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1. COURTEOUS Reader, I compare the whole Philosophy, Astrology and Theology, together with their Mother, to a goodly Tree, which groweth in a fair Garden of Pleasure.
2. Now the Earth in which the Tree stands affords Sap continually to the Tree, whereby the Tree has its living Quality: But the Tree in itself groweth from the Sap of the Earth, becomes large, and spreads itself abroad with its Branches: And then as the Earth works with its Power upon the Tree, to make it grow and increase; so the Tree also works continually with its Branches with all its Strength, that it might still bear good Fruit abundantly.
3. But when the Tree bears not much Fruit, and those but small, shriveled, rotten, and worm-eaten, the Fault doth not lie in the Will of the Tree, as if it desired purposely to bear Evil Fruit, because it is a goodly Tree of good Quality; but here lies the Fault, because there is often great Cold, great Heat, Mildew, Caterpillars and other Worms happen to it: For the Quality in the Deep, from the Influence of the Stars, spoils it, and that makes it bear but little good Fruit.
4. Now the Tree is of Condition, that the bigger and older it is, the sweeter Fruit it bears: in its younger Years it bears not much Fruit, which the crude and wild Nature of the Ground or Earth causes, and the superfluous Moisture in the Tree: and though it bears many fair Blossoms, yet the most of its Apples fall off whilst they are growing, which is not so, when it stands in a very good Soil or Mould. Now this Tree also has a good sweet Quality, but there are three others, which are contrary to it, namely, the bitter, sour, and astringent.
5. And as the Tree is, so will its Fruit be, till the Sun works on it and makes it sweet; so that it comes to be of a sweet Taste, and its Fruit must also hold out in Rain, Wind and Tempest.
6. But when the Tree grows old, that its Branches wither, and the Sap ascends no more, then below the Stem or Stock there grow many Suckers; at last from the Root also Twigs grow, and make the old Tree flourish, showing that it also was once a green Twig and a young Tree, and is now become old. For Nature, or the Sap, struggles so long, till the Stock grows quite dry, and then it is to be cut down, and burnt in the Fire.
7. Now observe, what I have signified by this Similitude: The Garden of this Tree signifieth the World; the Soil or Mould signifies Nature; the Stock of the Tree signifies the Stars; by the Branches are meant the Elements; the Fruit which grows on this Tree signifies Men; the Sap in the Tree resembles the pure Deity. Now Men were made out of Nature, the Stars and Elements, but God the Creator reigneth in all: even as the Sap doth in the whole Tree.
8. But there are two Qualities in Nature, even until the Judgment of God: The one is pleasant, heavenly, and holy; the other is fierce, wrathful, hellish and thirsty.
9. Now the good one qualifies and works continually with all Industry, to bring forth good Fruit, and the Holy Ghost reigneth therein, and affords thereunto Sap and Life: the bad one springs and drives with all its Endeavours to bring forth bad Fruit continually, to which the Devil affords Sap and hellish Flame. Now both are in the Tree of Nature, and Men are made out of that Tree, and live in this World, in this Garden, betwixt both, in great Danger; suddenly the Sun shineth on them; by and by, Winds, Rain and Snow, fall on them.
10. That is, if Man elevates his Spirit into the Deity, then the Holy Ghost moves, springs and qualifies in him: But if he permits his Spirit to sink into the World, in Lust towards Evil, then the Devil and hellish Sap stirs and reigns in him.
11. Even as the Apple on the Tree comes to be corrupt, rotten and worm-eaten, when Frost, Heat, and Mildew fall on it, and easily falls off and perishes: So does Man also when he suffers the Devil to rule in him with his Poison.
12. Now as in Nature there are, spring up, and reign, good and bad; even so in Man: But Man is the Child of God, whom he has made out of the best Kernel of Nature, to reign in the good, and to overcome the bad: Though Evil sticks to him, even as in Nature the Evil hangs on the Good, yet he can overcome the Evil, if he elevates his Spirit in God; for then the Holy Ghost stirs and moves in him, and helps him overcome.
13. As the good Quality in Nature is potent, to overcome the Evil, for it is, and cometh from God, and the Holy Ghost is the Ruler therein: even so is the fierce wrathful Quality, powerful to overcome in a malicious wicked Soul: For the Devil is a potent Ruler in the Wrath or Fierceness, and is an eternal Prince of the same.
14. But Man hath cast himself into fierce Wrathfulness through the Fall of Adam and Eve, so that the Evil hangs on him; otherwise, his moving and driving would be only in the good. But now it is in both, and it is as St. Paul saith: Know ye not, that to whom you yield your selves Servants in Obedience, his Servants ye are, to whom ye obey, either to Sin unto Death, or to the Obedience of God unto Righteousness. Rom. 6.16.
15. But because Man has an Impulse or Inclination to both, he may lay hold on which he pleases; for he lives in this World betwixt both, and both Qualities, the good and the bad are in him, in which soever Man moves, with that he is indued, either with a Holy or a Hellish Power. For Christ saith: My Father will give the Holy Ghost to those that ask him. Luke 11.13.
16. Besides, God commanded Man to do Good, and did forbid him to do Evil; and now daily calls and preaches, and exhorts Man unto Good; whereby we see well enough, that God willeth not Evil, but his Will is, That his Kingdom should come, and his Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. But now Man is poisoned through Sin, so that the fierce wrathful Quality, as well as the Good, reigns in him, and is now half dead, and in his gross Ignorance can no more know God his Creator, nor Nature and its Operation; Yet has Nature used its best Endeavours from the Beginning till now, to which God hath given his Holy Ghost, so that it hath at all Times generated wise, holy and understanding Men, which learned to know Nature and their Creator, who always in their Writings and Teachings have been a Light to the World, whereby God has raised his Church on Earth, to his eternal Praise. Against which the Devil has raged, and spoiled many a noble Twig, through the wrathful Fierceness in Nature, whose Prince and God he is.
17. For Nature has many Times prepared and fitted a learned judicious Man with good gifts, and then the Devil has done his utmost to seduce that Man, and bring him into carnal Pleasure, to Pride, to a Desire to be Rich, and to be in Authority and Power. Thereby the Devil hath ruled in him, and the fierce wrathful Quality has overcome the Good; his Understanding, his Knowledge and Wisdom have been turned into Heresy and Error, who hath made a Mock of the Truth, and been the Author of Great Errors on Earth, and a good Leader of the Devils Host.
18. For the bad Quality in Nature has wrestled, and does still wrestle with the Good, ever since the Beginning, and has elevated itself, and spoiled many a noble Fruit even in the Mothers Womb, as it plainly appears, first by Cain and Abel, which came from one Womb. Cain was from his Mothers Womb a Despiser of God, and proud; but Abel, on the contrary, was a humble Man, and one that feared God.
19. The same is seen also in the three Sons of Noah; as also by Abrahams Sons Isaac and Ishmael, especially by Isaacs in Esau and Jacob, which struggled and wrestled even in the Mothers Womb: therefore said God, Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated, Gen.25.23., which is nothing else, but that both Qualities in Nature have vehemently wrestled one with another.
20. For when God at that Time moved in Nature, and would reveal himself unto the World through righteous Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and would raise a Church to himself on Earth for his Glory, then in Nature Malice also moved, and its Prince Lucifer. Seeing there was good and bad in Man, therefore both Qualities could reign in him, and therefore there was born at once, in one Womb, an evil and a good Man.
21. Also it is clearly seen by the first World, as also by the second, even unto the End of our Time, how the Heavenly and Hellish Kingdom in Nature have always wrestled one with another, and stood in great Travail, even as a Woman in the Birth. This does most clearly appear by Adam and Eve. For there grew up a Tree in Paradise of both Qualities of Good and Bad, wherewith Adam and Eve were to be tempted, to try whether they would hold out in the good Quality in the Angelical Kind and Form. For the Creator did forbid Adam and Eve to eat of the Fruit: but the evil Quality in Nature wrestled with the Good, and brought Adam and Eve into a Lust and Longing to eat of both. Thereupon they presently became of a bestial Form and Nature, and did eat of Good and Bad, and must increase and live in a bestial Manner; and so many a noble Twig begotten or born of them perished.
22. Afterwards it is seen, how God did work in Nature, when the Holy Fathers in the first World were born: as Abel, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methusalah, Lamech, and holy Noah. These made the Name of the Lord known to the World, and preached Repentance: for the Holy Ghost wrought in them.
23. On the contrary, the Hellish God also wrought against it, in Nature, and begot Mockers and Despisers, first Cain and his Posterity: And it was with the first World as with a young Tree, which grows, is green, blossometh fairly, but brings little good Fruit, by Reason of its wild Kind. So Nature in the first World brought forth but little good Fruit, though it blossometh fair in worldly Knowledge, and Luxury or Wantonness, which could not apprehend the Holy Spirit, who wrought in Nature then, as well as now.
24. Therefore said God, It repents me, that I have made Man, Gen.6.6., and he stirred up Nature so, that all Flesh died, which lived on dry Land, except the Root and Stock, that remained in Virtue: and so he has hereby dunged the wild Tree, and manured it, that it should bear better Fruit. But when the same sprung up again, it brought forth good and bad Fruit again; Among the Sons of Noah, there were found again Mockers and Despisers of God, and there hardly grew any good Branch on the Tree, which brought forth any holy and good Fruit: The other Branches were bearing also, and brought forth wild Heathens.
25. But when God saw, that Man was thus dead in his Knowledge, He moved Nature again, and shewed unto Man, how there was good and bad therein, that they should avoid Evil, and live unto the Good; and he caused Fire to fall down out of Nature, and fired Sodom and Gomorrah, for a terrible Example to the World. But when the Blindness of Men grew predominant, and refused to be taught by the Spirit of God, he Gave Laws and Precepts unto them, showing how they should behave themselves, and confirmed them with Wonders and Signs, lest the Knowledge of the true God should be quite extinct. But for all this, the Light did not manifest it self, for the Darkness and wrathful Fierceness in Nature struggled against it, and the Prince thereof ruled powerfully.
