Bruce Baber (28 March 2013)
"Madame Guyon"

There was a lady you’ve probably never heard of, but she influenced some of the greatest Christian thinkers.  Her full name was Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon.    You’ll probably find it easier to simply remember her as Madame Guyon.  She lived from 1648 until 1717.  She was Catholic as most other French people were.  If you look her up, you’ll find that she was called a “mystic.”  Some called her a heretic.  She believed that people could pray silently to God wherever they happened to be.  She also believed that salvation came from grace, not works. These things didn’t sit well with the church so you can imagine what they did to her.  First she was condemned and shunned.  After being driven from the church she eventually was thrown into prison.  Prisons weren’t pleasant places back then.


She wrote a biography in prison and that’s how her beliefs have been passed down.  While she was alive she influenced some even within the king’s court.  Most of her influence was actually on Protestants, the Quakers especially.  Some of her best known disciples were C. H. Spurgeon and Watchman Nee.


Here is a quote from her autobiography.  “He (God) destroys that he might build; for when he is about to rear his sacred temple in us, he first totally razes that vain and pompous edifice, which human art and power had erected, and from its horrible ruins a new structure is formed, by his power only.”  With these words, she conveyed a powerful truth about the changes that must take place inside of us.

I’m not familiar with everything Madame Guyon wrote, but enough to have an appreciation for her.  No wonder the martyr Watchman Nee was  impressed, because she also wrote, “No one will gain all without having lost all.”  That quote perhaps best sums up the lives of all the martyred saints.  So does the following quote from the apostle Paul, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

I just thought you might like to make the acquaintance of Madame Guyon before you meet her in person.



Bruce Baber