Christian Mysticism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 330 pages of information about Christian Mysticism.

[Footnote 359:  A writer who signs himself S.P. (probably Simon Patrick, bishop of Ely), in a pamphlet called A Brief Account of the new Sect of Latitude Men (1662), vindicates their attachment to the “virtuous mediocrity” of the Church of England, as distinguished from the “meretricious gaudiness of the Church of Rome, and the squalid sluttery of fanatic conventicles.”]

[Footnote 360:  Compare with these extracts the words of Leibnitz:  “To despise reason in matters of religion is to my eyes certain proof either of an obstinacy that borders on fanaticism, or, what is worse, of hypocrisy.”]

[Footnote 361:  See Appendix C.]

[Footnote 362:  The classical reader will be reminded of Lucretius, iii. 979-1036.  Smith, however, would not have relished this comparison.  He devotes part of one sermon to a refutation of the Epicurean poet, in whom he sees a precursor of his bete noire, Hobbes!]

[Footnote 363:  Compare with this the following passage of Jean de Labadie (1610-1674), the founder of a mystical school on the Continent:  “Plusieurs sont bien aises d’ouyr dire qu’ils sont justifies par Jesus-Christ, laves de leurs peches en son sang par la foi, par la repentance et par le bapteme chrestien, et volontiers ils I’embrasent comme Justificateur, comme crucifie et mort pour eux; mais peu prennent part a sa croix, a sa mort, pour se faire spirituellement mourir avec Luy, crucifier leur chair avec la sienne, et porter en eux-memes les vives marques de sa croix et de sa mort.  Peu le goutent comme Justificateur au dedans par l’Esprit consacrant et immolant le vieil homme a Dieu et par une pratique vraiment sainte, laquelle dompte le peche.”]

LECTURE VIII

   “For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
    Nor yet disproven; wherefore thou be wise,
    Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
    And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith! 
    She reels not in the storm of warring words,
    She brightens at the clash of Yes and No,
    She sees the Best that glimmers through the Worst,
    She feels the sun is hid but for a night,
    She spies the summer thro’ the winter bud,
    She tastes the fruit before the blossom falls,
    She hears the lark within the songless egg,
    She finds the fountain where they wail’d ‘Mirage!’”

TENNYSON, The Ancient Sage.

“Of true religions there are only two:  one of them recognises and worships the Holy that without form or shape dwells in and around us; and the other recognises and worships it in its fairest form.  Everything that lies between these two is idolatry.”

GOETHE.

“My wish is that I may perceive the God whom I find everywhere in the external world, in like manner within and inside me.”

KEPLER.

   “Getrost, das Leben schreitet
      Zum ew’gen Leben hin;
    Von innrer Gluth geweitet
      Verklaert sich unser Sinn. 
    Die Sternwelt wird zerfliessen
      Zum goldnen Lebenswein,
    Wir werden sie geniessen
      Und lichte Sterne sein.

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Christian Mysticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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