His other most important work was a collection of
spiritual aphorisms, after the manner of Logau, published
in 1674 under the title of "The Cherubinical
Wanderer" ("Der cherubinische Wandersmann").
After having fallen into oblivion, this work was brought
forward and re-edited by Friedrich von Schlegel,
and has since then been several times republished.
It consists of a series of short sayings, generally
comprised in a single couplet, at most in two or
three, on the deepest relations of the human soul to
God. Many of these sayings are pearls of wisdom,
lustrous with a wealth of meaning which grows upon
the reader the more he ponders them; but it is no less
true that others pass the bounds of deep but sober
thought into a mystical pantheism, of which the expression
is often extremely and even wilfully jarring.
Angelus defends himself against the charge of pantheism
by an appeal to the writings of other mystics, especially
but Tauler, if at times he seems to
merge the personality of the human soul in the abyss
of the Divine Nature, is practically guarded by his
clear, unflinching recognition of duty, and at least he
never loses the Divine in the human. It is this last
tendency which strikes at times an insoluble discord
in these aphorisms. We can only give a very few of them:--
"Th'Unspeakable, that men use God to call,
Utters and shows itself in the One Word to all.
God is all virtue's aim, its impulse and its prize,
In Him its sole reward, its only 'wherefore' lies.
The nobler aught, the commoner 'twill be,
God and His sunshine to the world are free.
My God, how oft do I Thy gifts implore,
Yet know I crave Thyself, Oh, how much more!
Give what Thou wilt, eternal life or aught,
If Thou withhold Thyself, Thou giv'st me nought.
All goodness flows from God, therefore 'tis His alone;
Evil springs up in thee, that may'st thou call thy own.
Is aught of good in thee? Give God the praise of all
To claim it for thine own, is ever man's true Fall.
The noblest prayer is, when one evermore
Grows inly liker that he kneels before.
Faith by itself is dead, it cannot live and move
Till into it is breathed the living soul of Love.
The rose demands no reasons, she blooms and scents the air,
Nor asks if any see her, nor knows that she is fair.
How fairly shines the snow, whene'er the sun's bright beams
Illume and colour it with heavenly gleams;
So shines thy soul, white, dazzling as the snow,
When o'er it plays the Day-spring's radiant glow."