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as much confirm'd and ratify *d by all Nature, as when it is faid, except a Creature hath the Light and Spirit of this World born in it, it cannot become a living Animal of this World : Or, except a Seed have the Light and Spirit of this World incorporated in it, it cannot become a Vegetable of this World, either'as Plant, Fruit, or Flower. Alk now wherein lies the absolute Impossibility, that the fallen Soul should be raised to its Divine Life, without a Birth of the Son and Holy Spirit of God in it, and the true Ground of this Impossibility is only this, because a Seed shut up in its own'cold hardness, cannot possibly be raised into its highest Vegetable Life, but by a Birth of the Light and Spirit of this World rising up in it.
On the other hand, ask why a Seed cannot possibly become a Vegetable Life, till the Light and Spirit of this World has been incorporated, or generated in it; and the only true Ground of it is, because a fallen Soul can only be raised to a Divine Life, or become a Plant of the Kingdom of Heaven, by receiving the Birth of the Light and Spirit of God into it. For the true Reason, why Life is in such a Form, and rises msuch a Manner in the lowest Creature living, is because it does, and must arise in the same manner, and stand in the same Form in the highest of Living Creatures: For Nature does, and must always act and generate in one and thtsame unchangeable Manner, because it is nothing else but the Manifejlatiott of one unchangeable God.
It is one and the same Operation of Light and Spirit, that turns Fire into every Degree and kind of Life that can be found either in temporal or-eternal Nature : It is one and the fame Operation of Light and Spirit, that upon one State of Fire, raises only a vegetable Life, upon another State of Fire, raises an animal Life, upon another State of Fire, raises an intellectual and angelical Life.
There is no State or Form of Death in any Creature, but where some kind of Fire is shut up from Light and Spirit, nor is there any kind of Life but what is kindled by the fame Operation of Light and Spirit upon some sort of Fire.
A Fruit must first stand in a poisonous, four, ajlrihgent, bitter, and fiery Agitation of all its Parts, before the Light and Spirit of this World can be generated in it. And thus Light and Spirit operate upon one sort of Fire in the -Production of a vegetable Life.
An Animal must be conceived in the fame manner, it must begin in the same Poison, and when Nature is in its fiery Strife, the Light and Spirit of this World kindles up the true animal Life.
Thus also there is but one kind, or State of Death that can fall upon any Creature, which is nothing else, but its losing the Birth of Light and Spirit in itself, by which it becomes an imprison'd, dark Fire. In an Animal, Vegetable, or- mere Matter, it is a senseless State of imprison'd Fire; in an Angel, or intellectual Being, as the Soul of Man, it is 2l self-tormenting, self-generating, fiery Worm, that cannot lose its Sensibility, but is in a State of Eternal Death, because it is separated eternally from that Light and Spirit, which alone can raise a divine Life in any intellectual Creature. '
And thus it is plain, beyond all Possibility of Doubt, that there is neither Life nor Death to be found in any Part of the Creation but what sets its infallible Seal to this Gospel Truth, that fallen Man cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven any other Way, than by being born again of the Son and Holy Spirit of God.
31. And here, my Friend, you may with
Certainty see what a poor, groundless FiBion,
G . your your Religion of Human Reason is -, its Insignificancy and Emptiness is (hewn you by every Thing you can look upon.
Salvation is a Birth of Life, but Reason can no more bring forth this Birth, than it can kindle Life in a Plant, or Animal: You might as well write the Word, Flame, upon the out-side of a Flint, and then expect that its imprison'd Fire should be kindled by it, as to imagine, that any Images, or Ideal Speculations of Reason painted in your Brain, should raise your.Soul out of its State of Death, and kindle the Divine Life in it. No: Wou'd you have Fire from a Flint; its House of Death must be foaken, and its Chains of Darkness broken of by the Strokes of a Steel upon if. This must of all Necessity be done to your Soul, its imprison d Fire must be awakened by the Jkarp Strokes of Steel, or no true Light of Life can arise in it: All Nature and Creature tells you, that the Heavenly Life must begin in you from the fame Causes, and the fame Operation as every earthly Life, whether vegetable, or animal, does in this World *-.
Now, look where you will, all Life must be generated in this Manner: First, an At-* traction, or an a/Iringing Desire, must work itself into an a?iguifloing Agitation, ot painful
Strife ; Strife ; this Attraction become restless, and highly agitated, is that first Poison, or Strife of the Properties of Nature, which is and must be the Beginning of every Vegetable or Animal Life ; it is by this Strife, or inward Agitation, that it reaches and gets a Birth of the Light and Spirit of this World into it, and so becomes a Living Member, either of the animal or vegetable World.
' ' * Way to di-vir.e Knowledge, Page l6z, £jiV.
Now, this must be your Process, a Defire brought into an anguishing State ; or the bitter Sorrows and fiery Agitations of Repentance, must be the Beginning of a Divine Life in your Soul ; 'tis by this awakened Fire, or inward Agitation, that it becomes capable of being regenerated, or turned into an heavenly Life, by the Light and Holy Spirit of God.
Nothing is, or can possibly be Salvation, but this regenerated Life of the Soul : How vain and absurd would it be, to talk of a Creature's being made a Member of a vegetable or animal Kingdom, through an outward Grace or Favour ? or by any outward Thing of any kind ? For does not Sense, Reason, and all Nature force you to confess, that it is absolutely impossible for any Thing to become a Living Member of the animal or vegetable Kingdom, but by having the animal or vegeG a table