The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 28

The Twenty-Eighth Chapter

Of Cain's Killing of his Brother, viz. of the Proud, Haughty, Antichristian, hypocritical Church upon the Earth; and also of the True Christendom hidden under this Antichristian Church

1. WHEN the devil in God's anger, in the wrath of the eternal nature, had introduced his throne and seat into the human property, and awakened the centre of the wrathful nature in him, there forthwith arose up such a desire out of the awakened anger's property in the human ens or seed, in the propagation; out of which property Babel, viz. the antichristian Church, is begotten and brought forth.

2. And now as God had incorporated and promised the Serpent-Bruiser of this false property (who should bruise the head of the Serpent's ens and will or desire) unto the heavenly ens of man, which disappeared in and to Paradise, which word of promise was a mystery, and a very secret hiddenness to the earthly man; even so also the false Cainical Church of hypocrisy and seeming holiness, whose heart and desire is only [of] the outward world, has gotten aloft this whole time, and has the outward dominion and name as if it offered to God. But the true, real Christian Church is hidden under it, as a very secret Mystery, and is not known of the Cainical Church.

3. Cain's Church sets forth itself very devoutly, and glisters on all sides with specious ceremonies and pompous ostentation; giving forth that it is holy, righteous, and good; that it also offers in the Covenant of Christ; but its heart is only a glozing, soothing, bravely attired harlot, full of Cainical murder, reviling and blasphemy, full of censure and self-speculation in pride, in covetousness and high mindedness. But Abel's Church is hidden under it in great plainness, and with no respect and reputation, and is accounted but foolish in reference to the glittering show of Cain; and is continually slain by Cain in its simplicity.

4. Now says reason, What, had God any pleasure herein, that he suffered Cain to kill Abel; and why is it still to this day that the children of God are slain, despised, contemned, reproached, mocked, scorned, and cried down for false by Cain, viz. by his posterity? One cause hereof is this:

5. Prince Lucifer was a hierarch in the kingdom or place of this world (as Christ even calls him a prince of this world, viz. in the kingdom of darkness in the anger of God), and was cast for his pride's sake out of the light into the darkness.

6. But seeing God then created another prince, viz. Adam, in and for this place, with whom he bound himself even with his deepest love before the foundation of the world in the dear and precious name Jesus, that he would break down and destroy the throne and kingdom of proud prince Lucifer in the human property, and overcome and be predominant with love; thence forthwith arose his envy and wrath against man.

7. Secondly, the cause is this: In the fall of man the wrath of the eternal and also of the temporal and inchoative nature obtained the superior sway and dominion in the human property. For the kingdom of heaven did extinguish in Adam and Eve when as they became earthly; and in the room and stead thereof the kingdom of the devil did awake in the Serpent's wit and pride in them; for the human will had broken itself off from God, and was entered into selfhood, and no longer understood anything of the Mystery of God's kingdom.

8. But seeing that the kingdom of God did again bud and break forth in the aim of the Covenant in Abel and the children of God, the devil's kingdom and will, in the Serpent-monster, could not brook it. Also the love-kingdom is a great enmity against the wrath of the eternal nature according to the dark property, for the human essence was become, according to the dark world's property, as to the soul a half devil, and as to the outward world's vanity a half beast, in which beast the false, subtle, crafty, wicked, lustful, proud, covetous, envious and angry Serpent's worm did sit, infected with the devil's will.

9. This wrathful, vile, malicious, monstrous beast would live in its own self property; therefore the angelical virgin-child, which should destroy and possess the kingdom of this evil beast, did appear against him in Abel. This was now a great enmity, for the anger of God had captivated man, and would work and rule in him; therefore God's love broke forth out of the anger, as a light out of the fire, and would kill the anger, and change it into love, and help again poor man's image, and redeem it from the eternal anger and death.

10. But seeing the anger had got the upper hand and sway in man; and yet the virgin-child of the angelical world's essence should spring forth and grow out of the Covenant of God, out of the disappeared ens, through the anger, as a clear delightful light shines forth out of the candle, through the wrathful fire, which deprives the darkness of its power and prevalency; therefore the outward body in [Abel, and] the children of God must suffer itself to be slain and persecuted by the wrath of God; for it was a strange figure [the outward body] on the virgin-child.

