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, January 7, 2015

Sanctification and the Path of Trial

The way of those who truly and deeply believe, like that trodden by the divine Master in whom they have trusted, is a path of trial. "Whosoever," says the Saviour, "doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot  be my disciple." [Luke 14:27.] The most eminent Christians have, as a general thing, been called to pass through the greatest sufferings. Infinite wisdom, which explains the means it uses by the results that follow, has seen fit to connect their sufferings with their sanctification. God has seen it to be necessary that they should suffer, not only for the good of others, which they could easily understand, but also for their own good, the reasons of which it was the more difficult to see. A few remarks will explain, in part, the nature of this necessity.

A heart unsanctified, which is the same thing as a heart not united with God, is a heart which has become disordered both in its faith and in its attachments. Its desires, in consequence of its faith being wrongly placed, are separated from their true center; and, consequently, are either given to wrong objects, or, by being inordinate, exist in a wrong degree. The sanctification of the heart is its restoration from this wrong state. And this is done by a course the reverse of that which sin has previously prompted it to take, namely, by the substitution of a right faith for a wrong one; by taking the desires from wrong objects, and by suppressing all their inordinate action. But this is a process which is not ordinarily gone through without much suffering.

— from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 7.

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