Part 3

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by Jacob Behmen (Jakob Boehme) 1575-1624,

The Teutonic Theosopher

SHOWING

How Man must DAILY die to his OWN Will in SELF; how he must bring his Desire
into God, and what he should ask and desire of God.

LIKEWISE

How he must spring up out of the dying sinful Man, with a new Mind and Will
through the Spirit of Christ.

ALSO

What the Old and New Man are, and what each of them is in Life, Will and
Practice.

Composed by a Soul that loveth all

who are Children of JESUS CHRIST, under the Cross.

Brought forth in the 1600 s by a humble shoemaker; translated into
English over 100 years later; suppressed and hidden away until recently
in theological archives around the world… a worthy personal study not
just for academics but for all those who are spiritually grounded in
the WORD, who are learning to hear the Lord, and who hunger for more.

These writings from out of the Past are in the Public Domain and may be
freely shared, photocopied, reproduced, faxed or transmitted in any way
by any means.

Christ saith, If any Man will come after Me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and
take up his Cross daily, and follow Me.Matthew 16,24 ;Mark 8,34 ;Luke
9,23.

Peter saith to Christ, Behold, we have forsaken All, and followed
Thee.Matthew 19,27 ;Mark 10,28 ;Luke 18,28.
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We have a clear Example in Lucifer, and also in Adam the first Man,
of what SELF doeth, when it getteth the Light of Nature to be its
OWN, and when it can walk with the Understanding in its OWN
Dominion. We see also in Men learned in Arts and Sciences, that when
they get the Light of this outward World or Nature into the
Possession of their Reason, nothing cometh of it but Pride of
themSELVES. And yet all the World so vehemently desireth and seeketh
after this Light as the best Treasure; and indeed it is the best
Treasure this World affordeth, if it be rightly used.

2. But while SELF, viz. Reason, is captivated and fast bound in a
close and strong Prison, that is to say, in the Anger of God, and in
Earthliness, it is very dangerous for a Man to make Use of the Light
of Knowledge in SELF, as if it were in the Possession of SELF.

3. For the Wrath of the Eternal and Temporary Nature will soon take
Pleasure in it, and then SELF and a Man’s own Reason, will rise up
in Pride, and depart from the true resigned Humility towards God,
and will no longer eat of the Fruit of Paradise, but instead eat of
the Property of SELF, viz. of that Dominion of Life, wherein Good
and Evil are mixed as Lucifer and Adam did. Who both entered with
the Desire of SELF back again into the Original, out of which the
Creatures were brought forth and entered into the Condition of the
Creatures; Lucifer into the Center and wrathful Nature, into the
Matrix or Womb which bringeth forth Fire, and Adam into the earthly
Nature, into the Matrix of the outward World, viz. into the Lust
after Good and Evil.

4. This happened to them both, because they had the Light of
Understanding shining in SELF, in which they could behold
themselves, whereby the Spirit of SELF went into the Imagination,
(viz. into a Desire to get to the Center,) that they might exalt
themselves in Might, Power, and Knowledge. Now when Lucifer sought
after the Mother of Fire in his Center, and thought to reign
therewith over the Love of God and all the Angels, and when Adam
also desired to try in the Essence what the Mother or Root was from
whence Evil and Good did spring, and purposely brought his Desire
thereinto, in order to thereby become knowing and full of
Understanding thereby: Both Lucifer and Adam were captivated in
their evil or false Desire in the Mother, and broke off themselves
from Resignation which proceeds from God, and so were caught by the
Spirit of the Will, by the Desire in the Mother. Which Desire
immediately got the Dominion in Nature; and so Lucifer stuck fast in
the wrathful Source of Fire, and that Fire became manifest in the
Spirit of his Will, whereby the Creature in its Desire became an
Enemy to the Love and Meekness of God.

5. Adam in like Manner, was immediately caught by the earthly
Mother, which is Evil and Good, created out of the Anger and Love of
God, and compacted into one Substance. Whereupon the earthly
Property instantly got the Dominion in Adam, and from thence Heat
and Cold, Envy and Anger, and all Malice and Contrariety to God
became manifest, and bore Rule in him.

6. But if they had not brought the Light of Knowledge into SELF,
then the Glass of the Knowledge of the Center and of the Original of
the Creature, viz. of the Power which it had in itself would not
have been manifested, from whence the Imagination and Lust did
arise.

7. As also we often see at this Day how the same Error bringeth
Danger upon the enlightened Children of God; in whom when the Sun of
the great Presence of God’s Holiness shineth, by which the Life
passeth into Triumph, and then Reason beholds itself therein as in a
Glass, and the Will goeth on in SELF, in its OWN searching, and will
try what the Center is out of which the Light shineth, and will of
its OWN Motion and Strength force itSELF into it, how that from
thence arise abominable Pride and SELF-Love; so that its (the
Creature’s) own Reason, which is but a Mirror or Glass of the
Eternal Wisdom, supposeth itSELF to be greater than it is; and then
whatsoever it doeth, it thinketh God’s Will doeth in and by it, and
that he is a Prophet; though it is moved only by itSELF, and goeth
on in its OWN Desire, in which the Center of Nature presently riseth
up, and entereth into that false Desire of SELF against God, and so
the Will entereth into SELF-Conceit and Exaltation.

8. Then the subtle Devil insinuateth himself into the Creature, and
sifteth the Center of Nature, and bringeth evil or false Desires
into it, so that a Man becometh as it were drunken in SELF, and
still persuades himself that he is driven by God, by which Means the
good Beginning, wherein the Divine Light shone in Nature, cometh to
be spoiled, and so the Light of God departeth from him.

9. Yet the outward Light of the outward Nature still remaineith
shining in the Creature; for its own SELF throweth itself thereinto,
and supposeth that it is still the first Light of God; but it is not
so. And into this SELF-Exaltation in the Light of its outward
Reason, the Devil throweth himself again, (though in the first
Light, which was Divine, he had been forced to depart) now returning
with the seven-fold Desire, of which Christ spake, saying, When the
unclean Spirit departeth out of a Man, he wandereth through dry
Places seeking Rest, and findeth none; and then he taketh to himself
seven Spirits worse than himself, and returneth to his first House;
and finding it swept and garnished, he dwelleth therein, and so it
is worse with that Man than it was before.

10. This House, that is thus swept and garnished, is the Light of
Reason in SELF. For if a Man bringeth his Desire and Will into God,
and then goeth on in Abstinence from this wicked Life, and heartily
desireth the Love of God, then that Love will indeed manifest itself
to him with its most friendly and cheerful Countenance, by which the
outward Light also is kindled. For where the Light of God is
kindled, there all will be Light; the Devil cannot stay there, but
must depart thence; and then he searcheth through the Mother of the
Original of Life, viz. the Center, but finds that it is become a dry
feeble Place. For the Anger of God, viz, the Center of Nature, is in
its own Property altogether feeble, barren and dry and cannot get
the Dominion in its own wrathful Principle. Satan continually
searcheth through these Places to find an open Gate to enter with
his Desire, and so to sift the Soul that it might come to exalt its
SELF.

11. And now if the Spirit of the Will of the Creature throweth
itself with the Light of Reason back into the Center, viz. into
SELF, and entereth into SELF-Exaltation, then it goeth forth again
from the Light of God, and presently the Devil findeth an open Gate
for him to enter in at, and a garnished House to dwell in, viz. the
Light of Reason. Then he taketh to himself the seven Forms of the
Property of Life in SELF, viz. the Flatterers which are departed
from God into SELF; and there he entereth and putteth his Desire
into the Lust of SELF and evil Imaginations, wherein the Spirit of
the Will beholdeth itself in the Forms of the Properties of Life in
the outward Light, and then the Man sinketh into himself as if he
were drunk, and the Stars lay hold on him, and bring their strong
Influences into him, (into outward Reason) that he might seek the
Wonders of God there, that so they may manifest themselves therein.
For all Creatures groan and long after God. And though the Stars
cannot apprehend the Spirit of God, yet they would rather have a
House of Light wherein they may rejoice, than a House shut up,
wherein they can have no Rest.

12. Thus such a Man goeth on as if he were drunk, in the Light of
the outward Reason, which is called the Stars, and apprehendeth
great and wonderful Things, and hath a continual Guide, therein. And
then the Devil presently watcheth to see if any Gate standeth open
for him, through which he may kindle the Centre of Life, that so the
Spirit of the Will may mount aloft in Pride, Self-Conceit, or
Covetousness; (from whence Self-Arrogancy ariseth, the Will of
Reason desiring to be honored;) for it supposeth it hath attained
the Sum of all Happiness, when it hath gotten the Light of Reason,
and can judge the House of hidden Mysteries that is shut up; which
nevertheless God can easily unlock. The deluded Man thereupon
supposeth that now he hath reached the Mark, and that Honour is due
to him, because he hath gotten the Understanding of Reason, and
never considereth that the Devil maketh himself merry with his
Desire in his seven Forms of Life of the Center of Nature, nor what
abominable Error he setteth up.

13. From this Understanding of Reason false Babel is brought forth
in the Christian Church on Earth, wherein Men rule and teach by the
Conclusions of Reason, and have set the Child which is drunk in its
own Pride and SELF-Desire, as a fair Virgin upon the Throne.

14. But the Devil is entered into its seven Forms of Life of the
Center, viz. into its own SELF-conceited Reason, and continually
bringeth his Desire into this trimmed and decorated Virgin, which
the Stars receive. He is her Beast on which she rideth, well adorned
with her own Powers of Life, as may be seen in the Revelation of St.
John. Thus hath this Child of SELF taken into its Possession the
outward Glance of Divine Holiness, viz. the Light of Reason, and
supposeth itSELF to be the fair Child in the House, though the Devil
hath his Lodging within it all the while.

15. And thus it is with all those who have been once enlightened by
God, and afterwards go forth again from true Resignation, and wean
themselves from the pure Milk of their Mother, viz. true Humility.
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Here Reason will object and say, Is it not right for a Man to attain
the Light of God, and also the Light of the outward Nature and
Reason, that he may be able to order his Life wisely, as the
Scripture directeth?

2. Yes, it is very right; nothing can be more profitable to a Man,
neither is he capable of any Thing better; nay, it is a Treasure
above all Earthly Treasures for a Man to have the Light of God and
of Time, for it is the Eye of Time and of Eternity.

3. But mark how thou oughtest to use it; when the Light of God first
manifesteth itself in the Soul, it shineth forth as Light from a
Candle, and kindleth the outward Light of Reason immediately; yet it
yieldeth not itself wholly up to Reason, so as to be under the
Dominion of the outward Man. No, the outward Man beholdeth himself
in this through-shining Lustre, as he doth his Likeness in a
Looking-Glass, whereby he presently learneth to know himself, which
is good and profitable to him.

4. Now, when he doth so, Reason, which is the creaturely SELF,
cannot do better than to behold itself in the SELF of the Creature,
and not enter with the Will of the Desire into the Center in seeking
itself. If it doth, it breaketh itself off from the Substance of
God, (which riseth together with the Light of God, of which the Soul
ought to eat, and refresh itself therewith,) and eateth of the
outward Substance and Light, and thereby draweth the Venom into
itself again.

5. The Will of the Creature ought to sink wholly into itself with
all its Reason and Desire, accounting itself an unworthy Child that
is no whit worthy of this so high a Grace; nor should it arrogate
any Knowledge or Understanding to itself, or desire of God to have
any Understanding in its creaturely SELF; but sincerely and simply
sink down into the Grace and Love of God in Christ Jesus, and desire
to be as it were dead to itSELF and its own Reason, in the Divine
Life, and wholly resign itself to the Spirit of God in Love, that He
may do how and what He will with it as with His own Instrument.

6. Its own Reason ought not enter upon any Speculation as to the
Ground of Divine or human Matters; nor to will and desire any Thing
but the Grace of God in Christ. And as a Child continually longeth
after the Breasts of the Mother, so must its Hunger be continually
entering into the Love of God, and not suffer itself to be broken
off from that Hunger by any Means. When the outward Reason or SELF
riseth up and triumpheth in the Light, saying, I have the true
Child, then the Will of the Desire must bow itSELF down to the
Earth, and bring itself into the deepest Humility and most simple
Ignorance, and say, Thou art foolish, and hast nothing but the Grace
of God. Thou must wrap thySELF up in that Belief with great
Humility, and become nothing at all in thySELF, and neither know nor
love thy SELF. All that thou hast, or is in thee, must esteem itSELF
as nothing but a mere Instrument of God; and thou must bring thy
Desire only into God’s Mercy, and go forth from all thy OWN Knowing
and Willing; and esteem it as nothing at all, nor ever entertain any
Will to enter into it again.

7. As soon as this is done the natural Will becometh weak and faint,
and then the Devil is not able to sift it thus any more with his
evil Desire, for the Places of his Rest become very powerless,
barren and dry; and then the Holy Spirit proceeding from God, taketh
Possession of the Forms of Life, and maketh His Dominion to prevail.
He kindleth the Forms of Life with His Flames of Love, and then the
high Knowledge of the Center of all Things ariseth, according to the
inward and outward Constellation or Complexion of the Creature, in a
very subtle drying Fire, attended with great Delight. Whereupon the
humbled Soul presently desires to sink down into that Light, and
esteems itself to be nothing and quite unworthy of It.

8. And thus its own Desire pierceth into that nothing, viz.(into
that wherein God createth) and doth what God wills therein, and the
Spirit of God springeth forth through the Desire of the resigned
Humility, and so the human Self immediately followeth the Spirit of
God in Trembling and humble Joy; and thus it may behold what is in
Time and Eternity, for All is present before it.

9. When the Spirit of God riseth up as a Fire and Flame of Love,
then the Sprit of the Soul descendeth, and saith, Lord, Glory be to
Thy Name, not to me; Thou art able to take to Thyself Virtue, Power,
Strength, Wisdom, and Knowledge; do as Thou wilt; I can do nothing;
I know nothing; I will go no whither but whither Thou leadest me as
Thy Instrument; do Thou in me and with me what Thou wilt.

10. In such a humble and total Resignation the Spark of Divine Power
falleth into the Center of the Forms of Life, as a Spark into
Tinder, and kindleth it, viz. the Fire of the Soul, which Adam had
made to be a dark Coal in himself, so that it glimmereth. And when
the Light of Divine Power hath kindled itself therein, the Creature
must go on as an Instrument of God’s Spirit, and speak what the
Spirit of God dictateth to it; and then it is no more in its own
proper Possession, but is the Instrument of God.

11. But the Will of the Soul must without ceasing, in this fiery
driving, sink into nothing, viz. into the deepest Humility in the
Sight of God. For no sooner doth the Will of the Soul in the least
Measure go on in its OWN Speculation or Searching, but Lucifer
layeth hold of it in the Center of the Forms of Life, and sifteth it
so that it entereth into SELF. It must therefore continue close to
resigned Humility, as a Well doth to its Spring, and must suck and
drink of God’s Fountain, and not depart from the Ways of God at all.

