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many candles conjoined make one light, so will to me. By this my desires must be moved ; for many living spirits make one life, and many illu. I am not so capable of ascending above self-inminated glorious spirits, one light and glory, and terest and self-love, as in the state of glorious many spirits naturalized into love, will make one union I shall be. I am glad to perceive that perfect love of God, and be loved as one by God others do love God; and I love those most that for ever: for all the body of Christ is one; even I find most love him : but it is not other men's here it is one initial union of the Spirit, and love to God that will be accepted by him instead relation to one God, head, and life, throughout, of mine, nor is it God's love to others which and shall be presented as beloved and spotless yet rejoices me, that will satisfy me, without his to God, when the great marriage-day of the love to me. But when all these are still before Lamb shall come.
me, God's essential self-love and delight, his Hadst thou not given me, O Lord, the life of love to his creatures, especially to the glorified, nature, I should have had no conceptions of a and his love to me also, even to me, a vile, unglorious, everlasting life: but if thou give me worthy sinner; what then should stay my asnot the life of grace, I shall have no sufficient, cending love, or discourage my desires to be with delightful inclination and desire after it. Hadst God ? thou not given me sight and reason, the light of Dost thou doubt, canst thou doubt, O my nature, I should not have thought how desirable soul, whether thou art going to a God that loves it is to live in the glorious light and vision ; but thee? If the Jews discerned the great love of if thou give me not the spiritual illumination of Christ to Lazarus by his tears, canst thou not a seeing faith, I shall not yet long for the glori- discern his love to thee in his blood ? It is never ons light, and beatific vision. Hadst thou not the less, but the more obliging and amiable, that given me a will and love, which is part of my it was not shed for thee alone, but for many. very nature itself, I could not have tasted how May I not say as Paul, • I live by the faith of desirable it is, to live in a world of universal, the Son of God, that hath loved me, and given perfect, endless love : but unless thou also shed himself for me. Yea, it is not so much I that abroad thy love upon my heart, by the Spirit of live, as Christ that lives in me : will he forsake the Jesus, the great medium of love, and turn my habitation which his love hath chosen ; and which very nature or inclination into divine and holy he hath so dearly bought ? O read often that love, I shall not long for the world of love. Ap- triumphing chapter, Rom. viii., and conclude, petite follows nature: O give me not only the · What shall separate us from the love of God ? If image and the art of godliness the approaches life have not done it, death shall not do it. If towards it, nor only some forced or unconstant leaning on his breast at nieat was a token of acts ; but give me the divine nature, which is Christ's special love to John, is not his dwelling holy love, and then my soul will hasten towards in me by my faith, and his living in me by his thee, and cry, How long, O Lord, how long! 0 Spirit, a sure token of his love to me. If a dark come, come quickly, make no delay. Surely saying, “if he tarry till I come, what is that to the fear of dying intimates some contrary love thee?' raised a report that the beloved disciple that inclines the soul another way; and some should not die, why should not plain promises shameful upbelief and great unapprehensiveness assure me that I shall live with him that loves of the attractive glory of the world of love: me for ever? Be not so unthankful, O my soul, otherwise no frozen person so longs for the fire, as to question, doubtingly, whether thy heavenly none in a dungeon so desires light, as we should Father, and thy Lord, doth love thee ? Caust long for the heavenly light and love.
thou forget the sealed testimonies of it? Did I God's infinite, essential self-love, in which he not even now repeat so many as should shame is eternally delighted in himself, is the most my doubts? A multitude of thy friends hath amiable object, and heaven itself to saints and loved thee so entirely, that thou canst not doubt angels : next to that, his love to all his works, to of it. Did any of them signify their love with the world, and to the church in heaven, speaks the convincing evidence that God hath done ? much more of his loveliness than his love to me. Have they done for thee what he hatb done ? But yet due self-love in me is his work, and Are they love itself? Is their love so full, so part of his natural image ; and when this by sin firm, and so unchangeable as his? My thoughts is grown up to excess, through the withdrawing of heaven are the sweeter, because abundance of a contracted narrow 'soul, from the union and of my ancient, lovely, and loving holy friends due love to my fellow-creatures, and to God, I are there. I am the more willing by death to must also, I cannot but inquire after God's love follow them Should I not think of it more joyfully because my God and Father, my Sa- I love for beauty lothe them that are deformed; and viour, and my Comforter, is there ? And not alone, they that love for riches despise the poor. But but with all the society of love.
God loved me when I was his enemy, to make Was not Lazarus in the bosom of God him-me a friend, and when I was bad to make me self? Yet it is said that he was in Abraham's better : whatever he takes pleasure in, is his own bosom; as the promise runs, that we shall sit gift. Who made me to differ; and what have I down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the that I have not received ? God will finish the kingdom of God. What makes the society of work, the building, the warfare that is his own. the saints so sweet as holy love? It is comfort. O the multitude of mercies to my soul and body, able to read, that, To love the Lord our God in peace and war, in youth and age, to myself with all our heart, and soul, and might, is the and friends, the many great and gracious delivfirst and great commandment ; and the second erances which have testified to me the love of is like to it, To love our neighbour as ourselves.' God! Have I lived in the experience of it, and For God's commands proceed from that will shall I die in the doubts of it? Had it been which is his nature or essence, and they tend to love only to my body, it would have died with the same as their objective end. Therefore he me, and not have accompanied my departing that hath made love the great command, tells us soul. I am not much in doubt of the truth of that love is the great conception of his own es- my love to him. Though I have not seen him, sence, the spring of that command; and that this save as in a glass, as in a glass seen I love him. commanded, imperfect love tends to perfect I love my brethren whom I have seen, and those heavenly love, even to our communion with es- most that are most in love with him. I love his sential infinite love. It were strange that the word, works, and ways, and fain I would be love and goodness which is equal to the power nearer to him, and love him more; and I lothe that made the world, and the wisdom that orders myself for loving him no better. Shall Peter it, should be scanty and backward to do good, say more confidently, · Thou knowest that I love and to be suspected more than the love of friends! thee' than · I know that thou lovest me? Yes, The remembrance of the holiness, humility, love, he may ; because though God's love is greater and faithfulness of my dearest friends, of every and stedfaster than ours, yet our knowledge of rank with whom I have conversed on earth, in his great love is less than his knowledge of our every place where I have lived, is so sweet to little love; and as we are defective in our own me, that I am often ready to recreate myself love, so are we in our certainty of its sincerity with the naming of such as are now with Christ. Without the knowledge of our love to God, But in heaven they will love me better than they we can never be sure of his special love to us. did on earth ; and my love to them will be more But yet I am not utterly a stranger to myself. pleasant. But all these sparks are little to the I know for what I have lived and laboured in
the world, and who is it that I have desired to Every place that I have lived in was a place please. The God, whose I am, and whom I of divine love, which there set up its obliging serve,' hath loved me in my youth, and he will monuments. Every year and hour of my life love me in my aged weakness. My fesb and hath been a time of love. Every friend, and my heart fail ; my pains seem grievous to the every neighbour, yea, every enemy, have been flesh : but it is love that chooses them, that uses the messengers and instruments of love. Every them for my good, that moderates them, and will state and change of my life, notwithstanding my shortly end thein. Why then should I doubt sin, hath opened to me treasures and mysteries of my Father's love? Shall pain or dying make of love. After such a life of love, shall I doubt me doubt ? Did God love none from the beginwhether the same God do love me? Is he the ning of the world but Enoch and Elias ? What God of the mountains, and not of the valleys ? am I better than my forefathers ? What is in Did he love me in my youth and health ; and me that I should expect exemption from the doth he not love me in my age, pain, and common lot of mankind ? Is not a competent sickness ? Did he love all the faithful better in time of great mercy on earth, in order to the their life than at their death? If our hope be unseen felicity, all that the best of men can not chiefly in this life, neither is our state of hope for? O for a clearer, stronger faith, to love, which is principally the heavenly, endless show me the world that more excels this, than grace. My groans grieve my friends, but abate this excels the womb where I was conceived ! not their love. Did he love me for my strength, Then should I not fear my third birth-day, my weakness might be my fear. As they that I what pangs soever go before it; nor be unwill
hange. The gravhere the weary be self-Aattere
