Hours with the Mystics.
This is the title of a work written by a Mr. Vaughan
, and published in England
, where it has gone through several editions.
Of course it must be interesting to the general reader, which makes us wonder that it has not been reproduced in this country.
The English Reviews speak of it in high terms, and from some of them we glean an outline of its contents.
A part from the accidental advantages derived from the style in which its history may be narrated by a particular author, the subject of mysticism itself has high claims upon our attention.
It has lain at the foundation of many of the most remarkable characters that have made their mark upon the different ages that gave birth to them.
We are apt to laugh at it; to treat it with contempt.
We regard a mystic as a man who is so entirely absorbed in the contemplation of the invisible world, that he has no attention to bestow upon the things of earth.
We have only to read history to be convinced that this is a great mistake?
No other agent has produced so many changes in society, in religion and in politics, as mysticism.
The whole earth has been more than once revolutionized by it, and the possibility is that it may be again.
States have been annihilated by its breath.
have been pulled down from their thrones.
The religion of whole nations has frequently been changed.
It has carried fire and sword into peaceful nations.
It has conquered armies, taken cities, and subdued the proudest monarchies.
All the creeds of the earth have their foundation in it.
To prove all this, let us notice a few of the men to whom it has given renown.
Peter the Hermit was a mystic.
It was the force of mysticism that impelled him to preach the first crusade--"to precipitate Europe
"-- to inaugurate those wars which lasted for a century and a half, and changed the aspect, political, social, and commercial of the entire Western world.
Before him, Mahomet was a mystic.
It was the spirit of mysticism that made the simple camel-driver of Mecca
the prophet of the whole of Western Asia
It was the strong belief in his mystical revelations that made his followers and successors swarm like locusts over the Eastern
portion of the Roman Empire
, and finally plant their standards upon the walls of Constantinople
Luther was a mystic — he was, at least, a man whose thoughts were turned more than the thoughts of other men to the invisible world.
He shook the power of the Roman Church to its very foundation.
was a mystic.
He turned back the tide which Luther had cast loose, and prevented it from overwhelming the Church of Rome.
Joan of Arc was a mystic.
She saved the monarchy of France
, when it was on the point of extinction.
But for her full faith in her own divine mission, she could never have accomplished the task which she laid down for herself.
was a mystic of the highest order.
But for his prayers, his groaning, his weepings, his supposed communion with the beings of the invisible world, he would never have obtained an opportunity of showing his great military talents.
It was his character of saint that enabled him to establish his reputation as a soldier.
was a mystic.
more than once appeared to his heated imagination, in the midst of a doubtful battle, cheering him on, and pointing out the road to victory.
In a word, mysticism has not only been characteristic of some of the greatest men the world ever saw, but it has wrought changes, and is still working changes, which could be wrought by no other principle.
was a mystic.
Can anybody tell us where his teachings are to lead, or what is to be the end of them?