Table of Contents
Extracts from the Teutonic Theosopher
by Jakob Boehme
A Gate, showing which WAY we must walk
through this World, into the Kingdom of God.
35. You must go out from your Reason out of the fleshly Spirit, and bring your heart, mind, and thoughts, wholly into the Obedience of God, and yield your will into God's will; and do not feign ways of your own Reason, or ask Where is Christ? Direct your way into Christ, and know for certain that Christ is in your Heart: Submit yourself to him in great humility, cast all your purposes and doings into his will and pleasure, and consider that you always stand before the clear countenance of God, and that Christ sitteth on the Rainbow at the right hand of God in you, and consider that you stand Every moment before the Holy Number Three, and that God the Holy Number Three always examines and sees the Abyss of your Heart, and take heed that you enter into no deep Thought or searching, but merely into his Love and Mercy, and resolve never to go out from it any more, but ever to continue therein.
36. And then, secondly, consider that you do what is pleasing in the sight of God the Most High, when you seek with your love your Brethren and Sisters in this world, whosoever they are, and by what name soever they are called, and what Opinion soever they are of. Embrace them in your Heart, help to pray for them, and help them to wrestle against the Devil, and as far as is possible instruct them with all humility; but if they will not receive it, then put on the Garment of Christ, and be a good example unto them, be serviceable and helpful to them, forgive them when they hurt and wrong you: When they curse you, do you bless them; when they do you injury, if you cannot turn it into Good and avoid them, let it pass, and consider you are but a Pilgrim here: Withdraw your Love from none, for your God, in whom you live, withdraws himself from none that do but seek him; be readily yielding to your adversary, if he once offers to turn his mind: In all your affairs and conversation, love Righteousness, and always have a care that you do your work for God: We must in this World, in this troublesome valley of Misery, compass our affairs with labour and pains: We should not go into Holes, Cloisters, Cells, and Corners; for Christ saith, Let your light shine before Men, that your Father may have praise in your works: Do all things from a sincere Heart, in a pure Mind, and consider you do it to Christ, and that the Spirit of Christ does it in you: Be always ready, expecting the Bridegroom: Let your Heart have no leave to meditate and search into any other opinion: It is not profitable for you to know much: Let every one learn to do his own work, wherewith he may have sustenance for his body, whether he be Magistrate or Lay Person.
37. Let the Magistrate learn righteousness, and to distinguish the false from the pure, for he is the Officer of God: What he does and judges, that he judges for God, and God through him. Let the Laity be humble [or respective] and mannerly before the Ordinance of God: If any wrong be done him with a high hand, and that it cannot be otherwise, let him consider that he suffers wrong for the truth's sake, and that it is a great honour for him in Christ, in the presence of God.
38. In all your matters, conversation, dealing, and actions, always set the judgment of God before your Eyes, and have a care that you live blameless here, for this [life] time is short; and we stand here in a field a growing: Therefore see that you be good fruit for God, at which all the Angels and Hosts of Heaven may be pleased, and rejoice: Bear malice to none, for that invites the Devil to a Lodging: Be sober and Temperate: Let not the desire of this world persuade you, and though it happens sometimes, do not go on in it: Go every hour out of Death into Life: Crucify yourselves in true Repentance and Conversion from Evil.
39. When you are reproached for your fearing God, and evil spoken of, and it is false and untrue, then rejoice most of all, that you are become worthy to suffer reproach for the Doctrine and Honour of Christ: When you are in Affliction, be not dismayed, consider you are in the will of God; he will suffer no more to be laid upon you than you shall be able to bear.
40. Turn away your Eyes from covetousness, from high-mindedness and state, and do not readily look after such things, that you be not captivated, for the Devil catches his birds with state and high-mindedness, but go not into the net: Be always watchful, never be secure; for that fowler goes constantly about to see where he can catch any one: Where honest people are mocked and scorned, go not thither, make not yourselves partakers of such wickedness, let it not enter into your Ears, that the Devil may not tickle your Heart with that foolish Laughter, and so you become infected with it.
41. Summarily, commit yourselves to God in Christ, and pray God the Father in the Name and upon the promise of Christ, for his holy Spirit; desire it upon the promise of Christ, and so you will receive it; for he is faithful who has promised it: He will not deny it you: You will receive it most certainly; only give yourself wholly up to him, that is the greatest and chiefest [thing]: Commit all to his will, and when you have it, that will teach you sufficiently what you are to do: he teacheth you to speak: he gives you a mind and knowledge and understanding how to behave yourselves: Be not careful after what manner you should do a thing when you are to deal with Men; but commit all your doings to him, he will do that in you well enough which is well pleasing to God; and though you should be in a burning Zeal, and should bring fire from Heaven from the Lord of Lords upon the wicked, yet it is acceptable to him, for the wicked have awakened and kindled it.
