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, December 11, 2014

Temptations That Affect the Emotions and Desires

In some cases ... temptation passes the limit of the intellectual action, and actually takes effect in the emotions and desires and YET WITHOUT SIN.

The foundation of this view of the subject is, that there are many emotions and desires which in their nature are morally and religiously right and lawful, and are wrong only in their degree. The temptation, (that is, the object which possesses the seducing or tempting power,) is presented intellectually ... and it is desired, received into the affections, and delighted in to a certain limit or degree. The precise place or mark of this limit or degree will be different under different circumstances; varying with the precise nature of the seducing or tempting object and with the precise position and responsibilities of the person, who is the subject of the temptation. But wherever it may be, it is susceptible of being ascertained in various ways, either by a reference to the commands of God, or by the indications of an enlightened conscience, or by the special operations of the Holy Spirit, and not unfrequently by their combined influence. At that particular limit or boundary in the desires and affections, wherever it may be found to exist, the temptation, in the case of a truly holy person, and in the case of every person who does what is right, necessarily stops; just as in the first mentioned class of temptations, it stops with the limit or boundary of the intellectual action. And in this case also, as well as in the other, there is a conscious perception and feeling of danger, when the temptation approaches the boundary in our desires and affections, which it ought not to pass, accompanied at the same time with an internal and repellent effort of the mind.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life Part 1, Chapter 19.

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