By the Lord ARCH-BISHOP of CAMBRAY, &c.

To which are added, Thirty-Four ARTICLES, By the Lord ARCH-BISHOP of PARIS, the Bishops of MEAUX, and CHARTRES, (that occasioned this Book,) also their Declaration upon it. Together With the FRENCH-KING's and the ARCH-BISHOP of CAMBRAY's Letters to the POPE upon the same Subject.

LONDON, Printed for H. Rhodes, at the Star, the Corner of Bride-Lane in Fleet-Street, 1698.


I Always was of Opinion, Men ought both to Speak and Write concerning the internal Life, with all the mode­ration imaginable, and though the same includes nothing but what is clearly con­formable to the immutable rule of Faith and Evangelick Obedience; yet to me it ap­pears very manifest, that this matter requires a kind of secret and wary management: the generality of Readers are not at all prepared for such strong sort of Readings: Its the way to expose the most pure and Sublime part of Religion to the derision of of prophane Spirits, in whose sight the mystery of Christ Crucified, is no other than a Stumbling-block of Offence, and meer folly: This is to commit the inef­fable secrets of God in the heart, to the hands of the most unthankful and most un­experienced [Page] Men, who are not capable of any benefit or edification thereby: On the other hand, 'tis to lay snares for all those that are uncredulous and discretionless, in order to fall to illusion; for they pre­sently imagine themselves to be in all those states that Books represent unto them, and from thence become visionaries and unteachable; whereas, if they should be kept in ignorance of all those states which are above theirs, they could not fall upon those ways of disinterested Love and Contem­plation, but by the sole attraction of Grace, without their imaginations, heated with reading, having any share therein. Hence it is, that I am perswaded Men should be as silent as possible in this matter, for fear of overexciting the Curiosity of the generality of Mankind, who have neither experience nor a sufficient light of Grace to examine the works of the Saints; for the Carnal Man can neither discern nor taste of the things of God, such as are the in­ternal ways spoken of. But seeing this part of Curiosity for some time past is become in a manner universal; I think it will be as necessary to speak, as it might have [Page] been wished Men would have held their Tongues.

My Design in this Treatise, is to ex­plain the experiences and expressions of the Saints, in order to prevent their being ex­posed to the scorn and derision of wicked Men; but at the same time I would lay open to mystical Men, the real meaning of these holy Authors, to the end, the true value of their expressions may be made known unto them. When I speak of holy Authors, my meaning is, to confine my self to those that are Canonized, or whose memories have a sweet smelling savour in all the Church, and whose Writings have been so solemnly ap­proved of without any Contradiction: I speak of no other than those Saints who have been Canonized or admired by the whole Church, for having themselves pra­ctised, and caused their Neighbour to pra­ctise a kind of spirituality, that is scat­tered up and down through the body of their Writings. Its undoubtedly unlawful for us to reject such Authors, or to accuse them of innovating any thing against the course of Tradition.

I am about to shew how far these holy Au­thors [Page] have been from injuring the rule of Faith, and favouring illusion; I shall make appear to our mystical Men that I shall detract in nothing from all that which is Authorized by the Maxims and experi­ences of those Authors who are our pat­tern: I shall engage them into a belief of what I say, when I shew unto them the exact bounds these same Saints have set us, and beyond which it is not allowable for us to go. The mystical Men of whom I am spea­king, are neither those Fanaticks nor Hy­pocrites, who conceal the mystery of iniquity under the notion of perfection: God forbid, that I should direct the word of truth to those Men who do not carry the mystery of Faith in a pure Conscience, they deserve no other then Indignation and horror: I speak to the plain, open-hearted, and teach­able mysticks; they ought to know that illusi­on continually follows the most perfect ways. Those execrable Men the false Gnosticks, from the very beginning of Christianity, had a mind to mix themselves with the true Gnosticks, who were Contemplative Men, and the most perfect among the Christians: the Begardians, have in a false disguise [Page] imitated the Contemplative of these last A­ges, such as St. Bernard, Richard and Hugh de St. Victor. Its an Observation of Bellarmine, that the expressions of my­stick Authors have been often critisiced up­on, after an equivocal manner. It fre­quently happens, (says he,) in his Book, de Script. Eccles. that the expressions of those who have written of mystick Theolo­gy, have been condemned by some, and practised by others; because they are not taken by every body in the same sence. Cardinal Bona, in his Compendium, says also, that those who are taken up with pas sive Contemplation are less able to expres themselves, but more excellent in matters of practice and experience: In short, there is nothing so hard as to give a right under­standing of those states which consist in such simple and nice Operations, that are so far abstracted from sence, and to set al­ways in the right place all the correctives that are necessary to prevent illusion and to explain strictly the true System of Theo­logy. This is that which has given Offence to some Readers of mystical Men's Books, and hath drawn divers others of those Rea­ders [Page] into Illusion; while Spain in the last Age was full of so many Saints endued with wonderful Grace; the Illuminates were dis­covered in Andalouzia, who brought the greatest Saints to be suspected of unsinceri­ty. Then it was, St. Theresa, Balthazar Alvarez, and the Blessed John de la Croix, took upon them to justifie their Conduct and Innocency. Rusbrok whom Bellarmine calls a great Contemplative and Taulere that Apostolick Man so famous throughout Ger­many, have been Vindicated, the one by St. Dennis le Chartreaux, and the other by Blosius. Neither has St Francis de Sales, been free from being contradicted, the Cri­ticks having been unable to discern how to joyn exact and strict Theology with that light of Grace that is most eminent: So it is, that the Chaff oftentimes hides the good Corn, and the purest Authors concerning the Internal Life, stand in need of an ex­planation, [...]st some expressions taken in a wrong sence should alter the purity of the Doctrine.

These Examples should make mystical Men sober and wary, if they are humble and teachable, they should leave not only [Page] Doctrinals to the entire decision of the Pa­stors of the Church, but also the choise of all those terms that are proper to express them by: St. Paul would rather never eat meat than Offend the least of his Brethren, for whom Christ died. How can we then be tied to any expression that gives Offence to a weak Soul? Mystical Men therefore should take away all equivocal terms, when they know the same are abused, in order to corrupt the soundest Doctrine. Let those who have spoken after an improper and ex­aggerated manner, and without precaution, explain their meaning, and suffer nothing to be wanting for the edification of the Church; let those who have been erroneous as to main Doctrinals not content them­selves with condemning the Errors▪ but let them confess they have believed them, and give the Glory to God; let them not be ashamed that they have erred, as being what is natural to the race of Man­kind; but let them humbly confess their Errors, since they remain to be no longer theirs, after they have made an humble Confession of them. Its in order to distin­guish Truth from Falshood in so nice and [Page] important a matter, that two great Pre­lates have Published Thirty-Four Articles, that in substance contain all the Doctrine of the internal life; and I have no other de­sign in this undertaking, than to give a larger Explanation of the same.

All these Internal ways have a tendency to pure or disinterested Love. This pure Love is the highest degree of Christian perfection: It is the end or boundary of all the ways known unto the Saints. Whoever allows of nothing beyond that, contains himself within the bounds of Tradition. Whoever exceeds this bound is already out of the way. If any one should doubt of the Truth and per­fection of this Love, I make an offer of shewing an universal and clear Tradition for it, from the times of the Apostles to that of St. Francis de Sales without any inter­ruption; and I will thereupon publish, when I am desired to do it, a Collection of all passages out of the Fathers, School-Men, and holy mysticks, who unanimously speak of it. It will appear from this Collection, that the Ancient Fathers spoke as vigorously to the matter as St. Francis de Sales, and that they for the disinterest of Love, have made the [Page] same Suppositions concerning▪Salvation, that our disdainful Criticks so much laugh at, when they meet with them in the Writings of the Saints of the last Age: Even S. Augustine himself, whom some have taken to be an Op­poser of this Doctrine, hath taught it as much as any other. It's true, indeed, the main Thing is to explain this pure Love aright, and to mark out the exact Bounds, beyond which its Disinterest could never go: The Disinterest thereof, can never exclude the Will from loving God without Bounds, nei­ther in regard to the Degree, nor the Dura­tion of that Love; This can never exclude a Conformity in us to the good Pleasure of God, who not only wills our Salvation, but would have us will it with him for his Glory. This Disinterested Love, is always tied to the written Law, performs entirely the same Acts, and exercises the same distinct Ver­tues, as Interested Love does, with this only Difference, that it doth exercise the same in a simple and peaceable Manner, and such as is disengaged from every Motive of Self-Interest.

This holy Indifference that is so much praised by St. Francis de Sales, is nothing [Page] else but the disinterest of this Love, which is always indifferent, and without any inte­rested Will for itself; but the same is al­ways determined to, and positively wills all that God would have us do, according to his written Law, and that by the Attraction of his Grace.

In order to the attaining to this State, our Love must be purified, and all our in­ternal Trials, are but the purification of it; even Contemplation itself, that is of a most passive Nature, is nothing else but the peace­able and uniform Exercise of this pure Love; We cannot insensibly pass from Meditation, wherein we perform methodical and discur­sive Acts, into Contemplation, whose Acts are simple and direct, but in proportion to our passing from interested to disinterested Love. This passive State, and Transformation, to­gether with the Spiritual Marriages, and essential or immediate Ʋnion, are no other than the entire Purity of this Love; the Habit whereof, without being ever either invariable, or exempted from venial Sins, very few Souls are endued with. I do not speak of all these different Degrees, that are so little known to the Generality of the Faith­ful, [Page] but because they are Consecrated to us, by being made use of by a great many Saints whom the Church hath approved off, and have in these Terms explained their Expe­riences; neither do I relate them for any other end, than to explain them with the strictest Precaution. Finally, all these in­ternal Ways tend to pure Love, as to their End; an habitual State whereof, is the highest Degree attainable in the Pilgrimage of this Life; it's the Foundation, and the top Stone of the whole Building: Nothing can be rasher, than to oppose the Purity of this Love, that is so worthy of the Perfection of our God, to whom all is due, and of his Jea­lousie, which is a consuming Fire. But again, there is nothing can be so rash, as to go about to take away from this Love, the reality of its Acts, in the Practice of distinct Vertues, by a Chymerical refining of it. Lastly, It will be no less dangerous, to place the Per­fection of the Internal Life, in some myste­rious State, beyond the Bound fixed to it of an habitual State of pure Love.

It's in order to prevent all these Incon­veniences, that I have taken upon me to treat of the whole Matter in the following Arti­cles, [Page] that are digested according to the va­rious Degrees that have been remarked unto us, by Mystical Men, in the Spirittal Life.

Every Article will consist of two parts, the first will be the true one, which I shall approve of, and which shall contain all that is Authorized by the Experiences of the Saints, and pursuant to the sound Doctrine of pure Love. The second shall be the false part, where I shall exactly explain the ve­ry Place where the Danger of Illusion lies; and as I shall give an Account also of what is exorbitant in every Article, I shall qua­lisie the same, and censure it according to the strict Rules of Theology.

And thus the first part of my Articles will be a Collection of exact Definitions of the Saints Expressions, in order to reduce them all to an uncontestable meaning, that can neither be liable to any Equivocation, nor alarm the most timorous Souls. It will be a kind of Dictionary for Definitions, in or­der to know the exact meaning of every Term: These Definitions together, will make up a plain and compleat System of all the Internal Ways, including a perfect Ʋnity, seeing the whole thereof will be clearly reduced to the [Page] Exercise of pure Love, that has been as vigorously taught by all the Fathers, as by the more modern Saints.

But on the other hand, the second part of my Articles will shew all the Consequence of false Principles, that tend to create the most dangerous Illusion, against the Rule of Faith and good Manners, and that un­der a shew of Perfection. I shall endeavour in each Article, to point at the Place where the Equivocation begins, and to censure all that is ill, without in the least diminishing the Authority of the Saints Experiences. If our Mystical Men would give me Ear without prejudice, they would quickly apprehend what my Meaning is, and that I take their Expres­sions in a just extent of the true Sence of them: I'll even refer it to their own Judg­ment, if I do not explain their Maxims, with much more Exactness than most of them have hitherto done; because I have made it my principal Business to give their Expressions clear and exact Ideas, and such as are Authorised by Tradition, without weakning the Foundations of the Things themselves: All good Mystical Men, who love nothing but Truth, and the Edification of the Church, [Page] ought to be satisfied with this Plan: I could have added hereunto a great many formal Passages out of the Ancient Fathers, as well as School-Doctors, and Mystical Saints; but this Ʋndertaking would en­gage me into such Lengths, and innumerable Repetitions as frightned me from it, for the Reader's sake: this is that which hath caused me to suppress the Collection of those Passages, which I had already digested and set in Order. I do suppose, without any more ado, this Tradition to be constant and decisive; and I have confined my self to set forth here a clear System, and such as is a­greeable to Theological Definitions: Tho' the Driness of this Method looks like a great Inconvenience, yet it is less than that of a tiresome Length.

I have no more to do, than to practise this Plan, that I have given an Explanation of: I look up unto God, and not my self, for Strength to do it, who is pleased to make use of the vilest and unworthiest Instru­ments: My Doctrine ought not to be mine, but that of Christ, who sends forth Pastors; be it far from me, to say any thing of my self; may I not prosper, if while I am en­gaged [Page] in instructing others. I be not my self the most teachable, and most submissive Child of the Catholick, Apostolick, and Ro­man Church.

I shall begin my Work, with making a plain Exposition of the different Sences that may be given to that we call, The Love of God; in order to give a clear and distinct Ʋnderstanding of the State of the Questions belonging to this Matter; then will the Reader meet with my Articles, which ap­proves of what is true, and condemns every thing that is false, in each particular rela­ting to the Internal Life.


WHen I consider the many Diffe­rences that have hapned from Time to Time, between not only particular Persons of the Roman Com­munion, but even whole Societies; particu­cularly between the Dominicans and Francis­cans, and the Jesuites, and almost all Others, about Matters of Faith, and other Religious Tenets, I cannot but admire at the Boldness of some of those Gentlemen, who make their Unity to be a token of their Infallibili­ty, and the divided Opinions of the Prote­stants, an evident Mark of the Falsity of their Belief: But surely, it is now high time they should give over that fantastick Argument, since these sort of Dissentions are more rife among themselves, than any other Com­munity in the World; and they may have Work enough to do, to turn their Pens that way, especially since Quietism, and some other Opinions, in Consequence of it, hath taken such Root amongst them, that even some of those who are reckon'd the Pillars of the Church, seem to be as good as open Favourers of it, and would draw, if it were possible, his Holiness himself, to be of the same Sentiments, and so to turn all at once Heretick.

[Page] But among all those who have more open­ly espoused these new Opinions, is the Lord Arch-Bishop of Cambray, a Person of that Learning and Consideration in his Countrey as to have been intrusted by the French King his Master, with the Education of the young Princes, the Dauphine's Sons. But how this Eminent Person came thus to expose him­self will be somewhat worthy of our enqui­ry, before we proceed to give an Account of the opposition he hath met with, and o­ther consequences that have attended the Publishing of his Book, which is now pre­sented to the English Readers View, that he may pass his Censure also thereupon.

There are but a few people that have not heard of Molinos, and his Doctrine of Qui­etism, some years since broached at Rome, and what industry was used by the holy Fa­thers Inquisitors, to ruine both him and it; But how rigorous soever they shewed them­selves against the Author, they have not yet been able to suppress his Opinions, which not only have still a being and considerable Fautors amongst them in Italy, but the same or something very like it, which we may call Semi-Quietism, upon the same account as some Ancient Hereticks were distinguish­ed with the name of Semipelagians, hath been able to make its way through the snowy Alps, and enter into the Kingdom of France, and agreed so well since with the [Page] Soyl of that Countrey, that it will not be quickly rooted out.

The Rulers of the Gallican Church began to be sensible pretty early, of this supposed growing Evil; but the occasion of their ta­king a more publick notice of it, was, a cer­tain Womans putting out a Pamphlet, called A Short Method, &c. and dispersing some o­ther Papers, savouring very much of Qui­etism, whom to reclaim from her error, they took care to appoint three Counsellours to admonish and instruct her, and to them the Arch-Bishop of Cambray was added for a fourth: But which way things came to pass, and what success soever the first three might think they had upon the Woman, its likely she brought over the fourth to the Opinion, (or somewhat that was near it, if he were not so before) She was accused of being guil­ty of; But this did not appear at present. However, some of the Clergy thought it high time to bestir themselves in the matter; and particularly the Arch-Bishop of Paris, the Bishops of Meaux and Chartres, did believe the foundation of their Church to have been so far struck at by such proceedings that they framed thirty four Articles, on the 16th and 26th of April, 1695. wherein they set forth what every Christian ought to believe and act, and what to reject, as erroneous and noxious to the Souls of Men; Hereupon, the Arch-Bishop [Page] of Cambray, led by what fate I know not, took upon him to compile this Work, Entituled, The Maxims of the Saints Explained, and there­in to give a more full Explication of the said thirty four Articles, but did it in such a man­ner, as allarmed the whole body of the French Clergy, but more particularly, the Authors of the said Articles, who with divers others failed not to make Complaints thereof to the King, and at the same time to importune him to commit the said Work to Examination. The Arch-Bishops of Rheims and Paris with the Bishop of Meaux, an implacable Enemy to Cambray, were the persons appointed for it, the effect whereof was the putting out of their Declaration, upon the same Subject where­in they fully set forth their sentiments in relation to it. And as these Prelates distin­guished their Zeal in this manner, against this Semi-Quietism; the Bishop of Noyon, about the same time, in his Pastoral Letter, written in the Form of a Preservative, to keep the Clergy, and Faithful of his Diocess, in the holy Exercise of a solid and real Piety, against the pernicions Maxims of Quietism, sets himself against Quietism, in all the Branches of it: But tho' he would have the Quietism he darts his Thunder at, to be not that of Molinos, but this new sort of Semi-Quietism; yet when he comes to a kind of an Explanation of it, he confounds the new Quietism with the old, see­ing [Page] that in respect to the Opinions, which he looks upon to be most monstrous, he imputes what Molinos taught, to those against whom he writes; of which take this one tast, What an Abomination is it (says the Bishop) to set up Vices in the place of Vertues, and to pretend, that shameful Falls are the Steps by which to ascend to the Glory of a perfect Union with God. Now this is Molinos himself, that has occasioned this Ex­clamation, who says in direct Terms, That we ought not to afflict, or disturb our selves, when we fall into any Defect; but to rise up and go on, and set our selves to Exercises of Piety, as if we had never fallen: Would you not take him to be a Fool, says he, who contend­ing for the Prize of a Race, and hapning to stum­ble in the midst of his Carier, should lie upon the Ground, to no other end, than to bewail his Fall? You would rather say to him, Rise, Friend, and without loss of time, set thy self a running again; for he that gets up quickly, and pursues his Race, is like one that never fell: So that it's manifest from hence, in short, that the French Prelates do not well understand what they write a­gainst; but that there is something in it tending to invalidate Penances, and put Au­ricular Confessions out of Fashion, which has brought so much Grist to the Romish Mill, is what they seem to be very apprehensive of.

But the Clergy, notwithstanding all their 'fore-mention'd Endeavours for the Suppres­sion of this new Doctrine, finding it to spread [Page] itself more and more, among all Ranks and Orders of Men, as well Ecclesiasticks as La­icks, they thought it high time to transfer the Accusation to the Court of Rome, with all the aggravation of the Arch-Bishop's of Cam­bray's Crime, and Heresie, imaginable; and because they would not fail to make sure work of it, they engag'd the French King so far on their side also, as to get him to write to the Pope, to induce him in Confirmation of the Censures of the Clergy of France, to condemn the Arch-Bishop's Book; who, on his own part also, being not ignorant of these Proceedings against him, and not to be wanting to his own Defence, thought it no less proper to write to his Holiness upon the same Subject: But tho' the Bishop has used as much Caution as Sub­mission in that he wrote to the Pope, yet you will find in another of his Letters to a Friend, that he is the same Man still.

But how violent soever the Arch-Bishops accusers appear'd against him, both in France and Rome, the Pope kept a soft pace, till such time as having received the Arch-Bishops said Letter, he was pleased to appoint seven Com­missioners to Examine his Book, viz. the Ma­ster of the Sacred Pallace, His Holiness his Confessor, and a Jaccbin; Father Marsouiller, a French-Man of the same Order, the Proctor-General of St. Augustine-Friars, Father Gabri­el, of the Mendicant Order; Father Miri, a [Page] Benedictine; Father Grenelli, a Franciscan; and Father Alfaro, Jesuit. These were to make their Report to the Congregation of the holy Office, in order to their farther proceedings thereupon: But whither it were that these Gentlemen could not understand the Bishops Gallimaufry of notional speculations, or what shall I call it, or what ever else was in the wind, they did nothing in it, and the matter at last came before old Infallibility himself, and his Sacred College of Cardinals: But after all this, and the continual Sollicitations of the Jesuits and some great Prelates, there are some months now elapsed and nothing done in it; and by any thing that hitherto has appear'd to the contrary, they are so far from coming to a final decision either in favour or against the said Book, as when they first began. To enter upon an inquiry into the Doctrine and notions contained in this Treatise, will not be proper for me in this place, that being entirely left to the judgment of every one that has an inclination to peruse it: It remains for me therefore to say; that as it as stirred up the Curiosity of all sorts of persons abroad to make an inspection into these tenets, so it has done mine, to engage me in a more par­ticular inquiry into the rise, and progress, as well as the dislike of, and opposition made against them.

AN EXPLANATION Of the Diverse Loves Which may be had for GOD.

1. WE may love God not for the sake of himself, but for some o­ther good things depending on his Almighty power, which we hope to obtain from him. Such Love as this had the Carnal Jews, who observed the Law in hopes only of being recom­penc'd with the dew of Heaven and the fertility of the Earth. This love is neither Chast nor Filial, but meerly Servile; or rather, to speak properly, who loveth so, does not love God but his own dear Self, and seeks entirely for himself, not God, but what comes from him.

2. We may have Faith and not one de­gree of Charity with it. We know God to be our only happiness, that is to say, the only Object, the sight whereof can ren­der us happy. Now should we in this slate love God as the only instrument to be [Page 2] made use of for to work our happiness, and because we are not able to find our hap­piness in any other object: should we look upon God as a means of felicity, and refer it purely to our selves as to its ulti­mate end, this would be rather a self-love than a love of God; at least, it would be contrary to order, as respecting God as an object or instrument of our felicity, both to our selves and our own happiness. And though by this love we should seek for no other reward but God alone, yet would it prove wholly mercenary and of meer concupiscency. That Soul (as saith S. Francis of Sales in his Book of the love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) which should love God only out of love to her self, by establishing the end of that love she bears to God in her own con­veniency, alas! would be guilty of an extream Sacriledge. . . . . . . . That Soul which loveth God only for her own sake, loveth her self as she ought to love God, and loveth God as she ought to love her self: Which is as much as if one should say, the love I bear to my self is the end for which I love God; so that the love to God be depending, subordinate, and inferiour to self-love . . . . which is an unparallell'd impiety.

3. We may love God with a love of hope, which love is not intirely selfish, for it is mixt with a beginning of love to God for himself, only our own interest is [Page 3] the chief and predominant motive. S. Fran­cis of Sales (love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) Speaks thus of this love. I don't say howe­ver that it returns so fully upon us as to make us to love God only for our sakes. . . . . There is a great deal of difference between saying; I love God for the good things I expect from him: and this expression, I love God only for the good things I expect from him. This love of God is so call'd because the motive of self-inte­rest is yet predominant in it: 'Tis a begin­ning of Conversion to God; but not yet the true righteousness of this hopeful love. S. Francis of Sales (love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) Spoke thus, Sovereign love is only in Charity; but in hope love is imperfect, as not tending into the infinite goodness as it is such to us . . . . Though in truth none by that love alone can either observe the Commandments of God, or have eternal life.

4. There is a love of Charity which is yet allayed with some mixture of self-in­terest, but is the true justifying love; be­cause the disinteressed motive is over-ruling in it: to which S. Francis of Sales Speaks in the last cited place. Sovereign love is on­ly in Charity. This love seeks after God for himself, and prefers him before anything whatsoever without exception.

By reason only of that preference [...] capable to justifie us: And it prefe [...] [Page 4] less God and his Glory, both to us and our interests than to all other Creatures besides. The reason why is this: be­cause we are no less vile Creatures and un­worthy to compare our selves with God than the rest of created beings. God who did not make us for the other Creatures, hath not likewise made us for our selves, but for himself alone.

He is no less Jealous of us than of the other external objects which we may love. To Speak properly, the only thing he is Jealous of in us is our selves; for he clearly sees that it is our selves, whom we are tempted to love in the enjoyments of all external objects. He is not liable to mistakes in his Jealousie, and the love of our selves is the centre of all our affecti­ons. Whatsoever does not proceed from the principle of Charity, (as S. Austin so often saith,) is of cupidity. And it is the destruction of that very love, the root of all vices, which is precisely the aim of God's Jealousie. While we have yet but a love of hope whereby self-love does pre­ponde are against the Glory of God, the Soul is not satisfied yet. But when disin­teressed love or of Charity begins to turn the scale and to prevail against self-inte­rest, then a Soul that loves God is truly beloved of him. Nevertheless, this true [Page 5] Charity is not yet entirely pure that is with­out any mixture: but the love of Charity prevailing over the interessed motive of hope, that state is termed a state of Charity. The Soul then doth love God for the sake of him and for her self, but so as to love chiefly the Glory of God, not seeking her own happiness, but as a means by her re­lated and subordinated to the ultimate end, namely, the Glory of her Maker. Nor is it necessary that this prefering of God and of his Glory to us and our interests, be always explicite in the righteous Soul. We are assured by faith that the Glory of God and our felicity are inseparable one from another, 'tis enough if this so just and ne­cessary preference be real, but implicite in the occurrences of life. There is no need of its becoming explicite but in the ex­traordinary occasions of trial from God in order to purifie us from our dross. But then he would give us both light and cou­rage proportionate to the trial, to carry us through it, and to make us sensible in our hearts of that preference. Now to dive for it scrupulously at another time, in the bottom of our hearts would rather prove prejudicial and dangerous.

5. We may love God with a love of pure Charity, and without any mixture of the motive of self-interest, Then it is [Page 6] that we love God in the midst of troubles and adversities, so that we should not love him more even when he fills our Souls with comforts. Neither fear of punish­ments, nor desire of rewards have any share in this love; God is no more be­loved either in regard of the merit or per­fection, or for the happiness which is found in loving him. We would love him as much, though by an impossible suppositi­on he should know nothing of his being beloved, or would render eternally un­happy those who had loved him. Never­theless, we do love him as the supream and infallible happiness of those who are faithful to him; we love him as our per­sonal good, as our promised reward, as our all; but no more with that precise motive of our own happiness and recom­pence. Thus much did S. Francis of Sales, with the most exactness express (love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) in these Words: 'Tis a very different thing to say, I love God for my self; and saying, I love God for the sake of my self. . . . . for the one is a holy affection of the Bride . . . and the other a downright im­piety, &c. He Speaks again thus in another place: The purity of love consists in not will­ing any thing for ones self, in looking on no­thing but the good pleasure of God, for which one would be ready to prefer eternal torments to [Page 7] glory. The Soul disinteressed in pure cha­rity expects, desireth, hopeth in God as her good, her recompence, as that which is promised her and is entirely for her self. She will have him for her self, but not for the love of her self. She will have him for her self that she may conform with the good pleasure of God who will have it so for her self. But she will not have him for the love of her self, because she is no more acted by her own interest.

This is pure and perfect love, which works the same acts as mixt love in all the same virtues; with this one difference only, that it driveth out fear with all vexa­tious troubles, and is even free of all the solicitude of interessed love.

Now, I declare that to avoid all sort of equivocation, in a matter where it is so dangerous to make any, and so difficult not to mistake; I shall always exactly observe the same names which I will assign to these five kinds of love for a better distinction.

1. The love of the carnal Jews, for the gifts of God distinguished from him and not for himself, may be called meerly ser­vile love. But because we shall have no need to speak of it, I shall say nothing of it in this work.

2. That love wherewith God is beloved as the means and only instrument of feli­city, [Page 8] which is referr'd absolutely to ones self as to the ultimate end, may be termed meer concupiscential love.

3. That love in which the motive of our own happiness prevails yet over that of God's Glory, is called love of hope or hope­ful love.

4. That love in which charity is yet mixt with a motive of self-interest, related and subordinate to the principal motive, and to the ultimate end which is the pure glory of God, should be called love of charity mixt. But because we shall have occasion to oppose very often this love to that which is called pure or wholly interessed, I shall be oblig'd to give to this mixt love the name of interessed love; as being indeed yet allayed with a remnant of selfish inte­rest, though it be a love of preference of God to ones self.

5. The love to God alone, considered in it self, and without any the least mix­ture of an interessed motive either of fear, or of hope, is the pure love or perfect cha­rity.


1. ARTICLE, True.

MEER concupiscential or wholly mercenary love, whereby no­thing should be desired but God; God, I say, for the only interest of ones own happiness, and because we should think to find in him the sole instrument of our felicity, would be a love unworthy of God. For one would then love him as a Miser doth love his Money, or as a voluptuous Man his pleasure: So that one would referr only God to ones self as a means to its end. This overturning of order would be according to S. Francis of Sales (love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) a Sacrilegious love, and an unparallell'd impiety. But this meer concu­piscential or wholly mercenary love ought never to be confounded with that love, which by Divines is called of preference, which is a love of God mixt with ourself-in­terest, and in which the love of our selves is found always subordinate to the princi­pal end, which is the glory of God. Love meerly mercenary is rather a love of ones self than of God. It may indeed prepare [Page 10] one for righteousness in this, that it coun­terpoises our passions, and renders us pru­dent in discerning where our true good does lie: But it is against the essential or­der of a creature, and cannot be a real beginning of true internal Justice. On the contrary, Preferential Love though sel­fish, may justifie a Soul, if so be that our own interest be referr'd to it, and subor­dinate to the Predominant love of God, and provided his glory be the principal end thereof, so that we do not prefer with less sincerity God to our selves, as to all other creatures. This preference ought not how­ever to be always explicite, provided it be real: for God who knows the clay where­of we are formed, and pitieth his own Children, does not require at their hand a distinct and unfolded preference, but in those cases wherein he giveth them by his grace the courage to go through those tri­als in which this preference must needs be explicite.