26. But when the Tree of Nature came to its middle Age, then it began to bear some mild and sweet Fruit, to show, that it would henceforth bear pleasant Fruit. Then were born, the Holy Prophets, out of the sweet Branch of the Tree, which taught and preached of the Light, which hereafter should overcome the wrathful Fierceness in Nature. And then there arose a Light in Nature among the Heathens, so that they knew Nature, and her Operation, although this was only a Light in the wild Nature, and was not yet the holy Light.
27. For the wild Nature was not yet overcome, and Light and Darkness wrestled so long one with another, till the Sun arose, and forced this Tree with its Heat, so that it did bear pleasant sweet Fruit: that is, till there came the Prince of Light out of the Heart of God and became Man in Nature, and wrestled in his human Body in the Power of the Divine Light, in the wild Nature. That same Prince and Royal Twig grew up in Nature, and became a Tree in Nature, and spread its Branches abroad from the East to the West, and encompassed the whole Nature, and wrestled and fought with the fierce Wrath which was in Nature, and with the Prince thereof, till he overcame and triumphed as a King in Nature, and took the Prince of Wrath or Fierceness, Captive in his own House, Psal.68.
28. This being done, there grew out of the Royal Tree, which was grown in Nature, many thousand Legions of precious sweet Twigs, all which had the Scent and Taste of that precious Tree. Though there fell upon them Rain, Snow, Hail and tempestuous Storms, so that many a Twig was torn and beaten from the Tree, yet still others grew in their Place. For the Wrath or Fierceness in Nature, and the Prince thereof, raised great Tempests, with Hail, Thundering, Lightning and Rain, so that many glorious Twigs were torn from the sweet and good Tree.
29. But these Twigs were of such a pleasant sweet and curious Taste, that no human nor angelical Tongue is able to express it: For there was great Power and Virtue in them, they were good to heal the wild Heathens. Whatever Heathen did eat of the Twig of this Tree, he was delivered from his wild Nature in which he was born, and became a sweet Tree in this precious Tree, and sprung up in that Tree, and did bear precious Fruit, like the Royal Tree. Therefore many Heathens resorted to the precious Tree, where the precious Twigs lay, which the Prince of Darkness by his Storms and tempestuous Winds had torn off; and whatever Heathen did smell to the Twig so torn off, he was healed of his wild Wrath or Fierceness, which he had brought from his Mother into the World.
30. But when the Prince of Darkness saw that the Heathens strove and contended about these Twigs, and not about the Tree, therein he found great Loss and Damage, and then he ceased with his Storms towards the East and South, and placed a Merchant under the Tree, who gathered up the Twigs, which were fallen from the precious Tree: And then when the Heathens came, and enquired after the good and virtuous Twigs, then the Merchant presented and offered them, for Money, to make Gain of the precious Tree. For this, the Prince of Wrath or Fierceness required at the Hands of his Merchant, because the Tree was grown upon his Ground and Land, and spoiled his Soil.
31. And so when the Heathens saw that the Fruit of the precious Tree was put to Sale, they flocked to the Merchant, and bought of the Fruit of the Tree; and they came also from foreign Islands to buy, even from the Ends of the World. Now when the Merchant saw that his Wares were in Request and Esteem, he plotted, how he might gather a great Treasure to his Master, and so sent Factors abroad, everywhere, to offer his Wares to sell, praising them highly: But he sophisticated the Wares, and sold other Fruit instead of the Good, which were not grown on the good Tree; this he did to increase his Master's Treasure.
32. But the Heathens and all the Islands and Nations, which dwelt on the Earth, were all grown on the wild Tree, which was good and bad: and therefore were half blind, and did not discern the good Tree, (which however did spread its Branches from the East to the West), else they would not have bought of the false Wares.
33. But because they knew not the precious Tree, which spread its Branches over them all, all of them ran after, and to the Factors, and bought of them mixed false Wares instead of good; and supposed they served for Health: But because all of them longed after the good Tree, which however moved over them all, many of them were healed, because of their great Desire they had to the Tree. For the Fragrance of the Tree, which moved over them, healed them of their Wrath or Fierceness and wild Nature, and not the false Wares of the Factors: this continued a long Time.
34. Now when the Prince in the Darkness, who is the Source or Wrath or Fierceness, Malice and Perdition, perceived that Men were healed of their Poison and wild Nature by the Fragrance of the precious Tree, he was enraged, and planted a wild Tree towards the North, which sprung up and grew in the Fierceness or Wrath of Nature, and made proclamation, saying: This is the Tree of Life; he that eateth of it, shall be healed and live eternally.
35. For in that Place, where the wild Tree grew, was a wild Place, and the People there had the true Light of God from the Beginning, even unto that Time, and to this Day, though unknown: and the Tree grew on the Mount Hagar in the House of Ishmael the Mocker. But when the Proclamation was made of the Tree, Behold, this is the Tree of Life!, then the wild People flocked unto the Tree, which were not born of God, but of the wild Nature, and loved the wild Tree, and did eat of its Fruit.
36. And the Tree grew to a mighty Bigness, by the Sap of Wrath or Fierceness in Nature, and spread abroad its Branches, from the North to the East and West: But the Tree had its Source and Root from the wild Nature, which was good and bad, and as the Tree was, so were its Fruits. But though the Men of this Place were grown out of the wild Nature, yet the Tree grew over them all, and grew so huge, that it reached with its Branches even unto the esteemed precious Land or Country under the Holy Tree.
37. But the Cause, that the wild Tree grew to so great a Bigness, was because the Nations under the good Tree ran all after the Factors, which sold the false Wares, and did eat of the false Fruits, which were good and bad, and supposed they were healed thereby, and meddled not with the holy good effectual Tree.
38. In the mean while, they grew more blind, weak and faint, and were disabled to suppress the growing of the wild Tree towards the North: For they were too weak and faint, and they saw well enough, that the Tree was wild, and bad, but they wanted Strength, and could not suppress the Growing of the Tree.
39. Yet if they had not run after the false Wares those Factors sold, and had not eaten of the false Fruits, but rather eaten of the precious Tree, then they might have got Strength to oppose the wild Tree. But because they ran a whoring after the wild Nature in human Conceits and Opinions, in the Lusts of their Hearts, in a hypocritical Way, therefore the wild Nature did predominate over them, and the wild Tree grew high and large over them, and spoiled them with its wild Rankness.
40. For the Prince of Wrath or Fierceness, in Nature, gave his Power to the Tree, to spoil Men which did eat of the wild Fruits of the Factors: Because they forsook the Tree of life, and sought after their own Fancy, as Mother Eve did in Paradise, therefore their own innate Quality predominated in them, and brought them into strong delusions, as St Paul saith, 2Thess.2.11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. And the Prince of Wrath or Fierceness, did raise Wars and Tempests from the wild Tree towards the North against the People and Nations, which were not born from the wild Tree; and the Tempest which came from the wild Tree overthrew them in their Weakness and Faintness.
41. And the Merchant under the good Tree dissembled with the Nations of the South and West, and towards the North, and highly commended his Wares, and cunningly deceived the simple Ones; and those that were witty, he made them his Factors, that they also might have their Livelihood or Living out of it, and he brought it so far, that no Body saw or knew the holy Tree any more, and so he got all the Land to himself, and then made Proclamation, 2Thess. 2. I am the Stock of the good Tree, and stand on the Root of the good Tree, and am in-grafted into the Tree of Life, buy my wares which I sell: and then you shall be healed of your wild Birth, and live for ever.
42. I am grown out of the Root of the good Tree, and the Fruit of the holy Tree is in my Power, and I sit on the Throne of the divine Power; I have Power in Heaven and on Earth, Come unto me, and buy for Money, the Fruit of Life.
43. Whereupon all Nations flocked to him and did buy and eat, even till they fainted: All the Kings of the South, West, and towards the North did eat the Fruits of the Factors, and lived under a great Faintness; for the wild Tree of the North grew more and more over them, and made waste of them a long Time. And there was a miserable Time upon Earth, such as never was, since the World stood, but Men thought that Time to be good; so terribly the Merchant under the good Tree, had blinded them.
44. But in the Evening, God in his Mercy took Pity on Mans Misery and Blindness, and stirred up the good Tree again, even that glorious Divine Tree, which did bear the Fruit of Life; then there grew a Twig nigh unto the Root, out of the precious Tree, and was green, and to it was given the Sap and Spirit of the Tree, and it spoke with the Tongue of Man, and showed to every one the precious Tree, and its Voice was heard in many Countries.
45. And when Men resorted thither to see and to hear what the Matter was, and there was shown unto them the precious and vigorous Tree of Life, of which Men had eaten at the Beginning, and were delivered of their wild Nature, and they were mightily rejoiced, and did eat of the Tree of Life with great Joy, and Refreshing, and so got new Strength from the Tree of Life, and sung a new Song concerning the true real Tree of Life, and so were delivered from their wild Birth, and then hated the Merchant and his Factors, as also their false Wares.
46. But all those came, which did hunger and thirst after the Tree of Life, and those that sat in the Dust, and they did eat of the holy Tree, and were healed of their impure Birth and Wrath or Fierceness of Nature, in which they lived, and so were in-grafted into the Tree of Life. But only the Factors of the Merchant, and his and their Dissemblers, and those that made their Gains with false Wares, and had gathered Treasure together came not, for they were drowned and quite dead in the Gain of the Merchants Whoredom, and lived in the wild Nature, and so their Anguish and Shame, which was discovered, kept them back, because they went a whoring so long with the Merchant, and seduced the Souls of Men, notwithstanding they gloried, that they were in-grafted into the Tree of Life, and lived in Sanctity by a divine Power, and set to Sale the Fruit of Life.
