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SINCE it is necessary, that our not seeing God should be so supplied, as that we may be capable of loving him, notwithstanding; I now proceed to give some directions, which I hope will be of use to us in this great and important matter. As,
1 Let us fix the apprehension deep in our souls, of his certain necessary existence, and supreme excellence. Our sight doth not serve us to the loving of any thing, otherwise than as it is a means to beget an apprehension in our minds of the loveliness of it. Sight is in no case the immediate inducement of love, but only as it is ministerial and subservient to the nobler powers of the mind. And if by any other means than by seeing, we can come to apprehend so much concerning the blessed God, to wit, his most necessary existence, and supreme excellency, we shall not be at a loss then for an apt medium, by which our love is to be excited in us towards him.
These two things are the same in effect with those that the 92apostle tells us we ought to be assured of, in order to our coming to God with acceptance, namely, that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb. xi. 6. We may easily understand how he is a rewarder, if we compare this passage with what is said to Abraham, I am thy exceeding great reward. Gen. xv. 1. God is at once both a rewarder, and a reward to those whose hearts are towards him. He is a rewarder by communicating himself, and not by giving rewards alien and diverse from himself. And it is necessary that we be assured, that he both is, and that he is in this sense a rewarder, as being in himself the highest excellency, or the supreme and best Good. For without a persuasion concerning both these, it is intimated, that we cannot come unto him in an acceptable manner.
Now loving him is one way of coming to him. It is that by which the soul moveth to him in desire, and then rests in him in delight. There can be no such motion in the soul towards God, without this double persuasion concerning him; namely, of his certain existence, and highest excellency, as our terminative good. And you have heard that we may be as sure of both these, as of any thing that we see with our eyes. For if our eyes tell us, that any thing is in being, our minds tell us as certainly, that there is an original Being. And if we can be any way sure, that there is such a thing as goodness, and excellency in the world; we may be as sure, that there is an original excellency, an original good, which must needs be the supreme good, and can be no where, but in the original supreme Being. For goodness and excellency are not nothing, and therefore cannot come out of nothing, but must proceed from the same fountain, from whence all being comes. We are not more sure of any thing that our eyes inform us of, than we shall be of this, if we do but consider, and use our understanding in the case.
So that we should endeavour once to fix the apprehension of these things, as being most certainly true; and from our very souls should bless God, that we are at a certainty in these things; that we do not feel the ground loose under us, but are in this respect on firm ground, when we affirm that God most necessarily is, and is the highest and most excellent Good. And being once sure of this, it would be very unreasonable to be recalling this matter into doubt, or to be perpetually moving questions and disputes concerning it in our minds. It is what we may be as sure of, as that there is a world in being, or that any thing is, that we ourselves are, who being nearest to ourselves, may be surest of our own being.93
And it would make strange confused work In the world, if in reference to all the actions of man, they should be ever moving disputes about them, whether they really are or are not. As if a man could not tell how to eat, but he must fall a doubting presently, “Is this real food before me, or is it not? or am I awake to eat it, yea or no?” Or as if he could not tell how to converse with any one, about never so important a business, but he must fall a disputing, “Is this a real man, or but a spectre? may it not be only the umbra of a man?” In short, what could be done, what business transacted in the world, if about such plain matters, doubts must be perpetually raised?
Every man that hath understanding, as hath been said, may be at as great certainty concerning the existence of the supreme and first Being, as of any thing whatever. Nay, a great deal more, because his existence is supremely necessary. So that if I confine certainty to the eye, then I am sure of nothing but what I see. But I am certain that God always was of himself, and therefore is necessarily; and so, not to be, must to him be simply impossible. This, therefore would be one great supply to our not seeing him, once to make the matter plain and clear, that he exists, and that he is the most excellent and supreme Good. Which would be a great deal in our way, towards the exercise of love to God, though we do not see him.
