Christian Mysticism eBook

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

[Footnote 101:  Rom. xiv.]

[Footnote 102:  Gal. iv. 9-11.]

[Footnote 103:  Col. ii. 20-22.]

[Footnote 104:  I have been reminded that great tenderness is due to the “sancta simplicitas” of the “anicula Christiana,” whose religion is generally of this type.  I should agree, if the “anicula” were not always so ready with her faggot when a John Huss is to be burnt.]

[Footnote 105:  1 Cor. xiv. 37.]

[Footnote 106:  There seem to have been two conceptions of the operations of the Spirit in St. Paul’s time:  (a) He comes fitfully, with visible signs, and puts men beside themselves; (b) He is an abiding presence, enlightening, guiding, and strengthening.  St. Paul lays weight on the latter view, without repudiating the former.  See H. Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des H. Geistes nach der popul.  Anschauung d. apostol.  Zeit und d.  Lehre der Paulus.]


[Greek:  “Dio de dikaios mone pteroutai he tou philosophou dianoia pros gar ekeinois aei esti mneme kata dunamin, pros oisper theos on theios esti. tois de de toioutois aner hupomnemasin orthos chromenos, teleous aei teletas teloumenos, teleos ontos monos gignetai.”]

PLATO, Phaedrus, p. 249.


   “Wohne, du ewiglich Eines, dort bei dem ewiglich Einen! 
     Farbe, du wechselnde, komm’ freundlich zum Menschen herab!”


   “Nel suo profondo vidi che s’interna,
      Legato con amore in un volume,
      Cio che per l’universo si squaderna;
    Sustanzia ed accidente, e lor costume,
      Tutti conflati insieme par tal modo,
      Che cio ch’io dico e un semplice lume.”

DANTE, Paradiso, c. 33.



“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man coming into the world.”—­JOHN i. 9.

“He made darkness His hiding place, His pavilion round about Him; darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.”—­Ps. xviii. 11.

I have called this Lecture “Christian Platonism and Speculative Mysticism.”  Admirers of Plato are likely to protest that Plato himself can hardly be called a mystic, and that in any case there is very little resemblance between the philosophy of his dialogues and the semi-Oriental Mysticism of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.  I do not dispute either of these statements; and yet I wish to keep the name of Plato in the title of this Lecture.  The affinity between Christianity and Platonism was very strongly felt throughout the period which we are now to consider.  Justin Martyr claims Plato (with Heraclitus[107] and Socrates) as a Christian before Christ; Athenagoras calls him the best of the forerunners of Christianity, and Clement regards the Gospel as perfected Platonism.[108] The Pagans repeated

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Christian Mysticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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