11. For Abel in his outward flesh had the awakened vanity lying in him, as well as Cain; he was also sinful as to the outward man, but internally the angelical world and image of Paradise did spring and bud forth again in the Covenant. This was now a great enmity against each other; the inward man bruised the Serpent-monster upon the head of its false desire, and the Serpent-monster stung him on the heel of his angelical will, and openly mocked the angelical image; as it is so still to this day. So soon as the virgin-child is born in the spirit of Christ, the outward earthly body, together with the virgin-child, is, by the children of Cain, persecuted, contemned, reviled, and accounted as a strange child of the world.

12. For the Serpent's monster is as a fool before God, and seeing the noble and precious virgin-child must bear such a monster on it in the outward flesh, to which the devil has yet continual access, therefore this body is strongly assaulted and struck at by the devil in the anger of God and its children; they would continually slay it, for the virgin-child works through the outward man, as a light through the fire, and manifests itself. It teaches and reproves the wicked sort; and this the devil cannot endure, for it is against his kingdom, as the offering of Abel was against Cain's.

13. For Cain offered in the proud Serpent's desire as a hypocrite, and would be an honest, demure, devout and godly child in his Serpent's desire; but Abel humbled himself before God, and set his desire into God's mercy. God's love-fire took his offering, and penetrated through the earthly offering and fire; and the like also is to be understood in the body of Abel; as the incorruptible [being] shall swallow up the corruptible, so also the heavenly took the earthly captive in itself.

14. But that Cain slew the outward body of Abel has this type [signification] and figure: that the outward body shall be slain [or mortified] in the anger of God. The anger must devour and mortify the outward image which is grown up in the anger; and out of death springs forth the eternal life.

15. Abel was a figure of Christ; the children of God's anger must execute the right of God's anger upon the outward earthly and also [upon the] bestial image of the children of the holy one. Even as the Pharisees (who before God were only false serpent-children, as Christ called them) must persecute and kill the humanity of Christ; so likewise was Cain a type of these serpentine wolfish Pharisees, and also of the verbal titular Christendom.

16. As the false Serpent's child is a monster and fool before the angelical world, so likewise the children of darkness do account and esteem the children of the light for fools; for there must be a contrary, that the one might be manifest in the other. If the anger had not taken hold of the humanity, and devoured it into itself then the deepest love of God would not have been manifest in man.

17. But thus the love takes cause, by the anger, to overpower and prevail over the same with its motion and manifestation; as the same may be known in Christ. The true Son of God gave himself into our image, which was awakened in the anger, that so he might be made manifest with his love in the anger, and change the same into joy.

18. Christ gave our human image to the anger of his Father to be devoured in death, and brought his life into death, and yet manifested his love in the life which death had devoured, and brought forth the life in love through the death. As a grain of corn which is sown into the earth, the same must die in the earth, but out of that mortified grain grows a fair new body; even so the corrupt body of Adam shall and must be offered to death and the anger; and out of the death and anger the body of the divine love shall be manifest.

19. It was exactly typified and prefigured in Cain and Abel how it would be in the succeeding and future generations. Seeing Abel outwardly did bear the earthly image, and yet in the spirit he was an image of heaven, his outward body in the corruption was only a visard [Larva or strange disguised person] before the outward world; for there was another spirit hidden therein, which was not of the outward world's essence and property; therefore because he was not wholly a right child of the earthly world, it would not suffer him (being as a strange child) in it; for the devil was prince in the wrathful essence in this world, who would not that a child of the light should spring forth through the wrathful essence [and be in his garden].

20. Thus the image or person of Cain and Abel is a true figure of the false, and then also of the holy and true, children of God; of the outward sinful corrupt and mortal man, and of the inward new regenerate holy man. When Christ with his love-kingdom arises from death out of the disappeared ens, then Adam's earthly image must die in Christ's death; and if it now be that the outward body must yet live, it is only a scorn and fool before the heaven's image, and so also before the natural life of this world.

21. For so soon as Christ is born, the sinful life is condemned to death; and stands in scorn and open shame before all the false children in the anger of God, as a whore in Bridewell [At the house of correction or whipped through the streets], whom other whores likewise help to deride and scoff at; and yet they do but only judge and condemn themselves thereby. For if Christ be born, then the judgement passes upon the false bestial life, and that man must stand in the judgement of God as a malefactor, and be termed a fool, a heretic; and be jeered, scoffed and reviled, yea, even utterly defied and slain, that the monster may be judged before God's anger. But those that do it are the children of the lusty, pampered, and well-fattened anger of God, whom the wrath of God uses for its instrument; for God is a spirit, therefore he accomplishes his judgement by a material image. [ By some outward substantial means or persons]

22. For so soon as Abel did, in his offering, put on or attract the love of God in the Covenant anew into his human desire, and comprehended [or amassed] the same into his essence, then forthwith the judgement passed upon the external mortal man; and God's sword of anger took him, which Cain executed, and slew the outward body of Abel. And at this time also the judgement passed upon the false image of the anger in Cain, for he stood there, and cried, My sins are greater than can be forgiven me.