12. For as soon as the Soul eateth of SELF, and of the Light of
outward Reason, it goeth on in its OWN Opinion; and then its Doings,
which it sets forth for Divine, are but from the outward
Constellation, or Influence of the Stars, which presently layeth
hold on the Soul, and maketh it dry. And then the Soul goeth on in
Errors, till it yield itSELF up again into Resignation, and
acknowledging itSELF anew to be a defiled Child, resisteth Reason
and so getteth the Love of God again. Which is harder to do in that
Case than it was at first; for the Devil bringeth in strong Doubts
now, and will not easily leave his Fort of Prey.

13. This may be seen clearly in the Saints of God from the Beginning
of the World. For many who have been driven by the Spirit of God,
have yet oftentimes departed from Resignation into SELF, viz. into
their OWN Reason and Will, in which Satan hath cast them into Sins,
and into the Anger of God; as appeareth by David and Solomon, also
by the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles; who have oftentimes
committed great Errors when they have departed from Resignation into
SELF, viz. into their own Reason and Lust.

14. Therefore, it is necessary for the Children of God to know how
to behave themselves when they will learn the WAY of God. They must
beat down and cast away their very Thoughts; and desire nothing, nor
have the least Will to learn any Thing, unless they find themselves
to be in true Resignation; so that God’s Spirit leadeth, teacheth,
and guideth Man’s Spirit, and that the human Will which is attached
to itSELF, be wholly broken off from its OWN Lust, and resigned to
God.

15. All Speculation in the Wonders of God is very dangerous, for the
Spirit of the Will may soon be captivated therewith, unless the
Spirit of the Will goeth or walketh after the Spirit of God, and
then it hath Power in the resigned Humility to behold the Wonders of
God.

16. I do not say that a Man should search and learn nothing in
natural Arts and Sciences. No; such Knowledge is useful to him; but
a Man must not begin with his OWN Reason. Man ought not only to
govern his Life by the Light of outward Reason, which is good in
itself; but should sink with that Light into the deepest Humility
before God, and set the Spirit and Will of God foremost in all his
searching, so that the Light of Reason may see and know Things
through the Light of God. And though Reason may be very wise in its
own Sphere, and help a Man to much Knowledge, yet it must not
arrogate such Wisdom and Knowledge to itSELF, as if they were in its
OWN Possession, but give the Glory thereof to God, to Whom alone all
Wisdom and Knowledge belongeth.

17. For the more deeply Reason sinketh itSELF down into simple
Humility in the Sight of God, and the more unworthy it accounts
itSELF in His Sight; the more truely it dieth from SELF-desire and
the more thoroughly the Spirit of God penetrateth it, and bringeth
it into the highest Knowledge, so that at length it may come to
behold the great Mysteries and Wonders of God. For the Spirit of God
worketh only in resigned Humility, in that which neither seeketh nor
desireth itSELF. The Spirit of God taketh hold of whatsoever
desireth to be simple and lowly before Him, and bringeth it into His
Wonders. He hath Pleasure only in those that fear and bow themSELVES
before Him.

18. For God hath not created us for ourSELVES only, but to be
Instruments of His Wonders, by which He desireth to manifest His
Wonders. The resigned Will trusteth God, and expecteth all Good from
Him alone; but SELF-Will ruleth itself, for it is broken off from
God. All that SELF-Will doeth is Sin and is against God; for it is
gone out of that Order wherein He created it, into Disobedience, and
desireth to be its OWN Lord and Master.

19. When a Man’s OWN Will dieth from itSELF, then it is free from
Sin, for it desireth nothing but that which God desireth of His
Creature; it desireth only to do that for which God hath created it
and that which God will do by it; and though it is and must be
involved in the Doing, yet it is but the Instrument of the Doing, by
which God doth what He will.

20. For this is the true Faith in Man, viz. to die from himSELF;
that is, from his OWN Desire; and in all his Undertakings and
Designs to bring his Desire into the Will of God, and arrogate the
doing of nothing to himSELF, but esteem himSELF in all his Doings to
be a Servant or Minister of God, and to think that all he doeth, and
undertaketh, is for God. For in such a Disposition the Spirit of God
leadeth him into true Uprightness and Faithfullness towards his
Neighbor. For he thinketh thus within himself, I do my Work not for
myself, but for God, Who hath called and appointed me to do it; I am
but a Servant in His Vineyard. He listeneth continually after the
Voice of his Master, Who within him commandeth him what he shall do.
The Lord speaketh in him, and biddeth him do what He would have to
be done by him.

21. But SELF doeth what outward Reason from the Stars commandeth,
into which Reason the Devil flyeth with his Desire. All whatever
SELF doth is without the Will of God, and is done altogether in the
Fantasy, that the Anger of God may accomplish its Pastime therewith.

22. No Work done without the Will of God can reach the Kingdom of
God; it is all but an unprofitable Imagery, or SELF-wrought work, in
this great Agitation of Mankind. For nothing is pleasing to God, but
what He Himself doth by the resigned Will, as His Instrument. For
there is but one only God in the Essence of all Essences, and all
that which worketh with Him in that Essence, is one Spirit with Him;
but that which worketh in itSELF only, in its OWN Will, is in itSELF
only, and not in His Dominion. It is indeed under that universal
Dominion of Nature, whereby He holdeth subject to Him every Life,
evil and good, but not under that special Divine Government in
Himself, which comprehendeth the Good only. Nothing is Divine which
walketh and worketh not in the Will of God.

23. Christ saith, Every Plant which my heavenly Father hath not
planted, shall be rooted out and burned in the Fire. All the works
of Man, which he hath wrought without the Will of God, shall be
burnt up in the last Fire and given to the Wrath of God, viz. to the
Pit of Darkness to recreate itself withal. For Christ saith, He that
is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me
scattereth. Whosoever worketh, and doeth it not in a resigned Will
with Confidence in God, doeth but make desolate and scatter; it is
not acceptable to God. For nothing is pleasing to Him but that which
He willeth with His Spirit, and doeth by His own Instrument.

24. Therefore, whatsoever is done by the Conclusions of human SELF
in Matters of Religion, is a mere Fiction. It is Babel, and but a
Work of the Stars, and of the outward World, and not acknowledged by
God to be His Work. It is only the Play of the wrestling Wheel of
Nature, wherein Good and Evil wrestle one with the other; what the
one buildeth, the other destroyeth. And this is the great Misery of
the vain Turmoiling of Men, the Issue whereof must be left to the
Judgement of God.

25. Whosoever therefore stirreth or laboreth much in such
Turmoilings, worketh but for the Judgement of God; for no whit of it
is perfect and permanent. It must all be separated in the
Putrefaction. For that which is wrought in the Anger of God will be
received thereby, and kept in the Mystery of its Desire to the Day
of God’s Judgement, when Evil and Good shall be severed.

26. But if a Man turn and go forth from himSELF, and enter into the
Will of God, then also that Good which hath been wrought in and by
him, shall be freed from the Evil which he hath wrought. As Isaiah
saith, Though your Sins be as red as Scarlet, yet if ye turn and
repent, they shall become as Wool, yea, as white as Snow. For the
Evil shall be swallowed up in the Wrath of God into Death, and the
Good shall spring forth as a Sprout out of the wild Earth.
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Whosoever therefore intendeth to do any good and perfect Work,
wherein he hopeth eternally to rejoice, let him depart from himSELF,
viz. from his OWN Desire, and enter into Resignation, into the Will
of God, and work with God. And then though the earthly Desire of
SELF in Flesh and Blood cleaveth to him, yet if the Will of the Soul
doth not receive that Desire into it, SELF cannot perform any Work.
For the resigned Will continually destroyeth the Substance of SELF
again, so that the Anger of God cannot reach it. And if it should
happen to reach it sometimes, as may be the Case, yet the resigned
Will prevaileth with its superior Power, and then it beareth the
Figure of a victorious Work in the Wonders, and may inherit the
Filiation [or Childship]. Therefore it is not good to speak or do
any Thing, when Reason is kindled in and by the Desire of SELF
because that Desire springeth from, and worketh in, the Anger of
God; by which a Man would suffer Loss. For his Work is brought into
that Anger, and kept there to the great Day of God’s Judgement.

2. Every evil or false Desire, whereby a Man deviseth how to gather
to himSELF by Craft much worldly Gain from his Neighbor to his
Neighbor’s Hurt, is taken into the Anger of God, and belongeth to
the Judgement. Wherein all Things shall be made manifest and every
Power and Essence, every Cause and Effect, both in Good and Evil,
shall be presented to every one in the Mystery of the Revelation.

3. All evil Works, done purposely, belong to the Judgement of God.
But he that turneth from the SELF Will, goeth out from the Power of
them, and those his Works belong to the Fire. All Things shall and
must be made manifest in the End. For therefore God brought His
working Power into Essence or Substance, that His Love and Anger
might be made manifest, and become a Representation of His Deeds of
Wonder, to His Glory.

4. And every Creature ought to know that it should continue in that
Condition wherein it was created; otherwise it runneth on in
Contrariety and Enmity to the Will of God, and bringeth itself into
Pain. For every intelligent Creature that hath lost its Place or
State wherein God first created it, is in Disorder and Misery, till
it recovereth the same. A Creature which is created out of Darkness
hath no Pain in the Darkness; as a venomous Serpent hath no Pain
from its Venom. The Venom is its Life; but if it should lose its
Venom, and have some good Thing instead brought into it, and be made
manifest in its Essence, that would be Pain and Death to it. Thus
Good is Torment to a Being whose nature is evil, and Evil is in like
Manner Pain and Death to the Good.

5. Man was created of, for, and in Paradise; of, for and in the Love
of God; but if he brings himself into Anger, which is as a poisonous
Pain and Death, then that contrary Paradisical Life of Love is a
Pain and Torment to him.

6. If the Devil had been created out of the wrathful Matrix, for and
in Hell, and had not had the Divine Ens or Essence, he could have no
Pain in Hell. But he, being created for and in Heaven, and yet
having stirred up the Source or Property of Darkness in himself, and
thereby brought himself totally into Darkness, therefore the Light
is now a Pain to him; that is, it causeth an everlasting Despair of
God’s Grace, and a continual Enmity to God; because God cannot
endure him in Himself, but hath cast him out. Therefore, the Devil
is angry and wrathful against his own Mother, of whose Essence and
Substance he hath his Original, viz. the Eternal Nature, which
keepeth him Prisoner in his own Place, as a Revolter or fallen
Spirit, and sporteth in him with its Property of Anger. And, seeing
he would not bear his Part in promoting the Divine Joy, in and for
which he was created, therefore he must now do the contrary, and be
an Enemy to all Goodness. For, of God, and in Him, are all Things,
Darkness and Light, Anger and Love, Fire and Light; but He calleth
Himself God, only as to the Light of His Love.

7. There is an eternal Contrariety between Darkness and Light,
neither of them comprehendeth the other, and neither of them is the
other; and yet there is only one Essence, Being, or Substance,
wherein they both subsist. But there is a Difference in the Quality
and Will; yet the Essence or Substance is not divided, but a
Principle maketh the Division. So that the one is a nothing in the
other, and yet it is there, but not manifest in the Property of that
Thing wherein it is.

8. For the Devil continued in his own Dominion or Principality, not
indeed in that wherein God created him, but in the aching painful
Birth of Eternity, in the Center of Nature and Property of Wrath, in
the Property which begetteth Darkness, Anguish and Pain. Indeed he
is a Prince in the Place of this World, but in the first Principle,
in the Kingdom of Darkness, in the Pit or Abyss.

9. Not in the Kingdom of the Sun, Stars, and Elements; he is no Lord
or Prince there, but only in the wrathful Part, viz. in the Root of
the Evil of every Thing; and yet he hath not Power to do what he
pleaseth with that.

10. For there is some Good in every Thing, which holdeth the Evil
captive and shut up in the Thing; but he can walk and rule only in
the evil Part or Property when it stirreth up an evil Desire in
itSELF, and bringeth its Desire into Wickedness. This indeed the
inanimate Creature cannot do; but Man can do it through the
inanimate Creature, if he brings the Center of his Will, with the
Desire out of the Eternal Center into it, which is the Ground of
Enchantment and false Magic. The Will of the Devil can also enter
into that Evil whereinto Man bringeth the Desire of his Soul, which
is born also out of the Eternal Nature.

11. For the Original of the Soul and of Angels, out of the Eternal
Nature is the same. But the Devil hath no further Power over the
Time, or temporary Condition of this World, than in the great Turba
or Turba Magna, the Curse; wheresoever that kindleth itself in the
eternal and temporal Wrath, there he is busy, as in Wars, Fighting,
and Strife, as also in great Tempests without Water. In fire he
proceeds as far as the Turba (Mischief or Hurt) goeth in great
Showers or Tempests of Thunder, Lightning, and Hail; but he cannot
direct them, for he is not Lord or Master in them, but Servant only.

12. Thus the Creature stirreth up with its own Desire, Good and
Evil, Life and Death. The human Angelical Desire standeth in the
Center of the eternal Nature which is without Beginning; and
wherever it kindleth itself, whether in Good or Evil, it
accomplisheth its Work in that.

13. Now God created every Thing for and in that wherein it should
be; the Angels for and in Heaven, and Man for and in Paradise. If
therefore the Desire of the Creature goeth forth from its own
Mother, then it entereth into the contrary Will and into Enmity, and
it is tormented with the Contrariety therein, and so a false Will
ariseth in a good; and then the good Will entereth into its nothing
again, viz. into the End of Nature and Creature, and so leaveth the
Creature in its OWN Evil or Wickedness, as appeareth by Lucifer and
also Adam; and had not the Will of the Love of God met with Adam,
and of mere Mercy entered into the Humanity or human Nature again,
there could be no good Will in Man.

14. Therefore all Speculation and Inquiry about God’s Will is a vain
Thing, unless the Mind be converted. For when the Mind standeth
captivated in the SELF-Desire of the earthly Life, it cannot
comprehend what the Will of God is; it runneth on but in SELF, from
one Way into another, and yet findeth no Rest; for SELF-Desire
evermore bringeth Disquiet. But when it sinketh itself wholly into
the Mercy of God, desiring to die from itSELF, and to have God’s
Will for a Guide to the Understanding, so that it acknowledgeth and
esteemeth itSELF as nothing, and willeth nothing but what God
willeth, then shall it both know and do the Will of God. And if the
Desire of Anger in the earthly Flesh should go along or join with
the Devil’s Imagination, and assault the Will of the Soul, yet the
resigned Desire cryeth to God and saith, Abba, loving Father,
deliver me from Evil. And then, though the earthly Will should grow
too strong in the Wrath of God by the Infection of the Devil, the
Desire of Anger would work but in or upon itself. According to what
St. Paul saith, Now, if I sin, I do it not, but Sin that dwelleth in
my Flesh: Also, Now I serve the Law of God in my Mind, but in my
Flesh the Law of Sin. Paul meaneth not that the Will of the Mind or
Soul should consent to the Will of the Flesh; but Sin is so strong
in the Flesh, viz. the awakened Anger of God in SELF, that
oftentimes the Mind is brought into Lust, as it were by Force,
through the evil Incitements of the wicked, or else by beholding
worldly Pomp and Glory; so that it absolutely beareth down the
resigned Will, and ruleth by Force.