Speaking thus we recede in nothing from the Doctrine of the holy Council of T [...]ent, which hath declared against the Protestants, that Preferential Love, in which the glory of God is the principal motive, to which that of our own interest is referr'd and subordi­nate, is not a Sin. It condemns (Sess. 6. Chap. 11.) those who affirm, that just [Page 11] Men do sin in all their works, if besides their principal desire that God be glorified, they cast one eye also upon the eternal reward to spur their laziness and incourage themselves in run­ning the race. This is to Speak as S. Fran­cis of Sales, and the whole School of My­stical Men.

I. ARTICLE. False.

ALL interessed love or mixt with any self-interest concerning our eternal happiness, though referr'd and subordinate to the principal motive of the glory of God, is a love unworthy of him, whereof the Soul ought to be purified as of a true spot or sin. It is not even lawful to make use of meer concupiscential love or meerly mercenary to prepare sinful Souls to their conversion, suspending thereby their passi­ons and ill habits, in order to put them in a condition to hearken peaceably to the words of faith.

To speak after that rate is to contradict the formal decision of the holy Council of Trent, declaring that mixt love wherein the glory of God is the predominant mo­tive is no sin. This moreover is to con­tradict the experience of all holy Pastors, who see often solid conversions prepared by a Concupiscential love and a fear meerly servile.


THere are three different degrees, or three habitual states of Just Men upon the Earth. The first have a Preferential Love for God, since they are Just, but this love though principal and predominant, is yet mixt with fear for their self-interest. The second are much more in a Love of prefe­rence: but this love, though chief and o­ver-ruling is yet mixt with Hope for their interest, as it is their own. Therefore S. Francis of Sales saith, (love of God, Lib. 9.) That holy Resignation hath yet selfish desires, but subordinate. These two loves are in­cluded in the fourth which I have called (V. pag. 10.) an interessed love in my de­finitions.

The third incomparably more perfect than the two other sorts of Just Men, have a fully disinteressed love, which hath been termed pure, thereby to intimate, that it is without mixture of any other motive than that of loving only in himself and for himself, the sovereign beauty of God. This all the Ancients have expres­sed, by saying that there are three states: The first of Just Men, whom fear acted yet [Page 13] by a remnant of a slavish mind. The se­cond is of those who hope yet for their own interest by a mixture of a mercenary spi­rit. The third is of those who deserve to be called Sons, because they love the Father without any self-ended motive, either of hope or of fear. This the Writers of the last Ages have precisely express'd the very same under other equivalent names. They have divided them into three states. The first whereof is Purgative life, in which we do combat vices with a love mixt with a mo­tive interessed with fear of eternal tor­ments. The second is illuminative life, wherein we do acquire fervency of vir­tues by a love yet mixt with a motive in­teressed for coelestial happiness. Finally, the third is contemplative or unitive life, in which, we do remain united with God by the peaceable exercise of pure love; in which last state one never loseth filial fear, nor the hope of the Children of God, though he hath parted with all interessed motives of hope and fear.

Fear is brought to perfection by purify­ing it self; it becomes a delicacy of love, and a filial reverence in peace. And it is then that chast fear which remains for ever and ever. Likewise hope far from being lost, is perfected by the purity of love, and then it is a real desire, and a sincere ex­pectation [Page 14] of the fulfilling of the promises, not only in general and in an absolute manner, but also of the accomplishment of the promises in us and for us according to the good pleasure and will of God: nay, by the only motive of his good pleasure, without any intermixture of our own in­terest. This pure love is not yet satisfied with desiring no other recompence but God himself. A slave entirely mercenary, who should have a distinct faith of re­vealed truths, might be willing to have no other reward but God alone, because he would know him clearly as an infinite good, and as being himself his true re­compence, or the only instrument of his felicity. This mercenary Man in the life to come would have nothing but God a­lone, but he would have God as Beatitude objective, or the object of his Beatitude, to refer it to his formal Beatitude, name­ly, to himself, whom he would make hap­py, and constitute himself as his ultimate end. On the contrary, whosoever loveth with a pure love, without any mixture of self-interest, is acted no more by the mo­tive of his interest. He wishes Beatitude to himself, only because he knows that God will have it so, and will have every one of us to desire it for his own glory. If by an impossible supposition, by reason [Page 15] of the promises which are meerly free, God would annihilate the Souls of Just Men at the moment of their separation from the body, or deprive them of the fruition of himself, and keep them eternally under the temptations and miseries of this life, as S. Austin supposes it; or even make them to suffer far from him, all the pains of Hell during all eternity, as it is sup­pos'd by S. Chrysostom, after S. Clement, the Souls of this third state of pure love, would not love or serve him with less fide­lity. Once more 'tis true, that this sup­position is impossible, upon the account of the promises, because God hath given himself to us as a rewarder: We cannot any more separate our happiness from God, beloved with final perseverance: but those things which cannot be separated in re­spect of the object, may happen really to be so in respect of the motives. God can­not fail of being the felicity of the faith­ful Soul; but she may love him with so much impartiality, that the enjoyment of a beatifying God increaseth not in the least the love she hath sor him without minding her self, and that she would love as much though he were never to be the cause of her happiness. Now to say that this abstraction of motives is but a vain subtilty, is to be ig­norant both of God's jealousie, and of that [Page 16] of the Saints against themselves: It is to give the name of subtilty to the nicety and perfection of Pure Love, which the tradition of all Ages, hath put in this ab­straction of the motives.

This way of Speaking is precisely con­formable to the whole general tradition of Christianity, from the most Ancient Fa­thers to S. Bernard, to all the most famous Scholastick Doctors, from S. Thomas to those of our Age; lastly, to all those Mystical Men who have been Canoniz'd or ap­proved by the whole Church in spight of all the contradictions they have suffered. Nothing in the Church is more evident than this tradition, and nothing would be more rash than to oppose it, or to endea­vour to shift it off. This supposition of the impossible case here mentioned, far from being an indiscreet and dangerous suppo­sition of the Mysticks, is on the contrary formally in S. Clement of Alexandria, in Cassian, in S. Chrysostom, in S. Gregory of Na­zianzen, in S. Anselm, and in S. Austin, who have been followed by a great number of Saints.

II. False.

THere is a love so pure that it rejects that recompence which is God him­self, so that a Man will not have it any more in himself and for himself, though we are taught by faith that God will have it in us and for us, and commands us to will it as he doth for his own glory.

This love doth carry its impartiality so far even as to consent to hate God eternally, or to cease from loving of him; or else it tends to the destruction of filial fear, which is nothing else but the niceness and delicacy of a Jealous love; or it aims to the exstinguishing in us all hope, forasmuch as the purest hope is a peaceable desire to re­ceive in us and for us the effect of the promises in conformity to the good plea­sure of God, and for his pure glory, with­out any mixture of self-interest; or else it tends to the hating of our selves, with a real hatred, so that we cease from loving in our selves, for God's sake, his worth, and his image, as we love it out of charity in our Neighbour.

The speaking at this rate is to give with a horrid Blasphemy, the name of pure love to a brutish and impious despair, and [Page 18] to the hatred of the work of our Creator. It is by a monstrous extravagance to affirm That the principle of conformity with God makes us contrary to himself. It is a go­ing about by a chimerical love to destroy love it self. It is to put Christianity out of the hearts of Men.


SOuls must be left in the exercise of love, that (4. Love, See pag. 8.) which is yet mixt with the motive of interest as long as the power of grace shall leave them in it. One ought also to reverence these mo­tives scattered through all the Books of ho­ly Scripture, in all the most precious mo­numents of Tradition; and in all the Prayers of the Church. We ought to make use of these motives to repress passions, to consolidate virtues, and to disintangle our Souls from all things of this present life.

However this love though less perfect than that which is fully disinteress'd hath nursed up in all ages a great number of Saints, and greatest part of holy Souls do never attain in this life the perfect impartiality of love; you disturb and cast them into temptation if you take from them the motives of self-interest, [Page 19] which being subordinate to love, serve to hold them up, and to animate them in dangerous occasions. It would be to no purpose, and indiscretion to propose them a more elevated love, which is out of their reach, as having neither internal light nor the power of grace for it. Nay, those who begin to have some knowledge and foretaste of it, are yet very far from ha­ving the reality of it. Finally, those who have attained its imperfect reality, are ve­ry far yet from having the uniform exer­cise of it turned into an habitual state.

What is essential in the direction is to fol­low only grace step by step, with extream patience, precaution, and niceness. We ought to confine our selves to God's wor­king, and never speak of pure love but when God by internal unction begins to open the heart to that word, so hard to Souls, yet selfish, and so apt to scandalize them or to cast them into trouble. Nay more than that, we ought never to sub­stract from a Soul the support of interessed motives, when they begin with the power of grace to instruct her in pure love. 'Twill be enough if upon certain occasions we shew her how amiable God is in himself, but never to disswade her from taking hold on the support of mixt love.

[Page 20] To Speak thus, is to Speak as the spirit of grace and the experience of internal ways will always make one Speak; 'Tis to caution Souls against illusion.

III. False.

INteressed love (See pag. 8.) is mean, gross, unworthy of God, which gene­rous Souls ought to scorn and despise. Hast must be made to put them out of conceit with it, that they may aspire from the beginning to an intirely Disinteressed Love.

The motives of the fear of Death, of God's Judgments, and of Hell belonging only to slaves, ought immediately to be ba­nished. We ought to take from them the desire of their heavenly countrey, and to cut off from them all the interessed mo­tives of hope. After having made them to relish the fully disinteressed love, we ought to suppose that they have attraction and grace for it; they ought to be re­moved from all practices which are not in the whole perfection of that love entirely pure.

To Speak at this rate, is to be ignorant of the ways of God and of the operations of his grace. They will have the spirit to [Page 21] blow where they list, whereas, it blows where it listeth. They confound the de­grees of interiour life. They inspire Souls with that ambition and spiritual avarice spoken of by the blessed John of the Cross. They remove them from the true sim­plicity of pure love limited to follow grace, and never offering to prevent it. They turn to slight the foundations of Christian Justice, I mean that fear which is the be­ginning of wisdom, and that hope whereby we are saved.


HOpe in the habitual state of purest love, far from being lost, is perfected and keeps its distinction from charity. 1. The habit thereof infuses into the Soul, and is conformable there to the produci­ble acts of that virtue. 2. The exercise of that virtue remains always distinguish'd from that of charity: the reason of which is this. It is not the diversity of ends that causeth the diversity or specification of vir­tues. All virtues ought to have but one end, though they be one from the other distinguished by a true specification. S. Au­stin (de moribus Eccl. l. 1.) assureth, that [Page 22] charity it self is the active principle of all vir­tues, and takes diverse denominations suitable to the objects it is applied to. S. Thomas saith, that charity is the form of all virtues, because it exerciseth and refers them all to its end, which is the glory of God. S. Francis of Sales, who hath excluded so formally, and with so many repetitions all interessed mo­tives, from all the virtues of perfect Souls, hath followed precisely the steps both of S. Austin, and of S. Thomas, whom he cites. They have all followed the universal tra­dition which constitutes a third degree of Just Men, who do exclude all interessed motives from the purity of their love. 'Tis then certain that one ought not any more to seek in that state for hope exercised by an interessed motive: otherwise this would be a pulling down with one hand what hath been raised with the other; a ma­king ones sport with so holy a tradition; an affirming and denying at the same time one and the same thing; and a seeking for the motive of self-interest in an intire­ly disinteressed love. We ought then to remember well that it is not the diversity of the ends or of the motives which makes the distinction or specification of virtues. What causeth this distinction is the diversi­ty of formal objects. To the end that hope may remain truly distinguished from cha­rity, [Page 23] 'tis not necessary they should have different ends: on the contrary, for to be good, they ought to refer to one and the same end. 'Tis enough if only the formal object of hope be not the formal object of charity. Now so it is, that in the habitual state of the most disinteressed love, the two formal objects of these two virtues are very different; therefore these two vir­tues do conserve in that state a distinction and true specification in the strictest Scho­lastical sense. The formal object of cha­rity is the goodness or beauty of God ta­ken simply and absolutely in it self, with­out any Idea relative to us. The formal object of hope is the goodness of God as it is good for us and of a difficult acquisi­tion: Now it evidently appears, that these two objects taken in the most abstracted sense and Formal Conception are very dif­ferent. Therefore the difference of the ob­jects conserve the specifick distinction of these two virtues. 'Tis certain that God as he is perfect in himself, and without any respect to me; and God as he is my happiness which I endeavour to acquire, are two formal objects very different. There is no confusion on the part of the object which specifies these virtues; but only on the part of the end, and that confusion ought to be there: and it alters in nothing [Page 24] the specification of virtues. The only dif­ficulty remaining now is to explain how a fully disinteressed Soul can will God as it is her good. Is not this, will they say, a falling from the perfection of ones disinteressment, a going back in the way of God, a coming again to the motive of self-interest, contrary to all that tradition of the Saints of all ages, who do exclude from the third state of Just Men all inte­ressed motives? It is an easie matter to an­swer, that pure love never hindreth us to will, and causeth us even to will positive­ly all that God is willing that we should will. God will have me to will God, as he is my happiness and reward. I will him formally under this Notion: but I will him not by that precise motive that he is my good. The object and the motive are different; the object is my interest; but the motive is not interessed, since it re­gards nothing but the good pleasure of God. I will that formal object, and in this redu­plication, as speak the School: but I will it by pure conformity to the will of God, who makes me to will it. The formal ob­ject is that of the common hope of all Just Men, and it is the formal object by which virtues are specified. The end is the same with that of charity; but we have seen that the unity of end never confoundeth [Page 25] the virtues. I may without doubt desire my supream good, as it is my reward, and not that of another, and desire it in con­formity to God who will have me to de­sire it. Then I desire that which is real­ly, and which I know is the greatest of all my interests, without being determined to it by any interested motive. In this state, hope remains distinguished from cha­rity, and does not alter or diminish the purity or impartiality of her state. This is by S. Francis of Sales explained, in these words, according to Theological strictness: (Love of God, Lib. 2. c. 17.) It is a very different thing to say, I love God for my self; and to say, I love God for the sake of my self—the one is a holy affection of the Bride—the other is an impiety that hath not the like, &c.

To speak so, is to conserve the distin­ction of Theological virtues in the most per­fect Estates of the inward Life, and conse­quently to depart in nothing from the Do­ctrine of the holy Council of Trent. 'Tis to explain at the same time the tradition of the Fathers, of the Doctors of the School, and of Mystick Saints, who have suppo­sed a third degree of Just Men, who are in an habitual state of pure love without any motive of interest.

IV. False.

IN this third degree of perfection, a Soul wills not any longer her Salvation as her Salvation, nor God as her supream good, nor reward as reward, though God will have her to have this will. Whence it is, that in this state one is not any more able to do any act of true hope distin­guished from Charity; that's to say, that one cannot any more desire nor expect the effect of the promises in and for him­self, even for the glory of God.

To Speak at that rate, is to place our per­fection in a formal resistance of the will of God, who wills our Salvation, and will have us to will the same as our own re­compence. And this is at the same time to confound the exercise of Theological virtues against the decision of the Council of Trent.


THere be two different states of righ­teous Souls. The first is that of holy Resignation. The resigned Soul will, or [Page 27] at least would have several things for her self, by the motive of her own interest. S. Francis of Sales saith, (Love of God, Lib. 9.) That she hath yet selfish desires, but that they are subjected. She submits and subordinates her interessed desires to the will of God, which she prefers before her interest. There­by this Resignation is good and meritorious. The second state is that of holy indifference. An indifferent Soul wills not any longer any thing for her self-interest. She hath no in­terested desires to submit, because she hath no more interrested desire. 'Tis true, that there remains in her still some incli­nations and unvoluntary repugnances which she submitteth; but she hath no longer any voluntary and deliberate desires for her own interest, except in those occa­sions wherein she does not faithfully co­operate to the fulness of her grace. This indifferent Soul, when she fulfilleth her grace wills not any thing more but as God makes her to will it by his attractive power.

She loves it is true, several things be­sides God, but she loves them only for the sole love of God, and with the love of God himself; for it is God that she loves, in all whatsoever he causeth her to love. Holy indifference is nothing but the impartiality or disinterest of love, as [Page 28] holy Resignation is nothing but interessed love, which submitteth self-interest to the glory of God. Indifference reacheth as far and never farther than the perfect disin­terest of love. As that indifference is love it self, it is a very real and posi­tive principle. It is a positive and formal will, which causeth us to will or desire re­ally all the will of God known to us. It is not a dull unsensibleness, an internal unaction or non-willing, a general suspensi­on, or a perpetual equilibrium of the Soul. On the contrary, it is a positive and con­stant determination to will and not to will any thing, as Cardinal Bona does ex­press it. One wills nothing for himself, but every thing for God: We desire nothing in order to be perfect or happy, for our own interest, but we will all perfection and blessedness as far as it pleaseth God to make us, desire these things by the im­pression of his grace, according to the written Law, which is always our invi­olable rule. In this state we desire no longer Salvation as our own Salvation, as an eternal deliverance, as a reward of our me­rits, or as the greatest of our interests: But we will it with a full will, as the glory and good pleasure of God, as a thing which he wills, and will have us to will for his sake.

[Page 29] 'Twould be a manifest extravagancy to refuse out of a pure love, to desire that good which God will do to us, and com­mands us to desire. The most disintere­sted love ought to will what God wills for us, as that which he wills for others. The absolute determination to will nothing would be no longer a disinterest, but the extinction of love which is a de­sire and true will: it would be no lon­ger holy indifference; for indifference is the state of a Soul, equally ready to will or will not, to will for God all that he wills, and never to will for ones self, what God does not declare that he wills: Whereas, that nonsensical determination not to will any thing, is an impious re­luctancy to all the known will of God, and to all the impressions of his grace. This equivocation in saying, that one does not desire his Salvation, is easie to be re­solv'd. We do desire it fully as the will of God. To reject it in this sense would be a horrid Blasphemy, and we ought always thereupon to Speak with a great deal of pre­caution. It is true, only as we do not will it as it is our recompence, our good and our interest. In this sense, S. Francis os Sales hath said, (Second Conversation) That if there was a little more of God's good pleasure in Hell, the Saints would exchange [Page 30] Paradise for it. And in other places too, (Conv. p. 182.) The desire of Eternal Life is good, but he makes us to desire nothing else but God's will. (Conv. 368.) Could we serve God without Merit, we should desire to do it. He saith elsewhere, (Love of God, Lib. 9. c. 11.) Indifference is above Resignation, for it loves nothing but for the will of God: So that nothing moves an indifferent heart in pre­sence of God's will.—An indifferent heart is as a Wax-Ball in the hands of his God, in order to receive in like manner all the impressions of his Eternal good pleasure. 'Tis a heart without choice, equally dispos'd to every thing, without any other object of his will but the will of his God; who does not set his love upon the things which God wills, but in the will of God who wideth them. In another place he saith, Speaking of S. Paul, and of S. Martin, (Ibid.) They see Paradise open for them; they see a thousand miseries and labours upon the Earth; the one and the other is indifferent to their choice, and nothing but the will of God can give the counterpoise to their hearts. He saith afterwards, (Ibid.) Should he know that his Damnation were a little more plea­sing to God, than his Salvation, he would leave his Salvation and run to his Damnation. He Speaks also thus, in another place; (3 Discourse,) It is not only requisite that we should relie upon Divine Providence con­cerning [Page 31] temporal things, but much more for what belongs to our Spiritual life and perfecti­on. He saith elsewhere, Whither it be in in­teriour or exteriour things you ought to will nothing but what God shall will for you. Last­ly, He saith in another place. I have al­most no desires, but if I was to be Born again, I would have none at all. If God should come to me, I should go to him also: if he would not come to me, I should hold still and not go to him. The other Saints of the last Ages who are authoriz'd by the whole Church, are full of such and the like expressions, which are all reduced to this saying, that one hath no longer any self and interested desire, neither about merit, perfection, nor eternal happi­ness.

Thus to Speak, is to leave no equivocati­on in so nice a matter, where none ought to be suffered; 'tis to prevent all the abuse which can be made of the most precious and most holy thing which is upon the Earth, I mean pure love; 'tis to Speak as all the Fathers, all the chiefest Doctors of the Schools and all mystical Saints do.

V. False.

HOly indifference is an absolute suspen­sion of the will, an entire non-will­ing an exclusion even of all disinterested desire. It goes beyond the perfect disinte­rest of love. It does not desire for us those eternal goods, which by the written Law we are taught God will give us, and which he wills we should wish to receive in us and for us, by the motive of his glo­ry. All even the most disinterested desire is imperfect. Perfection does consist in not willing any thing more whatsoever, in not desiring any more, not only God's gifts but also God himself, and in leaving him to do in us what he pleases, by not in­termixing on our side any real or positive will.

To Speak at this rate, is to confound all ideas of humane reason; It is to put a chimerical perfection in an absolute ex­tinction of Christianity, and even of hu­manity. One cannot find terms odious e­nough to qualifie so monstruous an ex­travagance.


HOly indifference, which is nothing else but the disinterest of love, is so far from excluding disinterested desires, that it is the real and positive principle of all those disinterested desires which the written Law commands us, and also of all those grace does inspire us with: After this manner did the Psalmist express himself to God; All my desires are set before thine eyes. The indifferent Soul not only desires fully her Salvation, as it is the good pleasure of God; but more than that, perseve­rance, the amendment of her faults, the increase of love by the means of grace, and generally without exception all spiri­tual and even temporal good, that is within the order of providence, a prepara­tion of means both for ours and our neigh­bours Salvation. Holy indifference admits, not only distinct desires and express de­mands, for the accomplishment of all the will of God known to us; but also ge­neral desires for all the will of God which we do not know.

To Speak thus, is to Speak conformable to the true principles of holy indifference, [Page 34] and to the sentiment of Saints, all which expressions, if well examin'd, both by what precede and what followeth, are reduced without▪ difficulty to this explication that is pure and sound according to the faith.

VI. False.

HOly indifference, admits of no di­stinct desire, nor of any formal re­quest, for any good either spiritual or tem­poral, what relation soever it hath either to ours or our Neighbour's Salvation. We ought never to admit of any of those pi­ous and edifying desires which may inward­ly work upon us.

To Speak at this rate, is to oppose God's will, under thepretence of purer conformity to it; it is to violate the written Law, which commandeth us to desire, though it does not command us to form our desires in an inte­rested, unquiet manner, or such as is always di­stinct. 'Tis to extinguish true love by a nonsen­sical resinement; 'tis to condemn with Blas­phemy both the words of Scripture and the Prayers of the Church, that are full of requests and of desires. 'Tis an excommunicating ones self, and putting himself out of a con­dition of being ever able to pray, both with heart and mouth in the congregation of the faithful.


THere is never a state of indifference, or of any other perfection known in the Church, that gives to Souls a miracu­lous or extraordinary inspiration. The per­fection of interiour ways does consist only in one way of pure love, whereby God is beloved without any interest, and of pure faith, where one walks only in dark­ness, and without other light but that of faith it self, which is common to all Chri­stians. This obscurity of pure faith ad­mits of extraordinary light. 'Tis not but God, who is the master of his gifts, may give Raptures, Visions, Revelations, and internal communications. But they do not belong to that way of pure Faith, and we are taught by the Saints, that then we ought not to stop willfully in those ex­traordinary lights, but to pass them over, as saith the Blessed John of the Cross, and dwell in the most naked and dark Faith. Much more ought we to take heed not to suppose in the ways we have spoken of, any miraculous or extraordinary inspira­tion which indifferent Souls do guide them­selves by. They have for their rule no­thing [Page 36] but the precepts and counsels of the written Law, and the actual grace which is ever conformable to the Law. As to the precepts, they ought always to presuppose without wavering or reasoning, that God ne­ver forsakes any unless forsaken first; and consequently, that grace always preven­ting does inspire them continually to the accomplishment of the precept when it ought to be accomplish'd. So it is their work to co­operate with all the power and strength of their will, that they may not come short of grace by a transgression of the precept. As for those cases in which counsels are not tur­ned into precepts, they ought without do­ing violence to themselves to produce acts either of love in general, or of certain distinct virtues in particular, according as the inter­nal attraction of grace inclines them to some rather than to others, as occasion requires. What is very certain, is that grace prevents them in respect to every deliberate action; that this grace which is the internal breath­ing of the Spirit of God, does inspire them thus upon every occasion; that this in­spiration is nothing but that which is com­mon to all Just Souls, and which ne­ver exempts them in the least from the whole extent of the written Law; that this inspiration is only stronger and more spe­cial in Souls elevated to pure love, than [Page 37] in those who are acted only by interested love; because God communicates himself more to the perfect than to the imperfect. So when some mystical Saints have admitted into holy indifference inspired desires, and rejected the others; we must take heed not to think that they would exclude the desires and the other acts commanded by the written Law, and admit none but those that are extraordinarily inspired. This would be a Blasphemy against the Law, and raise above it a Phantastical inspirati­on. The desires and other inspired acts mentioned by those Mysticks, are either those commanded by the Law, or those ap­proved by the Counsels, and which are formed in an indifferent and disinterested Soul, by the inspiration of ever preven­ting grace, without the mixture of any in­terested eagerness to prevent grace. So that all is reduced to the letter of the Law, and to the preventing grace of pure love, to which the Soul does co-operate without preventing it.

To Speak thus, is to explain the true sense of good mystical persons; 'tis to take away all equivocations which may seduce the one and offend the other; 'tis to precau­tion Souls against whatsoever is suspected to be illusive; it is to keep up the form of Sound Words, as S. Paul does recommend it, (2 Tim. C. I. V. 13.)

VII. False.

SOuls dwelling in an holy indifference have no regard for any, though a disinte­rested desire, which the written Law obliges them to form. They ought to desire no­thing more but those things which a mira­culous or extraordinary inspiration moveth them to wish without any dependency from the Law; they are acted and moved by God, and taught by him in every thing, so that God alone desireth in them and for them, and they are in no need to co-operate with it by their free will. Their ho­ly indifference eminently containing all de­sires dispenseth with them from forming ever any. Their inspiration is their only rule.

To Speak at this rate, is to elude all Counsels under pretence of fulfilling them in a most eminent manner; it is to esta­blish in the Church a sect of impious Fa­naticks; 'tis to forget that Christ Jesus came upon the Earth, not to dispense with the Law or to lessen the authority of it, but on the contrary, to fullfill and perfect it: so that Heaven and Earth shall pass away before the Words of our Saviour, pronoun­ced for the confirmation of the Law shall pass. Finally, it is to contradict grosly all [Page 39] the best mystical Writers, and pull down from top to bottom their whole system of pure Faith, manifestly incompatible with all miraculous or extraordinary inspirati­on, which a Soul would voluntarily follow as her rule and support for dispensing with the fulfilling the Law.


HOly indifference which is never any other but the disinterest of love, be­cometh in the most extream tryals what the holy Misticks have called abandoning or giving one self up; that is to say, that the disin­terested soul gives her self up totally and without any the least reserve to God in all her own interest; but she never renounceth either love nor any of those things wherein the Glory and good pleasure of her beloved are concern'd. This abandoning is nothing else, but that abnegation or renounciation of ones self, which Jesus Christ requires of us in the Gospel; after we have forsaken all outward things. This abnegation of our selves is only pointed against our self-inte­rest, and ought never to hinder that disin­terested love, which we owe in our selves as to our Neighbour, for God's sake. The [Page 40] extream tryals wherein this abandoning is to be exercis'd, are the temptations whereby our Jealous God will purify love in hiding from it all hope for its interest even eternal. These Tryals are represented by a very great number of Saints, as a terrible Purga­tory, which may exempt from the Purgato­ry of the other world, those Souls who suf­fer it with entire Fidelity. Only mad and wicked Men saith Cardinal Bona, will deny their belief of those sublime and secret things, and despise them as False, though not clear, when they are attested by Men of a most venerable Virtue, who speak by their own experience of God's Operations in their hearts. These tryals are but for a while, and the more true souls are in them to Grace by leaving themselves to be purify'd from all self-interest by Jealous love, so much the shorter are these tryals. 'Tis ordinarily the secret resistance of the Souls to grace under specious pretences; 'tis their interested and eager endeavour for retaining these sensible supports where­from God is willing to deprive them, which render their tryals both so long and so painful: for God never makes his Creature suffer, to make him suffer without fruit. It is with a design only to purifie the Soul, and to overcome her resistances. Those Tempta­tions whereby love is purify'd from all self-interest, are in nothing like to other [Page 41] common Temptations. Experienced Di­rectors can discern them by certain tokens, but nothing is more dangerous, than to take the common Temptations of begin­ners for trials, tending to the entire purifi­cation of love in the most eminent Souls. This is the source of all illusion: This causeth deceived Souls to fall into hide­ous and dreadful Vices. These bitter tri­als are not to be suppos'd to be but in a very small number of pure and mortified Souls, in whom Flesh hath been a long while al­ready entirely brought under the Spirit, and who have solidly practised all the E­vangelical Virtues. They ought to be do­cile, so as never willfully to strain at any of those hard and abject things which may be commanded them. They ought not to fall in love with any comfort or freedom; they should be taken off from all things whatsoever, and also from the way that teacheth them this freedom; they should be ready for all the practises that are laid upon them; they are to stick neither to their kind of Prayer, nor to their Experi­ences, nor to their Readings, nor to those persons they have consulted formerly with trust and reliance. One ought to have had the Experiment that their Temptati­ons are of a different nature from the com­mon Temptations in this, that the true [Page 42] means to still them, is, not to be willing to find a known Prop to Self-interest.

To speak thus, is word for word, to re­peat the Experiences of Saints, as they have related them themselves. 'Tis, at the same time, to prevent those very dangerous In­conveniences, one might fall into by Credu­lity, should one admit, too easily, in matter of Practice, these Tryals, which happen but very seldom; by reason that few Souls have attained that Perfection, where nothing re­mains to be purified, but some Remnants of Interest, mixed with Divine Love.

VIII. False.

INternal Tryals take away, for ever, both sensible, and visible Graces: They sup­press, for ever, the distinct Acts, both of Love and Vertue; they put a Soul into a real and absolute Impotency, to discover herself to her Superiors, or to obey them in the essential Practice of the Gospel; they cannot be discern'd from common Tempta­tions: 'Tis lawful, in that State, to abscond from Superiors, to substract one's self from the Yoke of Obedience, and to seek, both by Books, and Persons, of no Authority, the Helps, and Lights, one stands in needs of; even, notwithstanding, the Prohibition of our Superiors.

[Page 43] A Director may suppose one to be in these Tryals, without having tried before, the bot­tom of the Soul, upon her Sincerity, Doci­lity, Mortifications and Humility: He may immediately put that Soul upon purging her Love from all Dross of Interest, in the Temptation, without causing her to do any interested Act, to resist the Vehemency of pressing Temptation.

