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immortality, ye may understand clearly, if ye will but think a little more deeply than common on the subject.” On REGENERATION they said, “ How plain is it to see, that every man possesses the liberty either to think or not to think about God, supposing him only to be instructed that there is a God; consequently every man has the same liberty in spiritual concerns, that he has in civil and natural. The Lord grants this continually to all, wherefore man becomes guilty if he doth not think about God. It is this power which constitutes him a man, whereas a beast is a beast from the want of such a power : hence man is able, as of himself, to reform and regenerate himself, only he must acknowledge in heart that the ability is from the Lord. Every one who does the work of repentance and believes in the Lord, is reformed and regenerated; man must do both as of himself, but then this as of Himself is from the Lord. It is true that of himself man cannot contribute any thing, not even the most trivial, towards the producing of those effects; but it is equally true that ye were not created statues, but men, that ye might produce those effects from the Lord as from yourselves; in this alone consists the reciprocality of love and faith, and this is what the Lord absolutely requires to be done by man, with a view to Him: in a word act of yourselves, and believe that it is from the Lord, and then ye will act as of yourselves.” But they then asked, “ Is this power to act as of himself implanted in man by creation?” “ It is not implanted," the angel replied, “because to act of himself is the prerogative of God alone; but it is given conti. nually, * in other words, it is adjoined continually; and then in proportion as a man doeth good, and believeth truth, as
* The angel here distinguisheth between a quality as implanted in man, and adjoined to man. By a quality implanted in man, is meant a quality so communicated as to become man's absolute property, without dependance on another for it; but by a quality adjoined is meant a quality so communicated, as to be man's property indeed, but then to be his only by dependance on another,
of himself, he is an angel of heaven, but in proportion as he doeth evil, and in consequence believeth what is false, which also is done as of himself, in the same proportion he is a spirit of hell. Ye are surprised to hear that in this latter case man acts also as of himself, but still ye
acknowledge this to be the case when ye pray that ye may be preserved from the shares of the devil, lest he enter into you as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul. Every one contracts guilt who believeth that of himself he does either good or evil, but he doth not contract guilt, who believes that he acts as of himself; for if he believes that good is from himself, he claims to himself what belongs to God, and if he believes that evil is from himself he attributes to himself what belongs to the devil.” On the subject of Baptism they said, “ It is a spiritual washing, which is reformation and regeneration, and an infant is reformed and regenerated, when, on arriving at adult age, he performs what his godfathers and godmothers promised for him, which promise includes two things, repentance, and faith in God ; for, first, they promise, that he should renounce the devil and all his works; and secondly, that he should believe in God: all infants in heaven are initiated into these two, but with them the devil is hell and God is the Lord. Moreover, baptism is a sign before the angels that the person baptized is of the church.” On hearing these words some of the company said, “We understand
from whom he continually receiveth it. The distinction is of the utmost consequence to be attended to, otherwise man may be led to imagine, that by virtue of creation, he possesseth qualities and properties in himself, as his own, independent of the Lord; whereas the truth is, that all his qualities and properties, nay even his life itself, are only adjoined continually to him as a free gift from the Lord, which yet he hath the power to use, exert, and enjoy as his own, but which can be only truly blessed to him, in proportion as be confesseth and acknowledgeth, that they are not of or from himself, but received continually by influx from the Lord.
