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The   W A Y   to   the

S a b b a t h   of   R e s t:

O R    T H E

Soul’s Progress in the Work

O F    T H E

N E W - B I R T H .

T O   W H I C H

Are now added; two Discourses of the Author, never
before Printed, viz.

The Journeys of the Children of Israel, as in their Names
and Historical Passages, they Comprise the great
and gradual Work of Regeneration.

A N D

A Treatise of Extraordinary Divine Dispensations, under
the Jewish and Gospel Administrations.


By   Mr.  T H O M A S    B R O M L E Y.


 L E E D S :

Printed for NATHANIEL BELL, Bookseller in YORK,
and sold by Mess. RIVINGTONS, Booksellers in St. Paul’s Church-yard, LONDON;
and by most Booksellers in Town and Country.
1744.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

 

To the READER,

THE following Treatises of Mr. Thomas Bromley, except the first (which was Published a second time in 1692, with a short information to the Reader, which here follows) have hitherto been conceal'd in Manuscript; and are now Printed at the Request of some of his Friends, and several others, who having Read his Sabbath of Rest, (which hath been Translated into the German and Low-Dutch) desired to Peruse his other Writings, which has induced those that were intrusted with the Copies to commit to the Press, for the Use and Edification of many.

 


 

 

 

 



T H E

P U B L I S H E R

T O   T H E

R E A D E R.

Christian Reader,

THE following Practical and Experimental Treatise of the New-Birth, was Writ and Publish'd by the Author in his Youth, about Forty Years since; and having been long out of Print, and desired by many, has put those who are intrusted with his Writings to Communicate it to the Publick a second Time, with some Alterations and Amendments, by the Author’s own Hand, to prevent any occasion of Offence or Mistake. And forasmuch as it hath pleased the Lord, not long since, to take his Servant up into that Rest, whereof so many Years ago he had given him so ravishing a Pisgah sight (as will in part appear from the following Sheets) it has been the desire of many of his Friends (to whom his Memory is and ever shall be most sweet and precious) that this Discourse might be usher'd in with a short Account concerning Him, and some of his last Moments, until a fuller Relation of his Holy Life be prepared for publick View, which is a thing much desired by many; to the End, that so Saint-like and Exemplary a Life might serve for a Copy and Encouragement of the Godly, and for the Reclaiming and Converting of the Wicked and Profane in these Dregs of Time, wherein we have so great a Scarcity of such Examples, and in which true Religion and Fear of God seem to have left the Earth.  But in the mean time, till some or other undertake this Task, be pleased Reader, to accept of these short Hints, concerning the Instrument by whom our good God has been pleas'd to reach forth the following Truths and Directions, in the Way and Progress to the New-Birth (that Land of Rest and Peace) unto thee, and all those who have Ears to hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches.

Mr. Thomas Bromley was born at Upton upon Severne, in Worcestershire, of an Ancient and Honourable Family, according to the World’s Account. (But methinks in mentioning this, I sink below the Subject I am speaking of;  for what’s this to one who by his better Birth, was a Son and Heir of God, and Coheir with the King of Kings, and Lord of the Lords, the Holy and ever blessed Jesus?)  He was in his younger Years religiously Educated, and after he had gone through the Learning of the Schools, became a Member of All-Souls College in Oxford, where God was pleased to reveal his Son in him, and to make great and glorious Discoveries of himself unto him, such, as it may be, should they be here related, some would scarce be able to understand or bear.  And from that time forwards the Supreme Love having ravish'd his Heart with his All-surpassing Beauty, became a Vail to his Eyes, keeping him from beholding Vanity, or lusting after it; and he began in return of this special Divine Grace and Favour, wholly to dedicate himself to his Service from his Youth; and parting with all, and denying himself, became a faithful Follower and Disciple of this great Lord and Master, the Holy Jesus, and a true Minister of the Gospel, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit, one that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

BUT having spoke a few Words of the Rising of this Bright Star, I must next lead you to it’s Setting, passing by it’s whole Course;  he therefore having thus for many Years walked with God, the Lord was pleased (before he took him to himself) to exercise him with a long continued Weakness, which yet did not hinder him from exercising the Functions of an Evangelical Preacher.  About three Weeks before his Departure, he Preach'd his last Sermon from these Words, Acts. 14.22. the latter Part of the Verse, That we must through much Tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God;  from whence he took occasion to discourse not only concerning the Outward, but more especially concerning the great Inward Spiritual Sufferings and Combats of God’s People.   After this Sermon he grew so weak that he could not Preach, and but seldom Pray in the Family:  Yet at sometimes when he felt the Power of God upon him, he would have them call'd into his Chamber, and would pray with great Fervency and Strength of Voice, as if he had been in perfect Health.  During this time (for his Setting was of one piece with his Rising and whole Course) he gave many holy Exhortations to those that came to visit him, and would often say: He could take delight in nothing but God, as having been dead to the World these many Years.   He declar'd to a familiar Friend of his more than once, That except the Lord would be pleas'd to restore him to such a degree of Health, that he might preach the Gospel, and so help to Edify the Church of God, he had rather (if he might choose for himself) die than live; for he knew whither he should go, viz. to God and Christ, and all the Blessed Angels, &c.  But that he resign'd.   And would often say, That he lived in the Will of God.  He was observed to be much introverted and exercised in Mental Prayer, or Prayer of Silence; and when he heard too much talk in his Chamber: He would say, Be silent, be silent; for Silence and Stillness is best.

HE had one Evening (being about Ten Days before he died) such a mighty Power of God upon him, as many Years ago he had experienced in the Company and Communion of his special Spiritual Friends, so that having call'd some dear Friends up to his Chamber, he broke forth into singing and praising of God, to the great Joy, Comfort and Refreshment of all that heard him; and so likewise did about four of five Days before his Decease.  Sometime before this, he discoursed to some Friends of the Difficulty of Salvation, which was not to be secur'd but by giving our Hearts wholly up to God, without any reserve whatsoever.  And then mentioned the great Love he had to Souls, and desire that they might not miss of Salvation; and testified his Universal Charity to all that fear'd God, of what Persuasion or Division soever.

THE Day before he died, some Friends being come some Miles to visit him, he with great earnestness and demonstration of Truth discours'd to them of God, of the Immortality of the Soul, the Excellency of the Holy Scriptures, and how much those who profess to believe the Christian Doctrines, are bound to live a holy Life:  And so gave a short, but powerful Exhortation to Holiness, as the only way to Happiness.  And then said, I have Peace of Conscience, I have lived up to my Light, and loved God above all things.  And at another time he said to two intimate Friends, I have Peace of Conscience, I have walk'd with God, tho' I have made no Noise in the World.

THE same Day he died (which was on Easter-Monday, April 13th, 1691,) he often cry'd, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!   O when! when!  And one time he said, My Lord!  my Rock!  and my strong Habitation!  Which Words came from him with great Power. The last Words that ever he spoke were, Watch, watch, whereupon he fell into a sweet Slumber for an Hour, and in it departed; thus truly falling asleep in him, to whom, for whom, and in whom he had lived, to whom be Glory and Praise for ever and ever.

THIS was the End, READER, of that Precious Saint, who from the Light and Grace of God conferr’d upon him, pen’d the following Treatise; concerning which I shall not need to add any thing further, seeing the following Advertisement of the Author, gives a full Account of the Design and Usefulness thereof. The Paraphrase in Verse upon the 13th Chapter of the first to the Corinthians (printed at the End of the Treatise) being found amongst the Author’s loose Papers, was thought fit to be Publish’d herewith, because it expresseth much of his Spirit and Temper.

BUT I must conclude after that I have inform'd the READER, that the Author has left several other excellent Spiritual Discourses behind him, which if this be well received, are intended to be made Publick for the use of the Church in her present Wilderness Condition. The great and glorious God, who hath given this Seed to the Sower, make it with all Fruitfulness to spring up in the Hearts of all that are of Good-will to the Regeneration in Christ-Jesus, Amen.

 

 



A N

 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

 

F R O M     T H E

 

A U T H O R,

 

To all that shall read this following Discourse.

I Have written this Experimental Discourse of the New-Birth, not for the Wise and Rich, who think they see, and enjoy enough, but for the Poor in Spirit, who enquiring the way to Sion, are sensible of their Defects, and breathe after a Supply.   Let none then come with Prejudice, for that will give a false Tincture to the Eye of the Mind, and prevent the sight of Truth, by a prepossession that 'tis Error.   If any have attained, and enjoy as much, or more that is here expressed, let them bless God for his goodness, both to themselves and me:   If not, let them not be ashamed to learn and practice more than they have already;   for, Teach a wise Man, and he will be yet wiser, Prov, ix, 9.   And 'tis no diminishing of Esteem, to grow in true Knowledge, or disparagement of Age, to gain Wisdom from those that are Young;  because true Wisdom is the Gift of God, who is no respecter of Persons, bestowing his Gifts on whom he pleaseth.  But think not, I have here chalked out a Way for every one to walk in;  for I have only wrote my own Experience:

And I know there may be great variety in God’s works upon Souls, so that none are to be confined to one exact Path, though all are to be informed, that we must turn and become as little Children, and be wholly dead with Christ, before we can be as the Angels in the Resurrection, delighting our selves in the Light and Life of Eternity:   Therefore the Perfect Death should be aimed at by all, for nothing less can fit us for Glory.   For, how can any Imperfection enter there, where is nothing but Perfection? or any thing of Darkness dwell with him, who is Light, and in whom there is no Darkness at all?

'Tis true, many (from mistaking that Principle, of God's being the Root of all things) have endeavoured to reconcile Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, Flesh and Spirit, Christ and Belial;  and so to laugh all Mortification and Self-denial out of the Church.   But alas! what have the Practices and Notions of such ended in, but Shame and Confusion of Face?  For they have sowed to the Wind, and reaped the Whirl-wind, grasped at an imaginary Heaven and Perfection; but have fallen like Lucifer into Hell, and palpable Darkness, having like foolish Virgins spent their Oyl, and received Poison into their Lamps, and so made themselves unfit to meet and entertain the Bridegroom.

Others there are, who come forth in such Outward Strictness and Severity, as they are ready to judge all that are not in their peculiar Mode, and Form; and to refuse Communion with some, who have attained much further in the true Death and Resurrection (and are more acquainted with the Renewal of God’s Image, and the state of Restoration) than themselves.

And there may be many Others, who though not owing the first sort, and much disgusting the last, yet give themselves too much to Earthly Indulgements, under the notion of Christian Liberty, and so make no real progress in the change of their Souls.   Some of which are cheated with false Notions of their being in Christ;   and others of them with sublime Apprehensions of false imaginary Deaths, and ways of Self-denial, which they feed upon, instead of that Death and Cross, which should work their Spirits and Natures out of Flesh, into the true spiritual divine Image:

There are another sort, who are too much offended at Forms, and all usual ways of enjoying, and speaking of God, decrying them as Cheats, and empty Things, though they be used never so spiritually and advantageously to those that appear in them; which is a great Mistake, flowing from Ignorance, and the want of a clear Sight, which could not confine the great and infinite Jehovah within the Limits of no Forms, and exclude him from appearing and working in and through Forms;  being it is at his own Pleasure, to show himself how and in what he pleaseth.

But lastly, a great part of those that profess Religion, are such who rest too much upon the first Work of Regeneration, and too much Eye their first Change, afterwards running in a Circle of Duties and Performances, without making that Progress and Growth toward Perfection, which the frequent Exhortations and Examples of the Holy Scriptures call and incite us to.   Now the work of Regeneration, renewing both the Will and Understanding, will bring those who persevere in it, to a clear Sight of the forementioned Mistake;  by which they will be able to discern betwixt Light and Darkness (Chaff and Wheat) and come to own the good Seed in all; and endeavour by walking according to the Royal Law of Love and Charity, to cherish it.

Now this Law of Love, is the Rule of Perfection, being the Scope and End of a Christian‘s Progress; a true Conformity to which makes us like God, who is Love, and delights to impress his own eternal Character of Love upon his Children, who are nearer to, or further from Perfection, as they partake more or less of this Essential Love, which is the Spirit and Life of Christianity;  without which, all Duties and Observances are but as a sounding Brass and perishing Shadows;  in which, all have their worth and use.   From the Dictates and Impulses of this Law, I have written this small Discourse, as believing it may be instrumental to undeceive many, who are wandering in the Labyrinths of Error, yet seek the true way; and to confirm, strengthen and direct others, who are making their way through the Cross to the Crown of Life.   And truly this Subject is of great Concernment to all, because all are capable of the New-Birth; and none without it can ever be happy.

