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Vol. XVIII, No 3. Febeuaey 3, 1921 



The Journal of Philosophy 



THE MEANING OF "RELIGION" AND THE PLACE 
OF MYSTICISM IN EELIGIOUS LIFE 

DETERMINED attempts have been made recently to extend the 
meaning of the term religion so as to make it synonymous 
with "the consciousness of the highest values." "All moral 
ideals," it is said, "are religious in the degree to which they are 
expression of great vital interests of society." "Whoever seeks the 
welfare of society is religious. This view^ fails to recognize the 
significance of the difference in psychological attitude that separates 
the adherents of any organized religion from the devoted agnostic 
or atheistic social worker,-^ it means the identification of morality 
with religion, as well as the obliteration of the radical distinction 
that exists between magic and religion. For, ia that understand- 
ing, when magic is not practised in the interest of an individual 
but of a group, it is no longer separable from religion." Nothing 
in the recent deepened understanding of the role played by social 
consciousness in human development, and especially in the origin 
of religion, excuses this utter confusion of aspects of human life 
long ago separated by the application of different names. 

1 Set forth in France with great power and learning by Durkheim and his 
followers, the position has been taken up in this country by Irving King in his 
Development of Beligion and by Edward S. Ames in The Psychology of Seli- 
gious Experience. The preceding quotations are from this last book. 

2 The present time offers numberless insitances of utter devotion to the public 
good by those whose affection ajid thought do not rise above humanity. This 
fact is probably the moat important of the many great, omnipresent facts o£ 
which Christian traditions obscure the view. It can not be said, on the whole, 
that during the Great War the majority of the steadfast friends of humanity 
who fought generously for the (betterment of mankind have been those who felt 
themselves in the kind of personal relation with God that is implied in the es- 
tablished Christian worship. Bussia, in the decades preceding the Great Con- 
flict, was of itself a sufficient illustration of the degree of heroic sacrifice to 
which the love of man may prompt, without reference ,to God or to immortality. 

s Ames writes, "It would be no exaggeration to say that all ceremonies in 
which the whole group cooperates with keen emotional interest are religious." 
Loo. oit., p. 72. 

57 



58 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

In our understanding of the term (and we think that we are 
in agreement with the dominant usage), religion can not 'begin 
before the birth of some conception, however vague, of superhuman 
personal power or powers, whose existence is felt to be a matter of 
moment. Before that time, any ceremony that may have been per- 
formed was either merely social or magical. The contradiction 
which such religions as Buddhism and the Religion of Humanity of 
Comte seem to inflict to the affirmation that the notion of divinities 
in relation with man is necessai'y to the existence of the institutions 
is merely apparent. Original Buddhism died almost with its foun- 
der. Most of his desciples promptly deified and worshipped him; 
a small numiber remembered his teaching and continued to do him 
honor as if he were living. There are reasons to hold that these 
would long ago have given up their commemoration were it not for 
the support they get from the mass of the worshippers. As to the 
Religion of Humanity, it no longer exists. Comte 's disciples lived 
in a time when the deification of man was no longer possible. They 
went as far as they could towards the personification of the Grand 
Eire, but they were on the whole too clear-sighted to find it possible 
to go as far as necessary for success. 

The main cause* of this unfortunate effort to do away with real 
differences is, I think, the conviction that metaphysical concepts 
are derived, whereas social relations are fundamental, and that, 
consequently, you may disregard religious metaphysical conceptions, 
when they prove untena;ble, without surrendering that which is 
primary in religious life, namely the social interests involved in the 
discarded metaphysical view of the world. However justifiable that 
conviction may be, it does in no way legitimize the transformation 
of the historical meaning of the word religion. If "religion" were 
to be used to denote all social forms of behavior, a new word would 
have to be found for those forms of behavior that involve belief in 
and relation with superhuman, anthropopathic beings. No such 
term has ever been suggested by the writers whom we criticize; 
they have apparently no use for one. "Religion" should continue 
to mean what it has meant in the past; and the expressions "social 
values," "social ceremony," "social work," should continue to 
designate those aspects of social activity which involve neither a 
conscious relation with superhuman powers nor the use of a magical 
force. 

The appearance of beliefs in anthropopathic, intelligent agents 

* In certain influential quarters the extension <xf the meaning of the term 
religion to all social work, has back of it nothing more respectable than the 
desire to avoid the obloquy which attaches to those who do not describe them- 
selves as religious. 



