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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

No Longer at War with Providence

The sinful man has no true peace, among other sources of disquiet, because his position is at variance with Providence. One view to be taken of sin, is, that it is war. It is not only war against God's character, but against his commands; not only war against his commands, but against his providential arrangements. God has one way and plan of arrangement; the sinful man, who is in a state of rebellion against God, has another plan. The center of God's arrangements is benevolence or the love of all; the center of the sinful man's arrangements is the inordinate love of himself. Radiating from such different centers, the plans which are formed continually come in conflict. Under such circumstances it is impossible that the sinner should have rest. Finding himself face to face in opposition to what God has determined, and thus in conflicting lines of movement, he is continually met and counteracted, continually smitten and driven back. His life is a warfare commenced and carried on under the most hopeless circumstances; a warfare attended everywhere and unceasingly with discomfiture and suffering.

On the contrary, the man who is united with God in the possession of a common central feeling, is necessarily united with him in all the movements and arrangements which he makes. In other words, he rests from the perplexities and uncertainties of making his own choice, by accepting, under all circumstances, the choice which his heavenly Father has made for him. With the exception of sin, God's choice never varies, and never can vary, from the facts and incidents of that state of things which now exists. And it is this choice, however painful it may be in some of its personal relations, which the godly man takes and sanctions as his own. So that his choice being already made by the unvarying adoption of that which is from God, he may be said not to have any preference of his own, but to rest from his own choice, that he may repose in God's choice. And God's choice is only another name for his providence. There is, therefore, no conflict; there never can be any.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 6.

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