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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Recognizing the Spirit's Guidance: Harmony with Scripture

He, who is led by the Holy Spirit, will find his conduct, just so far as he is the subject of this divine guidance, in entire harmony with the teachings of the Scriptures. It has already been intimated that the voice of the Spirit can never be contradictory to itself. And accordingly having spoken in the Scriptures, it can never contradict what it has there said by any interior revelation to individual minds. If, for instance, the Scriptures, dictated by the divine Spirit, have, for wise and adequate purposes, authorized and required the specific observance of the Lord's day, and have authorized and required the setting apart of the ministry, or have recognized and established other institutions and ordinances, it would be unreasonable to suppose, that the same Spirit, in contradiction to himself, will guide individual minds to a disregard and contempt of those institutions. And in like manner, if the Bible, in any case of specific and personal action, requires a thing either to be done or to be omitted to be done, the Holy Spirit, operating on individual minds, will teach the same thing; and will always lead the subject of his operations to the performance in the one case, and to the omission in the other. And in all cases whatever, as the Holy Spirit, speaking in the heart, and the Holy Spirit speaking in the Bible, necessarily utter the same voice, they will necessarily in their ultimate tendencies lead to the same result,

And we may remark further, in connection with what has now been said, that he, who is led by the Spirit, will love to be led by the Spirit. It will be his delight. And under the influence of this divine attraction, he will earnestly strive to ascertain the mind of the Spirit. And consequently he will be led to the Bible, as one of the most valuable means of ascertaining it; he will read it much; he will read it with seriousness, candor, and prayer; that he may know the length and breadth of the divine communications, which are there made. And the pleasing and important result will be, that his life will be characterized by the same traits of submission and love, of regard for the divine institutions and precepts, of prompt and consistent action and of mighty faith, which adorn the lives of those, of whom the Scriptures gives us an account.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 6.

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