15. Now when Sin is wrought in the Flesh, then the Wrath sporteth
itself therewith, and catcheth at the resigned Will; and then the
resigned Will cryeth to God for Deliverance from the Evil, and
prayeth that God would remove the Guilt away from it, and bring Sin
into the Centre, viz. into Death, that it might die.

16. And St. Paul saith further, Now, there is no Condemnation to
those who are in Christ Jesus, who are called according to the
Purpose of God; that is, those who in that Purpose of God in which
He first called Man, are again called in the same Calling, to stand
again in that Purpose of God, wherein he originally created Man to
be His Image and Likeness.

17. So long as Man’s OWN Will standeth in SELF, so long it is not in
the Purpose and Calling of God; it is not called, for it is gone
forth from its original right Place; but when the Mind turneth
itself back again into the Calling, viz. into Resignation, then the
Will is in the Calling of God, that is, in the Place for and in
which God created it, and then it hath Power to become the Child of
God again; as it is written, He hath given us Power to become the
Children of God.

18. The Power which He hath given us is His Purpose, for and in
which He created Man in His Image. This God hath brought again into
the human Nature, and hath given Power unto that Power to break the
Head of Sin in the Flesh, namely, the Will and Desire of the
Serpent; that is, the resigned Will in Christ treadeth upon the Head
of the Desire of the sinful Will of the Serpent, and killeth again
the Sins which were committed. This Power that is given becometh a
Death to Death, and the Power of Life to Life.

19. Therefore no Man can make any Excuse, as if he could not will.
Indeed, while he sticketh fast in himSELF, in his OWN Desire, and
serveth only the Law of Sin in the Flesh, he cannot. For he is kept
back, as being a Servant of Sin; but when he turneth the Center of
his Mind away, and directeth it into the Will and Obedience of God,
then he can.

20. Now the Center of the Mind is come out of Eternity, out of God’s
Omnipotence; it can bring itself into what it will, and whither it
will. For that which is out of the Eternal, hath no Law. But the
Will hath a Law to obey God, and is born out of the Mind, and must
not rend or tear itself away from that out of which God created it.

21. Now God created the Will of the Mind for and in Paradise, to be
a Companion, with Him in the Kingdom of Divine Joy. It ought not to
have removed itself from thence; but since it hath removed itself
from thence, God hath brought His Will again into the Flesh, and in
His new-brought-in Will, hath given us Power to bring our Wills into
it, and to kindle a new Light therein, and so to become His Children
again.

22. God hardeneth no Man; but Man’s OWN Will, which goeth on in the
fleshly Life of Sin, hardeneth his OWN Heart. The Will of SELF
bringeth the Vanity of this World into the Mind, which is thereby
shut up, and continueth so.

23. God, so far as He is called God, and is God, cannot will any
Evil; for there is but one only Will in God, and that is Eternal
Love, a Desire of that which is His Like, viz. Power, Beauty, and
Virtue.

24. God desireth nothing but what is like His own Desire: His Desire
receiveth nothing but what Itself is.

25. God receiveth no Sinner into His Power and Virtue, unless the
Sinner go forth from His Sins, and enter with the Desire into God.
And then, He will not cast out those that so come unto Him. He hath
given to the Will an open Gate in Christ, saying, ”come unto Me all
ye that are heavy laden with Sins, and I will refresh you; take My
Yoke upon you, that is, the Cross of the Enmity in the Flesh. This
was the Yoke of Christ, which He had to bear for the Sins of all
Men. This Cross or Yoke the resigned Will must also take upon itself
in the evil earthly sinful Flesh, and bear it after Christ in
Patience and Hope of Deliverance. It must also continually break the
Head of the Serpent, in and through Christ’s Will and Spirit, and
kill and destroy the earthly Will in God’s Anger, not letting it
rest on the soft Bed when Sin is committed, and thinking to repent
one Time or other.

26. No, no, the earthly Will groweth strong, fat, and wanton upon
this soft Bed, but as soon as the Light of God shineth in thee, and
sheweth Sin to thee, the Will of thy Soul must sink itself down into
the Passion and Death of Christ, and wrap itself up close therein.
It must take the Passion of Christ into its Possession, and be a
Lord over the Death of Sin by the Death of Christ, and kill and
destroy it in the Death of Christ.

27. The Will of Sin [thy outward SELF] must die, though it be never
so unwilling. Be at Enmity therefore with the voluptuous earthly
Flesh; give it not what it would have; let it fast and suffer Hunger
till its tickling ceases. Account the Will of the Flesh thine Enemy,
and do not do what the Desire in the Flesh willeth, and then thou
shalt bring a Death upon the deathful Property in the Flesh.

28. Regard not any Scorn of the World, as considering that it doth
but scorn thine Enemy, and that is become a Fool to it. Nay, do thou
thyself account it thy Fool, which Adam caused thee to possess, and
made to be thy false Heir. Cast out of the House the Son of the
Bond-Woman, that strange Child which God did not give to be in the
House of Life in Adam at the Beginning; for the Son of the
Bond-Woman must not inherit with the Son of the Free-Woman.

29. The earthly Will is but the Son of the Bond-Woman. For the Four
Elements should have been Man’s Servants, but Adam hath brought them
into the Sonship, or adopted them into himself. Therefore God said
to Abraham, when He had opened the Covenant of the Promise in him,
Cast out the Son of the Bond-Woman, for he shall not inherit with
the Son of the Free. This Son of the Free is Christ, which God of
His Grace hath brought again into the Flesh for us, namely, a new or
renewed Mind, wherein the Will, viz. the Eternal Will of the Soul,
may draw and drink the Water of Life, of which Christ speaketh,
saying, Whosoever shall drink of this Water that I will give him, It
shall spring up in him, and be a Fountain of Eternal Life. This
Fountain is the Renovation of the Mind or Will of the Soul.

30. Therefore I say that all Fictions and Devices to come to God by,
let them have what Name soever they will, which Men contrive and
invent for Ways to God, are but lost Labor and vain Endeavours,
without a new Mind. There is no other Way to God, but a new Mind,
which turneth from Wickedness, and entereth into Repentance for the
Sins it hath committed. Which goeth forth from its Iniquity and
willeth it no more; but wrappeth its Will up in the Death of Christ,
and with all Earnestness dieth from the Sin of the Soul in the Death
of Christ, so that it willeth Sin no more.

31. And though all the Devils should press hard upon it, and enter
with their Desire into the fleshly Mind, yet the Will of the Soul
must stand still and hide itself in the Death of Christ, willing and
desiring nothing but the Mercy of God.

32. No hypocritical Flattery, or outward comforting ourselves
availeth at all; as when Men will cover Sin and Iniquity in the
Flesh with the Satisfaction of Christ, while they remain in SELF
still. Christ saith, Except ye turn and become as Children, ye shall
not see the Kingdom of God. The Mind must become as wholly new, as
in a Child that knoweth nothing of Sin. Christ saith also, Ye must
be born anew, or else, ye shall not see the Kingdom of God. There
must arise a Will wholly new in the Death of Christ. It must be
brought forth out of Christ’s Incarnation or Entering into the
Humanity, and rise in Christ’s Resurrection.

33. Now before this can be done, the Will of the Soul [SELF] must
die in the Death of Christ; for in Adam it received the Son of the
Bond-Woman, viz. Sin into it. This the Will must cast out, and the
poor captive Soul must wrap itself up in the Death of Christ
earnestly with all the Power it hath, so that the Son of the
Bond-Woman, viz. the Sin that is in it may die in the Death of
Christ.

34. In very deed Sin must die in the Will of the Soul, or else there
can be no Vision of God. For the earthly Will, in Sin and the
wrathful Nature, shall not see God. It is only the regenerated
Nature, the new inward Man, that is capable of the Divine Vision or
Enjoyment. The Soul must put on the Spirit and Flesh of Christ; it
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God in this earthly Tabernacle. For
the Kingdom of Sin hangeth to it outwardly, which must putrify in
the Earth, and rise again in new Power.

35. Hypocrisy, Flattery, and verbal Forgiveness, avail nothing. We
must be Children, not by outward Imputation, but by being born of
God from within, in the new inward Man, which is resigned in and to
God.

36. All such Flattery of ourselves by saying, Christ hath paid the
Ransom, and made satisfaction for Sin, and that He died for our
Sins, is a false and vain Comfort, if we also do not die from Sin in
Him, and put on His Merit in new Obedience, and live therein.

37. He that is a bitter Enemy and Hater of Sin, can and may comfort
himself with the Sufferings of Christ. He that doth not willingly
see, hear, or taste Sin, but is at Enmity with it, and would
willingly always do that which is well and right, if he knew but
what he ought to do; such a one hath indeed put on the Sprirt and
Will of Christ, and is His true Disciple.

38. But the outward Flattery of being accounted a Child of God by
Imputation or external Application, is false and vain. The Work done
in, or by, the outward Flesh only, doth not make the Child of God;
but the working of Christ in the Spirit maketh, and indeed is, the
Child of God. Which inward Working is so powerful that it shineth
forth as a new Light in the outward Life; and proveth itself to be
the Child of God by its external Conduct and Actions.

39. For if the Eye of the Soul be Light, then the whole Body is
Light in all its Members. Now if any Man boast himself to be a Child
of God, and yet suffereth his Body to burn in Sins, he is no true
Child, nor capable of the Inheritance; but lieth bound by the Chains
of the Devil in gross Darkness. And if he doth not find in himself
an earnest and sincere Desire of Well-doing in Love, then his
Pretence to the Childship is but an Invention of Reason proceeding
from SELF. He cannot see God, unless he be born a-new, and show
forth by his Power and Life, that he is His true Child. For there is
no Fire but hath Light in it; and if the Divine Fire be in the Mind,
it will shine forth, and the Mind will do that which God will have
to be done.

40. But perhaps thou wilt say, I have a Will indeed to do so; I
would willingly do it, but I am so hindered that I cannot.

41. Nay, thou vile Man, God draweth thee to be His Child, but thou
wilt not; the soft Cushion in Evil is dearer to thee than to be so
readily parted with. Thou preferrest the Joy of Wickedness to the
Joy of God. Thou art wholly swallowed up in SELF still, and livest
according to the Law of Sin, and that is what hindereth thee. Thou
art unwilling to die from the Pleasure of the Flesh, and therefore
thou art not in the Filiation (Sonship). God draweth thee to it, but
thou thySELF wilt not yield.

42. O how fine a Thing would Adam think it, if he might be taken
into Heaven with this Will of the voluptuous Flesh about him, and
have the Child of Wickedness, that is full of Deceit, set upon the
Throne of God. Lucifer also would fain have had it so, but he was
spewed out.

43. It is a troublesome Thing to mortify the evil Will of SELF; none
are willing to do it. We would all gladly be the Children of God, if
we might be so with this rough Garment of fallen Nature about us.
But that cannot be. This World passeth away, and the outward Life
must die; what Good can the Adoption in the mortal Body of Flesh and
Blood only do me?

44. If we would inherit the Filiation, we must also put on the new
Man which alone can inherit it, as being like the Deity. God will
have no Sinners in Heaven, but only such as have been born a-new and
become Children, and to have put on Heaven.

45. Therefore it is not so easy a Matter to become a Child of God,
as Men imagine. Indeed, it is not a troublesome Thing to him that
hath put on the Filiation, whose Light shineth; for it is Joy to
such a one. But to turn the Mind and destroy SELF, there is a strong
and continued Earnestness requisite, and such a stout and steady
Purpose, that if the Body and Soul should part asunder by it, yet
the Will would persevere constantly, and not enter again into SELF.

46. A Man must wrestle till the dark Center that is shut up tight,
breaketh open, and the Spark lying hid therein kindleth and from
thence the noble Lily-Branch sprouteth, as from the divine Grain of
Mustard-Seed as Christ saith. A Man must pray earnestly, with great
Humility, and for a while become a Fool in his own Reason, and see
himself void of Understanding therein, until Christ be formed in
this new Incarnation.

47. And then when Christ is born, Herod is ready to kill the Child,
which he seeketh to do outwardly by Persecutions, and inwardly by
Temptations, to try whether this Lily-Branch will be strong enough
to destroy the Kingdom of the Devil, which is manifested in the
Flesh.

48. Then this Destroyer of the Serpent is brought into the
Wilderness, after he is baptized with the Holy Spirit, and tempted
and tried whether or not he will continue in Resignation to the Will
of God. In which Temptation he must stand so fast, that if Need
require, he would leave all earthly Things, and even the outward
Life, to be a Child of God.

49. No temporal Honor must be preferred before Filiation. But he
must with his Will leave and forsake it all, and not account it his
OWN, but esteem himself as a Servant only in it, who is to obey his
Master. He must leave all worldly Propriety. We do not mean that he
may not have or possess any Thing; but his Heart must forsake it,
and not bring his Will into it, nor count it his OWN. For if he
setteth his Heart upon it, he hath no Power to serve them that stand
in Need with it.

50. SELF is but a Slave to its temporal Possessions, but Resignation
ruleth over all that it hath. SELF must do what the Devil will have
it do in fleshly Voluptuousness and Pride of Life; but Resignation
treadth it all under with the Feet of the Mind. SELF despiseth that
which is lowly and simple; but Resignation sitteth down with the
lowly in the Dust. It saith, I will be simple in myself, and
understand nothing, lest my Understanding should exalt itself and
sin. I will lie down in the Courts of my God at His Feet, that I may
serve my Lord in that which He commandeth me. I will know nothing of
myself, that the Will and Power of my Lord may lead and guide me,
and that I may only do what God doth through me, and will have done
by me. I will sleep in myself until the Lord awaken me with His
Spirit; and if He will not, then will I look up to Him in Silence,
and wait for His Commands.

51. Beloved Brethren: Men at this Time boast much of Faith; but
where is it to be found? The modern Faith is but the History. Where
is that Child which believeth that Jesus has been born within his
own soul? If that Child were in Being, and did believe that Jesus is
born, it would also draw near to the sweet Child Jesus, and receive
Him and nurse Him.

