PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

THE Heart Opened TO Chriſt Jeſus. Tranſlated out of High Dutch, for the good of all Men.

LONDON, Printed by John Macock. MDCLIII.



ALL Men ſeek natu­rally their own Hap­pineſs, and wiſh hear­tily well unto them­ſelves; Hence do all the varieties and multitude of humane Inventions proceed for the obtaining and maintaining of the ſaid Happineſs, which ſome ima­gine to conſist in Riches, ſome in Highneſs, Honor and Pleaſure; others in ſharp Wits, Arts and Sciences, according as every mans ſeveral fancy is and leads him: But whatſoever vaniſheth and6 paſſeth away, maketh no man truly happy: But that which is unvi­ſible, being ſet and found above time and place, the ſame is the root of true and ſaving Happineſs; the other is but deceit and illuſion, which caſteth down into the Abyſs, whereby Adam was brought to fall. Therefore it is neceſſary for eve­ry one to return back again from the Plurality to Unity, which is the only true and infinite Good, if he meaneth to obtain the true and ſa­ving Happineſs; for the everlaſt­ing and joyful poſſeſsion of our Soul, is its true Salvation and Happineſs, conſiſting only in God its Creator. Whoſoever therefore yields himſelf up to God, and be­comes one and united with Him, hath found the true and bleſſed Happineſs: But who ſeeketh it in the Creatures, and in his going and travelling from Eternity to Tem­porality,7 ſuch a one ſeeketh in vain, or vanity it ſelf, and lo­ſeth his own ſelf, in turning him­ſelf from God his Creator to the Creature; for all created things are nothing in compariſon with God, and ſhall in the fulneſs of time return again into their Chaos, and loſe their corporal clothing, or elſe, according to their deſert, become an Everlaſting Reproach. And this is the Subject where we in theſe following Chapters intend God willing briefly to ſpeak and handle.



CHAP. I. What is that which a man ought to labor for in this life.

MAN is convinced in his Conſcience, and hath it written in his heart as an eternal, ſure and immutable word, that he always ought to ſtrive and endeavor after that, wherein his Souls everlaſting Property and10 Happineſs conſiſteth, to the end that he, of whom he draweth his original and off-ſpring, may thereby have his Praiſe, Honour and Joy. When he conſidereth this duly, two ways preſently offer themſelves; the one lead­ing to Good, the other to Evil: The Evil (as Evil) he deſireth not, therefore he ought and muſt of neceſſity follow and ſtick cloſe to the Good. Here the Ens and ſeed of the Serpent work­eth ſtrange and ſubtle diſturb­ances in Man, and would fain ſell Evil for Good, ſeeing that the Evil always mingleth it ſelf with the Good, and thereby cauſeth horrible Deceits and Seducements: All the World ſtandeth open and ready to em­brace the Evil, and yet will not endure it to be called Evil, but always hideth it ſelf under11 the colour of Good, ſo that the Good is not eaſily to be found out and diſcerned, unleſs a Man look very narrowly into it: Therefore theſe two ways ought very well to be diſcerned and di­ſtinguiſhed, leſt a Man ſhould loſe himſelf therein, and be ſe­duced and led away by the De­vil or blind Reaſon. The Holy Scripture it ſelf placeth one on the right hand, and the o­ther on the left hand: That on the right hand is narrow, but is the way of God, whereby Man attaineth to the true in ward Reſt and Peace, therein liveth and is ſaved: That on the left hand is the way of the World, wherein a man with greateſt trouble and unquietneſs poſteth and haſteneth to Dam­nation. All which very excel­lently is prefigured and repre­ſented12 unto us in the deliverance and going of the Children of Iſ­rael out of Egypt.

CHAP. II. An excellent Type of Love to­wards God, and Love towards the World.

WHoſoever is deſirous to chooſe the way leading to God aright, he muſt by no means pervert any thing, nor receive any thing that is per­verted, but look well to himſelf, that he may walk aright in this life, being that the two ways are ſo eaſily mixed and changed one for the other, as we may very well obſerve by the Chil­dren of Iſrael, when they were brought out of Egypt. Where­fore by the way towards Egypt13 again, we do underſtand the World; But by the way of God, we underſtand the true Converſion and turning to the Land of Canaan, that is, the Kingdom of Heaven and King­dom of Chriſt.

Now there be three things which hinder and diſturb the Man in his true Converſion, which are here to be obſerved; Namely, Firſt, Love of this temporal Life; Secondly, De­light and deſire after temporal things; Thirdly, Luſt of fleſh­ly Pride and wanton Pleaſure, wherein Man is deſirous to bathe and ſwim up to his very ears: Hence it is, that all thoſe that are blinded and poſſeſſed with Jewiſh and ſelf-love, can­not be drawn from the highneſs and honor of the World, but give themſelves over to Covet­ouſneſs,14 and bend all their love and labor, with all their thoughts and imaginations, to this ſcope, to wit, how to gain theſe tem­porary things, to the end that they may fulfil their luſt of the fleſh; ſo that the poor Soul in the heart muſt be ſmothered and forgot, yea robbed and deprived of the Everlaſting Good, for the pride and wanton pleaſures ſake of the fleſh and of the A­ſtral ſpirit. Now thoſe that con­tinue in this courſe of life, they fall in time into a ſenſeleſſneſs or inſenſibility and hardneſs of heart, ſo that they rather ſuffer all manner of pains, then them­ſelves to be drawn off from thence, ſeeing that they rather undergo and endure all dangers and tribulations, then themſelves to be deprived or diſmiſſed of their luſt, whereunto they are15 inclined and given; in ſo much that all fellow-travellers addict­ed to this way had always ra­ther to return back again into Egypt to the fleſh pots, which notwithſtanding they ate with cumberneſs and ſervitude, then to eat and enjoy the ſpiritual and heavenly Bread in the Wilder­neſs, and to follow Moſes, whi­ther he, by the Command of God, was to guide them. This People was with a mighty hand, with ſigns and wonders, brought out of Egypts houſe of Bondage to Canaan the Land of Promiſe, and in the way was fed with bread of Angels, taſting to them according to their own wiſh and deſire, ſo that with great Joy they might have obtained the Land of Promiſe; But ſeeing they were drowned in the Love of their own ſelf, of the fleſh16 and of the world, denying and renouncing all obedience to the Spirit of God, they would ra­ther turn back again to Egypt to the fleſh pots of their miſery and calamity, then with peace and comfort forget that way, and ſuffer themſelves to be led by Moſes quietneſs and patience through the Wilderneſs. There­fore whoſoever is too much poſſeſſed and captivated with deceitful luſts of the world, he evermore longeth after his for­mer ſinful qualities and doings, whereunto he is addicted. But to prevent this, and to turn himſelf to the right way of God, to walk in the paths of Holineſs, Man muſt order and behave himſelf aright after the conduct and inſtruction of Mo­ſes, who is Chriſt in the new Birth and Converſion, Him al­ways17 in the way we muſt care­fully obſerve and look upon at his right hand, and never ſet our eyes from him whatſoever he doth and taketh in hand in this life. Therefore he muſt alſo leave the old Adam in E­gypt, that is, hate and deny him­ſelf, and on the contrary turn all his love to God in Chriſt, and wholy yield and ſubmit himſelf in an humble reſignati­on to the Spirit of God and his good Government.

Now if he thus both within and without with a wholy con­verted Heart be yielded up and reſigned unto God according to his Will, and in his Love is deſirous of nothing more then God; then he walketh in the way at the right hand, being no more his own ſelf, or an ad­herent of baſe and wicked E­gypt,18 but having quite left and abandoned the fleſh pots, is de­ſirous through Chriſt to be­come one Spirit with God, ac­cording to the deſire of the Soul, and likewiſe longeth with delight for Perfection, that he may enter again into the firſt Image, after which in the Be­gining he was created of God.

CHAP. III. Even as God is the Being of all Beings, and the Life of all living; ſo alſo muſt every one, that meaneth to inherit Salva­tion, become like unto him in Chriſt.

ALL the care and matter is, how Man, according to the Image of God, may be tranſplanted again out of this19 temporary into the Eternal Kingdom of Joy. Therefore, according as the Man doth form and figure himſelf in this life un­der the government and domi­minion, of the Starry or Syde­real Spirit, in ſuch form and figure he alſo tranſplanteth and preſenteth himſelf after this life unto Eternity; Namely, either into one principle of the Abyſs, or elſe into the other of the Di­vine Love and eternal Joy with God and his holy Angels.

