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, January 9, 2014

Christian Obedience Is Not Servitude

Some persons think of obedience as if it were nothing else, and could be nothing else, than servitude. And it must be admitted, that  constrained  obedience is so. He, who obeys by compulsion and not freely, wears a chain upon his spirit which continually frets and torments, while it confines him. But this is not Christian obedience. To obey with the whole heart, in other words to obey as Christ would have us, is essentially the same as to be perfectly resigned to the will of God; having no will but His. And he must have strange notions of the interior and purified life, who supposes that the obedience, which revolves constantly and joyfully within the limits of the Divine Will, partakes of the nature of servitude. On the contrary, true obedience, that which has its seat in the affections, and which flows out like the gushing of water, may be said, in a very important sense, to possess not only the nature, but the very essence of freedom.

Religious Maxims (1846) IX.

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