Johannes Kelpius

  Subduing and Mortifying the Inclinations
and Affections of the Mind and Senses



But that which makes us lose the Spirit of Prayer, such as Sin, Converse with worldly People, especially with Libertines, and those of false Devotion, should make us fearful, and keep us very careful and reserved. {Definition for modern readers — Libertine: a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained;  free of moral, esp. sexual, restraint;  licentious.}

But when we discover that we have committed a Failing through Haste, or even willfully, we must immediately return most innocently, sincere, and earnestly to Jesus Christ, more or less in an acting Manner, according to the Degree the Soul is in of an acting or suffering State.

Accordingly we must pray and walk in the divine Presence, be not too busy with outward Things, keep the Flesh in Subjection, deny ourselves and our inordinate Inclinations, since this must keep Pace with the inward Prayer, for that from this is inseparable, for we must not be deceived: without inward Prayer there is no Conquest over the Flesh, and without this Conquest over the Flesh, no true inward Prayer, and without this, the one and the other is no Conversion, no true internal Life, no Perfection or Christianity.

This Subduing, or Mortifying must be.    That the inward Prayer may be of the right Kind, so must this Subduing keep Pace with inward Prayer, and so we must not spare or favour ourselves in any Thing whatsoever:  The Affections of the Mind and Senses must be still tamed according as the inward Prayer advanceth;  and the first Work of the true inward Prayer is even this Subduing of the Senses and Affections of the Mind;  since it hinders and disturbs Prayer, so we must always strive against it, until God, through his Working, has far exceeded the Workings of Nature, whereby he deprives the human Nature of all Power of Working, and he himself, through himself, after a more powerful Manner, subdues the inordinate Affections and Senses.

Thus we must be very faithful in the Beginning to accustom ourselves to suppress and mortify all Evils, that nothing may escape our Notice;  and afterwards in Perseverance in a spiritual Life, will more Care be required to free ourselves from our own Self-workings, and admit the Workings of God in their Room, not to work and pray by our own Power, but that the Spirit of God in us may do it.

In this State we perform a powerful Prayer, the Prayer of Jesus Christ, and through his Spirit:  The Soul can then no more pray with Cogitation, and make conclusive Reasonings, since she is found in a continual and working Prayer.  All what the Soul is and what is in her, prays through and in Jesus Christ;  and being not intent upon her own Will, nor thinking discerningly on what she prays for, she receives at once what she has need of.   O what Power has Prayer with God!   But what Prayer?   The inward Prayer of Silence, the Inclination of the Heart to God, without Thoughts, Words or Images;  when we expect and wait for all from the Power and Mercy of God.   Those who perform this Prayer, obtain therein so much Strength that they are not only comforted themselves, but they also comfort others who are oppressed.


Excerpt taken from:
A Short, Easy, and Comprehensive Method of Prayer
Johannes Kelpius (1673-1708)



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