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, November 14, 2016

The Power of Natural Faith

It is a religious maxim, that a man is according to his faith. It is not less time, though perhaps in a diminished or mitigated sense, that it is also a philosophical or natural maxim. Certain it is, that faith, in the natural sense, is the foundation, to a considerable extent, of activity and energy in the natural man. In many things, though not invariably, the natural man will be found to be, in the result of what he proposes to undertake, very nearly or precisely what he believes himself to be. The measure of his strength will be found in the measure of his faith.

It should be added, however, in order to a correct estimation of this matter, that strength or energy of character cannot be well explained without a reference to the will. And in accordance with this remark, the common idea of an energetic man is, that he is a person of a strong or energetic will. There are diversities in the constitution of the will, it is true; and as a result of this, there are diversities in personal energy; just as there are diversities in other elements and traits of character. Some men, in consequence of possessing original strength of will, are naturally more decided, more energetic than others. But other things being equal, in other words, on the supposition of there being no such constitutional differences between them as have been indicated, that person, as compared with others, will be the most energetic, who has the strongest faith. The believing man will be the strongest man.

— edited from The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 2.

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