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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Christlikeness: Entire Consecration

The life of the Savior was characterized by the spirit of  ENTIRE CONSECRATION. The idea of consecration seems to be much the same with that of self-renunciation; with this difference only, that he, who is the subject of consecration, has not only renounced himself, but has done it in favor of some other object, or some other being. Accordingly he, who, in renouncing himself, has renounced all his own private desires, purposes, and aims, and has surrendered his will, which, in some sense, constitutes  himself,  into the keeping of the divine will, is emphatically a person consecrated to the divine will; or what is the same thing, he is a person consecrated to God. Now it is very evident, that the Savior, considered in his humanity, and as a messenger of God here in the world, had no will of his own. If he cannot be said, properly speaking, to have renounced his will, it is because he never possessed a will, which operated at variance with the infinite and divine will. It was not on his own account, that he came into the world. "Wist ye not" he says on a certain occasion, "that I must be about my Father's business?" "I came down from heaven," he says in another place, "not to do mine own will, but the will of Him, that sent me." John, 6:38. And again he says, "my meat is to do the will-of him that sent me, and to knish his work." John 4:34. There are many other passages of a similar import. And the whole history of his life, which is unstained by any selfish and personal purpose, constitutes a confirmation of them. He could say, "I and my Father are one," because his whole soul lay, as it were, upon the divine altar; set apart both to do and to suffer his Father's will, "brought as a lamb to the slaughter," "slain from the foundation of the world," "offered up to bear the sins of many."

It is the same spirit of devout and entire consecration, which is the abiding and in its results the victorious element of the religious life in all his followers. And it is so, because, by the alienation of self it puts them in a situation, where they can take hold of the divine power by faith. Those, who have made such consecration, feel that they have no longer any thing, which they can call their own. In every thing, which concerns their personal desires and interests; in every thing, which is at variance with the divine purposes, they are nailed to the Cross. And hence, in the want of all things in themselves, they have the possession of all things in God.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 13.

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