The Christian Book of Mystical Verse: A Collection of Poems, Hymns, and Prayers for Devotional Reading (a review)

The Christian Book of Mystical Verse: A Collection of Poems, Hymns, and Prayers for Devotional ReadingThe Christian Book of Mystical Verse: A Collection of Poems, Hymns, and Prayers for Devotional Reading by A.W. Tozer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Tozer introduces this slim volume as for the worshiper. I grew up on hymns and praise songs and since they dwell deep in my heart and memory, at any time that I desire to worship God in song, I am able to do so. Tozer rightly points out that over time we’ve lost our spiritual heritage of English language verse. It is his recommendation that the book be used as needed for private devotion, whether reading one selection or several.

I began by reading through the first section on the Adoration of the Godhead, and found quickly that I responded best to the writings by reading aloud. The selections are arranged topically and include among others “Penitential Reflections on our Sins”, “Rejoicing in Forgiveness and Justification”, and “The Prayer of Quiet”.

Tozer has selected verse that is sound in theology and is “mystical” – he defines the mystic as one who is in “intimate fellowship with the Godhead”. I include the below description from the introduction because it really sets the tone of the book and subsequent personal worship:

“He [the mystic] differs from the orthodox Christian only because he experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentient being while the others do not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. 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. This book is not for that. 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 is a gift to the heart that longs to cry out to God in a way that is beautiful.

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