But some will perhaps inquire, in connection with the views now presented, Shall we remain inactive? I reply, that man is justly and efficiently active, when he is active in communication with God; and yet remaining deeply in his own sphere of nothingness. Man never acts to higher and nobler purpose, than when, in the realization of his own comparative nihility, he places himself in the receptive position, and lets God work in him. He, who is receptive, is neither idle nor unprofitable. In the intercourse between man and his Maker, it is the receptive and not the communicative activity, which is the source of truth, riches, and power. The religious man, in his receptive activity, is like the earth, (so far as we can compare things mental with material,) which receives into its ploughed and expanded bosom the morning dew and the summer shower and the daily sunshine; that thus, by being prepared to receive them and by being endowed with abundant communications from without and above, it may subsequently become rich in itself; and in its own vitality, as it were, be crowned with fruit and flower. Or perhaps we may say more appropriately, that he is like those scholars, who are impressed with a sense of their own inferiority and ignorance, and are willing to sit patiently and humbly at the feet of their distinguished teachers, that they may grow in knowledge. Their minds are receptive, but not inert; are in the attitude of listening, but are not idle. They ultimately, in the way of cooperation with what they have received, become fruitful in themselves; but it is only because they are humble and attentive recipients in the first instance.
— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 5.