Through
the Veil
********
The Mystics
Corner



You are to hang this curtain (veil) under the clasps and bring the ark of the testimony in there behind the curtain (veil). The curtain (veil) will make a division for you between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. You are to put the atonement lid on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place **** Exodus 26:33,34

The Lord said, “Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not like this; he is faithful in all my house. With him I will speak face to face, openly, and not in riddles; and he will see the form of the Lord" **** Numbers 12:6-8

After the second curtain (veil) there was a tent called the "Holy of Holies". ** We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain (veil), where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf ** we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain (veil), that is, through his flesh. **** Hebrews 6:19,20; 9:3; 10:19,20

For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. **** 1 Corinthians 13:12

We all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another **** 2 Corinthians 3:18



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That we be not, on the one hand, led unaware into error, nor, on the other, be prejudiced against truth by undue apprehension, it may be well for us to consider what this word "mystic " means.

In mysticism, as in everything human, there is an admixture of good and evil. Some writers give prominence to what they consider its errors and dangers, and count mysticism in principle to be untrue and unhealthy.

In the Preface to Vaughan's Hours with the Mystics, the author writes: "Mysticism, though an error, has been associated, for the most part, with a measure of truth so considerable, that its good has greatly outweighed its evil." The statement that what is at heart an error should effect so much more good than evil, cannot but strike one as somewhat strange. It would be surely more correct to say: "Mysticism, because it is at root a truth, its good has, not withstanding a considerable amount of error, greatly outweighed its evil." The writer of Hours with the Mystics would wish the word applied to the error in mysticism alone, and thinks that St. John ought not to be called a mystic. In this case, we should need another word to express that special element which is so marked a characteristic of the apostle.

"Others, looking at its good, which even, according to Vaughan, so greatly outweighs the evil, noticing how many of the noblest and holiest of us have breathed its spirit, and remembering what the wonderful attraction its teaching often has for the most earnest and thoughtful minds, maintain that there must be truth in its root-principle, and that its errors must be put to the account of human weakness, and the difficulties of the high problem with which it deals."

Lange says {Herzog-Schaff Cyclopcedia) : — "Mysticism has been defined as belief in an immediate and continuous communication between God and the soul, which may be established by means of certain peculiar religious exercises; as belief in an inner light, which may almost dispense with the written revelation." This definition identifies mysticism too closely with its extravagances, its more or less unsound developments, and overlooks that there is a mystical element in all true religion, both objectively in the revelation and subjectively in the faith. According to common acceptation, mysticism is simply a one-sided development of that element."

It is evident from what has just been said, that it is not easy to define what mysticism is. It is not a system of doctrine. It is found in all religious systems ; in heathenism and pantheism, as well as in Christianity. With the Church of Christ, it is not a sect or party ; every Church has its representatives. In every complete Christian character there is an element of mysticism. It is the outgrowth of a certain disposition or temperament, which ever seeks for the deepest ground or root of spiritual things.

The close connection between the words "mystic" and "mystery" will help us to understand what it means. In all religion, in all existence, there are hidden mysteries : for these the mystic has a natural affinity. In all the mysteries of revelation there is a human side, which the mind of man can master and reduce to a system.

There is another, the Divine side, which human reason cannot grasp or express, but which opens itself to the faith that, in contemplation and worship, lives in the Invisible. The mystic believes in a Divine light and power that comes on the soul that makes these its special object. The moment we attempt to formulate what the spiritual faculty is that receives this communication, in how far it may be counted a real revelation of God's Spirit, and what its relation to the inspired word, we come upon controverted ground.

What we have said is enough to indicate very generally what distinguishes the mystic from the ordinary Christian. Click [ Here ] for more detailed information.




None of the Works of William Law, apart from the "Serious Call", have been available in full for a good many years in this country. The last collected edition of his books was published in 1893. In recent years they have been issued only in the form of selections. "The Selected Mystical Writings of William Law", edited by Stephen Hobhouse, has done much to extend the knowledge of his work. In view of the leading place which Law certainly holds in the history both of English and of Protestant mysticism, it is clearly important that his greatest writings should be available in their completeness. We are therefore reissuing what are commonly recognized as his two finest books, "The Spirit of Prayer and The Spirit of Love".

