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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Union of Holy Souls in Love

When the soul, divested of selfishness, is born into the state of pure love, it is then regenerated into the image of God. The two existences, the human and the divine, are alike, with the exception that one is created, the other uncreated; one is the copy, the other the original. In connection with a mutual likeness of nature, there cannot fail to be a mutual tendency to union. So that God, and the child of God are drawn towards each other, and are united and absorbed, as it were,  the less in the greater, not only by the law of filiation, but by the law of attraction involved in the fact of mutual resemblance. 

There is nothing arbitrary or accidental in God's moral kingdom; nothing which violates responsibility and truth.  Everything, in being established in the truth, is established in the wisdom of permanent law or nature; and nothing exists or is done by unreasonable will or by unmeaning chance. The love of union, which draws together and makes kindred spirits into one, has its nature. It loves existences, because it desires to make them good; it both loves them and unites with them when they are made good. It has its nature; it has its triumphs also. It is triumphant, both because it conquers by the might of its attractive power, and also because it is happy. The union of souls... cannot fail to constitute the highest happiness. They do not love in order to be happy; but they are happy because they love. The union of holy souls in love is the nuptials of the spirit. Their happiness is as bright and as pure as the love from which it flows. Extracted from the exhaustless mine which constitutes God's happiness, it ls indeed the pearl of great price; the gem which illustrates the walls of the New Jerusalem.

Thus among holy beings there is one great circle of relationship. Love alone, in its mighty power, works out the problem of universal harmony. The fact of holiness, which is but another name for pure or holy love, constitutes a bond of union; reaching all, encircling all, beautifying all. Those in the same rank of being are attracted to each other; and all are attracted to that which is higher in rank; not only loving, but united in love; and united each in his place and order, on the combined principle of extent of being and perfection of character. So that the result is — God in all, and all in God; the Father in Christ, and Christ in those who are begotten of him; mutually bound together and living in each other; no more separated in fact, and no more capable of being separated from each other than the rays of the light are separated or capable of being separated from the natural sun.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 4, Chapter 5.

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