Theosophical University Press Online Edition
15th Aug. 1796.
THE passports shall contain all the notes you recommend, my dear brother; I hope, also, to have good recommendations from people in authority, to our ambassador. . . . but all requires time. And, since I wrote last, I have promised to visit some friends I have not seen for four years, particularly that respectable prisoner of Marseilles (Duchess of Bourbon), who, after having been deposited at Moulins, after her imprisonment, is at length near Paris, not on her own estate, but with some old friends with whom she is happy and contented, and where it will be impossible for me not to stay a short time; which makes me fear I shall not be able to reach your country before October, perhaps later. . . . Besides, I am assured this will not be a good time for travelling, and I am advised to put it off till spring, when, also, I shall have a little more pecuniary means for my tour, and I can then begin with Strasbourg, where I have an intimate friend; thence, to see you, and to France again through Lyons, where I should have friends to see before returning to Paris; finally, home. . . . You may still write me here till further advice. My letters will be forwarded.
. . . . I shall be glad if Divonne translates Law's extract of Boehme; this rather relaxes my zeal for the translations I had undertaken, because I think that will be more than enough for the public; besides, I find I have so many other occupations that that of translator really weighed upon me in many respects.
My 'Nouvel Homme,' which you have got, will not give you much; it is a mere trifle in comparison with the other riches you possess. Read my first letters again, and you will see what I then said about it.
I know nothing in Boehme which states positively the communication you allude to ('Nouvel Homme.' p. 6). I do not, however, on this account, think he would have condemned it; but his great idea of the way of regeneration, and our new birth in the second principle, often kept him above the secondary truths which are more allied to the common condition of men. Besides, if the Divinity seeks but to rest His head in us, and is grieved that He cannot find the rest He seeks (which is, I believe, the true meaning of the Gospel), it would not be surprising if spirits were in the same case; the only difference being that the One seeks to bring His light into us, and the others come to seek it from us; but there is suffering and desire on both sides, for all that. In short, Boehme tells us that the universe exists only to manifest the wonders of God, who, without it, would not have been known to the angels; he says, moreover, that man ought to be the opener of these wonders; it appears to me this is speaking as plainly as we do ourselves, since the angels must wait for man to open.
The word Virtues may signify substance also, if you like; but it will be only, as you say, relatively to the properties and manifestations of these substances, a mere mode of expression: the word Virtue says all, and in every class.
What you say on the 'Three Principles' and the 'Six Points' suits me well, and I thank you.
I had already heard of the opinion of your German astronomer in respect to Uranus. I believe our astronomers find some objection, but I know nothing certain about it. For the rest, non hic opus.
. . . . Adieu, my dear brother, . . . hoping for the pleasure of seeing you this year or next.
Morat, 27th Aug. 1796.
ALTHOUGH my time here below is short and uncertain, and I hoped, my dear brother, to have seen you this autumn, I will not be so egotistical as to wish to interfere with your plans. . . . What consoles me a little is, that my pleasure will be enhanced in the spring.
You will be able, on your projected journey, to get a view of the progress of the building, in the different countries you visit. Without stirring from home, I, from time to time, discover a new workman. Besides my friend at Munich, there is a professor at Marbourg, who possesses the art of making himself read by the public, and who, by his ingenious fictions, manages to give his readers a good shaking. There is a rush for his works. His name is Jung, and he writes under the name of Stilling. He has just finished a piquant allegory, a story, in four volumes, under the title of 'Heimweh' — home-sickness — which is well adapted for exciting in us the true heimweh. Besides which, I have met with under-workmen who advise me that inward works are translated in Italian and Spanish even at Rome, and I believe I have already told you of a secret society for the propagation of Christianity at Bale.
I am delighted to hear that you are likely to see your illustrious friend. You know how much I was interested in her four years ago, and her misfortunes since then have increased this interest; so that I not only wish for, but pray ardently for her development; and, if I were not afraid of its appearing strange to you, I would add that a powerful movement binds me to her soul.
. . . . Your 'Nouvel Homme,' as well as the writings you composed after your first school, will serve to confirm me in many things. The comparison of our favourite authors, especially our General, with the text of B., affords me daily openings. Besides these advantages, I have just made an important discovery: it is nothing less than a treatise of our friend B., which is not in the edition of 1682; for Gichtel received some manuscripts subsequently to 1682, which enabled him to compile a more complete edition, which was published after his death, in 1715. This new treatise is a second very interesting book on baptism.
