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, May 10, 2014

Holiness is Perfect Love

Evangelical holiness is to be regarded as the same thing with perfect love. The great commandment is: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself." He who begins to love may be said to begin to be holy; but it is he, and he only, in whom the principle of love has subdued that of selfishness, and who loves with his whole heart, in whom holiness can be said to be complete or entire. Faith undoubtedly, whether we consider the subject scripturally or psychologically, is the foundation of love. Faith is a principle antecedent to love in time, and absolutely indispensable. But it is love, nevertheless, to which God has assigned the high honor of declaring it to be "the fulfilling of the law." So that the great question, that in comparison with which every other is of small importance, whether we are wholly the Lord's, and are truly holy, may be resolved into another, viz. whether we are perfected in love?

— adapted from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844), Part 1 Chapter 12.

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