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, February 7, 2014

Consecration is Necessary to Faith

It is a great complaint in the Christian church at the present day, that there is a want of faith. If we may take the statements of Christians themselves, they do not believe; certainly not as they should do. And why is it? It is because they have not fully consecrated themselves to God; in other words, they continue to indulge in some known sins. Such are the laws of the mind, that they cannot have full faith in God as a friend and father to them, so long as they are conscious of voluntarily sinning against him.

The Saviour himself has distinctly recognized the principle, that faith under such circumstances is an impossibility. “How can ye believe, who receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” If we seek the honor that cometh from God, in other words, if in the fixed purpose of our minds we consecrate ourselves to him, to do, as far as in us lies, his whole will, then, and not otherwise, we can believe that he will be to us, and do for us, all that he has promised in his Holy Word.

It is precisely here as it is in common life. It is impossible for us, in our intercourse of man with man, to believe that a man whom we deliberately sin against and injure, has confidence in us and loves us, provided we are certain that he has knowledge of the fact. The principle will be found to hold good in regard to God as well as man. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they had faith in God as their father and friend. But their faith failed as soon as they had sinned; and they immediately hid themselves from his presence.

If we would have faith, therefore, we must endeavor by consecration to cease from all known voluntary sin. In entire accordance with these views are the remarkable expressions in the first epistle of John. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 1, Chapter 3.

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