THOU hast seen, dear Reader, the Nature and Necessity of Regeneration, be persuaded therefore fully to believe, and firmly to settle in thy Mind this most certain Truth, that all our Salvation consists in the Manifestation of the Nature, Life, and Spirit of Jesus Christ, in our inward new Man. (William Law, The Spirit of Prayer: Part I, Chapter II)
The Birth of Jesus Christ is of no use whatever to us if we do not accept His Gracious invitation to enter into it. He was born that we might be born again. He lived that the life that we live might be what issues forth out of His birth in our souls. Not a small number of vain and self-referential “Christians” have spent their lives thinking that their belief, their Creed, their doctrine, their ritual, even their precious Prayer Books will save them. And the all the while they conveniently avoid the far more dangerous and difficult work of Christ’s being born again in their hearts and souls. So Dearest Brethren, let us this day be determined with all resolution to open our hearts and souls to the birth of Jesus Christ within. Let us with courage, perhaps for the very first time, desire that Christ should begin to Rebirth Himself in us.
This alone is Christian Redemption, this alone delivers from the Guilt and Power of Sin, this alone redeems, renews, and regains the first Life of God in the Soul of Man. Every Thing besides this, is Self, is Fiction, is Propriety, is its own Will, and however coloured, is only thy old Man, with all his Deeds.
When in Adam, by mysterious identification with His life, each and every one of us sinned, the Life of God in our souls was forfeited. What had been inwardly present by persistent surrender and acquiescence to the Will of God was then externalized and expelled from man’s heart. So it is only by way of Christ’s Regeneration in our hearts and souls that we can once again find that God’s Word is beginning to be made flesh in us. Short of welcoming the intrusion of this Word made Flesh into our hearts and souls we shall be left only with our own miserable selfish selves, a fiction and fable of true created life, proper enough to ourselves and through ourselves, but ruled and governed by a fallen will that can only find eternal happiness in Hell.
Enter therefore with all thy Heart into this Truth, let thy Eye be always upon it, do every Thing in View of it, try every Thing by the Truth of it, love Nothing but for the Sake of it.
Let us therefore focus the eyes of our souls upon this Truth that must be made flesh in us in order to make us right with God once again. Let us weigh every created form of life in relation to how it does or does not promote the Rebirth of Christ in us. Let us try every desire and decision according to how it might or might not perfect the Regeneration of the Son of God in us. Let us love no one and nothing but for the sake of its utility in promoting and perfecting Christ’s Rebirth in us.
Wherever thou goest, whatever thou doest, at Home, or Abroad, in the Field, or at Church, do all in a Desire of Union with Christ, in Imitation of his Tempers and Inclinations, and look upon all as Nothing, but that which exercises, and increases the Spirit and Life of Christ in thy Soul.
To effect the success of this new birth let us desire nothing so much as our Union with Jesus Christ. Let us then then submit our tempers and inclinations to Christ’s rule and governance of them, that in so doing He might condition our hearts to become a suitable place and space for His ongoing birth. Let us then ask Him to inform and define our desires, passions, appetites, and affections so that they tend only to the cultivation of His Rebirth and new life in us.
From Morning to Night keep Jesus in thy Heart, long for Nothing, desire Nothing, hope for Nothing, but to have all this within Thee changed into the Spirit and Temper of the Holy Jesus. Let this be thy Christianity, thy Church, and thy Religion. For this new Birth in Christ thus firmly believed, and continually desired, will do every Thing that thou wantest to have done in Thee, it will dry up all the Springs of Vice, stop all the Workings of Evil in thy Nature, it will bring all that is Good into Thee, it will open all the Gospel within Thee, and thou wilt know what it is to be taught of God.
So Dearest Friends let us long for Jesus to be born in our hearts and souls. Let us hope for nothing else but to welcome His Rebirth in us. Let us day in and day out, from one week to the next, out of one season and into another, desire to graciously receive the sharing of God’s own life with us through the Incarnation of His Word by the power of His Spirit. Let us find our new Redeemed Humanity in Jesus Christ. Let us find our Humanity reconciled to the Father through the Word of His Divinity. If we desire His Rebirth in us truly and sincerely, earnestly and persistently, all manner of wickedness and vice will be brought to death in us. All that stands opposed to the reign of Jesus Christ our King Supreme in us will be brought to death. All that is Good in Him will be brought to life. We shall be ruled and governed by Christ our Gospel Word. We shall be taught and learned by Christ the Wisdom of God and the Love of God. Dearest Friends, let us begin anew in order to be born again.