SMALL SAMPLER OF EXTRACTS FROM THE TEUTONIC THEOSOPER JACOB BOEHME – 1575-1624

PART ONE

AURORA: THE DAY-SPRING

THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE

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 Endeavors 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 Endeavors 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 Devil’s 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 Abraham’s Sons Isaac and Ishmael, especially by Isaac’s in Esau and Jacob, which struggled and wrestled even in the Mother’s 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 Man’s 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 Merchant’s 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 Labor 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 God’s 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.

AMEN !  

84.  Courteous Reader, This is a short Information concerning the two Qualities in Nature from the Beginning to the End, how there arose from thence two Kingdoms, a heavenly and a hellish, and how they stir in this time and strive one against another and what the Event of it will be in the Time to come.[ This explanatory paragraph { #84.} is found in the Law Edition ]

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Aurora: The Day Spring”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume One; London, 1764,

Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.The Author’s Preface.

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 comprised, viz. in the Band of Life, [the Soul] must enter again into itself, and create a Will in the Life of Jesus Christ, and endeavor 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 Labor 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 Judgment, 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.    

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Appendix to The Three Principles of the Divine Essence or Fundamental and True Description of the Threefold Life in Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume One; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Paragraphs 12 to end.

THE GATE OF A POOR SINNER ON THE INVITATION OF GRACE TO ALL;

HOW THE RICH MAN CAN RIGHTLY SERVE GOD

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.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Three Principles of the Divine Essence”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume One; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 25: Paragraphs 65-66.

THE GATE TO BABEL ON THE HISTORY AND RISE OF THE COUNTERFEIT CHURCH

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 honored 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 Honor 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 Honor, Riches, and Pleasure’s Sake, that they might live [in Pride or Voluptuousness] brave Lives. For it was no very hard Labor 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 honored 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 Colors.

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.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Three Principles of the Divine Essence”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume One; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 26: Paragraphs 13-34.

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 Honor 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 honor, if they can but cover it with a fine pretense, 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 favor 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.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.Chapter 11: Paragraphs 37,40,46-50,57,95-105.

A GATE, SHOWING WHICH WAY WE MUST WALK THROUGH THIS WORLD, INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD

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 honor 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 Honor 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 valorously, 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]. 

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764,

Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.Chapter 12: Paragraphs 35-48.

PART TWO

AN ABC ON FAITH:

ON THE INTER-ACTION OF THE SAINTS BELOW WITH THE SAINTS ABOVE

32.  That men in Popery have invocated great Saints that are dead, and that they also have appeared to men, and wrought Wonders [Margin Note: or Miracles], we acknowledge it, and it is true; and although it be now taught against, it is by those that are indeed quite ignorant in it: It hath another A.B.C. which all of them on both sides do not at all understand.

33.  The Faith of one receives the Faith of another; the Faith of the living took hold on the Faith of the Saints departed, and the Faith, [Margin Note: the will that is strong], has wrought Wonders.

34.  Yea it is so powerful, that it can throw down Mntains! Shall then the pure Faith of the Saints in the Faith of the living be able to do nothing? Indeed it could even dissolve [Margin Note: or break in pieces] the whole World, if God would but suffer it.

35.  As he has permitted it to work so far sometimes, that the Heathen have been converted by such means, when they have seen such Wonders wrought at the Death [Margin Note: or departure or burial] of the Saints.

36.  Should not a soul in Heaven be willing to put forth its Faith for the glory of God, and the working of wonders for him? This is done by the Holy Ghost, who hath wrought the Wonders by the Faith of both parties; and they are only the Wonders of God and his Children.

37.  But this is wholly cast to the Ground; and now there is so learned a school, that it condemneth all God’s Wonders [Margin Note: or miracles]: but it is Babel, and not the Spirit of God; it is envious Pride; they stand up and cry:  Come ye all to me; here is Christ, here is the Gospel: indeed there is Pride, Covetousness, Ambition, Self-seeking, and Vain-glory, an exaltation of proud Babel.

38.  It is even the Old Antichrist, and they are young Twigs sprung out of the old Tree, and they have stirred up the Turba with their strong wrathful Sap: which Turba shall root up the whole Tree, for God hath cursed it: it is wholly evil, and worm-eaten; it must fall.

39.  For there is a young Tree grown out of the Root, out of the old Root, which shall discover what the old Tree hath been in its Wonders.

40.  Yet we would not upbraid any, but only speak of our Wonders; and say that the Servant shall enter into the House, and be free; for the Time is at hand, that he should eat with the Son, and be merry and rejoice with him.

41.  Thus we answer this your Question summarily, that indeed, the holy Souls do certainly know of our holy Works, and approve of them; but they do not at all regard false works; for they dwell in another Principle, into which no evil Work can come, neither do they look upon or regard it; they do not enquire after that which belongs to the Devil; they know nothing but that which reaches to their Principle.

42.  Children, Parents, Friends, and Strangers are alike to them; for in Heaven we are all Brethren:  they take no greater care of Parents, or Children, than they do of others, unless they serve God; and then their service of God is acceptable and joyful to them; but they enter not into their Turba [Margin Note: the Evil which they do or suffer justly].

43.  For after the last Day, honest Parents shall know nothing of their Children which are in Hell; therefore it is sufficiently and plainly known to us, that they now also take no care about wicked matters.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Forty Questions concerning the Soul”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.From the 26th Question, paragraphs 32 to 43.

ON THE BROAD AND NARROW WAY OF THE BROAD WAY IN THIS WORLD,

WHICH LEADETH US INTO THE ABYSS; AND OF THE NARROW WAY INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

1. DEAR Children of God let us heartily and seriously consider, from whence we are, and whither we are to go, and what we do and purpose, that we may not lose the eternal and highest Good: wherefore do we so very much labor after temporary pleasure and voluptuousness, after Honor, Money, and Goods? Are we not in this World strange Guests, and Pilgrims, which should continually expect when this life shall end?  we are not created for the pleasure and lust of this life; but for Paradisiacal Joy, and to lead a simple child-like life; we should not know of any pomp, state, or haughtiness: but live together as children in a loving sport of Joy: we are gone out from our true, pure, Paradisiacal Mother; wherein we should live in her as dear and loving children.

2. We are shut up in the Mother [the temporary Nature] which generates the Evil Beast; and have received beastial Properties; we do not otherwise, than as Evil Beasts;  we have given up our selves to a strange Mother, which educates us, and leads us captive in her bands:  and we must at length leave the outward Man to the Earthly Mother;  we cannot get away from her, for she hath captivated us in flesh and blood: she breeds us, and brings us up in herself, and keeps us for her children: But yet we have a very precious Jewel hidden therein, with which we are God’s children: with that let us endeavor after the highest Good, that we may attain it.

3. Dear Children, our strife about the Highest Good, consists not in the sword, in killing and slaying, that we should make Wars and fight for the Cause of God and his Kingdom, and so persecute and murder one another:  neither does it consist in much knowing: but merely in a simple child-like obedience, that we should go out from the will of our flesh, which is Beastial, wherein the Devil dwells, and enter into the will of God: it lies in no man’s opinion or knowledge; for the Spirit of God gives knowledge to every one out of the Wonders, out of which he is born.

4. You see how we are put under subjection to the Spirit of this world: for when a child is sown in [into] its mothers  womb [body], that Spirit is there ready, and forms it according to the wheel of the outward Nature; that gives condition, will, and disposition to it: that shows the wonders of its secret Mystery, and opens to it the way of the will [of the Spirit of the outward world] thereof, that leads it into the entrance into its Mother, and out of its Mother through this world: that gives its body to the Earth, and its soul to Hell.