52. Alas! the Faith of this Day is but historical, a mere Assent to
the matter of Fact that Jesus Christ was born,lived and died; that
the Jews killed Him; that He left this World, and is not King on
Earth in the outward Man; and the Faith of this Day allows that Men
may do what they please, and need not die from Sin and their evil
Lusts. All this the wicked Child SELF rejoiceth in, that it may
fatten the Devil by living deliciously.

53. This showeth plainly that true Faith was never weaker since
Christ’s Time, than it is now. When nevertheless the World cryeth
aloud, and saith, We have got the true Faith; and contend about a
Child, with a Contention which has never been worse since Men have
been on Earth.

54. If thou art truly Zion, and hast that new born Child which was
lost and is found again, then let It be seen in Power and Virtue.
Let us all openly see the sweet Child Jesus brought forth by thee,
and that thou art His Nurse. If not, then the true Children in
Christ will say, thou hast found nothing but the Cradle of the
Child, that is, the History.

55. Where hast thou the sweet Child Jesus, thou that art so exalted
with the History, and with thy false and seeming Faith? O how will
the Child Jesus visit thee one Day in the Father’s Property, the
Property of Anger, in thy own Turba which thou hast fatted! It
calleth thee now in Love, but thou wilt not hear, for thine Ears are
stopped with Covetousness and Voluptuousness. Therefore the Sound of
the Trumpet shall one Day alarm thee with the hard Thunder-clap of
thy Turba, and rouse thee up, if perhaps thou wilt then seek and
find the sweet Child Jesus.

56. Beloved Brethren, this is a Time of Seeking, of Seeking and
Finding. It is a Time of Earnestness; whom it toucheth, it toucheth
Home. He that watcheth shall hear and see it; but he that sleepeth
in Sin, and saith in the fat Days of his Belly, All is peace and
quiet; we hear no Sound from the Lord, shall be blind. But the Voice
of the Lord hath sounded in all the Ends of the Earth, and a Smoke
riseth, and in the Midst of the Smoke there is a great Brightness
and Splendor. Hallelujah. Amen.

Shout unto the Lord in Zion, for all Mountains and Hills are full of
His Glory. He flourisheth like a green Branch, and who shall hinder
It. Hallelujah.
__________________________________________________________________

by Jacob Behmen (Jakob Boehme) 1575-1624,

The Teutonic Theosopher

TWO

DIALOGUES

BETWEEN

A DISCIPLE AND HIS MASTER,

CONCERNING

THE LIFE WHICH IS ABOVE SENSE.

SHOWING

How the Soul may attain to Divine HEARING and VISION – to a life above sense;
and What its Childship in the Natural and Supernatural Life is; and How it
passeth out of Nature into God, and out of God into Nature and Self
again;also What its Salvation and Perdition are and What is the Partition
Wall that separates the Soul from God and How the Breaking down of this
Partition is effected; of the two Wills and two Eyes within the Fallen Soul;
and What is the shortest WAY to the attainment of the Internal Kingdom of God
and Why so few Souls do find It.

Composed by a Soul that loveth all who are Children of JESUS CHRIST, under
the Cross.

Brought forth in the 1600 s by a humble shoemaker; translated into
English over 100 years later; suppressed and hidden away until recently
in theological archives around the world… a worthy personal study not
just for academics but for all those who are spiritually grounded in
the WORD, who are learning to hear the Lord, and who hunger for more.

These writings from out of the Past are in the Public Domain and may be
freely shared, photocopied, reproduced, faxed or transmitted in any way
by any means.

Dear Reader

1 Corinthians 2.7-15We speak the hidden mystical Wisdom of God, which
God ordained before the World unto our Glory; Which none of the Princes
of this World knew; For had they known it, they would not have
crucified the Lord of Glory. But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor Ear heard, neither hath it entered into the Heart of man to
conceive the Things which God hath prepared for them that Love him. But
God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: For the Spirit searcheth
all Things, yea, the deep Things of God. For what Man knoweth the
Things of a Man, save the Spirit of a Man which is in him? Even so the
Things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have
received, not the Spirit of this World, but the Spirit which is of God;
that we might know the Things that are freely given us of God. Which
Things also we speak, not in the Words which Man’s Wisdom teacheth, but
which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing Spiritual Things with
Spiritual. But the natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit
of God: For they are Foolishness unto him; neither can he know them,
because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual
judgeth, or discerneth all Things.
__________________________________________________________________

The Disciple said to his Master: Sir, How may I come to the Place that
I may SEE with God, and may HEAR God speak – to a Life that is above my
Senses and Feelings – to the Supersensual Life?

The Master answered and said: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into
THAT, where no Creature dwelleth, though it be but for a Moment, then
thou HEAREST what God speaketh.

Disciple:

Is that Place where no Creature dwelleth near at Hand; or is it
afar off?

Master:

It is IN THEE. And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but cease
from all thy OWN Thinking and Willing, then thou shalt hear the
unspeakable Words of God.

Disciple:

How is it that I can hear Him speak, when I stand still from
Thinking and Willing?

Master:

When thou standest still from the Thinking of SELF, and the
Willing of SELF; when both thy Intellect and Will are quiet and
passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; when
thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal with the
outward Senses and the Imagination being locked up by Holy
Abstraction; then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will
be revealed IN THEE; and so God heareth and seeth through thee,
being now the Organ of His Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee,
and whispereth to thy Spirit, and thy Spirit heareth his Voice.
Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst stand still from
SELF-Thinking and SELF-Willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy
Imagination and Senses; for it is hereby that thou mayest arrive
at Length to see the great Salvation of God, being made capable
of all Manner of Divine Sensations and Heavenly Communications.
Since it is nought indeed but thine OWN Hearing and Willing that
do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.

Disciple:

But wherewith shall I hear and see God, for as much as He is
above Nature and Creature?

Master:

Son, when thou art quiet and silent, then art thou as God was
before Nature and Creature; thou art that which God then was;
thou art that whereof He made thy Nature and Creature: Then thou
hearest and seest even with that wherewith God Himself saw and
heard in thee, before ever thine OWN Willing or thine OWN Seeing
began.

Disciple:

What now hinders or keeps me back, so that I cannot come to
that, wherewith God is to be seen and heard?

Master:

Nothing truly but thine OWN Willing, Hearing, and Seeing do keep
thee back from it, and do hinder thee from coming to this
Supersensual State or the Life which is above Sense. And it is
because thou strivest so against that, out of which thou thyself
art descended and derived, that thou thus breakest thyself off,
with thine OWN Willing, from God’s Willing, and with thine OWN
Seeing from God’s Seeing. In as much as in thine OWN Seeing thou
dost see in thine OWN Willing only, and with thine OWN
Understanding thou dost understand but in and according to this
thine OWN Willing, as the same stands divided from the Divine
Will. This thy Willing moreover stops thy Hearing, and maketh
thee deaf towards God, through thy OWN Thinking upon terrestrial
Things, and thy Attending to that which is without thee; and so
it brings thee into a Ground, where thou art laid hold on and
captivated in Nature. And having brought thee hither, it
overshadows thee with that which thou willest; it binds thee
with thine own Chains, and it keeps thee in thine own dark
Prison which thou makest for thyself; so that thou canst not go
out thence, or come to that State which is above Nature and
above Sense.

Disciple:

But being I am in Nature, and thus bound, as with my own Chains,
and by my own natural Will; pray be so kind, Sir, as to tell me,
how I may come through Nature into the Supersensual and
Supernatural Ground, without the destroying of Nature?

Master:

Three Things are requisite in order to do this. The First is,
Thou must resign up thy Will to God; and must sink thy SELF down
to the Dust in His Mercy. The Second is, Thou must hate thy OWN
Will, and forbear from doing that to which thy own Will doth
drive thee. The Third is, Thou must bow thy Soul under the
Cross, heartily submitting thySELF to It, that thou mayest be
able to bear the Temptations of Nature and Creature. And if thou
doest thus, know that God will speak into thee, and will bring
thy resigned Will in to Himself, in the supernatural Ground; and
then thou shalt hear, my Son, what the Lord speaketh in thee.

Disciple:

This is a hard Saying, Master; for I must forsake the World, and
my Life too, if I should do thus.

Master:

Be not discouraged hereat. If thou forsakest the World, then
thou comest into that out of which the World is made; and if
thou losest thy Life, then thy Life is in that, for whose Sake
thou forsakest it. Thy Life is in God, from whence it came into
the Body; and as thou comest to have thine OWN Power faint and
weak and dying, the Power of God will then work in thee and
through thee.

Disciple:

Nevertheless as God hath created Man in and for the natural
Life, to rule over all Creatures on Earth, and to be a Lord over
all Things in this World, it seems not to be at all
unreasonable, that Man should therefore possess this World, and
the Things therein for his own.

Master:

If thou rulest over all Creatures but outwardly, there cannot be
much in that. But if thou hast a Mind to possess all Things, and
to be a Lord indeed over all Things in this World, there is
quite another Method to be taken by thee.

Disciple:

Pray, how is that? And what Method must I take, whereby to
arrive at this Sovereignty?

Master:

Thou must learn to distinguish well betwixt the Thing, and that
which only is an Image thereof; betwixt that Sovereignty which
is substantial, and in the inward Ground or Nature, and that
which is imaginary, and in an outward Form, or Semblance;
betwixt that which is properly Angelical, and that which is no
more than bestial. If thou rulest now over the Creatures
externally only, and not from the right internal Ground of thy
renewed Nature; then thy Will and Ruling is verily in a bestial
Kind or Manner, and thine at best is but a Sort of imaginary and
transitory Government, being void of that which is substantial
and permanent, the which only thou art to desire and press
after. Thus by thy outwardly Lording it over the Creatures, it
is most easy for thee to lose the Substance and the Reality,
while thou hast nought remaining but the Image or Shadow only of
thy first and original Lordship; wherein thou art made capable
to be again invested, if thou wouldest be but wise, and takest
thy Investiture from the Supreme Lord in the right Course and
Manner. Whereas by thy willing and ruling thus after a bestial
Manner, thou bringest also thy Desire into a bestial Essence, by
which Means thou becomest infected and captivated therein, and
gettest therewith a bestial Nature and Condition of Life. But if
thou shalt have put off the bestial and ferine Nature, and if
thou hast left the imaginary Life, and quitted the low imaged
Condition of it; then art thou come into the
Super-Imaginariness, and into the intellectual Life, which is a
State of living above Images, Figures and Shadows. And so thou
rulest over all Creatures, being reunited with thine Original,
in that very Ground or Source, out of which they were and are
created; and henceforth Nothing on Earth can hurt thee. For thou
art like all Things and Nothing is unlike thee.

Disciple:

O loving Master, pray teach me how I may come the shortest Way
to be like unto All Things.

Master:

With all my Heart. Do but think on the Words of our Lord Jesus
Christ, when He said, ”Except ye be converted, and become as
little Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
There is no shorter Way than this; neither can there be a better
Way found. Verily, Jesus saith unto thee, Unless thou turn and
become as a Child, hanging upon Him for All Things, thou shalt
not see the Kingdom of God. This do, and Nothing shall hurt
thee; for thou shalt be at Friendship with all the Things that
are, as thou dependest on the Author and Fountain of them, and
becomest like Him, by such Dependence, and by the Union of thy
Will with His Will. But mark what I have further to say; and be
not thou startled at it, though it may seem hard for thee at
first to conceive. If thou wilt be like All Things, thou must
forsake All Things; thou must turn thy Desire away from them
All, and not desire or hanker after any of them; thou must not
extend thy Will to possess that for thy own, or as thine own,
which is Something, whatsoever that Something be. For as soon as
ever thou takest Something into thy Desire, and receivest it
into thee for thine OWN, or in Propriety, then this very
Something (of what Nature soever it is) is the same with
thyself; and this worketh with thee in thy Will, and thou art
thence bound to protect it, and to take Care of it even as of
thy own Being. But if thou dost receive no Thing into thy
Desire, then thou art free from All Things, and rulest over all
Things at once, as a Prince of God. For thou hast received
Nothing for thine own, and art Nothing to all Things; and all
Things are as Nothing to thee. Thou art as a Child, which
understands not what a Thing is, and though thou dost perhaps
understand it, yet thou understandest it without mixing with it,
and without its sensibly affecting or touching thy Perception,
even in that Manner wherein God doth rule and see all Things; He
comprehending All, and yet Nothing comprehending Him.

Disciple:

Ah! How shall I arrive at this Heavenly Understanding, at this
Sight of All Things in God, at this pure and naked Knowledge
which is abstracted from the Senses; at this Light above Nature
and Creature; and at this Participation of the Divine Wisdom
which oversees all Things, and governs through all intellectual
Beings? For, alas, I am touched every Moment by the Things which
are about me; and overshadowed by the Clouds and Fumes which
rise up out of the Earth. I desire therefore to be taught, if
possible, how I may attain such a State and Conditions as no
Creature may be able to touch me to hurt me; and how my Mind,
being purged from sensible Objects and Things, may be prepared
for the Entrance and Habitation of the Divine Wisdom in me?

Master:

Thou desirest that I would teach thee how thou art to attain it;
and I will direct thee to our Master, from Whom I have been
taught it, that thou mayest learn it thyself from Him, Who alone
teacheth the Heart. Hear thou Him. Wouldest thou arrive at this;
wouldest thou remain untouched by Sensibles; wouldest thou
behold Light in the very Light of God, and see all Things
thereby; then consider the Words of Christ, Who is that Light;
and Who is the Truth. O consider now His Words, Who said,
”Without Me ye can do nothing” and defer not to apply thyself
unto Him, Who is the Strength of thy Salvation, and the Power of
thy Life; and with Whom thou canst do all Things, by the Faith
which He worketh in thee. But unless thou wholly givest thySELF
up to the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ, and resignest thy Will
wholly to Him, and desirest Nothing and willest Nothing without
Him, thou shalt never come to such a Rest as no Creature can
disturb. Think what thou pleasest, and be never so much
delighted in the Activity of thine OWN Reason, thou shalt find
that in thine OWN Power, and without such a total Surrender to
God, and to the Life of God, thou canst never arrive at such a
Rest as this, or the true Quiet of the Soul, wherein no Creature
can molest thee, or so much as touch thee. Which when thou
shalt, by Grace, have attained to, then with thy Body thou art
in the World, as in the Properties of outward Nature; and with
thy Reason, under the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; but with
thy Will thou walkest in Heaven, and art at the End from whence
all Creatures are proceeded forth, and to which they return
again. And then thou canst in this END, which is the same with
the BEGINNING, behold all Things outwardly with Reason, and
inwardly with the Mind; and so mayest thou rule in all Things
and over all Things, with Christ; unto Whom all Power is given
both in Heaven and on Earth.

Disciple:

O Master, the Creatures which live in me do withhold me, that I
cannot so wholly yield and give up mySELF as I willingly would.
What am I to do in this Case?

