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 31, 2014

The Inward Before the Outward

It  is a most dangerous mistake to suppose that we can compensate, by exterior acts, however important they may be, for a want of interior devotion.  Men may even minister at the altar, with all the outward eloquence of a Massillon, and yet with hearts full of unbelief. A want of a right or perfect state of the outward action may expose us to the condemnation of men; but an imperfection of the inward or spiritual action exposes us to the condemnation of God. If we can please both God and men, it is well; but above all things, let us not fail to please God, who, in opposition to the course which men usually take, regards the inward principle much more than the mere outward development of it.

Religious Maxims (1846) LXVI.

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