Monday, March 23, 2009

Jacob Boehme: A cobbler who did not stick to his last

Jacob Boehme (1575 – 1624) was an unschooled shoemaker who was born in Saxony (Germany) in 1575 and became one of the world’s deepest and profound mystics with a huge body of written work to his credit. He came from poor but pious parents who were Lutherans. As a young boy he spent most of his time alone taking care of cattle. From an early age he had developed a profound understanding of the scriptures. As a teenager Jacob concentrated all his efforts on becoming a shoemaker. Then one day whilst serving a customer, the stranger forecast Jacob would become a world famous mystic and philosopher. He was advised to be pious, fear God and revere His Word throughout his life. The strangers also forecast Jacob would need to endure misery, poverty, and persecution throughout his life and his courage and love of God would see him safely through. From 1612 to 1624, he wrote thirty books but his greatest work was his first book, “The Aurora: That Is, the Day-Spring” but the publication was banned by the city council and the shoemaker ostracised ordered never to write again. Despite this his fame grew and Jacob eventually years after he resumed his work clandestinely. John Wesley required all of his preachers study the writings of Jacob Boehme. He remained persecuted throughout his live and predicted the date of his own death in 1624.

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