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CHAPTER II.

THAT THIS DIVINE COMMANDMENT OF LOVE TENDS TO HEAVEN, YET IS GIVEN TO THE FAITHFUL IN THIS WORLD.

If the law is not made for the just man,4404401 Tim. i. 9. because, preventing the law and without the pressure of the law, he performs God's will by the instinct of charity which reigns in his soul; how free and exempt from all commandments must we consider the Blessed in Paradise to be, since from their enjoyment of the sovereign beauty and goodness of the well-beloved, a most sweet yet inevitable necessity in their spirits of loving eternally the most holy divinity, flows and proceeds. We shall love God in heaven, Theotimus, not as being tied and obliged by the law, but as being allured and ravished by the joy which this object, so perfectly worthy of love, shall yield to our hearts. Then the force of the commandment will cease, in order to give place to the force of contentment, which shall be the fruit and crown of the observance of the commandment. We are therefore destined to the contentment which is promised us in the immortal life, by this commandment which is given unto us in this mortal life, in which truly we are strictly bound to observe it, because it is the fundamental law which the King Jesus has given to the citizens of the militant Jerusalem, to make them merit the citizenship and joy of the triumphant Jerusalem.

There above in heaven we shall indeed have a heart quite free from passions, a soul purified from all distractions, a spirit liberated from contradictions, and powers exempt from opposition, and therefore we shall love God with a perpetual and never 414interrupted affection, as it is said of those four living creatures, which, representing the Evangelists, continually praised the divinity, not resting day or night.441441Apoc. iv. O God! what joy, when, established in those eternal tabernacles, our spirits shall be in this perpetual movement, in which they shall enjoy the so much desired repose of their eternal loving. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever.442442Ps. lxxxiii. 5.

But we are not to expect this love so exceedingly perfect in this mortal life: for as yet we have neither the heart, nor the soul, nor the spirit, nor the forces of the Blessed. It is sufficient for us to love with all the heart and all the powers we have. While we are little children, we are wise like little children, we speak like little children, we love like little children, but when we shall come to our perfect growth, there above in heaven, we shall be freed from our state of infancy, and love God perfectly. Yet are we not for all this, Theotimus, during this infancy of our mortal life, to omit to do what in us lies according as we are commanded, since this is not only in our power, but is also very easy; the whole commandment being of love, and of the love of God, who as he is sovereignly good, so is he sovereignly amiable.

 


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