2. It will concern us much to use our thoughts in being conversant with other invisible objects. For certainly, minds and hearts that are continually busied about things of sense only, will be but in a very defective capacity, at all times, to converse with the invisible God. It needs a very refined temper of mind to behold him with the intellectual eye, and thereupon to love and embrace the blessed glorious God. And as while we converse with things that are vain, our minds are vain; while with things that are earthly, our minds are earthly, and bear the impress and image of those things with which we have most to do; so, if we did but converse with spiritual things, or those which are above the reach of sense, it would be a means to make our minds and hearts grow more spiritual, and consequently more fit for the love, and converse of the eternal, supreme, invisible Spirit.
It is a mean base thing, since God hath furnished our natures with a thinking power, to use our thoughts only about those things that lie in common to us with brute creatures. Can I, have I, a power to mind higher and nobler objects, and will I so vilely debase myself as not to mind them! to mind 94 only things that are earthy, drossy, and terrene! By this means I shall always keep myself in an incapacity to have to do with God.”
We should therefore consider with ourselves, that as we have faculties by which we are rendered capable of conversing with men and visible things; so we have faculties too in our natures, whereby we are capable of conversing with things that are not visible, and that are of a higher nature. It is easy to turn all the things of this visible state into a dusky shadow to ourselves. We can clothe all the world with darkness, in a moment, only by shutting our eyes. And therefore as our eyes would signify nothing to visible things, if we did not use them; so nor will our thoughts signify any thing in reference to the invisible world, unless we employ them upon their more proper, and peculiar objects.
We should also recollect with ourselves, that there is such a thing as an invisible world, which is the best and noblest part of the creation of God. We ourselves, as to the better part of our natures, belong to it. Therefore we should not behave as strangers, and unrelated to that world. We should consider how glorious the invisible world is, and recount who are its In habitants, what are the affairs and pleasures, the excellencies and ornaments of those inhabitants. Let us think with ourselves, what vast numberless myriads there are of glorious spirits, creatures of God, that are composed all of mind and love, whose perpetual business and employment is to behold, and adore the great Father of spirits, the PATERNAL MIND, or REASON, as the Heathen have called him, the original intellect, that is every where and ALL IN ALL.
We should think with ourselves, that the affairs of those in numerable multitudes of glorious spirits, and their pleasures and delights, are the same. Their business is to be always beholding the divine glory; and by adoration and praise to return it to him, reflecting it back again to its own Original. We should think with ourselves, what the lovely ornaments and excellencies are of those blessed inhabitants: we should consider their vast knowledge, their mighty power, their pure holiness, their profound humility, the benignity, love, and serenity, that are every where to be found among those happy beings.
And when we have thought and considered all this, then let us ask ourselves, “Why am I a stranger to this invisible world?” For indeed we are strangers to it, while we are unrelated to God, and his Christ. But this is not our necessity, but our great folly, that we continue in so distant and unrelated a state. 95We are naturally aliens, strangers, foreigners; but there are overtures made to us by Christ, to become of the household and family of God. Eph. ii. 19. And his family is made up of heavenly ones, though part be in heaven, and part on earth. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, besides his natural, hath an acquired dominion and lordship over the whole of it. By him were all things made, both visible and invisible; and even besides that, by the blood of his cross, he is become the Head over all principalities, and powers, and thrones, and dominions; whether they be in heaven, or earth, or under the earth. Col. i. 16-21.
So that if we be of those who profess themselves to be christians, and are united to him, we are come to an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect. Heb. xii. 22, 23. We are actually joined as members of that body, which is all but one community of glorious creatures above, and holy ones here below, in whom the beginnings and first principles of the new creature, and the work of sanctification are to be found. So that we may again demand of ourselves and ask, “Why do we estrange ourselves and carry it as if we were unrelated to those invisible creatures?” Those blessed spirits are continually mingling with us, if we will believe the divine testimony concerning them. The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear him, and delivereth them, Ps. xxxiv. 7. And what are all the angels? But ministering spirits sent forth for the good and service of them who are heirs of salvation. Heb. i. 14. They are conversant in our assemblies, as some understand that passage in the first epistle to the Corinthians, where the woman is directed to have power over her head, that is, a vail, in token of her subjection to power, “because of the angels;” (1 Cor. xi. 10.) though some understand this passage otherwise. And again, more expressly it is said, that unto powers and principalities in heavenly places is known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. Eph. iii. 10.
