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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Endeavor to Behold the Hand of God

Reflections on
the Life of
Madame Jeanne de la Mothe Guyon.

Viewed in the light of subsequent events, she saw that everything had been ordered in mercy. Addressing the person at whose suggestion and under whose direction she wrote her Life, she says, in relation to the trials and persecutions she endured,

I should have some difficulty in writing these things to you, which cannot be done without apparently giving offense to charity, if you had not required me to give a full account, without omitting anything. But there is one thing which I feel it a duty to request. And that is, that in these things, which thus took place, we must endeavor to behold the hand of God, and not look at them merely on the side of the creature. I would not give any undue or exaggerated idea of the defects of those persons by whom God had permitted me to be afflicted. My mother-in-law was not destitute of moral principles; my husband appeared to have some religious sentiments, and certainly was not addicted to open vices. It is necessary to look at everything on the side of God, who permitted these things only because they were connected with my salvation, and because he would not have me perish. Such was the strength of my natural pride, that nothing but some dispensation of sorrow would have broken down my spirit, and turned me to God.
 And again she says, near the conclusion of the same chapter in her Life,

Thou hast ordered these things, oh my God, for my salvation! In goodness thou hast afflicted me. Enlightened by the result, I have since clearly seen, that these dealings of thy providence were necessary, in order to make me die to my vain and haughty nature. I had not power in myself to extirpate the evils within me. It was thy providence that subdued them.

— from The Life of Madame Guyon Volume 1, Chapter 5.

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