The idea which we have of God under these circumstances, may be described as a general one, and perhaps as an indistinct or indefinite one. It is necessarily wanting in that clear and definite outline, which characterizes that restricted and inadequate idea of God, which represents Him to the mind’s eye as having a particular form and a particular place. The true idea, that which reveals Him without the limitations of form and place, is indistinct in the sense of being without definite bounds, but not in the sense of its being unreal, and is general without being weakened by its unlimited extent. Without, assigning God to any one thing or place, it recognizes Him, rejoices in Him, and receives Him in all. Happy is the man, whose heart is so purified that it is thus brought into unity with a God universal.
To him who has this deeper insight and this higher unity, God breathes in the vernal zephyr, and shines brightly in the summer's sun; he sees Him molding and painting the fruits of autumn, and sending the hoar-frosts and piling up the snows of winter; all inanimate nature is full of Him. He sees God also in what is ordinarily called the work of men's hands. It is God that spreads his pillow — it is God that builds his house — it is God that plows his fields — it is God that sells for him and buys for him; God gives him pain and sends him joy — smites him when he is sick, and heals him when be gets well. And what God does for Himself, He does also for others, and for communities. It is God that builds up and puts down — that makes kings and makes subjects — that builds up one nation and destroys another — that binds the chains of the captive and gives liberty to the free — that makes war and makes peace. All men, and princes and nations are in his hands like clay in the hands of the potter. His eternal will, which never has changed, and never can change, dashes them to pieces, or fashions them to everlasting life. All things are his sin only excepted, and sin is sin, because it is not of God. Whatever is not of God is of the devil — and whatever is of the devil is sin.
What blessed results would follow, if all men had that faith which deprives God of form, and displaces Him from a particular locality, in order that being without form, He may attach Himself to all forms, and that being without place, He may be found present in all places. Such a faith, if it would not at once carry us up to the New Jerusalem, would do that which amounts to much the same thing — it would bring the New Jerusalem down to earth, and would expand its golden walls and gates to the limits of the world and of the universe.
— Guide to Holiness, Vol. iii. pp. 121-123. Quoted by Asa Mahan in The Oberlin Quarterly Review, Vol. 4, Jan. 1849, pp. 117, 118.