When you write to your friend at Strasbourg, tell him that there is an excellent introduction to the works of Pordage at the head of his Metaphysics, and that this introduction is theosophical and very clear, and fills a whole volume, and is written by Count de Metternich, a pupil of Madame G. . . and spiritual father of Marsais, whose treatise you possess. In the collection of Madame G.'s letters, in five volumes, there are several addressed to M. de Metternich, who was minister and envoy of the King of Prussia on the question of the sovereignty of the county of Neufchatel. . . .
. . . . I hope, my dear brother, that whenever circumstances cause delays in your ordinary supplies of necessary funds, you will kindly let me know. I really trust you will do this. All that is in my power is at your service.
Before I close, allow me to ask you to explain your meaning in the 'Tableau Naturel' (vol. ii. p. 230), "The earth is the crucible for souls as well as for bodies."
You are wiser than I, my dear brother, thus to remain in your place — the marvels all come to you. The Heimweh is a beautiful subject; I have long felt that home-sickness, and if I were not something of a Frenchman, I should keep in my little corner, and work profitably at my task. But, as I only wish to see some good souls with whom I may talk of the progress of truth, I shall just allow myself this little flight, and then return and concentrate myself in my own country, with a few friends. It is a sweet anticipation, that of giving a few rays of spiritual life to the land of my temporal birth.
It was not for my friend (Duchess of Bourbon — Tr.) that I wanted the translation which I urged you to undertake, but for the public. I will confess to you also that Boehme is rather too strong a diet for her. Moral virtues and piety are her sort. As for teachings, she has taken of every shade, but without a regulator to put them in action; and I think it would be rather late now to try her with Boehme, who requires, so to speak, people formed otherwise than she has been, with her education at court and her spiritual schools. She is not the less the best creature in the world, and I am not surprised at the sympathetic relation between your heart and hers.
. . . . When we meet, I shall get acquainted with all your riches. Meanwhile, I try to enrich myself in and by my root, and I never cease to think that this is the only means which is really right and profitable for ever.
. . . . I again thank you for your kind offers. I am not at all likely to make use of them, as I have everything philosophically necessary.
The passage you quote, "The earth is the crucible for souls as well as for bodies," means that, as the earth is our theatre of expiation, it is in our passage through it that our souls are purged, and we recover our glorious bodies if we follow the laws of wisdom, which ought to be our guide and compass, in our journey through this lower world.
. . . . Address me as usual, till further advice have lately read the answer to the first of the 'Forty Questions,' and have seen how one must be of the trade, to be able to profit by all the wonders it contains. As for me, who have been walking herein these thirty years, I need all my faculties to be able to follow our friend in the depths of his work; and I confess I am sometimes left to drag myself along, far behind him.
Morat, 8th Oct. 1796.
SETTING aside all personal considerations, my dear brother, your projected journey is a thing to be commended in itself; for, the good you may do by your conversation, or your presence, may reach beyond the little space of time in which we vegetate: a single word of conversation may sometimes have incalculable results; therefore mind you do not alter your resolution, and call me wise because I remain in my place; if I were in yours, I should do like you.
Besides the happiness of labouring in the Master's vineyard, you would, very likely, have many opportunities of seeing for yourself, the progress of the work of the Temple, in different countries, since I, who do not stir from home, can see it, though it is mostly only by hearsay, except in a few instances which are under my eye. You, on the contrary, can look at the building on a wider horizon, and may help to prepare some of its pillars, &c.
Everywhere, my dear brother, whether in your own country or elsewhere, it will be dear to your heart, I am sure, to throw some rays of light into souls disposed to receive them. I agree that all soils are not equally adapted for the culture of this precious seed; but wherever these sublime truths can take root — wherever they have already germinated, but are in danger of being dried up or trampled under foot by the enemy — it is proper, nay, even urgently necessary, that we should sow, water, and cherish them; we should even try to leave good and laborious husbandmen after us.
I have got Law's work, thanks to the kindness of our friend D. (Divonne). It is not properly an extract from Boehme, but an excellent pious treatise, written in B.'s spirit, and with a great knowledge of him. My plan would be different: I should make a summary of the whole doctrine of B.; I should wish to place this doctrine within reach of a greater number of readers. When one has not passed through a school like that of your first master, an uncommon perseverance is requisite to arrive at only a mediocre knowledge of our friend's writings; moreover, he himself wished all his treatises to be made into one.
