of GOD, whom I considered always as with me, often as in me.

At length I came insensibly to do the same thing during my set time of

prayer, which caused in me great delight and consolation. This practice

produced in me so high an esteem for GOD, that faith alone was capable

to satisfy me in that point. [I suppose he means that all distinct

notions he could form of GOD were unsatisfactory, because he perceived

them to be unworthy of GOD, and therefore his mind was not to be

satisfied but by the views of faith, which apprehends GOD as infinite

and incomprehensible, as He is in Himself, and not as He can be

conceived by human ideas.]

Such was my beginning; and yet I must tell you, that for the first ten

years I suffered much: the apprehension that I was not devoted to GOD,

as I wished to be, my past sins always present to my mind, and the great

unmerited favours which GOD did me, were he matter and source of my

sufferings. During this time I fell often, and rose again presently.

It seemed to me that the creatures, reason, and GOD Himself were against

me; And faith alone for me. I was troubled sometimes with thoughts,

that to believe I had received such favours was an effect of my

presumption, which pretended to be at once where others arrive with

difficulty; at other times that it was a wilful delusion, and that

there was no salvation for me.

When I thought of nothing but to end my days in these troubles (which

did not at all diminish the trust I had in GOD, and which served only to

increase my faith), I found myself changed all at once; and my soul,

which till that time was in trouble, felt a profound inward peace, as if

she were in her centre and place of rest.

Ever since that time I walk before GOD simply, in faith, with humility

and with love; and I apply myself diligently to do nothing and think

nothing which may displease Him. I hope that when I have done what I

can, He will do with me what He pleases.

As for what passes in me at present, I cannot express it. I have no

pain or difficulty about my state, because I have no will but that of

GOD, which I endeavour to accomplish in all things, and to which I am so

resigned, that I would not take up a straw from the ground against His

order, or from any other motive but purely that of love to Him.

I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which

my state obliges me. And I make it my business only to persevere in His

holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a

general fond regard to GOD, which I may call an actual presence of GOD;

or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the

soul with GOD, which often causes in me joys and raptures inwardly, and

sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to

moderate them, and prevent their appearance to others.

In short, I am assured beyond all doubt, that my soul has been with GOD

above these thirty years. I pass over many things, that I may not be

tedious to you, yet I think it proper to inform you after what manner I

consider myself before GOD, whom I behold as my King.

I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and

corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King;

touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask

His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He

pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from

chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves

me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses

and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand

ways, and treats me in all respects as His favourite. It is thus I

consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.

My most usual method is this simple attention, and such a general

passionate regard to GOD; to whom I find myself often attached with

greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother's

breast: so that if I dare use the expression, I should choose to call

this state the bosom of GOD, for the inexpressible sweetness which I