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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Recognizing the Spirit's Guidance: Promoting God's Glory

It is an evidence, that a person is guided by thy Holy Spirit, whose whole conduct, whether considered in its particulars or in its general outline, has a distinctly favorable bearing on the promotion of God's glory in the world. The end of all things is the glory of God. In the promotion of this great object, God, the Holy Ghost, co-operates with God the Father, and God the Son. The Holy Ghost, therefore, recognizes and enforces the great truth, that all subordinate tendencies, that all inferior and private interests, whenever they receive a corrected and sanctified direction, will always converge to the same center, and will never reach their TERMINUS, if we may so express it, except in the bosom of the adorable Infinite. To this great result, all his interior and individual teachings infallibly tend. To know all things and to love all things in God; to annihilate self in all the various forms of creature-love and of self-will, and to make God the great center of our being; this only is true wisdom and everlasting life. He, therefore, who is led by the teachings of the Holy Ghost, will be taught that he must think for God, feel for God, will for God, act for God; and that the great reality of God, which is the true beginning and completion of all religious life, must be received into the soul as the paramount motive; and with a power to expel all subordinate motives, and to reign there forever with supreme dominion.

Such are some of the marks, by which those may be known, who are led by the Divine Spirit. These are a HIDDEN people. They have intimacy with the Highest: but they are, nevertheless, the little ones, that are almost unknown among men. Rational with the highest degree of rationality, scrupulously conscientious, ever desirous to learn the will of God as manifested in his Word and Providences, modest and sincerely courteous and becoming in their intercourse with their fellow-men, and governed under all circumstances by a supreme regard to God's glory, they pass calmly and devoutly through the world, blessed in themselves and a blessing to others. And yet the people of the world, blinded by their unbelief, but little know and little value that interior instruction, by which they are thus guided to the illuminated heights of evangelical perfection. Happy is he who is led, not by mere sights and sounds; not by strange and momentary impressions, which may come from the disordered senses, from the world, or from the devil; but by that clear light which illuminates the intellect, the conscience, and the heart; which is ever consistent with itself and with God's Word and Providences; and which has in reality for its author, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost.

"Eternal Spirit! God of truth!
Our contrite hearts inspire;
Kindle the flame of heavenly love,
And feed the pure desire.
'Tis thine to soothe the sorrowing mind,
With guilt and fear oppressed;
'Tis thine to bid the dying live,
And give the weary rest."

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

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