Originally, and in the Crea­tion, Man was created like unto God, and became his Image, that he according to that ſhould be a Lord and Soveraign over the world: which that he might better perform, he was placed and ordained in Paradice with ſuch an Heavenly and uniform body, as was wanting in nothing20 that any way could be neceſſary to this excellent and glorious Performance. Yea, as a father and a ſon are one with another, ſo was Man like unto God, and had the perfect wiſdom to go­vern all things aright according to the Will of God in his Image both within and without him­ſelf, viz. all things, ſo far as it belonged to him, and was ſub­ject to temporary nature. He had not gotten any frail body, unleſs purpoſely he had thrown himſelf into this fragillity: thus he was uniform with God ac­cording to his Image. In which uniformity yet this difference is to be obſerved: viz. God is, and abideth the Creator and the Father; Man is the Creature and childe: God hath no time, but is Eternal, having nothing either afore or after himſelf:21 But Man hath a Beginning, and is comprehended by the Incom­prehenſible God: There is no­thing that God hath received, but he hath and is all in Himſelf; But man hath received all things from God, and hath nothing of his own: God needeth nei­ther Angel, nor Heaven, nor world, nor place, nor time; But Man can neither live nor be without God. Theſe differences ſhew plainly and ſufficiently, How man ought to live aright according to the properties of the Image, both in this time and hereafter in Eternity, viz. we muſt be his onely, with Will, Heart, Soul, Underſtanding and Being, and no others beſides, neither our own; but look meer­ly and onely upon Him, by whom we are created, and after our fall ſo dearly bought and22 redeemed, beſides whom we muſt chooſe or deſire nothing, ſeeing without him we be no­thing, and can do nothing, as Chriſt ſaith. But who ſo taketh delight in himſelf, loveth him­ſelf, ſeeketh and findeth himſelf, he committeth two great and horrible Evils: For firſt, He thereby becometh a proud Thief, in ſeeking the preemi­nence in Gods Being and Do­minion, arrogating it unto him­ſelf, as if he were of Himſelf, as God is, which he likewiſe in ſe­cret eſteemeth himſelf to be, and will needs be equal with God. Secondly, He becometh alſo thereby a Murtherer, in kill­ing himſelf ſo miſerably, by falling off from God upon him­ſelf, that is, falling off from the Being upon his own nothing, and making himſelf a reproach23 to him, of whom he hath recei­ved his Being and Breath, ſeeing that God had alſo therefore formed him after his won Image, that he ſhould not eat of the Tree of Knowledg of Good and Evil: for God is the right hand, and he himſelf the left hand, viz. the Creature, which afore was nothing. Man ſhould keep the Properties of the Image, ſuffering the Will of God to work and do all things in him: Man ſhould be the Tool, wherewith God ſhould do all things; But the deſire to know Good and Evil, is that horrible Fall whereby he is caſt out of the Image of God, and that is the right Serpent of Sin which ſo extreamly hath decei­ved us, perſwading us to eat of this forbidden fruit.

O what a lamentable ſtate24 and condition is it, that we there­by are fallen ſo deep & far from the Image of God, and the holy life of Paradice, into the utter­moſt beſtial Kingdom and Go­vernment of the Starry or Sy­dereal Spirit! Yet it is an infi­nite and unſpeakable Mercy, that the Son of God, Chriſt Je­ſus, our Lord, would not leave nor forſake us in this extream both temporal and eternal Per­dition of our Soul, but with his deep Humiliation, &c. brought back again his beloved Creature into its Principium and Heaven­ly Kingdom, into Paradice, o­pening the Bleſſed Gate to the former Image, leſt we in any thing ſhould be wanting. There­fore if ſo be we will enter again into the firſt and bleſſed eſtate of our Souls, viz. of Eternal Image and Salvation, then we25 muſt return back again from and out of the baſe and beſtial Life of our ſinful fleſh, and en­ter into the living and Heavenly Birth, becoming like to Chriſt in all thins, according to his love wherewith he hath loved us, and thus with Chriſt wholy yielding our ſelves up to God in a perfect and humble reſignati­on, forgetting and denying our ſelves, and hating our own life, ſeeing that we our ſelves are our chiefeſt and worſt enemies; and all this to the end, that we may attain to Chriſt Perfection, ac­cording to the reſtored Image of his Love, Pſal. 17.15. Not ſuffering our ſelves to be drawn back or hindered by any thing in the world.


CHAP. IV. Of Mans true Perfection in Chriſt and in the Love.

IT is a moſt dangerous and pernitious Doctrine (where­by true Chriſtianity moſt migh­tily is hindered,) when many give forth and teach againſt God, Chriſt Jeſus himſelf, and his Holy word and Goſpel, that it is Impoſſible for a Man to keep the Word of God. Should God through his Son impoſe us things Impoſſible? What an abſurd ſpeech is this? Shall a Man think to make the moſt gracious and moſt merciful God a Tyrant? O abominable Error to the greateſt hinderance of the true Birth! When Peter gave Chriſt hinderſom and of­fenſive27 counſel, diſſwading him that he with his ſuffering ſhould not fulfil the Will of his Father, Chriſt reproved Peter, calling his words, the ſpeech of Satan, ſaying, Get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offence unto me, for thou ſavoreſt not the things that be of God, but thoſe that be of men, Mat. 16.23. Mark 8.33. Even ſo may a man likewiſe ſay to thoſe that rather ſpeak to pleaſe and nouriſh the ſecurity of the fleſh, and quench the Spirit, then to help and ſet forth the Word of God by men; and yet notwith­ſtanding will be held and called good Chriſtians: therefore ſaith Chriſt, Not every one that ſaith unto me, Lord, Lord, ſhall enter in­to the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 7.21. but he that doth the Will of my Father which is in Heaven. Chriſt will have his Word kept28 in deed (and not only with opi­nion, tongue, or oral faith) com­paring ſuch a one with a wiſe man which built his houſe upon a rock, Mat. 7.25. The true faith makes indeed up the houſe, but good works of Love lays the foundation, as Chriſt ſaith, Joh. 14.23. If a man love me he will keep my words, which conſiſteth properly in our life and conver­ſation, viz. to walk in his ſteps even as he hath walked, 1 John 2.6. Therefore Chriſt neither regarded nor required in his fol­lowers any prating wit, but obe­dient works of Love and chari­table Deeds proceeding from a free heart; and he ſaith further, Whoſoever will come after me, let him deny himſelf, and take up his croſs and follow me, Mark. 8.34. Neither may any man boaſt of Chriſt, as if he knew him unleſs29 he keepeth his Commandments, for otherwiſe he is a Lyar, in whom there is no truth; But whoſoever keepeth his Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: Hereby know we that we are in him, 1 Joh. 4.5. Alſo, every one that doth righteouſneſs is born of him, 1 Joh. 2.29. Yea, he that doth righteouſneſs, is righ­teous, even as he is righteous, 1 Joh. 3.7. Now what want or Impoſſibility is here? Are the Commandments of chriſt too too grievous? Saith not John, that the Commandments of Chriſt are not grievous? 1 John 5.3. And Chriſt himſelf wiſheth us, and all others, to come freely and confidently unto him, and take his yoke upon us, being that his yoke is eaſie, and his burden light, Matth. 11.30. Now by whom, I pray, is the truth? by30 Chriſt, or by Antichriſt? But here lies all the difficulty, viz. Antichriſt and the Child of this World will not turn in and en­ter to the Love of God fully and aright, leaving the curſed love of the world and of the fleſh, which hath taken ſo deep roots in his heart. Therefore he had rather make God to be unjuſt, and with the Excuſe of Impoſſi­bility juſtifie himſelf, leaving the whole Burden upon the neck of Chriſt only, that he himſelf may go free, and in the ſecurity of his wicked ſpirit and fleſh, ac­cording to his own beſtial deſire and diſpoſition, jump as it were into the Kingdom of God, as if he need to do nothing and take no care for his Salvation, but only to live freely forth on in pleaſures and carnal luſt of his Heart, proceeding from the falſe31 and venomous ſeed of the wick­ed Serpent, and yet would merit Heaven thereby, though he ne­ver put on again the Heavenly Image of Chriſt, changing his Beſtial and Diabolical Malice into Love. But what doth a Men elſe, but ſhew forth that he hath an abomination to the Childſhip of God which is in Chriſt Jeſus? For St John ſaith in his 1 Epiſtle, cap. 5.2. By this we know that we love the Children of God, when we love God and keep his Commandments; for this is the love of God, viz. that we keep his Commandments, and his Com­mandments are not grievous. To whom therefore Love is hard and grievous, he is as yet far from God and his Image, being as faſt and deep in Lyes, Dark­neſs and Death, 1 Joh. 2.9, 21. and cap. 3.14. Yea he is an Anti­chriſt,32 chriſt, bearing the Mark of the Beaſt and of the Whore in his Heart and in his forehead, Apoc. 19. &c. For God Himſelf is Love, and Love is God, and he that loveth not, knoweth not God, 1 Joh. 4.7. Whoſoever therefore will be, and be called a right true Chriſtian, and attain to perfection, deſiring to be one Spirit with God, and obtain his Image again, he muſt make haſte and ſtrive to this Gate, where the Love of Chriſt ſtands open, continually and diligently exer­ciſing himſelf therein, eſpecially in the inward Image and Like­neſs of the ſufferings of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, eſteeming it above all Creatures, and then nothing will be hard and grie­vous for him; for what can be grievous to him that rightly lo­veth? Now to learn this aright,33 we muſt look and conſider well what is to be obſerved in chriſt.

