To love you—is my honor. That I may love you—is my
privilege. And in as far as I do love you—so far am I happy. How is it,
then, that this divine duty of loving you meets with so much opposition!
Hell and earth bid me hate you; sinners will not let me avow my love to you;
corruption within, cares and concerns without, check my love; unbelief cools
my love, "for faith works by love," and love bears proportion to faith.
Immoderate fear, and love of anything besides you, is a clog to my love; and
imperfect apprehensions of your glorious self, deaden my love to you. In
what a melancholy case am I! It is death to live, and not to love; yet I
live, and cannot love you! I can love my friend, and hate my enemy; but I
cannot love my God, nor hate my enmity. I can love what I think beautiful in
the creature, with love more than fit; why then not love the Rose of heaven,
the chief among ten thousand, who is altogether lovely, and whose love is,
like himself, unchangeable!
What makes the triumphant eternal state so glorious, so
desirable—but because their love is perfect without fear, their adorations
without distractions, their conceptions bright without misapprehensions,
their praise without interruption, their knowledge clear without confusion,
their vision perfect, their views fixed; and all their souls strengthened in
God, replenished with God, and going out on God.
In loving you, I begin the felicity of eternity, and
anticipate the bliss above. I will love you for yourself, and your saints
for your sake, for your image shining in them. I will hate my enmity against
you, and grieve that I cannot love you as you deserve; and wait for that day
when I shall love you as I desire—because I shall see and enjoy you as you