LETTER - TO THE SAME.
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My dear L.,
I cannot tell you how much I love you. But that which of all things I have most at heart, with regard to you, is the real progress of your soul in the divine life. Heaven seems to be awakened in you. It is a tender plant. It requires stillness, meekness, and the unity of the heart, totally given up to the unknown workings of the Spirit of God, which will do all its work in the calm soul, that has no hunger or desire, but to escape out of the mire of its earthly life, into its lost union and life in God.
I mention this, out of a fear of your giving into an eagerness into many things, which though seemingly innocent, yet divide and weaken the workings of the divine life within you. For a multiplicity of wills, is the one only evil, disease, and misery, both of our souls and bodies. That which can make the soul to have only one will, and one love, is the universal tincture, both for soul and body. And nothing else is it. That alone can take the fall, or curse out of the body, which can take it out of the soul. For the curse through all nature, and creature, is but one and the same thing, viz., the absence of the heavenly power. Heaven is dead in gold, just as it is dead in man; and its heavenly tincture can only be made alive, in the same manner, and from the same power, as in the inward man is born again of the water, and Spirit from above.
Our outward man must be tormented, crucified, mortified in the fire of our own flesh and blood; and then it is as the gross gold in the crucible heated by earthly fire. But as no fiery torments of our own flesh and blood, can glorify our inward man, and set him in his first angelic state, so no outward fire can torment gold into its first heavenly state. Our Lord said to the crucified thief, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Now no one is a divine magus, till he is thus qualified to say to his subject, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. If he himself is not in paradise, he can do no paradisaical work. But, my friend, let not what I here say, put you upon disputing this point with anyone, for I say it for quite a contrary end, to show you the vanity of all such discourse.
My dear Soul, Adieu.
Oct. 16, 1752.