— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, 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.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Outward Silence Favors Inward Silence
Outward silence favors inward silence. In other words, it promotes inward and spiritual REST; a cessation from that inordinate and grasping activity, which is prompted by the life of nature. This is involved, in part, in what has already been said; but it is worthy of a distinct and particular notice. The utterance of words necessarily connects us with things outward to ourselves; and sometimes implicates us very strongly with scenes transactions, and interests of an external and generally of a worldly character. But the natural and almost necessary result of outward silence is the retrocession of the soul into itself, and, in general, a decided tendency to the resumption of inward peace. And this state of things, as we have already had occasion to notice, is favorable to the entrance, in-dwellings, and operations of the Holy Spirit. It is in such a soul much more than in others, that the great Comforter and Teacher loves to take up his residence and to expand his benign influence. "As much as lies in thy power," says the devout Kempis, "shun the resorts of worldly men; for much conversation on worldly business, however innocently managed, greatly retards the progress of the spiritual life. We are soon captivated by vain objects, and employments, and soon defiled. And I have wished a thousand times, that I had either not been in company or had been silent."