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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Song of the Angels

The star was bright o'er Bethlehem's plain,
The shepherds watched their fleecy train,
When sudden gleamed the sky; the tongue
Of angel bands in concert sung.
"Peace and good will to men," their song,
"Good will," while ages roll along;
The Savior comes, let nations hear,
Be hushed each grief, be wiped each tear.

No more shall war bear iron sway,
Vengeance and wrath shall pass away;
Oppression bind no more its chain,
And gladness dwell on earth again.
The song that charmed in Eden's bower,
Shall breathe once more its soothing power;
And peace, and praise, and truth shall bless
The world with hope and loveliness.

American Cottage Life (1850).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

This Is Freedom Indeed

"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." —  Colossians 3:3 (KJV).

True liberty of spirit is found in those, and in those only, who, in the language of De Sales, "keep the heart totally disengaged from every created thing, in order that they may follow the known will of God." In other words, it is found with those who can say, with the Apostle Paul, that they are "dead, and their life is hid with Christ in God." The ruling motive in the breast of the man of a religiously free spirit is, that he may, in all cases and on all occasions, do the will of God. In that will his "life is hid." The supremacy of the divine will, in other words, the reign of God in the heart, necessarily has a direct and powerful operation upon the appetites, propensities, and affections; keeping them, each and all, in their proper place. As God rules in the heart, every thing else is necessarily subordinate. It is said of the Savior himself that "he pleased not himself," but that he came "to do his Father's will."

Another thing, which can be said affirmatively and positively is, that those, who are spiritually free, are led by the Spirit of God. A man, who is really guided by his appetites, his propensities, or even by his affections, his love of country, or any thing else other than the Spirit of God, cannot be said to be led by that divine Spirit. The Spirit of God, ruling in the heart, will not bear the presence of any rival, any competitor. In the heart of true liberty the Spirit of God rules, and rules alone: so that he, who is in the possession of this liberty, does nothing of his own pleasure or his own choice. That is to say, in all cases of voluntary action, he does nothing under the impulse and guidance of natural pleasure or natural choice alone. His liberty consists in being free from self; in being liberated from the dominion of the world; in lying quietly and submissively in the hands of God; in leaving himself, like clay in the hands of the potter, to be molded and fashioned by the divine will. Natural liberty may be said to consist in following the natural sentiments; in doing our own desires and purposes, which naturally throng in upon the soul and take possession. It is like a strong man, that is under the complete control of his irregular passions. Spiritual liberty consists in passively, yet intelligently and approvingly, following the leadings of the Holy Ghost. It is like a  little child, that reposes in simplicity and in perfect confidence on the bosom of its beloved mother. Natural liberty combines, with the appearance of liberty; the reality of subjection. He, who has but natural liberty, is a slave to himself. In spiritual liberty it is just the opposite. He, who is spiritually free, has entire dominion over himself. Spiritual liberty implies, with the fact of entire submission to God, the great and precious reality of interior emancipation. He, who is spiritually free, is free in God. And he may, perhaps, be said to be free in the same sense in which God is; who is free to do every thing right and nothing wrong.

This is freedom indeed. This is the liberty, with which Christ makes free. This is emancipation, which inspires the songs of angels; a freedom, which earth cannot purchase, and which hell cannot shackle.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Liberty Frees from Anxieity

The possessor of true religious liberty, when he has submissively and conscientiously done his duty, is not troubled by any undue anxiety in relation to the result. It may be laid down as a maxim, that he, who asserts that he has left all things in the hands of God, and at the same time exhibits trouble and agitation of spirit in relation to the results of those very things, (with the exception of those agitated movements or disquietudes, which are purely instinctive,) gives abundant evidence, in the fact of this agitation of spirit, that he has not really made the entire surrender, which he professes to have made. The alleged facts are contradictory of each other, and both cannot exist at the same time.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Liberty and Proper Timing

The person of a truly liberated spirit, although he is ever ready to do his duty, waits patiently till the proper time of action. He has no choice of time but that which is indicated by the providence of God. The Savior himself could not act, until his "hour was come." When he was young, he was subject to his parents; when he was older, he taught in the Synagogues. In his journeyings, in his miracles, in his instructions, in his sufferings, he always had an acquiescent and approving reference to that providential order of events, which his heavenly Father had established. On the contrary, an enthralled mind, although it is religiously disposed in part, will frequently adopt a precipitate and undeliberate course of action, which is inconsistent with a humble love of the divine order. Such a person thinks that freedom consists in having things in his own way, whereas true freedom consists in having things in the right way; and the right way is God's way. And in this remark we include not only the thing to be done, and the manner of doing it, but also the time of doing it.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Liberty and Opposition