My aim, then, would be to give such a form to my work, as might induce those to read who do not ordinarily occupy themselves with such abstruse studies.
Our friend B. contains truths so essential, and which, in our day, would seem so new, that it would be very unfortunate if one could not succeed in getting them read. My design is to give them a historical outside, parabolical even. What 'Telemachus' is for morals and policy, I would have my book to be, for the spiritual life: even though it should be inferior to its pattern, it would not matter, if it sufficed to awaken and sustain the reader's curiosity. I will endeavor to let him see, at the end of the book, that he has been reading an epitome of B., for there are thousands of people who know nothing of our friend, even by name. I will make an outline of all this, and take your opinion, both as to the substance and as to the form, when I have the pleasure of talking with you at ease.
Our friend Divonne has returned to his companion's country (England — Tr.). I received your verses, which you enclosed in your letter, before he left, and I gave them to him. He was delighted with them, and wrote me on the subject from Berne, as follows: "I thank you for sending me M. de Saint-Martin's verses. Please tell him that, when I read these verses, I experienced something so marked and peculiar in my soul that I will just explain it to him. It seemed to me that my love for him was awakened most vividly, and that, at the same time, I felt something that came between him and me, or rather snatched him from me, so as to cause me a most painful impression." He concludes with these enigmatical words: "O truth! O Light! O Life! death only has heard the sound of your fame!"
. . . . I am well pleased with the volume of Law which he has left me. To give you a sample of this author's way of thinking, I here insert a passage from his book, which he has called 'Spirit of Prayer,' and is written in the form of a dialogue. After enumerating the ordinary faults and vices of men, he says: "This is the fallen human nature, and this the old man, which is alive in every one, though in various manners, till he is born again from above. To think therefore of anything in religion, or to pretend to real Holiness, without totally dying to this old man, is building castles in the air, and can bring forth nothing but Satan in the form of an Angel of Light. Would you know whence it is that so many false spirits have appeared in the world, who have deceived themselves and others with false fire and false light, laying claims to inspirations, illuminations, and openings of the divine life, pretending to do wonders, and to extraordinary calls from God? It is this: they have turned to God, without turning from themselves; they would believe in God, before they were dead to their own nature, a thing as impossible in itself, as for a grain of wheat to be alive before it dies."
The literary wealth I possess is the gift of Providence; He it was who inspired me with the thought of writing to you; a word from you gave me the desire to be acquainted with Boehme; and B. made me acquainted with Gichtel and all our other friends. These riches, in truth, are altogether useless materials, which will be charged against us, if we do not employ them; still they are favours of Providence, who is sometimes pleased to teach men directly, sometimes indirectly. See the last line, first page, of the preface to the 'Forty Questions! The first chapter of these questions is indeed very profound, and it is not for a little apprentice like me to speak of it: it is bound up with the author's whole system. As we get nearer to him, I find this system offers us treasures, relations, analogies, reasons, and mutual supports which are most admirable. The more we walk in Boehme's path, the more simple it becomes. A very delicate distinction, and, at the same time, very important, is that which our author makes between will and desire. A new truth which he teaches us, is, that, throughout the whole domains of Spirit, without any exception whatever, desire makes substance, Wesenheit (essence). Another very important truth is, that all intelligent beings desire to unite themselves to some natural substance, to make a dwelling of and nourishment for themselves. Our friend applies all his first fruits (his premises) to the work in a remarkable manner; as soon as we turn our will and desire towards the Repairer, we have faith, and if we resist the old earthly will, we receive the Regenerator's spirit. But as all Spirits attract or produce a natural substance analogous to themselves, the Regenerator's spirit attracts and covers itself with the glorious body, made of the pure element concealed in the other elements, and which, animated by the spirit of Jesus Christ, becomes the sacred body and blood which is so necessary, so indispensable for our nourishment. When the soul tastes this heavenly food, it breaks the darkness of death, and kindles the fire of eternity in itself. Out of this fire shines the light of charity, gentleness, and resignation; this gentleness then attracts the fire of the soul, absorbs, consumes, mortifies it; but out of this death rises life, the glorious spirit, the image of the Holy Trinity. The grand object consists, it appears to me, in that the human soul nourish and clothe itself with the pure element, and avoid being clothed with the impure spiritual body, produced by earthly desires and imperfections, for desires are substances analogous to their nature; the doctrine of the pure element appears to me a corner stone in our friend's teaching. In all this, we cannot too much admire the way B. develops the great truth that mediums are requisite, to pass from one state to another; another part of Boehme also strikes me with admiration, that is, his analogies. Nobody, I think, has better proved than he, that what is below is similar to what is above.
