- HE Disciple said to his Master: Sir,
How may I come to the Supersensual Life, so that I may see God, and may hear God
- The Master answered and said:
Son, when thou canst throw thyself into THAT, where no Creature dwelleth, though it be but
for a Moment, then thou hearest what God speaketh.
- Is that where no Creature dwelleth near at
hand; or is it afar off?
- It is in thee. And if thou canst,
my Son, for a while but cease from all thy thinking and willing, then thou shalt hear the
unspeakable Words of God.
- How can hear him speak, when I stand still
from thinking and willing?
- When thou standest still from the thinking
of Self, and the willing of Self; "When both thy Intellect and Will are quiet and
passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; when thy Soul is winged up, and
above that which is temporal, the outward Senses, and the Imagination being locked up by
Holy Abstraction," then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed in
thee; and so God heareth "and seeth through thee," being now the Organ of his
Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy Spirit,
and thy Spirit heareth his Voice. Blessed art thou therefore if that thou
canst stand still from Self-thinking and Self-willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy
Imagination and Senses; forasmuch as hereby thou mayest arrive at length to see
the great Salvation of God, being made capable of all Manner of Divine Sensations
and Heavenly Communications. Since it is nought indeed but thine own Hearing
and Willing that do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.
- But wherewith shall I hear and see God, for
as much as he is above Nature and Creature?
- Son, when thou art quiet and silent,
then art thou as God was before Nature and Creature; thou art that which God then was;
thou art that whereof he made thy Nature and Creature: Then thou hearest and seest even
with that wherewith God himself saw and heard in thee, before ever thine own Willing or
thine own Seeing began.
- What now hinders or keeps me back, so that I
cannot come to that, wherewith God is to be seen and heard?
- Nothing truly but thine own Willing,
Hearing, and Seeing do keep thee back from it, and do hinder thee from coming to this
Supersensual State. And it is because thou strivest so against that, out of
which thou thyself art descended and derived, that thou thus breakest thyself off, with
thine own Willing, from God's Willing, and with thine own Seeing from God's Seeing.
In as much as in thine own Seeing thou dost see in thine own Willing only, and with thine
own Understanding thou dost understand but in and according to this thine own Willing, as
the same stands divided from the Divine Will. This thy Willing moreover stops thy
Hearing, and maketh thee deaf towards God, through thy own thinking upon terrestrial
Things, and thy attending to that which is without thee; and so it brings thee into a
Ground, where thou art laid hold on and captivated in Nature. And having
brought thee hither, it overshadows thee with that which thou willest; it binds
thee with thine own Chains, and it keeps thee in thine own dark Prison which thou makest
for thyself; so that thou canst not go out thence, or come to that State which is
Supernatural and Supersensual.
- But being I am in Nature, and thus
bound, as with my own Chains, and by my own natural Will; pray be so kind, Sir,
as to tell me, how I may come through Nature into the supersensual and
supernatural Ground, without the destroying of Nature?
- Three Things are requisite in order to do
this. The First is, Thou must resign up thy Will to God; and must sink
thyself down to the Dust in his Mercy. The Second is, Thou must hate thy own
Will, and forbear from doing that to which thy own Will doth drive thee. The Third
is, Thou must bow thy Soul under the Cross, heartily submitting thyself to it, that
thou mayest be able to bear the Temptations of Nature and Creature. And if thou
doest thus, know that God will speak into thee, and will bring thy resigned Will into
himself, in the supernatural Ground; and then thou shalt hear, my Son, what the Lord speaketh
- This is a hard Saying, Master; for I must
forsake the World, and my Life too, if I should do thus.
- Be not discouraged hereat. If thou
forsakest the World, then thou comest into that out of which the World is made; and if
thou losest thy Life, then thy Life is in that, for whose Sake thou forsakest it.
Thy Life is in God, from whence it came into the Body; and as thou comest to have thine
own Power faint and weak and dying, the Power of God will then work in thee and through
- Nevertheless as God hath created Man in and
for the natural Life, to rule over all Creatures on Earth, and to be a Lord over all
Things in this World, it seems not to be at all unreasonable, that Man should therefore
possess this World, and the Things therein for his own.
- If thou rulest over all Creatures but outwardly,
there cannot be much in that. But if thou hast a Mind to possess all Things, and to
be a Lord indeed over all Things in this World, there is quite another Method to be taken
- Pray, how is that? And what Method
must I take, whereby to arrive at this Sovereignty?
- Thou must learn to distinguish well betwixt
the Thing, and that which only is an Image thereof; betwixt that
Sovereignty which is substantial, and in the inward Ground or Nature, and that
which is imaginary, and in an outward Form, or Semblance; betwixt that
which is properly Angelical, and that which is no more than bestial.
