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, November 17, 2015

Christlikeness: Simple Faith

The Savior, considered as a man, lived by SIMPLE FAITH. — A life of faith is almost necessarily implied in a state of entire self-renunciation. It does not easily appear, how a person, who, in the spirit of self-renunciation, has placed himself in the hands and under the direction of another, can live spiritually in any other way than by means of faith. There is nothing left him but simple trust. To renounce ourselves entirely and not to repose trust in another, would soon be followed by a state of despair. So that we may regard it as the natural order of religious sequence, that the principle of faith, which is life in another, should take the place of the extinct principle of life in ourselves. The memorable statement, therefore, that "the just shall live by faith," was as applicable to the Savior, as to any other holy being. The whole history of the intercourse, which took place in his state of humiliation between him and his Father, is a confirmation of this position, and declares emphatically, that he NEVER DOUBTED. "Man shall not live by bread alone," he said to the Tempter, "but  by every word, that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." He said to the Jews on a certain occasion, "I am not come of myself, but he, that sent me, is TRUE." This single expression carries with it important meaning. It was the truth of God, his  firm  and unchanging faithfulness, upon which his soul rested, as upon an everlasting rock. He assures us, that "without his Father, he could do nothing;" a declaration which seems necessarily to imply the existence of unwavering confidence in the Being, who was the present and the only source of his power. There can be no doubt, therefore, that, the direction, which he gave to his disciples, he was willing to apply in its full import to himself. "Have faith in God." In his prayer  at  the grave of Lazarus, he said, "Father, I thank Thee, that thou hast heard me. And I KNEW, [that is to say, had entire confidence, unwavering  faith,] that thou hearest me always." Faith sustained him in trial as well as in duty; in the depths of affliction as well as in the active labors of his ministry. Even in the agonies of the Cross, when every possible sorrow was inflicted, and every other consolation was taken away, he was supported by its mighty power alone.

And in connection with this view, we are not to be surprised that we find the Savior so often and so earnestly urging upon his followers the necessity of living in the same manner. He taught them, in various ways and at various times, that faith was the source of their inward life and power; and that by it they could overcome all difficulties, "removing even mountains." Discountenancing every other mode of living, he decidedly rebuked the disposition, originating in unbelief, to seek a sign, (that is to say, a striking and confirmatory manifestation of some kind, ) in addition to and in support of the simple declaration of God. "An evil and  adulterous  generation," he says," seeketh after a sign."

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

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