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, August 6, 2015

Choose God to Choose for You

Men have made a mistake in locating, if we may so express it, the action of man's free agency. The true action of man's moral agency is found, not in the choice of particulars, but in the choice of the universal; — not in deciding upon this particular thing or that particular thing, which he cannot do with certainty on account of his limited powers, but in committing his power of choice into God's hands, and choosing God to choose for him.

There are different degrees of union in the work of redemption, as there are different degrees of union in other things. But in the case of the man who fully unites with God in the work of his personal recovery, the choice which we have just mentioned is the choice which is actually made by him, — made for the present and made for the future, made now and made forever; — namely, the substitution, at the present time and in all time to come, of the divine choice for his own. His choice is to let God choose for him, — to cease to lead himself, that he may be led, not in some things merely, but in all things, by the Spirit of God. He alienates himself, that he may be possessed by another; and he does it, because he has in another that degree of confidence and hope, which he does not and cannot have in himself. He ceases from his own thoughts, that God may think in him and for him; — he ceases from his own desires, that God may inspire in him true and heavenly desires; — he relinquishes his own purposes, that he may fulfill the purposes of God and of God only. He is buried a dead Adam; and so renewed and beautified are the features of his nature, that he may be said, in a mitigated sense of the terms, to be raised again a living Christ.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 3.

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