If thou rulest now over the Creatures externally only, and not from the right internal
Ground of thy renewed Nature; then thy Will and Ruling is verily in a bestial
Kind or Manner, and thine at best is but a Sort of imaginary and transitory
Government, being void of that which is substantial and permanent, the which only thou art
to desire and press after. Thus by thy outwardly lording it over the Creatures, it
is most easy for thee to lose the Substance and the Reality, while thou hast nought
remaining but the Image or Shadow only of thy first and original Lordship; wherein thou
art made capable to be again invested, if thou beest but wise, and takest thy Investiture
from the supreme Lord in the right Course and Manner.
Whereas by thy willing and ruling thus after a bestial Manner, thou
bringest also thy Desire into a bestial Essence, by which Means thou becomest
infected and captivated therein, and gettest therewith a bestial Nature and Condition of
Life. But if thou shalt have put off the bestial and ferine Nature, and if
thou hast left the imaginary Life, and quitted the low imaged Condition of it;
then art thou come into the super-imaginariness, and into the intellectual
Life, which is a State of living above Images, Figures and Shadows. And so
thou rulest over all Creatures, being reunited with thine Original, in that very Ground or
Source, out of which they were and are created; and henceforth Nothing on Earth can
hurt thee. For thou art like all Things and Nothing is unlike thee.
- O loving Master, pray teach me how I may
come the shortest Way to be like unto All Things.
- With all my Heart. Do but think on the
Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he said, Except ye be converted, and become as
little Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no
shorter Way than this; neither can there be a better Way found. Verily, Jesus saith
unto thee, Unless thou turn and become as a Child, hanging upon him for All Things, thou
shalt not see the Kingdom of God. This do, and Nothing shall hurt thee; for thou
shalt be at Friendship with all the Things that are, as thou dependest on the Author and
Fountain of them, and becomest like him, by such Dependence, and by the Union of thy Will
with his Will. But mark what I have further to say; and be not thou startled at it,
though it may seem hard for thee at first to conceive. If thou wilt be like All
Things, thou must forsake All Things; thou must turn thy Desire away from them All, and
not desire or hanker after any of them; thou must not extend thy Will to possess that for
thy own, or as thine own, which is Something, whatsoever that Something be.
For as soon as ever thou takest Something into thy Desire, and receivest it into
thee for thine own, or in Propriety, then this very Something (of what
Nature soever it is) is the same with thyself; and this worketh with thee in thy
Will, and thou art thence bound to protect it, and to take Care of it even as of thy own
Being. But if thou dost receive no Thing into thy Desire, then thou
art free from All Things, and rulest over all Things at once, as a Prince of God.
For thou hast received Nothing for thine own, and art Nothing to all Things; and all
Things are as Nothing to thee. Thou art as a Child, which understands not what a
Thing is, and though thou dost perhaps understand it, yet thou understandest it without
mixing with it, and without its sensibly affecting or touching thy Perception, even in
that Manner wherein God doth rule and see all Things; he comprehending All, and yet
Nothing comprehending him.
- Ah! How shall I arrive at this
Heavenly Understanding, at this Sight of All Things in God, at this pure and naked
Knowledge which is abstracted from the Senses; at this Light above Nature and Creature;
and at this Participation of the Divine Wisdom which oversees all Things, and governs
through all intellectual Beings? For, alas, I am touched every Moment by
the Things which are about me; and overshadowed by the Clouds and Fumes which
rise up out of the Earth. I desire therefore to be taught, if possible, how I may
attain such a State and Conditions as no Creature may be able to touch me to hurt me; and
how my Mind, being purged from sensible Objects and Things, may be prepared for the
Entrance and Habitation of the Divine Wisdom in me?
- Thou desirest that I would teach thee how
thou art to attain it; and I will direct thee to our Master, from whom I have been taught
it, that thou mayest learn it thyself from him, who alone teacheth the Heart. Hear
thou him. Wouldest thou arrive at this; wouldest thou remain untouched by Sensibles;
wouldest thou behold Light in the very Light of God, and see all Things thereby; then
consider the Words of Christ, who is that Light; and who is the Truth. O consider
now his Words, who said, Without me ye can do nothing and defer not to apply
thyself unto him, who is the Strength of thy Salvation, and the Power of
thy Life; and with whom thou canst do all Things, by the Faith which he worketh
in thee. But unless thou wholly givest thyself up to the Life of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and resignest thy Will wholly to him, and desirest Nothing and willest Nothing
without him, thou shalt never come to such a Rest as no Creature can disturb. Think
what thou pleasest, and be never so much delighted in the Activity of thine own Reason,
thou shalt find that in thine own Power, and without such a total Surrender to God, and to
the Life of God, thou canst never arrive at such a Rest as this, or the true Quiet of the
Soul, wherein no Creature can molest thee, or so much as touch thee. Which when thou
shalt, by Grace, have attained to, then with thy Body thou art in the World,
as in the Properties of outward Nature; and with thy Reason, under the Cross
of our Lord Jesus Christ; but with thy Will thou walkest in Heaven, and
art at the End from whence all Creatures are proceeded forth, and to
which they return again. And then thou canst in this END, which is the same with the
BEGINNING, behold all Things outwardly with Reason, and inwardly with the Mind;
and so mayest thou rule in all Things and over all Things, with Christ; unto whom all
Power is given both in Heaven and on Earth.
