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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Providence and Peace

If the law of Providence were strictly fulfilled, it is obvious that order would at once exist throughout the world. The reign of harmony, which poets have dreamed and prophets have predicted, would from that moment commence. Every man would not only be in his place, but, what is more, he would be contented with his place. It would not be the order of tyranny, but the order of benevolent wisdom. It would not be the harmony of force, but the harmony resulting from a common faith in a common Father.

The first development, under the strict fulfillment of the law of Providence, would be order and harmony of position. And this would be attended with harmony of feeling. As each one would be in his place, so each would be satisfied with his place, without being more satisfied with his own place than with that of his neighbor. In looking at the great frame-work of society, all would recognize the necessity of the parts to the completion and symmetry of the whole. As each would have his place, with no rebellion of the foot against the hand, nor of the hand against the head; so there would be no feelings of distrust and envy. How could there be rivalries, how could there be distrust or envy, when each, in being contented with the divine arrangements, would of course be satisfied with that position which those arrangements had assigned him? The fact of the divine choice, especially when taken in connection with the imperfections of human wisdom, would far more than counterbalance all incidental evils; so much so, that want and sneering, attended with God's choice and favor, would be regarded as infinitely preferable to riches and pleasure without them.

The cessation of personal and social rivalries would involve that of nations; or, at least, the same divine law, which operated to secure the one, would not fail to bring about the other. Persons and neighborhoods would be at peace. Nations would be at peace also. There is a locality, a rank, a duty of nations, as well as of individuals. If each would take the position, and fully the duty, which the law of Providence indicates to them, national rivalries would cease, because the occasions of such rivalries would no longer exist; and the God of the individual man, and of the domestic hearth, and of social institutions and unions, would be the God of empires. The law of Providence, harmonizing the relations of states, as it does those of individuals and small communities, would constitute a family of nations, and war would be known no longer.

— from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851), Part 6, Chapter 9.

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