He, who is in true liberty of spirit, is not easily excited by opposition. The power of grace gives him inward strength; and it is the nature of true strength to be deliberate. Accordingly when his views are controverted, he is not hasty to reply. He is not indifferent; but he replies calmly and thoughtfully. He has confidence in the truth, because he has confidence in God. "God is true;" and being what he is, God can have no fellowship with that, which is the opposite of truth. He knows, that, if his own sentiments are not correct, they will pass away in due time; because every thing, which is false, necessarily carries in itself the element of its own destruction. He knows too, that, if the sentiments of his adversaries are false, they bear no stamp of durability. God is arrayed against them; and they must sooner or later fall. Hence it is, that his strong faith in God and in the truth of which God is the protector, kills the eagerness of nature. He is calm amid opposition; patient under rebuke.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Liberty and Caution

The person, who enjoys true liberty of spirit, is the most deliberate and cautious in doing what he is most desirous to do. This arises from the fact, that he is very much afraid of being out of the line of God's will and order. He distrusts and examines closely all strong desires and strong feelings generally, especially if they agitate his mind and render it somewhat uncontrollable. Not merely or chiefly because the feelings are strong; that is not the reason; but because there is reason to fear, from the very fact of their strength and agitating tendency, that some of nature's fire, which true sanctification quenches and destroys, has mingled in with the holy and peaceable fame of divine love. John the Baptist, no doubt, had a strong natural desire to be near Jesus Christ while he was here on earth, to hear his divine words, to enjoy personally his company; but in the ennobling liberty of spirit which the Holy Ghost gave him, he was enabled to overrule and suppress this desire, and to remain alone in the solitary places of the wilderness.

— edited from The Interior of Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Liberty and Patience

The person, who is disturbed and impatient when events fall out differently from what he expected and anticipated, is not in the enjoyment of true spiritual freedom.  In  accordance with the great idea of God's perfect sovereignty, the man of a religiously free spirit regards all events which take place, SIN ONLY EXCEPTED, as an expression, under the existing circumstances, of the will of God. And such is his unity with the divine will, that there is an immediate acquiescence in the event, whatever may be its nature, and however afflicting in its personal bearings.  His  mind has acquired, as it were, a divine flexibility, in virtue of which it accommodates itself with surprising ease and readiness to all the developments of Providence, whether prosperous or adverse.

Those, who are in the enjoyment of true liberty, are patient under interior temptations and all inward trials of mind. They can bless the hand, that smites them internally as well as externally. Knowing that all good exercises are from the Holy Spirit, they have no disposition to prescribe to God what the particular nature of those exercises shall be. If God sees fit to try and to strengthen their spirit of submission and patience by bringing them into a state of great heaviness and sorrow, either by subjecting them to severe temptations from the adversary of souls, or by laying upon them the burden of deep grief for an impenitent world, or in any other way, they feel it to be all right and well. They ask for their daily bread spiritually, as well as temporally; and they cheerfully receive what God sees fit to send them.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Liberty and Accomodation to Others

The person is not in the enjoyment of true liberty of spirit, who is wanting in the disposition of accommodation to others in things, which are not of especial importance. And this is the case when we needlessly insist upon having every thing done in our own time and manner; when we are troubled about little things, which are in themselves indifferent, and think, perhaps, more of the position of a chair than of the salvation of a soul; when we find a difficulty in making allowance for the constitutional differences in others, which it may not be either easy or important for them to correct; when we find ourselves disgusted because another does not express himself in entire accordance with our principles of taste; or when we are displeased and dissatisfied with his religious or other performances, although we know he does the best he can. All these things, and many others like them, give evidence of a mind that has not entered into the broad and untrammeled domain of spiritual freedom.

