— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 9.
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, August 4, 2016
A Holy Life is Natural to Those Who are Holy
A holy life, also, when it is once fully and permanently established, is as natural to those who are holy, as a sinful life is to those who are sinful. In the mixed, or partly sanctified life, which is intermediate between the sinful and the holy, there is a conflict of natures; and we cannot well say, for any length of time, what the true or real nature of the man is. But when a person has obtained inward victory, when selfishness has ceased to exist, and when also he is freed from the lingering and perplexing influences of former evil habits, he is then the subject of a truly natural life. Just the opposite of the unregenerated man, — with a life as true and just as that of the other is untrue and unjust,— he does right, not by an effort which has the appearance, as well as the reality, of going against nature, but because, with his present disposition, he cannot do otherwise. He not only loves God, but he does it without reflecting on his love, without any effort, which would imply a conflict with some inward, opposing principle. He does it freely, easily, and perfectly; which would not be the case if he did it with conscious effort, or if his mind were diverted from the object of his love to reflections on the love itself. Holiness has become a nature.