5. Therefore since we know this, we ought to lift up the Spirit of our soul, and make war only against that Evil Earthly Spirit, and oppose it with our soul and body, and not against our brethren and sisters; we cannot overcome the Devil with disputing and knowing much; neither can we maintain Gods Word, with wars and the sword, but with the simple obedient life of God [A Godly or Divine Life], that we be contented with that little which we have, and depart from the Evil lust after Pride, into an humble child-like life, wherein every one should with all diligence perform his work, for the benefit and profit of his brethren and sisters, endeavoring thereby to serve God his Creator, and to pleasure his brother: not seeking his own honor, but with a desire to do so well, that his brother and sister may sincerely love him, and wish all happiness and welfare to him.

6. If you will serve God, give offense to none, that your good and benefit be not hindered; Let not Satan have Power over your heart to sift [or prevail with] you; Put away all Evil thoughts, instigations, and influxes [of the mind]; for Satan insinuates himself, in the influxes from the Spirit of this world, and possesses your mind;  be continually watchful, and strive against him; cast those false and Evil influxes upon his head, and send him away with them; and consider that you walk upon a very narrow path between Heaven and Hell in very great danger; be at no time secure or careless, for you know not, when the Spirit of this World will take away from you its own, for your limit was set in your Mother’s womb [or Body], which you cannot pass, neither do you know the day and hour, wherein the Spirit of this World will leave you, and then your poor soul will stand quite naked, hungry and empty, and then if it has not Christ’s Body on it, it will be captivated by the Devil.

7. Dear Children, it is a very strait narrow way that leadeth into God’s Kingdom;  he that will walk therein in this life, must [submit and] prepare himself for affliction; for every thing is against him;  the Devil is altogether against him;  his own flesh and blood set themselves earnestly against him; for the Spirit of this World in flesh and blood, seeketh only the Matters and Dominion of this world: the Devil continually sets on his children and servants against him: he [that walks towards Heaven] must be trampled upon and despised: he is not in this World acknowledged to be a child of God.

8. Dear Children, look well to yourselves in this world: at present men lead you on in hypocritical ways: they Boast much of Faith, and lead people on in an Historical Faith, which is but mere Notion [Or Knowledge] and he that doth not stick to that, is accounted an Heretic: O how dead is the present Faith! It stays at the Knowledge or the Notion: they suppose that when People know how to speak much of God, of Christ’s merits, sufferings and death for mankind, and comfort themselves therewith, that it is the way to eternal life.

9. O no, all that avails nothing, that thou knowest and ticklest thyselves with it: True Faith in Christ is quite another thing; it lies not barely in the History, and in the Letter: the [bare] Letter is not the Word, it is but a leader and director to the Word: The Word is Living, and hath the Spirit, the right Faith is the right will, which entereth into the Living Word.

10. If you comfort your self never so long with the suffering of Christ, and yet your will and purpose remains in deceit and wickedness, the spirit which proceeds out of your will, is a thief and a murderer;  you teach one thing, and do another: God desires no flattering Hypocrisy, but an Earnest sincere purpose and will, which enters into him by obedience, and this is right Believing in the Holy Ghost [or Faith]; and therein is the Word and Death of Christ fruitful indeed.

11. Christ said, Thou must turn and be as little children, who are not yet conscious of any falsehood, deceit, or wickedness, and in Christ, through Christ’s death, be born of his flesh and blood, if you will see the Kingdom of Heaven; for he that eateth not the flesh of the Son of Man, and drinketh not his blood, hath no part in him.

12. Dear brethren, it consists not in the Host only which you deliver to the people, and in the Cup or Chalice: No, but when the soul converteth and brings the body under subjection, and gives itself up wholly in obedience unto God, and into his will, and desires to go in at Christ’s Entrance to the Father; then it goes out from the Life of this world: and goes with Christ into the Father, who gives it Christ’s flesh and blood; for it eateth of the Word of the Lord at God’s Table, and gets Christ’s flesh for its body, and Christ’s blood for its refreshment and habitation; for the soul dwells in the Heart, and burns out of the Heart-blood, as a kindled light; and has its principal Dominion in the Head, in the Brain, and there it hath  five open Gates [the five senses], in which it governs, with the spirit of its life.

13. And therefore if the Tincture in the Soul in the Heart-blood, be entered into Christ’s will, then that Will governs the spirit of the soul in the Head; and though it have many obstacles, and hindrances from the Earthly beastial Spirit; as also from the Devil, who infects the Earthly spirit, (so often as the soul is secure or careless) and brings it into fleshy lust:  yet nevertheless, when the soul does but reject the Earthly beastial thoughts and influences, or instigations, then it remains in Christ still; for the body of Christ, which the soul has, is too hard a bit for the Devil to overcome: and yet a harder bit it is for the soul to turn away from the Spirit of this world, and enter into the Obedience of God.

14. Dear Brethren, it is not a handful of Historical Faith that will do it, for men to set the merits of Christ aloft:  It must be sincere and earnest: You must earnestly enter through Death and Hell of the Devils into the merits of Christ. You must overcome the Spirit of this world. Your will must press itself with all its reason and thoughts into the will of God, and then you will well see how little the Historical knowledge can do.

15. If you will not drive the Devil out of your heart, then he will not let you enter into God’s will; if you will keep the iniquity of falsehood in your heart, and so fight [only] with the merits and satisfaction of Christ against him, then you will be hindered; for the Devil opposes it strongly. He strives against the soul as long as he can;  he lets not the soul go, before it heap all Earthliness upon his neck, and departs from it;  when the soul does so, then it departs out of his Country, and then he is overcome. But O how does he continually lay that [as a net] before it, and goes always about like a Fowler; and if he can possibly, he will cast the Earthly Garment on to it again.

16. O How hard a Combat must the poor soul hold out, against the Devil; but therein the sufferings, merit, satisfaction, and death of Christ are available, when the Devil hath insnared the poor soul again, and will not let it go, but goes down with it into the Abyss into despair: There the soul must take with it the sufferings and death of Christ, and walk with the Devil through Hell into the Death of Christ; and out of Christ’s death spring up with Christ into God again; and then it is the Lily which the Devil does not like to smell upon.

17. But for you to depend wholly on the History, and so to apply the merit, suffering and death of Christ, and still keep the Devil lodging in your soul, that is a reproach to Christ;  what does it avail you to pray, that God would forgive you for Christ’s sake; when you forgive not all others? Your heart sticks full of revenge and robbery.

18. You go to Church, into the Congregation of Christ, and you bring a false hypocrite, liar, a covetous, angry adulterous, proud person and soul, in with you, and the same you bring out with you again; what benefit have you thereby? You go into the Congregation to the Supper of Christ, and desire Christ’s flesh and blood, and yet keep the black Devil in you for a Guest. What mean you? You receive nothing but the severe Anger of God. How will you feed upon Christ’s flesh and blood, if your soul be not inclined with all earnestness and sincerity into God? Do you suppose that Christ’s body and blood dwells so in the Earthly Element, that you can chew it with your teeth? No, friend, it is a more pure and subtle thing; the soul must apprehend it, the mouth of the soul must receive it; but how shall it receive Christ, if the Devil be still lodging in the soul? The soul must be in the Will of God, if it will feed upon God; indeed it can continually eat of Christ’s flesh, if it lives in the flesh of Christ; for every Spirit eats of its own body.

19. This Testament is ordained to that End, that in the Congregation we should there eat the Flesh of Christ, and drink his Blood.  That we should thereby commemorate his Death, and teach the same to our children, and tell them what Christ has done for us, that we might be preserved in one mind and will, and that we should be one body in Christ, and walk together in one Love. And therefore we should eat of one and the same Bread, and drink of one and the same Cup, and acknowledge, that Christ has begotten us again to one Body in himself, and that he has, through his death brought us again through Hell and the Fire of God’s wrath, into his Father in himself, that we might wholly put our wills into his will, and love one another, and make one another rejoice in him, and sing, speak of, and declare his marvelous Deeds and Benefits, and thereby renounce the old Devil, who had held us captive, and tread him under foot in our Mind.

