The Masonic Influences on Andrew Murray

Paul warns us in Ephesians 5:11, And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [rebuke, expose] them.”

This is not a two-pronged command; the one cannot be separated from the other.

Hence it is incumbent upon the saint to not only have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness but also to expose them and warn others of its dangers. Most Christians are reluctant to do the second part of this verse because they do not want to lose family members, friends, and church brothers and sisters.

A woman once said to me “I do not want to rock boats. I only need to love people.” If you really love them, you would warn them when they slip into apostasy or all kinds of false doctrines, simply because there are ways that seem right but the ends thereof are death and destruction (Proverbs 14:12).

Did Murray ever take Paul’s advice in Ephesians 5:11 to heart and refused to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, and simultaneously expose them?

Murray’s personal library proves without the slightest doubt that the foundation for his classical texts, embedded in mysticism, legalism and perfectionism, (these three isms always go together) were forged by “Christian’ mystics, including Meister Eckhart, John Tauler, Henry Suso, John Ruysbroec, Jacob Böhme, George Fox, and the eighteenth-century English mystic, William Law, of whom some were practicing Masons.

Bear in mind that mysticism and Freemasonry are bedfellows.

Meister Eckhart


The German mystic Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328) was influenced by Neoplatonism, promulgating a contemplative way of life that points to the Godhead beyond the nameable God.

Meister Eckhart says: “The final end is the mystery of the darkness of the eternal Godhead [which] is unknown and never was known and never will be known.”

Eckhart again: God is “without a name and is the denial of all names and has never been given a name—a truly hidden God.”[1]

It behooves us to evaluate these dark sayings with Jesus Christ’s words in John’s epistle, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3).

The god of Meister Eckhart and his devoted followers who will never be known, cannot grant them eternal life.

How Andrew Murray could find a benevolent kinship with the teachings of William Law and a spiritual affiliation with Meister Eckhart is beyond human comprehension — or maybe not.

Neoplatonists believed human perfection and happiness were attainable in this world, without awaiting an afterlife.

Perfection and happiness—seen as synonymous—could be achieved through philosophical contemplation.[2]

Neoplatonism has had a huge influence on the Kingdom-Now philosophy of the Emerging Church, thought to be inaugurated by contemplation (imaginative visualization), sacrifice and service.

Meister Eckhart, wrote:

“As thou art in church or cell, that same frame of mind carries out into the world, into its turmoil and its fitfulness.”

Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return.

Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself.

Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us.

It is a Light Within which illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the face of men.

It is a seed stirring to life if we do not choke it. It is the Shekinah of the soul, the Presence in the midst. 

Here is the Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened, to become the soul we clothe in earthly form and action. And He is within us all. (Emphasis added)

It is said that Meister Eckhart also had a vast influence on the development of Freemasonry and Communism.

Here are some interesting quotes relating to the Neoplatonic influence of Eckhart from wiki:

Eckhart’s most famous single quote, “The Eye with which I see God is the same Eye with which God sees me”, is commonly cited by thinkers within neopaganism and ultimatist Buddhism as a point of contact between these traditions and Christian mysticism.

The historical record shows two levels of organization in medieval masonry, the lodge and the “guild”.

The original use of the word lodge indicates a workshop erected on the site of a major work, the first mention being Vale Royal Abbey in 1278.

Later, it gained the secondary meaning of the community of masons in a particular place.

The earliest surviving records of these are the laws and ordinances of the lodge at York Minster in 1352.[3]

“The Real History Behind the Templars” by Sharan Newman emphasizes that the majority of Neoplatonism was infused into masonry with its revival in the 18th century, no doubt thanks to the works of Eckhartian disciple Jakob Boehme.

This is validated by Jesuit priest, David J. Collins, who admits in The Cambridge History of Magic and Witchcraft in the West that this was the case, especially with the mainland European Scottish Rite masonry – that it can trace its influence to the Eckhartian Jakob Boehme.

Albert Mackey admits that Boehme had a huge influence on the masonic lodges of Russia.[4]

William Law


William Law (1686-1761) had a curiously paradoxical career.

After graduating as B.A. and M.A. at Cambridge, in 1708 and 1712, and being, in 1711, ordained and elected fellow of his college (Emmanuel), he refused to take the oaths of allegiance to George I, and thus lost his fellowship and vocation.

Though an ardent high churchman, he was the father of Methodism.

Though deprived of employment in his church, he wrote the book [Wholly for God] which had the most profound and far-reaching influence upon the religious thought of his country.

