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 24, 2014

Violent Temptation

Temptations will, in general, be violent, in proportion to the decided resistance which is made to them. And accordingly, although it is perhaps different from what we should naturally expect, the more holy a man is the more violent at times will be the temptations, which he is called to endure. A person, who yields to temptation either in whole or in part, which is very apt to be the case with those who are not wholly devoted to the Lord, will not be likely to understand its full power. He does not oppose resistance enough to ascertain the strength of the aggressive movement. Satan has no inducement to show his full strength to the man, who yields easily. But he, who is determined to sin not at all, who had rather die than commit any known transgression, who opposes the broad and upright energy of his whole being to the assaults of Satan, will know the immense power of the terrible enemy, that wages war upon him. And it is the natural result of this general view, that when in the life of practical holiness we have taken some new and untried position, which for the first time we have ascertained to be a true and a safe one, and are undertaking the discharge of some new but obvious duty, we shall be likely, in connection with that new position, to be tried and tempted very severely. Satan will drive us from it if he can. He hates holiness, and every thing which is involved in holiness, and every thing which holiness does. He hates it in general; and he hates it in particulars. And whoever proposes, in aiming at entire holiness to do better in a particular thing, will be likely to find him in the attitude of defiance and resistance just at that point.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 19.

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