William Law holds an outstanding position among Protestant and English, mystics. His writings are therefore of considerable interest to students, and especially to English-speaking students of mysticism. Among his works, "The Spirit of Prayer and The Spirit of Love" are perhaps the finest and the most appealing. In the years when they were written (1749—54), his outlook received its fullest and most characteristic development, and his literary power was at its height. In these books, he displays more fully than in any of his other writings, the influence of Jacob Boehme, which affected his later thought so profoundly.

Law's relation to Boehme is apt to be misunderstood. It is sometimes supposed that it was Boehme's influence which was responsible for the entire mystical development which was the main feature of his later life. It is true that it was after he had begun to read Boehme's writings (about the year 1735, when he was 49) that the mystical aspect of his work came into evidence. His book on the "Sacrament of the Lord's Supper", written in 1737 in reply to Bishop Hoadley, is often regarded as the first of his mystical writings. Law himself, however, makes it abundantly clear that he was influenced by many other mystics -- especially by the so-called "Rhineland mystics" of the fourteenth century (apart from Eckhart, the greatest of them, of whom he had no knowledge). He was familiar with the work of most noteworthy Christian mystics from the pseudo-Dionysius in the fifth century to Mme. Guyon in the seventeenth. In his literary career there is a blank of nine years between "An Appeal to all that doubt the Truths of the Gospel" (1740) and the First Part of "The Spirit of Prayer" (1749). It seems to have been during this period that Law undertook the systematic study of Boehme.

Law was not at any time a mere mouthpiece of Boehme. His most fundamental conception is that of the universal divine presence in the human soul, and that is common ground among Christian mystics. It was this thought that led him to the universalism of his developed outlook. Seeing the divine Life in all, he rejoiced to see the manifestation of that Life, not only among Christians, but in non-Christian seers and saints. Here, Law was far in advance of the orthodox standpoint of his time. Although he was utterly opposed to the Rationalism of the Deists, he shared the breadth of their outlook in recognizing the universality of religion as rooted in the human soul. He was a Pioneer of the larger vision which is emerging in our time. It is true that he prided him self on his rigid adherence to the orthodox standards of the Church; he had as little sympathy with the Socinians and the Arians as he had with the Deists. For him, religion was far greater than any creed; it was the Life of the Spirit born within us.

Law went far in his opposition to the attitude which enthrones reason as man's highest faculty. Like Boehme, he emphasized the primacy of will. Yet his mysticism is in some aspects highly speculative. He claims that his conception of the origin of the material universe as a fall from the primary perfection and glory of "Eternal Nature" represents the true meaning of Scripture, but it is in fact based on the philosophy of Boehme, which has in this aspect strong Gnostic affinities. In his conception of "Eternal Nature", he gives expression to an aspect of the mystical tradition which has in recent years been widely neglected, although it has been emphasized in the writings of adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church, like Soloviev, Berdyaev and S. L. Frank. It played a great part in the experience and teaching of William Blake (see "William Blakeand Neoplatonism", by G. M. Harper), and its significance was reaffirmed in some of her books by Evelyn Underhill. Among other "moderns", Max Plowman and Edward Carpenter have testified to its reality.

Law was at once orthodox and liberal in his outlook. His appeal was constantly to the Bible, and he naturally had no understanding of the historical origin and background of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. His thought is marked by certain outstanding contrasts. "Christ" is for him both a historical person and a universal principle, the eternal Word, the source of all that is good in our Life made manifest, above all, in the true spirit of love wherever it is found. For Law, therefore, the Incarnation is not merely a particular divine event, as it is for the great majority of Christian theologians -- it is also a universal process. He speaks explicitly of "incarnation" in that sense. It is not surprising that he failed to unify his thought on this question, so that his teaching is lacking in complete consistency. His emphasis varies, in fact, from time to time. Sometimes he thinks of salvation in accordance with traditional orthodoxy as wholly dependent on the Cross of Calvary; but more typically he regards it as springing from the divine Life in man, and so as an experience common to all who share the "spirit of prayer" to which that Life moves us. Again, while Law regarded the whole universe as an outgrowth of "Eternal Nature", and not as a creation ex nihilo, his view is marked, in one aspect, by a thoroughgoing dualism. Physical Nature is for him a fallen world, and in all its phases, from the constitution of matter to the life of the animals and the unregenerate human self, it represents, not the manifestation, but rather the absence of the divine. To say that is not to deny that his view of the world contains an important element of truth. The principle of mechanism exhibited in Nature underlies the regressive tendency which is the great obstacle to human progress; and it is from the exclusiveness of matter that the separateness which is the ground of conflict and evil appears to spring.

