Julian Chap. 76 – 77

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction.

Seventy-sixth Chapter.

A loveand soule hatith synne for vilehede more than all the peyn of Hell; and how the beholdyng of other mannys synne (but if it be with compassion), lettith the beholdyng of God; and the devill, be putting in remembrans our writchidness, would letten for the same; and of our slawth.

I speak but little of reverent dread,
for I hope it may be seen here above.
But I know well our Lord showed me no souls
other than those that fear Him.

For I know well, the soul that truly accepts
the Holy Spirit’s teaching hates sin more
for all its vileness, and all its horror,
than all the pains of Hell; for as I saw it,
the soul that beholds Lord Jesus’ kindness,
hates no hell but sin.

Therefore it is God’s will that we know sin,
praying busily, working wilfully,
seeking the Spirit’s teaching meekly,
that we do not fall blindly into sin;
and if we fall, that we rise readily.

For the most pain the soul may ever have,
is to turn away from God because of sin.
When sin comes to mind, the soul wanting rest
should flee it as the deepest pain of Hell,
seeking God for ease and help against it.

Beholding other men’s sins makes, as it were,
a thick mist before the soul’s eye,
so we can no longer see God’s fairness –
unless we can have contrition with them,
beholding them with compassion for them,
and with holy desire to God for them;
for I learned in showing compassion,
that without this the soul that beholds them
is annoyed, tempested and hampered.

In this blissful showing of our Lord,
I have understood two contraries.
The most wisdom any may have in this life;
the other, the most folly.

The most wisdom is to follow the will
and counsel of his highest sovereign friend.
This blessed friend is Jesus.
His will and counsel is that we hold to Him,
and fasten ourselves to Him, homely,
evermore in whatever state we are,
for whether we are foul or clean
we are all one in His love.

He never wants us to flee Him for weal nor woe.
But being changeable we often fall
by the stirring of our enemy, into sin
and by our own folly and blindness.

For they say, ‘You know well you are a wretch,
a sinner, untrue, not keeping the commands;
you often promise our Lord to do better,
and soon after, fall again just the same,
which is sloth and wasting time’.

As I see it, that is the beginning of sin,
for creatures that have given themselves
to serve our courteous Lord,
inwardly beholding his blessed goodness,
making us fearful to appear before Him.

It is our enemy that sets us back
with his false fear of our wretchedness,
for the pain that he threatens us with;
intending to make us so heavy,
and so weary, that we put out of mind
the fair, blissful vision of our everlasting friend.

LXXVII Seventy-seventh chapter.

Off the enmite of the fend which lesith more in our uprising than he winnith be our fallyng, and therfore he is scornyd. And how the scorge of God shuld be suffrid with mynde of His passion. For that is specially rewardid aboven penance be ourselfe chosen. And we must nedes hove wo, but curtes God is our leder, keper, and bliss.

Our good Lord showed the fiend’s enmity,
and all that is contrary to love and peace
is of the fiend and his part, but we fall
through our own feebleness and folly,
but rise to more joy with the mercy
and with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

If our enemy wins anything by our fall,
which is his delight, he loses far more
in our rising by charity and meekness.
Our glorious rising is such great sorrow
and pain to him for his hate for our soul,
that he burns continually with envy.
And all this sorrow he would make us have
shall turn to himself. For this our Lord scorned him,
and which made me laugh mightily.

This then is the remedy –
to know our wretchedness and fly to our Lord,
for always, the needier we are,
the more helpful it is to draw near Him.

Saying in our mind,
‘I know well I have a wicked pain,
our almighty Lord may punish me mightily,
He is all-wise and can punish me skilfully,
and is all goodness and loves me full tenderly.

We must abide this awareness,
that lovely meekness of a sinful soul,
wrought by the Holy Spirit’s mercy and grace,
when we will wilfully and gladly take
the scourge and chastening our Lord will give.
And it shall be fully tender and easy,
if we will only think ourselves repaid
by Him and all His works.

