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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAPTER III. I know that thy life is given to the service of GOD.à

The Form Of Perfect Living And Other Prose Treatises by Richard Rolle

CHAPTER III. I know that thy life is given to the service of GOD.à

I know that thy life is given to the service of GOD. Then is it shame to thee, unless thou beest as good, or better, within thy soul, as thou art seeming in the sight of men. Turn therefore thy thoughts perfectly to GOD, as it seems that thou hast done thy body. For I will not that thou shouldest ween that all are holy that have the habit of holiness, and are not occupied with the world. Nor that all are ill who discourse of earthly business. But they only are holy, what state or degree they be in, the which despise all earthly things, that is to say, love it not; and burn in the love of JESUS Christ; and all their desires are set to the joy of heaven, and hate all sin, and cease not from good works, and feel a sweetness in their heart of the love without end: and nevertheless, they think themselves vilest of all, and hold themselves wretchedest, least and lowest. This is holy men's life; follow it and be holy. And if thou wilt be in the Apostles' reward, think not what thou forsookest, but what thou despisest. For they who follow JESUS Christ in willing poverty, and in meekness, and in charity, and in patience, forsake as much as they can covet who follow Him not. And consider with how great and how good will thou presentest thy vows before Him: for on that He has set His eyes, and if thou with great desire offerest thy prayers, with great fervour desirest to see Him, and seekest no earthly comfort, but the savour of Heaven, and in contemplation thereof hast thy delight. Wonderfully JESUS works in His lovers, those whom he reaves from the pleasure of flesh and blood through tender love. He makes them to will no earthly thing, and makes them rise to the solace of Him, and to forget vanities and fleshly loves of the world, and to dread no sorrow that may fall: to diminish over-great bodily ease: to suffer for His love, seems to them joy; and to be solitary they have great comfort: so that they be not hindered of that devotion. Now mayst thou see that many are worse than they seem, and many are better than they seem, and namely among those that have the habit of holiness. Therefore force thyself, in all that thou mayest, that thou mayest be no worse than thou seemest. And if thou wilt do as I teach thee in this short form of living, I hope, through the grace of GOD, that if men hold thee to be good, thou shalt be well better.

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