Mother of Prostitutes and of the
-- and the Scarlet Beast
By Jacob Behmen, the Teutonic Theosopher
57. The Mysterium [or Mystery] which we knew not before, meets us, nor did we know the Ground of it; neither did we ever esteem ourselves worthy of such a Revelation; but seeing it appears unto us of Grace, through the Mercy of the gracious Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore we must not be so lazy, but labor in the Garden of the Lily, in Love to our Neighbor, and for the Sake of the Children of Hope, especially for the Sake of the poor sick Lazarus, who lies wounded in Babel; who (after his painful Sickness) shall be healed, in the Smell of the Lily; and when he shall begin to go out from Babel, we will set a Root before him in Hebron, which shall afford him Strength, to get quite out of Babel for his Health.
58. For the Virgin [the Wisdom of God] has graciously bestowed a Rose upon us, of which we will write in such Words as we behold in that Wonder; and we cannot [write] otherwise, but our Pen is broken, and the Rose taken from us, and then we are as we were before the Time [of our Knowledge;] whereas yet the Rose stands in the Center of Paradise, in the Hand of the Virgin, which she reaches forth to us, in the same Place where she came to us in the Gate of the Deep, and proffered us her Love, when we lay on the Mountain towards the a North, in the Strife and Storm before Babel, which [Virgin] our earthly Man has never seen nor known.
59. Therefore we write out of a School, wherein the earthly Body (with its e Senses) never studied, nor never learned the A, B, C; for in the Rose of the Virgin we learned that A, B, C, which we supposed we could have learned from the Thoughts of the Mind; but that could not be, they were too rough, and too dark, they could not comprehend it. And therefore the earthly Body must not learn in this School, and its Tongue cannot raise itself up to it; for the Mind of this School stood hidden in the Gate of the Deep, in the Center. Therefore we ought not to boast of this School at all, for it is not the proper one of the Senses [or Thoughts,] and Mind of the earthly Man; and if we go forth from the Center of the noble Virgin, then we know as little from this School as others; just as it was with Adam when he went out of the Paradise of God, into the Sleep of being overcome, then at his awaking in this World he knew no more of Paradise, and he knew his loving h Virgin no more.
60. Therefore we have no Ability, Might, nor Understanding (in our earthly Will) to teach of the Wonders of God, we understand nothing thereof, according to our inbred Nature; and none ought to require any Thing from our own Will, for we have nothing [in it.]
61. But the Spirit intimates, that if you shall go out from Babel into the Meekness of Jesus Christ, then the Spirit in Hebron will give you Teachers with great Power, at whose Power the Elements will tremble, and the Gates of the Deep fly open: And you shall go out from Lazarus, his Sickness [and Sores,] through the Word and Wonders of these Men, for the Time is near, the Bridegroom comes [to fetch home his Bride.]
62. And now if we consider in our own Reason, and (in the Consideration of our high Knowledge) look upon what the World at Babel has introduced in this high Article [of Prayer,] whereof we are about to treat, in that Antichrist has set himself therein, and shown his great Power therein, then our Reason might well keep us back, because of the great Sting and Danger that might befall us from the fierce Wrath of Antichrist. But seeing it appears to us without our Knowledge, therefore we will rather obey the Voice of God, than the earthly Fear, in Hope to be recompensed. And though it should happen that Antichrist should destroy our earthly Body, which yet stands in the Permission of God, which we must not withstand, yet we will more highly esteem that which is to come, than that which is transitory, which [Things to come,] if we attain them, are our true native Country, out of which we (in Adam) are gone forth; and the Spirit invites all Men's Attention before this Glass.
63. Hitherto the Honor of Invocation [or Worship] has been paid and afforded to the Virgin Mary, and other Saints, [or holy People,] that have been here [in this Life;] whereas yet (in the Ground of the Light of Nature) this Command or Law was not known at all, and it is most highly necessary to be known, that the Ground thereof has been taken in the confused Babel, when Men were weary of the poor Christ, who in this World had not whereon to lay his Head. Then they did as Israel with Moses, who made themselves a Calf to be their God, and said; Behold, Israel, these are your Gods, which brought you out of the Land of Egypt; and they made a calvish Worship of God, for their voluptuous Life, and looked no more after Moses, but said; We know not what is become of this Man Moses; and they said to Aaron. Make you us Gods which may go before us, and he made them the Calf; but when Moses came and saw it, then he was wroth, and took the Tables of God, and broke them, and threw them away, and said; Hearken, you that belong unto the Lord, gird every Man his Sword to his Side, and slay his Brother, the Worshippers of the Calf.
64. In such a Form [or Condition] also is the confused Babel (in the Kingdom of Christ upon Earth) in the blind Earnestness of Man's own Reason, where Men seek Christ in the Kingdom of this World; whereby they could not find him, as Israel [could not find] Moses, while he was on the Mount. And thereupon they have made other Gods to [go before] them, and [have instituted and set up] the divine Service [or Worship] of God, with the richest [and most costly Ornaments] and holy Show; and they continually say [in their Mind,] we know not what is become of this Jesus, for he is gone from us; we will erect a divine Service for him in our Country, and we will make merry at it, and that shall be done according to our own Will and Pleasure, that we may be rich and fat with it, and refresh ourselves fully with this Jesus.
