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, February 6, 2017

Faith Alone Binds Us With God — Not Human Merit

Faith, then, is the tie, which binds us to our Maker. It does it effectually; and no other principle can take its place, or fulfill its office.

And there is one reason for this remark, which should be noticed here. Faith can harmonize man with his Maker, and make him the recipient of what is necessary for the restoration and perfection of his nature, without involving the idea or the fact of moral merit on man’s part. That is to say, having strength, having wisdom, or any other inward and Christian grace from God in the exercise of faith, we cannot, as Christians, speak of it as our own wisdom and our own strength, and consequently cannot appropriate to ourselves any merit nor lay claim to any reward. And yet, in renouncing ourselves and in harmonizing with God in the exercise of faith, simple as these mental operations appear to be, and as they are in fact, there is obviously so much of free and of positive action as to involve and to secure our moral responsibility.

— edited from The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 7.

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