— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 3.
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 5, 2015
It is a great mistake to suppose, that those, who go down into the tomb by the death of their earthly or sensual life, must remain there; — as if, because they are dead to sin, they must therefore be dead to humanity. We become dead to one system of life, which is wholly evil, that we may become alive to another, which is intrinsically and wholly good. And as we cooperate with God in our crucifixion, by submitting to all the pains he inflicts; so we cooperate with him in our spiritual resurrection by voluntarily accepting the terms by which he becomes in us a new life. And the only terms which God does or can propose, are, that he shall be All in All to the soul; — becoming its life just as truly, though under different circumstances and in a different way, as he is the life of the material universe, — just as truly as he is the life or life-giving principle of plants and trees, and of the instincts of the lower animals. If plants and trees grow by their own law of growth, it is still true that God is in the law. If animals move by their own law of movement, it is still true that the central principle of the law of movement is a divine power. And if the holy man acts, it is still true that God acts in him. And the only difference between this case, and those which have just been mentioned, is this. God acts in the holy man in connection with, and perhaps we should say, in subordination to, his own choice.