23. This does now hint and point at the figure of Christ, how the anger of the Father must devour [or swallow up] the life of Christ in death, and when as the anger had devoured the life in death, then the holy life of the deepest love of God moved itself in the death and the anger, and devoured the death and anger into itself; whereat the earth trembled, and the rocks clove asunder, and the graves of the saints opened.

24. And so likewise the love-fire and the anger-fire [Good and evil now mixed and in contest one with the other] in the place of this world (which wrathful fire was enkindled in the creation when The Apostate [Lucifer] fell) shall at the Last Day be again changed into the divine joyfulness, and be avalled or swallowed up in the love. Understand, it shall be thus in the third Principle, where love and anger do strive [during] this time one with another: but he [Lucifer] remains in the darkness in the first Principle.

25. The true cause wherefore Cain murdered Abel was by reason of their offerings and worship of God, viz. religion; as this contention continues still to this day; the Cainical Church is not yet one with the Abelical.

26. Now says reason, I see it well enough, that all contention and strife arises from religion, but what is the ground and most undoubted cause and reason thereof. Behold! this is the cause: set before you the false Serpent's child, which is evil and good, and then set before you the virgin's child, born of Christ, and then you hast the fundamental cause, exactly drawn to the life, before thine eyes.

27. The Cainical Church drives a subtle trade with external ceremonies, and will appease God with some external thing or other; it will be outwardly an accepted and adopted child, it must down right be called honest, godly, holy and heavenly, it adorns and trims up itself very finely, and stands mightily upon its calling, which it has itself ordained and instituted; it makes a very specious and renowned show in the white sheep's clothing; and therein lodges the high priest of selfhood, without Christ's spirit, and rules and masters the work of the outward letters; and whosoever learns to transpose and compose the same boldly and bravely [according to their form of forged opinions] he is a high priest in their office and order; he puts Christ's garment of innocency on him for his cloak and covert.

28. The other party of the confused Cainical Church cries out, and holds forth the goodly glistering child to sale for money [Makes good merchandise of its religious ceremonies]; and has bound the kingdom of heaven to its ceremonies, and will sell it for money; so that the man may but fat himself in this world under the white garment [of its hypocrisy].

29. The third party gives forth that they have so holy an order that it doth even sanctify and save them, and they, above all others, will be esteemed holy.

30. The fourth party [or sect] will obtain the kingdom of God by their lip-labour, with muchness of speaking, reading, singing, preaching and hearing, and it rebukes, censures and reviles all that will not approve of; praise, and give diligent attention to its lip-labour [and fine conceited long prating].

31. This party has clothed itself with the white garment, and set itself upon the letter [or writings] of God's children, and therewith it does so lustily bestir and lay about it, as a beggar that casts stones at the dogs; and sometimes hits a churlish [evil] one, sometimes a quiet [good] one. And he that is hit at makes him hear of it, and then others fall on, pell-mell, and bite and worry him; and there is a continual biting, tearing, confounding, reviling, reproaching, cavilling and jangling about the letter, a mere external work, whereby men [blindly zealous] suppose to serve God, and obtain grace: a very Cainical offering.

32. The Cainical Church is in the outward world, evil and good; it builds, and breaks down; and is only a figure of [or according to] God's love and anger. What one party builds and calls holy, that, another pulls down and reviles. With one mouth it builds, and with another it tears down. What one hypocrite praises, that, another dispraises. And thus there is only a confused [shattered] Babylon, evil and good; a wonder of nature and time.

33. All these run on in their self-contrived and devised orders, and rely upon their received orders. And so they offer the letter of the word, and the work of their own hands, before God; and will needs be outwardly adopted and accepted children before God. God must have respect unto their offering, and forgive them their sins by a word-speaking; as a lord out of favour and clemency freely gives a malefactor his life. Such an unmeasurable matchless heap of grace they have brought into their literal offerings, and into the works of their hands; so that their teaching, and the hearing of them, is accounted for the most holy way wherein salvation is to be had. And whoseoever does not worship and honour this their way with exceeding diligence, and subject himself thereunto, him they reproach, persecute and kill, or else hold him for a heretic.

