Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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Containing Motives and Arguments to Persuade Us unto the Love of Christ, and to be Espoused to Him.

by Thomas Shepard

Is there no communion to be had with the Lord Jesus, unless virgins —unless espoused to him? O, therefore, here is a match for you; choose him, get your affections, if entangled, to come off if insnared to any other thing, and set your hearts, bestow your love upon him. For it is not a dead faith (but such a faith as is animated by love) that does espouse you to him. Gal. 5:6, "Faith which works by love." And, therefore, as the love of other things (not worth looking after) has got the sovereignty and royalty of thy heart, so this is a conjugal love, when it bears rule in the heart. Let Christ have this love. And as you have loved creatures for themselves, now love the Lord Jesus for himself. And as they have easily enticed you to set your hearts upon them, now be persuaded to set your dearest affections on him. It is said of John Baptist, he was the bridegroom's friend, to speak for him. John 3:29. And truly it is the main work of the ministry to woo for Christ, and so to present chaste virgins to Christ. This shall be my work now, which may be seasonable in this decaying time. Therefore I shall chiefly bend my speech to three sorts.

1. To them that never yet loved the Lord Jesus, unless it be from the teeth outward.

2. Those that have been striving for this; yet can not, to their own feeling, come to this.

3. Those that have so; but their affections are dried up, and love is parched away, "iniquity abounds," etc. And my motives shall be these four:—

1. Consider the glory of the person whom I shall be a spokesman for this day.

2. Consider he makes love to thee.

3. Consider that all he seeks for is love.

4. Consider what he will do for thee, how he will love thee, if thou wilt love him.

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