To speak at this rate, is to poyson our Souls; it is to take from them the Arms of Faith, necessary to resist the Enemy of our Salvation; 'tis to confound all the Ways of God; 'tis to teach Rebellion, and Hypo­crisie, to the Children of the Church.


A Soul, who in these extream Tryals, gives herself up to God, is never for­saken by him: When she asks in the Tran­sport of her Grief, to be delivered, God does not deny to hear her; but because he is willing to perfect her Strength in Infirmity, and that his Grace is sufficient to her for it: She loseth in that State, neither the real and compleat Power, within the Line of Power, for to fulfil really the Precepts, nor that of following the most perfect Counsels, ac­cording [Page 44] to her Calling, and present Degree of Perfection, nor the real and internal Acts of her Free-will, for that accomplishment: She looseth neither preventing Grace, nor explicite Faith, nor Hope, as it is a disinte­rested Desire of the Promises; nor the Love of God, nor the infinite Hatred of Sin, not so much as venial, nor that inward and mo­mentous certainty, that is necessary for the Rectitude of the Conscience: She loseth no­thing but the sensible Relish of Good, but the comfortable and affecting Fervency, but the eager and interested Acts of Vertues, but the After-certainty, that comes by an interested reflection, bearing to itself a comfortable Wit­ness of its Fidelity: These direct Acts, and such as escape the Reflections of the Soul, but which are yet very real, and do conserve in her all the Vertues without spot, are, as I have already said, that Operation called by S. Francis of Sales, the Edge of the Spirit, or the Top of the Soul: This State of Trou­ble, and Gloominess, which is only for a while, is not even in its own Duration, without peaceable Intervals, in which some Glimpses of very sensible Graces, appear like Lightning in a dark stormy Night, which leave no sign of themselves behind.

To speak thus, is to speak equally confor­mable, both to the Catholick Doctrine, and to the Experiences of Mystical Saints.

IX. False.

IN these extream Tryals, a Soul without having been before unfaithful to Grace, loseth the true and full Power of persevering in her State: She falls into a real Impotency, to fulfil the Precepts in those Cases, where Precepts are urging. She ceaseth to have an explicite Faith, in Cases where Faith ought to act explicitely: She ceaseth to hope, that's to say, to expect, and to desire, even in a disinterested manner, the Effect of the Pro­mises in herself: She hath no longer the Love of God, perceptible, or imperceptible: She hath no more a Hatred to Sin: She lo­seth not only the sensible and reflective Hor­ror of it, but also the most direct and inti­mate Horror of the same. She hath no more that intimate and momentous Certainty, which can preserve the Rectitude of her Con­science, in the very Moment of her Action. All the Acts of those Vertues essential to the internal Life ceases, even in their most direct, and less reflected Operation, which is ac­cording to the Language of Mystical Saints, the Edge of the Spirit, and the Top of the Soul.

[Page 46] To speak at this rate, is to annihilate Christian Piety, under pretence of perfect­ing it. It is to make the Tryals designed to purifie Love, an universal Shipwreck of Faith, and of all Christian Vertues: 'Tis to say, that the Faithful nourished with the Words of Faith, ought never to hear, with­out stopping their Ears.


THE Promises of Eternal Life, are meer­ly free: Grace is never due to us; or else it would not be Grace. God never oweth to us, in a strick Sence, either Perse­verance to the Death, nor Eternal Life af­ter the Death of the Body: He is not so much as indebted to our Soul, to give her Exi­stence after this Life; he might let her drop into her Nothing again, as it were, by her own Weight: Otherwise he should not be free in respect to the Duration of his Crea­ture, and it would become a necessary Being. But altho' God never owes any thing to us, in a strict Sence, he hath been pleased to give us Rights grounded on his Promises, meerly free: By his Promises he hath gi­ven himself, as a Supream Blessedness, to a Soul faithful to him, and persevere to be so. [Page 47] It is then true in this sense, that any sup­position tending to the believing ones being excluded from Eternal life by Loving God, is impossible, because God is faithful in his promises: He wills not the Death of the Sinner, but rather that he may live and be Converted. Thereby it is certain that all the Sacrifices which the most Disinte­rested Souls make usually concerning their Eternal Blessedness are conditional. They say: my God, if by an impossibility thou wouldst condemn me to the Eternal Tor­ments of Hell without losing thy Love, I should not Love thee the less for it. But this Sacrifice cannot be absolute in an ordinary state. In no other case but of the last trials, this Sacrifice becometh in a manner absolute. Then a Soul may be invincibly perswaded with a reflex per­swasion, and which is not the intimate bot­tom of Conscience, that she is justly re­probated by God. In this state did S. Fran­cis of Sales find himself in the Church of of S. Stephen des Grez. A Soul in this trouble finds herself contrary to God, in respect to her former infidelities, and by her present obduration. She takes her bad inclinations for a deliberate will, and sees not the real acts of her Love and of her Virtues, which by reason of their simplicity do escape her reflections. She becomes in her own eyes [Page 48] covered with the leprōsie of Sin, though it is only in appearance and not real. She can not bear with her self. She is offended with those who are willing to quiet her and take away from her that kind of perswasion. It matters nothing to tell her of the precise Doctrine of Faith, in regard to the will of God of saving all Men, and the belief we ought to have, that he is willing to save every one of us in particular. This Soul does not doubt of the good will of God, but believeth her own bad, because she sees nothing in her self by reflection but the apparent evil which is external and sensible, and that the good which is always real and intimate, is by God's jea­lousie continually taken from before her eyes Nothing in this involuntary and in­vincible trouble can recover her, nor re­veal to her in the bottom of her self what God is pleased to conceal to her. She sees God's Anger swoll'n and hanging over her head as the billows of the Sea, ready to drown her; then it is that the Soul is divided from her self, she expires with Christ upon the Cross: saying, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? In that un­voluntary impression of despair, she makes an absolute Sacrifice of her concern for Eternity, because the impossible case in the trouble and darkness she is in, seems to her [Page 49] possible and actually real. Once more it would profit nothing to argue with her, for she is wholly incapable of reasoning, all the business lies in a conviction which is not intimate, but seeming and invincible. A Soul in this condition, looseth all hope of things for her own interest, but she never looseth in the superiour part of her self, that's to say, in her direct and intimate acts, that perfect hope which is the disin­terested desire of the promises. She loves God more purely than ever, and is so far from consenting positively to hate him, that she does not so much as indirectly consent to cease for one instant from lo­ving him, nor to diminish in the least her Love, nor to put ever to the increase of that Love any voluntary bounds, nor to commit any fault, though never so venial. A Director may therefore leave this Soul to make a simple condescention to the loss of her own interest, and to the just Con­demnation she thinks to be under from God, which serveth ordinarily but to qui­et her, and to becalm the Temptation de­signed only for that effect; I mean for the purification of Love: But he ought ne­ver either to advise or to permit her posi­tively to believe by a free and willful per­swasion, that she is reprobated and ought no longer to desire the promises by a disin­terested [Page 50] motive: He ought yet much less to consent she should hate God, or cease from loving him, or transgress his Law even by the most venial faults.

To speak thus, is to speak according to the Experience of Saints, with all the Pre­caution necessary for the Conservation of the Doctrine of Faith, and never to lay open Souls to any Illusion.

X. False.

A Soul in Tryals may believe, with an intimate, free, and voluntary Per­swasion, against the Doctrine of Faith, that God hath forsaken her, tho' she had not forsaken him; or, that there is no more Mercy for her, tho' she does sincerely desire it; or, that she may consent to hate God, because God will have her to hate him; or, that she may consent never more to love God, because he will no more be beloved by her; or, that she can voluntarily confine her Love, because God will have her to li­mit it; or, that she may violate God's Law, because God will have her to transgress it. In this State, a Soul hath no longer any Faith, or Hope, or disinterested Desire of the Pro­mises, nor any real and intimate Love of God, nor any, even implicite Hatred of [Page 51] Evil, which is Sin, nor any real Co-opera­tion with Grace: But she is without any Acti­on, without any Will, without any more Interest for God, than for herself, without either reflex, or direct Acts of Vertues.

To speak at this rate, is to blaspheme a­gainst what one is ignorant of, and to cor­rupt one's self in what one knows; 'tis to make Souls to be overcome by Temptation, under pretence of purifying them; 'tis to reduce all Christendom to an impious and dull Despair; 'tis even grosly to contradict all good Mystical Persons, who do assert, that Souls in that State, shew a very lively Love for God, by their Sorrow for having lost him, and an infinite Abhorrency of Evil, by their Impatience oftentimes towards those who offer both to comfort, and re­assure them of their good State.


GOD never forsakes the Just, unless he be forsaken by him: He is the infinite Good, who seeks for nothing, but to com­municate himself: The more one receiveth him, the more he gives of himself: Our Re­sistance only is that which restrains, or retards his Gifts. The essential Difference [Page 52] between the new Law, and the old, is, that the latter did not lead Man to any thing that was perfect; that it shewed what was good, but gave not a Power wherewithal to do it, and Evil, without affording Means to avoid it; whereas the new is the Law of Grace, which gives both the Will and the Deed, and which commands only, because it gives the true Power to fulfil. As the Observers of the old Law were assured, that they should never see the diminution of their Temporal Goods: Inquirentes autem Domi­num non minuentur omni bono. Souls that are true to their Grace, shall likewise never suf­fer any dimunition in their Grace, which is always preventing, and the real Good of the Christian Law: Thus each Soul, that she may be fully true to God, can do nothing solid and meritorious, but to follow Grace, with­out need of preventing it. To be willing to prevent it, is to be willing to give to one's self, what it does not give yet; 'tis to ex­pect something of himself, and his own En­deavour, or Industry; 'tis a subtile, and unperceptible Remainder of a Semi-Pelagian Zeal, at the very time when we long yet for more Grace. One ought, 'tis true, to prepare himself, for to receive and invite Grace to himself; but this ought not to be done, without the Co-operation of Grace it self. A faithful Co-operation with Grace, [Page 53] in the present Moment, is a most effectual Preparation for receiving, and attracting of Grace the next Moment. If the thing be narrowly pried into, 'tis then evident, that all is reduc'd to a faithful Co operation of a full Will, and of all the Forces of the Soul, with the Grace of every Moment's presenting. If all that could be added to this Co-operati­on, were rightly taken in its full extent, it would be nothing but a rash and over-hasty Zeal, an eager and unquiet En­deavour, of a Self-interested Soul; an un­seasonable Motion that would discompose, weaken, and retard the Operation of Grace, instead of making it both more easie and perfect: 'Tis even, as if one who is led by another, whose Impulses he ought to fol­low, should incessantly prevent his Motions, and at every Minute turn himself back, to measure that Space he had already run: This unquiet, and ill concerted Motion, with the Man that principally moves, would on­ly cumber, and retard the Course of them both: 'Tis even so with a just Man in the Hand of God, who moveth him without discontinuation with his Grace. All ha­sty and unquiet Excitation fore-running Grace, for fear of not acting enough; all eager excitation, except in case of Command, for to give to one's self, by an excess of in­terested Precaution, those Dispositions, which [...] [Page 52] [...] [Page 53] [Page 54] Grace does not inspire with in those Mo­ments, because it inspires with others less comfortable, and perceptible; all hasty and unquiet exciting, for to give to one self, by observable excitation, a more perceptible mo­tion, and whereof one may be able to bear to himself immediately a more interested Wit­ness, are defective Motions, for Souls called to a peaceable Disinterest of perfect Love. This unquiet, and fore-running Acting, is what good Mysticks have called Activity, which hath nothing in common with the Action, and real, but peaceable Acts, that are essential to co-operate with Grace. When they say, that one ought no more to excite himself, nor strive, they mean only to remove that unquiet and hasty Excitation, whereby one would go before Grace, or recal the sensi­ble Impressions of it, after they are past, or co-operate with it, in a more sensible and no­ted manner than is required of us. In this Sence, Excitation or Activity, ought effe­ctually to be cut off: But if by Excitation should be meant, a Co-operation of the full Will, and of all the Powers of the Soul, to the Grace of each Moment; it ought to be concluded, that it is by way of Faith, that one ought to excite himself every Moment, to fill up all his Grace. This Co-operation is no less sincere for being disinterested; and for being peaceable, it is no less efficacious, [Page 55] and the Product of the entire Will: For being without precipitation, it is no less painful, in relation to Concupisence, which it overcomes. It is not an Activity, but an Action, which consists in very real and meritorious Acts. Thus it is, that Souls called to pure Love, resist the Temptations of the greatest Trials: They fight, even to the Blood, against Sin; but it is a peaceable Combat, because the Spirit of the Lord savors of Peace: they resist in the Presence of God, who is their Strength. They resist in a State of Faith and Love, which is a State of Prayer. Those who have yet need of the interested Motives of Fear and Hope, ought to take hold of them, even with a natural eagerness, rather than to expose themselves to be overcome. Those who find by a repeated Experience, and known to good Directors, that their Strength lies in an amorous Silence, and their Peace in the greatest Bitterness, may continue thus to overcome Temptation; and they must not be disturb'd, for they are pained already enough another way: But should these Souls by a secret Infidelity, come secretly to fall from their State, they should be oblig'd to have their recourse to the most interested Motives, rather than expose themselves to violate the Law, in the excess of Tem­ptation.

[Page 56] To speak thus, is to speak in conformity to the Evangelical Rule, without weak­ning in the least, either the Experiences, or the Maxims of all good Mystical Persons.

XI. False.

THat Activity which Saints will have us to cut off, is the Action itself of the Will: She ought not to produce any further Act; she hath no longer need to co-operate with Grace with all her Power, nor positively and fully to resist Concupiscence, nor to work any internal, or external Action, that is troublesome to her▪ It sufficeth her, to let God work in her, those that flow as from the Spring, and for which she hath not so much as a natural repugnancy. She hath no further need to prepare herself, by the good use of one Grace for a greater that should follow, and which is, as it were, linked to this first: she needs only let herself loose, without Examina­tion, to all the Propensions she finds in herself, without assuming them: She needs no more any Toil, or Labour, any Violence, any Restraint of Nature. Let her but remain without Will, and Neuter between Good and Evil, even in the most extream Tem­ptations.

[Page 57] To speak at this rate, is to speak the Lan­guage of the Tempter: 'Tis to teach Souls to lay Snares for themselves; 'tis to inspire them with Indolency in Evil, which is the height of Hypocrisie; 'tis to engage them into a Consent to all Vices, which is no less real for its being indirect and tacite.


SOuls attracted to pure Love may be as disinterested in respect to themselves as to their Neighbours, because they never see or desire more in themselves than in the most unknown neighbour, but the Glo­ry of God, his good pleasure, and the ful­filling of his promises. In this sense, these Souls are as it were strangers to themselves; and they Love themselves no farther, but as they do the rest of other Creatures within the Order of pure Charity. After this wise, would Innocent Adam have Loved himself only for God's sake. Self abnegation, and the hating of our Souls re­commended in the Gospel, are not an abso­lute hatred of our Souls, which are God's I­mage: For the Work of God is good, and we ought to Love it for his sake: But we do spoil that work by Sin, and we ought to [Page 58] hate our selves in our corruption. The per­fection of pure Love consisteth then in not loving our selves any further, but for God a­lone. The vigilancy of the most disinterested Souls ought never to be regulated according to their disinterest: God who calls them to be as freed from themselves as from their Neighbour, will have them at the same time more watchful over themselves whom they are intrusted with, and for whom they are responsible, than over their Neigh­bour whom God hath committed to their charge. They ought even to watch over what they do every day to their Neigh­bour, whom Providence hath intrusted to their direction and conduct. A good Pa­stor watcheth over the Soul of his Neigh­bour without any interest. He Loves in him nothing but God: He hath him ne­ver out of sight: He comforteth, corre­cteth, and supports him. Thus ought we to bear up our selves without flattery, and correct our selves without discouragement. We ought to converse charitably with our selves as with another, and not to forget our selves but by cutting off the ticklishness and niceness of self-love; not to forget ones self at all, but in pulling down all un­quiet and interested reflections when we are intirely in the grace of pure love. But it is never lawful to forget ones self [Page 59] so as to cease watching over our selves, after the same manner we would watch over our Neighbour if we were Pastors. We ought even to add this further, that one is not so strictly charged with the care of his Neighbour as with himself, because it is not in our power to regulate the internal wills of others as 'tis of our own. Whence it follows, that one ought always to watch, incompa­rably more over himself than the best Pa­stor can over his flock. We ought never to forget our selves by abolishing the re­flections that are even most interested, when we are yet in the way of interested Love. Lastly, we ought not to forget our selves so as to reject all sorts of reflections as im­perfect things: For reflections have nothing imperfect in themselves, and don't become so often hurtful to so many Souls, but because Souls sick of self-love turn very seldom an eye upon themselves, but they do grow impatient and are softened at that sight. Moreover, God inspires often by his grace the most improved Souls with reflections very profitable either in respect to his designs in them, or upon his former mercies which he makes them to celebrate, or their dispositions whereof they are to give an account to their Director. But fi­nally, disinterested love watcheth acts, and resists Temptation more yet than interested [Page 60] Love doth. The only difference is, that the watchfulness of pure Love is simple and peaceable, whereas that of interested Love, which is less perfect, keeps still some remains of eagerness and trouble, because no­thing but perfect Love driveth out fear with its attendance.

To Speak thus, is to Speak in a very correct manner, which ought to be suspected by no body, and is conformable to the Lan­guage of Saints.

XII. False.

A Soul fully disinterested in her self, does not love her self even for God's sake. She hateth her self with an absolute hatred, as supposing the work of the Cre­ator not to be good, and she carries thus far her abnegation and renounciation, en­larging the hatred to her self, even so far as to will deliberately her loss, and eter­nal reprobation. She rejects grace and mercy; wills nothing but justice and ven­geance. She becometh so great a stran­ger to her self, that she ceaseth to take any further concern either for the good that is to be done, or the evil to be eschewed. All her desire is to forget her self in every thing, and loose continually the sight of [Page 61] her self. She is not satisfied to forget her self in respect to her own interest: She is willing moreover to forget her self, in relation to the amendment of her de­fects, and to the fulfilling of the Law of God, for the interest of his pure glory. She reckons no longer upon her being entrusted with her self, nor upon watching even with a simple, peaceable, and disinterested vigilan­cy over her own will. She rejecteth all reflection as imperfect, because nothing but meerly direct and not reflex sights are wor­thy of God.

To Speak at this rate, is to oppose the experiences of Saints, whose most internal Life hath been fill'd with very profitable re­flections made by the impression of grace; since they have afterward come to know the graces past, and the miseries from which God hath delivered them, that at length they have given an account of a very great number of things that had happened in them. This is to turn the abnegation of ones self into an impious hatred of our Soul, which sup­poses her to be bad by nature, according to the principle of the Manicheans, or which overturns the order, in hating what is good, and what God loves as being his image. This is to annihilate all watchful­ness, all fidelity to grace, all attention to make God reign in us, all good usage of [Page 62] our liberty. In a word, it is the height of all impiety and irreligion.


THere is a great deal of difference be­tween simple and direct acts, and re­flex acts. Whensoever we act with a right Conscience, there is in us an inward cer­tainty that we go right; or else we should act in a doubt, whither we do well or ill, and so should not practise a downright dealing. But this inward certainty consists often in acts so simple, so direct, so rapid, so momentanous, so free from all reflection, that the Soul who knows well that she makes them in that moment that she makes them, does not find afterwards any distinct, and durable sign of them. Hence it comes that when she will return by reflection to what she hath done, she doth not think she hath done what she ought, she disturbs her self by scruples, and is even offended at the indulgence of her superiours, when they go about to quiet her in respect to what is past: So God giveth her at the instant of the action, by direct acts, all the necessary certainty for the rectitude of her Conscience; and he takes away from her in his jea­lousie [Page 63] the facility of finding again by way of reflection, and an after-blow that cer­tainty and rectitude: so that she cannot enjoy it to her comfort, nor justifie her self in her own eyes. As for reflex acts, they leave behind them a lasting and steady Foot-step, which is found again when we please, and this is the reason why Souls yet interested for themselves be willing in­cessantly to form acts that are strongly im­printed and reflected, to make themselves sure of their operation, and bear witness of it to themselves: Whereas, disinterest­ed Souls are of themselves indifferent to perform acts distinct or indistinct, direct or reflex: They make reflex ones whene­ver either any Precept may require it, or the power of grace carries them to it; but they don't look for reflex acts with prefe­rence to others by a trouble arising from a concern for their own security. Com­monly in the extremity of Tryals, God leaves nothing to them but direct acts, of which afterwards they cannot perceive any Foot-step; and this causeth the Martyr­dom of Souls, while any motive of self­interest remaineth yet in them. These di­rect and intimate acts without reflection imprinting any sensible Foot-step, are that which S. Francis of Sales hath called the Top of the Soul or Edge of the Spirit. In [Page 64] these acts it was that S. Anthony did repose the most perfect Prayer, when he said, Prayer is not yet perfect, when the solitary knows that be makes a Prayer, (Cassian. conf. 9.)

To Speak thus, is to Speak conformable to the Experience of Saints, without excee­ding the strictness of Catholick Doctrine. It is also to Speak of the operations of the Soul, in conformity to the ideas of all good Philosophers.

XIII. False.

THere are no true acts besides the reflex ones, which are either felt or percei­ved, as soon as we have ceased to perform any act of that kind, we may say truly, that we perform not one more that is real. Whosoever hath not upon these acts a re­flex and durable certitude, hath had no certainty in the Action; from whence it follows, that the Souls who are during their Tryals in an apparent despair, are there in a true despair; and that the doubt wherein they are after having acted, shews that they have lost in the action the inward Testimony of Conscience.

To Speak at this rate, is to overturn all Ideas of good Philosophy; 'tis to destroy [Page 65] the Testimony of the Spirit of God in us for our Filiation; 'tis to annihilate all the internal life, and all rectitude of Souls.


IN the last Tryals for the purification of Love, a separation is made of the supe­rior part of the Soul from the inferiour; in that the senses and imagination have no part of the peace and of the communica­tions of Grace, which God makes often enough both to the understanding and to the will, in a simple and direct manner, which escapeth all reflection. After this manner, Christ Jesus our perfect pattern, hath been happy upon the Cross, so that in the superior part of his Soul he enjoyed Coelestial Glory, while in the inferiour, he was actually a Man of Grief, with a sensible impression upon him of his being forsaken by his Father. The inferiour part did not im­part to the superiour her involuntary trouble, nor her painful swoundings. The superi­our communicated to the inferiour neither her peace nor her blessedness. This sepa­ration is made by the difference of the real, but simple and direct acts of the un­derstanding and of the will, who leaving [Page 66] behind them no sensible sign, and of the reflex Acts, which leaving a sensi­ble mark behind them, are communicated to the imagination and to the senses, which are called the inferiour part, for to distin­guish them from that direct and intimate operation of the understanding and of the will, called the superiour part. The acts of the inferiour part in this separation, consist of an entirely blind and unvolun­tary trouble, because all that is intellectu­al and voluntary belongs to the superiour part. But although this separation taken in this sense cannot be absolutely denied, the Directors nevertheless ought to take great care never to suffer in the inferiour part, any of those Disorders, which are in a natural course to be always deemed voluntary, and for which the superiour part ought consequently to be accountable. This precaution ought always to be found in the way of pure Faith, which is the only one we can Speak of, and in which no­thing contrary to the order of nature is admitted. 'Tis needless, for this Reason, to Speak here of diabolical possessions, ob­sessions, or other extraordinary things: One cannot absolutely reject them, since both the Scripture and the Church have acknow­ledged them: But in particular cases, the greatest caution ought to be used for to a­void [Page 67] being deceived. Moreover, this mat­ter that is common to all internal ways, hath no particular difficulty to be cleared in it by the way of pure Faith and of pure Love. On the contrary, it may be asser­ted, that this way of pure Love and of pure Faith, is that wherein fewer of these extraordinary things are to be seen: Nothing diminisheth them so much, as not mind­ing them, and carrying always the Souls to a Conduct that is simple in the disinte­rest of Love, and in the obscurity of Faith.

To Speak so, is to Speak in conformity to Christian Doctrine, and to give the grea­test preservatives against illusion.

XIV. False.

IN Tryals, a total separation is made of the superiour from the inferiour part: The superiour is united to God by an uni­on, whereof no sensible and distinct sign appears at any time, either for Faith, Hope, Love, or any other virtues: The inferiour part becometh in that separation wholly Animal, and whatever passeth in it against the rule of manners is deemed neither vo­luntary, nor demeritorious, nor contrary to the purity of the superiour part.

[Page 68] To Speak at this rate, is to annihilate the Law and the Prophets: It is to Speak the Language of the Devils.


THE persons who are in those rigorous Tryals ought never to neglect that uni­versal sobriety, so often spoken of by the Apostles, and which consists in a sober use of all the things that are round about us. This Sobriety reacheth to all the operations of sense, of the imagination, and even of the Spirit: It makes our Wisdom Sober and Temperate: It reduceth all to a sim­ple use of necessary things. This Sobriety implies a continual privation of all the enjoyments that are only for satisfaction and pleasure. This Mortification, or rather this Death, tends to cut off not only all the voluntary motions of nature, corrupted and revolted through the voluptuousness of the Flesh, and the pride of the Spirit; but also all the most innocent Consolations, which interested Love does seek with so much eagerness. This Mortification is pra­ctised with peace and simplicity, without discomposure of mind and sourness against [Page 69] ones self, without method suitable to ones occasions and needs, but in a real manner, and without intermission. 'Tis true, that some persons oppressed by excessive Tryals, are ordinarily oblig'd by their Obedience to an Experienced Director, to forbear or lessen certain Corporal Austerities they have been much addicted to. This Temperature is necessary for the Relief of their Body, sinking under the Rigor of internal Pains, which is the most terrible of all Penances. It happens also, often, that these Souls have been too much in love with these Austeri­ties; and the Repugnancy they felt at first to obey, in leaving them off in this State of Oppression, shews, that they stuck a little too fast to them: But it is their Per­sonal Imperfection, and not that of the Au­sterities, that deserves the blame: Austeri­ties answerable to their Institution, are pro­fitable, and often necessary: Christ hath given us the Pattern of them, which all Saints have followed: They bring our revolted Flesh under; they tend to the Amendment of committed Faults, and do preserve from Temptations: 'Tis true indeed, that they don't serve to destroy the Bottom of Self-love, or Cupidity, but by so much as they are animated by the Spirit of Recollection, Love, and Prayer: For want of which they would quench the grosser Passions, and con­trary [Page 70] to their Institution, make a Man full of himself; this would be nothing else, but a Justifying of the Flesh. It is moreover to be observed, that the Persons that are in this State, being deprived of all sensible Graces, and from the fervent Exercise of all discerni­ble Vertues, have no longer any relish, nor sensible fervency, nor noted attraction, for all the Austerities they had practised before, with so much Ardor. Then it is, that their Penance is reduc'd to bear, in a very bitter Peace, the Anger of God, which they look for every Moment, and their manifest De­spair. There is no Austerity, or Torment, which they would not suffer with Joy, and Ease, in the room of this inward Pain; all their inmost Attractiveness is to bear their Agony, in which they say upon the Cross, with Christ, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.

To speak thus, is to acknowledge the per­petual necessity of Mortification: It is to Authorise Corporal Austerities, which by their Institution are very wholesome: 'Tis to be willing, that the most perfect Souls should do Penance, proportionable to the Strength, Graces, and Tryals of their State.

XV. False.

COrporal Austerities serve for nothing, but to provoke Concupiscence, and inspire the Practiser of them, with a Phari­saical Complacency; they are not necessary either to prevent, or to appease Temptations. Quiet Prayer is always sufficient for to bring the Flesh under the Spirit. One may wil­fully leave off these Practices, as gross, im­perfect, and not convenient for Begin­ners.

To speak at this rate, is to speak as an Enemy of the Cross of Christ; 'tis to blas­pheme against his Example, and against all Tradition; it is to oppose the Son of God, who saith, Since the Days of John, the King­dom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the vio­lent take it by force.


THere are two Kinds of Proprieties: The first is a sin for all Christians: The se­cond is not so much as a Venial Sin; but only an Imperfection, in comparison with [Page 72] fomething that is more perfect; nay, it is not even an Imperfection, but for those Souls that are actually attracted by Grace, to the perfect Disinterest of Love. The first Property is Pride: It is a Love of Self-excel­lency, as 'tis one's own, and without any subordination to our essential End, which is the Glory of God: This Property was the Sin of the first Angel, who rested in himself, as saith S. Augustine, instead of refer­ring himself to God, and by that simple Appropriation of himself, he did not remain in the Truth: This Property is in us a Sin, lesser, or greater, according as it is less, or more voluntary. The second Property, which we ought never to confound with the first, is a Love of our own Excellency, as it is our own, but with subordination to our essential End, the Glory of God. We de­sire to havenone but the most excellent Ver­tues; we will have them chiefly for the Glory of God, but we will have them also for our Merit, and for the Reward that does attend them. Moreover, we desire them for the very Comfort of becoming perfect: It is a Resignation, which, as S. Francis of Sales saith, Hath yet Self-desires, but they are subjected. Those Vertues that are interested for our Per­fection, and Happiness, are good, because they refer themselves to God, as our principal End: But they are inferiour, in Perfection, [Page 73] to the Vertues exercis'd by holy Indifference, and for the Glory of God alone in us, with­out any Motive of Self-Interest, either for our Merit, or for our Perfection, or for our Eternal Reward. This Motive of Spiri­tual Interest, which remains always in the Vertues, while the Soul remains possessed with interested Love, is that which Mysti­cal Writers have called Propriety. It is that which the blessed John of the Cross calls Avarice, and Spiritual Pride. The Soul, whom they call the Proprietary One, refers her Vertues to God, by holy Resignation, and in this is less perfect, than the dis­interested Soul, which refers her to God, by holy Indifference. This Property which is not a Sin, is nevertheless, by Mystical Men, called an Impurity; not as if it were a Spot in the Soul, but to express that it is a mixture of divers Motives, hindring Love from being pure, or with­out mixture. They often say, that they find this impurity, or mixture of interested Motives, in their Prayer, and most holy Exercises: But we ought to take heed, least we think that they mean then to speak of any vicious impurity.