CHAP. V. What are thoſe ſeven thins in Chriſt, which ought to be well and eſpecially conſidered: And how we may attain to the per­fection of Love.

THere are ſummarily ſeven principal Points in our Lord God and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt well and eſpecially to be conſidered: Viz. 1. His won­derous Humiliation and Con­ception. 2. His Birth of a Vir­gin. 3. His whole Life in his Infancy, Youth, and Mans Age, 4. His bitter Paſſion and Death. 5. His Deſcending into Hell34 Reſurrection, Apparition, and Clarification. 6. His Aſcenſion and Entrance into his Glory a­gain. 7. His Glorious Mani­feſtation or Revelation, and coming again to Judgment and to his Kingdom. In theſe ſeven Points all the Myſteries of God are comprehended, without which no Man can be a true Teacher in the Church of God and of chriſt according to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are ordained by God to ſuch Miniſtry, although they are not abſolutely neceſſary for every Child of God: for it is not Knowledg and Science that ſa­veth and maketh us happy in Chriſt Jeſus, but the true Faith being effectual by Love. There­fore the knowledg, wiſdom and underſtanding of children is one thing, and another thing that35 of the young Men, and another thing that of Fathers and old Men; for every one hath his own peculiar Gift of Grace of the Spirit of God, as Paul teach­eth, 1 Cor. 14. For it is not a meer Outward Literal or Habitual work of Reaſon, borrowed from the Heathens, as now adays is taught in the Schools, where the Spirit of God with his true Gifts is extruded and rejected: But the Spirit of God and of Chriſt imparteth in to every one as much as it pleaſeth, and ac­cording as the holy Souls do order and behave themſelves in praying aright, that they may be fully and fundamentally Parta­kers of the Divine Gifts, and taught by God Himſelf (as Chriſt ſpeaketh,) wherein the vocation and calling of every one to the Miniſtry of Preaching36 properly conſiſteth, and thereby is diſtinguiſhed and diſcerned from Hirelings, having nothing but outward ſelf-forged Arts and Inventions.

Theſe three Degrees of ſeve­ral Gifts, Chriſt alſo Himſelf went through; for being a Child he encreaſed in Age, Nature, Wiſdom and Favor with God and Man, and with the twelfth year of his Age he concluded his Infancy or Childſhip, and begun his Youth; but what he did in this Youth until the thir­tieth year of his Age, is not re­corded, ſeeing it hath not pleaſed the Spirit of God to reveal more unto us, but what was requiſite and neceſſary to the Perform­ance of his proper Office; doubtleſs to the end, that we the more diligently and earneſtly ſhould ruminate and obſerve his37 Precepts, Commandments, Mi­racles, Teſtimonies, and Suffer­ings, not mixing there-amongſt any other impertinent and un­neceſſary things, ſeeing the wan­ton outward Reaſon always ra­ther flattereth the fleſh in its wickedneſs, then obeyeth the Spirit of Chriſt. In the thir­tieth year of his Age, his right Office of Redemption and Mans Age begun, of which the four Evangeliſts ſufficiently do wit­neſs, yet far more was done then recorded, as John ſaith in the end of his Goſpel: But what is written, is abundantly ſufficient, if we would but order and rule our ſelves accordingly, and not with Babels fooliſh Reaſon ac­count it Impoſſible, as we have ſaid afore.

Now as theſe three Degrees have their three ſeveral times, ſo38 alſo have they their ſeveral knowledg: Hence it is that the Apoſtle ſaith, When I was a Child I ſpake as a Child, I underſtood as a Child, I thought as a Child; But when I became a Man, I Put away childiſh things. Alſo, We know in part, and we prophecy in part. And he ſaith to his Corinthians, 1 Cor. 3.1. Brethren, I could not ſpeak unto you as unto ſpiritual, but as unto carnal, but as unto Babes in Chriſt: I have fed you with Milk, and not with Meat, &c. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part ſhall be done away. This we may alſo in truth and without folly apply to the ſeveral times and ages of Chri­ſtians, ſaying, that they be three­fold, and that in reſpect of know­ledg, wiſdom, and underſtand­ing, we have been but Children hitherto in all our deep learn­ed39 Men and great Schollers (as the world thinks them to be, and they themſelves all one and o­ther love to be called) having nothing but ſome Ethnical lite­ral Learning, confuſedly heaped and hoarded up according to the outward carnal Reaſon, whereof they have made a ſelf-forged Art, without the power and ver­tue of the Spirit, to deceive the world, to their own heavy Judg­ment in that great day. And it is ſtill ſo at this very day, in ſo much that is goeth with us now, as ſome hundred years ago, when people lay in Blindneſs and Darkneſs, ſo that it is very hard for a man to rid himſelf out from them, until Satan be bound, Apoc. 20. The ſame hap­pened in the time of the Apoſtles with the Corinthians, where one called himſelf of Apollo, another40 of Cephas, another of Paul: But were not they herein fleſhly-minded? yet notwithſtanding they were Chriſtians, though but little Children in Chriſt; and not ſpiritual, though yet ſpi­ritual (in another reſpect:) for Paul could not ſpeak to them of Chriſt and his Myſteries, as he fain would, ſeeing they could not yet bear ſuch ſolid food; for to new wine we muſt have new bottels; And the very Di­ſciples themſelves were even ſo in the beginning, that they un­derſtood nothing of what was told them, being unſenſible of it, and the words were hidden to them. So is it with the Chri­ſtians at this very day in deed and in truth: for what is it but blindneſs and Ignorance, pro­ceeding from the Heatheniſh carnal underſtanding according41 to the outward Reaſon, where­with Men ſo pitifully torment both themſelves and others, that they purpoſely, of meer abomi­nable pride ariſing from the vain wiſdom of the wicked fleſh, curſe and condemn one another, and that againſt the expreſs Word of God? One is and will be called after this Sect, another after that Sect and its Author; and oftentimes for a ſlight and frivolous Opinions ſake, con­cerning this or that Point, they give one another Nick names, therewith to exaſperate the Ha­tred, conſpiracy and confedera­tion of one party againſt the o­ther, for that purpoſe plotting and inventing divers tricks and ſtratagems for the undermining and ſupplanting of each other; and yet nevertheleſs all theſe without the ground of true Love42 will be called Chriſtians; in ſo much that now adays all cham­bers and Chappels are full of thoſe that cry out, Lo, here is Chriſt, not there; thoſe be He­reticks, &c. But are not theſe humane and carnal, as Paul ſaith? Yes verily, as bad as the Corin­thians formerly, if not worſe. Now what ſhould we ſay and think of theſe Men, if we our ſelves were ſtrong and ſpiritual? Nothing elſe but what we would have and wiſh them to judg of us, if we were Children, and they ſtrong; to wit, from Chriſtians we ſhould expect and look for nothing elſe but Love, as Chriſt himſelf in divers pla­ces repeats this his earneſt Com­mandment, viz. that we ſhould love one another, as he hath-loved us, John 15.17. By this only mark his Diſciples or true Chri­ſtians,43 yea all true Chriſtianity, is known and diſcerned: For Love is above all Faith, Know­ledg and Myſteries: It alſo can bear, ſuffer and endure all things; it vaunteth not it ſelf, nor is it puffed up, though it were never ſo ſtrong, wiſe and wealthy; but rather the ſtrong­er, wiſer and richer it is, the more and eaſier it beareth the weak, ſilly and poor, otherwiſe it cannot be the Love: As it now further more plainly ſhall appear.


CHAP. VI. Of the difference betwixt the un­feigned true Love and falſe Love, and how the falſe Love always mingleth it ſelf with the true.

