good works, an aberration of the spirit, a fellowship with the devil,
  200. an expulsion of Christianity, a dungeon of hell, a banquet of hell, an
  201. eternity of hell. Therefore, if thou committest a deadly sin thou art
  202. guilty of all these and incurrest their consequences. Regarding the first
  203. point: Deadly sin is a breach of nature, for every man&#8217;s nature
  204. is an image and likeness and mirror of the Trinity, of Godhead and of
  205. eternity. All these together are marred by a deadly sin; therefore,
  206. it is a breach of nature. Such sin is also the death of the soul, for
  207. death is to lose life. Now God is the life of the soul, and deadly sin
  208. separates from God; therefore it is a death of the soul. Deadly sin is
  209. also a disquiet of the heart, for everything rests nowhere except in its
  210. own proper place; and the proper resting-place of the soul is nowhere
  211. except in God as St Augustine saith, &#8220;Lord! Thou hast made us for
  212. Thyself, therefore we may not rest anywhere save in Thee.&#8221; Deadly
  213. sin is also a weakening of the powers, for by his own power no one can
  214. throw off the load of sin nor restrain himself from committing sin. It is
  215. also a blindness of the sense, for it prevents a man recognizing how brief
  216. is the space of time that can be spent in the pleasure of voluptuousness,
  217. and how long are the pains of hell and the joys of heaven. Deadly sin
  218. is also a death of all grace, for whenever such a sin is committed, the
  219. soul is bereft of all grace. Similarly, it is the death of all virtue
  220. and good works, and an aberration of the spirit.</p>
  221.  
  222. <p>It is also a fellowship with the Devil, for everything hath fellowship
  223. with its like; and sin maketh the soul and Satan resemble each other. It
  224. is also an expulsion of Christianity, for it depriveth the sinner of
  225. all the profit that comes from Christianity. It is also a dungeon of
  226. hell, for if the soul remain in the purity in which God created her,
  227. neither angel nor devil may rob her of her freedom. But sin confines it
  228. in hell. Sin is also an eternity of hell, for eternity is in the
  229.  
  230. <pb n="14-15"/>
  231.  
  232. will, and were it not in the will, it would not be in the consciousness.</p>
  233.  
  234. <p>Now, people say when they commit sin, that they do not intend to do
  235. so always; they intend to turn away from sin. That is just as though a
  236. man were to kill himself and suppose that he could make himself alive
  237. again by his own strength. That is, however, impossible; but to turn
  238. from sin by one&#8217;s own power and come to God is still much more
  239. impossible. Therefore, whosoever is to turn from sin and come to God
  240. in His heavenly kingdom, must be drawn by the heavenly Father with the
  241. might of His divine power. The Father also draws the Son who comes to
  242. help us with His grace, by stimulating our free will to turn away from,
  243. and hate sin, which has drawn us aside from God, and from the immutable
  244. goodness of the Godhead. Then, if she is willing, He pours the gift of His
  245. grace into the soul, which renounces all her misery and sin, and all her
  246. works become living. Now, this grace springs from the centre of Godhead
  247. and the Father&#8217;s heart, and flows perpetually, nor ever ceases, if
  248. the soul obeys His everlasting love. Therefore He saith in the prophets:
  249. &#8220;I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving
  250. kindness have I drawn thee.&#8221; Out of the overflow of His universal
  251. love He desires to draw all to Himself, and to His Only-begotten Son,
  252. and to the Holy Ghost in the joy of the heavenly kingdom. Now, we should
  253. know that before our Lord Jesus Christ was born, the Heavenly Father drew
  254. men with all His might for five thousand, two hundred years; and yet,
  255. as far as we know, brought not one into the heavenly kingdom. So, when
  256. the Son saw that the Father had thus strongly drawn men and even wearied
  257. Himself, and yet not succeeded, He said to the Father: &#8220;I will draw
  258. them with the cords of a man.&#8221; It was as though He said, &#8220;I
  259. see well, Father, that Thou with all Thy might, canst not succeed,
  260. therefore will I myself draw them with the cords of a man.&#8221;</p>
  261.  
  262. <p>Therefore the Son came down from heaven, and was incarnate of a Virgin,
  263. and took upon Him all our bodily weaknesses, except sin and folly, into
  264. which Adam had cast us; and out of all His words and works and limbs and
  265. nerves, He made a cord, and drew us so skillfully, and so heartily, that
  266. the bloody sweat poured from His sacred Body. And when He had drawn men
  267. without ceasing for three and thirty years, He saw the beginnings of a
  268. movement and the redemption of all things that would follow. Therefore
  269. He said, &#8220;And I, if I be lifted up on the Cross, will draw all
  270. men unto Me.&#8221; Therefore He was stretched upon the Cross, and laid
  271. aside all His glory, and whatever might hinder His drawing men.</p>
  272.  
  273. <p>Now, there are three natural means of attraction with which Christ
  274. on the Cross drew to Himself between the third and the ninth hour,
  275. more people than He had drawn
  276.  
  277. <pb n="16-17"/>
  278.  
  279. before during the three and thirty years of His life. The first means
  280. by which He draws is affinity, that affinity which brings creatures
  281. of the same species together, and like to its like. With this cord of
  282. affinity he drew men to the Godhead, Whom He always resembles. In order
  283. that God may draw more to Himself, and forget His wrath, the Son saith,
  284. &#8220;Beloved Father, seeing that Thou wouldest not forgive sins because
  285. of all the former sacrifices offered, lo I, Thine Only begotten Son,
  286. Who resemble Thy Godhead in all things, in Whom Thou hast hidden all
  287. the riches of divine love, I come to the Cross, that I may be a living
  288. sacrifice before Thine eyes; that out of Thy fatherly compassion Thou
  289. mayest bend and look on Me, Thine only Son, and on My Blood flowing from
  290. My wounds, and slake the fiery sword with which in the angel&#8217;s
  291. hands Thou hast barred the way to Paradise, that all who have repented
  292. and bewailed their sins through Me, may enter therein.&#8221;</p>
  293.  
  294. <p>The second means of attraction which He used is Emptiness, as we
  295. see when we place one end of a hollow pipe in water, and draw up it by
  296. suction; the water runs up the stem to the mouth, because the emptiness
  297. of the pipe, from which the air has been drawn, draws the water to
  298. itself. So Our Lord Jesus Christ made Himself empty that He might wisely
  299. draw all things to Himself. Therefore He let all the blood that was in
  300. His Body flow out, and so attracted to Himself all the compassion and
  301. grace that was in His Father&#8217;s heart, so completely and profitably
  302. as to suffice for the whole world. Accordingly, the Father said, &#8220;My
  303. compassion will I never forget,&#8221; and further, &#8220;Now, My Son, be
  304. bold and strong that Thou mayest lead the people altogether into the land
  305. which I have promised, the land of heavenly joys, the land which floweth
  306. with the honey of My Godhead, and with the milk of Thy manhood.&#8221;</p>
  307.  
  308. <p>The third means of attraction is this&#8212;that as we see the sun
  309. draw up the mists from the earth to heaven, so the heart of our Lord
  310. Jesus Christ waxed hot as a fiery furnace upon the Cross, so fiercely
  311. burned the flame of love which He felt towards the whole world. Thus,
  312. with the heat of His love, from which nothing could be hidden, so
  313. intense was it&#8212;He drew the whole world to Himself. Never did
  314. our Lord Jesus Christ display such great love as when He suffered the
  315. torture of the Cross when He gave His life for us, and washed our sins
  316. with His precious Blood. Therefore with the cords of Love, He drew us
  317. all to Himself upon the Cross that those who feel the drawing of His
  318. death and martyrdom might live with Him in everlasting felicity.</p>
  319.  
  320. <p>Now when the Holy Spirit saw that the Only Begotten Son of the Father
  321. had drawn so wisely that He had won to Himself all things in heaven and
  322. earth, He also felt impelled by His own love and kindness to
  323.  
  324. <pb n="18-19"/>
  325.  
