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.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Plant in the Lord's Garden

In early life I was acquainted with a woman, a resident of the village of my youth....

In her earlier — I will not say her better — days, she held a leading position in society, to which she seemed to be well entitled by great excellence and intelligence of character, as well as by wealth. In the alternations and reverses of the times, her property was entirely lost; her husband died; all her near relatives died also, or were scattered abroad, and she was left entirely alone. She was supported in her old age at the public expense; but, out of respect to her character, the town authorities permitted her to occupy a single room in the house which she had formerly owned.  At the time I became acquainted with her, she was nearly seventy years of age, and had long been unable to leave her room without assistant. But she was far from supposing that God, in depriving her of friends and property, and in confining her in her old age to these narrow limits, was unkind. Her constant companions were her Bible and a few old books on practical and experimental religion. She had faith. No complaint escaped from her lips. In the walls of her little room she felt herself far more closely and lovingly encircled by the arms of her heavenly Father, than if she had been left in the greatest enlargements of society. A plant in the Lord's garden, closely hemmed in, but diligently nurtured, she resembled that patriarch, who is described as "a fruitful bough, whose branches run over the wall."

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 5.

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