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Intense longing for the Lord. A test for love. The holy purpose.
58,1. The speaker says: Dear friend and brother, your last words sounds particularly comforting. Yet, I do want to remark that the true taking hold of Christ probably could prove to be a somewhat doubtful issue, as long as He does not stand in front of me. I have, same as my whole company, taken Him into my hearts long ago already, but would the good Christ not allow us to have Him literally with us.
58,2. It would have been good, best friend, yes, exceptionally good, to hold on to Christ with all our might. Yes, my whole being intensely longs for it; but He must be there, or at least be in this region if He would let us find Him. Truly, if it would come to it, I would not care less to be thrown out of a thousand more heavens like that for the love of Christ and with the upper heaven, it would be very different. If I could only know that I would end up every time at the feet of Christ; but as long as Iam not assured of that, does the love of Christ feel to me as I am gasping in vain for the most blessed air of life, as if one would find himself in an atmosphere where no, or very little air of life is present.
58,3. The alleged table servant says: do you then have too little air to breathe? You speak as if you have to gasp for air here.
58,4. Our speaker answers: Dear friend and brother, I do hope that you have not misunderstood me, for I think that there do exist two kinds of air of life. The air which is available in abundance is meant for the living need of the lungs, but I do not mean this one. The heart is a higher, breathing being, which in my opinion means that it exhales love and therefore needs to inhale love as well.
58,5. See, when I still lived upon earth as a human, I fell completely in love with a woman, as I have already said. I had enough air to breathe in such circumstances. Would I not be close to my beloved, I would suffer from a feeling of suffocation, despite the abundance of air for my lungs. Would I be back together with my love (forgive me if I would now use an unpleasant expression), then would even the air around a toilet be pleasant if nothing else would be available.
58,6. It is the same with me here and my whole company certainly does not fare one hair better than me. I tell you, remove all these heavenly glories and replace it with a simple little farm right here where the palace stands. Give me instead of these soft clothes a simple farmer’s outfit; Let all these lush fruit trees make way for a kind of meagre orchard and rye and wheat fields; with this, give me Christ; then you would make me happier than when you would add another thousand endlessly more beautiful regions to this view.
58,7. Yes, I shall tell you some more about my heart. If it would be possible to be together with Christ in the poorest corner of the earth, even if it looks like the gate to hell or hell itself, I would still be much happier and more blissful than without His visible, truly humane presence in the most exalted and magnificent heaven! I think, best friend and brother, that it has been expressed now clear enough.
58,8. Our alleged table servant says: my dear friend, I have understood you very well, but it seems to me that you put your love for Christ on the same level as your sensual, earthly love. I believe the love for the Master has to be of a very much different character than that for a bride-to-be. Then I think that you, as long as you cannot discern these loves from each other, you will not be able to truly love Christ. If you cannot truly love Him, I would think that Christ would reconsider before He would appear to you or really come to you.
58,9. Our speaker says: Friend, this is easier said than done. If there would be a second love in my heart, which would be more worthy of the Lord than what I am living now, then I would immediately let go of it. But I think that, when I have unified all the love of my heart, also that which I once felt for my wife, and have directed all this focused love already for a long time in secret towards the Lord, to such an extent that I can now say from the depth of my heart: I have given Christ everything I have, then I can do for the time being, nothing more. If all this love would be unworthy of the Lord, then I would exchange it any moment for another, more worthy love unto the Master. Yet, I can barely believe that the Master wants us to love Him with another love than that which he had laid in our hearts.
58,10. When I think back to all the beloved ones of the Master during His earthly life, he indeed has loved those the most, who came to Him with a most natural, childlike love of their hearts. Like John, whom the Master probably have often kissed left and right and have even laid on his chest at the Lord’s Supper, who was His beloved. The same was the case with Mary, the sister of Martha and no less with Magdalene, who was truly in love with Him. Exactly for this great love of hers, was she the first one to see Him after His resurrection.
58,11. The most graphic and tactile example was given by the dear Lord Christ when the people have brought their little children to Him and He said: “Let the little children come to Me and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” Look, the little children certainly know nothing of the higher, more worthy love, but they embrace the almighty Lord of heaven and earthwith fully childlike, natural love. Following that, the Master tells His apostles and followers: “If you would not become like these children, you shall not inherit the kingdom of the heavens!”
58,12. Look, best friend, this is what gives me the courage to love the Master with my natural, childlike or childish love; and who knows whether this very simple love would not be much more pleasant to Him than when I would love Him with the purest love of a seraph. I would indeed want to love Him with the love of a seraph if I would possess it! Truly, I shall wear my heart upon my sleeve; but now I must call out together with the best apostle Paul: “My most beloved Christ, look, I obviously have neither gold, nor silver in my heart, but I want to give You all I have, If I could only have You!
58,13. Our alleged table servant opens his arms, holding them wide and says to our speaker and through Him, to the whole company: Beloved friend and brother, I indeed have told you: take up Christ in you, then He will be present! You have taken Him up and therefore have happened what I told you, for Christ have come to you and you shall never again be without His company and therefore you may embrace your Christ to your heart’s content!
58,14. Our speaker, whose heart was really moved with love, ask the still alleged table servant: Best friend, where is He then, that I and my whole congregation could sink down before His feet?
58,15. The alleged table servant says: Friends, Brothers, He is standing here before you; I am The One whom your hearts have searched for! I have been with you since long ago, have searched for you and brought you here. Therefore, come close to Me, then I shall take you to where I live among those who love me just as much as you do; for truly, I do not ask for gold or silver, but for the childlike love for Me! If I would want beauty and splendor, dear friends and brothers, I am certainly able to decorate the whole of infinity with it.
58,16. I am a true Father unto you, My dear little children and therefore are your hearts in their childlike simplicity, worth more than all the magnificence of the heavens! Come therefore with Me!
58,17. See how everything suddenly changed. Our whole congregation now embraces the Master, caress Him and lean into the Father like children would when they have not seen their parents for a long time. The Master leads them like a good Father and makes His wonders known to them along the way. Look what bliss is emanating from the faces of our company! Our speaker calls out: Oh, what a journey; our Holy Father is leading His children to where He lives!
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