— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 8.
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, May 23, 2015
God is Present in All Events
Every event which takes place in God's providential government may be said to be God to us; — that is to say, not merely to remind us of God as coldly beholding the event at a distance, but to bring God with it, and to manifest him in a very especial manner. I am aware that it is a common saying, and one which is generally assented to, that God is present in all events. The man of the world will assert this; — the disbelievers in the Bible will sometimes assert it. But it is hardly necessary to say, that they have not the faith which enables them to realize that which they assert. The mere declaration of his presence is a very different thing from a practical conviction, a realizing sense, of his presence. If God, in the events of his providence, afflicts me with sickness, or if he permits my neighbor to defame me, God, it is true, is not the sickness, and is not the defamation; but he is in the sickness and in the defamation, in such a sense that we are to think of him and receive him as a present God, and present probably for the specific purpose of trying our faith and patience. The event, painful as it is, and criminal as it is under some circumstances, is nevertheless a manifestation of God; and not of a God absent, but of a God present. And happy is the man that can receive this.