Excerpts from:

( 1520 - 1594 )

{ Being known only by that name during his lifetime,
Hiel was later revealed to have been Hendrik Jansen van Barrefelt or Barrevelt.}

Excerpt 1
On the Necessity of Renunciation of Self

To One, who wanted to know how he might come to the true Knowledge of GOD.

   AFTER the Offer of all the Service to you in my Power, beloved Friend !  I am to inform you, that I have received a verbal Message in Reference to you (why you did not write to me by this Occasion yourself, I have been at the same Time informed) — intimating what a Concern of Mind you are under, grounded upon an Earnestness to know, in what Way you may become acquainted with God.  On this Head you are desirous of receiving some Instruction from me, — A Concern this, which in Truth is of a grievous Nature to the earthly Man.  For it stands written, that to know God is perfect Righteousness.   Nevertheless, beloved Friend, in Order that we may have a living Enjoyment of the One-Essentiality of the divine Nature in Fellowship one with another, I will impart some Information to you on this Subject, and in a few Words.   And this I will do, both as to the Matter and Manner, in such a Way; wherein, through Grace, I do myself, by Means of the one-essential Life of Jesus Christ, taste and feel the Knowledge of God within my own Soul.

   Observe, my beloved Friend, God does not admit of being known in any other Way than through his CHRIST. As it stands written — Neither knoweth any Man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.  Neither is CHRIST, the Son of God, in any other Way knowable, or by any other Persons than by such as, through the Denial or Renunciation of their ownselves, make (as it were) a Journey out of their own Country to Bethlehem; (where he is born in Littleness and Poverty) seeking after and worshipping him there in his LITTLENESS.   [Ay, from his Manger-Cradle to the Cross.]

   Which you are thus to understand, as to the Substance, or inward Reality of the Thing, that you must of Necessity forsake and turn your Back upon all that, which you, according to the Dictates of your own earthly Nature, have chosen for your Propriiety, or supreme Good:  Converting your Heart, and the Lust of your Life therein, to that (seemingly) inconsiderable little Spark of the divine Nature, which, in the very lowest Place of your Heart, lies under a Rebuff, being spurned and trodden under Foot, in the State of Distress and Contempt.

   And having found him there, then reduce, and bring your own Greatness down, to a Level with his Littleness;  becoming, in Conjunction with him, little and poor, just as he is within you:  Neither do you ascribe or appropriate to your ownself any Thing more than what he doth ascribe or appropriate to his ownself within you. 

   And, in Proportion as, for Christ's Sake, you thus relinquish and lose your own Propriety in the Flesh;  in the very same will you in Christ, become acquainted with God.  For God will and must, exempt from Propriety, be (in Death and Life) known in his own one-only, unappropriated Essence.

   And would you now fain {gladly, willingly} know, what your Propriety is; than observe only what that Thing is wherein and whereby your Heart is affected with Pain and Torment.  For whatsoever it be, on Account of which you at any Time find Pain, Sorrow, and Uneasiness, that is your Propriety; and the very Thing, which renders you Stone blind to the Knowledge of God; proving withal {with it all} an Occasion of much Suffering to you in the Heart.

   For had a Man no Propriety in the Flesh, he would of Course live essentially with God, and have in this Respect little to suffer.  And in Case he had any Sufferings, they would be the Sufferings of God (abstracted from Propriety;) which God would deliver him from again.  For such a One assumes Nothing of his own Self, with Design of Living in his own Propriety. (1Cor. xv. 10.   2Cor. xii. 11.) 

   Whoever now, in Order to come to an Acquaintance with God, would fain be released and set free from Flesh's Propriety, must previously, in a passive Way, learn how he may slip by, or get out of the Way of his Adversary, in Point of Flesh's Propriety. (Matt. v. 39.) But this Doctrine falls a little heavy upon the Mind and Disposition of the Flesh; which is violently attached, by its very Birth and whole Nature, to Propriety.

  And therefore a Man needs must, in a passive Way, learn and tarry in the School of Christ; so long until he no more assumes to himself any Thing whatsoever, whether created or uncreated, in the Way of a Propriety; or fixes his Choice upon it for Ends of his own, or for his own Good-Pleasure. (Joh. vii. 17, 18.)

   For every Person, still captivated in the earthly Essence or Nature, is continually bringing propriety forth out of himself, to the Pain and Sorrow of his Soul, by Means of the Lust of his Life: Which lasting Propriety robs him of the Knowledge of God. (Mark x. 23–27.)