Therefore in that we do not entertain more frequent thoughts, and exercise our minds more about what the Scriptures reveal in this matter, we are certainly injurious to ourselves. We keep back our minds from being clarified from earth and sensible things, by which they might be raised up to the honour and advantage of being employed about the blessed God himself. For if we were filled, all the day long, with becoming thoughts of the state and condition of the affairs of the inhabitants of the 96 invisible world, how easy were it to fix upon God the great Ruler of all, the Father of spirits.
And being of the same community, making but one society with those blessed creatures, as being under 4he same Head with them, we make a great schism in the body if we break off ourselves from them, and their employments and affairs, and involve ourselves with things that are visible, and the objects of sense. Of all men in the world the sensualist is the greatest schismatic. He breaks himself off from all the affairs and concernments of the invisible world; and wraps himself in, this narrow sphere, as one quite cut off from God, and all that are more immediately conversant with him. We, I say, quite rend ourselves from that body, that happy society, if we do not apply ourselves more to mind the concernments of that other; world, and to have our spirits, thoughts and affections, exercised and carried up thither. And again,
3. It is necessary in order to supply our not seeing God, that we most firmly believe the report and testimony that is given of him in the gospel of his Son. What we cannot know by our own eyes, we must be beholden for the knowledge of to the report of others. And it is the business of the gospel to make a re=port of God to us, and the errand of his Son into the world was to bring us this report. He who best knew him, and from eternity was in his bosom, “hath declared him;” and that on purpose for our relief in this case, because “no man hath seen God at any time.” Since therefore God is invisible, and we are creatures that depend so much upon sense, he “hath spoken to us by his Son, the express image of his person.” Heb. i. 3. So that it is by no mean one that he hath sent us an account of himself, though we cannot see him.
All reports signify as they are believed. They signify nothing where no credit is given to them. But what should induce us to doubt, whether the revelation which Christ hath made to us of God, in his word, be true or no? What should make us imagine, that God should misrepresent himself? What! Doth he need to beguile us, his creatures, whom he hath entirely in his power? the works of his hands, whom he can wink and beckon into nothing? Do you think he means to beguile us with specious representations of himself, otherwise than the matter really is?
Therefore we should thus consider with ourselves. “We have not indeed seen God, nor is he liable to so mean a thing as human sight. But we have an express discovery of him by his own Son, who came upon this very errand: and what he has said was not casually, and on the by, as words dropped 97by chance; but he came for this very end, that he might acquaint the world what God is, and give to men an account of him, since he is not to be seen with eyes of flesh.” And sure, upon the account we have of this blessed and glorious Object, he must be acknowledged to be the most lovely Object. We are not then at a loss for an object of our love, if we will but believe the record, and testimony of the blessed God in his own word; and take it as a revelation from heaven with so merciful a design. How awful an acquiescence therefore doth that challenge and command! So that our hearts should readily suggest to us, that it is the greatest profaneness, if we do not with reverence, and veneration admit that testimony.
In what honour and veneration had those poor deluded creatures the image that was said to have come down from Jupiter! Acts xix. 35. Why, God’s own word is his own lively image, a true representation of himself, which certainly came down, from himself. He hath sent many on this message; his own. Son, his prophets, and apostles, on purpose to draw men into communion and fellowship with himself. These things, saith St. John, are written, that we might have fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John i. 3. And then he goes on in his epistle to tell them, that the message which the apostles heard of him and declared unto them, was this—that God is light, and God is love. 1 John i. 5. &c. Surely then such a Being is the most worthy of our esteem and love; and the message sent to men is most worthy of their acceptance, to wit, that such a God is offered to them for their God. Thus men are acquainted with him by the revelation they have of him in the gospel, that so they may be drawn into a communion and fellowship with him, the life and soul of which is love.
