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Bearing the Image
by Jacob Boehme

"All the teachings of Christ have no other object than to show us how we may re-ascend to our virginal unity with him . . . . There is ever a strife over man’s image; the devil and hell say, ‘It is mine, by right of nature; it is generated out of my root.’ The spirit of this world says, ‘It is mine, I give it life, nourishment, and bring it up, and give to it my power and wonders.’ The kingdom of God says, ‘I have set my heart upon it; I have regenerated it; I sought and found it; it is mine. It is now in my kingdom, and it must reveal my wonders!’ And the poor soul of man is in continual warfare.

"O man, when the devil seeks to hinder thee, set thyself against him; oppose him strongly! Thou hast, in Christ, far greater power than he! Take all thy sins and throw them at the devil, and say, ‘Thou art the cause of them all! I take the mercy of God, the death of Christ, to myself! Therein will I roll myself’ . . . For the last Adam was the Offering and the Liberator to set thee free!

"Cease to please thyself, and keep from thy natural will, then wilt thou fall into the will of God; and then the devil cannot meddle with thee! Man’s own will brought him to his own center, separated from God. . . . Man began in the Word of God, but broke off from it; he must come back and be regenerated, to become as he was made originally, inbreathed by God.

"The heavenly image, lost in Adam, the lightlife of Christ, has been the birth-right of man ever since the ‘treader down’ of the serpent of self-will was promised. . . . Christ restores this image through regeneration, by which man re-enters into the one Tree, Christ. . . . This divine fire of the Spirit of Christ continually crushes the head of the serpent, i.e. the desire of the flesh, beneath his feet. . . . for the devil ever holdeth before the soul the unclean forbidden tree; for he would have inward dominion in man. . . . When man yieldeth himself wholly to God, his will falls again into the unsearchable will of God