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The holy soul may be said to be united with God, without anything intervening or producing a separation, in three particulars.

First.—It is thus united intellectually;—that is to say, not by any idea which is based upon the senses, and which of course could give only a material image of God, but by an idea which is internal and spiritual in its origin, and makes God known to us as a Being without form.

Second.—The soul is thus united to God, if we may so express it, affectionately. That is to say, when its affections are given to God, not indirectly through a self-interested motive, but simply because He is what He is. The soul is united to God in love without anything intervening, when it loves Him for His own sake.

Third.—The soul is thus united to God practically;—and this is the case when it does the will of God, not by simply following a prescribed form, but from the constantly operative impulse of holy love.

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