20. This is the right Catholic way of true Faith:  He that teacheth and liveth otherwise, is not appointed for a Shepherd, by Christ: but is a Shepherd sprung up of himself from his own Art and Reason, which, in the Kingdom of Christ, according to the Outward Man, should be continually dead, that Christ in us may live; None is a true Shepherd over Christ’s sheep, unless he have the Spirit of Christ; if he have not that, then he hath not the true  Apostolical Power and authority of Excommunication: He must in Christ’s Spirit have the Key to Heaven and to Hell, else he is but a vizard and Image without Life: How can such a one who is captivated by the Devil, judge in the Congregation of Christ? Can the Word and Commandment of such a one be the Word of God, whereas he speaketh but from a false Spirit?

21. O you false Bishops [come] from the Universities, how hath the Devil of Pride blinded you, that you set Shepherds over the Lambs of Christ, according to your own favour and respect! Saint Paul teaches you, do but read it, what an heavy Account you are to give: Nothing avails with you but Art: and in the Kingdom of Christ, Art is but dross and dung: God leadeth a pure heart by his own Spirit; if one inclines towards him, and submit unto his Will, to such a one he teaches heavenly Art.

22. The Congregation of Christ should be in one will, and the Shepherds thereof, should have the spirit and will [consent] of the Congregation: It is not so slight a matter to put on the Garment of Christ, as many suppose, who seek only covetousness and honor therein, and they find nothing but the Anger of God therein.

23. Or, what shall we say? The Priest-Devil has blindfolded the Kingdom of Christ, so that the Congregation of Christ is stark blind, where men suppose they are Gods, and that they teach from the Holy Ghost, whereas their own honor and covetousness are merely sought after in deceit and falsehood: Men see how great mischief they have caused in the world: How many Countries have they caused to be laid waste, and murdered many hundred thousand persons with their false Opinions, and have only served the Devil, in the Garment of Christ? If the Congregation did but discern it, they would presently consider it; but all this comes to pass, in that they afford not honour to the Spirit of Christ: Men will choose Shepherds themselves, whereas the Devil is in all mere humane Elections, when it concerns the honour and doctrine of God.

24. The Bishops that are grown up of themselves and chosen for favour without the Spirit of God, are as profitable to the world, as a fifth wheel to a wagon: Indeed they do but little, except it be to make the Congregation go astray, slander, jangle and dispute, as their scandalous Pamphlets testify, in many of which there is as much of the fear of God, and love to their Neighbor, as the Devil in Hell has: Bloody provocations are the Devil’s Drums and Trumpets, by which he reproaches the simple Congregation of Christ.

25. O dear Children, open your eyes wide, go out from the Priest’s Contentions, and enter into Combat against the Devil, against your own voluptuous flesh and blood : A Christian is not a wrathful Soldier or Warrior, who desireth the Kingdom of this world:  For Christ saith, my Kingdom is not of this world, else my servants would contend for it: Saint Paul saith : Seek that which is above, where Christ is; we are called by Christ out of this world; that so we might serve God with the soul, and be in Christ; but with the body in this world, that we may have maintenance and sustenance for it:  therefore the Earthly life ought to labor and maintain its body, but the soul should be Lord and Governor, and rule the Body, it should not suffer the Starry-Spirit to practice any falsehood, and fill it self with lies and deceit, for such things are so brought into the soul.

26. The poor soul is here in this life in very great danger, where the Jaws of Hell continually reach to its lips, for it is infected with the Spirit of the Stars and Elements, which fight against it day and night;  Consider thyself now, thou dear Mind, and think in what vessel thy soul, viz. thy best Treasure lies, and thou wilt surely awake out the sleep of the Bestial Life, and consider what will follow hereafter, when the Spirit of the Stars and Elements will leave thee. . .

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “The Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.Chapter 14, Paragraphs 1 – 26

OF THE COMPANY AND ASSISTANCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS

57. As we that are Men in this world, if we be the children of God, assist and help one another in necessity and distress, and readily deliver one another from misery and trouble: thus also it is in Heaven, concerning the children of God, while the soul belongeth to the fellowship of Angels, they affect the company of honest, virtuous, and chaste Men, that fear God, and stand by them in necessity: for the Scripture saith; They are all Ministering Spirits, sent forth for the service of those that are to inherit the Kingdom of God; they often avert the fiery darts of wickedness: what mischief would the Devil often do, if he were not opposed and hindered by the Throne-Princes of the Legions? How often would he terrify and cast men headlong to the ground?

58. But the Angels are our servants and keepers, if we be Christians, and not Beasts; though indeed the Devil sets upon Christians most of all; how very often would many be drowned and killed by a fall, who yet receive wonderful deliverance from Angels: they are ready about people, who sing and speak of God; they have great delight amongst little Infants, so that they many times manifest themselves to an Infant, and play with it, if it be the child of God.

59. How Many Examples are there in the Scripture, of the Angels leading and conducting of the Children of God;  especially the Example of Tobiah: though our School-Rabies will rather have it cast out of the Bible [than believe it]: but consider of the Three Angels with Abraham, and the two Angels with Lot: also how they have plainly foretold and declared the Conception of highly worthy Men [as of Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Samson, &c.] especially of John [the Baptist] and of CHRIST:  consider what was done at his birth [to the Shepherds in the Field] and to the   Wisemen of the East [or Magi]:  and at length to Joseph [how he was directed] to go with Mary and the Babe into Egypt: whereby we may sufficiently perceive their great carefulness about us; for they are God’s Ministers; he sends them to conduct us, [through this valley of misery, through this World of Thistles and Thorns] and to defend us from the Devil: O how great joy they have for one poor soul, when it is delivered from the snares of the Devil, yea more than for Ninety-Nine righteous, as Christ saith.

60. Therefore we should not so suddenly despair [be dejected and discouraged] in adversity, when we are in necessity [straits and afflictions], when we often suppose, that the whole World is against us, yet the Choir or Host of Angels, and the Spirit of God, are with us; it is often with us, as with the Canaanitish Woman, so that we cannot find the Countenance of God; but we must wait; for the proof and trial must pass over the soul;  the more Gold is Purified, the finer it is;  so also the soul; the more it is brought into Trial, if it holds out, the fairer and brighter it is: and God’s aim is to have fair lovely children, and such as are of understanding, and do learn to discover [the deceits of] the old Devil.

61. But you must know, that the Angels are very pure, chaste, modest Spirits, also humble and friendly, and are like to Infants, who know of no deceit or iniquity, but what is innate [or generated] in them.

62. Now whosoever will enjoy the company and assistance of Angels, must not be a Lustful Bull or Heifer, or a lascivious wanton Venus, or have a false wicked mind, which day and night studieth nothing but cunning tricks and deceit, how to get money and wealth: neither must always dabble and swim in the world’s back-biting, scoffing jests and conceits, and tickle and feed the soul with them, in which the World uses to provoke one another, and to take exceptions [or find fault and stir up malice] at one another: No, No Angel will stay with such Men, but the black Devil, who possesseth the Hearts of these Men, so that they take pleasure in wickedness.

63. Whosoever will have the assistance of Angels, need not call upon them or pray to them; for they accept not of that honor, they give all honor to God, but [he] ought only to turn away from uncleanness of heart, and enter through true Repentance into God’s will, and continually put away Evil thoughts and influences [influxes and instigations]; he must continually incline his will to God [and Goodness] and pray to God for the guidance of his holy Spirit.

64. And though the Devil holds fast, and will not let go, and lays open his uncleanness before him, there is no better course to be taken, than to leave all his uncleanness and filthiness upon the Devil’s neck, and wind himself out from it, in spite of all [carnal] reason, and cast himself in humility into God’s will, and commit himself to it, and leave all doubting to the Devil, (for that is his lodging), and he must consider that it is a great Sin to continue in doubting; he should consider, that doubting is the Devil’s Band wherewith he holds the soul fast: When any Man’s uncleanness meets him and represents itself before him, so that the soul can receive no strength; that is not God’s hardening [of the heart], but the Devil wraps himself about the soul, and will not let the soul come to the light, that it may receive strength and virtue; and there the words and promises of Christ, with his blood-shedding, suffering and death, is a soveraigne Medicine; when the soul wraps itself up in them, and leaves all its uncleanness upon the Devil’s neck, that is poison to the Devil, which makes him faint and feeble; and so the soul then presses forth into the Light of God, and receives strength and virtue; and there it must earnestly enter into humility, and then it treads upon the Devil‘s Head, and destroys his Hell; and then the Angels associate with that Man, and have great Joy, that the Devil is overcome, who intended to be God and Creator in the Soul.

