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, May 8, 2015

Christians Socialize to do Good

The desire of society is natural; and the pleasure which results from it, when its object is secured, is oftentimes very great. But acting on religious principles, and with a view to God's glory, it is obvious that we must mingle in society, not only to enjoy happiness, but to do good and even to suffer.

If one motive with the holy person in mingling with society is to do good, we shall beware how we yield to our own choice. The life of nature would lead us to seek the company of the well informed, the wealthy, and the honorable; but the life of God in the soul, in connection with the safe rule of his blessed Providences, and in imitation of the Savior's example, will lead us among the poor and sick, the degraded and the sinful. But this is not all. We are not only called to do good in this way; but are sometimes called, as already intimated, even to endure and to suffer. When we mingle in society, we mingle with men; men, who are beset with many and trying infirmities, and who often show their weaknesses and errors, saying nothing of positive transgressions, both in manner and in language. As those, who seek to be wholly the Lord's, we are bound to endure the troubles, which result from this source, with entire meekness and patience. Not to bear meekly and patiently with those imperfections of others, sometimes greater and sometimes less, which we must always expect to encounter when we associate with them, would be a sad evidence of our own imperfection.

We are sometimes severely tried, even when we are in the company of truly devout and holy persons. Such persons may at times entertain peculiar views, with which we cannot fully sympathize; and may occasionally exhibit, notwithstanding the purity and love of their hearts, imperfections of judgment and of outward manner, which are exceedingly trying. These also are to be patiently and kindly borne with.

— from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 6.

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