The 16th-century reformers strove to avoid the literalism of the words " This is my body," accepted frankly by the Roman and Eastern churches, and urged a Receptionist view, viz.
Stripped of its definitely miraculous character, the doctrine of the inner light may be regarded as the familiar mystical protest against formalism, literalism, and scripture-worship. Swedenborg, though selected by Emerson in his Representative Men as the typical mystic, belongs rather to the history of spiritualism than to that of mysticism as understood in this article.
It is resistant, indeed hostile, to any form of literalism, including political literalism, and opposes any crude demand for optimism.
This is not about not holding to biblical literalism or the absolute Lordship of Christ.
Although the light thrown upon ancient conditions of life and thought has destroyed much that sometimes seems vital for the Old Testament, it has brought into relief a more permanent and indisputable appreciation of its significance, and it is gradually dispelling that pseudo-scientific literalism which would fetter the greatest of ancient Oriental writings with an insistence upon the verity of historical facts.