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When any Man findeth in himself by the former or any other Considerations, pressed Home upon his Mind and Conscience, a Hunger or Desire to repent, and yet feeleth no true Sorrow in himself for his Sins which he hath committed, but only a Hunger or Desire of such Sorrow, so that the poor captive Soul continually sighs, fears, and must needs acknowledge itself guilty of Sins before the Judgement of God. Such a one, I say, can take no better Course than this, namely, to wrap up his Senses, Mind, and Reason together, and make to himself instantly, as soon as ever he perceiveth in himself the Desire to repent, a mighty strong Purpose and Resolution that he will that very Hour, nay, that very Minute, immediately enter into Repentance, and go forth from his wicked Way, and not at all regard the Power and Respect of the World. Yea, and if it should be required, would forsake and disesteem all Things for true Repentance Sake; and never depart from that Resolution again, though he should be made the Fool and Scorn of all the World for it. But that with the full Bent and Strength of his Mind, he will go forth from the Beauty and Pleasure of the World, and patiently enter into the Passion and Death of Christ in and under the Cross, and set all his Hope and Confidence upon the Life to come. That even now in Righteousness and Truth he will enter into the Vineyard of Christ, and do the Will of God. That in the Spirit and Will of Christ he will begin and finish all his Actions in this World, and for the Sake of Christ's Word and Promise, which holds forth to us a Heavenly Reward, willingly take up and bear every Adversity and Cross so that he may be but admitted into the Communion or Fellowship of the Children of Christ and in the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, be incorporated and united unto His Humanity.

He must firmly imagine to himself, and wholly wrap up his Soul in this Persuasion, that in his Purpose he shall obtain the Love of God in Christ Jesus, and that God will give unto him according to His faithful promise, that Noble Pledge, the Holy Ghost, for an Earnest; that, in the Humanity of Christ, as to the Heavenly Substance, he shall be born again in himself, and that the Spirit of Christ will renew his Mind with His Love and Power, and strengthen his weak Faith. Also that in his Divine Hunger he shall get the Flesh and Blood of Christ for Food and Drink, in the Desire of his Soul, which hungereth and thirsteth after It as its proper Nutriment; and with the Thirst of the Soul drink the Water of Eternal Life out of the Sweet Fountain of Jesus Christ, as Christ's most true and steadfast Promise is.

He must also wholly and firmly imagine to himself, and set before him, the great Love of God. That God willeth not the Death of a Sinner, but that he repent and believe; that Christ calleth poor Sinners very kindly and graciously to Himself, and will refresh them; that God hath sent His Son into the World, to seek and save that which is lost, viz. the poor repentant and returning Sinner; and that for the poor Sinner's Sake He hath given His Life unto Death, and died for him in our Humanity which He took upon Him.

Furthermore, he must firmly persuade himself that God in Christ Jesus will much more readily hear him and receive him to Grace, than he will readily come; and that God in the Love of Christ, in the most dear and precious Name JESUS, cannot will any Evil. That there is no angry Countenance at all in this Name, but that It is the highest and deepest Love and Faithfulness, the greatest Sweetness of the Deity, in the great Name JEHOVAH, which He has manifested in our Humanity, corrupted as it is, and perished as to the Heavenly Part, which in Paradise disappeared through Sin. And He was therefore moved in His Heart to flow into us with His Sweet Love, that the Anger of His Father, which was kindled in us, might be quenched and turned into Love by It. All which was done for the poor Sinner's Sake, that he might obtain an open Gate of Grace again.

In this Consideration he must firmly imagine to himself that this very Hour and Instant he standeth before the Face of the Holy Trinity, and that God is really present within and without him, as the Holy Scripture witnesseth, saying, Am not I He that filleth all Things? And in another Place, The Word is near thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart. Also, We will come unto you and make Our abode with you. And, Behold, I am with you always, even to the End of the World. And again, The Kingdom of God is within you.

Thus he must firmly know and believe, that with, and in his Interior he standeth really before the Face of Jesus Christ, even before the Holy Deity, on whom his Soul hath turned its Back; and must resolve that he will this very Hour turn the Eyes and Desire of his Soul towards God again, and with the poor, lost, and returning Son, come to the Father. He must, with the Eyes of his Mind cast down in Fear and deepest Humility, begin to confess his Sins and Unworthiness before the Face of God in manner following:

A short Form of Confession before the Face of God

Everyone, as his Case and Necessity requires, may order and enlarge this Confession as the Holy Ghost shall teach him. I will only set down a short Direction.