To mistake this work is very dangerous, because ’tis the Passage to eternal Rest.   The highest Heaven is situate in the large Plains of Eternity;  yet the way to it is very narrow:   At the Entrance, the sharp Sword of Circumcision is placed;   On the left Hand there's a Gulf of Fire, on the right Hand a deep Water;  at the end there stands a Cherubin with a flaming Sword, whose Office is to cut off the Reliques of all Corruption from the Soul;  so that the least Grain of Selfishness or Flesh, cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.    The Spirit of Man is totally to be inhabited by Christ:  There’s not one Weed to be left there.   We are to be stript of all the Riches of corrupt Nature, before we can pass through the last Gate into the City.   A naked Spirit quickly enters.   Hence that of Christ, Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for their's is the Kingdom of God,   An empty Spirit God will fill:   For, God is Love, and delights (through his Son) to communicate of his own Fulness, to all that can receive it.   The Soul cannot be emptied, but through Regeneration;  nor filled, if not first empty'd.   If we part with Darkness, Vanity and Lust; We receive Light, Substance and Love.   A complete exchange brings complete Happiness.   How few are willing to sell all for Christ?   How many Distinctions are created by Reason to avoid the Cross and Death of Christ?   But it is very dangerous to take up such Principles, that may indulge any part of that which must be destroyed.   It may make us fall short of Heaven, when we expect to enter into it, 'Tis far more safe to be too strict than too remiss: But the Mean is best; which (I believe) is here somewhat clearly discovered,

Farewell.

 

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The  W A Y  to the

S A B B A T H   of   R E S T:

O R   T H E

Soul’s Progress in the

N E W - B I R T H.

 

 


C H A P.   I.

1. What Regeneration is, consider’d in it’s Beginning, Progress and End.   2. It’s Definition.   3. The Beginning of it, mistaken by many for the complete New-Birth.   4. The Danger of this Mistake.

REgeneration is absolutely necessary to Salvation, John iii. 3.   Hence it greatly concerns us, to know its Nature and Operation, how it is to be considered, either in it’s Initiation, Progress, or Consummation.   As it is taken for the Beginning of the Work, it implies the first Change of the Soul, when in general the Frame of the Will is sway’d God and Heaven-ward.   In it’s Progress, ‘tis the growth and motion of the Soul, from the Image of the Earthly towards the Image of the Heavenly.   In it’s End, it is the bringing forth of the perfect and complete Image of God in our Humanity, 1Cor. xv. 49.    When we attain this, we are complete in Christ, wholly New-born, 2Cor. v. 17. and made fit to see and enjoy that eternal Kingdom, which has been prepared for us from the beginning of the World.

Regeneration described.

Foreseeing Matthias  to be Surrogated into the Place of Judas.

2. Regeneration then in it’s full Latitude, comprehends all three States, and may be thus defined: It is that transforming quickening Work of God’s Spirit, which begins, carries on, and completes God’s Image in us.   And so it is taken by Christ, Matth. xix.18, where he promiseth twelve Thrones to his twelve Disciples as Rewards for their Faithfulness in following him,  an te palingenesia, in the Regeneration;   where it is expressed by an emphatical Note, insinuating the Fulness and Completeness of it, as there meant.

3. But in the ordinary Acceptation amongst Professing Christians, 'tis used in the most restrained sense for the first Change of the Soul when the bent of the Heart begins to be habitually carried towards God in Christ.   And by what I have heard and seen, from most I have conversed with, I find too much weight laid upon this first Work, as though it where the complete New-Birth;  and that which might give sufficient ground of Comfort, even to those who feel not the comfortable growth of the inward Man in it’s Motion towards Perfection.

4. Hence many rest upon their first supposed Conversion, and have a continual Eye to it, as a great prop to their Souls, though they feel their Chariot Wheels stand still, yea, go backwards, and are in much more Deadness and Drowsiness of Spirit habitually, than when they first enter’d into the Work of the New-Birth.    But certainly, this is dangerous, Ezek.xviii.24. and may much deceive the Spirits of many, by making them more eye what they were, than what they are, or may be, by pressing toward the Mark of perfect Union;  for it stops their Motion, and hinders their Ascent toward Heaven, and their constant practising Conformity to the Death of Christ;  by which Death only we pass out of the Fall, are fitted for Glory, and at length attain the Crown of Life.

Oh !   then take heed of resting there,
Where living Flesh brings deadly fear,
And cast the Soul on that sharp Reed,
Which for a Cure will make it Bleed.
Then stand not still nor turn thine Eye
Backward unto Mortality;
But wing’d with Faith, move apace,
Forward in thy Heavenly Race.


C H A P.   II.

1. The first work in Regeneration is Conviction.    2. The Effects of this Conviction.   3. It drives the Soul to Christ, and so makes way for the Revelation of himself to her.  4. The happy Fruits of this Revelation.

H A V I N G briefly shewed what I mean by Regeneration,  I shall now proceed to it’s actual Work, as it gradually discovers itself in the Soul.
(a) Acts ii. 37.

 

(b) Eccles. vii. 29.

 

(c) Ephes. ii. 3.

(d) Luke viii. 27.

1. The first Appearance of it in the Heart is by (a) Conviction through which the Soul comes to see it’s Corruption in the darkness of the Understanding, the vanity of the Imagination, the delusion of the Will (in imbracing defiled Carnal Objects) and the irregular Motion of the Affections, running earthward, like swift Torrents down a Precipice.   In a Word, the Light of God shining into the Soul, gives it a view of it’s sad (b) Apostacy from it’s Primitive State, when it was created in the Image of God; whereas now it sees it self in the Image of the Serpent, bespattered with the dust of the Earth, cloathed with polluted Rags, wrapt up in the darkness and hellish Confusion, stained with the Poison of Sin, centred in the Fire of God’s (c) Wrath, dwelling in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where Devils are it’s Associates and Companions, pleasing themselves in the pollutions and stains of the Soul, as delighting to dwell in such (d) Graves of Corruption.

(e) Heb. xii. 14.

 

(f) Rom. iii. 19.

2. Now when the Soul once beholds this, Oh! how it begins to be amazed!    How it wonders at itself!   What Tumults begin to be raised in it!    What Earthquakes discover themselves!   What a Monster it appears to itself, when compared to the Righteousness, Holiness, and Purity of God, expressed in the Image of his Law!    It sees, ’tis impossible in this State, ever to enjoy God, or come near him; for without Holiness (e) no Man can see the Lord.   Here it sees, ’tis eternally undone, without the great Mercy and Compassion of God, not being (f) able to Answer the strict Requirings of the Law, obliging to that which the Soul is not capable to perform, through the presence and strength of Corruption.

(g) John i. 26.

(h) Rev. 3. 20.

(i) 1John i. 7.

3. Here the Soul is driven to Christ, the only Mediator betwixt God and Man, who long waited for this time, that so he might discover himself, having long stood in the midst of it (g) unknown, and unregarded; who upon the melting of the Soul into Tears of Repentance, upon the renouncing of Flesh and Blood, with all corrupt Objects, and upon the opening of the Will (in the Thirst and Desire of Faith) enters (h) into the Heart, or rather shews himself to be There, by opposing Hell, by shedding abroad his holy Blood, to quench the Fire of God’s Wrath, and wash (i) the Soul from those sad Defilements it then lies under.

 

 

(k) Rom. v. 10.

 

(m) 1Cor. vi. 20.

 

(n) Cant. ii. 5.

 

 

(o) Cant. i. 2.

4. Here he quiets the Soul, gives the wings of Faith to it, by which it flies above the reach of despairing Fears, and by little and little enters into Peace and Stillness, and shrouds itself in some Measure, from the awakened Storms of wrathful Terror.   Now, so far the Soul can get by Faith into Christ, so far it finds Ease, Refreshment and Peace, and a cessation from the Sense of Guilt, with cherishing Belief of the present Pardon of Sin, as finding at such a time no stirring of the Will to that which had so endanger'd it before, by it’s poisonous Insinuations.    Now therefore beginning to hate Evil as a Monster, and to love Christ as a Saviour, it feels the Effects of Christ’s Mediation, by satisfying God’s Justice, taking away the Enmity in the (k) Soul, by the Blood of his Cross, by the meltings of Love which it feels towards God, and sweet Refreshments it receives from him.   Now it comes to be sensible how it hath resisted God’s Love, Christ’s Mercy, the Spirit’s Motions; how it hath given the Devil interest in Christ’s Tabernacle, and shut Him out from his (m) own Possession.   Hence flow Tears of Love, and Soul-melting Groans, with the Mournings of the Turtle:   Now it imbraces Jesus, weeps over Him whom it hath pierced, and is wounded the more, the kinder he seems in Returns of Love, in regard he was before so much disobliged by the Soul’s Unkindness; now the Soul wants ways of expressing Love, (n) overwhelmed with the Sense of Goodness.   In this State it could die ten thousand Deaths, undergo any thing in requital to it’s Saviour; all it’s Motions and Expressions tend to advance Christ, to extol Him, and (o) predicate his unutterable Love, thinking nothing enough for Him, who thought not his own Life too much for it.

O that the Soul would faithfully remain
In this sweet Frame, until He comes again
To waft her in his Chariot to that Throne
Where God and Man are in full Union:
For Love doth pitch it’s true Pavilion there;
In other Places Love is mixt with Fear.


C H A P.   III.

1. The State of the Soul under this Manifestation of Christ in her further declared.   2. The declining of this State.   3. The Reasons  of it.   4. Means of Recovery from it.

(p) Colos. i. 27

 

 

(q) Cant. ii. 4, 11, 13.

 

(r) Cant. i. 2.

1.WH E N the Soul after it’s shakings, attains this Settlement in Christ’s Love, freely streaming towards it, usually ’tis much carried out in the sight and opening of the Free-Grace, which for a time, strongly work upon it, and induce it to yield suitable Returns, in constant Obedience.   And this is commonly a Season of much Joy and Refreshment;    the Soul feeling that sensible Consolation, and divine Sweetness, that causes it to break forth into continual Praises and Hallelujahs to God.   Now, as this flows from the lively apprehension of God’s Love in Christ, so likewise from the clear sight of Christ in us, (p) and of that mystical transcendant Union, betwixt him and the inward Man;  the Soul now beholding him in the Ground and Centre of her own pure Humanity (thence darting forth the Rays of Love upon her) whom before she look’d upon, as at a distance, without her, as only sitting at the right Hand of God in Heaven.   Now whilst this Dispensation lasts, the Soul is in a (q)perpetual Spring, and a kind of delightful Paradise, bathing and delighting itself in the sweet (r) Fruition of Christ’s Love, who in this time expresseth much kindness to it, and gives frequent Testimonies of his divine Presence.

 

(s) Rev. iii. 2.

 

2. But this Day seldom continues very long, and this Summer by little and little usually inclines towards an Autumn, in which the Flowers of sensible Comfort and Love-Raptures, begin a little to whither, and benumming flesh again shews it’s Power, in secret (almost insensible) dullings of the Soul’s Affection, till by little and little, it comes to a sensible (s) Deadness, which is the more tedious and burdensome, the more the former Dispensation was pleasant and joyous.

(t) Rev. ii. 2.

 

(u) 1John iv. 19.

3. Now what may be the reason of this declining in the Soul’s Enjoyments, I shall not positively determine; for it may proceed from different Causes, in different Persons:   In some it may flow from the want of (t) Watchfulness over their Hearts; through the great Elevations of free Grace, in which time the flesh by little and little may collect Strength;  Gifts then being more ey’d than Graces:   It may also flow from the decay of the Soul’s lively apprehension of God’s Love, which it felt in freeing it from the poison and guilt of Sin, when it groaned sadly under them;   for so long as the strong (u) impressions of that state remained, God’s Mercy eminently discovered, forced the Soul into suitable Meltings at the sight of it, but these somewhat vanishing in time, the effects likewise might cease by little and little.   It may also come from want of practicing the way of the Cross, through our misapprehensions of being dead when we are not; or accidentally through the sensible overflowings of new Comforts, which may carry the Soul out of that watchful Exercise of the Cross, which at such time is most needful.

(v) 2John verse 8.

4. But whatever is the Cause of it, the Soul ought to enter into a strict Examination of itself, to sift every corner of it’s inward Chambers, and to pray for a clearer Light to view all subtil Corruptions, that may gull it, and hinder it’s Progress, and make it set up a Standard as though all where done.   Oh  ’tis dangerous sticking here, and resting upon former Changes; for this tends to the indulging of spiritual Drowsiness and Stupidity, and may bring the Soul in danger of losing (v) it’s former Works, by present Idleness and Relapses: For God looks not at what we were, but what we are; our present State making us either capable of God’s out-flowing Love, or obnoxious to his chastising Justice.

