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The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage, by Jan van Ruysbroeck, [1916], at





The first rill of grace, which God causes to flow forth in this coming, is a pure simplicity, shining in the spirit without differentiation. This rill takes its rise from the fountain within the unity of the spirit; and it flows straight downwards and pours through all the powers of the soul, the lower and the higher; and raises them above all multiplicity and all busyness and produces simplicity in a man; and shows and gives him the inward bond of unity of spirit. Thus he is lifted up as regards his memory, and is freed from distracting images and from fickleness.

Now in this light, Christ demands a going out in conformity with this light and with this coming. So the man goes out, and knows and finds himself, through this simple light which has been poured into him, to be united and established and penetrated and confirmed, in the unity of his spirit or mind. Thereby the man is raised up and set in a new state, and he turns inwards, and fixes his memory upon the Nudity, above all the distractions of sensible images, and above multiplicity. Here the man possesses the essential and supernatural unity of his spirit, as his own dwelling-place and as his own eternal, personal heritage. He ever has a natural and a supernatural tendency towards this same unity; and this same unity through the gifts of God and through simplicity of intention, shall have an eternal loving tendency towards that most high Unity, where, in the bond of the Holy Ghost, the Father and the Son are united with all saints. And thus the first rill, which demands unity, is satisfied. 51

Next: Chapter XXXVII. The Second Rill Enlightens the Understanding