MYSTICISM AND RELIGION 59 

in relation with man was most probably prepared 'by pre-religions, 
purely social practises. If it may ibe supposed that such practises 
ever existed without some sense of a transtribal power or powers, 
it may with much stronger reason be held than an increasingly 
clear notion of transhuman, personal power developed out of them, 
and that thus a certain god-idea arose. '^ 

Some of the religious practises themselves were, doubtless, 
derived from pre-religious, merely social ceremonies. But since 
religion has reference to personal agents (willing, thinking, and 
feeling beings) some at least of these ceremonies had to be modified 
in order to fit the new relation. In other instances, the derivation 
of religious from purely social ceremonies consisted merely in the 
ascription of a new meaning. One can readily understand that, 
for instance, dances bom of the play-impulse and built up under 
the influence of the love of rhythm, of rivalry, and of other ele- 
mental tendencies, came to be looked upon as efficacious either in 
a magical or a religious way. 

As it is hardly possible to define religion without indicating its 
relation to magic, we shall say very briefly how magic is to be 
diifferentiated on the one hand from merely social behavior, and on 
the other from religion. Magic implies the action of an impersonal 
power, Which, however, may be wielded by a person and made to 
act upon a person. It acts by coercion and not by successful appeal 
to feeling or intelligence. From the mechanical forces as known to 
the civilized man, the magical power differentiates itself in that 
neither a quantitative nor qualitative relation is necessarily implied 
between it and its effects. In the mechanical type of behavior 
(throwing a stone, fording a stream, bending a bow) observed at 
any degree whatever of culture, the existence of a quantitative 
relation between cause and effects is implied. When fording a 
stream, for instance, instead of relying entirely upon his own 
strength, the savage may seek by promises or other anthropopathic 
means to move a spirit into assisting him. In that case he behaves 
religiously. Or he may repeat some formula, perform various 
gestures that will bring him the help desired independently of 
the intervention of any spirit, or through the coercion of a spirit. 
In that ease he acts magically."' To confuse these two types of be- 

6 In .4 Psychological Study of Seligion I have considered several probable 
origins of the god-ideas. See Chapters V. and VI. 

« For a detailed comparative study of magic and religion, see Part II. of 
A PsycJiologioal Study of Religion. The substance of that Part was already- 
contained in an earlier essay entitled The Psychological Origin and the Nature of 
Seligion, London, Archbald Constable & Co., 1909. A quite similar view of 
magic and religion is set forth dn Edwin Sidney Hartland's Bitual and Belief, 
New York, Scribner, 1914. 



60 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

havior is to fail to apprehend one of the fundamental differences 
that can exist in human experience. 

If there be a phase in human development When the separation 
into impersonal and personal powers does not yet exist, then, at 
that time, some pre-religious form of behavior and thought is 
present, but not religion. How can we know when primitive man 
has made that distinction? By the presence of the two modes of 
behavior: one persuasive, the other coercitive. When he suppli- 
cates or offers food, he may fairly be said to think himself in rela- 
tion with a personal power. 

With this brief statement of the nature of religion and of its 
relation to merely social behavior and to magic, we turn to the 
relation of mysticism to religion. But what are we to understand 
by that much abused word "mysticism"? An experience taken to 
mean contact (not through the senses but "immediately") or union 
of the self with a larger-than-self, be it called the spirit world, 
God, or the Absolute, is for us a mystical experience. Any form 
of worship through which that experience is thought to 'be secured 
will, therefore, be regarded by us as mystical worship. 

No one doubts that mysticism as defined above is included in the 
meaning of the term religion. But 'divergences exist as to whether 
all religions are mystical ; or, as some put it, whether mysticism is 
not at the root of every religion, so that in its absence no religion 
would have come into existence and, with its withdrawal, all 
religions would die off.'' The answer we shall give to this question 
will follow logically from the genetic connection which seems to 
us to exist between mysticism and a. certain group of innate 
tendencies. 

From the point of view of the kind of social relation to which 
they prompt, the most important instincts and instinctive tenden- 
cies may be classified undier two heads: those that would separate 
individuals and those that would bring them together. On the 

'WiUiam James, for instaiuse, aflBrms, that "personal religious experience 
has its roat and center in mystical consciousness, ' ' The Varieties of Beligious 
Experience, page 379. Similarly, William Hooking writes of the mystics, 
"their technique which ds the refinement of worship, often the exaggeration of 
worship, is at the same time the essence of all worship, ' ' Mind, Vol. XXI., N. S., 
p. 39. Delacroix, who in the preface to Etudes d'Eistoire et de Psychologic du 
Mystidsme says that mysticism, understood as the immediate apprehension of 
the divine, is "at the origin of all religion," recognizes nevertheless, on page 
306, that "The Christianity of Bossuet excludes the Christian mysticism of 
Mme. Guyon. One can not deny that there are here two different forms of 
Christianity." He opens a more recent article on Le Mystioismc et la Religion 
with the words, ' ' There exist religions without mysticism. ' ' Soientia, Vol. XXI. 
1917. ' 



MYSTICISM AND RELIGION 61 

one side we find fear and the various reactions expressive of 
aggression and dislike. On the other, those expressive of curiosity, 
and of the tender emotion. The former seek satisfaction in dis- 
regard, or at the expense of other selves; they lead to methodfe of 
life that would separate the individual from the rest of the world. 
The latter seek cooperation with other selves; their method is that 
of association and union. 

These categories of reaction may each be awakened under differ- 
ent circumstances by the religious objects, and thus two types of 
religious attitude and behavior come into existence. Mysticism 
appears to us as the expression in religion of the cooperating, 
uniting human tendencies. 

Animal life began, it seems, with an endowment of conflict- 
instincts. The appearance of the parental instinct marked prob- 
ably the introduction of the other type of endowment: the animal 
family became the cradle of the cooperative method of life. In 
humanity, the aggressive, self-sharpening attitude was for a long 
initial period! the conspicious one; the other was called forth 
mainly, or only, in the narrower circles of family and tribe. Even 
there, its expression was easily inhibited by the subjugating, de- 
structive instincts. Slowly man discovered the objective value of 
the good-will and the suibjective delight of spiritual union. 

Christ's contribution to humanity was in the demonstration he 
offered of the surpassing value of loving relationship. His rule of 
conduct recognizes no other than the tendencies making for mutual 
helpfulness and association of the spirit of love. 

These two different methods of life have not found equal appli- 
cation in every one of its phases. In business the aggressive oppo- 
sition of self to self still prevails. The kind of cooperation by 
which it seems tempered, is too often for the more successful ex- 
ploitation of the outsiders. In certain professions, however, such 
as that of the physician and the teacher, in the purely benevolent 
social activities, and in the individual love-relation involving the 
sex passion, the cooperating and uniting tendencies vigorously 
assert themselves. In religion their expression has culminated in 
a form of worship seeking complete love-union with the divine ob- 
ject, in such a way that the worshipper and "God" become one: that 
is the mystical strand in religious life. 

The powerfid instinctive tendencies that incline man to seek 
union of will and feeling with other selves receive assistance from 
two different directions: (1) Striving with resisting other selves and 
in£inimate objects brings recurrent moments of weariness when the 
zest for the strife disappears. How delightful it is then to close 
one's eyes to the midtiplicity of things, to ignore the challenge of 



62 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

other wills, to renounce effort and to lose oneself in the silent, 
peaceful current of undifferentiated life ! Both physical and moral 
causes bring on this inclination to self-surrender. The pace has 
been too fast and the jaded nerves demand rest. Or dispiriting 
queries have arisen -. ' ' What matters gains and conquests ; what boot 
fortune, knowledge, human loves? Nothing is perfect and nothing 
endures. Would that I could overcome my spiritual isolation, 
destroy the barriers that separate me from my fellow men, be one 
with them, instead of struggling against them." In this mood the 
will-to-union is given full career. 

(2) Mystical worship, rooted in primary instinctive tendencies 
and abetted by fatigue and moral failure, finds an ally in the natural 
tendency of thought to seek repose in generalization. Thinking 
includes a double movement. Consider the man of science or the 
philosopher; they do their work by alternating analyses and syn- 
theses; they can not do it by one of these alone. There must be 
observation and discrimination; but when objects have multiplied 
under the analysing activity of the mindl, the severed things must 
somehow be united again; they must be seen in their connections. 
And, at least for some men, a unification of all things must be 
reached; a universe must be built out of the discreet objects. Com- 
pleted thinking implies these two movements:* sundering and 
uniting. The analysis may be quite incomplete, and the ultimate 
generalization may be jumped at without much reference either to 
facts or logic; but some kind of an all-inclusive principle must be 
obtained that generates the sense of security belonging to a coherent 
world. 