If so, awake dull Soul, think not to be
Excused from thy present Lethargy
By former Kindness, when the force of Love
Did pierce thy Heart, and made it upward move;
Awake and pray, that Christ in thee may give
New quickning to thy Dead, that it may live.


C H A P.   IV.

1. Many continue long under this Declension.   2. Confirmed by the Author's Experience.   3. His Recovery from it, by a clearer discovery of the narrow way to Life.   4. The Soul ascends by retiring inwards towards it's Center, descends by moving outwards.  5. The Soul's Progress described.  6.  Death the only way to Life.

(w) Isaiah i. 19.

 

(x) Gal. v. 7.

1.MA N Y  Souls stick long in this Condition, before they make a new advance towards Perfection, usually much reflecting upon their former work of Conversion, as the chief Basis of their Comforts:   And though sometimes they look forwards, and desire (w)   growth, yet that desire of growth is so weak that it terminates in itself short of effectual accomplishment;  and though they sometimes begin, yet their endeavours are (x) nipt in their first Blossoming, and they themselves cast back into wonted Deadness, and so they come to run in a Circle, without getting ground of their Corruptions.

 

 

2. And I confess, I was long detained in this State, without any clear evident progress towards Eternity: And though I grew much in Knowledge and mystical Notions of the Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, and of our Conformity to his Example; yet not in the Power of his Cross, and Death, working the same in my Nature.

(y) 1Tim. ii. 11.

(z) Rom. viii. 13.

(a) Mat. vii. 13.

 

(b) Luke xiv. 33.

(c) 1Peter ii. 21.

(d) 1Cor. xv. 49.

(e) Matt. xviii. 3.

(f) I exclude not the Soul nor the resurrection Body, for they both ( vested with this Image) shall arrive at Immortality, and possess Heaven,
1Thes. iv.17.

3. But afterward I came to a clearer sight of the Narrow Way which leads to Life Eternal, and of the necessity of our exact (y) Conformity to Christ's Sufferings and Death, to bring us unto his Life, and Resurrection:    And that every degree of Life must come through a degree of Death;    and the New-Man (z) spring up by continual decay of the Old.   And though I saw This before, yet not so distinctly and effectually, as now.   Here likewise I was more powerfully convinced of the (a) Straitness of the Pilgrim’s Path, which leads through the Visible and Invisible Worlds, into the third Heaven:   Every step being to be made through Death and Resignation;    and that the Soul could not attain perfect Bliss, but through a Death to (b) all things, which it came to love through the Fall.    For as the Soul entered into Selfishness, so it must come out of it, casting away all that cloathing it is covered with, through Lust:   And as it descended from Paradise into the Spirit of the World, and the Kingdom of the Devil, so it must re-ascend out of the Spirit of the World, and the Kingdom of the Dragon, through the Root (c) of fallen Nature into the Bosom of Abraham.  Here I saw what a real Progress the Soul must make from the External into the Internal from thence into the Eternal:    And as it descended so it must ascend;  and as it fell by a gradual Change of the Will into Lust and Earthliness, so it must Rise by (d) a gradual renewal of the Soul, from Lust into Divine Love.   Here I saw nothing without us could advantage, but as it was apply’d, to make a real change within.    For (e) except we turn, and become as Children, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.   It must be a Transmutation, and Metamorphosis of the Soul from the Image of the Earthly into that of the Heavenly.    Nothing can ascend into Heaven, but that which came from Heaven, even the true (f) Image of God;    the Earthly being predestinated to destruction:   For Earth it is, and unto Earth it must return. 

 

(g) Isaiah lxvi. 1.

4. Now the motion of the Soul through the Gate of Death towards Life Eternal, is the motion of a Spirit, which is to be looked upon as ascending or descending, as it comes nearer or removes further from God the Center, as Bodies ascend or descend in relation to their Center, by their tending toward or fromward the Visible Heavens.   Upward therefore to a Soul, is Inward;   Outward is Downward.   The Center is the Highest, the Circumference the lowest.    God is in the Center being the most Inward;  Matter in the Circumference, being most Outward;   (g) yet God is in the Outward, as his footstool, but in the most Inward, as his Throne;   filling both, though in both, not manifest alike.   In the Inmost, he shows himself wholly in the Love;  in the Outmost, in Love and Wrath, Life and Death, Generation and Corruption:   But in the Inward dark World, altogether in Death, Darkness, and Wrath; as in the Inmost, all in Light and Life.

(h) Rev. xix. 20.

5. Therefore our Progress is from the Outward, through the Inward to the Inmost.   The Outward is the place of Good and Evil, and as to its corrupt State, the Kingdom of the Beast.   The Inward is two-fold, either the Dark or Light World.   The Dark, is the Kingdom of the Dragon, the Center of Evil and Wrath;   The Light World is the Paradisiacal Sphere, or that Garden of Eden, which is also situate in its Mesopotamia, or betwixt the two great rivers of Wrath and Love.   The first of which is called (h) The Lake of Fire, burning with Brimstone;   the last, Rev. 22 A pure River of Water of Life, clear as Chrystal, which proceeds out of the Throne of God, and of the Lamb.   The Inmost, is the eternal Sanctuary, or true eternal Tabernacle of God, and that spiritual Land of Peace, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the glorified, departed Saints live and inhabit.

6. But none can ever reach This, but through the perfect Death;    and as we die daily, so we rise nearer it,  Death giving us a gradual passage towards this Eternal Kingdom of Life.

And is it so, that Death must waft us ore,
The Sea of Nature, to the Heavenly shore?
Then bring thy Boat, blest Death, that thou and I
May sail together towards Eternity.
A sweet Companion thou wilt be to me,
Till I imbosom’d am in Unity.


C H A P.   V.

1. The Soul seeing the necessity of being made conformable to the Death of Christ, resolves upon a total Self-denial.   2.  The great Opposition it meets with here.   3. How the Soul overcomes that Opposition.  An Exhortation to Love the Cross.

(i) Phil. iii. 8.

 

 

 

 

(k) 1Cor. v.7.

1.TH E  Soul having arrived so far as to see the necessity of a complete Death, and of a perfect Conformity to the Cross of Christ; and discovering much Selfishness, which before it saw not, as matter for this Death and Cross, and begins afresh the serious Practice of the Cross, with great earnestness and resolution of Spirit, to indulge (i) nothing that stands betwixt it and God.   Now it enters upon a strict Enquiry into his own Heart, searching its own Jerusalem with the Candle of the Lord, that so all Selfishness may be discovered and extirpated; and now it finds, that although (before this Dispensation) the chief Bent of the Will inclined habitually towards the Good, yet it was not strong enough to bear down that Opposition of Flesh that hindred its constant Ascent towards Heaven, and had therefore need of a new Alarm from thence to awaken it, and raise it from the Bed of Drowsiness, and arm it with Power of Resolution to cast out the (k) Relicks of the Flesh, and Corruption, and defend itself against the Assaults of the Devil, who having long possessed the unregenerate part of the Heart, is loath to quit his hold, least the Soul should get wholly out of his Kingdom and reach.

(l) Rev. xii. 7.

 

 

2. At this remove therefore the Spirits of Darkness (l) exceedingly oppose and use all their art and strength to betray and weaken the Soul’s endeavours.   Here then begins a new and great War in the Soul between the Seed of the Woman and the Serpent.   Michael and his Angels fight against the Dragon and his Angels;   Christ and Anti-Christ strongly oppose each other.    The Wrath and Love bring forth their mighty wonders, being both stirred and awakened afresh in the Soul.

(m) 1John i. 7.

 

(n) Rom. vi. 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(o) Lam. iii. 26.

3. But the Soul being now sensible of its present state, and seeing that there’s no Safety where the Devils have such access and influence, sinks down into the Mercy and Love of God, and flies to the Cross, embracing and delighting in it; that so the (m) Blood of the Cross may be shed unto it, to cleanse it throughout, and to take away those Stains, which are the Devil’s Mansions.   And here it clearly finds, there’s no way of triumphing over the Prince of Death, but through Death; so (n) it dies daily, to that which the Evil One lives in, and lives to that which is death to Sin.   In this way, there may much Discouragement sometimes seize on the Soul, thro’ the strength of Satan’s working and reluctancy of Flesh, and the outward Man, which is loath to subject his Neck to the sharp Axe of Death.   But this Bitterness is recompensed with that Refreshment the Soul finds in it’s constancy of Self-denial, which is attended with many glances of Divine Comfort darting in upon the Soul to encourage it;   and though it should, for a while remain in this Progress, which is bitter to the Flesh, without any sensible Comfort (which may well be, through that great opposition the Dragon will make at this remove of the Soul);    yet when Patience hath had its Work, and the Soul is come to be wrapt up in Contentation and Passiveness, as to any Change of its Condition, and so fitted for Enlargement, the showers of God’s Love will seasonably and sweetly descend to the strength and blessed Support of the Heart; so that it will be forced to cry out, It is good that a Man should both hope and quietly wait for the Salvation of the Lord. (o) And What the Spirit sometimes now enjoys, so sweetens the Cross that it cannot but thus break forth.

4. Why Should the Soul refuse that Cross
That Gold returns instead of Dross?
Why should it fear that piercing Nail
Which rends away the fleshy Vail?
And gives a Prospect of that Place,
Which Time and Age cannot deface.


C H A P.   VI.

1.  The Soul's advance in Self-denial.   2.   By some sight it hath of the inward spiritual Body.   3.   With it's five inward Senses and their Objects.   4. Which all are not equally aware of.   5. This opening of the inward Senses affords a great Support.   6.  But is not attainable without a dying to the Darling commanding Lust.   7. The Soul praiseth God for deliverance from this Yoke.

(p) 1Cor. ix. 27.

 

 

 

1.B Y  this time the Soul begins to delight in the habit of (p) strong Self-denial, and watches diligently over itself, to discover whatever is to be slain upon the Cross of God’s pure Will:    And now it begins to be ashamed of all Passions and Affections that flow from the Animal Man;   and therefore much restrains it, and keeps it in subjection to the Angelical;   which is according to that Order, God himself set at the beginning.   Now it likewise sees how the Animal Mortal Part (with its Motions and Passions) is too much imbraced by most; few understanding how it was in the Beginning;  or how it is to be changed, and again subjected to the Angelical Part, in the Children of the Resurrection.

2. But the Soul having now some Sight and Enjoyment of the inward Spiritual Body, raised from the Dead, is much ashamed of the outward Body, which stands in the Curse under awakened Wrath; seeing what Temptation Spirits are exposed to, by Union with this, which should continually be under the Law of Mortification, till it’s Change;   lest through it’s Earthly Inclination, it should infect the Intellect (and draw the immortal Soul into Defilement) which now dares not hearken to the Allurements of the sensitive Spirit, which as tempting Eve, oft presents the Apples of Mortality, as those which are pleasing to the eye, and good for Food.

(r) Heb. v. 14.

3. But through the renewal of the Spiritual Body, with it’s (r) five Faculties, or Powers; (answering to the five Senses of the external Body) the Objects and Pleasure of the Outward begin to be forgot, and to displease, instead of alluring and affecting the Heart.   For by the Exercise of the Internal Senses, we see Spiritual Objects, as the Internal Light World, Visions of Angels, and Visions of Representation.   In this state we likewise hear the Songs, Voices and Harmony of Angels, with the Harpers upon Mount Sion, who there continually praise the Lord; we smell the Perfumes of Christ's Garments, and are often entertained with Paradisiacal Odours;  we touch and feel the powerful tincture of Christ's Body, which many times strongly affects the Heart with powerful delight:   We also oft taste the heavenly Manna, and those Dews of Paradise which are sweeter than Honey, to that Part which receives them. 

(s) 1Cor. xii. 5.

4. I could here more largely particularize the several Objects, Delights, and Enjoyments of the inward spiritual Senses;  but because there may be great (s) Variety, according to the different Gifts and Capacities of several Persons;  and in regard some (for ought I know) may pass far in the Progress of the New-Birth, without a particular knowledge of those Enjoyments;   I shall not instance in many particulars, I could;    nor set down my own (with some others) peculiar, and various Experiences.

(t) Heb. xii. 22.

 

 

(u) 2Kings vi. 17.

