The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 26

The Twenty-Sixth Chapter

Of the Propagation of Man in this World, and of Cain, the First-born, The Murderer of his Brother

1. WE are here to consider this weighty point in right earnestness; and not to make conclusions with fictions and fables, as hitherto has been done as touching the election of Grace; whereas it has been handled only in a very blind and absurd manner, and no right [fundamental] understanding has been found thereof.

2. Seeing that men have sought only in reason, and have not been able through true repentance to force through the fire-sword, and see with divine eyes, thereupon the fire-sword of God's anger and severe purpose and decree of judgement has remained in the eyes of [their] reason alone; and further they have not seen. Therefore they have made dreadful and dangerous conclusions, without fundamental and plain understanding.

3. But Christendom is hereby faithfully and truly admonished, once throughly to awake, and shake off the conclusions of reason, and to see God's clear countenance, which desires no evil, nor can desire it; but has also set himself to be judge against all wickedness, and will destroy all such conclusions in the sword of his anger, and do away the Cherub.

4. Now it does here offer itself to our consideration, how it came to pass that Adam and Eve at first brought forth an evil child and a murderer. To this, reason says that it was from God's purpose, who has made to himself an Election, and chose one company of men to damnation, and the other unto his love.

5. Forsooth! dear reason: Whence are you born? and from whence do you speak under the cover of the Scripture? Do you not speak from the ens and words of the Serpent? Who brought the false ens into Eve her matrix, wherein Cain was apprehended? Did not the devil do it through the Serpent, and make the matrix of Eve monstrous?

6. Do you not understand how the Word of Promise did forthwith incorporate itself into the matrix of Eve in her seed, and that the contest between God's anger and God's love did presently begin; for God's love had incorporated itself [and betrothed itself] to bruise the head of the Serpent's monster in the anger of God; and thereinto the fire-soul, which lay captivated in God's anger, should give its free will.

7. For the fire-soul is a root proceeded from the divine omnipotence, and therefore it has free will, and nothing can deprive it thereof: It may conceive either in the life or in the light.

8. But if you ask why the Serpent-Bruiser did not forthwith bruise the head of the Serpent's ens in the first seed, and not suffer the Serpent's murderous, poisonful will to get the upper hand in the soul's ens, it is just as if I should ask, Wherefore did not God, when he saw that Adam became evil, wholly reject him, or make him to nothing, and create a new Adam? Thus likewise will reason judge of the devils, saying that it has pleased God that there should be devils, that it might be known what an angel is.

9. Hearken reason! I have above already answered you, that if God should once more have moved himself for man's sake, and introduced the first motion in the human and earthly ens into a stillness, then the six days' works of the creation must have retired back; and have been brought into a workless rest. And this, God would not; the whole creation should and must subsist in its first motion; its first formed ens in the Verbum Fiat must stand, be it either in love or in anger, let who will, apprehend either: the anger was open, and so was the love also.

10. Only the love is called God: the anger is called his strength and might. Now what the free will would desire, therein it should be confirmed, either in the love or in the anger.

11. For the free will was born or sprung forth from the love and anger, viz. from the fire- and light-world: and so likewise it might choose itself a place for its working life. If God's love should have drowned the free will in the ens in Eve's seed in the love, (in which [seed] it [the free will] was enkindled in the anger), then the fiery motion in the matrix must have ceased. Now, out of the light's ens only and alone no soul may be brought forth.

12. Also the corrupt ens of the earthly limus must have then been presently judged through the fire, which could not be; for the motion of the new regeneration, and the opening or full explication of the divine sweetness, and the overcoming of the fire, viz. of the anger of God, did belong only to the name of Jesus.

13. The Word which had incorporated itself had [done this] from without the fire-sword, viz. the Cherub, and from within the Jesus, who should overcome the fire-sword with love. Thus the name Jesu stood hidden in the fire-sword, and was not manifest until the time that God would move himself therein, and manifest the same.

