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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


The doctrines of holiness apply to the principle of RESENTMENT, as well as to other parts of the mind. It is impossible for a holy person not to be displeased, and sometimes greatly displeased, at acts of iniquity. The injunction of the Apostle, "be ye angry and sin not," seems to imply, that there may be cases, in which a person may be displeased and may be angry without necessarily incurring sin. It is said of the blessed Savior himself, that he looked upon the Pharisees "with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts." But here again the evil hand of nature, (not nature as it was, but nature as it has become,) has been at work. Selfishness, which is but another name for the life of nature, infuses into the displeasure of the unsanctified man, even when there is a foundation for it within proper limits, a degree of severity and unforgivingness, which is inconsistent with holiness, and is fatal to true inward peace.

How often, and how sadly this has been the case; how often and how deeply individuals and churches have been injured from this cause, no one is ignorant. Families and nations, as well as individuals, have experienced the dreadful effects of the displeased and angry feelings, when they are not overruled and kept in check by true piety. The history of the world, from its earliest periods, is a solemn and monitory lesson on this subject. "He, that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city." There seems to be need of greater effort and of more faith and prayer, to regulate entirely this department of the Affections, (usually denominated the Malevolent Affections,) than is required in the regulation of the other. But the grace of God is sufficient even here.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 9.

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