ing of my change. The grave indeed is a bed by mutual love, and our forsaking all that alienthat nature doth abhor ; yet there the weary be ates, or is contrary? Let scorners deride us as at rest ; but souls new born have a double nature self-flatterers, that believe they are God's darthat is immortal, and go to the place that is lings—and woe to the hypocrites that believe it agreeable to their nature ; even to the region of on their false presumption—without such belief spirits, and the region of holy love: even passive or grounded hopes, I see not how any man can matter that hath no other natural motion, hath a die in true peace. He that is no otherwise benatural inclination to uniting, aggregative mo- loved than hypocrites and unbelievers, must tion. God makes all natures suitable to their have his portion with them : he that is no otherproper ends and use. How can it be that a spirit wise beloved than as the ungodly, unholy, and should not incline to be with spirits, and souls unregenerated, shall not stand in judgment, nor that have the divine nature in holy love, desire to see God, nor enter into his kingdom. Most be with the God of love ? Arts, sciences, and upright souls are to blame for groundless doubttongues, become not a nature to us ; else they ing of God's love; but not for acknowledging it, would not cease at death : but holy love is our rejoicing in it, and in their doubts being most new nature, and therefore ceases not with this solicitous to make it sure. Love brought me into bodily life. Shall accidental love make me de- the world, and furnished me with a thousand sire the company of a frail and mutable friend? I mercies! Love hath provided for me, delivered Shall not this ingrafted, inseparable love make me, and preserved me, till now: and will it not me long to be with Christ? Though the love entertain my separated soul ? Is God like false of God to all his creatures will not prove that or insufficient friends, that forsake us in adverthey are all immortal, nor oblige them to expect sity ? another life, that never had capacity or faculties I confess that I have wronged love by sin ; to expect it ; yet his love to such as in nature by many and great inexcusable sins ; but all, and grace are made capable of it, doth warrant save Christ himself, were sinners, which love and oblige them to believe and hope for the full did purify, and receive to glory. God, who is perfection of the work of love.
rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he Some comfort themselves in the love of St loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath Peter, as having the keys of heaven. How many quickened us together with Christ, (by grace we could I name that are now with Christ, who are saved), and hath raised us up together in loved me so faithfully on earth, that were I sure heavenly places in Christ Jesus. O that I could they had the keys and power of heaven, and were love much that have so much forgiven! The not changed in their love, I could put my de- glorified praise him who loved us, and washed parting soul into their hands, and die with joy. us from our sins, in his own blood, and made Is it not better in the hand of my Redeemer, us kings and priests to God. Our Father that and the God of love, and Father of spirits ? Is hath loved us, gives us consolation and good any love comparable to his, or any friend so hope through grace. I know no sin which I boldly to be trusted ? I should take it for un- repent not of with self-lothing: I earnestly beg grateful kindness in my friend to doubt of my and labour that none of my sins may be to me love and constancy, if I had given him all that unknown. I dare not justify even what is in he hath, and maintained him constantly by my any way uncertain ; though I dare not call all kindness : but o how odious a thing is sin ; that my sin, which siding men, of different which, by destroying our love to God, doth make judgments, on each side, passionately call so: us unmeet to believe and sweetly perceive his while both sides do it on contrary accounts, and love: and by making us doubt of the love of not to go contrary ways is a crime. O that God God, and lose the pleasant relish of it, doth more would bless my accusations to my illumination, increase our difficulty of loving him. The title that I may not be unknown to myself! Though that the angel gave to Daniel, a man greatly some think me much better than I am, and beloved of God, methinks should be enough to others much worse, it most concerns me to know make one joyfully love and trust God, both in the truth myself; flattery would be more dangerlife and death. Will almighty love ever hurtous to me, than false accusations ; I may more me or forsake me ? Have not all saints that safely be ignorant of other men's sins than of my title in their degrees ? What else signifies heir own. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse mark and name, holiness to the Lord ? What me, Lord, from secret sins, and let not ignorance is it but our separation to God as his peculiar, or error keep me in impenitence; and keep thou beloved people ? How are they separated but | me back from presumptuous sins. I have an advocate with the Father, and thy promise, that be not seldom and slight in thy contemplations he that confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall of his love and loveliness : dwell in the sunshine, have mercy. Those are, by some men, taken and thou wilt know that it is light, warm, and for my greatest sins, which my most serious comfortable. Distance and strangeness cherish thoughts did judge to be the greatest of my out- thy doubts : acquaint thyself with him, and be ward duties, and which I performed through the at peace. greatest difficulties, and which cost me dearest Yet look up, and often and earnestly look up, to the flesh, and the greatest self-denial and pa. after thy ascended, glorified Head, who said, tience in my reluctant mind : wherever I have 'tell my brethren, I ascend to my Father and erred, Lord, make it known to me, that my con- your Father, to my God and your God.' Think fession may prevent the sin of others; and where where and what he is, and what he is now doing I have not erred, confirm and accept me in the for all his own; and how humbled, abased, sufright.
fering love is now triumphant, regnant, gloSeeing an unworthy worm hath had so many rified love; and therefore no less than in all its testimonies of thy tender love, let me not be like tender expressions upon earth. As love is no to them, that when thou saidst, I have loved where perfectly believed but in heaven, so I can you, unthankfully asked, Wherein hast thou no where so fully discern it, as by looking up loved us? Heaven is not more spangled with | by faith to my Father and Saviour which is in stars, than thy word and works with the reful. heaven, and conversing more believingly with gent signatures of love. Thy well beloved Son, the heavenly society. Had I done this more and the Son of thy love, undertaking the office, mes- better, and as I have persuaded athers to do it, sage and work of the greatest love, was full of I had lived in more convincing delights of God's that spirit which is love, which he sheds abroad love, which would have turned the fears of death in the hearts of thine elect, that the love of the into more joyful hopes, and more earnest desires Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion to be with Christ, in the arms, in the world, in of the Spirit, may be their hope and life. His the life of love, as far better than to be here, in works, his sufferings, his gifts, as well as his a dark, a doubting, fearing world. comfortable word, did say to his disciples, “as But, O my Father, infinite Love, though my the Father loved me, so have I loved you : con- arguments be many and strong, my heart is bad, tinue ye in my love. And how, Lord, shall we and my strength is weakness, and I am insufficontinue in it, but by the thankful belief of thy cient to plead the cause of thy love and loveli. love and loveliness, desiring still to love thee ness to myself or others. O plead thy own cause, more and in all things to know and please thy and what heart can resist ? Let it not be my word will ; which, thou knowest, is my soul's desire. only, but thine, that thou lovest me, even me, a
Behold then, O my soul, with what love the sinner. Speak it, as Christ said to Lazarus, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have loved thee, Arise. If not, as thou tellest me that the sun is that thou shouldst be made and called a son of warm, yet as thou hast told me, that my parents God, redeemed, regenerated, adopted into that and my dearest friends did love me, and much covenant state of grace in which thou standest : more powerfully than so. Tell it me, as thou rejoice therefore in hope of the glory of God. tellest me that thou hast given me life, by the Being justified by faith, having peace with God, consciousness and works of life: that while I and access by faith and hope that makes not can say, “Thou that knowest all things, knowest ashamed; that being reconciled, when an enemy, that I love thee ;' it may include, Therefore I by the death of Christ, I shall be saved by his know that I am beloved of thee, and therefore life. Having loved his own, to the end he loves come to thee in the confidence of thy love, and them, and without end : his gifts and calling are long to be nearer in the clearer sight, the fuller without repentance ; when Satan, and thy flesh, sense, and more joyful exercise of love for ever. would hide God's love, look to Christ, and read · Father, into thy hand I cominend my spirit; the golden words of love in the sacred gospel, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Amen. and peruse thy many recorded experiences, and * The preceding treatise, especially the latter part of it, is one of remember the convictions which secret and open er the convictions which weret ondanon great power and pathos. The venerable author expresses himself
like a man upon the borders of heaven-like Jacob blessing his soRS upon his death-bedor Moses blessing the tribes of Israel when aboat
to lay down the clay tabernacle. His whole soul seems melted into especially draw nearer to the Lord of love, and the element of divine love.--Ed.