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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Interior Annihilation

When we use the phrase "interior annihilation," we of course use it in a mitigated or qualified sense, as meaning not an entire extinction of any principles within us, but only an extinction of certain irregularities of their action. In other words, it is not an absolute annihilation; but only the annihilation of any thing and every thing which is wrong; the annihilation of what the Scriptures call the "old man," in distinction from the "new man, created anew in Christ Jesus."

Perhaps we should not refer to this form of expression at all, nor make any remarks upon it, although it is sometimes a convenient one in the description of internal experience, were it not that it is often employed, or some phrase of equivalent import, in writers, particularly those of an ancient date, on the interior religious life. I believe, also, it is quite common among many Christians at the present time, to speak in rather a loose way of their Nothingness, of the importance of feeling that they are Nothing, and the like; which shows that this form of expression indicates the existence of some great practical truth, although it may be but indistinctly developed, which is clear to the religious mind.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 12.

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