When it is clearly understood, what My­stical Men mean by Property, 'tis no hard matter to understand what is meant by Dis­appropriation, 'tis the Operation of Grace, [Page 74] purifying Love, and making it disinterested in the Practice of all Vertues. 'Tis by means of Trials, this Disappropriation is made; it loseth therein, as mystical Persons do say, all Vertues: But this loss is but seemingly so, and for a limited time. The Foundations of Vertues are so far from being really lost, that they are rather purified by pure Love; the Soul is there stript from all sensible Graces, from all Relishes, from all Easiness, and from all Fervency, which might both comfort and hearten her; she loseth those Methodical Acts, and such as are excited with Eagerness, for to render to herself an interested Testimony, concern­ing her Perfection; but she loseth neither the direct Acts of Love, nor the Exercise of distinct Vertues, in case of a Command, nor the near hatred of Evil, nor the momenta­neous Certainty of Evil, necessary for the rectitude of Conscience, nor the disinterested Desire of the Effect of the Promises in her: the appearance alone of her Demerit, is e­nough to take from her all discernable Sup­port, and to leave no other Shift for Self-Interest: Why then should any real Evil be added to it, as if God could not make his Creature perfect, but by a real Sin? On the contrary, the Soul, if so be she is faith­ful in those Trials called Loss and Disappro­priation, suffereth no real diminution of her [Page 75] Perfection, but groweth still more and more in the inward Life; in fine, aSoul who pu­rifies herself in the Experience of her daily Faults, by hating her Imperfection, because contrary to God, loves nevertheless the Ab­jection coming to her by it; because this Abjection is so far from being a Sin, that it is, on the contrary, that Humiliation which is the Penance and Remedy of Sin itself: She hates sincerely all her Faults, by how much she loves God in the utmost Perfecti­on; but she makes use of her Faults to hum­ble herself peaceably, and thereby her Faults become the Windows of the Soul, through which God's Light doth enter; according to the Ex­pression of Balthazar Alvarez. (In his Life, C. 13.)

To speak thus, is to unfold the true Sence of the best mystical Men; it is to follow a plain System, which is reduced only to the Disinterest of Love, which is Authorised by the Tradition of all Ages.

XVI. False.

THE Mystical Property, which is inte­rested Love, is a real Impurity; it is a Contamination of the Soul: The Vertues of this State are not meritorious; one must really lose the very Depths of his Vertues; one must cease to produce even the most in­timate and direct Acts of them; one must really lose the Hatred of Sin, the Love of God, the distinct Vertues of his State, in the Case of a Command; one ought to lose really the momentaneous Certainty that is necessary for the Rectitude of Conscience; nay, also the disinterested Desire of the Ef­fect of the Promises in us. We ought to love our Abjection in such a manner, that we may love truly our very Sin, because it renders us Abjects, and contrary to God. Finally, one ought in order, to be entirely pure, to strip oneself of all his Vertues, and and make to God a disinterested Sacrifice of them, by voluntary Actions, transgressing the written Law, and incompatible with these Vertues.

To speak at this rate, is to make a Sin of interested Love, against the formal Decision of the Council of Trent: It is at the same time, to strip the Souls of their Robes of. [Page 77] Innocency, and to quench all Graces in them, under the pretence of a Disappropri­ation of them: 'Tis to Authorise the My­stery of Iniquity, and renew the Impiety of the false Gnosticks, who went about to purifie themselves by the Practice of Impuri­ty itself, as we learn it from S. Clement of Alexandria.


THere is but a small Number of Souls, who are in these last Trials, wherein they make an end of purifying themselves from all Self-interest. All other Souls, with­out undergoing these Trials, do yet arrive at several Degrees of Holiness, that is very real, and pleasing to God: Otherwise one would reduce interested Love to a Judaical Worship, or such as is unsufficient to eternal Life, against the Decision of the holy Coun­cil of Trent. The Director ought not to be easily induced to suppose, that those Tem­ptations in which he finds the Soul to be, are extraordinary Temptations. One cannot be too mistrustful, of an heated Imagination, and that exaggerates all that she feels, or thinks to feel. One ought to [Page 78] distrust a subtile, and almost unperceptible Pride, which tends always to flatter one self, with being a Soul extraordinarily led. Lastly, we ought to distrust illusion, which creeps in and makes one that after having begun by the Spirit with a Sincere Ferven­cy, to end in the Flesh: His chief con­cern therefore should be, to suppose at the very first, that the Temptations of a Soul are nothing else but common Temptati­ons, the Remedy whereof is both internal and external Mortification, with all the acts of fear, and the practising of all in­terested Love. One ought even to stand fast in admitting nothing beyond this, with­out an entire conviction, that these Reme­dies are absolutely unprofitable, and that the sole exercise both simple and peaceable of pure Love does better quell the Temp­tation: Upon this occasion it is that illu­sion and the danger of wandrings are in the extream. When an unexperienced or too credulous Director supposeth a common Temptation, to be an extraordinary one, for the purifying of Love, he is the ruine of a Soul, he fills her with her self, and casteth her into an incurable and unavoid­able indolency of Vice. To leave in­rerested Motives when we have need of them, it is to take from a Child the Milk of his Nurse, and to deprive him cruelly [Page 79] of his Life, by weaning him out of Sea­son. Souls who are very imperfect yet and full of themselves, do often fancy upon in­discreet readings, and such as are disagree­able to their circumstances, that they are in the most rigorous Tryals of pure Love, while they are yet only in such Temptati­ons as are very natural, which they draw on themselves by a lazy wandering and sensual Life. The Tryals we Speak of here, are only the Portion of Souls already per­fected, both in outward and inward Mor­tification, who have learn'd nothing by premature Readings, but by the sole Ex­perience of Gods Conduct towards them, who breath nothing but Candor and Docili­ty, who are always ready to think that they are deceived; and ought to enter upon the common way again: These Souls do not recover their peace in the midst of their Temptations, by any of the ordinary helps, at least while they are held with the Grace of pure Love. Nothing but a faithful co-operation with the Grace of this pure Love can becalm their Temptations, and thereby their Tryals are distinguished from the common ones: The Souls that are not in this state, shall infallibly fall into horrid excesses, if you go about to blame them contrary to their necessities in the simple acts of pure Love, and those who [Page 80] were under the Attractive Power of pure Love, shall never be pacified by the ordi­nary practices of interested Love. Whoe­ver resisted God and had Peace? But to make a true Judgment of Souls that are so nice, and under such important circumstan­ces, Spirits ought to be tried to know whi­ther they come from God or no.

To Speak thus, is to Speak with all the necessary precaution in a matter where our care cannot be too great, and it is at the same time to admit all the Maxims of the Saints.

XVII. False.

THe Simple, Peaceable, and uniform ex­ercise of pure love is the only reme­dy that one ought to employ against the Temptations incident to every condition. One may suppose, that all Tryals do tend to the same end, and have need of the same Remedy. All the practices of inte­rested love, and all the acts excited by this motive are good for nothing but to fill Man with Self-love, and to add to the Tempta­tion.

To Speak at this rate, is to confound all that which the Saints have so carefully se­parated: It is to love seduction and run af­ter [Page 81] it; it is to jogg Souls into a precipice, by taking from them all the springs of their pre­sent grace.


THe Will of God is always our only rule, and Love is wholly reduced to a Will, willing of nothing else but what God himself Wills, and makes the Soul to Will. But there are several sorts of Wills in God, viz. his positive and written Will, which commands what is good, and Pro­hibits what is evil. This is the only inva­riable rule of our Wills, and of all our vo­luntary Actions. There is the Will of God which is manifested to us by the inspirati­on or attraction of that Grace which is in all Just Men. This Will of God must al­ways be suppos'd to be entirely conforma­ble to the written Will, and it is not law­ful to believe, that it can exact of us any other thing but the faithful accomplishing of the Precepts and Counsels comprehend­ed in the Law. The Third Will of God, is, a Will of simple permission, and is that which suffers Sin without approving of it. The same Will which permitteth it, con­demns it: It does not positively permit it▪ [Page 82] but only by giving way to the Commissi­on of it, and not hindring it: This per­missive Will is never our Rule. It would be an impiety to will our Sin, under pre­tence that God willeth it permissively. 1. It is false that God willeth it. 'Tis true, only that he hath not a positive Will to hinder it. 2. At the same time that he hath not a positive Will to hinder it, he hath an actual and positive Will to con­demn and to punish it, as being essentially contrary to his immutable holiness to which he oweth all. 3. One ought never to sup­pose God's allowance of Sin, but that after it is unfortunately committed, and when it cannot be help'd, that what is done should be not done: Then we ought to conform our selves at one and the same time to the two Wills of God: Accord­ing to the one, we are to condemn and punish that which he condemns and would punish, and according to the other, we ought to will the confusion and abjection of our selves, which is not a Sin, but ra­ther a Penance and remedy of Sin it self; because this wholsome confusion, and this abjection which carries in it self all the bitterness of a potion, is a real good which God hath been positively willing to draw from Sin, though he never positively wil­leth Sin it self. This is to love the Reme­dy [Page 83] that is drawn from Poyson, without loving Poyson.

XVIII. False.

WE ought to conform our selves to all the Wills of God, and to his permissions as to all his other Wills: We ought therefore to permit Sin in our selves, when we know God is about to permit it. We ought to love our Sin though contrary to God, by reason of its abjection, which purifies our love, and takes from us all pretence and desert of a reward. Lastly, the attraction or inspiration of Grace, re­quires from Souls, in order to render them more disinterested for the Eternal reward, the breaking of the Written Law.

To Speak at this rate, is to Teach Apo­stacy, and to put the Abomination of De­solation in the most holy place; it is not the Voice of the Lamb, but of the Dra­gon.


VOcal, without Mental Prayer, that's to say, without the attention of the Mind, and the Affection of the Heart, is a Superstitious Worship, which honour­eth God with the Lips while the Heart is far from him. Vocal Prayer, is not good and meritorious, but in as much as it is directed and animated by that of the Heart: It is much better to recite but a few Words, with great recollection and Love, than long Prayers, with little or no recol­lection, when they are not Commanded. To Pray both without attention and Love, is to Pray as the Heathens did, who thought to be heard for the Multitude of their Words. One Prays no further than one desires, and one doth not desire but by how much one loveth at least with an in­terested Love. Nevertheless, Vocal Prayer ought to be respected and consulted, as be­ing good to awake the Thoughts and the Affections which it expresses, as having been taught by the Son of God to his A­postles, and practised by the whole Church in all Ages. To make light of this Sacri­fice of Praises, this fruit of the Lips that [Page 85] does confess the Name of the Lord, would be an impiety. Vocal Prayer may be trou­blesome for a while, to those Contempla­tive Souls who are yet in the imperfect be­ginnings of their Contemplation, because their Contemplation is more sensible and affecting than pure and quiet. It may be also burthensome to Souls who are in the last Tryals, because every thing in that state disturbs them: But one ought never to give them for a rule, to forsake without the permission of the Church, and with­out a true impotency known to be so by their Superiours, any Vocal Prayer which is obligatory. Vocal Prayer taken with simplicity, and without scruple, when it is according to the Command, may well be troublesome to a Soul, in relation to those things we have already noted: But it is never contrary to the highest Contempla­tion. Experience even shews that the most Eminent Souls in the midst of their most sublime Communications, have familiar Communications with God, and that they read or recite with a loud Voice, and in a kind of Transport, some inflamed Words of the Apostles and Prophets.

To Speak so, is to explain the soundest Doctrine with the most correct Words.

XIX. False.

VOcal Prayer, is nothing but the gross and imperfect Doctrine of beginners: It is intirely unprofitable to Contemplative Souls: They are by the eminency of their state dispensed with, as to the reciting of Vocal Prayers Commanded them by the Church, because their Contemplation eminently com­prehends what is more edifying in the diffe­rent parts of Divine Worship.

To Speak at this rate, is to despise the Reading of the Scriptures; it is to forget that Christ hath Taught us Vocal Prayer, which contains the perfection of the high­est Contemplation: It is to be ignorant, that pure Contemplation is never perpetu­al in this Life, and that in its intervals, one may and ought to recite faithfully the Office which is Commanded, and which of it self is so apt to nourish in our Souls the Spirit of Contemplation.


REading ought not to be done either out of Curiosity, or desire of judg­ing of our State, or deciding it according to what we Read, nor out of a certain relish of what we call Witty and sublime. We ought not to read the most holy Books, nor even the Scriptures, but with dependency upon the Pastors and Directors, who are in their stead. 'Tis they who are to judge whither each faithful Christian is prepared enough, if his Heart is sufficiently purified and Docible for each different Reading: They ought to distinguish the Food that is agreeable to every one of us in particular. Nothing causeth so much illusion in the in­teriour Life, as the indiscreet choosing of Books. 'Tis best to Read little, and make long interruptions by way of recollection, that we may let Love more deeply to im­print in us the Christian truths. When re­collection causeth our Book to drop out of our hands, we must let it fall without scru­ple: We shall take it up again time enough afterwards, to renew in its turn our recol­lection.

[Page 88] Love Teaching by its Unction, surpas­ses all the rational discourse we can make upon Books. The most powerful of all per­swasions is that of Love: Nevertheless, we must take in hand again the outward Book, when the inward Book ceaseth to be open: Otherwise the empty Spirit would fall into a rambling and imaginary Prayer, which would be a real and pernicious idle­ness. This would bring a Man to neg­lect his own instruction about necessary truths, and forsake the Word of God, and never to lay solid foundations both of the exact understanding of the Law, and of re­vealed Mysteries.

To Speak thus, is to Speak according to Tradition, and to the Experience of holy Souls.

XX. False.

THe Reading of the most holy Books is unprofitable to those whom God teach­eth entirely and immediately by himself. 'Tis not necessary that such persons as these should have laid the foundation of com­mon instruction: They need only to wait for all the light of truth that doth arise from their Prayer. As for their Readings, when they are moved to any, they may choose [Page 89] without consulting with their Superiours, such Books which Speak of the most ad­vanced states. They may Read the Books that are suspected or censured by their Pa­stors.

To Speak at this rate, is to destroy in­struction which is the food of Faith: It is to substitute instead of the pure Word of God, an interiour Fanatical inspiration. On the o­ther side, it is to permit Souls to Poyson themselves with contagious Readings, or at least such as are disproportionate to their true needs: It is to teach them dissimulation and disobedience.


WE ought to distinguish between Medi­tation and Contemplation: Meditati­on, consists in discursive acts that can be easily distinguished, the one from the other; be­cause they are distinguished by a kind of a noted motion; because they are varied by the diversity of Objects they are applied to; because they draw a conviction con­cerning the truth of the conviction of ano­ther truth already known; because they draw an affection from several Motives [Page 90] methodically assembled: Lastly, because they are done and reiterated with a refle­ction, that leaves behind it distinct Foot­steps in the Brain. This Composition of discursive and reflex acts, is proper for the exercise of interested Love, by reason that this imperfect Love which does not drive out fear, hath need of two things: One is to recall often all the interested Motives of fear and hope: The other, to make ones self sure of its operation, by acts well marked and well reflected: So discursive Meditation is an exercise agreeable to this Love, that is mixt with interest. Fearful and interested Love could never be satis­fied with forming simple acts in Prayer, without any variety of interested Motives: It could never be satisfied with doing acts whereof it should never render any wit­ness to it self. On the contrary, Contem­plation is according to all the most Cele­brated Divines, and the most Experienced Contemplative Saints, the exercise of per­fect Love: It consists in acts so simple, so direct, so peaceable, so uniform, that they have no characters whereby a Soul may distinguish them. It is the perfect Prayer whereof S. Anthony spoke, and which is not perceived by the solitary himself who makes it. Contemplation, is equally authoriz'd by the Ancient Fathers, the School Do­ctors, [Page 91] and by holy mystical Men: It is termed a simple and amorous Sight, to di­stinguish it from Meditation, which is full of methodical and discursive Acts. When the Habit of Faith is strong, when it is per­fected by pure Love, the Soul who does love God no more, but for himself, hath no further need to seek for, nor to gather interested Motives upon each Vertue, for her own Interest: Rational Discourse, in­stead of helping her, is but Trouble and Labour to her; she is all for Love, and finds the Motive of all Vertues in it, there being no more for her to do, but one necessary thing: 'Tis in this pure Contemplation that one may say with S. Francis of Sales: Love must needs be very powerful, since it stands by itself, without the Support of any Pleasure, or of any Pretension. (Love of God, L. 9. C. 21.)

Affecting and discursive Meditation, tho' less perfect, than pure and direct Contem­plation, is nevertheless an Exercise very ac­ceptable to God, and very necessary to the greatest part of good Souls: It is the ordi­nary Foundation of the Interior Life, and the Exercise of Love for all just Men, who are not arrived yet, at what we call perfect Disinterest.

[Page 92] It hath made, at all times, a great number of Saints: 'Twould be a scandalous Rash­ness, to take Souls off from it, under pre­tence of introducing them into Contempla­tion. There is even often in the most dis­cursive Meditation, and much more in affe­ctionate Prayer, certain peaceable and di­rect Acts, which are a mixture of imperfect Contemplation.

To speak so, is to speak conformable to the Spirit of Tradition, and to the Maxims of Saints, that are most free from Innovation and Illusion.

XXI. False.

MEditation is but a dry and barren Stu­dy; its discursive and reflex Acts are but a Labour in vain, which tires the Soul, instead of nourishing it; its interested Mo­tives bring forth nothing but an Exercise of Self-love: There is no going forward that way; good Souls, with all speed, must be taken off from it, to make them pass into Contemplation, where Acts are quite out of Season.

To speak at this rate, is to discourage Souls from God's Gift; 'tis to turn into a slight the very Foundations of the inward Life; 'tis to go about to take away what God gives, [Page 93] and to persuade one to reckon rashly upon that which he is not pleased to give; 'tis to snatch away the Suckling Child from the Breast, before he can digest solid Food.


A Soul may leave discursive Meditation, and enter into Contemplation, when she hath the three following Marks: 1. When she draws no longer from the Meditation, that interiour Food which she found in it be­fore; but on the contrary, a meer distra­ction, driness, and languor, in her at­traction. 2. When she finds no facility, no occupation, and inward nourishment, but in a simple and purely amorous Presence of God, whereby she is renewed in all the Vertues agreeable to her State. 3. When she hath neither relish, nor inclination, but for re­collection; so that her Director, who makes a Trial of her, finds her humble, sincere, teachable, taken off from the whole World, and from herself. A Soul may by Obedi­ence, that is endued with these three Marks of Vocation, enter into a contemplative Prayer, without tempting God.

[Page 94] To speak so, is to follow the ancient Fa­thers, such as be S. Clement of Alexandria, S. Gregory Nazianzen, S. Augustine, Pope S. Gre­gory, Cassian, and all the Ascets; S. Bernard, S. Thomas, and all the School-men: 'Tis to speak as the most holy mystical Men have done, who are most opposite to Illusion.

XXII. False.

ONE may lead a Soul into Contempla­tion, without these three foregoing Marks: 'Tis enough that Contemplation is perfecter than Meditation, to prefer it be­fore the other. 'Tis to amuse Souls, and to make them languish in an unfruitful Method, if you don't put them at the very first, into the Liberty of pure Love.

To speak at this rate, is to overturn the Church-Discipline; 'tis to slight the Spiri­tuality of the Holy Fathers; 'tis to give the Lye to all the Maxims of most mystical Saints; 'tis to precipitate Souls into Error.


DIscursive Meditation is not convenient for those Souls whom God draws actu­ally into Contemplation, by the three Tokens above related, and who would not return to the discursive Acts, but out of a scrupu­lous Temper, and with a desire to seek their own Interest, against the actual attraction of their Grace.

To speak thus, is to speak as the blessed John of the Cross, (in the lively Flame of Love, Cant. 3.) who only in these strict Cir­cumstances calls Meditation, a low Means, and dirty Means: 'Tis to speak, as all mysti­cal Saints have done, that have been Cano­nis'd, or Approved by the whole Church, after the most rigorous Examination.

XXIII. False.

AS soon as one hath begun Contempla­tion, he ought never more to return to Meditation: This would be a falling back, and to decay. 'Tis better to expose one self to all sorts of Temptations, and to inte­rior [Page 96] Idleness, than to re-assume discursive Acts again.

To speak at this rate, is to be ignorant that the passage from Meditation to Con­templation, is that of interested Love, to pure Love; that this passage is ordinarily long, unperceptible, and mix'd with these two States; as the Shades in matter of Co­lours are an insensible passage from one Co­lour to another, in which both of them are mix'd: 'Tis to contradict all good mystical Men, who say with Father Balthazar Alva­rez, that one ought to take the Oar of Me­ditation, when the Wind of Contemplation does not strike into the Sails; 'tis often to deprive Souls from the only Food God leaves them.


THere is a State of Contemplation so high, and so perfect, that it becomes habitual, insomuch, that at any time when a Soul puts herself to actual Prayer, her Prayer is contemplative, and not discursive: Then she hath no need to return to Medita­tion, nor to her Methodical Acts. Never­theless, if it should happen against both the [Page 97] ordinary Course of Grace, and the com­mon Experience of Saints, that this habitual Contemplation should absolutely cease, one ought always to supply the deficiency of it, by the Acts of discursive Meditation, be­cause a Christian Soul ought never to remain really in Emptiness and Idleness. One ought even to suppose, that a Soul that should fall from so high a Contemplation, could not do so, but by some secret Infidelity: For the Gifts of God, on his part, are never re­pented of; he forsakes none but those by whom he is forsaken, and never diminishes his Graces, but to those who diminish their Co-operation: 'Tis our only Business, to perswade that Soul, that it is not God who fails her, but that it must needs be she herself that hath fail'd God. A Soul of this Rank might also be put again into Meditation by the Order of a Director, who was minded to try her; but then she ought by the Rule both of holy Indifferencè, and of Obedi­ence, to be as contented to mediate, as Be­ginners do, as to contemplate with the Che­rubims.

To speak so, is to follow the Spirit of the Church, and to prevent all Dangers of Il­lusion. 'Tis to speak as the greatest Saints, whose Books have been, I may say so, as well Canonised as their Persons.

XXIV. False.

'TIS better to remain in an absolute Un­action, than to take that which is less perfect, for that which is more perfect: The habitual State of Contemplation is so inva­riable, that it ought never to be supposed, that one can fall from it by a secret Infi­delity.

To speak at this rate, is to inspire Men with a rash Assurance; it is to cast Souls into a manifest danger of going astray.


THere is in this Life an habitual State, but not wholly invariable, in which the most perfect Souls do all their free Acti­ons in the Presence God, and for his sake, according to the Words of the Apostle, Let all your Works be done in Charity. And again, Whether you eat or drink, or do any thing else, let it be done for the Glory of God. This re­ferring all our free Actions, to our only End, is that perpetual Prayer recommended by Christ, when he will have our Prayer [Page 99] to be without ceasing; and by S. Paul, when he saith, Pray without intermission: But this Prayer ought never to be confounded with pure and direct Contemplation; or taken, as S. Thomas speaks, in the most perfect Acts. That Prayer which consists in a referring to God all our Actions, may be perpetual in one Sence; that's to say, it may last as long as our free Acts. In this Case it is never interrupted, but by Sleep, and the other Deficiencies of Nature, which make all free and meritorious Acts to cease. But pure and direct Contemplation hath not even this kind of Perpetuity; because it is often inter­rupted by the Acts of distinct Vertues ne­cessary to all Christians, and which are not Acts of pure and direct Contemplation.

To speak so, is to take off all Equivocati­on, in a matter where it is so dangerous to make any; 'tis to hinder Mystical People, not well instructed in the Doctrine of Faith, from representing their State, as if they were no more in the Pilgrimage of this Life. Finally, it is to speak as Cassian, who saith in his first Conference, That pure Contemplation is never absolutely perpetual in this Life.

XXV. False.

PUre and direct Contemplation, is in some Souls absolutely perpetual; Sleep itself does not interrupt it; it consisteth in a simple and singular Act, which is perma­nent, which hath no need of ever being re­iterated, and subsists always by itself, unless recalled by a contrary Act.

To speak at this rate, is to deny the Pil­grimage of this Life, the natural Swoundings of the Soul, and the State of Sleep, where­in the Acts are no longer, either free or meritorious: 'Tis at the same time to give way to a contemplative Soul, to dispense with those necessary Vertues of her State, which are not Acts of pure and direct Con­templation: It is to be ignorant, that every Act, both of the Understanding, and of the Will, is essentially transitory; this is to ob­lige Men in loving God, during ten Mo­ments, to make ten successive Acts of Love, one of which is not the other; one whereof should never follow the other; one of which is so past, that nothing remains of it, when the other that was not, begins to be. Lastly, It is to speak after a manner as extravagant, according to the first Principles of Philosophy, as monstruous according to the Rules of Re­ligion.


DUring the Intervals which interrupt pure and direct Contemplation, a very perfect Soul may exercise distinct Vertues, in all her free Acts, with the same Peace and Purity, or Disinterest of Love, where­by she contemplates, while the Attraction of Contemplation is actual. The same Exercise of Love, which is called Contemplation, or Quietness, where it remains in its general Scope, and is not applied to any particular Function, becometh each distinct vertue, according as it is applied to particular Occa­sions: For it is the Object, as S. Thomas speaks, which specifieth all Vertues: But pure and peaceable Love, remains always the same, as to the Motive in all these diffe­rent Specifications.

To speak thus, is to speak as the most ex­act and cautious Schools have done.

XXIV. False.

PUre and direct Contemplation is with­out any Interruption, so that it leaves no Interval in the Exercise of those distinct Vertues that are necessary to all States. All the free Acts of the Life of a contemplative [Page 102] Person, are concerned in Divine Things, which are the exact Object of pure Contem­plation; and this State does not admit on the side of the Objects to whom Love is ap­plied, any Distinction, or Specification of Vertues.

To speak at this rate, is to destroy all the most interiour Vertues; it is to contradict, not only all the Tradition of holy Doctors, but also the most experienced mystical Men; it is to oppose S. Bernard, S. Theresa, and the blessed John of the Cross, who by their par­ticular Experiences, do limit pure Contem­plation to half an Hour, thereby giving us to understand, that it is confin'd to some Bounds.


PUre and direct Contemplation is nega­tive, because it is never voluntarily con­versant about any sensible Image, any di­stinct and namable Idea, as S. Dionisius speaks; that's to say, about any particular and limited Idea, relating to the Divine Na­ture; but that it passeth over all that is sen­sible and distinct; that's to say, compre­hensible, and limited, to stop only in the Idea that is purely intellectual, and abstract­ed from the Being which is without limits [Page 103] and restriction. This Idea, tho' very diffe­rent, from all that can be imagined and comprehended, is, however, very positive and real. The simplicity of this purely im­material Idea, and which hath not passed through the Senses, and by the Imagination, does not hinder, but Contemplation may have for distinct Objects, all the Attributes of God; for the Essence, without the At­tributes, would be no longer the Essence it self, and the Idea of an infinitely perfect Being, essentially comprehends in its sim­plicity, the infinite Perfections of that Being. This simplicity, does not hinder the Con­templative Soul to Contemplate even di­stinctly the Three Divine Persons, because an Idea let it be never so simple, can ne­vertheless, represent divers Objects really distinguished one from the others. Finally, this simplicity does not exclude the distinct sight of the Humanity of Jesus Christ, and of all his Mysteries, because pure Contem­plation admits of other Ideas with that of the Divinity: It admits of all the Objects which pure Faith can set before us: It excludes nothing in Divine things but sensible Ima­ges and Discursive Operations. Though the Acts tending directly and immediately to God alone, be more perfect, being ta­ken on the part of the Object, and in a Philosophical strictness; they are never­theless [Page 104] as perfect on the part of the pinci­ple, that's to say, as pure, and as meritori­ous, when they have for Objects the Ob­jects offered by God himself, and where­with one is conversant, only by the im­pression of his Grace. A Soul in this state, considereth no longer the Mysteries of Je­sus Christ, by a Methodical and sensible working of the imagination, to imprint signs of it upon the Brains, and to be com­fortably softened by them: She is no lon­ger Conversant about it, by a Discursive Operation, and successive Reasoning, to draw conclusions from each Mystery: But she sees with a simple and Amorous sight, all the diverse Objects as certified and made present by pure Faith. Thus the Soul can exercise in the highest Contemplation Acts of the most explicite Faith. The Con­templation of the Blessed in Heaven being purely intellectual, hath for distinct Objects all these Mysteries of the Humanity of our Saviour, whose Graces and Victories they do sing. So much the more reason there is that the most imperfect Contem­plation of the Pilgrimage of this Life can never be altered by the distinct sight of all these Objects.

To Speak thus, is to Speak according to all Tradition, and as all good Mystical Men have been pleased to Speak.

XXVII. False.

PUre Contemplation excludeth all image, that's to say, all that Idea which is even meerly intellectual. A Contemplative Soul, admits of no real and positive Idea of God, that distinguisheth him from all other beings. She ought to see neither the Divine Attri­butes which do distinguish him from all Creatures, nor the Three Divine Persons, for fear of altering the simplicity of her sight. She ought yet less to imploy her self about the Humanity of Jesus Christ, since that is not the Divine Nature; nor about his Mysteries, because they would multiply too much Contemplation. The Souls that are in this state, have no further need to think on Jesus Christ, who is but the way to come to God his Father, because they are already arrived at the end.

To Speak at this rate, is to be ignorant of all that good, Mystical Men themselves have been pleased to say, of the purest Contemplation: It is to annihilate Faith, without which, Contemplation it self is an­nihilated: 'Tis to make a chimerical Con­templation, which hath no real Object, and cannot distinguish God from nothing: It is to destroy Christianity, instead of puri­fying it: It is to make a kind of Deism, [Page 106] which next moment terminates into a kind of Atheism, whereby all real Idea of God as distinguished from his Creatures is re­jected. Finally, it is to set up two impi­ous Opinions: The first is, to suppose, that there is upon the Earth some Contempla­tive Person, who is no longer a sojourner, and who hath no further need of the way, because he is arrived at the end. The se­cond is to be ignorant that Christ who is the way, is no less the Truth and the Life; that he is as much the finisher as the Au­thor of our Salvation. Finally, that the Angels themselves in their most sublime Contemplation have desired to see his My­steries, and that the Blessed Sing incessant­ly, the Song of the Lamb before him.


