The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Union of Holy Souls in Love

When the soul, divested of selfishness, is born into the state of pure love, it is then regenerated into the image of God. The two existences, the human and the divine, are alike, with the exception that one is created, the other uncreated; one is the copy, the other the original. In connection with a mutual likeness of nature, there cannot fail to be a mutual tendency to union. So that God, and the child of God are drawn towards each other, and are united and absorbed, as it were,  the less in the greater, not only by the law of filiation, but by the law of attraction involved in the fact of mutual resemblance. 

There is nothing arbitrary or accidental in God's moral kingdom; nothing which violates responsibility and truth.  Everything, in being established in the truth, is established in the wisdom of permanent law or nature; and nothing exists or is done by unreasonable will or by unmeaning chance. The love of union, which draws together and makes kindred spirits into one, has its nature. It loves existences, because it desires to make them good; it both loves them and unites with them when they are made good. It has its nature; it has its triumphs also. It is triumphant, both because it conquers by the might of its attractive power, and also because it is happy. The union of souls... cannot fail to constitute the highest happiness. They do not love in order to be happy; but they are happy because they love. The union of holy souls in love is the nuptials of the spirit. Their happiness is as bright and as pure as the love from which it flows. Extracted from the exhaustless mine which constitutes God's happiness, it ls indeed the pearl of great price; the gem which illustrates the walls of the New Jerusalem.

Thus among holy beings there is one great circle of relationship. Love alone, in its mighty power, works out the problem of universal harmony. The fact of holiness, which is but another name for pure or holy love, constitutes a bond of union; reaching all, encircling all, beautifying all. Those in the same rank of being are attracted to each other; and all are attracted to that which is higher in rank; not only loving, but united in love; and united each in his place and order, on the combined principle of extent of being and perfection of character. So that the result is — God in all, and all in God; the Father in Christ, and Christ in those who are begotten of him; mutually bound together and living in each other; no more separated in fact, and no more capable of being separated from each other than the rays of the light are separated or capable of being separated from the natural sun.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 4, Chapter 5.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Living by Emotion or Faith?

There are two classes of Christians; those who live chiefly by emotion, and those who live chiefly by faith. The first class, those who live chiefly by emotion, remind one of ships, that move by the outward impulse of winds operating upon sails. They are often at a dead calm, often out of their course, and sometimes driven back. And it is only when the winds are fair and powerful that they move onward with rapidity. The other class, those who live chiefly by faith, remind one of the magnificent steamers which cross the Atlantic, which are moved by an interior and permanent principle; and which, setting at defiance all ordinary obstacles, advance steadily and swiftly to their destination, through calm and storm, through cloud and sunshine.

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXIX.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A False Estimate of Human Knowledge

When I witness the erroneous estimate which men often place on certain kinds of human knowledge, I am reminded of one of the remarkable sayings which abound in the practical writings of St. Augustine. "Unhappy is he who knows everything else, and does not know God. Happy is he who knows God, though he should be ignorant of every thing else."

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXVIII.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Do Not Avenge Yourselves

Some persons seem to be able to trust God in every thing, excepting in one particular. viz: they feel that they must do their own fighting. But what is the language of Scripture? "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." It is said of Christ himself, Matt. xii.19,  HE SHALL NOT STRIVE.

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXVII.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In the Sight of God

Men bestow honor upon one another. Sometimes they build up, sometimes they pull down. But human opinions cannot alter the reality of things, by making it greater or less than it is. Every man is truly such and such only AS HE IS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXVI.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thomas à Kempis on Christian Perfection

There are various views of Christian perfection, which, on being analyzed, amount to the same thing; and when properly understood, may be regarded as all equally correct. The author of the Imitation of Christ, says, it consists in man's offering up himself "with his whole heart to the will of God; never seeking his own will either in small or great respects, either in time or eternity; but with an equal mind weighing all things in the balance of the sanctuary; and receiving both prosperity and adversity with continual thanksgiving." 

Religious Maxims (1846) LXXV.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Image of Christ

The height and sum of religion is to bear the image of Christ. But can those flatter themselves that they bear the Savior's image, who are overcome and are rendered impatient by every trifling incident of an adverse nature? O, remember that the life of Christ was from beginning to end a life of trouble. He was often misunderstood and ill-treated by all classes; he was persecuted by the Pharisees; sold by the traitor whom he had chosen as one of his disciples; reviled by the thief on the cross; put to death. But he was far more desirous of the salvation and good of his enemies, than he was of personal exemption from their persecutions. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXIV.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Humility

In endeavoring to estimate the genuineness of our religious experiences, we should ever keep in mind that all those experiences, which are wrought by the Spirit of God, and are genuine in their character, tend decidedly and uniformly to personal HUMILITY. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." How can it be otherwise? The tendency of all true religion is to make God every thing, and ourselves comparatively nothing; to sink the creature while it elevates and enthrones the Creator in the center of the heart. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXIII.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Christian's Possesion of All Things

We are told in the Scriptures that all things are the Christian's. Heaven, Christ, God, things present and things to come, all are his. But the possession in the present life is of a two-fold nature — sometimes by present enjoyment, and sometimes by faith.  More commonly, and undoubtedly for wise reasons; the possession is by faith. But in the view of Him, whose life is hid with Christ, the possession is not on that account any the less sure.

Religious Maxims (1846), LXXII.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Love Rejoices in All That Exists

The doctrine of man's creation in the image of God involves, as one of its consequences, that, in his true and normal state, he loves and must love God with all his heart. And the reason is this. The law of love's movement, all other things being equal, is the amount of being, or existence in the object beloved. Accordingly, it can be said of love, that it notices and rejoices in everything which exists. It loves each insect that floats in the summer's sun; it delights in the happiness of the birds that sing in the branches; it wipes the tears and binds up the wounds of man, however degraded and fallen; but it is God, the  infinite Being, who represents in himself all other existences, that supremely attracts and absorbs it. In him all love centers, as all streams and waters center in the parent ocean. In God, uniting and consolidating all things in himself, we love the infinitude of being, the Life of the universe, the everywhere present, the silent but universal Operator, the All-in-all.

A Treatise on Divine Union, Part 4, Chapter 4.