The soul has come up gradually from the desert since she abandoned it; not only the desert of pure faith, but of self. She runs over with delights because she is full, and like a vessel filled to the brim with water from the spring, runs over on all sides for the supply of those about her. She is no longer self-supported, and hence she no longer fears the abundance of these delights. She does not fear being overthrown, for her Well-beloved, who sheds them into her bosom, carries them Himself with her, and suffers her to walk, leaning upon Him.
O precious gain, the loss of all created stays! God Himself is received for our sole support, in exchange for them!
I raised thee up under the appletree. I drew thee from the sleep of mystical death, raising thee from self, from thine own corruption and from the spoiled and corrupted nature which thy mother gave thee by her sin. For all the operations of God in the soul tend towards two things: one, to deliver it from its actual wickedness and the malignity of its depraved nature, the other, to restore it to God as fair and as pure as it was before Eve fell under the power of the seducer. In her innocence, Eve belonged to God without any self-appropriation; but she suffered herself to be violated, withdrawing herself from God to commit prostitution with the Devil, and we have all partaken of the evil consequences of that act. We come into the world like illegitimate children, who have no idea of their real Father, and who cannot be recognized as belonging to God until they are legitimated by baptism. But even then they have still the traces of that wretched sin; they retain a malign quality opposed to God, until He, by long, powerful and repeated operations removes it, drawing the soul out of self, depriving it of all its infection, re-endowing it with the grace of innocence, and causing it to be lost in Him. He thus raises it from under the appletree, and innocent being, from the very place where its mother, human nature, had been corrupted.