In once more becoming the children of God, we receive and retain a filial nature, but without ceasing to possess a moral nature. Much is involved in that free and full consecration which every true Christian is supposed to have made of himself to his heavenly Father. As free and moral agents, we consent now, and forever, if we do what we ought to do, that God shall be a truth, a life, a nature in us; which he never has been and never will be without our consent. Adam before he fell, Christ in his humanity, angels in heaven, all holy beings everywhere, either have existed, or do now exist, as holy beings, by means of the operation of God in the soul; and yet without any alienation of their moral attributes and responsibilities, because they have received this operation with their own choice, and have sanctioned it by their own approbation.
There is no true place of rest and safety, short of the reestablishment of those relations which we have endeavored to illustrate. Accordingly, we cannot regard it as safe for any one to stop in the progress of inward experience, until he feels and knows that he has become, in the Scripture sense of the terms, a LITTLE CHILD; not only having a child's name, but a child's nature. And when this relation is reestablished, not as a name merely, but as a reality, not as a mere conventional arrangement, but as a true nature, — then, and not till then, we are brought into true union with our heavenly Father.
It is on these principles, and these only, that we can make our position harmonize with our prayers. When we pray, we address God as our Father. This implies that we either are, or ought to be, his children. And our language throughout in prayer corresponds to the idea that our true position is the filial position. We pray that we may distrust and renounce ourselves, and look only to God for guidance and support. Recognizing our inability to supply our own wants, we pray for faith, for wisdom, for love, for the guidance of our wills. We go to him, in form at least, just as the little child goes to its earthly parent. If we will go in the same sincerity, our heavenly Father will recognize the relationship, and we shall thus become the true sons of God.
— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 8.