Master:

Let not this trouble thee. Doth thy Will go forth from the
Creatures? Then the Creatures are forsaken in thee. They are in
the World, and thy Body, which is in the World, is with the
Creatures. But spiritually thou walkest with God, and conversest
in Heaven, being in thy Mind redeemed from Earth, and separated
from Creatures, to live the Life of God. And if thy Will thus
leaveth the Creatures, and goeth forth from them, even as the
Spirit goeth forth from the Body at Death; then are the
Creatures dead in it, and do live only in the Body in the World.
Since if thy Will doth not bring itself into them, they cannot
bring themselves into it, neither can they by any Means touch
the Soul. And hence St. Paul saith,”Our Conversation is in
Heaven”; and also, ”Ye are the Temple of God, and the Spirit of
God dwelleth in you.” So then True Christians are the very
Temples of the Holy Ghost, Who dwelleth in them; that is, the
Holy Ghost dwelleth in the Will, and the Creatures dwelleth in
the Body.

Disciple:

If now the Holy Spirit doth dwell in the Will of the Mind, how
ought I to keep myself so that He depart not from me again?

Master:

Mark, my Son, the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ; ”If ye abide
in My Words, then My Words abide in you.” If thou abideth with
thy Will, in the Words of Christ; then His Word and Spirit
abideth in thee, and all shall be done for thee that thou canst
ask of Him. But if thy Will goeth into the Creature, then thou
hast broken off thereby thyself from Him. And then thou canst
not any otherwise keep thyself but by abiding continually in the
most resigned Humility, and by entering into a constant Course
of Penitence, wherein thou wilt be always grieved at thine own
Creatureliness and that Creatures do still live in thee, that
is, in thy bodily Appetites. If thou doest thus, thou standest
in a daily dying from the Creatures, and in a daily ascending
into Heaven in thy Will; which Will is also the Will of thy
Heavenly Father.

Disciple:

O my loving Master, pray teach me how I may come to such a
constant Course of holy Penitence, and to such a daily Dying
from all creaturely Objects; for how can I abide continually in
Repentance?

Master:

When thou leavest that which loveth thee, and lovest that which
hateth thee; then thou mayest abide continually in Repentance.

Disciple:

What is it that I must thus leave?

Master:

All Things that love and entertain thee, because thy Will loves
and entertains them; all Things that please and feed thee,
because thy Will feeds and cherishes them; all Creatures in
Flesh and Blood; in a Word, all Visibles and Sensibles, by which
either the Imagination or sensitive Appetite in Men are
delighted and refreshed. These the Will of thy Mind, or thy
supreme Part must leave and forsake; and must even account them
all its Enemies. This is the Leaving of what loves thee. And the
Loving of what hates thee, is the Embracing of the Reproach of
the World. Thou must learn then to love the Cross of the Lord
Jesus Christ, and for His Sake to be pleased with the Reproach
of the World which hates and derides thee; and let this be thy
daily Exercise of Penitence – to be crucified to the World, and
the World to thee. And so thou shalt have continual Cause to
hate thySELF in the Creature, and to seek the Eternal Rest which
is in Christ. To which Rest thou having thus attained, thy Will
may therein safely rest and repose itself, according as thy Lord
Christ hath said: ”In Me ye may have Rest, but in the World ye
shall have Anxiety; In Me ye may have Peace, but in the World ye
shall have Tribulation.”

Disciple:

How shall I now be able to subsist in this Anxiety and
Tribulation arising from the World, so as not to lose the
Eternal Peace, or not enter into this Rest? And how may I
recover myself in such a Temptation as this is, by not sinking
under the World, but rising above it by a Life that is truly
Heavenly or Supersensual?

Master:

If thou dost once every Hour throw thyself by Faith beyond all
Creatures, beyond and above all sensual Perception and
Apprehension, yea, above Discourse and Reasoning into the
abyssal Mercy of God, into the Sufferings of our Lord, and into
the Fellowship of His Interceding, and yieldeth thySELF fully
and absolutely thereinto; then thou shalt receive Power from
above to rule over Death and the Devil, and so subdue Hell and
the World under thee: And then thou mayest subsist in all
Temptations, and be the brighter for them.

Disciple:

Blessed is the Man that arriveth to such a State as this. But
alas! Poor Man that I am, how is this possible as to me? And
what, O my Master, would become of me, if I should ever attain
with my Mind to that, where no Creature is? Must I not cry out,
I am undone!

Master:

Son why art thou so dispirited? Be of good Heart still; for thou
mayest certainly yet attain to it. Do but believe, and all
Things are made possible to thee. If it were that thy Will, O
thou of little Courage, could break off itself for one Hour, or
even but for one half Hour, from all Creatures, and plunge
itself into That where no Creature is, or can be; presently it
would be penetrated and clothed upon with the supreme Splendor
of the Divine Glory, would taste in itself the most sweet Love
of Jesus, the Sweetness whereof no Tongue can express, and would
find in itself the unspeakable Words of our Lord concerning His
great Mercy. Thy Spirit would then feel in itself the Cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ to be very pleasing to it; and would
thereupon love the Cross more than the Honors and Goods of the
World.

Disciple:

This for the Soul would be exceeding well indeed: But what would
then become of the Body seeing that it must of Necessity live in
the Creature?

Master:

The Body would by this Means be put into the Imitation of our
Lord Christ, and of His Body: It would stand in the Communion of
that most blessed Body, which was the true Temple of the Deity;
and in the Participation of all its gracious Effects, Virtues
and Influences. It would live in the Creature not of Choice, but
only as it is made subject unto Vanity, and in the World, as it
is placed therein by the Ordination of the Creator, for its
Cultivation and the higher Advancement; and as groaning to be
delivered out of it in God’s Time and Manner, for its Perfection
and Resuscitation in Eternal Liberty and Glory, like unto the
Glorified Body of our Lord and His risen Saints.

Disciple:

But the Body being in its present Constitution, so made subject
to Vanity, and living in a vain Image and creaturely Shadow,
according to the Life of the undergraduated Creatures or Brutes,
whose Breath goeth downwards to the Earth; I am still very much
afraid thereof, lest it should continue to depress the Mind
which is lifted up to God, by hanging as dead Weight thereto;
and go on to amuse and perplex the Same, as formerly, with
Dreams and Trifles, by letting in the Objects from without, in
order to draw me down into the World and the Hurry thereof;
where I would fain maintain my Conversation in Heaven, even
while I am living in the World. What therefore must I do with
this Body, that I may be able to keep up so desirable a
Conversation; and not to be under any Subjection to it any
longer?

Master:

There is no other Way for thee that I know, but to present the
Body whereof thou complainest (which is the Beast to be
sacrificed) ”a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God”:
And this shall be thy ”rational Service”, whereby this thy Body
will be put, as thou desirest, into the Imitation of Jesus
Christ, who said, His Kingdom was not of this World. Be not thou
then ”conformed to it, but be transformed by the Renewing of thy
Mind”; which renewed Mind is to have Dominion over the Body,
that so thou mayest prove, both in Body and Mind, what is the
perfect Will of God, and accordingly perform the same with and
by his Grace operating IN THEE. Whereupon the Body, or the
Animal Life would, being thus offered up, begin to die, both
from without and from within. From without, that is, from the
Vanity and evil Customs and Fashions of the World. It would be
an utter Enemy to all the Pomp thereof, and to all the Gaudery,
Pageantry, Pride, Ambition, and Haughtiness therein. From
within, it would die as to all the Lusts and Appetites of the
Flesh, and would get a Mind and Will wholly new, for its
Government and Management; being now made subject to the Spirit,
which would continually be directed to God, as would all that is
subject to thy Body. And thus thy very Body is become the Temple
of God and of His Spirit, in Imitation of thy Lord’s Body.

Disciple:

But the World would hate it, and despise it for so doing; seeing
it must hereby contradict the World, and must live and act quite
otherwise than the World doth. This is most certain. And how can
this then be taken?

Master:

It would not take that as any Harm done to it, but would rather
rejoice that it is become worthy to be like unto the Image of
our Lord Jesus Christ, being transformed from that of the World:
And it would be most willing to bear that Cross after our Lord;
merely that our Lord might bestow upon it the Influence of His
sweet and precious Love.

Disciple:

I do not doubt but in some this may be even so. Nevertheless for
my own Part, I am in a Straight betwixt two, not feeling yet
enough of that blessed Influence upon me. O how willingly should
my Body bear that, could this be safely depended upon by me,
according to what is urged! Wherefore pardon me, loving Sir, in
this one Thing, if my Impatience doth still further demand what
would become of it, if the Anger of God from within, and the
wicked World also from without, should at once assault it, as
the same really happened to our Lord Christ?

Master:

Be that unto it, even as unto our Lord Christ, when He was
reproached, reviled and crucified by the World; and when the
Anger of God so fiercely assaulted Him for our Sake. Now what
did He do under this most terrible Assault both from without and
from within? Why, He commended his Soul into the Hands of his
Father,and so departed from the Anguish of this World into the
Eternal Joy. Do thou likewise; and His Death shall become thy
Life.

Disciple:

Be it unto me as unto the Lord Christ; and unto my Body as unto
His; which into His Hands I have commended, and for the Sake of
His Name do offer up, according to His revealed Will.
Nevertheless I am desirous to know what would become of my Body
in its pressing forth from the Anguish of this miserable World
into the Power of the Heavenly Kingdom?

Master:

It would get forth from the Reproach and Contradiction of the
World, by a Conformity to the Passion of Jesus Christ; and from
the Sorrows and Pains in the Flesh, which are only the Effects
of some sensible Impression of Things without, by a quiet
Introversion of the Spirit, and secret Communion with the Deity
manifesting Itself for that End. It would penetrate into itself;
it would sink into the great Love of God; it would be sustained
and refreshed by the most sweet name JESUS; and it would see and
find within itself a new World springing forth as through the
Anger of God, into the Love and Joy Eternal. And then should a
Man wrap his Soul in this, even in the great Love of God, and
clothe himself Therewith as with a Garment; and should account
thence all Things alike; because in the Creature he finds
NoThing that can give him, without God, the least Satisfaction;
and because also Nothing of Harm can touch him more, while he
remains in this Love, which indeed is stronger that all Things,
and makes a Man hence invulnerable both from within and without,
by taking out the Sting and Poison of the Creatures, and
destroying the Power of Death. And whether the Body be in Hell
or on Earth, all is alike to him; for whether it be there or
here, his Mind is still in the greatest Love of God; which is no
less than to say, that he is in Heaven.

Disciple:

But how would a Man’s Body be maintained in the World; or how
would he be able to maintain those that are his, if he should by
such a Conversation incur the Displeasure of all the World?

Master:

Such a Man gets greater Favors than the World is able to bestow
upon him. He hath God for his Friend; he hath all His Angels for
his Friends: In all Dangers and Necessities these protect and
relieve him; so that he need fear no Manner of Evil; no Creature
can hurt him. God is his Helper; and that is sufficient. Also
God is his Blessing in every Thing; and though sometimes it may
seem as if God would not bless him, yet is this but for a Trial
to him, and for the Attraction of the Divine Love; to the End he
may more fervently pray to God, and commit all his Ways unto
Him.

Disciple:

He loses however by this all his good Friends; and there will be
none to help him in his Necessity.

Master:

Nay, but he gets the Hearts of all his true Friends into his
Possession, and loses none but his Enemies, who before loved his
Vanity and Wickedness.

Disciple:

How it is that he can get his true Friends into his Possession?

Master:

He gets the very Hearts and Souls of all those that belong to
our Lord Jesus to be his Brethren, and the Members of his own
very Life. For all the Children of God are but One in Christ,
which One is Christ in All; and therefore he gets them all to be
his Fellow Members in the Body of Christ, whence they have all
the same Heavenly Goods in common; and all live in one and the
same Love of God, as the Branches of a Tree in one and the same
Root, and spring all from one and the same Source of Life in
them. So that he can have no Want of spiritual Friends and
Relations, who are all rooted with him together in the Love
which is from above; who are all of the same Blood and Kindred
in Christ Jesus; and who are all nourished by the same
quickening Sap and Spirit diffusing Itself through them
universally from the one True Vine, which is the Tree of Life
and Love. These are Friends worth having; and though Here they
may be unknown to him, will abide his Friends beyond Death, to
all Eternity. But neither can he want even outward natural
Friends, as our Lord Christ when on Earth did not want such
also. For though indeed the High-Priests and Potentates of the
World could not have a Love for Him because they belonged not to
Him, neither stood in any Kind of Relation to Him, since He was
not of this World; yet those loved Him who were capable of His
Love, and receptive of His Words. So in like Manner, those who
love Truth and Righteousness will love that Man, and will
associate themselves unto him, yea, though they may perhaps be
outwardly at some Distance or seeming Disagreement, from the
Situation of their worldly Affairs, or out of some certain
Respects; yet in their Hearts they cannot but cleave to him. For
though they be not yet actually incorporated into one Body with
him, yet they cannot resist being of one Mind with him, and
being united in Affection, for the great Regard they bear to the
Truth, which shines forth in his Words and in his Life. By which
they are made either his declared or his secret Friends; and he
doth so get their Hearts, as they will be delighted above all
Things in his Company, for the Sake thereof, and will court his
Friendship, and will come unto him by Stealth, if openly they
dare not, for the Benefit of his Conversation and Advice; even
as Nicodemus did unto Christ, who came to Him by Night, and in
his Heart loved Jesus for the Truth’s Sake, though outwardly he
feared the World. And thus thou shalt have many Friends that are
not known to thee; and some known to thee, who may not appear so
before the World.

Disciple:

Nevertheless it is very grievous to be generally despised of the
World, and to be trampled upon by Men as the very Offscouring
thereof.

Master:

That which now seems so hard and heavy to thee, thou wilt yet
hereafter be most of all in Love with.

Disciple:

How can it be that I should ever love that which hates me?

Master:

Though thou lovest the earthly Wisdom now, yet when thou shalt
be clothed upon with the Heavenly Wisdom, then thou wilt see
that all the Wisdom of the World is Folly; and wilt see also
that the World hates not so much thee, as it does thine Enemy,
which is the Mortal Life. And when thou thyself shalt come to
hate the Will thereof, by Means of a habitual Separation of thy
Mind from the World, then thou also wilt begin to love that
despising of the Mortal Life, and the Reproach of the World for
Christ’s Sake . And so shalt thou be able to stand under every
Temptation, and to hold out to the End by the Means hereof in
the Course of Life above the World, and above Sense. In this
Course thou wilt hate thyself; and thou wilt also love thyself;
I say love thyself, and that even more than ever thou didst yet.

Disciple:

But how can these two subsist together, that a Person should
both love and hate himself?

