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.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Unknown God

We admit the doctrine of limited manifestations. God may manifest himself to a certain extent, and he does so. He manifests the fact of his existence by the works, which he has made. He manifests also, in the same manner, some of the incidents or attributes of his existence, such as his wisdom, his power, and goodness. And it is certainly possible for him, departing from the usual method of his proceedings, to manifest himself, even at the present time, in special or supernatural sights and sounds, in displays and visions of heaven and of earth, which shall be impressive to the outward senses. But what we contend for is, that such manifestations do not constitute, and cannot constitute the real knowledge, or rather the knowledge of the nature of the I AM; but are only a sign, adapted to the nature of our capacities, that the I AM is; that he has certain attributes; and that there is yet something beyond what the eye sees and the ear hears and the intellect knows; a region of existence, vast, unmeasured, infinite, which belongs to faith. Thomas, the doubting disciple, believed, as far as he could see, and only because he could see. Jesus said to him; “Thomas because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they, that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The love of manifestations, of that which is visible and tangible, in distinction from that, which is addressed to faith, is one of the evils of the present age. Men love visions, more than they love holiness. They would have God in their hands, rather than in their hearts. They would set him up as a thing to be looked at, and with decorated cars would transport him, if they could realize what their hearts desire, from place to place, on the precise principles of heathenism; because, being weak in faith, they find it difficult to recognize the existence, and to love and to do the will of an “unknown God.” But this was not the religion of the Apostle Paul. “As I passed by,” he says to the Athenians, “and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you.” We must be so humble, so sunk in the depths of our own nothingness, as to be willing to receive, worship, and love the God unknown; and who, because he is infinite, and man is finite, always must be unknown in a great degree; except in the MANIFESTATION OF HIS WILL. It is in his will, believing that his will is righteous, that we may meet with him, may know him, may rejoice in him, may become one with him. “BELIEVE in the Lord your God; so shall you be established.”

— edited from the Life of Faith (1852) Part 2, Chapter 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment