That some hunger and thirst after God reproves such as have no spiritual hunger. Such as have no spiritual hunger have no winged desires. The edge of their affections is blunted. Honey is not sweet to them that are sick of a fever and have their tongues embittered with choler [bile]. So those who are soul-sick and “in the gall of bitterness,” find no sweetness in God or religion. Sin tastes sweeter to them; they have no spiritual hunger. That men do not have this “hunger after righteousness” appears by several demonstrations.
First, they never felt any emptiness. They are full of their own righteousness (Romans 10:3). Now “the full stomach loathes the honeycomb.” This was Laodicea’s disease. She was full and had no stomach either to Christ’s gold or eye-salve (Revelation 3:17). When men are filled with pride, this flatulent distemper hinders holy longings. As when the stomach is full of wind it spoils the appetite. None so empty of grace as he that thinks he is full. He has most need of righteousness that least wants it.
Adapted from The Beatitudes, 124.