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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Natural Faith vs. Religious Faith

Natural faith, as we have already had occasion to see, is faith arising naturally on its appropriate natural occasions, directed to its appropriate natural objects, and sustained by the operation of natural causes. Religious faith, if we have a right understanding of it, may be regarded as in some respects a state of mind the same with that of natural faith; that is to say, it may be regarded as the same state, psychologically or mentally considered; but it differs from natural faith in the particulars, that it is directed to religious objects, or those objects to which religious feelings are appropriate; that it is called into exercise on its appropriate religious occasions; and is sustained by religious influences. It is obvious, therefore, that the difference between natural faith and religious faith is a marked and a great one; and that it would tend to great perplexity and error, if they should be confounded together. At the same time it is evident, I think, that in a number of particulars there is a resemblance or analogy existing between them, which it is not only interesting to contemplate, but which may aid in the better understanding of religious faith.

— edited from The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 3.

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