COntemplative Souls are deprived of the distinct sensible and reflected sight of Jesus Christ, at two different times; but they are never deprived for ever in this Life of the simple and distinct sight of Je­sus Christ: First, in the prime fervour of their Contemplation, this exercise is yet ve­ry imperfect, not representing God but in a very confused manner. The Soul being as it were swelled up with the sensible Plea­sure [Page 107] of her recollection, cannot yet be conversant about distinct sights. These di­stinct sights would cause in her a kind of di­straction in her weakness, and cast her a­gain into the reasoning of Meditation, out of which, she is scarcely departed. This impotency of seeing distinctly Jesus Christ, is not the perfection, but rather the imper­fection of this exercise, for it is then more sensible than pure. Secondly, a Soul looseth the sight of Christ in the last Tryals, be­cause God at that time takes away from the Soul the possession and reflected know­ledge of all that is good in her, to purifie her from all Self-interest. In this state of unvoluntary darkness and trouble, the Soul looses no more the sight of Christ than of God. But all these losses are but in ap­pearance and transient; after which, Christ is no less restored to the Soul than God himself. Besides these two cases, the most elevated Soul may in the actual Contem­plation be possest of Christ, made present to her by Faith; and in the intervals where pure Contemplation ceaseth, she is yet pos­sessed of Jesus Christ. It will be found by Experience, that these Souls which are most Eminent in Contemplation, are those that are most possessed of him: They Speak with him every Hour, as the Bride with her Bridegroom: They often see no­thing [Page 108] but him in themselves: They bear successively deep impressions of all his My­steries, and of all the states of this Mortal Life. True it is, that he becomes some­thing so intimate in their Heart, that they use themselves to look on him less as a foreign and external Object, than as the internal principle of their Life.

To Speak thus, is to repress the most Dam­nable Errors: 'Tis clearly to explain the experiences and expressions of Saints, which Souls given over to illusion might abuse.

XXVIII. False.

COntemplative Souls have no more any need to see distinctly the Humanity of Jesus Christ, because they are arrived at the end. The Flesh of Christ is no more an Object worthy of them, and they know him no more in the Flesh, even as made present by pure Faith: They are no more possessed of him out of actual Contempla­tion, than in pure Contemplation it self. God whom they in supream simplicity do possess is enough for them. They ought not to concern themselves either about the Divine Persons, or the Attributes of the Di­vine Nature.

To speak at this rate, is to take away the corner Stone: It is to snatch from the [Page 109] Faithful Eternal life, which consists whol­ly in knowing the only true God and Je­sus Christ his Son, whom he hath sent. 'Tis to be that Antichrist who rejects the Word made Flesh: It is to deserve the Ana­thema pronounced by the Apostle against those who shall not love the Lord Je­sus.


IT may be said that positive Contempla­tion is infused, because it prevents the Souls with a sweetness and Peace greater yet than do the other graces which pre­vent the common sort of Just Men. It is a grace more freely given than all the o­thers given for Merit, because it worketh in Souls the most pure and perfect Love. But passive Contemplation is neither purely infused, since it is free and meritorious, nor meerly free, since the Soul co-operates with Grace in it: It is not miraculous, since according to the Testimony of all the Saints it consists only in an Amorous knowledge, and that Grace without a Miracle is suf­ficient for the most lively Faith, and the most purified Love. Lastly, this Contem­plation cannot be Miraculous, since it is supposed to consist in a state of pure and [Page 110] dark Faith, in which the faithful is not led by any other light but that of simple re­velation, and of the Authority of the Church common to all Just Men. 'Tis true, that several Mystical Writers have supposed this Contemplation to be Miraculous, because in it is Contemplated a Truth, that hath not been received in by the senses and through the imagination. This true also, that these Writers have acknowledged a bottom of the Soul which did work in this Contemplation, without any distinct Ope­ration of the faculties. But these two things had only their Origin from Scholastick Phi­losophy, whereof these Mystical Men were preconceited. All this great Mystery va­nisheth away, assoon as one supposes with S. Augustine, that we have without Mira­cle, intellectual Ideas which have not pas­sed through the senses, and when it is sup­posed on the other side, that the bottom of the Soul is not really distinguished from her powers. Then all passive Contempla­tion is reduced to some thing very simple and which hath nothing miraculous: 'Tis a chain-work of Acts of Faith and of Love, so simple, so direct, so peaceable, and so uniform, that they don't seem to do more than one only Act, or even that they don't seem to do any Act at all, but a repose of pure Union. This is the reason why S. Fran­cis [Page 111] of Sales won't have it called Union, for fear of expressing a motion or action towards uniting, but a simple and pure uni­ty. Hence it comes, that some as S. Fran­cis of Assisium in his great Song, have said, that they were able no longer to perform any acts; and that others as Gregory Lopez, have said that they did a continual Act du­ring their whole life. Both the one and the other by expressions seemingly opposite mean the same thing. They do no more any eager acts and marked by an unquiet motion. They produce Acts so peaceable and so uniform, that these Acts though ve­ry successive and even interrupted, do seem to them one only Act without interrupti­on, or a continual rest. Hence it is, that this Contemplation hath been call'd silent or quiet Prayer. Hence it is Finally, that it hath been called passive: God forbid! it should ever be called so, to exclude from it the real, positive, and meritorious Action of the Free-Will, or the real and successive Acts which ought to be reiterated every moment. It is called Passive only to ex­clude the Activity or interested eagerness of Souls, when they will yet agitate them­selves in order to feel and see their opera­tion, which should be less mark'd were it both more simple and more united. Pas­sive Contemplation is nothing else but pure [Page 112] Contemplation: The Active is that which is mixt with forward and discursive Acts. So when Contemplation hath yet a mix­ture of interested forwardness, which is cal­led Activity, it is yet Active▪ When it hath further remains of this Activity, it is entirely Passive, that's to say, Peaceable and uninterested in its Acts. In fine, the more the Soul is Passive towards God, the more Active is she in that which she ought to do: That is to say, that the more she is supple and pliant to the Divine impulse, the more efficatious is her motion, though with­out self agitation: For it is always equally true, that the more the Soul receiveth from God the more ought she to restore to him of what she hath from him. This ebbing and flowing makes up all the order of Grace and all the fidelity of the Creature.

To speak so, is to prevent all illusion; 'tis to explain the bottom of Passive Contem­plation, which cannot be denied without a notorious rashness, and cannot be carried further without extremity of danger: 'Tis to disintricate whatever the Saints have said in terms, which by the subtilty of some Di­vines have been somewhat darkned.

XXIX. False.

PAssive Contemplation is purely Passive, so that the Free-Will co-operates no more therein, with Grace by any real and transient Act. It is purely infused and en­tirely a free gift, and without Merit on the part of the Soul. It is miraculous, and draws while it lasts a Soul from the state of pure and dark Faith. It is a possession and a supernatural rapture which prevents the Soul. It is an extraordinary inspiration that puts the Soul out of the common rules. It is an absolute binding or evacuation of the powers, so that both the understanding and the will are then in an absolute impoten­cy to any thing, which without doubt is a miraculous and extatick suspension.

To speak at this rate, is to overturn the System of pure Faith, which is that of all good mystical Men, and especially of the Blessed John of the Cross: 'Tis to confound Passive Contemplation, which is free and meritorious, with gifts meerly free and ex­traordinary, and which as we are advised by the Saints, ought never voluntarily to possess us. It is to contradict all Authors, who place this Contemplation in a free, a­morous, and meritorious look; and conse­quently in the real but simple Acts of these [Page 114] two Powers: 'Tis to contradict S. Theresa herself, who assures us, that the Seventh mansion hath none of the raptures, which do suspend against the order of nature, the ope­rations of the understanding and of the will. 'Tis to oppose all the Eminent Spiritual Per­sons, who have said that these suspensions of natural operations are so far from being a perfect state, that on the contrary, they are a sign that nature is not yet enough purified, and that such effects as these do cease, by how much the more the Soul is purified and grown more familiar with God, in the state of pure Faith. It is to con­found the trouble which a pure Soul should be at in making unquiet and reflected Acts for her self-interest, against the actual at­traction of Grace, with an absolute impo­tency of performing Acts even by a natu­ral endeavour. A mistake in this matter may be in some an inexaustible source of illusion, and in others an ill grounded oc­casion of offence.


THE Passive state, whereof mystical Saints have so often spoken, is Passive only so far as Contemplation is Passive, that's to say, that it excludeth not peacea­ble [Page 115] and disinterested Acts, but only the Activity, or the Acts that are unquiet and froward for our self-interest. A Passive state is that wherein a Soul loving no more with a mixt love, makes all her Acts with a full and efficacious, but peaceable and un­interested will. Sometimes she makes sim­ple and indistinct Acts, which are call'd quietude and Contemplation, and some other times she makes distinct Acts of Vir­tues agreeable to her state. But she makes the one and the other no way equally Pas­sive, that's to say, peaceable and unintere­sted. This state is habitual, but not wholly invariable. For besides that the Soul may fall absolutely from it, moreover, she com­mitteth venial faults in it. This Passive state supposes no extraordinary inspiration: It includes nothing but a peace and infinite pliantness of the Soul to all the impressions of Grace. A dry and very light feather, (as Cassian saith;) is carried away without resistance, by the least breath of Wind, and this breathing carrieth it all sorts of ways with celerity; whereas, if it was wet and heavy, it would be by its weight less apt to be moved and carried about. The Soul in interested love which is the less perfect, hath yet a remnant of interested fear which makes her less light, less pliant and move­able, when the breath of the interiour Spi­rit [Page 116] carries her: A troubled Water can't be clear, nor receive the Image of the nearest Objects; but that which is untroubled, be­comes as a real Looking-Glass; it re­ceives without alteration, all the Images of diverse Objects, and yet retains none. A pure and peaceable Soul, is the same; God imprints in her his Image, and that of all the Objects he is minded to imprint in her. All is imprinted, and all blotted out: This Soul hath not any proper Form, but hath equally all those which Grace gives to her; nothing remains in her, but all vanisheth away, as in Water, as soon as God will make new Impressions: Nothing but pure Love gives this Peace and perfect Docility. This passive State is not a continual actual Contemplati­on: Contemplation, which lasts only for some limited time, makes only part of this habitual State. Uninterested Love, ought not to be less uninterested, nor consequently less peaceable, in the Acts that are Distincts from Vertues, than in the indistinct Acts of pure Contemplation.

To speak so, is to take away all Equivo­cation, and to admit a State which is nothing else but the Exercise of pure Love, so Au­thorised by all Tradition.

XXX. False.

A Passive State consisteth in passive Con­templation, which is perpetual, and this passive Contemplation, is a kind of a continual Extasies, or miraculous binding of the Powers, which puts them under a real Impotency of free Operation.

To speak at this rate, is to confound the passive State, with passive Contemplation: It is to suppose a State of miraculous and perpetual Extasies, excluding all ways of Faith, all Freedom, all Merit, and Demerit; nay, incompatible with the Pilgrimage of this Life: It is to be ignorant of the Expe­riences of the Saints, and to pervert all their Ideas.


THere is in the passive State, a Simplicity and Childhood noted by the Saints; but the Children of God, who are simple in Things that are good, are always prudent against any thing that is evil: They are sin­cere, ingenuous, peaceable, and without De­signs: They don't reject Wisdom, but only the Propriety of Wisdom: They disappro­priate their Wisdom from themselves, as [Page 118] they do all their other Vertues: They make a faithful Use every moment, of all the na­tural Light of Reason, and of all the super­natural Light of actual Grace, to guide them­selves according to the written Law, and a true Decorum. A Soul in this State, is wise, neither by a forward seeking after Wisdom, nor by an interested Reflection upon herself, in order to assure herself that she is wise, and to enjoy her Wisdom as her own: But without minding to be wise in herself, she is so in God, by admitting wilfully none of the froward and irregular Passions, either of Humour, or of Self-love; and by making use, without Property, as well of the natu­ral, as of the supernatural Light of the pre­sent Moment. This present Moment hath a kind of a Moral Extension, wherein ought to be included all those things which have a natural and near relation to the thing, which is actually in hand. Thus sufficient to the Day, is the Evil thereof, and the Soul leaves to Morrow, to take Care of itself, because that to Morrow, which is not yet hers, shall bring with it, if it comes, its Grace and Light, which is the daily Bread. Such Souls as these do deserve and draw on them­selves a special Care of Providence, under whose Care they live, without a far ex­tended and unquiet Forecast, as little Chil­dren in the Bosome of their Mother. They [Page 119] do not possess themselves as those who are wise in themselves, against the Prohibition of the Apostle: But they let themselves to be possessed, instructed, and moved, upon every occasion, by the actual Grace of God. These Souls do not think themselves extra­ordinarily inspired; they think on the con­trary, that they may deceive themselves by Mistakes, which to avoid, they judge almost of nothing; they willingly receive Corre­ction, and have neither Sence nor Will: These are the Children whom Christ will have let to come near him: They have with the Simplicity of the Dove, all the Prudence of the Serpent; but a borrow­ed Prudence, which they do no more own, than I do appropriate the Beams of the Sun to my self, when I walk in its Light: These are the Poor in Spirit, whom Christ Jesus hath declared blessed, and who are as much taken off from their Perfections, as all Christians ought to be from their Tem­poral Possessions. These are the Little Ones to whom God is well pleased, to reveal his Mysteries, while he hides them from the Wise and Prudent.

To speak so, is to speak in Conformity to the Spirit of the Gospel, and of all Tradition.

XXXI. False.

REason is a false; we ought to act, and never to consult it; we ought to trample under foot all Decency, follow without hesitation all first Motions, and sup­pose them Divine: We ought to cut off, not only unquiet Reflections, but also gene­rally all Reflections; not only forward and remote Forecasts, but also all Foresights. It is not enough, not to be wise in one self, one ought to abandon one self so far, as never to watch over one self with a simple and peace­able Vigilancy, and not to let fall the eager Motions of Nature, to receive only those of Grace.

To speak at this rate, is to believe that Reason, which is the first of God's Gifts, in the Order of Nature, is an Evil, and conse­quently to renew the foolish impious Error of the Manicheans; it is to be willing to change Perfection into a continual Fanati­cism, and to tempt God every Minute of one's Life.


THere is in the passive State, a Liberty of the Children of God, which hath no [Page 121] relation to the unbridled License of the Chil­dren of this World: These simple Souls are no more tormented, by the Scruples of those who fear and hope for their own Interest. Pure Love gives them a respectful Familia­rity with God, as that of a Bride with the Bridegroom; they have a Peace and Joy full of Innocency; they take with simplicity, and without hesitation, the needful Refresh­ments of Mind and Body, as they would perswade their Neighbours to the same; they speak of themselves without any posi­tive Judgment, but out of meer Obedience, and real Necessity, as Things appear to them at that moment; they speak then of them, either as good or bad as they would speak of another, without any Headiness in what they think, or any Love for the good Opi­nion which their most simple and modest Words might create in them of themselves; and acknowledging always, with an hum­ble Joy, that if there is any Good in them, it comes from God alone.

To speak thus, is to relate the Experiences of Saints, without offending the Rule of Evangelical Manners.

XXXII. False.

THE Liberty of passive Souls is grounded upon an Innocency of Disappropriati­on, [Page 122] which makes pure in them whatsoever they are prompted to do, tho' never so irre­gular and inexcusable in others: They have no longer any Law, because the Law is not established for the Righteous, provided he does appropriate nothing to himself, and acts nothing for himself.

To speak at this rate, is to forget that it is said, That if the written Law is not for the Righteous, it is because an inward Law of Love prevents always the outward Precept, and that the great Commandment of Love containeth all the others: 'Tis to turn Chri­stianity into an Abomination, and to make the Gentiles to blaspheme the Name of God; 'Tis to give up Souls to a Spirit of Falshood and of Giddiness.


THere is in the passive State, a Re-union of all the Vertues in Love, which never excludeth the distinct Exercise of each Ver­tue: 'Tis Charity, as saith S. Thomas, after S. Augustine, which is the Form and Principle of all Vertues: That which distinguisheth or specifieth them, is the particular Object which Love does embrace. The Love which ab­stains from impure Pleasures is Chastity, and this very same Love, when it bears Evils, [Page 123] takes the Name of Patience: This Love with­out going out of its Simplicity, becometh, by Turns, all different Vertues; but it ad­mits of none as being a Vertue; that's to say, either Fortitude, Greatness, Beauty, Regu­larity, or Perfection. A disinterested Soul, as S. Francis of Sales, (12. Discourse of Simplicity) hath observed it, loves no longer the Vertues, either because they are handsome and pure, nor be­cause they are worthy to be beloved, or as beauti­fying, and perfecting those that do practise them; or because they are meritorious, and prepare Men for an Eternal Reward; but only because they are the Will of God: A disinterested Soul, as this great Saint said of Mother Chantal (Life of Mad. of Chantal, p. 246.) does not wash away her Faults, for to be pure; and does not adorn herself with Vertues, for to be beautiful; but for to please her Spouse, to whom if Ugliness had been as acceptable, she would have loved it as much as Beauty. Then it is, that we do practise all distinct Vertues, without thinking that they are Vertues; then we think on nothing every Moment, but to do the Will of God, and jealous Love causeth, at the same time, that we desire no more to be vertuous, see­ing that we are never more vertuous, than when we are no more pleased to be so. It may be said in this Sence, that passive and uninterested Love, will no more, even Love itself, as being her Perfection and Happiness, but [Page 124] only as it is that which God does require of us. Therefore S. Francis of Sales saith, that we return into our selves, loving that Love in­stead of the well Beloved. (Love of God, l. 9. c. 9.) This Saint in another place saith, that we ought not so much as to desire the Love of God, as it is our good. Lastly, to give to this Truth all the strictness that is ne­cessary, this Saint saith, that we ought to en­deavour to seek in God nothing but the Love of his Beauty, and not the pleasure which is felt in the Beauty of his Love. This distinction will appear subtile to those whom unction hath not yet taught; but it is confirmed by the Tradition of all Saints from the begin­ning of Christianity, and it ought not to be despised without making light of the Saints, who have placed the perfection of a Soul in this so nice a jealousie of Love.

To speak thus, is to repeat what holy mystical Men have said, after both S. Clement and the Ascetes upon the Cessation of Vir­tues, and which ought to be explained with infinite precaution.

XXXIII. False.

IN the Passive slate, the distinct practice of Virtues is out of season, because pure Love, which contains them all in its quietude dispenseth absolutely with Souls in this exer­cise.

[Page 125] To speak at this rate, is to contradict the Gospel: It is to lay a stone of scandal in the way of the Children of the Church: It is to give them the name of the Living while they are Dead.


SPiritual Death, whereof so many mysti­cal Saints have spoken after the Apostle, (who saith to the Faithful, ye are Dead,) is nothing but the entire purification and disin­terest of Love; so that the unquietness and frowardness which do proceed from an in­terested Motive do not weaken the opera­tion of Grace, and that Grace doth work in a manner entirely free: Spiritual resur­rection is nothing else but the habitual state of pure Love, which we do ordinarily at­tain to after the tryals designed for its puri­fication.

To speak so, is to speak as the greatest Saints and most cautious mystical Men have done.

XXXIV. False.

SPiritual Death, is an entire extinguishing of the Old-Man, and of the last sparks of Concupiscency: Then one hath no more need even of the peaceable and disinterested [Page 126] resistency to natural motions, nor of co-ope­ration to any medicinal Grace of Jesus Christ. Spiritual Resurrection is the entire consummation of the New-Man in the Age and plenitude of the perfect Man as in Hea­ven.

To speak at this rate, is to fall into an He­resie and impiety, which is to the ruine of all Christian manners.


THE state of transformation whereof so many both Ancient and modern Saints have so often spoken, is nothing but the most Passive state, that's to say, the most free of all Activity or interested unquiet­ness. The Soul being peaceable and equal­ly pliant to all the subtilest impulses of Grace, is like a Globe upon a ground-plot, that hath no more any proper and natu­ral Situation, but goes equally all sorts of ways, and the most insensible impulses is enough for to move it. In this state a Soul hath but one only Love, and knows nothing else but to Love. Love is her Life, it is as it were her being and sub­stance, for it is the sole principle of all her Affections. As this Soul gives to her self not any froward motion, does no­thing [Page 127] unseasonably in the hand of God her own disposer; so she feels no more but one motion, viz. that which is im­printed in her, even so as a Man carried by another feels no other impulse but this, if so be that he does not discompose it by a contrary agitation: Then the Soul saith with S. Paul; I live, but it is not I, but Christ Jesus, who lives in me. Christ does ma­nifest himself in his Mortal Flesh, as the Apo­stle will have him to manifest himself in us all. Then the image of God darkned and almost blotted out in us by Sin, is imprin­ted again and yields a new similitude which is called transformation. Then when this Soul speaks of herself by a simple Consci­ence, she saith with S. Catherine of Genoa: I find no more of my self; there is no other self in me but God. If on the contrary, she seeks herself by reflection, she hateth herself as being something without God; that's to say, she condemns the my self, as it is sepa­rated from the pure impression of the Spi­rit of Grace, as this same Saintess did with horror. This state is neither fixed nor in­variable. 'Tis true only, that one ought not to believe that the Soul does fall from it, without any infidelity, because the gifts of God are without Repentance, and Souls faithful to their Grace shall suffer no dimi­nution of them. But in short, the least [Page 128] hesitation or the most subtile complaisance may render a Soul unworthy of so eminent a Grace.

To speak so, is to admit of the terms con­secrated both by Scripture and Tradition: 'Tis to follow divers Ancient Fathers, who have said, that the Soul was transformed and deified. It is to explain the expressi­ons of▪ the most authorized Saints. It is to keep up the Doctrine of Faith in its integri­ty.

XXXV. False.

TRansformation, is a deification of the Soul, real, and by nature, or an hypo­statick Union, or a conformity unto God, which is unalterable, and dispenses with the Soul from watching over Herself, under pretence that there is no more in her of any other Self but God.

To speak at this rate, is to utter horrid Blasphemies; 'tis to be willing to transform Satan into an Angel of light.


TRansformed Souls have ordinarily no need of certain orderly Dispositions either for times or for places, nor express [Page 129] forms, nor methodically set practices for their interiour exercises. The great habit of their familiar Union with God gives them an easiness and simplicity of amorous Union, which is incomprehensible to the Souls of an inferiour state, and this exam­ple would be very Pernicious to all the o­ther less advanced Soul, which have need yet of regular practices to support themselves. Transformed Souls ought always, though without any troublesome rule, one while produce with simplicity indistinct Acts of quietude or pure Contemplation, and ano­ther while distinct, but peaceable and disin­terested Acts of all Virtues suitable to their state.

To speak so, is correctly to explain the expressions of good mystical Men.

XXXVI. False.

TRansformed Souls have no more need to exercise virtues in the abstracted cases, either of Precept or of Counsel, except at those times they may be in an absolute emptiness and internal unaction. They need only follow their Palate, their incli­nations, and first natural motions. Concu­piscency is extinguished in them, or in a suspension so insensible, that we ought not to think any more that it may ever be awa­kened on a sudden.

[Page 130] To speak at this rate, is to lead Souls into Temptation; 'tis to fill them with a fatal Pride; 'tis to teach the Doctrine of Devils; 'tis to forget that Concupiscence is always either acting, or relented, or suspended, but ready to awake on a sudden in our Body, which is that of Sin.


THE most transformed Souls have still their free Will, whereby they are in a Capacity of committing Sin, as well as the first Angel, or the first Man. Moreover, they have the bottom of their Concupiscence, tho' the sensible Effects thereof may remain relented, or suspended, by Medicinal Grace. These Souls may sin mortally, and go astray in a terrible manner: They commit even Venial Sins, for which they say unanimously with the whole Church: Forgive us our tre­spasses, &c. The least Hesitation in Faith, or the least interested Return upon Them­selves, might drain up their Grace: They ought, in Answer to the Jealousie of pure Love, to shun the smallest Faults, as all just Men usually do avoid the greatest Sins: Their Vigilancy, tho' simple and peaceable, ought to be by so much the more piercing, as pure Love, in its Jealousie, is more clear­sighted, [Page 131] than interested Love, with all its Commotions and Troubles: These Souls ought never either to judge, or to excuse themselves, unless it be out of Obedience, and to remove some Scandal, nor justifie themselves by a deliberated and reflected Testimony, tho' the intimate bottom of their Conscience, reproaches them with nothing: They ought to be contented to be judged by their Superiours, and obey blindly in every Point.

To speak so, is to speak according to the true Principles of all Mystical Saints, and without Offence to Tradition.

XXXVII. False.

TRansformed Souls are not any more free for to Sin; they have no more any Concupiscence, all that in them is, is Mo­tion of Grace, and extraordinary Inspirati­on: They can no more pray with the Church, saying every Day: Forgive us our Offences, &c.

To speak at this rate, is to fall into the Error of the false Gnosticks, renewed by the Beggards, condemned at the Council of Vi­enna, and by the Illuminated of Andalousia, condemned in the last Age.


TRansformed Souls may profitably, and ought even in the present Discipline, to confess the venial Faults they are aware of in themselves: They ought in Confession to detest their Faults, condemn Themselves, and desire the Remission of their Sins, not for their own Cleansing, and Deliverance, but as a thing which God does will, and which he will have us to will for his Glory: Tho' a disinterested Soul does not wash her self from her Faults, now for to be pure, as we have seen it in S. Francis of Sales; but that she would love Impurity, as much as Beauty, if it were as acceptable to her Spouse; she knows nevertheless, that Purity and Beau­ty are the Delight of her Spouse; therefore she only loves for his good Pleasure, Purity and Beauty, and rejects with Horror the Ugliness he rejects. When a Soul is truly, and actually in pure Love, there is no fear but in the actual Confession of her Sin, she is in the actual Condemnation of what she hath committed against the Well-beloved, and consequently in the most formal, most pure, and most efficacious Contrition, tho' she produces not always sensible Acts of it, in an express'd and reflected Form. If ve­nial [Page 133] Faults are blotted out in an instant, by the simple reciting of the Lord's Prayer, as S. Austine assureth us in general of just Men, tho' imperfect: So much the more are they blotted out likewise, in the transformed Souls by the Exercise of the most pure Love: 'Tis true, that one is not oblig'd to make equally always frequent Confessions, when the en­lightned Director hath Reason to fear, least they should cast one into Despair, or be turn­ed into a meer Habit, or should become an unlading of the Heart, and an ease for Self­love, more afflicted for not seeing himself entirely perfect, than faithful, in being wil­ling to do Violence to himself for his Amend­ment; or because these frequent Confessi­ons disturb too much some Souls, and em­ploy them too much about their State, in some transient Pains; or because they don't see in themselves any voluntary Fault com­mitted since their last Confession, which may appear to the Confessor a sufficient Matter of Sacramental Absolution, after they have cast themselves at his Feet, for to lay their Submission in the Power and Judgment of the Church.

To speak so, is to speak a Language con­form to the Experiences of Saints, and to the Needs of several Souls, without offend­ing the Principles of Tradition.


COnfession is a Remedy belonging only to imperfect Souls, and which advan­ced Souls ought not to make use of, but for outward appearance, and for fear of offen­ding the Publick; either they never commit any Faults which deserve Absolution; or they ought not to be watchful with the peaceable and uninterested Vigilancy of pure and jealous Love, to perceive whatever in them may grieve the Holy Spirit; neither are they any more oblig'd to Contrition, which is nothing else but jealous Love hating with a perfect Hatred, whatsoever is contrary to the good Pleasure of the Well-beloved; nor should they think themselves guilty of an In­fidelity, against the Disinterest of Love, and perfect Abnegation, should they ask both with Heart and Mouth, the Remission of their Sins, which God, however, will have them to desire.

To speak at this rate, is to take off from these Souls the true Exercise of that pure Love of the Supreme Good, which ought to be on this occasion the actual Condemna­tion of Evil itself; it is to remove Souls, both from the Sacraments, and Church-Discipline, by a rash and scandalous Pre­sumption: [Page 135] 'Tis to inspire them with Phari­saical Pride; 'tis, at least, to teach them to make their Confessions, without Vigilancy, Attention, and Sincerity of Heart, when they ask with the Words of their Mouths, the Remission of their Faults: 'Tis to intro­duce into the Church, an Hypocrisie, which makes any Illusion uncurable.


SOuls in the first sensible Attraction which makes them pass to Contemplation, have sometimes a Prayet which seems to bear no Proportion with some gross Faults that re­main yet in them, and this disproportion makes some Directors to judge, that they have not got Experience enough, that their Prayer is false and full of Illusion, as S. The­resa saith it hapned to her. The Souls exer­cised by extraordinary Trials, shew some­times there upon transient Occasions, an ir­regular Spirit, weakned by the Excess of Pain, and a Patience almost exhausted, as Job did appear imperfect and impatient in the Eyes of his Friends: God leaves often to even transformed Souls, notwithstanding the Purity of their Love, certain Imperfe­ctions, [Page 136] which proceed more from a natural Infirmity, than from the Will, and which are according to the thought of Pope S. Gregory, the contrapoise of their Con­templation, as the pricks of the flesh were in the Apostle the messenger of Satan to hinder him from growing Proud of the greatness of his revelations. Lastly, these imperfections which are not any violation of the Law, are left in a Soul, to the end, that one may see in her the tokens of the great work which Grace hath of necessity made in her. These infirmities serve to depress her in her own eyes, and to keep the gifts of God under a Veil of infirmity, which exerciseth the Faith of that Soul, and of the Just persons that know her. Some­times also they serve to draw on her Con­tempt and Crosses, or to make her more Docile to her superiors, or to take from her the comfort of being approved and as­sured in her way as it happened to the Blessed Theresa, with incredible pains; Fi­nally, to keep the secret of the Bride and of the Bridegroom, hidden from the wise and prudent of this World.

To speak so, is to speak conformable to the experiences of Saints without any offence to the Evangelical Rule, because the Directors who have experience, and the Spirit of Grace are not without ability to [Page 137] judge of the Tree by the Fruits, which are Sincerity, Teachableness, and freedom of the Soul, upon the chiefest occasions. More­over, there will be still other tokens, which the Unction of God's Spirit shall give suffi­ciently to be felt, if the state of each Soul be patiently lookt into.

XXXIX. False.

ONE may reckon a Soul as Contem­plative, and even as transformed, though she is found for some considera­ble time, negligent of her instruction con­cerning the principles of Religion, careless of her duty, wandring and unmortified, always quick in excusing her own faults, unteachable, haughty, or cunning.

To speak after this rate, is to authorize in the most perfect state the most dangerous im­perfections: 'tis to cover under the cloak of an extraordinary state, defects that are most in­compatible with true Piety: 'tis to approve the grossest illusions: 'tis to invert the rules whereby Spirits ought to be tried, to know whither they come from God or no: 'tis to call evil good, and draw upon ones self the woes of Scripture.


A Transformed Soul is united to God, without the interposition of any me­dium, three sorts of ways. 1. When she loves God for himself, without any medi­um of interested motive. 2. When she con­templates him without any sensible image, or discursive operation. 3. When she ful­fills his Precepts and Counsels, without any set order of forms, whereby to give to her self an interested witness.