If religion is constituted by our relations with superhuman 
powers and if mysticism^ arises, as we say, from one group only of 
the instinctive tendencies prompting to intercourse with these 
powers, then there must be two kinds of religious worship. (1) 
The worship expressive of defensive purposes and of the sort of 
self-seeking that keeps man and Grod separate. Here transaction 
with God, however earnest, bears the mark of externality; there is 
no thought of absorption of the self into another self ; God and the 
worshipper remain apart, just as the seller and the buyer in a 
business transaction. (2) The worship prompted by the tendencies 
to association, cooperation, union. It assumes the forms character- 
istic of mystical worship. Thus understood, mystical experience is 
neither the root nor at the root of all religions; it is one type of 
religious relation. 

8 What the relation is between this double movement of thought and the two 
kinds of instincts mentioned above, is not a problem to be discussed here. There 
is a correspondence in the results; is it merely fortuitous? 



MYSTICISM AND RELIGION 63 

The objective kind of religion is well illustrated in the dealings 
of Anyambie, a West African chief, with his god. "The great 
man," writes Miss Kingsley, "stood alone, conscious of the weight 
of responsibility on hina of the lives and happiness of his people. 
He talked calmly, proudly, respectfully to the great god who, he 
knew, ruled the spirit world. It was like a great diplomat talking 
to another great diplomat. The grandeur of the thing charmed 
me."" But, under other circumstances, this same Anyambie might 
have behaved in a totally different way towards that same god or 
towards a less clearly defined superhuman world. He might have 
acted as the Mexican Indians who swallow ten buttons of mescal 
andi sit around a fire, passively enjoying beautiful colored visions 
and a sense of power and elation incomparably superior to any- 
thing earthly. The ceremony might have €nded in an orgy in 
which sex was given satisfaction in a mysterious, sublimating set- 
ting. If this should have happened, Anyambie would have passed, 
in succession, through both the objective and the mystical type of 
religious experience. 

It is quite evident that in early societies these two types of be- 
havior coexist side by side, in complete toleration of each other. 
In Greece, for instance there was by the side of the religion of the 
Olympic gods, the mystical mystery cults. But when a particular 
religion made claim to universality and was able to enforce that 
claim within wide confines, as in the case of Roman Catholic 
Christianity, the independent organization of mystical propensity 
became djfiioult. 

Man is after all, by nature and the physical circumstances of his 
existence, dominantly spatially minded: in order to think and act, 
he must objectify. He is not often permitted to lose sight of the 
opposition of the me and the not-me. For this essential reason, 
and for others into which this is not the place to enter, the orc,am- 
zation of religious life assumes mainly the objective, non-mystical 
form. Provided one does not understand by "non-mystical" the 
total absence of mystical elements, but merely their subordination, 
one would be justified in saying that all the great popular religions 
are of the non-mystical type. 

Now these highly organized, dominantly objective religious in- 
stitutions soon come to realize the danger threatened by the indi- 
vidualism-inspiring mystical tendency. In his search for God, the 
mystic goes his own way. If need be, he will brush aside formulas, 
rites, and even the priest who would serve him as mediator. And 

9 Mary H. Kingsley, ' ' The Porms of Apparitions in West Africa, ' ' Proc. 
Soo. for Psychical Mesearch, Vol. XIV., 1898, pp. 334-335. 



64 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

he issues from the divine union with a superior sense of divine 
knowledge : he holds that ultimate truth has been revealed to him. 
Persons of this sort, harboring such convictions, may obviously be 
dangerous to the stability of any institution that has come to regard 
its truths as the only truths, and its way of worahip as the only way. 
And so it comes to pass that the more highly institutionalized' are 
the spatially minded religions, the less tolerant they are of mystical 
piety when it rises 'beyond the ordinary. 

"What becomes of the tendency to mystical religion in countries 
dominated by intolerant, objective religions making claims to uni- 
versality ? The mystically minded seek what expression is permitted 
them within the estalblished religions. They follow their inclina- 
tions as far as the ecclesiastical authorities permit. When sufS- 
ciently subservient — either in fact or semblance — as St. Theresa and 
Marguerite Marie Alacoque, they are tolerated and, at times, even 
encouraged; when too independent and made intraotaible by the 
assurance of divine inspiration, as Mme. Guyon, they are suppressed. 

