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, April 2, 2015

Diverse Allotments in Life

We have seen that the allotments of men in the present life, like things in external and material nature, are exceedingly diversified. And it must be admitted that, to human view, these diversities are oftentimes mysterious.  It is not easy for men to see, certainly not in all cases — the wisdom of that arrangement which makes one poor, and another rich; which confines one to a particular spot, but enlarges and diversifies the habitation of another; which places one on a throne, another in a dungeon. It should not be forgotten, however, that it is God who does it all; and, to the eye of faith, everything which he does is full of wisdom and goodness, however it may appear to those who see only with human wisdom.

In one of the retired streets of yonder city there lives an honest and laborious mechanic. His daily walk is limited by the few rods which separate his house from his workshop. Arrived at his place of labor in the morning, he toils from morning till night within the limited space of a few feet in circumference. From day to day, and from year to year, the muscles of his arm are lifted at the same anvil, or are turning at the same wheel. An unseen hand, which is acquainted with all localities, has drawn the lines around him, and planted him there for life. He is a prisoner, if we may so express it, in the Lord's captivity. But it would be a sad mistake, if he should suppose that this providential arrangement is instituted without wisdom and without goodness. Though he will probably never wander beyond those narrow boundaries, yet that place, of all the places in the universe, is the best one for him. We do not say it appears best to human wisdom, which is incapable of judging, but is best in the view of Him who has assigned it. Happy will it be for him if he does not doubt. Believing that He who has given him life has constituted his habitation, !et it be his aim to harmonize his feelings with his position, and thus the principle of faith, whatever view the world may take of him, will make him a happy child in his Father's house.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 5.

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