We may know we have benefit by the first coming of Emmanuel, if we have a serious desire of the second coming, if we have a desire to be with him; if, as he came to us in love, we have desires to be with him in his ordinances as much as may be, and in humble resignation at the hour of death. How shall we be with him here? Be with him in thoughts, in meditation, in faith and prayer; meet with him wheresoever he is. He is in the congregation: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in his name,’ he is amongst them, Mat. 18:20. Be with them in all things where he vouchsafeth his gracious presence. It is the nature of love to desire perfect union, and therefore the Christian soul, touched with the Spirit of God, will desire ‘to be dissolved and to be with Christ, as best of all,’ Philip, 1:23; ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,’ Rev. 22:20; and therefore in the hour of death is willing to resign himself to God that he may go to Emmanuel, and enjoy his presence, that left the presence of his Father, to take our nature, and to be with us on earth.

—Richard Sibbes
The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 124.


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