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.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Distinction Between Justification and Sanctification

The life of faith and love, when introduced into the heart, is not inoperative. Its introduction there is the signal for an inward war, because it meets with an antagonistical life, the corrupt life of nature. The two have nothing in common; and, therefore, they cannot be in each other's presence without a conflict. But before entering into the particulars of this inward struggle, which, if the soul becomes truly sanctified, must necessarily result in the death of nature.

We propose to delay a few moments for the purpose of considering the relation between Sanctification and Justification.

Justification and sanctification, it is generally conceded, are different from each other; and yet it is well known that they have sometimes been confounded by writers who have bestowed some examination upon them, as if they were one and the same thing. Nor is it altogether surprising that this should be the case, when we consider that there is one leading idea which is common to both; we mean the idea or principle of entire submission. In both cases, impressed with a sense of our own unworthiness and nothingness, we must be sincerely willing, in the spirit of entire submissiveness, to receive all from God; and must receive it also instrumentally in the same way, viz., by faith.  Nevertheless, there are some important points of distinction in the two things, which are inconsistent with their being regarded as truly identical. And we may add, it is very important, for various reasons, both theological and practical, that the distinction should be generally understood and maintained. If the idea should become prevalent that justification and sanctification are the same thing, it would involve the subject of sanctification and perhaps that of justification in much confusion. It would be necessary that new ideas should be established, and that new forms of speech should be introduced; and one unhappy consequence, among others, would be, that some, who are seeking the blessing of holiness, would become perplexed and discouraged.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844), Part 2, Chapter 1.

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