  326. draw. Therefore He said, &#8220;I will also draw with My cords and My
  327. net.&#8221; So He made a net of the seven high attributes of the Father,
  328. of the seven graces of the Son, of His own seven gifts, and of the seven
  329. Christian virtues. Thus He assures us that we shall never perish, for we
  330. are so caught by His goodness that He expels from us all the evil works of
  331. the flesh, and produces in us His fruits, so that we gain the reward of
  332. everlasting life. May the Father of His love, and the Son of His grace,
  333. and the Holy Spirit with His fellowship, grant us to be worthy of the
  334. same. Amen.</p></div1>
  335.  
  336. <div1 title="II. The Nearness of the Kingdom" n="v">
  337.   <h3>II</h3> <h3>THE NEARNESS OF THE KINGDOM</h3>
  338.  
  339. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="Luke 21:31"/><scripRef passage="Luke 21:31"><span class="sc">St Luke</span> xxi. 31</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;Know that the Kingdom of God is near.&#8221;</p>
  340.  
  341. <p class="first"><span class="sc">Our</span> Lord saith that the Kingdom
  342. of God is near us. Yea, the Kingdom of God is within us as St Paul saith
  343. &#8220;our salvation is nearer than when we believed.&#8221; Now we
  344. should know in what manner the Kingdom of God is near us. Therefore let
  345. us pay diligent attention to the meaning of the words. If I were a king,
  346. and did not know it, I should not really be a king. But, if I were fully
  347. convinced that I was a king, and all mankind coincided in my belief,
  348. and I knew that they shared my conviction, I should indeed be a king,
  349. and all the wealth of the king would be mine. But, if one of these three
  350. conditions were lacking, I should not really be a king.</p>
  351.  
  352. <p>In similar fashion our salvation depends upon our knowing and
  353. recognizing the Chief Good which is God Himself. I have a capacity in
  354. my soul for taking in God entirely. I am as sure as I live that nothing
  355. is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me than I am to myself; my
  356. existence depends
  357.  
  358. <pb n="20-21"/>
  359.  
  360. on the nearness and presence of God. He is also near things of wood
  361. and stone, but they know it not. If a piece of wood became as aware
  362. of the nearness of God as an archangel is, the piece of wood would
  363. be as happy as an archangel. For this reason man is happier than the
  364. inanimate wood, because he knows and understands how God is near him. His
  365. happiness increases and diminishes in proportion to the increase and
  366. diminution in his knowledge of this. His happiness does not arise from
  367. this that God is near him, and in him, and that He possesses God; but
  368. from this, that he <i>knows </i>the nearness of God, and loves Him,
  369. and is aware that &#8220;the Kingdom of God is near.&#8221; So, when
  370. I think on God&#8217;s Kingdom, I am compelled to be silent because
  371. of its immensity, because God&#8217;s Kingdom is none other than God
  372. Himself with all His riches. God&#8217;s Kingdom is no small thing: we
  373. may survey in imagination all the worlds of God&#8217;s creation, but
  374. they are not God&#8217;s Kingdom. In whichever soul God&#8217;s Kingdom
  375. appeareth, and which knoweth God&#8217;s Kingdom, that soul needeth no
  376. human preaching or instruction; it is taught from within and assured of
  377. eternal life. Whoever knows and recognizes how near God&#8217;s Kingdom
  378. is to him may say with Jacob, &#8220;God is in this place, and I knew
  379. it not.&#8221;</p>
  380.  
  381. <p>God is equally near in all creatures. The wise man saith, &#8220;God
  382. hath spread out His net over all creatures, so that whosoever wishes to
  383. discover Him may find and recognize Him in each one.&#8221; Another saith,
  384. &#8220;He knows God rightly who recognizes Him alike in all things.&#8221;
  385. To serve God with fear is good; to serve Him out of love is better;
  386. but to fear and love Him together is best of all. To have a restful
  387. or peaceful life in God is good; to bear a life of pain in patience is
  388. better; but to have peace in the midst of pain is the best of all.</p>
  389.  
  390. <p>A man may go into the field and say his prayer and be aware of God,
  391. or, he may be in Church and be aware of God; but, if he is more aware of
  392. Him because he is in a quiet place, that is his own deficiency and not due
  393. to God, Who is alike present in all things and places, and is willing to
  394. give Himself everywhere so far as lies in Him. He knows God rightly who
  395. knows Him everywhere. St Bernard saith, &#8220;How is it that mine eye
  396. and not my foot sees heaven? Because mine eye is more like heaven than
  397. my foot is. So, if my soul is to know God, it must be God-like.&#8221;</p>
  398.  
  399. <p>Now, how is the soul to arrive at this heavenly state that it
  400. recognizes God in itself, and knows that He is near? By copying
  401. the heavens, which can receive no impulse from without to mar their
  402. tranquility. Thus must the soul, which would know God, be rooted and
  403. grounded in Him so steadfastly, as to suffer no perturbation of fear or
  404. hope, or joy or sorrow, or love or hate, or anything which may disturb
  405. its peace.</p>
  406.  
  407. <p>The heavens are everywhere alike remote
  408.  
  409. <pb n="22-23"/>
  410.  
  411. from earth, so should the soul be remote from all earthly things alike so
  412. as not to be nearer to one than another. It should keep the same attitude
  413. of aloofness in love and hate, in possession and renouncement, that is,
  414. it should be simultaneously dead, resigned and lifted up. The heavens
  415. are pure and clear without shadow of stain, out of space and out of
  416. time. Nothing corporeal is found there. Their revolutions are incredibly
  417. swift and independent of time, though time depends on them. Nothing
  418. hinders the soul so much in attaining to the knowledge of God as time and
  419. place. Therefore, if the soul is to know God, it must know Him outside
  420. time and place, since God is neither in this or that, but One and above
  421. them. If the soul is to see God, it must look at nothing in time; for
  422. while the soul is occupied with time or place or any image of the kind,
  423. it cannot recognize God. If it is to know Him, it must have no fellowship
  424. with nothingness. Only he knows God who recognizes that all creatures
  425. are nothingness. For, if one creature be set over against another, it
  426. may appear to be beautiful and somewhat, but if it be set over against
  427. God, it is nothing. I say moreover: If the soul is to know God it must
  428. forget itself and lose itself, for as long as it contemplates self, it
  429. cannot contemplate God. When it has lost itself and everything in God,
  430. it finds itself again in God when it attains to the knowledge of Him,
  431. and it finds also everything which it had abandoned complete in God. If
  432. I am to know the highest good, and the everlasting Godhead, truly, I
  433. must know them as they are in themselves apart from creation. If I am
  434. to know real existence, I must know it as it is in itself, not as it is
  435. parceled out in creatures.</p>
  436.  
  437. <p>The whole Being of God is contained in God alone. The whole of
  438. humanity is not contained in one man, for one man is not all men. But in
  439. God the soul knows all humanity, and all things at their highest level
  440. of existence, since it knows them in their essence. Suppose any one to
  441. be <i>in</i> a beautifully adorned house: he would know much more about
  442. it than one who had never entered therein, and yet wished to speak much
  443. about it. Thus, I am as sure, as I am of my own existence and God&#8217;s,
  444. that, if the soul is to know God, it must know Him outside of time and
  445. place. Such a soul will know clearly how near God&#8217;s kingdom is.</p>
  446.  
  447. <p>Schoolmen have often asked how it is possible for the soul to know
  448. God. It is not from severity that God demands much from men in order to
  449. obtain the knowledge of Himself: it is of His kindness that He wills the
  450. soul by effort to grow capacious of receiving much, and that He may give
  451. much. Let no man think that to attain this knowledge is too difficult,
  452. although it may sound so, and indeed the commencement of it, and the
  453. renouncement of all things, <i>is</i> difficult.  But
  454.  
  455. <pb n="24-25"/>
  456.  
  457. when one attains to it, no life is easier nor more pleasant nor more
  458. lovable, since God is always endeavouring to dwell with man, and teach him
  459. in order to bring him to Himself. No man desires anything so eagerly as
  460. God desires to bring men to the knowledge of Himself. God is always ready,
  461. but we are very unready. God is near us, but we are far from Him. God
  462. is within, and we are without. God is friendly; we are estranged. The
  463. prophet saith, &#8220;God leadeth the righteous by a narrow path into a
  464. broad and wide place, that is into the true freedom of those who have
  465. become one spirit with God.&#8221; May God help us all to follow Him
  466. that He may bring us to Himself. Amen.</p></div1>
  467.  