NOw adays a Man may juſt­ly make moan and com­plain, that there is ſo little true Wiſdom to be found amongſt Men, and that all men run on in their Blindneſs, as the Prophet ſaith. Many men boaſt of Love, and think that to be ſufficient, though it be but for our own end, or elſe if they do but there­by ſhew ſome Hoſpitality, or o­ther liberality in relieving the neceſſity of their Neighbor: This indeed, according to the outward ſhew, is ſomewhat, yet45 very unclean, in ſo much it ſcarce is to be accounted a ſign or mark of Love: And though it be ſomewhat, yet notwith­ſtanding it is far inferior to the Love preſcribed and enjoyned in the Law, which ſaith, Thou ſhalt love thy Neighbor as thy ſelf: Therefore there is a very great difference between Love and Love, namely, as great as there is between the threefold World. For firſt, the Creature-like Love proceedeth from the Elementa­ry Sydereal or Aſtral Spirit, and from its Inclinations and Aſ­pects, and is cauſed and engen­dered by a concreated goodneſs of diſpoſition, whereby one man is better beloved then another; and of this nature is the Love towards Father and Mother, be­tween Man and Wife, and good Friends. And here ſometimes46 ſlippeth in alſo the Love which is ſtirred by Fairneſs, Riches, Promotions, and other outward things, and commonly ſuppreſſ­eth the former Love, as being now adays moſt uſual and bear­ing the ſway, in ſo much that Men will neither know nor hear of any other kind of Love. This Elementary Love is alſo to be ſeen in the Animals and Beaſts: But the Children of God make no account of this unclean and impure Love, unleſs it be for the Lords ſake, ſo that Animaliſh Love be fanctified by the Spirit of Faith, for otherwiſe it is ſin: Therefore in the Creature-like Love their Love is thus, that they alſo can hate what they love, let it be father, mother, child, friend, &c. namely, for Chriſts ſake, though they hate it not, but rather love it more and47 better then any Creature-like Love either doth or can do; which ſoon altereth, and eaſily is caſt down, namely, being de­prived of that ſhe loveth; as we may dayly ſee by thoſe that loſe any thing in Nature, which they have loved and ſet their Heart on, how they uſe to moan and grieve for the loſs of it: But the Children of God are not ſorry when they loſe any Creature, but leave it wholy to God and his good will and pleaſure; the reaſon is thus, becauſe they do not love the Creature in and ac­cording to the old Creation, or in the vanity of the Creature­ſhip; but in the new Creation, yea in and with Chriſt, and the ſame Spirit that is in all things: Therefore they cannot mourn nor grieve according to the in­ward man when they have any48 loſs of tranſitory things, being they know, that they can never loſe it in Chriſt, in whom they love all things. Thus Job was not moved or altered when he loſt his Children, and afterwards alſo his Health; neither regard­ed he his life, as he ſaith, Chap. 13.15. Though he ſlay me, yet will I truſt in Him. And David ſaith, Pſal. 73. Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon Earth that I deſire beſides thee: Or thus; When I have but thee, I care neither for Heaven nor Earth: And this is the differ­ence betwixt the World and the Children of God even in Natu­ral Love.

Secondly, The Love of the Law proceedeth from the ſpirit of the mind, being from and out of the Angelical World, and is cauſed by a good Mind or up­right49 Heart, having apprehend­ed and underſtood well Noſce teipſum, or the true knowledg of ones ſelf, whereby a man eſteemeth his Neighbor as good as Himſelf, ſeeing that the Souls of all men ſpring from one Stock, and the one Branch hath no reaſon to hate the other: or elſe it is cauſed and ſtirred by command of the Law; or elſe it is moved and raiſed by the pure Affection and Angelical Inclination of the Inward Soul, when I intend to do my Neigh­bor, without any deſert of his, or hope of gain to my ſelf, ſuch kindneſs and aſſiſtance as the Angel Raphael did to Tobias. Now in this Love the Children of God do alſo differ from the Vulgar; for there be many that do good, but not to a good and right end, but only they may50 be ſeen; but being they do it for their own praiſe of vain-glory, they cannot thereby attain to the communion of the Children of God, but remain unprofitable ſervants, as the Apoſtle ſaith, and perform not their Duty, ſeeing they do not rightly employ their Houſe-keeping and Stew­ardſhip, truſted to their diſpen­ſation and Adminiſtration: Wherefore alſo thoſe that would juſtifie themſelves with their good works, were rejected by Chriſt, Mat. 25. and ſuch are all thoſe that for their charity and well doing ſeek a reward, which the Children of God do not do; for they for all their well doing do eſteem them­ſelves far unworthy of the grace and mercy of God: Wherefore alſo the Love that in them ari­ſeth and proceedeth from the51 Law, is ſanctified in them by the Spirit of Faith, being they ſeek not themſelves in any thing, but are unwilling that the left hand ſhould know what the right hand doth, and all for this end, that they in their tranſgreſſion may find mercy: Therefore they never think on Reward, as the reſt, who having tranſgreſſed the bounds of Love, find after­wards no Grace (nor Mercy,) being they looked only upon the Reward: Therefore ſaith the Apoſtle, Though I beſtow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burn­ed, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing, (or I am unprofit­able.) What is therefore the Condition of Love? and what is Love? Love ſeeketh not its own, as the Love of the Law which deſireth its Reward; But52 this Love, viz. It hath nothing, (for it is not the Owner and Poſſeſſor of its own ſelf, but yeeldeth and giveth it ſelf with Chriſt for its Neighbor, and ſuffereth God to be all in all in it:) It giveth nothing, (for it ſuffereth it ſelf to be given over to another, namely, for Chriſts ſake, by the Spirit of Love, which is ſhed abroad in our hearts:) It takes nothing, but Chriſt himſelf receives it in her; and therefore Chriſt ſaid, What you have done to one of the leaſt of theſe, that you have done to me. And this is the true Property of this Love, namely, It is not Self-loved, Self-conceited, Self-willed, and ſeeketh not its own; But it is all things in Chriſt: Therefore whoſoever will be its own, or have any thing of his own, or meaneth to53 do any thing of his own Self, is altogether of the Devil, who a­lone will be his own Self, and belongeth to no Man.

Thirdly: Now this is the Love of the Spirit of God from the Divine World, and is cauſed by it ſelf, and not by any object: Even as God is moved of Him­ſelf, by Himſelf, with Himſelf, and in Himſelf to love us, ſeeing he could not be moved thereto by us being ſinners; Therefore is this Love ſtirred by it ſelf, be­holding it ſelf, in an unſpeakable Light: And how can that be comprehended in the Love which yeeldeth it ſelf to death, that it might purchaſe life to us? No man therefore hath greater Love, then to give his life, as Chriſt did; and this Love can­not be expreſſed, ſeeing there is no word equal to it, and the E­ternal54 Word it ſelf is dead in the fleſh. O what a great Myſtery is this! In the Word was Life, and the Life is Light, and came into the World, Loving Sinners: O what a Principle of all Prin­ciples, viz. Light, Life and Love! Therefore it is the Love proceeding from the Divine World, of which the Apoſtle ſpeaketh, which ſurpaſſeth all Angelical tongues, ſeeing it can­not be expreſſed by Angelical tongues; for the Angelical World, from which the Law proceedeth, enjoyneth us to love our Friend, but hate our Enemy, Matth. 5. v. 43. neither can it judg otherwiſe, being this Law and Commandment proceedeth from the Angelical World, and is ordained by the diſpoſition of Angels, Galat. 3.19. Acts 7.53. ſpoken and expreſſed by Angels,55 Heb. 2.2. which word few men do underſtand, viz. that the Law is from the Angelical, and not from the Divine World, ſeeing the Divine World is and abi­deth clean without Law: There­fore the Filiation or Childſhip proceedeth only from the Di­vine World, the Servantſhip from the Angelical, and the Creatureſhip from the Elemen­tary World: Further Love ſur­paſſeth all Myſteries, all Know­ledg and Faith, being no Man is able to ſearch out the Myſteries of this Depth or Abyſs: Yea, no man can rightly beleeve that God ſo loveth ſinners, unleſs he finds in himſelf the upright Love, for without Love all is in vain, but through Love all things are ſanctified, and with­out it nothing is profitable: Whoſoever therefore hath this56 Love dwelling in himſelf; he hath rightly the Spirit of God, and can ſearch and know all things, even above Angels; for he can ſee clearly and evidently how God loveth the fallen Man, and not the fall of the Devil. O what a deep Myſtery is this? which with no tongues can be expreſſed, unleſs a man truly had known Myſterium magnum Creationis (the great Myſtery of Creation,) which therefore is ſo unknown to Man, becauſe they know nothing of the threefold World, wherein the Key of Da­vid is compriſed, namely, the Teſtimony of God, of thoſe three that bear witneſs in Hea­ven and Earth. Now if we in­tend to edifie one another in Love, then we muſt firſt know the Love, ſpeak of it, and ſearch for it. Many are ready enough57 to talk of Love, but what Love properly is in its ſelf, thereof they are altogether ignorant; yea, they abhor it, when a man rightly nameth it; and yet fier­cer they grow when a man with truth will lead them to it. Thus far they are gone from the Spi­rit of God and his Wiſdom, that they carry nothing about them but the luſt of wrath: Where­fore God can neither have his Manſion and Habitation by them, but they abide in Death; for Love only hath all promiſes in it, & is profitable to all things, being the Mother of Godlineſs, and by it all things are clean un­to the clean: Good works alſo by Love obtains the promiſe of Eternal Life. Thus (by Love) a man both prayeth, faſteth, and eateth aright; other­wiſe all is in vain, though a58 man ſuffer himſelf to be burn­ed.

CHAP. VII. Wherein doth the dayly Practiſe of Love towards our Neighbor truly conſiſt.