- O Master, the Creatures which live in me do
withhold me, that I cannot so wholly yield and give up myself as I willingly would.
What am I to do in this Case?
- Let not this trouble thee. Doth thy
Will go forth from the Creatures? Then the Creatures are forsaken in thee.
They are in the World, and thy Body, which is in the World, is with the Creatures.
But spiritually thou walkest with God, and conversest in Heaven, being in thy Mind
redeemed from Earth, and separated from Creatures, to live the Life of God. And if
thy Will thus leaveth the Creatures, and goeth forth from them, even as the Spirit goeth
forth from the Body at Death; then are the Creatures dead in it, and do live only in the
Body in the World. Since if thy Will doth not bring itself into them, they cannot
bring themselves into it, neither can they by any Means touch the Soul. And hence
St. Paul saith, Our Conversation is in Heaven; and also, Ye are the Temple of
God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. So then True Christians are the
very Temples of the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in them; that is, the Holy Ghost dwelleth in
the Will, and the Creatures dwelleth in the Body.
- If now the Holy Spirit doth dwell in the
Will of the Mind, how ought I to keep myself so that he depart not from me again?
- Mark, my Son, the Words of our Lord Jesus
Christ; If ye abide in my Words, then my Words abide in you. If thou
abideth with thy Will, in the Words of Christ; then his Word and Spirit abideth in thee,
and all shall be done for thee that thou canst ask of him. But if thy Will goeth
into the Creature, then thou hast broken off thereby thyself from him. And then thou
canst not any otherwise keep thyself but by abiding continually in the most resigned
Humility, and by entering into a constant Course of Penitence, wherein thou wilt be always
grieved at thine own Creatureliness and that Creatures do still live in thee, that is, in
thy bodily Appetites. If thou doest thus, thou standest in a daily dying
from the Creatures, and in a daily ascending into Heaven in thy Will; which Will
is also the Will of thy Heavenly Father.
- O my loving Master, pray teach me how I may
come to such a constant Course of holy Penitence, and to such a daily Dying from all
creaturely Objects; for how can I abide continually in Repentance?
- When thou leavest that which loveth thee,
and lovest that which hateth thee; then thou mayest abide continually in Repentance.
- What is it that I must thus leave?
- All Things that love and entertain thee,
because thy Will loves and entertains them; all Things that please and feed thee, because
thy Will feeds and cherishes them; all Creatures in Flesh and Blood; in a Word, all
Visibles and Sensibles, by which either the Imagination or sensitive Appetite in Men are
delighted and refreshed. These the Will of thy Mind, or thy supreme Part must leave
and forsake; and must even account them all its Enemies. This is the Leaving of what
loves thee. And the Loving of what hates thee, is the Embracing of the Reproach of
the World. Thou must learn then to love the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for
his Sake to be pleased with the Reproach of the World which hates and derides thee; and
let this be thy daily Exercise of Penitence to be crucified to the World, and the
World to thee. And so thou shalt have continual Cause to hate thyself in the
Creature, and to seek the Eternal Rest which is in Christ. To which
Rest thou having thus attained, thy Will may therein safely rest and repose itself,
according as thy Lord Christ hath said: In me ye may have Rest, but in the World ye
shall have Anxiety; In me ye may have Peace, but in the World ye shall have Tribulation.
- How shall I now be able to subsist in this
Anxiety and Tribulation arising from the World, so as not to lose the Eternal Peace, or
not enter into this Rest? And how may I recover myself in such a Temptation as this
is, by not sinking under the World, but rising above it by a Life that is truly Heavenly
- If thou dost once every Hour throw thyself
by Faith beyond all Creatures, beyond and above all sensual Perception and Apprehension,
yea, above Discourse and Reasoning into the abyssal Mercy of God, into the Sufferings of
our Lord, and into the Fellowship of his Interceding, and yieldeth thyself fully and
absolutely thereinto; then thou shalt receive Power from above to rule over Death and the
Devil, and so subdue Hell and the World under thee: And then thou mayest subsist in all
Temptations, and be the brighter for them.