But if the Church is uneasy and watchful in the presence of 
fully developed mysticism, it is quite hospitable to its rudimentary 
manifestations. Intercourse between sympathetic people constantly 
tends to pass from externality to the intimacy of united will and 
feeling. Hence, whenever the religious object is conceived as a 
loving Being, it becomes almost impossible for the worshipper not 
to glide into the trustful, self-surrendering, blessedly reposeful atti- 
tude which constitutes the first step towards complete mystical 
union. And so it comes to pass that the Christian worshipper ever 
tends to drift into mystical relation^" with his God. This tendency 
could not fail to be recognized and even encouraged in a religion 
whose God is officially a God of love. But though Christianity unites 
in some measure the traits of both types of worship, it is neverthe- 
less dominantly an objective religion. According to the ritual, the 
worshipper comes into the presence of his God to acknowledge his 
sins and to be cleansed from them, to seek protection from bodily 
and moral harm, to return thanks for God's goodness, to praise 
him, and to rejoice in the asurance of his favor. 

Held in subjection though it is, the mystical impulse performs 
in Christianity a vivifying function, the value of which can hardly 
be overestimated ; for it represents the action of tendencies in which 

10 It is in the light of the preceding remarks that I understand Delacroix 
when he speaks of the presence virtuelle du mysUcisme dans la religion, et son 
cffacement souvent presque total et sa liberation sitot que fl6cMt le mScanisme 
ri&ucteur. "Le Mystioisme et la Religion," 2d Part. Scientia, Vol. XXII., 
1917. 



MYSTICISM AND RELIGION 65 

humanity sees its salvation, the tendencies to universal cooperation 
and love-union.*^ 

Let us say now, as a last word and perhaps a word unnecessary 
to those who are acquainted with fully developed religious mysti- 
cism, that no institution in which the mystical tendencies should re- 
main unchecked could long continue to exist, for it would do too 
great violence to common sense. The non-mystical and the mys- 
tical tendencies together make a complete man and a complete 
religion. The problem of religion (one may say of civilization) is 
not to be set in terms of the suppression of one or of the other group 
of tendencies but in terms of their functional relation. 

Had I wanted in this paper to indicate the instinctive source 
of all the main aspects of religious worship, I should have pointed 
out the presence in human nature of certain innate tendencies such 
as curiosity and self-abasement, from which arise reverence and 
admii-ation, and, by derivation, these conspicuous constituents of 
worship: praise and adoration. These instinct-emotions are self- 
regarding neither in the sense implied' in fear and the lower aggres- 
sive tendencies that are the main roots of the objective religious 
relations nor in the sense of those other propensities that incite to 
cooperation and union. Because of their apparent total disinter- 
estedness they are often regarded, mistakenly, I think, as the loft- 
iest expressions of which man is capable. 

It will be useful to add some instances of religion representing, 
as far as possible, the pure objective type. The ancient religions 
of Egypt, Babylonia, and Palestine contain only meager traces of 
mysticism. Originally, the God of Israel did not even maintain 
any relation with individuals; he dealt with the nation as a whole. 
When personal relations appeared, they remained for a long time 
external. Certain psalms and the later prophets contain the earliest 
expressions of mysticism in the religion of Yahweh.^^ j^mong the 
Greeks, the worship of the Olympian divinities was altogether non- 
mystical, and it is an open question how much mysticism is to be 
found in the Mysteries. 

11 It seems to me that no recent student of mysticism has displayed as much 
insight into the profounder significance of mysticism than Hocking. "With re- 
gard to this conception of the relation of mysticism to religion and to life in 
general the reader is referred to chapters XXVII. and XXVIII. (The Prin- 
ciple of Alternation) wf The Meaning of God in Human Experience. 

12 The mystical practises and ,theories among the Hebrews before that time 
did not belong to the religion of Yahweh. They were remnants of other and 
older cults. We refer, for instance, to the excitement, reaching a contagious 
frenzy, generated among bands of "prophets" and regarded as a mark of 
divine possession. See I Sam. X., 5flE; XIX., 20 fE. 



