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.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Give All and Take All

There is in reality, no need, as a preparation for sanctification, of much mental excitement, of protracted sighing and lamentation, of long fastings, and macerations and mighty strugglings of body. It is true, that some of these things may exist to a certain extent, without being altogether profitless. But what we mean to say, is, that they do not appear to be absolutely necessary; and there is sometimes danger, especially when there is a disposition to trust in them, of their being decidedly injurious. The process, as it really takes place, may probably be all embraced in a single sentence. "Give all, and take all." Lay all upon the altar, and believe that God, in accordance with his word, receives it; and always continue in that state of present and entire consecration, and of present and entire faith, and all is done. If God is true, it cannot be otherwise.

And we may properly add here, that the experience of very many persons is found to coincide with this statement. They have labored; they have prayed earnestly, so far as a man can pray without the requisite faith; they have fasted for a great length of time; they have endured physical and mental suffering in various ways, but all without securing the great object of their desires; till at length wearied with this apparently fruitless method of pursuit, they have simply left themselves in the hands of God without reserve; and have believed, in accordance with his own declaration, that he did now accept them. And thus ceasing from their own unavailing efforts, to which perhaps they were secretly but wickedly inclined to attach some personal merit, they have entered, by simple faith alone, into the favor and the rest of God. They are from that moment cut off from the fatal system, which demands a sign or manifestation, either inward or outward, additional to the mere word of God and confirmatory of it, and from all preconceived and self-originated notions of what they should like to have and what they should not like to have; and have become, as already remarked, like little children; willing to let their heavenly Father guide them without imposing upon him any conditions, willing to have much or little, to be wise or to be ignorant, to go or to stay, to sit down or rise up, to speak or be silent, to be honored or dishonored, to be on the mount of joy or in the valley of temptation and sorrow, to be any thing or nothing, just as God wills.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd. edition 1844) Part 1, Chapter 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment