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.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Childlike Will

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

The will of the child is naturally merged in the will of the father. There is a nature in this case, as there is in the others. The filial will is not harmonized in the parental will as a matter of calculation, but as the result of a mental tendency. There are, undoubtedly, some variations from this view, in consequence of the power of choice inherent in the will, and particularly in consequence of man's fallen condition; but what has been said is correct as a general statement. Accordingly, yielding readily to the tendency of their mental position, little children do what they are commanded to do. Sometimes it will cost them trouble and suffering; but this does not alter the general direction and the general inclinations of their feelings and actions. Subjecting their own wisdom to a higher wisdom, they have an instinctive feeling that their appropriate and first business is to harmonize with the expression of a parent's will. And so strong is this tendency to a union of wills, that very frequently they act without knowing what will be the end of their action. It is natural to them to leave everything with their father, — the mode, the time, the object, and the results of action, as well as the action itself.

And this, in a remarkable manner, represents the state of things as it existed in man at his first creation. The will of Adam, before he fell, not only harmonized perfectly with the divine will, but naturally; that is to say, without effort, and by an implanted tendency. It is so with all holy beings now. It was eminently so, (as I think we may safely infer from the passages which indicate his submission and union of will,) with Christ, the second Adam; and it will be found to be so with all those who are restored again and perfected in Christ's image. What God chooses, they choose. What God wills, they will. The will becomes in relation to God what the will of the affectionate and dutiful child is to its earthly parent.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 8.

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