5. Yet in general, I cannot but affirm, that the unlocking the Senses of the inward Man, is a great Priviledge:   And that the Soul by it attains many great Supports and Refreshments to uphold it, and give it encouragement to hold out to the End.   For truly, this Communion it lives in now, with the (t) Angels of God, and other divine Objects, continually minds it of Heaven and Paradise; and exceedingly draws the Heart from all that is in the World, where Death and Corruption is writ upon every thing;  and the Dragon and Beasts bring forth their various Wonders:    But in this state the Soul blesseth God for that Constancy he afforded under the Cross:   And for that Death it hath undergone, in Resignation to this Will, which hath proved a Passage into this Life; in which the Soul beholds the opening of a (u) new World, with it’s glorious Hosts:   And begins to feel the Sweetness of the Angelical Life, and to see what we fell from, by descending into the Spirit of Mortality, and the sensitive Nature.

(v) Heb. xii. 1.

 

6. Now this state cannot be attained but by a Death to that which was the chief Engagement of the Soul to the World, and the primary Chain that hindered its gradual Ascent towards God.   And we may find there is something in every one, which is the (v) Soul’s Delilah, that shaves its Locks and betrays it's Strength; and whilst this remains, it cannot effectually grow in the Love of God, and Conformity to Christ’s Death.   But when this subtle Harlot comes to be discovered and killed, the Soul flies apace, and very swiftly to Eternity;  for when this Wheel is taken away, the smaller that depended on it, lose their Strength and Motion, and so cease with it;  giving Freedom to the Soul, of tending towards its true Center.

7. Which (having regained this Liberty, and attained in some Measure the Restoration of the Holy Powers of Sensation) sings a Song of Praise to God in this manner.

(w) Gen. xxxii. 1, 2.

 

Blest be that Power, which hath that Idol broke,
Which did so long depress me with her Yoke!
Blest be that Hand which hath restor’d to me
An Eye, within this World, a World to see!
Where Angels and blest Spirits freely move,
As they are acted by the Laws of Love;
Whence they a Visit
(w) sometime deign to give
To those imbodied Souls that purely live.

C H A P.   VII.

1. The Soul's advance in the strait Way of Resignation by resisting unto Blood and forsaking all.   2.  The Members of the Body of Sin that are to be Crucified.   3.  Natural Affections, how far exempted from this Crucifixion.   4. The Christian Marriage State described and compared with the single State.  5.  The Comforts we meet with in the way of entire Resignation and Renunciation.

(x) Rev. i. 6.

(y) Heb. x. 20.

(a) Heb. xii. 4.

(b) Gen. ii. 25.

 

 

(c) Luke xiv. 33.

 

 

 

(d) Gal. v. 24.

1.TH E  Soul having now attained to the Death of that which so long hindered it’s growth in the pure Life (and to the Enjoyments of those spiritual Objects, which exceedingly refresh and quicken the Heart, in the midst of all Discouragements) proceeds cheerfully in the strait way of Resignation; (x) offering up it’s Sin Offering daily as a Sacrifice to the Father’s Justice.   For now the daily Oblation is restored in the Holy Place, which must continue till the Death of Sin, and the rending away the Vail of (y) Flesh from before the most Holy:   Now therefore the Circumcising Knife of God’s Power constantly cuts off the fleshly Part, which is offered up in the Fire of Justice, and consumed before the Lord.   Now the Soul sees it must resist to Blood, that is, to the (a) Death of the Body of Sin, which is wholly to be separated from the Spirit, with all it’s Members.    For this is that false Covering it hath wrapped itself in through the Fall, instead of that naked Innocency in which there was no uncomeliness, and therefore (b) no Shame:   Except therefore this fore-skin of the Flesh be cut off, the Angelical Robe cannot be put on:   And as that falls off, this is assumed;    increasing as that decays:   For, they cannot both rise and fall together;  for while the outward Man Decays, the inward Man is renewed Day by Day.    Here it clearly appears, we must forsake all; otherwise (c) we cannot be Christ’s Disciples.   All Objects of our Carnal Affections, all Complacency in fleshy Things; all Self-Propriety in the Will of Nature, which came in through the Fall, and the Soul’s departing from the universal Charity, (the true Ground of heavenly Community) into the particular Objects of Self-Affections, which as it hath been awakened by the Soul’s going out of God’s Will, into its own:    so it must be crucified by returning from itself into the pure eternal Will of God, which we can never attain, till we (d) are dead to the Affections of the sensitive Part.

(e) Col. iii. 5.

 

(f) Matt. xix. 27.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. For Carnal Love, Joy, Hope, Fear, Desire, Displeasure, are all the selfish Motions of the Natural Man, the corrupt Members of the Body of Sin, together with earthly Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Jealousy, Emulation, Wrath, Strife, all which are the Legs of the Earthly Adam, and therefore to be cast away and (e) destroyed;  and in their Fall, the Will comes to be crucified to all their Objects, and to all selfish Propriety.    Here we come to lose our own Lives, to hate our selfish Motions, to be slain to all fleshy Things, the Will hath espoused, instead of God in Christ.   Here we begin to be truly Poor, renouncing all (f) for Christ, in a resigned Will and mortified Affections, as also a Moderate, Charitable and Sanctified use of all temporal Things.   And as to the Case of Propriety in Earthly Estates, it is good to know and declare Impartially, the full and perfect thing design'd to be brought forth in the Church, that Christians of this Day may at least wish and pray for it; tho’ it seems indeed to be almost impracticable in the present degenerated State of the Christian Church:   Nor to be set upon without an Aid and Concurrent Power of the Holy Ghost, like that in Pentecost, where no Man call'd any thing that he had his own, but they had all things in Common.   It is certain that Covetousness in the desire of the natural Man, hath been the cause of all those Engrossings of Land and Money, which most are Involved in, and Christ with his Disciples, and his Disciples afterwards with their followers, gave a Pattern, and made a Beginning of the Renewal of the Law of Love; which regards our Neighbour or Brother as our self.   And the least we can do in this Point at this Day, must be for those that have Estates, to be as tho’ they had them not, and to use them as Stewards for God and Christ, and also with regard to his Body or Members, being Communicative according to the Will of God, in the more enlarg’d and generous Proportions of Wisdom, Goodness and Love.   We are also in this to see our present Shortness, and bemoan the loss of the Spirit and Power of Primitive Christianity; and stand ourselves so loose and indifferent to all things, that if, or whenever God may please to restore the Primitive Spirit, Power and Life of Christianity again, we may be in a Posture prepar'd and ready to give up all, and Concur in the more perfect Manner of such a blessed Day. viz.  In a Heavenly Community here on Earth which may Imitate the Holy Angels and the Glorified Saints above, who inherit their Eternal Substance, as their Eternal Joys, without any Self-appropriation, in blessed Unity and Community.

(g) Luke xiv. 27.

3. Here we likewise die to, and forsake (g) earthly Relations, as part of that we call Ours:   And though we are not to destroy natural Affection, nor to neglect the performing of any due Obligation laid upon us by the Law of Nature, as it accords with the Will and Justice of God;  yet we are to die to all such Propriety of Affection, as flows from corrupt Nature, and hinders the impartial Communication of our Love to every one, according to the perfect Example of our Heavenly Father, who takes in no fleshy Respects, in the giving forth of his Love to his Creatures, which is our Pattern to imitate; for we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

4. Here those that have Wives, are as though they had none, in Sanctification of the Marriage Bed, and subordination of inferior Desires, by a superior regard to Christ the Spouse of the Church, whereof they are here appointed a Holy Figure.   Thus forbearing to Idolize the Woman of the World, and returning to the true Mother and Spouse of the Soul in Christ Jesus, viz.  The Virgin Sophia, or the Heavenly Wisdom, who is the unspotted Mirror of the Eternal World, the first and Chief Spouse of Christ, see Rev.xii. 2.   And they who can receive it, follow the Example of Christ, who lived and died in Virginity, as he was born of a Virgin:   And this they do for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake, according to that precept,   Mat. xix. 12.   He that is able to receive it, let him receive it;   where Christ speaks concerning the abstaining from Marriage, and of those that had made themselves Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven.   Whence it is clear, that a greater degree of dying to, and crucifying the Root, whence the enjoyment in that State comes, is to such, a real mean to the greater growth and encrease of God’s Kingdom in the Soul, which is to be presented as a Chaste Virgin to Christ, 2Cor. xi. 2.  and St Paul, 1Cor. vii. 21, 32, 33, 34, 35. prefers the Virgin State far before the Married; and therefore Verse the 7th saith, I would that all Men were as I am:   Which certainly he spake according to true Light, sound Judgment and great Experience in the Work and Progress of Regeneration.

(h) 1Cor. xv. 50.

(i) Rev. xiii. 16, 17.   Though I hint at the mystical sense of the Beast in Rev. xiii. yet I deny not the Historical as it hath been truly applied to a Succession of Persons in the signally lapsed or Antichristian Church.

5. But in a Word, in this State before described, we come to see, that we our selves are not our own, but the Lord’s, and that we are to consecrate our Bodies, Souls and Spirits to him, and to resign up all we call ours to him, whose is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, for ever.   And truly our gradual Incorporation into the Body of Christ, with the Enjoyment of new Relations and Treasures, which are Spiritual and Eternal, make it the more easy to die to, and forsake all earthly Things;   which being of a lower Nature, shew their Rise by their Fall;  for being of the Earth, they are Earthly, and return to Earth, as utterly (h) incapable to enter with us into the Kingdom of Love.   As we leave the Spirit of the World, they leave us; and so we arrive to a good degree of Conquest and Victory over that (i) Beast, which rules the whole World, which gives the Soul occasion thus to express itself in praise.

Blest be that Power, by which the Beast
Is made to serve, and we releast
From that base servile Drudgery,
Which some mistake for Liberty.
Sad Liberty! That chains poor Souls to Dust,
And soils immortal Things with mortal Rust.


C H A P.   VIII.

1. The Soul's conquest over Imagination.   2.   Disturbing the Rest of the inward Man.   3.  Means whereby this Conquest is obtain'd, viz. Watchfulness and Exercise of the Cross.   4. As also Faith and Perseverance.  5.  Other helps towards this Conquest.    6.  The chiefest whereof, a continual Sense of the divine Presence.  7. Intellection superior to Reason.   8.   Sense of the divine Presence is without Phantasms.  9.  The Excellency of intellection or intuitive Knowledge.  10. Reason oft Misguides the understanding in spiritual Matters.  11.  An Exhortation to seek the divine Light.

1.TH E  Soul having arrived so far in the Circumcision of the Heart from the Body of Flesh, and in the Renovation of the Spiritual Image, cannot but have attained a good step in the Command over Imagination, especially in the death of it, to Complacency in any corrupt fleshly Object, which now becomes too gross for the renewed Mind to regard.    But yet we shall find the Tempter working much upon Imagination, sometimes taking advantage of the strong Influences of the external Heavens; and if we are so strong as to reject Thoughts which tempt to speculative Delight in Objects, which our corrupt Nature formerly imbraced, but now (being changed) abhorreth; we shall find the evil one drawing us to close with, and entertain thoughts not evil in themselves, yet very evil to us, because they present and feed the Soul with unprofitable Pictures, which should be alone entertained with the sweet Meditation of Christ’s Love, and the Way to be compleated in it.

2. And I know many are exceedingly troubled with the working of their Imaginations on inconsiderable trifling Objects, when as they dare not entertain any Thoughts grossly evil; and where this State is grown into a long Habit, it will be difficult to come out of it, though a Soul be very sensible of the Vanity of it, and long to be freed from it, as finding the Imagination in these workings, to be like the Witch of Endor, raising up the old Prophet Samuel, or the inward Man, from the sleep of Silence, and innocent Stillness, to be disquieted with vain earthly Things, 1Sam. xviii. 15.

(k) 2Cor. x. 5.

3. In this case therefore, it concerns the Soul to stand continually upon it’s Watch, lest it be sometimes snatcht away unawares, and ingaged in Vanity, before it sees where it is.   Here the continual Exercise of the Cross is very necessary, that by it we may (k) cast down Imaginations, and lead Captive every thought into the Obedience of Christ:     So that the chief work now, is the reducing this moveable Sea into Subjection to the illuminated Understanding:   Therefore the Soul prays and strives continually against the Power of Imagination and Activity of Thoughts, which hinder the silent actings of the Intellect upon Eternity, and supernatural Truths.

4. And here Faith and Perseverance are very needful.    We need Faith to believe that by the Power and Strength of Christ we may overcome these Imaginations;  and Perseverance that we may not faint in the Way, and give over the constant Exercise of the Cross in rejecting, beating down, and ceasing from these Motions of the imaginary faculty, till we come to be Conquerors, and to Command them;   which is possible through Christ, who is come into our World, to destroy the Works of the Devil, and to rule till he hath put all his Enemies under his Feet, of which these idle Thoughts are a part.

