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The Confessions of Jacob Boehme, by Jacob Boehme, ed. W. Scott Palmer [1920], at

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THANKS be to God who has regenerated me, by water and the Holy Ghost, to be a living creature, so that I can in his Light see my great inbred vices, which are in my flesh.

Thus now I live in the spirit of this world in my flesh, and my flesh serves the spirit of this world; but my mind serves God. My flesh is generated in this world and is ruled by the quintessence of the stars and elements, which dwells in it and is master of the body and the outward life; but my mind is regenerated in God and loves God. And although o I cannot now comprehend and hold fast the divine wisdom, because my mind falls into sins, yet the spirit of this world

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shall not always thus hold captive my mind.

For the Virgin, the divine Wisdom, has given me her promise not to leave me in any misery; she will come to help me in the Son of Wisdom. I must hold fast to him, and he will bring me to her in paradise. I will make the venture, and go through the thistles and thorns as well as I can, till I find my native country where Wisdom dwells. I rely upon her faithful promise, when she appeared to me, that she would turn all my mourning into great joy. When I lay upon the mountain at midnight, so that all the trees fell upon me and all the storms and winds beat upon me, and Antichrist gaped at me with his open jaws to devour me, then she came and comforted me and took me for her own.

Therefore I am but the more cheerful, and care not for him; he rules over me no further than over the transitory house of flesh, whose patron he is; he may take

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that quite away, but so I shall come into my native country. Yet he is not absolute lord over that house, he is but God's ape; for as an ape plays all manner of tricks and pranks to make itself sport, and would fain seem to be the finest and the nimblest of beasts, so also does he. His power hangs on the great tree of this world, and a storm of wind can blow it away.


Thou wilt ask, What is the new regeneration? or how is that done in man? Hear and see, close not thy mind, let it not be filled by the spirit of this world with its might and pomp. Lay hold upon thy mind and break through the spirit of this world entirely; yield thy mind unto the kind love of God; make thy purpose earnest and strong to overcome the pleasure of this world and not to regard it. Consider that thou art not at home in this world, but art a strange guest, made captive in a prison; cry and call to him who has the

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key of the prison; yield thyself up to him in obedience, righteousness, humility, purity and truth. And seek not so eagerly after the kingdom of this world; it will stick close enough to thee without that. Then the pure Virgin, the Wisdom of God, will meet thee in the height and depth of thy mind, and will lead thee to him who has the key to the gate of the deep. Thou must stand before him and he will give thee to eat of the heavenly manna which will quicken and refresh thee. Thou wilt be strong, and wilt break through the gate of the deep as the morning star, and though thou liest captive here in the night yet the rays of the dawn will appear to thee in paradise, where thy pure Virgin stands, waiting for thee with the joy of the angels, who will kindly receive thee in thy newborn mind and spirit. And though indeed here thou must walk, as to thy body, in the dark night, yet the noble Virgin will help thee still.

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Look well to it, close not thy mind and understanding; when thy mind says, Turn, then know that so thou art called by the Wisdom of God; turn instantly, and consider where thou art lodged, in how hard a house of bondage thy soul lies imprisoned; seek thy native country from whence thy soul is wandered and whither it should return again.

Then if thou wilt follow the counsel of the Wisdom of God thou wilt find in thyself, not only after this life, but also in this life in thy regeneration, that Wisdom will very worthily meet thee. And thou wilt see out of what kind of spirit this author has wrote.

Next: Chapter VIII