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, January 27, 2015

Childlike Faith

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." — Matthew 18:3

The earthly child, in its relations to its earthly father, is the representation, the earthly development, if we may so express it, of the relations of the child of God to his Father in heaven.

And this is seen, in the first place, in the matter of FAITH. It is very obvious, in regard to the faith which the earthly child has in its earthly parent, that it is a faith given, a faith implanted.  The filial confidence which it exhibits is not something which the child makes himself; nor is it, as some seem to suppose, the result of experience; but is innate. God himself is the giver of it. Implanted by the divine hand, and operating instinctively, the faith of the child is seen in the earliest movements of its infancy. And ever afterwards, in the various situations in which the child is placed, it retains all the attributes and exhibits all the results of an implanted or connatural principle; so much so, that, to withhold confidence from a father or mother, we all feel to be doing that which is a violation of nature.

And such precisely was the character of the faith which man possessed in his heavenly Father before he fell.

 The first man was created in the possession of faith. He could not have been created in any other way. To believe in God was a nature to him; just as we find, at the present time, that it is natural for the child to place confidence in its earthly parent. And in the full restoration of man to God, (a restoration for which provision is made in the coming and atonement of Christ, and in the renewing agency of the Holy Spirit,) the principle of faith will be re-established, not merely as a variable exercise of the mind originating in the will, but as a permanent element or nature of the mind existing in harmony with the will, and with the  will's  consent. And those who are thus restored will become, in respect to their faith, "little children."

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union Part 5, Chapter 8.

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