4. It is necessary, that we bend ourselves much to contemplate and study the nature of God, according to the discovery we have of him in his revelation. That which we do know and believe, makes an impression upon us only as it is improved by our thoughts; as it is considered or not considered. A great many things lie asleep in our souls, and signify nothing to us, for want of actual thought. At certain times and seasons, therefore, we should say to ourselves; “Well! I will now go on purpose, and sit down, and meditate upon God. This shall be the business of the present hour.” For surely nothing can with higher right lay claim to our entire thoughts, than the Author of all. And it is a strange piece of negligence, that he, with whom we have such great concerns, and who is 98 our All in all, should be so seldom the Subject of our solemn, designed, purposed meditation; that the thoughts of God should be casualties with us; that we should think of him only now and then by chance, and never find a time, wherein we may say to ourselves, “I will now on set purpose think of God.”
How doth this correspond with the practice of the saints, who had communion with him of old? as we find the Psalmist intimating, that he thought of God on his bed, and meditated on him in the night-watches. Ps. lxiii. 6. I would not here propound to you the indulging, or gratifying of a vain curiosity, inquiring into the unrevealed things of God; but would recommend to you the study of those plain intelligible attributes of his, that are obvious to the understandings of the generality of men, because the Divine Being is not capable of a strict and rigid definition. These are enough to suggest such a notion of him, as renders him an Object worthy of our love and worship; while a multitude of things may be supposed concerning God, which it is not necessary for us to be acquainted with.
Consider then his wisdom, power, goodness, holiness, and the like, which are his communicable attributes; and add to these the incommunicable properties of his eternity, his immensity, his self-sufficiency, his self-subsistence, his necessary existence, and so we have an account of God. And then how excellent and glorious an Object both of love and worship have we before us! a Being of himself originally perfect; who is essential wisdom, goodness, love, truth, righteousness, and holiness. In what a transport should we be upon such a representation of God! We have his name often in our mouths, when it is with us but as an empty sound; as if that great, and venerable name signified nothing. He is near in our mouths, and ears, but far from our hearts; and then no wonder he is so little loved all the while. But would we once admit to have our souls possessed with the apprehension of the import of that mighty and venerable name, which was given to Moses; how would it engage us to bow our heads and worship him, who is “the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thou sands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. Our Lord told the Samaritan woman, “Ye worship ye know not what.” John iv. 22. So do they, who make his worship nothing else but a ceremonious compliment; the mere bowing of the knee, and the honouring him with the lip. But if it be the worship 99of love, it is impossible then that we should worship we know not what. For the interior faculties of the soul, as to love and desire, cannot be wrought upon by a shadow. They must be moved by something substantial, and set on work by something on purpose which really exists. When therefore we hear the name of God spoken, how should it make us stoop and bow before him! and into what an awful and pleasing commotion should it put all the powers of our souls at once! But to go a whole day, and forget God; and to let many days pass, without ever choosing a time to think of him, is a great iniquity. And while that iniquity abounds, the love of such must needs grow cold. And then again,
5, We must take heed, that we entertain no horrid and dismal thoughts of God, and that we believe nothing that is contrary to his own revelation of himself. Take heed lest the belief of a God suggest only a guilty enslaving fear. I mean not the fear of reverence, which the angels owe and pay; but that fear of horror, which is most proper to devils, and is the product of a diabolical faith. “The devils believe and tremble.” Ja. ii. 19. They believe and are full of horror, as the word φρισσονσι signifies. Do even shiver with the belief they have concerning God. As “perfect love casteth out fear,” so such fear will always put out love. For a fear proceeding from gross and horrid mis-persuasions concerning God, must needs stifle all dutiful, ingenuous, loyal affection to God.
It is the great art of the devil to possess men with the apprehension, if it be possible, that their case is the same with his own, that so thereby they may make it their own. If the devils can once persuade men, that God is as unreconcilable to them, as he is to themselves, who sinned with open eyes, without a tempter, and all at once in their own proper persons; if they can, I say, but make men believe this, then it is a most easy thing to keep the love of God from ever having any entrance into the soul. It is natural to hate those, whom we fear or dread; therefore, I say, the fallen angels believe and tremble, believe, and are full of horror.
