William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

Containing Motives and Arguments to Persuade Us unto the Love of Christ, and to

be Espoused to Him.
by Thomas Shepard

Is there no communion to be had with the Lord Jesus, unless virgins unless
espoused to him? O, therefore, here is a match for you; choose him, get your
affections, if entangled, to come off if insnared to any other thing, and set
your hearts, bestow your love upon him. For it is not a dead faith (but such a
faith as is animated by love) that does espouse you to him. Gal. 5:6, "Faith
which works by love." And, therefore, as the love of other things (not worth
looking after) has got the sovereignty and royalty of thy heart, so this is a
conjugal love, when it bears rule in the heart. Let Christ have this love. And
as you have loved creatures for themselves, now love the Lord Jesus for himself.
And as they have easily enticed you to set your hearts upon them, now be
persuaded to set your dearest affections on him. It is said of John Baptist, he
was the bridegroom's friend, to speak for him. John 3:29. And truly it is the
main work of the ministry to woo for Christ, and so to present chaste virgins to
Christ. This shall be my work now, which may be seasonable in this decaying
time. Therefore I shall chiefly bend my speech to three sorts.

1. To them that never yet loved the Lord Jesus, unless it be from the teeth

2. Those that have been striving for this; yet can not, to their own feeling,
come to this.

3. Those that have so; but their affections are dried up, and love is parched
away, "iniquity abounds," etc. And my motives shall be these four:

1. Consider the glory of the person whom I shall be a spokesman for this day.
2. Consider he makes love to thee.
3. Consider that all he seeks for is love.
4. Consider what he will do for thee, how he will love thee, if thou wilt love


Promoting a Greater Understanding of the Discovery of the Americas