Let God be the supreme object of our esteem and affections; and whatsoever evils we sustain, will be made light and easy to us.

The apostle assures us, “That all things,” even the most afflicting, “work for the good of those that love God” (Rom 8:28). That heavenly affection is not only the condition that entitles us to that promise, that by special privilege makes all the evils of this world advantageous to the saints; but it is the qualification by which it is accomplished.

By love we enjoy God, and love will make us willing to do or suffer what He pleases, that we may have fuller communion with Him. In God all perfections are in transcendent eminence, they are always the same and always new. He gives all things without any diminution of His treasures: He receives the praises and services of the angels, without any advantage or increase of His happiness. By possessing Him, all that is amiable and excellent in the creatures, may be enjoyed in a manner incomparably better than in the creatures themselves. His infinite goodness can supply all our wants, satisfy all our desires, allay all our sorrows, conquer all our fears. One beam of his countenance can revive the spirit dead in sorrow, and buried in despair.

—William Bates


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