Matthew Weyer

Snares  on  the WAY to Spiritual Death


"GOD (saith he) cometh and openeth to a man the sense of scripture, as it were like lightning, which comes and goes away again in a moment. Then, a man acknowledgeth the sense of Scripture to be far otherwise than before, when he considered it in his own strength (that is, by study).  And thus GOD can effect more in one only moment for the true understanding of Scripture, than all the epistles which some can write to others.

When the light cometh, in process of time, it becomes clearer and clearer, and when it returns, it is more clear;  so that much is discovered and manifested to a man that before lay hid from him.  This first claritude cometh into a man as if it were angelical, but then as he proceeds, it rusheth in much clearer.  So that a man gets from one degree of angelical, to another higher degree of the same, and then afterwards, he ascendeth yet higher, until he arriveth at the Claritude or Light, which is GOD HIMSELF, without the interposition of the Light Angelical.  And then GOD uniteth all the foregoing lights in his own light (which is nothing else but himself), and a man is made so sure and certain from GOD that this degree of light is himself, and not angelical, that he needs not the testimony of others who have experienced it, for GOD brings with him certainty when he manifests himself to a soul.  But before this light cometh, which is GOD himself, the angelical lights do first appear, and do as it were, prepare the way of the true light:  for if this true light should come without sending before it those enlightenings, a man could not bare it.  The angelical light is such that a man rejoiceth for a short time, just as CHRIST said of John, "ye were willing to be exalted in his light for an hour."   But when CHRIST, that eternal light, cometh, the joy of Him is not for an hour, but to all eternity.    However, when the angelical light cometh, many mistake, thinking it to be that eternal light which is GOD himself: but it is not so.

A man who is arrived at GOD is above the Angels, for he passed through all the Angels into the Son. — A man must pass through a combat, a death, and the grave (spiritual) to come unto GOD, wherein is no need of the Angels, inasmuch as they do contemplate and use, without a death, that eternal good.  Now the Angels were appointed unto the service of men.   When therefore, a man does contemplate on these lights and revelations, he must sedulously {persistently or diligently} beware, lest he break out by speaking or teaching thereof, as he ought to wait with silence and calmness for his advancement, and be internally solicitous concerning these gifts. For if he breaks forth, he miserably hinders himself, and renders himself unworthy of these gifts, and abuseth them, and as it were, prodigally throws all away with pleasure, singularity, and pride.  There are also false lights which shine in a man, and give him an understanding, and do unfold the sayings of scripture, yea, even Satan is wont to appear under the shape of an Angel of Light: and all these are done in a man.   Here therefore, a man is to have a care lest he mistake these  for divine lights, and if he be in doubt whether they be divine or not, there is need only for silence, for he cannot err by being silent, whether that light be divine, or whether it be false.  By how much the purer the zeal of a man is, so much the less do false lights vex him.  The evil Spirit hath, in our times, appeared in many, with false revelations.  As Lucifer that first light that fell, so also the first light which cometh into a man, ought to fall and die;  for by that a man may fall through loftiness of mind, pride not yet being eradicated.  For in spiritual death, sin is plucked out by the roots; and then the true essence entereth into a man, even as it is in itself, and man is transplanted into it, and it can never be extirpated, as it is promised by the prophet, "the time cometh wherein no more, " &c.    The angelical claritude, which a man getteth, shows to him his prison, and the impurity in which he idly tumbleth, but it doth not bring him out of prison nor take away his impurity from him.  But this CHRIST only doth, who drags him out of prison, and frees him from his impurity:  nor is that done but by descending into hell or the grave.  And before this state of the grave, a man cannot bear that light, which is CHRIST HIMSELF, nor receive it;  therefore after the angelic light hath first enlightened his prison, and discovered to man his sin, CHRIST cometh and casteth the man into hell (spiritually).  Then all is taken from him (through fire) which made him unfit and incapable of the eternal light of CHRIST.   The man is thus led through the fire, that he may be purified, that all the wood, straw, and chaff in him may be consumed, and he himself being purged by this fire is saved.  For he perisheth not in the fire, his sin only perisheth, and is rooted out, so as it can never rise again;  then the man is brought out, and made alive in GOD for eternity. 

Some there be, who do not rightly understand this very momentous matter, for when the angelic claritude first shews to them their prison with the impurity, presently they think that this lesser light is GOD himself, nor do they believe that they should first be freed from their impurities, but with an impure nature, they apprehend that claritude, and arrogate to themselves great knowledge of spiritual matters, which also, by divers ways, they abuse by speaking, writing , or teaching, for their OWN advantage, pleasure, glory, and ambition;  but as for their impurity, they count not of as sin, but for a thing lawful, wherefore neither do their consciences accuse them, until GOD himself smites them:  for they ought not to abuse claritude, but it should have served them for that end it was given them for.



Note:  The above text was found in the 1816 reprint of Jane Lead's Wars of David and the Peaceable Reign of Solomon, wherein the editor made the following comment:   "The Editor begs leave to add an extract of a 'similar tendency', from the "Sayings of" (the very deeply exercised and most experimental ancient christian) "MATTHEW WEYER".


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