   And this Propriety, which robs a Man of the Knowledge of God, does not consist in the Desire of, and a Grasping after elementary or worldly Things only; but it also consists in all that, which a Man assumes, adopts, or chooses for his own-self in his Thoughts; whether such Self-appropriating Thoughts have God, or the Devil for their Object. (Acts xxvi. 5–11.  Philip. iii. 6.  Rom. x. 2.  Gal. iv 17.)

  Because no sooner has he assumed, adopted, or chosen any Thing for his own-self (in this Way,) but he falls, by the very Act itself, out of God's free Essentiality into his own lusting Propriety, engaging and involving himself of Course with and in a Contention, or Strife, in Behalf and Vindication of his own Propriety, to the Pain and Sorrow of his Soul.  Yea, he reduces himself by his Propriety, to such a State of Weakness, as to be incapable of hearing or bearing with his elementary (outward) Ears so much as an elementary Wind or Word, without Making it an Occasion of assuming, or adopting a contentious, lusting Propriety, to the grievous Perturbation of his own Heart:  Whether this Occasion respects any Point either of Self-Exaltation, or of Wreaking {inflicting, executing} his Wrath and Resentment upon his Neighbour. (Matt. xxvi. 51–54.  Luke ix. 55.)

   Observe now, my beloved Friend, this is the very Reason, why Man is rendered so blind, dumb, and deaf, as to be utterly incapable of knowing his Lord and God in his own free, essential, and living Way, or in his own Spiritual Nature. (Joh. iv. 23, 24.  Joh. xvii. 25.)

   And were it so, that you could not be made sensible of this Blindness of your own Soul by the Light of Christ, it would prove a Thing absolutely impracticable {incapable of being put into practice, impossible}   to come, by any other Toil and Turmoil of your own Thoughts and Ratiocinations {deliberations}, to the Knowledge of the heavenly and essential God. (Job xi. 7.  2Cor. iv. 6.)

   Whereas, on the other Hand, should you advert {turn your attention to} and give heed to the Grace of God unto this End:  (I mean so as to resist your own-self in all the base Partialities of your own selfish, earthly Reason;  paying no Attention or Regard to our own-self in your earthly Property, or Selfishness; shewing no Favour or Affection to it; but, instead thereof, resigning your inmost Soul totally up to the Essential Deity alone) — in this Case, and by such a Procedure, you would receive an assured, living Knowledge of God, and of his true Essence; wherein your Soul would enjoy a consummate {complete or perfect} Rest and Satisfaction.

   Narrowly scrutinize this Thing within your own-self, dear Friend ! that thus you may deliver your Soul from the very Ground of all Distress and Anxiety.  For here the Case is of such a Nature, according to the Heavenly Truth, that no other, or different Instructions can possibly be given.  Therefore with these I will heartily salute you; commending you withal to the One-essential God of Life, until the Lord shall be pleased to give us a Meeting together.   Continue in Piety.

The XIXth Letter in the First Volume of HIEL'S COLLECTION.


Excerpt 2
What and Who Hinders our Dying to our Own-SELF?

   C H A P T.  XVI.

     The earthly Man has no other Way to come to the Knowledge of Sin, but by the Commandment.  (Rom. vii. 7–11)

   If a Man does not, with his Reason, stand under the Commandment of God, he has, and can have, no right understanding of the Works of God.

   The earthly Man begins to serve God out of Fear:   But this Service, being void of Love, and God being Love itself; cannot therefore unite him yet with God:  But it doth, however, refrain him from gross Sins, and is preparatory to the true Freedom of God:  Though he sets his own Eyes open wide enough to gaze at, and admire his own Propriety.




    The Law doth, and must, previously convince Men of Sin:  yet can it not remove Sin from the Root:  This can Christ alone do;  HE and HE alone drives Sin quite out of Men's Hearts.

   Now, as Christ did not appear outwardly to take away Sin, till his Harbingers, the Law, the Prophets, and John the Baptist, had prepared the Way before him;  so neither doth HE appear inwardly, and individually, till the Way is prepared for him in the Heart, by correspondent Harbingers.

   Therefore, to make our Boast of Christ, without any such previous and preparatory Work of God, is a great and general Delusion in the present Christian World.  And such a CHRIST as this may well be called a chimerical {unreal, imaginary} Christ.   Which chimerical, or imaginary Christ must be pulled down out of the Throne of the human Heart, before the real Christ himself can ascend to take his Place in it.