Master:

In loving thyself, thou lovest not thySELF as thine OWN; but as
given thee from the Love of God thou lovest the Divine Ground in
thee; by which and in which thou lovest the Divine Wisdom, the
Divine Goodness, the Divine Beauty; thou lovest also by it God’s
Works of Wonders; and in this Ground thou lovest likewise thy
Brethren. But in hating thySELF, thou hatest only that which is
thine OWN, and wherein the Evil sticks close to thee. And this
thou dost, that so thou mayest wholly destroy that which thou
callest thine; as when thou sayest I or MYSELF do this, or do
that. All which is wrong, and a downright Mistake in thee; for
nothing canst thou properly call thine but the Evil SELF,
neither canst thou do any Thing of thyself that is to be
accounted of. This SELF therefore thou must labor wholly to
destroy IN THEE, that so thou mayest become a Ground wholly
Divine. There is, there can be no SELFishness in Love; they are
opposite to each other. Love, that is, Divine Love (of which
only we are now discoursing) hates all Egoity, hates all that
which we call I, or IHOOD; hates all such Restrictions and
Confinements, yea even all that springs from a contracted
Spirit, or this evil SELF-hood, because it is a hateful and
deadly Thing. And it is impossible that these two should stand
together, or subsist in one Person; the one driving out the
other by a Necessity of Nature. For Love possesses Heaven, and
dwells in Itself, which is dwelling in Heaven; but that which is
called I, this vile SELF-hood possesses the World and worldly
Things; and dwells also in itself, which is dwelling in Hell,
because this is the very Root of Hell itself. And therefore as
Heaven rules above the World and as Eternity rules above Time,
even so ought Love to rule above the natural temporal Life; for
no other Method is there, neither can there be of attaining to
that Life which is Supernatural and Eternal, and which thou so
much desirest to be led into.

Disciple:

Loving Master, I am well content that this Love should rule in
me over the natural Life, so that I may attain to that which is
Supernatural and Supersensual; but pray tell me now, why must
Love and Hatred, Friend and Foe thus be together? Would not Love
alone be better? Wherefore, I say, are Love and Trouble thus
joined?

Master:

If Love dwelt not in Trouble, It could have Nothing to love; but
when Its Substance which It loves, namely, the poor Soul, is in
Trouble and Pain, Love hath thence Cause to love this, Its own
Substance, and to deliver it from its Pain; that so the
Soul,itself, may by the indwelling Love be again Beloved.
Neither could any one know what Love is, if there were no
Hatred; or what Friendship is, if there were no Foe to contend
with. Or in one Word, for Love to be known It must have
Something which It might Love, and where Its Virtue and Power
may be manifested, by working out Deliverance to the Beloved
from all Pain and Trouble.

Disciple:

Pray what is the Virtue, Power, the Height and the Greatness of
Love?

Master:

The Virtue of Love is NOTHING and ALL, or that Nothing visible
out of which All Things proceed; Its Power is through All
Things; Its Height is as high as God; Its Greatness is as great
as God. Its Virtue is the Principle of all Principles; Its Power
supports the Heavens and upholds the Earth; Its Height is higher
than the highest Heavens; and Its Greatness is even greater than
the very Manifestation of the Godhead in the glorious Light of
the Divine Essence, as being infinitely capable of greater and
greater Manifestations in all Eternity. What can I say more?
Love is higher than the Highest. Love is greater than the
Greatest. Yea, It is in a certain Sense greater than God; while
yet in the highest Sense of all, God is Love, and Love is God.
Love being the highest Principle, is the Virtue of all Virtues;
from whence they all flow forth. Love being the greatest
Majesty, is the Power of all Powers, from whence they severally
operate; and It is the Holy Magical Root, or Ghostly Power from
whence all the Wonders of God have been wrought by the Hands of
his elect Servants, in all their Generations successively.
Whosoever finds It, finds Nothing and All Things.

Disciple:

Dear Master, pray tell me how to understand this.

Master:

First then, in that I said, Its Virtue is Nothing, or that
NOTHING which is the BEGINNING of All Things, thou must
understand It thus; when thou art gone forth wholly from the
Creature, and from that which is visible, and art become Nothing
to all that is Nature and Creature, then thou art in that
Eternal One, which is God Himself. And then thou shalt perceive
and feel in thy Interior, the highest Virtue of Love. But in
that I said, Its Power is through All Things, this is that which
thou perceivest and findest in thy own Soul and Body
experimentally, whenever this great Love is enkindled within
thee; seeing that It will burn more than the Fire can do, as It
did in the Prophets of old, and afterwards in the Apostles, when
God conversed with them bodily, and when His Spirit descended
upon them in the Oratory of Zion. Thou shalt then see also in
all the Works of God, how Love hath poured Itself into all
Things, and penetrateth all Things, and is the most inward and
most outward Ground in all Things – inwardly in the Virtue and
Power of every Thing, and outwardly in the Figure and Form
thereof. And in that I said, Its Height is as high as God; thou
mayest understand this in thyself; forasmuch as It brings thee
to be as high as God Himself is, by being united to God – as may
be seen by our beloved Lord Christ in our Humanity. Which
Humanity Love hath brought up into the highest Throne, above all
Angelical Principalities and Powers, into the very Power of the
Deity itself. But in that I also said, Its Greatness is as great
as God, thou art hereby to understand, that there is a certain
Greatness and Latitude of Heart in Love, which is inexpressible;
for It enlarges the Soul as wide as the whole Creation of God.
And this shall be truly experienced by thee, beyond all Words,
when the Throne of Love shall be set up in thy Heart. Moreover
in that I said, Its Virtue is the Principle of all Principles,
hereby it is given thee to understand, that Love is the
principiating Cause of all created Beings, both spiritual and
corporeal, by Virtue whereof the second Causes do move and act
occasionally according to certain Eternal Laws from the
Beginning implanted in the very Life and Energy of all the
Principles of Nature, superior and inferior -It reaches to all
Worlds, and to all Manner of Beings in them contained, they
being the Workmanship of Divine Love; and It is the first Mover,
and first Moveable both in Heaven above and in the Earth
beneath, and in the Water under the Earth. And hence there is
given to It the Name of Lucid Aleph, or Alpha; by which is
expressed the Beginning of the Alphabet of Nature, and of the
Book of Creation and Providence, or the Divine Archetypal Book,
in which is the Light of Wisdom, and the Source of all Lights
and Forms. And in that I said, Its Power supports the Heavens;
by this thou wilt come to understand, that as the Heavens,
visible and invisible, are originated from this great Principle,
so are they likewise necessarily sustained by It; and that
therefore if This should be but never so little withdrawn, all
the Lights, Glories, Beauties, and Forms of the heavenly Worlds,
would presently sink into Darkness and Chaos. And whereas I
further said, that It upholds the Earth; this will appear to
thee no less evident than the former, and thou shalt perceive It
in thyself by daily and hourly Experience; forasmuch as the
Earth without It, even thy own Earth also, (that is, thy Body)
would certainly be without Form and Void. By the Power thereof
the Earth hath been thus long upheld, notwithstanding a foreign
usurped Power introduced by the Folly of Sin. And should this
but once fail or recede, there could no longer be either
Vegetation or Animation upon it; yea, the very Pillars of it
would be quite overthrown, and the Band of Union, which is that
of Attraction or Magnetism, called the Centripetal Power, being
broken and dissolved, all must thence run into the utmost
Disorder, and falling away as into Shivers, would be dispersed
as loose Dust before the Wind. But in that I said, Its Height is
higher than the highest Heavens; this thou mayest also
understand within thyself; so shouldest thou ascend in Spirit
through all the Orders of Angels and heavenly Powers, yet the
Power of Love still is undeniably superior to them all. And as
the Throne of God, Who sits upon the Heaven of Heavens, is
higher than the highest of them, even so must Love also be,
which fills them all, and comprehends them all. And whereas I
said of the Greatness of Love, that It is greater than the very
Manifestation of the Godhead in the Light of the Divine Essence;
that is also true. For Love enters even into that where the
Godhead is not manifested in this glorious Light, and where God
may be said not to dwell. And entering thereinto, Love begins to
manifest to the Soul the Light of the Godhead; and thus is the
Darkness broken through, and the Wonders of the new Creation
successively manifested. Thus shalt thou be brought to
understand really and fundamentally, what is the Virtue and
Power of Love, and what the Height and Greatness thereof is; how
that It is indeed the Virtue of all Virtues, though It be
invisible, and as a Nothing in Appearance, inasmuch as It is the
Worker of all Things, and a powerful vital Energy passing
through all Virtues and Powers natural and supernatural; and the
Power of all Powers, nothing being able to let or obstruct the
Omnipotence of Love, or to resist Its invincible penetrating
Might, which passes through the whole Creation of God,
inspecting and governing all Things. And in that I said, It is
higher than the Highest, and greater than the Greatest; thou
mayest hereby perceive as in a Glimpse, the supreme Height and
Greatness of Omnipotent Love, which infinitely transcends all
that human Sense and Reason can reach to. The highest Archangels
and the greatest Powers of Heaven are, in Comparison of it, but
as Dwarfs. Nothing can be conceived higher and greater in God
Himself, by the very Highest and Greatest of His Creatures.
There is such an Infinity in It, as comprehends and surpasses
all the Divine Attributes. But in that it was also said, Its
Greatness is greater than God; that likewise is very true in the
Sense wherein it was spoken; For Love, as I before observed, can
there enter where God dwelleth not, since the most high God
dwelleth not in Darkness, but in the Light – the hellish
Darkness being put under His Feet. Thus for Instance, when our
beloved Lord Christ was in Hell, Hell was not the Mansion of God
or of Christ; Hell was not God, neither was it with God, nor
could it be at all with Him; Hell stood in the Darkness and
Anxiety of Nature, and no Light of the Divine Majesty did there
enter. God was not there; for He is not in the Darkness or in
the Anguish; but Love was there; and Love destroyed Death and
conquered Hell. So also when thou art in Anguish or Trouble,
which is Hell within, God is not the Anguish or Trouble; neither
is He in the Anguish or Trouble; but His Love is there, and
brings thee out of the Anguish and Trouble into God, leading
thee into the Light and Joy of His Presence. When God hides
Himself in thee, Love is still there, and makes Him manifest in
thee. Such is the inconceivable Greatness and Largeness of Love;
which will hence appear to thee as great as God above Nature,
and greater than God in Nature, so as considered in his
manifestative Glory. Lastly, whereas I also said, Whosoever
finds It, finds Nothing and All Things; that is also certain and
true. But how finds he Nothing? Why, I will tell thee how. He
that findeth it, findeth a Supernatural Supersensual Abyss,
which hath no Ground or Byss to stand on, and where there is no
Place to dwell in; and he findeth also Nothing is like unto It,
and therefore It may fitly be compared to Nothing; for It is
deeper than any Thing, and is as NoThing with respect to All
Things, forasmuch as It is not comprehensible by any of them.
And because It is NoThing respectively, It is therefore free
from All Things; and is that only Good, which a Man cannot
express or utter what It is; there being Nothing to which It may
be compared, to express It by. But in that I lastly said,
Whosoever finds It, finds All Things; there is nothing can be
more true than this Assertion. It hath been the BEGINNING of All
Things; and It ruleth All Things. It is also the END of All
Things; and will thence comprehend All Things within Its Circle.
All Things are from It, and in It, and by It. If thou findest
It, thou comest into that Ground from whence All Things are
proceeded, and wherein they subsist; and thou art in It a KING
over all the Works of God.

Here the Disciple was exceedingly ravished with what his Master had so
wonderfully and surprisingly declared, and returned his most humble and
hearty Thanks for that Light, which his Master had been an Instrument
of conveying to him. But being desirous to hear further concerning
these high Matters, and to know Somewhat more particularly, he
requested him that he would give him Leave to wait on him the next Day
again; and that he would then be pleased to show him how and where he
might find this which was so much beyond all Price and Value, and
whereabout the Seat and Abode of it might be in human Nature; with the
entire Process of the Discovery and bringing it forth to Light.

The Master said to him: This then we will discourse about at our next
Conference, as God shall reveal the same to us by his SPIRIT, which is
the Searcher of All Things. And if thou dost remember well what I
answered thee in the Beginning, thou shalt soon come thereby to
understand that hidden mystical Wisdom of God, which none of the Wise
Men of the World know; and where the MIND thereof is to be found in
thee, shall be given thee from above to discern. Be silent therefore in
thy Spirit, and watch unto Prayer; that when we meet again Tomorrow in
the Love of Christ, thy Mind may be disposed for finding that noble
PEARL, which to the World appears Nothing, but which to the Children of
Wisdom is All Things.
__________________________________________________________________

ARGUMENT

Herein is described and set forth the Manner of passing the Gulf
which divides betwixt the two Principles or States of Heaven and
Hell: And it is particularly shown how this Transaction is carried
on in the Soul; what the Partition Wall therein is, which separates
from God.

What the breaking down of this Partition Wall, and how effected;
what the Center of Light is, and the pressing into that Center is;
What the Light of God, and Light of Nature are; how they are
operative in their several Spheres, and how to be kept from
interfering with each other; with some Account of the two Wills and
their Contraposition in the Fallen State; of the Magical Wheel of
the Will, and how the Motion thereof may be regulated; of the Eye in
the Midst thereof, what the Right Eye is to the Soul, and what the
Left is, but especially what the Single Eye is, and in what Manner
it is to be obtained; of the Purification from the Contagion of
Matter; of the Destruction of Evil, and of the very Annihilation of
it, by the Subsidence of the Will from its own Something into
Nothing; of the Naked and Magical Faith, and the Attraction thereby
of a certain Divine Substantiality and Vestment; how all consists in
the Will, and proceeds but from one Point; where that Point is
placed, and how it may be found out; and which is both the safest
and nearest Way to attain to the high supersensual State, and the
internal Kingdom of Christ, according to the true Heavenly Magia or
Wisdom.
__________________________________________________________________

The Disciple being very earnest to be more fully instructed how he
might arrive at the Supersensual Life; and how, having found All
Things, he might come to be a King over all God’s Works; came again to
his Master the next Morning, having watched the Night in Prayer, that
he might be disposed to receive and apprehend the Instructions that
should be given him by a Divine Irradiation upon his Mind. And the
Disciple after a little Space of Silence, bowed himself, and thus brake
forth:

Disciple:

O my Master! my Master! I have now endeavoured to recollect my
Soul in the Presence of God, and to cast myself into that Deep
where no Creature doth nor can dwell; that I might hear the
Voice of my Lord speaking in me; and be initiated into that high
Life, whereof I heard Yesterday such great and amazing Things
pronounced. But alas! I neither hear nor see as I should; there
is still such a Partition Wall in me which beats back the
Heavenly Sounds in their Passage, and obstructs the Entrance of
that Light by which alone Divine Objects are discoverable, as
till this be broken down, I can have but small Hopes, yea, even
none at all, of arriving at those glorious Attainments which you
pressed me to, or of entering into that where no Creature
dwells, and which you call Nothing and All Things. Wherefore be
so kind as to inform me what is required on my Part, that this
Partition which hinders may be broken or removed.

