Madame Guyon: Letter to Gregory

To M. Gregoire Bouvieres de La Mothe.

My Dear Brother,

It is always with the greatest pleasure that I receive any tidings from you; but your last letter gave me more satisfaction than any previous ones. You are the only remaining member of our family who appears to understand the dealings of God with me, and to appreciate my situation. I receive your letter as a testimonial of Christian union and sympathy.

The Lord has seen fit to bless me much in the labours for a revival of inward religion, especially in Grenoble, where the work was very wonderful.

I speak to you, my dear brother, without reserve. And in the first place, my soul, as it seems to me, is united to God in such a manner that my own will is entirely lost in the Divine will. I live, therefore, as well as I can express it, out of myself and all other creatures, in union with God, because in union with His will. . . . It is thus that God, by His sanctifying grace, has become to me ALL in ALL. The self which once troubled me is taken away, and I find it no more. And thus God, being made known in things or events, which is the only way in which the I AM, or Infinite Being, can be made known, everything becomes, in a certain sense, God to me. I find God in everything that is, and in everything that comes to pass. The creature is nothing; God is ALL.

And if you ask why it is that the Lord has seen fit to bless me in my labours, it is because He has first, by taking away my own will, made me a nothing. And in recognising the hand of the Lord, I think I may well speak of God’s agency physically as well as mentally; since He has sustained me in my poor state of health and in my physical weakness. Weak as I have been, He has enabled me to talk during the day and to write at night. After the labours of the day, I have, for some time past, spent a portion of the night in writing commentaries on the Scriptures. I began this at Grenoble; and though my labours were many and my health was poor, the Lord enabled me, in the course of six months, to write on all the books of the Old Testament.

I am willing, in this as in other things, to commit all to God, both in doing and suffering. To my mind it is the height of blessedness to cease from our own action in order that God may act in us.

And this statement, my dear brother, expresses my own condition, as it is my prayer that it may express yours.

In such a state, riches and poverty, and sorrow and joy, and life and death, are the same. In such a state is the true heavenly rest, the true Paradise of the spirit.

In the hope and prayer that we may always be thus in the Lord, I remain, in love, your sister,

Jeanne Marie B. de la Mothe Guyon

Dec. 12, 1689

 

Upham, Thomas C. Life of Madame de La Mothe Guyon. London: Sampson Low, Son, and Co., 1858 (p. 305).

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