66 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 

Perhaps no semi-civilized people was ever more free from mys- 
ticism, in our sense of the term, than the old Romans. ' ' These peo- 
ple," says J. B. Carter,^* "could know nothing of their gods, be- 
yond the activity which the gods manifested in their ibehalf ; nor did 
they desire to know anything. The essence of religion was the 
establishment of a definite legal status between these powers and 
man, and the scrupulous observance of those things involved in the 
contractual relation, into which man entered with the gods. As in 
any legal matter, it was essential that this contract should be drawn 
up with a careful guarding of definition, and an especial regard to 
the proper address. Hence the great importance of the name of 
the god, and failing that, the address to the 'Unknown God.' A 
prayer was therefore a vow (votum), in which mian, the party of 
the first part, agreed to perform certain acts to the god, the party 
of the second part, in return for certain specified services to be 
rendered. Were these services rendered, man, the party of the first 
part, was compos voti, bound to perform what he had promised. 
Were these services not rendered, the contract was void. In the 
great majority of cases the gods did not receive their payment 
until their work had been accomplished, for their worshippers were 
guided in this by the natural shrewdness of primitive man, and 
experience showed that in many cases the gods did not fulfill their 
portion of the contract which was thrust upon them^ by the wor- 
shippers. There were, however, other occasiions, when a slightly 
different set of considerations entered in. In a moment of battle it 
might not seem sufficient to propose the ordinary contract, and an 
attempt was sometimes made to compel the god's action by perform- 
ing the promised return in advance, and thus placing the deity in 
the delicate position of having received something for which he 
ought properly to make return." That is the objective religious 
relation in all its nakedness. 

No one knows better than the Christian mystic himself that the 
ordinary religious life of Christendom is of another type than the 
mystical. The founder of Quietism, Molinos, speaks of these two 
attitudes as "diametrically contrary to one another." There are, 
he tells us, "two sorts of spirtual persons, internal and external: 
these seek God without, by discourse, by imagination and consider- 
ation: they endeavor mainly to get virtues by many abstinences, 
maceration of body, and mortification of the senses; bear the pres- 
ence of God, forming Him present to themselves in their idea of 

13 Beligious Life of Ancient Some, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co. 1911. 
pp. 12-13. 



MYSTICISM AND BELIOION 67 

Ilim, or their imagination, sometimes as a Pastor, sometimes as a 
Physician, and sometimes as a Father and Lord ; they delight to be 
continually seeking of God, very often making fervent acts of love ; 
and all this is art and meditation. 

"But none of these ever arrives by that only to the mystical way, 
or to the excellence of union, transformation, simplicity, light, peace, 
tranquillity, and love, as he doth who is brought by the Divine 
grace, by the mystical way of contemplation. 

"These men of learning, who are merely scholastical, don't know 
what the spirit is, nor what it is to be lost in God; nor are they 
come yet to the taste of the sweet ambrosia, which is in the inmost 
depth and bottom of the soul, where it keeps its throne, and com- 
municates itself with incredible, intimate, and delicious affluence."^* 

Similar statements could be quoted from probaibly all the great 
Christian mystics. Anyone interested in the place to be ascribed to 
mysticism in Christianity should read the account of the great quar- 
rel about quietism in which Bossuet and Penelon were the great pro- 
tagonists and poor Mme. Guyon the victim.^^ Bossuet represents 
here, with undeniable authority, rational, common sense Christian- 
ity : a Christianity in which man and God remain face to face with 
each other — the creature and the creator ; the sinner and the Judge, 
albeit a forgiving and loving Judge! 

James H. Leuba. 
Bbtn Mawk College. 

1* Molinos, The Spiritual Guide, John Thomson, Glasgow, 1885. Part I., 
Chap. I., 54, 65; Part II., Chap. XVIII., pp. 126-127. 

15 An excellent summary of this quarrel will be found in H. Delacroix's 
Etude d'Histoire et de Psychologie du Mysticism, Chap. VIII. 

In recent times, Eitschl has altogether rejected mysticism. He "will hear 
nothing of direct spiritual communion of the soul with God. Pietism in all its 
forms is an abomination to him. The one way of communion of the soul with 
God is through His historical manifestation in Jesus Christ, and experience due 
to a supposed immediate action of the Spirit in the soul can be regarded as an 
illusion. This is the side of Bitschl's teaching that has been specially taken up 
and developed by his disciple, Hermann." Professor Orr, as quoted by Garvie 
in the Bitsohlian Theology, p. 143. 

Of Ritschl's main disciples, Garvie writes, "Kaftan, with Eitschl and Her- 
mann, condemns mysticism in the two types which they describe, both as an 
attempt to secure union with God conceived as the Absolute, and as an endeavor 
to be joined through the imagination and the affections to Christ in His glorified 
state. But in his antagonism to mysticism he is not led, as Bitsahl is, to deny 
there is in Christian experience a mystical element, a real communion of the soul 
with Christ." Hid., p. 157. See also Hermann's work, Verhehr des Christen 
mit Gott.