Law's view of the world as rooted in a primal Fall was naturally a somber one. During the greater part of his life it was not merely somber, but radically pessimistic, since he shared the belief in everlasting Hell almost universally held by Christians in his day. That belief is implied in some passages in both these books; but in "The Spirit of Love", it is finally replaced by the idea of Universal Restoration implied in other passages. Here, Law's insight altogether surpassed that of Boehme. It is indeed a tribute to the humane and enlightened quality of his thinking that he was a pioneer of the "larger hope". His enlightenment found expression also in his thoroughgoing repudiation of the penal theory of the Atonement and his adoption of a "moral" view. He transcended the limitations of Boehme's outlook in his complete rejection of the traditional idea of the wrath of God, although he felt justified in using the term in a sense of his own.

Law's mysticism is essentially related to his understanding of religion as an inward principle, grounded in the deeper nature of the soul. The inmost center of our being is for him the "spark of the soul", which is divine and which moves us therefore to seek after union with God. Law cannot be counted among the greatest of the mystics, for there is no indication in his writings that he attained the height of their experience. His mysticism is essentially dynamic and creative. It cannot be summed up in terms of vision or knowledge; it is a matter of life -- of willing rather than of knowing. The basic fact of mystical experience as he saw it is the abiding fact of divine inspiration -- the Life of God working within us, the flame of divine love, "the desire of the soul for God", which is the secret of union with God. It is the greatness of Law's written work -- and especially of the two books here reprinted -- that at its best it bears authentic testimony to that truth.

The audiobook below (in 16 parts) is produced by Dale Brubaker and narrated by Kevin Archer. The original by William Law was entitled, "An Humble, Earnest, and Affectionate Address to the Clergy" and was published in 1761. Download the .pdf eBook below at the bullet. It was modernized and published in 1896 by Andrew Murray as, "The Power of the Spirit". In 2006, Dave Hunt again republished it as, "The Power of the Spirit", adding some excerpts from, "The Spirit of Love" and other works by Law.

Murray wrote that "he didn't know where to find anywhere else the same clear and powerful statement of the truth which the Church needs at the present day." Murray also said: "I have tried to read or consult every book I knew of that treats of the work of the Holy Spirit, and nowhere have I met with anything that brings the truth of our dependence upon the continual leading of the Spirit, and the assurance that that leading can be enjoyed without interruption, so home to the heart as the teaching of the present volume."

Click the respective item to read the following excerpts from the Writings of William Law:

Introduction and Excerpts from the Writings of William Law

"A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life" **** Chapter XII -- The happiness of a life wholly devoted to God further proved from the vanity, the sensuality, and the ridiculous poor enjoyments, which they are forced to take up with who live according to their own humors. This represented in various characters.

The "Change In William Law" from when he wrote, "Serious Call" to when he wrote, "Power in the Spirit"

Download the .pdf eBook **** "The Power of the Spirit: An Humble, Earnest, and Affectionate Address to the Clergy", by William Law (1761). With Additional Extracts -- Selected, Edited, with an Introduction by Andrew Murray (1895)

Excerpts from ** "Address to the Clergy, Grounds of Christian Regeneration and the Way to Divine Knowledge"

The following is an excerpt (Chapter 12) from an excellent book by William Law, "You Will Receive Power" **** "The Inward and Outward Churches"

The following is an excerpt (Chapter 12) from another excellent book by William Law, "God's Power in You" **** "The Entrance of Evil Into the World"

Five exerpts from the Writings of William Law -- "On the Fall of Man from His Original Created Glory"

The following is an excerpt from an excellent book by Andrew Murray, "Wholly for God", consisting of selections from the writings of William Law. This exerpt is from his treatise, "The Spirit of Love, First Part"

Exerpts from William Law, "The Spirit of Prayer", Parts I & II

Download the eBook **** "Wholly for God" **** Selections from the Writings of William Law, Edited by Andrew Murray

Download a .pdf version of the eBook **** "Wholly for God" **** Selections from the Writings of William Law, Edited by Andrew Murray (Note: This is a LARGE {20mb} file)

