« AnteriorContinuar »
printed Book concerning Repentance and true Resgnation; which Book hath been profitable to many.* The prinied little Book, faith he in another Epifle, is very highly loved by many. And again, speaking of the same, With us many hungry Hearts rejoice at it. But the most remarkable Instance of its powerful and happy Efficacy, in the Hand of God, on the Heart of Man, is related by him in his Fortieth Epiftle
, thus : “ God hath more and more opened to me his GraceDoor, and not to me only, but also to many others, who get to read these Writings; whofe Heart God hath fo touched, that they have entered into true Re. pentance and Conversion; and are come to the inward Sight, or Senfe, of God in themselves ; being now defrous to cast away their Old Garment of Sin and Impurity, and to follow Christ in Will and Life. Of This I had a remarkable Proof a few Days ago in the Case of Two Persons, high in Worldly Distinction, and till then, deep in the Worldly Life: In whom I faw the New Birth arise with such Power of the Spirit, and Triumph of Divine Light, and at the same Time in such Truth of Humility and Expressions of Self-Abasement, as I had never before been witness to, except what had been wrought by the same Operation of God in myself, poor Man. And indeed ! could not have believed what I saw in them, if I had not myself experienced the like.
One of these cried out, with Loathing and Contempt, upon his Worldly Entanglements, and his former Conversation therein: And funk down into such a Depth of Repentance, Self-Abhorrence, and Refgnation, that he accounted himself too unworthy to pour out his Prayers to God; but confidered himself as one altogether dead to God, and quite unfit to
* Epift. 33. V. 10.
+ Ep. 57. Ep. 45.
approach Him. So threw himfelf wholly upon God's Mercy, willing to let God do with and through him what He would, and defrous that God might be the sole Mover of his Prayers and Repentance. Upon which the Divine Sun instantly broke forth and shone in him; and for three Hours together, spoke through his Mouth nothing but these Words, God, ----Dung. God ----Dung. So that he .accounted himself even as Dung in the Presence of God. In which deep Exercise of Humility and Self-loathing the Divine Sun of Joyfulness and Great Knowledge arose, and wholly turned and renewed his Heart and Mind. After I had seen this Wonderful Work of God in him, he, together with another Man in the like Condition, came to me, and highly rejoiced with me; because they were brought to it, through my Book of Repentance. In a little Time many others were likewise the same blessed Way; so that I did with much Admiration fenfibly perceive, what I had long before known in the Spirit, how the Door of Grace mightily moveth and openeth itself in such Souls as are încere
This Account, dear Friend and Bro. ther, I give you in the Presence of God as a certain Truth ; seeing You are one of the First-Fruits of those to whose Hands this Talent* is come through the Divine Appointment. Which you have also received with Foy, and taken great. Pains therein : though you do not long after that which the Two Persons above-mentioned did, nor labour that
you may receive it of God; which it would much rejoice my Spirit, to know that you did. Although indeed a Man should not purpose to receive aught from God according to his own Will, but only fink himself down into God's Will, as those Persons did; in
* His Writings.
order that God may, in and with him, do, know, will, enlighten, and lead him, how He pleaseth. However, I was willing to inform you of this Event, in Love, for I well know that Your Soul will rejoice at it together with theirs and mine. I can asure you farther, that God hath brought some, who were Pharisees and Reproachers of me, to the Light, and converted them, so that they now depre to have and read these Writings. Yea, they themselves now teach the Necessity of the New-Birth, and Renovation in the Spirit of Christ; esteeming and confefsang all Disputation to be ́idle and useless, and no better than Dung, in comparison of That; and direct Men to the Life of Christ. Moreover, these Writings have been very lately fought and desired by fome Great Men in Place and Power : So that it may be hoped the Day-break is at Hand."
It remains to fay a few Words of the present Edition of this Golden Manual. The English Translation of The Way to Christ, was first printed in 24mo, for Humphrey Blunden, a Lover of the Teutonic Theosophy, in the Year 1654.---And again, near a Hundred Years afterwards, viz. 1752, at Manchester, in 12mo, under the Auspices of the late pious and ingenious Dr. Byrom; who was likewise.an Admirer of this divine Writer. But both these Editions being now out of Print, it seemed expedient and seasonable to give the Public this New, Corrected, and Enlarged one in a Pocket Size: Which can be noPrejudice, but may rather serve as a Preparative or Manuduction, to the accurate and elegant Edition in Five Volumes, Quarto, of the Whole Works of Jacob Behmen, now under Publication, and in Part published, by G. Robinson, in Pater-Nofter-Row, London, and illustrated with Explanatory Figures left by the Rev. Mr. Law.
The smaller Pieces of the Author's annexed to The Way to Chrift, as treating of the same Articles, were selected out of his other Writings, and printed with this in that first Edition; all of them, except the Epistle to a Person troubled in Mind, which is here subjoined to his Treatise on the Complexions, as being analogous to his Discourse on the Melancholy Complexion, and throwing more Light on that dark Subject. An Explication also of some of the more difficult and unusual Words occurring in His Writings, was inserted in both those Editions, but so obscure in fome Particulars, and so short in all, as very insufficiently to answer its Title and Undertaking. It was thought good therefore to supply this Defect, by a fuller and more fundamental Exposition of the peculiar Terms and Expressions to be found in this Book, deduced from some of his other Writings, and those of his Great Disciple and I!lustrator, Mr. Law.
It shall suffice to conclude this Address to the worthy Reader, with a forcible Exhortation of our Author's to a friend, concerning this His Way to Christ, taken from one of his Epistles.
If you would enter into the Practice of this Book, you would foon experience its Profit. For it is generated out of an anxious Twig, (or Birth, through Fire; and it was, and is, my own very Process or Way, whereby I have attained the Pearl of the Divine Knowledge,”*
* Remainder of 7. Behmen's Epistles. Ep. 27.
Τ Η Ε
Of THIS BOOK.