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.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Purely Impuslive Actions Cannot be Holy

Actions, which proceed from pure impulse or a mere internal impression without attendant perception or reaction, cannot possibly be holy actions. What we mean to say is, that there is a natural impossibility of their being such. A mere impulse, unattended by perception and reflection, is of the nature of an instinct. And any action, done from mere blind impulse, no matter how strong or extraordinary that impulse may be, is both physically and morally of the nature of an instinctive action. Now, as it is universally conceded that purely instinctive actions have no moral character, it is entirely evident, that impulsive actions, which are of the same nature with instinctive actions, have no title to the denomination or character of holiness. Some persons seem to think, the more they act from impulse, especially powerful impulse, the more holy they are. But this, if we are correct in what has been said, is a great and dangerous mistake.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition 1844) Part 3, Chapter 4.

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