14. Thus the insinuated ens of the Serpent, that Eve had introduced through imagination into lust, must be wholly cast away; for in Cain the murdering image [or the evil corrupt nature and property of the Serpent] was manifest, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God. But on the contrary, the mark of the Covenant in the promised Word was in the free will, and in the heavenly disappeared ens of the soul, into which [Covenant of the promised grace] the soul should enter.

15. And although the Serpent's ens should have been rejected (as it must be, in all the children of Eve), yet the part of the heavenly world's being lay hidden in the Covenant of the Word in the disappeared ens, as a possibility to the new regeneration. Therefore God said to Cain, when the murdering spirit persuaded him, Rule over the sin.

16. If you say, Wherewith? He could not! But wherefore could he not? The Serpent's desire held him, and brought him to kill his brother: Wherefore? The free will had given itself up into the Serpent's ens which held him captive.

17. Now says reason, God would have it so, else he had turned away his will. No. Indeed God's anger-will in the Serpent's ens which had captivated the free will would have it. But yet God's love-will said in him, Rule over sin, that is, over the wrath and anger of the Serpent, and let it not have its power and prevalency.

18. And here we are rightly to know how God's love and anger are in continual contest, understand, in the manifested Word in the limus of the earth, and in the ens of the human property out of the earth. For the anger-ens is stirred up and driven by the devil, and desires continually to devour the love-ens, and possess this kingdom in the anger-ens.

19. The anger-ens desires to have man; for it has its king in Lucifer. And the love-ens desires also to have him; for it has its king in Christ. And therefore Christ must bring the human love-ens through death and the anger-ens, and open another Principle, viz. another kingdom; and leave prince Lucifer in his own anger, for his free will had chosen it him.

20. Thus also the free will in Cain did choose the false, viz. the devil's will. But you say, Was then the murdering-will wholly rejected? It did reject [abandon] itself; but if the free will had again conceived in the love-ens it would have been again born anew, yea even after the murder: which we leave unto the judgement of God, whether it were so or no, seeing the text in Moses does give him so bare a name in despair. For the Word, out of which the name Jesus was made manifest, was given to call poor lost sinners to repentance, and not the righteous ones, who were apprehended in the love; as Christ said.

21. Cain was a type of the first corrupt Adam in sin, and Abel was a type of Christ, the second Adam, viz. of the virgin-child; for the tree of evil and good began in Adam. And so likewise the fruit did forthwith appear, viz. Christ's children, and the children of the devil and the Serpent.

22. Now reason says, Was Cain then wholly conceived of the Serpent's ens in the anger of God, and predestinated to damnation? No. He was [conceived] of the ens of Adam's soul and body; and so also of the seed and ens of Eve her body; but the monster in the matrix of Eve did environ the sown seed; and it was that which did seduce and beguile him; but the mark [and aim] of the Covenant lay hidden in the ens of the soul and body. For the ens of the seed of Adam and Eve was out of the heavenly disappeared [limus], and then also out of the earthly awakened limus; but the will of the Serpent and of the devil took possession of the house, as the like was in the devil, who was an angel; but the will of the dark world took possession of the house in him, and got the upper hand: so also it was here, in Cain.

23. But you ask, How came this so to be? Hear and see, you fair child in the will of Adam and Eve, what their desire was before and after the fall: They desired the earthly kingdom, as we see that Eve was so wholly and only minded; for when she brought forth Cain, she said, I have gotten a man [who is to be] a Lord (Gen. iv. I). She thought him to be the bruiser and breaker of the Serpent; he should take in and possess the earthly kingdom, and expel the devil; she did not consider that she should die to her false earthly fleshly will, and be born anew in a holy will. And such a will she also brought into her seed; and the like did Adam also.

24. And hence now the will in the soul's essence did arise: the tree brought forth a twig out of [or like] itself. For it was Cain's desire only that he might be lord upon the earth; and being he saw that Abel was more acceptable in God's sight than himself; his free bestial will in him did elevate itself to slay Abel; for Cain's aim and endeavour was alone about the outward world, to domineer and be lord and master therein; but Abel sought God's love.