34. But Abel's children in Christ have far another worship and service of God. They dwell indeed among Cain's children, and do also appear in their orders and offerings; [but] they offer to God a broken and bruised heart, and a humble, contrite mind, in true sorrow for, and conversion from, their committed sins; and with their spiritual will do go out from and forsake all their creature self-fullness and selfish interests and arrogation, and die to their selfhood in the death of Christ; and become as children, who neither know (nor will) anything, but only their mother which has brought them forth; they cast themselves into her bosom, and they take in patience whatsoever she pleases to do with them.

35. For their internal will is quite mortified to the outward world, with all its glozing [commenting] show and alluring glory; they account themselves very unworthy before the great grace of God, and their vanity, which the flesh desires, is always in their sight; and to this the inward spiritual will is a deadly opposite enemy, and yet it cannot be wholly separated from it in this lifetime. Their whole course through this world is a mere work of repentance, for their sins and impurity do appear continually in their sight.

36. There is a continual and constant combat in them, of the flesh in the earthly desire against the divine desire, and of the divine desire against the lust of the earthly flesh; for the divine desire does amass [betake] itself into God's grace and mercy, and brings itself into a centre of a working life, and penetrates through the earthly false lustful life, and strikes the false lust [and imagination] down; and then the false imagination falls into great sadness, when as it contemplates and beholds the voluptuous, pompous, stately, brave, glistering course of this world, and finds itself so mean and foolish that it must forsake and forego that wherein it might have its chief joy, pleasure and delight.

37. Also the devil he comes forthwith with his temptation, and brings his desire into the false imagination; and shows him the fair kingdom of the world, and rebukes his intent as a false fancy and mere conjecture; stirs up the crew of the wicked against him, who scorn, jeer, reproach and contemn him; and then sometimes the sprackling glimpse, and divine desire, does even lose itself; for Christ, viz. the virgin's child in the spirit of Christ, is lead into the wilderness, and is tempted of the devil and of the anger of God, and also of the carnal world's spirit, and oftentimes the spirit of Christ does hide itself; as if the virgin's child were quite gone, and past hopes, also the devil makes his address thereto, and brings him into doubt as if the virgin's child were not born.

38. For the virgin's child is hidden in the desert, and then the poor captivated soul is in great sorrow and lamentation, sighs and cries to God; also it cannot love, nor away with, the bestial image, but it does stir up itself as a great assaulting storm in the body, and seeks the gates of the deep in its original; and forces with might [or holy violence] into that Word which has formed it to be a creature, and dives itself thereinto, as an impotent, will-less child, and desires its first mother, whence the first soul was born, for its nurse; and makes itself wholly will-less in this mother, and lies only at her breasts, and sucks her love and grace into it; the mother may do with it what she please. This is the true meaning, and the right manner, of dying to selfhood and self-full imagination and lust in oneself, and becoming, as to the will of the soul, as a child in oneself; as Christ says, Unless ye be converted, and become as children, ye can in no wise see the kingdom of God; self, and self-full reason in the lust of the flesh, can neither taste nor see it.

39. From this mortification of the self-full will, and earnest resignation into God's mercy, the virgin's child does again spring forth out of the desert, with its fair and glorious pearl-blooming tree, with very excellent and new fruit; for so it must be tried in the fire of God's anger, that the abomination of the introduced earthly will may die in it.

40. For the fire-soul, viz. the first Principle, hangs upon the band of the outward world, and continually and eagerly introduces something of vanity into it, whereby the virgin-child of the angelical world's essence, viz. of Christ's essentiality, is defiled, obscured and darkened, therefore it must be so refined, purified and purged again; and many a cold, piercing, rautish wind of tribulation, anguish and great perplexity blows upon this child. It must be continually as an off-scouring of the world, for its kingdom is not of this world; as Christ said, My kingdom is not of this world.

41. But the effect is this: when the fair Morning-Star does dawn and arise in the virgin-child, then the outward life is even illuminated in this time [or while it lives here]; and it gives itself up unto the obedience of the internal [life], as an instrument and servant of the internal.

