Imitation of Christ
Of avoiding of curious inquiry into the life of another
"My Son, be not curious, nor trouble thyself with vain cares.
What is that to thee? Follow thou Me.(1) For what is it to thee
whether a man be this or that, or say or do thus or thus? Thou
hast no need to answer for others, but thou must give an answer
for thyself. Why therefore dost thou entangle thyself? Behold,
I know all men, and I behold all things which are done under the
sun; and I know how it standeth with each one, what he thinketh,
what he willeth, and to what end his thoughts reach. All things
therefore are to be committed to Me; watch thou thyself in godly
peace, and leave him who is unquiet to be unquiet as he will.
Whatsoever he shall do or say, shall come unto him, for he cannot
2. "Trouble not thyself about the shadow of a great name, nor
about the friendship of many, nor about the love of men towards
thee. For these things beget distraction and great sorrows of
heart. My word should speak freely unto thee, and I would reveal
secrets, if only thou didst diligently look for My appearing, and
didst open unto Me the gates of thy heart. Be sober and watch
unto prayer,(2) and humble thyself in all things."
(1) John xxi. 12. (2) 1 Peter iv. 7.
Wherein firm peace of heart and true profit consist
"My Son, I have said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give
unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you.(1) All men
desire peace, but all do not care for the things which belong
unto true peace. My peace is with the humble and lowly in heart.
Thy peace shall be in much patience. If thou heardest Me, and
didst follow My voice, thou shouldest enjoy much peace."
2. What then shall I do, Lord?
3. "In everything take heed to thyself what thou doest, and what
thou sayest; and direct all thy purpose to this, that thou please
Me alone, and desire or seek nothing apart from Me. But,
moreover, judge nothing rashly concerning the words or deeds of
others, nor meddle with matters which are not committed to thee;
and it may be that thou shalt be disturbed little or rarely. Yet
never to feel any disquiet, nor to suffer any pain of heart or
body, this belongeth not to the present life, but is the state of
eternal rest. Therefore count not thyself to have found true
peace, if thou hast felt no grief; nor that then all is well if
thou hast no adversary; nor that this is perfect if all things
fall out according to thy desire. Nor then reckon thyself to be
anything great, or think that thou art specially beloved, if thou
art in a state of great fervour and sweetness of spirit; for not
by these things is the true lover of virtue known, nor in them
doth the profit and perfection of man consist."
4. In what then, Lord?
5. "In offering thyself with all thy heart to the Divine Will, in
not seeking the things which are thine own, whether great or
small, whether temporal or eternal; so that thou remain with the
same steady countenance in giving of thanks between prosperity
and adversity, weighing all things in an equal balance. If thou
be so brave and long-suffering in hope that when inward comfort
is taken from thee, thou even prepare thy heart for the more
endurance, and justify not thyself, as though thou oughtest not
to suffer these heavy things, but dost justify Me in all things
that I appoint, and dost bless My Holy Name, then dost thou walk
in the true and right way of peace, and shalt have a sure hope
that thou shalt again behold My face with joy. For if thou come
to an utter contempt of thyself, know that then thou shalt enjoy
abundance of peace, as much as is possible where thou art but a
(1) John xiv. 27.
Of the exaltation of a free spirit, which humble prayer more
deserveth than doth frequent reading
Lord, this is the work of a perfect man, never to slacken his
mind from attention to heavenly things, and among many cares to
pass along as it were without care, not after the manner of one
indifferent, but rather with the privilege of a free mind,
cleaving to no creature with inordinate affection.
2. I beseech Thee, my most merciful Lord God, preserve me from
the cares of this life, lest I become too much entangled; from
many necessities of the body, lest I be taken captive by
pleasure; from all obstacles of the spirit, lest I be broken and
cast down with cares. I say not from those things which the
vanity of the world goeth about after with all eagerness, but
from those miseries, which by the universal curse of mortality
weigh down and hold back the soul of thy servant in punishment,
that it cannot enter into liberty of spirit, so often as it
3. O my God, sweetness unspeakable, turn into bitterness all my
fleshly consolation, which draweth me away from the love of
eternal things, and wickedly allureth toward itself by setting
before me some present delight. Let not, O my God, let not flesh
and blood prevail over me, let not the world and its short glory
deceive me, let not the devil and his craftiness supplant me.
Give me courage to resist, patience to endure, constancy to
persevere. Grant, in place of all consolations of the world, the
most sweet unction of Thy Spirit, and in place of carnal love,
pour into me the love of Thy Name.
