— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 1, Chapter 4.
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, March 28, 2014
Giving Our All to God
The consecration of ourselves to God, including our bodies as well as our spirits, and our possessions as well as our persons, all we are and all we have, all we can do and all we can suffer, should be made without any reserve. There are many professors of religion, who are willing to give up something to the Lord; and perhaps it can be said, that there are many who are willing to give up MUCH; but the consecration, of which we are speaking, requires us to be truly willing to give up ALL. And not only to be WILLING to give up all, but to do it. It is true, that in our present state, some things are needful for us, and our heavenly Father assures us that he is not ignorant of it. But while, in compassion to our obvious wants, he bestows upon us those things, which are necessary to beings who must be fed, clothed, and sheltered, he requires us to hold these and all other gifts of a temporal nature, which we sometimes call our own, as bestowments imparted by himself for a special purpose, and to be retained and used in perfect subordination to the divine will. — And still more important and necessary is it, that all the exercises of the mind, that all powers and efforts of the intellect and all desires and purposes of the heart and will, should be laid sacredly upon the divine altar; in perfect simplicity of view; without any reservation, and without any regards, however secret and intimate, to the claims of self; inscribed, as it were, within and without, with holiness to the Lord; FROM God, OF God, and FOR God. — Consecration without reserve implies, that we are not only to give up our persons and powers to be employed as God wills, but also to endure or suffer as God wills; and it implies also that we are to give them up to be employed and to suffer, just in the time and place, and in all the precise circumstances, which are agreeable to God; without presuming to dictate to him in the smallest respects, and without any will or choice of our own.