The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life

The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life, by Herman NicholasThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Practice of the Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy LifeAuthor: Herman NicholasRelease Date: October 26, 2004 [EBook #13871]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD ***Produced by Robert Shimmin, Project Manager, Keith M. Eckrich, Post-Processor, and the Project Gutenberg OnlineDistributed Proofreading TeamTHE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCEOF GOD THE BEST RULEOF A HOLY LIFE.BROTHER LAWRENCE.Being Conversations and Letters of Nicholas Herman, of Lorraine(Brother Lawrence). Translated from the French.FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY,NEW YORK. CHICAGO. TORONTO.Publishers of Evangelical Literature.PREFACE.This book consists of notes of several conversations had with, and letters written by Nicholas Herman, of Lorraine, alowly and unlearned man, who, after having been a footman and soldier, was admitted a Lay Brother among thebarefooted Carmelites at Paris in 1666, and was afterwards known as "Brother Lawrence."His conversion, which took place when he was about eighteen years old, was the result, under God, of the mere sight inmidwinter, of a dry ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Practice ofthe Presence of God the Best Rule of a Holy Life,by Herman Nicholas
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: The Practice of the Presence of God the BestRule of a Holy Life
Author: Herman Nicholas
Release Date: October 26, 2004 [EBook #13871]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD***
Produced by Robert Shimmin, Project Manager,Keith M. Eckrich, Post-Processor, and the ProjectGutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
THE PRACTICE OF THEPRESENCE
OF GOD THE BEST RULE
OF A HOLY LIFE.
BROTHER LAWRENCE.
Being Conversations and Letters of NicholasHerman, of Lorraine(Brother Lawrence).Translated from the French.
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY,
NEW YORK. CHICAGO. TORONTO.
Publishers of Evangelical Literature.
PREFACE.
This book consists of notes of severalconversations had with, and letters written byNicholas Herman, of Lorraine, a lowly andunlearned man, who, after having been a footmanand soldier, was admitted a Lay Brother among thebarefooted Carmelites at Paris in 1666, and wasafterwards known as "Brother Lawrence."
His conversion, which took place when he wasabout eighteen years old, was the result, underGod, of the mere sight in midwinter, of a dry andleafless tree, and of the reflections it stirredrespecting the change the coming spring wouldbring. From that time he grew eminently in theknowledge and love of GOD, endeavoringconstantly to walk "as in His presence." Nowilderness wanderings seem to have intervenedbetween the Red Sea and the Jordan of hisexperience. A wholly consecrated man, he lived hisChristian life through as a pilgrim—as a stewardand not as an owner, and died at the age of eighty,leaving a name which has been as "ointmentpoured forth."
The "Conversations" are supposed to have beenwritten by M. Beaufort, Grand Vicar to M. deChalons, formerly Cardinal de Noailles, by whoserecommendation the letters were first published.
The book has, within a short time, gone throughrepeated English and American editions, and hasbeen a means of blessing to many souls. Itcontains very much of that wisdom which only lipsthe Lord has touched can express, and which onlyhearts He has made teachable can receive.
May this edition also be blessed by GOD, andredound to the praise of the glory of His grace.
CONVERSATIONS.
FIRST CONVERSATION.
The first time I sawBrother Lawrence, was uponthe 3d of August, 1666. He told me that GOD haddone him a singular favor, in his conversion at theage of eighteen.
That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of itsleaves, and considering that within a little time theleaves would be renewed and after that the flowersand fruit appear, he received a high view of theProvidence and Power of GOD, which has neversince been effaced from his soul. That this viewhad perfectly set him loose from the world, andkindled in him such a love for GOD, that he couldnot tell whether it had increased during the morethan forty years he had lived since.
That he had been footman to M. Fieubert, thetreasurer, and that he was a great awkward fellowwho broke everything.
That he had desired to be received into amonastery, thinking that he would there be madeto smart for his awkwardness and the faults heshould commit, and so he should sacrifice to GODhis life, with its pleasures: but that God haddisappointed him, he having met with nothing but
disappointed him, he having met with nothing butsatisfaction in that state.
That we should establish ourselves in a sense ofGOD'S Presence, by continually conversing withHim. That it was a shameful thing to quit Hisconversation, to think of trifles and fooleries.
That we should feed and nourish our souls withhigh notions of GOD; which would yield us greatjoy in being devoted to Him.
That we ought toquicken, i.e.,to enliven, our faith.That it was lamentable we had so little; and thatinstead of takingfaith for the rule of their conduct,men amused themselves with trivial devotions,which changed daily. That the way of Faith was thespirit of the Church, and that it was sufficient tobring us to a high degree of perfection.
That we ought to give ourselves up to GOD, withregard both to things temporal and spiritual, andseek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will,whether he lead us by suffering or by consolation,for all would lie equal to a soul truly resigned. Thatthere needed fidelity in those dryness, orinsensibilities and irksomenesses in prayer, bywhich GOD tries our love to him; thatthen was thetime for us to make good and effectual acts ofresignation, whereof one alone would oftentimesvery much promote our spiritual advancement.
That as for the miseries and sins he heard of dailyin the world, he was so far from wondering atthem, that, on the contrary, he was surprised that
there were not more, considering the malicesinners were capable of; that for his part he prayedfor them; but knowing that GOD could remedy themischiefs they did when He pleased, he gavehimself no farther trouble.
That to arrive at such resignation as GOD requires,we should watch attentively over all the passionswhich mingle as well in spiritual things as in thoseof a grosser nature; that GOD would give lightconcerning those passions to those who trulydesire to serve Him. That if this was my design,viz., sincerely to serve GOD, I might come to him(B. Lawrence) as often as I pleased, without anyFear of being troublesome; but if not, that I oughtno more to visit him.
SECOND CONVERSATION.
That he had always been governed by love, withoutselfish views; and that having resolved to make thelove of GOD theend of all his actions, he hadfound reasons to be well satisfied with his method.That he was pleased when he could take up astraw from the ground for the love of GOD,seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even Hisgifts.
That he had been long troubled in mind from acertain belief that he should be damned; that all themen in the world could not have persuaded him to
the contrary; but that he had thus reasoned withhimself about it:I engaged in a religious life only forthe love of GOD,and I have endeavored to actonly for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether Ibe lost or saved, I will always continue to act purelyfor the love of GOD.I shall have this good at least,that till death I shall have done all that is in me tolove Him. That this trouble of mind had lasted fouryears; during which time he had suffered much.But that at last he had seen that this trouble arosefrom want of faith; and that since then he hadpassed his life in perfect liberty and continual joy.That he had placed his sins betwixt him and GOD,as it were, to tell Him that he did not deserve Hisfavors, but that GOD still continued to bestow themin abundance.
That in order to form a habit of conversing withGOD continually, and referring all we do to Him, wemust at first apply to Him with some diligence: butthat after a little care we should find His loveinwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.
That he expected after the pleasant days GOD hadgiven him, he should have his turn of pain andsuffering; but that he was not uneasy about it,knowing very well, that as he could do nothing ofhimself, GOD would not fail to give him thestrength to bear it.
That when an occasion of practicing some virtueoffered, he addressed himself to GOD, saying,LORD,I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me:and that then he received strength more than
sufficient.
That when he had failed in his duty, he onlyconfessed his fault, saying to GOD,I shall neverdo otherwise, if You leave me to myself; it is Youwho must hinder my falling, and mend what isamiss. That after this, he gave himself no furtheruneasiness about it.
That we ought to act with GOD in the greatestsimplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, andimploring His assistance in our affairs, just as theyhappen. That GOD never failed to grant it, as hehad often experienced.
That he had been lately sent into Burgundy, to buythe provision of wine for the society, which was avery unwelcome task for him, because he had noturn for business, and because he was lame andcould not go about the boat but by rolling himselfover the casks. That however he gave himself nouneasiness about it, nor about the purchase of thewine. That he said to GOD,It was His business hewas about, and that he afterwards found it verywell performed. That he had been sent intoAuvergne, the year before, upon the sameaccount; that he could not tell how the matterpassed, but that it proved very well.
So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen (to whichhe had naturally a great aversion), havingaccustomed himself to do everything there for thelove of GOD, and with prayer, upon all occasions,for His grace to do his work well, he had found