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.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Wickedness and the Plan of God

Holy anger implies a strong faith:

In the first place, God teaches us, or rather it is one of the received principles or doctrines of Christian faith, that it is a part of God’s plan, in the operations of his mysterious providence, to let wicked men manifest their wickedness. On the supposition that sin exists in the universe, of which we have such clear and melancholy evidence, God is willing, for purposes which are best known to his own infinite wisdom, that those, who have sin in their hearts, should manifest it in their conduct, in order that their condemnation, which follows in its own appointed hour, may be seen and known to be just. He is willing also, that those, who do not sin or whom he desires should be kept from sin, should see, in the lives of unholy men, the odiousness of sin. The Savior has himself said in language which has a significant and awful import, “It is impossible but that offenses will come.” [Luke 17:1.] The man of faith, therefore, knowing that sin develops itself in these relations and with these results, does not lose his confidence in God. He remains unshaken.

In the second place, it is one of the received principles of Christian faith, that God sometimes uses the wicked as instruments in the discipline of his own people. Perhaps the wrong doing of others manifests itself in injuries, of which we ourselves are the subjects. Seeing the agency of God, not in the sin but in the direction, which the sin is permitted to take in its relation to ourselves, the doctrine of faith in its inward operation would require us to be humble, to be patient, as those whom God, for wise reasons, sees fit to afflict. It is God’s will, that we should be afflicted in this manner. The principle of faith, existing practically in our hearts, will enable us to receive this affliction humbly and patiently, as we do other afflictions.

 — from The Life of Faith, Part 2, Chapter 8.


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