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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Judge and Father of the Nations

God, in the exercise of his providential care, is the Judge and Father also of great commonwealths. The idea that God should be united to man as an individual, and in his relation to families, but forgetful of and alien to those bodies of men which are denominated civil societies, — governing the one, and leaving the other without government,— would be exceedingly absurd. If he cannot abandon a man, nor the hair of a man's head, how can he abandon a nation or any part of a nation's interests? It is an obvious dictate of reason, therefore, that he who is watchful over the less, will be careful of the greater; that he, who watches over the members of the body, will take care of the whole body, if he has the power and qualification to do so; and that he, who is the head of the citizen, a fortiori if his capacity equals the impulses of his benevolence, will be the head of the state.

And it is certain that what is reasonable in this case is also scriptural. The Bible everywhere represents God as the God of nations. How often is it said, in Daniel, in Job, in the Psalms, and everywhere, that "the kingdom is the Lord's;" that "He is Governor among the nations;" that He "removes and sets up kings!" What was the language which David used in his great contest with the Philistine chief, — young as he was, and just come from the flocks and the pastures of Bethlehem? "Thou comest to me," said David, "with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come unto thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the  Lord  deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee. And I will give the carcasses of the hosts of the Philistines unto the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for  the battle is the Lords, and He will give you into our hands.”

What was the declaration of the Spirit of the Lord, by the mouth of his prophet, to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah? "Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you. O Judah and Jerusalem fear not, nor be dismayed; to-morrow go out against them, for the Lord will be with you.” And  it is added, after some account of the great victory which the Lord gave: "So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest round about."  [2nd Chron., chapter 20.]

A Treatise on Divine Union Part 6, Chapter 1.

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