The Ten Commandments
by Thomas Watson
"O Israel, be quiet and listen! Today you have become the
people of the Lord your God. So obey the Lord your God by keeping all these
commands and laws that I am giving you today." Deuteronomy 27:9-10
What is the DUTY which God requires of man?
Obedience to his revealed will.
It is not enough to hear God's voice—but we must
obey. Obedience is a part of the honor we owe to God. "If then I be a
Father, where is my honor?" Mal 1:6. Obedience carries in it, the life-blood
of religion. "Obey the Lord your God by keeping all these commands and laws
that I am giving you today." Obedience without knowledge is blind,
and knowledge without obedience is lame. Rachel was fair to look
upon—but, being barren, said, "Give me children, or I die!" Just so, if
knowledge does not bring forth the child of obedience, it will die.
"To obey is better than sacrifice." 1 Sam 15:22. Saul thought it was enough
for him to offer sacrifices, though he disobeyed God's command; but "to obey
is better than sacrifice." God disclaims sacrifice, if obedience is lacking.
"I spoke not unto your fathers concerning burnt offerings—but this thing
commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice." Jer 7:22. Not but that God did
enjoin those religious rites of worship; but the meaning is that he looked
chiefly for obedience—without which, sacrifice was but devout folly!
The end why God has given us his laws—is obedience. "You must obey all my
regulations and be careful to keep my laws, for I, the Lord, am your God."
Lev 18:4. Why does a king publish an edict—but that it may be observed?
What is the RULE of obedience?
The written Word of God. That is proper
obedience—which the Word requires. Our obedience must correspond with the
Word, as the copy with the original. To seem to be zealous, if it be not
according to the Word, is not obedience—but will-worship. Popish traditions
which have no footing in the Word, are abominable; and God will say, "Who
has required this at your hand?" Isa 1:12. The apostle condemns the
worshiping of angels, which had a show of humility. Col 2:18. The
Jews might say they were loath to be so bold as to go to God in their own
persons; they would be more humble, and prostrate themselves before the
angels, and desire them to present their petitions to God; but this show
of humility was hateful to God, because there was no Scripture to warrant
What are the INGREDIENTS in our obedience, which make it
acceptable to God?
(1) It must be FREE and CHEERFUL, or it is
penance, not sacrifice. "If you are willing and obedient." Isa 1:19. Though
we serve God with weakness, it must be with willingness. You
love to see your servants go cheerfully about their work. Under the law, God
will have a free-will offering. Deut 16:10. Hypocrites obey God grudgingly,
and against their will; they do good but not willingly. Cain brought his
sacrifice—but not his heart. It is a true rule—what the heart
does not do, is not done. Willingness is the soul of obedience. God
sometimes accepts of willingness without the work—but never of the work
without willingness. Cheerfulness shows that there is love in the duty. And
love is to our services, what the sun is to fruit—it mellows and ripens
them, and makes them come off with a better relish.
(2) Obedience must be DEVOUT and FERVENT.
"Fervent in spirit," etc. Rom 12:11. As water that boils over; so the heart
must boil over with hot affections in the service of God. The glorious
angels, who, for burning in fervor and devotion, are called seraphim,
are chosen by God to serve him in heaven. The snail under the law was
unclean, because it is a dull, slothful creature. Obedience without
fervency, is like a sacrifice without fire. Why should not our
obedience be lively and fervent? God deserves the flower and strength of our
affections. Domitian would not have his statue carved in wood or
iron—but made of gold. Lively affections make golden
services. It is fervency that makes obedience acceptable. Elijah was fervent
in spirit, and his prayer opened and shut heaven; and again he prayed, and
fire fell on his enemies. 2 Kings 1:10. Elijah's prayer fetched fire from
heaven, because, being fervent, it carried fire up to heaven.
(3) Obedience must be EXTENSIVE, it must reach to all
God's commands. "Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect
unto all your commandments." Psalm 119:6. All God's requirements demand
equal effort. There is a stamp of divine authority upon all God's commands,.
If I obey one precept because God commands, I must obey all. True obedience
runs through all duties of religion, as the blood through all the veins, or
the sun through all the signs of the zodiac. A good Christian makes
gospel piety and moral equity kiss each other. Herein some
discover their hypocrisy: they will obey God in some things which are more
easy—and may raise their reputation. But other things they leave undone.
"One thing you lack!" Mark 10:21. Herod would hear John Baptist—but not
leave his incest. Some will pray—but not give alms; others will give
alms—but not pray. "You pay tithe of mint and anise—and have omitted the
weightier matters of the law—judgement, mercy and faith." Matt 23:23. The
badger has one foot shorter than the other; so these hypocrites are shorter
in some duties than in others. God likes not such partial servants, who will
do some part of the work he sets them about, and leave the other undone.
(4) Obedience must be SINCERE. We must aim at
the glory of God in it. In religion—the end is all. The end of our obedience
must not be to stop the mouth of conscience, or to gain applause or
preferment; but that we may grow more like God, and bring more glory to him.
"Do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31. That which has spoiled many
glorious actions, and made them lose their reward, is, that men's aims have
been wrong. The Pharisees gave alms—but blew a trumpet that they might have
the glory of men. Matt 6:2. Alms should shine—but not blaze. Jehu did well
in destroying the Baal-worshipers, and God commended him for it; but,
because his aims were not good (for he aimed at settling himself in
the kingdom), God looked upon it as no better than murder. "I will avenge
the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu." Hos 1:4. O let us look to our
ends in obedience; it is possible the action may be right, and
not the heart. 2 Chron 25:2. Amaziah did that which was right in the
sight of the Lord—but not with a perfect heart. Two things are chiefly to be
eyed in obedience, the principle and the end. Though a child
of God shoots short in his obedience, he takes a right aim!
(5) Obedience must be in and through CHRIST.
"He has made us accepted in the beloved." Eph 1:6. Not our obedience—but
Christ's merits, which procure acceptance with God. In every part of worship
we must present Christ to God in the arms of our faith. Unless we serve God
thus, in hope and confidence of Christ's merits, we rather provoke
him than please him. As, when king Uzziah would offer incense without
a priest, God was angry with him, and struck him with leprosy (2 Chron
26:20). Just so, when we do not come to God in and through Christ, we offer
up incense to him without a priest, and what can we expect but severe
(6) Obedience must be CONSTANT. "Blessed is he
who does righteousness at all times." Psalm 106:3. True obedience is not
like a high flush of the face, when in a fit—but it is a steady complexion.
It is like the fire on the altar, which was always kept burning. Lev 6:13.
Hypocrites' obedience is but for a season; it is like plastering work, which
is soon washed off; but true obedience is constant. Though we meet with
affliction, we must go on in our obedience. "The righteous shall hold on his
way." Job 17:9. We have vowed constancy; we have vowed to renounce the pomps
and vanities of the world, and to fight under Christ's banner to death. When
a servant has entered into covenant with his master, and the indentures are
sealed, he cannot go back, he must serve out his time; so there are
indentures drawn in baptism, and in the Lord's Supper the indentures are
renewed and scaled on our part, that we will be faithful and constant in our
obedience; therefore we must imitate Christ, who became obedient unto death.
Phil 2:8. The crown is set upon the head of perseverance. "He who keeps my
works unto the end, I will give him the morning star." Rev 2:26, 28.
Use 1. This condemns those who live in
contradiction to the text, and have cast off the yoke of obedience. "As for
the Word that you have spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not
hearken unto you." Jer 44:16. God bids men pray in their family—but they
live in the total neglect of it; he bids them sanctify the Sabbath—but they
follow their pleasures on that day; he bids them abstain from the
appearance of sin—but they do not abstain from the act of sin;
they live in the act of revenge, and in the act of uncleanness. This is a
high contempt of God; it is rebellion, and rebellion is as the sin of
Why is it, that men do not obey God? They know
their duty—but do it not.
(1) The not obeying God is for lack of faith.
"Who has believed our report?" Isa 53:1: Did men believe—that sin
were so bitter, and that hell followed at the heels of it—would they go on
in sin? Did they believe there was such a reward for the righteous, and that
godliness was great gain—would they not pursue it? But they are atheists,
not fully brought into the belief of these things; hence it is that they
obey not. Satan's masterpiece, his dragnet by which he drags millions to
hell, is to keep them in unbelief! He knows, if he can but keep them from
believing the truth, he is sure to keep them from obeying it.
(2) The not obeying God, is for lack of self-denial.
