By Jacob Boehme
"We Shall also Bear the Image of the Heavenly"
"All the teachings of Christ have no other object than to show us how we may re-ascend to our virginal unity with him . . . There is ever a strife over man's image; the devil and hell say, 'It is mine, by right of nature; it is generated out of my root.' The spirit of this world says, 'It is mine, I give it life, nourishment, and bring it up, and give to it my power and wonders.' The kingdom of God says, 'I have set my heart upon it; I have regenerated it; I sought and found it; it is mine. It is now in my kingdom, and it must reveal my wonders!' And the poor soul of man is in continual warfare.
"O man, when the devil seeks to hinder thee, set thyself against him; oppose him strongly! Thou hast, in Christ, far greater power than he! Take all thy sins and throw them at the devil, and say, 'Thou art the cause of them all! I take the mercy of God, the death of Christ, to myself! Therein will I roll myself' . . . For the last Adam was the Offering and the Liberator to set thee free!
"Cease to please thyself, and keep from thy natural will, then wilt thou fall into the will of God; and then the devil cannot meddle with thee! Man's own will brought him to his own center, separated from God . . . Man began in the Word of God, but broke off from it; he must come back and be regenerated, to become as he was made originally, inbreathed by God.
"The heavenly image, lost in Adam, the lightlife of Christ, has been the birth-right of man ever since the 'treader down' of the serpent of self-will was promised . . . Christ restores this image through regeneration, by which man re-enters into the one Tree, Christ . . . This divine fire of the Spirit of Christ continually crushes the head of the serpent, i.e. the desire of the flesh, beneath his feet . . . for the devil ever holdeth before the soul the unclean forbidden tree; for he would have inward dominion in man . . . When man yieldeth himself wholly to God, his will falls again into the unsearchable will of God.
"Such a man as Adam was before his Eve, shall arise again, and enter into, and eternally possess paradise . . . Man will enter again into the 'speaking Word' and speak with God!
"The image of God is the fair virgin, which substantiated by the regenerate life, restores to man the wife of his youth (Mal.2:14), the divine womanhood of Adam's two-fold perfection. This image, shut up in Adam, could only be stirred by the power of God . . . That it might again appear, God manifested himself in Christ . . . The eternal virginity, lost by Adam, came unto Mary by the Word of life. The fire of divine love in her being, in the virginal essence, (corrupted in Adam, and now restored), brought to birth that 'Holy Thing', the Son of God . . . And Christ in man makes man alive; restores again that which the devil severed in the first Adam (into the male and female), making them one again -- a virginal manhood -- a son of God.
"Christ, the divine spiritual Sun of Righteousness, enters again into the original matrix, out of which the life of man has taken its origin, -- the eternal Word . . . The hungry soul absorbs the Word, and then returns to the original spiritual state, and becomes a temple of divine love, wherein the Father receives his beloved Son; and in which the Holy Spirit dwells . . . The creature is not God; it remaineth eternally under God; but God blazeth through it with his love-fire, his light and shining; and that shining, man retaineth as long as his will remaineth in God's light . . . Where the will is, there is the heart also.
"As Christ was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger, so is Christ in man ever born amidst the animals in man. The new-born Savior is ever laid in a cradle between the ox of self-will and the ass of ignorance, in the stable of the animal condition in man; and from thence the king of pride (as Herod), finds his kingdom endangered, and seeks to kill the child, who is to become the ruler of the 'New Jerusalem' in man.
"O man, take heed of pride; the devil fleeth into it! . . .Take heed of covetousness! The covetous man is the greatest fool upon earth; he gathers that which he must leave to others, and gains only an evil conscience and treasures in hell! But he that trusteth God hath continually enough; he gets a new body, which neither hunger, cold, nor heat, can affect; he hath a conscience at rest, and will eternally rejoice in his treasure he has laid up in heaven! . . . Take heed of anger; that is the devil's sword, with which he commits all murders. If the soul is given to lust, pleasure and dominion of this world, the devil doth not sift it so strongly; he carrieth it in his triumphant chariot! . . . Take heed of the perfect pattern God has given, of what man should and must be, -- Jesus! . . . And pray for the illumination of the Holy Spirit; resolve not to let him go, until he bless thee!
"The Holy Spirit, the moving power of God, the former of his Word, which expresseth the will of God, the heart of God, openeth the heart of man to the virtues of God's Word . . . Then the animal within must die! One cannot remain an animal and become divine . . . When the soul is freed from the evil beast then it is open to Christ, and his divine love-fire . . . God's Son is love and light and life; for man to pass from fire to light, there is only one way, through death.
"Man must cease to act by his false imagination; he must put it to death -- into the hiddenness; nail it to the cross of Christ, and there, through lack of indulgence, nourishment, it dies; and then comes the 'new-birth', -- light, liberty and love! . . . By the power of the light and love of Christ, man overcomes the fire of self-will, and re-establishes his soul in the divine image of God . . . Then must he keep his imagination fixed in the love of God; for all outside is darkness.
"The two kingdoms of fire and light, -- wrath and love, part at the cross. On the cross the Son of God redeemed the soul unto the heavenly image, the Word, the eternal body of Christ, which is heavenly . . . In Christ the divine kingdom standeth open, and every one that will, may enter in; whosoever puts his will away from himself, and puts it into Christ, . . . when that soul is born of the Word and the Spirit of Christ, then the inward body of the soul becometh a new creation in Christ; . . . God and this inward man become one . . . Mortification of self-will and the recipiency of grace, is all a human can do to work out his own salvation.
"The going on 'to perfection', includes both an increase of knowledge, and the greatest holiness of life . . . Sin must be brought into the judgment of God, and the holy love fire of God must consume it. When the will is converted, the soul enters into such sorrow for earthly iniquity that it will have nothing of iniquity any more.
"The regenerated, new-born soul in Christ has not only a new spirit, but is a new creation, with an everlasting (spiritual) body . . . He is not of this world; he is a stranger to this world, with no understanding of it . . . He is in the paradise of God, and desires nothing else but that which Christ within his soul desires . . . This soul must die to letters, reason, scholarship and knowledge, to enter into the only one true life -- Jesus! . . . For hard thoughts, high fancies and conceits are not necessary, but the love and mercy of God -- to be one with him . . . This soul must keep plunged in the humility, love and patience of God; . . . go every hour out of death, and into life!
"He must learn how to go out of discussion and vanity; . . . break the power of the selfish will, which no man can do by his own human power . . . He must give up his self-will as dead, that he may be submerged in the love of God . . . To every self-centered desire this soul must die; for all that doth vex and plague is the self-hood . . . In all the world there is no such cruel beast as that which is in the heart of every man and woman, -- self-love!
"What hinders men from seeing and hearing God, is their own hearing, seeing and willing; by their own wills they separate themselves from the will of God. They see and hear within their own desires, which obstructs them from seeing and hearing God. Terrestrial and material things overshadow them, and they cannot see beyond their own human nature. If they would be still, desist from thinking and feeling with their own self-hood, subdue the self-will, enter into a state of resignation, into a divine union with Christ, who sees God, and hears God, and speaks with him, who knows the word and will of God; then would the eternal hearing seeing and speaking become revealed to them.
"Self-will cannot comprehend anything of God. It is not in God, but external to him. If we live in Christ, the Spirit of Christ will see through us, and in us. We will see and know what Christ desires.
"Christ dwelling in the soul, causes his light to become a holy substance, a spiritual body, a true temple, in which the Holy Spirit dwells . . . Self-hood hath not true substance, in which light can be steadfast. It desireth not God's meekness.
"In meekness and lowliness consisteth the kingdom of heaven . . . God's substance is humility. He who came to rescue us from the evil power, described himself as 'meek and lowly'; and he could announce, when quit of coarse flesh and blood disguise, that to him was given 'all power in heaven and in earth'. . . The mysteries of God are revealed to the meek. Let the soul lose no time in trying to clothe itself with humility . . . Humility is the throne of love; unless this throne is firmly established, love is quickly deposed by every spasm of self-will . . . It is more blessed to continue under the cross of Christ, in patience and meekness, than to bring down 'fire from heaven'! . . . There is no contention in Christ, but love and humility.
"The flowers of the earth do not grudge at one another, though one be more beautiful and fuller of virtue than another, but they stand humbly, kindly, one by another, and enjoy one another's virtue; so we all please God, if we give up ourselves into his will; if we all stand humbly in his field.
"Our trance of selfishness must end, for we are all being organized, by the one only life, in the one body. In the body of Christ, self-seeking is a monstrosity! . . . The whole body must be 'fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint (or joining) supplieth, . . . unto the edifying of itself in love.' The second manifestation of Christ to his people will be in their bodies. . . Our Lord hath need of each one in his great, mystical body; and they must all be one in him, the Anointed.
"There is a life, this world comprehendeth it not; . . . it hath no fire to consume, but a mighty fire in light and love and joy; a fire of brightness and majesty, no pain therein . . . It hath a body without defect, want, misery, anger, death or devil . . . The Holy Spirit is its air and spirit; it is filled with love and joy . . . This life has been from eternity . . . uprising and blossoming! . . . It is not of this earth, but substantial, -- the eternal life! . . . and all who have received this life, at the end of the age, will be presented pure and without blemish, . . . one body in Christ!
"In the time of the end, the time of the Lily, these writings will be sought as serviceable . . . to all such who are shooting forth into the fair Lily in the kingdom of God, who are in the process of birth, are these lines written; that each one may be strengthened, and bud in the life of God, and grow, and bear fruit in the Tree of paradise; . . . that each branch and twig in this fair Tree may contribute, help and shelter all the other branches and twigs, that this Tree may become a great Tree! . . . Then shall we all rejoice, one with another, with 'joy unspeakable and full of glory'!"