communication from God, and by passive absorption of the human activities into the divine. It either partially or wholly loses sight of
(a) the outward organs of revelation, nature and the Scriptures;
(b) the activity of the human powers in the reception of all religious knowledge;
(c) the personality of man, and, by consequence, the personality of God.
In opposition to false mysticism, we are to remember that the Holy Spirit works through the truth externally revealed in nature and in Scripture
( <441417>Acts 14:17 ? ?he left not himself without witness?; <450120>Romans 1:20 ? ?the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen?; <440751>Acts 7:51 ? ?ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye?; <490617>Ephesians 6:17 ? ?the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God?). By this truth already given we are to test all new communications which would contradict or supersede it ( <620401>1 John 4:1 ? ?believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God?; <490510>Ephesians 5:10 ? ?proving what is well pleasing unto the Lord?). By these tests we may try Spiritualism, Mormonism, Swedenborgianism. Note the mystical tendency in Francis de Sales, Thomas a Kempis, Madame Guyon, Thomas C. Upham. These writers seem at times to advocate an unwarrantable abnegation of our reason and will, and a ?swallowing up of man in God.? But Christ does not deprive us of reason and will; he only takes from us the perverseness of our reason and the selfishness of our will; so reason and will are restored to their normal clearness and strength. Compare <191607>Psalm 16:7 ? ?Jehovah, who hath given me counsel; yea, my heart instructeth me in the night seasons? = God teaches his people through the exercise of their own faculties.
False mysticism is sometime present though unrecognized. All expectation of results without the use of means partakes of it. Martineau, seat of Authority, 288 ? ?The lazy will would like to have the vision while the eye that apprehends it sleeps.? Preaching without preparation is like throwing ourselves down from a pinnacle of the temple and depending on God to send an angel to hold up up. Christian Science would trust to supernatural agencies, while casting aside the natural agencies God has already provided; as if a drowning man should trust to prayer while refusing to seize the rope. Using Scripture ?ad aperturam libri? is like guiding one?s actions by a throw of the dice. Allen, Jonathan Edwards, 171, note ? ?Both Charles and John Wesley were agreed in accepting the
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