  468. <div1 title="III. The Angel's Greeting" n="vi">
  469.   <h3>III</h3> <h3>THE ANGEL&#8217;S GREETING</h3>
  470.  
  471. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="Luke
  472. 1:28"/><scripRef passage="Luke 1:28"><span class="sc">St Luke</span>
  473. i. 28</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;Hail, thou that art highly favoured among
  474. women, the Lord is with thee.&#8221;</p>
  475.  
  476. <p class="first"><span class="sc">Here</span> there are three things
  477. to understand: the first, the modesty of the angel; the second, that
  478. he thought himself unworthy to accost the Mother of God; the third,
  479. that he not only addressed her, but the great multitude of souls who
  480. long after God.</p>
  481.  
  482. <p>I affirm that had the Virgin not first borne God spiritually He would
  483. never have been born from her in bodily fashion. A certain woman said to
  484. Christ, &#8220;Blessed is the womb that bear Thee.&#8221; To which Christ
  485. answered, &#8220;Nay, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God
  486. and keep it.&#8221; It is more worthy of God that He be born spiritually
  487. of every pure and virgin soul, than that He be born of Mary. Hereby we
  488. should understand that humanity is, so to speak, the Son of God born
  489. from all eternity. The Father produced all creatures, and me among them,
  490. and I issued forth from Him with all creatures, and yet I abide in the
  491. Father. Just as the word which I now speak is conceived
  492.  
  493. <pb n="26-27"/>
  494.  
  495. and spoken forth by me, and you all receive it, yet none the less it
  496. abides in me. Thus I and all creatures abide in the Father.</p>
  497.  
  498. <p>Hereto I adjoin a parable. There were a certain man and wife; the
  499. woman by accident lost an eye, and was sorely troubled thereat. Her
  500. husband then said to her, &#8220;Wife, why are you troubled? &#8220;She
  501. answered, &#8220;It is not the loss of my eye that troubles me, but the
  502. thought that you may love me less on account of that loss.&#8221; He said,
  503. &#8220;I love you all the same.&#8221; Not long after he put one of his
  504. own eyes out, and came to his wife and said, &#8220;Wife, that you may
  505. believe I love you, I have made myself like you: I, too, now, have only
  506. one eye.&#8221; So men could hardly believe that God loved them till
  507. God put one of His eyes out, that is took upon Himself human nature,
  508. and was made man. Just as fire infuses its essence and clearness into
  509. the dry wood, so has God done with man. He has created the human soul
  510. and infused His glory into it, and yet in His own essence has remained
  511. unchangeable. If you ask me whether, seeing that my spiritual birth is
  512. out of time, whether I am an eternal son, I answer &#8220;Yes,&#8221; and
  513. &#8220;No.&#8221; In the everlasting foreknowledge of God, I slumbered
  514. like a word unspoken. He hath brought me forth His son in the image
  515. of His eternal fatherhood, that I also should be a father and bring
  516. forth Him. It is as if one stood before a high mountain, and cried,
  517. &#8220;Art thou there?&#8221; The echo comes back, &#8220;Art thou
  518. there?&#8221; If one cries, &#8220;Come out.&#8221; the echo answers,
  519. &#8220;Come out.&#8221;</p>
  520.  
  521. <p>Again: If I am in a higher place and say to some one, &#8220;Come up
  522. hither,&#8221; that might be difficult for him. But if I say, &#8220;Sit
  523. down,&#8221; that would be easy. Thus God dealeth with us. When man
  524. humbles himself, God cannot restrain His mercy; He must come down and
  525. pour His grace into the humble man, and He gives Himself most of all,
  526. and all at once, to the least of all. It is essential to God to give,
  527. for His essence is His goodness and His goodness is His love. Love is the
  528. root of all joy and sorrow. Slavish fear of God is to be put away. The
  529. right fear is the fear of losing God. If the earth flee downward from
  530. heaven, it finds heaven beneath it; if it flee upward, it comes again to
  531. heaven. The earth cannot flee from heaven: whether it flee up or down,
  532. the heaven rains its influence upon it, and stamps its impress upon it,
  533. and makes it fruitful, whether it be willing or not. Thus doth God with
  534. men: whoever thinketh to escape Him, flies into His bosom, for every
  535. corner is open to Him. God brings forth His Son in thee, whether thou
  536. likest it or not, whether thou sleepest or wakest; God worketh His own
  537. will. That man is unaware of it, is man&#8217;s fault, for his taste is
  538. so spoilt by feeding on earthly things that he cannot relish God&#8217;s
  539. love. If we had love to God, we should relish God, and all His works; we
  540.  
  541. <pb n="28-29"/>
  542.  
  543. should receive all things from God, and work the same works as He worketh.</p>
  544.  
  545. <p>God created the soul after the image of His highest perfection. He
  546. issued forth from the treasure-house of the everlasting Fatherhood in
  547. which He had rested from all eternity. Then the Son opened the tent of His
  548. everlasting glory and came forth from His high place to fetch His Bride,
  549. whom the Father had espoused to Him from all Eternity, back to that heaven
  550. from which she came. Therefore He came forth rejoicing as a bridegroom
  551. and suffered the pangs of love. Then He returned to His secret chamber
  552. in the silence and stillness of the everlasting Fatherhood. As He came
  553. forth from the Highest, so He returned to the Highest with His Bride,
  554. and revealed to her the hidden treasures of His Godhead.</p>
  555.  
  556. <p>The first beginning is for the sake of the last end. God Himself doth
  557. not rest because He is the beginning, but because He is the end and goal
  558. of all creation. This end is concealed in the darkness of the everlasting
  559. Godhead, and is unknown, and never was known, and never will be known. God
  560. Himself remains unknown; the light of the everlasting Father shineth in
  561. darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. May the truth of which
  562. we have spoken lead us to the truth.  Amen.</p></div1>
  563.  
  564. <div1 title="IV. True Hearing" n="vii">
  565.   <h3>IV</h3> <h3>TRUE HEARING</h3>
  566.  
  567. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon"
  568. passage="Ecclus. 24:30"/><scripRef passage="Sir 24:30"><span
  569. class="sc">Ecclesiasticus</span> xxiv. 30</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;Whoso
  570. heareth Me shall not be confounded.&#8221;</p>
  571.  
  572. <p class="first"><span class="sc">The</span> everlasting and paternal
  573. wisdom saith, &#8220;Whoso heareth Me is not ashamed.&#8221; If he is
  574. ashamed of anything he is ashamed of being ashamed. Whoso worketh in
  575. Me sineth not. Whoso confesseth Me and feareth Me, shall have eternal
  576. life. Whoso will hear the wisdom of the Father must dwell deep, and
  577. abide at home, and be at unity with himself. Three things hinder us from
  578. hearing the everlasting Word. The first is fleshliness, the second is
  579. distraction, the third is the illusion of time. If a man could get free
  580. of these, he would dwell in eternity, and in the spirit, and in solitude,
  581. and in the desert, and there would hear the everlasting Word. Our Lord
  582. saith, &#8220;No man can hear My word nor my teaching without renouncing
  583. himself.&#8221; All that the Eternal Father teaches and reveals is His
  584. being, His nature, and His Godhead, which He manifests to us in His Son,
  585. and teaches us that we are also His Son.</p>
  586.  
  587. <p>All that God worketh and teacheth, He
  588.  
  589. <pb n="30-31"/>
  590.  
  591. worketh in His Son. All His work is directed to this end that we also may
  592. be His Son. When God sees that we are indeed His son, He yearns after us,
  593. and in the depth of His Divine Being waves of longing break forth, to
  594. reveal to us the abyss of His Godhead, and the fullness of His essence;
  595. He hastens to identify Himself with us. Herein He hath joy and gladness
  596. in full measure. God loveth men not less than He loveth Himself. If thou
  597. really lovest thyself, thou lovest all men as thyself; as long as thou
  598. lovest any one less than thyself, thou dost not really love thyself. That
  599. man is right who loves all men as himself.</p>
  600.  
