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.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The State of Continual Prayer

He, who can say from a full and sincere heart, THY WILL BE DONE, is in a state of continual prayer. And it is a prayer, which, although it is general in its form, may be regarded as realizing and including in itself all particular and specific prayer. He, who is the subject of it, sympathising as he does with the divine mind, prays for everything which God requires him to pray for. He can as really pray for all the objects of prayer without specifically knowing them, as he can adore all the purposes of God without knowing them. There is no sinner in all lands and no sorrow in the wide world, which he does not virtually and at the same time really present before God. It should be remembered, however, that this sublime state of mind, which exists much less frequently than it should do, is entirely consistent with specific prayer, and that it really lays the best foundation for it.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLX.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Do Not Remain in Ignorance

If an intellect and conscience, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, furnish the instrumentality, which indicates the nature and regulates the degree of the religious affections, then the law of religious experience requires us to  know  the right, as well as to be and do the right. Be not contented, therefore, to remain in ignorance. Sit at the feet of the great Teacher, and  learn. "For this cause," says the Savior, "came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the TRUTH." And again he says in another place, "The TRUTH shall make you FREE." John 8:32, 18:37.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLIX.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Holy Spirit Illuminates the Intellect

It is one part of the office of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the intellect, and through the intellect to impart clearness and strength to the conscience. We ought, therefore, highly to value not only those affections, which are originated and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, but also an intellect and conscience, enlightened from the same source. Especially when we consider, that a spiritually enlightened conscience is the surest guide in relation to the true character and the right degree of the affections.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLVIII.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Holy Spirit Works in Cooperation With Us

The Holy Spirit does not teach by arbitrary acts, or those acts which have no relation to the constitution of the human mind; but by silently and yet effectually, inspiring and guiding the movements of the natural powers of perception and knowledge, in co-operation with their own action. "Strive, therefore, to enter in."  He who desires and purposes to be holy, must employ the appropriate means to be holy. He must be willing to think and to reason; he must be willing to reflect, to resolve, to pray; doing all, however, under the guidance of the great Inward Teacher, who gives life without countenancing inactivity, who is the inspirer of human movement, but is not the substitute for it.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLVII.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Depending on God for the Means as Well as the End

God is not only in the beginning and the end; but in all the intermediate methods and instrumentalities which connect them together. He, who lifts a finger or moves a foot in any enterprise without God, does it at the hazard, not only of displeasing God, but of failing of his object. We ought, therefore, to exercise the same sense of dependence and the same submissiveness of spirit in the choice and employment of the means applicable to a given end, which we exercise in relation to the end, when in the Providence of God it is either accomplished or fails to be accomplished. "Except the Lord build  the  house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Ps. 127:1.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLVI.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Christ Inward and Christ Outward

In the early periods of our religious experience, we are chiefly interested in what Christ was by SITUATION, his birth in the manger, the incidents of his childhood, his temptations and labors, his betrayal and his crucifixion. At a later period we are interested, in a still higher degree, in what Christ was and is by CHARACTER, his purity, his condescension, his forbearance, his readiness to do and suffer his Father's will, his love. The first method of contemplating Christ is profitable; the second still more so. The tendency of the one is to lead to a Christ outward, to Christ of the times of Herod and of Pilate, to a Christ with blood-stained feet and with a crown of thorns; who is now gone, and who never can exist again, as he was then. The tendency of the other is to lead us to a Christ inward; who lives unchanged in his unity and likeness with his Father; forever  the same in himself, and forever the same in the hearts of those who are born in his image. Christ outward is precious, and always will be precious, historically; "THE STAR OF MEMORY." Christ inward, who can never die, and who reproduces himself in the hearts of his followers, is still more precious, by present realization; the star, the sun of the affections. 

Religious Maxims (1846) CLV.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mirrors of God

God, in the formation of his spiritual work, can stamp no image and form no feature, but the image and the feature which exists eternally in himself. And accordingly all holy souls are not only lights in the world; but being born of God and bearing his image, are necessarily mirrors of the Divinity. If the mirror is clear, God is manifest. And just in proportion, as it is stained and soiled, there is no divine reflection. God is no longer a subject of inward consciousness, nor of outward observation.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLIV.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

God Has an Interest in all Creation

Our heavenly Father takes an interest in all the works of his hands. He beholds the reflection of his own wisdom in every blade of grass, in every flower of the desert, in every waterfall. There is no living thing in the earth, the air, or the waters, over which God does not watch with a Father's love. Those, who bear God's image in being possessed of a holy heart, not only connect God with all his works, but sympathize with him in his deep interest for everything he has made.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLIII.

Friday, January 29, 2016

God Felt It First

When we are injured and afflicted by our fellow men, we should remember, that our heavenly Father felt the wound first.  He always feels in what his people feel, and if, for wise purposes, he is patient and bears with the infliction, whatever it may be, we should both be taught and be encouraged to do likewise.

Religious Maxims (1846) CLII.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Power of Prayer

Whenever thou hearest God's people praying, perhaps in yonder little prayer-meeting, perhaps in some solitary place in the wilderness, perhaps in the desolate and lonely room of some poor widow, then know that the day of divine manifestation is near at hand. We cannot tell, perhaps, in what direction or in what way the manifestation of God's presence is to be made; but we cannot doubt the general fact that it is approaching.

All persons whose fullness of faith has brought them into the state of union with God, know this to be the case. They know (without knowing how they  know it) that the movement of desire in their own souls, arising sometimes under remarkable circumstances and in a remarkable way, is the continuation, the distant but affiliated throbbing, of the great heart of the universe. And with such a conviction existing in their minds, it obviously becomes easy, and, perhaps we may say, necessary for them, to exercise that particular form of faith which is appropriate to their state of desire. Having, therefore, a desire for a particular thing, and believing that this desire is only the vibration from the great center, the finite repetition of the infinite desire, they cannot doubt that there will be a manifestation of God, correspondent to that form of inward feeling which exists in him as well as in themselves.

If what has been said is correct, then it may properly be added, that there is something not only impressive but sublime, and almost terrible, in a holy man's prayer; whether it take the form of supplication, or of blessing, or of praise. That praying voice which thou hearest, broken though it may be with weakness and trembling with age, is not more the voice of man than of God. Oh, do not trifle with it, if thou wouldst not trifle with God himself! Uttered in these last days, it is nevertheless true, that, in its attributes of origin and power, it is the voice of Abraham, of Moses, of Daniel; — men who had power with God, because God had power with them. It is the chain of communication between two worlds; the circumference, showing the light and heat of the center. It brings down the sunlight of God's favor, or the lightning of his displeasure. If it curses thee, then thou art cursed; if it blesses thee, then thou art blessed. If it expresses itself in pity, then the tear of compassion is falling upon thee from the omniscient eye. Listen reverently, therefore, to the good man's prayer. God is in it.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 11.