I have sometimes thought that if we were to compare B. with other writers, we should find none who had sufficient courage or genius to treat, at the same time, in the same words, and so profoundly, the great divine and the great physical Works, as our friend has done in his 'Signatura Rerum.' The more I familiarize myself with his writings, the more my astonishment at the innumerable riches I find increases, with the full conviction, however, that I am yet only at the door of some ante-chamber.
. . . . Many thanks for your explanation of the passage in the 'Tableau Naturel.' . . . Not having had the advantage of passing through the preliminary school that you did, my dear brother, I now and then meet with expressions in it which to me are rather obscure: for instance, p. 171, vol. ii. are the following words: "and if they wanted to be happy, they need only parler."
There are many meanings that may be given to this word 'speak'; but I should like to have yours. . . . . Meanwhile I will apply it to the injunction of one of the early elect: "Pray without ceasing." . . . . Adieu, my dear brother. . . .
I LIKE your project, in imitation of 'Telemachus,' my dear brother, and I am persuaded it will do good. I also like much that passage from Law: "They have turned to God without turning from themselves"; that work must be a real treasure. Your remarks on different passages in Boehme are also very correct. That great man was an universal light, it is not surprising that he should lighten every region which he traverses.
As for the passage in my 'Tableau Naturel,' "they need only speak," I confess, it is a play of words which is perhaps hardly worthy of the grave matter in question. That word speak (parler) means only verber, to make use of the Verbe, the Word, which seeks only to unite with us, and fill us with Himself, to remove all obstacles from our path. That mode of expressing myself may have been a veil to those truths which all ears cannot hear, and yet are ever ready to profane. But it may also have been an offering I paid to the gaiety, not to say levity, of my nation, who play on every subject. The former motive, however, I remember, influenced me more than the latter. . . .
I am much struck with those few words of friend D. I therein see the state of the dead world which hears truths reverberating all round in vain; but I also see, in them, my state as a sinner, which prevents the same truths entering in me as deeply as I ought to make them enter, and here I stop — to, watch more carefully over myself than heretofore. I thank friend D. for this warning, and commend myself to his prayers. You will be kind enough to forward the enclosed letter to him, when you write, and send me his answer. You will be our message-bearer, for I am tenderly attached to him.
I expect to leave for Paris in two days. . . . You may address me at "Maison Corberon, Rue Barbette, No. 473, au Marais, a Paris." . . . .
Adieu, my dear brother. I more and more commend myself to your love and your prayers. Your remarks encourage me about my plans of travel; yet my age, and the openings, with which Providence favours me daily, teach me that I should not be altogether insane if I stayed at home. Thus, when this trip is over, it is probable I shall return to my abode, never to leave it again.
Morat, 16th Nov. 1796.
WITH the greatest pleasure, my dear brother, shall I be commissionaire between you and our friend Divonne, knowing beforehand that I shall therein be doing him a still greater pleasure. He promised to give me his address immediately on his arrival; I will then send him your letter without delay. I hope, when peace is made, he will come to my country; when I am sure he will pass a good part of his time with me.
I am quite determined to undertake the work in question. I must, however, assure you that I have not the presumption to match myself against the author of 'Telemachus'; I look upon that book as a chef-d'oeuvre, independently of its moral. . . . Mine will not have the historical charm, the richness of image, and beauties which this poem of Fenelon's possesses in such high degree. It will, in this respect, rather resemble the 'Voyage of Young Anacharsis,' more didactic, but, as for usefulness, and importance, and elevation of subject, it will surpass both.
Law's work is now affording me high gratification, and, that you may participate in my pleasure, I will copy for you another passage which immediately follows the one I sent you in my last.
"You may now see, Academicus, with what great reason I have called on you at your first setting out, to this great point, the total dying to self, as the only foundation of solid Piety. All the fine things you hear or read, of an inward and spiritual life in God, all your expectations of the light and holy Spirit of God, will become a false food to your soul, till you only seek for them through death to self.