65. Are we not Lords in his Kingdom? And being in his Ministry, [Service or Worship,] we are the most holy and best. Who may compare himself with us? He is ascended into Heaven, and he has given us his Dominion on Earth. The Keys of Peter, he must be [Deputy, Viceroy, Vicar, or] Keeper of the City, and those he has left us to [open] the Kingdom of Heaven and of Hell. Who will take them away from us? We can get into Heaven well enough, though we be evil, it matters not, we have the Keys that can open it; we are Priests in Power, [or Ministers having Authority,] we will let those in that make much of us, [fatten us,] and give much to our Kingdom; and then the Christian Church will be in great Honor, [Glory, and Esteem,] when they so highly honor her Ministers [or Servants;] that will well please our Lord [and Master.] Where is there such a Kingdom as we have? Should not that [Kingdom] be crowned with the n most glorious Crown of this World? And should not all bend and crouch before it?
66. Yes indeed, say they, we ourselves confess that we are evil wicked Men, but this Order makes us holy. Our Office is holy, we are the true Ministers of Christ in his Service; and although we be evil [mere natural wicked carnal] Men, yet our Office remains holy; and the highest Dignity is due to us for our Office-sake. As Aaron (with his Worship of the Calf) must be called holy in his Office, though they forgot Moses, and rose up (from eating and drinking) to dance and to play; and so also Aaron must be highly honored [and reverenced] for his Ministry or Service to the Calf.
67. But that the Kingdom of Christ on Earth in Babel might stand in great earnest [Zeal.] they say, we will ordain a holy divine Service [and Worship of God,] that may be diverse [or separated and set apart] from the World, and procure there, that our Laws may be in force and put in Execution by them.] We will impose great fasting Days, and holy Days of Feasting, that the World also may have a Looking-Glass of Holiness, and highly honor and reverence us, and acknowledge that our Ministry [or Worship,] which we perform [when we pray] before God, is holy; we must be the holy Priests of God; whosoever judge otherwise, we will condemn them; and we do right in it, and do God good Service by it. For though an Angel should come from Heaven, and preach any other Doctrine than we, he is accursed, as Paul says.
68. Whatsoever we have ordained at the Convention of the chief Fathers, with the whole Consent of our Concilium [or Council,] that is holy; for it is written, you shall not curse the Chief [or Ruler] of your People. And when our Hearts (before the Light of Nature) condemn us, or that we must stand ashamed of ourselves before God, and acknowledge ourselves great Sinners, then we will invocate the holy Mother of Christ, and his Disciples, that they may pray for us, that so our Sins may not be known. When we go in Pilgrimage to honor them and perform divine Service, or Worship, then she will make Intercession, and speak to her Son for us, and pray for us, so that we may thus (in her Service) be holy; and though we stick continually in bestial Lechery, Self-honour, and Voluptuousness, yet that is no Matter, we have the Keys of Peter, and the Mother of Christ for our Assistance.
69. [Thus it is with the holy Priests,] as it was not Israel's Meaning (in Moses) concerning the Calf, to acknowledge it for a God, and to account it for the true God; because they knew that [the Calf] was Gold, and that the true God had made himself known to be otherwise; and also they had good Experience [of the true God,] by the Wonders [which were wrought] before Pharaoh; but they would thereby worship and reverence the absent God, and make a Remembrance and Worship of God for themselves: As King Jeroboam with his Calf- worship, where yet the Honor must be done to the true God.
70. And as Jeroboam's Calves were an Abomination to God, which he yet with earnest Zeal set up to serve the true God thereby, only that he might preserve his worldly Kingdom, that the People might not fall from him, when they were to go up to Jerusalem to offer Sacrifice; and God rejected him and his whole House for it; and as Moses came (in Wrath) because of their divine Service before the Calf, and broke the Tables of the divine Law, and took his Sword, and one Brother must slay the other, because of their Abominations and Sins of false Worshipping of God; so also (you blind World in Babel of Confusion) seeing you are fallen away from the omnipresent, omniscient, all-seeing, all-hearing, all-smelling, and all-feeling Heart, Jesus Christ, and set upon your own conceited Ways, and do not desire to see the gracious Countenance itself of Jesus Christ, and wilt not lay aside your Shame and Whoredom, your appearing Show of Holiness of Hypocrisy, your self-conceited willful Pride, Might, Authority, Pomp and State, but live in your invented Holiness, for your Pleasure, in Covetousness, Gormandizing, Gluttony, and Drunkenness, and in mere exalting of yourself in Honor; therefore the second Moses (who was promised by the first, and whom Men should hear) has broken the Tables of his Law, whereupon his precious Incarnation, suffering Death, Resurrection, and entering into Heaven stood, and has stopped their Entering into your Ears; and has sent you strong Delusions (out of the Spirit of your own invented Show of Holiness) as St. Paul says; so that you believe the Spirit of Lying, and live according to your fleshly Lust, that so your own invented Show of Holiness with your false Key (which does not open the Suffering and Dying of Jesus Christ in his Death) deceives yourself.
71. For you are not entered into the Father by the Intercession of Men, but by the precious Incarnation of Jesus Christ; and if you do not instantly turn in the last Voice of God's Call (whereas many of you have been much called) and go out from Babel, then Moses stands in Wrath, and says, Gird every one his Sword to his Side, and slay his Brother in Babel, and so you destroy yourself. For the Spirit of your own Mouth will destroy your, so that you shall be no more called Babel, but Fierceness, Wrath and Sword within yourself, which will consume you, and not spare; for you murder yourself, you great Wonder of the World.
72. O how have all the Prophets written of you, and yet you know not yourself; you ride so upon your fat pampered Beast, and that Riding pleases you so well, that you wilt rather go to the Devil into the Abyss of Hell, than that you wilt light off your Beast. What shall become of you then, you blind Babel? Do but light off from your great ugly Beast, [which indeed is] your Might, Pomp, State, and Pride. Behold! your Bridegroom comes, and reaches forth his Hand to you, and would lead you out of Babel.
73. Did not he walk on Foot upon Earth? He did not ride in that Manner. He had not whereon to lay his Head. What Kingdom do you build for him? Where is the Place of his Rest? Does he not rest in your Arms? Wherefore do you not embrace him? Is he [according to your Reason] too poor in this World? Yet he is rich in Heaven. Who wilt you send to him to be reconciled to you? The Mother of Jesus? O no, that will not avail; he does not stand behind you and absolve your Wickedness, for your Inclination of Falsehood. He knows not your Letters which you send to him by the Saints, who are in the still Rest before him in the heavenly Element.
74. The Spirit of their Souls is in the Stillness, in the still Habitation before God. It does not let your rough Sins come into it to sleep upon them, but its Imagination and whole Will stands directly bent into the Heart of God, and the Spirit of the first Principle of its original Source says, Lord, when avenge you our Blood? And the Meekness of Jesus Christ says; Rest in the Stillness, till your Brethren also come to you, who shall be slain in Babel for the Witness of Jesus.
75. They make no Intercession for you, neither does it avail any Thing; for you must be regenerated anew, through earnest Sorrow and Repentance; you must light down from off your Beast, and must go on Foot with Christ over the Brook Kedron, into his Sufferings and Death; and through him you must rise again out of his Grave; you yourself must come to this. Another cannot save you; you must enter into the Birth of Jesus Christ, and with him be conceived by the Holy Ghost; your Soul must in the Word, and in the new Man Christ, in the [one eternal] Element, be born [or brought forth] out of the four Elements into the Water of the Element of eternal Life; your antichristian feigned Fables help you not; for it is said, Such Belief as People have, such a God also they have to bless them.
76. But that your Predecessors after their Death have appeared in Deeds of Wonder, upon which you build, that was caused by the Faith of the Living, and their Imaging in [or Impression upon] their Tincture, which is so strong that it can remove Mountains. An evil Faith also (if it be strong) can (in the first Principle) stir up Wonders, as may be seen by Incantation, and by the wicked Showers of Signs before Pharaoh: As they believed, so it was done.
77. And while the Faith of the Living [at the Time of your Forefathers] was yet somewhat good and pure, [as] to the Kingdom of God still, and they did not seek their Bellies and Pomp [as they do now,] therefore their Faith [or Belief] pierced into the Heaven, into the [pure] Element, to the Saints [or holy Souls;] who thus did also naturally appear with Works of Wonders [or Miracles,] to the living Saints (in their Element) in the strong Faith, which [Works of Wonder] were only comprehended [or taken hold of] in the Faith, and that not imparted to the Ungodly.
78. For one Tincture caught hold of the other, so that the Saints [departed,] in the Element, became longing after the strong Faith; especially those [Saints departed] that on Earth had turned many to Righteousness; for as every one's Works of Faith follow after them, so also their Will to turn more Men, still follows after them; and therefore one Faith (in the Tincture of the holy Element) caught the other, and so [Miracles or] Works of Wonder were done at the Memorials of the Saints; this God permitted for the Heathen's Sakes, that they might see, that the Saints that were slain, [or departed,] were in God, and that there was another Life after this, that they should turn and be converted; and therefore God suffered these Works of Wonder to be done.
79. But in the Ground of the Originality it is not so, that one that is departed has Power to help one that is living into the Kingdom of Heaven; or that they should undertake to bring and report the Miseries of the Living before God, and pray for them; for that were a great Disrespect to the Heart of God, which without Intercession, or their Prayer, pours forth his Mercy over all Men with stretched-out Arms; and his Voice is never any other than only thus, "Come you all to me, you Hungry and Thirsty, and I will refresh you." He said, Come to me, I will do it willingly. Also, It is Delight to me to do Good to the Children of Men.
