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.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Holiness Does Not Depend on Circumstances

The hidden life, which God imparts to his accepted people, may flourish in solitudes and deserts; far from the societies of men and the din and disturbance of cities. From the cave of the hermit, from the cell of the solitary recluse, the fervent prayer has often arisen, which has been acceptable in the sight of God. But it would be a strange and fatal misconception, that religion, even in its most pure and triumphant exaltations, can flourish no where else. The home of holiness is in the heart, irrespective of outward situations and alliances; and therefore we may expect to find it, if there are hearts adapted to its reception and growth, in the haunts of business as well as in the silence of retirement; in the palaces of Rome, as well as in the deserts of the Thebais.  It is a fatal mistake to suppose that we cannot be holy except on the condition of a situation and circumstances in life such as shall suit ourselves.  It is one of the first principles of holiness to leave our times and our places, our going out and our coming in, our wasted and our goodly heritage entirely with the Lord. Here, O Lord, hast thou placed us, and we will glorify thee here.

Religious Maxims (1846) XIII.

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