4. Behold, food and drink and clothing, and all the other needs
appertaining to the support of the body, are burdensome to the
devout spirit. Grant that I may use such things with moderation,
and that I be not entangled with inordinate affection for them.
To cast away all these things is not lawful, because nature must
be sustained, but to require superfluities and things which
merely minister delight, the holy law forbiddeth; for otherwise
the flesh would wax insolent against the spirit. In all these
things, I beseech Thee, let Thy hand guide and teach me, that I
in no way exceed.
That personal love greatly hindereth from the highest good
"My Son, thou must give all for all, and be nothing of thine own.
Know thou that the love of thyself is more hurtful to thee than
anything in the world. According to the love and inclination
which thou hast, everything more or less cleaveth to thee. If
thy love be pure, sincere, well-regulated, thou shalt not be in
captivity to anything. Do not covet what thou mayest not have;
do not have what is able to hinder thee, and to rob thee of
inward liberty. It is wonderful that thou committest not thyself
to Me from the very bottom of thy heart, with all things which
thou canst desire or have.
2. "Why art thou consumed with vain sorrow? Why art thou wearied
with superfluous cares? Stand thou by My good pleasure, and thou
shalt suffer no loss. If thou seekest after this or that, and
wilt be here or there, according to thine own advantage or the
fulfilling of thine own pleasure, thou shalt never be in quiet,
nor free from care, because in everything somewhat will be found
lacking, and everywhere there will be somebody who opposeth thee.
3. "Therefore it is not gaining or multiplying of this thing or
that which advantageth thee, but rather the despising it and
cutting it by the root out of thy heart; which thou must not only
understand of money and riches, but of the desire after honour
and vain praise, things which all pass away with the world. The
place availeth little if the spirit of devotion is wanting; nor
shall that peace stand long which is sought from abroad, if the
state of thy heart is without the true foundation, that is, if it
abide not in Me. Thou mayest change, but thou canst not better
thyself; for when occasion ariseth and is accepted thou shalt
find what thou didst fly from, yea more."
A PRAYER FOR CLEANSING OF THE HEART AND FOR HEAVENLY WISDOM
4. Strengthen me, O God, by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit. Give
me virtue to be strengthened with might in the inner man, and to
free my heart from all fruitless care and trouble, and that I be
not drawn away by various desires after any things whatsoever,
whether of little value or great, but that I may look upon all as
passing away, and myself as passing away with them; because there
is no profit under the sun, and all is vanity and vexation of
spirit.(1) Oh how wise is he that considereth thus!
5. Give me, O Lord, heavenly wisdom, that I may learn to seek
Thee above all things and to find Thee; to relish Thee above all
things and to love Thee; and to understand all other things, even
as they are, according to the order of Thy wisdom. Grant me
prudently to avoid the flatterer, and patiently to bear with him
that opposeth me; for this is great wisdom, not to be carried
by every wind of words, nor to give ear to the wicked flattering
Siren; for thus do we go safely on in the way we have begun.
(1) Ecclesiastes ii. 11.
Against the tongues of detractors
"My Son, take it not sadly to heart, if any think ill of thee,
and say of thee what thou art unwilling to hear. Thou oughtest
to think worse of thyself, and to believe no man weaker than
thyself. If thou walkest inwardly, thou wilt not weigh flying
words above their value. It is no small prudence to keep silence
in an evil time and to turn inwardly unto Me, and not to be
troubled by human judgment.
2. "Let not thy peace depend upon the word of men; for whether
they judge well or ill of thee, thou art not therefore any other
man than thyself. Where is true peace or true glory? Is it not
in Me? And he who seeketh not to please men, nor feareth to
displease, shall enjoy abundant peace. From inordinate love and
vain fear ariseth all disquietude of heart, and all distraction
of the senses."
How when tribulation cometh we must call upon and bless God
Blessed be thy name, O Lord, for evermore, who hast willed this
temptation and trouble to come upon me. I cannot escape it, but
have need to flee unto Thee, that Thou mayest succour me and turn
it unto me for good. Lord, now am I in tribulation, and it is
not well within my heart, but I am sore vexed by the suffering
which lieth upon me. And now, O dear Father, what shall I say?
I am taken among the snares. Save me from this hour, but for
this cause came I unto this hour,(1) that Thou mightest be
glorified when I am deeply humbled and am delivered through Thee.
