Monday, January 24, 2011
“IF BY LOVE THEY MEAN…”
I do and am constantly maintaining both privately and publicly as far as ever the Lord has enabled me the wonders, the glories, the beauties and the preciousness of love. And yet I must be branded as being a man that is an enemy to love.
But if by love, these people who brand me as an enemy of love mean that I ought to unite with Arians and Socinians who deny the deity of my Lord and Saviour whom I proved again in my very soul that he is the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.
If by love they mean that I ought to meet and unite occasionally with people that can testify and say without a blush that election is a damnable doctrine and they hate it with their hearts, that imputed righteousness is imputed nonsense and a doctrine that ought to be abhorred and spurned by all which is the very garment and covering that hides all my shame, the very robe that adorns my naked soul and so very many times has been the joy and rejoicing of my heart and which I have found to be so many times the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
If they mean by love that I ought to unite with people that can say and testify that we may be a child of God one day and a child of the devil another, that Christ died and atoned for the sins of Esau, as well as of Jacob, for Cain as well as Abel, for Judas as well as for Peter, and that there are thousands in hell for whom Christ died.
If they mean by love that I ought to unite and call these brethren who profess to believe in the doctrine of grace and call themselves Calvinists, but can declare at times that those blessed doctrines which are so precious and glorious to my soul are nonessential things. That is, if I understand their meaning right, they view them as useless things and that it is of no consequence whatsoever whether we receive or believe these doctrines or not provided we do but unite with all sorts and pray for all and be candid and mild and esteem all as partakers of grace, — I confess from my heart if all this be love I am destitute of it. And instead of being grieved for my want of it, I glory in it.
I do not indeed feel the least ill-will against any of their persons, as the creatures of God, nor do I desire to do them the least injury, but those principles that debase free and sovereign grace, and exalt the creature, I hate and abhor.
For how can two walk together except they be agreed?
My soul has bought truth too dearly to part with it for such empty baubles as the praises and smiles of men; and those professors that love the smiles of men more than the truth of God, they are heartily welcome to them. I do not begrudge them. But notwithstanding all that ever these reporters could report, God stood by me, a poor worm, and gave such testimony to the word of grace, that neither men nor devils could overthrow it. I believe they tried with all their might to do so; but God hath said it, and I know it will stand, for I have proved it again and again: — “My word shall go forth; it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I have sent it; it shall not return unto me void.” (Isaiah 55:11)