— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, 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.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Recognizing the Spirit's Guidance: Union with Providence
He, who is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will always find himself in the position of coincidence and union with the divine Providences. He will not only be in harmony with whatever is true and beautiful in human intercourse; but there will also be no jarring and no points of discordant contact between his conduct and the unerring consecution of providential dispensations. This will be sufficiently obvious we suppose, after what has been said in some of the preceding chapters, without going into any length of remark. It is unquestionable that the will of God is made known, to a considerable extent, in his providential dealings. Consequently the language of the Holy Spirit will never, in any case, contradict the correctly interpreted language of divine Providence. On the contrary, they will always completely, and, as they have but one author, will necessarily harmonize. To illustrate the subject, the Holy Spirit will never instruct an individual to give to religious purposes a certain amount of property, when the Providence of God, by taking away his property, has rendered the donation an impossibility. Again, the Holy Spirit will never, by an interior teaching, instruct a man to go upon a distant missionary enterprise, when at the same time the Providence of God, by placing him on a bed of sickness, has rendered him incapable of the requisite physical and mental exertion. And if any impressions or convictions, which thus involve a contradiction of the voice of the Spirit and the voice of Providence, should rest upon the mind of any person, he may be assured that they come from a wrong source, and ought to be rejected. We assert, therefore, that he, who is led by the Holy Spirit, will find his conduct beautifully harmonizing with the events of divine Providence, as they daily and hourly develop themselves. In other words, while he is continually led by the inward guidance to do and to suffer the divine will, he always finds himself acting and suffering in cooperation with the manifested designs and arrangements of God.