65. But a soul in Christ must be a continual Warrior [soldier, champion, or resister], and although the Devil cannot get possession of the Soul, yet he still holds before it the unclean forbidden Tree, that it should, taste of unchastity, iniquity, lies and deceit, of Anger and Envy: and if he can bring it to pass, that the soul lets in the Evil lust and desire into itself; O how does he hide and cover it! How he does strew sugar upon it! And if he should once draw it into Venus’s Heaven, he will spare no pains to get his fortress [his Fort of Prey in the soul] again. For the Devil is never better at ease, than in Man, for there he can be Lord of this world, and perform his work, and accomplish his will; which he cannot do, [In Spiritu Mundi, Extra Hominem] in the Spirit of this world, without Man, for his Kingdom is not in the outward Dominion of this world, but in the inward, in the Root in the Abyss.

66. He can do nothing in this world, in the External [part], unless the Turba Magna in the wrath of God, be kindled, and there he is busy, especially when the Elements are kindled [or inflamed] with Tempestuous storms [of thunder and lightning];  and then if the Anger of God burneth therein, there he is a busy Executioner; if he could ruin the whole world, he would do it;  but he hath no further room, than the fierce wrath in the Turba affords him; The Turba [plague, vengeance and destruction] is his Master;  he is but a Juggler and Destroyer, so far as the Anger in the Turba is kindled.

67. Know also, that the Devil often strives and fights with the Angels; and when the soul is careless and secure, he sets upon it strongly: but he is held off, that he cannot do what he will; but so soon as the soul Imagines and is captivated by Lust, [like Adam and Eve] then the Devil overcomes; but then again so soon as the soul casteth away that Evil Lust [and enters into Repentance] then he [the Devil] is driven away by the Angels.

68. And there is a continual strife about the soul of Man; God desireth to have it; the Devil also would have it; and the Cause of this is, that the two Kingdoms do part in the Cross: the one is the Love of God, the Kingdom in Ternario Sancto: viz. the Angelical one: and the other is the fierce wrath out of the Center of Nature, which is the Anger and severity [or sharpness] of God.

69. And therefore it is, that God manifests his will to us, and sets before Man Light and Darkness; he [Man] may endeavour after which he will: And that we might know, that God would have the soul into his holy Kingdom, he affords us Teaching and Instruction, and shows us the way to Life; [or Light]: he stirs up by his Spirit highly worthy Teachers, who are the Light of the world, that Men might beware of his Anger and fierce Wrath, and not awaken it in themselves.

70. For the Anger must indeed be in every Life; [as the Gall in living Creatures]; but where the love and meekness prevail over it, it is not manifested in Eternity, but is only a Cause of the Life; for in the Love, the Anger maketh the great exulting Joy and Paradise. The Anger [or Mars] in the Kingdom of God is the great Wonderous Joy, where nothing of the Anger is perceived. As Weeping and Laughing come from one place, and the Weeping is turned into Joy: after such a manner is it with the Love and Anger of God.

71. Therefore it is, that Christ so earnestly teaches us, Love, Humility, and Mercifulness; and the cause why God is become Man, is for our Salvation and Happiness sake, that we should not turn back from his Love: God hath spent his Heart, that we might be his Children, and remain so Eternally: When there was no remedy neither in Heaven, nor in this world, then he Moved himself for Man’s sake, that he might be delivered from the Devil, and from his Anger, [into which he was fallen in Adam].

72. Therefore dearly beloved Children, do not so reject and cast from you the Love and Grace of God, else you will lament it in Eternity:  for after this Time [of the Temporary Life] there is no more Remedy or Help [than this]: Pray learn Divine Wisdom, and learn to know what God is; and do not imagine or set an Image of any Thing before you, thinking God to be an Image any way but in Christ: We live and are in God, we are of his [Essence or] substance [or Being]: We have Heaven and Hell in ourselves. What we make of ourselves, that we are;  if we make of ourselves an Angel in the Light of God in Christ, we are so: but if we make of ourselves, a fierce angry, false and wicked, haughty, flying Devil, which flies aloft above all Love and Meekness, in mere Covetousness, greedy hunger and thirst:  then also we are so: for after this Life, it is otherwise with us there, than here; what the soul here embraces that it hath there;  and so, though the outward breaks in Death, yet the will retains that embraced thing in its source [or property] and that is its sustenance [food or recreation]: but how that will subsist before the Paradisiacal source and dominion of God, and before his Angels, you your self may consider: We would have it faithfully set before you [for a warning], as it is given to us [for that purpose].

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “The Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764,

Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 14, Paragraphs 57 – 72

HOW MEN OUGHT TO PRAY – EXCERPT ONE

85.  If you will pray to God, then call upon God (your Heavenly Father) in the Name of his Son Jesus Christ, desiring that he would forgive you your Sins, for the Sake of his Sufferings and Death: and give you what is good for you, and may further your Salvation. Give up and yield all whatsoever is earthly, to his Pleasure and Will; for we know not what we should desire and pray for, but the Holy Spirit helps us in Christ Jesus, before his heavenly Father. Therefore there is no Need of many Words or long Prayers; but a believing Soul, which with its whole earnest resolved purpose yields itself up into the Mercy of God, to live in his Will, in the Body of Jesus Christ: and continues constant; then he is sure and safe from the Devil.

86.  That Fancy about the Intercession of the Saints, is unprofitable; it is but a vexation, whereby you disquiet the Saints in their Rest. Does not God himself call you continually? And does not your Virgin wait for you with a longing Desire? Do but come, and she is yours: you need not send any foreign Embassadors; it is not here, as at Court; Christ would always willingly increase his Heaven, in his Joy. Why stand you so long in doubt because of your Sins? Is not the Mercy of God greater than Heaven and Earth? What do you mean? There is nothing nearer you than the Mercy of God;  only in your sinful impenitent Life, you are with the Devil, and not with Christ — say what you will; though you sent a Million of Embassadors to him, if yourself be wicked, you are but with the Devil still;  and there is no Remedy, but you must yourself rise with Christ, and be born anew, in the Body of Jesus Christ, (through the Power of the Holy Ghost) in the Father, in your own Soul. If thou makest a Feast or keepest a Solemnity, do it for the Benefit and Relief of the Afflicted and Needy, whereby God is praised in thy Love, and that is well; but if it be for the Rich Glutton, who only uses it out of Pride and Laziness, thou hast not Benefit of that; for God is not praised therewith, neither does Paradise grow therein. 

87.  And do not rely upon the Hypocrisy of the Antichrist; he is a Lyar, and Covetous, and a Dissembler; he minds only his Idol the Belly, and is a Thief, in the Sight of God; he devours the Bread that belongs to the Needy; he is the Devil’s Hell-hound; learn to know him.

94.  Behold, a true Christian (who lives in the Spirit of Christ) must also walk in the Conversation of Christ;  he must not walk in the fierce stern revenging Spirit of this World, but as Christ lived and conversed in this World, after his Resurrection, and yet not in the Source of Property of this World. And though it is not possible for us (while we live in the Source of this World) to do so, yet in the new Man in Christ (whom the Devil hides and obscures) we may;  if we live in Meekness, then we overcome the World in Christ; if we recompence Good for Evil, then we witness, that the Spirit of Christ is in us; and then we are dead, to the Spirit of this World, for the Sake of the Spirit of Christ, which is in us; and though we are in this World, yet the World does but hang to us, as it hung to Christ after his Resurrection; and yet he lived in the Father in the Heaven, even so do we also if we be born in Christ.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Three Principles of the Divine Essence”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume One; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 25: Paragraphs 85-87, 94.

