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ARTICLE FORTY-FIFTH

Among the various forms of expression indicative of the highest experience, we sometimes find that of "Divine union," or "union with God."

Union with God, not a physical but moral or religious union, necessarily exists in souls that are in the state of pure love. The state of "Divine union" is not a higher state than that of pure love, but may rather be described as the same state.

Strive after it; but do not too readily or easily believe that you have attained to it. The traveler, after many fatigues and dangers, arrives at the top of a mountain. As he looks abroad from that high eminence, and in that clear atmosphere, he sees his native city; and it seems to him to be very near. Overjoyed at the sight, and perhaps deceived by his position, he proclaims himself as already at the end of his journey. But he soon finds that the distance was greater than he supposed. He is obliged to descend into valleys, and to climb over hills, and to surmount rugged rocks, and to wind his tired steps over many a mile of weary way, before he reaches that home and city, which he once thought so near.

It is thus in relation to the sanctification of the heart. True holiness of heart is the object at which the Christian aims. He beholds it before him, as an object of transcendent beauty, and as perhaps near at hand. But as he advances towards it, he finds the way longer and more difficult than he had imagined. But if on the one hand we should be careful not to mistake au intermediate stopping place for the end of the way, we should be equally careful on the other not to be discouraged by the difficulties we meet with; remembering that the obligation to be holy is always binding upon us, and that God will help those who put their trust in Him.

"Whatsoever is born of God, overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, EVEN OUR FAITH." (1 John v. 4)

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