But, do you believe, and bless God? Believe him actually reconciled, if you find your hearts do yield to him, Believe him willing to be at peace. Believe him when he testifies, that whosoever cometh to him shall in no wise be cast out. John vi. 18. Believe him saying, “Though thou hast forgotten me, and hast set up thyself to be thine own idol, and hast been perpetually affronting me; yet do thou but accept my Son, and of pardon in and through him, and I will make thee my friend, my associate and my son.” Do but believe this, 100and try if it be in your power not to love him. This faith will certainly work by love. But take heed of believing what God hath never said; and what the destroyer of souls would make you believe he hath said. For whatsoever thoughts tend to the making him unlovely, or not amiable in your eyes, have them far from you. And
6. Make him your own by an entire, and cheerful choice, and acceptance of him for your Lord and your God. How mightily doth relation, interest, and property command love! You cannot see him it is true, but you may choose and apprehend him for your God; which relation, once understood, will happily supply the want of seeing him. Surely you would love your own child, your own father, your own husband, or wife, though you were born blind and could never see them. How many are apt to say, when they observe any thing lovely, in such or such a relation in another family; for instance, a dutiful, ingenuous child, “Oh had I such a one, how should I love him I” Why, you have an amiable description of your God; and do not your hearts say within you, “If he were my God, how should I love him?” And why is he not your God? he offers himself to be yours, and has put no harder terms upon you, than that you receive him for your God. Comply then with his righteous law, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” Exod. xx. 3. Say therefore, “Thou shalt be my God wholly and alone.” As every covenant is made up by a mutual stipulation, so his willingness and yours make the bargain. He hath declared his own willingness, do you but make out yours, and the matter is effected, so as that none can tear you asunder.
And how pleasant a thing is it to have such a God your own
to glory in, and to walk in his name! to be able to say, “God, even my God shall bless me! I need no other.” How
high matter of triumph was this to the Psalmist! Let it be
told to the generations following, This God is our God for
ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death. Ps. xlviii.
13, 14. As if he had said, We are willing that this should be
known, in the present, and succeeding ages, Let it be transmitted to posterity. Let there be a perpetual everlasting monument
of this, that we have had the Lord for our God. Thus
a certain noble person would have an inscription put upon his
tomb, without any further enlargement, to this effect, That
he had been a servant to queen Elizabeth, counsellor to king
James, and friend to sir Philip Sidney. By this it appears
he would have all ages know whose servant, counsellor, and
101friend be had been.6464
The noble personage here alluded to, is Fulke Grevill, Lord
Brooke; whose funeral monument is yet remaining in St. Mary’s.
Church in Warwick, and has on it this inscription:
SERVANT TO QVEENE ELIZABETH
CONCELLER TO KING IAMES
AND FREND TO SIR PHILIP SIDNEY. In like manner should every good and pious soul declare to the present, and all future ages, that THE LORD IS HIS God.
7. Let your souls be filled with this apprehension, that God is always and every where present. How sweetly moving are those thoughts of God’s omnipresence in the 139 Psalm! They were so to the Psalmist and are so to all the saints. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness, and the light, are both alike to thee.” And when the royal Psalmist considered, how God insinuated himself into every bone of his flesh, and particle of his frame, saying, “Thou hast possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb;” he breaks out at last in to these words, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”
Let us then but habituate ourselves to the apprehension of an every where present Deity, conceiving all things filled with the divine fulness, and this will supply the defect, or the want of seeing God. Let every creature, every place, every providence, put us in mind of God. Thus begins, and ends the eighth psalm, the design of which is to contemplate God in these things, regarding them all as the works of his hands; “How excellent is thy name, O God, in all the earth, who hast set thy glory above the heavens!” And what an ecstasy do we find Moses in, while he is celebrating a particular providence! “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Exod. xv. 11. If then we did but labour to make this thought familiar to ourselves, that whithersoever we go, or 102wherever we are, we have a God to behold; that there are footsteps of God, everywhere, for us to take notice of, or impressions, and prints of his glory; this would habituate us to his converse, and make the motions and exercises of love, easy and familiar to us. This effect it had on the Psalmist in the 104 Psalm, who. after a glorious description of God, thus closeth it up; “My meditation of him shall be sweet, I will be glad in the Lord.” Ps. civ. 34. He had been viewing God, as he was to be seen in the works of his hands; and his spirit was now drenched deeply in the thoughts of God’s active power and providence, every where diffused in the world.