 

(l) Phil. iii. 20.

 

(m) Matt. 28. 20.

(n) Eph. iv. 10.

5. And as the Soul here uses the Power it hath received from Christ in checking, rejecting, and beating down all idle Thoughts, as a means to overcome them; so likewise it is oft exercising of its Understanding upon the eternal Love and free Grace of God, and in considering the mystery of that (l) Paradisiacal World, in which the Angels and the Spirits of the just are.   It much also reflects upon the Presence of it's Saviour who hath promised to be with us to the (m) end of the World, filling (n) all things in his divine Nature, for he continually stands at the Door and knocks so that the Soul waits every Moment for the fulfilling of that Promise of his coming into it, and supping with it, Rev. iii. 20.   And this constant attending upon God with the Eye of the Understanding, proves a very effectual Means to the destroying of those Imaginations which come to Entangle the Soul in unprofitable Diversions.

 

(o) Heb. xi. 27.

(p) Eph. i. 18.

6. In this Practice, the Understanding gets such power over the Imaginations, that it enjoys almost a continual sight or (o) apprehension of God’s Presence;  and sees beyond the working of Imagination, by the (p) Eye of the Understanding enlightened, and by little and little attains that Strength, that although we should have necessary occasion to take up our Thoughts in some external Employment, yet the Understanding pierceth through it, and in the very time of exercising it’s Reason on that particular, it hath strong and clear Apprehensions of the Presence of God, and the Spiritual World.

7. Which clearly shews that Intellection, or the true acting of the Understanding, is somewhat beyond Reason which is not able to do two things at once, and act upon several Objects, at the same instant.

(q) Acts xvii. 29.

8. And this constant Apprehension or Sense of the divine Presence is without any Phantasm, it being in that Moment when the Phantasms, are employed upon another Object; and they having somewhat of Materiality, cannot afford that spiritual Sight and Apprehension such a Soul hath constantly of God, which is without (q) figure, colour, or similitude;   yet I must confess the usual Contemplations of the Soul (in this state) upon spiritual Truths, and Scripture Verities, are not without the use of Phantasms, which being ordered by divine Light and Wisdom do in some Measure (according to their Nature) express spiritual Truth.

(r) Gen. i. 27.

(s) Gen. ii. 19,20.

(t) Eccles. vii. 29.

9. Though I confess this is far below the true Intellection of the Understanding, informed with the presence of divine Light; in regard these Phantasms, being generally drawn from Corporeal Objects, cannot reach the Office of a Spirit.    And truly here the Soul plainly discovers it’s fall from the divine (r) Mind, Image and Light (in which it saw intuitively, and could give (s) Names according the Natures of Things) into the imaginary (t) Spirit, which belongs to this World, and is too gross a Glass to express truly and essentially, spiritual eternal Objects.

(u) 1Cor. ii. 14.

(w) John xiv. 26.

10. And here it appears how easily Man’s Reason (being the apt and methodical ordering of his Phantasms) may (u) misguide the Understanding in spiritual Things, as in Comments upon Scriptures, which were inspired by the Holy Ghost, and wrote by Revelation; and so require the (w) help of that same Spirit, to elevate the Understanding above Imagination, in the true Interpretation of them;   especially in things which are out of the Road of those Moral Verities, which Light of Nature impresseth upon Men’s Consciences, to steer them in their Lives and Conversations.

11. Then let us pray for that true Light,
Which gives a true and constant Sight,
Of God, Christ, Angels, who do lie
Much deeper than laps'd Reason’s Eye;
Which in the Glass of Phantasie,
A lively Picture may espy,
But not the Essence of true Verity.


C H A P.   IX.

1. The Soul arrived to this State, caution'd against three failures apt to hinder its Progress.   2.  The restraining of all Thoughts recommended.   3. Whereby irregular Imagination is overcome.

 

 

(x) Isaiah ii. 16.

 

(y) 2Cor. x. 5.

1.TH E  Soul having arrived so far, as to enjoy almost a continual apprehension of the Presence of God and Angels, finds itself much freed from those vain Thoughts, which in former Dispensations were very troublesome:  But being Conqueror over these, it must take heed lest the new Objects of Heaven, Angels and spiritual Gifts, set the Imagination too much a work, in representing their Excellencies, and picturing forth such a State of the Soul enriched with them, which may yield too much imaginary Delight, and draw the Spirit into the admiration of fine pleasant (x) Pictures instead of true Substance.   Therefore we are strictly to watch over the Phantasie, which may easily err in this particular, and not without great prejudices following upon it:   For first, by such working of Imagination, we come to slacken the Exercise of the Cross, both upon Imagination itself, (which is (y) continually to be restrained, and as much as possible reduced in subjection, to the illuminated Understanding) and also upon the Relicks of the Old Man in any other Faculty, which are always to be slain in their first Buddings;   and therefore to be strictly eyed;  which cannot be, whilst Imagination is so busy in its motions.

The second is, that Complacency which the Soul may take, by representing itself adorned with, and enjoying the Gifts of Hearing, Seeing, Touching, Tasting, and Smelling, in a spiritual Way, (with all the Beauty and Sweetness of the Objects of those Faculties) both in itself so priviledged, and in the Objects themselves;   most of which being but Streams, and not the Fountain itself, the Soul may be in danger of taking too much delight, and so of being entangled in them.

(z) Psal. 46. 10

 

 

 

 

 

The third inconvenience is, the obstructing that still Silence of the Soul, in which it (z) should be oft wrapped up, as a mean to those extraordinary effusions of Light and Power which God many times affords the Soul in its passive quiet waiting:   Whereas this labour of Imagination, too much keeps the Soul in Action, and so in an unfitness for those Divine Impressions, which very seldom come down, but into a Spirit profoundly silent.   Seeing then there may be so much danger in indulging Imagination, even in these pure Objects, we shall find it very requisite, oft to cease from all Imagination, and to act no Thoughts upon any thing, in the heights above, or the depths below;     I say no Thought, Thoughts being but Images, which reach not the Essence of spiritual Objects.   But this Practice excludes not that general, constant, intellectual sight and apprehension of God, which the Soul (thus far arrived) enjoys.   Therefore I speak not here to those who have not attained a continual, habitual apprehension of the Divine Presence;   for if they should strive to cease from their good Thoughts, they might fall into a kind of Stupidity, far worse.    But I here give Directions to those who having attained constant habitual Communion with God, press after Perfection in their constant Progress, though all Impediments;   of which, this working of Imagination being one, we here give experimental Directions to overcome it.

(a) Rev. i. 10.

(b) Rev. iv. 2.

(c) Rev. xvi. 13. and 19,20. Though I here allude to the false Prophet mention'd in the Apocalypse; yet I exclude not the Eternal Prophetick sense of this or any other part of the Revelation, which is a Prophetick History of the Church to the end of the World.

2. And certainly there is no better way than the Annihilation of all Thoughts, and retiring from the Phantasie into the Silent (a) Mind, which more fits the Soul for Divine Irradiation, and spiritual Imbraces;  for the more quiet we are, the less resistance we make against a supernatural Impression, and the easier we perceive the beginnings of Divine Attraction, and so yield our selves to it.    And truly, when the Soul hath attained the Power to throw itself (as oft as it is meet) into the silent super imaginary State (which must be attained by the habitual constant Practice of it) it will then come to eternal (b) Openings, and intellectual Sights of the Invisible Worlds, and many times receive quickening Glances from the Eternity, with those strong infusions of Love, that bring the Soul many times near to a Rapture.   And truly, the enjoyment we have in this State fully recompenceth all that Self-denial, we pass through to the Attainment of it.

3. Here then the false (c) Prophet (which is irregular Imagination) comes to be conquered, being commanded by the inward Mind, that now oft draws up the Soul into the Paradisiacal World, from the motion of Phantasie and Imagination.

And now the Soul doth bid Adieu
To Phansies glass 'cause ‘tis not true;
And to that Mirror turns its Eye
Where Things are view’d Essentially:
And there in silence waits that State to know,
To which all former Dispensations bow;
Wait on, blest Soul! And know this Passive Life
Will send thee into Oneness, from all strife.


C H A P.   X.

1. The conquest over Imagination, and the Animal or natural Man, discovers the growth of the Image of God in the Soul.   2. From hence flow spiritual Relations.  3. The Reason of spiritual Union and Sympathy.   4. Enjoyments flowing from spiritual Relations.    5.  The farther we are remov'd from the Animal Life, the more Universal we become.   6.  An Exhortation to quit our natural State, for that which is Spiritual.

(d) 1Cor. ii. 12.

1. IMagination being now overcome, and the Animal Man mortified, the Soul cannot but clearly discover its growth in the Image of God, and the Resurrection of the Angelical Man, which now evidently perceives itself springing up in a new Principle, above the Spirit of the (d) World, and its mixed Laws:   And here we come to own and receive new Relations, contracted by our Progress in the New Birth, and our tendency from the Spirit of the World towards Eternity.

(e) Gal. iv. 26.

(f) Eph. iv. 4.

2. And as through the Act of Generation we came to be invested with earthly Relations, so by the Work of Regeneration we come to possess those that are Spiritual.   Here we come to honour God, as our Father in the Spirit, (not excluding any other of his beloved Ones, who have been instrumental to beget us into the divine Image and Wisdom) and Jerusalem above, as our true (e) Mother:   And so all other Saints who have been begotten by the same Power into the same Nature, become our true Brothers and Sisters;  all standing upon one Root, drawing one Nourishment, and knit together by (f) one Spirit, which is the Instructor, Leader and Comforter of all.

(g) James v. 20.

 

 

 

 

(h) Ezek. 37. 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. But we shall here find a nearer Union and Communion amongst those who have been by one particular Instrument begotten into the Life of Christ, having a peculiar Vein of spiritual Enjoyment running through them; which others, who received not that particular Tincture, do not partake of.   And had we lived in the Apostles times, we should have seen this amongst the Primitive Christians; for certainly they that were begotten by St. Paul had a particular Endearment to him, and to one another;   and so it may be said of those that were converted by Apollos, Cephas, and others.   Which is clear by that Scripture, 1Cor. i. 12. Everyone of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas.   And though St. Paul blames them here for Contention, Emulation and Irregularity in their particular Affections, to their spiritual Fathers; yet not for a peculiar ownment of those who instrumentally converted them; for that is according to the Law of pure Justice, (g) seeing he that Converts a Sinner, saves a Soul from Death, and covers a Multitude of Sins.    And St. Paul himself in some places speaks of himself, as a spiritual Father, requiring of those he had begotten into the Faith, due Respect, Obedience and Love.   But amongst those who are thus peculiarly united, we shall see more closely knit in spiritual Agreement than others, and essenced into one anothers Spirits; as may appear by that great Union which Christ had with St. John, and that particular Affection he bare towards him, which was the reason why St. John was called  by way of eminency and distinction from the rest) The Disciple whom Jesus loved.   Now when we come to experience this, we shall know the meaning of that Scripture, where Bone is said to come (h) to his Bone:   For as some Bones are locked one in another, and some Members grow more immediately one out of another, though all make up but one organical Body:   So some Spirits are nearer united in Christ’s Body than others, and stand closer jointed, and more intrinsically compacted, but all make up but one spiritual and mystical Body.   And this we shall find to flow from the Harmony and Agreement of Spirits and Natures, as they were signatur'd in the first Moment of Existency:   For Grace and the work of Regeneration do not destroy our Natural signatures, only rectify them by that heavenly Principle which reduceth all our Spirits into the highest Perfection they are capable of, by their primary Model and Frame.    Hence it appears that they are more truly Brethren (even according to natural Nature) who thus agree, and correspond in their Essences, than they that are ordinarily called so, who are many times very contrary signatur'd.   And the reason of this Assertion is, in that when our Natures come to their perfect rectitude and Restoration by Union with God;  this secret propension and harmonious closing with those that are like-essenced, remains;   whereas from meer natural Relation, there nothing continues;   though in those who are related, there may be this Agreement too:   But meer Relation is not the cause of it, but that secret Law of Influence, which God hath established to signature some one way, some another; some in much agreement and proportion; others more differing,  tho’ all representing something of that variety which is wrapt up in the Unity of the eternal Nature.    I could not but give an hint of this, because it may open some things concerning Relations, which may lye dark to those who know not the deepest Ground and Root of them.

(i) John i. 13.