We may properly add here, that the fault-finder, especially one who is in the confirmed habit faultfinding, is not a man of a free spirit. Accordingly, those who are often complaining of their minister, of the brethren of the church, of the time and manner of the ordinances, and of many other persons and things, will find, on a careful examination, that they are too full of self, too strongly moved by their personal views and interests, to know the true and full import of that ennobling liberty, which the Savior gives to his truly sanctified ones.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Liberty from Aversions

When we are wrongly under the influence of disinclinations and aversions, we cannot be said to be in internal liberty. Sometimes, when God very obviously calls us to the discharge of duty, we are internally conscious of a great degree of backwardness. We do it, it is true; but we feel that we do not like to do it. There are certain duties, which we owe to the poor and degraded, to the openly profane and, impure, which are oftentimes repugnant to persons of certain refined mental habits; but if we find that these refined repugnancies, which come in the way of duty, have great power over us, we are not in the true liberty. We have not that strength in God, which enables us to act vigorously and freely. Sometimes we have an aversion to an individual, the origin of which we cannot easily account for; there is something unpleasant to us, and perhaps unreasonably so, in his countenance, his manners, or his person. If this aversion interferes with and prevents the prompt and full discharge of the duty which, as a friend and a Christian, we owe to him, then we have reason to think that we have not reached that state of holy and unrestrained flexibility of mind, which the true idea of spiritual liberty implies.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Liberty from Domestic and Patriotic Affections

A man, who is in the enjoyment of true religious liberty, will not be enthralled by inordinate domestic or patriotic affections, however ennobling they may be thought to be; such as the love of parents and children, the love of friends and country. It is true that spiritual liberty does not exclude the exercise of these affections, which are in many respects generous and elevated, any more than it condemns and excludes the existence and exercise of the lower appetites and propensities. It pronounces its condemnation and exclusion upon a certain degree of them, or a certain intensity of power. When they are so strong as to become perplexities and entanglements in the path of duty, then they are evidently inconsistent with the existence of true spiritual freedom; and in that shape and in that degree necessarily come under condemnation. I have, for instance, a very near and dear friend, who is exceedingly worthy of my affections; but if my love to him leads me, perhaps almost involuntarily, to seek his company, when my duty to my God and my fellow-men calls me in another direction; and if I find it difficult to subdue and regulate this disposition of mind, it is evident that I am not in the purest and highest state of internal liberty. I have wrongly given to a creature something which belongs to God alone.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Liberty from Higher Desires

The person, who is in the enjoyment of true spiritual liberty, is no longer enthralled by certain desires of a higher character than the appetites; such as the desire of society, the desire of knowledge, the desire of the world's esteem and the like. These principles, which, in order to distinguish them from the appetites, may conveniently be designated as the propensities or propensive principles, operate in the man of true inward liberty as they were designed to operate, but never with the power to enslave. He desires, for instance, to go into society, and, in compliance with the suggestions of the social principle, to spend a portion of time in social intercourse; but he finds it entirely easy, although the desire, in itself considered, may be somewhat marked and strong, to keep it in strict subordination to his great purpose of doing every thing for the glory of God. Or perhaps, under the influence of another propensive tendency, that of the principle of curiosity, he desires to read a book of much interest, which some individual has placed before him; but he finds it entirely within his power, as in the other case, to check his desire, and to keep it in its proper place. In neither of these instances, nor in others like them, is he borne down, as we often perceive to be the case, by an almost uncontrollable tendency of mind. The desire, as soon as it begins to exist, is at once brought to the true test. The question at once arises, Is the desire of spending my time in this way conformable to the will of God? And if it is found or suspected to be at variance with the divine will, it is dismissed at once. The mind is conscious of an inward strength, which enables it to set at defiance all enslaving tendencies of this nature.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The True Idea of Spiritual Liberty

It has probably come within the observation of many persons, that there is a form or modification of religious experience, which is denominated "Liberty." Hence in common religious parlance, it is not unfrequently the case that we hear of persons being "in the liberty," or in the "true liberty." These expressions undoubtedly indicate an important religious truth, which has not altogether escaped the notice of writers on the religious life. The account, which is given by Francis de Sales of "liberty of spirit," is, that "it consists in keeping the heart totally disengaged from every created thing, in order that it may follow the known will of God."

