Christian Mysticism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about Christian Mysticism.
good thing be mine, or whether my perfections exceed the measure of this or that particular creature; for whatsoever good he beholds anywhere, he enjoys and delights in it as much as if it were his own, and whatever he beholds in himself, he looks not upon it as his property, but as a common good; for all these beams come from one and the same Fountain and Ocean of light in whom he loves them all with an universal love....  Thus may a man walk up and down the world as in a garden of spices, and suck a Divine sweetness out of every flower.  There is a twofold meaning in every creature, a literal and a mystical, and the one is but the ground of the other; and as the Jews say of their law, so a good man says of everything that his senses offer to him—­it speaks to his lower part, but it points out something above to his mind and spirit.  It is the drowsy and muddy spirit of superstition which is fain to set some idol at its elbow, something that may jog it and put it in mind of God.  Whereas true religion never finds itself out of the infinite sphere of the Divinity ... it beholds itself everywhere in the midst of that glorious unbounded Being who is indivisibly everywhere.  A good man finds every place he treads upon holy ground; to him the world is God’s temple; he is ready to say with Jacob, ’How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven.’”


[Footnote 316:  In R.L.  Nettleship’s Remains.]

[Footnote 317:  In addition to passages quoted elsewhere, the following sentence from Luthardt is a good statement of the symbolic theory:  “Nature is a world of symbolism, a rich hieroglyphic book:  everything visible conceals an invisible mystery, and the last mystery of all is God.”  Goethe’s “Alles vergaengliche ist nur ein Gleichniss” would be better without the “nur,” from our point of view.]

[Footnote 318:  Recejac, Essai sur les Fondements de la Connaissance Mystique.]

[Footnote 319:  In the Edinburgh Review, October 1896.  The article referred to, on “The Catholic Mystics of the Middle Ages,” is beautifully written, and should be read by all who are interested in the subject.]

[Footnote 320:  This is Kant’s use of the word.  See Bosanquet, History of AEsthetic, p. 273:  “A symbol is for Kant a perception or presentation which represents a conception neither conventionally as a mere sign, nor directly, but in the abstract, as a scheme, but indirectly though appropriately through a similarity between the rules which govern our reflection in the symbol and in the thing (or idea) symbolised.”  “In this sense beauty is a symbol of the moral order.”  Goethe’s definition is also valuable:  “That is true symbolism where the more particular represents the more general, not as a dream or shade, but as a vivid, instantaneous revelation of the inscrutable.”]

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Christian Mysticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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