Christian Mysticism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about Christian Mysticism.

[Footnote 403:  Cf.  Hegel (Philosophy of Religion, vol. ii. p. 8):  “The Beautiful is essentially the Spiritual making itself known sensuously, presenting itself in sensuous concrete existence, but in such a manner that that existence is wholly and entirely permeated by the Spiritual, so that the sensuous is not independent, but has its meaning solely and exclusively in the Spiritual and through the Spiritual, and exhibits not itself, but the Spiritual.”]

[Footnote 404:  Some reference ought perhaps to be made to Drummond’s Natural Law in the Spiritual World.  But Mysticism seeks rather to find spiritual law in the natural world—­and some better law than Drummond’s Calvinism. (And I cannot help thinking that, though Evolution explains much and contradicts nothing in Christianity, it is in danger of proving an ignis fatuus to many, especially to those who are inclined to idealistic pantheism.  There can be no progress or development in God, and the cosmic process as we know it cannot have a higher degree of reality than the categories of time and place under which it appears.  As for the millennium of perfected humanity on this earth, which some Positivists and others dream of,—­Christianity has nothing to say against it, but science has a great deal.) See below, p. 328.]

[Footnote 405:  In the Life of Charles Darwin there is an interesting letter, in which he laments the gradual decay of his taste for poetry, as his mind became a mere “machine for grinding out general laws” from a mass of observations.  The decay of religious feeling in many men of high character may be accounted for in the same way.  The really great man is conscious of the sacrifice which he is making.  “It is an accursed evil to a man,” Darwin wrote to Hooker, “to become so absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.”  The common-place man is not conscious of it:  he obtains his heart’s desire, if he works hard enough, and God sends leanness withal into his soul.]

[Footnote 406:  The metaphysical problem about the reality of time in relation to evolution is so closely bound up with speculative Mysticism, that I have been obliged to state my own opinion upon it.  It is, of course, one of the vexed questions of philosophy at the present time; and I could not afford the space, even if I had the requisite knowledge and ability, to argue it.  The best discussion of it that I know is in M’Taggart’s Studies in Hegelian Dialectic, pp. 159-202.  Cf. note on p. 23.]



Definitions Of “Mysticism” And “Mystical Theology”

The following definitions are given only as specimens.  The list might be made much longer by quoting from other Roman Catholic theologians, but their definitions for the most part agree closely enough with those which I have transcribed from Corderius, John a Jesu Maria, and Gerson.

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Christian Mysticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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