The hymns and poems found here are mystical in that they are God-oriented; they begin with God, embrace the worshipping soul and return to God again. The sections are: "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," and "Immortality and the World To Come." Contributors include: Isaac Watts, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sir John Bowring, Fredrick William Faber, Walter Shelly, Henry Hart Milman, Charles Wesley, Jacques Bridaine, Bernard of Clairvaux, John S.B. Monsell, Christina Rossetti, John Wesley, Johann Andreas Rothe, Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf, Nahum Tate, Nicholas Brady, Jeanne Marie de la Motte-Guyon, Gerhard Tersteegen, Oliver Holden, Paul Gerhardt, Mary Bowley Peters, George C. From "Lord of All Being, Throned Afar" by Oliver Wendell Holmes Grant us thy truth to make us free, and kindling hearts that burn for thee, till all thy living altars claim one holy light, one heavenly flame. (second stanza) To think of Thee is almost prayer, And is outspoken praise; And pain can even passive thoughts To actual worship raise. (twelfth stanza) All murmurs lie inside Thy Will Which are to Thee addressed; To suffer for Thee is our work, To think of Thee our rest. (twelfth stanza) I think the fear of God is a lost doctrine that desperately needs to be rediscovered by the modern church. "God Is Present Everywhere" by Oliver Holden They who seek the throne of grace, Find that throne in every place; If we live a life of prayer, God is present everywhere. When our earthly comforts fail, When the foes of life prevail, 'Tis the time for earnest prayer; God is present everywhere. Then, my soul, in every strait To thy Father come and wait; He will answer every prayer; God is present everywhere. Faith can sing through days of sorrow, 'All, all is well.' On our Father's love relying, Jesus every need supplying, in our living, in our dying, all must be well. I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness Of thy loving heart. (stanza one) Oh, how great Thy loving kindness, Vaster, broader than the sea: Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness, Lavished all on me! The Living God by Isaac Watts Bless, O my soul, the living God, Call home my thoughts that roam abroad; let every power within me join in work and worship so divine. (first stanza) Lord, your eternal love is sure for all your saints, and will endure! (third stanza) God's Eternal Now by Gerhard Tersteegen Now stillness 'midst the ever-changing, Lord, my rest art Thou; So for me has dawned the morning, God's eternal NOW. (first stanza) Glory to Thee for strength withheld, For want and weakness known-- And the fear that sends me to Thy breast For what is most my own. tell me, Thou life and delight of my soul, Where the flock of Thy pastures are feeding; I seek Thy protection, I need Thy control, I would go where my Shepherd is leading. Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness; Mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood; Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace, Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God. (second to last stanza) Prayer Before Communion by Reginald Heber Bread of the world, in mercy broken, Wine of the soul, in mercy shed, By whom the words of life were spoken, And in whose death our sins are dead: Look on the heart by sorrow broken, Look on the tears by sinners shed; And by Thy feast to us the token That by Thy grace our souls are fed. 'Midst the peace, the joy, the glory And the light, God's own, Christ for me is watching, waiting, Waiting 'til I come. Long the blessed Guide has led me, By the desert road; Now I see the coming splendor, Splendor of my God. There amidst the love and glory He is waiting yet; On His hands a name is graven He can ne'er forget. Where no shade nor stain can enter, Nor the gold be dim, In His holiness unsullied, I shall walk with HIm. Meet companion then for Jesus, From Him, for Him, made-- Glory of God's grace forever There in me displayed. He who in His hour of sorrow Bore the curse alone; I who through the lonely desert Trod where He had gone; He and I, in that bright glory, One deep joy shall share-- Mine, to be forever with Him; His, that I am there.
He insists that none of the entries are maudlin or sentimental and that every hymn and poem meets the test of faithfulness to the Christian scriptures. Because most of Tozer's choices are hymns and have to fit a given meter, many had a sing-songy feel and a few were fluffy.
This book intrigues me. When I think of what poured forth from his pen, and how it has moved my heart, Im totally into whatever inspired Tozer. That deliberate, careful reading was one of Tozers secrets that he often tried to expose though usually without our cooperation. The brief Introduction in this book makes the case that is more fully brought out in many of his other writings. Say what you will, but the person Tozer describes as a mystic walks with God. Besides a few hymns (where reading slowly unlocks real treasure), the selections in this collection were unknown to me. There are some expected authors like Wesley and Watts, or even Bernard of Clairvaux, but youll see that Tozer must have really loved Frederick William Faber too.
So I was excited when I saw a book with a collection of poems, hymns, and prayers that were compiled by A.W. Tozer, titled The Christian Book of Mystical Verse. Let him rather to enter into its mood, to capture and be captured by its spirit." The book is organized into categories: 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, Spiritual Warfare, Victory Through Praise, The Prayer of Quiet, Bliss of Communion, Joyous Anticipation of Christ's Return, and Immortality and the World to Come.
He is quietly, deeply, and sometimes almost ecstatically aware of the Presence of God in his own nature and in the world around him." I thought that the book would be helpful to me as a teacher and for those I consider students (Women's Ministry) as I sometimes like to share selections for meditation or study. However, I've already thought of those who might use the poems, hymns, and prayers Tozer has collected for their own private worship as I have.
It really wasn't that long ago that all churches basically sang hymns, was it? Not a hymnal, it is quite simply a book of spiritual poetry, much of it written in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. One piece I love for meditation: the staggering text to the Te Deum Laudamus.
Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American evangelical pastor, speaker, writer, and editor.