They desire, for instance, those temporal things which are convenient for them, without exercising a correspondent degree of faith, and without looking, as they ought to do, to the great and only Giver of all good. They desire, with feelings partly natural and partly, the progress of God's work in the world; but they have but little faith, certainly far less than they ought to have, that his work will be carried on. They have desires, perhaps earnest desires, that individuals, with whom they are acquainted, should become the devout followers of God; — but they have not faith in proportion to their desires. It is oftentimes the case that their desires are various, multiplied, and perhaps violent, when they are scarcely conscious of any degree of faith. Indeed, it seems sometimes to be the case that desires are strong and impetuous in proportion to want of faith.
The life of desire has its center in the creature. The life of faith has its center in God. The life of desire has its origin in the wants of man's fallen condition. It is the natural expression, the voice of those wants. The life of faith has its origin in the fulness of God. It is the expression, the voice of that fulness. The life of desire, originating in the creature, is bounded in its horizon. It selects particular objects, such as it can see, and appreciate, and cling to. The life of faith seeks nothing in its own will; but expanding its view to all objects and all relations of objects, it chooses, without knowing what is best for itself or others, only what God chooses.
The life of desire is variable. It takes a new appearance, and operates in a new direction, with every new object to which it attaches itself. The life of faith is invariable, always exhibiting the same aspect and looking in the same direction, because the object which inspired it never changes and never can change. The life of desire is a multiplied one, because it seizes successively upon the multiplied objects of desire by which it is surrounded. The life of faith is simple, because, tracing effects to causes and losing sight of the littleness of the creature in the infinity of the Creator, it rests upon God alone.
The life of desire asks; the life of faith satisfied. Desire is the voice, the petition of the creature; faith is the expression of God's answer. Desire, restless by its very nature, seeks to accomplish its object by positive and aggressive efforts. Faith, in the consciousness of its strength, conquers by being in harmony with the divine movement, and by the attractions and power of its innate purity and repose.
— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 2, Chapter 4.