God commands one thing, and men's lusts command another; and they will
rather die, than deny their lusts. If lust cannot be denied, God cannot be
Use 2. Obey God's voice. This is the beauty of
What are the great arguments or incentives to obedience?
(1) Obedience makes us precious to God, his favorites.
"Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special
treasure!" You shall be my portion, my jewels, the apple of my eye. Exod
19:5. "You are honored, and I love you." Isa 43:4.
(2) There is nothing lost by obedience. To
obey God's will is the wav to have our will.
 Would we have a blessing in our estates? Let us obey
God. "If you shall hearken to the voice of the Lord, to do all his
commandments, blessed shall you be in the field: blessed shall be your
basket and your store." Deut 28:1, 3, 5. To obey is the best way to thrive
in your estates.
 Would we have a blessing in our souls? Let us obey
God. "Obey, and I will be your God." Jer 7:23. My Spirit shall be your
guide, sanctifier, and comforter. Christ "became the author of eternal
salvation unto all those who obey him." Heb 5:9. While we please God with
our obedience, we also please ourselves. While we give him the duty—he
gives us the dowry. You lose nothing by obeying God. The obedient son
has the inheritance settled on him. Obey, and you shall have a kingdom. "It
is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32.
(3) Disobedience is a great sin!
 Disobedience is an IRRATIONAL sin. We are
not able to stand it out, in defiance against God. "Are we stronger than
he?" Will the sinner go to measure arms with God? 1 Cor 10:22. He is God
Almighty, who can command legions of angels. If we have no strength to
resist him—it is irrational to disobey him.
It is irrational, as it is against all law and equity. We
have our daily subsistence from him; in him we live and move. Is it not just
that as we live by him, we should live to him? that as he
gives us our allowance, so we should give him our allegiance?
 Disobedience is a DESTRUCTIVE sin. "The
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming
fire, taking vengeance on those who obey not the gospel." 2 Thess 1:7, 8. He
who refuses to obey God's will in commanding, shall be sure to obey
his will in punishing! While the sinner thinks to slip the knot of
obedience, he twists the cord of his own damnation, and he perishes without
excuse. "The servant which knew his lord's will, neither did according to
his will—shall be beaten with many stripes!" Luke 12:47. God will say, "Why
did you not obey? you knew how to do good—but did not; therefore your blood
is upon your own head."
Use 3. What MEANS shall we use that we may obey?
(1) Serious consideration. Consider, that
God's commands are not grievous: he commands nothing unreasonable. 1 John
5:3. It is easier to obey the commands of God, than the commands of sin. The
commands of sin are burdensome—let a man be under the power of any lust, how
he tires himself! what hazards he runs, even to endangering his health and
soul, that he may satisfy his lusts! "They weary themselves to commit
iniquity;" and are not God's commands more easy to obey? Chrysostom says,
"Virtue is easier than vice; temperance is less burdensome than
drunkenness." Some have gone with less pains to heaven—than others to
God commands nothing but what is beneficial. "And now,
Israel, what does the Lord require of you—but to fear the Lord your God, and
to keep his statutes, which I command you this day, for your good." Deut
10:12, 13. To obey God, is not so much our duty—as our privilege;
his commands carry food in the mouth of them. He bids us repent—and
why? That our sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19. He commands us to
believe—and why? That we may be saved. Acts 16:31. There is love in
every command. It is as if a king should bid one of his subjects dig in a
gold mine, and then keep the gold for himself.
(2) Earnest supplication. Implore the help of
the Spirit to carry you on in obedience. God's Spirit makes obedience easy
and delightful. If the loadstone draws the iron—it is not hard for it to
move; so if God's Spirit quickens and draws the heart—it is not hard to
obey. When a gale of the Spirit blows, we go full sail in obedience. Turn
his promise into a prayer. "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you
to walk in my statutes." Ezek 36:27. The promise encourages us, the Spirit
enables us to obey.
The rule of obedience being the moral law, comprehended
in the Ten Commandments; the next question is: What
is the SUMMARY of the Ten Commandments?
"You must love the Lord your God with all your
heart, all your soul, and all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
The summary of the Ten Commandments is love. The
duty called for is love, yes, the strength of love, "with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your strength." God will lose none of our love. Love
is the soul of religion, and that which constitutes a real Christian. Love
is the queen of graces; it shines and sparkles in God's eye, as the precious
stones on the breastplate of Aaron.
