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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Love and God's Infinity

Love, by which we mean pure or holy love, cannot by any possibility exist in any but an Infinite Being, or in those beings who rest on the Infinite. Plants and flowers might as well grow upon rocks where there is no earth, as pure love grow out of the finite; — we mean the finite, standing alone and sustained by its own strength. Such is the nature of this love, transcending as it does all limited interests, that it claims a natural and necessary affinity with the unlimited. All other love is bounded. Pure love knows no bounds  It does not ask whether the object of its regard is good or evil, a friend or an enemy. It transcends the restrictions, which are multiplied and piled up one upon another of human passion and interest, and gives its affections without reward. Strong in its own divinity, it "casts out fear."  Fear, which has no place in the infinite, is the necessary law of inferiority, except where the weak are united with the strong. All beings that are not God and are not united with God, in neither being the source of things nor being united with that great and benevolent source, are condemned to selfishness by their position, and are condemned to weakness and sorrow, to fear and shame, by their selfishness. Having nothing else to rest upon, their thoughts and their love turn to themselves. Pure love, which rejects all such restrictions, they have not and cannot have. But God's love, growing out of and constituting, or at least perfecting, a nature which is infinite and which in being infinite knows no partial interests and has no fear, reaches all, encircles all, blesses all.

— adapted from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 4, Chapter 2.

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