Master:

This Partition is the Creaturely Will in thee; and this can be
broken by nothing but by the Grace of SELF-DENIAL, which is the
Entrance into the True Following of Christ, and totally removed
by Nothing but a perfect Conformity with the Divine Will.

Disciple:

But how shall I be able to break this Creaturely Will which is
at Enmity with the Divine Will? Or, what shall I do to follow
Christ in so difficult a Path, and not to faint in a continual
Course of SELF-DENIAL and RESIGNATION to the Will of God?

Master:

This is not to be done by thyself; but by the Light and Grace of
God received into thy Soul, which will, if thou gainsay not,
break the Darkness that is in thee, and melt down thine OWN
Will, which worketh in the Darkness and Corruption of Nature,
and bring it into the Obedience of Christ, whereby the Partition
of the Creaturely SELF is removed from betwixt God and thee.

Disciple:

I know that I cannot do it of myself. But I would fain learn,
how I must receive this Divine Light and Grace into me, Which is
to do it for me, if I hinder It not my own SELF. What is then
required of me in order to admit this Breaker of the Partition
and to promote the Attainment of the Ends of such Admission?

Master:

There is Nothing more required of thee at first, than not to
resist this Grace, Which is manifested in thee; and Nothing in
the whole Process of thy Work, but to be obedient and passive to
the Light of God shining through the Darkness of thy Creaturely
Being, which reaching no higher than the Light of Nature,
comprehendeth It not.

Disciple:

But is it not for me to attain, if I can, both the Light of God,
and the Light of the outward Nature too; and to make use of them
both for the ordering of my Life wisely and prudently?

Master:

It is right, I confess, so to do. And it is indeed a Treasure
above all earthly Treasures, to be possessed of the Light of God
and Nature, operating in their Spheres; and to have both the Eye
of Time and Eternity at once open together, and yet not to
interfere with each other.

Disciple:

This is a great Satisfaction to me to hear; having been very
uneasy about it for some Time. But how this can be without
interfering with each other, there is the Difficulty. Wherefore,
fain would I know, if it were lawful, the Boundaries of the one
and the other; and how both the Divine and the Natural Light may
in their several Spheres respectively act and operate, for the
Manifestation of the Mysteries of God and Nature, and for the
Conduct of my outward and inward Life?

Master:

That each of these may be preserved distinct in their several
Spheres, without confounding Things Heavenly and Things Earthly,
or breaking the golden Chain of Wisdom, it will be necessary, my
Child, in the first Place to wait for and attend the
Supernatural and Divine Light, as that superior Light appointed
to govern the Day, rising in the true East, which is the Center
of Paradise; and in great Might breaking forth as out of the
Darkness within thee, through a Pillar of Fire and
Thunder-Clouds, and thereby also reflecting upon the inferior
Light of Nature a Sort of Image of Itself, whereby only it can
be kept in its due Subordination; that which is below being made
subservient to that which is above; and that which is without to
that which is within. Thus there will be no Danger of
interfering; but all will go right, and every Thing abide in its
proper Sphere.

Disciple:

Therefore without Reason or the Light of Nature be sanctified in
my Soul, and illuminated by this superior Light, as from the
central East of the holy Light-World, by the Eternal and
Intellectual Sun; I perceive there will always be some
Confusion, and I shall never be able to manage aright either
what concerneth Time or Eternity; but I must always be at a
Loss, or break the Links of Wisdom’s Chain.

Master:

It is even so as thou hast said. All is Confusion, if thou hast
no more but the dim Light of Nature, or unsanctified and
unregenerated Reason to guide thee by; and if only the Eye of
Time be opened in thee, which cannot pierce beyond its own
Limit. Wherefore seek the Fountain of Light, waiting in the deep
Ground of thy Soul for the rising there of the Sun of
Righteousness, whereby the Light of Nature in thee, with the
Properties thereof, will be made to shine seven Times brighter
than ordinary. For it shall receive the Stamp, Image, and
Impression of the Supersensual and Supernatural; so that the
sensual and rational Life will hence be brought into the most
perfect Order and Harmony.

Disciple:

But how am I to wait for the Rising of this glorious Sun, and
how am I to seek in the Center, this Fountain of Light, which
may enlighten me throughout, and bring all my Properties into
perfect Harmony? I am in Nature, as I said before; and which Way
shall I pass through Nature, and the Light thereof, so that I
may come into that Supernatural and Supersensual Ground, from
whence this true Light, which is the Light of Minds, doth arise;
and this, without the Destruction of my Nature, or quenching the
Light of it, which is my – Reason?

Master:

Cease but from thine own Activity, steadfastly fixing thine Eye
upon one Point, and with a strong Purpose relying upon the
promised Grace of God in Christ, to bring thee out of thy
Darkness into His Marvelous Light. For this End gather in all
thy Thoughts, and by Faith press into the Center, laying hold
upon the Word of God, which is infallible, and which hath called
thee. Be thou then obedient to this Call; and be silent before
the Lord, sitting alone with Him in thy inmost and most hidden
Cell, thy Mind being centrally united in itself, and attending
His Will in the Patience of Hope. So shall thy Light break forth
as the Morning; and after the Redness thereof is passed, the Son
Himself, which thou waitest for, shall arise unto thee, and
under His most healing Wings thou shalt greatly rejoice;
ascending and descending in His bright and salutiferous Beams.
Behold this is the true Supersensual Ground of Life.

Disciple:

I believe it indeed to be even so. But will not this destroy
Nature? Will not the Light of Nature in me be extinguished by
this greater Light? Or must not the outward Life hence perish,
with the earthly Body which I carry?

Master:

By no Means at all. It is true, the evil Nature will be
destroyed by It; but by the Destruction thereof you can be no
Loser, but very much the Gainer. The Eternal Band of Nature is
the same afterward as before; and the Properties are the same.
So that Nature hereby is only advanced and meliorated; and the
Light thereof, or human Reason, by being kept within its due
Bounds, and regulated by a superior Light is only made useful.

Disciple:

Pray therefore let me know how this inferior Light ought to be
used by me; how it is to be kept within its due Bounds; and
after what Manner the superior Light doth regulate and ennoble
it.

Master:

Know then, my beloved Son, that if thou wilt keep the Light of
Nature within its own proper Bounds, and make use thereof in
just Subordination to the Light of God; thou must consider that
there are in thy Soul two Wills, an inferiour Will, which is for
driving thee to Things without and below; and a superiour Will,
which is for drawing to Things within and above. These two Wills
are now set together, as it were, Back to Back, and in a direct
Contrariety to each other; but in the Beginning, it was not so.
For this Contraposition of the Soul in these two is no more than
the Effect of the Fallen State; since before that they were
placed one under the other, that is, the superiour Will Above,
as the Lord, and the inferiour Below, as the Subject. And thus
it ought to have continued. Thou must also further consider,
that answering to these two Wills there are likewise two Eyes in
the Soul, whereby they are severally directed; forasmuch as
these Eyes are not united in one single View, but look quite
contrary Ways at once. They are in a like Manner set one against
the other, without a common Medium to join them. And hence, so
long as this Double-sightedness doth remain, it is impossible
there should be any Agreement in the Determination of this or
that Will. This is very plain; and it showeth the Necessity that
this Malady, arising from the Dis-union of the Rays of Vision,
be some Way remedied and redressed, in order to a true
Discernment in the Mind. Both these Eyes therefore must be made
to unite by a Concentration of Rays; there being nothing more
dangerous than for the Mind to abide thus in the Duplicity, and
not to seek to arrive at the Unity of Vision. Thou perceivest, I
know, that thou hast two Wills in thee, one set against the
other, the Superior and the Inferior; and that thou hast also
two Eyes within, one against another; whereof the one Eye may be
called the Right Eye, and the other the Left Eye. Thou
perceivest too, doubtless, that it is according to the Right Eye
that the Wheel of the superiour Will is moved; and that it is
according to the Left Eye, that the contrary Wheel in the lower
is turned about.

Disciple:

I perceive this, Sir, to be very true; and this it is which
causeth a continual Combat in me, and createth to me greater
Anxiety than I am able to express. Nor am I unacquainted with
the Disease of my own Soul, which you have so clearly declared.
Alas! I feel such irregular and convulsive Motions drawing me on
this Side and that Side. The Spirit seeth not as the Flesh
seeth; neither doth, or can the Flesh seeth as the Spirit seeth.
Hence the Spirit willeth against the Flesh; and the Flesh
willeth against the Spirit in me. This hath been my hard Case.
And how shall it be remedied? O how may I arrive at the Unity of
Will, and how come into the Unity of Vision?

Master:

Mark now what I say: The Right Eye looketh forward in thee into
Eternity. The Left Eye looketh backward in thee into Time. If
now thou sufferest thyself to be always looking into Nature, and
the Things of Time, and to be leading the Will, and to be
seeking Somewhat for thyself in the Desire, it will be
impossible for thee ever to arrive at the Unity, which thou
wishest for. Remember this; and always be upon thy Watch. Give
not thy Mind leave to enter into, nor to fill itself with, that
which is without thee; neither look thou backward upon thySELF;
but quit thySELF, and look forward upon Christ. Let not thy Left
Eye deceive thee, by making continually one Representation after
another, and stirring up thereby an earnest Longing in the
SELF-Propriety; but let thy Right Eye command back this Left,
and attract it to thee, so that it may not gad Abroad into the
Wonders and Delights of Nature. Yea, it is better to pluck it
quite out, and to cast it from thee, than to suffer it to
proceed forth without Restraint into Nature, and to follow its
own Lusts. However there is for this no Necessity, since both
Eyes may become very useful, if ordered aright; and both the
Divine and natural Light may in the Soul subsist together, and
be of mutual Service to each other. But never shalt thou arrive
at the Unity of Vision or Uniformity of Will, but by entering
fully into the Will of our Saviour Christ, and therein bringing
the Eye of Time into the Eye of Eternity; and then descending by
Means of this united through the Light of God into the Light of
Nature.

Disciple:

So then if I can but enter into the Will of my LORD, and abide
therein, I am safe, and may both attain to the Light of God in
the Spirit of my Soul, and see with the Eye of God, that is, the
Eye of Eternity in the Eternal Ground of my Will; and may also
at the same Time enjoy the Light of this World nevertheless; not
degrading but adorning the Light of Nature; and beholding as
with the Eye of Eternity Things Eternal, so with the Eye of
Nature Things Natural, and both contemplating therein the
Wonders of God, and sustaining also thereby the Life of my
outward Vehicle or Body.

Master:

It is very right. Thou hast well understood; and thou desirest
now to enter into the Will of God, and to abide therein as in
the Supersensual Ground of Light and Life, where thou mayest in
His Light behold both Time and Eternity, and bring all the
Wonders created of God for the exterior into the interior Life,
and so eternally rejoice in them to the Glory of Christ; the
Partition of thy Creaturely Will being broken down, and the Eye
of thy Spirit simplified in and through the Eye of God
manifesting Itself in the Center of thy Life. Let this be so
now, for it is God’s Will.

Disciple:

But it is very hard to be always looking forwards into Eternity;
and consequently to attain to this single Eye, and Simplicity of
Divine Vision. The Entrance of a Soul naked into the Will of
God, shutting out all Imaginations and Desires, and breaking
down the strong Partition which you mention, is indeed somewhat
very terrible and shocking to human Nature in its present State.
O what shall I do, that I may reach this which I so much long
for?

Master:

My Son, let not the Eye of Nature with the Will of the Wonders
depart from that Eye which is introverted into the Divine
Liberty, and into the Eternal Light of the holy Majesty; but let
it draw to thee those Wonders by Union with that heavenly
internal Eye, which are externally wrought out and manifested in
visible Nature. For while thou art in the World, and hast an
honest Employment, thou art certainly by the Order of Providence
obliged to labor in it, and to finish the Work given thee,
according to thy best Ability, without Repining or Complaining
in the least and to seek out and manifest for God’s Glory, the
Wonders of Nature and Art. Since let the Nature be what it will,
it is all the Work and Art of God; and let the Art also be what
it will, it is still God’s Work, and His Art, rather than any
Art or Cunning of Man. And all both in Art and Nature serveth
but abundantly to manifest the wonderful Works of God; that He
for all, and in all may be glorified. Yea, all serveth but to
recollect thee more inward if thou knowest rightly how to use
them, and to draw thy Spirit into that majestic Light, wherein
the original Patterns and Forms of Things visible are to be
seen. Keep therefore in the Center, and stir not out from the
Presence of God revealed within thy Soul; let the World and the
Devil make never so great a Noise and Bustle to draw thee out,
mind them not; they cannot hurt thee. It is permitted to the Eye
of thy Reason to seek Food, and to thy Hands, by their Labor, to
get Food for the terrestrial Body. But then this Eye ought not
with its Desire to enter into the Food prepared, which would be
Covetousness; but must in Resignation simply bring it before the
Eye of God in thy Spirit, and then thou must seek to place it
close to this very Eye, without letting it go. Mark this Lesson
well. Let the Hands or the Head be at Labor, thy Heart ought
nevertheless to rest in God. God is a Spirit; dwell in the
Spirit, work in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, and do every
Thing in the Spirit; for remember thou also art a Spirit, and
thereby created in the Image of God. Therefore see that thy
Desire attract not Matter unto thee, but as much as possible
abstract thyself from all Matter whatever; and so, standing in
the Center, present thyself as a vacant, naked Spirit before
God, in Simplicity and Purity; and be sure thy Spirit draw in
nothing but Spirit. Thou wilt yet be greatly enticed to draw
Matter, and to gather that which the World calls Substance,
thereby to have somewhat visible to trust to. But by no Means
consent to the Tempter, nor yield to the Lusting of thy Flesh
against the Spirit. For in so doing thou wilt infallibly obscure
the Divine Light in thee; thy Spirit will stick in the dark
covetous Root, and from the fiery Source of thy Soul will it
blaze out in Pride and Anger; thy Will shall be chained in
Earthliness, and shall sink through the Anguish into Darkness
and materiality; and never shalt thou be able to reach the still
Liberty, or to stand before the Majesty of God. Since this is
opening a Door for him who reigneth in the Corruption of Matter,
possibly the Devil may roar at thee for this Refusal; because
nothing can vex him worse than such a silent Abstraction of the
Soul, and Controversion thereof to the Point of Rest from all
that is worldly and circumferential. But regard him not; neither
admit into thee the least Dust of Matter which he may pretend
any Claim to. It will be all Darkness to thee, as much Matter as
is drawn in by the Desire of thy Will. It will darken God’s
Majesty to thee; and will close the seeing Eye, by hiding from
thee the Light of His beloved Countenance. This the Serpent
longeth to do; but in vain, except thou permittest thy
Imagination upon his Suggestion, to receive in the alluring
Matter; else he can never get in. Behold then, if thou desirest
to see God’s Light in thy Soul, and be divinely illuminated and
conducted, this is the short Way that thou art to take; not to
let the Eye of thy Spirit enter into Matter, or fill itself with
any Thing whatever, either in Heaven or Earth; but to let it
enter by naked Faith into the Light of the Majesty; and so
receive by pure Love the Light of God, and attract the Divine
Power into itself, putting on the Divine Body, and growing up in
it to the full Maturity of the Humanity of Christ.

