…….On   an   evening   before   Easter   Day,   I   sat   at   a   table,   and   having   (as   my   custom   was)   in   my   humble prayer   sufficiently   conversed   with   my   Creator,   and   considered   many   great   mysteries   (whereof   the Father   of   Lights   his   Majesty   had   shown   me   not   a   few)   and   being   now   ready   to   prepare   in   my   heart, together   with   my   dear   Paschal   Lamb,   a   small,   unleavened,   undefiled   cake;   all   of   a   sudden   arose   so horrible   a   tempest,   that   I   imagined   no   other   but   that   through   its   mighty   force,   the   hill   on   which   my little   house   was   founded   would   fly   into   pieces.   But   inasmuch   as   this,   and   the   like   from   the   Devil   (who had   done   me   many   a   spite)   was   no   new   thing   to   me,   I   took   courage,   and   persisted   in   my   meditation, till   somebody   in   an   unusual   manner   touched   me   on   the   back;   whereupon   I   was   so   hugely   terrified, that   I   dared   hardly   look   about   me;   yet   I   showed   myself   as   cheerful   as   (in   such   occurrences)   human frailty   would   permit.   Now   the   same   thing   still   twitching   me   several   times   by   the   coat,   I   looked   back, and   behold   it   was   a   fair   and   glorious   lady,   whose   garments   were   all   sky-colored,   and   curiously   (like Heaven)   bespangled   with   golden   stars;   in   her   right   hand   she   bore   a   trumpet   of   beaten   gold,   on   which a   Name   was   engraved   which   I   could   well   read   but   am   as   yet   forbidden   to   reveal   it.   In   her   left   hand she   had   a   great   bundle   of   letters   of   all   languages,   which   she   (as   I   afterwards   understood)   was   to carry   to   all   countries.   She   also   had   large   and   beautiful   wings,   full   of   eyes   throughout,   with   which   she could   mount   aloft,   and   fly   swifter   than   any   eagle.   I   might   perhaps   have   been   able   to   take   further notice   of   her,   but   because   she   stayed   so   little   time   with   me,   and   terror   and   amazement   still   possessed me,   I   had   to   be   content.   For   as   soon   as   I   turned   about,   she   turned   her   letters   over   and   over,   and   at length   drew   out   a   small   one,   which   with   great   reverence   she   laid   down   upon   the   table,   and   without giving   one   word,   departed   from   me.   But   in   her   mounting   upward,   she   gave   so   mighty   a   blast   on   her gallant   trumpet,   that   the   whole   hill   echoed   from   it,   and   for   a   full   quarter   of   an   hour   after,   I   could hardly   hear   my   own   words.   In   so   unlooked   for   an   adventure   I   was   at   a   loss,   how   either   to   advise   or   to assist   my   poor   self,   and   therefore   fell   upon   my   knees   and   besought   my   Creator   to   permit   nothing contrary   to   my   eternal   happiness   to   befall   me.   Whereupon   with   fear   and   trembling,   I   went   to   the   letter, which   was   now   so   heavy,   that   had   it   been   mere   gold   it   could   hardly   have   been   so   weighty.    Now   as   I was   diligently   viewing   it,   I   found   a   little   seal,   on   which   a   curious   cross   with   this   inscription,   was engraved:                                                IN HOC  SIGNO           VINCES Now   as   soon   as   I   espied   this   sign   I   was   the   more   comforted,   as   not   being   ignorant   that   such   a   seal was little acceptable, and much less useful, to the Devil. Whereupon   I   tenderly   opened   the   letter,   and   within   it,   in   an   azure   field,   in   golden   letters,   found   the following verses written:- “This day, today Is the Royal Wedding day For this thou were born. And chosen of God for  joy Thou may go to the mountain  whereon three temples stand And see there this affair. Keep watch Inspect thyself And should thou not bathe thoroughly The Wedding may work thy bane. Bane comes to him who fail here Let him beware who is too light. Below was written: Sponsus and Sponsa. As   soon   as   I   had   read   this   letter,   I   was   presently   like   to   have   fainted   away,   all   my   hair   stood   on   end, and a cold sweat tricked down my whole body. For   although   I   well   perceived   that   this   was   the   appointed   wedding,   of   which   seven   years   before   I   was acquainted   in   a   bodily   vision,   and   which   now   for   so   long   a   time   I   had   with   great   earnestness   awaited, and   which   lastly,   by   the   account   and   calculation   of   the   planets,   I   had   most   diligently   observed,   I found so to be, yet could I never foresee that it must happen under such grievous perilous conditions. For   whereas   I   before   imagined,   that   to   be   a   welcome   and   acceptable   guest,   I   needed   only   to   be   ready to   appear   at   the   wedding,   I   was   now   directed   to   Divine   Providence,   of   which   until   this   time   I   was never certain. I   also   found   by   myself,   the   more   I   examined   myself,   that   in   my   head   there   was   nothing   but   gross misunderstanding,   and   blindness   in   mysterious   things,   so   that   I   was   not   able   to   comprehend   even those   things   which   lay   under   my   feet,   and   which   I   daily   conversed   with,   much   less   that   I   should   be born   to   the   searching   out   and   understanding   of   the   secrets   of   Nature,   since   in   my   opinion   Nature might   everywhere   find   a   more   virtuous   disciple,   to   whom   to   entrust   her   precious,   though   temporary and changeable, treasures. I   found   also   that   my   bodily   behavior,   and   outward   good   conversation,   and   brotherly   love   towards   my neighbor,   was   not   duly   purged   and   cleansed.   Moreover   the   tickling   of   the   flesh   manifested   itself, whose   affection   was   bent   only   to   pomp   and   bravery,   and   worldly   pride,   and   not   to   the   good   of mankind:   and   I   was   always   contriving   how   by   this   art   I   might   in   a   short   time   abundantly   increase   my profit   and   advantage,   rear   up   stately   palaces,   make   myself   an   everlasting   name   in   the   world,   and other    similar    carnal    designs.    But    the    obscure    words    concerning    the    three    temples    particularly afflicted   me,   which   I   was   not   able   to   make   out   by   any   after-speculation,   and   perhaps   should   not   have done so yet, had they not been wonderfully revealed to me. Thus   stuck   between   hope   and   fear,   examining   myself   again   and   again,   and   finding   only   my   own   frailty and   impotence,   not   being   in   any   way   able   to   succor   myself,   and   exceedingly   amazed   at   the   fore mentioned   threatening,   at   length   I   betook   myself   to   my   usual   and   most   secure   course   -   after   I   had finished   my   earnest   and   most   fervent   prayer,   I   laid   myself   down   in   my   bed,   so   that   perchance   my   good Angel   by   the   Divine   permission   might   appear,   and   (as   it   had   sometimes   formerly   happened)   instruct me in this doubtful affair. Which   to   the   praise   of   God,   my   own   good,   and   my   neighbours’   faithful   and   hearty   warning   and amendment, did now likewise come about.
The Story begins