   The earthly Man supposes he carries and hugs Christ within his Bosom, without any previous Repentance, and without any Suffering together with Christ, or spiritual Conflict:  But such a Supposition, or Reliance on the Satisfaction of CHRIST, is so far from Being of any real Avail, that it keeps the true Christ, and the Benefits of his true Satisfaction out of the Hearts of Men:  Yea, they go confidently on in their Sins, in sure Dependance upon the Grace of a chimerical Christ of their own.



   O ye simple Hearts !  Awake from this modern Fascination of your corrupt Reason.  Assure yourselves, that the true Christ never makes his Appearance any where till his Harbingers have, in some good Degree, prepared the Way for him, within your Hearts.   Receive these then with Willingness and Obedience to their Dictates.  For they declare the Mind of Christ to you, according to your present Situation, and Capacity of Reception.

   The licentious, false Spirits, wishing to retain Men in Bondage to themselves, under their natural Lusts and Desires, and to make no Difficulty of so Doing;  turning the Truth of God into a Lie, speak on this Wise: 

Christ has done every Thing for us: — Works are, after all, of no Avail: — It is Faith alone that is of any Value in God's Sight: — Or, it is only the bare Believing, or Persuading ourselves, that Christ was crucified, and died for us whilst we were Sinners.’—

   Pray take Notice !  This chimerical Christ will, by his Harbingers, be sure to get an hundred Disciples, where the true Christ of God does not get a single one.—

   But if Gold must be dug with Difficulty out of the Bowels of the Earth, and then go through a fiery Process of Purification;  so must the earthly Mind be purified by the purgative Fire of Patience, and Resignation to Suffering, in joint Conformity with Christ's Suffering for us.   But here the earthly Mind will not touch at all, because it gives that which is earthly the Preference to that which is heavenly.  Consequently, that which is earthly has many Adherents and zealous DevoteÚs, it being so well adapted to those earthly Minds who live in the Flesh:  Whereas that, which is heavenly, is calculated for, and suits the Taste of a few only.—

   And yet, if once the human Creature could but come to have it's entire Complacency in the Life of God, it would be set free from a Multitude of vain Desires, wherein there is no Life; and would be at Rest in the Christian Contentedness.  In which Case it would also find, that there is not any more restless Devil in the Heart of Man, than the earthly, craving Desires, which can never by any Means be satisfied.—


C H A P T.  XIX.

   An unregenerate Man must, like a Piece of wild and waste Ground, be cultivated, before he can bring forth good Fruits.  In other Words, the human Creature must have his earthly Lusts, Will, and Desires broken in him, by the Law of God, and be thus brought to the Obedience of God; else can no Divine Fruits be produced to the Support of his Life.  (Jer. iv. 3, 4.  Matt. xiii. 3–8, 18-23.  Heb. vi. 7,8.)

   Therefore must not this Work of Cultivation cease, within the earthly Man, a Moment sooner than till Christ has finished his Works, (by the Law and Prophets.)   And these Works of his tend to this, that through Christ ALL must be renewed and purified, which through Adam was made old and impure. —

   Yet can no Man bring this Work of Cultivation to it's Perfection, consisting of a Life in Union together with God, by his own earthly Reason. — Far, far otherwise.  But we must bring this Work to it's Perfection, under the Obedience of God, and in Self-Denial. Which is withal the most difficult Piece of Work you can put an earthly Man upon.  And why is this, but because thereby he must lose his own Propriety. —

   May every One, who loves that which is good from his Heart, and hath turned his Back upon the World, or has a real Mind and Desire to turn his Back upon it, get further insight herein with his Understanding:   Beseeching God withal, that he would be pleased to open the Eyes of our Spirit for us, in Order to our Understanding aright, and in our Life Exemplifying, the Divine Testimonies, to the Glory of God, and to our own Salvation in God.  And that we may not be found unworthy of the great Grace, which hath befallen us little Ones, before many Thousands in this wild and waste World.  That we may also not neglect or slight them;  but rather, that they may fructify within us unto the Aggrandizing of the Name of God, and unto Serviceableness for such as are still sitting in Darkness, and have an hearty Desire to know, and, in Life and Experience, to realize, and exemplify the genuine Righteousness of God.

   May the Lord be pleased to strengthen us hereunto, by his own Spirit !   Amen.

From HIEL's very Last Tract, entitled,


Both Excepts above may be found in::
Selections and Translation by Francis Okely, 1781
ON-LINE AT: Google Books


Blessings to Google Books and to the dear Brother who brought
these writings to our attention.

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