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Song Of Songs Of Solomon by Madame Guyon

14. Flee away, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

The soul having now no other interest than that of the Bridegroom, either for self or for any other creature, and who can will nothing except His glory, seeing something which dishonors Him, cries out, Flee away, my Beloved! Leave these places which offer Thee no perfume. Come to those souls who are as mountains of spices, raised above the fetid vapors corrupted by the wickedness of this world. These mountains owe their sweetness to the odor of the exquisite virtues which Thou hast planted in them, and it is only in such souls that Thou wilt find true repose.

The soul, arrived at this point, enters so fully into the interests of the Divine Righteousness, both in respect to herself and others, that she can desire no other fate for herself, nor for any other, than that which the Divine Righteousness would allot, both for time and eternity. She has at the same time a more perfect charity than ever before for the neighbor, serving him now for God only, and in the will of God. But though she is always ready to be cursed for her brethren, like St. Paul (Rom. ix.3), and is incessantly laboring for no other end than their salvation, she is nevertheless indifferent as to her success. She would not be afflicted either at her own damnation or at that of any other creature, regarded from the point of view of God's Righteousness. What she cannot bear is, that God should be dishonored, because He has set love in order within her; since then she has entered into the purest affections of perfect charity.

We must not suppose that the soul in the state of this Spouse is constantly eager for the sensible presence and sweet and continual enjoyment of the Bridegroom. By no means. She was once in that state of perfection in which she ardently longed for that delightful possession; it was necessary then to attract her on in her progress towards Him; but now it would be an imperfection which she must not entertain; her Well-beloved, in truth, possessing her perfectly in her essence and powers, in a very real and unchangeable manner, above all time and place and means. She has no more to do with sighing for seasons of distinct and conscious enjoyment; and, besides, she is in such an absolute state of abandonment as to everything, that she could not fasten a desire of any kind upon anything whatever, not even upon the delights of Paradise. And this state is even the evidence that she is possessed at the centre. This is why she here testifies to the Bridegroom that she is satisfied He should go where He pleases, visit other hearts, gain them, purify them, and perfect them in all the mountains and hills of the church; that He should take His delight in souls of spices, embalmed in grace and virtue; but, for herself, she has nothing to ask or desire of Him except He himself be the author of the emotion. Does she therefore despise or reject the divine visits and consolators? not at all; she has too much respect and submission for the work of God to do that; but such graces are no longer adapted to her state, annihilated as she is, and established in the enjoyment of the centre; having lost all her will in the will of God, she can no longer will anything. This is beautifully expressed in the verse cited.

So great is the indifference of this soul, that she cannot lean either to the side of enjoyment or deprivation. Death and life are equally acceptable; and although her love is incomparably stronger than it ever was before, she cannot, nevertheless, desire Paradise, because she remains in the hands of her Bridegroom, as among the things that are not. Such is the effect of the deepest annihilation.

Although she is in this state more than ever fitted for the help of souls, and serves with extreme care those sent to her by the Bridegroom, she cannot have a desire to assist others, nor can she even do it without the special direction of Providence.

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