- Blessed is the Man that arriveth to such a
State as this. But alas! Poor Man that I am, how is this possible as to
me? And what, O my Master, would become of me, if I should ever attain with my Mind
to that, where no Creature is? Must I not cry out, I am undone!
- Son why art thou so dispirited? Be of
good Heart still; for thou mayest certainly yet attain to it. Do but believe, and
all Things are made possible to thee. If it were that thy Will, O thou of little
Courage, could break off itself for one Hour, or even but for one half Hour, from all
Creatures, and plunge itself into That where no Creature is, or can be; presently it would
be penetrated and clothed upon with the supreme Splendor of the Divine Glory, would taste
in itself the most sweet Love of Jesus, the Sweetness whereof no Tongue can express, and
would find in itself the unspeakable Words of our Lord concerning his great Mercy.
Thy Spirit would then feel in itself the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to be very
pleasing to it; and would thereupon love the Cross more than the Honours and Goods of the
- This for the Soul would be
exceeding well indeed: But what would then become of the Body seeing that it must
of Necessity live in the Creature?
- The Body would by this Means be put into the
Imitation of our Lord Christ, and of his Body: It would stand in the Communion of that
most blessed Body, which was the true Temple of the Deity; and in the
Participation of all its gracious Effects, Virtues and Influences. It would live in
the Creature not of Choice, but only as it is made subject unto Vanity, and in
the World, as it is placed therein by the Ordination of the Creator, for its Cultivation
and the higher Advancement; and as groaning to be delivered out of it in God's Time and
Manner, for its Perfection and Resuscitation in Eternal Liberty and Glory, like unto the
Glorified Body of our Lord and his risen Saints.
- But the Body being in its present
Constitution, so made subject to Vanity, and living in a vain Image and
creaturely Shadow, according to the Life of the undergraduated Creatures or Brutes, whose
Breath goeth downwards to the Earth; I am still very much afraid thereof, lest it should
continue to depress the Mind which is lifted up to God, by hanging as dead Weight thereto;
and go on to amuse and perplex the Same, as formerly, with Dreams and Trifles, by letting
in the Objects from without, in order to draw me down into the World and the Hurry
thereof; where I would fain maintain my Conversation in Heaven, even while I am living in
the World. What therefore must I do with this Body, that I may be able to keep up so
desirable a Conversation; and not to be under any Subjection to it any longer?
- There is no other Way for thee that I know,
but to present the Body whereof thou complainest (which is the Beast to be
sacrificed) a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God: And this shall be
thy rational Service, whereby this thy Body will be put, as thou desirest, into
the Imitation of Jesus Christ, who said, his Kingdom was not of this World. Be not
thou then conformed to it, but be transformed by the Renewing of thy
Mind; which renewed Mind is to have Dominion over the Body, that so thou mayest prove,
both in Body and Mind, what is the perfect Will of God, and accordingly perform the same
with and by his Grace operating in thee. Whereupon the Body, or the Animal Life would,
being thus offered up, begin to die, both from without and from within.
From without, that is, from the Vanity and evil Customs and Fashions of the
World. It would be an utter Enemy to all the Pomps thereof, and to all the Gaudery,
Pageantry, Pride, Ambition, and Haughtiness therein. From within, it would
die as to all the Lusts and Appetites of the Flesh, and would get a Mind and Will wholly
new, for its Government and Management; being now made subject to the Spirit, which would
continually be directed to God, and so consequently that which is subject to it. And
thus thy very Body is become the Temple of God and of his Spirit, in Imitation of thy
- But the World would hate it, and despise it
for so doing; seeing it must hereby contradict the World, and must live and act quite
otherwise than the World doth. This is most certain. And how can this then be
- It would not take that as any Harm done to
it, but would rather rejoice that it is become worthy to be like unto the Image of our
Lord Jesus Christ, being transformed from that of the World: And it would be most willing
to bear that Cross after our Lord; merely that our Lord might bestow upon it the Influence
of his sweet and precious Love.
- I do not doubt but in some this may be even
so. Nevertheless for my own Part, I am in a Straight betwixt two, not feeling yet
enough of that blessed Influence upon me. O how willingly should my Body bear
that, could this be safely depended upon by me, according to what is urged!
