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Israel, M. – Smouldering Fire

Smouldering Fire
The Work of the Holy Spirit
by MARTIN ISRAEL, M.B. (1929)

In this work by Martin Israel he begins with chapters on the new birth and the will. He then directs our attention to the Holy Spirit as a healer of spirit and Psyche (soul).

Contents of Israel, M. – Smouldering Fire


Chapter 1. Birth – Natural and Spiritual
Chapter 2. The Birth into Spiritual Awareness
Chapter 3. The Consecration of the Will
Chapter 4. Descent into Darkness
Chapter 5. The Regeneration of the Personality
Chapter 6. The Spirit as Healer
Chapter 7. The Spirit and the Psyche
Chapter 8. The Psychic Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 9. The Spirit in the World
Chapter 10. The Serving Spirit
Chapter 11. The Spirit of Prayer
Chapter 12. Humility and the Spirit
Chapter 13. The Fulfilling Spirit
Chapter 14. Transfiguration
Chapter 15. Confrontation
Chapter 16. The Triumph of Evil
Chapter 17. Peace

At each moment of time, in the fullest meaning of the word “now”, Christ is born in us and the Holy Ghost proceeds, bearing all Its gifts.

(John Ruysbroeck)

What is soilèd, make thou pure; What is wounded, work its cure; What is parchèd, fructify; What is rigid, gently bend; What is frozen, warmly tend; Straighten what goes erringly. (From the thirteenth century hymn to the Holy Spirit,Veni Sancte Spiritus, translated by J.M. Neale)


THE THEME of this book is the problem of good and evil and their reconciliation in Christ. At first I had the Holy Spirit in mind as the central focus for my meditation, and indeed the Spirit plays a primary role in the book as my agent of human advance to the knowledge of God. Since so many books on the Holy Spirit had appeared in recent years, most of them directly related to the Charismatic Renewal within the Church, I intended concentrating more on the psychological and psychical aspects of spiritual life, and indeed these matters occupy a considerable part of the text. But as work proceeded, it was shown to me that something more was required: the charting of the work of the spirit in man from the birth of spiritual awareness to the ultimate confrontation with evil that brings with it personal death and the rebirth of a new person. The five crucial events in the life of Jesus – birth, baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, and resurrection – are the paradigm of man’s ultimate deification, and as such these have been the salient points of reference in this account of the work of the Spirit in human consciousness.

As the work progressed, much was shown me concerning the nature of the very limited reality of this world of toil and strife. The conclusion of the book was something I had not considered when I started writing: an analysis of the polarities of darkness and light between which both our mortal lives are suspended and the world grows, suffers and ultimately perishes, and then of their ultimate reconciliation in a realm beyond mortal distinction and separation.

The theme is not a new one, but it needs to be restated in terms of the contemporary human dilemma.

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