42. And then the holy spirit of God shines forth through the virgin-child, and preaches Christ crucified, and reproves the world for its sins and wicked malicious doings, and shows them their false hypocritical erroneous way, that they will needs be the children of God in the outward kingdom, in their self-contrived and devised ways, and will seek an external forgiveness of sin in their own conceited and received ways; and yet will still remain in the vanity, and in the pleasure of their flesh. And desire only to make devout shows before God, and give good words in a soothing glozing gloss of fine hypocrisy, as if they served God in their contrived conjectures and opinions; but still they will continue in selfhood, in the outward show and ostentation.

43. These the Holy Ghost does rebuke and reprove by the virgin-child in Christ's spirit, and calls them hypocrites, and wolves in sheeps' clothing, and crafty foxes born of the Serpent's ens, in whom there is the very property of toads, dogs and wild beasts; and shows them, that they draw near to God with their lips, but their heart is full of murder, gall and serpent-desire, and has no true upright love-desire in it; also it shows them that they are but mere flatterers and dissemblers in their office, who only seek pleasure and temporal honour and respect thereby, that so they might be able to domineer and lord it over men's bodies and souls, goods and estates, and thus they serve God only from without, with hypocritical mouths: Their heart hangs to the whoredom of Babylon, full of devilish murder and poison against him that does but touch their conscience.

44. Such children in the Serpent's craft, who are best able as cunning craft masters in sophistry to turn this subtlety most takingly and artificially, the children of the world do set up unto themselves for teachers, and will learn the way of God from them.

45. These teachers do assume unto themselves [and presume upon] the writings of the saints, and proclaim with open mouth that they teach God's word, [and that] the Holy Spirit is poured forth by their teaching and preaching; and though their conscience does even convince them that they are not capable of the office of the ministry, and that they are in no wise the temples of the Holy Spirit who should teach in and by them, yet they care not for that: it brings them money and honour. Christ is gone up to heaven, and has placed and ordained them to be stewards and vicars in his office; they must compose and contrive their doctrine out of the writings of the saints, and out of their reason, upon the letter of the Scripture. Their heaping together and composing of the words [in the form of their subtle reason] must be the voice of the Holy Spirit; they say the Holy Spirit is thereby poured forth into the hearts of men.

46. And though they themselves be only Cain, and in their literal and bookish rhapsody [or composing of the texts, or bare letter of Scripture] in their sermons do cast forth a great deal of light, lewd, Cainical scorn and brother-slaughter, and oftentimes mix lies and truth together; yet the Holy Spirit must have taught, and the congregation must thank God for such holy, [sound, orthodox, evangelical] doctrine, as they call it. And after their killing of their brother there, they must also help, with boldness, courage and zeal, to murder and slay Abel, and the little child Jesus, in his members, with words and deeds.

47. Such teachers the world sets up, to learn the kingdom of God from: and whosoever can but lustily cavil, censure and condemn others in their gifts, and propose it with fine distinctions and subtle arguments, and clothe them with the mantle of reason, and hide the wolf (which thereby murders and devours Christ's flock) under the purple mantle of Christ, to him they give diligent attention; for the fleshly Serpent's heart does therewith sooth up and flatter itself in its evil property; it has even such an artificial nature and constitution.

48. Such seed these teachers, chosen of men, do sow, who only desire the calling for temporal honour and pleasure, but are not called of God, and are also without divine knowledge [and understand not what true divinity is]. They enter not by the door of Christ; but they come into place by the election and favour of men, through the means of their own willing, walking and running: these can no way be acknowledged for the shepherds of Christ, for they are not born of Christ, and [are not] chosen to this function and divine calling.

49. They are only the great master-builders of Babylon, where the languages are confounded, and men thereby set at odds and variance, and they set up war and contention upon the earth. for they wrangle and jangle about the mere husk, viz. about the written word and letter; and they have not the living word of God dwelling in them, from which they ought to teach. The Spirit of Christ itself must be the teacher in the word, with the living voice [or expression]; the spirit of man [The human spirit] must know and feelingly find Christ in it, otherwise none teaches the words of Christ, [but] only dumb [senseless] words, without power and spirit.

50. Now the Spirit of Christ in his children does reprove these, and shows them the true way how we must die wholly in Christ's death to the selfhood and the false self-full desire of temporal pleasure and honour; and be born again of Christ's Spirit, with another new will and desire out of Christ's love, in peculiar real knowledge, and preach and teach Christ from our [own peculiar and singular knowledge of him in our] selves.

