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





But, having likened the four degrees of the first coming of Christ to the splendour and the power of the sun, we also find in the sun another power and another action, which hastens the ripening, and increases the numbers, of the fruit.

When the sun rises very high, and enters the sign of Gemini (that is, the Twins; or a twofold thing of one nature), which happens in the middle of the month of May: then it has a double power over flowers and herbs and everything that grows out of the earth. If, then, the planets which govern nature are well ordered according to the need of the season, the sun shines upon the earth and draws the moisture into the air. Thence come dew and rain; and the fruits increase and multiply.

So likewise, when Christ that bright Sun has risen in our hearts above all things; when the demands of our bodily nature which are opposed to the spirit have been curbed and discreetly set in order; when we have achieved the virtues in the way of which you have heard in the first degree; when, lastly, through the ardour of our charity, all the pleasure, and all the peace, which we experience in these virtues, have been offered up and devoted to God, with thanksgiving and praise:then, of all this there may come down a sweet rain of new inward consolation and the heavenly dew of the sweetness of God. This makes the virtues grow, and multiplies them twofold if we hinder it not. This is a new and special working, and a new coming, of Christ into the loving heart. And by it a man is lifted up into a higher state than that in which he was before. On this height Christ says: Go ye out according to the way of this coming.

Next: Chapter XVIII. Of the Pure Delight of the Heart and the Sensible Powers