Sunday, May 16, 2010

A W Tozer (April 12 1897-May 12 1963)

The last literary project of Tozer's, completed just before his death and published several months after, was THE CHRISTIAN BOOK OF MYSTICAL VERSE. This was a compilation of a wealth of mystic poetry that had warmed and blessed Tozer's heart throughout the years. In the introduction of that book he defined his meaning of the term mystic. "The word 'mystic' as it occurs in the title of this book refers to that personal spiritual experience common to the saints of Bible times and well known to multitudes of persons in the post?biblical era. I refer to the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead. His theology is no less and no more than is taught in the Christian Scriptures. He walks the high road of truth where walked of old prophets and apostles, and where down the centuries walked martyrs, reformers, Puritans, evangelists and missionaries of the cross. He differs from the ordinary orthodox Christian only because he experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentient being while the other does not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. He is quietly, deeply, and sometimes almost ecstatically aware of the Presence God in his own nature and in the world around him. His religious experience is something elemental, as old as time and the creation. It is immediate acquaintance with God by union with the Eternal Son. It is to know that which passes knowledge." ( THE CHRISTIAN BOOK OF MYSTICAL VERSE, Christian Publications, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania).

I first encountered this book over 30 years ago and it has been a constant bedside companion ever since.

A rich collection of poems and hymns. Among the voices Tozer has chosen to inlist on this mystic journey are Isaac Watts, Frederick William Faber, Christina Rossetti, John and Charles Wesley, Paul Gerhardt, Gerhard Tersteegen,Jeanne Marie Guyon, and Thomas More. You'll find that The poems have been organized into devotional topics based on subject.

                        * Adoration of the Godhead
                              * Devotional Meditations on the Cross of Christ
                              * Penitential Reflections on Our Sins
                              * Rejoicing in Forgiveness and Justification
                              * Yearning for Purity of Heart
                              * Aspirations After God
                              * Delighting in God’s Presence
                              * The Raptures of Divine Love
                              * The Rest of Faith
                              * The Spiritual Warfare
                              * Victory Through Praise
                              * The Prayer of Quiet
                              * The Bliss of Communion
                              * Joyous Anticipation of Christ’s Return
                              * Immortality and the World to Come

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