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 10, 2014

God's Life in Humanity

From God all things come. To God, as the universal originator and governor, all things are in subjection. In ascertaining what God is, we necessarily ascertain the position and responsibilities of those beings that come from God, and are dependent on him. The life of his moral creatures, so far as it is a right and true life, is a reproduction, in a finite form, of the elements of his own life. "God created man in his own image. In the image of God created he him." Gen. 1:27. The Saviour, in speaking of himself, in his incarnate state, says, "I am in the Father, and the Father in me." John 13:11. God, in carrying out and perfecting the great idea of a moral creation, subjects the infinity of his being to the limitations of humanity, and reproduces himself in the human soul. So that man's life may truly be described, as God's life in humanity.

Nor, in the strict sense of the terms, can any­ thing but the DIVINE LIFE, or the life of God in the soul, be called life. Those who have gone astray from God, just so far as they have lost the divine life, and have sunk into the natural life, are dead. Hence, the expressions of the apostle: — "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Ephes. 2:1. The eternal vitality, the breath from the Infinite, the life of God in the soul, ceases to be in them. And being dead, by the absence of God as an indwelling principle, they must be recreated, or born again, by his restoration. It is not enough, that provision has been made, in the death of Christ, for man's forgiveness. Forgiveness, it is true, has its appropriate work. It cancels the iniquity of the past; but this is not all that is necessary. It is not without reason, that the learned Schlegel commences his profound work on the philosophy of history by saying, that "the most important subject, and the first problem of philosophy, is the restoration in man of the lost image of God." The immortal nature must be made anew, must be re-constituted, if we may so express it, on the principle of life linked with life, of the created sustained in the uncreated, in the bonds of divine union.

A Treatise on Divine Union Part 1, Chapter 1.

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