Al dampnyd soule be dispisid in the syte of God, as the devil; ; and these Revelations withdraw not the feith of Holy Church, but comfortith; and the more we besy to know Gods privites, the less we knowen. Thirty-third chapter.
I dared to ask to fully see
both Hell and Purgatory.
I did not mean to test what we believe,
for I truly believed their purpose
as Holy Church teaches us.
But to learn more fully
all that belongs to faith,
and live more to God’s worship,
and my profit.
But I learned nothing of what I asked
except as said earlier in the fifth showing,
where I saw the devil reproved by God
and endlessly damned.
In which sight I understood
that all creatures in this life,
that share the devil’s condition
and die in it,
no more mention is made of them
before God and all His holiness
than of the devil,
whether that they are of mankind,
or whether they have been christened or not.
Though this Showing was of goodness,
with little mention of evil,
yet it did not draw me
from any point of faith
that Holy Church teaches me to believe.
For I saw Christ’s passion in several showings,
in the first, the second, the fifth, and the eighth,
where I felt part of our Lady’s sorrow
and that of His true friends
that saw Him in pain.
But I did not see so fully,
the Jews that put Him to death,
even though I knew in my faith
they were accursed, damned without end,
except those that converted by grace.
And I was strengthened and taught throughout
to keep in the faith in every point,
and by all I had learned in the showings,
with God’s mercy and grace,
to desire and pray with intent
to continue in it to my life’s end.
And God wishes us to highly regard
all that He has done,
but we must stop forever wondering
how a deed is done
and desire to be like our brethren
who are saints in Heaven
wishing nothing but God’s will.
Than we shall only enjoy God,
and be happy with both the hidden and the shown.
For I saw truly in our Lord’s meaning,
the more we busy ourselves us to know His secrets,
in this or any other thing,
the farther shall we be from knowing them.
God shewyth the privityes necessarye to His lovers; and how they plese God mekyl that receive diligently the prechyng of Holy Church. Thirty-fourth chapter.
Our Lord God showed two secrets
One is this great secret with all its mysteries.
He wishes us to know these mysteries are hidden
until the time that He will show them clearly to us.
The other are secrets He will make open and known to us;
for He wishes us to know He wants us to know them.
It are secrets to us,
not because He wishes them secret to us,
but they are secrets to us because of our blindness and ignorance.
In this He has great compassion
and will make them more open to us
so we may know Him,
love Him, and cleave to Him.
God showed His full, great pleasure in all men and women
that mightily and meekly and wilfully
take the preaching and teaching of Holy Church,
for it is His Holy Church.
He is the ground, He is the substance,
He is the teaching, He is the teacher,
He is the goal, He is the reward
to which every natural soul travels
All that helps us to know and understand,
our Lord will show us
with full courtesy ,
that is with all the preaching and teaching of Holy Church.
And this is known and shall be known
to every soul to which the Holy Spirit declares it.
And hope truly that all those that seek this,
He shall help, for they seek God.
All this that I have now said,
and more I shall say later,
is comforting against sin.
For in the third showing
when I saw that God does all that is done,
I saw no sin, and then I saw that all is well.
But when God showed me, instead of sin,
He then said, All shall be well.
How God doith al that is good and suffrith worshipfully al by His mercy, the which shal secyn whan synne is no longer suffrid. Thirty-fifth chapter.i
Almighty God had showed so plentifully,
so fully of His goodness,
that I asked if a certain creature I loved
should continue in good health,
which I hoped, by God’s grace, had begun,
but I seemed hampered by this one desire,
for I was taught nothing at this time.
a certeyn creature that I lovid: According to Georgia Ronan Crampton in an excellent book, The Shewings of Julian of Norwich, which she edited, Julian’s short text written some twenty years earlier, indicates that this beloved soul was a woman:
‘It has been proposed that the person may have been a child, Emma, the daughter of Sir Miles Stapleton, whose house was visible from the cell window of Saint Julian’s church, according to Robert Flood. Lady Emma Stapleton later was a recluse at White Friars Priory (1421-42). Flood imagines the circumstances of Julian’s concern for this neighbour child, who would have travelled the road past the cell on her way to another of the Stapleton residences: “Doubtless she had many conversations with the lady through her window . . .” (p. 39). Of course any such identification is speculative.’
And then was I answered in my reason,
as though by a friendly mediator:
“Take it generally.
See your Lord God’s courtesy in this showing,
for it is greater worship to God
to see Him in everything
than in any special thing.”
Accepting this, I learned
it is more worship to God
to know all things in general
than like any one thing as special.
If I should be wise after this teaching,
I should not delight in one special thing,
nor greatly stressed for any one thing,
for all shall be well.
Fullness of joy is to see God in all.
By the same blessed might, wisdom, and love
that our good Lord made everything,
He leads it continually to the same end,
and shall bring it to Himself.
And when it is time we shall see it.
And the ground of this was shown in the first
and more openly in the third,
where it says, ‘I saw God in a point’.
