|The blame of our sin continually hangeth upon us.| |In the sight of God the soul that shall be saved was never dead, nor ever shall be dead|
AND in this life mercy and forgiveness is our way and evermore leadeth us to grace. And by the tempest and the sorrow that we fall into on our part, we be often dead as to man's doom in earth; but in the sight of God the soul that shall be saved was never dead, nor ever shall be.
But yet here I wondered and marvelled with all the diligence of my soul, saying thus within me: Good Lord, I see Thee that art very Truth; and I know in truth that we sin grievously every day and be much blameworthy; and I may neither leave the knowing of Thy truth, nor do I see Thee shew to us any manner of blame. How may this be? For I knew by the common teaching of Holy Church and by mine own feeling, that the blame of our sin continually hangeth upon us, from the first man unto the time that we come up unto heaven: then was this my marvel that I saw our Lord God shewing to us no more blame than if we were as clean and as holy as Angels be in heaven. And between these two contraries my reason was greatly travailed through my blindness, and could have no rest for dread that His blessed presence should pass from my sight and I be left in unknowing [of] how He beholdeth us in our sin. For either [it] behoved me to see in God that sin was all done away, or else me behoved to see in God how He seeth it, whereby I might truly know how it belongeth to me to see sin, and the manner of our blame. My longing endured, Him continually beholding; -- and yet I could have no patience for great straits and perplexity, thinking: If I take it thus that we be no sinners and not blameworthy, it seemeth as I .should err and fail of knowing of this truth ; and if it be so that we be sinners and blameworthy, -- Good Lord, how may it then be that I cannot see this true thing in Thee, which art my God, my Maker, in whom I desire to see all truths?
For three points make me hardy to ask it. The first is, because it is so low a thing: for if it were an high thing I should be a-dread. The second is, that it is so common: for if it were special and privy, also I should be a-dread. The third is, that it needeth me to know it (as methinketh) if I shall live here for knowing of good and evil, whereby I may, by reason and grace, the more dispart them asunder, and love goodness and hate evil, as Holy Church teacheth. I cried inwardly, with all my might seeking unto God for help, saying thus: Ah! Lord Jesus, King of bliss, how shall I be eased? Who shall teach me and tell me that [thing] me needeth to know, if I may not at this time see it in Thee?