80. Who is it that will presume to undertake to stand before the Source [or Spring] of the Mercifulness, and make Intercession [or pray] for one that invocates them? As if the Love in the Heart of God was dead, and did not desire to help those that call to him; whereas his Arms continually without End stand stretched out, to help all those that turn to him with their whole Heart.
8 1 You wicked Antichrist, you say, that Faith alone does not justify the Soul, but your invented Works, for your Avarice or Covetousness, these must do the Deed. Wherein wilt you be regenerated? In your Maozim, [or Belly-God,] or through the Birth of Jesus Christ? Which is nearest of all to the Deity? your Works pass away, and follow you in the Shadow; yet the Soul has no Need of any Shadow, but it must be earnest; it must enter in through the Gates of the Deep, and must pass through the Center of the [grim] Fierceness of Death, through the Wrath of the eternal Band, to the meek Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and become a Member of the Body of Christ, and receive of his Fulness, and live therein; his Death must be your Death; his Essences must flow in you; and you must live in his Source, [Property or Virtue.] Thus you must be regenerated anew in him, if you will stand before his Father; otherwise nothing will help; if there had been any Thing in the whole Depth of the Deity, that could have helped, God would have bestowed it upon Adam, and would not have let his Heart (against the Course of Nature) to become Man. But there was no Counsel, [or Remedy,] neither in Heaven, nor in this World, except God did become Man. Therefore be you in earnest, and do not seek Byways to Babel.
82. God indeed (in former Times) permitted much for the Conversion-sake of the Heathen; but he has not ordained the Antichrist to be so, in his Covetousness, Ordinances [or Laws,] and Babble in their Councils; where Men have stopped the Mouth of the Spirit of God, that it should speak no more, but that the Spirit of this World should speak, and build a Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth, in Laws, Disputations, and great Talking; and therefore that Kingdom of Heaven, upon Earth, must be bound up with precious Oaths or Covenants, because it stood not in the Liberty of the Holy Ghost, that so it might be fat and lusty, great and wanton, and never be broken. But it is come to be a Babel of Confusion thereby, and in the Confusion it breaks [or destroys] itself.
83. If now you will behold the Virgin Mary, with her son Jesus Christ, then you shall find that she has been justified and saved through her Son; although she is come into great Perfection, as a bright Morning-Star, above other Stars. And therefore also the Angel called her blessed among Women, and said; The Lord is with you: But she has not the divine Omnipotence.
84. For the Word (which God promised in the Garden of Eden) sprung [and budded] in the Light of her Life, in the Center of God; and when the Angel Gabriel (from the Command of the Father) stirred that [Word of the Promise] with the Message, then it let itself into the chaste Virgin in the Element; and not so wholly and altogether into the Soul of the Virgin, or into the earthly Body, that she was deified. No; for Christ himself says, None goes into Heaven but the Son of Man, who is come from Heaven, and who is in Heaven; all others must go through him into Heaven; he is their Heaven, and the Father is his Heaven; he was in the Heaven, and also (in the Bosom of the Virgin) in this World: The World was made through him, how then could it comprehend him?
85. The Virgin comprehended [or contained him] as a Mother does her Child, she gave him the natural Essences which she inherited from her Parents; those he assumed to the Creature, which was God and Man, the Essences of his Mother (in her Virgin-matrix, out of Flesh and Blood) he assumed to the Limbus of God (out of the [holy] Element) and in these became a living Soul, without blemishing of the [holy] Element; and the Word was in the Midst; the Might [Strength,] Height and Depth of the Soul, reaches even into the Father; and the outward Kingdom of this World hung to the inward, as the four Elements hang to the [one] Element, which in the End shall pass away again, and go through the Fire.
86. And as the Child is another Person than the Mother, and as the Child's Soul is not the Soul of the Mother, so also here in this Place. For the outward Virgin could not comprehend, that she did bear the Savior of the World; but she committed that (in her Virgin-chastity) to God; whatsoever he did with her, she would still be contented with it.
87. But you abominable antichristian Beast, that would devour all, this you shall know concerning the Holiness of the Virgin Mary; that the Virgin Mary is higher, and has a greater Fulness of the Glance [or Luster] than another Child, out of another Body. Though (you evil Beast) art scarce worthy to have this told you, you art such a Devourer, yet because the Counsel of God has concluded so, it shall stand for a Witness against you in your Judgment.
88. Behold, do you know how a Child comes to be Flesh and Blood, and in the End a living Soul? And do you not know that the Tincture of the Mother is first, when a Child shall be conceived? which is done in the Desire of the Will between Man and Woman; where then the Seed [for the Child] is sown, and then the Tincture in the Matrix assumes it, with the Mixture of the Limbus of the Man. And though the outward Mother does not desire [to have] the Child, but desires many Times only to have her Pleasure; yet the inward [Mother] desires it, and also first of all impregnates itself in the Tincture, and then attracts the Fiat to it, and holds the Limbus of the Man, and becomes impregnated.
