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, February 13, 2015

The Danger of Unrestrained Desires

If it  is our purpose to devote ourselves to the Lord without reserve, it is important that we should look seriously and closely into the nature and degree of our Desires. It is true, desires are an essential part of our nature. As natural principles, such as the desire of life, the desire of food, the desire of knowledge, the desire of society, they have their place, their laws, their uses. But the difficulty is, that in the natural man, and also in the partially sanctified man, they are not adequately superintended and controlled by the principle of divine love. They multiply themselves beyond due limits; they are often self-interested, inordinate, and evil. So much so as sometimes to bring the whole man into subjection. Desires thus inordinate and selfish, which are characterized, among other things, by the fatal trait of inward agitation and restlessness, cannot be too much guarded against.

Unrestrained desires always imply guilt.— The man, whose desires are unrestrained, is a man, that chooses to have his own way, lives his own life, operates upon his own stock; and, in a word, claims to be a God in his own right. It is obvious, that under a divine government there can be no virtue without subordination. The moment, therefore, that the desire, which is inherent in any creature, gets the ascendency and violates the law of obedience to the Supreme Ruler, that moment he is no longer the same being; but has undergone a change, as fatal as it is sudden, from truth to falsehood and from honor to guilt. How important is it, then, that the natural desires should be checked and subdued; and that they should be subdued to that point, where they shall be practically lost in the one preeminent and gracious desire, of knowing and doing the will of God.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844), Part 2, Chapter 2.

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