7 Passages From “The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse”

A.W. Tozer had a great ear for poetry that would help Christians better glimpse the heart of God. In his collection called The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse he shares dozens of these poems. Check out my review of this collection by clicking here, and then enjoy these short passages I have highlighted.

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We from Thy oneness come,
Beyond it cannot roam,
And in Thy oneness find our one eternal home. —Frederick William Faber

Break off your tears, ye saints, and tell
How high your great Deliverer reigns;
Sing how He spoiled the hosts of hell,
And led the monster death in chains:
Say, Live forever, wondrous King!
Born to redeem, and strong to save;
Then ask the monster, Where’s thy sting?
And, Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? —Isaac Watts

Thus doth Thy grandeur make us grand ourselves;
’Tis goodness bids us fear;
Thy greatness makes as brave as children are,
When those they love are near. —Frederick William Faber

My sins, my sins, my Savior!
They take such hold on me,
I am not able to look up,
Save only Christ to Thee;
In Thee is all forgiveness,
In Thee is abundant grace,
My shadow and my sunshine
The brightness of Thy face. —John S.B. Monsell

Then, my soul, in every strait,
To thy Father come, and wait;
He will answer every prayer:
God is present everywhere. —Oliver Holden

O Love Divine! that stoop’st to share
Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear,
On Thee we cast each earth-born care,
We smile at pain while Thou art near. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

My heart is at the secret source
Of every precious thing.
Now the frail vessel Thou hast made
No hand but Thine shall fill;
For the waters of the earth have failed,
And I am thirsty still. —Anna Laetitia Waring

The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse (book review)

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. In this case, the writings A.W. Tozer collected between the covers of this book is exactly what the title says—The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse: A collection of poems, hymns, and prayers.

A.W. Tozer was a first-class scholar, but he didn’t stop with mere head knowledge. He loved plunging deep into the spiritual realms to let God touch his heart, mind and emotions. So we find among his extensive library, collections of poems and mystical writings to enliven the heart and mind.

Don’t get thrown by that word “mystical.” Tozer himself describes it this way—

The word ‘mystic’ as it occurs in the title of this book refers to that personal spiritual experience common to the saints of Bible times and well known to multitudes of persons in the post-biblical era. I refer to the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead. His theology is no less and no more than is taught in the Christian Scriptures. … He differs from the ordinary orthodox Christian only because he experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentient being while the other does not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. 

I have a natural bent to be more left-brained, logical, and fact-seeking. Years ago I discovered that poetry and other “mystical” writings unlocked my right-brain hemisphere with all its emotion and passion, and made the left-brained stuff so much more real. The collection of writings in this book “scratches an itch” unlike any academic book ever can.

Should you read The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse? I think so. Tozer said, “This is a book for the worshiper rather than for the student.” So if you are longing to worship God more deeply, this is a great book to dive into deeply.

I am a Moody Publisher book reviewer.

Favorite 2016 Posts

5 Quotes For The New Year

cto-low-expectations“God, forgive us for expectations of You that are too low.” —Craig T. Owens

“I am the God of unlimited creativity; expect Me to do surprising things in this year that stretches out before you.” —Jesus (from Sarah Young’s Jesus Always)

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Of all persons the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings. He has dealt with life at its source. In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God. The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation.” —A.W. Tozer

“Real peace is knowing that no matter what I do, God will never stop loving me. Real peace is knowing that no matter what happens, God will never leave me alone. He’ll always be with me. Real peace means that no matter what happens in the New Year, or in the years to come, I know that God is going to give me the strength to handle it. Real peace is living by God’s Word, the Bible, so I can avoid a lot of the needless hang-ups and hurts and habits that mess up my life.” —Rick Warren, in On This Holy Night

Book Reviews From 2016

Is The Bible Outdated?

