T he first time I saw Brother Law rence was upon the third of August, 1666. He told me that God had done him a singular favor in his conversion at the age of 18. That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the providence and power of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for God that he could not tell whether it had increased during the more than 40 years he had lived since. That he had been footman to M. Fieubert, the treasurer, and that he was a great awkward fellow who broke everything. That he had desired to be received into a monastery, thinking that he would there be made to smart for his awkwardness and the faults he should commit, and so he should sac rifice to God his life, with its pleas ures; but that God had disappointed him, he having met with nothing but satisfaction in that state. That we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. That we should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God, which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him. That we ought to quicken —i.e., to enliven—our faith. That it was lam entable we had so little; and that in stead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct, men amused themselves with trivial devotions which changed daily. That the way of faith was the spirit of the church, and that it was sufficient to bring us to a high degree of perfection. That we ought to give ourselves up completely to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the ful filling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly re signed. That there was need of fidel ity in those times of dryness, or in sensibility and irksomeness in prayer, by which God tries our love to Him; that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation, whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual ad vancement. That as for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them that, on the contrary, he was sur- THE KING'S BUSINESS
The Practice off the Presence off G<
There is perhaps no sweeter devotional reading than the Conversations and Letters o f Nicholas Herman (Brother Lawrence) who died at the age o f 80 in 1691. W ith this issue we are print ing the first in a series o f these simple but rich devotions. Each article will be complete in it self, and we are certain many readers will want to keep the entire series for future reference.
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