Wherefore pardon me, loving Sir, in this one Thing, if my Impatience doth still further
demand "what would become of it, if the Anger of God from within, and the wicked
World also from without, should at once assault it, as the same really happened to our
- Be that unto it, even as unto our Lord
Christ, when he was reproached, reviled and crucified by the World; and when the Anger of
God so fiercely assaulted him for our Sake. Now what did he do under this most
terrible Assault both from without and from within? Why: he commended his Soul into
the Hands of his Father, and so departed from the Anguish of this World into the Eternal
Joy. Do thou likewise; and his Death shall become thy Life.
- Be it unto me as unto the Lord Christ; and
unto my Body as unto his; which into his Hands I have commended, and for the Sake of his
Name do offer up, according to his revealed Will. Nevertheless I am desirous to know
what would become of my Body in its pressing forth from the Anguish of this miserable
World into the Power of the Heavenly Kingdom?
- It would get forth from the Reproach and
Contradiction of the World, by a Conformity to the Passion of Jesus Christ; and from the
Sorrows and Pains in the Flesh, which are only the Effects of some sensible Impression of
Things without, by a quiet Introversion of the Spirit, and secret Communion with the Deity
manifesting itself for that End. It would penetrate into itself; it would sink into
the great Love of God; it would be sustained and refreshed by the most sweet name
JESUS; and it would see and find within itself a new World springing forth as
through the Anger of God, into the Love and Joy Eternal. And then should a Man wrap
his Soul in this, even in the great Love of God, and clothe himself Therewith as
with a Garment; and should account thence all Things alike; because in the Creature he
finds nothing that can give him, without God, the least Satisfaction; and because
also nothing of Harm can touch him more, while he remains in this Love, which indeed is
stronger than all Things, and makes a Man hence invulnerable both from within
and without, by taking out the Sting and Poison of the Creatures, and destroying
the Power of Death. And whether the Body be in Hell or on Earth, all is alike to
him; for whether it be there or here, his Mind is still in the greatest Love of
God; which is no less than to say, that he is in Heaven.
- But how would a Man's Body be maintained in
the World; or how would he be able to maintain those that are his, if he should by such a
Conversation incur the Displeasure of all the World?
- Such a Man gets greater Favors than the
World is able to bestow upon him. He hath God for his Friend; he hath all his
Angels for his Friends: In all Dangers and Necessities these protect and relieve him; so
that he need fear no Manner of Evil; no Creature can hurt him. God is his Helper;
and that is sufficient. Also God is his Blessing in every Thing; and
though sometimes it may seem as if God would not bless him, yet is this but for a Trial to
him, and for the Attraction of the Divine Love; to the End he may more fervently pray to
God, and commit all his Ways unto him.
- He loses however by this all his good
Friends; and there will be none to help him in his Necessity.
- Nay, but he gets the Hearts of all his true
Friends into his Possession, and loses none but his Enemies, who before loved his Vanity
- How it is that he can get his true Friends
into his Possession?
- He gets the very Hearts and Souls of all
those that belong to our Lord Jesus to be his Brethren, and the Members of his own very
Life. For all the Children of God are but ONE in Christ, which one is Christ in
All; and therefore he gets them all to be his Fellow Members in the Body
of Christ, whence they have all the same Heavenly Goods in common; and all live in
one and the same Love of God, as the Branches of a Tree in one and the same Root, and
spring all from one and the same Source of Life in them. So that he can have no Want
of spiritual Friends and Relations, who are all rooted with him together in the Love which
is from above; who are all of the same Blood and Kindred in Christ Jesus; and who are
cherished all by the same quickening Sap and Spirit diffusing itself through them
universally from the one true Vine, which is the Tree of Life and Love. These are
Friends worth having; and though here they may be unknown to him, will abide his Friends
beyond Death, to all Eternity. But neither can he want even outward natural Friends,
as our Lord Christ when on Earth did not want such also.
For though indeed the High-Priests and Potentates of the World could not have a Love for
him because they belonged not to him, neither stood in any Kind of Relation to him, since
he was not of this World; yet those loved him who were capable of his Love, and receptive
of his Words. So in like Manner, those who love Truth and Righteousness will love
that Man, and will associate themselves unto him, yea, though they may perhaps be
outwardly at some Distance or seeming Disagreement, from the Situation of their worldly
Affairs, or out of some certain Respects; yet in their Hearts they cannot but cleave to
him. For though they be not yet actually incorporated into one Body with
him, yet they cannot resist being of one Mind with him, and being united in
Affection, for the great Regard they bear to the Truth, which shines forth in his Words
and in his Life. By which they are made either his declared or his secret Friends;
and he doth so get their Hearts, as they will be delighted above all Things in his
Company, for the Sake thereof, and will court his Friendship, and will come unto him by
Stealth, if openly they dare not, for the Benefit of his Conversation and Advice; even as Nicodemus
did unto Christ, who came to him by Night, and in his Heart loved Jesus for the Truth's
Sake, though outwardly he feared the World. And thus thou shalt have many Friends
that are not known to thee; and some known to thee, who may not appear so before the
- Nevertheless it is very grievous to be
generally despised of the World, and to be trampled upon by Men as the very Offscouring
- That which now seems so hard and heavy
to thee, thou wilt yet hereafter be most of all in Love with.
