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, April 8, 2024

The Loss of Our Own Will

It is not sufficient, that the lower principles of our nature are brought into subjection; it is not sufficient to possess affections purified and sanctified; God requires, in addition to these results and evidences of the rectification of our inward nature, the subjection of the will; an equally important and perhaps still more difficult work. One of the results of the highest Christianity, a Christianity far different from and far above that which is merely nominal, or which is but little better than nominal, is the LOSS OF OUR OWN WILLS. It is not meant by this, that we may not have a will different from that of our fellow-men, nor is it meant, that we may not have a strong, energetic will; but that we ought not to have, and that as Christians, who aim at the highest results of the divine life, we cannot have a will of our own, in distinction from and at variance with the divine will.

In this last sense, he, who approaches nearest to an annihilation of his own will, approaches nearest to the state of entire sympathy and harmony with the Divine Mind. The prostration of our own will, in such a sense that it shall not in any respect oppose itself to the will of God, seems to be the completion or consummation of those various processes, by which the inward spirit is purified. When the will in its personal or self-interested operation is entirely prostrated, so that we can say with the Savior, “Lo, I come to do thy will,” then the wall of spiritual separation is taken away, and the soul may be said, through the open entrance, to find a passage, as it were, into God himself, and to become one with Him, in a mysterious but holy and glorious union. Then and not till then, can it be truly said that the warfare against God has ceased, and a perfect reconciliation taken place, enabling those who have arrived at this blessed state to exclaim with the Savior, (perhaps in a modified but still in a true and most important sense,) “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE.”

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

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