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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crucifying Confidence in Humanity

In the process of entire separation from any and every reliance out of God, we must cease to place undue confidence in men generally. It is a matter of common remark, that the natural man, afraid to put his trust in God alone, generally seeks advice and assistance from his fellow-men; especially from those, who are in some degree conspicuous for information and influence.

Those also, who have known something of the truth and power of religion, but are as yet beginners in the Christian life, have not unfrequently erred in the same way. Many times, instead of looking to God for help, they have sought assistance from near Christian friends; they have unduly relied perhaps upon their public religious teachers, or have sought, in the spirit of distrust towards God, some other exterior source of consolation and support. It is important to observe, however, that the error does not so much consist in seeking the advice and support of men, which under certain circumstances we acknowledge to be very proper, as in seeking it in an undue degree  and to the exclusion of God. Such is the nature of God, and such are our relations to him, that he cannot possibly admit of a rival in our affections. It is reasonable, therefore, that he should expect us in our troubles to make the first applications to himself; and to lay our trials and wants before him with that readiness and confidence, which we notice in little children, who naturally seek the advice and assistance of their parents, before looking to other sources of support. And we shall always find this course safest for ourselves, as well as most pleasing and honorable to God.

From all forms, therefore, and from all degrees of trust in men, except so far as they are kept in perfect subordination to a higher and ultimate trust in God, there must be a separation. We must learn the great lesson of making God our helper; and not on particular occasions merely, but always. In the beautiful language of the Psalmist, "My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him!"

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 10.

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