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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dying and Rising With Chirst

Without mentioning other devout men, we may properly repeat here, as being in harmony with some of the views hitherto given, the expressions of the learned and venerable John Arndt, whose name is deservedly dear to the Christian world. "If thou believest,” he says, "that Christ was crucified for the sins of the world, thou must with him be crucified to the same. If thou refusest  to comply with this, thou canst not be a living member of Christ, nor be united with him by faith. If thou believest that Christ is risen from the dead, it is thy duty to rise spiritually with Him. In a word, the birth, cross, passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, must, after a spiritual manner, be transacted in thee." And again he remarks in another place: — "Let us renounce wholly our own strength, our own wisdom, our own will and self-love, that, being thus resigned to God alone, we may suffer his power freely to work in us, so that nothing may, in the least, oppose the will and operations of the Lord."

I am aware that this is a hard doctrine to the natural heart. It strikes heavily upon that feeling of self-confidence, which is one of the evil fruits of our fallen condition. But, as it respects myself, if I may be allowed in humility of spirit to refer to my own feelings, it is a doctrine which is inexpressibly dear to me. I have been taught for many years, and by painful experience, that I can place no confidence in my own thoughts, feelings, or purposes. In none of these respects can I be my own keeper. On the contrary, I have seen, with the greatest clearness, that to be left to myself, either in these respects or in anything else, is always to be left in sin. And so great has been my anguish of spirit, in view of my entire inability to guide myself aright, that I could only pray that I might be struck out of existence and be annihilated, or that God would return and keep that which I could not keep myself.


If thou, O God, wilt make my spirit free,
Then will that darkened soul be free indeed;
I cannot break my bonds, apart from thee;
Without thy help I bow, and serve, and bleed.
Arise, O Lord, and in thy matchless strength,
Asunder rend the links my heart that bind,
And liberate, and raise, and save at length
My long enthralled and subjugated mind.
And then, with strength and beauty in her wings,
My quickened soul shall take an upward flight,
And in thy blissful presence, King of kings,
Rejoice  in liberty, and life, and light,
In renovated power and conscious truth,
In faith and cheerful hope, in love and endless youth.

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

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