89. But now that Tincture qualifies [or mixes] with the whole Body, but also with the Soul; for if it [the Tincture] be faithful, then it reaches the Virgin of God in the Element, and it is rightly the Habitation of the holy Soul, in which God assists it.
90. Now thus the Child qualifies [or mixes] with the Mother, and with all Essences, till it kindles the Light of Life, and then the Child lives in its [own] Spirit, and the Mother is its Dwelling-House. But now seeing the Soul of the Child is generated out of the Limbus, and out of the Essences of the Mother, therefore it is indeed half the Mother's, though now it is become the proper own of itself.
91. Thus also in Christ; the Will [to the Child] was the Mother's, when the Angel declared the Message to her, and the Tincture (which received the Limbus of God, and brought it into the Will that she was thus impregnated in the Element) that was also the Mother's, and thus the Deity was conceived, in the Mother's Tincture, in her Will, like another natural Child.
92. Seeing, then that the Soul of her Child was in the Holy Trinity, what do you think here? Seeing it went forth out of the Mother's Essences, whether might not the Holiness of the Child (especially his high Light) in the Mother shine bright and gloriously? And whether this Mother may not rightly stand upon the Moon, and despise that which is earthly, as is to be seen in the Revelation [of St. John?]
93. For she bore the Savior of all the World, without any earthly Mixture; and she is also a Virgin of Chastity, highly blessed by her Son Jesus Christ, in the divine Light and Clarity, more than the Heavens, like the princely Thrones of the Angels. For out of her went forth the Body, which attracts all Members to it, which are the Children of God in Christ. And therefore her Glance [Luster or Brightness] is above the Glance of Heaven; and the Glance of her Soul is in the Holy Trinity, where all other Children of Adam (which are born [or begotten] in Christ) are also Members therein, in that one Christ Jesus.
94. Or do you think I make a God of her? No, the Invocation does not belong to her; for the Might [or Ability] to help comes only out of the Father, through the Son; for in the Father only is the Source [or Fountain] of the Omnipotence, which he in the Son speaks forth, for the Might of the Strength is in the first Principle, which is the Father himself, and the Son is his Love, and Light; so now the Virgin Mary dwells in the Heaven, in the Light and in the Love of the Father, as also all other Saints [do.]
95. But that they feign [or babble] that she was taken up into Heaven alive with Soul and Body, and that she can carry our Miseries, and present them before her Son, I would fain know what Understanding and Knowledge the Author of such an invented Fable has had of the Kingdom of Heaven. Surely he took the Kingdom of this World to be Heaven.
96. Let it pass, and it is true, that she may be in Heaven with Body and Soul; but with such a Body as Moses and Elias had upon Mount Tabor, in the Apparition before Christ [at his Transfiguration,] viz. that new Body out of the Element; the transitory [corruptible Body] belongs to the Earth, for if we could have subsisted in God, with this [transitory and corruptible] Body, God would not have become Man, and have died for us. Even as all the Apostles of Christ are dead, and yet live; and so may it also be, that the Body of the Virgin was changed into a heavenly, and laid off the earthly. What does that avail us? She is no Goddess.
97. And the Invocation of the Saints, is wholly against the Nature of the first Principle. She is with God indeed, we need not to dispute that; but we should only look to it, that we also may come to her [where she is] in her Son, and then we shall have eternal Joy with her, for that she is (from the Grace of God) become the blessed of [all] Women, and that we see the green lily Twig on her, and that she is the Mother of our Salvation, out of whom Salvation is born through God.
98. That invented and well-forged Purgatory has some Ground in Nature, but in such a Way (as it is taught) it is a Lie; and the greedy [Desire of] filling the insatiable Belly of the fierce [ravening] Beast sticks therein: For it has founded its Kingdom of Heaven thereon, and has taken upon it to have the Keys of Peter, which it never had at all, to [open and shut] Purgatory.
99. Yet I grant that it has the Key to open Purgatory with; but the other Key which it has, will not open the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the rich Chest of Gold, out of which the [supposed] Maids [or Virgins] receive their Wages, and are sent (with fine Passports) into Purgatory; then the Strumpet thinks she goes to Heaven, to St. Peter, and thus the false God beguiles the false Goddess.
100. O! you blind World, with your forged Masses for Souls, such as your Blessing is, such you art yourself; you do all for Money; if nothing be given you, you wilt keep no Solemnity or Procession. If you wilt pray for your Neighbor's Soul, do so whilst it is between Heaven and Hell, in the Body of this World, then you may effect somewhat; and it is very pleasing [and acceptable] to God, that you desire to be one Body in Christ; and you help the Necessity [or Want] of your Fellow member, to bring him into God; it is the Pleasure and Will of God, that one [helps] to bear the Burden of another, and to be saved in one brotherly Love, and in one Body.