What is love?
It is a holy fire kindled in the affections, whereby a
Christian is carried out strongly after God as the supreme good.
What is the antecedent of love to God?
The antecedent of love is knowledge. The Spirit shines
upon the understanding, and reveals the beauties of wisdom, holiness, and
mercy in God; and these are the loadstone to entice and draw out love to
God. Those who do no know God, cannot love him. If the sun has set in the
understanding, there must needs be night in the affections.
Wherein does the formal nature of love consist?
The nature of love consists in delighting in an object.
"The lover's delight in his beloved," Aquinas. This is loving God, to take
delight in him. "Delight yourself also in the Lord" (Psalm 37:4), as a bride
delights herself in her jewels. Grace changes a Christian's aims and
How must our love to God be qualified?
(1) If it is a sincere love, we love God with all our
heart. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart."
God will have the whole heart. We must not divide our love between him, and
sin. The true mother would not have the child divided, nor will God have the
heart divided; it must be the whole heart.
(2) We must love God for himself, for his own intrinsic
excellencies. We must love him for his loveliness. "It is a
harlot's love to love the portion, more than the person." Hypocrites love
God because he gives them corn and wine. The sincere Christian loves God for
himself; for those shining perfections which are in him. Gold is loved for
(3) We must love God with all our might, in
the Hebrew text, "with all our vehemency." We must love God, as much as
we are able. Christians should be like seraphim, burning in holy love.
We can never love God as much as he deserves. Even the angels in heaven
cannot love God as much as he deserves.
(4) Love to God must be active in its sphere.
Love is an industrious affection! It sets the head studying for God,
hands working, feet running in the ways of his commandments.
It is called the labor of love. 1 Thess 1:3. Mary Magdalene loved
Christ, and poured her ointments on him. We think we never do enough, for
the person whom we love.
(5) Love to God must be superlative. God is
the essence of beauty, a whole paradise of delight. He must have a priority
in our love. Our love to God must be above all other things—as the oil swims
above the water. We must love God above estate and relations. Great is the
love to relations. There is a story in the French Academy, of a daughter,
who, when her father was condemned to die by hunger, gave him suck with her
own breasts. But our love to God must be above father and mother. Matt
10:37. We may give the creature the milk of our love—but God must
have the cream! The spouse keeps the juice of her pomegranates, for
Christ. Canticles 8:2.
(6) Our love to God must be constant, like the
fire which the Vestal virgins kept in Rome, which did not go out. Love must
be like the motion of the pulse, which beats as long as there is life. "Many
waters cannot quench love," not the waters of persecution. Canticles 8:7.
"Rooted in love." Eph 3:17. A branch withers, which does not grow on a root;
so love, that it may not die, must be well rooted.
What are the visible SIGNS of true love to God?
1. If we love God—our desire will be after him.
"The desire of our soul is to your name." Isa 26:8. He who loves God,
breathes after communion with him. "My soul thirsts for the living God."
Psalm 42:2. People in love desire to be often conferring together. He who
loves God, desires to be much in his presence. He loves the ordinances: they
are the looking-glass where the glory of God is resplendent; in the
ordinances we meet with him whom our souls love; we have God's smiles
and whispers, and some foretastes of heaven. Such as have no
desire after ordinances, have no love to God.
2. He who loves God—cannot find contentment in anything
without him. Give a hypocrite who pretends to love God corn and
wine—and he can be content without God; but a soul fired with love to God,
cannot be without him. Lovers faint away, if they have not a sight of the
object loved. A gracious soul can do without health—but cannot do without
God, who is the health of his countenance. Psalm 43:5. If God should say to
a soul that entirely loves him, "Take your ease, swim in pleasure, solace
yourself in the delights of the world; but you shall not enjoy my presence;"
this would not content it. Nay, if God should say, "I will let you be taken
up to heaven—but I will retire into another room, and you shall not see my
face;" it would not content the soul. It is hell to be without God. The
philosopher says there can be no gold without the influence of the sun;
certainly there can be no golden joy in the soul, without God's sweet
presence and influence.