"Observe, Sir, the difference which clothes make in those who have it in their power to dress as they please: some are all for show, colours, and glitter; others are quite fantastical and affected in their dress; some have a grave and solemn habit; others are quite simple and plain in the whole matter. Now all this difference of dress is only an outward difference that covers the same poor carcase, and leaves it full of its own infirmities. Now all the truths of the Gospel, when only embraced and possessed by the old man, make only such superficial difference, as is made by clothes. Some put on a solemn, formal, prudent, outside carriage; others appear in all the glitter and show of religious colouring, and spiritual attainments; but under all this outside difference, there lies the poor fallen soul, imprisoned, unhelped, in its own fallen state. And thus it must be, it cannot possibly be otherwise, till the spiritual life begins at the true root, grows out of Death, and is born in a broken heart, a heart broken off and from its own natural life.
"Then self-hatred, self-contempt, and self-denial, is as suitable to this new-born spirit, as self-love, self-esteem, and self-seeking is to the unregenerate man. Let me therefore conjure you, not to look forward or cast about for spiritual advancement, till you have rightly taken this first step in the spiritual life. All your future progress depends upon it: For this depth of religion goes no deeper than the depth of your malady; for sin has its root in the bottom of your soul; it comes to life with your flesh and blood, and breathes in the breath of your natural life; and therefore, till you die to nature, you live to sin; and while this sort of sin is alive in you, all the virtues you put on are only like fine painted fruit hung upon a dead tree.
"Acad. — Indeed, Theophilus, you have made the difference between true and false religion as plain to me as the difference between light and darkness. But all you have said, at the same time, is as new to me as if I had lived in a land where religion had never been named. But, pray, Sir, tell me how I am to make this first step, which you so much insist upon.
"Theoph. -- You are to turn wholly from yourself, and to give up yourself wholly unto God, in this, or the like forms of words and thoughts:
"'O my God, with all the strength of my soul, assisted by thy grace, I desire and resolve to resist and deny all my own will, earthly tempers, selfish views, and inclinations; everything that the spirit of this world, and the vanity of fallen nature, prompt me to. I give myself up wholly and solely to Thee, to be all thine, to have, and do, and be, inwardly and outwardly, according to thy good pleasure. I desire to live for no other end, with no other design, but to accomplish the work which Thou equirest of me, an humble, obedient, faithful, thankful instrument in thy hands, to be used as Thou pleasest.'
"You are not to content yourself, my friend, with now and then, or even many times, making this oblation of yourself to God. It must be the daily, true, and only exercise of your mind, till it is wrought into your very nature, and becomes an essential state and habit of your mind, till you feel yourself to be habitually turned from all your own will, selfish ends, and earthly desires, as you are from stealing and murder; till the whole turn and bent of your spirit points as constantly to God as the needle touched with the loadstone does to the north. This, Sir, is your first and necessary step in the spiritual life; this is the key to all the treasures of heaven; this unlocks the sealed book of your soul, and makes room for the light and spirit of God to arise up in it. Without this, the spiritual life is but spiritual talk, and only assists nature to be pleased with a holiness that it has not." — Spirit of Prayer, Part II., p. 20 et seq.
You may judge, my dear brother, from this sample, what Law teaches as to practice. He is not less interesting on theory: he teaches, for instance, just as Boehme does, that there must have been a primitive intermediate element between the creative power and things temporal. You saw this great truth, dear brother, long before you had read the works of B., if I may judge from a beautiful passage in 1st vol. 'Tableau Naturel,' p. 60. But you will be particularly pleased with the way Law explains, after our friend B., all the difficulties of the subject of man's first crime, treated of in the first paragraphs of ch. 6 'Tableau.' After Law's beautiful and luminous explanation, our idea of the unfailing goodness of God, in regard to this event, remains in all its integrity. . . . It was no arbitrary punishment which followed the transgression of the law; that law was a paternal warning, and the punishment a foretold inevitable consequence; but the divine goodness at once poured healing oil into the sore: by the seed of the woman. All the measures of this astonishing redemption, the only one that was possible, were instantly taken to draw man out of this fall, on which redemption no language has expressions strong enough to express its greatness.
In this same 'Tableau Naturel,' p. 94, there is a remarkable passage, in which the identity of the laws of elementary and intellectual light is spoken of. The opening is clear, but what follows is not so much so, viz.: "There is reason enough that elementary light should rank amongst the most admirable phenomena of material nature, since it cannot be complete in its action and effects, without exercising and putting in play the four cardinal points of universal creation." Now, please tell me what you understand by 'exercising and putting in play the four cardinal points of universal creation.'
