ANDREW MURRAY: THE MYSTIC (PART 3)

Mystic Secrecy

Mysticism has its roots in the notion that God is wholly incomprehensible.

William-Law
William Law

For William Law and mystics in general the universe is “wrapped in the impenetrable mystery of a God who is so infinitely greater than man, that, of His nature, or of the reason or fitness of his actions, men can know nothing whatsoever.”[1]

If mankind had been so utterly incompetent in learning to know who God is (I AM) and what his promises entail, Jesus Christ must have lied when He said, “And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3).

In fact, Law’s careless mystical view of God belies Christ’s requirement for salvation which is to know God as the only true God and that all other gods are false. Furthermore, God categorically states,

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-8).

The word “knowledge” pertaining to God and Jesus our Lord, appears no less than five times in the above passage. Surely, this must have given Law and Murray some sort of indication that God’s nature and actions can, indeed, be known.

Murray who contends in tandem with Law’s thoughts on salvation believed that mystics have received a special gift and calling in the body of Christ. He wrote,

But if once it be understood that mystics have a special gift and calling in the body of Christ, that, like all specialists, their value consists in their devoting themselves to one side or sphere of the Divine life, thereby to benefit those who have not the same gift or calling, and that the result of what they attain must become the common property of those members of Christ’s body whose talents point them to other parts of the great field of Christian life and duty, prejudice will be lessened, and the immense benefit acknowledged which the Church has from the presence and life of those who so intensely witness for the Unseen and Incomprehensible.[2] (Emphasis added).

Whilst he referred to mystics, of whom he was one of the foremost, as “specialists” whose special value lies in their devotion to one side or sphere of the Divine life, he rather high-mindedly refers to those who do not have these special mystical gifts, as “ordinary Christians.”

The word “ordinary” has a rather derogatory connotation. A quick glance at a dictionary recalls the following pejorative meanings — average, dull, drab, dreary, predictable, stale, monotonous, and boring.

Perhaps its predisposition to speak lowly of other people is the main reason why the word “ordinary” only appears once in Holy Writ. (Ezekiel 16:27).

Whenever the Bible makes a distinction between babes in Christ and more advanced spiritual Christians, it respectfully uses drinking “milk” and eating “meat” as a metaphor.

Meat must be chewed over and over in the mouth before it is swallowed which in the spiritual sense is indicative of a spiritual Christian who does not set his sails to every wind of doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14).

Drinking milk, on the other hand, does not require a munching movement of the mouth but is swallowed right away.

It immediately reminds one of what Murray wrote in his introduction to William Law’s “Wholly for God” about the place attributed to doctrine in mysticism.

It is evident . . . 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 [perfect] 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.[3]

If mysticism is not a system of doctrine and, therefore, difficult to define, how can Murray declare that “mystics have a special gift and calling in the body of Christ, that, like all specialists, their value consists in their devoting themselves to one side or sphere of the Divine life, thereby to benefit those who have not the same gift or calling”?

Should we be surprised that a system of doctrineless mysticism can so effortlessly be associated with the body of Christ?

Surely not, because mysticism was designed, fashioned, and tailored in the deepest abyss of hell by the angel of light to abolish biblical doctrines for the sake of a mystical fusion of Christianity, heathenism, and pantheism, while delightfully sporting a Christian veneer.

Andrew Murray’s special mystical gift must have been his main vantage point from which he deduced many spiritual secrets, as we shall see in the next edition of this series, Part 4.


[1] Reason, Works, vol. II, p. 9. [ back ]) (The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

[2] Introduction to “Wholly for God” by William Law, pp xxii-xxiii

[3] Murray, “Introduction.” xxi

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Marthina Fourie

There is also a connection between clean and unclean animals.
The clean animals would chew there cud over and over which is a picture of how we are to ingest true Biblical doctrine so as to satisfy us like the “meat” of the Word do. But “ordinary” christians run to “tickle your ears” properity-gospel-teachings, would be like animals devouring everything that they hear.

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