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, December 16, 2013

Present Holiness Is Not the Holiness of Heaven

The holiness which, in accordance with the principles of the gospel, is required to be exercised in the present life, differs in some respects from the holiness or sanctification of a future life. It is important to add, however, that it does not differ in its nature; but only in some of its accessories or incidents. In its nature holiness ever will be, and ever must be the same; but it may differ in some of the attendant circumstances or incidents, under which it exists. One of the particulars of an accessory or incidental character, in which the holiness of the future life may be regarded as differing from that of the present, is, that it is not liable, by any possibility whatever, to any interruption or suspension. No physical infirmity, no weariness or perplexity, of body or of mind, nothing will ever, even for a moment, either vitiate or weaken the purity of its exercises. The spiritual body, which constitutes the residence of the soul in its heavenly state, accelerates and perfects its operations, instead of retarding and perplexing them; so that its purity is always unstained, its joy always full, the song of its worship always new.

Another ground of difference between the sanctification or holiness of the present and that of the future life is to be found in the circumstance, that in the present life we are subject to perpetual and heavy temptations. No one, however advanced in religious experience, is wholly exempt from them. On the contrary, persons, who are the most holy, often endure temptations of the severest kind. But it is not so in the heavenly world. In that happier place the contest ceases forever. There is not only no sin, and no possibility of sinning; but no temptation to sin. While, therefore, we hold to the possibility of a freedom from actual voluntary transgression in this life, it ought to be understood that we do not hold to a freedom from temptation. So that we may speak of the continuance of the spiritual warfare in the present life, as a matter of necessity, but not of the continuance of sin as a matter of necessity.

— Edited from The Interior of Hidden Life (1844), Chapter 2.

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