Julian’s comments on her Revelations (3)

(Julian’s Revelations are far better read in order. If you wish to do so I suggest you begin at the Introduction> )

Continuing the example in chapter 51 of the lord and servant …

For twenty years after the showing, save three months,
I had inner teaching, as I shall say.
Take heed to all the properties and conditions shown in the example
though you think they are misty and seem indifferent to you.

I assented willingly with great desire,
seeing inwardly and earnestly
all the points and properties that had been shown, 
as far as my wit and understanding would serve,
beginning with my observation of the lord and the servant,

How the lord sat,
the place he sat on,
the colour of his clothing and its style,
his outward expression and nobility, and inner goodness;
the way the servant stood, where and how,
his clothing, its colour and shape, his outward behaviour,
and his inner goodness and willingness.

The lord that sat solemnly in rest and peace,
I understood to be God.
I understood that the servant that stood before the lord,
was shown for Adam,
that is to say, one man was shown, and his falling,
to show how God regards any man and his falling.
For in the sight of God, all mankind is one man,
and one man is all mankind.

In the fourteenth century when this was written ‘he’, ‘she’, and ‘man’, all meant ‘person’. To show gender it was necessary to add descriptive syllables such as hus-bound-man, wif-man etc. according to their intended use. He and she were simply words for ‘that person’ in different dialects.

This man’s strength suffered and became feeble,
his mind was stunned, and he no longer saw his lord; 
but his desire remained whole in God’s sight, which I saw our Lord commend and approve.

But he was stopped, blinded from knowing his own will,
which was great sorrow and unease to him.
For he neither he saw his loving lord clearly,
who was meek and mild to him,
nor truly how his loving lord saw him.

And I know well,
when these two are wisely and truly seen,
we shall, in part, get rest and peace here,
and the fullness of the bliss of Heaven by His bountiful grace.
This began the teaching I had then,
so I might learn how He regards us in our sin.

I saw then that only pain blames and punishes,
and our courteous Lord comforts and grieves;
to the soul He is always a shining face,
loving and longing to bring us bliss.

The place where our Lord sat was simple,
on the earth, barren and deserted,
alone in the wilderness.
His clothing, wide, long, fully befitting a lord.
The colour of His cloth was blue as azure, calm and fair.
His face was merciful, light brown and fulsome;
His eyes, black, most fair and seemly,
filled with loving devotion;
and within Him, a high refuge,
long, broad, and full of endless heavens.

His continual loving regard for His servant,
particularly in his falling,
I thought might melt our hearts for love,
and burst them in two for joy;
it seemed a mixture marvellous to behold –
part regret and pity, part joy and bliss.

The joy and bliss pass regret and pity
as far as Heaven is above Earth.
The pity was earthly, the bliss was heavenly.
The Father’s regret and pity was for Adam’s falling,
His most loved creature.
The joy and the bliss was of His beloved Son,
who is equal with the Father.

The merciful regard of His lovely face
filled all the earth,
it went down with Adam into Hell,
its continual devotion kept Adam from endless death.
And His mercy and pity dwell with mankind
until we come up into Heaven.    

But man is blinded in this life;
we may not see our Father, God, as He is.
When He in His goodness shows Himself to Man,
He shows Himself, homely, as a man.

But I saw truly,
we ought to know and believe the Father is not man.
His sitting on the barren, desert earth means this:
He made man’s soul to be His city, His dwelling place,
the most pleasing of all His works.

When man fell into sorrow and pain,
he was no longer fit to serve that noble office.
But our kind Father would assign him no other place.
He sits upon the earth awaiting mankind which is mingled with earth
until by His grace His dear Son had bought His city again
into noble fairness by His hard works.

The blueness of His clothing shows His steadfastness;
the brown-ness of His fair face
with the seemly darkness of His eyes
showed His holy sobriety;
The largeness of His clothing
fair, flaming about,
showed that He hath enclosed within Him
all heavens, all joy and all bliss.

This was shown in a moment;
I saw the Lord delighting highly in the worshipful restoration
He will and shall bring His servant by His plenteous grace.

And yet I wondered;
watching the lord and the servant,
I saw the lord sitting solemnly,
the servant standing reverently before him,
in the servant is a double understanding,
one without, another within.
Outwardly, he was clad simply, a labourer dressed for work,
and he stood close to the lord,
not equally by him, but partly aside on the left.

His clothing was a white tunic,
single, old, and very defaced,
dyed with sweat of his body, fitting him skimpily and short,
as it were an handful benethe the knee,
bare, almost worn out, ragged and torn.
I marvelled greatly at this, thinking
it unseemly clothing for a servant so highly loved,
to stand before so worshipful a lord.

Inwardly, in him was shown a love for the lord
just like the lord’s love for him.
The servant wisely saw he had just one duty,
to devotedly honour his lord.
Out of love, with no regard to himself
nor to anything that might befall him,
he started and ran hastily at his lord’s sending
to do his will and return his worship.
For it seemed by his outward clothing
that he had been his lord’s labourer for a long time.

And by the inner sight I had,
in both the lord and the servant,
it seemed he was beginning new work,
which he had never been sent on before.

There was a treasure in the earth which the lord loved.
I wondered what it might be and was answered in my mind:
It is a pleasant food loved by the lord.
For I saw the lord seated as a man,
with neither meat nor drink there to serve him
which was strange.

Also strange was that this solemn lord had only one servant,
him that he sent out.
I watched, thinking what labour the servant should do,
knowing he should do the greatest, hardest labour that is.

He should be a gardener,
digging, ditching, labouring, sweating,
turning the earth upside-down, going deep,
and watering the plants on time.
He should keep working making sweet streams flow
and noble and plenteous fruits spring up,
to bring before the lord and serve him to his liking,
never ceasing till he had prepared this food as he knew the lord liked,
then take it, with drink and meat, bearing it worshipfully to his lord.

All this time the lord should sit on the same place
awaiting his servant whom he sent out.
Yet I wondered where where the servant came from
For I saw the lord had endless life in himself
and all manner of goodness,
except that treasure that was in the earth,
which had its roots in the lord
in a marvellous depth of endless love
But it was not all to his worship till this servant had worthily prepared it,
and brought it before him himself in his presence.
And apart from the lord there was nothing but wilderness.

I understood nothing of what this example meant,
and wondered where the servant came from.

In the servant is understood the Second Person in the Trinity;
and the servant is understood as Adam,
meaning all mankind.

And therfore when I say the Son, it means the Godhead which is equal with the Father;
and whan I sey the servant, it means Christ’s manhood which is true Adam.

By the nearness of the servant is understood the Son,
and by the standing on the left side is understood Adam.

The lord is the Father, God;
the servant is the Son, Christ Jesus;
the Holy Ghost is the equal love in them both.
When Adam fell, God’s Son fell.

By the true unity made in Heaven,
God’s Son may not be separate from Adam,
for by Adam I understand all mankind.

Adam fell from life to death
into the vale of this wretched world,
and after that into Hell.
God’s Son fell with Adam into the vale of the Maiden’s womb,
who was the fairest daughter of Adam,
and to excuse Adam from blame in Heaven and in earth,
He fetched him, mightily, out of Hell.

The final part of this, one of the longest of Julian’s chapters, follows here next week.

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