Religion: Mystics Among Us

In two perceptive, quietly stirring books published this week, an old and a young American gave their testimony about mysticism. A Call to What Is Vital (Macmillan; $2) is the last book written by Rufus M. Jones, a Quaker elder statesman until his death last June at 85. The Seven Storey Mountain* (Harcourt Brace; $3) is the autobiography of Thomas Merton, 33, a convert to Roman Catholicism who is now a Trappist monk in Kentucky.

Both men re-emphasize two facts often forgotten: the world still has millions of mystics, and the most mystical human...

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