To speak thus, is to express what holy mystical Men would say, by excluding from this state the practices of Virtue; and this explication is nothing offensive to Uni­versal Tradition.

XL. False.

A Transformed Soul is united to God without any medium, either by the Veil of Faith, or the infirmity of the Flesh since the fall of Adam, nor by the me­dicinal Grace of Jesus Christ, by whom a­lone one may in every state go to the Fa­ther.

[Page 139] To speak at this rate, is to renew the He­resie of the Beggards Condemned by the Council of Vienna.


THE Spiritual Wedding uniteth immedi­ately the Bride to the Bridegroom, es­sence to essence, substance to substance, that's to say, will to will, by that entirely pure Love so often mentioned. Then God and the Soul make no more but one and the same Spirit; as the Bride and the Bride­groom in Marriage are made but one Flesh. He who adheres to God, is made one and the same Spirit with him, by an intire con­formity of the will which is the work of Grace. The Soul is then fully satiated and in a Joy of the Holy Ghost, which is the bud of Coelestial happiness. She is in an entire purity, that's to say, without any de­filement of Sin (except those daily Sins which the exercise of Love can immediate­ly blot out) and consequently she may with­out Purgatory, be admitted into Heaven, which no unclean thing can enter into; for Concupiscence which remains always in this life, is not incompatible with this [Page 140] entire purity, since it is neither Sin nor a spot in the Soul: But this Soul hath not her Original integrity, being not exempt either from daily faults or from Concupiscency which are incompatible with their integri­ty.

To speak so, is to speak with the Salt of Wisdom, wherewith all our Words ought to be seasoned.

XLI. False.

THE Soul in this state hath her Origi­nal integrity; she sees God face to face, she does enjoy him as fully as the Blessed.

To speak at this rate, is, to fall into the Heresie of the Beggards.


THE Union called by mystical Men essential and substantial, consisteth in a simple and disinterested Love, which fills all the affections of the whole Soul, and which is exercised by Acts so peaceable and so uniform, that they seem to be but one, though they be several really distin­guished [Page 141] Acts. Several mystical Writers have termed these Acts essential or substantial, to distinguish them from Acts that are fro­ward, unequal, and made as it were by the out-goings of a Love which is yet mixt and interested.

To speak so, is to explain the true sense of mystical Writers.

XLII. False.

THis Union becomes really essential, be­tween God and the Soul, so that no­thing is capable either to break or to alter it any more. This substantial Act is per­manent and indivisible as the substance of the Soul it self.

To speak at this rate, is to teach an ex­travagancy as much contrary to all Phi­losophy, as to Faith, and to the true pra­ctice of Piety.


GOD who conceals himself from the Wise and great ones, reveals and com­municates himself to the little ones, and to the [Page 142] simple. The transformed Soul is the Spiri­tual Man S. Paul speaks of, that's to say, a Man acted and led by the Spirit of Grace in the way of pure Faith. This Soul hath often both by Grace and by experience for all things of simple practise in the tryals and exercise of pure Love, a knowledge, which the Learned who have more science and humane Wisdom than experience and pure Grace, have not. She ought never­theless to submit with heart as well as mouth, not only to all the decisions of the Church, but also to the Conduct of her Pastors, as having a special Grace without exception to lead the Sheep of the flock.

XLIII. False.

THE transformed Soul is the Spiritual Man of S. Paul, so that she may judge of all the truths of Religion, and be judged by no body. She is the Seed of God that cannot Sin. Unction teacheth her all; so that she hath no need of being instructed by any body, nor to submit to superiours.

To speak at this rate, is to abuse the pas­sages of Scripture and turn them to ones ruine. 'Tis to be ignorant, that Unction which teacheth all, teacheth nothing so much as obedience, and suggesteth all truth [Page 143] of Faith and of practice, only by inspiring the Ministers of the Church with an hum­ble Docility. In a word, 'tis to establish in the midst of the Church a Damnable Sect of Fanaticks and Independents.


THE Pastors and Saints of all Ages have used a kind of an Oeconomy and se­cret in not speaking of the rigorous trials, and of the most sublime exercise of pure Love, but to those Souls to whom God had given already both attraction and light to it. Though this Doctrine was the pure and simple perfection of the Gospel, noted throughout the whole body of Tradition, the Ancient Pastors proposed usually to the generality of Just Men, no other than the practise of interested Love, in proportion to their Grace, and thus gave Milk to In­fants, while they distributed Bread to strong Souls.

To speak thus, is to say what S. Clement, Cassian, and divers other, Holy Authors, both Ancient and Modern, do constantly affirm.

XLIV. False.

THere has been in all Ages, among those that live Contemplative Lives, a secret Tradition, and such as has been unknown, even to the body of the Church her self. This Tradition, would include secret Opi­nions, beyond the truths of universal Tra­dition; or these Opinions at least would be contrary to those of the common Faith, and would exempt Souls from exercising all those Acts of an explicite Faith and dis­limited Vertue, which are no less essential to the ways of pure Love, than to that which is interested.

To speak thus, is to annihilate Tradition, instead of multiplying it. It is the way to make a sect of secret Hypocrites in the Bo­some of the Church, without her being e­ver able to discover them, or to free her self from them. Hereby the impious secret of the Gnosticks and Manicheans will be re­vived, and all the Traditions of our Faith and Morals undermined.

ART. XLV. True.

ALL the Internal ways that are most eminent, are so far from being above an habitual state of pure love, that they are but the way to arrive at that bound of all perfection; all inferiour degrees do not come up to this true estate. The last de­gree which Mystick Writers call by the name of Transformation, or Essential Uni­on, without any Medium, is no more than a simple reality of this love without a pe­culiar interest. This when true, is the most safe state, because it is the most voluntary and meritorious of all the states of Christian Justice; and because 'tis that which referrs all to God, and leaves nothing to the Crea­ture. But on the contrary, when 'tis false and imaginary, it is the heighth of illusion. The Traveller after many Fatigues, Dan­gers, and Sufferings, arriving at length up­on the top of a Mountain, from thence discerns at a distance his Native City, and the end of his Journey, and all his toils, he is presently overjoy'd at it, believes himself to be already at the very gates of that City, and that there is nothing now remaining but a little way, and that very good for him; but as he moves forwards, the lengths [Page 146] and difficulties which he had not foreseen at first sight, do proportionably increase, he must be obliged to descend by Precipices into deep Vallies, where he loses the sight of that City, which he thought he could al­most touch. He must be forc'd oftentimes to creep up over sharp Rocks, and 'tis not without great trouble and dangers that he arrives at last at that City, which he thought at first to have been so near him, and so easie to come at. It's the very same thing with that Love which is entirely dis­interested; the first cast of the Eye disco­vers it in a wonderful perspective; one thinks he has hold of it, he supposes with himself that he is already confirmed there­in, or at least that there is between him and it but a short and even space; but the more he advances towards it, the more tedious and painful he finds the way. There is nothing so dangerous for a Man as to flatter himself with this pretty Idea or Conceit, and to believe that he lives in the practice of the same, when it is not really so. He that makes this Love to be speculative, would fret himself to a Skeleton, if God should put him to prove how this Love doth puri­fie and realize it self in the Soul. In short, he must have a care of believing that he hath the same in reality, when he only has a view of it, and is charmed with it. That [Page 147] Soul which dares presume by a decisive re­flection that he is arrived to it, shews by his presumption how remote he is from it; the small number of those that have reached it, do not know whether they are really so; and as often as they do reflect upon themselves in relation to it, they are ready to believe it is not so with them, when their Superiours declare the same unto them: They speak of themselves as of another per­son, in a dis-interested manner, and with­out reflection, and act with simplicity, by a pure obedience, according to true neces­sity, without ever voluntarily judging or reasoning concerning their state. In short, tho' it be true to say, that no man can set exact bounds to the operations of God in the Soul, and that there is none but the Spi­rit of God that can sound the depths of this same Spirit; yet it is also true to say, that no internal perfection can allow a Christian to dispence with those real acts that are essential to the accomplishment of the whole Law; and that all perfection reduces it self to this habitual state of sole and pure love, which effects in these Souls, with a dis-inte­rested Peace, all that which a mixt love does in others, with some remains of an in­terested eagerness. In a word, there is nothing but a peculiar interest that cannot, and which ought not at all to be found in [Page 148] the exercise of dis-interested Love; but all the rest is there still in a more abundant manner than ordinarily in just Persons.

For us to speak with this precaution, is to confine our selves within the bounds set us by our Fathers; this is a Religious ob­servance of Tradition, and hereby is a relati­on given, without any mixture of innovati­on, of the Experiences of the Saints, and the Language they have used in speaking sometimes of themselves, with simplicity and pure Obedience.

XLV. False.

TRansformed Souls are capable of judg­ing themselves and others, or to be assured of their internal Gifts, without any dependance upon the Ministers of the Church, or else direct themselves without any Cha­racter, without an extraordinary Call, and even with marks of an extraordinary Vo­cation against the express Authority of Pa­stors.

To talk in this manner, is to teach an innovated Doctrine full of Prophaneness, and to attack one of the most essential Ar­ticles of the Catholick Faith, which is that of an entire subordination of Believers to the Body of Pastors, to whom Jesus Christ said he that heareth you, heareth me.

The Conclusion of all these Articles.

HOly indifference is nothing else but disinterested Love; Tryals are no­thing else but the Purification of it; the abandoning of the same is but its exer­cise in Tryals. The disappropriating of Vertue, is nothing, besides the laying aside of all Complaisance, all Consolation, and all Self-Interest in the exercise of Vertue by pure Love. The retrenching of all activi­ty, implies no more than the retrenching of all inquietude and interested eagerness for pure Love. Contemplation is but the plain Exercise of this Love reduced to one simple Motive. Passive Contemplation is but pure Contemplation without activity or eagerness. A Passive state, whether it be in a time bounded with pure and decent Contemplation, or in those Intervals where­in a Man does not at all Contemplate, doth exclude neither the real Action, nor the successive Acts of the Will, nor the speci­fick distinction of Vertue, as they relate to their proper Subjects, but only simple acti­vity, or interested inquietude; it's a peace­able [Page 150] Exercise of Prayer and Vertue by pure Love. Transformation and the most es­sential or immediate Union, is nothing but the Habit of that pure Love, which, of it self, makes up all the internal Life, and then becomes the only Principle and Motive of all the deliberate a [...] meritori­ous Acts; but this habitual State is never fixt, unvariable, nor unliable to be lost. The true love of that which is right, saith Leo, carries in it self Apostolick Authorities and Canonical Sanctions.

THE Lord Archbishop of Cambray's LETTER TO THE POPE.

Most Holy Father,

I have resolved, with utmost expedi­tion, as well as with all manner of submission and respect to your Holi­ness, to send the Book that I wrote some time since concerning the Maxims of the Saints, in relation to an internal Life. It's a duty which I am obliged to pay, not only to the Supream Authority, with which you preside over all the Churches, but also to those Favours you have been pleased to heap upon me. But to the end that no­thing [Page 152] may be omitted in a matter of such importance, and concerning which, Mens Minds are so tossed about and agitated, and for removing any Equivocations that might arise from the diversity of Languages, I have undertaken to make a Latin Version of my whole Work, to which I apply my self wholly, and will very quickly send this Translation to be laid down at your Ho­liness his Feet.

I would to God, most Holy Father, I could, my self in person, bring you my Book, with a zealous and submissive heart, and then receive your Apostolical Benediction; but the Affairs of the Diocess of Cambray, du­ring the misfortune of the War, and the instruction of the young Princes, which the King has done me the honour to intrust me with, will not allow me room to hope for this Consolation. And now, most Holy Father, I come to give the Rea­sons that have induced me to write con­cerning the internal Life and Contempla­tion. I have observed, That some Persons abusing the Maxims of the Saints, that have been so often approved of by the Ho­ly See, thought by little and little to in­sinuate pernicious Errors thereby, and that others who knew nothing of spiritual things, turned the same into a Ridicule. The abo­minable Doctrine of the Quietists, under [Page 153] the appearance of Perfection, glided secret­ly into divers parts of France, and even into our Low Countries. Several Writings, whereof some were too Uncorrect, as others might be justly suspected of Errors, stirred up the indifferent Curiofity of the Faithful against them. Some Ages ago, diverse mystical Writers arraigning the Mystery of the Faith in a pure Conscience, had fa­voured the same, yet not knowing the Er­ror concealed under it; this they did out of an excess of warm Piety, want of pre­caution in the choice of Terms, made use of by them, and a pardonable ignorance of the Principles of Theology. This is that which has inflamed that ardent Zeal of di­vers illustrious Bishops, and this gave them an occasion to Compose Thirty Four Articles, which they were pleased to draw up and lodge with me. This also has brought them to Censure certain little Books, some Passages of which being ta­ken in the sense that doth naturally arise from them, have deserved to be condemn­ed. But, most Holy Father, Men have not removed far from one Extream, with­out falling into another; some persons have taken occasion against our intention, to Ridicule, as an extravagant Chimera, the pure love of a Contemplative Life. For my own part, I thought, by taking dili­gent [Page 154] heed to an exact medium, it was the way to separate Truth from Error, and that which is Ancient and Stanch, from what is new and dangerous; this is that which I have endeavoured to do ac­cording to my weak Abilities; but to know whether I have succeeded therein or no, is left, most Holy Father, to your Judgment, and 'tis my business respectfully to give ear to St. Peter as living and speaking in you, whose Faith shall never fail.

I have chiefly applyed my self to make this Work concise, and therein have fol­lowed the Advice of very knowing Per­sons, who have desired that a ready and an easy remedy should be found out, not only against the Illusion which is Contagi­ous, but also against the scoffing of pro­phane Persons. Great regard then was to be had for those Souls that are full of Can­dour, who being more simple in that which is good, than precaution'd against Evil, could not discern that horrible Ser­pent that was hid under the Flowers; regard also must have been had to the Contempt of Criticks, who would not separate the Asce­tick or studious Traditions and precious Maxims of the Saints from the vile Do­ctrine of Hypocrites. Wherefore it has been thought necessary to make a kind of a Dictionary of Mystical Theology, in order [Page 155] to prevent good Souls from passing beyond those Bounds set unto us by our Fathers.

I have therefore, in as short a Style as possibly I could, comprized the Desiniti­ons of those Terms which the Practice of the Saints have Authorized. I have also imploy'd the weight and authority of a Cen­sure, to endeavour to crush down a Heresy so full of Impudence; it appeared to me, most Holy Father, as some sort of undecen­cy, that a Bishop should expose those Mon­strous Errours to the Publick, without te­stifying, at the same time, the indignation and horror which the Zeal of God's Cause had inspir'd him with against it. Never­theless, I pray God that I may not have lost the sight of my own weaknesses, and spoken any thing presumptuously.

The supream Authority of the Holy See hath abundantly supplyed all my Defects; the Soveraign Pontiffs, upon a scrupulous ex­amination of all the Writings of the Saints, which have been Canoniz'd, have, upon all occasions, approv'd of the true Maxims of the Ascetick or studious Life, and contem­plative Love. Wherefore having kept close to that immutable Rule, I hope I have without any danger of going out of the way, fitted up the Articles, which I have asserted as true ones. As to those false ones which I have Condemned, I have [Page 156] been led thereunto, as it were, by the Hand; for I have, in every thing, taken the Solemn Decrees, by which the Holy See hath Condemned the Sixty Eight Proposi­tions of Molino's, for my Model therein. And so having such an Oracle for my Foun­dation, I have endeavoured to lift up my Voice to speak.

In the first place I have Condemned the permanent Act, which has never any occa­sion to be reitterated, as being a Poisoned Spring of Idleness and inward Lethargy.

In the next place I have Established the indispensible necessity of a distinct Exer­cise of every Virtue.

Thirdly, I have resisted a perpetual and uninterrupted Contemplation, which would exclude Venial Sins; the distinction of Vir­tue and unvoluntary distractions, as being incompatible with the Condition of a Tra­veller.

Fourthly, I have rejected passive Prayer, which would exclude the real Cooperation of Free-will for the formation of Meritori­ous Actions.

Fifthly, I have allowed of no other Rest, neither in Prayer, nor in other Exercise of the Internal Life, save that peace of the Holy Ghost, whereby the most pure Souls frame their Actions in so uniform a man­ner, that they appear to Persons without [Page 157] Knowledge, not as distinct Acts, but a simple and permanent Unity with God.

Sixthly, For fear that the Doctrine of pure Love, so much Authorized by so many Fathers of the Church, and other Saints, might serve as an Azilum or Refuge to the Quietists, I have set my self chiefly to shew, that in what degree of Perfection soever it may be, and how great the Pu­rity of Love wherewith one is filled, may arrive to, yet he must always retain in his Heart, the Hope wherewith we are saved, in pursuance to what the Apostle saith con­cerning Faith, Hope and Charity: Now these three things, Faith, Hope, and Charity remain, but Charity is the greatest.

We must therefore always hope for, de­sire and pray for our Salvation, since 'tis God's will it should be so, and that he re­quires that we should will it for his glory; thus Hope preserves it self in its proper Exercise, not only by the means of the in­fused Habit, but also by its own proper Acts, which being commanded and enobled by Charity, as the Schools phrase it, they are most absolutely carried to the sublime end of the same Charity, which is nothing else but the pure glory of God.

Seventhly, This state of pure Charity is not to be found but in a very few per­fect Souls; and that 'tis there only in an ha­bitual [Page 158] manner. When I say habitual, God forbid that an unamissible state, or such as is exempted from any variation should be meant. If this estate be still subject to daily Sins, with how much more reason is the same compatible with Acts performed from time to time, which cease not to be good and meritorious, tho' they may be a little less pure and disinterested. It's enough for this State, that the Acts of Vertue are performed therein very fre­quently with that perfection that Charity diffuses there, and with which the same are animated.

All these things are agreeable to our thirty four Articles. I shall joyn to the Book which I have published, most Holy Father, a Collection in Manuscript, of the Sentiments of the Fathers and Saints of the last Age, concerning the Pure Love, of Con­templatives; to the end that that which is but plainly set out in the First Book, may be proved in the Second, by the Testimo­nies and Opinions of the Saints of all Ages. I entirely submit, Most Holy Father, both the one and the other Pieces, to the Judge­ment of the Holy Roman Catholick Church, who is the Mother Church of all, and has taught all the rest. I devote all that is mine, and my self, to your Holiness, as a Son ought to do, that is full of Zeal and [Page 159] Respect towards you. But if my Book in French hath been already brought unto your Holiness, I most humbly intreat you, most Holy Father, to decide nothing con­cerning it, 'till such time as you have seen my Latin Version, that will be dispatched away with all speed. There is nothing now remaining for me, save to wish a long Pontificate to the chief of Pastors who Rules the Kingdom of Christ with so disinterest­ed an Heart, and who says, with so much applause from all the Roman Catholick Na­tions, to his Illustrious Family, I know you not. In doing thus daily, I think I seek the Glory and Consolation of the Church, the Re-establishment of its Discipline, the propagation of the Faith, the Extirpation of Schisms and Heresies; and lastly, an abundant Harvest in the Field of the Sove­raign Father of the Family. I shall for ever, &c.

The Lord Arch-Bishop of Cam­bray's Letter of August the 3d, 1697.


BE not concerned for me, the business of my Book is gone to Rome; if I am under a mistake, the Authority of the Holy See will undeceive me; and this is that I wait for with a gentle and lowly Mind; if I have illy exprest my self, they will reform my expressions: If the mat­ter appears to require a more large explica­tion, that I will readily do by way of Ad­ditions. If my Book contains nothing in it, but what is pure Doctrine, I shall have the consolation to know exactly what a Man ought to believe, and what to reject. I shall not in this Case fail to make all those Additions, which, without weakning the truth, will be conducive to enlighten and edifie such Readers as are most subject to take the allarm. But, Sir, in short, if the Pope condemns my Book, I shall be [Page 161] the first, God willing, that will condemn it, and put out a Mandate to forbid the reading of it in the Diocess of Cambray. I shall only intreat the Pope to do me the favour, exactly to note those passages he condemns, and the sense whereon he grounds his Condemnation; to the end that I may subscribe thereunto without re­striction, and that I may never run the risque of defending, excusing, or tolera­ting the sense its condemned in. Being thus disposed, thro' the blessing of God, I am at rest, and have nothing to do but to wait the disposition of my Superiour, in whom I acknowledge the Authority of Jesus Christ to be lodged; disinterested Love must not be defended but with a sin­cere disinterest. We have not to do herein with a point of Honour, nor with the Opinion of the World, nor yet with that profound humiliation, wherein Na­ture may fear to meet with ill success. I think I act with integrity, I am as much a­fraid of being presumptuous, and possessed with a base shame, as to be feeble, poli­tick and fearful in the defence of truth. If the Pope condemns me, I shall be there­by undeceived, and the vanquished shall reap all the real fruits of the Victory. Victoria scedet victis, saith St. Augustine. But if, on the other side, the Pope does [Page 162] not condemn my Doctrine, I shall endea­vour both by my silence and respect, to pacifie those of my Fraternity, whose Zeal has animated them against me, by laying a sort of Doctrine to my charge, which I abhor, and always did, as much as they do. Perhaps they will do me justice, when they see my sincerity. There are but two things that my Doctrine was intended to compre­hend; the first whereof is, that Charity is a love to God sor his own sake, distinct from that motive of blessedness that we find in him. Secondly, that Charity in the life of the most perfect Souls, is that which precedes all other Vertues, which a­nimates them, and commands the acts so as to make them bear to its end; inso­much that the Just thus qualified, do then ordinarily exercise hope, and all other Vertues with all the disinterest of Charity it self; because this same state of the Soul is not without its exception; being no other than an habitual one, and not immutable. God knows I have never intended to teach any thing else that exceeded these limitations. And hence it is that I have said, in my speaking concerning pure Love, which is Charity, so far as it animates and com­mands all other distinct Vertues. Whoever allows of nothing beyond that, is within the confines of Tradition, whoever passeth those [Page 163] bounds, is already out of the way. I do not think there is any danger that the Holy See should condemn a Doctrine so well grounded upon the Authority of the Fa­thers, of the Schools, and of so many great Saints that the Church of Rome has Cano­niz'd. As for the manner of Expressions contained in my Book, if they should be any ways prejudicial to truth, for want of being correct, I consign them to the judge­ment of my Superiour: and I should be very sorry to trouble the repose of the Church, were there no more in it than the interest of my Person, and of my Book. These are my thoughts of the matter, Sir, I go for Cambray, having Sacrificed unto God with my whole heart all that I could Sacrifice to him thereupon; permit me to exhort you to be of the same mind; I have introduced nothing that related to Humane Affairs and Temporals into the Doctrine which I was convinced of the truth of; neither have I forbore to let the Pope know any of those Reasons that could support this Doctrine. This is enough, let God do the rest; if it be his Cause that I have vindicated, let us not be concerned at the intentions of Men, or their proceedings; it is God alone that is to be looked▪ to in all this; let us be the Children of Peace, and Peace will rest upon us; it will be bitter, [Page 164] but the same will be so much the more pure. Let us not spoil good intentions by an hu­mour, by any Heat, by any Humane Indu­stry, by any Natural Impression for the ju­stifying of our selves. Let us plainly give an account of our Faith; let us suffer our selves to be Corrected if there be need of it, and let us endure Correction, when we do not even deserve the same. As for you, Sir, you ought to have no other por­tion therein, than Silence, Submission, and Prayer. Pray for me that am under such pressing difficulty, pray for the Church that undergoes these Scandals; pray for those who rise up against me; to the end that they may be endued with the Spi­rit of Grace, in order to undeceive me, if I'am in the wrong, or to do me justice if I am otherwise. Lastly, pray for the inte­rest of Prayer it self, which is in danger, and stands in need of being justified. Perfection is become very suspicious, they are not for re­moving it so far from lazy Christians, and such as are full of self. Disinterested Love would ap­pear to be the Spring of Illusions and abomi­nable Wickedness; they have accustomed Christians under pretence of safety and pre­caution to seek after God no other way than by the motive of their blessedness, and ad­vantage to themselves. Those Souls that have made most proficiency, are forbid to [Page 165] serve God by the pure motive, whereby hitherto it hath been wished that Sinners themselves would return from their Er­rors, I mean the goodness of the infinitely amiable God. I know that pure Love and abandoning ones self is abused; I know that Hypocrites overthrow the Gospel un­der such good names; but pure Love is no less a perfection of Christianity, and 'tis the worst of all Remedies to go about to a­bolish those things that are perfect, to prevent being abused therewith. God knows how to make better provision there­in than Men. Let us be humble, let us hold our peace, instead of reasoning con­cerning Prayer, let us be engaged in it; in so doing, we shall defend our selves, our strength will consist in our silence. I am, &c.

THE DECLARATION Of the Most Illustrious and Most Reve­rend Prelates Lewis Antony de No­ailles, Arch-Bishop of Paris, James Benigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, and Paul Godet Desmarais Bishop of Chartres, upon the subject Matter of a Book Intituled, An Explication of the Maxims of the Saints, concern­ing the Internal Life.

AS we have been long since called to bear Witness, it's time at last we should make answer. The most Illustrious and most Reverend Arch-bishop of Cambray, as well in the very beginning as Preface of his Book, called An Explication of the Maxims of the Saints, &c. hath made mention of two of our number, whose Doctrine and Decisions contained in the Thirty Four Ar­ticles, he hath only taken upon him more [Page 168] fully to explicate; and which the third of us by a publick Act hath agreed to, and Subscribed.

The same most Illustrious and most Reve­rend Arch-bishop, hath in the Letter he wrote to our Holy Father the Pope Innocent XII. grounded what he says upon the same Ar­ticles and Censures of the Bishops against some Books that have been written; And we were the only three who have thought it our Duty to Censure those Books, or rather according to the Author's words, certain places in the said Book.

Nevertheless, they are not some places as the same Author says, that we have taken upon us to censure, but the greatest part of them; nay and we would have the whole Books condemned, and the Spirit that runs quite thro' them.

But as the same Epistle takes notice, our Zeal is not raised against certain Mystick Persons in former Ages, who laboured un­der a pardonable ignorance of Theological Dogma's, but our Censures and Articles are level'd at the Quietists of our own time, who are well known amongst us.

Neither have we recourse to the obvious and natural sense of things, as if there were some more occult meaning couched under them, which perhaps might at the same time be tolerated; but we have thought it [Page 170] necessary to expose the Poison lying hid in those Books.

We know nothing of any bodies taking occasion from our Articles and Censures, to deride pure Love and Contemplation, as the Il­lusions of a troubled Brain; as the said Let­ter intimates.

It's also said in the same Letter, That the principal Points which have been treated on in the Book, having been anew Explained, are found to be conformable to the said Ar­ticles.

This Conclusion, and the intention we find there is, to have what is contained in the said Book, to be thought agreeable to our Sentiments, we are necessitated to explain our selves upon this Head, tho' it is not with­out trouble of mind, that we are brought to this Extremity, having before used all sorts of means to gain the Judgment of our Brother herein; 'tis pure necessity that con­strains us hereunto, to the end we may prevent the Belief of our approving this Work; and above all, out of the Fear we are in, lest our Holy Father the Pope, whom we per­fectly honour, and to whom, as to our Head, we are inviolably united, should be perswa­ded, that we favour a Doctrine which the Church condemns.

We shall begin, by shewing the Reasons that occasion'd the Articles, which the Book [Page 172] Entituled, An Exposition of the Maxims of the Saints, &c. makes mention of. There was a certain Woman living amongst us, who having put out a Pamphlet called, a Short Method, &c. and some others also, and spread up and down certain Manuscripts of the Quietists, seemed to us to be a leader of that Sect; she desired she might be allowed three Counsellors, with whose Advice she might acquiesce, the most illustrious Author of this book was added for a Fourth; the design was to consine her, and those of her Party, within some bounds; to remove all the sub­terfuges they had, and to shew them from the undoubted Articles of our Faith, the Lord's Prayer, the Doctrine of the Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, and Saints, that their Tenets were condemned to all intents and purposes, either from their own Na­ture, or by Councils, and the Apostolick See; this was the end of the Articles that contained our decisions and Censures; our business now, is to see whether the said Book did explain and open the same, or overthrow them.

In the first place, Theological or Divine Hope is taken away in that Book, as well out of the state of Grace, as within it among the perfect.

And when it is said, that without the state of Grace, before Justification, one may love [Page 174] God with the love of Hope, in such a man­ner, that self-love, that is, the love of our own Interest and Happiness, be the princi­pal Motive of the said love of Hope, and prevalent above the other motive of love to God's Glory; it from thence follows, that Hope which depends upon a created good, and self interest, is no Divine or Theologi­cal Virtue, but a Vice; and thence it is, that that Axiom of St. Augustine is applyed, tho' in a wrong sense: That which proceeds not from a principle of Charity, proceeds from Concupiscence, and from that love which is the root of all Vices, and which the Jealous God is so much set against.

After Justification in a perfect state of pure and dis-interested love, he admits of Hope that resides in the Mind, but doth not move it; because that the love which is con­tained in this Hope, is pure, without any mixture of interest, in respect to fear or hope, and being, as it were, perfect Charity, it excludes Hope as well as Fear, so that the Soul is not at all excited from any motive, or upon the account of self-interest, and so those incentatives or motives of self-advan­tage, so often inculcated in the Scripture Tradition, and the Prayers of the Church, are utterly excluded from perfect Minds.

As for the motives of Self-interest, the same is explained in all the passages of the [Page 176] Book, in such a manner, that the Soul is to retain no mercenary desire, and not to love God neither for his desert, perfection, nor the good that is to be found in loving him, nor yet for everlasting Rewards, and it would be insinuated, that it is the common sentiments of all the Saints, both Ancient and Modern.

From whence this general Conclusion is made, That this interested Motive is for­mally excluded from all the Virtues of per­fect minds; an Opinion which is also attribu­ted to St. Francis de Sales, without using the place where it is to be met with; tho' in contrariety to this, there are divers passages in his Writings that are quite opposite there­unto.

To the same end tends also what is further said, that we will or love God, as he is our good, happiness and reward; that we love him formally under this precision or restri­ction, but not because of this restriction, and that the formal Object of our hope is our in­terest, to wit, God our Good, but that we have no mercenary motive thereunto; but this is perfect contrariety, to make that a motive which is no motive, to cut off that hope, which being destitute of power to move the Soul, has no more in it than the bare name of hope.

