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, January 6, 2016

The Life of God in the Soul Makes a Person Holy

Man is restored from death just in proportion as he begins to live in and from God. And when, by exercising that consent which God allows him, he lives wholly from God by choosing to live wholly from him, and by exercising faith to that effect, then he is a whole or holy man. Taking the common definition, that holiness is entire conformity to God's law, still it is not the definition which makes a man holy, but the life of God in the soul. It is God within, that makes the definition available. Who properly understands God's law, and knows what it is, unless he is first taught of God? Who loves God's law, unless love is first inspired within him by the breath of God himself? Who obeys God's law by bringing his will into conformity with it, except by the constant aids of divine grace?

Let it ever be remembered that there is only one that is holy in the higher and original sense. And that is God. All other beings, whatever position they may sustain in the universe, are holy only as they are holy in and by him. If there is anything at variance with the Scriptures, unsound in philosophy, and pernicious in practice, it is the idea of right or holy living from one's self; that is to say, by means of the elements of strength and of guidance which he has in himself. It is no more philosophical than the doctrine of effect without a cause. Sooner shall the flower grow without the earth and rains to nourish it, or the mighty oak spring from the surface of the barren rock, than the soul of man live without having its roots struck, if we may so express it, in the bosom of the Infinite; and deriving, not a partnership of nourishment, but the whole of its nourishment from God.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 10.

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