101. You blind Minister to the Kingdom of Antichrist, when you say Mass for Souls, how is it, that sometimes you take upon you to ransom a Soul which is in Heaven, or altogether in the Abyss with the Devil? Do you not think that the Devil mocks you? Or how can you help them that are in Heaven? You cry out [and say,] They are in Pain [and Torment,] and you are a Liar in the Presence of God. And how then will that holy Soul bless you, and give you Thanks? How is it, when you yourself are in the Abyss with all Devils, that you stand, and wilt ransom others out of Purgatory, and that for Money, which you afterwards spend with Whores? O fie upon you ! you great Whore [or Harlot,] how have you made for yourself a heavenly Kingdom upon Earth, for your Voluptuousness, and deceive the poor Soul of Man? you must either turn, or go into the eternal Purgatory.
102. And now seeing there is somewhat in Purgatory, and that all is not so dead, as the Wolf of the Beast feigns, whereby he may devour the Beast, and the Woman that sits thereon, and he is himself a Wolf, and there hangs a Fox behind him, and in the Fox there grows up an [other] Antichrist again, never a whit better than the first; he goes flattering with his Fox's Skin, smelling about (and the Wolf sticks therein) till he gets the Kingdom [or Dominion.] If he should come to be old enough, how would he devour the poor People's Hens, in the fierce [Cruelty!] Therefore the Lily in the Wonder destroys him, which grows towards the North [or Midnight,] in the [bitter or] fierce Storm.
103. Seeing the World forges so much concerning Purgatory, therefore I will also set down the Ground of it in the Light of Nature, and see how it will be endured, and whether we can search it out or no; for we must look upon Life and Death, and upon the Gate where the Soul enters through Death into Life, and [upon] all the three Principles, because the Root [the Pith or Kernel] lies therein.
****** Excerpt from Chapter 26 ******
14. And I will show (you, simple Man) their Venom and Poison; for behold, everyone among the Laity looks upon them, and thinks, Sure it must needs be right if our Priest says it; he is a Minister of God; he sits in God's Stead, it is the Holy Ghost that speaks out of him. But Saint John says, Try the spirits; for everyone's Teaching is not to be believed; and Christ says, By their Works you shall know them; for a good Tree brings forth good Fruit, and an evil Tree brings forth evil Fruit; also he teaches us plainly, that we should not gainsay the Prophecy that is of God, but we should learn to try them by their Fruits.
15. We speak not of perfect Works done by the Body, which is captivated in the Spirit of this World, but [we speak] of their Doctrines, that we [must] try them, whether they be generated of God. For if that Spirit teaches Blasphemies, Slanders, and Persecutions, then it is not from God, but it proceeds from the Covetousness and Haughtiness of the Devil. For Christ teaches us Meekness, and to walk in brotherly Love; wherewith we may overcome the Enemy, and take away the Might of the Devil, and destroy his Kingdom.
16. But when any fall to Firing, killing with the Sword, to undo People, ruin Towns and Countries, there is no Christ, but the Anger of the Father, and it is the Devil that blows the Fire. For the Kingdom of Christ is not found in such a Way, but in Power; as the Examples of the Apostles of Christ declare, who taught no Revenge, but they suffered Persecution, and prayed to God, who gave them Signs and great Wonders, so that People flocked to them; and so the Church of Christ grew mightily, so that it overshadowed the Earth. Now who is the Destroyer of this Church? Open your Eyes wide and behold; it is Daylight, and it must come to the Light, for God would have it so, for the Sake of the Lily. It is the Pride of the Learned.
17. When the Holy Ghost spoke in the Saints with Power and Miracles, and converted People powerfully, then they flocked to them, they honored them greatly, they respected them, and submitted to them as if they had been Gods. Now this was well done to the Saints, for the Honor was given to God, and so Humility and Love grew among them, and there was all loving Reverence, as becomes the Children of God, as it ought to be.
18. But when the Saints comprised their Doctrine in Writings, that thereby in their Absence it might be understood what they taught, then the World fell upon it, and everyone desired to be such a Teacher, and thought the Art, Skill, and Knowledge stuck in the Letter; thither they came running, old and new, who for the most Part only stuck in the old Man, and had no Knowledge of God; and so taught according to their own Conceits, from the written Words, and explained them according to their own Meaning.
19. And when they saw that great Respect and Honor was given to the Teachers, they fell to Ambition, Pride, and Greediness of Money; for the simple People brought them Presents or Gifts, and they thought that the Holy Ghost dwelt in the Teachers, whereas the Devil of Pride lodged in them; and it came to that pass, that everyone called himself after his Master's Name, [whose Doctrine he prized most;] one would be of Paul; another of Apollos; another of Peter; and so on. And because the Saints used not the same Kind of Words and Expressions in their Teaching and Writings, though they spoke from one and the same Spirit, therefore the natural Man (which being without the Spirit of God knows nothing of God) begun all Manner of Strife and Disputations, and to make Sects and Schisms; and they set themselves up for Teachers among all Sorts of People, not for God's Sake, but for temporal Honor, Riches, and Pleasure's Sake, that they might live brave Lives. For it was no very hard Labor and Work to hang to the bare Letter; and such Strife and Contention rose amongst them, that they became the most bitter Enemies and Haters one of another. And none of them were born of God, but their Parents held them close to the Scripture, that they might come to be Teachers, that so they might be honored in and for their Children, and that their Children might live bravely.