"The Complete Works of William Law" (Nine volumes) -- Classic Christian ebooks has published a 17-volume Kindle and epub edition of The Complete Works for the incredible price of $4.21, available from Amazon

Please click [ Here ] to download your FREE copy of the eBook - "The Collected Works of William Law"

Please click [ Here ] to listen to and/or download your FREE copy of the .mp3 - "The Pearl of Eternity"

Click [ Here ] for an excellent site devoted to William Law, "Jacob Boehme Online"

To read and/or download a FREE book called, "Will God, IN FACT, Be All-In-All", dealing with the subject of Universal Reconciliation, a belief which William Law wholeheartedly embraced during the latter, more fully illuminated part of his life, please click the respective link: ****** DOWNLOAD ****** READ



Jacob Boehme was born on or soon before April 24, 1575 in Altseidenberg, near Görlitz in eastern Germany. Following apprenticeship, he set up his own shop as a shoemaker in Görlitz, where he resided (except for a period of exile in Dresden) until his death on November 17, 1624. After a profound mystical experience at the age of twenty five (1600), while remaining active as a shoemaker and later a merchant, he embarked on a remarkable career of independent scholarship and writing. Though censured for heresy and silenced for seven years by his town council, he eventually produced some twenty nine books and tracts on philosophical theology, and gained a growing following among the nobility and professional classes of the day.

The end of the 20th century is witnessing a crisis of relevance of traditional church doctrine, and rapidly waning ecclesiastical influence. In western culture, spirituality has literally broken out of the churches, to seek expression in a wide variety of ways, especially through explorations of eastern and primal traditions, nature mysticism, and transcendental psychologies. Jacob Boehme was a 17th century shoemaker whose radical and mystical theology is consistent with modern knowledge of the relationship of the physical world to nonlocal reality, and of the dynamics of the psyche. His Renaissance emphasis on individual transformative spirituality is in tune with the renaissance of spirit of our times. It thus has much to offer to churches and other spiritual communities seeking to meet the spiritual needs of modern people.



Click the respective item to read the following excerpts from the Writings of Jacob Boehme:

Essay On, and Exerpts from, Jacob Boehme

"The Aurora ** Mysterium Magnum ** Sex Puncta Theosophica ** Sex Puncta Mystica"

"The Image of the Heavenly"

"The Clavis or '*Key*' of Jacob Boehme"

"Mysterium Pansophicum" or A Fundamental Statement Concerning the Earthly and Heavenly Mystery: How They Are In One Another, and How in the Earthly the Heavenly Is Manifested

Download the .pdf eBook **** "MacDonald and Jacob Boehme", by Dale J. Nelson --- Scholarly readers of George MacDonald have remarked that he drew upon the writings of the German theosophist Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), but the point has not been discussed in detail. This article will attempt to advance the discussion a little.

Read an essay by Nikolai Berdyaev discussing: Concerning Jacob Boehme -- "The Ungrund and Freedom"

An excellent, contemporary book for serious readers of Boehme may be purchased [ Here ]. Download a FREE .pdf [ Here ]. -- It is entitled; "Science, Meaning, & Evolution: The Cosmology of Jacob Boehme" by Basarab Nicolescu (Author) and Rob Baker (Translator). --- This is an incisive study by a contemporary scientist and scholar of the startling correspondences between the ideas of modern quantum physics and the cosmology of Jacob Boehme, an early 17th-century Christian mystic. Basarab Nicolescu presents both these mysterious realms - the open-ended universe of the new particle physics and the theological speculations of Boehme's own writings in a way that is at once sophisticated and accessible.

Here are the complete photocopied texts of the four volume set of Jacob Boehme's works known as the "William Law Edition", published 1764. ** BOOK 1 ** BOOK 2 ** BOOK 3 ** BOOK 4 ** (Note: These are LARGE files - over 60 MB each)

Please click [ Here ] to download your FREE copy of the eBook - "The Collected Works of Jacob Boehme"

Please click [ Here ] to download your FREE copy of the eBook (.pdf) - "The Three Principles Of The Divine Essence"

Please click [ Here ] to download your FREE copy of the eBook - "The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians", by Magus Incognito ****** 1918

Click [ Here ] for an excellent site devoted to Jacob Boehme, "Jacob Boehme Online"



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