SEeing Love is a thing of ſo great conſequence, that the new Creature in Man conſiſteth in it, therefore hath Chriſt ſo earneſtly commanded us the ſe­rious and dayly practiſe of it, in ſo much that we ſhould love our very Enemies, for therein Per­fection conſiſteth; It is neceſſa­ry therefore that we lay hold on Love, even enter into it, if we mean to draw near to God, and obtain everlaſting Happineſs: It is not in mans own free will, to59 chooſe whether he will do it or no, but there is a neceſſity for it, if we will be called Chriſtians in truth: And moreover, what can be ſaid to be better graceful, I pray, then to grow and increaſe in this Love towards all men? which Love muſt be without any reſpect of perſons, ſo far forth as concerns the common Love. If we therefore be found to be in this Love, it is Impoſſi­ble that we ſhould deſpiſe, judg or condemn one another, much leſs envy, perſecute, deſtroy and kill one another: for we have all of us one Father, and one and the ſame God hath created us All; wherefore then ſhould we deſpiſe one another, tranſgreſſ­ing the covenant of our fathers, which is Love? Therefore I cannot ſee how he that calls himſelf of Paul, ſhould be better60 then he that calls himſelf of A­pollo and Cephas; are not they all Chriſtians, and beleeve in Chriſt? Therefore they amongſt themſelves, being compared one with another, are humane; glo­rying in men they are carnal, be­ing they do not judg according to the Spirit, but according to the fleſh; But in reſpect of God, they are his Children, as the ve­ry Apoſtles, ſtrong and ſpiritual men themſelves; and in this re­ſpect none is better then another in the ſight of God. For as it is amongſt the members of the body, viz. the feet cannot ſee, the eyes do, neither be they ſo clear and pure as the eyes are; but are not they for all this members of the body? The feet have no ſuch light, perſpec­tion and diſcerning faculty as the eyes have, yet notwithſtand­ing61 the eye doth not deſpiſe the feet, for they are fellow-mem­bers of one and the ſame body; they are not envious one againſt the other, though the feet now and then ſhould be unſavory: for God Almighty hath ſo or­dered and diſpoſed the mem­bers of the body, that one ſhould not exalt and raiſe it ſelf up a­gainſt the other, ſeeing the feet are not only members of the bo­dy, but fellow-members with the eye; and how could the eye be exalted and ſeen in its ſtate and beauty, if it were not raiſed up, and ſupported up, and ſup­ported by the feet? Is it not ſo, that one member muſt praiſe and ſet forth the other? The feet likewiſe cannot deſpiſe the eyes, much leſs judg and cenſure them, for they cannot ſee nor go aright without the eyes, and if62 the eyes did not lead and guide them, they would ſoon go into the ditch, and together with them the whole body alſo; therefore as the feet do ſee by the eyes, and yet notwithſtand­ing they are not eyes, ſo likewiſe the eyes go by the feet, though they themſelves be not feet, but eyes. Now as it is with the members of the body, ſo it is with Chriſtians: For as the members of the body are differ­ent, yet not diſagreeing nor di­vided, otherwiſe the whole body would go to ruine: So alſo Lo­ving Chriſtians, I ſay, the Lo­ving Chriſtians, who are endued with Love, and do love another, whether he be friend or foe, Jew or Turk, Heathen or Chriſtian; for this we owe one to another, as the Scripture exhorteth us, ſaying, Owe no man any thing, but63 to love one another. Thus by Love all Chriſtians are rightly and eaſily known, though ac­cording to the outward Letter they be Heathens, Jews and Turks, and in humane cenſure and opinion, Infidels, as know­ing nothing of Chriſt according to the literal faith, yet notwith­ſtanding they are Chriſtians in deed and in truth, even becauſe they love their Neighbor, and do good to him.

And thus it appears plainly what a Chriſtian is, what it is that makes a Chriſtian, or whereby a man comes to be a Chriſtian, is and abideth ſo, ac­cording to Chriſts own word and ſaying, viz. Hereby it ſhall be known that ye are my Diſciples, if ye love one another: In a word; This is both the old and new Commandments, on which both64 the Law and the Goſpel, even the everlaſting Goſpel, depend­eth, by which all Heathens, Jews, Turks, and all that are not Chriſtians, ſhall be converted to Chriſt: And even this is the E­ternal Goſpel, viz. that God hath loved us in Chriſt from E­ternity; and he himſelf is Love: and this is the Evangelium or good tydings which we have heard from him, viz. that he hath loved the whole world, and therefore given his Son, that we might live through him, for he is not willing that one ſhould be loſt. This is the Eternal Com­mandment, and the Tydings which we have heard from him, viz. that he is Love it ſelf, and hath ſent his beſt Beloved, through him commanding us to love one another: Hereby we know the Children of God, for65 he that loveth is Born of God, let him be according to the out­ward man a Heathen, Turk, Jew, or Infidel, yet by this he is a true Chriſtian, and known by the Spirit in his Chriſtianity, though according to the letter and the fleſh, or according to the outward man, he be neither bap­tized, nor circumciſed, nor ac­knowledged: For as the Cir­cumciſion in the fleſh is not ac­counted for the right and true Circumciſion, availing in the ſight of God unto Salvation; neither the Baptiſm of and in the fleſh, nor Faith conſiſting in a literal and hiſtorical knowledg: So is neither this true and ſaving Faith, which is according to the literal knowledg and hiſtory, but according to the Spirit, the Power, and the Deed, which is Love: therefore ſaith the Scrip­ture66 very well, In Chriſt neither Circumciſion nor uncircumciſion availeth any thing (nor Baptiſm neither,) but Faith which worketh and is effectual by Love.

CHAP. VIII. That Love is the true and only means whereby a man may at­tain the true Chriſtianity.

SEeing that the Body of Chri­ſtians is by diſcord ſo di­vided, yea wholy rent and turn aſunder, that there is nothing but Envy, Hatred, Strife and Con­tention among them, in ſo much that one Member in hoſtile manner ſets upon the other, kills and deſtroys it, whereby the right and true Chriſtianity who­ly goes to ruine, and Chriſt him­ſelf,67 according to the Prophecy of Daniel, ſeems to be rooted out, being here is no unity, nor doth Chriſt find true Faith up­on Earth: It is plain therefore and manifeſt, that of Neceſſity they muſt all return to be of one Mind, one Faith and Knowledg, one Religion and Worſhip of God, leſt the Lord come and ſmite the Earth with a curſe, and they all periſh together. This General and Univerſal Conver­ſion will not be done by any carnal, humane literal mind, but by the mind of the Spirit of God, which is not Pauls, Cephas and Apollos, according to the ſelf-willed Imagination of lite­ral and carnal Chriſtians; but the mind of Peter, Paul, and A­pollo, is the mind of the Spirit, of whom they received it: Now although Paul planteth, Apollo68 watereth, Peter dreſſeth and cleanſeth, yet they are not di­vided though different. If there­fore the mind of the Sects be al­ſo the mind of the Spirit, and if they have received it from the Spirit, then it is right and good, and then they are the children of the Spirit. And although one man hath labored more then an­other, and one hath planted Chriſtianity amongſt the Hea­thens, another watered it, the third cleanſed and refined it, yet they muſt not hate one another, much leſs command their Di­ſciples and Followers to kill one another; or although they now and then, yea for the moſt part, find but falſe Apoſtles, yea ma­ny Wolfs amongſt the ſheep, yet notwithſtanding the whole Apoſtleſhip and the whole Herd is not to be rejected therefore;69 but rather know this, that the Church and Congregation of God is amongſt all ſorts of peo­ple, offices, ſorts and degrees, and hath this ſeal, viz. the Lord knoweth who are his, and no man elſe: And this is the true mark of Chriſtians, viz. Love out of a pure Heart of a good Conſcience, and of Faith unfeigned. In every Nation he that feareth God, and worketh Righteouſneſs, is ac­cepted with him, Act. 10. This is the moſt precious and bleſſed way to Salvation, viz. Love, be­ing the chiefeſt of all graces; 1 Cor. 13. Therefore how can the torn Body of the Chriſtians become whole and happy again? Verily not otherwiſe then by Love. Here all the great and learned Schollers among all ſorts of Sects muſt lay down their great Wiſdom, Arts and70 Sciences, and muſt turn and be­come Children, laying hold on Love, otherwiſe they ſhall never come to unity, nor enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal Salvation: Therefore ſays the Scripture, 1 Cor. 1.20. &c. Where is the wiſe? where is the Scribe? where is the diſputer of this world? hath not God made fooliſh the wiſ­dom of this world? For it is writ­ten, I will deſtroy the wiſdom of the wiſe, and will bring to nothing the underſtanding of the prudent. If any man among you ſeemeth to be wiſe in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wiſe, for the wiſdom of this world is fooliſhneſs with God: for it is written, He taketh the wiſe in their own Craf­tineſs. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wiſe, that they are vain. Therefore woe be to thoſe that pack and71 heap up ſo many Articles of Faith, and paſs over Judgment, and the Love of God, Luk. 11.42. If we were wiſe, we ſhould know that there is but one Ar­ticle of Faith, that is, but one Commandment of Faith, which we ought to learn, confeſs and practiſe, viz. Love towards God and All men, even towards our very Enemies: This is ſuch an Article as all men can beleeve, apprehend and underſtand, let them be called Heathens, Turks, Jews or Chriſtians, whether they be children, young men or old men, man or woman, who­ſoever hath but a rational mind; and indeed every man can eaſily find and know it of himſelf in his own Heart and Conſcience, neither can nor dare he contra­dict it; and even in this only thing the whole Law, and all72 Laws and Commandments, yea the Goſpel it ſelf, is compre­hended.

