Man: His True Nature & Ministry, L.-C. de Saint-Martin trans. Edward B. Penny
Some account of Saint-Martin
(Le Philosophe inconnu)
and his writings has been givenin the preface to his ‘Correspondence with Baron Liebestorf’, recently published
; and it isnecessary hero only to say that the book of which a translation is now presented to the reader,‘Le Ministère de l’Homme-Esprit’, was probably the last, as it certainly was the most important,of his works. It was published in Paris, in 1802: he died the following year.Saint-Martin wrote to his friend the Baron : (Let. cx. of the above ‘Correspondence') :"The only initiation which I preach and seek with all the ardour of my soul is that by which wemay enter into the heart of God, and make God's heart enter into us, there to form an indissolublemarriage, which will make us the friend, brother, and spouse of our Divine Redeemer [‘
theviolent take it by force:'
Matt. xi. 12.]. There is no other mystery, to arrive at this holy initiation,than to go more and more into the depths of our being, and not let go till we can bring forth theliving, vivifying root, because then all the fruit we ought to bear, according to our kind, will be produced within us and without us naturally; as we see is the case with earthly trees, becausethey are adherent to their own roots, and incessantly draw in their sap." These few words sufficeto show the scope, intent, or spirit, and point to the
of all Saint-Martin's works,and of none more truly so than of the work before us.In allusion to the above-named recently published ‘Correspondence of Saint-Martin’, alearned friend (who will doubtless be the interpreter of a numerous class of readers) said to theEditor : "We are on unsafe ground when we leave the old paths of received truth for those of mysticism”. – But, without controversy, may it not be asked : Received by whom? And whichare those old paths of “received truths”? And are they anywhere visible or recognizable? Havethey not been everywhere overgrown with vegetation? And have not as many paths been madethrough this vegetation, and in as many different directions, as there have been Essayists andDogmatizers – especially in our own country – of late years? And as all these paths have beenvirtually authorized as lawful highways, do they not form a legal labyrinth, out of which no exitis found?Let the reader therefore see if Saint-Martin cannot help him out of the difficulty: and lethim not be repelled by the word mystic; the office of such mystics as Saint-Martin is to go to the bottom of mystery, and lead mysticism captive, by laying open the essential, fundamental lawsof things, and showing their connection with their Root, which is God. No doubt when men's minds, looking upon things, as we are all naturally inclined to do,in their outward and visible aspect alone, consider that their reality lies in their
, – notin their immaterial essences; in the tangible form or letter, – not in the spirit of things – it is hardfor such minds to realize that they themselves are the men who have been looking at shadows,
CORRESPONDENCE between LOUIS CLAUDE de SAINT-MARTIN and KIRCHBERGER, Baron deLIEBESTORF. Translated from the original by E. B. Penny. 1 vol. fscap. 8vo.
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