Though a sincere, and, so he believed, an orthodox Christian, he was the classic exponent of Boehme, a thinker abhorred and mistrusted alike by eighteenth-century divines and by Wesleyan leaders.[5]

Murray briefly mentions how the mistrust among the eighteenth-century divines and the Wesleyan leaders developed in the introduction he wrote to Law’s “Wholly for God.” On page xvi-xviii he wrote,

The spiritual insight into the truth of God acquired by Law, under Behmen’s guidance, made its influence very marked and felt on his practical teaching.

The difference between The Serious Call and the Spirit of Prayer or The Spirit of Love is very great.

The former is from beginning to end a plea for God, in which every duty of the Christian life is exhibited and insisted upon with the voice of authority, and the motives to obedience are urged with all-convincing argument.

But there is one thing wanting. To the question of the struggling soul who feels its impotence, and asks for strength to cast aside its bonds, and fulfil what is demanded of it, he gives no answer.

Of the power that comes to faith, nothing is directly said; of the grace which the Holy Spirit works, mention is scarce made.

In the later works the tone is entirely different. The utter corruption and impotence of our nature, the absolute necessity of a new birth as an operation of God’s mighty power in the soul, the indwelling of Christ in us, are preached in demonstration of the Spirit and in power. [DTW comment: This is classic Calvinism’s “T” in TULIP — Total depravity; total inability that requires a monergistic, elective regeneration by God).

And these are passages in which the nature, the simplicity, the necessity, the alone efficacy of faith as making us partakers of the life and power of Christ, are set forth with singular beauty.

How deeply it was felt by some in Law’s own day that there was something wanting in The Serious Call, is evident from what took place with John Wesley.[6]

Andrew Murray proceeds to relate how John Wesley wrote William Law a letter reproving him for never having clarified to him the way of salvation through faith alone.

Wesley had been a minister for twelve years, studying and preaching from William Law’s books “The Serious Call” and “Christian Perfection” (for two years) without knowing what biblical salvation requires of sinful man — faith and faith alone in the finished work of Christ on a cross.

Law answered:

“You have had a great many conversations with me, and you never were with me for half an hour without my being large upon that very doctrine which you make me totally silent and ignorant of. …

I have been governed through all that I have written and done by these two common, unchangeable maxims of our Lord: ‘Without Me ye can do nothing!’ [and] ‘If any man will come after Me, or be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me.’”

If anyone reading this article can show me how Law’s answer extrapolates that faith and faith alone in Christ Jesus saves lost sinners, I must admit that their mysticism is of a far more advanced esoteric nature than that of Murray and Law put together.

The first lesson to be learned from this incident is that Wesley’s studies of and preaching from Law’s “The Serious Call” and “Christian Perfection” had no effect on his spiritual well-being, let alone his redemption.

One may surmise that his congregants also remained spiritually dead in their sins while preaching to them from Law’s books.

Indeed, if it had any effect at all, Wesley would never have written a letter to William Law reproving him for not telling him that faith alone in Christ saves lost sinners.

The second lesson is that the deliberate omittance of key biblical terms, such as faith alone saves, leads the reader to look inwardly to self instead of to Jesus Christ for deliverance and sanctification.

It becomes an unending struggle to reach perfection in one’s spiritual life instead of resting in Christ through faith alone who promised that He would finish the good work He had begun in the saints. (Philippians 1:6-7).

Even Andrew Murray admitted that William Law’s exposition of the “Higher Life” and “Perfection” was very difficult to understand intellectually. He wrote:

The word ” wholly unto God,” which recurs unceasingly, is the keynote of the book.

As I have read and re-read the first ten chapters of the book, and felt how difficult it is to realise, even intellectually, this absolute devotion to God, I have more than once thought that if a minister were to try and reproduce in his preaching their substance, the result would in more than one way be a surprise to him.

He would be surprised to find how difficult it is to get a clear and full grasp of that high standard of living, which he cannot but admit is nothing more than what Christ demands.

He would be surprised at his own want of success in conveying to his hearers the same impression of intense and entire devotion to God’s will and pleasure as the one object of life.

He would probably be surprised at discovering how, while he thought he had preached holiness and the imitation of Jesus Christ, he had given but a very faint impression of the unworldly, the heavenly life, which it is the duty of every Christian to lead.

He would possibly be most of all surprised at finding how little his own life had really aimed at, not to say had attained, the true ideal, set before us in Christ Jesus.[7]

What can be more revealing about Law’s legacy as a writer than the above testimony of the great Andrew Murray?

Of note is the phrase “the imitation of Jesus Christ” which is particularly common in so-called Christian mystic circles.

Besides the fact that the words “imitate”, and “imitation” never once appear in Holy Writ, it still tries to oust the only biblically accepted terminology of “following Christ.”

