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Whatever is Truly Desirable is in Christ

Christ is comprehensive of all things that are lovely. He seals up the sum of all loveliness. Things that shine as single stars with a particular glory, all meet in Christ as a glorious constellation. “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). Cast your eyes among all created beings, survey the universe, observe strength in one, beauty in a second, faithfulness in a third, wisdom in a fourth; but you shall find none excelling in them all as Christ doth. Bread hath one quality, water another, raiment another, physic another; but none hath all in itself as Christ hath: He is bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, a garment to the naked, healing to the wounded; and whatever a soul can desire is found in Him.

—John Flavel,
Adapted from Works, 2:216.

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Delightful Duty of Divine Love

The severities of a holy life, and that constant watch which we are obliged to keep over our hearts and ways, are very troublesome to those who are only ruled and acted by an external law, and have no law in their minds inclining them to the performance of their duty; but where divine love possesseth the soul, it stands as centinel to keep out every thing that may offend the beloved, and doth disdainfully repulse those temptations which assault it: it complieth cheerfully, not only with explicit commands, but with the most secret notices of the beloved’s pleasure, and is ingenious in discovering what will be most grateful and acceptable unto him: it makes mortification and self-denial change their harsh and dreadful names, and become easy, sweet, and delightful things.

—Henry Scougal
The Works of the Rev. H. Scougal (London: Ogle, Duncan, and Co., 1822), 29.

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Created for God-centered Happiness

Happiness is the end of the creation, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not rejoice in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved Him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that He might delight in seeing the creatures He made rejoice in that being that He has given them?

It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify Him. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory He has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for He had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Wherefore, seeing happiness is the highest end of the creation of the universe, and intelligent beings are that consciousness of the creation that is to be the immediate subject of this happiness, how happy may we conclude will be those intelligent beings that are to be made eternally happy!

—Jonathan Edwards
“Miscellanies”, WJE (Yale University Press, 1994), 199–200.

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No Awareness of the Eternal

We have lost also an awareness of the invisible and eternal. The world is too much with us so that the invisible and the eternal seem to be quite forgotten or at least we are not aware of it. We’re only briefly aware of it when somebody dies. The Church has lost the consciousness of the divine Presence and the concept of majesty.

—A. W. Tozer
The Attributes of God, 1:179.

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The Need to Meditate on Christ

This occasional meditation [on Christ], will be a means to cure the most vicious part of our lives; for what is the wickedest part of a man’s life? It is his vain thoughts. As in nature there is no vacuity or emptiness, but a vessel is either filled with liquor or the air; now the more water you pour in, the more air goes out. So if you would but store your souls with these occasional meditations, it would thrust out vain and vile thoughts.

Oh it is a rare temper when a christian is always upon the wing. When he is like the beams of the sun, they touch the earth, but the body of the sun is fixed in heaven. So it is with a christian when he converseth with the world, but enjoys God.

—William Bates
The Whole Works of the Rev. William Bates, 3:119.