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, February 22, 2014

The Value of a Personal Faith

If we possess an appropriating faith, and if our faith be operative and strong as it should be, we shall not only gain the victory over the various temptations which beset us in the present life, but shall find ourselves rapidly forming a new and wonderful acquaintance with God. It is here, in connection with this form of faith, that we find the great and effective instrument of progress and of victory in the Interior Life. In the present life a strong and operative appropriating faith is the key which unlocks the mysteries of the divine nature, and admits the soul to a present and intuitive acquaintance with its exceeding heights and depths of purity and love. No man, who has not this faith or has it not in a high degree, can be said to live in true union with the divine mind, with God and in God. Hence we consider it important to say distinctly, in endeavoring to sketch some of the traits and principles of the interior or hidden life, that those persons will have no true and experimental knowledge of the things which we affirm, who merely believe generically and not specifically; in other words, who believe for others rather than themselves; who, in the exercise of a sort of discursive faith which embraces the mass of mankind, cannot be said to possess it individually and personally, and for their own soul's good. Let us, then, begin to learn the great lesson of faith; of faith in its general nature; of faith in its various modifications; and particularly the indispensable lesson of appropriating faith. Well has Martin Luther somewhere remarked, that the marrow of the gospel is to be found in the pronouns MEUM and NOSTRUM, MY and OUR.

— adapted from The Interior of Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 1, Chapter 5.

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