— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 6.
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, June 1, 2016
God's providence is internal as well as external. God is the inspirer of the feelings of the heart as well as the director and controller of outward events. Our thoughts and feelings are from God, so far as they are right thoughts and right feelings. Accordingly, the man who is fully united with God, rests from all anxiety in relation to the particular form or mode of his inward experience. Among the various thoughts and feelings which are right and good, he has no choice. For instance, he does not desire inward joys, nor great illuminations of mind, nor freedom and gifts of utterance; but desires and accepts only that degree of light and joy, whether more or less, which God sees fit to send. It is true we are directed to covet "the best gifts," [1 Cor. 12:31.] but it is equally true that those gifts are the best which God selects and gives. In everything, in gifts and the exercise of gifts, for time and for eternity, the wise man chooses for himself what God chooses for him: which is the same as to say that he rests from choice, or that he is without choice. God's providence is his guide.