Showing how Man should consider himself.

CHRIST said, Except ye turn and become as Children, ye shall not see the kingdom of God. Again, he said to Nicodemus; Except a Man be born again, of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God; for that which is born of the Flesh is Flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.

2. Also the Scripture positively declareth, that the fleshly natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God, for they are Foolishness unto him, neither can he know or conceive them.

3. Now seeing that all of us have Flesh and Blood and are mortal, as we find by Experience, and yet the Scripture saith, that We are the Temples of the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us, and that the Kingdom of God is within us, and that Christ must be formed in us; also, that He will give us his Flesh for Food, and his Blood for Drink: And that, Whosoever shall not eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood hath no Life in him. Therefore we should seriously consider, what kind of Man in us it is, that is capable of being thus like the Deity.

4. For it cannot be said of the mortal Flesh that turneth to Earth again, and liveth in the Vanity of this World, and continually lusteth against God; that it is the Temple of the Holy Ghost; much less can it be said that the New Birth cometh to pass in this earthly Flesh, which dieth and putrifieth, and is a continual House of Sin.

5. Yet seeing that it remaineth certain, that a True Christian is born of Christ, and that the New Birth is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us, and that the New Man only, that is born of Christ, partaketh of the Flesh and Blood of Christ; it appeareth that is is not so easy a Matter to be a Christian.

6. And that Christianity doth not consist in the mere knowing of the History, and applying the Knowledge thereof to ourselves, saying that Christ died for us, and hath destroyed Death and turned it into Life in us, and that He hath paid the Ransom for us, so that we need do nothing but comfort ourselves therewith, and steadfastly believe that it is so.

7. For we find of ourselves that Sin is living, lusting, strong, and powerfully working in the Flesh, and therefore it must be somewhat else, which doth not co-operate with Sin in the Flesh, nor willeth it, that is the New-Birth in Christ.

8. For St. Paul saith, There is no Condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. And further, Should we that are Christians be yet Sinners? God forbid, seeing we are dead to Sin in Christ.

9. Besides, the Man of Sin cannot be the Temple of the Holy Ghost; and yet, there is no Man that sinneth not, for God hath shut up all under Sin. As the Scripture saith, No one living is righteous in thy Sight, if thou imputest his Sins to him. The righteous Man falleth seven Times a Day; and yet it cannot be meant that the righteous falleth and sinneth, but his mortal and sinful Man. For the righteousness of a Christian in Christ cannot Sin.

10. Moreover, St. Paul saith, Our Conversation is in Heaven, from whence we expect our Saviour Jesus Christ. Now, if our Conversation be in Heaven, then Heaven must be in us; Christ dwelleth in Heaven; and then if we are his Temple, that Temple Heaven must be in us.

11. But for all this, seeing Sin tempteth us within us, whereby the Devil hath within us an Access to us, therefore Hell also must be in us too, for the Devil dwelleth in Hell; wheresoever he is, he is in Hell. and cannot come out of it. Yea, when he possesseth a Man, he dwelleth in Hell, viz., in the Anger of God in that Man.

12. Therefore we ought to consider well what Man is, and how he is a Man; and then we shall find that a true Christian is not a mere historical new Man, as if it were enough for us outwardly to confess Christ, and believe that he is the Son of God, and hath paid the Ransom for us. For Righteousness availeth nothing, imputed from without, that is, by believing only that it is so imputed. But it is an inherent Righteousness born in us, by which we become the Children of God, that availeth.

13. And as the earthly Flesh must die, so also the Life and Will must die from Sin, and be as a Child that knoweth nothing, but longeth only after the Mother which brought it forth. So likewise must the Will of a Christian enter again into its Mother, viz., into the Spirit of Christ, and become a Child in itself, in its own Will and Power, having its Will and Desire inclined and directed only towards its Mother. And a new Will and Obedience in Righteousness, which willeth Sin no more, must rise from Death out of the Spirit of Christ in him.

14. For that Will is not born a-new, which desireth and admitteth Vanity into itself; and yet there remaineth a Will which longeth after Vanity, and sinneth, even in the new-born or regenerate Man. Therefore the Image or Nature of Man should be well understood, and how the New-birth cometh to pass; seeing it is not wrought in the mortal Flesh, and yet is wrought truly and really in us, in Flesh and Blood, in Water and Spirit, as the Scripture saith.

