Book review: The Spiritual Guide The Rich Treasure Of Internal Peace by Michael De MolinosThis document is a transcription of an English translation of The Spiritual Guide by Miguel de Molinos The English translation was published in London, in 1688, and is a translation of an Italian edition published in Venice, in 1685. The English translation has the author as “Dr. Michael de Molinos”. The transcription was performed in November and December of 1997, from a microfilmed copy of the 1688 English translation.
The Book that is here presented ye, is a Translation from the Italian Copy, Printed at Venice in 1685. The first Man that got it, with difficulty, out of the Authour’s hands, and then had it Printed at Rome in 1675, with all the solemnity of approbations, was Fryer John of St. Mary, who styles himself Provincial; and he speaks very fine things of it, and he had so heartily read it over, that the impression which it made in his Mind, gave him the exact cue and knack of that sort of Language which the Author uses, when he throws himself headlong into darkness and obscurity: And when this Man had recommended the Book to the sincere Reader, after his way; the next that appears to give a Grace to it, is no less a Man, than the Most Illustrious and most Reverend Lord, the Archbishop of Rhegium, who tells us how many great Offices in the Church he had pass’d through; he says in his Approbation of the Book, that ‘tis a hard matter to make a judgement of it, without some experience of the things contained in it: And that how high soever the secret of it be above all humane Discourse, yet they are not only not contrary to the right dictates of Reason, but altogether conformable to it: Which is as fitting a Preface to some things in the Book, as any man in the World could have made with the Study of Seven Years: First, to say that these sovereign Secrets, which the Book treats of, are above all human Discourse; and then in the very next words, to say they are conformable altogether to the dictates of Reason: as if the dictates of Reason and human Discourse had entered into a Combination never to come to a right understanding of one another.
He that would be further satisfied of the fitness of this Archbishop’s Character to the Book, will be gratified, by reading patiently some things of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Chapters of the Third Book: But ‘tis enough, that this great Man speaks well of his Countryman Molinos’s Doctrine, that ‘tis according to the judgment of the holy Fathers, and the usual way of Mystical Divines, he says again, that the Author of this Book, does not speak his own Capricios, but follows the footsteps of the Ancients, and builds upon their Principles, and spiritual Foundations, that he reduces ‘em to a right and clear Method, bringing forth (says he) out of his Treasures, things new and old; And for the Stile of the Book, he allows it to be clear, easie, plain, and full in such crabbed hard and lofty Subject; adding withal, that the Man doth not decline Proofs of Scripture, Doctrines of the Fathers, Decrees of Councils, nor the
Principles of Morality, and therefore he judges it to be a useful Piece, and very worth to be Printed: and what can be said more to set any Book off. Next to the Archbishop’s Approbation, in comes that of Fryer Francis-Mary, Minister
General of the whole Franciscan Order, given from his Convent of Ara Coeli, who speaks mighty kindly and favourably of the Book, & recommends it to the Press.
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