How We Are Born Anew, And How We May Fall Into God’s Anger Again
Now here we may rightly understand what ourNew Birth, or Regeneration, is; and how we may become, and continueto be, the Temple of God; though in this lifetime, according to theoutward Humanity, we are sinful mortal Men.
88. Christ in the human Essencehath broken up and opened the Gates of our inward HeavenlyHumanity, which was shut up in Adam. So that nothing is now wanting,but that the Soul draw its Will out from the Vanity of the corruptedFlesh, and bring it into this open Gate in the Spirit ofChrist.
89. Great and strong Earnestnessis required here; and not only a learning and knowing, but a realHunger and Thirst after the Spirit of Christ. For to know only,is not Faith; but an Hunger and Thirst after that which I want,so that I draw it in thereby to myself, and lay hold on it with the Desireand Imagination, and, make it my own; this is the Truth and Essence ofa Christian’s Faith.
90. The Will must go forth from theVanity of the Flesh, and willingly yield itself up to theSuffering and Death of Christ, and to all the Reproach ofVanity, which derideth it because it goeth forth from its own Housewherein it was born, and regardeth Vanity no more, but merely desireththe Love of God in Christ Jesus.
91. In such a Hunger and Desire the Willreceiveth and impresseth into itself the Spirit of Christ with hisHeavenly Corporeality; that is, the Soul in its great Hunger andDesireth taketh hold of, and draweth the Body of Christ, viz.,the Heavenly Substantiality, into its disappeared Image,within which the Word of the Power of God is the Working.
92. The Hunger of the Soul bringethits Desire quite through the bruised Property of its Humanityin the Heavenly Part, which disappeared in Adam; which Humanity,the sweet Fire of Love in the Death of Christ did bruise, whenthe Death of that Heavenly Humanity was destroyed.
93. And so the Hunger of the Soul receivedinto it, into its disappeared Corporeality, through the Desire,the holy Heavenly Substance, viz., Christ’s Heavenly Corporeality,which fileth the Father all over, and is nigh unto all, and through all Things;and through that the disappeared Heavenly Body riseth in the Powerof God, in the sweet Name Jesus.
94. And this raised Heavenly SpiritualBody is the Member of Christ, and the Temple of the HolyGhost, a true Mansion of the Holy Trinity according to Christ’sPromise, saying, `We will come to you, and make our Abode in you.’
95. The Essence of that Life eateththe Flesh of Christ, and drinketh his Blood. For the Spirit of Christ,viz., the Word, which made itself visible with the Humanity ofChrist out of and in our disappeared Humanity, through the outwardMan of the Substance of this World, swalloweth its holy Substanceinto its fiery; for every Spirit eateth of its ownBody.
96. Now if the Soul eat of this sweet, holy,and Heavenly Food, then it kindleth itself with the great Love inthe Name and Power of Jesus; whence its Fire of Anguish becometha great Triumph of Joy and Glory, and the true Sun arisethto it, wherein it is born to another Will.
97. And here cometh to pass the Weddingof the Lamb, which we heartily wish that the Titular andLip-Christians might once find by Experience in themselves, and so passfrom the History into the Substance.
98. But the Soul obtaineth not this Pearlof the Divine Wisdom and Virtue for its own Property duringthe Time of this Life; because it hath the outward Bestial Flesh stickingto its outward Man.
99. The Power of which Pearlof Divine Wisdom espouseth itself in this Wedding of the Lamb,and sinketh itself down into the Heavenly Image, viz., into theSubstance of the Heavenly Man, who is the Temple of Christ;and not into the Fire-breath of the Soul, which is yet, during thiswhole lifetime, fast bound to the outward Kingdom, to the Bond ofVanity, with the Breath of the Air, and is in great Danger.
100. It darteth its Beams of Love indeedvery often into the Soul, whereby the Soul receiveth Light; but theSpirit of Christ yieldeth not itself up to the Fire-breath inthis Life’s Time, but to the Breath of Light only which was extinguishedin Adam, in which the temple of Christ is, for that is the True andholy Heaven.
