“Be sure to maintain a secret trade with God. Many men come to be very rich in the world, by a secret trade. Though some do not have as many avenues as others, yet they have found a secret trade, and by that they gain very great estates, as many of you here know by experience. Take it friends as an experienced truth, there is no other way under heaven to be rich in spiritual things, as by having a secret trade heavenwards. It is true, it is good for men to attend upon this, and that, and the other public things, but such as delight to be more upon the public stage, than in the closet, will never be rich in spiritual matters. They may grow rich in ideas, but they will never grow rich in gracious experiences. O God loves to see a poor Christian shut his closet door, and then to open his heart and pour out his soul before him. God has very choice gifts for souls that look for a secret trade. And I never knew any man or woman in my life, who was richer in grace, than those who were much in closet communion with God.
Much of a Christian’s spiritual strength lies in secret prayer. Nothing frightens Satan and weakens sin, like this. Secret prayers are the pillars of smoke in which the soul ascends to God out of the wilderness of this world. Secret prayer is Jacob’s ladder, where you have God descending down into the soul, and the soul sweetly ascending up to God. There is no way to be rich in spiritual things like this. Therefore be sure to maintain and keep up a secret trade between God and your own souls. O, let God hear often of you in secret. O, in the secret walks, the soul meets with the king of glory. O, there the soul hangs upon Christ, there the soul sucks and draws virtue from Christ, and there the soul is made rich with the riches of Christ. Christ is much delighted and taken with secret prayer. Secret meals are very fattening, and secret duties are very soul-enriching. Christians, set more closely to this work, and if you do not thrive by it, trust me no more. And thus you see by what means you may grow rich in grace.”
~ Thomas Brooks, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/secret-trade-83229/, Comment #1