  601. <p>Some folk say: &#8220;I love my friends, who do me kindness, more
  602. than other people.&#8221; Such love is imperfect and incomplete; it is
  603. like having your sails only half-tilled with wind. When I love anyone as
  604. much as myself, I would just as soon that joy or sorrow, death or life
  605. were mine, as well as his. That would be the dictate of right reason.</p>
  606.  
  607. <p>St Paul felt such love when he said, &#8220;I would that I were cut off
  608. from God for my friends&#8217; sake.&#8221; Now to be cut off from God
  609. is equivalent to suffering the pains of hell. Some ask whether St Paul
  610. was on the way to perfection or was perfect. I answer, he was perfect,
  611. or he would have spoken otherwise.</p>
  612.  
  613. <p>I wish further to elucidate this saying of St Paul that he was willing
  614. to be cut off from God. The highest act of renunciation for man is for
  615. God&#8217;s sake to give up God, and that is what St Paul was willing to
  616. do; to give up all the blessings that he might receive from God. When
  617. for God&#8217;s sake he gave up God, God still remained with him,
  618. since God&#8217;s essence is Himself, not any impression or reception
  619. of Himself. He who does so is a true man to whom no grief may happen,
  620. any more than it happens to the Divine Being. There is a somewhat in
  621. the soul that is, as it were, a blood-relative of God. It is one, it has
  622. nothing in common with nothing, nor is it like nothingness, nothing. All
  623. that is created is nothing, all far from and foreign to the soul. Could
  624. I but find myself one instant in that sphere of pure existence, I should
  625. regard myself as little as a worm.</p>
  626.  
  627. <p> A question arises regarding the angels who dwell with us, serve us and
  628. protect us, whether their joys are equal to those of the angels in heaven,
  629. or whether they are diminished by the fact that they protect and serve
  630. us. No, they are certainly not; for the work of the angels is the will of
  631. God, and the will of God is the work of the angels; their service to us
  632. does not hinder their joy nor their working. If God told an angel to go
  633. to a tree and pluck caterpillars off it, the angel would be quite ready
  634. to do so, and it would be his happiness, if it were the will of God.</p>
  635.  
  636. <p>The man who abides in the will of God wills
  637.  
  638. <pb n="32-33"/>
  639.  
  640. nothing else than what God is, and what He wills. If he were ill he would
  641. not wish to be well. If he really abides in God&#8217;s will, all pain
  642. is to him a joy, all complication, simple: yea, even the pains of hell
  643. would be a joy to him. He is free and gone out from himself, and from
  644. all that he receives, he must be free. If my eye is to discern colour,
  645. it must itself be free from all colour. <i>The eye with which I see God
  646. is the same with which God sees me. </i>My eye and God&#8217;s eye is
  647. one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love.</p>
  648.  
  649. <p> The man who abides in God&#8217;s love must be dead to himself and
  650. all created things, and regard himself as a mere unit among a thousand
  651. million. Such a man must renounce himself and all the world. Supposing
  652. a man possessed all the world, and gave it back to God intact just as
  653. he received it, God would give him back, all the world and everlasting
  654. life to boot. And supposing there were another man who had nothing
  655. but a good will, and he thought in his heart, &#8220;Lord, were all
  656. this world mine, and two worlds more beside it, I would give them and
  657. myself also back to Thee as I received them from thee&#8221;; to that
  658. man God would give back as much as he had given away. And supposing a
  659. man had renounced himself for twenty years, if he took himself back for
  660. a moment, that man&#8217;s renunciation would be as nothing. The man
  661. who has truly renounced himself and does not once cast a glance on what
  662. he has renounced, and thus remains immovable and unalterable, that man
  663. alone has really renounced self. May God and the Eternal Wisdom grant us
  664. to remain equally immovable and unalterable with Himself. Amen.</p></div1>
  665.  
  666. <div1 title="V. The Self-Communication of God" n="viii">
  667.  
  668. <pb n="34-35"/>
  669.  
  670. <h3>V</h3> <h3>THE SELF-COMMUNICATION OF GOD</h3>
  671.  
  672. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="John
  673. 14:23"/><scripRef passage="John 14:23"><span class="sc">St John</span>
  674. xiv. 23</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;If a man love me, he will keep my words;
  675. and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our
  676. abode with him.&#8221;</p>
  677.  
  678. <p class="first"><span class="sc">We</span> read in the Gospels that
  679. Our Lord fed many people with five loaves and two fishes. Speaking
  680. parabolically, we may say that the first loaf was&#8212;that we should
  681. know ourselves, what we have been everlastingly to God, and what we now
  682. are to Him. The second&#8212;that we should pity our fellow Christian
  683. who is blinded; his loss should grieve us as much as our own. The
  684. third&#8212;that we should know our Lord Jesus Christ&#8217;s life,
  685. and follow it to the utmost of our capacity. The fourth&#8212;that we
  686. should know the judgments of God. All that may be said of the pains of
  687. hell is true. St Dionysius saith, &#8220;To be separated from God is
  688. hell, and the sight of God&#8217;s countenance is heaven.&#8221; The
  689. fifth is&#8212;that we should know the Godhead which has flowed into the
  690. Father and filled Him with joy, and which has flowed into the Son and
  691. filled Him with wisdom, and the Two are essentially one. Therefore said
  692. Christ, &#8220;Where I am, there is My Father, and where My Father is,
  693. there am I&#8221; And They have flowed into the Holy Ghost and filled
  694. Him with good will. Therefore said Christ, &#8220;I and My Father have
  695. one Spirit,&#8221; and the Holy Ghost has flowed into the soul.</p>
  696.  
  697. <p>The soul has by nature two capacities. The one is intelligence, which
  698. may comprehend the Holy Trinity with all its works and be contained by
  699. It as water is by a vessel. When the vessel is full, it has enclosed all
  700. that is contained in it, and is united with that which it has enclosed,
  701. and of which it is full. Thus intelligence becomes one with that which
  702. it has understood and comprehended. It is united therewith by grace,
  703. as the Son is one with the Father.</p>
  704.  
  705. <p>The second capacity is Will. That is a nobler one, and its essential
  706. characteristic is to plunge into the Unknown which is God. There the Will
  707. lays hold of God in a mysterious manner, and the Unknown God imparts His
  708. impress to the Will. The Will draws thought and all the powers of the soul
  709. after it in its train, so that the soul becomes one with God by grace,
  710. as the Holy Ghost is one with the Father and with the Son by nature. In
  711. God it is more worthy to be loved, than it is in itself. Therefore
  712. St Augustine saith that the soul is greater by its love-giving power
  713. than by its life-giving power. If man might only abide in this union,
  714. and do all the works which have ever been done by creatures, he would
  715. be no other than God, if his higher powers so brought
  716.  
  717. <pb n="36-37"/>
  718.  
  719. his lower powers under control, that he could only work God-like
  720. works. That however may not be, and man&#8217;s highest faculty therefore
  721. contemplates God as best it can, and so influences his lower faculties
  722. that they can discern between Good and Evil.</p>
  723.  
  724. <p>Adam possessed that union with God which we have spoken of, and while
  725. he had it, his capacity contained the capacities of all creatures. The
  726. load-stone attracts the needle, and the needle receives the magnetic
  727. power, so that it can also attract other needles and draw them to the
  728. load-stone. But if one draws the first needle away, all the other needles
  729. come with it. Thus was it with Adam: when, in his highest capacity, he
  730. was separated from God all his capacities deteriorated. Thence came also
  731. discord and the clashing of oppugnant wills among the lower creation,
  732. and deterioration of their powers down to the lowest. It is necessary,
  733. therefore, for all the creatures which issued forth from God to co-operate
  734. earnestly with all their powers to form a Man who may again attain that
  735. union with God which Adam enjoyed before he fell, and who may again
  736. restore to the creatures their forfeited powers. This is fulfilled in
  737. Christ as He Himself said, &#8220;I, if I be lifted up, will draw all
  738. men unto Me.&#8221; He means, if He is exalted in our knowledge, He will
  739. draw us unto Himself. In Him human nature grew divine, and thanked God
  740. and loved Him with immeasurable love. This also befits God that he loves
  741. human nature with so great love. I counsel you, sisters and brothers,
  742. that you grow in knowledge, and thank God, while you are in time, that He
  743. brought you out of non-existence to existence, and united you with the
  744. Divine Nature. But if the Divine Nature be beyond your comprehension,
  745. believe simply on Christ;&#160; follow His holy example and remain
  746. steadfast. Convert Jews, heathen, heretics, bad Christians, and all who
  747. do not enjoy your knowledge of God, and are still astray.</p>
  748.  
