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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Only Place of Safety

The position of Providence is the only place of safety. It is not safe for man, in violation of God's arrangements, to move beyond the line which God has marked out for him. It is not safe for him to have the smallest desire to go beyond it, or even to cast a look beyond it. Beyond this high and real barrier, — real though erected by an unseen hand and invisible to the outward sight, — there are temporal and, perhaps, spiritual riches, which are not ours, and which we are not allowed to reach after. The wealth which is beyond that line is destined for the possession of others. The crown of earthly honors which shines beyond that limit is not destined for our heads. Public religious instructions, no matter how rich and how true, which are given by religious teachers beyond that limit, are designed for others, and not for us. Even the private society of religious persons, however devoted they may be, is interdicted when it can be had only in violation of the divine limits. We must thus sacrifice the richest privileges and gifts, both spiritual and temporal, to the arrangements of Providence, in order that we may retain and enjoy, what is infinitely more valuable, the God of Providence.

Keep with God in God's place, and thou shalt not only find inward riches, but inward and outward safety. The lines drawn around us by the providential law, constitute a "holy city," a "new Jerusalem," to those who dwell in it in faith, and who take God as their everlasting light. To such, contented with their allotment, whatever may be its temporal aspects, God will never fail to yield his presence and protection. "Only believe."

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

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