(k) 1John iii. 16

(l) Gal. iv. 15.

(m) Col. ii. 5.

4. But I shall proceed to the further opening of those Enjoyments, which flow from Union with new Relations, which come now to be very dear;   because the ground of their Relation is so pure and good, being (i) not of Man, or the Will of Man, but of God.   Here we shall experience the happy Effects of our pure Union, which produces that Divine Love, that none can know, but those that enjoy it.   But this will be strongest, where there is most Harmony and Agreement in Spirits and Natures;  because the eternal Tincture works upon, and through every thing according to its Nature and Capacity:   Hence we come to enjoy more from some, than others;  and some from us receive more than others.    But that brotherly Love and Friendship, which now come to be renewed in Spirit, far transcend any enjoyments merely Natural:   And whatsoever we parted with in dying to all earthly Affection and it’s Objects, we regain in the Resurrection of our Spirits, in this pure Love, which is not Affection, but something above it;   not consisting in sudden out-flowings and eruptions, but in a constant sweet inclination, and secret propension of the Spirit, to those which are one with it, in pure Life:   And this good-willingness is so great, that from it the Soul could give (k) it's Life (or if there were any (l) thing dearer than Life) for it’s Brother; and choose Sufferings to free others from them.   In this state there will be a sympathizing in Joy and Sorrow; and where the Union is eminently great, there may be some knowledge of each others Condition, at a (m) distance, which comes from their being essenced in each others Spirits and Tinctures, which is the cause of this invisible Sympathy.

(n) 2Cor. iii. 2.

 

 

 

 

 

5. And they that are in this near Union, feel a mutual in-dwelling in the pure Tincture and Life (n) of each other:   And so, the further we come out of the animal Nature, the more universal we are, and nearer both to Heaven, and to one another in the Internal; and the fitter instrumentally to convey the pure streams of the heavenly Life to each other, which no external distance can hinder.   For the divine Tincture (being such a spiritual Virtue, as Christ imprinted into the Heart of the Disciples, with whom he talked after his Resurrection, making their Hearts to burn within them) is able to pierce through all distance, and reach those that are far absent; because it is not Corporeal, nor Subject to the Laws of place and time.

Now this is known to some by Experience, who in absence enjoy such influences of Spirit, and secret Insinuations of spiritual Virtues from one another, that they cannot but value this spiritual Communion, above all Enjoyments in the World;    which compared to it, seem but like the basest Metal to the purest Gold.

6. Then quit that wretched state, immortal Soul,
Where poyson'd Ghosts in flesh together roll;
And take thy flight into that Mount of Love,
Where New-born Spirits in bright Bodies move,
And sport themselves in that Eternal Joy,
Which totally excludes Lust’s base alloy.
Lust’s left below for those that flesh desire;
Love dwells on High, Love fills the heavenly Quire.


C H A P.   XI.

1. Danger of Selfishness from the Enjoyment of these spiritual Relations.   2.  And from Gifts of the Spirit.   3.   How to obviate these Dangers.   4. Tho' not without Difficulty.   5.  And Conformity to the Death of Christ.

TH E Love which in this spiritual Union (before described) we come to enjoy, is unexpressibly refreshing, proving to be sweeter than the Honey or the Honey Comb; and continually raiseth the Soul to the true Fountain of it, who being the true cause of all pure Union, both preserves and increaseth it.

1. But the Soul now having a View, and Experience of the Beauty and Sweetness of the Spirits of other Christians, and of the Excellency of that Love which may be enjoyed thro' them, may (if it be not prevented by much Self-denial and Watchfulness) suffer very much Selfishness to spring up in a new Dress:   For here may arise spiritual Covetousness, or a desire of engrossing Spirits to ones self.    Here spiritual Pride may also discover it self in desiring much esteem of such;   Envy may likewise start up against those who we fear may draw them from us, or enjoy more Love from them than our selves:   And so all other selfish Affections may here croud in,  in a refined dress.   And as these spiritual Evils may flow from the sight of the Excellency and Suitableness of the Spirits of other Christians:

(o) Ezek. xvi. 15.

2. So also they may break in upon us from large and eminent Gifts of the Spirit, 2 Cor. xii. 7.    For we, seeing the Amiableness and Worth of these, may come immoderately to desire them;   may fear to have them eclipsed;   may reflect too much upon (o) our selves in the enjoying of them;   may look too much after Eminency in the use of them; and (in a Word) may take too much Complacency in the pleasant fruition of them; even to an hindrance of our looking up to the Fountain, as all in all.

(p) Gal. vi. 14.

 

(r) Gen. xxii. 2.

(s) 1Cor. xii. 25. 26.

 

(t) Phil. iii. 8.

 

 

 

3. If then the Soul be here entangled (as it is hard totally to escape) it must fly to the (p) Cross and lay the Axe to the Root of the Tree of the Self, that so it may be hewn down and cast into the Fire:    And it must pray for the Sword of Power, to circumcise and cut off this refined Selfishness as it did the grosser Part:    And to take away this Propriety, and Self-ownment of all Spirits, Gifts and Graces.   Here we must come to offer up the very Good it self, (as (r) Abraham did Isaac) to God, the Fountain and Bestower.   Here we must die to the coveting of any Spirit, Grace, Vision, Revelation, Rapture, or sensible Comfort.   Here we come to be nothing in all these;   to enjoy them as tho' we enjoyed them not, and not to reflect upon our selves on any account;    to rejoice to see others (s) flourish in the Riches of those;   and to have far more Light, Wisdom, Comfort and Honour, than our selves;   to be willing when we are rich in Gifts (and esteem of the Saints) (t) to part with them, if God so please, and to hang so loose from all things below God, as nothing may the least hinder our Conformity to the Death of Christ, or our rising again in the pure life of Love and Innocency.   And truly when we have known the Glory of those spiritual Objects, and have been rich in possessing them, we may find it exceedingly difficult wholly to give up, and to own no Propriety of Will in them, becoming nothing in the greatest Union of Spirits, fruition of Gifts and spiritual Honour;   keeping a sweet innocent Spirit from Selfishness in all these.

4. Now the Reason of the difficulty in being wholly freed from Self here, is the Excellency of the Objects, and the Sweetness of their Enjoyments:   For their Nature and Effects being very suitable to the Soul, they have the stronger Influence upon it, to close with them in too much delight and adherency:    Whence it may be more difficult, totally to give them up, than it was to leave outward gross Things, which could not be so pleasing to the Nature of the Soul:   And though some (who think they are passed far in the New-Birth) never experienced this; and may therefore look upon it as a thing not much to be regarded;  yet let all such know that the Reason may be, in that they never yet passed clear out of the Spirit of the World;   nor overcame their animal Nature by a compleat Circumcision and Renunciation;   and so were not capable to receive any extraordinary Enjoyments of Visions, Revelations, In-speakings, Prophesies, Union of Spirits;  and being not come into the inward Wilderness, where the Soul is fitted for such Things, and where these spiritual Temptations arise to try it:   Whereas being in the outward Sensitive (Spirit) and detained in Flesh and Blood, as Israel in Egypt, the inward spiritual Faculties of Sensation lie lock'd up, and can have no knowledge of those spiritual Operations and Enjoyments.

(u) 2Cor. vi. 10.

 

 

 

 

5. But they that are come so far in the Work of the New-Birth, as to be acquainted with, and to live to these things, must of necessity die to them, and come to be (u) nothing in them, giving up all to God, and forsaking the Propriety of their own Wills.    Now this is a parting with our own Lives, and the giving up the Ghost of refined Selfishness, which strikes at the Root of Sin and Evil, and brings us to the Death of the Cross, in Conformity to the Example of our Saviour’s Progress, who was Crucified betwixt two Thieves, one of which was lost, tho’ the other went with him into Paradise;   which we in the Mystery likewise fulfil:   For our Wills are Crucified betwixt the outward Animal Man, and the inward Old Man, or sinful Nature:   The first of which in the Resurrection, shall be received (after Purification) into Paradise;   but the last, must be destroyed and swallowed up into the fire of Wrath.

The Soul which on the Cross thus freely dies,
Becomes to God a pleasing Sacrifice,
Through that Eternal Spirit, and that Blood,
Which by meer Reason are not understood;
Nor by those Rabbies, who full-wise would be,
Though they know not the true Divinity.


C H A P.   XII.

1.  The Soul's Conformity to Christ's descent into Hell.   2. This Principle of God's Wrath is spread through the World.   3. Luke 8. 31. Explained.   4. Visibles proceed from Invisibles.  5.  Hell, Why call'd the Heart of the Earth.  6.  Christ having past this way, draws all Men after him.   7.  We may feel the Anguish of Hell, without having past thro' it as Conquerors.   8.  A Hymn of praise for this Conquest.

1.A F T E R  this death upon the Mystical Cross, the Soul in Conformity to Christ’s progress, passeth through a state Analogous to that of Christ’s descent into Hell, being that Principle which stands as a smoaking Furnace before the Entrance of Paradise, into which none can pass, but those that are dead with Christ, and washed from the Pollutions of Flesh and Spirit by the Blood of the Lamb.   For whosoever retain the spots of Guilt will be kept back by God’s Wrath, which in this Principle, burns like Fire, Isa. xxx. 33.

2. This also is spread (at least potentially, as to its Root) through the whole World, yet invisible to the outward Eye.   In this the Dragon and all Evil Angels are;  for Jud. Epist. ver.6. The Lord reserves the fallen Angels in everlasting Chains under Darkness, or, as 2Pet. ii. 4. hath cast them into Hell, and delivered them into Chains of Darkness, to be reserved unto Judgement.   Now though the fallen Angels are every where tempting the Saints, yet they are always in the Chains of this invisible Darkness, which could not be if this were not every where in this World.   Whence, Ephes. vi. 12. it is called, the Darkness of this World:   Of which the chief Devils are the Kossmokraatores or Worldly Rulers.   And although evil Spirits receive some Refreshment by mixing with the Souls of Men, which are cloathed with the Animal sensitive Nature, and live in the Spirit of the World; yet they are still in Chains under this Darkness as in their proper Center.   And although it is said, Lu. viii. 30.

3. That the Devils, whose name was Legion, besought Christ, (after they were cast out of the Man) that he would not command them to go into the Deep, as though the Deep or bottomless Pit, had been at a distance from them:   Yet the meaning is, that they might not wholly go out of the Spirit of the World, and out of Union with it, deeper into the Center of Darkness and Wrath;    for in Union either with Men or Beasts who live in the Spirit of the World, they receive some mitigation of their Torment, which they have not, when they are naked and uncloathed in the Abyss:   Therefore their going into the Abyss from union with the Spirits of Men or Beasts, is not as we depart from one Room into another (which are disjoyned by outward distance) but a sinking deeper from the Circumference towards the Center, from the outward to the inward, which we call the Dark World and Hell:   Which (according to the sight and experience of some deep mystical Men) is made up of the Spiritual Sulfur, Mercury and Salt, not united and harmoniz'd in sweet proportion, for then they would be Paradise;  but as in discord and disproportion working in contrary Motions, through the absence of that pure Balsamical Oil, which flowing from the heart of God, makes Paradise so delightful.

I deny not but some great Sea-Monster is (in the Letter) here described; but that the Devil is here also alluded to, and intended, is not only my Judgment, but of many of the Ancients, as appears clear by ver. 34. which is a Key to the Rest.

4. Now all things in this visible World are compounded of these three Material Principles, Sulfur, Mercury and Salt; so are the Invisible Worlds, in their spiritual Nature, from whence the Visible World proceeded, and in which it is erected; for Heb. vii. 3. The things  which are seen were made, may eck phynomainohn, not of things that do appear, but consequently out of things invisible, as the Vulgar Latin hath it, ut ex invisibilibus visiblia sierent, and to the same Sense is the Syriack Version.   But to proceed, the dark World (Rev. ix. 2.) is called the Abyss or Bottomless Pit; and whosoever go down into this Sea, see God’s Wonders in the Deep, Psal. 107. 24.  for there is the Great Leviathan, the crooked Serpent, the Dragon, Isa. 27. 1.   Out of whose mouth, Job 41. 19. 20. 21. go burning Lamps, and sparks of Fire leap out:   Out of his Nostrils goeth Smoak, as out of a seething Chaldron:    His breath kindleth Coals, and a flame goeth out of his Mouth, v. 31. he maketh the Deep to boil like a Pot of Ointment, 34.   He beholdeth all high Things:  He is a King over all the Children of Pride, which are the Principalities, Powers and spiritual Wickednesses of this dark World;    many of which in their dark Bodies bear the forms of terrible Beasts, Rev. ix. 3. 17.    Into this Region, Christ descendeth after his giving up of the Ghost upon the Cross;   for this is a distinct Article of the ancient Creed, and agrees with Act. ii. 27. Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell, which was prophetically spoken by the Psalmist, of Christ’s descending into Hell, and of his Redemption from it; and Ephes. iv. 9. 'tis said, that before he ascended, he descended into the lower Parts of the Earth, which cannot be meant of his outward Body, that lay in, or near the surface of the Earth:    Or as in Matt. 12. 40.  into the Heart of the Earth:  Where there is a parallel made betwixt Jonas and Christ, the Type and the Anti-type; which cannot well correspond except Christ descended into the Spheres of the inward spiritual Leviathan, as Jonas into the Belly of the outward:  From whence (in Type of Christ)  he said, Jonah. ii. 2. Out of the Belly of Hell cried I, and thou heardest my Voice.

5. Now Hell or the dark World, may be called the heart of the Earth, 1. In allusion to that large  Sphere or Lake of Fire, which according to Des Cartes and some learned Hermetick Philosophers, is seated in and about the Center of the Earth. 2dly,   In that according to the eternal Gradation of Beings and Principles, it may be said to be within, in the Middle or Center of it, the Earth and all terrestrial Matter being more outward, in the Circumference. And though Hell is called  to skotos to exoteron (Matt. 8. 12) the utter or more outward Darkness, yet that's spoken in relation to Paradise, and the eternal World, not in reference to the Earth and this World.

(v) Matt. vii. 14.

6. Now Christ having passed through this Principle into Paradise, draws us all after him, according to that Promise; When I am lifted on the Cross, I will draw all men unto me.   Now this is no other Way, than that he went through himself;  for there is but one way into everlasting Life, and the Kingdom of Glory;  and that very narrow too, according to Christ’s Words, Strait is the Gate and narrow, or afflicted (v) tethlimmenay Hodos  is the way that leads into Life, and few there be that find it:   Even they only who deny themselves and take up their Crosses, and follow him, who is the Way, not only through this World, but even through Death and Hell also;  for, though in conformity to his Pattern, we come to be cast into Hell, which (Matt. 13. 50.) is called the Furnace of Fire, (typed forth by Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery Furnace, into which the three Children were cast):   Yet the Son of God walks there with us, keeping us from that Torment and Pain, which the damned undergo; and making us (with him) to triumph over Principalities and Powers, and to conquer them by the Blood of the everlasting Convenant; which quenching the Fire of Wrath, raiseth the Spirits of the obedient out of this dark Grave, into the Joys of Paradise.

7. But we must know that in our Progress we may many times be cast into Terror and Anguish;  yea feel Hell awakened in us, and afterwards be delivered by some influence of Christ’s Spirit, and infusion of his Love, and yet be short of his Resurrection, and of passing through Hell as Conquerors;  which can never be till we descend thither without Guilt, in Child-like Innocency, with the Candle of the Lord in our Hands, which is the Pillar of Fire which alone can lead us through this Night, into the Day of Paradise.   To which State whoever attain, cannot but sing thus in the joy of their Spirits.

(a) Jud. Epist. verse 6.

 

 

(b) Ezek. 37.  12. 13.

 

8. Ye Morning Stars, Ye Sons of Light,
Rejoice with Jubilation:
As
(a) once ye did when that first Night
Was scatter'd by Creation.
Behold the Prince of Night is thrown
Into his proper Place:
And he that cast the Dragon down,
Hath
(b) rais'd me by his Grace,
And now I stand above that Grave,
Where Wrath entombed is;
And wait, that rich Crown to receive,
Which will be perfect Bliss.

C H A P.   XIII.

1.  The Soul thro' the inward dark World, enters into the internal Paradise.   2.   It’s State in this Angelical Garden.   3.  It's Enjoyments here.   4. This State, the fifth Day in the new Creation.

(d) Rev. i. 7.

1.B Y  this time the Soul experienceth the happy State of being freed from the principle of Selfishness, in returning to God from the Spirit of the World, and sees the real Progress it hath made from the Outward thro' the Inward dark World, into the internal Paradise; where Adam lived before his Fall; and where Christ conversed, between the time of his Resurrection and Ascension.   In this spiritual Region the Curse is not manifest, there being  a perpetual Spring.   Here are the Ideas of all visible Bodies, in much Beauty and appearing Lustre.   Here are those bright Clouds which overshadowed Christ on the Mount, and when he was received up into Heaven; in which he will descend (d) when he comes again to judge the Earth.

(e) 1Pet. ii. 2.

(f)   John iii. 5.

 

(g) Rev. xxii. 1.

(h) Hos. xiv. 5.

2. Now the Soul having attained to the state of this Angelical Garden, knows what it is to turn and become as a (e) Child, and to attain a secret and quiet Life of Innocency and pure Love, free from those Passions and evil Affections it had formerly groaned under.   And here it experienceth what it is to be born of (f) Water and the Spirit, as a necessary qualification to do the Will of God:   And sees it's Conception in the Womb of Wisdom (which is our new Mother) who here distills the Milk of the eternal Word, (from the eternal World) to feed and nourish the Soul:    Whither it now Travels as fixing it's Sight upon that pure River of Water of Life, clear as Christal, (g) proceeding out of the Throne of God, and of the Lamb.   But now likewise the Soul lives the Life of Spiritual Vegetation and grows like a Willow by the Water Courses, or (h) a Lilly in the Garden of the Lord, being continually refreshed with the Dews of the eternal Heavens, and quickened by the Beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and cherished with the enlivening Gales of the holy Spirit.   All that are in this State, are like the harmless Flowers in a fruitful Garden, springing from the same Ground, yet differing in Colour, Virtue, Smell, and Growth, according to their several Natures, and Times of Planting;   yet all serving to express the Power, Love and Wisdom of their Creator, without any Strife or Contention for Eminency, Place, or Esteem, being all satisfied with what God affords them, and their different Capacities fit them for.

(i) 1Cor. xii. 13.

 

 

 

(l) Heb. xii. 15.

 

(m) Cant. ii. 6.

 

(n) Heb. xii. 2.

3. O what a sweet Harmony is here!   What a beautiful Consent in expressing the Goodness of the great Creator of all Things!    How far are Spirits here from envying the different Beauties and Ornaments one of another!   How sweetly do they incline to mutual Love and Agreement!    As being the Branches of one pure Root, as enjoying the same kind of Nourishment, and receiving Life from the same (i) quickening Spirit!   How is all Wrath and Contention here forgot!    How amiable do Spirits now begin to grow in the Eye of Christ, by their innocent Childishness!   And truly in this Dispensation, we come to be cloathed with Humility, wrap'd up in Meekness;  expressing nothing but the blessed Effects of Heaven upon Earth;  here we are full of Love-meltings towards Christ, who baptiseth us in the soft Water of spiritual Meekness;   which overspreads the Soul, not suffering any fire of Passion to spring up.   In this State, the Soul is very watchful over every Motion, in the outward and inward Man, fearing to step down again into Nature, where before it had so much Trouble and (l) Bitterness;  whereas now it is in a sweet pleasant Rest, lying upon the Bed of Innocency, solacing itself in the sweet (m) Embraces of it’s Saviour, who now begins to shew itself very clearly, and to afford almost continual Refreshments:   In a Word, this is a life of Stilness, Silence, and spiritual Simplicity;  in which the Soul turning it’s Eyes from Nature, looks directly forward to (n) Eternity;  and strongly breaths after it’s arrival there.

4. And here we come to know the Work of the fifth Day in our new Creation, answering the fifth of those seven Spirits, which are the Eyes of the Lamb of God. Rev.v. 6.

If Harmony doth in this Fifth arise,
What will it be, when thou dost Sabbatise,
In that last Day, where all variety
Concenters in a perfect Unity!
Then stand thou fast, poor Soul, and keep thy Ground,
Till with eternal Love thou shalt be Crown’d.
Take heed of Lust which unlock'd
Adam’s Eyes,
And cast him to the Earth from Paradise.


C H A P.   XIV.

1.  The blessedness of this State further discover'd.   2.  As it restores the internal Faculties of spiritual Sensation.   3.  A Caution not to set up our Rest in these Enjoyments.  

(p) Psal. 46. 4.

(q) Heb. iv. 3.

(r) Gal. vi. 14.

 

(s) 1Peter iv. 2.

1.WH E N  the Soul is arrived to this Baptism of Meekness and innocent Love, and hath experienced the comfortable Distillations of the heavenly Dew to it’s very great profit and growth, it comes to be much confirmed and established in this Principle, and finds the Effects of it’s present station to be very Blessed, in Comparison of what it was, when it stood in the fire of awakened Nature.   And now seems as one that hath passed through a hot fiery Region into a moderate cool Air, where gentle gales of Wind breath upon it, and refreshing Dews entertain it, and cooling (p) Waters are afforded to take away the Sense of Thirst.   And now it perceives the Happiness of those who have made their Way by Death through irregular and discording Nature, into that spiritual State, where there is Joy, Peace, (q) Rest and Harmony.   This Condition then brings with it a greater Death (r) to the World, and all Worldly Things, a total disrelishing of all things corrupt and impure, though more refined, and so as it is deadened to the World and Selfishness, it (s) lives the more to God and all Goodness, and finds it’s Will more strongly drawn to Christ and Eternity.

(t) 1John iii. 14.

 

(u) Heb. v. 14.

 

(w) 1John i. 1.

 

(x) 2Kings vi. 17.

 

(y)  Rev. xiv. 2.

 

(z) 1John i. 1.

 

(a) Psalms 45. 8.

 

 

2. And this dispensation into which the Soul now enters, is a state of much (t) Life and Quickning, and of much pleasing Enjoyment from the Objects of the internal Senses, renewed and restored by the Spirit of God;    for here the (u) internal Faculties of spiritual Sensation are more opened, and give a greater Enjoyment of the first Angelical (w) Life which was in Paradise:    And we attain the Use and Restoration of these Faculties, through our growth in Regeneration, and as a Priviledge purchased for us by Christ:   So that all Saints shall partake of them, either here or in Heaven, according as their Attainments are.   In this State our internal (x) Eye is more unlocked to behold the Paradisiacal World, with those luminous Objects and Inhabitants that are in it:   Here we see such bright Clouds as the Disciples (Matt. 17. 5.) saw on the Mount, and at Christ’s Ascension when he was taken up into Heaven, (Acts. 1. 9.)   In which he will likewise descend again, (Matt. 24. 30.)  Here also we see the Angels of God ascending and descending, as Jacob at Bethel, (Gen. 28. 12.).   In this state also our inward Ear is sweetly entertained with Angelical Harmony, hearing the sweet (y) Harpers upon Mount Sion, and the Voices of those that sing the Song of Moses and the Lamb, and of those that cry Hallelujah!  (Rev. 19. 1. 3. 4. 6.)  with many other Voices out of the eternal World, (Rev. 4. 1.)   Moreover our internal feeling is almost continually entertained with the strong Contactions of the (z) Word of Life, which sometimes discover themselves by thrilling Motions throughout the whole Man;    but most commonly by strong Infusions of the pure burning Tincture of Jesus (Luke 24. 32.) into the Heart.   In this state likewise we oft Smell the hot Perfumes of (a) Paradise, and are pierced through with most delightful Odours, which infuse themselves into the Tincture of the Heart, and create Delight, and give a plain feeling and sense of the presence of Paradise, and that invisible light World, where there is no Curse nor Corruption.   And in a Word, here we feed upon the heavenly Manna, Angels Food, which is living Bread, that Quickens, Enlivens, and Corroborates the Soul;    and we oft taste very sweet Dews diffusing themselves with much Pleasure into that internal Sense of Taste, which lies within the Organ of the Tongue.    Thus all the spiritual Faculties of Sensation are in this dispensation more opened, and more freely entertained with their peculiar Objects.

3. But yet we are not to rest in these Enjoyments, nor to go to build Tabernacles with them;   but to look forward and to press after perfect Union with the divine Nature in the eternal World : Where is our true Sabbath of Rest, in the Vision of God, and perfect fruition of his Love for ever,  (1Thes. 4. 17. Heb. 4. 9.) .

The Pleasures which in this state we enjoy,
Are only known to those that do Obey:
For Souls that do Imbibe sin’s poyson here,
Have neither Eyes to see, nor Ears to hear
Those sacred Objects of divine Sensation,
Which are the Pleasures of the new Creation:
Man’s lapsed Sense and Reason know them not,
They are the little Children’s sacred Lot.