. . . . I hope you will not give up your plan of travel for next spring . . . on account of the season. . . . I, who am older than you, would go to see you, if I were as free as you. . . . Adieu, dear brother: help me with your prayers to finish my course. . . .
1st Nov. 1796.
. . . . The passage you send me from Law penetrates me with its correctness and truth. I find several like it in Melle Bourignon. I go every day to our national Library to read some portions of her works. I can find them nowhere else in all Paris: I have given a commission for them in Holland, and have in vain written for them to Lyons and Strasbourg. If they are to be found more easily in your cantons, I hope you will help me to get them.
As our friend B. appears to me to be useful to us for light, so Bourignon appears useful for our salvation. When lately rummaging here on one of the quays, I found an imperfect volume of her works, containing half of her 'Light out of Darkness! The volume cost me one sou: I did not let it slip; and, certainly, imperfect as it is, the dealer did not take me in; and if he was pleased, so am I. I am not so much so with my stay in Paris. I cannot describe the suffocation my spirit experienced when I arrived, and, since I have been here, I find morality so much debased, that I fancy I see the accomplishment of the 13th chap. of Isaiah on Babylon. The men whom I see passing in the streets, and filling the city, look to me like so many dragons, birds of the night, and wild beasts. Notwithstanding my wish to go to see you, and your pressing invitations, I must tell you that there seem to be reasons drawn from deeper reflections than my wishes, to suspend, or at least delay my plan. . . . I hope you may carry out your thought of retiring from public affairs, which will give you the necessary freedom to come to see me. . . . The pleasure to me would be very great. I should probably not be in Paris then: it is too painful to me; the very air seems to me infected, in comparison with the sweet banks of my Loire: so when I have finished what brought me here, I shall hasten back to my native country . . . where, though I have hardly a resting-place for myself, my wish to receive you worthily, will make me strive that you should want nothing. . . . What you ask me on the subject of the light which comes only by the concurrence of the four cardinal points, that belongs to the active development of the great quaternary which is the pivot of all things. See friend B.'s principle, the fourth form, which is the explosion of fire, and you will see that we have both said exactly the same thing, except that he carries his idea to the radical region itself, whilst I described only the physical order; but it is very clear that there is but one law for all regions; and as this light is in, an alternate balance with darkness, it shows you the systole and diastole of nature, which is but the image of the indissoluble alliance. Each of these ideas affords an inexhaustible mine, and I leave it to your mind to dig deeper into them.
. . . . Adieu, dear brother. . . .
17th Dec. 1796.
THE day after I wrote you last, dear brother, I received a letter from our friend D. . . . It is full of what Law calls the Spirit of Love. . . . The true meaning of his expression, "O truth! O Light! O Life!" &c., he explains by the 28th chapter of Job, verse 22. See explanation by Madame G. . . . which you can easily find in Paris. I answered him immediately, enclosing your letter, which he must have received by this time.
I am glad you have found Miss Bourignon: this excellent young lady gives us admirable advice. . . . I have given the necessary orders to procure her writings for you, and I hope to succeed.
What you say of the present state of your capital is entirely in conformity with my idea of it: that city is descending with fearful rapidity towards its full measure of maturity. You will find this picture of Paris in Miss B., as well as in friend B., but not so much in detail.
I hope your plans of travel are deferred only, not given up; for I dare not entertain the hope of seeing you chez vous. . . . However, I have no fear of Providence not finding the means to bring us together, if He sees fit to grant me that pleasure, which I so much desire.
. . . . I am, every day, more and more pleased with Law's work. I remember our friend D. said to me before he left Morat, "If you desire God, you have Him." This is the way Law develops this maxim:
"The spiritual life is as truly a vegetation as that of plants, and nothing but its own hunger can help it to the true food of life. If this hunger of the soul ceaseth, it withers and dies, though in the midst of divine plenty. Our Lord, to show us that the new birth is really a state of spiritual vegetation, compares it to a small grain of mustard-seed, from whence a great plant arises. Now, every seed has life in itself, or else it could not grow. What is this life? It is nothing else but a hunger after God and heaven, which no sooner stirs, or is suffered to stir, but it is embraced and quickened by the light and spirit of God and heaven, as a new plant from a seed is in the earth" (p. 146).
Try, dear brother, to get this book; its title is 'The Spirit of Prayer.' . . .