O Thou great unsearchable GOD, LORD of all Things; Thou, Who in Christ Jesus, of great Love towards us, hath manifested Thyself with Thy holy Substance in our Humanity: I, poor unworthy sinful Wretch, come before Thy Presence, which Thou hast manifested in the Humanity of Jesus Christ, though I am not worthy to lift up mine Eyes to Thee, acknowledging and confessing before Thee, that I am guilty of Unfaithfulness, and Breaking off from Thy great Love and Grace, which Thou hast freely bestowed upon us. I have left the Covenant, which of mere Grace Thou hast made with me in Baptism, in which Thou didst receive me to be a Child and Heir of Eternal Life, and I have brought my Desire into the Vanity of this World, and defiled by Soul therewith, and made it altogether beastial and earthly. So that my Soul knoweth not itself, because of the Mire of Sin; but accounteth itself a strange Child before Thy Face, not worthy to desire Thy Grace. I lie in the Guilt and Filth of Sin, and the Vanity of my corrupt Flesh, up to the very Lips of my Soul, and have but a small Spark of the living Breath left in me, which desireth Thy Grace. I am dead in Sin and Corruption, so that in this woeful Condition I dare not lift up mine Eyes to Thee.

O God in Christ Jesus, Thou who for poor Sinners' Sakes didst become Man to help them, to Thee I complain; to Thee I have yet a Spark of Refuge in my Soul. I have not regarded Thy purchased Inheritance, which Thou hast purchased for us poor Men, by Thy bitter Death, but have made myself a Partaker of the Heritage of Vanity, in the Anger of my Father in the Curse of the Earth, and am ensnared in Sin, and half dead as to Thy Kingdom. I lie in Feebleness as to Thy Strength, and the wrathful Death waiteth for me. The Devil hath poisoned me, so that I know not my Saviour: I am become a wild Branch on Thy Tree, and have consumed mine Inheritance which is in Thee, with the Devil's Swine. What shall I say before Thee, who am not worthy of Thy Grace? I lie in the Sleep of Death which hath captivated me, and am fast Bound with three strong Chains. O Thou Breaker-through-Death, assist me, I beseech Thee; I cannot, I am able to do nothing! I am dead in myself, and have no Strength before Thee, neither dare I, for great Shame, lift up mine Eyes unto Thee. For I am the defiled Keeper of Swine, and have spent mine Inheritance with the false adulterous Whore of Vanity in the Lusts of the Flesh; I have sought myself in my own Lust, and not Thee. Now in myself I am become a Fool; I am naked and bare; my Shame stands before mine Eyes; I cannot hide it; Thy Judgement waiteth for me. What shall I say before Thee, Who art the Judge of all the World? I have nothing to bring before Thee. - Here I stand naked and bare in Thy Presence, and fall down before Thy Face bewailing my Misery, and fly to Thy great Mercy, though I am not worthy of It; yet receive me but in Thy Death, and let me but die from my Death in Thine. Cast me down, I pray Thee, to the Ground in my innate SELF, and kill this SELF of mine through Thy Death, that I may live no more to mySELF, seeing I in mySELF work nothing but Sin. Therefore, I pray Thee, cast down to the Ground this wicked Beast, which is full of false Deceit and SELF-Desire, and deliver this poor Soul of mine from its heavy Bonds.

O merciful God, it is owing to Thy Love and Long-Suffering that I lie not already in Hell. I yield my SELF, with my whole Will, Senses and Mind, unto Thy Grace, and fly to Thy Mercy. I call upon Thee through Thy Death, from that small Spark of Life in me encompassed with Death and Hell, which open their Throat against me, and would wholly swallow me up in Death; upon Thee I call, Who hast promised that Thou wilt not quench the smoking Flax. I have no other Way to Thee but by Thy Own bitter Death and Passion, because Thou hast made our Death to be Life by Thy Humanity, and broken the Chains of Death, and therefore I sink the Desire of my Soul down into Thy Death, into the Gate of Thy Death, which Thou hast broke open.

