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, October 8, 2014

The Holy Spirit's Effects on the Mind and the Emotions

It is the office of the Holy Spirit to operate, on the appropriate occasions of such operation, upon the human intellect; and especially by guiding it in the perception of the truth. The mode of the Spirit's operation upon the intellectual part, as it is upon other parts of the mind, is in many respects mysterious; but the ordinary result of his influences is the communication of truth. That is to say, the soul, when it is thus operated upon, knows spiritually what it did not know before. And it may properly be added, that the knowledge, which is thus communicated, will vary both in kind and degree, in accordance with the nature of the subject or facts to be illustrated, and with the special circumstances, whatever they may be, which render a divine communication necessary.

But it is not ordinarily to be expected, that the operation, of which we are now speaking, will stop with the intellect. By an original law of our mental nature, the perception of truth, which is the result of an intellectual act, is ordinarily followed by an effect upon that portion of the mind, which is usually designated as the emotional or emotive susceptibility; a part of the mind, which, as it is subsequent in the time of its action, is sometimes figuratively described, "as being back of the intellect."

The effect upon the emotive susceptibility, resulting from an operation on the intellect, will be different at different times and under different circumstances; varying in nature and. degree, according to the nature and degree of the truth which is presented, and also, in part, in accordance with its own previous situation at the time of its being affected. The truth, for instance, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, will be attended with very pleasant emotions in one who feels himself to be a sinner, and to stand in need of a Savior; but will not be likely to be attended with any such effect in one, with whom this is not the case.

We can suppose, therefore, notwithstanding the general law which has just now been specified, an operation of the Holy Spirit upon the intellect, which is attended with no beneficial, with no sanctifying and saving effect upon the heart. Indeed, there are some cases, where the truth, which is impressed by a divine operation upon the intellect, is met and rejected in the sensibilities with feelings of opposition and contempt. But experience of this nature, which meets with no acceptance beyond the intellect, although it may have its origin intellectually in the operation of the Spirit of God, is not regarded as religious experience....

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 16.

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