This is called and is alſo the Everlaſting Goſpel, which ſhall and muſt be preached to thoſe that ſit and dwell upon the Earth, viz. to all Heathens, Ge­nerations, Tongues and Nati­ons, and thereby ſhortly ſhall all Heathens, Jews, Turks and un­chriſtian men be converted to God: Therefore this only Ar­ticle is above all others that are forged by humane wit and Ima­gination: It is the firſt and the laſt, and the only Article, which is above all Faith, Prophecy, Myſtery and Knowledg, yea above all Treaſures and preci­ous things, and above all Tongues both of Men and An­gels, having ſo ſure a ground of truth, that it never can be found73 fault withall, much leſs judged or rejected. And it is ſuch a permanency as ſhall endure for ever and ever: All Faith, Hope, Prophecy, Tongues, Knowledg, &c. ſhall ceaſe; But this only Article of all true Chriſtians ſhall never ceaſe in all Eternity. This is our Everlaſting Goſpel which we do preach: This is both our Law and our Goſpel which we have received: This is our Faith, our Prophecy, our Wiſdom, our Knowledg, and our Myſtery; yea this is the moſt precious Way and Means of Salvation, which now to­wards the End ſhall be ſhewn to all Men in the Goſpel of the Kingdom of God, which ſhall be preached in all the world for a wit­neſs, and then ſhall the End come, Mat. 24.14. Finally, this is our only true and ſaving Religion,74 Faith and Confeſſion before God and all the Elect Angels and Men, according to which we are Children, viz. Children of God, fellow-children with the only begotten Son of God, and Children of the Spirit. Our glory is not in Paul, Cephas or Apollo; no: We are Children, and not Men; Fools in this world, and not wiſe men; Babes, and not great and deep-learned Maſters, Doctors and Rabbies; to ſuch the Promiſe is given, and not unto the prudent, wiſe and learned of this world: No, but it is hid from them, and revealed unto Babes, viz. who the Father and the Son is. Ye humane learned among all Sects do nor know Chriſt, for ye know not Love; for unto him that loveth he will reveal himſelf: There­fore whoſoever among you ſeemeth75 to be wiſe in this world, let him be­come a fool, that he may be wiſe. We muſt all turn back again, and become Children, other­wiſe the Kingdom of God comes not nor appeareth in us, nor we come into it. Ye can con­vert no man to Chriſt, unleſs ye your ſelves firſt turn back, and become like Children. We muſt begin from below, and not from above, otherwiſe we ſhall fall: Therefore it is the lowly and humble which the Lord looks upon both in Heaven and on Earth. And thus let us humble our ſelves in our ſelves, ſubmit­ing our ſelves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time, leaving all other things to him, for he will order all things for the Beſt.


CHAP. IX. Wherein Mans true Converſion conſiſteth, and which way to at­tain it.

NOw what ſhall we ſay fur­ther, Beloved Brethren in the Lord, ſeeing there is a very great Alteration at hand? Is there any Sect at all that can ſerve our turn, or avail us any thing at all? No; for all ſuch mind is humane and carnal, and not the mind of the Spirit, and therefore not known of God. How then? Whatſoever is of humane mind muſt fall of and in it ſelf; for it is not the mind of the Spirit, nor is it the mind of Chriſt, that we be of Paul, Cephas and Apollo; but that we be divine: This is both the mind77 of Chriſt and of his Apoſtles, of which the Apoſtles them­ſelves witneſs and ſay, We have the mind of Chriſt. But what is that mind of Chriſt? To ſpeak thereof ſimply as Children, It is to be at unity in Love, of one mind in knowledg, and of one ſpirit in Chriſt. Moreover, what is our belief and opinion of this Mind? This, viz. that if all ſhall become Chriſtians, whe­ther they be Heathens, Turks, or Jews, &c. let them be called in humane mind and manner what they will; I ſay, if we all ſhall turn and be converted to God, and become one Flock, and have one Shepherd; then all theſe Superſtitious, Idolatrous and old Adamical names, muſt down, be forgotten, and rooted out, that the Name of the Lord only may be named, known and78 confeſſed by every mouth, tongue and heart of Man; for it is written, Unto me all knees ſhall bow, ſaith the Lord, and not unto Baal, for I will root out the names of Baalim; and unto me every tongue and mouth ſhall con­feſs, that I am the Lord; and I will not give mine Honor to any other, nor my praiſe unto Idols. True it is, that the time is com­ing and at hand, that all the world ſhall be converted to the Lord; for when the Lord hath accompliſhed his Determinati­on, and poured forth his fierce An­ger and Indignation upon all the world, then he ſhall turn to the peo­ple a pure language, and cauſe to be preached to them with amia­ble lips, that they may all call on the Name of the Lord, to ſerve him with one conſent, Zeph. 3.8, 9. Therefore God puniſheth one79 Sect by another and with ano­ther; ſo that they amongſt themſelves know not what they do, being ignorant of the Coun­cel of the Lord, not obſerving that the Lord hath gathered them together as upon a threſh­ing floor, that he may threſh them with all manner of plagues; and then ſhall he ſa­tisfie his Anger, and cool the fire of his Jealouſie, Zeph. 3.8. And when the time of the Gen­tiles is thus accompliſhed, and their fulneſs come in, then the Lord ſhall have mercy upon the whole Houſe of Iſrael again, and call them by an Everlaſting Go­ſpel: He ſhall gather them and bring them back again out of all Countries, and bring them home into the Land, which he hath ſworn unto their fathers, with an everlaſting Oath and80 Covenant; and together with the whole ſeed of Abraham he ſhall convert all Gentiles unto Himſelf; and thus reſtore the Kingdom of Iſrael to Everlaſt­ing Glory. Then the Lord ſhall appear glorious in his coming, and renew and regenerate the whole Creation; and then we ſhall know the exceeding Virtue of the bleſſed Birth of our Savi­our and great God Jeſus Chriſt, which hitherto in his Myſtery hath been hid from the wiſe, learned and prudent of this world, until this day of the Re­velation, in which the whole World and Creation receiveth its Conception from above, through the Revelation of Jeſus Chriſt the Son of the Man in Heaven, in his day, by the preaching of the Everlaſting Goſpel; After which Concep­tion81 the whole World ſhall then alſo bring forth the Child of Righteouſneſs in the Regenera­tion and Renovation of all things in a new Creation and Creature, where all that is old ſhall fade like an old garment, & be clothed with Salvation and Righteouſneſs for the Wedding of the Lamb in the Paradice of God. Therefore all ye that love the Myſtical Wiſdom, be aſſured that the time is come, in which all things muſt be made manifeſt, reproved and judged by the Light: The time of the ſeventh Trumpet is come, in which the Temple of the Lord ſhall rightly be known, opened and ſeen, and in it the Ark of his Covenant: The Kingdoms of this World ſhall all, all, all be deſtroyed, and ſhall belong pe­culiarly to Chriſt and to his82 Saints; Satan the Dragon and wicked one, together with the Beaſt (which hitherto and as yet no man knoweth, but thoſe that have the Spirit of Prophecy) ſhall be caſt down, ſhut and ſeal­ed up in the Pit, or Abyſs, for ever: Hallelujah.