47. Now because their Shame, Deceit, Covetousness, Knavery and Wickedness were discovered, they waxed dumb, and stayed behind; they were ashamed, and repented not of their Abominations and Idolatry, and so went not with the Hungry and Thirsty to the Fountain of Eternal Life; and therefore they grew faint also in their Thirst, and their Plague rises up from Eternity to Eternity, and they are gnawed in their Conscience.
48. Now the Merchant seeing that the Deceit of his false Wares was discovered, he grew very wrath, and despaired; and bent his Bow against the holy People, who would buy no more of his Wares, and so destroyed many of the holy People, and blasphemed the green-Twig, which was grown up out of the Tree of Life. But the great Prince MICHAEL, which stands before God, came and fought for the holy People, and he overcame.
49. But the Prince of Darkness perceiving, that his Merchant had a Fall, and that his Deceit was discovered, he raised a Tempest from the North out of the wild Tree against the Holy People, and the Merchant of the South made an Assault upon them: then the Holy People grew greatly in their Blossom, even as it was in the Beginning, when the holy and precious Tree grew, and that overcame the Wrath or Fierceness in Nature and its Prince; thus it was at that Time.
50. Now, when the noble and holy Tree was revealed to all Nations, so that they saw how it moved over them, and spread its Fragrance over all People, and that any one that pleased, might eat of it, then the People grew weary of eating of its Fruit, which grew on the Tree, and longed to eat of the Root of the Tree; and the cunning and wise People sought after the Root, and contended about the same: So the Strife was great about the Root of the Tree, insomuch that they forgot to eat the Fruit of the sweet Tree, by Reason of the Controversy about the Root of the Tree.
51. And now they minded neither the Root nor the Tree, but the Prince of Darkness had another Design, intending something else: when he saw, that they would eat no more of the good Tree, but contended about the Root, he perceived that they were grown very weak and faint, and that the wild Nature had the Predominance in them again.
52. And therefore he stirred them up to Pride, so that everyone supposed he had the Root at Hand; every one must look after and hear him, and reverence him: Whereby they built their Palaces and great Houses, and served in Secrecy their Idol Mammon, whereby the Lay people were troubled and caused to offend, and so lived in carnal Pleasures, in the Desire of the wild Nature, and served their Belly in Wantonness, confiding in the Fruit of the Tree, which moved over them all, though they fell into Misery, that thereby they might be healed.
53. And in the mean while they served the Prince of Darkness according to the Impulse of the wild Nature, and the precious Tree stood there only for a May-game or Mocking stock, and many lived like wild Beasts, and led a wicked Life, in Pride, Pomp, Stateliness and Lasciviousness, the Rich consuming the Labour and Sweat of the Poor, forcing them thereunto.
54. All evil Actions were approved of for Bribery: the Laws issued forth out of the evil Quality in Nature, and every one strove after Riches and Goods, after Pride, Pomp and Stateliness; there was no Deliverer for the Poor; Scolding, Railing, Cursing and Swearing were not disapproved nor held vicious, and so they defiled themselves in the wrathful or fierce Quality, even as a swine tumbles in the Dirt and Mire.
55. Thus did the Shepherds with the Sheep, they retained no more but the bare Name of the noble Tree; its Fruit, Virtue and Life were only a Cover to their Sins. Thus the World lived at that Time, except a small Remnant or Number, which were generated in the Midst among the Thorns in great Tribulation and Contempt, out of all Nations upon the Earth, from the East to the West.
56. There was no Difference, they all lived upon the Impulse of the wild Nature in Faintness, even to a small Number, which were delivered out of all Nations, as it was before the Deluge, and before the Growing of the noble Tree in Nature; and thus it was also at that Time.
57. But why Men in the End, did long so eagerly after the Root of the Tree, is a Mystery, and hitherto it was concealed from the wise and prudent; neither will it rise up to the Height, but in the Deep, in great Simplicity.
58. As indeed the noble Tree with its Kernel and Heart, has always been concealed from the worldly Wise: though they supposed they stood, some at the Root, and some at the very Top of the Tree, yet this was no more than a shining Mist before their Eyes.
59. But the noble Tree, from the Beginning till now, strove in Nature to its utmost, that it might be revealed to all People, Tongues, and Languages, against which the Devil in the wild Nature raged, and fought like a fierce Lion.
60. But the noble Tree bore the more and the sweeter Fruit, and revealed it self more and more against all the Fury and Madness of the Devil, even unto the End: and then it was Light. For there grew a green Twig at the Root of the noble Tree, which got the Sap and Life of the Root, to which was given the Spirit of the Tree; so it increased and multiplied the noble Tree in its glorious Virtue and Power, and Nature also, in which it grew.
61. Now when this was done, then both the Gates of Nature were opened, the Knowledge of the two Qualities of good and bad, and so the Heavenly Jerusalem was manifested, and the Kingdom of Hell also, to all men upon Earth. And the Light and Voice was heard in the four Winds, and the false Merchant in the South was quite revealed, and his own hated him, and rooted him out from the whole Earth.
62. This being done, the wild Tree toward the North withered, and all People beheld the holy Tree, even in foreign Islands, with Admiration. And the Prince in the Darkness was revealed, and his Mysteries were discovered, and his Shame, Ignominy and Perdition, the Men upon Earth did see and know, for it was Light.
63. And this lasted but a little Time, for Men forsook that Light, and lived in carnal Pleasures to their own Perdition: For as the Gate of Light had opened itself, so did also the Gate of Darkness; and from them both went forth all Manner of Powers and Arts, that were therein.
64. For as Men had lived from the Beginning in the Growth of the wild Nature, and hunted only after earthly Things, so in the End, Things were not mended but rather grew worse.
65. In the Middle of this Time were raised many great stormy Winds from the West towards the East and North: but from the North there went forth a great Stream of Water towards the holy Tree, and spoiled many Twigs in the holy Tree, and in the Midst of the Stream it was Light, and so the wild Tree toward the North withered.
66. And then the Prince in the Darkness was enraged in the great Motion of Nature. For the Holy Tree moved in Nature, as one that would by and by be elevated, and kindled, in the Glorification of the holy Divine Majesty, and cast the Wrath or Fierceness from it, which had so long stood against it, and had wrestled with it.
67. In like Manner, the Tree of Darkness, Wrath, Fierceness and Perdition, moved furiously, as one that would be kindled by and by, and therein the Prince with his Legions went forth to spoil the noble Fruit of the good Tree.
68. And it stood horribly in Nature in the fierce Quality, in that Quality wherein the Prince of Darkness dwelt, to speak after the Manner of Men; like as when Men see terrible Weather coming on, which makes a horrible Appearance with Lightning and tempestuous Winds, at which Men stand amazed.
69. On the other Side, in the good Quality, in which the holy Tree of Life stood, all was pleasant sweet and delightful; like an heavenly Joyfulness. These two moved furiously one against another, till the whole Nature was kindled of both qualities in one Moment.
70. And the Tree of Life was kindled in its own Quality by the Fire of the Holy Ghost, and its Quality burnt in the Fire of the heavenly Joyfulness, in an unsearchable Light and Glory.
71. All Voices of the heavenly Joyfulness qualified, mixed or harmonized in this Fire, which have been from Eternity in the good Quality; and the Light of the Holy Trinity shined into the Tree of Life, and replenished or filled the whole Quality, in which it stood.
72. And the Tree of the fierce Quality, which is the other Part of Nature, was kindled also, and burnt in the Fire of Gods Wrath in a hellish Flame, and the fierce Source rose up into Eternity, and the Prince of Darkness with his Legions did abide in the fierce wrathful Quality, as in his own Kingdom.
73. In this Fire were consumed the Earth, the Stars and Elements, for all were on Fire at once, each in the Fire of its own Quality, and all was separable. For the Ancient of Days moved himself in it, wherein every Power and all the Creatures, and whatsoever can be named, even the Powers of Heaven, of the Stars and of the Elements, became thin again, and were fashioned according to that Form, which they were in from the Beginning of the Creation.
74. Only the two Qualities, good and bad, which have been in Nature one in another, were separated, and the bad one was given to the Prince of Malice and Wrath, or Fierceness, for eternal Habitation; and that is called Hell, or a Rejection, which in Eternity no more apprehends or touches the good Quality; but is an Oblivion of all Good, and that unto its Eternity.
75. In the other Quality stood the Tree of eternal Life, and its Source and Off-spring descended from the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Ghost did shine into the same. And all Men came forth which descended from the Loins of Adam, who was the first Man, each in its Virtue, and in that Quality, in which each did grow on Earth.
76. Those that on Earth had eaten of the good Tree, which is called JESUS CHRIST, in them did flow the Mercy of God unto eternal Joy; they had in them the Power of the good Quality, they were received into the good and holy Quality, and they sung the Song of their Bridegroom, each in his Voice, according to his own Holiness.
77. But those that were born in the Light of Nature, and of the Holy Ghost, and on Earth never fully knew the Tree of Life, but were grown in its Power, which overshadowed all Men upon Earth, as very many Nations, Heathens and Babes, which were also received in the same Power wherein they were grown, and wherewith their Spirit was cloathed, and they sung the Song according to their Power and Measure in the noble Tree of eternal Life; for every one was glorified according to his Power, Virtue, Measure and Proportion.
78. And the Holy Nature generated joyful heavenly Fruit, even as on Earth it had generated Fruit in both the Qualities, which were both good and bad, so now it did generate heavenly Fullness of Joy.
79. And those Men, that were now like Angels, did each eat the Fruit of his Quality, and they sung the Song of God, and the Song of the Tree of eternal Life.
80. And that was in the Father as a holy Scene, a triumphing Joy; for to that End all Things at the Beginning were made out of the Father, and now they abide so to all Eternity.
81. But those that were grown on Earth in the Power of the Tree of Wrath, that is, which the fierce Quality had overcome, and were withered in the Wickedness of their Spirit, in their Sins, all those came forth also, each in his Power or Faculty, and were received into the Kingdom of Darkness, and each was indued in that Power, in which he was grown up, and their King is called Lucifer, viz. one expelled, or driven forth from the Light.