I was shown no penance that man takes himself,
that is to say, no specific penance;
but it was shown especially highly,
with full, lovely, unspoken feeling,
that we shall meekly and patiently bear
and suffer the penance God Himself gives us
in understanding of His blessed passion.

For when we think of His blessed passion
with piety and love, we suffer with Him,
as did His friends that saw it.
And this was shown in the thirteenth showing,
near the beginning where it speaks of piety.
For He says,
Do not blame yourself too much, insisting that all your tribulation and woe is all for your failings, for I do not wish you to be either heavy or sorrowful imprudently. I tell you, whatever you do you shall have woe, so I want you to see this penance wisely, and know that all your life is profitable penance.

This place is prison, and this life is penance;
and He wants us to enjoy the remedy,
which is that He is with us,
keeping and leading us into fullest joy.
For our Lord intends this endless joy,
that He that shall be our bliss when we are there,
and He is our keeper while we are here.

Our way, our Heaven, is true love, sure trust,
which He gave with complete understanding,
showing His passion, by which He made me
choose Him, mightily, for my Heaven.

Fly to our Lord, and we shall be comforted;
touch Him, and we shall be made clean;
cleave to Him, and we shall be secure,
safe from all manner of peril;
for our courteous Lord wants us homely with Him
as heart may think, or soul desire.

But homeliness must not displace courtesy.
Our Lord Himself is sovereign homeliness,
and homely as He is, He is very courteous;
and those to be with Him in Heaven,
He will have like Himself in all things.

And to be like our Lord perfectly,
is our true salvation and our full bliss.
And if we do not know how to do this
let us ask our Lord, and He shall teach us,
for it is His delight and His worship.

Blessed may He be.

Julian 74 – 75

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction.

Dread, which Julian uses often here, is still a complex word but nowadays we reduce it to fewer meanings, principally using it for extreme fear. In the 14th century, according to its context, it was used to convey respect, awe, wonder, etc. allowing an admixture of other emotions. We have not lost all this; Christians, Jews and Muslims understand the term ‘fear God’ very much in this multi-emotive way, although sadly a few seem to use it to use it mainly as being scared of His punishing us for sin.

Seventy-fourth chapter.

Ther ben four manner of drede, but reverent drede is a lovely true that never is without meke love; and yet thei be not both one; and how we should pray God for the same.

For I understand four forms of awe.

One is the alarm that comes to us from frailty.
This does good for it helps to purge us,
as do bodily sickness or pains that are not sin.
Taken patiently, all such pains help us.

The second is that of suffering, whereby man is stirred,
wakened from drowsy dullness to sin,
unable to know the Holy Spirit’s soft comfort
until he understands the fear of pain,
bodily death and spiritual enemies.
This awe stirs and helps us seek comfort and God’s mercy,
enabling contrition by the Holy Spirit’s blissful touch.

The third is that of doubt.

Our awe of doubt draws us to despair,
which God wishes to be turned into love
by our knowing and understanding love;
that is to say, by turning doubt’s bitterness
to sweet kindred love by grace.
For it can never please our Lord
for His servants to doubt his goodness.

The fourth is reverent awe.

Reverent awe is the most pleasing to God,
it is completely gentle,
the more it is had, the less is it felt,
for sweetness of love.
Love and awe are brothers,
rooted in us by our maker’s goodness;
and shall never be taken from us.

It is our nature to love, and we have grace to love;
awe is in our nature, and we have grace to be in awe.
It is the Lord and Father’s right to be revered,
as is the Lord and Father’s goodness to be loved.

We, His servants and His children must revere Him
for His lordship and fatherhood,
as we must love Him for goodness.

This reverent awe and love, though not divided,
are not one but two, in nature and working.
Neither may be had without the other.
Therefore I am sure that he that loves
also dreads, though he may feel it little.

