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, December 5, 2014

Subjection to Natural Events

We should also keep our wills in subjection to natural events. Such events are from God; and, in no case, should the human will act itself in opposition to them, whether they seem to be of greater or less consequence. How often are expressions of dissatisfaction and regret heard to fall even from those who have the reputation of being Christians, in view of natural events, which no one thinks of controlling. To one, the weather is too warm; to another, it is too cold. To one, there is too little rain; to another, too little sunshine. They thus wickedly unsettle the quiet of the spirit by forgetting that both the rain and the sunshine and all other natural things are God's; that they are all indications of the divine goodness, though given in different degrees; and that neither regrets nor wishes can make them otherwise than they are. It is important to check the rising feeling in all such cases; and, by a cheerful acquiescence, to harmonize the heart and the will with the arrangements of Providence.

And these views are the more important and urgent when we consider that sin, here and elsewhere, is measured, not so much by the occasion on which it exists, as by the spirit which is manifested in it.  It  may utter itself in a loud and fierce voice, or gently breathe itself out in the slightest wish, that the state of things were otherwise than it is. But in the latter case, as well as in the former, there is the element of rebellion; something, no matter how small it may be, which is not in entire harmony with God and the divine arrangements. In a word, there is sin. But this is not all. It is sin laying the foundation for other and higher sin. On the other hand, a cheerful acquiescence, in such cases as have been mentioned, is not only right in itself, but, by purifying the tendencies of the will, is laying the foundation for a better state of things in other cases of greater difficulty in all coming time.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 6.

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