A Christian friend writes to me asking me whether I am not a Mystic. I reply, Yes. All men are religious Mystics who know God through spiritual intuition, a gift of the Holy Ghost far transcending the Reason and the Understanding. I have a warm side for the Christian Mystics, so utterly misunderstood by that blind generation in which they lived. They dwelt on the mountain-tops in a dark age, and never lost sight of the vision of a glorified Christ. Such a Mystic I would be as Rudolf E. Etier professed to be, when a company at an inn hinted that this reproachful epithet belonged to him, by asking his definition of the term. He replied: "The Mystics were preachers who lived as they preached." Perfect love has worn many an opprobrious name without receiving any detriment. This Rose of Sharon blooming in my heart is just as sweet under any other name. My feeling towards the Mystics is much like that of Wesley towards the Montanists. He is their only modern defender, because his mind was sufficiently large and catholic to look beneath certain exaggerated excesses and to discover that these vilified people were really filled with the Holy Ghost, and that amid a formal and worldly church they preserved a spiritual type of Christianity.
It seems to me that I never knew what it is to grow in grace till I plunged into the shoreless and fathomless sea of Love divine in 1870. Since that date each new height gained has shown above me Alps on Alps arising, betokening an endless career of progress in the ceaseless cycles of eternity.
"The fullness of His blessing encourageth my way;
The fullness of His promises crowns every brightening day;
The fullness of His glory is beaming from above,
While more and more I realize the fullness of His love."
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