O Thou great Fountain of the Love of God, I beseech Thee, help me, that I may die from my Vanity and Sin in the Death of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

O Thou Breath of the great Love of God, quicken, I beseech Thee, my weak Breath in me, that it may begin to hunger and thirst after Thee. O Lord Jesus, Thou sweet Strength, I beseech Thee give my Soul to drink of Thy Fountain of Grace, Thy sweet Water of Eternal Life, that it may awake from Death and thirst after Thee. O how extreme fainting I am for Want of Thy Strength! O merciful God, do Thou turn me, I beseech Thee; I cannot turn myself. O Thou Vanquisher of Death, help me, I pray Thee, to wrestle. How fast doth the Enemy hold me with his three Chains, and will not suffer the Desire of my Soul to come before Thee! I beseech Thee, come and take the Desire of my Soul into Thyself. Be Thou my Drawing to the Father, and deliver me from the Devil's Bonds! Look not upon my Deformity in standing naked before Thee, having lost Thy Garment! I pray Thee, do but Thou clothe that Breath which yet liveth in me and panteth after Thy Grace; and so shall I yet see Thy Salvation.

O Thou deep Love, I pray Thee take the Desire of my Soul into Thee; bring it forth out of the Bonds of Death through Thy Death, in Thy Resurrection, into Thee. O quicken me in Thy Strength, that my Desire and Will may begin to spring up and flourish anew. O Thou Vanquisher of Death and of the Wrath of God, do Thou overcome SELF in me; break its Will and bruise my Soul, that it may fear before Thee, and be ashamed of its OWN Will before Thy Judgement, and that it may be ever obedient to Thee as an Instrument of Thine. Subdue it in the Bonds of Death; take away its Power, that it may will nothing without Thee.

O God, the Holy Ghost in Christ my Saviour, teach me, I pray Thee, what I shall do, that I may turn to Thee. O draw me in Christ to the Father, and help me, that now and from henceforward I may go forth from Sin and Vanity, and never any more enter into them again. Stir up in me a true Sorrow for the Sins I have committed. O keep me in Thy Bonds; and let me not loose from Thee, lest the Devil sift me in my wicked Flesh and Blood, and bring me again into the Death of Death. O enlighten Thou my Spirit, that I may see the Divine Path, and walk in it continually. O take that away from me, which always turneth me away from Thee; and give me that which always turneth me to Thee; take me wholly from MySELF and give me wholly to THYself. O let me begin nothing, let me will, think, and do nothing without Thee. O Lord, how long! Indeed I am not worthy of that which I desire of Thee, I pray Thee let the Desire of my Soul dwell but in the Gates of Thy Courts; make it but a Servant of Thy Servants. O preserve it from that horrible Pit, wherein there is no Comfort or Refreshment.

O God in Christ Jesus! I am blind in my SELF, and know not myself because of Vanity. Thou art hidden from me in my Blindness, and yet Thou art near unto me; but Thy Wrath which my Desire hath awakened in me, hath made me dark. O take but the Desire of my Soul to Thee; prove it, O Lord, and bruise it, that my Soul may obtain a Ray of Thy Sweet Grace.

I lie before Thee as a dying Man, whose Life is passing from his Lips, as a small Spark going out; kindle it, O Lord, and raise up the Breath of my Soul before Thee. Lord, I wait for Thy Promise, which Thou hast made, saying, As I live, I will not the Death of a Sinner, but that he shall turn and live. I sink myself down into the Death of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and wait for Thee, whose Word is Truth and Life. Amen.

In this, or the like Manner, every one may confess his Sins, as he himself findeth on examining his Conscience, what Sins he hath brought his Soul into. Yet if his Purpose be truly earnest, to use a Form is needless, for the Spirit of God, which at that Instant is in the Will of the Mind, will Itself make the Prayer for him, in his Interior. For it is the Spirit of God, which in a true earnest Desire worketh Repentance, and intercedeth for the Soul before God, through the Death of Christ.

