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, August 19, 2015

Crucifying Reliance on Our Own Works

In the fulfillment of our personal consecration and in the further process of renunciation and excision, there must be a separation, a cutting loose from all reliance, as a ground of merit or of self-gratulation in any shape, on our own works. It is undoubtedly trying to unsubdued and selfish nature, to attach no value, considered as its own works, to what it fondly calls its good deeds; such as its outward morality, its attendance upon the institutions of worship, its study of the Scriptures, its visits to the sick, its charities to the poor, and other things of a similar nature. These things, it is true, are all good and desirable. We would not, by any means, speak lightly of them. It is perhaps difficult to value them too highly, if we ascribe them, as we ought to do, to the mere favor and grace of God. But by excluding the influence of the grace of God, and ascribing them to his own merit, it is easy to see that a man may make an idol of his good works, whatever may be their nature; and that he may, in the perversity of his spirit, fall down and worship them. We must be willing, therefore, to account our good deeds as nothing; and to regard ourselves, when me have done all in our power, as unprofitable servants; in order that Christ may be to us all in all.

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

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