|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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by Thomas Shepard
He loves thee with an unmeasurable love. Rom. 5:20, Where sin there grace hath abounded." Hence (Eph. 2:3, 4) love "and "great love." Verse 7, "Exceeding riches of his grace." For there is in Christ,
1. A created love. One man loves another exceedingly, as Jonathan did David. Now, he hath the perfection of all human or angelical love toward his people put in him.
2. Uncreated love, infinite love of a God, and hence it is unmeasurable. He thinks nothing he doeth too much, nothing he gives too dear. Hence, when world is slain, Satan cast out, when he is out, sin must out; when some sins are removed, the rest must; when they are out, then death must; when death, then hell. And when there is no life, no grace, he works it; it decays, he restores it; it can not act, he quickens it; it can not, doth not grow, he waters it. He hath given thee the earth, and the days of peace and patience; these are too little. He calls thee, and when thou canst not come, draws thee, and gives thee pardon, that is too little. He gives earth to thee, that is too little, (for they are made co-heirs;) he gives promise to thee, that is too little; he gives himself and Spirit, and can he do more? Yes; we can not drink in all that goodness and love; hence he gives eternity to thee, and he shall more and more enlighten thee; not only let thy soul live to bless him, but thy poor body, and every dust of it, to be raised up to glory with him. What the Lord promised to Abraham, "In blessing I will bless," that portion is thine. O, now love him without measure. "O, how I love thy law!" How did David love it? I can not tell; but if he loved the word of Christ, then much more the person of Christ, the presence of Christ, everlasting fellowship with Christ.
O, take heed of giving Christ, and measuring out unto Christ his
portion, his allowance, that when the Lord comes to you for more
love, (as he doth daily,) you give him that answer which many
do in their practice you have let him have as much as you can;
so that you can not spare any more from yourselves, from a base
world, from wife and child and creature, from a slothful course;
you hope the Lord will accept of that little he hath. I confess
that a little water in a spring is better than much that comes
by land floods; but be sure it be a spring, else not accepted.
Beloved, time was you lived without Christ, did nothing for him;
now you do, and what thou dost this year, didst last year, and
no more. Will you thus stint the Lord? Either do more, give more,
or mourn you can not. O, one life, one heart is too little for
him. It hath put me to sad fears of many men's estates to see
this frame, a world of sin without measure every day. Where is
the Christian that loves the Lord every day? How can any then
say much is forgiven, when they do not love much?
Index to Thomas Shepard
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