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.

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.

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