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have arrested and wrought upon her young heart yearning after holiness, very much as that talk did upon Bunyan, which he overheard one day between three or four poor women, "sitting at a door in the sun in one of the streets of Bedford, talking about the things of God." "Methought," he says, "they spake as if joy did make them speak, they spake with such pleasantness of Scripture language, and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me as if they had found a new world; as if they were people that dwelt alone, and were not to be reckoned among their neighbors. At this I felt my own heart began to shake," &c.

So felt young Madame Guyon, (for she was now married at the age of sixteen,) under the conversations of her pious kinsman in his visit at her father's house, and many were the tears she shed when he departed. Still a cloud hung over the way of salvation by faith alone for more than a year; which was at length lifted, in the providence of God, by the word of a devout Franciscan, whose counsel she sought at his cell in company with a kinswoman. Those memorable words were: "Your efforts have been unsuccessful, Madame, because you have sought without what you can only find within. Accustom yourself to keep God in your heart, and you will not fail to find him." To this panting fawn, flying with pierced sides from the world and sin, she knew not where, these few and mystical, perhaps to ordinary inquirers hazardous words, uttered in God's moment of mercy, were like the voice which thundered from Pilate's stair-case in the ears of Luther, The Just shall live by faith. Although far from being the instruction which it seems to us evangelical teachers now would be warranted in giving in such a case, yet, couched as it was in peculiar phraseology, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it evidently had the same effect upon Madame Guyon that the Scripture had upon the mind of the Reformer; and the result proved that this was a genuine conversion, wonder or cavil as we may, that the type of it was not after the stereotype plate of certain rigid theologians, who would even clinch the Holy Spirit to their dead rules of uniformity, and are loath to allow the reality of a conversion unless it be all in their own way.

"Having said these words," she says, "the Franciscan left me. They were to me like the stroke of a dart, which pierced my heart asunder. I felt at this deeply wounded with the love of God;-a wound so delightful, that I desired it never might be healed. These words brought into my heart what I had been seeking so many years. Oh, my Lord! thou wast in my heart, and demanded only the turning of my heart inward, to make me feel thy presence. Alas, I sought thee where thou wast not, and did not seek thee where thou wast! It was for want of understanding these words of thy gospel: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, neither shall they say Lo! here, or lo! there, for behold the kingdom of God is within you."


I told this good man that I did not know what he had done to me; that my THIRD SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. 4.


heart was quite changed; that God was there; for from that moment he had given me an experience of his presence in my soul,-not merely as an object intellectually perceived by any application of mind, but as a thing really possessed after the sweetest manner. I experienced these words in the Canticles: "Thy name is as precious ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee." For I felt in my soul an unction which as a salutary perfume, healed in a moment all my wounds. I slept not all that night, because thy love, oh, my God! flowed in me like delicious oil, and burned as a fire that was going to destroy all that was left of self in an instant. I was all on a sudden so altered, that I was hardly to be known either by myself or others. I found no more those troublesome faults, or that reluctance to duty, which formerly characterized me. They all disappeared, as being consumed like chaff in a great fire. Nothing was more easy to me now than to practice prayer. Hours passed away like moments, while I could hardly do anything else but pray. The fervency of my love allowed me no intermission. It was a prayer of rejoicing and of possession, wherein the taste of God was so great, so free, unblended and uninterrupted, that it drew and absorbed the powers of the soul into a profound recollection, a state of confiding and affectionate rest in God, existing without intellectual effort. For I had now no sight but of Jesus Christ alone. All else was excluded, in order to love with greater purity, and energy without any motives or reasons for loving, that were of a selfish nature."

The steps of Madame Guyon's progress up to this crisis in her moral being and ever after, are in the highest degree instructive, perhaps we may say fascinating, as traced by her own pen, when in the full maturity of her regenerated powers, and looking back upon all the way by which the Lord had led her, and her mind enlightened to perceive the connection between cause and effect, and to analyze and reason upon her states of mind, as she could not have done while they were passing.

