The doctrine on this subject, which seems to us to be a correct one, is this. The desire of our personal happiness, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may take a religious direction, and may operate beneficially. But it will always be found true, in point of fact, that, as we advance in religious experience, the desire of our own happiness will gradually diminish and will finally become evanescent and practically extinct, under the continually increasing influence of the desire of God' s glory.
To state it more particularly and definitely, the process seems to be this. When we first begin the search after God, we are influenced, in a considerable degree, by the consideration of personal happiness. This is a movement, which is in accordance with the principles of our mental constitution; and though exceedingly inferior in kind to that which subsequently takes place, is not in itself wrong. But as God, in condescension to our poor and imperfect manner of seeking him, gradually unveils his nature, we begin to love him and seek him for himself. And as the divine glory from time to time reveals itself more and more, so in that proportion does the external or objective motive, viz. that of the divine glory, expand itself, and approaching inwardly, begin to occupy the whole mind; while the internal or subjective motive, viz. that of our personal happiness, contracts and recedes. In other words, just in proportion as there is an entrance of God into the soul, there is a retrocession of SELF, using the term self in a subordinate and good sense. There is thus a loss of the one, and a realization of the other; or perhaps we may say, a gradual transition of the human into the divine. The principle under consideration, therefore, is not condemned; but may rather be said to have fallen into desuetude. It is not rejected as criminal; but has become practically extinct, on the ground of having fulfilled its destiny. The higher motive of God's glory has absorbed the less. So that when a person, in the progress of inward growth, arrives at the position of a complete or perfected love, (which is the true position at which every Christian should aim, and is the true place of the soul's permanent rest,) the soul knows its happiness no more but as merged in the divine happiness; it knows its will no more but as encircled and lost in the divine will, and it may even be said, in a mitigated sense of the terms, to know itself no more, but as existent in God. "God is love. And he, that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God; and God in him."
— The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 5.