— edited from The Interior of Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.
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, December 15, 2015
Liberty and Caution
The person, who enjoys true liberty of spirit, is the most deliberate and cautious in doing what he is most desirous to do. This arises from the fact, that he is very much afraid of being out of the line of God's will and order. He distrusts and examines closely all strong desires and strong feelings generally, especially if they agitate his mind and render it somewhat uncontrollable. Not merely or chiefly because the feelings are strong; that is not the reason; but because there is reason to fear, from the very fact of their strength and agitating tendency, that some of nature's fire, which true sanctification quenches and destroys, has mingled in with the holy and peaceable fame of divine love. John the Baptist, no doubt, had a strong natural desire to be near Jesus Christ while he was here on earth, to hear his divine words, to enjoy personally his company; but in the ennobling liberty of spirit which the Holy Ghost gave him, he was enabled to overrule and suppress this desire, and to remain alone in the solitary places of the wilderness.