- How can it be that I should ever love that
which hates me?
- Though thou lovest the earthly Wisdom now,
yet when thou shalt be clothed upon with the Heavenly Wisdom, then thou wilt see that all
the Wisdom of the World is Folly; and wilt see also that the World hates not so much thee,
as it does thine Enemy, which is the mortal Life. And when thou thyself
shalt come to hate the Will thereof, by Means of a habitual Separation of thy Mind from
the World, then thou also wilt begin to love that despising of the mortal Life, and the
Reproach of the World for Christ's Sake. And so shalt thou be able to stand under
every Temptation, and to hold out to the End by the Means hereof in the Course of Life
above the World, and above Sense. In this Course thou wilt hate thyself; and thou
wilt also love thyself; I say love thyself, and that even more than ever thou didst yet.
- But how can these two subsist together, that
a Person should both love and hate himself?
- In loving thyself, thou
lovest not thyself as thine own; but as given thee from the Love of God
thou lovest the Divine Ground in thee; By which and in which thou lovest the Divine
Wisdom, the Divine Goodness, the Divine Beauty; thou lovest also by it God's Works of
Wonders; and in this Ground thou lovest likewise thy Brethren. But in hating
thyself, thou hatest only that which is thine own, and wherein the Evil
sticks close to thee.
And this thou dost, that so thou mayest wholly destroy that which thou callest thine;
as when thou sayest I or MYSELF do this, or do that. All which is wrong, and a
downright Mistake in thee; for nothing canst thou properly call thine but the evil
Self, neither canst thou do any Thing of thyself that is to be accounted of.
This Self therefore thou must labour wholly to destroy in thee, that so thou
mayest become a Ground wholly Divine. There is, there can be no Selfishness
in Love; they are opposite to each other. Love, that is, Divine Love (of which only
we are now discoursing) hates all EGOITY,
hates all that which we call I, or IHOOD; hates all such Restrictions and Confinements,
even all that springs from a contracted Spirit, or this evil Self-hood,
because it is an hateful and deadly Thing. And it is impossible that these two
should stand together, or subsist in one Person; the one driving out the other by a
Necessity of Nature. For Love possesses Heaven, and dwells in itself, which
is dwelling in Heaven; but that which is called I, this vile Self-hood possesses the World
and worldly Things; and dwells also in itself, which is dwelling in Hell, because
this is the very Root of Hell itself. And therefore as Heaven rules above the World
and as Eternity rules Time, even so ought Love to rule above the natural temporal Life;
for no other Method is there, neither can there be of attaining to that Life which is
Supernatural and Eternal, and which thou so much desirest to be led into.
- Loving Master, I am well content that this
Love should rule in me over the natural Life, so that I may attain to that which is
Supernatural and Supersensual; but pray tell me now, why must Love and Hatred, Friend and
Foe thus be together? Would not Love alone be better? Wherefore, I say, are
Love and Trouble thus joined?
- If Love dwelt not in Trouble, it could have
nothing to love; but when its Substance which it loves, namely, the poor Soul, being in
Trouble and Pain, it hath thence Cause to love this, its own Substance, and to
deliver it from its Pain; that so itself may by it be again Beloved. Neither could
any one know what Love is, if there were no Hatred; or what Friendship is, if there were
no Foe to contend with. Or in one Word, if Love had not something which it might
love, and manifest the Virtue and Power of Love, by working out Deliverance to the Beloved
from all Pain and Trouble.
- Pray what is the Virtue, Power, the Height
and the Greatness of Love?
- The Virtue of Love is NOTHING and ALL,
or that Nothing visible out of which All Things proceed; its Power is
through All Things; its Height is as high as God; its Greatness is as
great as God. Its Virtue is the Principle of all Principles; its Power supports the
Heavens and upholds the Earth; its Height is higher than the highest Heavens; and its
Greatness is even greater than the very Manifestation of the Godhead in the glorious Light
of the Divine Essence, as being infinitely capable of greater and greater Manifestations
in all Eternity. What can I say more? Love is higher than the Highest.
