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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Natural Joy vs. Spiritual Joy

Natural joy and spiritual joy are different in their origin. Natural joy, which is sometimes denominated "the joy of the world," arises from natural causes; from physical or worldly good; from health, property, worldly influence, the indulgences of sense; from such causes, in a word, as we might suppose to exist and to produce joy within us, if we had no perception of a God and no knowledge of religion. Spiritual or gracious joy, which is spiritual or gracious in its origin, arises from the knowledge of spiritual objects, from the discharge of spiritual or religious duties, and from the inspiring agency of the Holy Ghost. And hence it is sometimes denominated the "joy of the Holy Ghost."

Again, natural joy, arising from natural principles, and unchecked and unregulated by gracious influences, has oftentimes a very powerful effect upon the physical system. And it is possible and even probable, that this may sometimes be the case with true spiritual or gracious joy; especially when the emotion is strong and immediately successive to a painfully depressed and suffering state of mind. And it is not unreasonable to suppose, that, in some cases, when powerful physical results are found to exist, that there may be a union or combination of natural and gracious emotion. But it is nevertheless true, that the natural tendency of spiritual joy, IN ITSELF CONSIDERED, and independently of any peculiar circumstances, is, in a remarkable degree, and much more so than that of mere natural joy, to produce a tranquilizing effect upon the mind and through the mind upon the physical system, and to promote soundness and regularity of action in both.

The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 15.

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