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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Moral Harmony With God's Providence

Things animate and things inanimate, things in space and things in time, things said and things done, all being and all action, in themselves and in their relations, in their rights and in their influences, form a part of the great system of the facts and arrangements of divine Providence. Man, and all the acts and all the sufferings of which he is the source and the subject, is placed in the midst of this great ocean; this great and moving flux and reflux of other men, and other acts, and other sufferings, and is required to be in moral harmony with it. It is this requisition, this rule, existing under these circumstances, which constitutes the providential law, —  a law operating from the external upon the internal; a law founded in infinite wisdom, just and inflexible in its requirements, just and inflexible in its retributions.

The law of Providence coincides with the law of the Scriptures. God, who speaks in Providence as well as in the Scriptures, cannot utter voices which, in their principles and claims, are discordant with each other. We may sometimes fail in our interpretations of the Scriptures; we may sometimes attach a meaning to them different from God's meaning; but when the declaration of God in the Scriptures is rightly understood, it will always be found to harmonize with his providential voice. If, for instance, he requires us, in his written law, to love our neighbor as ourselves, he has also arranged in such a manner the things and relations which constitute his providential law as to make the same requisition. And it will be found true, under the operation of the divine Providence, that man will and must suffer just in proportion as he comes short of that divine law of love. It will be the same in other similar instances.

A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 2.

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