Let it be Thy pleasure to deliver me;(2) for what can I do who am
poor, and without Thee whither shall I go? Give patience this
time also. Help me, O Lord my God, and I will not fear how much
soever I be weighed down.
2. And now amid these things what shall I say? Lord, Thy will be
done. I have well deserved to be troubled and weighed down.
Therefore I ought to bear, would that it be with patience, until
the tempest be overpast and comfort return. Yet is Thine
omnipotent arm able also to take this temptation away from me,
and to lessen its power that I fall not utterly under it, even as
many a time past thou has helped me, O God, my merciful God. And
as much as this deliverance is difficult to me, so much is it
easy to Thee, O right hand of the most Highest.
(1) John xii. 27. (2) Psalm xl. 16.
Of seeking divine help, and the confidence of obtaining grace
"My Son, I the Lord am a stronghold in the day of trouble.(1)
Come unto Me, when it is not well with thee.
"This it is which chiefly hindereth heavenly consolation, that
thou too slowly betakest thyself unto prayer. For before thou
earnestly seekest unto Me, thou dost first seek after many means
of comfort, and refresheth thyself in outward things: so it cometh
to pass that all things profit thee but little until thou learn
that it is I who deliver those who trust in Me; neither beside Me
is there any strong help, nor profitable counsel, nor enduring
remedy. But now, recovering courage after the tempest, grow thou
strong in the light of My mercies, for I am nigh, saith the Lord,
that I may restore all things not only as they were at the first,
but also abundantly and one upon another.
2. "For is anything too hard for Me, or shall I be like unto one
who saith and doeth not? Where is thy faith? Stand fast and
with perseverance. Be long-suffering and strong. Consolation
will come unto thee in its due season. Wait for Me; yea, wait; I
will come and heal thee. It is temptation which vexeth thee, and
a vain fear which terrifieth thee. What doth care about future
events bring thee, save sorrow upon sorrow? Sufficient for the
day is the evil thereof.(2) It is vain and useless to be
disturbed or lifted up about future things which perhaps will
3. "But it is the nature of man to be deceived by fancies of this
sort, and it is a sign of a mind which is still weak to be so
easily drawn away at the suggestion of the enemy. For he careth
not whether he deceive and beguile by true means or false;
whether he throw thee down by the love of the present or fear of
the future. Therefore let not thy heart be troubled, neither let
it be afraid. Believe in Me, and put thy trust in My mercy.(3)
When thou thinkest thyself far removed from Me, I am often the
nearer. When thou reckonest that almost all is lost, then often
is greater opportunity of gain at hand. All is not lost when
something goeth contrary to thy wishes. Thou oughtest not to
judge according to present feeling, nor so to take or give way to
any grief which befalleth thee, as if all hope of escape were
4. "Think not thyself totally abandoned, although for the time I
have sent to thee some tribulation, or have even withdrawn some
cherished consolation; for this is the way to the Kingdom of
Heaven. And without doubt it is better for thee and for all My
other servants, that ye should be proved by adversities, than
that ye should have all things as ye would. I know thy hidden
thoughts: and that it is very needful for thy soul's health that
sometimes thou be left without relish, lest perchance thou be
lifted up by prosperity, and desirous to please thyself in that
which thou art not. What I have given I am able to take away,
and to restore again at My good pleasure.
5. "When I shall have given, it is Mine; when I shall have taken
away, I have not taken what is thine; for every good gift and
every perfect gift(4) is from me. If I shall have sent upon thee
grief or any vexation, be not angry, nor let thy heart be sad; I
am able quickly to lift thee up and to change every burden into
joy. But I am just and greatly to be praised, when I do thus
6. "If thou rightly consider, and look upon it with truth, thou
oughtest never to be so sadly cast down because of adversity, but
rather shouldst rejoice and give thanks; yea, verily to count it
the highest joy that I afflict thee with sorrows and spare thee
not. As My Father hath loved Me, so love I you;(5) thus have I
spoken unto My beloved disciples: whom I sent forth not unto
worldly joys, but to great strivings; not unto honours, but unto
contempt; not unto ease, but to labours; not unto rest, but to
bring forth much fruit with patience. My son, remember these
(1) Nahum i. 7. (2) Matthew vi. 34.
(3) John xiv. 27; Psalm xiii. 5. (4) James i. 17.
(5) John xv. 9.
Of the neglect of every creature, that the Creator may be found
O Lord, I still need more grace, if I would arrive where neither
man nor any other creature may hinder me. For so long as
anything keepeth me back, I cannot freely fly unto Thee. He
desired eagerly thus to fly, who cried, saying, Oh that I had
wings like a dove, for then would I flee away and be at rest.
What is more peaceful than the single eye? And what more free
than he that desireth nothing upon earth? Therefore must a man
rise above every creature, and perfectly forsake himself, and
with abstracted mind to stand and behold that Thou, the Creator
of all things, hast among Thy creatures nothing like unto
Thyself. And except a man be freed from all creatures, he will
not be able to reach freely after Divine things. Therefore few
are found who give themselves to contemplation, because few know
how to separate themselves entirely from perishing and created
2. For this much grace is necessary, which may lift up the soul
and raise it above itself. And except a man be lifted up in the
spirit, and freed from all creatures, and altogether united to
God, whatsoever he knoweth, whatsoever even he hath, it mattereth
but little. He who esteemeth anything great save the one only
incomprehensible, eternal, good, shall long time be little and
lie low. For whatsoever is not God is nothing, and ought to be
counted for nothing. Great is the difference between a godly
man, illuminated with wisdom, and a scholar learned in knowledge
and given to books. Far nobler is that doctrine which floweth
down from the divine fulness above, than that which is acquired
laboriously by human study.
3. Many are found who desire contemplation, but they do not
strive to practice those things which are required thereunto. It
is also a great impediment, that much is made of symbols and
external signs, and too little of thorough mortification. I know
not how it is, and by what spirit we are led, and what we who
would be deemed spiritual are aiming at, that we give so great
labour and so eager solicitude for transitory and worthless
things, and scarcely ever gather our senses together to think at
all of our inward condition.
4. Ah, me! Forthwith after a little recollection we rush out of
doors, and do not subject our actions to a strict examination.
Where our affections are set we take no heed, and we weep not
that all things belonging to us are so defiled. For because all
flesh had corrupted itself upon the earth, the great deluge came.
Since therefore our inmost affections are very corrupt, it
followeth of necessity that our actions also are corrupt, being
the index of a deficient inward strength. Out of a pure heart
proceedeth the fruit of good living.
5. We demand, how much a man hath done; but from how much virtue
he acted, is not so narrowly considered. We ask if he be strong,
rich, handsome, clever, whether he is a good writer, good singer,
good workman; but how poor he may be in spirit, how patient and
gentle, how devout and meditative, on these things many are
silent. Nature looketh upon the outward appearance of a man,
grace turneth its thought to the heart. The former frequently
judgeth amiss; the latter trusteth in God, that it may not be
Of self-denial and the casting away all selfishness
"My Son, thou canst not possess perfect liberty unless thou
altogether deny thyself. All they are enslaved who are
possessors of riches, they who love themselves, the selfish, the
curious, the restless; those who ever seek after soft things, and
not after the things of Jesus Christ; those who continually plan
and devise that which will not stand. For whatsoever cometh not
of God shall perish. Hold fast the short and complete saying,
'Renounce all things, and thou shalt find all things; give up thy
lust, and thou shalt find rest.' Dwell upon this in thy mind,
and when thou art full of it, thou shalt understand all things."
2. O Lord, this is not the work of a day, nor children's play;
verily in this short saying is enclosed all the perfection of the
3. "My son, thou oughtest not to be turned aside, nor immediately
cast down, because thou hast heard the way of the perfect.
Rather oughtest thou to be provoked to higher aims, and at the
least to long after the desire thereof. Oh that it were so with
thee, and that thou hadst come to this, that thou wert not a lover
of thine own self, but wert ready always to My nod, and to his
whom I have placed over thee as thy father. Then shouldest thou
please Me exceedingly, and all thy life should go on in joy and
peace. Thou hast still many things to renounce, which if thou
resign not utterly to Me, thou shalt not gain what thou seekest.
I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou
mayest be rich,(1) that is heavenly wisdom, which despiseth all
base things. Put away from thee earthly wisdom, and all
pleasure, whether common to men, or thine own.
4. "I tell thee that thou must buy vile things with those which
are costly and great in the esteem of men. For wonderfully vile
and small, and almost given up to forgetfulness, doth true
heavenly wisdom appear, which thinketh not high things of itself,
nor seeketh to be magnified upon the earth; many honour it with
their lips, but in heart are far from it; it is indeed the
precious pearl, which is hidden from many."
(1) Revelation iii. 18.
