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 3, 2015

The Remembrance of a Godly Teacher

In all institutions [of learning]... there should be living teachers, men "full of the Holy Ghost," who should be able to explain and apply the principles which are found in the Bible.

In early life I had the privilege of being associated for a short time, in an institution, where it seemed to me that some of these views were happily illustrated. Studies always opened in the morning and closed at night with religious services. The first half hour of every morning, in particular, was devoted to the reading of the Scriptures, the explanatory and practical remarks of the worthy and learned instructor, and to prayer. And it was understood by all, whatever might be the state of their own minds, that this religious exercise was regarded by the teacher as one of preeminent importance. When he came before his pupils on this occasion, they did not doubt that he had first commended them to God in private; and that of all objects which he desired and had at heart, there was none so dear to him as their souls' salvation. Every movement was stilled; — every voice hushed; — every eye fixed. And whatever might be their creed or want of creed, their religious adhesions or aversions, such was their sympathy with his obvious sense of responsibility and his divine sincerity, that even the hearts of the infidel and the profane were cheerfully laid open before him; — so that with their own consent he was enabled, by means of his prayers and warnings, to write upon them, as it were, inscriptions for immortality. I was not a pupil in the seminary to which I refer, but an assistant teacher; and had a good opportunity to observe and to judge. My own heart never failed to be profoundly affected; — and, from what I have learned and known of his pupils since, scattered as they have been in all parts of the world, and engaged in various occupations, I have no doubt that God eminently blessed the faithful labors of this good man, and that he was permitted to realize in his instructions, to an extent not often witnessed, the beautiful union of the culture of the heart with that of the understanding.

Christ came into the world to redeem man to God; — in other words, to restore him to God by redemption; — that is to say, by the purchase of his own blood. The object is secured, and man is restored to God, whenever God becomes the in-dwelling, the universal, and permanent principle of his soul.  And the restoration of man involves the restoration of all that  pertains to man. The restoration of man is, at the same time,  the  restoration of the family and of civil society; the restoration of  art and literature. It implies the extinction of vice, the prevalence of virtue, the dignity of labor, the universality of education, and the perfection of social sympathy and intercourse. And no man is, or can be redeemed, in the truer and higher sense of the terms, without being, in his appropriate degree and place, a co-worker with God in all these respects.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 8.

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