Instead of doing justice to Murray’s clarion of “dying to self,” the call to “imitate Jesus” does exactly the opposite when readers first set eyes on Law’s books.

Here, once again, Murray’s own experience when he read the first ten chapters of “Wholly for God” bears ample testimony to the fact that Law’s books have the tendency to turn the eyes inward to self, as Jacob Böhme, Law’s true spiritual mentor proved so plainly when he wrote,

“. . . if we are but seeking and loving our own (true) self, we then love God. That which we do to each other we are doing to God. He who seeks and finds his brother and sister has sought and found God.”[8]

Nonetheless, Murray tried his level best to defend William Law in his answer to John Wesley, claiming that his two maxims of Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing!” [and] “If any man will come after Me, or be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me” liberally argue in favour of Law’s doctrine on faith.

Jacob Böhme


Andrew Murray was introduced to Jacob Böhme by William Law whom Dr. Whyte fondly called the greatest of English mystics. Murray, in agreement with Whyte, wrote,

“The deeper insight into spiritual truth which his later works reveal, and the higher life of which they testify, he all attributes to the teaching of the great German mystic, as he calls him, ‘The heavenly illuminated and blessed man, Jacob Behmen.’”[9]

Here, once more, Murray failed to expose Law and Jacob Böhme for what they really were — ministers of unrighteousness. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

When outspoken Satanists think and speak highly of “Christians” it is a sure sign that something is drastically wrong with that person’s Christianity, let alone his relationship with God. (Luke 6:26).

Albert Pike, a 33-degree Mason who blasphemed the God of the Bible in saying, “Yes, Lucifer is God and unfortunately Adonay is also God,” said the following of Jacob Böhme.

“All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it: everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the illuminati, Jacob Boehme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe it their Secrets and Symbols.”[10] [11]

A site on Freemasonry reports

When looking at the Neoplatonic mystical theology of Christianity, with people like Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Johannes Scottus Eriugena, Hildegard von Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler, Henry Suso, Nicolaus Cusanus, Teresa of Ávila, and John of the Cross, we find elements of the same tradition of which freemasonry draws its inspiration..[12]

Jacob Böhme (Boehme; Behmen) (1575-1624), a humble shoemaker from Görlitz, the easternmost town in Germany, is said to frequently have had abnormal states of consciousness, and to have seen images in the astral light.[13]

The astral light, according to another source, was produced by a shaft of sunlight that struck a pewter plate in Böhme’s room.

It allegedly sparked something supernatural in him, a vision so intense that “he saw at once through to the deepest shifts and shapes of the universe, through the clutter around him to the unity beyond, through the moment to the great plains of eternity.”

Böhme received an illumination of knowledge and wrote: “…my spirit directly saw through all things, and knew God in and by all creatures, even in herbs and grass….the gate was opened for me that I saw and knew more in a quarter of an hour than if I had been many years in the universities.” He was gripped by a sense of overwhelming joy.[14]

H.P. Blavatsky in her Secret Doctrine claims that Boehme was under the tutelage of Genii or the Nirmanakayas – those beings who watch over the evolutionary progress of the Earth.

We have no way of knowing if such beings exist, but the fact that Boehme was illuminated in such an orderly fashion by a seeming external spirit or “Light” does lend some credence to Blavatsky’s viewpoint.

Regardless, he discovered his knowledge from an inner fountainhead and not from an external, worldly source. As counseled by all sages, Boehme held that all knowledge was contained within oneself. He wrote in his Libri Apologetici:

“For we men have one book in common which points to God. Each has it within himself, which is the priceless Name of God. Its letters are the flames of his love, which He out of His heart in the priceless Name of Jesus has revealed in us.

Read these letters in your hearts and spirits and you have books enough. All the writings of the children of God direct you unto that one book, for therein lie all the treasures of wisdom…This book is Christ in you.” (DTW comment: This is undoubtedly another Jesus – 2 Corinthians 11:4).

The Illumination of Jacob Boehme by Mark Jaqua

Imagery (imagination, visualization), silence, and reflection were indispensable elements of the mystical experiences of Meister Eckhart, Angelus Silesius, and Jacob Böhme.

Their mystical experiences transcended time and space because the latter allegedly obstructed and cluttered their intuitive spiritual grasp of eternity.

The occultic blazing light (“astral light” coined by the occultist, alchemist and so-called “last of the Magi,” Eliphas Levi)[15] and the uniformity of their spiritual vision is believed to have come forth from the inner unity of Divine Reality in everyone.

Henceforth, human language is perceived to be far too inadequate to explain this mystery of the inner unity of the Godhead; “the most beautiful statement about God of which man is capable is his silence in the face of his inner riches.[16]

If silence is supposed to be the most beautiful statement about God in the inner riches of man, what are these “inner riches”?

Böhme’s definition of redemption appears to give us a glimpse of the “inner riches” when he writes,

“God lives also in man. Therefore, if we are but seeking and loving our own (true) self, we then love God.

That which we do to each other we are doing to God. He who seeks and finds his brother and sister has sought and found God.

We are in Him all one body with many members, each of which has its own functions.”[17]

The above quote is taken from “The Life of Jacob Böhme” written by Franz Hartmann as published on the Masonic, Occult, and Esoteric Online Bible. Wikipedia reports,

Franz Hartmann (November 22, 1838 in Donauwörth, Bavaria; August 7, 1912 in Kempten im Allgäu) was a German medical doctor, Theosophist, occultist, astrologer, and author.

His works include several books on esoteric studies and biographies of Jakob Böhme and Paracelsus.

He translated the Bhagavad Gita into German and was the editor of the journal Lotusblüten.

He was at one time a co-worker of H. P. Blavatsky and H. S. Olcott at Adyar. In 1896 he founded a German Theosophical Society.

Had Jacob Böhme proclaimed the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ without his usual subtle innuendos to a Cosmic or Esoteric Christ who lives and moves in all things and “also in man,” then masons, theosophists, occultists, astrologists and just about every quirk of worldly spirituality in the whims and ways of mysticism would never have taken an interest in him or his books.

How do we know? Well, listen to Jesus Christ who said,

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18).
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15).
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26).

Notwithstanding what Christ said, the great and very popular Andrew Murray, like the mystic William Law, who hailed Böhme as “The heavenly illuminated and blessed man, Jacob Behmen” blew the Böhme trumpet of praise as loud and clear as masons, theosophists, occultists, and magicians still do to this day.

It immediately reminds of what was said earlier,

Indeed, mysticism is at the very root of the spiritual awakening journey. Without mysticism, our lives feel dull, empty, directionless, and meaningless because there is no deeper impulse, no higher purpose.

However, when we awaken our inner mystic, we find joy, play, vibrancy, truth, love, peace, and freedom again.[18]

It uses words and expressions that can only be applied to Jesus Christ and his Gospel but reduces it to a defiled demoniac imitation of Christ and his Gospel message with the intent to lead astray the gullible and uninformed seekers of joy, peace and freedom.

Johann Tauler


Clymer insists that the earlier futile efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to quash Masons’ influence from within the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church had no substantial results.

The new spiritual growth had grown too strong and influential for it to have been destroyed.

It flourished in the minds and hands of mystic dissidents in the likes of John Tauler and many others.

There also came those great souls, burning for freedom, who worked the Reformation as Johann Tauler, the famous Dominican, who formed a Mystical Fraternity, the members of which recognized each other by secret signs.[19]

One of his well-known quotes is pure mysticism.

“If you want to hear within you the eternal, mysterious, and confidential word spoken to you in a secret whisper, in the most intimate areas of your soul, all storms must be appeased in you and around you.”

What did Tauler mean by “in the most intimate areas of your soul?”

The most distressing aspect of Tauler’s concept of the human soul was his belief that at its deepest level — the Ground of the soul, otherwise referred to as the Spark, the Apex (Punkt), and God in the soul—which he borrowed from Meister Eckhart.

The true Mason realizes that behind these diverse forms there is one connected Life Principle, the spark of God in all living things.

It is this Life which he considers when measuring the worth of a brother. It is to this Life that he appeals for a recognition of spiritual Unity.

He realizes that it is the discovery of this spark of Unity which makes him a conscious member of the Cosmic Lodge.

Most of all, he must learn to understand that this divine spark shines out as brightly from the body of a foe as it does from the dearest friend.

The true Mason has learned to be divinely impersonal in thought, action, and desire.[20]

The following extract from “Johannes Tauler’s Sermons” translated by Maria Shardy, is in dire conflict with God’s Word in terms of how to be saved.

Jesus never told Nicodemus that he first had to turn back to eternity before He (Jesus) could be born in his soul.

He said YOU must be born again (born from above), and not that He must be born in you.

What did he mean by “to turn back to eternity?”

In the quote given earlier, it is clear what he meant, “If you want to hear within you the eternal, mysterious and confidential word spoken to you in a secret whisper, in the most intimate areas of your soul, all storms must be appeased in you and around you.”

The mystery of “silence,” allegedly the First Language of God, and the so-called “astral light’ are avenues that facilitate and enhance visions of eternity, and consequently through deep meditative practices.

