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, June 7, 2016

Recognizing the Spirit's Guidance: Conscience

The person, who is guided by the Holy Spirit, will possess a quickly operative and effective conscience. This is too obvious to require much remark. It seems to be impossible, that a man should be guided by the Holy Spirit, and not experience a purified and renovated activity of the moral sense. This important result is what might naturally be expected, among other things, from the result on our intellectual nature, which has already been indicated. It is well known that the conscience operates in connection with the intellect, and subsequent in time. There must necessarily be certain intellectual data or facts, as the basis of the inward conscientious movement. And in accordance with this law, in proportion as the truth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit develops itself from the intellect, with greater and greater clearness, the action of the conscience becomes increasingly distinct, sensitive, and energetic. It becomes a sort of flaming sword in the soul; and keeps it in the way of life. Accordingly, on this principle, no man, who has a dull and sleepy conscience, a rough and blunted edge of moral perceptivity, is at liberty to say, that he is guided by the Holy Ghost.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 6.

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