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, March 16, 2016

The Vessel of Providence

There is a multitude of things which reasoning cannot resolve. All attempts to satisfy ourselves on such subjects must be attended with disquiet and anxiety. And the mind which is fully right with God, will not be likely to make such an attempt. The true wisdom is, to wish to know all that God would have us to know; to employ our perception and reasoning under a divine guidance, and to seek nothing beyond that limit. All beyond that we may properly and safely leave, knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love God.

We may illustrate our position, perhaps, by comparing ourselves to persons on a voyage. Providence is the vessel, if we may so speak, in which we are embarked, and in which we are borne on over the vicissitudes of our allotment, over the waves of changing time. The vessel, in a world like this, where good and evil are convicting, may be tossed with violence; but the mariners should be calm. Let the vessel float on. The winds and the currents are not accidents; but every movement of them, every rolling wave, every breath of wind, is under a divine control. The pilot is awake when he seems to sleep. The rest of God is not the rest of weakness or of forgetfulness, but the rest of security. And his work is not the less effectual and the less certain because it is done "without observation."  It is our business, when we have done all that he has commanded us, to leave the result with him, without fear and without questions.

The vessel which bore the Saviour over the sea of Tiberias, was tossed by the storm. His disciples came to him in great agitation, and called upon him for help. In quieting the raging of the tempest, he thought it a suitable occasion to rebuke them for giving themselves up so easily to the reasonings and fears of unbelieving nature. “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith!  Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment