|Some account of Saint-Martin (Le Philosophe inconnu) and his writings has been given in the preface to his Correspondence with Baron Liebestorf, recently published and it is necessary hero only to say that the book of which a translation is now presented to the reader, Le Ministere de lHomme-Esprit, was probably the last, as it certainly was the most important, of his works. It was published in Paris, in 1802: he died the following year.
Saint-Martin wrote to his friend the Baron : (Let. cx. of the above Correspondence') : "The only initiation which I preach and seek with all the ardour of my soul is that by which we may enter into the heart of God, and make God's heart enter into us, there to form an indissoluble marriage, which will make us the friend, brother, and spouse of our Divine Redeemer [the violent take it by force:' Matt. xi. 12.]. There is no other mystery, to arrive at this holy initiation, than to go more and more into the depths of our being, and not let go till we can bring forth the living, vivifying root, because then all the fruit we ought to bear, according to our kind, will be produced within us and without us naturally as we see is the case with earthly trees, because they are adherent to their own roots, and incessantly draw in their sap." These few words suffice to show the scope, intent, or spirit, and point to the modus operandi, of all Saint-Martin's works, and of none more truly so than of the work before us.
The reader will observe that Saint-Martin affects to designate God by the name of His Attribute which is immediately in question or in action: thus we find Him called Supreme Love, - or Wisdom, - or Ruler, - The Principle, - Source, - and such like. In a work which seeks the ground of all things, this is, no doubt, in itself, strictly as it ought to be - but, if it should sound inharmoniously to some readers, let them remember that Saint-Martin wrote for the French of the Revolution, who had decreed that there was no God, but who had no objection to recognize Him in His Attributes. In this way Saint-Martin undermined the ramparts of infidelity.
With these few remarks the Editor commits the book to the reader, and wishes him God speed. - Topsham, 1864