82. And the hellish Quality brought forth Fruit also, as it had done upon Earth, only the good was severed or parted from it, and therefore it brought forth Fruit now in its own Quality. And these Men also, which were now like the Spirits, did each eat the Fruit of his quality, and so did the Devils also.
83. For as there is a difference in Men upon Earth in their Qualities, and all are not of one Quality, Condition or Disposition, even so among the rejected reprobate Spirits, and so in the heavenly Pomp in Angels and Men, and that lasteth unto its Eternity.
Jacob Boehme's "Aurora:
The Day Spring",
On the New Birth; Lip-Christians; Lip-Priests, Being Taught of God.
12. For as God the Father in his own Substance comprehends all the Three Principles, and is himself the Substance of all Substances, wherein both Joy and Sorrow are comprehended, which yet goes forth in itself out of the Source of the Anguish, and makes the Kingdom of Joy to himself, inconceivable to the Sorrow, and incomprehensible to the Source of his Anger in the Anguish, and generates to himself his Heart in the Love, wherein the Name of God takes Original, so also the Mind has in it all the three Principles, and therein the Soul is comprized, viz. in the Band of Life, [the Soul] must enter again into itself, and create a Will in the Life of Jesus Christ, and endeavour after it, desiring it with a strong Will and Purpose, and not stay merely in the History or in the Knowledge of it, and being able to speak of it and suppose the Words and Discourse make a sufficient Christian, when the Mind is still in mere doubt in Babel. No, that is not the Regeneration, but it must be an earnest Resolution; the Mind must in itself go forth into the Humility towards God, and enter into the Will of God, in Righteousness, Truth and Love.
13. And though indeed the Mind is not able to do this in its own Ability, because it is captivated with the Spirit of this World, yet it has the Purpose in its Power, and God is presented with [and in] the Purpose, and receives it in his Love, and sows therein the Seed of Love in his Virtue [or Power,] out of which the new Man in the Life of Jesus Christ grows. Therefore all lies in the true earnest [Purpose,] which is called true Repentance; for the Receiving of the Word of God in the Obedience of Love grows not in the earthly Life, but in the new-born, in the Life of Jesus Christ.
14. Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is a bestowed Bounty of Grace for all those that earnestly desire it; not that it is enough to say to one's self, I have indeed a Will to yield myself earnestly to God, but I have need to have this World for a while, and afterwards I will enter into the Obedience of God, and that continues from one Time to another, and from one Day to another, and in the mean While the evil Man [or the Child of Perdition] grows; if you defer it to the end, and then desire [and think] to be a heavenly Fruit or Birth, when all the Time of your Life you have grown in the Anger of God, in the Abyss of Hell: No; that is Deceit, thou deceivest thyself.
15. The Priests in Babel have after that no Key to open the Kingdom of Heaven for thee; thou must enter in thyself and be new-born, or else there is no Remedy for thee in this World, nor in Heaven; thou standest here in this [Life] Time, in the Ground, and art a Plant, but when Death comes and cuts down the Stock, then thou art no more in the Growing, but art a Fruit; and then if thou art not Food for God, thou dost not belong to his Table, and then God will not dwell in thee.
16. For we know that the Deity only is the Virtue to the new Birth, which [Virtue,] if thou longest for it, and desirest it with Earnestness, sowest itself in thy Mind, and in thy Soul, out of which the new Man in the Life of Christ grows, so that in this World the earthly [Man] does but hang to it. Thus the new Man is in God in the Life of Jesus Christ, and the old Man is in this World; of which St. Paul writes clearly in his Letter to the Romans, that if we thus live in the new Birth, we live to God, but as to the old Adam we are in this World; where then the Source of the eternal Band in the Soul is also changed, and the Soul enters in itself into the Life of Christ, into the holy and pure Element; which in some Places of my second Book [The Three Principles] I call the Ternarius Sanctus.
17. This is not according to the Understanding of the Latin Tongue, but according to the Understanding of the divine Nature; by which Word is excellently expressed the Life of Jesus Christ in God the Father; as also the Characters of the Letters themselves and the Spirit in the Syllables signify; wherein the Birth [Unigeniture or eternal Working] of the Deity is excellently understood; though it is hidden to the historical Man of the School [Or Universities] of this World, yet it is wholly comprehensible to those that are enlightened from God, who then also understand the Source [or working Property] of the Spirit in the Letter, which is not at this Time to be set down here, and yet it shall be brought to the Understanding.
18. And there is nothing more profitable for Man for his Beginning to the new Birth, than true earnest Repentance, with great earnest Purpose and Resolution; for he must press into the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Life of Christ, where then his Regenerator is ready, deep in his Mind in the Light of Life, and with Desiring and Earnestness helps [to wrestle,] and so sows himself as a Grain of Mustard-Seed into the Soul of a Man, as a Root to a new Creature. And if the Earnestness in the Soul of a Man be great, then the Earnestness in his Regeneration is also great.
19. And it is not possible to describe the New Birth in Christ fully; for he that comes into it, can find it only in himself by Experience; there grows another Bud in his Mind, another Man with other Knowledge; he is taught of God, and sees that all the Labour in the History, without the Spirit of God, is but a confused Work of Babel, from whence Strife and Contention (in Self-pride) come; for they aim only at Pride and Advancement, to recreate themselves in the Lusts of the Flesh, and in Self. They are no Shepherds or Pastors of Christ, but Ministers or Servants of the Antichrist; they have set themselves upon Christ's Throne; but they have erected it in this World.
20. Yet the Kingdom of Christ is not of this World, but consists in Power. And there is the true Knowledge of God in no Man, except he be regenerated in God, out of his corrupted House of Sins, where then the Fierceness changes itself into Love, and he is a Priest of God in the Life of Jesus Christ, who always seeks that which is in Heaven in the Wonders of God; and the New Man is hid in the old Man, and is not of this World, but he is in Ternario Sancto, in the holy Body of Jesus Christ, understand, in the Virtue of his Body.
21. For such also his Covenant with us is, both in the Baptism and the Last Supper. He took not the Flesh of his Creature and gave it to his Disciples, but he took the Body of the pure Element [that is] before God, wherein God dwells, which is present in all Creatures but comprised in another Principle, and gave it to his Disciples to eat and to drink under earthly Bread and Wine; so also he baptized the outward Man with earthly elementary Water, but the inward new Man he baptized with the Water in the holy pure Element of his Body and Spirit, which Substance appears only in the second Principle, and is present every where, yet is hid to the third Principle, viz. to the Spirit of this World.
22. For as we know, that our Mind reaches all over this World, and also into the Kingdom of Heaven to God, so also the Life of the pure Element (wherein the Creature Christ, and our new Man in Christ stands) reaches every where all over, and it is all over full of the Fullness of the Life of Jesus Christ, but only in the [one pure holy] Element, and not in the four Elements, in the Spirit of the Stars.
23. Therefore there needs not in our Writings much toil, nor hard Consideration or Study; we write out of another Principle; no Reader understands us rightly in the Ground, except his Mind be born in God; there ought no historical Skill and Knowledge to be sought for in our Writings; for as it is not possible to see God with earthly Eyes, so also it is not possible that an unenlightened Mind in the Earthiness can comprehend it. Heavenly Thoughts and Meaning can comprehend it [the ground of our writings]; like must be comprehended by like.
24. Indeed we carry the heavenly Treasure in an earthly Vessel, [or Receptacle]; there must be a heavenly Receptacle [or Vessel] hidden in the earthly, else the heavenly Treasure is not comprised nor held. None should think or desire to find the Lily of the heavenly Bud with deep Searching and Studying, if he be not entered by earnest Repentance in the new Birth, so that it be grown in himself; for else it is but a History, where his Mind never finds the Ground, and yet itself supposes it has comprehended it; but his Mind makes it manifest, [of what Spirit it is generated] what Spirit's Child it is; for it is written, They are taught of God.
25. We know that every Life is a Fire that consumes, and must have somewhat to feed its Consuming, or else it goes out; so also we know that there is an eternal Band of Life, where there is a Matter whereon the eternal Fire feeds continually, for the eternal Fire makes that Matter for Food to itself.
26. So also we know that the eternal Life is twofold, in a twofold Source [Quality or Property,] and each stands in its own Fire. The one burns in the fierceness, and in the Woe, and the Matter thereof is Pride, Envy, and Anger; its Source is like brimstone Spirit; for the Rising up of the Pride in Covertness, Envy, and Anger, makes together a Brimstone, wherein the Fire burns, and continually kindles itself with this Matter [Material]; for it is a great Bitterness [like Gall], wherein the Mobility of the Life consists, as also the Striker up [Vulcan] of the Fire.
27. Now we know also, that every Fire has a Shining and Glance, and that Glance goes in itself forth from the Source [or Quality,] and enlightens the Matter of the Source, so that in the Source there is a Knowledge and Understanding of a [Thing or] Substance, from whence a Mind and the Might takes its Original of doing and comprehending a Will to somewhat, and yet was not there in the Originality; and that it will in itself, in the Source, go forth, and make a Liberty for itself in the Source, and the Will desires the Liberty, that it might stand therein, and has its Life from the Will in the Light, and in itself, in the Habitation, lives without Source, and yet there it stands in the Originality in the Ground of the Source.
28. Thus, my beloved, worthy, seeking Mind [or Friend], know and observe that every Life stands upon the Abyss of the Fierceness; for God calls himself, A consuming Fire; and also, A God of Love; and his Name GOD has its Original in the Love, where he goes forth out of the Source in himself, and makes it, in himself, Joy, Paradise, and the Kingdom of Heaven.