51. This, Babel in Cain cannot endure, that one should teach: that Christ himself must be the teacher in the human spirit. They plead their cause from the forewritten Apostolical word, and say, if they teach the same then the Spirit of God is poured forth. Yes, forsooth! very right, I say so too: If the same be taught in Christ's spirit and power, then 'tis so, indeed.

52. But the Spirit of Christ in his children is not bound to any certain form, that it need not [or ought not] to speak anything which stands not in the Apostolical letter; as the spirit in the Apostles was free, and they spoke not all one and the same words, but from one spirit and ground they did all speak, everyone as the spirit gave him utterance. Even thus likewise the spirit speaks yet out of its children, it needs no form aforehand composed and gathered together out of the literal word. It indeed does put man's spirit in mind of what is comprehended and contained in the letter; for Christ said, The Holy Ghost shall take of mine, and declare it unto you.

53. Christ is alone the Word of God that teaches the way of truth through his children and members. The literal word is only a manuduction [leading by the hand] and manifestation of Christ; that we should have the same before us, as a testimony and witness of Christ, [showing] what he is, and what he has done for us, that we should conceive, let and fasten our faith therein; and yet with the desire enter into the living Word, Christ; and be ourselves born to life therein.

54. None is a shepherd of Christ but he that has Christ's Spirit, and teaches from him. No art nor university makes one a shepherd of Christ, unless he be capable of the office in Christ's Spirit. If he has not that, living and working in him, then man has only chosen him to be a carver and builder of the great Babylon; a letter-changer [a verbal jangler and wrangler], without divine understanding and knowledge; for the Scripture says, The natural man perceives nothing of the Spirit of God. How then will he teach the way of God, who himself understands nothing thereof.

55. And Christ says, He that enters not into the sheepfold by him, viz. by the door of his spirit, but climbs up some other way, as by art [cunning] and reason, or by the favour of man, into the same: whosoever sets up himself not being called of God's Spirit, to be a shepherd of Christ, for human and temporal repute and revenue's sakes, he is a thief and murderer, and the sheep hear not his voice, for he has not Christ's voice, and comes only that he may rob and steal.

56. But they say, the written word is Christ's voice. Yea, it is indeed the cabinet thereof, viz. a form of the word: but the voice must be living which opens the same, and likewise acts it in due motion as a watch-work. The letter is as an instrument thereunto, as a trumpet; but there must be a true and right breath and air which agrees with the air or tune in the letter.

57. The word of the letter is a prepared instrument [or work]: what kind of trumpeter takes it in hand to play thereon, even such a sound it gives. Is not, I pray, the great Babel built out of this work? Every one has sounded the trumpet of the letter as his own air and tone has been in him; and so it has been approved and received by each trumpeter, and brought into a substance; and this same substance is the great Babylon, where evil and good are built into a building.

58. But if men had not introduced any exposition upon the Apostolical word, and [had not] brought or contrived the same into other forms, then the instrument had remained pure. But the un-illuminated mind has set itself up to be a master therein, and bowed the same according to its own imagination and well-liking; for the human pleasure has thereon set itself and formed and expounded the same according to the [rule of ] fat [benefices for the] belly ['s sake] and worldly pleasures. And thus the spirit is extinct; and 'tis turned to an antichristian order and custom. Men have taken and formed the word as an organ, and so they have brought it into a fashion and custom, that a man must play thereon, and others must hear the sound and tune which he makes; and thus for the most part such organists are only used who strike the organ from without, and make a fine contrived and composed piece, which they willingly and readily hear. But the organ sounds only as the master strikes it [plays on it].

59. But to this Christ says, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Also, Whosoever is of God, he hears God's word. Christ said, The Son of man speaks nothing out what he hears the Father speak in him. So likewise must a teacher of Christ hear the Father's Spirit in Christ speak in him; he must hear God's word in the Spirit of Christ in him; as David says, I will hear what the Lord speaks in me. He must be a temple of God, in whom God dwells, and from whom he speaks, being only an instrument thereto. For Christ said, We will come to you, and make our abode in you. Also, I will put my Word into your mouth, says the prophet. Also, The Lord is nigh you, namely in your mouth, and heart. Here the Spirit of God speaks of the living Word; and not of a bell without a clapper.