20. And so it fell out, that everyone would get the greatest Conflux of People he could, that he might be esteemed by most People; and these Lip-Christians did so multiply, that the sincere hearty Desire to God was left, and they only looked upon the Lip priests, who did nothing but cause Strife and Contentions; and they all vapoured and boasted of their own Art and Skill which they had learned in the Schools and Universities, and cried, Look here is Christ, come running hither, thus and thus has Paid written; and another says, Come hither, here is Christ, thus and thus has Peter written; he was the Disciple of Christ, and had the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, this cannot be amiss; they do but deceive you, follow after me.
21. Thus the poor ignorant People looked upon the Mouth-Apes, those greedy covetous Men, which were no other than Vizard-Priests, and so lost their dear Immanuel; for Christ in them (from whence the Holy Ghost goes forth, which drives and leads Men, and who at first had begotten them with Power and Miracles) must now be nothing but a History, and they became but historical Christians; yet so long as the Apostles and their true Disciples lived, they stopped and reproved such Things, and showed them the right Way; but where they were not, there the History-Priests misled them, as may be clearly seen in the Galatians. Such as apeishly teach the Words of holy Men, without the Understanding they had.
22. So the Kingdom of Christ grew not in Power only, but for the most Part in the History; the Saints born in Christ, they confirm that many Times with great Wonders [or Miracles,] and the History-Priests of Baal, they always built upon those [Miracles of the Saints] that which was good for the promoting Virtue and good Manners; many brought forth Thistles and Thorns, that they might make Strife and Wars; many sought only great Honor, Dignity, and Glory, that it should be conferred upon the Church of Christ and her Ministers, as it may be seen in Popery, out of what Root it is grown. And it came so far, that they mingled the Jewish Ceremonies in their Doings, as if the Justification of a poor Sinner laid in them, because they were of divine Appointment; for which Cause, the Apostles held the first Council at Jerusalem, where the Holy Ghost concluded, that they should only cleave to Christ in true Love one to another, and that was the only Justification before God.
23. But it availed not, Pride would erect its Throne, and set it above Christ, the Devil would be God; and they made Glosses, that they might bring it to pass in such a Way, that the simple People might not take Notice of it; there the Keys of Peter must govern the City, and they drew together with the Keys divine Authority to them, and so could use the divine Power in Deeds. and Wonders no more; for they desired to be rich and wealthy upon Earth, and not to be poor with Christ, who in this World (as himself witnesses) had not whereon to lay his Head; they would not be such Christians in Power and Wonders; as Adam, who would not live in the Power, but in a great Heap [of Earth,] that he might have something to take hold of. And here may be rightly seen our Misery which Adam brought us into, that our Essences always reach after the Spirit of this World, and desire only to fill themselves with a great Heap, from whence Adam and we all have got such a swelled, gross, untoward Body, full of Sickness, Contrariety, and contentious Desires.
24. Now when the historical Christendom and the true Christians grew together, the Scepter was always among the Learned, who exalted themselves, and made themselves potent, and great; and the simple [Church] yielded to it as right; and yet there was a Desire after the Kingdom of God found in Men, viz. the noble Word of God (which had imprinted itself in the Promise [in Paradise,] in the Light of Life, and which was made stirring by Christ) that drove them indeed to the Fear of God. And then they built great Houses of Stone, and called everyone thither; and they said that the Holy Ghost was powerful there, and they must come thither; besides, they dare be so impudent as to say (when they were found to be so wicked and malicious) that the Holy Ghost was powerfully in the Mouth of the Wicked.
25. But, you Hypocrite, you lie; if you are ungodly, you can not raise the Dead, you can convert none that in this World lie drowned in Sins; you may stir the Heart of the Believer indeed (through your Voice) which is a Work of the Spirit, but you bring forth none out of Death [into Life;] it is an impossible Thing. For if you will convert a poor Sinner, which is drowned in Sin, and lies captive in the Anger, then the Holy Ghost must be in your Mouth, and your Essences must take hold of his, and then your Light will shine in him, and you shall raise him out of the Death of Sins, and with your Love, in your Tincture, catch him; and then he will come to you with a hearty Desire, longing after the Kingdom of Heaven; and then you are his Confessor, and have the Keys of Peter; and if you are void of that, you have no Keys.
26. As the Confession is, so is the Absolution. Is the Patient an historical Christian? so is the Physician too. And in them both there is a Mouth-Hypocrisy. But has the Patient any Virtue [or Power?] Then the Voice blows that Virtue [or Power] up, not from the Power of the Physician, but in the Virtue [or Power] of God, who with his Power even in a Thorn-Bush makes it to grow, which is the Power of all Things; and so also in a Voice, which in itself has no Ability.