  749. <p>Now rejoice, all ye powers of my soul, that you are so united with
  750. God that no one may separate you from Him. I cannot fully praise nor
  751. love Him therefore must I die, and cast myself into the divine void,
  752. till I rise from non-existence to existence. If I should remain entombed
  753. in flesh till the judgment day and suffer the pains of hell, that would
  754. be for me a small thing to bear for my beloved Lord Jesus Christ, if I
  755. had the certainty at last of not being separated from Him. While I am
  756. here, He is in me; after this life, I am in Him. All things are therefore
  757. possible to me, if I am united to Him Who can do all things. Previously I
  758. could not distinguish whether we were divine by nature or by grace. Then
  759. came Jesus and enlightened me so that I recognized in the Divine Nature
  760. Three Persons, and that the Father was the Bringer-Forth of all things,
  761. as St James says, &#8220;every perfect gift cometh down from the Father
  762. of lights.&#8221;</p>
  763.  
  764. <pb n="38-39"/>
  765.  
  766. <p>The Father and the Son have one Will, and that Will is the Holy Ghost,
  767. Who gives Himself to the soul so that the Divine Nature permeates the
  768. powers of the soul so that it can only do God-like works. Just as a
  769. spring, which perpetually flows and waters the roots of the flowers, so
  770. that the flowers bloom and receive their colours from the water of the
  771. spring, so the Godhead imparts Itself to the capacities of the soul that
  772. it may grow in the likeness of God. The more that the soul receives of
  773. the Divine Nature, the more it grows like It, and the closer becomes its
  774. union with God. It may arrive at such an intimate union that God at last
  775. draws it to Himself altogether, so that there is no distinction left,
  776. in the soul&#8217;s consciousness, between itself and God, though God
  777. still regards it as a creature. Wherefore let yourselves not be misled by
  778. the light of nature. The higher the degree of knowledge which the soul
  779. attains to in the light of grace, the darker seems to it the light of
  780. nature. If the soul would know the real truth it must examine itself,
  781. whether it has withdrawn from all things, whether it has lost itself,
  782. whether it loves God purely with His love and nothing of its own at the
  783. same time, so that it may not be separated from Him by anything, and
  784. whether God alone dwells in it. If it has lost itself, it is as when the
  785. Virgin Mary lost Christ. She sought Him for three days, and yet was sure
  786. that she would find Him. All the while Christ was in the highest class
  787. in the school of His Father, unconscious of His mother&#8217;s seeking
  788. Him. Thus happens it to the noble soul which goes to God to school, and
  789. learns there what God is in His essence, and what He is in the Trinity,
  790. and what He is in man, and what is most acceptable to Him. St Augustine
  791. saith that the righteousness of God in the Godhead and in the Trinity and
  792. in all creatures is the source of the chief joy which is in heaven. God in
  793. human nature is a lamp of living light, and &#8220;the light shineth in
  794. darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.&#8221; The darkness must
  795. ever more flee the light, as the night flees day. Thus the soul learns to
  796. know God&#8217;s will. St Paul saith, &#8220;This is God&#8217;s will,
  797. our sanctification.&#8221; And this is our sanctification, to know what
  798. we were before time; what we are in time, and what we shall be after
  799. time. Thus the soul loses itself in these three, and recketh naught of the
  800. body, till it comes to it in the temple, and obeys it without murmuring.
  801. The Father is a revelation of the Godhead, the Son is an image and
  802. countenance of the Father, and the Holy Ghost is an effulgence of that
  803. countenance, and a mutual love between Them, and these properties They
  804. have always possessed in Themselves. The Three Persons have stooped out
  805. of pity down to human nature, and the Son became man, and was the most
  806. despised man on the earth, and suffered pain at the hands of the
  807.  
  808. <pb n="40-41"/>
  809.  
  810. creatures whom He Himself created with the Father, through Whose will
  811. He became man. Thus was Christ till His death, and when He rose from the
  812. dead then was seen the most despised of all men united with the Godhead
  813. in the Person of Christ.</p></div1>
  814.  
  815. <div1 title="VI. Sanctification" n="ix">
  816.   <h3>VI</h3> <h3>SANCTIFICATION<note n="1">
  817. <p class="footnote">That is separation from all outward things.</p>
  818.   </note></h3>
  819.  
  820. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="Luke
  821. 10:42"/><scripRef passage="Luke x. 42"><span class="sc">St Luke</span>
  822. x. 42</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;One thing is needful.&#8221;</p>
  823.  
  824. <p class="first"><span class="sc">I have</span> read many writings both
  825. of heathen philosophers and inspired prophets, ancient and modern,
  826. and have sought earnestly to discover what is the best and highest
  827. quality whereby man may approach most nearly to union with God, and
  828. whereby he may most resemble the ideal of himself which existed in God,
  829. before God created men. And after having thoroughly searched these
  830. writings as far as my reason may penetrate, I find no higher quality
  831. than sanctification or separation from all creatures. Therefore said
  832. our Lord to Martha, &#8220;One thing is necessary,&#8221; as if to say,
  833. &#8220;whoso wishes to be untroubled and content, must have <i>one</i>
  834. thing, that is sanctification.&#8221;</p>
  835.  
  836. <p>Various teachers have praised love greatly, as St Paul does, when
  837. he saith, &#8220;to whatever height I may attain, if I have not love,
  838. I am nothing.&#8221; But I set sanctification even above love; in the
  839. first place because the best thing in love is that it compels me
  840.  
  841. <pb n="42-43"/>
  842.  
  843. to love God. Now it is a greater thing that I compel God to come to me,
  844. than that I compel myself to go to God. Sanctification compels God to
  845. come to me, and I prove this as follows:&#8212;</p>
  846.  
  847. <p>Everything settles in its own appropriate place; now God&#8217;s proper
  848. place is that of oneness and holiness; these come from sanctification;
  849. therefore God must of necessity give Himself to a sanctified heart.</p>
  850.  
  851. <p>In the second place I set sanctification above love, because love
  852. compels me to suffer all things for the sake of God; sanctification
  853. compels me to be the recipient of nothing but God; now, it is a higher
  854. state to be the recipient of nothing but God than to suffer all things
  855. for God, because in suffering one must have some regard to the person
  856. who inflicts the suffering, but sanctification is independent of all
  857. creatures.</p>
  858.  
  859. <p>Many teachers also praise humility as a virtue. But I set
  860. sanctification above humility for the following reason. Although humility
  861. may exist without sanctification, perfect sanctification cannot exist
  862. without perfect humility. Perfect humility tends to the annihilation of
  863. self; sanctification also is so close to self-annihilation that nothing
  864. can come between them. Therefore perfect sanctification cannot exist
  865. without humility, and to have both of these virtues is better than to
  866. have only one of them.</p>
  867.  
  868. <p>The second reason why I set sanctification above humility is that
  869. humility stoops to be under all creatures, and in doing so goes out
  870. of itself. But sanctification remains self-contained. But to remain
  871. contained within oneself is nobler than to go out of oneself for any
  872. purpose whatever; therefore saith the Psalmist, &#8220;The King&#8217;s
  873. daughter is all glorious <i>within</i>,&#8221; that is, all her glory
  874. is from her inwardness. Perfect sanctification has no inclination
  875. nor going-out towards any creature; it wishes neither to be above
  876. or below, neither to be like nor unlike any creature, but only to be
  877. <i>one</i>. Whosoever wishes to be this or that wishes to be somewhat;
  878. but sanctification wishes to be nothing.</p>
  879.  
  880. <p>But some one may say: &#8220;All virtues must have existed in fullness
  881. in Our Lady, therefore perfect sanctification must have been in her. If
  882. sanctification is higher than humility, why did Our Lady speak of her
  883. humility, and not of her sanctification, when she said, &#8220;For He
  884. hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden?&#8221; To this I answer
  885. that God possesses both sanctification and humility, so far as we may
  886. attribute virtues to God. Now thou shouldest know that His humility
  887. brought God to stoop down to human nature, and our Lady knew that He
  888. wished for the same quality in her, and in that matter had regard to
  889. her humility alone. Therefore she made mention of her humility and not
  890. of her sanctification, in which she remained unmoved and unaffected. If
  891. she had said, &#8220;He hath regarded the sanctification of His
  892.  
  893. <pb n="44-45"/>
  894.  
  895. handmaiden,&#8221; her sanctification would have been disturbed, for, so
  896. to speak, would have been a going out of herself. Therefore the Psalmist
  897. said, &#8220;I will hear what the Lord God will say in me,&#8221; as if
  898. to say, &#8220;If God will Speak to me, let Him come in, for I will not
  899. come out.&#8221; And Boethius saith, &#8220;Men, why seek ye outside
  900. you what is inside you&#8212;salvation?&#8221;</p>
  901.  
  902. <p>I set also sanctification above pity, for pity is only going out
  903. of oneself to sympathize with one&#8217;s fellow-creature&#8217;s
  904. sorrows. From such an out-going sanctification is free and abides in
  905. itself, and does not let itself be troubled. To speak briefly: when I
  906. consider all the virtues I find none so entirely without flaw and so
  907. conducive to union with God as sanctification.</p>
  908.  
  909. <p>The philosopher Avicenna says, &#8220;The spirit which is truly
  910. sanctified attains to so lofty a degree that all which it sees is
  911. real, all which it desires is granted, and in all which it commands,
  912. it is obeyed.&#8221; When the free spirit is stablished in true
  913. sanctification, it draws God to itself, and were it placed beyond the
  914. reach of contingencies, it would assume the properties of God. But God
  915. cannot part with those to anyone; all that He can do for the sanctified
  916. spirit is to impart Himself to it. The man who is wholly sanctified is
  917. so drawn towards the Eternal, that no transitory thing may move him,
  918. no corporeal thing affect him, no earthly thing attract him. This was
  919. the meaning of St Paul when he said, &#8220;I live; yet not I; Christ
  920. liveth in me.&#8221;</p>
  921.  
  922. <p>Now the question arises what <i>is</i>
  923. sanctification, since it has so lofty a rank. Thou shouldest know
  924. that real sanctification consists in this that the spirit remain as
  925. immovable and unaffected by all impact of love or hate, joy or
  926. sorrow, honour or shame, as a huge mountain is unstirred by a gentle
  927. breeze. This immovable sanctification causes man to attain the
  928. nearest likeness to God that he is capable of. God&#8217;s very essence
  929. consists of His immovable sanctity; thence springs His glory and
  930. unity and impassibility. If a man is to become as like God as a
  931. creature may, that must be by sanctification. It is this which draws
  932. men upward to glory, and from glory to unity, and from unity to
  933. impassibility, and effects a resemblance between God and men. The
  934. chief agent in this is grace, because grace draws men from the
  935. transitory and purifies them from the earthly. And thou shouldest
  936. know that to be empty of all creature&#8217;s love is to be full of God,
  937. and to be full of creature-love is to be empty of God.</p>
  938.  
  939. <p>God has remained from everlasting in immovable sanctity, and
  940. still remains so. When He created heaven and earth and all creatures,
  941. His sanctity was as little affected thereby as though He had created
  942. nothing. I say further: God&#8217;s sanctity is as little affected by
  943. men&#8217;s good works and prayers, as though they had accomplished
  944. none, and
  945.  
  946. <pb n="46-47"/>
  947.  
  948. He is by those means no more favourably inclined towards men than if
  949. they ceased praying and working. I say even more: when the Divine Son
  950. became man and suffered that affected the sanctity of God as little as
  951. though He had never become man at all.</p>
  952.  
  953. <p> Here some one may make the objection: &#8220;Are then all good works
  954. and prayers thrown away, since God is unmoved by them, and at the same
  955. time we are told to pray to Him for everything?&#8221; In answer to
  956. this I say that God from all eternity saw everything that would happen,
  957. and also when, and how He would make all creatures: He foresaw also all
  958. the prayers which would be offered, and which of them He would hear:
  959. He saw the earnest prayers which thou wilt offer tomorrow, but He will
  960. not listen to them tomorrow, because He heard them in eternity, before
  961. thou wast a man at all. If, however, thy prayer is half-hearted and not
  962. in earnest, God will not deny it <i>now</i>, seeing that He has denied
  963. it in eternity. Thus God remains always in His immovable sanctity,
  964. but sincere prayer and good works are not lost, for whoso doeth well,
  965. will be well rewarded.</p>
  966.  
  967. <p>When God appears to be angry or to do us a kindness, it is we who are
  968. altered, while He remains unchangeable, as the same sunshine is injurious
  969. to weak eyes and beneficial to strong ones, remaining in itself the
  970. same. Regarding this Isidorus in his book concerning the highest good
  971. says, &#8220;People ask what was God doing before He created heaven and
  972. earth, or whence came the new desire in God to create?&#8221; To this
  973. he answers, &#8220;No new desire arose in God, seeing that creation was
  974. everlastingly present in Him, and in His intelligence.&#8221; Moses
  975. said to God, &#8220;When Pharaoh asks me who Thou art, what shall I
  976. answer?&#8221; God said, &#8220;Say, I AM hath sent me unto you,&#8221;
  977. that is to say, &#8220;He Who is unchangeable hath sent me.&#8221;</p>
  978.  
  979. <p>Perhaps some one may ask, &#8220;Was Christ then also unchangeable,
  980. when He said, &#8216;My soul is troubled even unto death,&#8217; or
  981. Mary when she stood under the Cross and lamented?&#8221; Here, thou
  982. shouldest know that in every man are two kinds of men, the outer and
  983. the inner man. Every man, who loves God, only uses his outer senses so
  984. far as is absolutely necessary; he takes care that they do not drag him
  985. down to the level of the beasts, as they do some who might rather he
  986. termed beasts than men. The soul of the spiritual man whom God moves to
  987. love Him with all his powers concentrates all its forces on the inner
  988. man. Therefore He saith, &#8220;Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
  989. all thy heart.&#8221; Now, there are some who waste the powers of the
  990. soul for the use of the outer man; these are they who turn all their
  991. thoughts and desires towards transitory things, and know nothing of the
  992. inner life. But a good man sometimes deprives his outer man of all power
  993.  
  994. <pb n="48-49"/>
  995.  
  996. that it may have a higher object, while sensualists deprive the inner
  997. man of all power to use it for the outer man.</p>
  998.  
  999. <p> The outer man may go through various experiences, while the inner man
  1000. is quite free and immovable. Now both in Christ and in Our Lady there
  1001. was an inner and an outer man; when they spoke of outward things, they
  1002. did so with the outward man, while the inner man remained immovable.</p>
  1003.  
  1004. <p>It may be asked: &#8220;What is the object of this immovable
  1005. sanctity?&#8221; I answer, &#8220;Nothing&#8221;: that is, so far as
  1006. God has His way with a man, for He has not His way with all men.</p>
  1007.  
  1008. <p>Although God is Almighty, He can only work in a heart when He finds
  1009. readiness or makes it. He works differently in men than in stones. For
  1010. this we may take the following illustration: if we bake in one oven three
  1011. loaves of barley-bread, of rye-bread, and of wheat, we shall find the
  1012. same heat of the oven affects them differently; when one is well-baked,
  1013. another will be still raw, and another yet more raw. That is not due to
  1014. the heat, but to the variety of the materials.  Similarly God works in
  1015. all hearts not alike but in proportion as He finds them prepared and
  1016. susceptible. If the heart is to be ready for the highest, it must he
  1017. vacant of all other things. If I wish to write on a white tablet, whatever
  1018. else is written on the tablet, however noble its purport, is a hindrance
  1019. to me. If I am to write, I must wipe the tablet clean of everything, and
  1020. the tablet is most suitable for my purpose when it is blank. Similarly,
  1021. if God is to write on my heart, everything else must come out of it
  1022. till it is really sanctified. Only so can God work His highest will,
  1023. and so the sanctified heart has no outward object at all.</p>
  1024.  
