ON THE TITLES GOD HAS TO OUR SERVICE
Consider first, that we belong to God by all manner of titles and therefore cannot, without the most crying injustice, alienate any part of our being from him, or refuse to employ our whole lives in his divine service. We are his by creation, because he made us, and made us for himself; and therefore has given us a soul, capable of knowing, loving and enjoying him, and not able to find any true rest or satisfaction but in him. Our whole being is from him; our whole soul and body, with all our powers, senses, and faculties, belong to him; all whatsoever we possess, interiorly or exteriorly, is all his. And as the fund is his, so the whole produce ought to be his. All we are absolutely and entirely his property, and all our time, and all our talents, are but lent us by him; so we are indispensably obliged to dedicate all our hours, all our thoughts, words, and actions to him. and have we ever rightly considered this obligation? We belong to God in like manner, by the title of conservation, by which he preserves and maintains every moment the being he has given us, otherwise we should presently return again to our ancient nothing. So that as in every moment we have an obligation to him for our continuance in being what we are, so every moment we are obliged to be his.
Consider 2ndly, that we belong also to God, and that in a very particular manner, by our redemption; by which the Son of God has purchased us for himself and for his Father, with his own most precious blood. For we had sold ourselves to Satan; we were become his slaves; we had no longer any share in God, or title to him; we were rebels and traitors to him by sin; and as such we stood condemned to death and to hell. But, behold, the Son of God, out of pure love and compassion, comes down form heaven to redeem us; he pays himself the price of our ransom – a great price indeed, even the last drop of his most sacred blood – to deliver us from Satan, sin, and hell; to reconcile us to his father; and to purchase mercy, grace, and salvation for us. So that now by virtue of this redemption he claims us as his own property, and it would be a sacrilegious robbery to pretend to alienate again from him these souls of ours, which he has purchased for himself with his own blood: it would be even, in the language of the apostle, ‘treading under foot the Son of God, and esteeming the blood of the covenant unclean, with which we are sanctified.’ Heb x. 29.
Consider 3rdly, that we belong also to God, by solemn vows and covenants, and by the dedication by which we were happily and holily dedicated and consecrated to him in our baptism and confirmation, and sanctified to be his temples for ever. Now all those things that are once solemnly consecrated to God; and more especially such as are made the temples of the living God, must be always his; and it would be a most grievous sacrilege to pervert them from his service to profane uses; and therefore it would be highly criminal in us to pervert those souls of ours from the love and service of their God, to whom they have been thus solemnly dedicated, and to profane and defile them by wilful sin. We belong to him also in quality of our King, our Father, our Lord and Master, the great sovereign of the whole universe, the being of all beings, &c.; and upon all those, and many more titles, his Divine Majesty challenges our love and service as his undoubted right. O let us never be so miserable as to refuse him what he so justly claims; let us look upon it as our greatest happiness, that we belong entirely to him.
Conclude to render faithfully to God, what upon so many titles belongs to him, by giving your whole selves to him, and employing henceforward both your soul and body in executing all his will.