25. Thus there are yet two such Churches upon the earth; one which seeks only worldly pleasure, might, honour, and the outward god Mammon and Mausim, [?] and therein it lodges the Serpent's child. The other, which seeks the virgin-child and God's kingdom, and must suffer itself to be persecuted, reviled, reproached, and killed by the Cainical Church, as Cain did to Abel.

26. For the devil will yet be continually a prince of this world in the Serpent's child; and so it is that if the virgin's child (which bruises the head of the Serpent) be not manifest in the Serpent's child, then the devil is and remains prince and host in the house of the soul: as happened to Cain.

27. And do but understand the ground aright: In the birth of this world two kingdoms lie manifest, viz. God's Love-kingdom in Christ, and the kingdom of God's anger in Lucifer: these two kingdoms are in contest and strife in all creatures, for the original of all spirits is in the contest, and in the combat of the fire the light is made manifest. The fire is a cause of the light: God's anger is a cause that God did yet once move himself in his deepest love in the name Jesus, and thereby vanquish the anger.

28. Now what can the love do, if the free will espouses itself to the anger? Or what can the anger do against it, if the free will conceives in the love, and destroys the anger? Must it not hold still and suffer it to be done; and though it does oppose and rage against it, yet the love pierces quite through it, and changes it into joy. The anger is the root of love, as the fire is the root of the light; but in the free will is the understanding, which makes itself to what it pleases.

29. Do you not see this in the earth, that the free will in the ens of the Word has made itself stones, metals and earth. The stones and earth are not the free will; but the free will has introduced itself into such an ens, and by its lubet and motion introduced the ens into a compaction or coagulation; there was no other maker there but the free will in the formed and manifested Word: you mayest indeed see wonders enough.

30. Behold the irrational creatures, as worms, toads, spiders and other wild venomous and horrible beasts, and you shall see somewhat in very deed, if you are not dead. But you say, God has created it so. Yea, right! his desire in love and anger has amassed the ens with the motion, and compacted each ens according to the free will into a form. There was no other maker there, but the free will in the Word.

31. The desire in the Word was the Fiat, which introduced the free will into an ens. Thus the same manifested Word is yet in all things, and has the Fiat, viz. the desire in itself: As the free will in every thing introduces itself into a spirit, even so the Fiat forms and signs each thing. Every root brings forth from itself a branch of its own likeness; but when the branch or sprout is to be born and receive its beginning in the ens of the root, the ens does then form itself to such a twig as the root at that time is apprehended in its power and free will, both by the superior and inferior constellation.

32. The like is also to be understood in man. As the will is, in the seed, that is, as the desire of the father and mother are, at the time (together with other influences from the stars and elements), yea, oftentimes from the devil's assaults and insinuations, even such a spirit is formed in the ens of the seed; sometimes an angel, if the parents be in holy desire [or in the true faith of the engrafted Word]; sometimes also a beast, a serpent and image of the devil, both according to the ens of the soul and of the outward flesh.

33. The power of the manifested Word does give in itself into all things, into everything according to its will, according to the desire in the ens; for the desire in the ens is that which forms the word, viz. the sound of life; as it is written, such as the people is, such a God they also have, with the holy you are holy, and with the perverse you are perverse. This is wholly to be understood concerning the expressed Word in the Fiat, viz. in the desire of nature. And therefore God has espoused and betrothed another Word out of the centre of his love to the image of man, that, although he be arisen out of an evil property, yet the free will has power and information to disclaim its selfhood, and die to its self in this holy incorporated Word; and then the Fiat begets and forms another new creature in the free will out of the ens.