Now when the time of the Manifeſtation cometh, being al­ſo now already, then we ſhall plainly diſcern and acknowledg, that hitherto we have been but children in knowledg, even car­nally minded in the knowledg of Chriſt, in all our wit, wiſdom, learning and Scholerſhip; we ſhall then hear ſpoken and preached far, far otherwiſe of the afore-named ſeven Points, then hitherto we have heard; for then verily Men ſhall ſpeak with new tongues of the great Myſte­ry of God the Father and of83 Chriſt: Hitherto we could not; for the whole world is full of fleſhly-minded men, and the ſpi­ritual men are ſo few among the children of men; for men ſpeak one with another unprofitable, carnal, vain and wicked words, being voyd and ignorant of the mind of Chriſt: yet notwith­ſtanding a man may find now and then ſome few that have al­ready received a Glimpſe or Spark from the Father of Lights, waiting together with us for the Glorious Manifeſta­tion of the Children of God, who among all Nations as yet are hid; for far be it, and falſe it is, that all Sects ſhould be re­probate and rejected: for, God ſhall yet both call and gather many of and amongſt them, and uſe them as precious Stones for the Building of his great glori­ous84 third and laſt Temple. Falſe and idolatrous it is, to think, ac­cording to the Roman Catho­liques ſelf-love and conceit, that all Proteſtants are damned He­reticks; for the Lord hath cho­ſen not a few of them, whom he ſhall make his Evangeliſts, and ſend them in Troops to preach his Salvation. A great miſtake and blindneſs it is, that one Sect imagineth the other to be an A­bomination before God, not knowing the Lord will call of them many choſen Inſtruments to work upon his Temple, and to convert his People Iſrael to Himſelf through his Spirit, which ſhall be ſhed abroad upon all of us; and ſo forth de Pari­bus idem Judicium: for God neither ſeeth nor judgeth ac­cording to the judgment of man; but he looketh to the85 Heart, and dealeth with us in great forbearance; He govern­eth us with great Patience, and hath mercy upon us without In­termiſſion: Wherefore then ſhould not we alſo have pity and compaſſion towards our fellow-ſervants (let them be according to the letter what they will) and love them from our very heart, thereby praiſing our Father which is in Heaven? If we be ſtronger, wiſer and more righte­ous then our fellow-ſervant is, well and good, let us bear his weakneſs, folly and ſin, as Chriſt did, that we may fulfil his Law; If he erreth, then let us inſtruct him in Love, according to the ſimplicity of Children, not with many Articles, whereby he will be but more diſturbed and con­founded: If he be faln, let us help to raiſe him up again, not86 with reproaches, reviles and ex­poſtulations, but with a meek ſpirit; for he that thinks himſelf to ſtand, let him take heed leſt he fall not: If he be obſtinate and refractory, then let us bear and carry him; for it is neither ſtrength nor art to carry one that is light and willing, but him that is heavy, hard and froward, that the ſtrength and vertue of God may be ſeen and known to dwell with us, together with the pati­ence of Chriſt, and the meekneſs of his Spirit: If he be altogether a weed, yet we are willing to ſuffer him to grow until the time of the Harveſt, and not root him out, leſt we in ſo doing ſhould alſo hurt the Wheat.

Now what a folly is it, that we hitherto ſo unchriſtianlike have deſpiſed, reproached, judg­ed and condemned one another? 87I my ſelf was alſo once among the Scornful, Fools, Blaſphe­mers and untimely Judges, whereof I am now juſtly aſha­med: Therefore beloved Man, whoſoever thou art, boaſt not againſt another; for who hath ſet thee before another? or what haſt thou beyond him or above him, which thou haſt not recei­ved? or wherefore doſt thou judg anothers ſervant, and there­by curſe his Maſter? whether he ſtands or falls, he ſtands or falls to his own Lord and Ma­ſter. We muſt all of us appear before the Judgment Seat of Chriſt, and every one muſt give an account for his own ſelf; and every one muſt alſo bear his own burden, and have his own honor or diſhonor by himſelf and for himſelf, and not by any other. Wherefore doſt thou88 vaunt and boaſt thy ſelf being puffed up againſt another? who hath Juſtified thee before thy Neighbor? if thou perſwadeſt thy ſelf that thou underſtandeſt things better, and to be of great­er ability in they wiſdom. My Beloved, boaſt not your ſelves one againſt another, but rather love one another; for the Spirit of Wiſdom and Truth cometh, is come, and ſhall come, and paſs one ſentence upon all your Sec­tarians; to wit, that ye know neither Chriſt, nor your own ſelves, nor one another, if ſo be that you imagine your ſelves to be wiſer, more underſtanding and learned, and more righteous then another: But if ye be ſim­ple, then abide ye in the Love of Chriſt, not judging, nor deſpi­ſing, nor condemning one ano­ther; and ſo ye ſhall neither be89 deſpiſed, judged nor condemn­ed, but mercy ſhall be unto you from the Lord. Now when the Spirit of Judgment cometh, then ſhall we plainly ſee, how grievouſly we all of us have err­ed, one as well as another, not one of us excepted. Therefore, O Man, examine thy ſelf well, and conſider that we are not a­ble to anſwer for one of a thou­ſand: Therefore let us in ſerious Repentance and contrition of heart lay hold on Love towards one another, that we may alſo be apprehended by the Love, and preſerved to Eternal Mer­cy. If thou think it ſtrange when we ſay, that all of us have erred and gone aſtray, and thou there­by conceiveſt as if we ſhould have been excluded from Sal­vation, ſeeing we have not had the perfect Wiſdom; then know90 and underſtand, that no Article of Faith, no Prophecy, no Know­ledg, no Wiſdom, no Myſtery, yea no Faith neither, according to thy knowing (as thou con­ceiveſt it in the letter,) nor Bap­tiſm, nor Abſolution, nor Com­munion, ſhall nor can ſave thee, but only the Spirit; the Spirit, the Spirit, I ſay, it is, which quickeneth and ſaveth; where that is, there is all the reſt alſo, be it what it will, and call it what you will; therefore things muſt be judged ſpiritually, and not animally, humanely and carnal­ly: And whoſoever hath not the Spirit of Chriſt belongeth not to Him, though he boaſt, profeſs and proteſt never ſo much; therefore in the time of their Ignorance God hath wink­ed at all Sects (call them what Sect you will,) ſeeing it hath91 been the time of Deſolation, whereby Chriſt is rooted out, and the Man of Sin ſet up in the holy place, and hath given out concerning himſelf that he is God; to the end that he now might manifeſt the exceeding Riches, and the great hidden Depths of his Wiſdom and Knowledg, and convert to him­ſelf, not only the Chriſtians, be­ing ſo confuſed and diſtracted among themſelves, but alſo all Jews, Turks and Heathens, yea all the World; and therefore he will ſhew his exceeding great Mercy unto all Men in the whole World, yea unto all Creatures.


CHAP. X. How in the End here we ſhall enter into the Kingdom of Chriſt, and how we may beware of Hinder­ances.

SEeing he hath concluded All under the Error of Folly, and confuſion of great Babel; ſo now he will alſo have Mercy upon all, not only upon the diſtracted and perplexed Chriſtians, but alſo upon the erring Jews and loſt ſheep of the houſe of Iſrael, yea upon all Heathens and Na­tions, which have gone aſtray from the Beginning, becauſe none ſhould boaſt againſt ano­ther, but rather be aſhamed, eve­ry one acknowledging and con­feſſing his own fault, and all of us boaſt only in the Lord, and93 not in Paul, Peter or Apollo, much leſs in any Sect, but only of and in the Lord, to wit, that we of him, in him, and through him have Mercy, Juſtice and Righ­teouſneſs upon Earth. There­fore all this while we have nei­ther converted Jews, nor Turks, nor Heathens to Chriſt: Firſt, Becauſe of our confuſed and en­tangled Faith, wherein we our ſelves have found neither Ground, nor Order, nor Har­mony, nor Unity amongſt our ſelves; much leſs were it poſſible for any other to find it: at which Scandal they have been juſtly offended, and their Converſion hindered. The ſecond Cauſe was and is ſtill our miſchievous and deſperate Hope, by which we our ſelves judg and cenſure, yea wholy baniſh one another to Death, Hell and Damnation:94 for which abomination Jews, Turks and Gentiles have juſtly been amazed and aſto­niſhed, and ſo have re­mained in their own former ways. The third Cauſe was and is ſtill our accurſed Love, that is, our Diabolical Hatred and Envy, together with all our wicked works, by which we have denyed, troden under feet and blaſphemed the true God, the Love of Chriſt, and the Uni­ty of the Spirit both in Heart and Deed; whom notwith­ſtanding we confeſs with our mouth, ſaying, ſinging and pro­teſting, that we all beleeve in one God; and in the mean time both defraud, perſecute, baniſh, deſtroy and kill one another, far worſe and more fiercely then wilde Beaſts, and yet we will be called Chriſtians: and therefore95 Jews, Turks and Heathens may well ſay, Can a Man gather Grapes of Thorns, or Figs of Thiſtles? therefore by their fruits you ſhall know them: Or do you think that all thoſe that ſay, Lord, Lord, ſhall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? No; we muſt do the Will of God, which is, that we muſt love one another, as he hath loved us. Therefore many Jews, Turks and Heathens ſhall ſtand up in that day, and condemn us that are ſo unchriſtian: for they have been far more ſerious, di­ligent and devout in their Su­perſtition, Idolatry and Religi­on, then we have been, yea richer in good works and deeds then we; in ſo much we have no reaſon to brag and boaſt a­gainſt them, but far rather to be aſhamed.


Now where is our Chriſtian Faith, whereof we boaſt ſo much againſt Jews, Turks and Heathens? hath not Babel con­founded it, Baal ſpoiled it, and Belial blotted it out? In ſo much that Belzebub, alas, alas, hath more of his Flies and Swarms amongſt the falſly ſo named Chriſtians, then amongſt Jews, Turks and Heathens. Where is our hope? do not we amongſt our ſelves judg it loſt? and thoſe that ſhould enter life, them we judg and cenſure to death: Where is our Love ac­cording to the Commandment of Chriſt, that we ſhould love our Enemies? Do we not hate our very Friends, yea betray and ſell them, even the Profeſ­ſors of our own Faith and Re­ligion, and give the ſword into the hands of thoſe that ſtrive to97 take their lives? Now where is our Glory, whereof we can boaſt before another? Is it not Abomination upon Abomina­tion, and Abomination of all Abominations, and even the ſame Abomination whereof Chriſt, his Apoſtles and Pro­phets have foretold? But what Courſe ſhall we take againſt all theſe Abominations of Babylon? We muſt go out from Babel, and bring forth fruits worthy and meet for Repentance, lea­ving off to ſin, if happily the Lord will have mercy upon us, and not wholy root us out, that we together with Iſrael might find grace, and be converted to the Lord. Therefore thou Heatheniſh Chriſtian, be no more ſo proud and puffed up in thy vain and frivolous Faith, and boaſt not againſt the Stock98 of Iſrael, for thou beareſt not it, but it beareth thee; thou art but an ingrafted Twig and Branch, the Ax is ready there, and ſhall hew thee off in an In­ſtant, and ſhall ingraft the na­turall Olive tree with its Branches, cutting off the wilde Branch: The King of Iſrael ſhall demoliſh all Kingdoms, and reſtore again the Kingdom of Iſrael, for they have ſpoiled and deſtroyed the whole Earth with their Beſtial, Tyrannical and Irrational Doings, and have made Iſrael in their ſins ſeem righteous: Therefore he ſhall be their Saviour, and with a ſtrong Hand and a mighty Arm bring them back again from the Sea, and from the Iſlands, and from the Ends of Heaven, and from the End of the Earth; for ſtrong is the Lord of Hoaſts99 their Redeemer, and mighty is the God of Jacob, and ſweet is the comfort of Iſrael: His Pro­miſe deceiveth not, and his Pro­phecy faileth not; for what he promiſeth he performeth; and he ſhall not break his Covenant, but keep his Oath for ever and ever. He ſhall bring Jacob back again, convert his Tribe to him, and redeem Iſrael from all their ſins: He ſhall work Wonders upon Earth, Won­ders in the Sea, and Wonders in Heaven; In the Skies Men ſhall ſee his Glory, and the Stars ſhall ſhout for Joy before the Lord, when Jacobs Star riſeth again: Sun and Moon ſhall kiſs one another, when the Virgin Iſrael ſhall return: Lebanon ſhall rejoyce and be green again, and its Cedars ſhall boaſt, and toge­ther ſing praiſe to the God of100 Jacob: The Mountains of Iſ­rael ſhall be joyful and leap for Joy: The Hill of Jeruſalem ſhall skip for Joy like a young Lamb, and rejoyce comfortably that its wall ſhall be taken away at the time of the wedding of the Lamb; they ſhall All re­turn again to Sion, and there their Glory ſhall ariſe from the Lord, for ever and ever; Halle­lujah. O who ſhall live and ſee it, and praiſe the Lord?

Now who is wiſe that can order and behave himſelf a­right for the time? Who knows how great an Alteration there is at hand? and who will turn back with us, and become a Childe? Many ſhall be clean­ſed and purified, and ſome who­ly ſpued out and thrown away, to wit, thoſe that care not whe­ther a man ſing pleaſantly or101 unpleaſantly, whether a man la­ments them or laughs at them in their miſery, whether a man exhorts them mildly or ſevere­ly; for they imagine them­ſelves to be far wiſer, and will not endure to hear Truth and Right ſpoken of, but ſay, they know them already ſufficiently: And whoſoever preacheth to them of true Righteouſneſs, he muſt be to them an Heretick: If a man pipeth, they will not dance, nor rejoyce with us for that which is to come: If we bewail them, they will not de­plore their ſins with us, for they are righteous in the Imagination of their own Heart: If we preach of the Kingdom of Chriſt in the thouſand Years, a man muſt immediately be to them a Millenary, Revelatiſt, and Phantaſtical Fellow: In a102 word; they will not endure to hear either of Good or Evil.

But beloved Friend, that thinkeſt thy ſelf to be wiſe, turn, turn, and become a Child with us, a Fool in the fight of the world, and a Diſciple or Scho­ler of Wiſdom; then thy heart ſhall firſt be quick to ſeek, and thou ſhalt know and diſcern thy folly, and become wiſe with the ſimple. Think not with thy ſelf, I am a great Doctor or Maſter, &c. Not ſo, for all theſe are words of an Hypo­crite, and not of Chriſt; and unleſs thou humbleſt thy ſelf, and becomeſt a Fool with us before the world, thou ſhalt never come to Honor: Think not we inſtruct thee; No, there is but one that is the Ma­ſter and the Lord over us all; He will teach us all the right103 way to the Eternity in God, and even he himſelf is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, both in his Conception and Birth, (by which we muſt turn back from the old Adam, and become Children, otherwiſe we ſhall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,) in his Life and Suffer­ing, &c. Him we muſt and will follow; he regardeth not what is humane, but what is divine: Therefore leave the great folly, with all thine ornaments, wherewith thou haſt adorned thy ſelf hitherto; for Chriſt in that day, when all of us muſt give an accompt, ſhall not ask thee, whether thou haſt been addicted to any Sect; how many Articles of Faith thou haſt had; what opinion thou haſt been of in every particular Point; how thou haſt ſtudied,104 proficed, taught and preached; how diligent thou haſt been in hearing of Sermons, &c. No; the Modus and Manner of Judg­ment is plainly enough ſet be­fore thee by Chriſt himſelf; viz. the Works of Love and Charity ſhall Judg and Cenſure us either to Salvation or Dam­nation, and this is moſt true and Infallible. Chriſt ſhall neither then ask thee, what thou haſt beleeved of him, or according to which Sect thy Opinion hath been; No: for the Science; Knowledg or Wiſdom of the Letter and of the outward Man condemneth not: Therefore we Judg no Man according to his Know­ledg or Ignorance neither to Salvation nor Condemnation, namely, among thoſe that are Children of Love: All the reſt105 do judg themſelves, and not we, be it either according to their Knowledg or Ignorance; for we judg no Man: But the Lord it is that judgeth us all, who alſo cometh with his Judgment; whom we beſeech for his Grace and Mercy, that he would be pleaſed not to enter into Judgment with us, elſe we all would be loſt; but that he would grant us the Spirit of Judgment, that we by it may judg, exhort and reprove our own ſelves amongſt our ſelves in Love as loving Children, while it is called to day, leſt we be condemned with the world; but that we may through his Grace, in Faith, Hope, and Love of Truth, obtain Eternal Righ­teouſneſs and Salvation through Jeſus Chriſt. Amen.



WHat is that which a man ought to labor for in this Life. Pag. 9.
An excellent Type of Love to­wards God, and Love towards the World. Pag. 12
Even as God is the Being of all Beings, and the Life of all Li­ving; ſo alſo muſt every one, that meaneth to inherit Salva­tion, become like unto him in Chriſt. Pag. 18
Of Mans true Perfection in Chriſt and in the Love. Pag. 26
What are thoſe ſeven things in Chriſt, which ought to be well and eſpecially conſidered: And how we may attain to the Per­fection of Love. Pag. 33
Of the difference betwixt the un­feigned true Love and falſe Love, and how the falſe Love always mingleth it ſelf with the true. Pag. 44
Wherein doth the dayly Practiſe of Love towards our Neighbor tru­ly conſiſt. Pag. 58
That Love is the true and only means whereby a man may at­tain the true Chriſtianity. Pag. 66
Wherein Mans true Converſion110 conſiſteth, and which way to at­tain it. Pag. 76
How in the End here we ſhall enter into the Kingdom of Chriſt, and how we may beware of Hinder­ances. Pag. 92

About this transcription

TextThe heart opened to Christ Jesus. Translated out of High Dutch for the good of all men.
Extent Approx. 80 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 55 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A86160)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 169715)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 173:E1287[1])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationThe heart opened to Christ Jesus. Translated out of High Dutch for the good of all men. 110, [2] p. Printed by John Macock,London :MDCLIII. [1653]. (The first and last leaves are blank.) (Annotations on Thomason copy: "ffeb. 11 1652"; the final 'I' in the imprint has been crossed out.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.) (Original not traced.)
  • Jesus Christ -- Example -- Early works to 1800.
  • Christian life -- Early works to 1800.

Editorial statement

About the encoding

Created by converting TCP files to TEI P5 using tcp2tei.xsl, TEI @ Oxford.

Editorial principles

EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A86160
  • STC Wing H1311
  • STC Thomason E1287_1
  • STC ESTC R208966
  • EEBO-CITATION 99867881
  • PROQUEST 99867881
  • VID 169715

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.