hearts have gone a-whoring from Him!
(Thomas Vincent, "Christ's
manifestation of Himself
unto those who love Him")
"I hold this against you: You have forsaken your
first love!" Revelation 2:4
Time has been, when worldly affections seemed
to be mortified within you—to be dead and buried.
Many a sore thrust and wound you had given unto
them—and how they bled, and fainted, and grew
so weak—that they seemed to be dying, and you
have thought surely they would never stir much
in you any more. Then your love to Christ was
strong and active—it burned and flamed within
you! And O the zeal which you then had for your
But now—your affections to Christ are strangely
cooled! If there is the fire of love to Christ still
within you—it is not fire in burning coals, or in
a vehement flame—but it is a fire in a few
scattered sparks, which give neither light nor
heat, and are hardly, if at all, discernable! Your
worldly affections, which seemed to be dead—
have gotten life, and vigor, and strength! O the
eager desire which you now have after the world
and the things in the world! Now the world has
your thoughts in plans about it; and the world
has your tongues in your frequent discourse of it.
Now the world has your hand and your time—but
that which is worst of all—is that the world has
your heart too! The world has jostled Christ
off His throne! And is it then a wonder—if your
Beloved is offended, because your hearts have
gone a-whoring from Him—unto the world!
You have lost your first love to Christ! Now your
spiritual joys and comforts are fled out of sight;
they are lost and gone! Your worldly delights
have expelled and banished your spiritual delights!
Your minding and savoring so much the earth and
earthly things—has disrelished your spiritual appetite!
O the mischief which indulged sin has done unto you!
O the deep and dangerous wounds—which sin has
given you! O the defilements of sin in your consciences,
and the stains and blots which sin has cast upon your
profession! O the havoc which sin has made among
your graces, and among your spiritual comforts!
You have still leaves of an outward profession—but
where is your fruit? If you have some fruit—it is
withered and sour fruit—not such ripe and mellow
and sweet fruit, as before in your flourishing estate!
"Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins
have been your downfall! Take words with you and
return to the Lord. Say to Him—Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously!" Hosea 14:1-2
"Remember the height from which you have fallen!
Repent and do the things you did at first!" Rev. 2:5
Ransack your hearts to find out your sins! Humble
yourselves deeply! Repent, and grieve, and mourn!
Then plead with Christ, "Come, Lord Jesus, come
quickly! Make haste, O my Beloved! Make haste to
my soul that thirsts for You—as the wounded deer
thirsts after the cooling and refreshing streams of
the water brooks! O When shall I see You again,
and feed, and feast my soul again with Your love!
When, Lord, O when will You come unto me? Will
You cast me off forever? Shall this curtain always
be drawn before Your face? Truly, Lord, I have
grievously sinned, and greatly offended You; but
do I not truly repent? Is there anything in the
world so grievous unto me—as the remembrance
of my sins against You? I acknowledge my offense,
my folly, and horrid ingratitude! Shall my sins be
always a wall of separation between me and my
Beloved? Are not Your mercies plentiful? Is there
not forgiveness with You—that You may be feared,
and the more dearly beloved? Do You not forgive
freely, without upbraiding? Have You not promised
to be found by all those who diligently seek You?
And did You ever fail in Your word unto any? And
shall I be the first! I am grieved for my sin—and
ashamed of my folly! Have You not promised to
manifest Yourself unto those who love You? And
do not I love You? You know all things—You know
that I love You! Though my love is imperfect—yet
it is true! Though it is weak—yet it is sincere!
Hasten, my Beloved! O hasten unto me! And be
as a deer upon the mountains of spices! Do not veil
Your face from me any longer! Do not conceal Your
love! O now, draw near, and make me exceeding
glad in the beauty of Your face, and in Your loving
Such desires and pleadings as these, might prevail
with the Lord to return and say unto you, "My
child, I have heard your prayers, your desires, and
your cries! Your pleadings have prevailed with Me,
and I am now come unto you—be it done to you
according to your desires! Come, child, and look up!
Here I am! behold Me, behold Me! I assure you that
I am yours—and you are Mine—and shall be Mine