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, January 27, 2016

Harmonizing With God in Prayer

The soul, which is fully in the experience of divine union, will harmonize perfectly with the emotions and desires of the divine mind. If, for instance, there are soon to be especial operations of tbs Holy Spirit, and if souls are to be enlightened and restored to God, the preparations for such events will always exist first in the mind of God himself. It is not possible that such things should exist accidentally They are the developments, coming in their appropriate order and under appropriate circumstances, of the divine thought, of the divine  feeling. But if it be true that the heavings of the billows, whether gently or more powerfully, will first show themselves in the great ocean of thought and feeling, it will also be true that they will excite a correspondent movement in all smaller steams and fountains which are in alliance with them. In other words, God, in all good works, moves first; and the minds of his people, (all those who come within the particular sphere of movement,) move in harmony with him.

If God desires a particular thing to take place within their particular sphere of feeling and action, the desire of the Infinite mind sympathetically takes shape and develops itself in the finite mind; and the unspoken desire of the Father shows itself in the uttered prayer of the children. As in nature a small moaning sound of the winds often precedes a wide and powerful movement, so the sighing in the bosoms of the finite denotes an approaching movement of far greater power in the Infinite.

In connection with these views we have one of the methods given us, by which we discover the particular thing or purpose which now exists in the mind of God. It is obviously the dictate of the common sense of mankind, that the fact of unity of spirit implies and involves the fact of unity of movement. All those who are "born of God," in the higher sense of the expressions, (for instance, in the sense in which the expressions are used in St. John's epistles,) are in unity with him, whose spiritual birth is within them. It is not more true that God is their Father, than it is that they are God's children. They are one; — as the planets are one with the sun, as the billow is one with the ocean, as the branch is one with the vine, as the son is one with the father. And, in the existence of such union, there cannot, as a general thing, be a feeling or purpose in one party, without the existence of a correspondent feeling and purpose in the other. There are some limitations and exceptions undoubtedly; but, as a general thing, when we know the thoughts of God's true people, we know God's thoughts; when we know what God's true people desire, we know what God desires; when we know what the people of God are determined to do, we know what God is deter­mined to do.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 11.

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