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He gives me a free air and manner with numbers of various people who come to see me; and makes me discourse with them, not according to any dispositions of mine, but according to theirs. I am not afraid of any of them laying snares for me in what they say. Conscious of my own innocence and uprightness, I cannot have recourse to precautions in any of these cases. Oh carnal prudence! How opposite do I find thee to the simplicity of JESUS CHRIST! I leave thee to thy partisans. As for me all my prudence, my wisdom, is in following him in his simple and lowly appearance: And if to change my conduct would make me an Empress, I could not do it; or were my simplicity to cause me all the heaviest sufferings I could not depart from it.
NOTHING is greater than GoD, nothing less than myself. He is rich, I am poor; and yet want nothing. Life or death, time or eternity, all is equal to me. All is eternity, all is God, and Gon is love. All good is in him and of him and for him. What I have said, or written, is all past away from me. I remember little or nothing of it. I want neither justification nor esteem. I want nothing but GoD and his glory. Let him then, if he sees it best, glorify himself by my destruction, or by re-establishing my reputation. The one or the other bears equal weight in the balance with me.
My children, I will not deceive or mislead you.
It belongs to Gor to enlighten you, and to give you esteem or disesteem for me. I want only to keep my place and go no more out, no more to move from my centre. I pray GOD to enlighten you always, to give you thereby the clear discernment of his holy will,
that no false light may ever lead you to the precipice.
O My dear children, open your eyes to the light of truth. Holy Father, sanctify them through thy truth. Thy divine word has spoken to them through my mouth. CHRIST alone is the Truth. He said of his apostles For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth. Oh say the same thing to my children. Sanctify thyself in them and for them. It is being truly sanctified in all holiness, to have none of our own but the holiness of JESUS CHRIST. Let him alone be all in all in us and for us, that the work of sanctification may be carried on through the experimental Knowledge of the divine truth. To him belongeth all wisdom, strength, greatness, power and glory; to us poverty, emptiness, weakness, misery, and what not! Let us abide in our nothingness, paying homage to his HOLINESS: Then shall we find in him all that we want. If we seek for any thing for SELF out of him, then however holy he may appear to us, we are liars, and the truth abideth not in us. We Receive ourselves, and in that state shall never be the saints of GoD,-for they, having no other holiness than his, have renounced all selfish usurpation of his sacred rights.
HOLY FATHER, I have committed into thine hands those whom thou hast given me; keep them in thy truth, that the lie may not come near them; for to attribute any thing to one's self is to be in the lie. Make them know this to be the great truth of which thou art jealous. All language which deviates from this principle is falshood. He who speaks the ALL OF GOD AND NOTHING OF THE CREATURE, is in the truth,
truth, and the truth dwelleth in him, usurpation and selfishness being banished from him. My Children, receive this instruction from your mother, and it will procure you life. Receive it through her, not as from her, but as of GOD, and to God. Amen! LORD JESUS CHRIST!
I INTREAT all such as shall read this, not to think hardly of the persons, who through a zeal, perhaps too bitter, have pushed things so far against a woman, and against one submissive; because as Taulerus says in his Institutions, Chap. xi. "GoD willing to purify.
a soul by sufferings, might permit an infinite. "number of well disposed persons to fall into "darkness and blindness toward that soul, in "order to prepare this chosen vessel, by the "rash bias of their judgments in such a state of
ignorance; but that at last, after having "purified this vessel, he will take away the veil "sooner or later, from their eyes, not treating "them with rigour for a fault which they have "committed through a hidden conduct of his "adorable providence.-I say much more, that "sooner would GoD send an angel from heaven, "to refine this chosen vessel through tribulations, than leave it without sufferings.
[HERE she left off her own Narrative, though she lived a retired life above seven years after this date. What she had wrote being only done in obedience to the commands of her director. She died the 9th of June, 1717, at Blois, in the seventieth Year of her age.]
SHORT AND EASY METHOD
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
MADAM J. M. B. DE LA MOTHE GUION.
BY THOMAS DIGBY BROOKE.
THE TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.
THE following excellent book was the first essay of the truly pious Madam GUION; it was, quickly after its publication, dispersed through great part of France; and it proved the happy instrument of many conversions. Those who were athirst for righteousness, eagerly imbibed the simple and efficacious precepts it contains; and those who had already made advances in the Divine Life were convinced of the truth of their way, and found ample instructions how to proceed. None who were advocates for genuine piety, could be offended at it; as the most salutary instructions for the attainment of Christian Perfection are enforced, without being blended with such matters of opinion as cause offence.
Through the treatise, it is certain, that there are two fundamental truths taken for granted, namely, THE FALL and THE REDEMPTION: and, indeed, whosoever doth not inwardly feel the former, cannot experience the benefit of the latter; he hath no business with this book, nor even with The Bible; "he is whole, and needeth not a Physician."
Should but a few of my Christian Brethren reap advantage from this attempt to bring to light a treasure that has lain so long hidden and unnoticed, it would be, not only an abundant recompence for any little trouble. I may have had in the translation, but also an encouragement to publish some other pieces of this illuminated Author.
THE AUTHOR's PREFACE.
THIS little treatise, conceived in great simplicity, was not
originally intended for publication: it was written for a few individuals, who were desirous to love GOD with their whole heart; some of whom, because of the profit they received in reading the manuscript, wished to obtain copies of it; and, on this account alone, it was committed to the press.
It still remains in its original simplicity, without any censure on the various Divine Leadings of others: and we submit the whole to the judgment of those, who are skilled and experienced in Divine matters; requesting them, however, not to decide, without first entering into the main design of the Author, which is to induce the world to love God, and to serve him with comfort and success, in a simple and easy manner, adapted for those who are unqualified for learned and deep researches, and are, indeed, incapable of any thing but a hearty desire to be truly devoted to GOD.
An unprejudiced reader may find, hidden under the most common expressions, a secret unction, which will excite him to seek after that Sovereign Good, whom all should wish to enjoy.
In speaking of the attainment of perfection, the word FACILITY is used; because GOD is, indeed, found with facility, when we seek him within ourselves. But, in contradiction to this, some, perhaps, may urge that passage in St. John, “Ye "shall seek me, and shall not find me;" (Chap. vii. 34.) this apparent difficulty, however, is removed by another passage, where he, who cannot contradict himself, has said to all," seek "and ye shall find." (Matt. vii. 7.) It is true, indeed, that he who would seek GoD, and is yet unwilling to forsake his sins, shall not find him, because he seeks not aright; and therefore, it is added, "Ye shall die in your sins." On the other hand, he, who diligently seeks God in his heart, and that he may draw near unto him sincerely forsakes his sin, shall infallibly find him.
A Life of Piety appears so formidable, and The Spirit of Prayer of such difficult attainment, that most persons are discouraged from taking a single step towards it. The difficulties