I’m reading Fremantle’s The Protestant Mystics in preparation for the class I will be teaching on this topic this spring. There are quite a few gems in this book. Here is a sampling for your morning meditations. As you can see, I’ve just barely made it out of the seventeenth century as of yet — so there’s more to come.
I wish all this nation knew how sweet His breath is; it is little to see Christ in a book, as men do the world in a card; they talk of Christ by the book and the tongue, and no more; but to come nigh Christ and have Him, and embrace Him is another thing.
— Samuel Rutherford, Presbyterian, 1600-1661
Infinite love must needs be a mystery to a finite capacity.
— Richard Baxter, Puritan, 1615-1691
My desires after the Lord grew stronger, and zeal in the pure knowledge of God, and of Christ alone, without the help of any man, book, or writing. For though I read the scriptures that spake of Christ and of God, yet I knew him not but by revelation, as ho who hath the key did open, and as the Father of life drew me to his Son by his Spirit. Then the Lord gently led me along, and let me see his love, which was endless and eternal, surpassing all the knowledge that men have in the natural state, or can get by history or books.
— George Fox, Quaker, 1624-1691
Do not therefore try and speculate upon the mysteries of God nor His relations with man but just talk continually to Him… All the religions of the world cannot give us union with God: we must find it for ourselves.
— Pierre Poiret, French Reformed, 1646-1719