it all.” But then a voice was heard from one side, crying out, “ We do not understand it;" and another voice, “ We are not willing to understand it:" and search was made from whence these sounds came, and it was discovered that they proceeded from those who had confirmed in themselves the falses of faith, and who wished to be credited as oracles, and thus to be adored : upon which the angels said, not surprised, there are abundance of such spirits at this day; they appear to us from heaven like graven images, so art. fully formed, that they can move their lips, and utter sounds like organized beings, without kuowing whether the breath that causeth the sound be from hell, or from heaven, because they do not know whether what they say be false or true: they multiply reasonings upon reasonings and confirmations upon confirmations, and yet they are utterly unable to see whether the tenets they wish to establish be true or not : for be it known that human ingenuity can confirm whatever it please, even to make it appear like truth; it is thus that heretics can confirm their heresies, and the most ungodly men their impieties, nay even atheists can confirm their insane notion, that there is no God, but nature only.” After this the company of Englishmen, inflamed with a desire of becoming wise, said to the angels, “We have heard a variety of opinions about the Holy Supper, shew us what is the truth.” truth is,” the angels replied, “ that the man who looks to the Lord, and performs actual repentance, is conjoined with the Lord by that most Holy Sacrament, and introduced into heaven. But some of the company said, “ This is a mystery :” and the angels replied, “ It is a inystery, but still such a one as may be understood : the bread and wine do not produce those effects, for nothing holy comes from them; but material bread and spiritual bread, as well as material wine and spiritual wine, have a inutual correspondence with each other; spiritual bread is the holy principle of love, and spiritual wine the holy principle of faith, each from the Lord and each the Lord; hence the conjunction of the Lord with man, and of man with the Lord, not indeed with the bread and wine, but with love and faith in that person who has actually repented; and conjunction with the Lord is also an introduction into heaven.” After this the angels gave them some instruction on correspondence, and then some of them said, « Now for the first time we are able to understand the mystery of the Lord's Supper.” As they spake these words, lo! a flaming light descending from heaven united them in consociation with the angels, and inspired them with mutual love.
622. The SecoND MEMORABLE RELATION. All who are prepared for heaven, which is done in the world of spirits, situated in the midst between heaven and hell, when the time of preparation is over, have a longing desire for heaven; and presently their eyes are opened, and they see a way leading to some particular society in heaven, which way they enter and ascend: in the ascent there is a gate, and a guard stationed there, who opens it, and admits the new comers. An examiner then meets them, who informs them from the governor, that they are at liberty to enter further, and to search whether they can any where find houses which they can acknowledge to be their own: for there is a new house provided for every novitiate angel, and if they find it, they make report of it, and so continue there; but if not, they then return and inform the examiner that they have searched in vain : in this case an appointed wise personage examines whether the light that is in them agree with the light that is in the society, but particularly whether their heat agree: for the light of heaven is in its essence divine truth, and the heat of heaven is in its essence divine good, both proceeding from the Lord as the sun of heaven; and if their light and heat differ from the light and heat of the society, that is, if their truth and good be different, they
are not received, but depart thence and proceed in the ways which lead from one society in heaven to another, continuing their journey till they find a society which agrees exactly with their own affections, and there they take up their eternal abode : for there they meet with their like, with whom they live as among their relations and friends, and whom they love from the heart, as being in a similar affection: there also they live in the utmost felicity of life, and in the perception of every heart-felt satisfaction from peace and tranquillity of soul; for in the heat and light of heaven there is ineffable delight, which is communicated from one to another. Thus it happens to those who become angels. The case is different with those who are in evils and falses; they are allowed indeed to ascend into heaven, but as soon as they enter, they begin to draw their breath, and to respire with difficulty; presently their sight is obscured, their undertanding darkened, thought ceases, and death seems to stare tbem in the face, and thus they become like stocks or stones; then the heart begins to beat, the breast to be straitened, and the mind to be seized with anguish, experiencing every moment greater degrees of torment; and in this state they twist and writhe themslves like snakes when brought near a fire; wherefore they soon crawl away, and throw themselves down a precipice which is then presented to their sight, and never rest till they descend into hell among their like, were they are able to breathe, and where the heart begins again freely to discharge its functions. They afterwards hate and detest heaven, and reject truth, and in their hearts blaspheme the Lord, supposing that the pangs and tornents they experienced in heaven were from Him. From these few particulars may be seen what is the lot of those, who make light of the truths that are of faith, which nevertheless constitute the light of the angels of heaven, and who make light of the goods that are of love and charity, which nevertheless constitute the heat of life amongst the