  1025. <p> The question arises: But what then does the sanctified heart pray
  1026. for? I answer that when truly sanctified, it prays for nothing, for
  1027. whosoever prays asks God to give him some good, or to take some evil from
  1028. him. But the sanctified heart desires nothing, and contains nothing that
  1029. it wishes to be freed from. Therefore it is free of all want except
  1030. that it wants to be like God. St Dionysius commenting on the text,
  1031. &#8220;Know ye not that all run, but one receiveth the prize?&#8221;
  1032. says &#8220;this running is nothing else than a turning away from all
  1033. creatures and being united to the Uncreated.&#8221; When the soul gets
  1034. to this point, it loses its own distinctiveness, and vanishes in God
  1035. as the crimson of sunrise disappears in the sun. To this goal only pure
  1036. sanctification can arrive.</p>
  1037.  
  1038. <p>St Augustine says. &#8220;the strong attraction of the soul to the
  1039. Divine reduces everything to nothingness: on earth this attraction
  1040. is manifested as sanctification. When this process has reached its
  1041. culminating point, knowledge becomes ignorance, desire indifference and
  1042. light darkness. The reason why God desires a sanctified heart more than
  1043. any other is apparent when we ask the question,
  1044.  
  1045. <pb n="50-51"/>
  1046.  
  1047. &#8220;What does God seek in all things?&#8221; The mouth of Wisdom
  1048. says to us, &#8220;In all things I seek rest,&#8221; and rest is to be
  1049. found only in the sanctified heart; therein therefore God is more glad
  1050. to dwell than in any other thing.</p>
  1051.  
  1052. <p> Thou shouldest also know that the more a man sets himself to be
  1053. receptive of divine influence, the happier he is: who most sets himself
  1054. so, is the happiest. Now no man can reach this condition of receptivity
  1055. except by conformity with God, which comes from submission to God. This
  1056. is what Saint Paul means when he says, &#8220;Put on the Lord Jesus
  1057. Christ,&#8221; that is &#8220;be conformed to Christ.&#8221; Whosoever
  1058. wishes to comprehend the lofty rank and benefit of sanctification must
  1059. mark Christ&#8217;s words to His disciples regarding His humanity,
  1060. &#8220;It is profitable for you, that I go away, for, if I go not away,
  1061. the Comforter will not come to you.&#8221; As if to say, &#8220;Ye have so
  1062. much desire towards my natural outward form, that ye cannot fully desire
  1063. the Holy Spirit.&#8221; Therefore put away forms and unite yourselves
  1064. with formless Being, for God&#8217;s spiritual comfort is only offered
  1065. to those who despise earthly comfort.</p>
  1066.  
  1067. <p>Now, all thoughtful folk, mark me! no one can be truly happy, except
  1068. he who abides in the strictest sanctification. No bodily and fleshly
  1069. delight can ever take place with out spiritual loss, for the flesh lusteth
  1070. against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. Therefore, the more
  1071. a man fleeth from the created, the more the Creator hastens to him. And
  1072. consider this: if the pleasure we take in the outward image of our Lord
  1073. Jesus Christ diminishes our capacity for receiving the Holy Spirit, how
  1074. much more must our unbridled desire for earthly comforts diminish it!</p>
  1075.  
  1076. <p> Therefore sanctification is the best of all things, for it cleanses
  1077. the soul, and illuminates the conscience, and kindles the heart, and
  1078. wakens the spirit, and girds up the loins, and glorifies virtue and
  1079. separates us from creatures, and unites us with God. The quickest means to
  1080. bring us to perfection is suffering; none enjoy everlasting blessedness
  1081. more than those who share with Christ the bitterest pangs. Nothing is
  1082. sharper than suffering, nothing is sweeter than to have suffered. The
  1083. surest foundation in which this perfection may rest is humility;
  1084. whatever here crawls in the deepest abjectness, that the Spirit lifts
  1085. to the very heights of God, for love brings suffering and suffering
  1086. brings love. Ways of living are many; one lives thus, and another thus;
  1087. but whosoever will reach the highest life, let him in a few words hear
  1088. the conclusion of the whole matter: keep thyself clear of all men, keep
  1089. thyself from all imaginations that crowd upon the mind, free thyself
  1090. from all that is contingent, entangling, and cumbersome and direct thy
  1091. mind always to gazing upon God in thy heart with a steadfast look that
  1092. never wavers: as for other spiritual exercises&#8212;fasting, watching
  1093. and prayer&#8212;direct them all to this
  1094.  
  1095. <pb n="52-53"/>
  1096.  
  1097. one end, and practice them so far as they may be helpful thereto,
  1098. so wilt thou win to perfection. Here some one may ask, &#8220;Who can
  1099. thus gaze always without wavering at a divine object?&#8221; I answer:
  1100. &#8220;No one who now lives.&#8221; This has only been said to thee
  1101. that thou mightest know what the highest is, and that thou mightest
  1102. have desires after it. But when thou losest sight of the Divine, thou
  1103. shouldest feel as if bereft of thine eternal salvation, and shouldest
  1104. long to recover it, and watch over thyself at all times, and direct thy
  1105. aims and longing towards it. May God be blessed for ever. Amen.</p></div1>
  1106.  
  1107. <div1 title="VII. Outward and Inward Morality" n="x">
  1108.   <h3>VII</h3> <h3>OUTWARD AND INWARD MORALITY</h3>
  1109.  
  1110. <p class="quote"><scripCom type="Sermon" passage="1 Cor. 15:10"/><scripRef
  1111. passage="I Cor. xv. 10">I <span class="sc">Cor.</span>
  1112. xv. 10</scripRef>.&#8212;&#8220;The Grace of God.&#8221;</p>
  1113.  
  1114. <p class="first"><span class="sc">Grace</span> is from God, and works in
  1115. the depth of the soul whose powers it employs. It is a light which issues
  1116. forth to do service under the guidance of the Spirit. The Divine Light
  1117. permeates the soul, and lifts it above the turmoil of temporal things
  1118. to rest in God. The soul cannot progress except with the light which God
  1119. has given it as a nuptial gift; love works the likeness of God into the
  1120. soul. The peace, freedom and blessedness of all souls consist in their
  1121. abiding in God&#8217;s will. Towards this union with God for which it
  1122. is created the soul strives perpetually. Fire converts wood into its own
  1123. likeness, and the stronger the wind blows, the greater grows the fire. Now
  1124. by the fire understand love, and by the wind the Holy Spirit. The stronger
  1125. the influence of the Holy Spirit, the brighter grows the fire of love;
  1126. but not all at once, rather gradually as the soul grows. Light causes
  1127. flowers and plants to grow and bear fruit; in animals it produces life,
  1128. but in men blessedness. This comes from the
  1129.  
  1130. <pb n="54-55"/>
  1131.  
  1132. grace of God, Who uplifts the soul, for if the soul is to grow God-like
  1133. it must be lifted above itself.</p>
  1134.  
  1135. <p> To produce real moral freedom, God&#8217;s grace and man&#8217;s will
  1136. must co-operate. As God is the Prime Mover of nature, so also He creates
  1137. free impulses towards Himself and to all good things. Grace renders the
  1138. will free that it may do everything with God&#8217;s help, working with
  1139. grace as with an instrument which belongs to it. So the will arrives at
  1140. freedom through love, nay, becomes itself love, for love unites with
  1141. God. All true morality, inward and outward, is comprehended in love,
  1142. for love is the foundation of all the commandments.</p>
  1143.  
  1144. <p>All outward morality must be built upon this basis, not on
  1145. self-interest. As long as man loves something else than God, or outside
  1146. God, he is not free, because he has not love. Therefore there is no
  1147. inner freedom which does not manifest itself in works of love. True
  1148. freedom is the government of nature in and outside man through God;
  1149. freedom is essential existence unaffected by creatures. But love often
  1150. begins with fear; fear is the approach to love: fear is like the awl
  1151. which draws the shoemaker&#8217;s thread through the leather.</p>
  1152.  
  1153. <p>As for outward works they are ordained for this purpose that the
  1154. outward man may be directed to God. But the inner work, the work of God
  1155. in the soul is the chief matter; when a man finds this within himself,
  1156. he can let go externals. No law is given to the righteous, because he
  1157. fulfils the law inwardly, and bears it in himself, for the least thing
  1158. done by God is better than all the work of creatures. But this is intended
  1159. for those who are enlightened by God and the Holy Scriptures.</p>
  1160.  
