A little more from Spruit

In spare moments this week, I have been re-reading Herman Spruit’s The Sacramentarion – part of my ongong quest to recover useful bits and pieces from our indie ancestors.   If you have never read The Sacramentarion (first printed in 1978, and probably still available from The Church of Antioch), it is an uneven and quirky collection of essays.  Some parts of it, such as his discussion of “Jesus the Millionaire,” are (ahem) hard slogging.  But there are some inspiring and thought-provoking sections, as well.   Here’s a snip from the chapter on apostolic succession:

He has given us the secret of the true succession.  In the principle of our Being we are HIS.  In the fashion of our Being we are like Him.  In the attributes of our Being we have the potencies by means of which we are able to express HIM.  To do this the central Mystery of our Being must be in motion.  Our fashion must take on HIS glory through that motion. The power must flow magnetically through all our fashion and all our attributes.  Thus being enriched from inner potencies through His motion within us, we become apostolic.  It is Divine in its giving.  Love is apostolic in its mission.  It is ambassadorial in its activity and in its motion.  Love is plenipotentiary.  It has the power of mediation, even unto healing.

I will show you how you may come into the direct line of a true, fully relevant, and genuine line of “apostolic succession.”   This line does not rest on false or spurious claims. It rests secure in the integrity of eternity.  This succession is not a way without a priesthood. It is the priesthood of the eternal Being, in whom all share, in which we live and move. It is not a line without a high priesthood. It is the Archpriest and Supreme Pontiff of all Being who communicates the power. He calls you.  He leads you upward.  He endows you. He sends you forth as His apostles and ambassadors.

The realities of God are of the Soul. To know how HE does bless, the Soul must enter into His Sanctuary, where alone it can behold HIM unto realization and know the real meaning of His glorious Cross in wondrous fashion; that Cross, the imprint of which is upon every child of the Father-Mother. It is inlaid on the altar of our heart and woven into the fabric of our Being.   (pp.238-239)

As we are headed into Holy Week, here is a comment on sacrifice.  I don’t know if I agree with Spruit, but, IMHO, this is worth pondering:

…the opposing currents or motions of life can be healed only through sacrifice.  But those motions or currents are not caused by any change of attitude in the Divine, but through conditions.  And these conditions often can be changed only by sacrifice.  (p.249)


4 Responses to “A little more from Spruit”

  1. reverendtom Says:

    Hello John. A very interesting point regarding Apostolic Succession which is all too often forgotten (or totally refused) by certain members of the ISM. Restricting Apostolic Succession to indeterminate lines of historic inexactitude is rather like trying to contain the wind. Spruit is absolutely correct when he says Apostolic Succession “… rests secure in the integrity of eternity”. God elects whom He/She elects and the “traditional” view of Apostolic Succession is simply being used today by many sides to further their own agendas and to divide the Body of Christ.

    Many Blessings, John. Miss seeing on the message boards.

  2. John Says:

    Hi Tom – I’m enjoying my (public) silence as a needed time-out, but will return to larger conversations in due course. Spruit’s entire chapter on apostolic succesion in The Sacramentarion is quite wise and well worth reading. Given the focus on lineage and proper succession in the church he founded (no different from the rest of the ISM), I was surprised!

  3. theliberalrite Says:

    I would say that a full understanding of the Apostolic Succession – and not simply selected lines of it – reveals Christians of almost every faith and polity. It is that diversity that needs exploration, because it shows that if the ISM works properly, it can act as a force for unity where very little else seems to work.

    Where it goes wrong is where certain members of the ISM use validity or the supposed lack of the same as a weapon of division between communities. The Apostolic Succession is a gift to be shared (widely and responsibly), rather than the exclusive property of any bishop or community.

    At its best it’s like the ties of a large, chaotic and phenomenally diverse family. I’m sure I’m not the only one who speaks of my “apostolic cousins”. And, like most families, we do have the odd embarrassing uncle in the closet…

  4. John Says:


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