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.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Incarnation of Life and Love

The doctrine that Love is identical with Life, brings the subject of the Essential Life within the sphere of human cognitions. It is true that Love, considered as Life, operates in all space and all time; but it is also true that it does this, without being identical with either. So that it can be said, in expressions which imperfectly convey the idea, that it is the life of space without being space, the life of time without being time; in other words, a principle and not an expansion, an elemental activity, and not an outward, material measurement.

And hence arises both the fact and the possibility of its incarnation. The Essential Life, whether called Life or Love, is individual as well as universal; dwelling in God, and dwelling more or less, in all the creatures of God who are born into his image. And since the day when Christ walked in the valley of Nazareth, and wept in the garden of Gethsemane, it can be said that the life of God dwells in the soul of man, and the problem of the Infinite, so far as its most essential element is concerned, is brought within the field of human consciousness, and is made the subject of human affirmation.

The holy man, whoever and wherever he may be, walks in life; — the same divine and essential life which dwells in the bosom of the Infinite. The life of the follower of Christ is the same in its essence with the life of Christ. There is a philosophical and substantial foundation for that wonderful but most true assertion of the apostle Paul, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” The essential life of Christ was LOVE;—the cross of Calvary was only its necessary resultant, and its divine symbol. The cross is Love: and in that view of the interior and subjective nature of the cross, it stands as a bright and perpetual reality in the heart of every Christian.

— edited from Absolute Religion (1873), Chapter 4.

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