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.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pure Love is the Basis of True Harmony

In the doctrine of pure love, existing in the highest degree, we find the true basis of Christian harmony. There never can be harmony among Christians without some common center of attraction. Without such a centre their principles of movement will vary, and they will be exposed to perpetual conflicts. What a delightful prospect would be presented, if all Christians could meet in this great centre! What unity of purpose! What mingling of affection! It is party and selfish interests which divide. A common interest unites. God, being loved with perfect love, and for his own sake, makes all hearts one. It is then, that we all drink, and are all nourished, at the same fountain. We unite in him and rejoice in him, as a principle of life-giving inspiration, having a common and universal efficacy, operating as the soul of each separate soul and the life of each separate life, and thus making what was before separate and self-interested but one life and one soul in himself.

We observe again, that we find in this doctrine the true principle, not only of union among Christians in this life, but of the permanent moral harmony of the universe. The universe must have a center. And it has. And that center is God. But there cannot be universal harmony, notwithstanding, unless all hearts are drawn to that center, as the supreme object of attraction and delight. This simple principle of pure love, always terminating in God as its center, and as its supreme object, excludes every jarring sound, and establishes universal concord. And as it is exercised without distrust and without fear, attaching itself to an object whose perfections never change, it naturally brings substantial joy; joy full as its fountain, which is God, and lasting as his existence, which is eternity.

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

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