34. The possibility lies in all men, but the making or forming of the child of God belongs now to the holy Fiat in the new introduced Word, for it lies not on any man's self-willing, contriving, running, and toiling, but on God's mercy. He has mercy upon whom he please, viz. upon those alone who with their free will die to their selfhood in his grace, and resign up their selves to him. And he hardens whom he please, viz. those alone who run with selfish Cain, and would themselves take the kingdom of God in their own evil will, and will not die to their own self-full will.

35. Now says the Scripture, has not a potter power to make of one lump of clay what he please; a vessel to honour; or a vessel to dishonour; that is, will the self-full will be angry, if it be evil, that the Fiat in the Word makes it to be a vessel of the anger; or will it therefore be angry, if the holy Fiat (in the holy Word) makes that will, which dives itself into the love and mercy of God, and dies to its selfhood, to be a vessel of honour. has not this Potter power to do with his clay, viz. (with the ens or seed) what he please. Whereunto every seed is good and profitable, thereunto he makes him a vessel, either to the use of his anger or to the use of his love.

36. The holy is unto God a sweet savour to life, and the wicked a sweet savour to the death in his anger; all must enter into his glory, and praise him; one in the property of his anger, who must call the evil good; the other in the property of his love, who must call the good, good. For so it must be, that the difference of the good and evil, of the light and darkness, of the life and death, may be known; for if there were no death, then the life were not manifest to itself; and if there were no darkness, the light were not manifest to itself.

37. And therefore the eternal free will has introduced itself into darkness, pain, and source; and so also through the darkness into the fire and light, even into a kingdom of joy; that so the Nothing might be known in the Something, and that it might have a sport in its contra-will, that the free will of the abyss might be manifest to itself in the byss, for without evil and good there could not be any byss [ground or foundation].

38. For the evil makes pain and motion, and the good causes essence and power; and yet both essences are only one essence, as fire and light are only one essence, also darkness and light are only one; but it severs itself into two mighty distinctions, and yet there is no sundry separation, for one dwells in the other, and yet does not comprehend the other; the one does deny the other, for the one is not the other.

39. God dwells through all, and that all is not God, also it does not reach him; but whatsoever quits itself free of its free will, that falls into his possession: that he must have, for it is will-less, and falls into the Nothing; and he is in the Nothing. Thus the resigned will may dwell in the Nothing, and there is God's mercy; for he will have Something out of the Nothing, that he may be manifest in the Something, and therefore he has mercy upon the Something which is fallen into his Nothing, and makes it in himself to be his Something; which he himself rules, drives and acts with his merciful spirit.

40. And herein lies the precious pearl, dear brethren who are driven too and fro with contention; if ye did but know it you would leave off from strife and call reason a fool. No searchings of self obtains it, but the will freely resigned into God's mercy, which enters in by the way of earnest repentance, and mortification of its own evil will: that [will] falls into God's mercy, and does apprehend [and obtain the right understanding]. And without this there is mere self-running, walking, and willing; and yet nothing can he obtained, save only in the will freely resigned into God's mercy.

41 . We have a very excellent and notable example and type of this in the first birth, which opened the womb, that it was to be sanctified and offered up to the Lord; and yet the true living offering proceeds from the second, new birth, as we may see in Abel, Isaac and Jacob. Cain, Ishmael and Esau were the first-born, the inheritance belonged to them; but the lot and mercy fell upon Abel, Isaac and Jacob; for the first ens of man was infected and made crazy by the devil. Therefore it must be given to the fire for an offering and food; and out of the offering, viz. out of the fire of God's anger, the love of God was made manifest in mercy; and the first Adam was the sojourner [servant] of the second in Christ, for the second redeemed the first.

42. The devil's desire and the bestial ens of the Serpent had got the upper hand in the matrix of Eve, and apprehended the first seed in the desire. Now the kingdom of God did yet belong to the first man, but seeing he did lose it by his negligence the first Adam must be offered to the earth, and also its first seed [must be offered] to the anger.

43. And after this first seed Abel came forth in the holy Covenant, and offered his sweet blood, to the anger for the sinful seed, that the anger might let its flame fall, and suffer the first birth to press through in the blood of the second [through death and the anger into life].

