65: Concerning the New Birth

And such as those did of old and now doth perfectly know: a new Birth, a being born again of him and in him that is True and is the very Truth itself, the very pure Verity of Verities, the Eternal Essence in him only, not in any book or books. A thousand shiploads of the very best of books will do us no good, nor the best of professions, ordinances, and human preachers (much less the worst) will do us no good. Except man (male and female) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom or government of TRUTH or of God, which is one. This was and is and ever will be declared of by the eternal TRUTH to all that had, have, and shall have eyes, ears, and hearts truly prepared to receive it.

And that all—the call is gone forth to ALL—might come to know this new Birth, this being [who is] born again of the incorruptible Seed and the word of TRUTH eternal, and [to] be washed from all the filthiness of flesh, as well as spirit from all unrighteousness and all self-righteousness too (that very dangerous enemy to man’s happiness), and that all might be redeemed and translated out of the kingdom of sin and Satan (which is death and darkness, hell and torment) into the kingdom of the dear Son and power of TRUTH (which is pure righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost), in the pure hearts and clean bodies of his children and servants he dwells.

They are his body, his temple and kingdom. He rules, reigns, and governs, and takes delight in pure hearts. And the pure in heart see him and know him and dwell in him, the TRUTH in [the new Birth]. And he [dwells] in them, and his banner over them and standard in them [are] faith and pure love. And these sit and abide under his divine shade with great delight. And his heavenly fruit is sweet to their taste. And they are ravished with his beauty and overcome with his love at times. And their cups do overflow, and the song of the heavenly host is known. And here the bright and morning star is seen and doth remain where the Babe immortal is born. The proclamation is heard [with] great joy: to all people peace on Earth and good will toward all men.

And here the sweet, lovely Babe immortal is formed in the heavenly womb, and doth leap for joy at the sound of the heavenly salutation. And when the fullness of time is come, the Babe above-mentioned will be born in the soul. And his heavenly government will be on his shoulders within [us], the Divine Essence within [us], in the soul that is made perfect through sufferings, as Christ was.

He that can receive it, let him. O! that this might be the blessed experience of all mankind, that the Earth might become a paradise again to all people as it is to some, is the sincere and hearty desire of my soul and spirit, much more than for all the wealth in the world abundantly. The Kingdom of Heaven saith TRUTH, is within you, [and is] not known [from] without by any man—I can truly say.

Abington, the 3d of the Fifth Month [July] 1738:

This morning early it came in my mind to write something concerning the New Birth, resurrection, and baptism—all one. 

Verily, verily, said Truth, except a man be born again he cannot see or enter into the kingdom (or government: there be some governments where there is no king) of heaven (or heavenly government: all one [and] the same thing). And this is the holy government of TRUTH in the souls of the sons and daughters of men. The government of heaven is within, said Christ. The Truth is within, so said a servant of Truth.  Whatever is to be known of TRUTH is manifest within—I say—not without, but within.

Greater is he—Truth—that is within us than he that is in the world:  Satan the liar and god of it and father too, who saith in his children, in his servants, in his ministers, in his angels, in his messengers, all one: That there is no freedom from his government, or sin (all one in this life).

But he Satan was a liar from the beginning, and so remains, who said to Eve, “you shall not die, but be as gods.” Such gods as himself and his children, which are always sinning and will boldly confess and declare that they “cannot cease from sin, nor anybody else,” say they, no not by any power of the Holy Spirit. And this is Satan’s masterpiece, to possess poor mankind with such a faith. For it is the faith of Satan that he possess all that are under his government, that he might keep them at ease in their sins and [they] be his servants forever, and so always live in bondage through the fear of death, hell, and the grave by reason of sin and iniquity that reign in them. So that I may safely say—although with sorrow of heart without the least, I say, without the least breach of charity—that all such as are firm in this faith are possessed of the devil, and the devil hath them in his possession and government, and he is chief ruler and governor in and over them, preachers and hearers of all [religious] societies that pretend to be Christians.

But the children of God, which are born of TRUTH, their heavenly Father: they are in him, in his heavenly government; and he the TRUTH-in-chief ruler and governor [is] in them. And they have received a living, strong, and powerful faith of him that overcomes the world and Satan the god of this world—which is self, unmortified self. So in the world there are gods many, and many rulers that are slaves to the lust of the flesh. With the lust of the eye, eyes full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin and pride of life and covetousness—that old, old, very old devil and great idol, and it must be closely minded and worshipped to maintain the other gross enormities or devils almost as bad as covetousness, that father or chief of devils.

But though it is so, yet they that are and shall be counted worthy to know the New Birth—a being born again of the incorruptible Seed and Word of God, and God the Word that made all things—such do know a ceasing from sin, a death to Sin, and resurrection in eternal life, in the TRUTH in heaven. And heaven is in them; and [they] have been baptized and washed from all sin, in thought, word, and deed. Such are entered into his rest and remain in it, which no sinner can. While he remain so and not changed, such who are so sanctified or baptized [as] one are clothed with the fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of saints. Such are admitted to sit at the Lord’s table in New Jerusalem, and sup with him, him, himself, and he with them in his own government or kingdom. And this is the supper of the Lord, and the fellowship and communion of saints, who said:  “Come, come and have fellowship with us; for verily, verily, or truly, our fellowship is with the Father and the Son.”  

Is not this paradise itself, to eat and drink in the presence of God and angels?  [Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.]  And this is perfectly agreeable to what TRUTH promised and said, “I stand at the door, and knock or call, if anyone will hear and regard, or obey my voice, and open to me in all obedience, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me, and the Father and I will make our abode with him.”  O holy abode! No sin here, no, no, no, surely no! Truly these dear children worship their Father and serve him night and day in his temple with all alacrity.

So these heaven-born favorites do know the Gospel and the New Birth to be spiritual; the baptism, the resurrection, and the Lord’s supper to be spiritual and not carnal or natural. So they that know the New Birth, they know all the others—for they are all one, in essence Divine. He that hath one in possession cannot miss of all the others if he would. This is for them that know the TRUTH. For to others, they are but as mysterious parables, for the natural, earthly, covetous, carnal-minded man or woman knows not these things. Neither can they, because they are made known and manifested by the Holy Spirit the TRUTH only. And a hundred thousand shiploads of the best of books, and all the earthly worldly wisdom and natural learning in the whole world, either in preachers or hearers, cannot make manifest the knowledge of these things. For he that loves the world and the things of the world, the Love of the Father is not in him so as to reveal the mysteries of the government or kingdom of heaven unto him, and in him. 

So that I may truly say: this heavenly New Birth is the chiefest good to bring us to the sure and certain knowledge of heavenly things, and no other way. This, this, this is the key that opens the mysteries of Truth’s government. This is the Rock of Ages, and foundation on which Truth doth and ever will build his congregation. And hell, Satan, sin, and death shall never be able to prevail against it.