As with Jacob Böhme whose bouts of abnormal states of consciousness made him see “… through to the deepest shifts and shapes of the universe, through the clutter around him [‘all storms in you and around you’] to the unity beyond, through the moment to the great plains of eternity,” so too Johann Tauler could envisage that “The mystery of our union with God affected by the Eucharist, is a union more intimate than the human mind can conceive.[21]

[From Johann Tauler
(1300 – 1361), disciple of Meister Eckhart]

It is certain that if God is to be
born in the soul
it must turn back to eternity….

It must turn in toward itself with all is might, must recall itself,
and concentrate all its faculties within itself,
the lowest as well as the highest.
All its dissipated powers must be gathered up into one,
because unity is strength.

Next the soul must go out.
It must travel away from itself,
above itself….
There must be nothing left in us
but a pure intention towards God;
no will to be or become or obtain anything for ourselves.
We must exist only to make a place for God,
the highest innermost place,
where He may do His work; there, when we are no longer putting ourselves in His way,
He can he born in us.

If one would a prepare an empty place in the depths of the soul
there can be no doubt that God must fill it at once.
If there were a void on earth the heaven would fall to fill it….

So you must be silent.
Then God will be born in you,
utter his word in you and you shall hear it;
but be very sure that if you speak the word will have to be silent.
If you go out, he will most surely come in;
as much as you go out for him
He will come in to you; no more, no less….

When shall we find and know
this birth of God within us?
Only when we concentrate
all our faculties within us
and direct them all towards God.
Then he will be born in us
and make himself our very own.

He will give himself to us as our own, more completely ours than anything we have ever called our own.

“A child is born to us and a son is given to us.”
He is ours.
He is all our own, more truly ours than anything else we own, and constantly, ceaselessly, he is born in us.

Jacob Böhme had a similar view of regeneration. He wrote,

Spiritual regeneration does not depend on learning and scientific knowledge; but there must be an intense and powerful earnest, a great hunger and thirst for the Spirit of Christ.

Mere science is not faith; the latter is the intense hunger and thirst for that which I desire, so that it becomes formed into an image within me, and by grasping it in my imagination it becomes my own property.

This hunger and desire moulds the substance of Christ, it being the celestial substantiality, into the weakened image, wherein the word of the power of God is the active life.

“If, then, the soul partakes of this celestial nutriment [Eucharist], she becomes kindled by the great love that dwells in the name Jesus.

Then her anguish becomes converted into great joy and a real sun arises within her, while she becomes regenerated into another will.

Then takes place the marriage of the Lamb, of which the mouth-Christians talk so much without understanding the meaning.”[22]

In retrospect, we need to ask again how Andrew Murray could find a benevolent kinship with the teachings of William Law and a spiritual affiliation with Meister Eckhart, Jacob Böhme, and Johann Tauler is beyond human comprehension. Indeed, it is a mystery.


[2] Wikipedia: Neoplatonism



[5] The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift. XII. William Law and the Mystics. § 4. Life and Writings of William Law.

[6] Introduction to “Wholly for God” by William Law, pp. xvi-xviii

[7] Introduction to “Wholly for God” by William Law, xiii-xiv

[8] Jacob Böhme, The Threefold Life of Man, xi. 106.

[9]  [9] Murray, “Introduction,” XIX-XX

[10] Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

[11] Gerold Necker, Chapter 8 “Out of Himself, to Himself”: The Kabbalah of Jacob Böhme. In: Jacob Böhme and His World


[13] Universal Co-Masonry: Masonic, Occult and Esoteric Online Library. Universal Co-Masonry | The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme (


[15] [Astral light] . . . an agent which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptacle of the vibrations of motion and the images of form, a fluid and a force, which may be called in some way the Imagination of Nature . . . . The existence of this force is the great Arcanum of practical Magic.

[16] Roland Pietsch, The Spiritual Vision: Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme and Angelus Silesius. Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 13, Nos. 3 & 4 (Summer-Autumn, 1979). © World Wisdom, Inc.

[17] Jacob Böhme, The Threefold Life of Man, xi. 106.


[19] DR. R. SWINBURNE CLYMER, “ANCIENT MYSTIC ORIENTAL MASONRY Its teachings, Rules, Laws and Present Usages which govern the Order at the present day. “TRUE MASONRY AND THE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD OF MAN ARE ONE.” P.92).

[20] The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Chapter 6 by Manly Palmer Hall, The Qualifications Of A True Mason

[21] Source:

[22] Of Regeneration, or the New Birth, iv.

Please share:

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *