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, October 28, 2015

George Herbert: Teach me, my God and King

The following striking stanzas of George Herbert, an old English poet, now almost forgotten, illustrate and sustain some of the views which have now been expressed.


Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it unto Thee.

Not  rudely, as a beast,
To run into an action;
But still to make Thee prepossest
And give it thy perfection.

A man, that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye,
Or,  if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heaven espy.

All may of Thee partake,
Nothing can be so mean,
That with this tincture — FOR THY SAKE 
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant, with this clause,
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
Makes that, and the action, fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.

— from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 8.

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