Here are a few choice excerpts from Henry Scougal regarding “the life of God in the soul of man.” Enjoy…
Running to Christ in Response to Seeing Our Sin
“That which makes any body esteem us, is their knowledge or apprehension of some little good, and their ignorance of a great deal of evil that may be in us; were they thoroughly acquainted with us, they would quickly change their opinion. The thoughts that pass in our heart in the best and most serious day of our life, being exposed unto public view, would render us either hateful or ridiculous; and now, however we conceal our failings from one another; yet sure we are conscious of them ourselves, and some serious reflections upon them would much qualify and allay the vanity of our spirits. Thus holy men have come really to think worse of themselves than any other person in the world: not but that they knew that gross and scandalous vices are in their nature more heinous than the surprises of temptations and infirmity, but because they are much more intent on their own miscarriages, than on those of their neighbors, and did consider all the aggravations of the one, and everything that might be supposed to diminish and alleviate the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 131-132.)
The Self-Denial of Christlike Love
“Perfect love is a kind of self-dereliction, a wandering out of ourselves; it is a kind of voluntary death, wherein the lover dies to himself, and all his own interests, not thinking of them, nor caring for them any more, and minding nothing but how he may please and gratify the party whom he loves: thus, he is quite undone, unless he meets with reciprocal affection; he neglects himself, and the other hath no regard to him; but if he be beloved, he is revived, as it were, and liveth in the soul and care of the person whom he loves; and now he begins to mind his own concerns, not so much because they are his, as because the beloved is pleased to own an interest in them: he becomes dear unto himself, because he is so unto the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 76).
The Grace of Humility: Seeing Our Sin in Light of God’s Greatness
“But it is well observed by a pious writer, that the deepest and most pure humility doth not so much arise from the consideration of our own faults and defects, as from a calm and quiet contemplation of the divine purity and goodness. Our spots never appear so clearly as when we place them before this infinite Light …” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 132).