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CHAP.

PAGE. 21 On the presence of God.

109 22 On conformity to the will of God

113 23 General instructions how to obtain internal peace 117 24 On being resigned to God

118 25 On the employment of our time

120 26 On the management of time.

123 27 On Marriage.

125 28 On Death.

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SPIRITUAL LETTERS.

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LETTER

Page. 1 To_the Duke of Burgundy, (afterwards Dauphin)

Father to Louis XV.-Anexhortation to solid piety
and a humble knowledge of himself.

131 2 To the same. -That the Love of God ought to be

our principle, our end, our rule, and our all, in
all things

133 3 Extract from a Letter on the happiness of those

who abandon every thing, in consequence of
being really converted to God

136 4 To avoid looking into futurity, and to live in faith and resignation to the will of God .

139 5 To make a right use of the present moment, and to abase ourselves

139 6 How we ought to bear the sight of death, when weakness and age discover its approach

140 a To resign ourselves to the sole will of God, and be detached from every thing else

141 8 To raise up ourselves from the remissness into which we have fallen.

142 9 Rules for the conduct of a Mother Abbess

144 10 On the death of the Abbé de Langeron, his faithful and most ancient friend,

146 A MEDITATION FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF ARCHBISHOP FENELON

148

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PART OF

THE SPIRITUAL WORKS

OF THE CELEBRATED

FRANCIS PENELON.

CHAP. I.

That God is al present litlle knoron. WHAT men are most destitute of, is the knowledge of God. They know indeed, from books, a certain series of miracles, and from facts recorded in history, many tokens of his providence; they have perhaps made serious reflections on the corruption and vanity of the world, and are also convinced of the truth of many useful maxims, conducive to the reformation of their manners with respect to their salvation. But all this building wants a foundation, this body of piety is with. out a soul. That which ought to animate the truly faithful person, is the idea of that God, who is all, who does all, and to whom all is due. He is infinite in all; in wisdom, power, and love. We must not therefore be surprised if all that comes from him retains the character of infinite, and surpasses human reason. In all his proceedings; his thoughts and ways, says the scrip

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ture, are as much above our thoughts and ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth. (Isa. lv. 9.) When he would execute that which he has resolved upon, his power does not exert itself by any laborious efforts; for there is not any design, however difficult, which is not as easy for him to accomplish as the most common matters; it was as easy for him to create the heavens and the earth, such as we now see them, as to cause a river to run in its natural channel, or to let a stone fall from a height. His power lies wholly in his will; he need but will and the thing is done. If the scripture represents bim speaking at the creation, it is not that it was necessary a word should go out from him to make known his will, to that nature he willed to produce. That word which the scripture represents to us, is altogether simple and internal; it is the thought which he had to make the things, and the determination of producing them which he formed in himself. That thought was fruitful, and without going out from him, it drew from him as from the source of all beings, all those which compose the universe. His mercy is nothing else but his pure will. He loved us before the creation of the world, he has seen us, known us, prepared his blessings for us, loved and chosen us from all eternity. When any new good befalls us, it flows from that ancient source; God never has a new will, he is immutable, it is we that change. When we are just and good, we are conformable and agreeable to him; when we forsake what is right, this conformity ceases, and he can no longer regard us with pleasure; this is an unchangeable rule, which we, his creatures liable to change, approach to, and deviate from, successively. His justice against the wicked, and his love for the good are the same thing; the same goodness which unites

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