Of the meditations of them that continually travail in the work of this book.
BUT it is not so with them that continually work in the work of this book. For their meditations be but as they were sudden conceits and blind feelings of their own wretchedness, or of the goodness of God; without any means of reading or hearing coming before, and without any special beholding of any thing under God. These sudden conceits and these blind feelings be sooner learned of God than of man. I care not though thou haddest nowadays none other meditations of thine own wretchedness, nor of the goodness of God (I mean if thou feel thee thus stirred by grace and by counsel), but such as thou mayest have in this word SIN, and in this word GOD: or in such other, which as thee list. Not breaking nor expounding these words with curiosity of wit, in beholding after the qualities of these words, as thou wouldest by that beholding increase thy devotion. I trow it should never be so in this case and in this work. But hold them all whole these words; and mean by sin, a lump, thou wottest never what, none other thing but thyself. Me think that in this blind beholding of sin, thus congealed in a lump, none other thing than thyself, it should be no need to bind a madder thing, than thou shouldest be in this time. And yet peradventure, whoso looked upon thee should think thee full soberly disposed in thy body, without any changing of countenance; but sitting or going or lying, or leaning or standing or kneeling, whether thou wert, in a full sober restfulness.