60. This, the Spirit of Christ in his children does teach, and reproves the wooden clapper in the right bell, which has hung itself up to be a clapper in the bell of the divine word, and yet has no power to make the bell sound. This, Cain, in his offering, can by no means brook, that one should tell him his offering doth not please God.

61. He sets forth himself with very fair glozing and glistering outside shows, and has made himself such a brave glorious form; moreover, he is chosen of the high schools and worldly might thereto. And if a mean layman, without human calling, should come thereinto (as Christ, who was accounted for a carpenter's son), and offer to reprove such a high priest in such great dignity, honour and respect, the same the world believes not that it is from God that he is sent.

62. The great bear thinks presently, This is only a sheep, which I will take into my mouth and devour him. What, shall a sheep reprove me, who am a bear? Will a disesteemed sheep nullify my reputation and esteem among men, and dare to quetch at me? I will soon rid him out of the way, and so defile him that he shall not be known that he is a sincere and single-hearted lamb of Christ, and speaks from Christ's Spirit. I will so wallow and mire him in the dirt, disgrace, and scorn, that he shall be held for a filthy beast, or a very defiled swine.

63. In the meantime I live in my delicious days of pleasure, and remain lord over soul and body. But if the sheepling shall offer to stir, and show more than a sheepling of Christ, then I will help the butcher drive it to the slaughter-house.

64. Thus it goes with the simple, single-hearted children of Christ, whom the Spirit of Christ drives, and out of whom he teaches here in this world, etc. They are only as sheep among wolves; as Christ said, I send you as sheep among wolves. The earthly man is a serpentine wolf under whom the virgin-child, viz. Christ's lamb, must dwell; and then begins and arises murdering, slaying [or robbing], and killing.

65. But it does not at all hurt the virgin-child; its external wolf is also by this means hitten off by another: for the outward wolf of all men is grown from the anger of God, and arisen with the sin in Adam; therefore it must be given for food to the anger of God, that the virgin-child of the woman's seed may become manifest.

66. For thus they do separate themselves as two enemies, and are continually opposite enemies one against another in the time of this outward life; for the judgement is given to the virgin-child against the introduced Serpent's child of sin. In the resurrection the virgin-child shall condemn the serpent-child into the fire of God; there the limus of the earth shall be proved and purged from the Serpent's ens, and again put upon the virgin-child.

67. Now says reason, What pleasure has God in this murdering of his children, can he not defend them from the enemy? Thus it must be: that the light may be manifest in the darkness, else the light would stand still in the darkness and bring forth no fruit. Seeing then the light receives into itself essence and perceivancy, also sensation from the darkness, viz. from the source of the fire, therefore one is set against the other, that so one might be manifest in the other: the joy against grief and grief against joy; that it may be known what evil or good is.

68. For if there were no grief then the joy were not manifest to itself; but yet all is in the free will: as every thing does introduce itself into evil or good, so it runs on its course, and the one is but the manifestation of the other; for if there were no night or darkness then we should know nothing of the light or day. Thus the great God has introduced himself into severation, to his own contemplation and sport of joy.

69. The like also is to be understood in the various diversity and severalty of men, touching evil and good. The evil must be a cause that the good be made manifest to itself; and the good must be a cause to manifest the evil in its wicked malicious subtlety and iniquity; that all things may come into their contemplation [and visible ken], and every thing might manifest its judgement in itself unto the great separation-day of the LORD of all beings, where every thing shall give in itself into its barn, for its usefulness and profit, that, in the eternity, the great God may be known in a creatural and formal manner, according to light and darkness.

70. For all things were created by the Word, and brought into a form. Seeing then God is an angry jealous God and a consuming fire, and also a merciful loving meek God of light and giving [or free grace], in whom there cannot be any evil at all, therefore he has introduced fire and light, evil and good, one with another in the Verbum Fiat, into a free will, whereby the will may form [or work] either in the evil or [in the] good; and yet he has created all things good, and to the light, and set them into the free will, to multiply themselves in the free will, to conceive in evil or good; and yet has associated to each thing its likeness, viz. to a male its female, that so nothing has cause to degenerate [or fall from its place and order into destruction]; and to man he has given commands what to do, and [what to] leave undone.

71. Thus all things stand to the judgement of the great God, and in this time they must be in contest, that one may be manifest in the other. But then in the great harvest every thing shall have its own seat in itself; when strife shall be taken up and cease, and all things must stand to the honour and admiration of the wonderful works of the great God, who alone knows whereunto every thing shall be good, and for what he will use it.

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