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

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GOD has set light and darkness before everyone; thou mayest embrace which thou wilt, thou dost not thereby move God in his being. His Spirit goes forth from him and meets all those that seek him. Their seeking is his seeking, in which he desireth humanity; for humanity is his image, which he has created according to his whole being, and wherein he will see and know himself. Yea, he dwells in man, why then are we men so long a-seeking? Let us but seek to know ourselves, and when we find ourselves we find all; we need run nowhere to seek God, for we can thereby do him no service; if we do but seek and love one another, then we love God; what we do

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to one another, that we do to God; whosoever seeketh and findeth his brother and sister hath sought and found God. In him we are all one body of many members, everyone having its own office, government and work; and that is the wonder of God.

Before the time of this world we were known in his wisdom, and he created us that there might be a sport in him. Children are our schoolmasters; in all our wit and cunning we are but fools to them; their first lesson is to learn to play with themselves, and when they grow bigger they play one with another. Thus hath God from eternity in his wisdom, in our hidden childhood, played with us: when he created us in knowledge and skill we should then have played one with another; but the Devil grudged us that and made us fall out at our sport. Therefore it is that we are always at variance, in contention; but we have

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nothing to contend about but our sport; when that is at an end we lie down to our rest and go to our own place. Then come others to play and strive and contend also till the evening, till they go to sleep and into their own country out of which they are come.

Dear children, what do we mean that we are so obedient to the Devil? Why do we so contend about a tabernacle which we have not made? Here we contend about a garment, because one brother has a fairer garment than another; are we not all our Mother's children? Let us be obedient children, and then we shall rejoice.

We go into the garden of roses, and there are lilies and flowers enough; we will make a garland for our sister, and then she will rejoice with us; we have a round to dance and we will all hold hands together. Let us be very joyful; there is no more might to hurt us, our Mother taketh care for us. We will go under

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the fig-tree, how abundant is its fruit!

How fair are the pine trees in Lebanon! Let us be glad and rejoice that our Mother may have joy of us. We will sing a song of the Oppressor who hath set us at variance. How is he made captive! Where is his power? How poor he is! He domineered over us, but now he is fast bound. O great Power, how art thou thus brought to scorn! Thou that didst fly aloft above the cedars art now laid underfoot and art void of thy power. Rejoice, ye heavens and ye children of God; for he that was our oppressor, who plagued us day and night, is made captive. Rejoice, ye angels of God, for men are delivered, and malice and wickedness laid low.


Dear children and brethren in Christ, let us in this world join our hearts, minds and wills in humility into one love, that we may be one in Christ. If thou art

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highly advanced to power, authority and honour, then be humble, despise not the simple and miserable; grind not the oppressed, afflict not the afflicted. If thou art fair, beautiful and comely of body, be not proud; be humble that thy brother and sister may rejoice in thee, and present thy beauty to the praise of God.

Thou that art rich, let thy streams flow into the houses of the miserable that their soul may bless thee.

Dear brethren and sisters in the congregation of Christ, bear with me; let us a little rejoice one with another: I bear a hearty love towards you and speak out of the Spirit of the eternal Wisdom of God.

Christ earnestly teaches us love, humility and mercifulness; and the cause why God is become man is for our salvation and happiness' sake, that we should not turn back from his love: God has spent his

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heart that we may be his children and remain so for ever. Therefore, dearly beloved children, do not so reject and cast from you the love and grace of God, else you will lament it for ever. Learn divine wisdom, and learn to know what God is; do not set any image of any thing before you; there is no image of him but in Christ. We live and are in God; we have heaven and hell in ourselves. What we make of ourselves that we are: if we make of ourselves an angel, and dwell in the Light and Love of God in Christ, we are so; but if we make of ourselves a fierce, false and haughty devil which contemns all love and meekness in mere covetousness, greedy hunger and thirst, then also we are so. After this life it is otherwise with us than here; what the soul here embraces that it has there; and so, though the outward breaks in death, yet the will retains that embraced thing as its own and feeds upon

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it. How that will subsist in the paradise of God and before his angels, you yourself may consider: I would faithfully set it before you for a warning, as it is given to me.

Next: Chapter XII