44. The first birth was a murderer, which signifies the devil in man. The second was the offering of [or for] the first, that the anger-devil in the first Adam might be appeased in the offering of the second.

45. Not that we would exalt or take in the wicked into the offering of Christ, so long as he is wicked; the devil devours most of the wicked crew: only, the wicked sinner has an open gate made for him in the offering of the second [Adam], if he did convert and turn himself (from his wickedness).

46. But that some write, there was a twofold seed which did sever itself in Eve, viz. one wholly devilish from the ens of the Serpent, and the other from the ens of Christ [or the promised seed of the woman] in the Covenant [is nothing so]. These have not at all learned the A B C in this school. They have only a dreaming shadow and fiction of the Mystery, and not the true sight. Thus they build the election of grace upon this; but they are much mistaken; they speak only the Serpent's words, which desired to have it so. Observe it thus:

47. Adam had only one limbus to his seed, and Eve only one matrix for her seed, but they both stood in three Principles. The Principles were in contest, as still they are at this day. The second Principle, viz. the kingdom of God or the angelical world, did disappear in the soul's seed, and God espoused his only, most holy Word again therein, unto the new birth.

48. And this espousal or betrothment stood as well in Cain's ens as in Abel's ens. But in the striving wrestling wheel, in the contest of the three Principles, Cain's ens was apprehended in the anger, and covered with the Serpent's monster. Not so, to an impossibility, as if he were born to condemnation; but even to a possibility of the free will, whether he would lay down the self-full, assumed, and self-appropriated right in Adam, and live in God's will, or whether he would live unto himself: Upon this was the election set.

49. Now God knows whereinto the free will is entered: If it be entered into iniquity and selfhood, then God's anger establishes or confirms it in its choice to condemnation; but if it be entered into the Word of the Covenant, then God confirms it to be a child of heaven. And here that saying has its proper signification and application, I have mercy on whom I will, and whom I will I harden. God knows his children even in the ens in the mother's womb; to what end should he give his pearl to him whom he yet knows would turn himself away from him? The pearl's ground lies indeed in man, but hidden and shut up; if he brought his will into the pearl it would open itself in him.

50. All men proceed from one only seed; but in one the holy fire glimmers, and in another it lies as 'twere shut up and cannot [glimmer] by reason of the mire of the Serpent.

51. You say, Then is the Serpent's ens more mighty than God's love? I have already answered you, that love and anger are in contest. Whereinto the ens does espouse itself; of that it is apprehended and confirmed; yet so, that the will is free to go from the evil into the good, and from the good into the evil; and that while it lives upon the earth both doors stands open unto it: for the free will is not bound: but if it were bound then no judgement could with righteousness pass upon it. It has laws and instructions, which are given it, not unto death but unto life; but if it transgresses these, and continues in the transgression, now the judgement passes upon it; for every judgement [or sentence of condemnation] arises from the transgression of the command.

52. You say he cannot keep them, he is drawn [to transgression]. Yea, very right. Does not the truth rebuke him even to the face, that he is a faithless wretch, that suffers himself to be drawn to evil. The law to do right is in his vital light as a continual looking-glass: he sees and knows it very well, that he is a liar, and walks upon the way of the devil: it shows him the way of truth, but the free will rejects it; at present he is predestinated to condemnation, yet so, that the will is free so long as he is in this cottage. But the heavy band of God's anger, in the drawing of the devil's desire, draws many a one to the damnation of death.

53. Reason says, If a man has free will, then God is not omnipotent over him, to do what he please with him. The free will is not from any beginning, also not amassed or taken out of any ground into any thing, or formed by any thing. It is its own peculiar original out of the Word of the divine power, out of God's love and anger. It forms itself in its own will a centre to its seat; it begets itself in the first Principle to the fire and light; its right and genuine original is in the Nothing, where the Nothing, viz. the /_V [triangle forward slash] (or as a man might unfold it, A. O. V.) does introduce itself into a lubet to contemplation; and the lubet brings itself into a will, and the will into a desire, and the desire into a substance.

54. Now the Eternal Original, viz. God, is a Judge over the substance; if the lubet (which is departed from him) has introduced itself into an evil being, then he judges that being or substance in its Principle. In what source and property soever, or in what ens soever, the lubet, proceeding from the departed /_V, has introduced itself into a Principle, therein the universal eternal free will, which is the abyss, and cause of all byss, does confirm and settle it.

55. The abyssal judges that which does introduce itself into byss, and severs the good (which has introduced itself into a good ens) into the good, viz. into the divine love; and the evil (which has brought itself into an evil ens, and set and formed itself into a centre to an evil spirit and will) into his wrath and anger.

56. For how can he judge a thing whose own it is not? How would God judge the will of the creature, if it were not sprung [or arisen] from him? Or rather, how can a judgement pass upon a thing which is bound, and not free in its willing and working?

57. The human and angelical will is arisen with the motion of the abyss (when the Deity once moved itself in its contemplation and sensation, and with the motion introduced itself into a beginning of the spirits) [the will of men and angels did spring forth] out of this beginning. Now every beginning goes into its end; and the end is that which was before the beginning; and there is the trial of the beginning, [which shows] whereinto the beginning has introduced itself.

58. Now God is before and without all beginnings, and from him every beginning proceeds; also he is the end of all beginnings. Now the middle of all inchoated things stands between the beginning and the end; for it must with its beginning enter again through the end into that whence it did arise.

59. Seeing then that God is a jealous God, and a consuming fire, and also a merciful God, every free will with its introduced centre has its own judge born in itself; either divine love, or divine anger; for when a thing begins, it goes into a time, but when this time is apprehended of the end, viz. of the eternity, then it is in its own eternal [beginning and end], whence it has introduced itself into a compaction, so confirmed to eternity.

60. Therefore, the free will has its own judgement, either for the good or [for the] evil, in itself: It has its own judgement in itself: it has God's love and anger in it; what it amasses and desires, that it forms in itself; and does so form only its own self in its own lubet into a centre.

61. For thus the world has likewise its original, namely, in the free will of the two eternal Principles, both from the dark fire-lubet, and also from the divine light fire-lubet. The free will introduced itself in the Verbum Fiat into distinct and several entities; and that even according to the possibility of the eternal pregnatress. As the will in the Verbum Fiat conceived itself in each place in the pregnatress, even such an ens was brought forth, and out of the ens arose its spirit according to the ens, viz. from God's spiration or motion [Breathing or stirring up] in the Principles.

62. But seeing the Principles were together as one, no thing was ever amassed or formed in the free will but the same has a good and an evil in it, according to the nature and power of the eternal pregnatress, to light and darkness.

63. But now every spirit arises with its free will first out of the compaction of its centre, and is, after its effected birth, free, and may draw into itself either out of God's love, or anger, and introduce its will as it pleases. But this is the main thing: as the mother (viz. the ens) is, whereof the spirit is born, even such a lubet arises also in the spirit.

64. Now the spirit has understanding, and the ens has none; also it [the spirit] has a law, for it knows what is evil and good, what is right and wrong. Also God has given it laws, that it should break the lust [to evil], and with the understanding of the light rule over the lubet of the darkness.

65. Now if it does not, but departs with the lubet out of the understanding into a self-lubet, then the lubet or lust does amass itself into a substance, whereof a new, false will is again born. And this same is a bastard before God and the eternal nature; for it arises not out of the law and right of the eternal nature, but out of self. And upon this the judgement of the eternal nature does pass; and at its end (when the centre of the spirit shall step again into the beginning) it will be spewed out from the free will of eternity.

66. Understand us but aright: The first free will, which was breathed into Adam, was good; indeed it was both from God's love and anger, viz. from the centre of the eternal pregnatress, of the eternal spiritual nature; but it had the understanding in it to rule and govern itself so it might stand and subsist eternally.

67. But the crafty distemper or infection introduced by the devil was in the ens of the earth whence [whereof] Adam's outward body was formed. Into this earthly ens the devil brought his desire by the Serpent, viz. by the Serpent's crafty ens, so that the lubet arose in the ens of the body, whereinto the first free will of the inspired soul entered, and assumed the lubet of the body, and introduced this lubet into a desire to substance.

68. And out of this substance another new self-full will did now arise, viz. a bastard, a false serpent-child; and this bastard, Adam did originally propagate to his Eve, and Eve to her son Cain, and so one man to another. Thus we have now in this earthly flesh this same false will proceeded from the Serpent's substance, whereinto the devil introduces his desire, and tempts us, and continually makes us lust and long after the devilish property [viz. pride, covetousness, envy, and anger], that so his desire, which he insinuates into the false bastard in us, might become substantial and essential; out of which such a whorish and devilish serpentine seed is continually begotten; and out of the same false ens [or seed] a devil's will [is begotten].

69. Thus the devil rides in and upon man, in and upon body and soul. But now the first introduced free will, which God breathed into Adam, lies yet in all men, for it is the true real soul, the centre of the fire and light, a spark of the divine power and omnipotence, but wholly hemmed in and captivated in this wicked introduced bastard.

70. Therefore God has again inhested [Imputed, introduced recalled or really promised into the soul] and incorporated the aim of his new Covenant, in the Word of the divine holy power, in the name of Jesus, into the property of the lightful fire (viz. into the disappeared heavenly holy ens, which did disappear in the darkness), that the first free will (which now lies captive in the child of the whore and Serpent) should introduce its desire into this aim of the promised Covenant (which he has fulfilled in Christ's humanity), and with the desire of the soul's free will re-introduce the holy ens of Christ (which he [Christ] in the seed of Mary introduced into our disappeared ens) into its disappeared heavenly ens. And if it does bring it so to pass, then out of this introduced ens of Christ arises Christ's spirit, which destroys the false will of the Serpent's bastard in the flesh, and tramples upon its head.

71. Now says reason, God gives this holy new ens of Christ to whom he will, and suffers whom he please to harden and remain captive in the Serpent's ens. Yes, very right: He gives none this holy ens into the self-will of his Serpent's child; there belongs far another earnestness thereto; for selfhood cannot now any more take any thing of God.

72. But this is the process which the free will must go, if it will receive the holy ens: it must wind itself out of the Serpent's desire (out of its selfish-self and somethingness), and wind itself into God's mercy; and become a deadly mortifying enemy to the fleshly desire in itself: It must wholly forsake and depart from the self-full desire of the flesh; and bring its hunger wholly and only into the mortification of its selfish somethingness, desiring and endeavouring continually and willingly to die to its iniquity and false desire (which sticks in the flesh, in the Serpent's child), and in Christ's ens arise with a new will.

73. This desire, which departs from the Serpent's ens, and hungers after God's mercy, receives Christ's ens into itself, whence a new will is born, which bruises the head of the Serpent in the flesh, for it is the new birth out of God in Christ Jesus.

74. But if you will say, you cannot desire any good, that is not true. [We reply:] you alone suffer the Serpent's will in your right eternal soul's will to hold you; and with the soul's will do play the whore with the Serpent's will in the flesh; from whence arises God's election.

75. God knows the false whorish soul which does only woo and wantonise with the Serpent, (with the idol Babel), and will still live in the lust and will of the flesh and of the Serpent; and yet wills to be an outwardly adopted child: God should forgive it its sins by an outward word-speaking, but it wills still to hang and cleave to the wanton love of the Serpent in its false lust. This, God chooses to judgement.

76. For the free will which was inspired into Adam, and which it [the soul] has inherited from Adam, hangs on Lucifer; and therefore God confirms it unto the kingdom of darkness with Lucifer; but the gate of grace stands yet open unto it [during] this time of the outward life.

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