All fears we have, other than reverent awe,
though having the colour of holiness,
are not so true, and so may be told apart.

That dread that makes us flee hastily
from all that is not good,
falling into our Lords breast
as the child into the mother’s bosom,
with all our intent, with all our mind,
knowing our feebleness and our great need,
knowing His everlasting goodness,
His blissful love, looking only to Him for salvation,
cleaving to Him with secure trust –
that dread is natural, gracious, good, and true.
All that is opposed to this,
is either wrong or mixed with wrong.
This is the remedy: to know them both
and refuse the wrong.

The natural benefit of the dread
we have here by the Holy Spirit’s grace,
shall also be in Heaven before God,
gentle, courteous, and wholly delectable.

And there we shall, in love, be homely,
near to God, and, in respect and awe,
equally gentle and courteous to Him.

We desire to fear our Lord God reverently,
love Him meekly, and trust Him mightily.

When we dread Him, loving Him reverently,
meekly, our trust is never in vain;
the more and mightier we trust our Lord,
the more we please and worship Him we trust.
And if, God forbid, we fail in this,
in this reverent dread, in this meek love,
our trust shall quickly become unruly for a time.

And so we must pray greatly to our Lord of grace
that we may have this reverent dread and meek love
as His gift in heart and action,
for without this no man may please God.


Us nedith love, longing, and pite; and of three manner of longing in God which arn in us; and how in the day of dome the joy of the blissid shal ben incresid, seing verily the cause of all thyng that God hath don, dredfully tremeland, and thankand for joye, mervelyng the gretnes of God and littlenes of all that is made. Seventy-fifth chapter.

I saw that God may do all we need.
And we need three things of which I shall talk:
love, longing, pity.

Pity, or piety, in love holds us
safe in the time of our need,
and longing, in that same love,
draws us into Heaven.

For God thirsts to have all mankind in Him.
His thirst drew all His saints, now in bliss;
and for us on earth, His living members,
He forever draws and drinks,
yet still He thirsts and longs.

I saw three forms of longing in God,
all to one purpose which we share,
the same virtue, and the same end.

First, He longs to teach us to know Him,
to love Him forever, as is suitable and beneficial to us.
Second, He longs to have us up in His bliss
as souls taken out of pain into Heaven.
Third, to fulfil us in bliss,
which shall be fulfilled on the last day, everlastingly.

For I saw, as it is known in our faith,
that pain and sorrow shall be ended
for all that shall be saved.

We shall not only receive the same bliss
that souls before have had in Heaven,
but we new bliss, into and fulfilling us,
plentifully flowing from God.

These are the gifts He has ordained for us
from without beginning;
they are treasured and hidden in Himself,
for until that time no creature is mighty enough
or worthy to receive them.
In them we shall see the true cause of all He has done,
and see evermore the cause of all He has suffered.

The bliss and fulfilling shall be so deep and high
that, for the wonder and marvel, all creatures
shall have for God so great reverent dread,
surpassing what has been seen and felt before,
that the pillars of Heaven shall tremble and quake;
but this trembling and dread shall have no pain.

It belongs to God’s worthy might
to behold His creatures in awe,
trembling and quaking for meekness of joy,
marvelling at God, the maker’s greatness,
over the littleness of all creation.

Beholding this makes the creature
marvellously meek and mild, which God desires,
and it belongs to us by kinship and grace,
to be certain of and acknowledge this,
desiring this sight and His work.
For it leads us in the right way,
and keeps us in true life,
and unites us with God.

As good as God is and as great He is,
as much as it belongs to His Godhead to be loved,
so it belongs to His greatness to be dreaded;
with that reverent dread, the fair courtesy
that is in Heaven before God’s face.

And as much as He shall then be known
and loved beyond what He is now,
so shall He be feared beyond what He is now.
All Heaven and earth shall tremble and quake
when its pillars shall tremble and quake
in meekness and joy.