All that our Lord does is rightful,
and all He suffers is worshipful,
in which is understood both good and ill;
for all that is good our Lord does;
and all that is evil, our Lord suffers.
I say not that any evil is worshipful,
but our Lord God’s suffering is worshipful,
by which His goodness shall be known endlessly,
in His marvellous meekness and mildness,
by the working of mercy and grace.
Rightfulness is that thing that is so good
that it cannot be better than it is.
For God Himself is true rightfulness,
and all His works are done rightfully
as they are ordained from beyond beginning
by His high might, His high wisdom,
His high goodness.
And just as He ordained all for the best,
so He works continually,
leading it on to that end.
He is always fully pleased
with Himself and all His works.
The sight of this blissful accord
is full sweet to the soul that sees by grace.
All the souls that shall be saved,
in Heaven without end,
are made innocent in God’s sight,
by His own goodness,
in which innocence we are kept,
endlessly and marvellously,
above all creatures.
Mercy is the work of God’s goodness,
and shall work as long as sin is allowed
to pursue innocent souls.
When sin has no longer leave to pursue,
then mercy’s work shall end,
and all shall be brought to innocence
and therein stand forever.
By His sufferance we fall,
and in His blissful love,
in His might and His wisdom,
we are kept and, by mercy and grace,
we are raised to abundant joys.
And so in rightfulness and in mercy
He will be known and loved without end.
And the soul that wisely beholds this in grace,
is well pleased with both,
and endlessly delights.
Of another excellent dede that our Lord shal don, which be
grace may be known a party here, and how we shul enjoyen in the same,
and how God yet doith myracles. Thirty-sixth chapter.
Our Lord God showed that a deed shall be done,
and He shall do it.
And I shall do nothing but sin,
but my sin shall not stop His goodness working.
And I saw that seeing this
is heavenly joy for a reverent soul,
which evermore, by kindly grace
desires God’s will.
This deed shall begin here,
and shall be worshipful to God
and greatly profitable to His lovers in earth.
And whenever we come to Heaven
we shall see it in marvellous joy.
And it shall continue
working thus to the last day;
its worship and bliss shall last in Heaven
before God and all His saints
So our Lord’s meaning was seen and understood ,
as He told of this deed
so we may delight in Him and all He does.
As I saw His showing continue,
I knew it showed a great thing to come,
that God showed that He should do
a deed with these properties foreshown.
And He showed this quite blissfully,
intending me to take it
wisely, faithfully, trustingly.
But what this deed should be was kept from me.
I saw in this that He does not want us
to fear the things He shows.
He shows them, wishing us to know them,
and, in knowing, He wants us to love Him,
like Him, and endlessly delight in Hym.
And in the great love He has for us,
He shows us all that is worshipful,
all that is profitable for this time.
Those things that He will now keep hidden,
in His great goodness He shows them closed,
because He wants us to believe,
to understand that we shall see them,
truly, in His endless bliss.
Then ought we to delight in Him
for all He shows and all He hides.
And if we do so wilfully and meekly,
we shall find great ease in this,
and have His endless thanks.
Thus the understanding of this word,
is that it shall be done for me,
that is to say for people in general,
that is to say,
for all that shall be saved.
It shall be worshipful, marvellous, plentiful;
and God Himself shall do it;
and this shall be the highest possible joy,
to see the deed that God Himself shall do.
And man shall do nothing right, but sin.
Our Lord God’s meaning in this is as if He said,
here is the substance of meekness,
here is the substance of love,
here is the substance of seeing yourself as nought,
here is the substance to delight in me,
and for my love delight in me,
for thus of all things,
you may most please me.”
And as long as we are in this life,
whenever we, in our folly,
turn to watching sinners,
our Lord God gently touches us,
and sweetly calls us, saying in our soul,
Leave all your desire, my precious child.
Listen to me.
I am enough for you,
delight in your Saviour and in your salvation.
I am sure this is our Lord’s work in us,
The soul that understands this by grace
shall see and feel it.
This deed is meant truly for the general man,
excluding no particular person;
for what our good Lord will do for His poor creatures,
is now unknown to me.
But this deed, and the greater spoken of,
are not one and the same, but two.
But this deed shall be done sooner,
and that shall be as we come to Heaven.
And to whom our Lord gives it,
may be known here in part.
But the great deed shall be known
neither in Heaven nor earth till it is don.
And He gave special understanding
and teaching of miracles:
It is known that I have done miracles here before,
many and separate, high and marvellous,
worshipful and great,
and so as I have done, I do now continually,
and shall do in the time to come .
Before miracles comes sorrow,
anguish and tribulation,
so we know that lead by our sin we fall,
through our own feebleness and mischief,
to make us meek, fearing God,
and crying for help and grace.
Miracles come after that,
from the high might, wisdom, and goodness of God,
showing His virtue and the joys of Heaven,
as it may be in this passing life;
and to strengthen our faith,
and increase our hope in love;
so it pleases Him to be known
and worshipped in miracles.
He does not want us to be brought too low
by sorrow and tempests happening to us,
for this has always been so