15. We should therefore rightly understand what Kind of Man it is in us, that is the Member of Christ, and Temple of God who dwelleth in Heaven. And then also what Kind of Man it is, that the Devil ruleth and driveth; for he cannot meddle with the Temple of Christ, nor doth he care much for the mortal Flesh; and yet there are not three Men in one another, for all make but one Man.

16. Now if we will understand this rightly, we must consider Time and Eternity, and how they are in one another; also Light and Darkness, Good and Evil; but especially the Original of Man.

This may be thus apprehended.

17. THE outward World with the Stars and four Elements, wherein Man and all Creatures live, neither is, nor is called God. Indeed God dwelleth in it, but the Substance of the outward World comprehendedeth him not.

18. We see also that the Light shineth in Darkness, and the Darkness comprehendeth not the Light, and yet they both dwell in one another. The four Elements are also an Example of this; which in their Original are but one Element, which is neither hot nor cold, nor dry, nor moist; and yet by its stirring separateth itself into Four Properties, viz., into Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.

19. Who would believe that Fire produceth or generateth Water? And that the Original of Fire could be in Water, if we did not see it with our Eyes in Tempests of Thunder, Lightening, and Rain; and did not find also, that in living Creatures, the essential Fire of the Body dwelleth in the Blood, and that the Blood is the Mother of the Fire, and the Fire is the Father of the Blood.

20. And as God dwelleth in the World, and filleth all Things, and yet possesseth nothing; and as the Fire dwelleth in Water, and yet possesseth it not: Also, as the Light dwelleth in Darkness, and yet possesseth not the Darkness; as the Day is in the Night, and the Night in the Day, Time in Eternity, and Eternity in Time; so is Man created according to the outward Humanity; he is the Time, and in the Time, and the Time is the outward World, and it is also the outward Man.

21. The inward Man is Eternity and the Spiritual Time and World, which also consisteth of Light and Darkness, viz., of the Love of God, as to the eternal Light, and of the Anger of God as to the eternal Darkness; whichsoever of these is manifest in him, his Spirit dwelleth in that, be it Darkness or Light.

22. For Light and Darkness are both in him, but each of them dwelleth in itself, and neither of them possesseth the other; but if one of them entereth into the other, and will possess it, then that other loseth its Right and Power.

23. The passive loseth its Power; for if the Light be made manifest in the Darkness, then the Darkness loseth its Darkness, and is not known or discerned. Also on the contrary, if the Darkness arise in the Light and get the upper-hand, then the Light and the Power thereof are extinguished. This is to be observed also in Man.

24. The Eternal Darkness of the Soul is Hell, viz., an aching Source of Anguish, which is called the Anger of God; but the Eternal Light in the Soul is the Kingdom of Heaven, where the fiery Anguish of Darkness is changed into Joy.

25. For the same Nature of Anguish, which in the Darkness is a Cause of Sadness, is in the Light a Cause of the outward and stirring Joy. For the Source or Original in Light, and the Source in Darkness are but one Eternal Source, and one Nature, and yet they, viz., the Light and Darkness, have a mighty Difference in the Source; the one dwelleth in the other and begetteth the other, and yet is not the other. The Fire is painful and consuming, but the Light is yielding, friendly, powerful, and delightful, a sweet and amiable Joy.

26. This may be found also in Man; he is and liveth in three Worlds; the First is the Eternal dark World, viz., the Centre of the Eternal Nature, which produceth or generateth the Fire, viz., the Source or Property of Anguish.

27. The Second is the Eternal light World, which begetteth the Eternal Joy, which is the Divine Habitation wherein the Spirit of God dwelleth, and wherein the Spirit of Christ receiveth the human Substance, and subdueth the Darkness, so that it must be a Cause of Joy in the Spirit of Christ in the Light.

28. The Third is the outward visible World in the four Elements and the visible Stars; though indeed every Element hath its peculiar Constellation in itself, whence the Desire and Property arise, and is like a Mind.

29. Thus you may understand, that the Fire in the Light is a Fire of Love, a Desire of Meekness and Delightfulness; but the Fire in the Darkness is a Fire of Anguish, and is painful, irksome, inimicitious and full of Contrariety in its Essence. The Fire of the Light hath a good Relish or Taste, but the Taste in the Essence of Darkness is unpleasant, loathsome and irksome. For all the Forms or Properties in the Eternal Nature, till they reach to Fire, are in great Anguish.

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