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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Irregular Desires Bring Misery

We should guard against irregular desires not only because they imply guilt, but because they tend to render one miserable. The laws of the mind are such, that irregular and inordinate desires can never be fully and permanently gratified. If they meet with a present gratification, they always lay the foundation for their own re-existence in the shape of subsequent and still stronger desires, which will fail of being gratified. A mind, which is under the dominion of such urgent but ungratified desires, can never be at rest, can never be happy. It is inwardly goaded onward, without the possibility of consolation and peace.

And it is in this manner, that Satan, impelled by desires which aim at supreme dominion without the possibility of ever being satisfied, is consumed inwardly and forever by a flame, that can never be extinguished. This, it is true, is not the only source of his misery: but it is a principal one. Desires, therefore, conform in this respect to the universal law, viz. that guilt always brings misery. Have we not, then, sufficient reason for saying, that all irregular and inordinate desires should be especially guarded against?

All irregular and unsanctified desires stand directly in the way of the operations of the Spirit of God upon the soul; the obstacle they present being in proportion to the strength of the desire. God in the person of the Holy Ghost would immediately set up his dominion in all hearts, were it not for the obstacle presented by desires. God loves his creatures. And he wants nothing of us, but that we should remove the obstacles which shut him out of our hearts. It is self evident that desires and purposes of our own, in distinction from God's desires and purposes, inasmuch as they are not in the position of obedience and are not in the line of God's inward movements, are incompatible with his dominion in the soul. If, therefore, we would be without guilt and misery, if we would enjoy renovation and liberty of spirit, and would have God enthroned in our hearts as our king and sovereign, we must cease from desires. That is to say, we must cease from natural or unsanctified desires. We must desire nothing, on the one hand, out of the will of God; and must refuse nothing on the other, that happens to us in conformity to his will. And it is thus and thus only, that God can become to us an indwelling and paramount principle of life and action. Our All in All.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844), Part 2, Chapter 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment