Should I trust my own abilities?
The work of the Holy Spirit is always to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us and not to reveal Himself. To me it is a real personal, living Jesus, who dwells within me and who is my life and not any vague idea of the Spirit. I am going to look up all the texts where the Spirit’s work is spoken of and see whether they do not teach this.
Another thought I would suggest to you, “Is our new nature anything more than Christ in us? Is He not our life, and our only life?” “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” “God hath given to us eternal life.” And this life is where? “In His Son.” If this is true, how completely it settles all questions about our own abilities. If Jesus is our life, of course our only work must be to keep from living our own life and let His life work in us. It seems to me it is the triumph of faith to be able to reckon ourselves dead and alive only in Christ. But oh, when faith is enabled to take this leap, how glorious it is!
—To sister Mary, 1867
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).