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, September 12, 2016

The Quiet Person of Faith

The religiously quiet man, like other men less  advanced in grace, has experienced the sharpness of the inward contest; but God has helped him. Having striven with his corrupt nature, having passed through, as it were, the storms of regeneration, he has at last entered into the haven of inward rest.

Inwardly instructed in the limitations of the human understanding, he rests from reasonings in all cases where reasoning owes homage to faith. God is his reason. Taught by the great Teacher of the soul, that the true end of desires is to be found in the wisdom of the Infinite, he quietly ceases from all those desires which have their origin in a corrupted nature, and finds all his aims and purposes harmonized and fulfilled in the fulfillment of God's purposes. God is his desire. While he condemns sin, he is not impatient with it; but bears with it in the same spirit of calmness that God does; never doubting that, in the great issue of things which is rapidly approaching, the unity and love of God will over­come the divisions and hatreds of Satan. Devoted to the will of God to the extent of his power, and resting firmly upon the promises in unshaken faith, he is exempt alike from the reproofs of conscience and the agitations of fear.

A divine peace, of which God alone could be the author, is written upon his heart, his countenance, his actions, his whole life. The outward man is the calm mirror of the man within. He sees the commotions of the world; he beholds the surges and hears the noise of its contentions; but it does not move him from his position; it does not alter the fixedness of his purpose;  it does not disturb the peace of his spirit. His countenance, written over with signatures which have their source in the centre of his spirit, shows neither the scowl of anger, nor the distortions of fear. Not that he is indifferent to the strife; but he believes and knows that the God in whom he trusts has power to control it. He sees the calm beyond.

Such men, more than any others, bear the image of God; whose mighty power is established and operates in peace and in silence. A perfect being is, by the very fact of his perfection, unalterably tranquil. Jesus Christ, who was God revealed in humanity, and who, therefore, was the model of the perfect man, was a quiet man; he did not attract the world's notice by his noise. On the contrary, the world, disappointed that he came without observation, was attracted to him, contrary to what is usual with it, by the calm but mighty influence of his purity and gentleness. Meek, quiet, loving, doing what the divine order of things called him to do, he gave no occasion for reconsiderations and repentance, but left the evidence of his divinity in the perfection of everything he said and did. And in all cases will it be found, in the history of all good men of all ages, that the harmony of thought with truth, of feeling with thought, and of conscience with feeling; in other words, the perfect adjustment of character, will find its result and its testimony in inward and outward peace.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 11.

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