glorycloud's Diaryland Diary


the pleasures of communion with God

"Second. The external duties of religion are made easy and pleasant by true love to God. Duties towards God, such as prayer, singing God's praises, hearing the Word and the like, are his delight. How doth the wicked man hate to come into God's presence, especially in secret, closet prayer, which is so great a duty of a Christian; with how little taste and relish doth he hear the Word of God, and when shall we ever hear them speaking of heavenly things? But it is far otherwise with him that truly loves God; he is never so well pleased as when his heart is engaged in such duties. He delights also in duties that more immediately respect himself: in external acts of temperance, patience and self-denial; as likewise those that respect his neighbor, such as justice, brotherly kindness, charity, meekness and condescension, beneficence and hospitality. He delights to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to take his yoke upon him, which is easy, and his burden which is light.

III. We are now come in the third place to show what are the particular kinds of pleasure that those that love God experience in doing their duty. Here we shall speak only of the spiritual pleasures, for there are even greater temporal pleasures may be enjoyed in a godly life than in a wicked one. Let sinful pleasures be all killed and removed, and these lawful pleasures that remain give a sweeter relish of life than all the pleasures of those that give themselves up to sense and the enjoyments of it. Satan's yoke is a most cruel, iron yoke. The torments of wickedness, even in this life, are far greater than the pleasures of it, and vastly outweigh the mortification of [the] cutting off of a right hand and plucking out a right eye, which the Gospel requires of us; but however, temporal things are counted as loss and dung in comparison of the excellency of Christ Jesus and the spiritual pleasures they experience, of which I shall speak at this time. Which pleasures are very many as well as exceeding great, but are all implied under these three heads: peace of conscience, and the pleasure of communion with God, and a joyful hope of glory.

First. He that loves God in the way of his commands experiences peace of conscience from the apprehension of the pardon of his sins and the imputation of Christ's righteousness. The mind of a wicked man is bitterly tormented even in this life with the accusations of conscience; he travels in pain all his days, a dreadful sound is in his ears. But he that loves God hears that same person that stilled the winds and sea with his almighty power, crying, "Peace, be still," speaking peace also to his soul. So that that soul which before was as the sea7 troubled, continually casting forth mire and dirt, is now filled with a divine tranquility and a heavenly calm and serenity, is filled with that peace of God which passes all understanding, [which] is never experienced by wicked men, nor cannot be conceived of by any but those that do experience it.

Second. A true lover of God experiences the pleasures of communion with God. This is the highest kind of pleasure that can possibly be enjoyed by a creature. Angels have no more exalted sort of pleasure than this, and if God should create a sort of beings a thousand times more perfect than they, they would not be capable of a better kind of delight; for what can be more delightful than to converse with the excellent and glorious Creator of all things, to express love to and mutually to receive expressions of love from, the great Jehovah? But those that love God experience such pleasures as these. The Almighty condescends to maintain a correspondence and intercourse with such as love [him]. They sweetly feel the heavenly influences of his Holy Spirit descending on them like refreshing beams of the sun and like a breeze of wind that causes their spices to flow out, which fill their souls, the garden of Christ, with a sweet fragrancy, sweet to themselves and sweet to God himself.

Third. He that has true love to God experiences in the way of his duty a joyful hope of eternal glory, that sense of a quiet conscience, and the pleasures of society with the King of Kings. [The experiences] that are enjoyed here are only some foretastes in this dry and barren wilderness of those fruits that grow in the greatest plenty and fullness in the heavenly Canaan which they hope for: what they have here are as pledges of what is to come.

God only hereby gives them a taste of what they may expect he of his mercy will bestow on them. God at some seasons calls them up as it were into the mountain, Abraham, to behold and have a distant prospect of the good land they are traveling to." Jonathan Edwards

8:55 p.m. - 2022-03-03


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