A.W. Tozer“Today’s world was entirely unimaginable to the people of those times [those living in Christ’s day]. Have these changes forced God to modify His plans for His church and for mankind? Here is where we have fallen by the wayside. Here is where we need a reformation, a purgation, a removal of the faults, and the restoration again of the faith of Christians to believe in the truth. … ‘Do you think God has been forced to change His mind?’ I do not think anybody would quite have the courage to say yes. Nevertheless, they do say it little by little until they have brainwashed their people. In effect, they say that the Bible must be interpreted in the light of new developments. A Book that was written in the day when people rode donkeys must be reinterpreted to mesh with contemporary society. They say that the prophets and apostles mistook what God intended to do. The Bible is outdated and largely irrelevant. … I challenge the idea that we are any further advanced than they were in the days of Jesus. If we are so advanced, then I want to ask some questions. Why do we kill thousands of human beings each year with automobiles? Because we ride automobiles instead of donkeys, we are advanced? If we are so advanced in our day, why are the penitentiaries packed full and the mental hospitals crowded? If we are so advanced, why is the whole world a powder keg? If we are so advanced, how is it that we have weapons that can annihilate the world? If we are so advanced, why is it that people cannot walk alone in the parks anymore? Why is it that workers who get out at midnight never walk home alone anymore? Why is it in this advanced age that drugs, violence, abortion, and divorce are soaring?

“We have been brainwashed to believe that we cannot read the Bible as we used to. We must now read it through glasses colored by change. We have been hypnotized by the serpent, the devil, into believing that we no longer have a trustworthy Bible.

“Has God changed? Are we going to accept it? Is there a change in the purpose of God? Have the changes in human society startled or shocked God? … We believe that God Almighty has not changed and that Jesus Christ is the same. He is victorious, and we do not have to apologize for Him. We do not have to modify, adjust, edit, or amend. He stands as the glorious Lord, and nobody needs to apologize for Him.” —A.W. Tozer

11 More Quotes From “Culture”

cultureA.W. Tozer wrote almost 50 years ago, but his words to the church still ring true today. Check out my review of Culture, and then enjoy some additional quotes from this book.

“To preserve life the physician and the druggist use words of fixed meaning common to both. How much more should the pulpit and the pew have a clear understanding about the words of eternal life. The modern effort to popularize the Christian faith has been extremely damaging to that faith. The purpose has been to simplify truth for the masses by using the language of the masses instead of the language of the church. It has not succeeded, but has added to rather than diminished religious confusion.”

“The hope of the church yet lies in the purity of her theology, that is, her beliefs about God and man and the relation to each other. These beliefs have been revealed to her by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the sacred Scriptures. Everything there is clear-cut and accurate. We dare not be less than accurate in our treatment of anything so precious.”

“I think we make two mistakes in our attitude toward our Christian leaders, one is not being sufficiently grateful to them and the other in following them too slavishly.”

“Today we evangelicals are showing signs that we are becoming too rich and too prominent for our own good. With a curious disregard for the lessons of history we are busy fighting for recognition by the world and acceptance by society.”

“That terrible zone of confusion so evident in the whole life of the Christian community could be cleared up in one day if the followers of Christ would begin to follow Christ instead of each other.”

“The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instructions.”

“Our churches these days are filled (or one-quarter filled) with a soft breed of Christian that must be fed on a diet of harmless fun to keep them interested. About theology they know little. Scarcely any of them have read even one of the great Christian classics, but most of them are familiar with religious fiction and spine-tingling films. No wonder their moral and spiritual constitution is so frail.”

“To accept the call of Christ changes the returning sinner indeed, but it does not change the world. The wind still blows toward hell, and the man who is walking in the opposite direction will have the wind in his face. And we had better take this into account when we ponder on spiritual things.”

“Christianity’s scramble for popularity today is an unconscious acknowledgment of spiritual decline.”

“The desire to stand well with our fellow man is a natural one, and quite harmless up to a point, but when that desire becomes so all-consuming that we cannot be happy apart from the praises of man, it is no longer harmless, it is sinful in itself and injurious in its effects.”

“A Christian’s standing before God does not depend upon his standing before men. A high reputation does not make a man dearer to God, nor does the tongue of the slanderer influence God’s attitude toward His people in anyway.”

To read some additional quotes I shared from Culture, click here. You may also follow me on Twitter and Tumblr to read quotes which I share daily from Tozer and other notable thinkers.

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