William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

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Consider How Christ Will Love You


by Thomas Shepard


Consider what he will do for thee, how he will love thee, if thou wilt thus love
him.

1. He will set thee next himself in honor, (Ps. 45:9;) that as the Lord Jesus is
next to God, sits at his right hand, so here, which is an honor that the angels
have not, who are nowhere called Christ's spouse; hence never had such a union,
hence never shall partake of that honor of saints.

2. He will enrich thee. As it is with man and wife, all that he has is hers; so
himself and all his glory, his God, his Father, his kingdom is thine. Prov.
8:21, they that love me inherit something; others nothing; no, nothing indeed,
only shows of good; and they find it so when they awake, nothing their own,
nothing long; that let thy outward man, yea, thy inward, be never so poor, thou
shalt by him be heir of all.

3. He will counsel thee. Hence David (Ps. 73) made choice of God: "Thou wilt
guide me by thy counsel." No greater curse than to be left to the guidance of a
man's own counsel; but here there shall not be any strait, but the Lord will
show thee a way out of it, either by his prudence or providence. There shall not
be any secret of Christ that thou desirest to know, but, as Christ told them,
"You are my friends," so you are my spouse; hence all his secrets shall be
opened to thee; there shall not be one act of thy life but ordered by infinite
prudence, and wisdom, and love. Sometimes we are befooled in our own counsels,
and left to them to teach us to depend on the Lord the more; yet thereby shall
come out such good that it shall be among us as with Joseph's brethren.
4. He will dwell with thee as a man must dwell with his wife, (John 14:23;) that
the great Mediator, that passes by kings and princes, and will not look on them,
should come and dwell with thee. This is better than to have the presence of
kings, the guard of angels, better than heaven itself, that he should dwell
where is nothing worthy to entertain him, only something to grieve him. Now this
is,

1. A constant assistance of the Spirit; that, let the soul go where he will, be
brought to never so low an ebb, yet Christ will not out, but some stirrings,
sighings, lookings, pantings after Christ; when heart and strength fail, yet
God, etc.; when ready to give all for lost, then consider, as Ps. 83:2. If he
does depart, he will not be long, but return again; and those that know his
affection know it so to be. Is. 54 "For a little moment," etc. So the Lord may
depart; and, when his presence

is a little more esteemed, come again with everlasting mercies. As a man may
know many weaknesses by his wife, yet she having not bestowed her heart on any
other, he will return; so if thou canst say yet I am the Lord's, he will return.
5. He will rejoice in thee and over thee, (Zeph. 3:17,) as a bridegroom does
over the bride. Not because of any beauty in thee, for there is none, but
because given in marriage of the Father, and for his own sake. This day thou
shalt no sooner set thy heart on Christ but he falls in love with thee, and will
take thee with joy; thou thinkest he will be angry if thou closest with him and
love him; no, it will be the joy of heaven, of Jesus Christ himself.

6. He will exceedingly comfort thee; and look as it is with tender husbands,
then they comfort most when most sorrows betide them; for who could endure his
wife should be always drooping? So even then when nothing doth or can comfort
thee, the Lord will. Is. 54:6. For the Lord doth not always comfort; but when in
need, as with the patriarchs, then God appeared, when they were at worst; and
these are abundant comforts. 2 Cor. 1:3,4,5. You shall not need to scramble for
it, as many do, whose hearts do not love Christ in truth as yet.

7. He will put up all wrongs, and bear exceedingly with thee. Many think, even
when God hath sealed love to them, if any little sin be committed, then they are
cast off; no, if under the law, so indeed, but when espoused to him, it is not
weaknesses nor willfulness can make the Lord cast thee away; but he will heal
the one, and afflict thee (yet not cast thee off) for the other; (Ps. 89:33,)
"My loving-kindness will I never take away." Yea, he will forgive both; (Luke
7:47,) "Much forgiven because she loved much." Nay, thy wrongs shall be an
occasion to make him love thee more; (Rom. 5) "Where sin abounds, grace
abounds."

8. He will never part with thee. Hos. 2:19. Once love him, and he will never
lose thee.

1. No sin shall part thee and him; for Christ, when he enters into marriage
covenant, does not suspend his love on our grace or holiness, then he might
leave quickly, but on his own grace to wash away our filthiness. Eph. 5:25, 26.
If a husband marries a woman only for so long as she is in health, then when
sickness comes he may depart; but e contra, if to take away her sicknesses, then
they can not hinder; nothing but adultery can part. Now, that they can not do,
for nothing breaks till covenant is broken; and the covenant here is
everlasting, and so undertaken for by the Lord that it can never be broken.
2. No miseries can, (Rom. 8:35,36,37;) "Can tribulation?" It makes man leave us;
but this is peculiar to Christ he will not leave.

3. Death can not. It must part man and wife, though loved never so dearly
before, but here not; but then he will come himself and fetch thee, (John
14:1,2,3,) take thy soul to the bride chamber, there to be with him forever and
ever; and he will keep the dust of thy blessed body, and not lose one dust of
it, and at the last day raise it; and then, when others shall cry out, yonder is
he whom I have grieved, then shalt thou lift up thy head; yonder comes my
husband, to comfort me, to crown me, that I may dwell with him. It shall be the
blessed day to thee. And when judgment is done, thou shalt go with thy beloved
from the air up to heaven with a shout, and live in his love and dearest
embracing of thee; and this he will do for thee, so poor and vile in thine own
eyes. Now, will you have him, and that now, or no?




 

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