HOW MEN OUGHT TO PRAY – EXCERPT TW

17.  Therefore dear Children; When ye pray, think not that God dwelleth afar off from you, and so neither hears you, nor sees you; that is a false Conceit and Opinion. Indeed those, who will not enter into God, those that stick fast in their Malice and Iniquity, and retain wickedness in their soul, those indeed are not heard. He that cries to God that he would outwardly accept his words from him, and yet retains the Evil one in his soul, he mocketh God: God dwells not outwardly; for the outward substance is only the Bestial Starry Spirit: he dwells inwardly in himself; the outward Substance is only a figure and similitude of God: Indeed it is of God, and generated out of the inward Center, and expressed [or spoken forth] through the Verbum fiat: but it is not the Substance of the Number Three, which is a Substance and Spirit in the Trinity, above Nature, and yet dwells in Nature in itself, incomprehensible to Nature, as the Wind and the Light is not comprehended by the Fire, and yet are the spirit, brightness, and life of the Fire.

18.  Therefore, when you will pray, put away the Abominations out of your soul, and enter into yourself; that is, you must loathe the Abominations, and frame a will and purpose in your soul, that you will not let such Abominations into you any more; also you must not suffer your will to stick to any Abomination and despair: for when you despair, you sink yourself down into the Abyss.

19.  But consider, that is the precious will and pleasure of God, that you press earnestly and strongly through, and leave the Abominations of the Devil upon his neck, and come very humbly, praying as a sinful child to God: he is the Father of the Lost son; you have vainly rioted and spent your beauty and righteousness with the Devil, and with the Antichristian Whore;  you are amongst the swine at Babel: and having lost your Goods, you eat grains and husks with the swine:  you are naked and torn, and are not worthy to be called his son. Consider and Imagine this in yourself, for it is true, and so come with true Conversion out of the filth and mire of the swine, to our Ancient Loving Father, and pray for his Grace and Favor, that he would but make thee as one of his hired servants in his Court: acknowledge to him thy Evil deeds, and that thou are not worthy to be called his son.  Behold dear soul, observe it; it is the very precious truth.

20.  When you thus enter into yourself, and search out your Abominations, and the husks of the Devil, and of the World, which you have so long devoured: and consider of God and his Mercy, then turn not again into the Hogsty; and say not, I am ashamed to come before my good old Father; I dare not come into his sight, for great Shame and Abomination:  for I was a glorious Son, and now I am a naked Swineherd; but consider, that your Father taketh more care about you who are his lost prodigal Son, then you do about his Favor and Love, which you have willfully trifled away.

21.  Frame but a loving, humble, submissive, obedient Will and Purpose, and come, come away from the Swine, leave the husks to the World, let the Swine devour them and feed themselves fat:  but enter you into yourself, and knock at your evil Heart; break in through the Doors and Gates: and though all Swine cry, and Devils should howl for their Keeper; yet come you to your Father with any humble demeanour and words; you need not trouble yourself about the adorning of them with accurate Eloquence; for though you have no more words then the poor Publican, it is no matter; it lies not in them, but in an earnest constant Purpose without ceasing: and though Hell should break in pieces, and Body and Soul part asunder, yet stand still, and go not forth again out of the Doors of your Father.

22.  For as soon as you will open the Door in your Soul, and will go out of the Mire, towards the Ancient Father, that he does but perceive that it is you his son, and that you are returned to him, then he saith: This is my Son which was lost, for whom my Heart was troubled, and is entered into the Humanity, into this World, and hath sought him, and now I have found him.

23.  And there he sendeth the Holy Ghost to meet him, and falleth kindly about his Neck, and receives him with Joy, and for a token of his Love, he puts the Seal and the Ring of the Holy Trinity, in the suffering and death of Christ on the Hand of the Soul: and there he brings the blessed Virgin of his Wisdom, the New Angelical Garment (viz. the flesh of Christ) and puts it on to the Soul; and all the servants of God (viz. the Holy Angels in the House of the Father) must rejoice and be merry with the lost Son; and there the Ancient Father slays the fatted Calf, and feeds his Son at his Table, (of the Heavenly Substantiality) with the Power and with the Flesh of his Obedient Son Christ, and gives him to drink of the Water of Eternal Life, in the Blood of Christ, in the first Mother, out of which the Soul hath been created; and there is Joy in Heaven among the Ninety-Nine Angels or holy Souls, which are with God, that a dear Brother is come into their Society.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “The Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764,

Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 16, Paragraphs 17-23.

CHRIST IS THE GATE

91. . . . If Adam would have continued in God, he should have continued the child of God, and God would have continued in his Will, and so the Majesty would have shined through the Will.

92.  But he went out from the Will of God, into this World, and so was captivated by the World, Death, Devils, and Hell, and they dwelt in Adam.

93. Adam was in this World; dwelling in the Elements, and God breathed the Air also into his Nostrils; but he should not have put his Will into it, to eat of Earthly Fruit, which makes Earthly Flesh. That was his Fall, that he did eat Earthly Fruit; and therefore his Essences also became Earthly; and the Soul became captivated by the Earthly Dominion.

94.  And there the Word of the Lord said to the Soul, Adam where art thou?  And his Body did hide itself; so very much ashamed was the poor Soul: And Adam said, I am naked; the precious heavenly Virgin (which he was clothed withal) was lost, as also, the Light of the Majesty;  and Adam was without the Word.

95.  O how terrible it is to those that understand it; the Soul trembles at it, and it may well be afraid of this captivity, when the poor Soul must be captivated by the Devil, and must swim in [the Lake of] God’s Anger. And this is the Cause why God became Man that he might bring us again in Ternarium Sanctum, into the Angelical World.

96.  And as we are all with Adam, gone out from God, for we have all Adam’s Soul and Flesh, so God has regenerated us all in Christ, and in Christ, the divine Kingdom stands open, every one that will may enter in; whosoever puts his Will away from himself, and puts it into Christ, and lets all worldly Reason go, though it has never so fair a Lustre, shall be regenerated in Christ: And his Soul attains the Eternal Flesh again, in which God became Man, an incomprehensible Flesh, of eternal Substantiality.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Threefold Life of Man”, Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 6: Paragraphs 91-96.

JACOB’S LADDER

How Isaac and Rebecca sent away Jacob, on account of Esau, into another Country; and how the Lord appeared to him in a Vision upon the Ladder, which reached even unto Heaven; and how Esau carried himself afterwards toward his Parents. (upon the 28th Chapter of Genesis)

1. When Jacob had received the Blessing, then he must depart from his native Home, from Father and Mother, and fly from the Wrath of Esau: This is now a Figure of Christ, shewing how that after that he had assumed and anointed our Humanity, should flee with our Humanity out of his Father’s Adamical House again into the first Paradisiacal House.

2. And it further denotes, that the Children of Christ (after they have received the Unction and Blessing, and the New-Birth begins to spring forth in them in the Blessing) shall and must immediately flee with their Thoughts and Mind from their Father Adam’s House of the depraved Nature; and it shews that the Devil and the World soon hate them, and they must immediately give themselves to the Pilgrim’s Path of Christ, and live under the World’s slavish Yoke, in Misery and Oppression; in Disfavor and Disrespect; for God brings them forth with their Thoughts and Mind out of their Father’s House, viz. out of the Desire in Flesh and Blood, so that they do nothing at all regard the Pleasure of the World, and flee from it, as Jacob from his Father’s House.

3. And then we see how wonderfully God guides his Children, and defends them from their Enemies; that the Devil in God’s Anger cannot kill them, unless it be God’s Will; as he defended Jacob from the Fury of Esau, and led him away from him: And we have here an excellent Example in Jacob, in that he forsook his native Home, also his Father and Mother, for the Sake of this Blessing, and loved God more than all temporal Goods, and willingly left all to Esau;  that so he might but be the Blessed of God.

