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 25, 2015

Leave Your Eternal Destiny in the Hands of God

If we would reach the highest results in religion, we must be willing, not only to suffer a separation from all present possessions and pleasures both of body and mind, in subordination to the will of God, but must be willing to leave our eternal interests entirely and quietly in his hands. It is true, God does not require and does not expect us to be willing, in the absolute and unconditional sense, to be cast off. Nevertheless, in point of fact, if God should see fit to do it, we ought willingly to submit to it, and to glorify his name in it. Because he could not do it without doing what is right; and to wish or expect him to do otherwise than right, would be to expect and desire him to tarnish his own character, to stain deeply and irretrievably his own spotless nature. This no one can possibly do, who loves God with a perfect heart. The language of such an one is, 'Let me rather perish a thousand times and God be holy, than saved a thousand times and God be unholy!' Indeed he knows no salvation, and no possibility of salvation, but in the love of God's holiness. It  is that which occupies his thought; it is that, which fills and dilates his soul with the elements, and perhaps we may add, with the only elements of substantial bliss.

It  will be noticed, that this is said hypothetically or by way of supposition. But we ought to add, that, in point of fact, it is impossible for a soul, that is lost to itself, to be lost to happiness. Its extinction to self is necessarily a resurrection to holiness. The death of self is the life of God. Now it is of the nature of a self-evident truth, that holiness cannot be indifferent to holiness, where ever and in whomsoever it may be found. And hence it is impossible for a holy God to cast off or to treat with unkindness any being that is holy. To be holy is necessarily to be saved. The holy are by their very nature one with God; they are bound to him by an adamantine chain; and it is no more possible for a holy person to be lost, than it is for God to be lost. And yet when the matter is hypothetically presented to the mind by the Holy Spirit, as it seems not unfrequently to be in the later and higher periods of christian experience, we must be willing to resign all promptly and cheerfully into God's hands, whatever it may be. We would add here, that, when a person has gone through the process of inward crucifixion in its entire length and breadth, the great spiritual result is the complete extinction of all selfishness and of all self-will: a result brought about by means of an entire and unchangeable consecration, attended by the inwardly operating and searching influences of the Holy Spirit; a result, which in the end is so minutely explorative, so thoroughly destructive of those inward influences which obstruct the presence of God in the soul, and withal so painful oftentimes, that it may well be termed the BAPTISM OF FIRE. It is by means of such a process of inward crucifixion, that the natural life dies; and the way is thus prepared for the true resurrection and life of Christ in the soul.

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

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