Love is greater than the Greatest. Yea, it is in a certain Sense greater
than God; while yet in the highest Sense of all, God is LOVE, and Love is God. Love being the highest Principle, is the Virtue of all
Virtues; from whence they all flow forth. Love being the greatest Majesty, is the
Power of all Powers, from whence they severally operate; and it is the Holy Magical Root,
or Ghostly Power from whence all the Wonders of God have been wrought by the Hands of his
elect Servants, in all their Generations successively. Whosoever finds it, finds Nothing
and All Things.
- Dear Master, pray tell me how to understand
- First then, in that I said, its
Virtue is Nothing, or that Nothing which is the Beginning of All Things,
thou must understand it thus; When thou art gone forth wholly from the Creature, and from
that which is visible, and art become Nothing to all that is Nature and Creature, then
thou art in that Eternal One, which is God himself. And then thou shalt
perceive and feel in thy Interiour, the highest Virtue of Love. But in that I said, Its
Power is through All Things, this is that which thou perceivest and findest in thy
own Soul and Body experimentally, whenever this great Love is enkindled within thee;
seeing that it will burn more than the Fire can do, as it did in the Prophets of old, and
afterwards in the Apostles, when God conversed with them bodily, and when his Spirit
descended upon them in the Oratory of Zion. Thou shalt then see also in
all the Works of God, how Love hath poured forth itself into all Things, and penetrateth
all Things, and is the most inward and most outward Ground in all Things: Inwardly in the
Virtue and Power of every Thing; and outwardly in the Figure and Form thereof.
And in that I said, Its Height is as high as God; thou mayest understand this in
thyself; forasmuch as it brings thee to be as high as God himself is, by being united to
God: As may be seen by our beloved Lord Christ in our Humanity. Which Humanity
Love hath brought up into the highest Throne, above all Angelical Principalities and
Powers, into the very Power of the Deity itself.
But in that I also said, Its Greatness is as great as God, thou art hereby to
understand, that there is a certain Greatness and Latitude of Heart in Love, which is
inexpressible; for it enlarges the Soul as wide as the whole Creation of God. And
this shall be truly experienced by thee, beyond all Words, when the Throne of Love shall
be set up in thy Heart.
Moreover in that I said, Its Virtue is the Principle of all Principles, hereby it
is given thee to understand, that Love is the principiating Cause of all created
Beings, both spiritual and corporeal, by Virtue whereof the second Causes do move
and act occasionally according to certain Eternal Laws from the Beginning
implanted in the very Constitution of Things thus originated. This Virtue which is
in Love, is the very Life and Energy of all the Principles of Nature, superiour and
inferiour: It reaches to all Worlds, and to all Manner of Beings in them contained,
they being the Workmanship of Divine Love; and it is the first Mover, and first
Moveable both in Heaven above and in the Earth beneath, and in the Water under the
Earth. And hence there is given to it the Name of Lucid Aleph, or Alpha;
by which is expressed the Beginning of the Alphabet of Nature, and of the Book
of Creation and Providence, or the Divine Archetypal Book, in which is the
Light of Wisdom, and the Source of all Lights and Forms.
And in that I said, Its Power supports the Heavens; by this thou wilt come to
understand, that as the Heavens, visible and invisible, are originated from this great
Principle, so are they likewise necessarily sustained by it; and that therefore if this
should be but never so little withdrawn, all the Lights, Glories, Beauties, and Forms of
the heavenly Worlds, would presently sink into Darkness and Chaos.
And whereas I further said, that it upholds the Earth; this will appear to thee
no less evident than the former, and thou shalt perceive it in thyself by daily and hourly
Experience; forasmuch as the Earth without it, even thy own Earth also,
(that is, thy Body) would certainly be without Form and void. By the Power
thereof the Earth hath been thus long upheld, notwithstanding a foreign usurped Power
introduced by the Folly of Sin. And should this but once fail or recede, there could
no longer be either Vegetation or Animation upon it; yea, the very Pillars of it would be
overthrown quite, and the Band of Union, which is that of Attraction or Magnetism,
called the Centripetal Power, being broken and dissolved, all must thence run
into the utmost Disorder, and falling away as into Shivers, would be dispersed as loose
Dust before the Wind.
But in that I said, Its Height is higher than the highest Heavens; this thou
mayest also understand within thyself; For shouldest thou ascend in Spirit through all the
Orders of Angels and heavenly Powers, yet the Power of Love still is undeniably superiour
to them all. And as the Throne of God, who sits upon the Heaven of Heavens, is
higher than the highest of them, even so must Love also be, which fills them all, and
comprehends them all.
And whereas I said of the Greatness of Love, that it is greater than the very
Manifestation of the Godhead in the Light of the Divine Essence; that is also true.
