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





Now at this time I cannot set forth my meaning more clearly. In all that I understand, or feel, or have written, I submit myself to the judgment of the saints and of Holy Church; for I wish to live and to die as a servant of Christ, in the Christian faith; and I desire to be, by the grace of God, a life-giving member of Holy Church. And therefore, as I told you heretofore, you should beware of those self-deceived men who, by means of their idle vacancy, and with their bare and simple gaze have found the Divine Essence within themselves in a merely natural way; and who pretend to be one with God without the grace of God, and without exercise of virtue, and without obedience to God and to Holy Church. And for all their perversity of life, which I have described, they would be one with God's Son by nature. But if the Prince of all the angels was cast out of heaven, because he set himself up against God and would be like unto the most High; and if the first man was driven from Paradise because he would be as God: how then shall this wretched sinner—that is, the faithless Christian who would be as God without likeness to God in grace and virtue—ever rise from earth into heaven? For through his own power no man has ascended into heaven, save the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. And therefore we must unite ourselves with Him, through grace and virtue and Christian faith: so we shall ascend with Him whither He has gone before us. For in the Last Day we shall all rise, each with his own body; and then those who have worked good works shall go into life everlasting, and those who have worked evil works shall go into everlasting fire. These are two unlike ends, which shall never come together for each flies from the other perpetually.

Pray for him who has composed and written this, that God may have mercy upon him. That his poor beginning, and his and our wretched middle course may be brought to a blessed end, this may Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, bestow upon us all. Amen.

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