The love of Christ is useful to fit you for the cross, and the greatest sufferings which you may be called to for the sake of Christ. If you have great love to Christ, you will be ready to suffer for Christ with patience and with cheerfulness. The heaviest cross will seem light, disgrace and shame will be accounted honor, losses will be esteemed gains, and pains, pleasures, or at least privileges. Prisons will seem like palaces, and death will be accounted life. O how have some run to the stake, and embraced the flames of fire kindled to burn them, when they have felt the fire of love to Christ burning strongly within them!

Thus this love is useful in life. The love of Christ is also useful at death.

Its strength will put a beauty upon the aspect of death which seems so grim and terrible to most. If you have much love to Christ, you will look upon death as Christ’s messenger, sent for you to bring you out of the dark prison of the world and body, and to convey you into the mansions of glory, where your dear Lord is, and you will not be unwilling to leave the world that you may live with Christ.

—Thomas Vincent


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