4. And we see, that when he had left the Riches of the World in his Father’s House, the Lord appeared to him with the eternal Goods, and shewed him a Ladder, whereupon he could ascend into God’s eternal Kingdom: which Ladder was no other than Christ, whom he had put on, in the Line of the Covenant; and here now the Type was represented to him, shewing him what Person Christ should be.

5. For this Ladder (as to his Apprehension) was upon the Earth, and the Top of it reached into Heaven; and thereon the Angels of God did ascend and descend;  which signifies, that God’s eternal Word with the Power of Heaven, viz. with the angelical divine World’s Essence, should descend or immerse it self into our Essence, departed from God, and blind as to God, and assume our Humanity, and so unite the Heaven with the World in Man; that the Humanity, through this Entrance of the Deity into the Humanity, might have a Ladder unto God.

6. And it shews that Mankind should come, through Christ’s Humanity, into the Society of the Angels. And this is clearly signified here, in that the Angels of God do ascend and descend on this Ladder; also that the Heaven in Man should be again opened through this Entrance of the divine Essence into the Humanity, and that the Children of God should have the Angels for Companions in this World; which God shewed to Jacob, in that the Angels came up and down to him on this Ladder.

7. Which shall be a very great Comfort to the Children of God, who turn themselves from their Father’s House, viz. from this World’s Vanity, to this Jacob’s Ladder; for they shall certainly know that God’s Angels do come to them upon this Ladder, to which they have turned themselves, and are willingly about them to serve them.

8. For this Ladder signifies properly the Pilgrims Path of Christ through this World into God’s Kingdom, in that the Kingdom of the corrupt Adamical Nature does always yet cleave to the Children of God, and hinders them in Flesh and Blood in the Spirit of this World; and therefore they must, according to the inward Man in Christ’s Spirit, continually ascend up in much Crosses and Tribulation on this Ladder, and follow Christ under his Cross, and red Banner.

9. On the contrary, the World lives in the Pleasure of their Father Adam’s House, in Scorn, Jeering, and Mocking, in Envy, Spite, and Malice; whatsoever they can do to cross and vex these Jacob’s Children, that they rejoice and take Delight in, and laugh and leer at them; as we have an Example of it in Esau; how that he took, in Contempt, Disdain, and Spite to his Father and Mother, Ismaelitish Wives, who were of the Line of Mockery or Reviling, which were meer Bitterness of Spirit, and Grief of Heart both to Isaac and Rebecca.

10. Where we clearly see, that the Devil has his Power in the Kingdom of this World in the corrupt human Property, and does continually resist God’s Children, and vexes and plagues them, and fights with them for his Kingdom, which he has lost, and doth not willingly allow it them.

11. And we see very finely, how the Lord stands above upon this Ladder of the Pilgrimage of Christ, as with Jacob, and without ceasing calls the Children of Christ, and comforts them, that they should cheerfully ascend upon it: He will not leave them, but comes to them and blesses them, so that their Seed and Fruit shall grow, increase, and be as the Dust upon the Earth; [Margin Note: Gen. xxviii. 14]  that is, that they in their Toil, Labor, and Anxiety, shall spring up and flourish in the inward divine Kingdom.

12. For so much as the Children of Christ go out of this World, and forsake it in their Mind, so much they spring up in the inward Kingdom of Christ, where then God stands above upon this Ladder, and continually inspires or inspeaks his Blessing & Power into them, so that they grow as Branches of his Vine, which he hath planted again in our Humanity, in this Jacob’s Blessing in Christ.

13. And we hereby clearly see, that this whole Type, from Abraham to Jacob, contains mere Figures of the Kingdom and Person of Christ and his Children; for here God renews the promised Covenant of Abraham concerning the Seed of the Woman with Jacob also; that out of his Seed, as out of the Line of the Covenant, he should come who should bless all Nations; for which reason also Jacob was led from his Father’s House, God having set before him outwardly the Kingdom of Christ in the Figure, for whose Sake he caused his Wrath to cease from the Children of Unbelief, and did not destroy them, but afforded them Time to repent, and so appeased his Wrath in this Type, which pointed at the fulfilling which was to come.

14. We have here also a firm Ground and Assurance, that Christ has truly taken upon him our Adamical Soul and Humanity in the Body of Mary, and has destroyed Death, Hell, and the Anger of God in our Humanity which he assumed, and has set up this Ladder of Jacob; for God said to Jacob, Through thee and thy Seed shall all the Generations of the Earth be Blessed; [Margin Note: Gen. xxviii. 14] through thee Jacob, through thine own Seed, which is God and Man, the heavenly divine Ens and Substance, and the human Ens and Substance, in the Power of the eternal Word.

15. In which Word the holy Name Jesus, the highest Love of the Deity, has unfolded and manifested itself in our Humanity which he has assumed;   which sole Love of God, in the Name Jesus, has overcome the Wrath of the eternal Nature in our Souls  from the Father’s Property in the Anger, and has changed it into the Love of the divine Joy, and has broke the still Death, which has severed us from the Life of God, and has manifested the Divine Life of the highest holy Tincture, in the eternal speaking Word of the divine Power, in Death, and has made Death to be Life, and so our Soul, in this divine Power, is together penetrated and pressed through Death and the Anger of God.

16. And it is nowise to be so taken, as some say, that the Substance wherein the Word is become Man proceeded not from Adam; but (as some erroneously say) the Virgin Mary proceeded not from Mankind; she hath outwardly only taken upon her a human Body from Anna, and is not the Seed of Joachim, but is an eternal Virgin chosen by God for this Purpose before the World was.

17. This Text teaches us otherwise, where God says, Through thee, and thy Seed, not through a strange divine Seed only, but through thee and thy Seed, with the Entrance of the divine Substance, Christ should break Death in Adam’s Soul and Body, and destroy Hell in Adam’s Soul and Body, which was manifested or revealed in Paradise.

18. For here laid our Sickness and Misery, which Christ took upon him as a Yoke: Christ sacrificed his Father’s Wrath which was kindled in our Humanity, and awakened his highest Love in our Humanity; and his holy Blood, his holy Tincture, entered into our human Death, and tinctured our heavenly Substantiality faded in Adam; which faded in Adam when he brought Earthliness and the false Will there into, and raised up our faded heavenly Substance with his heavenly living Substance, so that Life sprung up through Death; and this was signified by the dry Rod of Aaron.

19. Therefore that is not the true Meaning, as some say; Christ has assumed a Soul from the Word in the eternal Virgin Mary, so that Christ, as one come from God, and his Soul in the Humanity of Christ, have one and the same Beginning.

20. They were indeed united in the Incarnation, or the becoming Man, so that they are inseparable; but the true Ens of the Soul, which the Word assumed in the Name Jesus, was of us Men from the Female Tincture, from the true Adamical Soul, yet from the Property of the Light, which was severed from Adam, and put into the Woman, that this Property of the Light, might transmute or change the fiery masculine Property again into the Love and Divine Humility, and that the Masculine and Feminine Property might be quite changed into one Image again, as Adam was before his Eve, when he was neither Man nor Woman, but a Masculine Virgin.

21. Therefore Christ took his Soul from a Woman, from a Virgin, and yet was a Man, so that he rightly stood in the Adamical Image, and brought the averted severed Properties of Life, in which our Will had broke itself off from God again into the Temperature and Union, viz. into that ONE.

22. For Adam turned his Will from the only Will of God, and Jesus Christ took our Soul again into the only Will of God, and turned the Will of our Soul in our Humanity, which he assumed, into the only Will of God again.

23. But that the Reader may be thoroughly and fundamentally informed, what our Soul is, and what the Word that became Man is, comparing one with the other, it is thus; our Soul, before the Beginning of the human Soul’s Creature, was an Ens of the Word of God, in the Word, [John.1.] and yet it was inspired or inspoken from the speaking Word of God, into the human Image in a natural and creaturely Life, and formed in an Image of the eternal speaking Word. This creaturely Life of the Soul, turned itself in Adam away, from the divine Speaking, into an own Will and Speaking, and was in this Respect broken off from the most unsearchable Substance, and separated from God.