Disciple:

As I said before, so I say again, this is very hard. I conceive
indeed well enough that my Spirit ought to be free from the
Contagion of Matter, and wholly empty, so that it may admit into
it the Spirit of God. Also, that this Spirit will not enter, but
where the Will entereth into Nothing, and resigneth itself up in
the Nakedness of Faith, and in the Purity of Love, to Its
Conduct; feeding magically upon the Word of God, and clothing
itself thereby with a Divine Substantiality. But alas, how hard
it is for the Will to sink into Nothing, to attract Nothing, to
imagine Nothing!

Master:

Let it be granted that it is so. Is it not surely worth thy Time
and Effort, and all that thou canst ever do?

Disciple:

It is so, I must needs confess.

Master:

But perhaps it may not be so hard as at first it appeareth to
be; make but the Trial, and be in earnest. What is there
required of thee, but to stand still, and see the Salvation of
thy God? And couldst thou desire any Thing less? Where is the
Hardship in this? Thou hast Nothing to care for, Nothing to
desire in this Life, Nothing to imagine or attract. Thou needest
only cast thy Care upon God, who careth for thee, and leave Him
to dispose of thee according to His Good Will and Pleasure, even
as if thou hadst no Will at all in thee. For He knoweth what is
best; and if thou canst but trust Him, He will most certainly do
better for thee, than if thou were left to thine own Choice.

Disciple:

This I most firmly believe.

Master:

If thou believest, then go and do accordingly. All is in the
Will, as I have shown thee. When the Will imagineth after
Somewhat, then entereth it into that Somewhat, then presently
that same Somewhat taketh the Will into itself, and overcloudeth
it, so that it can have no Light, but must dwell in Darkness,
unless it return back out of that Somewhat into Nothing. For
when the Will imagineth or lusteth after Nothing, then it
entereth into Nothing, where it receiveth the Will of God into
itself, and so dwelleth in Light, and worketh all its Works in
that Light.

Disciple:

I am now satisfied that the Main Cause of any one’s Spiritual
Blindness is his letting his Will into Somewhat, or into that
which he hath wrought, of what Nature soever it be, Good or
Evil, and his setting his Heart and Affections upon the Work of
his own Hands or Brain; and that when the earthly Body
perisheth, then the Soul must be imprisoned in that very Thing
which it shall have received and let in; and if the Light of God
be not in it, being deprived of the Light of this World, it
cannot but be found in a dark Prison.

Master:

This is a very precious Gate of Knowledge; I am glad thou takest
it into such Consideration. The understanding of the whole
Scripture is contained in it; and all that hath been written
from the Beginning of the World to this Day, may be found
herein, by him that having entered with his Will into Nothing,
hath there found All Things by finding God; from Whom, and to
Whom, and in Whom are All Things. By this Means thou shalt come
to hear and see God; and after this earthly Life is ended, to
see with the Eye of Eternity all the Wonders of God and of
Nature, and more particularly those which shall have been
wrought by thee in the Flesh, or all that the Spirit of God
shall have given thee to labor out for thyself and thy Neighbor,
or all that the Eye of Reason enlightened from above, may at any
Time have manifested to thee. Delay not therefore to enter in by
this Gate, which if thou seest in the Spirit, as some highly
favored Souls have seen it, thou seest in the Supersensual
Ground, all that God is, and can do; thou seest also therewith,
as one hath said who was taken thereinto, through Heaven, Hell,
and Earth, and through the Essence of all Essences. Whosoever
findeth It, hath found All that he can possibly desire. Here is
the Virtue and Power of the Love of God displayed. Here is the
Height and Depth; here is the Breadth and Length thereof
manifested, as ever the Capacity of thy Soul can contain. By
this thou shalt come into that Ground out of which all Things
are originated, and in which they subsist; and in It thou shalt
reign over all God’s Works, as a Prince of God.

Disciple:

Pray tell me, dear Master, where dwelleth It in Man?

Master:

Where Man dwelleth not, there It hath Its Seat in Man.

Disciple:

Where is that in a Man, where Man dwelleth not in himself?

Master:

It is the resigned Ground of a Soul, to which NoThing cleaveth.

Disciple:

Where is the Ground in any Soul, to which there will NoThing
stick? Or, where is that which abideth and dwelleth not in
SomeThing?

Master:

It is the Center of Rest and Motion in the resigned Will of a
truly contrite Spirit, which is crucified to the World. This
Center of the Will is impenetrable consequently to the World,
the Devil, and Hell; Nothing in all the World can enter into it,
or adhere to it, though never so many Devils should be in the
Confederacy against it; because the Will is dead with Christ
unto this World, but quickened with Him in the Center thereof,
after His Blessed Image. Here it is where Man dwelleth not; and
where no SELF abideth, or can abide.

Disciple:

O where is this naked Ground of the Soul void of all SELF? And
how shall I come at the hidden Center where God dwelleth, and
not Man? Tell me plainly, loving Sir, where it is, and how it is
to be found by me, and entered into?

Master:

There where the Soul hath slain its OWN Will, and willeth no
more any Thing as from itSELF, but only as God willeth, and as
His Spirit moveth upon the Soul, shall this appear. Where the
Love of SELF is banished, there dwelleth the Love of God. For so
much of the Soul’s OWN Will as is dead unto itSELF, even so much
Room hath the Will of God, which is His Love, taken up in that
Soul. The Reason whereof is this; Where its OWN Will did before
sit, there is now Nothing; and where Nothing is, there alone is
it that the Love of God worketh.

Disciple:

But how shall I comprehend It?

Master:

If thou goest about to comprehend It, then It will fly away from
thee; but if thou dost surrender thyself wholly up to It, then
It will abide with thee, and become the Life of thy Life, and be
natural to thee.

Disciple:

And how can this be without dying, or the whole Destruction of
my Will?

Master:

Upon this entire Surrender and Yielding up of thy Will, the Love
of God IN THEE becometh the Life of thy Nature; It killeth thee
not, but quickeneth thee, who art now dead to thySELF in thine
own Will, according to Its proper Life, even the Life of God.
And then thou livest, yet not to thy own Will; but thou livest
to Its Will, forasmuch as thy Will is henceforth become Its
Will. So then it is no longer thy Will, but the Will of God; no
longer the Love of thySELF, but the Love of God, which moveth
and operateth in thee; and then, being thus comprehended in It,
thou art dead indeed as to thySELF, but art alive unto God. So
being dead thou livest, or rather God liveth IN THEE by His
Spirit; and His Love is made to thee Life from the Dead. Never
couldst thou with all thy seeking, have apprehended It; but It
hath apprehended thee. Much less couldst thou have comprehended
It. But now It hath comprehended thee; and so the Treasure of
Treasures is found.

Disciple:

How is it that so few Souls do find It, when yet all would be
glad enough to have It?

Master:

They all seek It in Somewhat, and so they find It not. For where
there is Somewhat for the Soul to adhere to, there the Soul
findeth but that Somewhat only, and taketh up its Rest therein,
until she seeth that It is to be found in Nothing, and goeth
again out of the Somewhat into Nothing, even into that Nothing
out of which all Things may be made. The Soul here saith, ” I
have Nothing, for I am utterly empty and stripped of every
Thing; I can do Nothing, for I have no Manner of Power, but am
as Water poured out; I am Nothing, for all that I am is no more
than an Image of Being, and only God is to me I AM; and so
sitting down in my own Nothingness, I give Glory to the Eternal
Being, and will Nothing of mySELF, that so God may will All in
me, being unto me my God and All Things.” Herein now that it is
that so very few find this most precious Treasure in the Soul,
though every one would so fain have It; and might also have It
were it not for this or that Somewhat into which every one
letteth.

Disciple:

But if the Love should proffer Itself to a Soul, could not that
Soul find It, nor lay hold on It, without going for It into
Nothing?

Master:

No verily. Men seek and find not, because they seek It not in
the naked Ground where It lieth; but in SomeThing or Other where
It never will be, neither can be. They seek It in their OWN
Will, and they find It not. They seek It in their Self-Desire,
and they meet not with It. They look for It in an Image, or in
an Opinion, or in an Affection, or a natural Devotion and
Fervour, and they lose the Substance by thus hunting after a
Shadow. They search for It in Something sensible or imaginary,
in Somewhat which they may have a more peculiar natural
Inclination for, and Adhesion to; and so they miss of what they
seek, for Want of diving into the Supersensual and Supernatural
Ground where the Treasure is hid. Now should the Love graciously
condescend to proffer Itself to such as these, and even to
present Itself evidently before the Eye of their Spirit, yet
would It find no Place in them at all, neither could It be held
by them, or remain with them.

Disciple:

Why not, if the Love should be willing and ready to offer
Itself, and to stay with them?

Master:

Because the Imaginariness which is in their own Will hath set up
itself in the Place thereof; and so this Imaginariness would
have the Love in it; but the Love fleeth away, for it is Its
Prison. The Love may offer Itself; but It cannot abide where the
Self-Desire attracteth or imagineth. That Will which attracteth
Nothing, and to which Nothing adhereth, is the only Will capable
of receiving It, for It dwelleth only in Nothing as I said, and
therefore they find It not.

Disciple:

If It dwell only in Nothing, what is now the Office of It in
Nothing?

Master:

The Office of the Love here is to penetrate incessantly into
Something; and if It penetrate into, and find a Place in
Something which is standing still and at Rest, then Its Business
is to take Possession thereof. And when It hath there taken
Possession, then It rejoiceth therein with Its flaming
Love-Fire, even as the Sun doth in the visible World. And then
the Office of it, is without Intermission to enkindle a Fire in
this Something, which shall burn it up; and then with the Flames
thereof exceedingly to enflame Itself and raise the Heat of the
Love-Fire by It, even seven Degrees higher.

Disciple:

O loving Master, how shall I understand this?

Master:

If It but once kindle a Fire within thee, my Son, thou shalt
then certainly feel how It consumeth all that which It toucheth;
thou shalt feel It in the burning up of thy SELF, and swiftly
devouring all Egoity, or that which thou callest I and Me, as
standing in a separate Root, and divided from the Deity, the
Fountain of thy Being. And when this Enkindling is made in thee,
then the Love doth so exceedingly rejoice in thy Fire, as thou
wouldst not for all the World be out of It; yea, wouldst rather
suffer thyself to be killed, than to enter into thy Something
again. This Fire now must grow hotter and hotter, till It shall
have perfected Its Office with respect to thee,and therefore
wilt not give over, till It come to the seventh Degree. Its
Flame hence also will be so very great, that It will never leave
thee, though It should even cost thee thy temporal Life; but It
would go with thee in Its sweet loving Fire into Death; and if
thou wentest also into Hell, It would break Hell in Pieces also
for thy Sake. Nothing is more certain than this; for It is
stronger than Death and Hell.

Disciple:

Enough, my dearest Master, I can no longer endure that any Thing
should divert me from It. But how shall I find the nearest Way
to It?

Master:

Where the Way is hardest, there go thou; and what the World
casteth away, that take thou up. What the World doth, that do
thou not; but in all Things walk thou contrary to the World. So
thou comest the nearest Way to that which thou art seeking.

Disciple:

If I should in all Things walk contrary to other People, I must
need be in a very unquiet and sad State; and the World would not
fail to account me for a Madman.

Master:

I bid thee not, Child, to do Harm to any one, thereby to create
to thyself any Misery or Unquietness. This is not what I mean by
walking contrary in every Thing to the World. But because the
World, as the World, loveth only Deceit and Vanity, and walketh
in false and treacherous Ways; thence, if thou hast a Mind to
act a clean contrary Part to the Ways thereof, without any
Exception or Reserve whatsoever, walk thou only in the right
Way, which is called the Way of Light, as that of the World is
properly called the Way of Darkness. For the right Way, even the
Path of Light, is contrary to all the Ways of the World. But
whereas thou art afraid of creating to thyself hereby Trouble
and Inquietude, that indeed, will be so according to the Flesh.
In the World thou must have Trouble, and thy Flesh will not fail
to be unquiet, and to give thee Occasion for continual
Repentance. Nevertheless in this very Anxiety of Soul, arising
either from the World or the Flesh, the LOVE doth most willingly
enkindle Itself, and Its cheering and conquering Fire is but
made to blaze forth with greater Strength for the Destruction of
that Evil. And whereas thou dost also say, that the World will
for this esteem thee mad, it is true the World will be apt
enough to censure thee for a Madman in Walking contrary to it.
And thou art not to be surprised if the Children thereof laugh
at thee, calling thee silly Fool. For the Way to the Love of God
is Folly to the World, but is Wisdom to the Children of God.
Hence, whenever the World perceiveth this holy Fire of Love in
God’s Children, it concludeth immediately that they are turned
Fools,and are beside themselves. But to the Children of God,
that which is despised of the World is the greatest Treasure;
yea, so great a Treasure It is, as no Life can express, no
Tongue so much as name what this inflaming, all-conquering Love
of God is. It is brighter than the Sun; It is sweeter than any
Thing that is called sweet; It is stronger than all Strength; It
is more nutrimental than Food; more cheering to the Heart than
Wine, and more pleasant than all the Joy and Pleasantness of
this World. Whosoever obtaineth It, is richer than any Monarch
on Earth; and he who getteth It, is nobler than any Emperor can
be, and more potent and absolute than all Earthly Power and
Authority.

”Behold, I stand at the Door and knock: if any man HEAR My voice,
and open the Door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and
he with Me.” ”He that is of God HEARETH God’s Words; ye therefore
HEAR them not, because ye are not of God.” ”My Sheep HEAR My Voice;
and I know them, and they follow Me… And a Stranger will they not
follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the Voice of
Strangers.” ”He that has Ears to HEAR, let him HEAR.”
__________________________________________________________________

Indexes
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Index of Scripture References

Matthew

[1]16:24[2]16:26[3]19:27

Mark

[4]8:34[5]10:28

Luke

[6]9:23[7]18:28

John

[8]3:3-8

1 Corinthians

[9]2:7-15

Revelation

[10]6[11]18:4[12]21