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, April 17, 2024

An Affectionate Submission to God

The subjection or submission of the will, for which we contend, is an affectionate submission, a submission which has some elements of the heart in it, a submission of love. We do not mean to say, that the submission of the will is, psychologically or mentally, the same thing, with love; but that it is a state of mind which implies love. And furthermore, the existence of love, as a necessary attendant upon it, gives to it one of its marked peculiarities, and a great share of its exceeding value. And it is this submission, therefore, the submission of the will in love, which God desires, and which he demands. But it is well understood, that the love of God, implies faith in God. To love him without having faith in his character as a good and holy being would be an impossibility. And, accordingly, looking at the subject in this point of view, we may confidently say the will is never truly subjected to God, is never subjected in that sense which alone God can accept, without faith.

 We assert, therefore, negatively, that there can be no submission, of the will without faith. And we add, affirmatively, that faith produces or makes submission. But in laying down the affirmative proposition, it is obvious, that we must take into view the degree of strength, in which faith exists. So that the principle, stated specifically, would seem to be this. The submission of the will, by a natural law of the mind’s operation, exists in connection with faith, corresponding in degree, and being greater or less, in accordance with the degree of faith. Assurance of faith, therefore, or faith existing in the highest degree is always attended with entire submission or subjection of the will. Thus, in looking over the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, we find, that Abel, having faith, offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Noah, in the exercise of faith, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. Abraham, believing in God that he is, and that he is the friend of those that diligently seek him, dwelt in a strange land; and being tried, offered up Isaac, his only begotten son, of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Moses, being a man of faith, forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. Similar statements are made in relation to Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Samuel and others, who in the exercise of faith, subdued kingdoms, stopped the mouths of lions, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens; or on the other hand, had trial of mockings and scourgings, of bonds and imprisonment, wandering in mountains and deserts, in dens and caves of the earth, of whom the world was not worthy.

In such instances, which might be multiplied to almost any extent by a reference to the lives and acts of truly devoted Christians in all ages of the world, we find a striking and satisfactory illustration of the fact, that the will, the natural exponent of which is outward action, will be in precise accordance with faith; and that where there is an undoubting or assured faith, as in the case of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, and others, there will be an entire subjection of the will. In other words it will be found to be true, whether we consult the statements of the Bible or the history of Christians in any and every age of the world, that men of true and assured faith will do and suffer, just as God would have them do and suffer, which of course implies a will entirely resigned to God and entirely under his direction.

— From The Life of Faith, Part 2, Chapter 9.

No comments:

Post a Comment