Cantic. 4.16. Awake, O North Wind, and come thou South, blow upon my Garden, that the Spices may flow out: let by Beloved come into his Garden, and eat his pleasant Fruits.
Chap.6.2. My Beloved is gone down into his Garden to the Beds of Spices, to feed in the Gardens, and to gather Lillies.
A Bundle of Revelations Untied
Journal Entries from 1670 through 1676
November the 3rd.
The Divine A N G L E R.
THERE was presented to me a Person Angling [fishing] upon the Brink of a River to catch Fish, but his Labour was fruitless. So that he gave up as being hopeless. Then came another Person and said, "Be not Discouraged, but follow me: Behold, and see, I have got an Angle that hath such a Bait as all the Fish in the River will fall upon it." And accordingly, I beheld multitudes in a cluster brought up by it. Then cried out that first Person, "Surely the Lord, who is the great Fish-taker, in verity is come here and hath wrought this Miracle indeed." Whereupon the Person went into the Deep and, having vanished down into it, drew up the Fish and cried, "If ye will here follow me, ye shall take the Principal Fish; but ye must learn to dive under Water and again, know how to Rise. Consider and find out this Parable: for here is Meat for the Strong."
November the 4th.
The Opening of this Parabolical Vision.
IT was now given me to understand what this did drive at. The first Angler representeth the Forward and Willing Mind that, afishing, would go to draw up out of the Broad River understood to be the Everlasting God, of Whom it is said to be the Place of Broad Rivers in which holy spirits, as in their proper Element, do live and swim. Flesh cannot live in Water but Fish are of another kind whose nature the Holy Ghost doth present as a Similitude for the New Creation that will live and move much in the Watery Element which is a Degree much beyond the Earth, though under Purgations by Fire.
Neither are Fish so gross or corruptible but they are still under a Washing Stream and, therefore, not used for Sacrifices in the Old Law whereas all that is of Flesh is ordained for Burnt-Offerings that it may pass through the Purgation in the Flames of the Altar. Now what the Sea and Rivers of this kind do feed and generate must signify a Generation of Creatures that is nothing so coarse and brutish as the Earthly Beasts.
But from this it was shewn me that this River figureth out God Himself and the pure angelical spirits that move in God as in the Glassy Sea wherein are contained the vast Riches that none in Flesh can see nor fathom till they be changed into such a Body as to live in God, their Watery Element, and there to swim and dive for the unutterable precious Stones, bringing them up,according as need doth require. It is not the Angling from outside of the River but the adventuring into It that will obtain the desired Prize. And consider what bait is to be the attracting matter to draw both spirits and substances of this unto us. Now then it may needfully be inquired into what this Bait is compounded of for drawing Angelical Spirits that will also soon draw us after them?
It was thus delivered to me that it must be the composition which consisteth of all those excellent Virtues and Properties that were and are in the Spirit and Nature of JESUS. For no other can attract and take in God but what is so much like to God who must be engraven upon us. For else it will be as fruitless as when the Disciples went afishing. Till the Lord the True Angler come, no Draught could be fetched up. Even so, this is to instruct us that we examine whether or not we upon this High and Worthy Undertaking do carry our full and complete Bait with us, which is the precious smelling Spikenard of an humble, meek, and clarified Mind that expressly answereth to the very Mind of JESUS.
Then doubt we not that we shall fail of drawing to us spirits sublime that live in that pure Climate, where we shall with them most willingly back plunge in and, in a pure Body, swim always under the Stream of these Waterings. Jesus the Lord our Bait and Angle will be. Then in what Riches shall we excel? Oh, this all-worthy is of our consideration of how to live in the Element of this Water of Life and appear for a while as Drowned and Dead; till that we shall arise and swim with the rich Pearl in our Mouths. Then will it be cried, "This is the Christ indeed that hath brought up the great Draught through sinking down into Faith’s Obedience.
Who will now venture to walk upon these Living Waters wherein the Healing Medicine is but such Heroes in the Faith as will not be afraid to dive into the Bottom of this Deep River? Otherwise the Rich Prize, which is in the Fishes Mouth, can never be caught up. The Wise in Heart, who by the pure Spirit have been taught, will well understand what is meant by the Parable.