Some allowance, however, is to be made for the difference that will always be between the actual experience of the mind in passing, and the review of the same by the most critical and discerning, when it is over. No process of mental Photography has yet been discovered or is likely to be, that will instantaneously transfer to paper or canvas the ever-changing hues and shades of the mind's experience, or the forms of the flying clouds that often overspread and darken the firmament of the soul. This should be borne in mind in reading the transcript of Madame Guyon's religious life, if we would preserve of it a correct picture. As a piece of autobiography, we think it should rank with Augustine's Confessions and Bunyan's Grace Abounding, or Life by himself, of which there can be but one sentiment that they are two of the most valuable religious histories in possession of the church. In some respects this of Madame Guyon is the more valuable as being the mezzotint engraving from nature of a form of experience, that, it may be hoped, will be more common in the future of the church than it has been in the past. We could wish, too, of course, as Protestants, that it might unite a more habitual and deferential reference to the written Word with less reliance upon impressions and inward impulses, or the counsels

of Father Confessors, than was evinced by the truly devout and gifted, (yet to use an obsolete but good word from Lord Bacon,) imaginant writer of this remarkable autobiography.

Soon after what seems to have been a genuine scriptural conversion on the part of Madame Guyon, and she had united herself to God in a bond more sacred than any human tie, she went a journey from Paris with her wealthy husband and others, in the course of which certain compulsory conformities to the world together with a deeper insight of the secret springs and turns of her heart pierced her conscience with keenest anguish, and revealed another law in her members warring against the law of her mind and bringing her into captivity to the law of sin and death. In this season of temptation and penitence, of trial and of comparative despondency, her editor says, she looked around for advice and assistance.

"Not fully informed, as she herself expressly states, in respect to the nature of the inward life, she felt perplexed and confounded at the knowledge of her own situation. In the first joy of her spiritual espousals, she seems to have looked upon herself, as is frequently the case at this period of religious experience, not only as a sinner forgiven for the sins which are past, but what is very different thing, as a sinner saved from the commission of sin for the present, and in all future time. Looking at the subject in the excited state of her young love, when the turbulent emotions perplex the calm exercises of the judgment, she appears to have regarded the victory, which God had given her, as one which would stand against all possible assaults; the greatness of her triumph for to-day, scarcely exceeding the strength of her confidence for tomorrow. She felt no sting in her conscience; she bore no cloud on her brow.

How surprised, then, was she to find, after a short period, and after a more close and thorough examination, that her best acts were mingled with some degree of imperfection and sin; and that every day, as she was increasingly enlightened by the Holy Ghost, she seemed to discover more and more of motives to actions, which might be described as sinful. After all her struggles and all her hopes, she found herself in the situation of being compelled to bear about a secret but terrible enemy in her own bosom. Under these circumstances, it was natural for her to look about for some religious person, who might render her some assistance. Were others in the same situation? Was it our destiny to be always sinning and always repenting? Was there really no hope of deliverance from transgression till we might find it in the grave? Such were some of the questions which arose in her mind. Who could tell her what to do, or how to do it?" Vol. i., pp. 102, 103.

At this most interesting juncture in her religious experience, while she was earnestly seeking illumination, an incident occurred, in itself somewhat remarkable, and which made a deep impression on her sensitive as well as sensible mind. Going one day to attend some religious services at the celebrated church of Notre Dame, in Paris, she did not take a carriage as usual, but decided to walk, although the distance was some miles, accompanied only by her footman. Just as they had passed one of the numerous bridges thrown over the river Seine, a person as by chance came to her side, and entered into conversation ;-" a

man religiously solemn and instructive in his appearance and intercourse, but so poor and almost repulsive in his attire that, at their first meeting, thinking him an object of charity, she offered him alms."