C H A P.   XV.

1.   The Soul's Enjoyments in it's approaches to the eternal World.   2.  By it's growth in Love to God.   3.  It's fellow Members.   4. And all Men.  

1.B Y  this time the Soul begins to draw near the eternal World, in it’s fixed Station and habitual Enjoyment, lying under the showers of Love, which descend from the Heart of God and the bosom of Sophia:  Here the blessed Tincture of Jesus coming so powerfully, as though it streamed from his glorified Humanity, flows into the Soul like a River of Oyl, mixed with Fire, which affords that unutterable Delight, which cannot be conceived by those that know it not experimentally.

(b) Cant. ii. 5.

2. Here Christ saith, Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved, and fills large Cups of Love, heavenly Love to pour into the Soul;   so that it sometimes comes to be (b) sick of Love, not knowing how to carry itself through the abundant Showers that fall upon it.    For Christ many times toucheth the Soul with a piercing Beam of Love, which by this, is suddenly drawn to a quick return;   and this gives freer passage for a new Impression, which more exciting the Powers of the Soul to a new Imbrace, opens the way more for the King of Glory to enter with that power and unutterable force of divine Love, that the Soul becomes filled, swallowed up, and transported into a kind of Rapture, not being able to express those Pleasures, Gusts, Imbraces, Love-Extasies, which then are piercing through it;   nor sufficient Praises and Hallelujahs to the great King of Saints, who bestows such Royal Tokens of Love upon it.

(c) Psal. xvi. 3.

 

(d) John xvii. 21.

 

(e) 2Cor. xii. 15.

 

 

 

 

 

3. And as in this state there is such holy Commerce in pure Love betwixt God and the Soul, so there is betwixt the Soul and (c) other Saints, who cannot but wonderfully own and love one another, and delight in that likeness of God, which they see in each other, and bless him for those living Powers of Grace and Love that are communicated in the Worship of God, by which they exceedingly refresh each others Spirits.   Now this mutual Love chiefly flows from a (d) sight and sense of Oneness, which exceedingly enforceth this great closing and outflowing of Spirit, to delight, comfort, and refresh one another.   And here is that strength of Love that we could give our (e) lives for our Brethren, and endure much Affliction to free them from sufferings:    Here we bear one anothers Burdens, and so fulfil the Royal Law of Love;    for we can keep nothing as our own, but what we heartily communicate and make our Brethren partakers of, because they are part of our selves:   Here we come to practice that heavenly Law, of loving our Neighbours as our Selves, and of doing God’s Will on Earth, as it is done in Heaven;  for which end, Man and the visible World were both brought forth.   For the breaking forth of Sin and Wrath, was not according to God’s most pure and holy Will, which is good, and tends to Salvation and Blessing and the keeping of his Creatures in that primitive Harmony, in which they came out of God’s hands, as fitted to glorifie him through mutual Love, and regular Obedience.   And this is the End of Christ’s coming into the World of Man’s Nature, even to restore it from the Discord of Sin and Wrath, to the Harmony of pure Love and Righteousness.

(f) 1Tim. ii. 1.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Therefore 'tis a happy state to have attained this Habit of Love before described, which will not terminate within the Sphere of our Neighbours and Brethren, but in some measure flows out to all;  causing us to breath after, endeavour, and (f) pray for their Change:    For it is the Nature of true Love to communicate itself and to delight in propagating its own heavenly Image, that so many may come to partake of Bliss and Happiness through it.   And in this Enjoyment, if we find any that know and possess but little, yet thirst much after God, O how will our hearts burn within us!    How ready shall we be to employ our Talents for their good, and to discover that Way which leads through Nature into the Kingdom of Love!   What labour and Pains could we take to be instrumental in changing, and quickning them, and in bringing them through the Cross to our own state of Happiness!   So that this Dispensation abounds much in Love, both to God and our Neighbors, fitting the Soul for Ascension into Eternity, there to see and know with Satisfaction and Delight, those Wonders which the holy Angels and glorified Saints are continually viewing with Joy and Admiration.

Blest is that Soul which is arrived here,
Where quickning Love casts out dejecting Fear;
And gives that sweet Composure to the Mind,
That it lyes passive to that Holy Wind,
Which blowing from the Highest Paradise,
Invites the Soul to come and Sabbatise;
In that bright Day, where the Arch-Angels sing,
Sweet Hallelujahs to our Christ their King.


C H A P.   XVI.

Being the Conclusion to the Rest.

1. By the aforesaid Preparations the Soul  is fitted for the opening of the eternal World.   2. This remove not attainable but by an entire Resignation of our Wills.   3. The Soul's Ascent an Effect of the Divine Power.   4. Wonders discover'd in this Ascent.   5. The Fruit of these Discoveries.  6. The difference of the openings of Eternity in the Heart, from those in the Head.

1.TH E  Soul being brought thus far in the Heart work by the Power of Jesus, through the practice of the Cross, in Self-denial and Resignation, lives in habitual springings up of Love in the Centre of it’s Spirit, where the work is near finished;   the Will being constantly drawn toward the Heart of God in the Chariot of Love.    And in this State the Soul is completely fitted for Ascension, and the opening of the Eternal World, which is part of the Head-Work;   for in that the Spiritual Eye is seated, which is capable to see and know the Wonders of Eternity.

(g) Col. iii. 1.

2. And though some in a Rapture may be taken up into that World long before the work in their Hearts, Wills, and Affections is finished;  yet such must afterward go thro' the work in Nature, of rectifying all their Properties, and of bringing their Wills into Death, and pure Resignation, that so they may be fitted for the Birth of Love.   Whence its clear that this state of Regeneration, attained in the Will through the Death, is far more considerable, and nearer Perfection than the Highest Rapture without such a foregoing work;  and the Ascension, after this work of Regeneration in the Heart, is more weighty, and more tending to Perfection, than any Rapture of Transportation before, can be;  because by such a Work, the Will is wrought up into a constant Union with Christ, which by Ascension, is more confirmed and established, the Heart through that, being more raised above (g) all mortal corruptible Objects, and more reduced into a passive silent waiting for the Opening of the Eternal Temple, whence the infallible Voice proceeds, and where the great High Priest sparkles with the most bright Beams of Divine Glory.

(h) John xv. 5.

 

(i) 2Cor. xii. 2.

3. But the manner of the Soul’s Ascending from the Internal to the Eternal World, is very remarkable and wonderful.   It (h) cannot of itself move one degree upward:   That same Hand of Power which carried it downwards, to see his wonders of God in the Depths, must carry it upward to see his Wonders in the high Places above.    So that in this, the Soul is merely passive;  the Spirit of Christ being the Agent, which descending with an over-shadowing Vertue upon it;  wraps (i) it up swiftly, and in a strong force (by which the Soul's  Acts are for a while suspended) translates it, as it were, in a straight Line from the Inward, towards the Inmost.

(k) Rev. v. 11.

4. In this Translation or Ascension, what Wonders are seen and felt, I shall not particularly express:   But in general, this I must declare,  That there is an unutterable Power transfusing the Soul in this Ascent, which first comes into the Womb of the invisible Worlds (out of which they issue) in which it finds an universal Silence or Stillness;   and above which, it discovers a great Glory, inhabited by glorified Spirits, who there live in perpetual Harmony and Joy, singing Hallelujahs to the Lamb of God;  and continually waiting upon the infallible Voice proceeding from the Throne of God.   To be taken into this, is a further degree of Ascension, being the second Mansion in the eternal World;  where (k) Myriads of Angels attend those Commands, which come out of the Most Holy Place, which is the last and highest Mansion in that World, answering to Love, as the second to Life, and the first to Light, corresponding with the threefold Manifestation of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost:   But to speak much of the two last, requires greater Experience than yet I have enjoyed.   Neither is it expedient to describe the first, nor those Wonders which are in it, in regard of that Blindness and general Enmity which is in Men’s Hearts against the deep Mysteries of God in invisible Nature.

(m) Acts xxii. 7. 10. 18,
John xiv. 21.

 

5. But after Ascension into the first, the Soul becomes so much indued with the Sense and Apprehension of those Spiritual Mysteries, it was there acquainted with;  and hath such a clear View of the outward World, and of the Misery that most there lie in, that it cannot but weep over the greatest part of Men, as Christ did over Jerusalem, as seeing them exceeding Ignorant of Eternity, and so of their own everlasting Happiness; and involved in the Spirit of the outward World, where the Prince of the World holds them Captive, and makes them Enemies to the Kingdom of Love, in which there is no Enmity, Covetousness, Lust nor Deceit, nor any such Things as those are, which in the World are most courted and admired.   After this also, the Soul begins to discover the evil Properties and Habits of Men’s Spirits, very much portrayed in their Faces, discovering in their very Aspects and Signatures, those Bestial and Devilish Passions by which they are swayed and captivated within;   so that the Eye many times affects the Heart with grief, in viewing the sad Estate of Souls estranged from the Life of Innocency and pure Virginity, and imprisoned in the dark Chains of corrupt Flesh and Blood.  Here likewise the Soul is exceeding Passive, and much comprehended in deep abstract Silence, by which it much enjoys unutterable Pleasures and Gusts from the inward Ground of Eternity, having much Sense of the nearness of that Kingdom, where Angelical Thrones sing Hallelujahs, and sport themselves in the Innocent delights of their Eternal Spheres and Luminous Mansions.   And as the Soul passeth from the first Mansion towards the second and third, Jesus (m) of Nazareth (in his glorified Humanity) begins to give great demonstrations of his Presence;  and to visit the inward Man with frequent and very great impressions; so that it cannot doubt but that he is sometimes personally present, infusing the Tincture of his glorified Body into the Heart, which is sweeter than Honey, and burns like Oil and Fire mix'd together.   And truly this Dispensation is exceeding comfortable and very weighty;   for the discovery of Christ’s presence sometimes swallows up the Soul into unspeakable Joy, being transfused with the Breath of his Mouth which is most Odoriferous;  and quickened by the touch of his Body, which is most delightful;   and pierced through with the Sound of his Voice, which is most harmonious and powerful; causing the Soul deeply to admire the Grace of God, and to cry out with St. Thomas, My Lord, and my God.   In this dispensation Christ shews very powerfully the necessity of his Mediation, as God-Man;  and that whatever we receive is through him, who standing in the deepest Union with the Father, conveys all Light, Life and Love from himself, into us, who at the time of the Restitution of all things, Acts   iii. 21. will again Breath the Holy Ghost on his chosen Vessels, of which those in  the Primitive time received but the first Fruits.   He also reveals in this state how the Mystery of Iniquity (even the Spirit of Anti-Christ) works in most Sects of Christians; carrying them either to deny or slight the great Mystery of his Mediatory Office:   Or by misconceptions, to cry up his Blood and Merits, to the prejudice of Mortification, Self-denyal, and the Imitating of his most Innocent Life, as our Pattern to walk by in this World.

(n) Luke xiv. 33.

6. Moreover in this Dispensation, the Soul enjoys very great Openings of Eternity in the Heart, which are different from the Openings in the Head, where the inward Senses of hearing and seeing are resident;  for whatever in a Divine Sight (Eternity opening in the Head) we clearly and distinctly view and behold;  the same (in a Heart opening) we really feel and handle in a Spiritual way;  for in it we come experimentally to know and perceive the Motions and Administring Influences of Angels, the Virtue and Efficacy of Christ’s universal and particular Body:   The Harmony, Love, and Enjoyments of the Spirits of just Men made Perfect;  with much of the Glory and Majesty of that Kingdom prepared for us, from the beginning of the World, into which none can enter, but those who have (n) forsaken all for Christ, and have devested themselves of all the Vestments of Corruption, and have put on the Robe of Innocency, which is the Garment of true Virginity, in which they will not be ashamed to stand before the Son of Man in his Kingdom.

Then be ye wise Immortal Sparks of Fire,
And strive to get you Garments of pure Light,
In which you may from mortal Dregs retire,
Into that Glory, where’s no spot of Night.
O do but weigh how swiftly Time goes by,
And how all Earthly Pleasures rise and fall;
As soon as they a Being have they die,
And nothing can their hasty Joy recall.
But when the outward Garment is withdrawn,
Eternity presents its constant Face,
In which all Actions clearly will be shown,
Which ever have been wrought in Time’s short Race.
But such alone can there possessed be,
Of Happiness, they have been born again;
Others will feel the Pangs of Misery,
Who in their Will’s Corruption still retain.
Then die to Sin, while on Earth you live;
So after Death, true Life you shall receive.

End of the Treatise
‘ The Way to the Sabbath of Rest ’

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