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, July 17, 2014

Broken Cisterns

Original truth is aphoristic. Its declaration is its argument. It carries conviction in its simplest affirmations. It is enough, therefore, merely to affirm, that the created must flow out of the uncreated; that the temporal must flow out of the eternal. God is the uncreated; God is the eternal. God, therefore, God alone, God beyond time, beyond and above all creating power, is the " living" or perpetual fountain. He has the true life in himself, and that life is Love. — All other life is from him and by him.

Hence it is said, in the language of Scripture,— language not more simply eloquent and affecting than it is true: — "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken ME, the fountain of living waters,  and hewn out broken cisterns that can hold no water." [Jer. 2: 13] And it is here, more than anywhere else, that we find the source of trouble with men. God, in creating men, not only gave them the principle of faith, but opened also the eternal fountain of love in their hearts; but men, in an evil hour, stopped it by ceasing to believe in the source from which it came. Satan, reminding them that God had made them moral agents, maliciously whispered that they would do well to avail themselves of their power by hewing out cisterns of their own, — in other words, that they should try to live as originators, and not as recipients; that they should try to live without living in and from God. They made the attempt; turned away from God, and, in striving to live in their own strength, found, in their sins and sorrows, that they had exchanged the living fountain for "broken cisterns, which could hold no water."

A Treatise on Divine Union, Part 4, Chapter 4.

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