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 12, 2014

The Difference Between Thoughts of Evil and Evil Thoughts

Looking at the subject of temptations in relation to the intellect, there seems to be ground for saying, that we may properly make a distinction between intentions or thoughts of evil, and evil thoughts. All wandering and unprofitable thoughts, and indeed. all thoughts, which have not a connection either directly or indirectly with the glory of God, are evil, just so far as they are at the time under our control, and are susceptible of being made to assume a different and better character. But thoughts of evil, that is to say, ideas or suggestions of some evil to be done, which are introduced or injected into the mind from a source external to itself, or which on certain occasions arise necessarily and involuntarily in the mind, are not evil, unless they are consented to in act or in feeling. The form of expression here will be noticed, viz. so far as they arise necessarily and involuntarily. If they originate in ourselves by a voluntary movement, and are cherished by our own acts, so as to make us in some sense the authors of our own temptations, they are obviously of a very different character, and are by no means free from sin.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 19.

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