"This man," she says, "spoke to me in a wonderful manner of God and divine things. His remarks on the Holy Trinity were more instructive and sublime that I had heard on any other occasion, or from any other person. But his conversation was chiefly personal. I know not how it was, but he seemed in some way to have acquired a remarkable knowledge of my character. He professed to regard me as a Christian, and spoke especially of my love to God, and of my numerous charities to the poor, And, while he recognized all that was good and Christian-like in me, he felt it his duty to speak plainly of my faults. He told me, that I was too fond of my personal attractions; and enumerated, one after another, the various faults and imperfections which characterized this period of my life. And then, assuming a higher tone of religious precept, he gave me to understand that God required not merely a heart of which it could be said it is forgiven, but a heart which could properly, and in some real sense, be designated as holy; that it was not sufficient to escape hell, but that He demanded also the subjection of the evil of our nature, and the utmost purity and height of Christian attainment. The circumstance of his wearing the dress of a mendicant, did not prevent his speaking like one having authority. There was something in him incapable of being concealed by the poverty of his outward appearance, which commanded my silence and profound respect. The Spirit of God bore witness to what he said. The words of this remarkable man, whom I never saw before, and whom I have never seen since, penetrated my very soul. Deeply affected and overcome by what he had said, I had no sooner reached the church than I fainted away."

Many considerations are naturally suggested to one's mind, explanatory of the effect of this interview upon Madame Guyon in her then state of mind. The discerning reader will duly weigh them and attribute its due share to the dominant and lively imagination of this remarkable woman, whose conceptions of everything were more vivid, and consequently more affective than those of common minds. Professor Upham thinks a distinct and very important crisis in the history of her spiritual being may be marked here. Taught by sad experience she now saw the utter impossibility of combining with the love of God the love of the world. And aroused by what she had learned through providences and intuitions and the warnings, as she considered them, of Divine messengers, she gave herself to God anew. From that memorable day, that hour, the purpose of her heart was fixed to be wholly the Lord's, that the world should no longer have any portion in her consecrated soul. She made at this time a solemn self-dedication of her entire being, not in her own strength, but in God's. This fixed and high resolve of her whole nature, so far as her history is known from her own minute autobiography and other reliable sources, was never broken. She gave herself to the Lord, the compiler of these volumes says, not only to be his in the ordinary and mitigated

sense of the terms, but to be His wholly and forever; to be His in body and in spirit; to be His in personal efforts and influence; to be His in all that she was, and in all that it was possible for her to be. She not only desired to be holy, but she resolved to be holy. Her will was in the thing--the will, it is his language, "which constitutes in its action the unity of the whole mind's action, and which is the true and only certain exponent of the inward moral and religious condition."

Professor Upham remarks, in this connection, what, having himself some repute as a philosopher, we may allow him to say without presumption or dogmatizing,

"That perhaps we may be permitted to say it is here we find the great difficulty in the position of many religious men at the present time. They profess to desire to be holy; and perhaps they do desire it. They pray for it as well as desire it. But after all, it is too often the case that they are not willing to be holy. They are not ready, by a consecrating act, resting on a deliberative and solemn purpose, to place themselves in a position which they have every reason to think will, by God's grace, result in holiness. This may be regarded, perhaps, as a nice distinction; but when rightly understood, it seems to me to jay deep and unchangeable in the mind. In the cases to which we refer, the desire, whatever may be its strength, is not strong enough to control the volition. The will, therefore, is not brought into the true position. Now the will, considered in relation to the other powers of the mind, constitutes the mind's unity. The will is wanting. The man is, therefore, wanting."

That is, as we understand him to mean, the desires of the renewed mind, from a variety of considerations, may be very strong for the great blessing of inward sanctification: but still, if they be not intense and vehement enough to melt the entire man, to storm the citadel of the will, and concentrate all the mental energies into one absorbing purpose to be holy, at whatever cost, holiness does not ensue, inward sanctification is not obtained. In full view of the perpetual self-denial, self-sacrifice, and habitual devotion to God implied in being holy, there must be what may be called a unitive "volitional" act or decision of the mind to be always holy, an act of the will representing the whole mind, and constituting its final irrevocable purpose. The Holy Spirit of God uniting with the human spirit of the Christian, confirms and seals, as it is He that has led to, this deliberate act of consecration on the part of the renewed free will; and that state of mind ensues we see expressed in the aspirations of Charles Wesley:

No anger may'st thou ever find,

No pride in my unruffled mind,
But faith, and heaven-born peace be there.

A patient, a victorious mind,

That life and all things casts behind,
Springs forth obedient to thy call;
A heart that no desire can move,
But still to adore, believe, and love.

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