27. Thus it became a Custom, that everyone was bound to come to the Temple made of Stones, and the Temple of God in Christ stood and stands very empty; but when they saw the Desolation in the Contention, they called Councils, and made Laws and Canons, that everyone must observe upon Pain of Death. Thus the Temple of Christ was turned into Temples made of Stones, and out of the Testimony of the Holy Ghost a worldly Law was made. Then the Holy Ghost spoke no more freely, but he must speak according to their Laws. If he reproved their Errors, then they persecuted him; and so the Temple of Christ in Man's Knowledge became very obscure; if any came that was born of God, and taught by the Holy Ghost, and was not conformable to their Laws, he must be a Heretic.
28. And so their Power grew, and everyone had great Respect to it; and they strengthened their Laws still more and more with the Power of Saint Peter, till they raised themselves so high, that they impudently set themselves as Lords over the Doctrine of the Apostles before God, and gave forth, that the Word of God and the Doctrine of the Saints must receive their Value, Worth, and Authority from their Councils, and what they ordained and instituted, that was from God, they were God's Dispensers of the Word; Men must believe their Ordinances, for that was the Way and Means for the poor Sinner to be justified before God.
29. But where then is the new Regeneration in Christ through the Holy Ghost? Are you not Babel, a Habitation of all Devils in Pride? How have you adorned thyself? Not for Christ, but for your own Pride, for your Idol the Belly's Sake, and you are a Devourer. But your Belly is become a Stink, and has gotten a horrible Source; there is a great Fire of Anguish in your Source, for you are naked and manifest before God, you stand as an impudent whorish Woman. Why do you, Laity, hang [and depend] on such a Strumpet? Her own usurped Authority is her Beast whereon she rides; behold, and consider her in the Revelation of John, how the Holy Ghost sets her forth in her Colors.
30. Will you be an Apostle of Christ, and will be but a Minister for the Belly, and teach only according to your Art? From whom do you teach? From your Belly, that you may fatten yourself thereby. It is true, you should be fed, and you should have Subsistence from Men, if you are Christ's Disciple; but your Spirit should not stick in Covetousness, but in Christ; you should not rely only upon your Art, but should give up yourself to God, that God may speak from you, and then you are in the Temple of God, and not in the Temple of the Institution of Man's Inventions.
31. Look upon Saint Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, who converted three Thousand Souls at one Sermon, he spoke not from the Appointment of the Pharisees, but out of the Spirit of Moses and the Prophets, out of the Temple of the Holy Ghost, that pierced through and enlightened the poor Sinners. But you teach Persecution only, consider thereby whence you did grow, viz. out of that first Stock, where they fell from the Temple of Christ to human Conceits and Inventions; where they sent forth Teachers according to Man's itching Ears, for a fair Show, that thereby you might grow great in your Pride; and because you have sought nothing else, therefore God has suffered you to fall into a perverse Sense, so that out of you there come those that blaspheme the true Doctrine of Christ.
32. Behold, out of what are the Turks grown? Out of your perverse Sense; when they saw that you regard nothing but your Pride, and did only contend and dispute about the Temple of Christ, that it must stand only upon Man's Foundation and Inventions, then Mahomet came forth, and found an Invention that was agreeable to Nature. Because those other followed after Covetousness, and fell off from the Temple of Christ, as also from the Light of Nature, into a Confusion of Pride, and all their Aim was, how the Anti-Christian Throne might be adorned, therefore he also made Laws and Doctrines [raised] from Reason.
33. Or do you suppose it was for nothing? It is most certain, that the Spirit of the great World has thus set him up in great Wonders, because the other were no better; and therefore it must stand in the Light of Nature in the Wonders, as a God of this World, and God was near the one as the other. Your Symbols or Signs in the Testament of Christ which you use (which Christ left for a Covenant) stood in Controversy, and were in Disputation, and you did pervert them according to your Pride, and you did bend them to your Institution, Ordinances and Appointment; you did no more regard the Covenant of Christ, but the Custom of Celebration or Performance of it, the Custom must serve the Turn; whereas Wood that burns not is not Fire, though when it is kindled it comes to be Fire; so also the Custom without Faith is like Wood that burns not, which they will call a Fire.
34. Or shall not the Spirit set it down before your Eyes, you lascivious filthy Strumpet? Behold, how have you broken the State of Wedlock, and opened a Door to Whoredom, so that no Sin is regarded; have you not ridden upon your Beast, when everyone gazed on you, and rode after you [in your Train?] Or are you not that fine painted [adorned Whore?] Do you suppose we set you forth in vain? The Judgment stands over you, the Sword is begotten, and it will devour. Go out [from] Babel, and you shall live; though we saw a Fire in Babel, and that Babel was burning, yet it shall not burn those that go out from it.