The Life of God in the Soul
by James Smith, 1860is not a religious form — but a LIFE. It is the life which God imparts — the life which God communicates in regeneration, and nourishes by his word, ordinances, and communion with himself. This inward principle of life develops itself in:
a life of faith in the Son of God;
a life of love, so that we love God, and everything that is godlike;
a life of holiness, so that we obey God — and in all we do, we seek to please him.
Not only so — but it constantly aspires to God as its author and source. It makes us devout, and the life we live is a life of devotion. In all that we do — we consult the will of God, we seek grace for its performance from God, and we desire most heartily to honor God. Originating as it does in God's sovereign will, flowing as it does from God's loving heart, and ascending as it does in devout exercises to God's gracious throne — it makes us godly, or godlike! It is this one thing which distinguishes God's family from the rest of mankind, and proves their election of God.
This life of God in the soul, isSPIRITUAL, manifesting itself in spiritual desires, and spiritual exercises. It gives us a taste for spiritual things, and requires to be sustained by spiritual provision — Christ, the bread of life — and the living water which He gives. It is energetic, and therefore it urges, and impels us — to perform spiritual duties, overcome all carnal customs and habits, and to seek conformity to Christ in all things.
This life of God in the soul, isUSEFUL, not only to its possessor, as qualifying him for spiritual duties and privileges, and making him fit for heaven; but it always makes those in whom it dwells — useful to others, both saints and sinners. A useless man cannot have the life of God within him, for wherever it is, it makes him feel that he must be useful, must do good to others to some extent.
This life of God in the soul, isETERNAL, it can never die — and never be destroyed. The soul is not more immortal, than is this life which God gives. Yes, outside of God himself, we know of nothing that is more certain of endless duration, than this life of God in the soul. It is the source of all that is holy, useful, happy, and glorious. He who has this life — can never perish, nor can anyone wrest him from the Savior's omnipotent hands!
This life of God in the soul, isfor GOD'S GLORY. As it originated in his sovereign good pleasure — so it is communicated and is maintained for his honor. And as it is maintained for his honor — so it is designed and intended to advance his glory.
This life of God in the soul, will ultimately be therefore a lifeWITH GOD. We believe that we shall live with him. It brings us into his spiritual presence now — and gives us the enjoyment of his love. And it introduces us into his glorious presence at death — and then we shall have a life of perfect enjoyment, and purest pleasure forever! We will be as holy — as God is holy; as happy — as God is happy; as immortal — as God is immortal.
O what a prospect! What glory, what grandeur, what blessedness awaits us! The life of God, which now pants within us, and has to strive and do battle with the direful corruptions of the heart — the life which generates every good desire and every holy aspiration — the life which will not let us rest in forms, or live in sin — that life will soon burst forth in power, splendor, and immortal glory — and then we shall be satisfied, for we shall awake in our Savior's likeness!