29. We all in the Originality of our Life have the Source of the Anger, and of Fierceness, or else we should not be alive; but we must look to it, and in ourselves go forth out of the Source of the Fierceness with God, and generate the Love in us, and then our Life shall be a joyful and pleasant Habitation to us, and then it stands rightly in the Paradise of God; but if our Life stays in the Fierceness, viz. in the Covetousness, Envy, Anger, and Malice, and goes not forth into another Will, then it stands in the anguishing Source, as all Devils do, wherein no good Thought or Will can be, but a mere Enmity in itself.
30. Therefore these two Lives, viz. the Life in the loving Regeneration, and the Life in the Originality of the Source [or Property,] are one against another; and because the Life in the Love is not enemicitious, therefore it must suffer itself to be pinched, pierced through and wounded, and upon it the Cross is laid to be borne with Patience of Meekness, and in this Bud, in this Ground, [Soil, or Field,] a Child of God must be a Bearer of the Cross; and for this End has God appointed in himself a Day of Judgement, and of Separation, where then he reaps what is grown in every Life; and herewith shall all Forms of the eternal Life be manifested; all must stand to the manifesting of God's Deeds of Wonder.
31. Therefore, O Man! look to it, destroy not thyself; see that thou grow in the Ground [or Field] of Love, Meekness, and Righteousness, and enter with thy Life, in thyself, into the Meekness of Jesus Christ, in the Regeneration to God, and then thou shalt live in God's Source of Love; and so when the Field of this Sprout [or Bud] is taken away, then thy Life is a Fruit and Plant of God, and thou shalt spring and grow with a new Body out of the holy and pure Element before God, in the Life of thy dear Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Give up, [or dedicate] thyself to it, in this contentious Life, wholly and altogether, and so thou shalt with him, through his Death and Resurrection, grow up in a new Man before God.
Jacob Boehme's "Appendix to The Three
Principles of the Divine Essence
The Gate of a
63. Therefore, thou beloved Soul, if thou art fallen into heavy Sins and Blasphemies, through the Deceit of the Antichrist, and the Seduction of the Devil and his Followers, consider thyself instantly; continue not therein; do not despair in that Condition; forgive thy Adversary his Faults, and pray to God the Father, for Christ's Sake, who has borne all our Wickedness and Iniquities upon him as a patient Lamb, and then they shall be forgiven thee. Nay, we should not in Eternity have ever been able to come out of this Evil and Wickedness, if the Mercy of God (without our Knowledge or Desert) had not helped us out of it.
64. O how wholly of mere [Mercy and] Grace has God the Father given us his Son, who has taken upon him our Transgressions, and reconciled him [the Father] in his Anger. All Men are invited to this Grace, of what Condition soever they are, they may all come, whether they be Turks, Jews, Heathens, Christians, or what Name soever they are called by; none are excluded; all that are weary and heavy laden may come to Christ; he will receive them and refresh them all, as himself says. And whosoever teaches, or says otherwise, or seeks any other Way, is the Antichrist, and enters not by the Door into the Sheepfold. Amen.
65. And now if we consider the Scornings, Despisings, and Mocking of Christ, and that all was done by the Instigation of the Great Ones; and that commonly they were the poor simple People that followed him, except some few that were wealthy; we then clearly find that which Christ said, That a rich Man will hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not meant concerning their Riches, but concerning their vain, glorious, proud and covetous Life, whereby they consume the Sweat of the Needy in Pride, and forget God. O how hard it is for one that is proud, to humble himself before God and Man; and the Kingdom of Heaven consists only in the Virtue and Power of Humility.
66. Yet it is seen that some wealthy People drew near to Christ, whereby it may be perceived, that the Kingdom of Heaven consists not in Misery only, but in Joy in the Holy Ghost; and none ought to esteem himself happy, because he is poor and miserable; he is in the Kingdom of the Devil notwithstanding, if he be faithless and wicked. Also none that is rich ought therefore to cast his Goods and Wealth away, or give them to be spent lavishly, in hope to be saved in so doing; no, Friend, the Kingdom of God consists in Truth, and in Righteousness, and in Love towards the Needy; to be rich damns none that use it aright; thou needest not to lay down thy Scepter, and run into a Corner, crying; that is but Hypocrisy. Thou mayest do Righteousness, and better Service to the Kingdom of God in holding thy Scepter, not according to Covetousness, but in Love, and in the Fear of God; and then thou art also a Brother to Joseph of Arimathea, and shalt shine brighter than others, as the Sun and Moon compared with the Stars. It is only the Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Falsehood, and Anger, that is the Crown of the Devil; therefore conceive it right.
Jacob Boehme's "Three Principles of the
The Gate to Babel.
13. When we consider with ourselves the many Sects and Controversies in Religion, and from whence they come and take their Original, it is as clear as the Sun, and it manifests itself indeed, and in Truth; for there are great Wars and Insurrections stirred up for the Cause of [Religion or] Faith; and there arise great Hatred and Envy about it, and they persecute one another for Opinions Sake; because another is not of his Opinion, he sticks not to say, he is of the Devil; and this is yet the greatest Misery of all, that this is done by the Learned in the high Schools [or Universities] of this World.
14. And I will show (thee, simple Man) their Venom and Poison; for behold every one among the Laity looks upon them, and thinks, Sure it must needs be right if our Priest [Minister, Pastor, Preacher, or Teacher] says it; he is a Minister of God; he sits in God's Stead; it is the Holy Ghost that speaks out of him. But Saint John says, By their Works thou shalt know them; for a good Tree brings forth good Fruit, and an evil Tree brings forth evil Fruit; also he teaches us plainly, that we should not gainsay the Prophecy that is of God, but we should learn to try them by their Fruits.
15. We speak not of perfect Works done by the Body, which is captivated in the Spirit of this World, but [we speak] of their Doctrines, that we [must] try them, whether they be generated of God. For if that Spirit teaches Blasphemies, Slanders, and Persecutions, then it is not from God, but it proceeds from the Covetousness and Haughtiness of the Devil. For Christ teaches us Meekness, and to walk in brotherly Love, wherewith we may overcome the Enemy, and take away the Might of the Devil, and destroy his Kingdom.
16. But when any fall to Firing, killing with the Sword, to undo People, ruin Towns and Countries, there is no Christ, but the Anger of the Father, and it is the Devil that blows the Fire [or the Coal]. For the Kingdom of Christ is not found in such a Way, but in Power; as the Examples of the Apostles of Christ declare, who taught no Revenge, but they suffered Persecution, and prayed to God, who gave them Signs and great Wonders, so that the People flocked to them; and so the Church of Christ grew mightily, so that it overshadowed the Earth. Now who is the Destroyer of this Church? Open thy Eyes and behold; it is Day-light, and it must come to the Light, for God would have it so, for the Sake of the Lily. It is the Pride of the Learned.
17. When the Holy Ghost spoke in the Saints with Power and Miracles, and converted People powerfully, then they flocked to them, they honoured them greatly, they respected them and submitted to them as if they had been Gods. Now this was well done to the Saints, for the Honour was given to God, and so Humility and Love grew among them, and there was a loving Reverence, as becomes the Children of God, as it ought to be.
18. But when the Saints comprised their Doctrine in Writings, that thereby in their Absence it might be understood what they taught, then the World fell upon it, and every one desired to be such a Teacher, and thought the Art, Skill, and Knowledge stuck in the Letter; thither they came running, old and new, who for the most Part only stuck in the old Man, and had no Knowledge of God; and so taught according to their own Conceits, from the written Words, and explained them according to their own Meaning.
19. And when they saw that great Respect and Honour was given to the Teachers, they fell to Ambition, Pride, and Greediness of Money; for the simple People brought them Presents or Gifts, and they thought that the Holy Ghost dwelt in the Teachers, whereas the Devil of Pride lodged in them; and it came to that pass that every one called himself after his Master's Name, [whose Doctrine he prized most;] one would be of Paul; another of Apollos; another of Peter; and so on. And because the Saints used not the same Kind of Words and Expressions in their Teachings and Writings, though they spoke from one and the same Spirit, therefore the natural Man (which being without the Spirit of God knows nothing of God) began all manner of Strife and Disputations, and to make Sects and Schisms; and they set themselves up for Teachers among all Sorts of People, not for God's Sake, but for temporal Honour, Riches, and Pleasure's Sake, that they might live [in Pride or Voluptuousness] brave Lives. For it was no very hard Labour and Work to hang to the bare Letter; and such Strife and Contention rose amongst them, that they became the most bitter Enemies and Haters one of another. And none of them were born of God, but their Parents held them close to the Scripture, that they might come to be Teachers, that so they might be honoured in and for their Children, and that their Children might live bravely [might have good Maintenance, or great Livings for their bestial Man].
20. And so it fell out, that every one would get the greatest Conflux of People he could, that he might be esteemed by most People; and these Lip-Christians did so multiply, that the sincere hearty Desire to God was lost, and they only looked upon the Lip-priest, who did nothing but cause Strife and Contentions; and they all vapoured and boasted of their own Art and Skill which they had learned in the Schools and Universities, and cried, Look here is Christ; come running hither, thus and thus has Paul written; and another say, Come hither, here is Christ, thus and thus has Peter written; he was the Disciple of Christ, and had the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; this cannot be amiss; they do but deceive you; follow after me.
21. Thus the poor ignorant People looked upon the Mouth-Apes [such as apishly teach the Words of Holy Men, without the Understanding they had], those greedy covetous Men, which were no other than Visard Priests [Mock Priests], and so lost their dear Immanuel; for Christ in them (from whence the Holy Ghost goes forth, which drives and leads Men, and who at first had begotten them with Power and Miracles) must now be nothing but a History, and they became but historical Christians; yet so long as the Apostles and their true Disciples lived, they stopped and reproved such Things, and showed them the right Way; but where they [The Apostles and their Disciples] were not, there the History-Priests misled them, as may be clearly seen in the Galatians.
22. And so the Kingdom of Christ grew not in Power only, but for the most Part in the History; the Saints born in Christ, they confirm that many Times with great Wonders [or Miracles], and the History-Priest of Baal, they always built upon those [Miracles of the Saints] that which was good for the promoting Virtue and good Manners; many brought forth Thistles and Thorns, that they might make Strife and Wars; many sought only great Honour, Dignity, and Glory, that it should be conferred upon the Church of Christ and her Ministers, as it may be seen in Popery, out of what Root it is grown. And it came so far, that they mingled the Jewish Ceremonies in their Doings, as if the Justification of a poor Sinner laid in them, because they were of divine Appointment; for which Cause, the Apostles held the first Council at Jerusalem, where the Holy Ghost concluded, that they should only cleave to Christ in true Love one to another, and that was the only Justification before God.
23. But it availed not; Pride would erect its Throne, and set it above Christ; the Devil would be God; and they made Glosses [Subtil Pretences and Expositions of Scriptures], that they might bring it to pass in such a Way, that the simple People might not take Notice of it; there the Keys of Peter must govern the City, and they drew together with the Keys divine Authority to them, and so could use the divine Power in Deeds and Wonders no more; for they desired to be rich and wealthy upon Earth, and not to be poor with Christ who in this World (as himself witnesses) had not whereon to lay his Head; they would not be such Christians in Power and Wonders; as Adam, who would not live in the Power, but in a great Heap [of Earth] that he might have something to take hold of. And here may be rightly seen our Misery which Adam brought us into, that our Essences always reach after the Spirit of this World, and desire only to fill themselves with a great Heap, from whence Adam and we all have got such a swelled, gross, untoward Body, full of Sickness, Contrariety, and contentious Desires.
24. Now when the historical Christendom and the true Christians grew together, the Scepter was always among the Learned, who exalted themselves, and made themselves potent, and great; and the simple [Church] yielded to it as right; and yet there was a Desire after the Kingdom of God found in Men, viz. the noble Word of God (which had imprinted [imaged or figured itself in the Mind] itself in the Promise [in Paradise,] in the Light of Life, and which was made stirring by Christ) that drove them indeed to the Fear of God. And then they built great Houses [Temples or Churches] of Stone, and called everyone thither; and they said that the Holy Ghost was powerful there, and they must come thither; besides they durst be so impudent as to say [saying Do as we say, not as we do] (when they were found to be so wicked and malicious) that the Holy Ghost was powerfully in the Mouth of the Wicked.
25. But, thou Hypocrite, thou lyest; if thou art ungodly, thou canst not raise the Dead [the Dead in Trespasses and Sin], thou canst convert none that in this World lie drowned in Sins; thou mayest stir the Heart of the Believer indeed (through thy Voice) which is Work of the Spirit, but thou bringest forth none out of Death [into Life;] it is an impossible Thing. For if thou wilt convert a poor Sinner, which is drowned in Sin, and lies captive in the Anger, then the Holy Ghost must be in thy Mouth, and thy Essences must take hold of his, and then thy Light will shine in him, and thou shalt raise him out of the Death of Sins, and with thy Love, in thy Tincture, catch him; and then he will come to thee with a hearty Desire, longing after the Kingdom of Heaven; and then thou art his Confessor, and hast the Keys of Peter; and if thou art void of that [the Holy Ghost], thou hast no Keys.
26. As the Confession is, so is the Absolution. Is the Patient an historical Christian? so is the Physician too. And in them both there is a Mouth-Hypocrisy. But has the Patient any Virtue [or Power?] then the Voice blows that Virtue [or Power] up, not from the Power of the Physician, but in the Virtue [or Power] of God, who with his Power even in a Thorn-Bush makes it to grow, which is the Power in all Things; and so also in a Voice, which in itself has no Ability.
27. Thus it became a Custom [or Fashion], that every one was bound [to come] to the Temple made of Stones, and the Temple of God in Christ stood and stands very empty; but when they saw the Desolation in the Contention [Disputations, and Controversies], they called Councils and made Laws and Canons, that every one must observe upon Pain of Death. Thus the Temple of Christ was turned into Temples made of Stones, and out of the Testimony of the Holy Ghost, a worldly Law was made. Then the Holy Ghost spoke no more freely, but he must speak according to their Laws. If he reproved their Errors, then they persecuted him; and so the Temple of Christ in man's Knowledge became very obscure; if any came that was born of God, and taught by the Holy Ghost, and was not conformable to their Laws, he must be a Heretic.
28. And so their [false] Power grew, and every one had great Respect to it; and they strengthened their Laws still more and more with the Power of Saint Peter, till they raised themselves so high, that they impudently set themselves as Lords over the Doctrine of the Apostles before God, and gave forth, that the Word of God and the Doctrine of the Saints must receive their Value, Worth, and Authority from their Councils; and what they ordained and instituted, that was from God; they were God's Dispensers of the Word; Men must believe their Ordinances, for that was the Way and Means [of Salvation] for the poor Sinner to be justified before God.
29. But where then is the new Regeneration in Christ through the Holy Ghost? Art thou not Babel, a Habitation of all Devils in Pride? How hast thou adorned thyself: Not for Christ, but for thy own Pride, for thy Idol [God Maozim,the Belly-God] the Belly's Sake, and thou art a Devourer. But thy Belly [Idol] has become a Stink, and has gotten a horrible Source; there is a great Fire of Anguish [Terrible Devouring, in that which thou hast made thy God] in thy Source, for thou art naked and manifest before God; thou standest as an impudent whorish Woman. Why do you, Laity, hang [and depend] on such a Strumpet? Her own usurped Authority is her Beast whereon she rides; behold, and consider her in the Revelation of John, how the Holy Ghost sets her forth in her Colours.
30. Wilt thou be an Apostle of Christ, and wilt be but a Minister for the Belly, and teach only according to thy Art? From whom dost thou teach? From thy Belly, that thou mayest fatten thyself thereby. It is true, thou shouldst be fed, and thou shouldst have Subsistence from Men, if thou art Christ's Disciple; but thy Spirit should not stick in Covetousness, but in Christ; thou shouldst not rely only upon thy Art, but shouldst give up thyself to God, that God may speak from thee, and then thou art in the Temple of God, and not in the Temple of the Institution of Man's Inventions.
31. Look upon Saint Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, who converted three Thousand Souls at one Sermon; he spoke not from the Appointment of the Pharisees, but out of the Spirit of Moses and the Prophets, out of the Temple of the Holy Ghost, that pierced through and enlightened the poor Sinners. But thou teachest Persecution only, consider thereby whence thou didst grow, viz. out of that first Stock, where they fell from the Temple of Christ to human Conceits and Inventions; where they sent forth Teachers according to Man's itching Ears, for a fair Show, that thereby thou mightest grow great in thy Pride; and because thou hast sought nothing else, therefore God has suffered thee to fall into a perverse [reprobate confounded state] Sense, so that out of thee there come those that blaspheme the true Doctrine of Christ.
32. Behold, out of what are the Turks grown? Out of thy perverse Sense; when they saw that thou regardest nothing but thy Pride, and didst only contend and dispute about the Temple of Christ, that it must stand only upon Man's Foundation and Inventions, then Mahomet came forth, and found an Invention that was agreeable to Nature. Because those other followed after Covetousness [for Greediness of Money and Gain, or filthy Lucre] and fell off from the Temple of Christ, as also from the Light of Nature, into a Confusion of Pride, and all their Aim was, how the Antichristian Throne might be adorned; therefore he also made Laws and Doctrines [raised] from Reason.
33. Or dost thou suppose it [the Rising-up and Doctrine of Mahomet] was for nothing? It is most certain, that the Spirit of the great World has thus set him up in great Wonders, because the other were no better; and therefore it must stand in the Light of Nature in the Wonders, as a God of this World, and God was near the one as the other. Thy Symbols or Signs in the Testament of Christ which thou usest (which Christ left for a Covenant) stood in Controversy, and were in Disputation, and thou didst pervert them according to thy Pride, and thou didst bend them to thy Institution, Ordinances and Appointment; thou didst no more regard the Covenant of Christ, but the Custom of Celebration or Performance of it, the Custom must serve the Turn; whereas Wood that burns not is not Fire, though when it is kindled it comes to be Fire; so also the Custom without Faith is like Wood that burns not, which they will call a Fire.
34. Or shall not the Spirit set it down before thy Eyes, thou lascivious filthy Strumpet? Behold, how has thou broken the State of Wedlock, and opened a Door to Whoredom, so that no Sin is regarded; hast thou not ridden upon thy Beast, when every one gazed on thee, and rode after thee. Or art thou not that fine painted adorned Whore? Dost thou suppose we set thee forth in vain? The Judgment stands over thee; the Sword is begotten, and it will devour. Go out from Babel, and thou shalt live; though we saw a Fire in Babel, and that Babel was burning, yet it shall not burn those that go out from it.
Jacob Boehme's "Three Principles of the
Of Man in the Antichristian World.
37. For when a man is secure, and does not always stand in fear and trembling before the anger of God, then the Devil slippeth into the Spirit, and looketh narrowly when there is in a Man any evil Constellation of his Property and Stars, and so casteth a Man headlong into an unexpected fall, into Wrath, Murder, Whoredom, Theft, Poisoning, and Death. This is his [the Devil's] Art, which he is most diligent in.
40. For God is nothing but Goodness, and willeth not the Evil: He warneth Man before-hand, that he should still the Wrath, by turning and going out from the Anger; but when this is not done, then he suffereth that to come which Man hath awakened, viz. War, Famine, Pestilence: Now God doth not this, but Man himself, which maketh Wars, and the Heaven withdraweth its Fruitfulness, and the Spirit of this World kindleth itself in the hellish Poison and Wrath, and so Diseases and the Pestilence come forth which God is not guilty of, but Man hath awakened them, and they devour him: for thereby the Anger is sharpened, and getteth a Longing to devour: for Men awaken it in their Wickedness and Malice, and kindle it, whereas otherwise it would be at Rest.
46. O thou Antichristian World, what Mischief hast thou done with thy Ceremonies, in that thou hast set them in the place of God? If thou hadst declared to sinners God's Anger and Punishment, and the Devil's false Lust, and how a sinner must go forth from his Sins into the Will of God, and with true Sorrow and Repentance, in a right trust and confidence, be born again in God, and that God only seeketh and would have the Abyss of the Heart, viz. the Soul, and that all false and wicked Lusts and Desires must be removed out of the Heart, O how well hadst thou taught!
47. But the Councils [of Nice, Trent, &c.] have been brought in, only that thou mightest be Lord over Silver and Gold, and over the Souls, Minds, and Consciences of Men; and so thou art indeed the Antichrist in thy hypocrisy and appearing holiness: Thou hast instituted Ceremonies, and glitterest in Imitation of Aaron, but why do you not live in the obedience of Aaron towards God? Every one looketh upon the fine hypocritical performance of the work, and his Heart is carried away towards the hypocrisy, and supposeth, that when it keeps or celebrates the Ceremonies, that it is an atonement of the Anger of God; but it is Idolatry, and that which entangles the Heart, and leadeth it captive in the hypocrisy: It were better to use no Ceremonies, but barely to perform the express command of God, which he hath left us in his Covenant and Testament: The Congregation of Christ can well sound forth, and sing of God's Deeds of Wonder, but best of all in the Mother Tongue, [native language] which every one understandeth, and can lift up his Heart and Soul therein, and so the whole Church or Congregation of Christ, as one Body, exulteth in God, and singeth of the Wonders of God, which does stir up attention and consideration, which in a strange, or foreign Language, is but hypocrisy and seeming Divine posture in hypocrisy: for the Devil is such an Idol, for he mocketh God his Creator therewith, and so painteth forth the Antichrist before the face of God, that God should see what a potent Lord and Prince he is, who can shine as the Majesty of God shineth, and so he maketh such a Glittering in mockery to God, and bringeth the souls of Men into the Glittering [hypocritical show of Holiness].
48. O thou Proud and Covetous Antichrist, what hast thou done that thou hast thus brought thyself and many thousand souls away from God to thy own Glittering Pomp? How wilt thou be able to subsist when the Bright Countenance of God appeareth? Where will thy poor soul turn away from thy Glittering Hypocrisy when the Day of Judgment shall come? Seeing all must pass through the Fire, where will your own appearing holiness remain? Will it not remain in the Fire? For no soul can reach God, unless it be turned into the Will of God, and be Regenerated in God, else there is no subsisting in the Fire.
49. For the soul must be tried through the Fire, and must not be turned in any where, but into great Humility, unto the Love and Mercy of God, in the Humility of Jesus Christ; it must bring Christ's Body, and stand in the Wisdom of God, that must be its Body, else it will not be acknowledged for God's Child: for it must be as pure as it was when it was Created upon the Cross: It must be Regenerated upon the Cross of Christ, and enter with Christ in the flesh and blood of Christ, through the Death of Christ, through the Anger of God, into the Ninth Number, as into the Tincture of the Eternal Holy Number Three, and humbleth itself before the Number Three, and the Majesty of the Number Three embraceth it as a dear child: So the Humility is the food and strength of the Majesty, out of which the Brightness goeth forth from Eternity to Eternity.
50. Where wilt thou, Hypocrite, remain with thy Glittering Luster, which is generated out of Covetousness and Pride? O ye children of God, Go out from this Whore! She standeth on the Devil's Stage, and is carried in a show of Triumph to God's disgrace and contempt.
57.Therefore observe, there are many that think with themselves, saying, I will pray to God to take away my sins from me, that I may be released of my old sins: and when it comes to pass that they attain the Love of God, they think the old sins are passed away and forgiven; [saying,] I may now sin a-new; I will afterwards Repent once again, and cast the abomination away from me: Indeed that were a good way, if the purpose were at hand: But hear, when thou goest out from the Love of God, then thou hast all thy sins, which thou hast committed all thy life long, upon thy neck again: for thou turnest back again into the house of sin, and foresakest God; thou goest out from God into the Kingdom of the Devil, and thy Works follow thee whithersoever thou goest; The Purpose cannot help you, unless you go on in your Purpose.
95. But the Antichristian kingdom lives in many Trees; they run from one to another, and know not which is the best; for they are gone forth from the Paradise of Christ; they boast of the doctrine of Christ, and deny the power of it, and thereby they testify that Christ is not in them: nay, they desire not to have him in them: they thrust him, with his body and blood, with his Humanity out of the Congregation, they will have a sign from him, whereby they may in their Pride possess his place, and so keep up their rich fat Bellies: Christ, in this outward Life upon Earth, was poor, and had not whereon to lay his head: But they in Christ's place will be rich and fat: they say, He is in Heaven, we will therefore erect a stately glorious pompous Kingdom to his honour, that we may enjoy good times, and Honour in his Office. We are the highest in this world, for we are Gods Stewards [Embassadors, or Vice-regents], we manage the office of Christ, and have the Mysterium Magnum [The Great Mystery, the office of the Ministry]: How dare any speak against us? We will quickly make them hold their peace.
96. O beloved children of Christ, open your eyes, and see; do not run so after the Devil; Do you not see? Pray learn to see! Do you not see how all is done for Money? If one gives them a store of Money, they praise him for a gracious Christian, who is beneficial and bountiful to the Church: If one dies, though all his Life long he was an unjust false Usurer, Whoremonger, Thief, and Murderer, and they knew it very well, if he or his bestow much upon the Church, O how is he applauded for a blessed and glorious Man! What great Sermons [monuments, epitaphs and poems] do they make for him, that other unrighteous men may hear and consider, and follow their example to do the like? But stay, does the Kingdom of Christ consist in such [giving of] Money and in the mouth of the Priest? No, it shall not prosper; here the Wine-press yieldeth much blood, as the Revelation of John speaketh.
97. And thus the innocent are seduced, [or the poor souls hereby fall into despair,] for he that gives not to them much, or has it not to give, is no honest man with them: He is not beneficial to the Ministry: if but the least mote is found amiss in his life, Oh how they divulge it, and make a great matter of it; how is he trodden underfoot! However at length they devoutly send a good wish after him, and say, God forgive him. Open your eyes, ye children of Christ, this is the Antichrist, go not a whoring after him: Many such have been sinners, and have turned from their sins, and have entered into Christ, and their soul is in Christ, an Angel of God; and therefore how dare you, proud Antichrist, according to your own pleasure, despise one that is the Angel of God? O thou blind man, dost thou not see this? Art thou the Shepherd and Minister of Christ, and Steward of God? Hast thou the Mysterium Magnum about thee? Is any office the office of Christ, as thou boastest? Why then art thou a Liar, in applauding the wicked for Money? Have Christ and his Apostles done so?
98. Hearken, thou opposer of Christ, look into the Acts of the Apostles; Where one sold his Possessions, and laid a part of the Price of the Money at the Apostle's feet: And Peter asked him, saying, Have you sold the field for so much? and he said yea; and had a false, doubtful [and deceitful] Mind: then said Peter, thou hast lied unto the Holy Ghost; behold the feet of them that stand at the door, they shall carry you away out of the Congregation of Truth: what think you now of yourself? seeing this has happened to the Hearers of Peter, what would have been done to Peter himself, if he had thus lied for greediness of Money, and so blasphemed the Holy Ghost? But thou art he that doth so: thou applaudest the unrighteous, that thou mayest but get money; but thou regardest not his soul, neither dost thou regard how thou broachest thy lies in the Congregation. How many times do some stand and bewail the wickedness and deceit of those thou praisest, wherewith they unjustly oppressed and wronged the needy, and also bewail thy flattering hypocrisy and lies?
99. Hearken! Is not the Name of Christ blasphemed thereby, and the Congregation of Christ scandalized? When they say, The Priest tells lies in the Pulpit for Money; if it were a sin, he would not do it: and so in like manner, when any lie and deceive people to get money, goods, and honour, if they can but cover it with a fine pretence, what matter is it? For [they think] if it was so great a sin, the Priest would not do it; they think they will once repent of it, and the priest has Grace enough in store for them.
100. Behold, thou false and wicked Antichrist, thus thou liest to the Holy Ghost (in Christ's office) who trieth the Heart; and thou liest to the Congregation of Christ, and dost scandalize it therewith; it were a great deal better, they had never heard thy lies, and then their hearts would not have been so filled with lies.
101. How canst thou say, that thou executest the office of Christ, seeing thou art a liar and mocker of Christ? Thou art not born of Christ, but of lies; and when thou speakest lies, thou speakest from thy Beast, on which thou ridest in the Revelation; thou speakest of thy own, from the Spirit which is in thee, and yet wilt [take upon thee] to feed the sheep of Christ; thou shouldst feed them in a green meadow, in the fat pasture of Jesus Christ, and tell them the Truth; but thou feedest them upon the Devil's Rocks, and the Mountains of the Abyss, in his lustful Grass.
102. If you be a Minister of Christ, then serve him in Spirit and Truth; reprove sins without any respect of Persons; spare not; lift up your voice like a Trumpet; reprove all wickedness of all persons, both superior and inferior; teach the way of Christ rightly; praise [or soothe] none for his money and honour's sake; for Christ praised none of the potentates for gain sake; neither did he reprove any of them out of Envy of their Greatness and Honour; for he commendeth order and saith, Give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's: but he reproveth the Hypocrites, the Pharisees, in that they made long prayers, and stood in the streets, making a devout show, and would be seen of people, and sought only after Praise; and such a one is the Antichrist also: and therefore the Spirit in the Revelation of Christ saith, Go out from her my People, that you be not made partakers of her sins; for he that allows of sin, is one spirit with the sin; he that for favour confirms the lie of a Liar, he is guilty of that lie, and of the wickedness of it.