Of instability of the heart, and of directing the aim towards God
"My Son, trust not thy feeling, for that which is now will be
quickly changed into somewhat else. As long as thou livest thou
art subject to change, howsoever unwilling; so that thou art
found now joyful, now sad; now at peace, now disquieted; now
devout, now indevout; now studious, now careless; now sad, now
cheerful. But the wise man, and he who is truly learned in
spirit, standeth above these changeable things, attentive not to
what he may feel in himself, or from what quarter the wind may
blow, but that the whole intent of his mind may carry him on to
the due and much-desired end. For thus will he be able to remain
one and the same and unshaken, the single eye of his desire being
steadfastly fixed, through the manifold changes of the world,
2. "But according as the eye of intention be the more pure, even
so will a man make his way steadfastly through the manifold
storms. But in many the eye of pure intention waxeth dim; for it
quickly resteth itself upon anything pleasant which occurreth,
and rarely is any man found altogether free from the blemish of
self-seeking. So the Jews of old came to Bethany, to the house
of Martha and Mary, that they might see not Jesus, but Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.(1) Therefore must the eye of
the intention be cleansed, that it may be single and right, and
above all things which come in its way, may be directed unto Me."
(1) John xii. 9.
That to him who loveth God is sweet above all things and in all
Behold, God is mine, and all things are mine! What will I more,
and what more happy thing can I desire? O delightsome and sweet
world! that is, to him that loveth the Word, not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.(1) My God, my all! To
him that understandeth, that word sufficeth, and to repeat it
often is pleasing to him that loveth it. When Thou art present
all things are pleasant; when Thou art absent, all things are
wearisome. Thou makest the heart to be at rest, givest it deep
peace and festal joy. Thou makest it to think rightly in every
matter, and in every matter to give Thee praise; neither can
anything please long without Thee but if it would be pleasant and
of sweet savour, Thy grace must be there, and it is Thy wisdom
which must give unto it a sweet savour.
2. To him who tasteth Thee, what can be distasteful? And to him
who tasteth Thee not, what is there which can make him joyous?
But the worldly wise, and they who enjoy the flesh, these fail in
Thy wisdom; for in the wisdom of the world is found utter vanity,
and to be carnally minded is death. But they who follow after
Thee through contempt of worldly things, and mortification of the
flesh, are found to be truly wise because they are carried from
vanity to verity, from the flesh to the spirit. They taste that
the Lord is good, and whatsoever good they find in creatures,
they count it all unto the praise of the Creator. Unlike, yea,
very unlike is the enjoyment of the Creator to enjoyment of the
Creature, the enjoyment of eternity and of time, of light
uncreated and of light reflected.
3. O Light everlasting, surpassing all created lights, dart down
Thy ray from on high which shall pierce the inmost depths of my
heart. Give purity, joy, clearness, life to my spirit that with
all its powers it may cleave unto Thee with rapture passing man's
understanding. Oh when shall that blessed and longed-for time
come when Thou shalt satisfy me with Thy presence, and be unto me
All in all? So long as this is delayed, my joy shall not be
full. Still, ah me! the old man liveth in me: he is not yet all
crucified, not yet quite dead; still he lusteth fiercely against
the spirit, wageth inward wars, nor suffereth the soul's kingdom
to be in peace.
4. But Thou who rulest the raging of the sea, and stillest the
waves thereof when they arise, rise up and help me. Scatter the
people that delight in war.(2) Destroy them by Thy power. Show
forth, I beseech Thee, Thy might, and let Thy right hand be
glorified, for I have no hope, no refuge, save in Thee, O Lord my
(1) 1 John ii. 15. (2) Psalm lxviii. 30.
That there is no security against temptation in this life
"My Son, thou art never secure in this life, but thy spiritual
armour will always be needful for thee as long as thou livest.
Thou dwellest among foes, and art attacked on the right hand and
on the left. If therefore thou use not on all sides the shield
of patience, thou wilt not remain long unwounded. Above all, if
thou keep not thy heart fixed upon Me with steadfast purpose to
bear all things for My sake, thou shalt not be able to bear the
fierceness of the attack, nor to attain to the victory of the
blessed. Therefore must thou struggle bravely all thy life
through, and put forth a strong hand against those things which
oppose thee. For to him that overcometh is the hidden manna
given,(1) but great misery is reserved for the slothful.
2. "If thou seek rest in this life, how then wilt thou attain
unto the rest which is eternal? Set not thyself to attain much
rest, but much patience. Seek the true peace, not in earth but
in heaven, not in man nor in any created thing, but in God alone.
