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erickmarkley

Cogitatio

Reflections on philosophy, theology and just observations on life.

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The first epistle of H. N. A crying-voyce of the holye spirit of loue. Translated out of Base-almayne into English. (1574)
Christopher Vitell Hendrik Niclaes
The Works of James Arminius, Volume 1
James Arminius
Politics, Law, and Morality: Essays by V.S. Soloviev
Vladimir Wozniuk, Vladimir S. Soloviev
Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters
Marsilio Ficino
The Complete Poetry and Prose
David V. Erdman, William Blake, Harold Bloom
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (8 Volumes in 4)
Paul Edwards
Cambridge Platonist Spirituality
Charles Taliaferro
Wellsprings of Faith: The Imitation of Christ; The Dark Night of the Soul; The Interior Castle
Juan de la Cruz, Teresa of Ávila, Thomas à Kempis
Paul and the Stoics
Troels Engberg-Pedersen
Locke: Two Treatises of Government (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
Peter Laslett, John Locke

Philosophical and Theological Works Volume 3

Philosophical and Theological Works Volume 3 - Hutchinson John 1674-1737 I am rather fascinated by John Hutchinson. He is almost completely unknown outside of scholarly circles. He is mainly remembered as being opposed to Newton and materialistic Newtonian physics. He believed that all science was to be gotten through the Bible; specifically, the Old Testament in Hebrew -unpointed Hebrew that is! In scientific circles his method is accounted as little more than pseudo-science, but in truth, his writings have a lot going for them for those who are willing to dig a bit deeper.
He shares much with Protestant mystical literature; specifically the kind of mystical thought that one finds in Jacob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg (who was actually roughly a contemporary of Hutchinson). Some of the same (or similar) ideas can be found in Hutchinson that one finds in Boehme and Swedenborg (in fact, there is some evidence that William Blake was influenced by Hutchinson!). I would say Hutchinson is probably more orthodox than either Boehme or Swedenborg, but his style of interpreting scripture could only really be considered mystical because he often goes beyond the obvious sense. He really is very much akin to the mystical thought of Origen; not in his system or conclusions, but in his method. Hutchinson, like Origen, combined a highly refined system of allegorical interpretation with a good degree of erudite scholarship. Hutchinson was, in fact, incredibly well read. He cites numerous authors in his works, which might make his works an even more tedious read for some. He was also often obscure and prone to excessively long sentences; making his writings not very easy to digest for most people even of his day I would wager. But there was a time when he had gathered quite a notable following among the English academic intelligentsia. This following tapered off by the beginning of the 19th century; pretty much ending by the middle of the century. The materialistic empirical method of science was almost certainly going to win out in the end. Quite understandably, Hutchinsonianism (as it was then known) was seen as being too mystical, if not downright delusional; even many Christian scientists and Hebraists of the time thought so.
Of course, a number of his suppositions have been proven correct with time. Most English Hebraists of his day believed that Hebrew had always been pointed. It is now a matter of common scholarly knowledge that Hebrew did not originally have the points. They were added relatively late, as the Dead Sea Scrolls prove. The points were added most likely by the Masoretes and were intended to indicate pronunciation, but they were far from exact. Hutchinson also believed that Hebrew was originally pictographic (which he termed hieroglyphic). This has also been proven accurate, as the work of Jeff A. Benner shows.
I have found support for some of the conclusions I have come to in my studies of the Hebrew OT. Like myself, Hutchinson mixes scholarly erudition with allegorical/symbolic interpretation. By Hutchinson's day the art of allegory had become a subject of reproach among mainstream Protestant Christianity. This was right at the beginning of the Age Of Enlightenment, which saw not only a move towards deism and atheism (often fueled by the output of the Royal Society), but was also the beginning of fundamentalist Christianity. In the fundamentalist battle against materialistic opponents, only the literal meaning of scripture was suitable, since that was the method of scriptural interpretation often being attacked. Ironically, many of Hutchinson's followers considered themselves Biblical literalists, but even a cursory study of Hutchinson's works reveal a tendency to go beyond the plain sense of scripture to a more symbolical sense. This often amounted to a method of interpretation and corresponding suppositions that had more similarities to Platonism than Judaism -which in all truth was denounced by Hutchinson as being corrupt in his day and not reliable in it's tradition of interpreting Hebrew with points. Removing the points allowed for quite a bit of leeway when translating Hebrew words and discovering their roots. I don't believe that Hutchinson was always accurate in his readings, but he often did at least find meanings that were at least possible if not compelling. He also usually bolstered his interpretations with recourse to ancient scholarly works. Hutchinson was a staunch Royalist and was fairly orthodox in his Christian beliefs, but his method would not be one that the average Protestant would have wanted to follow, then or now. Undoubtedly, it would now be seen as being more allegorical than literal.
This volume is titled: "Moses's Sine Principio Represented By Names, By Types, By Words, By Emblems With An Introduction Shewing The Nature Of Body And Soul, The First State Of Man, The Quality Of His Crime, His Condition After His Fall..." etc etc -they believed in scrupulous titles back then! This is one of the more interesting of the books I've read by Hutchinson and probably the one I would recommend people start with. It isn't an easy read mind you. The language is antiquated to a large degree and prolix. That kind of thing doesn't bother me because I've been reading antiquated English works for a while now, but many might find it too difficult. But it is well worth reading if one is willing to stick with it. I know for a fact that the average materialist will scoff at anything that Hutchinson had to say, but I also know they will understand less than half of it as well.