— The Interior of Hidden Life (1844), Part 1, Chapter 12.
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.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Finding an Adequate Center of Love
The nature of the human mind is such, being limited and dependent, that it evidently requires an adequate centre of love, on which it can rest. No being, that is weak and dependent, and is conscious, as man is, of this weakness and dependence, can find a safe and satisfactory centre in itself. Accordingly the man, whose love reverts wholly or chiefly to himself, is always found to be more or less anxious and unhappy. And if our love fixes upon any being out of ourselves, but short of God and to the exclusion of God, it soon finds a weakness there, and becomes uneasy, and has a sort of instinctive consciousness, that the true centre is not yet found. Hence if our souls would find rest, they can find it only by an alienation of self and of all subordinate creatures, and by union with God. And what has now been said is not only obvious in itself, but it is believed, it will be found to be confirmed by the testimony of those, who have made the greatest advancement in holiness. In the transition they have passed through from the natural life to the true life of God in the soul, they have attached themselves, as it was perhaps natural they should do, to various inferior objects, to outward forms, to ministers, to church organization and ceremonies, to christian friends; and have endeavored for a time to find a rest of soul in these inferior things. But it has always eluded them. They have felt the foundation shake. They have realized an inward disquietude and weakness, till, leaving every thing else, however desirable in many respects and for many purposes it might be, they have reached the strong rock of salvation in God alone.