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.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

God Now Conforms the Soul to Action

It is important to understand the view which has now been presented. The want of a full understanding of it has sometimes perplexed those persons who have been led by the Holy Ghost into the higher stages of experience. They doubt their love, because they find it so easy and natural to love. The suggestion arises in their minds, because the perception of their own working is lost in the fact of God's working, that perhaps nothing is done at all. Certain it is that their present state is very different from their former state, when they were but beginners in the religious life.

Formerly, their life was a divided one. The inward struggle was almost incessant. Comparatively speaking, there was no rest, no peace. But now, the unity of their affections in God has put an end to all interior trouble, except so far as the soul is tried by temptations originating from without. Formerly, they found the service of God, both in its inward and outward forms, obstructed and hard, requiring the greatest effort. But now they rejoice in God always, as if they had no other business, and no other desire. Formerly, they could hardly eat, or speak, or move, without great anxiety, in consequence of finding sin intermingled with everything. But now they find the grace of God sufficient for the regulation of the appetites and the social principles; and those things which were once occasions of temptation and sorrow, are now occasions of gratitude. Formerly, they conformed their actions to God, who was a God afar off'; — and this was troublesome, because the agency was in a great degree in themselves. But now God, who dwells within, conforms the soul to the action; and thus they are not conscious either of effort or trouble. In a word, "their yoke is easy, and their burden is light."

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 9.

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