But I will not hide from the beloved Reader, who hath a True Christian Intent, how it commonly goeth with those who are in such a firm Purpose and Resolution; though, indeed, it goeth otherwise with one than with another, according as his Purpose is more or less earnest and strong. For the Spirit of God is not bound, but useth diverse Ways or Processes accordingly as He knoweth to be fittest for every one. Yet a Soldier who hath been in the Wars can tell how to fight and instruct another that may happen to be in the like Condition.

Now when such a Heart with strong Resolution and Purpose doth thus come before God, and enter into Repentance, it happeneth to it as to the Canaanitish Woman; that is, it seems as if God would not hear. The Heart remaineth without Comfort as its Sins, Follies, and Neglects also present themselves to it, and make it feel itself unworthy of any. The Mind is as it were speechless; the Soul groaneth in the Deep; the Heart receiveth nothing, nor can it so much as pour forth its Confession before God; but it is as if the Heart and Soul were quite shut up. The Soul would fain go towards God, but the Flesh keepeth it captive: The Devil too shuteth it up strongly, and representeth to it the Way of Vanity again, and tickleth it with the Lust of the Flesh, and saith inwardly to it, Stay a while, do this or that first; get a Sufficiency of Money or Goods beforehand, that thou mayest not stand in Need of the World, and afterwards enter into Repentance and a Holy Life; it will be Time enough then.

O how many Hundreds perish in such a Beginning, if they go back again into Vanity; and become as young Grafts broken off by the Wind, or withered by the Heat!

Beloved Soul, mark: If thou wilt be a Champion in thy Saviour Christ against Death and Hell, and wouldst have thy young Graft grow, and become a Tree in the Kingdom of Christ, thou must go on, and stand fast in thy first earnest Purpose. It is as much as thy paternal Inheritance is worth, and thy Body and Soul too, whether thou, becomest an Angel in God, or a Devil in Hell. If thou wilt be crowned, thou must fight; thou must overcome in Christ, and not yield to the Devil. Thy Purpose must stand firm, thou must not prefer temporal Honor and Goods before It. When the Spirit of the Flesh says, Stay a while, it is not convenient yet; then the Soul must say, Now is the Time for me to go back again into my Native Country, out of which my Father, Adam, hath brought me. No Creature shall keep me back, and though thou earthly Body shouldest thereby decay and perish, yet I will now enter with my Will and whole Desire, into the Rose-Garden of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ; through His Suffering and Death into Him, and in the Death of Christ subdue thee, thou earthly Body, that hast swallowed up my Pearl from me, which God gave to my Father, Adam in Paradise. I will break the Will of thy Voluptuousness, which is in Vanity, and bind thee as a mad Dog with the Chain of my earnest Purpose; and though hereby thou shouldest become a Fool in the Account of all Men, yet thou must and shalt obey the firm Resolve of my Soul. Nothing shall unloose thee from this Chain, but the temporal Death. Whereunto God and his Strength help me.

A short Direction how the poor Soul must come before God again, and how it must fight for the Noble Garland; what Kind of Weapons it must use, if it will go to War against God's Anger, against the Devil, the World and Sin, against Flesh and Blood, against the Influence of the Stars and Elements, and all its other Enemies.

BELOVED Soul, there is Earnestness required to do this, and not a bare Recital of Words only! No, the earnest resolved Will must drive on this Work, else nothing will be effected. For if the Soul will obtain the triumphant Garland of Christ from the noble Sophia or Divine Wisdom, it must wooe Her for it in great Desire of Love. It must entreat Her in Her most Holy Name for It, and come before Her in most modest Humility, and not like a lustful Bull or a wanton Venus. For so long as any are such, they must not seek these Things; for they shall not obtain them, and though something should be obtained by those who are in such an impure State, it would be no more than a Glimpse of the true Glory. But a chaste and modest Mind may prevail so far as to have the Soul in its noble Image, which died in Adam, quickened in the Heavenly Corporality as to the inward Ground, and the precious Garland set upon it. Yet if this should come to pass, It is taken off again from the Soul, and laid by, as a Crown useth to be, after a King is once crowned with it; it is then laid by and kept. So it cometh to pass also with the Heavenly Garland or Gift. It is taken from the Soul again, because the Soul is yet encompassed with the House of Sin; so that if it should unhappily fall again, its Crown might not be defiled. This is spoken plainly enough for the Children that know and have tried these Things: None of the Wicked are worthy to know more about them.

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