24. Into this Separated Word, viz. into the Soul; the only eternal divine speaking Word gave itself in again, and turned the Will of the Soul again into the eternal one, into God’s eternal Speaking: Therefore the Soul is indeed from the eternal Word;  but Christ, the highest Love of the Deity, did not take a new Soul out of the eternal Speaking;  but our Soul, the Word which was once spoken or formed in Adam, our human Soul, into his Love-speaking in the Grace and Union of the Deity.

25. God spoke again into our poor fallen Soul in Paradise, immediately after the Fall the Covenant and Root of his highest Love and Grace through the Word, as a Center of Grace to Conception, and to the New Regeneration.

26. And in Abraham he manifested the Covenant, which Abraham laid hold on with his Desire, and received it after a spiritual Manner, as an Ens to the Tree; but it laid without Substance in Man, only as a spiritual Form and Model, or Idea of the powerful Word.

27. Which Word in its spiritual Figure in the Virgin Mary was at the Limit, at the End of the spiritual Form, where that same spiritual Form of the Word of God was comprehended in a substantial Ens, and therewith also in like Manner our human Substance, as to the Soul, was comprised in the Image of the Word, and as to the Substance of the Body, in a human Form; and was a Self-subsisting God-Man.

28. This comprised spiritual Image, which was the Seed of Faith which Abraham laid hold on in the Faith, was invested on Isaac, and from Isaac on Jacob, and to Jacob God said, Through thee and thy Seed shall all the People of the Earth be blessed; through this Seed of Faith which Jacob had received from his Father Isaac in this Line of the Covenant, which Line of Faith had incorporated itself in the human Property according to the inward Ground of the second Principle, viz. in that Image of the heavenly World’s Substance extinguished in Adam.

29. In which incorporated Ground the Limit of God’s Covenant remained in a spiritual Form till Mary, and was propagated from Man to Man, as from Adam and Eve along to Mary; and there the Word of the divine Power was moved, and essentially assumed our human Flesh and Blood together with the Soul, and quickened the extinguished heavenly Ens in the Seed of Mary as to our Part, which Manifestation penetrated and pressed also into Mary’s heavenly Substantiality, so that she became living as to that heavenly Virginity which disappeared in Eve; and in this living Virginity, viz. in Adam’s heavenly Matrix, God became Man.

30. And this is the Blessing of Mary above all other Women, that she is the first from Adam, in whom the heavenly Matrix became opened, in which the dry Rod of Aaron rightly budded, the Kingdom of God: She is the first in whom the hidden Virtue was manifested, for in her the Limit of the Covenant in the spiritual Image or Type was at an End, and in her it was fulfilled with [Margin Note: in or by] our Humanity.

31. Nevertheless she is truly the Daughter of Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, both as to the Humanity, and as to the Covenant of the spiritual Figure; and in her Conception, when the Inward incorporated Image or Type of the inspired or inspoken Covenant of Grace, which was laid hold on in the Faith, assumed our human Property, then was the Kingdom of Christ manifested in the Flesh.

32. Wherein afterwards the Faithful put on Christ, in the Flesh, in their Faith, yet only as to that heavenly Image extinguished in Adam, as Mary [did] where Christ embraces the poor Soul in his Arms, and encompasses them with the Power of God, and infuses, and flows in with his Love into them, which Love preserves and defends them from the Anger of God, from Sin, Death, the Devil, and Hell.

33. This is a brief Summary of the true Ground, what the Spirit of God has prefigured and typified by the Patriarchs, in that he has led them so wonderfully, and has thus alluded with the Figure of Christ, how it would come to pass afterwards.

34. For Jacob was now the Stock, out of which the great and wide Tree of Israel, should spread abroad in the dividing of its Branches as a Genealogy; therefore must he go away from his Father’s House and take Wives of his Father’s Genealogy, of Abraham’s Brother’s Son, that the People Israel, viz. the Line of the Covenant, might come of one Stock.

35. Now when Jacob awaked from the Dream of the divine Vision, where the Lord appeared to him and established the Covenant, He said, Surely the Lord is in this Place and I knew it not, and was afraid and said, How holy is this Place!  Here is no other than the House of God!  Here is the Gate of Heaven. This is a Figure, showing how it would go with God’s Children, when God is manifest in them that they continue to be in Fear and Trembling, and suppose God is afar off, and has forsaken them.

36. For where God withdraws himself in Man, there will always Sin and the Anger of God be first manifested in that Man, so that he will acknowledge and tremble at his Sin, and enter into Repentance; then appears to him God’s friendly Countenance and comforts him: For if the Soul goes forth from Sin, then God’s Grace enters into it; and then it says, Surely the Lord was with me in my Anxiety, and I knew it not; now I see that the Lord is with the troubled Heart, which is troubled in a divine Zeal or Jealousy; There is the Place of God and the Gate of Heaven.

37. Further, It signifies, how the highest Love of God, in this Covenant in Christ, would be immersed into our Humanity;  and how the Humanity of Christ, would be conversant in Trouble, in that he took upon him all our Trouble and Misery, and how the Humanity of Christ would be astonished before the Anger of God and Hell; as it was in the Mount of Olives, where in his Agony he sweat a bloody Sweat; and Christ in his Humanity said; Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from me; where instantly the Gates of God appeared and comforted the Humanity: As here to Jacob, when he must in Trouble depart from his Father’s House, in Fear and Trembling at his Brother Esau, who lay in wait to murder him, all which is a Figure concerning Christ, when God’s Anger in our Humanity did lie in wait to murder him, that he would be in an Agony, Heaviness and Distress, and how he would pray to his Father, and how his Father would comfort him; all which was done before he was crucified, especially in the Mount of Olives, in which Place this Figure of Jacob was fulfilled.

38. And as Jacob took the Stone, which he laid under his Head, and set it up for a Remembrance, and poured Oil thereupon; so has Christ set up his Anguish or Agony for a Remembrance to us poor Men, and poured forth his Oil of Joy and Victory upon it in our troubled terrified Hearts; and of that same Stone has erected his Church for a continual Remembrance; of all which this Type of Jacob was a Prefiguration.

39. Which Jacob signifies in plain Words, where he says; If God will be with me and defend me in the Way which I travel, and give me Bread to eat and Clothes to put on, and bring me Home with Peace to my Father, then shall the Lord be my God, and this Stone, which I have set up for a Pillar, shall be God’s House, and of all which thou givest unto me I will give the Tenth to thee; where he clearly, under this Figure, signifies the Levitical and afterwards the Evangelical Priesthood, as it would be hereafter.

Extract from Jacob Boehme’s “Mysterium Magnum”, or An Explanation of the first Book of Moses, called GENESIS Reverend William Law’s Edition: Volume Three; London, 1764, Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row. Chapter 56, Paragraphs 1-39.

EPISTLE XIII A letter written to one in temptation and trouble of mind,

shewing whence it ariseth. Our salvation is in the life of Jesus Christ in us.

“Dear Sir, my fellow-member, and brother in Christ our savior; my cordial wish and cooperative desire of the divine love and grace premised: I desire to let you know in Christian love, that I have considered your condition in a Christian sympathy and fellow-feeling; and have brought it before the gracious compassion of the Most High, to see what He would be pleased to let me know therein.

Whereupon Sir, I must tell you, that I in the same gracious compassion obtained such an insight and vision of your condition and temptation, that the ground and cause of it is made known to me; and I will set it down in brief for a memorandum, that you may consider and ponder it seriously by your self.

The first cause of such strong working temptation, is the supernatural super-abundant and unspeakable love of God; (that is, the Divine good will, and then the creatural will of man struggling one against another) that the humane will refuseth fully to resigne and give itself up with total confidence unto such great grace of God, which is tendered unto it out of pure love; but seeketh itself and its own love of transitory things; and loveth itself, and the beings of this world more than God.

