taste and experience there. If sometimes my thoughts wander from it by

necessity or infirmity, I am presently recalled by inward motions, so

charming and delicious that I am ashamed to mention them.

I desire your reverence to reflect rather upon my great wretchedness, of

which you are fully informed, than upon the great favours which GOD does

me, all unworthy and ungrateful as I am.

As for my set hours of prayer, they arc only a continuation of the same

exercise. Sometimes I consider myself there, as a stone before a

carver, whereof he is to make a statue: presenting myself thus before

GOD, I desire Him to make His perfect image in my soul, and render me

entirely like Himself.

At other times, when I apply myself to prayer, I feel all my spirit and

all my soul lift itself up without any care or effort of mine; and it

continues as it were suspended and firmly fixed in GOD, as in its centre

and place of rest.

I know that some charge this state with inactivity, delusion, and

self-love: I confess that it is a holy inactivity, and would be a happy

self-love, if the soul in that state were capable of it; because in

effect, while she is in this repose, she cannot be disturbed by such

acts as she was formerly accustomed to, and which were then her support,

but would now rather hinder than assist her.

Yet I cannot bear that this should be called delusion; because the soul

which thus enjoys GOD desires herein nothing but Him. If this be

delusion in me, it belongs to GOD to remedy it. Let Him do what He

pleases with me: I desire only Him, and to be wholly devoted Him.

You will, however, oblige me in sending me your opinion, to which I

always pay a great deference, for I have a singular esteem for your

reverence, and am yours in our Lord.


For a soldier friend whom he encourages to trust in God.

WE have a GOD who is infinitely gracious, and knows all our wants. I

always thought that He would reduce you to extremity. He will come in

His own time, and when you least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever:

thank Him with me for the favours He does you, particularly for the

fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions: it is a

plain mark of the care He takes of you; comfort yourself then with Him,

and give thanks for all.

I admire also the fortitude and bravery of M. . GOD has given him a

good disposition, and a good will; but there is in him still a little

of the world, and a great deal of youth. I hope the affliction which

GOD has sent him will prove a wholesome remedy to him, and make him

enter into himself; it is an accident very proper to engage him to put

all his trust in Him, who accompanies him everywhere: let him think of

Him the oftenest he can, especially in the greatest dangers. A little

lifting up the heart suffices; a little remembrance of GOD, one act of

inward worship, though upon a march, and sword in hand, are prayers

which, however short, are nevertheless very acceptable to GOD; and far

from lessening a soldier's courage in occasions of danger, they best

serve to fortify it.

Let him then think of GOD the most he can; let him accustom himself, by

degrees, to this small but holy exercise; nobody perceives it, and

nothing is easier than to repeat often in the day these little internal

adorations. Recommend to him, if you please, that he think of GOD the

most he can, in the manner here directed; it is very fit and most

necessary for a soldier, who is daily exposed to dangers of life, and

often of his salvation. I hope that GOD will assist him and all the

family, to whom I present my service, being theirs and yours.


Writes of himself as of a third person, and encourages his correspondent

to press on to fuller practising of the Presence of God.

I HAVE taken this opportunity to communicate to you the sentiments of

one of our society concerning the admirable effects and continual