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.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The First Day of the New Life

"Ah, how long shall I delight
In the memory of that day,"
When the shades of mental night
Sudden passed away!

Long around my darkened view
Had those lingering shadows twined;
Till the Gospel, breaking through,
Chased them from my mind.

There  was light in every thing,
Every thing was bathed in bliss;
Trees did wave, and birds did sing,
Full of happiness.

Beauty in the woods shone forth,
Beauty did the flowers display;
And my glorious Maker's worth
Beamed with matchless ray.

"Ah, how long shall I delight
In  the memory of that day,"
When  the shades of mental night
Sudden passed away.

Religious Maxims (1846).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Long Did the Clouds and Darkness Roll

Long  did the clouds and darkness roll
Around my troubled breast;
No starlight shone upon my soul,
My footsteps found no rest.
To human help I looked around,
But vainly sought relief;
No balm of Gilead I found,
No healing for my grief.

Then to the Savior's help I cried;
He listening heard my prayer;
I saw his wounded hands and side,
And felt that hope was there.
He guides me in the better way;
He makes my footsteps strong;
The gloomy night is changed to day,
And sadness changed to song.

Religious Maxims (1846).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paradoxes of the Christian Life


  1. Dead, Yet Alive Again 
  2. Without Action, Yet Always Acting
  3. Always Suffering, Yet Always Happy
  4. Ignorant, Yet Full of Wisdom
  5. Poor, Yet Having All Riches
  6. Weak, Yet Having All Power

 

 

Weak, Yet Having All Power

The Christian is weak, and yet he has all power.  He has renounced his own strength, as well as his own wisdom. But having no power in himself, he may be said to have all power in God. He can almost say with the Savior, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” And He, who gives him strength, gives him also honor; so that he, who is despised among men, has all honor with God. His name is cast out as evil among men; but it is written and registered in bright letters on the heart of the Infinite.

It is in such views that we find an explanation of the contrasted but triumphant expressions of the Apostle Paul, in his second Epistle to the Corinthians: "We are troubled on every side, yet not  distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”

"For which cause," he adds, "we faint not; but, though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light addiction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal."

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Poor, Yet Having All Riches

Of the truly holy man it can be said, also, he is poor, and yet he has all riches; he is poor, because he sits loosely to the world, because he cannot set his affections upon it, and because he has nothing which he can call his own. That, which the world calls his, he calls God’s. He has nothing but what God gives him, and if, in the arrangements of divine providence, God does not see fit to give him anything, he is still rich in the possession of Him, who makes him poor. He may be said to be desolate; but he can never be deserted. He is a poor son; but he has a rich Father; so that, although he has nothing in possession, he can never come to want. God is his banker, who both keeps the funds, and tells him when and how to draw for them; so that he is free from care as the birds of heaven and the lilies of the field.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ignorant, Yet Full of Wisdom

The Christian is ignorant, and feels himself to be so, and yet is full of divine wisdom. He is ignorant, comparatively speaking, because there are many things, the knowledge of which is not profitable, and which, therefore, he does not  seek. He  cannot seek knowledge in his own will any  more than he can seek anything else. He can say with the  utmost  sincerity, "I know nothing;" because all human knowledge, as compared with divine, is, and must  be, utter ignorance. And yet, being a "son of God,"  and being "led by the Holy Spirit," he feels that he may and will possess all that knowledge which will be necessary for him. If he knows but little, he knows enough; and if he has no knowledge from himself, he still has God for a teacher.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Always Suffering, Yet Always Happy

Again, it may properly be said of the man who is truly regenerated, and is fashioned anew into the image of Christ, that he is always suffering, and yet always happy. The natural and necessary opposition between the state of his own soul and the condition of things around him causes affliction. The inhabitant of a dying body, and surrounded by a sinning world, pierced by the thorns of the flesh and by the arrows of Satan, the law of his outward position and the still lingering trials of his fallen nature necessarily constitute him, till his last footstep on this stricken and bleeding earth, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." But if, in some departments of his mental being, he is always suffering, in others he is always happy. And he is so, because, being born of God and made a partaker of the divine nature, he cannot be otherwise. In the inmost recesses of the soul, in that part which is central and controlling to all the rest, faith stands unshaken; faith which gives sight to the blind and strength to the weak; faith which proclaims sunshine after the storm, victory after the contest, a present God and everlasting rest.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Without Action, Yet Always Acting

Again, it is sometimes said by experimental writers, in relation to the eminently devoted Christian, that he is without action, and yet always acting.  That is to say, he has no action which comes from himself, — no action originated on worldly principles, none which he can call his own, — but he is always acting in harmony with Providence; moving as he is moved upon; instructed and actuated by  the outward occasions as they are laid hold of and interpreted by the inward principle; retreating, going forward, or standing still, just as the voice of God in the soul directs: so that it is not more true that he never acts than it is that he always acts. Action is as essential to him as life; but still it is action in God and for God.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dead, Yet Alive Again

It is said that the Christian who has experienced in himself the highest results of religion, is dead, and is alive again. That is to say, he is dead to private aims and private interests; dead to selfish passions, prejudices and pleasures; dead to worldly reputation and honor. But, being dead to himself and whatever concerns himself, he is alive to God; alive to the aims and interests for which Christ came down from heaven, alive to the honor which comes from God, and from God only.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 8.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thou Giver of the Rising Light

I.
 
Thou Giver Of the rising light,
Thou Author of the morning ray;
At whose command the shades of night
Are changed to bright and sudden day;
Thou too canst rend the clouded heart,
Enveloped in the shades of sin;
And let the light, that dwelt apart,
The glory and the gladness in.
 
II.
 
Oh God, our Father and our Friend,
Dark is the cloud that wraps us now;
But not in vain our prayers ascend,
Nor hopeless at thy feet we bow.
'Tis in the dark, distressing hour,
That thou dost hear thy people's cry;
And come and clothe them in thy power,
And hide them in thy majesty.

Religious Maxims (1846).