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.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Common Mental Elements Of Justification and Sanctification

The states of justification and sanctification agree with each other not only in being sustained by faith, but by being characterized by the same mental elements in other respects. If, for instance, it is true, as it undoubtedly is, that, in experiencing the state of justification, we are brought to feel, that we cannot obtain forgiveness without self-renunciation, it is equally true, that in sanctification we must have the same feeling in reference to every thing that is necessary for us; in other words, we must feel, that we cannot seek any thing and cannot obtain any thing from God, so long as we cherish the secret expectation of aid from some other source; and that reliance upon God necessarily implies the renouncement of ourselves.

Another mental element, which is involved in sanctification, as well as in justification, is a willingness to receive. We may suppose a person, although perhaps it is not likely to be the case, willing to renounce himself and his own efforts as a ground of hope; and still not willing to receive all from God. It is impossible, that such a soul should exercise that faith, which results in forgiveness and reconciliation. It is necessary that he should not only renounce himself as a ground of hope, but every thing else besides God and out of God; and be willing to be saved, both from the guilt of the past and from present sin, by God’s grace and in God’s way. To renounce ourselves, therefore, in every thing, our merit, our wisdom, our strength, and whatever else we had called and valued as our own, to renounce all other created and subordinate grounds of hope, and humbly, and willingly to receive every thing, our salvation, our Christian graces, our temporal and spiritual guidance, and whatever else may be necessary for us, from God alone in the exercise of simple faith; it is this, as it seems to us, and nothing different from this, and nothing short of this, which constitutes, both in its commencement and progress, the life of the children of God.

— edited from The Life of Faith Part 1, Chapter 9.

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