Table of Contents
Extracts from the Teutonic Theosopher
by Jakob Boehme
How Men ought to Pray - Excerpt Two
17. Therefore dear Children; When ye pray, think not that God dwelleth afar off from you, and so neither hears you, nor sees you; that is a false Conceit and Opinion. Indeed those, who will not enter into God, those that stick fast in their Malice and Iniquity, and retain wickedness in their soul, those indeed are not heard. He that cries to God that he would outwardly accept his words from him, and yet retains the Evil one in his soul, he mocketh God: God dwells not outwardly; for the outward substance is only the Bestial Starry Spirit: he dwells inwardly in himself; the outward Substance is only a figure and similitude of God: Indeed it is of God, and generated out of the inward Center, and expressed [or spoken forth] through the Verbum fiat: but it is not the Substance of the Number Three, which is a Substance and Spirit in the Trinity, above Nature, and yet dwells in Nature in itself, incomprehensible to Nature, as the Wind and the Light is not comprehended by the Fire, and yet are the spirit, brightness, and life of the Fire.
18. Therefore, when you will pray, put away the Abominations out of your soul, and enter into yourself; that is, you must loathe the Abominations, and frame a will and purpose in your soul, that you will not let such Abominations into you any more; also you must not suffer your will to stick to any Abomination and despair: for when you despair, you sink yourself down into the Abyss.
19. But consider, that is the precious will and pleasure of God, that you press earnestly and strongly through, and leave the Abominations of the Devil upon his neck, and come very humbly, praying as a sinful child to God: he is the Father of the Lost son; you have vainly rioted and spent your beauty and righteousness with the Devil, and with the Antichristian Whore; you are amongst the swine at Babel: and having lost your Goods, you eat grains and husks with the swine: you are naked and torn, and are not worthy to be called his son. Consider and Imagine this in yourself, for it is true, and so come with true Conversion out of the filth and mire of the swine, to our Ancient Loving Father, and pray for his Grace and Favour, that he would but make thee as one of his hired servants in his Court: acknowledge to him thy Evil deeds, and that thou are not worthy to be called his son. Behold dear soul, observe it; it is the very precious truth.
20. When you thus enter into yourself, and search out your Abominations, and the husks of the Devil, and of the World, which you have so long devoured: and consider of God and his Mercy, then turn not again into the Hogsty; and say not, I am ashamed to come before my good old Father; I dare not come into his sight, for great Shame and Abomination: for I was a glorious Son, and now I am a naked Swineherd; but consider, that your Father taketh more care about you who are his lost prodigal Son, then you do about his Favour and Love, which you have willfully trifled away.
21. Frame but a loving, humble, submissive, obedient Will and Purpose, and come, come away from the Swine, leave the husks to the World, let the Swine devour them and feed themselves fat: but enter you into yourself, and knock at your evil Heart; break in through the Doors and Gates: and though all Swine cry, and Devils should howl for their Keeper; yet come you to your Father with any humble demeanour and words; you need not trouble yourself about the adorning of them with accurate Eloquence; for though you have no more words then the poor Publican, it is no matter; it lies not in them, but in an earnest constant Purpose without ceasing: and though Hell should break in pieces, and Body and Soul part asunder, yet stand still, and go not forth again out of the Doors of your Father.
22. For as soon as you will open the Door in your Soul, and will go out of the Mire, towards the Ancient Father, that he does but perceive that it is you his son, and that you are returned to him, then he saith: This is my Son which was lost, for whom my Heart was troubled, and is entered into the Humanity, into this World, and hath sought him, and now I have found him.
23. And there he sendeth the Holy Ghost to meet him, and falleth kindly about his Neck, and receives him with Joy, and for a token of his Love, he puts the Seal and the Ring of the Holy Trinity, in the suffering and death of Christ on the Hand of the Soul: and there he brings the blessed Virgin of his Wisdom, the New Angelical Garment (viz. the flesh of Christ) and puts it on to the Soul; and all the servants of God (viz. the Holy Angels in the House of the Father) must rejoice and be merry with the lost Son; and there the Ancient Father slays the fatted Calf, and feeds his Son at his Table, (of the Heavenly Substantiality) with the Power and with the Flesh of his Obedient Son Christ, and gives him to drink of the Water of Eternal Life, in the Blood of Christ, in the first Mother, out of which the Soul hath been created; and there is Joy in Heaven among the Ninety-Nine Angels or holy Souls, which are with God, that a dear Brother is come into their Society.
Extract from Jacob Boehme's "The 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 16, Paragraphs 17-23.