We, in like manner, should always have such thoughts injected into us, if we would but consider with ourselves, that wherever we are, still we live, and move and have our being in God. The whole earth is full of his glory. By him all things consist. We can set a foot no where but still we tread upon his ground, and are in his dominion. We cannot live, but by a vital influence derived from him, How much would this contribute to the facilitating the exercises of love! By converse love insinuates itself into persons, they are captivated before they are aware. And there is no man of so morose, sour, churlish a nature, but will have a sort of kindness for such, whom he converseth frequently with. Assiduous converse wins hearts. How much more, when we have such an amiable object, should we associate with him! It will then ensue of course, that we shall be taken with him, and drawn by the cords of love into the happy bonds.
8. And lastly: Let us pray much and earnestly for the Spirit of life and love, which is his own gift. Among the many excellent fruits of the Spirit you see love leads the van. Gal. v. 22. It is of considerable moment to state the case to ourselves thus; “The love of God is one of the fruits of his own Spirit.” How intent then should we be upon this, that he who claims to be the Object of our love, is pleased to be the Author of it? even of that pure, refined love, that is fit to be set upon so glorious an Object. Whereas such a carnalized, impure, drossy love as ours, can never turn itself unto God; will always decline, and shun that blessed Object. He must form our love for himself, or it will never do.
As he therefore makes our love the sum of his law, and of all his precepts, so we should make it the sum of all our requests. For it is at once indeed both our privilege, and our duty. Both what we are to do, and what we are to enjoy, are 103all summed up In love. And if we make this the sum of our desires, how much of ingenuity would there be in this prayer, when we come to the Lord and say, “Lord if I should cast all my desires into one request, it is love! Love is the only thing. I beg only a heart to love thee.” How much ingenuity is there, I say, in such a prayer! and how great also is the necessity of it! For we can as soon pluck down a star, or create a new sun, as plant in our own souls this principle of love to God, without his aid. Every good and perfect gift is from him; and certainly this is good, and a matter of high excellency, to have the heart possessed with his love. We can never understand the love of God to us, till our souls are, as it were, trans-elemated into a love to him. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him. 1 John iv. 16.
And now, after all this would we be excused from the duty of loving God? that is, from being happy, from living a life of pleasure, from solacing ourselves with the immense Good? We should methinks as little wish to be excused, as a poor indigent man from having all his wants supplied; or a sick languishing person, from returning to health and strength; or a hungry fainting person, from receiving convenient food; or a weary person, from receiving refreshing ease and rest. Would we be excused from having God for our portion, our health and strength, our rest and all in all? We cannot indeed see God; but will that excuse us, when so many things present us with an idea and image of him? or when we have the privilege of addressing ourselves to him by prayer? The Scriptures do not speak to us in this matter with any intention or design to excuse us from this duty. There it is intimated, that all the good, which concerns a man’s present state, comes from love to God. All, says the Apostle, shall work together for good, to them that love God. Rom. viii. 28. And with respect to the other world, it is said that, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath laid up for them that love him. 1 Cor. ii. 9.
And if we would but consider the matter, it is plain we can not excuse our conduct, to ourselves; much less to God. For do not our consciences tell us, that nothing is so easy, nothing so ready? And it is likewise to be considered, what will be made of this one day. I make little doubt but one very great part of the torture of hell, will lie in a too late repentance; that we never loved what our convicted consciences must needs have told us was most congruous, and fit to be 104 loved. When an awakened soul shall make reflection, and consider, what infinite reason there was for the loving of God, and yet it could never be brought to it; we can conceive no sort of mental torture to be more tormenting than this. So that they, who live destitute of the love of God, and content themselves with so doing, are busily preparing their own hell all their days. Oh, how tormenting will be the reflection! “I lived a life’s time in the world, and knew how reasonable a thing it was, how just and righteous to love God, and yet I never did love him!” This will be a most amazing subject for thought to feed upon, and to find torment by, through out an eternal state. And therefore we are the more concerned to be restless in our spirits, till we feel the fire so to burn within us, and can make our appeal to God, saying, Thou knowest all things, Lord! thou knowest that I love thee. John xxi. 17.105
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