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, August 3, 2016

Peace and Holiness

We proceed further to say, in the consideration of the elements of true spiritual peace, that the degree of peace will correspond to the advancement of the soul in holi­ness. And, one reason of this, among others, is, that the new principle of holiness, when it has become fully engrafted and established in the soul, has all the attributes of a new nature. It certainly is not contrary either to the facts or the reason of the case, to speak of the ruling principle, in a soul which is fully united with God, as operating naturally. And natural action, that is to say, action flowing from nature, in distinction from that which originates from forced efforts of the will made against nature, — is, of course, easy, quiet, peaceful action. But it is necessary to give some explanations of this view.

That which acts naturally has a natural life. A natural life is that life which develops itself in accordance with the principles of its own nature, and which, in doing so, is true and harmonious to itself. The sinner, in his unregenerated state, lives and acts naturally in sinning; because that which he does is not only his own doing, but is done voluntarily and easily, and harmonizes with its own central principle of movement. The central principle in fallen man is self. The great law of selfishness, which requires him to place himself first, and God and humanity under him, regulates all his actions. From this principle, which operates as an internal and life-giving force, his actions flow out as constantly and as naturally as trees grow in a soil which is appropriate to them, and as waters flow from mountains to the ocean.

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

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