42. But go on in the Power of God, and then all your doing is well pleasing to God; for, that any defends himself against his Enemy, upon necessity, without any other intent or desire, that is not against God; for he who has his house on fire may quench it; yea, God has given leave to Israel to defend themselves.
43. But he that causes and begins a war, he is the Devil's Officer; for all wars are driven on by the Anger of God, wherein the Devil dwells: God has not been the Author of wars, for he created us in Love, that we should dwell together in Paradise in friendly Love, as loving Children, but the Devil grudged us that, and led us into the spirit of this world, which has awakened all wars and mischief in the Anger of God, so that we hate and murther ourselves.
44. Seeing then we are thus begirt with Enemies in this valley of Misery, so that we grow among thorns and thistles, therefore we ought to watch; for we must watch also over the Enemy which we carry in our Bosom, viz. our mind and thoughts, for that is the worst Enemy; also the Devil has his Den [or Fort of Prey] of Thievery therein, and there is required great labour and toil to cast out that Devil: he slips many times into our Mind, and leads us on in smooth delightful hypocritical ways, so that we suppose we are in God, and that our ways are Right: there we should constantly have our Touchstone with us, which is the Blessed Love towards God and Man: We should not take pleasure in ourselves, but we should be of such a conversation, that God and man may take pleasure in us for our virtue; [self-seeking must be quenched, and true Resignation and self-denial must grow and flourish.]
45. And when we thus converse in the Love and the righteousness of God, and in the Obedience of Faith, then we put on Christ, who setteth the fair orient Crown of Pearls upon us, viz. the Crown, the Mysterium Magnum: He crowns us with his wisdom, so that we know his Wonders, which we were blind in before, as it has happened to this Hand, which before the time of the Tenth Number, when it was yet in the unit, was as simple in the Mystery as the meanest of all; but, as the Gold must be tried in the Fire, so also it happened to this hand: Corruption and Putrefaction was not wanting: Every one would needs tread the simple child under foot; where was the first time that a Garland was set upon it: O what great labour and toil did the Devil take that he might sully it! O how busy was he, which, when I think upon, I very much wonder and thank God who has preserved me! O how he bestirred himself, that he might tear the Garland in pieces! O how eager was he with Antichrist, in putting him on to persecute this hand, that every one might abominate it! But it happened to the Devil, as about Christ, when he so set on the Pharisaical Antichrist, that they crucified Christ, then thought the Devil, he is gone now, I shall be quiet enough, and not be troubled with his Doctrine, which destroyed my Kingdom; so also here; but he thereby awaked the first storm: Christ stormed his Hell, and took him captive in the Anger, and so his Den of Robbery was first opened by this hand, which he shall never be able to shut up again, but it shall stand open till his judgment: This we write for an Example to the Reader, that he may know what he must expect in this way, even nothing else but scorn and reproach.
46. But be of good courage, you dear children of God, do but help to wrestle faithfully and valourously, for we all wrestle in this life for an Angelical Crown, which Lord Lucifer had upon his head. And how can he be but angry, who has lost his Country and Kingdom, when another comes and takes his Crown, and throws him to the Ground, and holds him Captive?
47. But wrestle courageously, you dear Children of God, it is but for a little while, and then we shall get the Scepter and Crown: It is better to be a Lord than a captive slave and servant: The sufferings of this world, if they cannot be avoided, are not worthy to be called sufferings in respect of the great Glory, which shall be manifested on us.
48. We stand here between Heaven and Hell, in a field, and there grows either an Angel, or a Devil out of us: Now, therefore, if any one has a Love to the Kingdom of Heaven, and would fain be an Angel, he ought to look well to himself: It is soon done with a Man: Thou hast free will, whithersoever thou inclinest, there thou art: What thou sowest, that thou shalt also reap: Let this to told thee [for a warning].
Extract from Jacob Boehme's "Threefold Life of Man",
From: " The Works of Jacob Behmen, The Teutonic Theosopher."
Reverend William Law's Edition: Volume Two; London, 1764,
Printed for M. Richardson, in Pater-noster Row.
Chapter 12: Paragraphs 35-48.