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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

God Had Marked Her for God's Own

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

It  is easy to see, in the light of these various dispensations, that God, who builds his bow of promise in the cloud, had marked her for his own. He had followed her long, and warned her often; but He did not give up the pursuit. He stopped her pathway to the world; but He left it open to heaven. He drew around her the cords of His providence closely, that she might be separated, in heart and in life, from those unsatisfying objects, which, in her early days, presented to her so many attractions. She herself, as we have already had occasion to notice, was subsequently led to view everything in this manner. It was God who was present in all these events; it was God who, through an instrumentality of his own selection, was laying his hand painfully but effectually upon the idols which she had inwardly cherished, sometimes trying her by mercies, where mercy might be supposed to affect her heart, but still more frequently and effectually by the sterner discipline of outward disappointment and of inward anguish.

It was not in vain, that He who understands the nature of the human heart, and the difficulty of subjecting it, thus adjusted every thing in great wisdom, as well as in real kindness. The trials which He had sent, were among those which work out "the peaceable fruits of righteousness." It was the result of these various providences, afflicting as they generally were, that she was led to the determination, (a determination which from this time never was abandoned,) once more to seek God. She had sought him before, but she had not found him. But, in giving up the search and in turning from God to the world, she had found that which gave no satisfaction. Bitterly had she learned, that, if there is not rest in God, there is rest nowhere. Again, therefore, she formed the religious resolve, — a resolve which God enabled her not only to form, but to keep. Her feelings at this time seem to be well expressed in a well known religious hymn, which is designed to describe the state of a sinner, who has seen the fallacy and the unsatisfying nature of all situations and of all hopes out of Christ.

"Perhaps he will admit my plea;
Perhaps will hear my prayer;
But if I perish, I will pray,
And perish only there.

"I can but perish if I go;
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away, I know
I must forever die."

— edited from The Life of Madam Guyon Volume 1, Chapter 6.

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