3. He who loves God—hates that which would separate
between him and God—and that is sin. Sin makes God hide his face;
therefore, the keenness of a Christian's hatred is set against it. "I hate
every false way." Psalm 119:128. Antipathies can never be reconciled; one
cannot love health—but he must hate poison; so we cannot love God—but we
must hate sin, which would destroy our communion with him.
4. The fourth visible sign of love to God—is sympathy.
Friends who love, grieve for the evils which befall each other.
Homer, describing Agamemnon's grief, when he was forced to sacrifice his
daughter, brings in all his friends weeping with him, and accompanying him
to the sacrifice, in mourning. Lovers grieve together. If we have true love
in our heart to God, we cannot but grieve for those things which grieve him;
we shall lay to heart his dishonors; the luxury, drunkenness, contempt of
God and true religion. "Rivers of waters run down my eyes," etc. Psalm
119:136. Some speak of the sins of others, and laugh at them; but they
surely have no love to God—who can laugh at that which grieves his Spirit!
Does he love his father who can laugh to hear him reproached?
5. He who loves God—labors to render him lovely to
others. He not only admires God—but speaks in his praises, that
he may allure and draw others to be in love with him. She that is in love,
will commend her lover. The lovesick spouse extols Christ, she makes a
praiseful oration of his worth, that she might persuade others to be in love
with him. "My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
His head is the finest gold, and his hair is wavy and black.
His eyes are like doves beside brooks of water; they are set like
jewels. His cheeks are like sweetly scented beds of spices. His
lips are like perfumed lilies. His breath is like myrrh. His
arms are like round bars of gold, set with chrysolite. His body
is like bright ivory, aglow with sapphires. His legs are like pillars
of marble set in sockets of the finest gold, strong as the cedars of
Lebanon. None can rival him. His mouth is altogether sweet; he is
lovely in every way! Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my Lover, my Friend."
Song of Songs 5:10-16
True love to God cannot be silent, it will be eloquent in
setting forth his renown. There is no better sign of loving God—than to make
him appear lovely, and to draw converts to him.
6. He who loves God—weeps bitterly for his absence.
Mary comes weeping, "They have taken away my Lord!" John 20:13. One
cries, "My health is gone!" another, "My estate is gone!" but he who is a
lover of God, cries out, "My God is gone! I cannot enjoy him whom I love!"
What can all worldly comforts do, when once God is absent? It is like a
funeral banquet, where there is much food—but no cheer. "I went mourning
without the sun." Job 30:28. If Rachel mourned greatly for the loss of her
children, what pencil can shadow out the sorrow of that Christian who has
lost God's sweet presence? Such a soul pours forth floods of tears; and
while it is lamenting, seems to say thus to God, "Lord, you are in heaven,
hearing the melodious songs and triumph of angels; but I sit here in the
valley of tears, weeping because you are gone. Oh, when will you come to me,
and revive me with the light of your countenance! Or, Lord, if you will not
come to me, let me come to you, where I shall have a perpetual smile of your
face in heaven and shall never more complain—that My beloved has withdrawn
7. He who loves God—is willing to do and suffer for him.
He subscribes to God's commands, he submits to his will. He
subscribes to his commands. If God bids him mortify sin, or love his
enemies, or be crucified to the world—he obeys. It is a vain thing for a man
to say he loves God—and slight his commands! He submits to his will. If God
would have him suffer for him, he does not dispute—but obeys. "Love endures
all things." 1 Cor 13:7. Love made Christ suffer for us—and love will make
us suffer for him. It is true that every Christian is not a martyr, but he
has a spirit of martyrdom in him; he has a disposition of mind to suffer, if
God calls him to it. "I am ready to be offered." 2 Tim 4:6. Not only the
sufferings were ready for Paul—but he was ready for the sufferings. Origin
chose rather to live in exile, than to deny the faith, and be great in the
prince's favor. Rev 12:11. Many say they love God—but will not suffer the
loss of anything for him. If Christ would have said to us, "I love you well,
you are dear to me—but I cannot suffer for you, I cannot lay down my life
for you," we would have questioned his love very much; and may not the Lord
question ours, when we pretend love to him—but will endure nothing
for his sake?
Use one. What shall we say to those who have not a grain
of love in their hearts to God? They have their life from him—yet
do not love him. He spreads their table every day—yet they do not love him.
Sinners dread God as a judge—but do not love him as a father. All the
strength in the angels cannot make the heart love God; judgements will not
do it. Omnipotent grace alone, can make a stony heart melt in love to God.
How sad is it to be void of love to God. When the body is cold, and has no
heat, it is a sign of death. Just so, he is spiritually dead—who has no heat
of love in his heart to God. Shall such live with God—who do not
love him? Will God lay an enemy in his bosom? Those who will not be
drawn with cords of love—shall be bound in chains of darkness!
Use two. Let us be persuaded to love God with all our
heart and might. O let us take our love off from other things,
and place it upon God. Love is the heart of religion, the fat
of the offering; it is the grace which Christ inquires most after. "Simon do
you love me?" John 21:15. Love makes all our services acceptable, it is the
musk which perfumes them. It is not so much duty, as love to duty, which God
delights in; therefore serving and loving God are put together. Isa 56:6. It
is better to love him than to serve him. Obedience without
love, is like wine without the spirits. O then, be persuaded to love God
with all your heart and might.
(1) It is nothing but your love, which God desires.
The Lord might have demanded your children to be offered in sacrifice; he
might have bid you cut and lance yourselves, or lie in hell awhile! But he
only desires your love—he would only have this flower. Is it a
hard request, to love God? Was ever any debt easier paid than this? Is it
any labor for the wife to love her husband? Love is delightful. "Love must
by definition be sweet." Bernard. What is there in our love—that God
should desire it? Why would a king desire the love of a woman who is in debt
and diseased? God does not need our love. There are angels enough in
heaven to adore and love him! What is God the better for our love? It adds
not the least cubit to his essential blessedness. He does not need our love,
and yet he seeks it. Why does he desire us to give him our heart? Prov
23:26. Not that he needs our heart—but that he may make it better.
(2) Great will be our advantage if we love God.
He does not court our love—that we should lose by it. "Eye has not seen, nor
ear heard, the things which God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Cor
2:9. If you will love him, you shall have such a reward as exceeds your
imagination. He will betroth you to himself in the dearest love. "I will
betroth you unto me forever, in loving kindness and in mercies." Hos 2:19.
"The Lord your God will rest in his love, he will joy over you with
singing." Zeph 3:17. If you love God, he will give you an interest in all
his riches and glories; he will give you heaven and earth for your dowry; he
will set a crown on your head. Vespasian the emperor gave a great reward to
a woman who came to him, and professed she loved him; but God gives a crown
of eternal life to those who love him. James 1:12.
(3) Love is the only grace that shall live with us in
heaven. In heaven we shall need no repentance, because we shall
have no sin. We shall need no faith, because we shall see God face to face.
But love to God shall abide forever. "Love never fails." 1 Cor 13:8. How
should we nourish this grace which shall outlive all the graces, and run
parallel with eternity!
(4) Our love to God, is a sign of his love to us.
"We love him because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19. By nature we have no
love to God; we have hearts of stone. Ezek 36:26. And how can any love be in
hearts of stone? Our loving him—is a result of his loving us. If the glass
burn, it is because the sun has shone on it; so if our hearts burn in love,
it is a sign the Sun of Righteousness has shone upon us.
Use three. What shall we do in order to love God aright?
(1) Wait on the preaching of the Word. As
faith comes by hearing, so does love. The Word sets forth God in
his incomparable excellencies; it deciphers and pencils him out in all his
glory, and a sight of his beauty inflames love.
(2) Beg of God that he will give you a heart to love him.
When king Solomon asked wisdom of God, it pleased the Lord. 1 Kings 3:10.
So, when you cry to God, "Lord give me a heart to love you, it is my grief I
can love you no more!" Surely this prayer will please the Lord, and he will
pour out his Spirit upon you. His golden oil will make the lamp of your love
(3) You who have love to God, keep it flaming upon the
altar of your heart. Love, like fire, is ever ready to go out.
"You have left your first love." Rev 2:4. Through neglect of duty, or too
much love of the world, our love to God will cool. O preserve your love to
him. As you would be careful to preserve the natural heat in your body, so
be careful to preserve the heat of love to God in your soul. Love is like
oil to the wheels, it quickens us in God's service. When you find love abate
and cool, use all means to quicken it. When the fire is going out, you throw
on fuel; so when the flame of love is going out, make use of the ordinances
as sacred fuel to keep the fire of your love burning!