  1161. <p> But here on earth man never attains to being unaffected by external
  1162. things. There never was a Saint so great as to be immovable. I can
  1163. never arrive at a state when discord shall be as pleasing to my ears as
  1164. harmony. Some people wish to do without good works. I say, &#8220;This
  1165. cannot be.&#8221; As soon as the disciples received the Holy Ghost,
  1166. they began to work. When Mary sat at the feet of our Lord that was
  1167. her school time. But afterwards when Christ went to heaven, and she
  1168. received the Holy Spirit, she began to serve and was a handmaid of the
  1169. disciples. When saints become saints, they begin to work, and so gather
  1170. to the refuge of everlasting safety.</p>
  1171.  
  1172. <p>How can a man abide in love, when he does not keep God&#8217;s
  1173. commands which issue forth from love? How can the inner man be born
  1174. in God, when the outer man abides not in the following of Christ, in
  1175. self-mortification and in suffering, for there is no being born of God,
  1176. except through Christ. Love is the fulfilling of <i>all</i> commands;
  1177. therefore however much man strives to reach this freedom, the body can
  1178. never quite attain thereto, and must be ever in conflict. Seeing that
  1179. good works are
  1180.  
  1181. <pb n="56-57"/>
  1182.  
  1183. the witness of the Holy Ghost, man can never do without them. The aim
  1184. of man is not outward holiness by works, but life in God, yet this last
  1185. expresses itself in works of love.</p>
  1186.  
  1187. <p> Outward as well as inward morality helps to form the idea of true
  1188. Christian freedom. We are right to lay stress on inwardness, but in this
  1189. world there is no inwardness without an outward expression. If we regard
  1190. the soul as the formative principle of the body, and God as the formative
  1191. principle of the soul, we have a profounder principle of ethics than
  1192. is found in Pantheism. The fundamental thought of this system is the
  1193. real distinction between God and the world, together with their real
  1194. inseparability, for only really distinct elements can interpenetrate
  1195. each other.</p>
  1196.  
  1197. <p>The inner work is first of all the work of God&#8217;s grace in
  1198. the depth of the soul which subsequently distributes itself among the
  1199. faculties of the soul, in that of Reason appearing as Belief, in that
  1200. of Will as Love, and in that of Desire as Hope. When the Divine Light
  1201. penetrates the soul, it is united with God as light with light. This is
  1202. the light of faith. Faith bears the soul to heights unreachable by her
  1203. natural senses and faculties.</p>
  1204.  
  1205. <p> As the peculiar faculty of the eye is to see form and colour, and
  1206. of the ear to hear sweet tones and voices, so is aspiration peculiar
  1207. to the soul. To relax from ceaseless aspiration is sin. This energy of
  1208. aspiration directed to and grasping God, as far as is possible for the
  1209. creature, is called Hope, which is also a divine virtue. Through this
  1210. faculty the soul acquires such great confidence that she deems nothing
  1211. in the Divine Nature beyond her reach.</p>
  1212.  
  1213. <p> The third faculty is the inward Will, which, always turned to God
  1214. like a face, absorbs to itself love from God. According to the diverse
  1215. directions in which redemptive Grace through the Holy Spirit is imparted
  1216. to the different faculties of men, it finds corresponding expression
  1217. as one of the Spirit&#8217;s seven gifts. This impartation constitutes
  1218. man&#8217;s spiritual birth which brings him out of sin into a state of
  1219. grace while natural birth makes him a sinner.</p>
  1220.  
  1221. <p>As God can only be seen by His own light, so He can only be loved
  1222. by His own love. The merely natural man is incapable of this, because
  1223. nature by itself is incapable of responding to the Divine Love and is
  1224. confined within its own circle. Therefore it is necessary for Grace,
  1225. which is a simple supernatural power, to elevate the natural faculties
  1226. to union in God above the merely temporal objects of existence. The
  1227. possibility of love to God is grounded in the relative likeness between
  1228. man and God. If the soul is to reach its moral goal, i.e. Godlikeness,
  1229. it must become inwardly like God through grace, and a spiritual birth
  1230. which is the spring of true morality.
  1231.  
  1232. <pb n="58-59"/>
  1233.  
  1234. The inner work that man has to do is the practical realization of Grace:
  1235. without this, all outward work is ineffectual for salvation. Virtue is
  1236. never mere virtue, it is either from God, or through God, or in God. All
  1237. the soul&#8217;s works which are to inherit an everlasting recompense
  1238. must be carried on in God. They are rewarded by Him in proportion as they
  1239. are carried on in Him, for the soul is an instrument of God whereby He
  1240. carries on His work.</p>
  1241.  
  1242. <p> The essence of morality is inwardness, the intensity of will
  1243. from which it springs, and the nobleness of the aim for which it is
  1244. practiced. When a good work is done by a man, he is free of it, and
  1245. through that freedom is liker and nearer to his Original than he was
  1246. before.</p>
  1247.  
  1248. <p>The moral task of man is a process of spiritualization. All creatures
  1249. are go-betweens, and we are placed in time that by diligence in spiritual
  1250. business we may grow liker and nearer to God. The aim of man is beyond
  1251. the temporal&#8212;in the serene region of the everlasting Present.</p>
  1252.  
  1253. <p>In this sense the New Birth of man is the focus towards which all
  1254. creation strives, because man is the image of God after the likeness of
  1255. which the world is created. All time strives towards eternity or the
  1256. timeless Now, out of which it issued at creation. The merely temporal
  1257. life in itself is a negation of real being, because it depends on itself
  1258. and not on the deepest foundation of life; therefore also natural love
  1259. is cramped finite and defective. It must through grace be lifted to the
  1260. highest sphere of existence, and attain to freedom outside the narrow
  1261. confines of the natural. Thereby love becomes real love, because only
  1262. that is real which is comprehended and loved in its essence. Only by
  1263. grace man comes from the temporal and transitory to be one with God. This
  1264. lifting of manifoldness to unity is the supreme aim of ethics; by thus
  1265. the divine birth is completed on the side of man.</p>
  1266.  
  1267. <p> This passage from nothingness to real being, this quitting of oneself
  1268. is a birth accompanied by pain, for by it natural love is excluded. All
  1269. grief except grief for sin comes from love of the world. In God is
  1270. neither sorrow, nor grief, nor trouble. Wouldst thou be free from all
  1271. grief and trouble, abide and walk in God, and to God alone. As long as
  1272. love of the creature is in us, pain cannot cease.</p>
  1273.  
  1274. <p>This is the chief significance of the suffering of Christ for us,
  1275. that we cast all our grief into the ocean of His suffering. If thou
  1276. sufferest only regarding thyself, from whatever cause it may be,
  1277. that suffering causes grief to thee, and is hard to bear. But if thou
  1278. sufferest regarding God and Him alone, that suffering is not grievous,
  1279. nor hard to bear, because God bears the load. The love of the Cross
  1280. must swallow up our personal grief. Whoso does not suffer from love,
  1281. for him sorrow is sorrow and grievous to bear; but whoso
  1282.  
  1283. <pb n="60-61"/>
  1284.  
  1285. suffers from love he sorrows not, and his suffering is fruitful in
  1286. God. Therefore is sorrow so noble; he who sorrows most is the noblest. Now
  1287. no mortal&#8217;s sorrow was like the sorrow which Christ bore; therefore
  1288. he is far nobler than any man. <i>Verily were there anything nobler than
  1289. sorrow, God would have redeemed man thereby.</i> Sorrow is the root of
  1290. all virtue.</p>
  1291.  
  1292. <p>Through the higher love the whole life of man is to be elevated from
  1293. temporal selfishness to the spring of all love, to God: man will again
  1294. be master over nature by abiding in God and lifting her up to God.</p>
  1295.  
  1296. <pb n="62-63"/>
  1297.  
  1298. <p>&#160;</p>
  1299.  
  1300. <pb n="64-65"/>
  1301.  
  1302. </div1>
  1303.  
  1304.  
  1305. </ThML.body></ThML>
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