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, March 28, 2015

God Makes the Arrangements

Men, it is true, are often disposed to quarrel with God's providential arrangements. And the reason is, that the doctrine of providence implies that, in all situations, there is a God above and around us. But, however humbling the doctrine of special providence is to human pride and human reason, the simple and sublime fact still remains. God makes us, and God places us. In the language of Scripture, "A man's heart deviseth his way; But the Lord directeth his steps.”  The hand of a higher power has marked out the lines of our habitation. He builds up one, and casts down another. It does not depend upon man's talents, nor upon his education, nor upon his wealth, nor upon his friends, nor upon anything else that is human, what he shall be, or whether, in the worldly sense of the term, he shall be anything; where he shall go, or whether he shall go anywhere; but upon God alone.

God makes the arrangement; but the disposition with which we shall receive that arrangement, he leaves to ourselves. And let this satisfy us. In every arrangement which he makes, his aim is our highest good; but whether it will result in our highest good, depends upon the spirit in which we accept it. He never violates our moral liberty; and if, in the exercise of that liberty, we put our thoughts and our feelings in his keeping, he will give a heart so correspondent to our habitation, that our cottage will be beautiful in our sight as a palace, and the darkness of our dungeon as bright as the open day.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 4.

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