By these Propositions, and others also, [Page 178] whereby in retaining the name of hope, the thing it self is precluded; the sense of our First and Thirtieth Article, concerning the retaining of the Exercise of hope in every condition, is eluded.

It will signify nothing for a Man to say, that there are other propositions opposite hereunto, to be found in some places of the said Book. For to be plain in the matter, the said Book contains things that evidently contradict one another; for Example, God wills that I should love him as he is my Good, Happiness, and Reward; very well, but the contrary is repeated again and again, in these words. It's certain, we do not (will the love of God (or our Salvation) as he is the reward of our merits, our salvation, our eternal de­liverance, our good, our interest, and the great­est of them. So manifest a Contradiction of Propositions and Terms, is sufficient to prove there is Error in that case, and cannot serve for an Excuse for the same.

Moreover the style of this Book is so perplext, and the manner of reasoning used in it so subtile, that they are quite lost, there being many places therein where the sense cannot be found out without great trouble and vexation of mind; and this must be the Character of an ill-contriv'd System, and of an Author that seeks not so much a good temperament of things, as sub­terfuges and subtilties.

[Page 180] As for what concerns the desire of E­ternal Salvation, the said Author thus ex­presses himself. The desire of Eternal Salvation is good, but nothing ought to be desired saving the Will of God; a Pro­position which he attributes to St. Fran­cis de Sales, tho' it be not to be met with in any of his Writings.

In the same Book it is also said, that there are two different states of the Just, one of resignation; wherein mercenary or self-desires are subjected to the Will of God; another of Holy indifference; where­in the Soul has no mercenary desire at all, except it be upon such occasions as when it is wanting to its own grace, and is not ful­ly correspondent thereunto; to which pro­position the forementioned Heads are re­ferred, that Salvation is not to be desired, as it is our good, our reward, &c.

All these Propositions, as well as those that exclude the desires of Eternal Sal­vation, conceived from motives of Hope, as also those others that regard the indiffe­rence of Salvation, are rejected in the foresaid Articles, pursuant to the Autho­rity of the Holy Scriptures, not only as false, but also as erroneous.

[Page 182] Those same Articles particularly condemn that which is affirmed in the said Book, that holy indifference admits of general de­sires, for the accomplishment of all the hid­den will of God; and though the De­crees of ones own and others reproba­tion, were contained in this Will, yet his desires are to be so far extended, as to wish the accomplishment of the same.

Neither is there, as the said Book would insinuate, any room left for Equivoca­tion, seeing all manner of Equivocation is taken away in the said Articles con­cerning the indifference of Salvation, by a clear definition of indifference, which may appertain to the events of this Life, and sensible Comforts, but never to salvati­on, and the means that are conducive there­unto. The Author, in order to make the Articles to be equivocal, grounds himself upon this Position, that Salvation is to be desired and wished for as a thing that God would have; which is right enough, and taken from the very end of Salvation.

But in his Book he expresses himself in an exclusive manner, saying, that the Soul wills not happiness for it self, but because it knows God wills it; whereby the im­mediate and specific motives of hope are cut off, and a way opened to the pernicious Opinion of indifference; as if salvation was [Page 184] in it self a thing indifferent, and as if the good that was commanded was not in it self desirable, but only upon the ac­count of its being commanded and en­joined.

In the mean time the difference that lies between desirable things, because of the will of God, and those things that are not desirable, but by reason of the will of God, is set forth by the Author himself, from the very beginning of his Treatise, in a passage he cites out of St. Francis de Sales. There is a great deal of difference between these words, I love God for the good I expect from him; and those, I do not love God but upon account of that good. which shews what diversity there is often between things that seem to be exprest in very near the same words.

This indifference to Salvation, which is asserted throughout the whole Book, gives way to these consequences; that a Soul, in the great­est tryals may be invincibly perswaded that it is reprobated by God; whereby the Sa­crifice of Salvation, which is ordinarily conditional, becomes absolute; an impos­sible case appearing, not only as possible, but even as real or actual: And then a director of ones Conscience may suffer a [Page 186] Soul to take up with a bare acquiesce with its own just Condemnation, and Reproba­tion.

Moreover in such a state, it will be to no purpose, nay intolerable to speak to him of the Rule of Faith, in relation to the good­ness of God that is extensive to all Men, or to offer him Reasons for his satisfaction.

All these things are clearly rejected by the Thirty Four Articles, when an absolute consent is not allowed of in any probations, or tryals: God forbid it should be so; this is a false pre-supposition, and impossible, that other Article being premised, wherein all despair is excluded; and much less should the Director of ones Conscience be allowed to suffer Souls simply to acquiesce with their own Condemnation, and just reprobation. But on the contrary, he is required not to suffer any such thing to be. He is so far from being advised not to preach the good­ness of God clearly and distinctly, as the said Book asserts, that he ought to be or­dered, in conformity to St. Francis de Sales, to assure those afflicted Souls, that they shall never be forsaken of God, and that his goodness is not only general towards all Men, but that the effects of the Divine Mercy is more especially extended unto them.

[Page 188] Again, you have in the Articles all Vir­tues both Divine and Moral, set forth and distinguished, with their Motives; but in the said Books endeavours are used to ren­der the distinction there made, obscure, by these words. Pure Love doth of it self con­stitute the Internal Life, it's the only Principle and sole Motive thereof, all other Motives are taken away, save only Charity. But the rea­son whereby Charity is even made to sub­sist, seems also to be taken away, when it is said that this Love becomes by turns to be every distinct Virtue, but it seeks after no Virtue, as it is a Virtue; and so neither is Faith sought for as Faith, nor Hope as Hope, nor even Charity it self, which is the life and form of Virtue, as a Virtue.

And so allowing these Propositions to be true, all Virtues are debased and thrown out of doors, pure Love will have no other effect than to hinder us to be studious of Virtue; and no one shall cultivate the same better, than he that neglects it; which makes way for this extravagant, and to this day unheard of proposition, that Mystick Saints exclude the practice and acts of Vir­tue from this state, which are Paradoxes that divert the Mind from the study of Vir­tue, and impose strangely upon Spiritual Persons, and render the very name of Vir­tue it self suspicious and odious.

[Page 190] Now we come to another Proposition that is very agreeable to what precedes; that transformed Souls may and ought according to the present Discipline, to confess their Venial Sins, to ask pardon for their faults, and to pray for the Remission of their Sins, not for their own purification and deliver­ance, but as 'tis a thing agreeable to the will of God, which clearly overthrows the right and intrinsical motive of Repentance, and the same is contrary to our Fifteenth Article. Besides we cannot allow that the Confession of Venial Sins is to be referred only to the discipline of the present times.

As for Concupiscence being perfectly routed out of some Souls, though they are but very few, where the sensible effects thereof are suspended, or else where the Flesh has been a long time subjected to the Spirit; what the said Book says in Rela­tion thereunto, is manifestly contradicted by our Seventh and Eighth Articles taken out of the Councils, whence the Author is brought to such a pass, as to extenuate the usefulness and necessity of Mortification, notwithstanding the practice of the Apo­stles and Saints to the contrary; and this tends to favour the Doctrine disallowed of in the Eighteenth Article of our Cen­sure.

[Page 192] As for what concerns Contemplation, we find in the said Book, that when 'tis pure and direct, it's not taken up willingly with any sensible imagination, with any distinct and nameable Idea; that is, with any limi­ted and particular Idea of the Divine Na­ture, but that the same is confined to an Idea that is purely intellectual, and abstract­ed from an Infinite Being. And thus Con­templation cannot have the attributes of God, nor the Divine Persons in the Trini­ty, nor consequently the Humane Nature of Christ for an Object of its own choice; but only by the representation which God makes of the same unto him, and by the instinct and impression of peculiar Grace, because the Mind does not voluntarily adhere to these Objects; as if neither the goodness of the thing it self, nor the exhortations of the Holy Scripture, nor the choice of ones own Will, in conjunction with common Grace, were not sufficient to make a Man seek after them.

These Principles tend to this conclusion, that Contemplative Souls are in both Condi­tions deprived of the distinct view of Christ, and of his presence by Faith; that is, both in the very beginning of their Contempla­tions, and in their Tryals; and these Conditions may last a long time.

[Page 194] Neither is the Party afraid to reject the distinct view of Christ to the very inter­vals of Contemplation; as if to contem­plate Christ, was to descend from the height and purity of Contemplation, as the Begu­ardians were wont to say. By which Pro­ceedings and Subtilties, false Contemplators are furnish'd with excuses, who take no de­light in our Saviour Christ Jesus, and are not freely carried into a contemplation of him, and who remove the Divine Attributes and Sacred Persons in the Trinity far from it, and separate distinct Acts of Faith there­from, thereby eluding the 1, 2, 3, 4. and 24 Articles.

We read in the said Treatise, that 'tis never lawful to prevent the work of grace, and that a Man is to expect nothing from himself by the way of his own industry and endeavours.

By which Proposition, and all the rest that is contained in the Eleventh Article of the Book, it appears upon exact examina­tion, that that act of the free will, which is properly called excitation, is destroyed; those words of the Prophet David, I will prevent his face, and that other, my Prayer shall prevent thee, are thrown out of doors, as is also that Maxim of St. Augustin, where­on the whole dispensation of Divine Grace relies. He cannot be helpt on, unless he endea­vour [Page 196] to do something of his own accord: that fa­mous distinction of Spiritual Men is at the same time destroyed, who by common con­sent have distinguished between those acts that are the product of ones own industry and en­deavours, and those acts that are infused moti­tions which are wrought by God's act or im­pulse, without any mixture of a mans effort therewith. These and the like Propositions, overthrow, or at least obscure the 11. 25. and 26 Articles.

We do in the same Articles reject that continued Act which the Quietists have in­troduced into the state of perfection, as be­ing absurd in it self, and foreign to the Scriptures and Fathers; and the Author re­jects the same also both in his Treatise and in his Letter. Nevertheless he falls into the same absurdity, by allowing of such still peaceable Acts, that they have nothing whereby the Soul may be able to make a true distinction of them, they being such as are disturbed with no manner of jol­tings, so uniform and so even, that they seem as much to be no acts at all, as one continued Act during the whole course of ones Life.

Lastly, we have more particularly taken care in our Articles, lest Christian Perfecti­on, holiness or purity, or the internal Life should be placed in passive Prayer▪ or in [Page 198] other quiet and extraordinary ones of that kind, wherein all contemplative and for­mal persons are with us; but on the con­trary, the said Book doth assert, that the same Prayer and Contemplation do con­sist in pure love, which doth not only justify and purify of it self, but consum­mate, accomplish and make perfect, and is consequently the last degree of Chri­stian perfection.

Wherein the Author doth extreamly err, and not only differs from spiritual men, but even from himself. He differs from spiritual Persons or Mysticks, who in per­suance to the Authority of St. Theresia, the Expositions of John de Jesus, and the sen­timents of James Alvarez de Paz, who was a follower of them, and that of St. Francis de Sales and several others, have taught, that either a person may arrive at a state of perfection without quiet prayer, or that this Prayer is in the num­ber of such blessings, as seem very much to appertain to those graces that are pure­ly free; that it is neither of a perfect­ing nature, and justifies no man, yea, and that the same may consist with mor­tal sin. He differs from himself, in that he asserts every where, That Christian perfection consists in this sort of Prayer, which is nothing else but a love that is [Page 200] very pure, and teaches, at the same time, the greatest part of holy Souls, and those who by a peculiar Title are called Saints, could never attain to this sort of Pray­er, nor consequently to perfection, be­cause they had not the inward light, nor the advantages of attractive Grace.

From hence he conludes that the Do­ctrine of pure love, wherein all Evange­lick perfection doth consist, and to which all Tradition beareth a Testimony, is yet a mystery, which is concealed not only from Christians in general, but even from the greatest part of Saints, and that 'tis the business of a director of Mens Conscien­ces, to leave the same unto God, and to wait for his opening the Heart by his in­ternal Unction; as if the word of the Gospel would be of no use to those who ought to be endued with pure love, as if Unction should exclude and shut out the good word of Salvation.

From whence it follows, that that command of Christ, Be ye perfect, doth not apper­tain to the Saints, nor that neither, thou shalt love, &c. which derogate from the perfection of Christian calling.

There is also as much contradiction be­tween these Propositions, That the gift of pure Love and Contemplation depends upon grace or divine inspiration, which is [Page 202] common to all that are justifyed, and that yet there are many Saints to whom the same is not communicated, and which would be but a trouble and offence to them, were the same proposed to them.

These things therefore, and those other before mention'd, which run through the whole Book, are contrary to our Cen­sures and the Thirty Four Articles so often mentioned; neither are those that follow less opposite to the same Do­ctrine, or any more consonant to Truth.

In the first place, altho' the said Book doth in the beginning, and in divers o­ther places onwards, make an enumerati­on of false spirituallizers, (If I may so call them) whereof he makes the Gnosticks of old, the Beguardians in the middle age, and the late Illuminates of Spain, to be of the number; yet he makes no manner of mention of Molinos and his followers, nor more particularly of that Woman up­on whose account the Articles were fra­med; whereas in the mean time it must be said, that they should have been chiefly spoken of, seeing the whole Church is filled with the noise their Writings have made, and the Censures past upon them by the Pope's authority.

[Page 204] To which these Positions must in like man­ner be added, that the love of pure Con­cupiscence, how impious and sacrilegious soever it be, doth yet prepare Sinners for to be justifyed and converted, tho' this pre­paration proceeds from no other motions than such as are excited by the Spirit, or at least, the impulse thereof.

That justifying love, whereby a person seeks not its own happiness, but as a means that doth refer unto, and subordinates it self to the last end, which is God's glo­ry, is in this Book called mercenary, which is contrary to the judgment of the Schools, and that Axiom of St. Augustin, so well known among Divines, That we are to deliver our selves according to a known Rule.

That an impossible case, to wit, that a just Soul who loves God even to the end, should yet be condemned to eternal punish­ments, is rendred possible; and that St Francis de Sales seems to have found him­self to be in the same state, tho neither he himself, nor any of those that have writ his Life, say any thing of it, and that no just Soul can be brought to be­lieve it.

[Page 206] That direct Acts, and such as escape the reflections of the Soul, are the very same operation of the Soul, which, by St. Francis de Sales, are called the top of the Soul; tho' he says nothing of it in all his Wri­tings.

That in these Acts there is a strange and unheard of division of the Soul in it self to be found; since perfect Hope sub­sists in the upper part, as the lower is a­bandon'd to despair; and which is worse, the former is in direct Acts, and the o­ther in reflex ones, which are in them­selves the most deliberate and efficacious, especially if allowed by the director of the Conscience, insomuch, that Hope be­ing expelled by reflex Acts, subsists in those that are direct.

That in this division of the Soul labour­ing under an unvoluntary impression of despair, and making an absolute Sacrifice of its own interest for that of Eternity; it doth die on the Cross with Christ, say­ing, my God, my God, why hast thou for­saken me, as if despairing Souls could expire with Christ, and yet bewail their state, in being forsaken by him.

That in these last Tryals or Experi­ments, he makes a separation between the Soul and it self, according to the Exam­ple of Christ, who is our pattern, where­in [Page 208] the inferior part had no Communica­tion with the superior, neither in its un­voluntary troubles, nor faintings; that in this separation, the motions of our inferior part are blind, and full of unvo­luntary Trouble. As if there had been such perturbations in Christ, as there are in us; which is an abominable Opinion, and which the fam'd Sophronius hath con­demned as such, with the approbation of the sixth Council.

As for the Tradition of all ages, which is continually alledged in the said Book; we may learn what that was from St. Fran­cis de Sales alone, whom the Author so much insists upon, and tho he be the only Authority almost, cited by him in his Works, yet he quotes him several times to ill purpose, and that in relation to very important points, whereon the whole foundation of his Book depends, which ha­ving been shewed in some measure, in what has been said before, we shall now, for brevity sake, pass over, and defer the same, with divers other things, to another opportunity, as we shall also con­sider the examination of Vocal Prayer, the nature of Contemplation, human Acts, and Tryals; the three Marks where­by Vocation is known from Meditation to Contemplation. And lastly, several Texts [Page 210] of Scripture, which instead of being ex­pounded, according to the natural mean­ing of them, have been made to bear a new and unheard of Interpretation.

Moreover, we cannot but wonder, seeing this Book treats of the love of such as are perfect, that yet it takes no manner of notice of a love of gratitude towards God and Christ our Saviour, as if these things were no ways proper to stir up, and inflame true Charity; or that the same derogated from pure love, or that such as are perfect, ought to neglect them.

Neither are we less amazed, that in ci­ting the Decree of the Council of Trent, that defines hope to be in it self good, and agreeable to the state of Saints; that this which is contained in the same De­cree, is omitted, viz. That the most ho­ly and most perfect, such as David and Moses were, were stirred up by this mo­tive, as is especially set forth in the same Council, which says, That eternal life is to be proposed as a Reward to all those that continued in the performance of good Works to the end, and put their hope in God; and so by consequence to all the Saints, and such as are most perfect; by which motive they are not at all made mercenary, but Children, that by the way [Page 212] of Charity, are aiming at their Father's Inheritance.

Hereunto it must be added, that the Opi­nions dispersed up and down in this work, tend (tho' against the Author's intention) to promote that Notion, that Vice, by the help of direct Acts, may subsist with the Virtue that is opposite to it; so as that while the Soul, thro' an inconsiderate Zeal for the Justice of God, doth acqui­esce with the whole secret will of God; it doth imprudently consent to its own en­tire and absolute Reprobation, and so we shall be brought, contrary to the Apostles prohibition, to be taken with subtilties and vain bablings.

Lastly, the groans of the Church, which is but as a sojourner here below, and longs to return to her own Countrey, are stifled; St. Paul and the other Saints, who in their Martyrdom, have been helpt up with the hopes they had of Happiness, and counted the same to be gain, are here­by turned off as mercenary Souls; but we having the form of sound words, and being desirous to follow the footsteps of the Saints, do not measure impossible and absurd things with Christian Piety and Perfection; neither do we believe that some extraordinary and unusual Affections, which a few Saints have been a little subject to and that by the by, [Page 214] ought therefore to be presently turned in­to Rules, and esteemed as a particular state of Life; we do not call those Wills or Con­sents, which are conversant about impos­sibilities, true Wills and real Consents, but veleities, as the Schools also term them.

These things therefore we have received from our Ancestors; these are our Thoughts, and our Will is that all the World may know them. Given at Paris in the Archiepiscopal Palace, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety Seven, on the Sixth day of August.

Lovis Ant. Archbishop of Paris.
J. Benigne, Bishop of Meaux.
Paul, Bishop of Chartres.

DECLARATIO Illustriss. & Reverendiss. Ecclesiae Princi­pum Ludovici Antonii de Noailles Archiep. Parisiensis, Jacobi Benigni Bossuet Episcopi Meldensis, & Pauli de Godet des Marais Episcopi Carnotensis. Circa Librum cui titulus est: Expli­cation des Maximes des Saints sur la Vie Interieure, &c.

JAmdudum in testimonium vocatos respon­dere tandem nos oportet. Illustrissimus & Reverendissimus D. D. Archiepiscopus Dux Cameracensis, ab ipso libri initio cui titulus, Explication des Maximes des Saints, &c. & in ipsa Praefatione seu Commonitione praeviâ, duos 1 commemoravit ex Nobis, 2 quorum do­ctrinam ac decreta 34 Articulis comprehen­sa tantum copiosius exponenda susceperit. [Page 169] Tertius verò etiam constitutione publicâ ean­dem cum illis sententiam promulgavit.

Idem Illustrissimus ac Reverendissimus Archiepiscopus datis ad S S. D. N. D. In­nocentium Papam XII. literis, iisdem articu­lis atque Episcoporum adversùs quosdam libellos censuris nititur: tres autem tantum sumus qui eosdem libellos, eorumve loca quae­dam censurâ notandos duxerimus.

Neque tamen loca quaedam, ut idem Auctor asserit: sed pleraque omnia, ac totos li­bellos, ipsumque adeo eorumdem libro­rum spiritum elisum voluimus.

Neque ut in eadem Epistolâ scribitur, ad­versùs mysticos aliquot ante actis saeculis, Theologicorum Dogmatum veniali inscitiâ laborantes noster zelus excanduit, sed ad­versùs notissimos nostrae aetatis Quietistas gravissimè lapsos censurae nostrae articuli­que directi sunt.

Neque confugimus ad obvium naturalem­que sensum, tanquam occultior sensus sub­esset, qui tolerari forsitan posset; sed ve­nenum libellorum in aperto esse duxi­mus.

[Page 171] Latet etiam nos, ex articulis censurisve nostris aliquos arripuisse occasionem, amorem purum, & contemplationem quasi delirae men­tis ineptias deridendi: ut est in Epistolâ proditum.

In eadem Epistolâ rursùs libri summâ expositâ, omnia iisdem articulis consona per­hibentur.

Quae cum ita fint, cumque praedictus liber nostrâ se sententiâ tueatur, quid de eo sen­tiamus promere cogimur: non tamen ad haec extrema dolentes anteà devenimus, quam omnia conati & experti, ut frater­num animum flecteremus: Omnino ne­cessitati cedimus, ne quisquam in eundem librum consentire nos putet, ac, quod gra­vissimum foret, ne S S. D. N. Papa, quem impensissimè & devotissimè colimus, cui­que ut capiti fide indivulsâ adhaeremus, do­ctrinae quam Romana improbet Ecclesia, ullo modo favere nos arbitretur.

Ac primum quidem eorundem articulo­rum quos praedictus liber commemorat, ea suit ratio. Cum apud nos extaret mulier, [Page 173] quae edito libello, cui titulus, Moyen court, &c. & aliis ejusmodi, sparsis­que MSS. Quietistarum factionis dux esse videretur: Ea consultores tres D. Paris. tunc Cathalanensis. D. Meldensis. D. Tronsson to­tius Sulpitianae Societatis Superior. dari sibi postulavit, quorum judicio staret. His Illustrissimus auctor quar­tus accessit. Itaque animus fuit eam & ejus asseclas quibusdam finibus coer­cere, occupare suffugia atque ex cer­tissimis fidei symbolis, ipsaque ora­tione Dominicâ, ac scripturarum. & sanctae Traditionis, Virorumque spiri­tualium dogmatibus, propositiones à Conciliis ac Sede Apostolicâ, vel in se, vel in ipso fonte damnatas indicare. Hic ergo nostrorum articulorum ac cen­surarum scopus, haec ratio est. An au­tem hos articulos, atque censuras prae­dictus liber extendat & explicet tan­tum, an verò intervertat, sequentia de­monstrabunt.

Imprimis spes Theologica in eo li­bro tollitur, cum extrâ statum gratiae, tum inter perfectos in ipso gratiae statu.

Extra statum quidem gratiae, cum dicitur P. 3. 4, 10. ante justificationem amore spei [Page 175] ita amari Deum, ut in eo amore amor fui, nempè proprii commodi seu pro­priae felicitatis, tamquam motivum precipuum dominetur, ipsique motivo divinae gloriae praevaleat; undè effici­tur, ut spes, motivo quippè creato seu commodo proprio nixa, non sit virtus Theologica, sed vitium: Quo etiàm sit, ut ei, licet perperàm, applicetur P. 5. illud axioma sancti Augustini: Quod non provenit ex principio caritatis, pro­venit ex cupiditate, atque ab amore illo qui fons sit ac radix omnium vitio­rum, eorum scilicet quae in nobis Dei zelantis aemulatio impugnet.

Post justificationem verò in statu perfecto sive amoris puri inducitur P. 10. 15, 16. 65. &c. easpes quae sit quidem in animo, animum tamen non moveat: In quâ P. 8. 17. quippè a­mor sit purus, nullo motivo utili timo­ris aut spei mixtus (tamquam perfecta caritas spem perinde ac timorem foras mittat:) ita ut anima proprii commodi ratione aut motivo non excitetur: in­centivaque P. 22. proprii commodi scriptu­ris, [Page 177] Traditionibus & Ecclesiae precibus toties inculcata perfectis mentibus sub­trahantur.

Quae sit autem ratio proprii commo­di in toto libro passim P. 7. 37. 87. &c., ita explica­tur, ut anima nullo jam desiderio mer­cenario teneatur; neque meriti, neque perfectionis, neque felicitatis aut mer­cedis etiam aeternae, eóque P. 26. 29. 37. redeat omnis Sanctorum tum antiquorum tum recen­tiorum sententia.

Hinc universim dictum P. 26., omne mo­tivum mercenarium, ab omnibus vir­tutibus perfectarum animarum excludi: Quod etiam sancto Francisco Salesio, nullo allato loco, imò contra illius mul­ta loca imputatur.

Quo etiam spectat illud P. 29. 30.: Velle nos Deum, quatenus est nostrum bonum, nostra felicitas, nostra merces, & qui­dem formaliter sub hac praecisa ratione; sed non propter hanc praecisam ratio­nem: objectumque formale spei, esse commodum, nempè Deum nobis bo­num, nec tamen ullum esse motivum mercenarium: Quod quidem est pugnan­tia [Page 179] dicere: motivum non motivum in­ducere: spem ipsam elidere, quae mo­vendi animi virtute destituta, solo spei nomine gaudeat.

His ergo aliisque, dum spei retento nomine, res ipsa tollitur xxxiv art. 1. 31., primi, & tri­gessimi primi articuli exnostris tragin­ta quatuor, de spei exercitio omni in statu retinendo, sensus ad sidem perti­nens eluditur. Neque obstat, quod his contraria aliis praedicti libri locis posita videantur; Reverà enim hic liber cer­tis clarisque ac ipsissimis verbis dissona affeverat: Quale istud est: p. 29, Vult Deus ut velim Deum quatenus meum bonum est, mea felicitas, mea merces: Rectè; at con­trarium semèl iterumque scribitur his scilicet verbis: P. 34. & 35. Verum quidem est, nos non velle Deum, ut est nostra merces, no­strum bonum, nostrum commodum, nostra salus, nostra aeterna redemtio ac liberatio, & commodorum maximum: Quae senten­tiarum ac verborum tam aperta contra­dictio, non erroris excusatio sed proba­tio est.

Quin, universim libri stylus ita tortuo­sus [Page 181] est ac lubricus, ut plerisque in locis non nisi summo labore certus sensus ex­sculpi, & eliquari possit: Quod quidem doctrinae malè sibi cohaerentis, neque tàm temperamenta quàm effugia quae­rentis indicium est.

De desiderio salutis in libro haec ha­bentur: P. 35. 146. Vitae aeternae desiderium bo­num est; sed nihil desiderandum nisi Dei voluntas: Quae sancto Franc. Sale­sio imputata, non legimus tamen in hu­jus sancti libris.

Item in eodem libro habetur: P. 32. Duo sunt justorum status, alter resignationis, in quo desideria mercenaria (hoc est sa­lutis aeternae) Dei voluntati submittun­tur: alter sanctae indifferentiae, in quo nullum est penitus mercenarium desi­derium: exceptis iis casibus in quibus a­nima suae gratiae deest, nec ei toti planè respondet. Quo etiam referuntur suprà memorata P. 35., non optari salutem, quatenus est nostra merces, nostrum bonum, &c.

Haec autem omnia de elusis salutis ae­ternae desideriis, etiam motivo spei con­ceptis, ac de salutis indifferentiâ, in prae­dictis [Page 183] articulis xxxiv. art. 9. & 11., juxtà scripturarum au­ctoritatem, non modo ut falsa, verum etiam ut erronea respuuntur.

Quibus vel maximè damnatur illud, quod est in libro positum: P. 40. Sancta in­differentia admittit generalia desideria om­nium latentium voluntatem Dei: Quibus voluntatibus etiam reprobationis, & a­liorum & suae, decreta continentur: & desiderium ad ea usque protenditur.

Neque quod idem liber infinuat, P. 35. ul­lus patet aequivocationi locus, cum in dictis articulis xxxiv. art, 9. de salutis indifferentiâ omnis equivocatio sublata sit, clarâ de­finitione indifferentiae, quae ad eventus hujus vitae, solatiaque sensibilia, nus­quam autem ad salutem eoque condu­centia pertinere possit.

Ad haec quidem stabilienda, liber hu­ic articulo xxxiv. art. 5. videtur initi: Optandam & postulandam salutem ut rem quam Deus ve­lit: Quod est rectissimum, & ex ipso salutis fine repetitum.

At in libro exclusivè scribitur; P. 18. non illam optari, nisi quia Deus velit: Quo [Page 185] & proxima ac specifica spei motiva de­trahuntur, & aperitur via ad pessimam indifferentiae sententiam, quasi salus res sit ex se se indifferens, nec jussa tam­quam per se expetenda & bona, sed ex­petenda tantùm quatenus jussa.

Quàm autem inter se differant res ex­petenda propter Dei voluntatem, & res non expetenda nisi propter Dei volun­tatem, demonstrat ipse auctor jam indè ab initio, ex sancto Francisco Salesio haec 4 referens: Magno discrimine secer­nuntur ista: Deum amo propter bonum, quod ab eo expecto: Et, Deum non amo nisi propter istud bonum. Unde liquet, quam in diversa abeant, quae levi tantùm in­flexione verborum distare videantur.

Existâ salutis quae toto libro passim asseritur indifferentiâ haec prodeunt: 5 In extremis probationibus invincibili­ter animae esse persuasum se justè à Deo esse reprobatam: Quo statu sacrificium salutis, quod ordinariè conditionatum est, fit tandem absolutum, casu impos­sibili non tantum possibili, sed etiam reali seu actuali viso: Et 6 permettente [Page 187] directore, suae justae condemnationi ac re­probationi anima simpliciter acquiescit.

Quin etiam in eodem statu inutile & importunum judicatur 7, dogma fidei de bonitate divinâ in omnes effusâ huic animae praedicare, aut rationem ullam in remedium adhibere: Quo nihil est desperatius.

At in praedictis 34 Articulis 8 haec om­nia disertè repudiantur, cum in nullis probationibus absolutus consensus ad­mittatur: absit: sed tantùm ex impos­sibli & praesuppositione falsâ: praemisso alio articulo, 1 in quo desperatio omnis excluditur: ac nedum director sinore permittatur ut animae suae condemnati­oni acjustae reprobationi simpliciter ac­quiescant: contra prohibetur ne omni­no eas acquiescere sinat: quin etiam disertè & clarè non à praedicando divi­nae bonitatis dogmate abstineri suade­tur; ut est in libro positum 2 imò ve­rò director 3 jubetur, Francisco Salesio 4 auctore, afflictam animam certiorem facere, numquam eam esse à Deo dese­rendam; [Page 189] quo non modò Dei erga om­nes homines bonitas generatim, sed eti­am specialis erga hanc animam divinae misericordiae affectus commendatur.

