Chapter 11. Her 3rd Showing
“The third Revelation etc.; how God doth al thing except synne, never chongyng His purpose without end, for He hath made al thing in fulhede of goodnes. The eleventh chapter.”
And after this I saw God in a tiny point,
that is to say, in my understanding
I saw that He is in all things.
I saw and considered,
seeing and understanding the sight with a soft awe,
and thought: What is sin?
For I saw truly that God does everything,
Nothing comes by chance without His foresight.
If it seems so, our blindness,
our poor foresight, is the cause.
Those things in God’s foreseeing wisdom
from without beginning fall suddenly,
unsuspectedly to us;
by our blindness, by our lack of forsight,
we see them as happenchance.
But to our Lord God they are not so.
fro withoute beginning: an interesting term whose sense is perhaps preserved in the Scottish term outwith, apart from or in this case outside creation. It points to something other than mere unending time: something outside time, to the eternal for which we have no true words. Even ‘eternal’, coming from words meaning ‘lasting for an age’ tries inadequately to express, in temporal words, something outwith time. (Compare Jeremiah: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart)
So I must grant all that is done, is done well ,
for our Lord God does all.
I saw our Lord God at work in His creatures,
not the work of His creatures,
for He is the mid-point of everything;
and I was sure He does no sin.
And I saw here truly that sin is no deed,
for in all this sin was not shown.
I would no longer wonder at this,
but saw what our Lord would show.
My soul was shown the rightfulness of God’s work.
Rightfulness has two fair properties:
it is right
it is full,
as are all the works of our Lord God;
needing neither the working of mercy nor grace,
for all is rightful,
Another time He showed me sin nakedly,
as I shall say later,
where He uses the work of mercy and grace.
This vision was shown to my understanding.
For our Lord wishes the soul to turn
to see Him truly,
and all His works generally,
for they are fully good,
and all His doings are easy and sweet,
and greatly easing,
turning the soul from the blind judgement of man
to the fair, sweet judgement of our Lord God.
For a man sees some deeds well done and some evil.
But our Lord beholds them not so.
For just as all that exists in nature
is of God’s making,
so all that is done
is of God’s doing.
That the best deed is well done
is easy to understand.
And as the best and the highest,
so is the least deed done,
and all in the way and order our Lord has ordained
from without beginning,
for there is no doer but He.
I saw with certainty,
He never changes His purpose,
nor ever shall, without end.
For nothing was unknown to Him
forever, from without beginning.
Everything was set in order and made,
and it shall stand without end,
and nothing shall fail in that point.
He made everything in full goodness,
in the blessed Trinity,
forever fully pleased in all His works.
And all this He showed blisfully,
See, I am God;
see, I am in everything;
see, I do everything;
see, I never left my hands off my works,
nor ever shall without end;
see I lead everything to the end I ordained
from without beginning
by the same might, wisdom and love that I made it.
How should anything be amiss?
Thus mightily, wisely, and lovingly
my soul was examined in this vision.
Then I saw truly,
I had to assent with great reverence,
delighting in God.