103. God the Father has regenerated us in Christ, out of the Truth, therefore we should not be the servants of lies; for when we enter into Lies, we go out from Christ, and are with the Devil, who is the Father of Lies; and so is the Antichrist also, and all that depend on him, and serve him; it were better to be far absent, and to have Christ formed in the Heart [the life of Christ imprinted in us], than to hear Lies in the Antichristian office [of the ministry].
104. I know, thou Evil Beast wilt cry out upon me for an envious Person, as if I did grudge what good people give thee; no, that is not my ground [or meaning] for Christ saith, Whosoever ministreth the Gospel, should live of the Gospel; you must not muzzle the mouth of the Ox that treadeth out the Corn, it must feed: they cleave not all to the Antichrist; we have only set forth the wicked Antichrist, who rideth in the hearts of Men; we despise none for their good Conscience: Only the Antichrist shall stand Naked for a Witness to All people: He rideth over the face of the Earth in all Countries and Nations. [Note, wheresoever Pride, Covetousness, Envy, and Wrath, are predominant in falsehood, deceit, self-seeking, and an hypocritical show of holiness, there is the Greatest Antichrist of all.]
105. People now suppose they have rooted him out, and are now in strife and contention about him, every one will slay him: O thou blind simplicity, thou slayest him not; do but go out from him, and enter into the Temple of Christ, and let Antichrist's houses stand, and then he will fall of himself, and at length be ashamed of his own abominations and whoredom: only do not worship him; do not bow the knee before him; but worship God.
Jacob Boehme's "Threefold Life of
A Gate, showing
which WAY we must walk
35. You must go out from your Reason out of the fleshly Spirit, and bring your heart, mind, and thoughts, wholly into the Obedience of God, and yield your will into God's will; and do not feign ways of your own Reason, or ask Where is Christ? Direct your way into Christ, and know for certain that Christ is in your Heart: Submit yourself to him in great humility, cast all your purposes and doings into his will and pleasure, and consider that you always stand before the clear countenance of God, and that Christ sitteth on the Rainbow at the right hand of God in you, and consider that you stand Every moment before the Holy Number Three, and that God the Holy Number Three always examines and sees the Abyss of your Heart, and take heed that you enter into no deep Thought or searching, but merely into his Love and Mercy, and resolve never to go out from it any more, but ever to continue therein.
36. And then, secondly, consider that you do what is pleasing in the sight of God the Most High, when you seek with your love your Brethren and Sisters in this world, whosoever they are, and by what name soever they are called, and what Opinion soever they are of. Embrace them in your Heart, help to pray for them, and help them to wrestle against the Devil, and as far as is possible instruct them with all humility; but if they will not receive it, then put on the Garment of Christ, and be a good example unto them, be serviceable and helpful to them, forgive them when they hurt and wrong you: When they curse you, do you bless them; when they do you injury, if you cannot turn it into Good and avoid them, let it pass, and consider you are but a Pilgrim here: Withdraw your Love from none, for your God, in whom you live, withdraws himself from none that do but seek him; be readily yielding to your adversary, if he once offers to turn his mind: In all your affairs and conversation, love Righteousness, and always have a care that you do your work for God: We must in this World, in this troublesome valley of Misery, compass our affairs with labour and pains: We should not go into Holes, Cloisters, Cells, and Corners; for Christ saith, Let your light shine before Men, that your Father may have praise in your works: Do all things from a sincere Heart, in a pure Mind, and consider you do it to Christ, and that the Spirit of Christ does it in you: Be always ready, expecting the Bridegroom: Let your Heart have no leave to meditate and search into any other opinion: It is not profitable for you to know much: Let every one learn to do his own work, wherewith he may have sustenance for his body, whether he be Magistrate or Lay Person.
37. Let the Magistrate learn righteousness, and to distinguish the false from the pure, for he is the Officer of God: What he does and judges, that he judges for God, and God through him. Let the Laity be humble [or respective] and mannerly before the Ordinance of God: If any wrong be done him with a high hand, and that it cannot be otherwise, let him consider that he suffers wrong for the truth's sake, and that it is a great honour for him in Christ, in the presence of God.
38. In all your matters, conversation, dealing, and actions, always set the judgment of God before your Eyes, and have a care that you live blameless here, for this [life] time is short; and we stand here in a field a growing: Therefore see that you be good fruit for God, at which all the Angels and Hosts of Heaven may be pleased, and rejoice: Bear malice to none, for that invites the Devil to a Lodging: Be sober and Temperate: Let not the desire of this world persuade you, and though it happens sometimes, do not go on in it: Go every hour out of Death into Life: Crucify yourselves in true Repentance and Conversion from Evil.
39. When you are reproached for your fearing God, and evil spoken of, and it is false and untrue, then rejoice most of all, that you are become worthy to suffer reproach for the Doctrine and Honour of Christ: When you are in Affliction, be not dismayed, consider you are in the will of God; he will suffer no more to be laid upon you than you shall be able to bear.
40. Turn away your Eyes from covetousness, from high-mindedness and state, and do not readily look after such things, that you be not captivated, for the Devil catches his birds with state and high-mindedness, but go not into the net: Be always watchful, never be secure; for that fowler goes constantly about to see where he can catch any one: Where honest people are mocked and scorned, go not thither, make not yourselves partakers of such wickedness, let it not enter into your Ears, that the Devil may not tickle your Heart with that foolish Laughter, and so you become infected with it.
41. Summarily, commit yourselves to God in Christ, and pray God the Father in the Name and upon the promise of Christ, for his holy Spirit; desire it upon the promise of Christ, and so you will receive it; for he is faithful who has promised it: He will not deny it you: You will receive it most certainly; only give yourself wholly up to him, that is the greatest and chiefest [thing]: Commit all to his will, and when you have it, that will teach you sufficiently what you are to do: he teacheth you to speak: he gives you a mind and knowledge and understanding how to behave yourselves: Be not careful after what manner you should do a thing when you are to deal with Men; but commit all your doings to him, he will do that in you well enough which is well pleasing to God; and though you should be in a burning Zeal, and should bring fire from Heaven from the Lord of Lords upon the wicked, yet it is acceptable to him, for the wicked have awakened and kindled it.
42. But go on in the Power of God, and then all your doing is well pleasing to God; for, that any defends himself against his Enemy, upon necessity, without any other intent or desire, that is not against God; for he who has his house on fire may quench it; yea, God has given leave to Israel to defend themselves.
43. But he that causes and begins a war, he is the Devil's Officer; for all wars are driven on by the Anger of God, wherein the Devil dwells: God has not been the Author of wars, for he created us in Love, that we should dwell together in Paradise in friendly Love, as loving Children, but the Devil grudged us that, and led us into the spirit of this world, which has awakened all wars and mischief in the Anger of God, so that we hate and murther ourselves.
44. Seeing then we are thus begirt with Enemies in this valley of Misery, so that we grow among thorns and thistles, therefore we ought to watch; for we must watch also over the Enemy which we carry in our Bosom, viz. our mind and thoughts, for that is the worst Enemy; also the Devil has his Den [or Fort of Prey] of Thievery therein, and there is required great labour and toil to cast out that Devil: he slips many times into our Mind, and leads us on in smooth delightful hypocritical ways, so that we suppose we are in God, and that our ways are Right: there we should constantly have our Touchstone with us, which is the Blessed Love towards God and Man: We should not take pleasure in ourselves, but we should be of such a conversation, that God and man may take pleasure in us for our virtue; [self-seeking must be quenched, and true Resignation and self-denial must grow and flourish.]
45. And when we thus converse in the Love and the righteousness of God, and in the Obedience of Faith, then we put on Christ, who setteth the fair orient Crown of Pearls upon us, viz. the Crown, the Mysterium Magnum: He crowns us with his wisdom, so that we know his Wonders, which we were blind in before, as it has happened to this Hand, which before the time of the Tenth Number, when it was yet in the unit, was as simple in the Mystery as the meanest of all; but, as the Gold must be tried in the Fire, so also it happened to this hand: Corruption and Putrefaction was not wanting: Every one would needs tread the simple child under foot; where was the first time that a Garland was set upon it: O what great labour and toil did the Devil take that he might sully it! O how busy was he, which, when I think upon, I very much wonder and thank God who has preserved me! O how he bestirred himself, that he might tear the Garland in pieces! O how eager was he with Antichrist, in putting him on to persecute this hand, that every one might abominate it! But it happened to the Devil, as about Christ, when he so set on the Pharisaical Antichrist, that they crucified Christ, then thought the Devil, he is gone now, I shall be quiet enough, and not be troubled with his Doctrine, which destroyed my Kingdom; so also here; but he thereby awaked the first storm: Christ stormed his Hell, and took him captive in the Anger, and so his Den of Robbery was first opened by this hand, which he shall never be able to shut up again, but it shall stand open till his judgment: This we write for an Example to the Reader, that he may know what he must expect in this way, even nothing else but scorn and reproach.
46. But be of good courage, you dear children of God, do but help to wrestle faithfully and valourously, for we all wrestle in this life for an Angelical Crown, which Lord Lucifer had upon his head. And how can he be but angry, who has lost his Country and Kingdom, when another comes and takes his Crown, and throws him to the Ground, and holds him Captive?
47. But wrestle courageously, you dear Children of God, it is but for a little while, and then we shall get the Scepter and Crown: It is better to be a Lord than a captive slave and servant: The sufferings of this world, if they cannot be avoided, are not worthy to be called sufferings in respect of the great Glory, which shall be manifested on us.
48. We stand here between Heaven and Hell, in a field, and there grows either an Angel, or a Devil out of us: Now, therefore, if any one has a Love to the Kingdom of Heaven, and would fain be an Angel, he ought to look well to himself: It is soon done with a Man: Thou hast free will, whithersoever thou inclinest, there thou art: What thou sowest, that thou shalt also reap: Let this to told thee [for a warning].
Jacob Boehme's "Threefold Life of
End of Part One: A Sampler of Extracts from the Writings of Jacob Boehme
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