Ad haec in articulis 5 virtutes omnes tùm Theologicae, tum morales cum suis motivis singulae exhibentur ac secernun­tur; at earum distinctionem liber ob­scurat his verbis: Purus amor 6 per se totam vitam interiorem constituit; fit que solus totius interioris vitae unicum principium, unicumque motivum sive incitamentum. Reliqua ergò incitamen­ta tolluntur, praeter illa quae sunt solius caritatis: quin etiam sua caritati ratio adimi videtur, cum dicitur: 7 Hic amor fit per vices quaevis distincta virtus; nullam tamen expetit in quantum est virtus: sic neque fides ut fides, neque spes ut spes, neque ipsa caritas, quae vi­ta, & forma virtutum est, ut est virtus, quaeritur.

Hinc omnibus virtutibus suus honos detrahitur his propositionibus: 8 puro amore id effici, ut neque quisquam vir­tutis studiosus esse velit: nec quisquam [Page 191] sit virtutis studiosior, quam is qui vir­tuti non studet. Undè illud extremum, & hactenùs inauditum: 9 sancti Mysti­ci ab hoc statu exclusere praxim, & vir­tutum actus: quae paradoxa & animum à studio virtutis avertunt, & imponunt spiritualibus viris, & ipsum virtutis no­men suspectum invidiosumque efficiunt.

His consonat istud: 10 animas trans­formatas ex praesente disciplinâ venialia peccata confessas, detestari culpas, & remissionem peccatorum optare, non ut purificationem & liberationem propri­am, sed ut rem quam Deus vult: quod proprium & intrinsecum poenitentiae motivum obliterat, & articulo 11 nostro XV. adversatur: nec probandum con­fessionem venialium peccatorum ad praesentem tantùm referri disciplinam.

De concupiscentiâ 12 in quibusdam a­nimabus, etsi paucissimis, perfectè pur­gatâ suspensisque ejus sensibilibus effe­ctibus, & carne jamdiu penitùs spiritui subditâ; in libro id asseritur, quod arti­culo 13 nostro septimo, & octavo ex con­ciliis [Page 193] deprompto apertè contra-dicat. Unde etiâm eo auctor adducitur 1 ut mortificatio­nis utilitatem, necessitatemque extenuet, re­clamante licet Apostolo & Sanctorum praxi, faveatque doctrinae articulo nostro 2 XVIII. censurisque proscriptae.

De contemplatione in libro ista 3 promun­tur: cum pura & directa est, numquam eam voluntariè occupari ullâ imagine sensibili, ul­lâ ideâ Divinitatis distinctâ nominabili, hoc est, limitatâ, sed tantum plurissimâ atque abstractissima ratione entis illimitati: in a­lia ergò objecta, hoc est in attributa quaevis, personasque divinas, atque adeo in ipsam Christi humanitatem, non propriâ electione ferri, sed repraesentante Deo, nec nisi instin­ctu & impressione gratiae singularis; quippè quâ animus non voluntariè his objectis ad­haerescat: quasi non sufficiat ad haec prose­quenda ipsa rei bonitas, ipsa scripturae invi­tatio, ipsa cum gratiâ communi pro­priae electio voluntatis.

Ex his eò devenitur 4 ut animae contem­plativae duobus in statibus Christo distinctâ viso, ac per fidem praesente priventur: nem­pè in ipsis contemplationis initiis & in pro­bationibus; qui status diutissimè protrahi & prorogari possunt.

Nec piget distinctam visionem Christi in [Page 195] ipsa contemplations intervalla coniice­re, quasi Christum contemplari, sit ut Beguardi aiebant 5, à puritate & altitu­dine contemplationis descendere: qui­bus argutiis ac tergiversationibus excu­satio paratur falsis contemplatoribus, qui minus delectentur Christo, nec ad illum contemplandum spontè prosiliant: à divinis attributis, personisque absti­neant: fidei distinctos actus à contem­platione amoveant, elusis articulis I. II. III. IV. & XXIV. 6

In libro scribitur 7 nunquam licitum gratiam praevenire: neque quicquam expectare à se, propriâque industriâ & propriis conatibus.

Quibus dictis totoque libri articulo XI. si eâ quâ par est diligentiâ perpen­datur, actus liberi arbitrii, qui propria excitatio dicitur, corruit; excinditur illud Davidicum: Praeoccupemus faciem ejus: & illud: oratio mea praeveniet te: & Augustinianum illud, quo tota di­vinae gratiae dispensatio nititur: Nec ad­juvari potest, nisi qui aliquid spontè cona­tur 8: evertitur quoque solemnis distin­ctio [Page 197] virorum spiritualium unanimi con­sensu secernentium actus propriiconatus, propriaeque industriae ab actibus infusis ac motibus, sine conatu proprio Deo agente & impellente, impressis: quae & alia ejusmodi partim evertunt, par­tim obscurant articulos XI. XXV. XXVI. 9

In iisdem articulis 10 rejicitur absur­dissimus, & omnibus scripturis Patri­busque inauditus continuus actus, à Quietistis invectus in perfectionis sta­tum: quem actum auctor in libro Epi­stolâque respuit. Caeterum in idem in­commodum rursus impingit 11 ipso no­mine uniformitatis tam placidae, tam aequabilis, tam nullo successu, nullo con­spicuo discrimine, ut aliis nullus actus; aliis toto vitae decursu unus idemque continuus actus esse videatur.

Denique illud imprimis nostris arti­culis 12 cautum erat, ne, quod omnes contemplativi ac spirituales viri uno ore rejiciunt, Christiana perfectio & sancti­tas aut purificatio, aut omnino interior [Page 199] status in oratione passivâ seu quietis, a­liisque extraordinariis reponeretur. At contrà in eo totus versatur liber Avert. p. 12. 15. Liv. p. 41. 130. 168. 170. 175., ut e­adem oratio, ipsaque contemplatio in purissimo amore consistat, qui non mo­do sit per se justificans atque purificans, verum etiam consummans atque perfi­ciens, ac proindè summa perfectionis Christianae.

Qua in re multum errat, ac non tan­tum a spiritualibus viris, verum etiam à se ipso discrepat: à spiritualibus qui­dem, qui sanctâ Theresiâ S. Ther. Chat. 6. dem. ch. 9. 7. dem. ch. 4. duce, Joanne à Jesu Joan. a. Jesu M. Tom. 2. Theol. Myst. cap. 3. interprete, Jacobo Alvare Paz Jac. Alv. Paz tom. 3. de contemp. perf. lib. 5. part. 1. appa. 2. c. 9. asseclâ, sancto etiam Francisco Salesio S. Franc. Sal. Ent. 2. assentiente, aliisque Ger­son, de Elucid. sch. Myst. Theol. Consid. 7. permultis, do­cent, aut sine oratione quietis ad perse­ctionem posse pertingi, aut eandem o­rationem ad illa Charismata pertinere quae gratiis gratis datis similima videan­tur, aut nedum perficiens sit atque con­summans ne quidem justificantem esse; quippe quae cum peccato mortali possit [Page 201] consistere. A seipso autem diffentit quod passim statuat Christianam perfectio­nem eâ in oratione esse positam, quae nihil sit aliud quam amor purissimus, & tamen simul doceat Avert. p. iv. liv. 22. 23. 108. 168. plerasque pias a­nimas, atque eos etiam qui singulari titu­lo sancti appellentur, ad illud orationis genus, adeoque ad perfectionem perve­nire non posse, cum iis desit lumen in­terius, & gratiae trahentis beneficium.

Hinc etiam asserit Ibid. hanc de puro amore doctrinam, quantumvis in ea E­vangelii absoluta perfectio collocetur, ejusque sit testis universi traditio, arca­num esse quoddam non tantum Christia­norum vulgo sed etiam plerisque sanctis occultandum, atque ideò totum dire­ctoris officium eo contineri, ut rem re­linquat Deo, expectetque unctionem quae cor aperiat: quasi verbum Evan­gelii purè amaturos adjuvare non debe­at, aut ipsa unctio verbum salutis ex­cludat.

Undè consequitur nec ad omnes eti­am sanctos pertinere illud Christi prae­ceptum, Estote perfecti; imò nec etiam [Page 203] summum illud, Diliges &c. quae vocationis Christianae perfectioni derogant.

Nec minus inter se pugnant ista; P. 42. 43. 96. 135. 137. &c. Puris­simi amoris, contemplationisque donum pen­dere à gratiâ seu afflatu divino justis omni­bus communi; & tamen etiam sanctorum plurimis esse inaccessum, atque illis offendi­culo & perturbationi futurum, si propone­retur. Quae omnia à nobis inter se conciliari non posse candidè profitemur.

Haec igitur & caetera suprà dicta que toto libro fusa sunt censuris nostris ac 34 articu­lis adversantur; nec minus ab eadem do­ctrinâ & à vero aliena sunt quae sequuntur.

Primum illud, quod in eodem libro 2, & ab initiis & in ipso progressu, semel atque i­terùm falsorum spiritualium series referatur, in eâque memoratis vetustissimis Gnosticis, & in mediâ aetate Beguardis, in Illuminatis His­panicis series illa constiterit, nullâ▪ mentione Molinosi factâ, nullâ asseclarum ejus, nullâ praesertim illius faeminae adversus quam arti­culos instructos & institutos esse constabat: De quibus vel maximè agi oportebat, cum eo­rum libellis, eorumque censuris Romano Pon­tifice auctore tota Ecclesia personaret.

Huc accedunt iste propositiones: 3 Quod amor purae concupiscentiae etsi impius ac sa­crilegus, ad justitiam tamen & ad conversio­nem [Page 205] nem praeparet animas peccatrices: cum reipsâ praeparatio non competat, nisi motibus à Spiritu Sancto saltem impel­lente excitatis. 4

Quod amor justificans, 5 quo propria felicitas ideo tantum requiritur, ut me­dium ad finem ultimum, Dei scilicet gloriam relatum, eique subordinatum, toto libro mercenarius vocitetur: re­pugnante scholâ, spretoque axiomate Augustiniano apud Theologos celebra­to: Nobis ad certam regulam loqui fas est.

Quod casus impossibilis, 6 nempè ut a­nima justa Deum licet usque in finem diligens aeterno tamen supplicio mulcte­tur, fiat possibilis, quodque S. Francis­cus Salesius 7 sibi in eo statu fuisse visus sit: quod quidem neque ipse tradidit, neque vitae ejus auctores: nec cuiquam animae justae persuasum esse potuit.

Quod 8 actus directi, & qui animae re­flectentis effugiunt aciem, sint illa ip­sissima operatio quam sanctus Francis­cus Salesius apicem mentis appellet, nullo ejusdem Sancti allato testimonio.

[Page 207] Quod in his 9 constituatur illa ani­mae à se divulsae mira & inaudita divisio, quâ perfecta spes in summa parte con­sistat, in inferiori verò desperatio, quod­que est pessimum, illa in directis acti­bus, haec in reflexis, qui ex sese sunt deliberatissimi ac efficacissimi, praeser­tim cum à directore permittuntur, ita ut spes in actibus directis, etiam à re­flexis actibus abdicata, persistat.

Quod in hac divisione animae invo­luntariâ desperationis impressione la­borantis, ac propriam salutem absolu­te devoventis, eadem anima 10 cum Christo expiret in cruce dicens, Deus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me? quasi desperatae animae expirent cum Christo, cum Christo deplorent se esse dere­lictas.

Quod in illis extremis probationibus 11 fiat illa separatio animae à se ipsâ ad ex­emplum Christi exemplaris nostri: in quo pars inferior non communicabit superiori involuntarias perturbationes suas: quodque in hac separatione, mo­tus inferioris partis nostrae coeci sint, [Page 209] & involuntariae perturbationis: quasi in Christo, ut in nobis, fuerint involunta­riae illae perturbationes: quod abominan­dae opinionis esse, probante Synodo sex­tâ, 1 Sophronius ille celeberrimus pro­nuncia vit.

Quod autem in libro assiduè incul­catur traditio omnium saeculorum, id quale sit, ex uno Francisco Salesio aesti­mari potest: qui cum in eodem libro unus omnium ferè adducatur & in ore habeatur: in eo tamen allegando saepi­us aberratur: idque in rebus gravissi­mis quibus tota libri ratio nititur: quae in ante dictis ex parte indicata, brevi­tatis causa nunc quidem omitti, & in aliam occasionem, ut & alia multa dif­ferri placuit: quemadmodum, & illa quae spectant ad orationem vocalem; contemplationis, actuum humanorum, & probationum naturam, ac tres notas quibus à meditatione ad contemplatio­nem vocatio dignoscitur, & varia scrip­turae loca à, nativo sensu ad novum & inauditum translata. 2

[Page 211] Miramur praeterea altum esse in libro silentium de amore gratitudinis ergà Deum & redemtorem Christum, cum de perfectorum amore agitur; tamquam haec ad veram genuinamque caritatem inflammandam, & excitandam mini­mè pertinerent, aut puro amori dero­garent, aut à perfectis ea praetermitti oporteret.

Nec minus miramur quod cum in libro 3 laudatum fuerit decretum Con­cilii Tridentini 4, spem per sese esse bo­nam, ac bonis congruentem definientis, illud tamen praetermissum sit ex eodem decreto 5 sanctissimos quosque ac perfe­ctissimos, quales fuere David ac Mo­ses, eo incitamento esse permotos: un­de patet quantum auctor à Concilii mente recesserit, cum praesertim eodem Concilio docente 6 omnibus benè operan­tibus usque in finem & in Deo sperantibus, ac proindè optimo cuique & perfectissi­mo, vita aeterna tanquam merces proponen­da sit, quo motivo non mercenarii fi­unt, sed filii paternae hereditatis ex ipsâ caritate studiosi.

[Page 213] Huc accedit quod dogmata in libro tradita eo tendant (invito licet auctore) ut actuum directorum beneficio vitium cum virtute oppositâ stare possit; ut, dum anima justitiae divinae praepostero studio, omnibus occultis Dei volunta­tibus acquiescit, in plenam & absolu­tam reprobationem imprudens consen­tiat, & ut, quod vetat Apostolus, ad subtilia & vaniloquia deducamur. 6

Postremò Ecclesiae peregrinantis at­que in patriam suspirantis extinguun­tur gemitus: Paulus & alii inter ipsa martyria expectantes beatam spem at­que hoc lucrum reposcentes inter mer­cenarios ablegantur. Nos verò formam habentes sanorum verborum, 7 sanctorum­que vestigiis inhaerentes, rebus impos­sibilibus & absurdis Christianam pie­tatem perfectionemque minimè meti­mur. Nec insolitos affectus quos pauci sanctorum parcè transeunterque effu­derunt, confestim in regulam & in vitae statum verti oportere credimus: neque has voluntates consensiones-ve quae circà impossibilia versantur, veras [Page 215] voluntates consensiones-que, sed vellei­tates more scholae appellamus.

Haec igitur vera à majoribus ac­cepimus haec sentimus, haec omnibus testata esse volumus. DATƲM Pa­risiis in Palatio Archiepiscopali, anno Domini Millesimo Sexcentesimo Nonage­simo, Septimo, Die vero mensis Augusti sextâ.

Ludovicus Ant. Arch. Parisiensis.
J. Benigne Episc. Meldensis.
Paulus Episc. Carnotensis.

As the foregoing Declaration makes fre­quent mention of the Thirty Four Ar­ticles made the 16th and 26th of A­pril 1695. We thought it our Duty to insert them in this place, as we find them in a Book of the said Lord Bi­shop of Meaux, Entituled, Instructi­ons concerning the nature of Prayer.

1. EVery Christian in every Condition, tho' not every moment, is obliged to live in an Exercise of Faith, Hope and Charity, and to produce distinct Acts of them, as they are three several Virtues.

2. Every Christian is obliged to have an explicite Faith, in Almighty God, Crea­tor of Heaven and Earth, the rewarder of all that seek him; and in his other Attri­butes that are alike revealed; and to put this Faith into actual Exercise, tho' not e­very moment.

3. Every Christian in like manner, is ob­liged to have an explicit Faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and to act this Faith in every condition, tho' not eve­ry moment.

[Page 217] 4. Every Christian is also oblig'd to have an explicite Faith in Christ Jesus, God and Man, as Mediator, without whom he can­not draw nigh to God, and to act this Faith in every condition, tho' not every mo­ment.

5. Every Christian in every Condition, tho' not every moment, is obliged to will, desire, and explicitly to seek his own eter­nal salvation, as a thing which God willeth, and which he would have us will for his Glory.

6. God will have every Christian in every Condition, tho not every moment, expresly to ask of him the forgiveness of his Sins, grace to abstain from them, perseverance in do­ing good, the increase of Virtue, and every other thing that is necessary to Salva­tion.

7. A Christian in every Condition is to strive against Concupiscence, tho' not at all times alike, which doth engage him in eve­ry Condition, tho' not every moment, to pray for strength against Temptations.

8. All these Propositions are according to the Catholick Faith, being expresly contained in the Apostle's-Creed, and the Lord's-Prayer, which is a common and daily Prayer to be used by all the Children of God; or else expresly defin'd by the Church; as is that of asking forgiveness of Sins, and the gift of [Page 218] perseverance, and that of striving against Covetousness, in the Councils of Carthage, Orange, and Trent; as those Propositions that are contrary thereunto, are formally Heretical.

9. A Christian is not allowed to be in­different in the matter of his Salvation, nor in those that tend thereunto; holy Chri­stian indifference regards the events of this Life (Sin only reserved) and the dispensa­tion of Comforts, or Spiritual droughts.

10. The fore-mentioned Acts do not de­rogate from the highest Christian perfection, and cease not to be perfect, because they are perceivable, provided Thanks be given to God for them, and that the same be done to his Glory.

11. A Christian is not allowed to expect, that God should inspire these acts into him by any particular way and inspiration, there is nothing required for the exciting of them in us, but Faith which makes the Will of God known, as signified and set forth in his Commandments and the Examples of the Saints, by supposing always the supplies of his exciting and preventing Grace. The three last Propositions, are the manifest consequences of the preceding ones; and such as are contrary thereunto, are rash and erroneous.

12. By the obligatory Acts aforemention­ed, [Page 219] we are not to understand such Acts as are methodical and orderly, much less those Acts that are reduced to Forms and definite words; or troublesome and rest­less acts; but acts formed with sincerity in the heart, with all holy sweetness, and tranquility inwrought by the Spirit of God.

13. In that Life and Prayer that is most perfect, all these acts are united in Charity alone, seeing all virtues are animated there­with, and the Exercise of them commanded by it, according to that of St. Paul, Charity suffers all, believes all, hopes all, bears all. So much cannot be said of other Christian acts, whose distinct exercises are exercised and regulated hereby, tho' they may not always be sensibly and distinctly discerned.

14. The desire that is to be seen in the Saints, as in St. Paul and others, of their eternal Salvation, and perfect redemption, is not only a desire or indeliberate appetite, as the same St Paul calls it; but a good inclina­tion that we are to form, and freely to ope­rate in our selves, by the assistances of Di­vine Grace, as being perfectly conformable to the will of God. This Proposition is clearly revealed, and the contrary Doctrine Heretical.

15. Its, in like manner, a Will conform­able to the Will of God, and absolutely ne­cessary in every Condition, tho' not every [Page 220] moment not to will sin, and not only to condemn Sin, but also to be sorry for the Commission of it, and to desire the De­struction thereof in us by forgiveness.

16. Reflection upon ones self, upon his Acts, and the Gifts he has received, which has been practiced throughout by the Pro­phets and Apostles, in order to give thanks unto God for his Benefits, and other the like ends, are proposed as an Example to all Believers, and even to the most per­fect; and that Doctrine which takes these away, is erroneous, and nigh to be Hereti­cal.

17. There are no evil and dangerous re­flections, but those wherein a man takes a review of his actions, and the Gifts he hath received, in order to feed self-love, to seek out a common support, or to take up too much with himself.

18. Mortifications are agreeable to a Chri­stian in every state, and are often necessa­ry, and to make the same separate from the duty of Believers, under a pretence of perfection, is openly to condemn St. Paul, and to presuppose an Erroneous and He­retical Doctrine.

29. Continual Prayer consists not in one perpetual act, which is supposed to be with­out interruption, and which also ought ne­ver to be repeated; but in a disposition, [Page 221] and habitual and perpetual preparation to do nothing that is displeasing unto God, and to do every thing that is pleasing to him. The contrary Proposition, that would ex­clude in any condition whatsoever, yea, in a state which is perfect, all pluralities and succession of acts, is erroneous, and op­posite to the Tradition of all the Saints.

20. There are no Apostolick Traditions but those that are acknowledged for such by the whole Church, and the Authority whereof is decided by the Councils of Trent; the contrary proposition is Errone­ous, and pretendedly secret Apostolical Traditions, would be a Snare to the Faith­ful, and a way to introduce all manner of evil Doctrines.

21. Dilatory and quiet Prayer, or such as is attended with the simple presence of God, and all other extraordinary Prayers not excluding passive ones, approved of by St. Francis de Sales, and other spiritual ones received by the whole Church, are not to be rejected, nor suspected without great rashness, and they do not hinder a man from being always disposed to produce all the forementioned acts in convenient time; but to reduce them to implicit or apparent acts in favour of the most perfect, under pre­tence that the love of God ties them all up to a certain method, is to elude the [Page 222] obligation, and to destroy that distinction which is revealed by God.

22. Without these extraordinary Pray­ers, one may become a very great Saint, and attain to Christian Perfection.

23. To reduce the inward state and pu­rification of the Soul, to these extraordi­nary Prayers, is a manifest Error.

24. It's alike dangerous to exclude the state of Contemplation, the Attributes, the three Divine Persons in the Trinity, and the Mysteries of the Incarnation of the Son of God, and more especially, that of the Cross and of the Resurrection; and all those things that are seen no otherwise than by Faith, are the Object of a Christians Contemplation.

25. Its not allowable for a Christian, under pretence of passive, or other ex­traordinary Prayer, to expect that God, in the Conduct, as well of the Spiritual as temporal Life, should determin him to every action, by way of particular inspira­tion, and the contrary leads men to Illu­sions, carelesness, and the tempting of God.

26. Laying aside the circumstance and mo­ments of Prophetical or extraordinary in­spiration; the true submission which every Christian Soul, tho' perfect, owes to God, consists in serving him with the natural and supernatural Light, as he received the [Page 223] same, and according to the Rules of Chri­stian prudence, in presupposing always that God directs all things in the Course of his Providence, and that he is the Author of every good Counsel.

27. We ought not to tye up the gift of Prophecy, and much less the Apostoli­cal state, to a certain state of perfection and Prayer, and to do so, is to bring in an Illusion, rashness and Error.

28. The extraordinary ways and marks which those that have been approved Spiri­tualists, have given concerning themselves, are very rare, and subject to the Examina­tion of Bishops, Ecclesiastical Superiors and Doctors, who are to judge of the same, not so much according to Experiences, as according to the immutable Rules of the Scriptures and of Tradition; and to teach and practice the contrary, is to shake off the Yoke of Obedience that is due to the Church.

29. If there is, or if there has been, in any part of the World, a small number of chosen ones, whom God by an extraor­dinary and particular way of prevention, best known to himself, stirs up every mo­ment in such a manner, to all those actions that are essential to Christianity, and to o­ther good works, whereof there was no necessity of giving them any prescriptions [Page 224] to excite them thereunto, we will leave them to the judgment of the Almighty, and without avowing the like states, we do only make this practical Observation, that there is nothing so dangerous, nor so sub­ject to Illusion, as to guide Souls in such a manner, as if they had already attained thereto, and that however, it is not in these sort of preventions that Christian perfecti­on doth consist.

30. In all the above named Articles, as to what regards Concupiscence, imperfe­ctions, and principally sin, our meaning is not, for the honour of our Lord, to take in the Holy Virgin his Mother.

31. As for those Souls whom God is pleased to exercise with Tryals, Job, who is a pattern for such, teaches them to be­nefit themselves by lucid intervals, in or­der to produce the most excellent acts of Faith, Hope and Love. The Spiritua­lists teach them to find these in the top or highest part of the Soul. They are not therefore to be allowed to acquiesce in their apparent damnation, but their di­rectors, with St. Francis de Sales, are to assure them that God will never forsake them.

[Page 225] 32. It's well in every condition, and especially in this same, to adore the vindi­ctive Justice of God, never to wish the exercise of the same upon our selves, in all its rigour, seeing that even one of the ef­fects of this rigour, is to deprive us of Love. Christian Abandoning is to cast all our Cares upon God, to hope in his goodness for our salvation; and as St. Augustine, after St. Cy­prian teaches us, to attribute all to him, ut totum detur Deo.

33. Troubled and truly humbled Souls may also be inspired with a submission and agreement to the Will of God, tho' e­ven by a very false supposition, instead of the eternal good which he hath pro­mised the Just, he would detain them by virtue of his own good pleasure, in eter­nal torments; and this without being depri­ved, at the same time, of his Grace and Love; which is an act of perfect resigna­tion or self-abandoning, and of a pure love practised by the Saints, and which may be useful with that particular grace of God to Souls truly perfect, without derogating from the Obligation of the other fore-mentioned Acts, which are essential to Christianity.

[Page 226] 34. Over and above which, it is cer­tain that the Perfect, and such as are No­vices, or beginners, ought to be condu­cted respectively, by different ways, and that the former have a more full and deeper insight into Christian Truths than the other.


Most Holy Father,

THE Book written by the Archbishop of Cambray, having for some Months past, made much noise in the Church within my Kingdom, I caused the same to be Exa­mined by my Bishops, a great number of Do­ctors, and learned Religionaries of several Or­ders. They have all, as well Bishops as Do­ctors, unanimously reported, that it was a ve­ry ill and dangerous Book, and that the Ex­planation published by the said Archbishop, was unwarrantable. He declared in his Preface, that [Page 228] his intention only, was to Explicate the Do­ctrine of his Brethren, who, after they had at­tempted by all gentle ways to reclaim him, they found themselves obliged in Conscience, to put out their Declaration concerning his Book, and to consign the same into the Hands of the Archbishop of Damas, your Holiness's Nuncio at my Court, to the end that your Holiness might put an end to an Affair, that may have pernicious Consequences, if it be not nipt in the very Bud. I humbly intreat you to pass sentence upon the same Book, and Doctrine contained therein, as soon as possible, and assure your Holiness, at the same time, that I shall make use of all my Au­thority, to put the Decision you shall make in Execution, and that I am

Most Holy Father,
Your very affectionate Servant, LOUIS.


SEveral sorts of Love wherewith we may love God.
The First Love.1
The Second.1
The Third.2
The Fourth.3
The Fifth.5

The Names of these Five sorts of Love.
1.Of the Carnal Love of the Jews.7
2.The love of Concupiscenceibid.
3.The love of Hope.8
4.Interested Love.ibid.
5.Pure Love.ibid.

1.Of the love of Concupiscence.9
2.Three different Degrees of Just Persons upon Earth.12
 How Fear and Hope purify themselves.13
 The effects of pure Love.15
3.Of interested love. It makes a great many Saints.18
4.How Hope perfects her self, and keeps her distinction from Charity.21
 How an interested Soul can Will or seek God as he is her Good.24
5.The two states of the Just, of Resignation and Indifference.26
 What holy Indifference is.27
 Passages out of St. Francis de Sales, con­cerning it.29
6.Holy indifference is the real Principle of the interested desires of the Law and of Grace.33
7.There is no state that gives Souls a mi­raculous Inspiration, wherein consists the perfection of the internal Life.35
8.What abandoning ones self is.39
 The extream Tryals of abandoning.40
 The Souls resistance makes these Tryals long and painful.40
 The diffeeence between common Temptati­ons and the Tryals of an entire purifi­cation.41
9.The state of the Soul that abandons her self to God in these extream Tryals.43
 The Edge of the Spirit, or Top of the Soul.44
10.The Souls absolute Sacrifice of its own In­terest to God.46
11.The difference between the New and the Old Law.51
 The Soul ought to follow Grace, without be­ing willing to prevent it.52
 A cooperation with Grace.ibid.
 Of Activity.53
12.Of disinterested Souls.57
 An abnegation and hatred of ones self.ib.
 One ought always to watch over himself.58
 The difference between the Vigilancy of pure and interested love.60
13.Simple and direct Acts, and reflex Acts, an inward certainty.62
14.The separation of the upper part of the Soul from the lower, in extream Tryals.65
 How this separation is made.ibid.
15.Ʋniversal Sobriety, Mortification.68
 A temperature of Austerities.69
 The effects of Austerities.ibid.
16.Two sorts of Proprieties.71
 What mystical Men call Propriety.73
17.Common and extraordinary temptations, and the difference between them.77
18.Divers sorts of Wills in God.81
 The permissive Will of God.82
19.Vocal and mental Prayer.84
20.Of Reading.87
 A persuasion of the most powerful love of all.88
21.The difference between Meditation and Contemplation.89
22.When Meditation may be quitted in or­der to enter upon Contemplation.93
23.For what Souls contemplation is not con­venient.95
24.Habitual Contemplation.96
25.Perpetual Prayer.98
26.Interruptions of direct Contemplation.101
27.Direct Contemplation is negative.102
28.How centemplative Souls are deprived of the distinct views of Christ.106
29.Of passive Contemplation.109
 Why they call it the Prayer of Silence, or quietude.111
30.Of the passive state.114
31.The simplicity of the passive state.117
32.The liberty that is in the passive state.120
33.The Reunion of all the Virtues in Love.122
34.Of Spiritual Death.125
35.Of the state of Transformation.126
36.Of the Internal Exercises of transformed Souls.128
37.Transformed Souls may sin.130
38.And consequently, they ought to come to Confession.132
39.The imperfections of the Soul.135
40.How a Transformed Soul is united to God.138
41.Of spiritual Marriages.139
42.Of substantial Ʋnion.140
43.The submission of the Spiritual Man.141
44.The Oeconomy and Secret of the subli­mest Exercise of pure love.143
45.All the Internal ways are but the means to arrive at pure Love.145
 The Conclusion of all the Articles.149

THE Lord Archbishop of Cambray's Let­ter to the Pope.151
A Letter of the same Person, dated Au­gust 3. 1697.160
A Declaration of Three Prelates, viz. of the Archbishop of Paris, the Bishop of Meaux, and Chartres, upon the Book, Entituled, An Explanation of the Maxims of the Saints, con­cerning the Internal Life.166
The Thirty Four Articles of the 16 and 26th of April. 1695.216
The French King's Letter to the Pope.227

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