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E A R N E S T     L O V E R S

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 T-cutHE whole World would not contain the Books that would be written of Christ, if all that he did and spoke should be written of him, flowing from the fountain of Wisdom which dwelt in him;  What then can be expected in a short Introduction, but some few Observations of the Foot-Steps and Paths of Wisdom?

   Many have been her Scholars, in the Way which Nature has inclined them to, or God in them, that have kindled the divine Nature, and have been made partakers of it in their Souls:  We may perceive their Excellence by what has been left on Record by them.

   This Author, Jacob Behmen, esteems not merely his own outward Reason, but acknowledges to have received a higher Gift from God, freely bestowed upon him, and left in Writing, for the Good of those that should live after him.   And in his Writings he has discovered such a Ground, and such Principles as reach into the deepest Mysteries of Nature, and lead to the attaining of the highest powerful natural Wisdom, such as was among the Philosophers Hermes Trismegistus, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Plato, and other deep Men, both ancient and modern, conversant in the Mysteries of Nature.

   These Principles lead to the attaining such Wisdom as was taught in Egypt, in all which Learning Moses had Skill, to the Wisdom which was taught in Babylon among the Caldeans, Astrologians, and Wisemen or Magi, among whom Daniel was educated, and to that Wisdom of the East, from whence came the Magi, who saw the Star that led them to Jerusalem, and to Bethlehem, where they saw the Child Jesus and worshipped, and so returned;   whom God himself was pleased to warn, and direct them what to do.

   The Ground and Principles in his Writings lead to the attaining the Wisdom of the East, which Solomon had, and wrote in the Proverbs, and in a Book (which has not yet been extant with us, but was reported to have been in the East) wherein he wrote all Plants, from the Cedar to the Moss that grows upon the Wall, and of all living Creatures.

   His Ground discovers the Way to attain, not only the deepest Mysteries of Nature, but Divine Wisdom, Theosophy, the Wisdom of Faith, which is the Substance of Things hoped for, and the Evidence of Things not seen with the outward Eyes:  This Wisdom brings our inward Eyes to see such Things as Moses saw in the Mount, when his Face shone like the Sun that it could not be beheld;  such Things as Gehazi saw, when his Master Elisha had prayed that his Eyes might be opened, his inward Eyes, for his outward were as open before, if not more, than any of ours, seeing he was Servant to so great a Prophet, so they were opened, and he saw Angels fighting for Israel;  such Things as Stephen saw, who saw Jesus sitting at the Right-Hand of God, and his Face shone like the Face of an Angel at his Stoning;  and Paul, who saw Things unutterable in Paradise, when his outward Eyes were struck blind:  Such Wisdom as this sees and knows all Mysteries, speaks all Tongues of Men and Angels, that tongue which Adam named all the Creatures by in Paradise, it can also do all Miracles;  for the Enjoyment of which Men would give all their Goods to the Poor, so desirable a Thing it is to enjoy it in this Life:  But whilst Corruption sticks to the Soul, it must have Charity, or else this Seed of Faith will not  bear the Fruit of eternal Life in Paradise for ever, where there is nothing but an eternal Miracle, of which all Miracles on Earth are  but in Part;  but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is imperfect shall be done away.  This is the Wisdom by which Moses wrought his Wonders above Nature, and all the Prophets from the first to Christ;  and it is that which our Saviour Jesus Christ himself taught his Apostles and Disciples, and which the Comforter continually teaches the holy Servants of God ever since.

  By the Study of these Writings, Men may come to know (every one according to his Condition, Property, and Inclination) how all the real Differences of Opinions of all Sorts, may be reconciled;  even the nicest Differences in all Ages.   That which seems different in the Writings of the profound magical, mystical, chemic Philosophers, from that which we find in others, may be reconciled, by considering what this Author teaches, that the Names which were given to the seven Planets, signify the seven Properties of the eternal Nature, and are the Cause of all those Things, which are by Men conversant in Experiments in Nature frequently accounted the first and deepest Causes of all.

   Thereby also the Differences in Religion may be so reconciled, that the Minds and Consciences of all doubting Persons may be satisfied about the most difficult Points relating to Creation, Corruption, Salvation, and Restoration, so clearly, that all will love one another, and that hard Lesson, to love our Enemies, will be readily learnt;  and Men will quickly contribute to the studying that one necessary Thing, that Treasure hid in the Field, that Gold of the Kingdom of Heaven, that precious Pearl, that all in all, Faith and Love, Christ and God, when they shall perceive that all this lies hid in every Soul, in one Measure or other, and may  be found, and the Way set down so plain, that every Soul may find it.

   Thereby the Writings of all Men will be understood, and the very darkest Mysteries contained in the Writings of the Prophets and Apostles will be made plain and easy to the most simple thirsty Soul;  and when that appears which is now hidden, when that excellent Glory shall discover itself to Men, they will not only see it, but walk in the Way of it, and so attain it in the highest Degree of every one's Capacity.

   Read these Writings diligently and seriously, till you apprehend the Meaning but of some Part of the Way this Author describes, which may well be done, and you will be satisfied the Things are true, and that the Way he shows is true, and be able to walk in it, and also be very earnest to prosecute that Way more and more, till you attain your whole Desire;  and then you will keep them as an inestimable Jewel, a memorial of all Mysteries.

   But let All read them themselves, the greatest King that sits upon a Throne, or the meanest Slave, or let them hear them read, if they propose and desire to partake of this so high a Gift from the most High, or else, by Prejudice and Perversion of others, the Devil may easily deprive them of it.

 

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End of:   "An Address to the Earnest Lovers of Wisdom"
{Appeared very near the beginning of Volume One prior to "The Life of Jacob Behmen" }

Transcription from: " The Works of Jacob Behmen, The Teutonic Theosopher."
Reverend William Law's  Edition in English: Volume One; London, 1764,
Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.

 


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