To  this statement of De Sales, considered as a general and somewhat indefinite statement, we do not find it necessary to object. Certain it is that he, who is in the "true liberty," is "disengaged," and has escaped from the enslaving influence of the world. God has become to him an inward operative principle; without whom he feels he can do nothing; and in connection with whose blessed assistance he has an inward consciousness, that the world and its lusts have lost their enthralling power. Liberty, considered in this general sense of the term, is to be regarded as expressive of one of the highest and most excellent forms of Christian experience. And we may add further, that none truly enjoy it in this high sense but those who are in a state of mind, which may with propriety be denominated a holy or sanctified state; none but those whom God has made "free indeed." We proceed now to mention some of the marks, of which the condition or state of true spiritual liberty is characterized. Nor does there seem to be much difficulty in doing this, because liberty is the opposite of enthrallment; and because it is easy, as a general thing, to understand and to specify the things, by which we are most apt to be enthralled.

The person, who is in the enjoyment of true spiritual liberty, is no longer enthralled to the lower or appetitive part of his nature. Whether he eats or drinks, or whatever other appetite may claim its appropriate exercise, he can say in truth, that he does all to the glory of God. It is to be lamented, but is, nevertheless, true, that there are many persons of a reputable Christian standing, who are subject, in a greater or less degree, to a very injurious, tyranny from this source. But this is not the case with those, who are in the possession of inward liberty. Their souls have entered into the pleasures of divine rest. And they can truly say they are dead to all appetites, except so far as they operate to fulfill the original and wise intentions of the Being who implanted them.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 14.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Physician of the Mind

"And Jesus answering, said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician;  but  they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  Luke v. 31.

He makes the deaf to hear, the blind to see,
Restores the faint, and doth the bleeding bind,
But shows himself more strong in charity,
In healing the diseases of the mind.
Thou sick and bowed of soul, to Jesus go!
Tell him how weak and how diseased the heart,
And learn how he compassionates your woe,
And plucks the spirit's, as the body's smart.
He  quells the fears that throng thee and annoy,
With brighter views the intellect doth fill,
Gives strength to hope, and permanence to joy,
And aids with power divine the doubting will.
Others may heal the body; Christ makes whole,
(And only He hath power,) the crushed and fallen soul.

American Cottage Life (1850) XXIII.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The True Ground of Joy

"Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."  Luke x. 20.

Rejoice not in thy wealth of house and fields,
Nor build your hopes and bliss on earthly fame;
Earth but a momentary glory yields,
Its brightest joys are as an empty name.
Oh, fix no fondness there; 't will prove a thorn;
Many, that deeply loved, have deeply rued
Attachments so unworthy; and they warn
Others from treading where their feet have stood.
The Savior teaches a far wiser course,
To deem it glory, not that we possess
Mere wealth or power, or learning's proud resource,
Which mock us with the show of happiness;
But that we have, in that dread Book on high,
Our names inscribed of God, in words that never die.

American Cottage Life (1850) XXII.

Friday, December 4, 2015

How the Power of Love Prevails

Certainly it is not surprising that love, operating without cessation in this divine manner, should have power. Powerful in its truth and powerful in its beauty, it acquires additional power by its mode of operation. Even, therefore, when it is estimated on natural principles, and with reference to its own laws of influence, we cannot doubt its mighty efficiency; — an efficiency, which is more than equal to all possible difficulties, when it is attended, as it cannot fail to be, with the divine presence and favor.

If these remarks are correct, then it may be added, that the holy man has power with his fellow-men, on the same general principles and much in the same way, as Christ had when here on earth. Christ, considered in his human nature, may truly be described as a man. And like other holy men, he was full of the Holy Ghost; — but the divine power which was in him showed itself to others chiefly through the medium of a holy sympathy. There is, perhaps, no trait of his character more remarkable than this. It was sympathy which brought the Savior down from heaven to earth; it was sympathy which, in early times, carried apostles and martyrs to the stake; and it is sympathy, like that of the Savior, which, at the present day, conducts his followers to the dwellings of the poor, the sick, and the ignorant; which secures their presence and supplications in the church and the prayer-meeting; which inspires their self-denying labors for the prisoner and the criminal; and which separates them from the endearments of home, and sends them to the toils, the sufferings, and the death of heathen lands.

What is here said of sympathy is, at the same time, said of love. They are two names for one principle. Sympathy is only another name for love, when it is exercised in such a way as to harmonize, in the most beneficial manner, with the wants and the situation of others. We repeat, therefore, that a principle so divine as this must ultimately renovate and control the world. And it will do it in the manner which has already been mentioned, namely, by its attractive rather than its aggressive influence. Reaching in every direction, and attracting the attention of all men by its innate loveliness, it draws them gently but surely to itself. It prevails by means of its truth and beauty, and not less by that gentle touch of fellow-feeling, with which it weeps with every tear, and smiles upon every smile.

And one of its crowning glories is this. It conquers without knowing how or why it conquers; — the mighty power which is in it being hidden in its own simplicity of spirit.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 9.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Love Adapts to the Situation

One of the characteristics of holy love, in its developed and operative forms is, that it naturally and necessarily adapts itself to the existing state of things. Feelingly alive to every possible variety of circumstance, it assumes, at successive times, an infinity of modifications, without failing, under any of them, to maintain its own simplicity and truth. Its own nature, which harmonizes with the true good of all other natures, requires this. When it is alone, for instance, and its thoughts are
allowed to revert to God in distinction from the creatures of God, sympathizing with the divine excellence and blessedness, it naturally takes the form of adoring communion and praise. It begins to sing. "Bless the Lord,” it says with the Psalmist, "Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits!"

When it is not permitted to be in retirement, but is in company with others, it takes its character from those with whom it is. In the good and proper sense of the expressions, "it becomes all things to all men." If they are persecuted and in prison, if they are sick, or blind, or lame, or deprived of reason, or are afflicted in any other manner, then it is full of compassion.  It  feels all their sufferings. It sheds sincere tears. It binds up their wounds. And these kind acts, which are not more full of truth and beauty than of moral power, are not the results of artifice, but of nature. It cannot do otherwise.

If, on the contrary, those with whom it associates at a given time are in health and in joy, it naturally rejoices in their joy, just as in the other case it has sorrow in their sorrow. Love, in the form of benevolent sympathy, is the just reward and the life of innocent pleasure. It may be said to double the happiness of every smile by the reflection of sympathetic happiness from itself.

The results in religious things are analogous to those in natural things. It harmonizes there also, in a manner appropriate to its own nature, with the weak and the strong; rejoicing with the one, and rendering pity and aid to the other. If, for instance, it enters the church on the Sabbath, and hears a man proclaiming God’s message with sincerity, but still with evidence of want of intellectual power, it does not turn away with scorn or coldness; but deeply sympathizes with him, and prays the more earnestly that the divine power may be revealed and perfected through human weakness.  Its course, as would naturally be expected, is just the opposite of that of selfishness. Its desire is not to please itself; but, in its sympathy with God and his word, to help out, as it were, the struggling message.

And it is the same in other cases. Everywhere, freed as it is from the restrictions of a low and selfish spirit, it is seen to do the thing which is appropriate to the time and place; and always by the impulse of a spiritual nature, and never by human artifice. Accordingly, if we transfer this principle of holy love from the public assembly in the church to the smaller assembly of the private prayer-meeting, the same results are witnessed. It sees those assembled together, who, it is obvious, need to be conversed with, to be instructed, to be encouraged. Being always in sympathy with God, and knowing that its heavenly Father has called them together in order that they might be assisted, it does not set itself aside and wrap itself up in its own isolation; but feels in its own nature all the wants of those around, just as God does. It sees God in everything. It is God, who in his providence has assembled them together. It is God, who has placed itself in communication with them, and has done it with some benevolent object appropriate to their situation. It cannot be doubted, that the mighty heart of God desires their restoration; and he, who is united with God in love, desires it also. And such is the sympathy between his state of mind and the arrangements of Providence, that his thoughts and feelings and words may justly be expected to be in precise accordance with the occasion. And this feeling of benevolent sympathy, (such are the reciprocal influences of mind upon mind,) will necessarily be known, and felt, and appreciated, by those with whom he sympathizes.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 9.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Power of Love

The man, therefore, who is inspired and moved by the sentiments of pure or holy love, is a man of power. The maxim, that knowledge is power, is not more true than the proposition, that love is power. Limited in knowledge, and weak perhaps in social position, the man who loves is powerful by character. His mere opinions, divested as they necessarily are of the perversions of selfishness, inspire more confidence than the proofs all arguments of other men. His wish becomes a law, and has far more influence with those around him than the arts and compulsions, which a spirit less pure and generous would be likely to apply. Power is lodged in him, lives in him, moves in him, goes out from him. It costs him no effort. It is felt, almost without being exercised.

When he is smitten he turns the other cheek, and like the Saviour, forgives and loves his enemies. And, in doing so, he confers by the grandeur of his sentiments. He does good from the impulse of good, and without asking or seeking reward. And, in doing so, he places himself above the common level of humanity; disarms enmity, commands friendship, controls sensibility. The world stands abashed in his presence; and does him homage. He realizes, in the spiritual sense of its terms. which is far more important than the temporal, the fulfillment of the declaration of the Saviour, "Give, and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom."

It may, undoubtedly, be admitted, that those who have not arrived at this high degree and purity of love nevertheless have influence. But their influence, whether we regard it as more or less considerable, is aggressive rather than attractive.  It compels, rather than draws. By arguments in support of revelation, by appeals addressed to their interest and fears, by social and prudential arrangements, they aim to bring others within the currents of religion, and coerce them, as it were, to come in. They are much at work, developing. plans and prudences of action, mining and countermining with the highest dexterity of moral and religious strategy, sometimes with considerable effect, and sometimes, like the apostle Peter and his associates, toiling all night and catching nothing.

But to the man whose heart is filled with divine love, his life is his strategy; his heart is his argument; and the Holy Ghost within him is his prudential consideration. The less his strategy, and the more his simplicity, provided his simplicity is founded on purity and faith, the greater will be his power. He can no more separate power from himself, or himself from power, than he can separate himself from existence.

Love, therefore, is the principle operating by its own divinity, and attractive in its influence rather than aggressive and compulsive, which is destined not only to control, but to renovate the world. It will conquer, it is true, on a new system, and by means of new principles; but its conquest will be none the less effectual. And it is in such doctrines as these, which imply and require the renovation of the heart in love, that the Christian is destined to find the true and mighty secret of millennial power.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 9.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pure Love Makes Itself Beloved

Pure or unselfish love has a power, beyond anything else, to make itself loved. This remarkable power is as permanent as its own existence. As its attributes of universality and purity, its dispositions to love all, and to love all without selfishness, are essential to its nature; so, also, is the attribute of its influence, that secret but certain  power of making itself beloved, which it has over all minds. It is not a power therefore, which is acquired, but inherent;  not incidental, but permanent; exerting its authority by virtue of its own right, and not merely as the gift of favorable circumstances.

Pure love necessarily makes itself beloved, because it involves in its own nature two things, which have a power over love, namely, Truth and Beauty.

Pure love is in the truth; — that is to say, it exists in accordance with the truth. In other words, it has a true or right foundation.  If God is a true or right being then pure love, which constitutes the central element of his character, is a right or true affection. Love, which seeks the good of others merely because it delights is goodness, and without any private or selfish views, is what it ought to be; — and it cannot be otherwise than it is, without a violation of the facts and order of the universe. True in its foundation, and true in all the relations it sustains it is, at the same time, truth to God and truth to nature, and truth to humanity.

And pure love, which is thus inscribed everywhere with the signatures of its divine verity, is as beautiful as it is true. Beauty is the daughter of truth. When things are in truth, they are where it is fitting and right, that they should be; — just in their facts, just in their relations, just in their influences; — and such things cannot be indifferent to us. They have an innate power which is real, though not always explainable. And not being indifferent, but having a natural power to excite emotions, it is not possible, with such a foundation and such relations, that they should excite any emotions but those of beauty. We regard it, therefore, as a fixed and permanent law of nature, that the true and the beautiful have an eternal relation. It is impossible to separate them. Wherever the truth is, standing out to the eye in its own free and noble lineaments, there is, and must be, beauty.

With such elements involved in its very existence, pure or holy love cannot fail to make itself beloved. While its nature is to go out of itself for the good of others, and its very life is to live in the happiness of others, such is the transcendent truth and beauty of its divine generosity, that, without thinking of itself, it makes itself the center of the affections of others. In its gently pervading and attractive nature, it finds the analogy and the representation of its influence in the natural world. The sun, as the center of the solar system, binds together the planets which revolve around it, because it has something in itself, which may be said to allure and attract their movements, rather than compel it. What the sun is to the natural world, pure love is to the moral world. It not only has life in itself, which necessarily sends out or gives love, but has an innate power in itself, which necessarily  attracts love. Receptive, at the same time that it is emanative, it stands as the moral center, which, without violating their freedom, turns the universe of hearts to itself.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 9.