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, June 6, 2014

God Is the One True Source of Knowledge

There is and can be but one true source of knowledge. Man, who possesses only what is given him, is unable to originate knowledge from himself. He can have no true knowledge, no true wisdom, but that which comes from a divine source. The great Author of his powers, it is true, has given him instruments of perception, comparison, and reasoning, with which he can apply to the original fountain or ocean of truth, which exists in God himself. Through these instruments knowledge is conveyed from the source to the recipient. And it is not more true that the helpless infant derives its nourishment from the bosom of its mother, than that the soul, which is in full union with God, receives the nutriment of knowledge from God. All that such an one has to do, in securing this result, is to pray that God will direct the instruments he has made; — believing that he will do so in behalf of the souls who have given themselves fully to him, and who have faith. God will not do this for the soul which has not laid itself upon his altar. Give thyself to God, therefore, without reserve, and in the exercise of a childlike confidence, and he, who has promised to teach men, will not fail to impart true wisdom.

It is in this state of things,— the state in which man is united with God in wisdom,— that we find the truth of that interesting passage of Scripture, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenants." [Ps. 24:14] No longer a God afar off; he assumes a  position of friendship and intimacy, and converses with them, as it were, face to face. By secret intimations, which are not the less true for being silent, he explains the doctrines of righteousness, and shows the signs of his coming.

And, we may properly add, it is in this state of things that we find one great ground of encouragement and hope. Knowledge is power even on human principles, and when it is infused more or less with human error. What, then, shall be the power of God's people, when it shall be said of them, in the language of the prophets and of the Saviour, "And they shall all be taught of God" [John 6: 25.] "I will give you a mouth and wisdom," says the Saviour in another place, "which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor  resist." [Luke 21: 15.]  True it is that the voice of mere human wisdom, when assuming an adverse position, has but little power against the voice of God speaking from a holy heart. And when the heart of the church shall become holy, so that the voice of the church shall be synonymous with a declaration from the God of the church, then shall the deaf hear and the unbelieving be convinced.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 3, Chapter 5.

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