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, May 17, 2016

Cooperation With God: What We Shall Do

It is very obvious, that man, considered as a rational and voluntary being, is designed for action. And when we consider the relation of entire dependence, which man sustains to his Creator, it is no less obvious, that human action ought to assume and to maintain the shape of cooperation with God. This is designed to be, and it ought to be, the great object of our life, viz. COOPERATION WITH GOD.

In endeavoring to ascertain the principles of this important subject, we remark in the first place, that we are not to undertake to decide for ourselves, (that is to say, by a reference to our own wishes merely,) what we are to do, and what we are not to do. Such a course would exhibit  a disposition to cooperate with ourselves, if we may so express it, rather than with God. On the contrary, realizing deeply the general fact of our liability to error, we should ever be in that state of mind, which will lead us with meekness and simplicity to inquire what our heavenly Father will have us to do. We should have no choice of our own, which shall be, in any degree whatever, at variance with his choice. The thing to be done, whatever it may be, must be left with him. This is one condition, on which we can cooperate with God; and without which it is evident, that no acceptable cooperation with Him can take place.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 5.

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