101. Understand aright now, what the NewBirth or Regeneration is, and how it cometh to pass, as followeth.The outward earthly mortal Man is not born anew in this Life’s Time,that is, neither the outward Flesh, nor the outward Part of theSoul. They continue both of them in the Vanity of their Willswhich awoke in Adam. They love their Mother, in whose Body they live, viz.,the Dominion of this outward World; and therein the Birth of Sin ismanifest.
102. The outward Man is Soul and Flesh,(we mean the outward part of the Soul) hath no Divine Will, neitherdoth he understand any Thing of God, as the Scripture saith, `The naturalMan perceiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God.’ etc.
103. But the Fire Breath of the inwardWorld, if it be once enlightened, understandeth it; it hath agreat Longing, Sighing, Hunger, and Thirst after the sweet Fountainof Christ; it refresheth itself by Hungering and Desiring, whichis the true Faith in) the sweet Fountain of Christ from his NewBody, from the Heavenly Substantiality, as a hungry Branchin the Vine Christ.
104. And the Reason why the fiery Soul cannotattain to Perfection during this Lifetime, is because it is fast bound withthe outward Bond of Vanity, through which the Devil continuallycasteth his venomous Rays of Influence upon it, and so sifteth it,that it often biteth at his Bait, and poisoneth itself. Fromwhence Misery and Anguish arise, so that the Noble Sophiahideth herself in the Fountain of Christ, in the HeavenlyHumanity; for she cannot draw near to Vanity.
105. For she knew how it went with her in Adam,when she lost her Pearl, which is the Grace freely bestowed againupon the inward Humanity; therefore she is called Sophia, viz.,the Bride of Christ.
106. Here she faithfully calleth to herbridegroom the fiery Soul, and exhorteth him to Repentance, andto the unburdening of himself, or going forth from the Abominationof Vanity.
107. And now War assaulteth the whole Man.The outward Fleshly Man fighteth against the inward SpiritualMan, and the Spiritual against the Fleshly; and so Manis in continual Warfare and Strife, full of Trouble, Misery, Anguish, andcare.
108. The inward Spirit saith to thefiery Soul: O my Soul! O my love! Turn I beseech thee and go forthfrom Vanity, or else thou loseth my Love and the noble Pearl.
109. Then saith the outward Reason, viz.,the Beastial Soul; `Thou art foolish; wilt thou be a Laughing-Stock,and the Scorn of the World? ?Thou needest the outward World to maintain thisLife. Beauty, Power, and Glory are thy proper Happiness; wherein only thoucanst rejoice and take Delight. Why wilt thou cast thyself into Anguish,Misery, and Reproach? Take thy Pleasure, which will do both thy Flesh andthy Mind good.’
110. With such Filth the true Man isoften defiled; that is, the outward Man defileth himself, asa Sow in the Mire, and obscureth his noble Pearl. For the more vainthe outward Man groweth, the more dark the inward Man comethto be, until at length it disappeareth altogether.
111. And then the fair Paradisaical Treeis gone, and it will be very hard to recover it again. For when the outwardLight, viz., the outward Soul is once enlightened, so that theoutward Light of Reason is kindled by the inward Light; thenthe outward Soul commonly used to turn Hypocrite, and esteem itselfDivine, even though the Pearl be gone; which lamentable Error stickethhard to many a Man.
112. And thus it comes to pass that theTree of Pearl in the Garden of Christ is often spoiled; concerningwhich the Scripture maketh a hard Knot or Conclusion, viz., Thatthose who have once tasted the Sweetness of the World to come, and fall awayfrom it again, shall hardly see the Kingdom of God.
113. And though it cannot be denied, but thatthe Gates of Grace still stand open, yet the false and dazzling Lightof the outward Reason of the Soul so deceiveth and hindereth suchMen, that they suppose they have the Pearl, while they yet live tothe Vanity of this World, and dance with the Devil after his Pipe.