LETTER - TO THE SAME.
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My dear friend,
The variety of trials, you have lately met with, are but a specimen of what you are to expect, in some form or other, so long as you breathe the air of this fallen world. The longer we are without them, the more our need of them is increased. And they never give great smart, but where something is to be torn off, that sticks too close to us. One reflection upon these sacred words, “My kingdom is not of this world: The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head,” are sufficient to take not only the sting out of every cross, that can here befall us, but even to make us afraid, and ashamed of being pleased with anything, that has the name of worldly honor, and prosperity.
You have no reason to wonder at anything you see, or hear, of the partiality, selfishness, envy, and enmity, that so often breaks out between brothers and sisters of the same blood. For if blood-relations, considered as such, could have any true goodness, or unselfish regard to one another, we should not be under the necessity of being born again from above.
Will it do you any good to tell you, that thus says my heart, without speaking a word. “Let nothing live in me, but the redeeming power of my holy Jesus, nothing pray in me but thy Holy Spirit.” This is my ship, in which, I would be always at sea. All that I seek, or mean, either for myself, or others, by every height and depth of divine knowledge, given us by God in his illuminated Behmen, is only for this end, that we may be more willing, and glad to become such little children, as our Lord has told us, are the only heirs of the kingdom of God.
The piercing critic may, and naturally will grow in pride, as fast as his skill in words discovers itself. And every kind of knowledge, that shows the scholar, the orator, the disputer, the commentator, the historian, his own powers, and abilities, are the same temptation to him, that Eve had from the serpent; and he will get no more good by the love and relish of such knowledge, than she got by her love of the tree, that was so desirable to make one wise.
But he whose eyes are opened, to see into this mystery of all things, sees nothing but death to himself, and to everything, that he had called, or delighted in as his own. This is the bold depth of his knowledge. And if you would know its aspiring height, it consists in learning to know, that which the angels and twenty-four elders about the throne of God, knew, when they cast down their crowns, before him that sat on the throne, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, thou art worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. It is to know that the triune majesty of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the threefold power, life, glory, and perfection of every creature, that sings praises to God, in heaven and in earth. This is the proud knowledge of those, who are let into the holy of holies, opened by the Spirit of God in his chosen instrument, Behmen.
Which goes no deeper, than to see the nothingness of man, ascends no higher, than to know that God is all; which begets nothing in man, but that which was begotten in Paul, when he cried out, “God forbid, that I should glory in anything, but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”