For Love enters even into that where the Godhead is not manifested in this glorious
Light, and where God may be said not to dwell. And entering thereinto, Love begins
to manifest to the Soul the Light of the Godhead; and thus is the Darkness broken through,
and the Wonders of the new Creation successively manifested.
Thus shalt thou be brought to understand really and fundamentally, what is the Virtue and
Power of Love, and what the Height and Greatness thereof is; how that it is indeed the Virtue
of all Virtues, though it be invisible, and as a Nothing in Appearance,
inasmuch as it is the Worker of all Things, and a powerful vital Energy passing
through all Virtues and Powers natural and supernatural; and the Power of all Powers,
nothing being able to let or obstruct the Omnipotence of Love, or to resist its
invincible penetrating Might, which passes through the whole Creation of God, inspecting
and governing all Things.
And in that I said, It is higher than the highest, and greater than the greatest;
thou mayest hereby perceive as in a Glimpse, the supreme Height and Greatness of Omnipotent
Love, which infinitely transcends all that human Sense and Reason can reach to.
The highest Archangels and the greatest Powers of Heaven are, in Comparison of it,
but as Dwarfs. Nothing can be conceived higher and greater in God himself, by the
very highest and greatest of his Creatures. There is such an Infinity in it, as
comprehends and surpasses all the Divine Attributes.
But in that it was also said, Its Greatness is greater than God; that likewise is
very true in the Sense wherein it was spoken; For Love, as I before observed, can there
enter where God dwelleth not, since the most high God dwelleth not in Darkness, but in the
Light; the hellish Darkness being put under his Feet. Thus for Instance, when
our beloved Lord Christ was in Hell, Hell was not the Mansion of God or of Christ; Hell
was not God, neither was it with God, nor could it be at all with him; Hell stood in the
Darkness and Anxiety of Nature, and no Light of the Divine Majesty did there enter.
God was not there; for he is not in the Darkness or in the Anguish; but Love was there;
and Love destroyed Death and conquered Hell. So also when thou art in Anguish or
Trouble, which is Hell within, God is not the Anguish or Trouble; neither is he
in the Anguish or Trouble; but his Love is there, and brings thee out of the Anguish and
Trouble into God, leading thee into the Light and Joy of his Presence. When God
hides himself in thee, Love is still there, and makes him manifest in thee. Such is
the inconceivable Greatness and Largeness of Love; which will hence appear to thee as great
as God above Nature, and greater than God in Nature, so as
considered in his manifestative Glory.
Lastly, whereas I also said, Whosoever finds it, finds Nothing and All Things;
that is also certain and true. But how finds he Nothing? Why, I will
tell thee how. He that findeth it, findeth a Supernatural Supersensual Abyss,
which hath no Ground or Byss to stand on, and where there is no Place to dwell
in; and he findeth also Nothing is like unto it, and therefore it may fitly be
compared to Nothing; for it is deeper than any Thing, and is as Nothing
with Respect to All Things, forasmuch as it is not comprehensible by any of them.
And because it is Nothing respectively, it is therefore free from All Things;
and is that only Good, which a Man cannot express or utter what it is; there being Nothing
to which it may be compared, to express it by.
But in that I lastly said, Whosoever finds it, finds All Things; there is nothing
can be more true than this Assertion. It hath been the Beginning of All Things; and
it ruleth All Things. It is also the End of All Things; and will thence comprehend
All Things within its Circle. All Things are from it, and in it, and by it. If
thou findest it, thou comest into that Ground from whence All Things are proceeded, and
wherein they subsist; and thou art in it a KING
over all the Works of God.
Here the Disciple was
exceedingly ravished with what his Master had so wonderfully and surprisingly declared,
and returned his most humble and hearty Thanks for that Light, which his Master had been
an Instrument of conveying to him. But being desirous to hear further concerning
these high Matters, and to know somewhat more particularly, he requested him that he would
give him Leave to wait on him the next Day again; and that he would then be pleased to
shew him how and where he might find this which was so much beyond all
Price and Value, and whereabout the Seat and Abode of it might be in human Nature; with
the entire Process of the Discovery and bringing it forth to Light.
The Master said
to him: This then we will discourse about at our next Conference, as God shall reveal
the same to us by his SPIRIT, which is the
Searcher of All Things. And if thou dost remember well what I answered thee in the
Beginning, thou shalt soon come thereby to understand that hidden mystical Wisdom of God,
which none of the Wise Men of the World know; and where the MIND thereof is to be found in
thee, shall be given thee from above to discern. Be silent therefore in thy Spirit,
and watch unto Prayer; that when we meet again Tomorrow in the Love of Christ, thy Mind
may be disposed for finding that noble Pearl, which to the World appears Nothing,
but which to the Children of Wisdom is All Things.