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, June 27, 2015

Scriptural Warnings About the Tongue

So liable are we to offend in the use of the tongue, and so difficult is it to regulate ourselves in this respect, that we are told by the Apostle James, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." In Proverbs also, 21:23, it is said, " Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles." There are other passages of similar import; but how little, notwithstanding, is the importance of properly regulating our speech realized. Some persons, even some Christians, seem to think, (if we may be allowed to judge from their conduct,) that crime may attach to almost any form of human action but this. Oh, that they would remember the words of the Savior; words, which should be engraven upon the heart of every one, who aims at holiness! "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified; and by thy words shalt thou be condemned."

But some will perhaps inquire, whether we may not converse much, if our object, be to do good. I admit that we may, if we can do more good in this way, including what we owe to ourselves as well as what we owe to others, than we can by a judicious mixture of conversation and silence. But then we should consider, that we cannot reasonably expect to do much good, without a heart richly replenished with divine grace. And I believe it is a common opinion, that the disbursements of frequent talking, without the incomes of a prayerful silence, generally result, and, very rapidly too, in the evaporation and loss of the inward life. And accordingly it is a frequent saying, that a man may, in a modified sense of the expressions, "talk away his religion." And it may be added further, as in accordance with what has now been said, that pious ministers not unfrequently lament, that calls for outward action and for much speaking to others leave them too little time for interior retirement, and for seasons of spiritual refreshment and advancement, by communication with the Everlasting Fountain.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 8.

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