ON THE CONSIDERATION OF GOD
Consider first, that we cannot be saved without the knowledge of God, and such a knowledge as may effectually influence our lives, and command both our love and obedience. Now we can neither know God, nor love him as we ought, without the help of consideration. ‘Tis consideration that discovers to us his infinite beauty and perfection, and the many pressing motives we have to dedicate ourselves wholly to his love and service. ‘Tis consideration that discovers to us his infinite beauty and perfection, and the many pressing motives we have to dedicate ourselves wholly to his love and service. ‘Tis consideration sets before our eyes his eternal love, and all his benefits to us, and convinces us that he is both infinitely charming and lovely in himself, and infinitely good to us. Without consideration, we know these things, as if we knew them not; we have eyes and see not. But when these truths are duly weighed and considered by the soul, ’tis then the light of the knowledge of God begins to dispel our darkness: and in our meditation the fire of his love breaks forth into flames, which sweetly carry up the soul towards their heavenly element, which is with God, and hinders her from ever forgetting him.
Consider 2ndly, how large a field we have in God for our meditation, whether we consider him as he is in himself, and in his own divine attributes, or with relation to what he is to us, and the titles he has been pleased to assume in our regard. He is in himself eternal, that is, without beginning, without end, without change, self-existent, independent; he is Being itself; he alone properly is; ‘I am who am,’ says he, Exod. iii., all other things are just nothing at all; they have no being but from him and in him: he is the being of all beings. He is immense and incomprehensible, and every way infinite; he fills heaven and earth, creating, preserving, moving, ruling, supporting all things. He is infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, infinitely good, infinitely just, infinitely merciful; he is beauty itself, truth itself, and all perfection. See, my soul, what an immense field we have here for our consideration! It has no end. Here is more than enough to employ us for all eternity; in this vast ocean of the infinite perfections of the deity, the blessed themselves can find no bottom. Here they are happily lost in the contemplation of him, who, though he discovers himself to them face to face, and fills their soul with heavenly pleasure, remains nevertheless incomprehensible even to the highest Angels, because he is every way infinite.
Consider 3rdly, that there still remains an ample field for meditation to help us to acquire the knowledge and love of God, in the manifold considerations of what God is in our regard, and how good he is to us. He is our sovereign good; he alone can satisfy our souls. He has loved us first; he is our ancient lover; he is our eternal lover; his thought and heart are always upon us. He is a disinterested lover, a most faithful and most constant lover, whose love never forsakes them that do not first forsake his love. He is our Maker and our Redeemer; the best of fathers, the best of friends, the spouse of our souls. He ever desires to come and dwell with us and in us, and to impart all his heavenly treasures to us; in a word, to give himself to us, and to take us to himself. And are not here sufficient motives to oblige us to love this great and good God, infinitely good in himself, and infinitely good to us? Is it possible that a generous heart, made through love and for love, should hold out against such pressing considerations as these, so far as to refuse a return of love? O divine love! ’tis only because thou art so little known, that thou art so little loved. O ’tis consideration, then, is both the true way to know thee, and the true way to love thee!
Conclude ever to seek by daily considerations, and to cherish in thy soul, this saving and savoury knowledge of God, as the source of divine love and of all thy good. and remember that a deluge of all evils will come pouring upon the soul, where this knowledge of God is wanting. Osee iv. 1, 2.