glorycloud's Diaryland Diary


love is a holy fire in him

"Second. Hence we may learn how happy those persons are who are entitled to heaven. There are some such persons living on earth to whom the happiness of this world belongs,4 as much and much more than a man's estate belongs to him. They have a part and interest in this world of love; they have proper right and title to it. Revelation 22:14, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." And doubtless there are such persons among us. How happy are they who are entitled to an inheritance in such a world as this! Surely they are the blessed of the earth.

But here some may be ready to say, without doubt they are happy persons who have a lot and portion in such a world, and so will surely have an eternal possession there. But who are those persons, what kind of persons are they, by what are such blessed ones distinguished? In answer to such an inquiry, I shall mention three things which belong to their character.

1. They are those who have had a principle or seed of the very same love implanted in their hearts in a work of regeneration. They are not those who have no other principles in their hearts but natural principles, or such principles as they have by their first birth; for that which is born of the flesh, is flesh. But they have been the subjects of a new birth; they have been born of the Spirit. A glorious work of the Spirit of God has been wrought in their hearts, renewing their hearts, as it were, by bringing down some of that light, and some of that holy pure flame, which is in the world of love, and giving it place in them.5 Their hearts are a soil in which this heavenly seed has been sown and in which it abides. And so they are changed, and of earthly are become heavenly in their dispositions. The love of the world is mortified, and the love of God implanted. Their hearts are drawn to God and Christ, and for their sakes flow out to the saints in humble and spiritual love. 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible." John 1:13, "Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

2. They are those who have freely chosen that happiness which is to be had in the exercise and enjoyment of such love as is in heaven above all other conceivable happiness. They see and understand so much of this as to know that this is the best good. They do not merely assent that it is so from rational arguments which may be offered for it, but they have seen that it is so; they know it is so from what little they have tasted. It is the happiness of love, and the happiness of a life of such love, heavenly love, holy and humble and divine love; love to God, and love to Christ, and love to saints for God's and Christ's sake, and the enjoyment of the fruits of God's love, holy communion with God and Christ and with holy persons. This is what they have a relish for. They feel within them such a nature that such a happiness suits their disposition and relish and appetite above all others; not only above what they have, but above all that they can conceive they might have. The world does not afford anything like it. They have chosen this before any other. Their souls go out after it more than any other, and their hearts are more in pursuit of it than any other. They have chosen it freely, not merely because they have met with such sorrow, and are in such low and afflicted circumstances, that they do not expect much from the world. But their hearts are so captivated by this good that they choose it for its own sake beyond all worldly good, if they had ever so much of it, and could enjoy it ever so long. Canticles 1:2, "Thy love is better than wine."

3. They are those who from that love which is in them are in heart and practice struggling after holiness. Holy love makes them long for holiness. Divine love is a principle, which thirsts after [increase]. It is in imperfection and in a state of infancy in this world, and it desires growth. It has much to struggle with in the heart in this world, many opposite principles. And it struggles after greater increase, more liberty, more free exercise, and better fruits. The spirit lusts against the flesh, Galatians 5:17. The strife and struggle of the new man is after holiness. The heart struggles after it. The heart of a good man, one who has an interest in heaven, and has an inward active, heavenly seed in him, is in a struggle with sin, as Jacob was with Esau in Rebecca's womb. There are ardent desires, and breathings, and cryings, and strivings; and it is to be holy. And the hands struggle as well as the heart. A man strives in his practice; his life is a life of sincere and earnest endeavors to be universally holy, and to be more holy. He is not holy enough, but is very far from it. He desires to be nearer perfection, or more like those in heaven. And this is one reason why he longs to be in heaven, that he may be perfectly holy. And the principle when he thus struggles is love. It is not only fear, but it is love to God, and love to Christ, and love to holiness. Love is a holy fire in him. And fire, if it be pent up, will cause a struggling for liberty." Jonathan Edwards 'Heaven Is A World Of Love'

12:47 p.m. - 2022-05-19


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