Therefore man’s own nature (which in its own centre without the love of God, standeth in mere anguish, strife, enmity, and unquiet contrariety) tempteth him; into which also the devil shooteth his false desire, to lead man astray from such high grace, and love of God.

This temptation is the greatest; and it is even the combat which Christ maintaineth with his love (shed forth into the nature of man) against such selfness, also against God’s anger, sin, death, Devil, and hell, in which combat, the humane Dragon must be devoured by the love of Christ, and changed into an angelical Image.

And if the love of God in Christ had not an influence in you, you should have none of this combat, but the Dragon (viz. The false devilish will) would maintain his natural right [and possession without any such conflict or disturbance.]

Now therefore this perplexing, and distressing temptation is wrought very sensibly in nature by the Dragon, who is in traveling anguish with his own nature, when such great love of God commeth into him and would change his natural right into a divine [self-denying] will . 

For here Christ [the Serpent-destroyer] standeth in man, in hell, and stormeth, or assaulteth the strong prey-fort of the Devil, whence ariseth such strife; where Christ and Lucifer fight for the soul, as God hath given you to see, and know experimentally in the first temptation.

Thus Christ bruiseth the head of the serpent, and the serpent stingeth Christ in the heel, and the poor soul standeth in the middest in great trembling and sadness, and can do nothing, but only stand still in hope; it is not able also to lift up its face before God; and power forth its effectual prayers; for the Dragon turneth its face towards the vanity of this world, and shewes it the beauty, and glory of this world; and mocketh it, because it will become another creature; and represent unto it the kingdom in which it liveth and its natural ground.

And here the soul standeth with Christ in the wilderness, the forty days temptation; where the might, glory, riches, and pleasure of this world is tendered unto it; alluring it to elevate itself, and enter into its own self-will.

The second temptation of Lucifer, and the selfish Dragon of nature, is this, that when the soul has tasted the divine love, and hath been once illuminated, then the soul will have that same light for its own propriety, and work therein in its own power and ability as in its own peculiar possession; understand, the nature of the soul, which being without God’s light is a Dragon as Lucifer, that I say will have it for its own propriety; but this Dragon will not resign up his natural light;  he will be a maker and disposer of the Divine power, and live therein in great joy in his fiery [selfish] nature; and this cannot be.

This Dragon (The fiery nature) must be changed with its own will into a love-fire and forgo his natural rights; but he is unwilling to do it; but he in such a change or transmutation looketh for an own-self power, and yet findeth none, and therefore he beginneth to doubt of grace, because he seeth that in such working he must forsake his natural desire and will;  and hence he continually is afraid, and will not dye in the Divine light from his own natural Right, but always thinketh that the light of Grace (which worketh without such sharpness and fiery might) is false light.

Whence it commeth, that the outward reason (which however is blind [and seeth nothing aright if itself]) continually thinketh: O! who knoweth how it is with thee, whether it be true or not, that God hath illuminated thee, that he is in thee?    It may likely proceed from such a fansie; thou seest not the like in other people, and yet they think to be saved as well as thou; thou makest thyself thereby only the fool of the world, and standest in fear and trembling at God’s anger, more then those who comfort themselves only with the promise of grace upon the future revelation.

Thus it commeth to pass, that then the internal ground doth fight and pant after the inflammation and motion of the light, and faine would have it; but the nature is able to do nothing;  it is as if it were wholly rejected of God, which is also true, as to the self-will;  for God hath planted a new will into it;  it must die to its own will, and be changed into God’s will.

And because the will of nature must here dye and resign up its own right to the will of God, therefore such grievous temptations are therein;  for the Devil will not have his Prey-Fort to fall, or be demolished; for if Christ shall live in Man, then the spirit of self-lust and imagination must dye; and yet it doth not wholly dye in the time of this life by reason of the flesh, but it dyeth dayly, and and yet liveth; and therefore there is such contest, which no wicked man feeleth; but only those who have put on Christ, in whom Christ fighteth with Lucifer.

The Third temptation is in the strong hold of the devil, namely, in the will, and mind, as also in flesh and blood;  where the false centers lye in man, as a peculiar self-will to the proud temporal life, to the lust of the flesh, to earthly things; also many curses of men which have been wished upon his body and soul, through his temptation; all the sins which have grounded and concentred, and yet stand in the Astral spirit as a strong Fort;  in which Christ now fighteth, and will destroy it; which strong hold of might, pleasure, and beauty of this world, the humane will doth still esteem and hold for its propriety and best treasure, and will not resign it up, and be obedient to Christ.

Therefore beloved Sir, and Christian brother, I tell you, and give you to understand what our loving Lord Jesus Christ hath shewn me in my consideration; examine yourself, what your temptation is; our dear Lord said, We must forsake all, and follow him; and so we should be right Christ-like poor.

Now if you yet stick with your mind in the self lust, imagination, and love of the earthly things, then therein (namely in those Centres which yet work in you) you have such Temptation.

But if you will follow my child-like counsel, I tell you this, that when such temptation doth arise in you, you must then imagine nothing else to yourself, save the bitter suffering and dying of our Lord, and consider his reproach and scorn, his contempt, and poverty in this world, which he hath undergone and done for us poor men; and resign your desire and whole will there into, that you would very faine be conformable to his Image, and with all unfaigned willingness follow him in this process (or way of life), and patiently endure whatsoever is laid upon you to suffer, and that willingly for his sake;  and desire only to be conformable or like unto him; and for his love sake and will, be content to be abject, despised, in contempt, and affliction, that you might but maintain and keep this his Love in you, and will no longer to your self, but only what Christ willeth through you.

Dear Sir, I fear me, there is yet somewhat in you, that is displeasing to Christ, by reason whereof there is such strife in you; Christ willeth, that you should with him dye to your own will, in his death, and arise in his will, and live with him; and Christ is at present in your soul, and striveth for your soul.

Let all earthly will go, and resign up your self wholly and fully; let joy and sadness, comfort and conflict, be all one unto you; and so you shall with Christ be a conqueror over the world, Devil, Death, and Hell; and at last find by experience what Christ hath been in you; and wherefore this happened unto you, which hath been the process of all children of Christ: I speak out of Christian affection.

Dated on the day of Christ going to his suffering and dying: An. Dom. 1623.”

“The Epistles of Jacob Behmen”, aliter, the teutonicus philosophus, very usefull and necessary for those that read his writings, and are full of excellent and plaine instructions how to attaine to the life of Christ. Epistle 13.

London, 1649, John Sparow’s first English Edition, Printed by M. Simmons for Gyles Calvert,

ON CHRISTIAN TOLERANCE

43. I have no controversy with the Children of God, by reason of the variety, and diversity of their gifts; I can reconcile them all in my self [I can make a good construction and understanding of them to my self]. I only bring them to the Centre; and there I have the proof, and touchstone of all things. Now then if you will imitate and follow me, then you shall find it to be my experience; and afterward perhaps better understand what I have written.

44. A real true Christian hath no controversy or contention with anybody, for in the resignation in Christ, he dyeth from all controversy and strife; he asketh no more after the way of God, but wholly surrenders himself to the Mother;   namely, unto the spirit of Christ; and whatsoever it doth with him it is all one to him; be it prosperity or adversity in this world, life or death; it is all alike unto him; no adversity or calamity reacheth the new man, but only the old man of this world; with the same the world may do what it pleaseth; it belongeth unto the world, but the new man belongeth to God.

“The Epistles of Jacob Behmen”, aliter, the teutonicus philosophus, very usefull and necessary for those that read his writings, and are full of excellent and plaine instructions how to attaine to the life of Christ.

London, 1649, John Sparow’s first English Edition, Printed by M. Simmons for Gyles Calvert, Translated out of the German by John Ellistone.Excerpt from Epistle 2, paragraphs 43 & 44.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMALL SAMPLER OF EXTRACTS FROM THE TEUTONIC THEOSOPER JACOB BOHEME     1

 

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