For the love of God thou must willingly undergo all things,
whether labours or sorrows, temptations, vexations, anxieties,
necessities, infirmities, injuries, gainsayings, rebukes,
humiliations, confusions, corrections, despisings; these things
help unto virtue, these things prove the scholar of Christ; these
things fashion the heavenly crown. I will give thee an eternal
reward for short labour, and infinite glory for transient shame.
3. "Thinkest thou that thou shalt always have spiritual
consolations at thy will? My Saints had never such, but instead
thereof manifold griefs, and divers temptations, and heavy
desolations. But patiently they bore themselves in all, and
trusted in God more than in themselves, knowing that the
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.(2) Wouldst thou
have that immediately which many have hardly attained unto after
many tears and hard labours? Wait for the Lord, quit thyself
like a man and be strong; be not faint-hearted, nor go aside from
Me, but constantly devote thy body and soul to the glory of God.
I will reward thee plenteously, I will be with thee in
(1) Revelation ii. 17. (2) Romans viii. 17.
(3) Psalm xci. 15.
Against vain judgments of men
"My Son, anchor thy soul firmly upon God, and fear not man's
judgment, when conscience pronounceth thee pious and innocent.
It is good and blessed thus to suffer; nor will it be grievous to
the heart which is humble, and which trusteth in God more than in
itself. Many men have many opinions, and therefore little trust
is to be placed in them. But moreover it is impossible to please
all. Although Paul studied to please all men in the Lord, and to
become all things to all men,(1) yet nevertheless with him it was
a very small thing that he should be judged by man's
2. He laboured abundantly, as much as in him lay, for the
building up and the salvation of others; but he could not avoid
being sometimes judged and despised by others. Therefore he
committed all to God, who knew all, and by patience and humility
defended himself against evil speakers, or foolish and false
thinkers, and those who accused him according to their pleasure.
Nevertheless, from time to time he replied, lest his silence
should become a stumbling-block to those who were weak.
3. "Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that
shall die? To-day he is, and to-morrow his place is not found.
Fear God and thou shalt not quail before the terrors of men.
What can any man do against thee by words or deeds? He hurteth
himself more than thee, nor shall he escape the judgment of God,
whosoever he may be. Have thou God before thine eyes, and do not
contend with fretful words. And if for the present thou seem to
give way, and to suffer confusion which thou hast not deserved,
be not angry at this, nor by impatience diminish thy reward; but
rather look up to Me in heaven, for I am able to deliver thee
from all confusion and hurt, and to render to every man according
to his works."
(1) 1 Corinthians ix. 22. (2) 1 Corinthians iv. 3.
Of pure and entire resignation of self, for the obtaining
liberty of heart
"My Son, lose thyself and thou shalt find Me. Stand still
without all choosing and all thought of self, and thou shalt ever
be a gainer. For more grace shall be added to thee, as soon as
thou resignest thyself, and so long as thou dost not turn back to
take thyself again."
2. O Lord, how often shall I resign myself, and in what things
shall I lose myself?
3. "Always; every hour: in that which is little, and in that
which is great. I make no exception, but will that thou be found
naked in all things. Otherwise how canst thou be Mine and I
thine, unless thou be inwardly and outwardly free from every will
of thine own? The sooner thou dost this, the better shall it be
with thee; and the more fully and sincerely, the more thou shalt
please Me, and the more abundantly shalt thou be rewarded.
4. "Some resign themselves, but with certain reservations, for
they do not fully trust in God, therefore they think that they
have some provision to make for themselves. Some again at first
offer everything; but afterwards being pressed by temptation they
return to their own devices, and thus make no progress in virtue.
They will not attain to the true liberty of a pure heart, nor to
the grace of My sweet companionship, unless they first entirely
resign themselves and daily offer themselves up as a sacrifice;
without this the union which bringeth forth fruit standeth not
nor will stand.
5. "Many a time I have said unto thee, and now say again, Give
thyself up, resign thyself, and thou shalt have great inward
peace. Give all for all; demand nothing, ask nothing in return;
stand simply and with no hesitation in Me, and thou shalt possess
Me. Thou shalt have liberty of heart, and the darkness shall not
overwhelm thee. For this strive thou, pray for it, long after
it, that thou mayest be delivered from all possession of thyself,
and nakedly follow Jesus who was made naked for thee; mayest die
unto thyself and live eternally to Me. Then shall all vain
fancies disappear, all evil disturbings, and superfluous cares.
Then also shall immoderate fear depart from thee, and inordinate
love shall die."