Continued from yesterday:
11. Can you hope for salvation by Him without sincere affection to Him?
Shall not Christ expect love from you, when you expect life from Christ?
12. Dare you die without love to Christ?
To think – I have lived 20, 40, 60 years, but never loved Christ! Now I must go to appear before Him whom I never loved. Why not love Him while you live in health, as well as wish you had loved Him when health is gone, and sickness is come? When life is going as fast as death is coming?
13. Is not your love Christ’s due?
Do you not owe it to Him? Is it not due Him by virtue of creation? Did not He give your being to you? By virtue of redemption, when you were worse than nothing, did He not lay down His soul, His life, His blood as a precious price for your ransom? By virtue of preservation, has not Christ kept you out of the grave and hell unto this day? Justice would have hewn you down, and wrath would have swallowed you live long ago. And who has procured a reprieve for you but Christ?
14. Is it not great condescension in Christ that He will kindly accept of your love?
One so great, receiving the love of one so base. One so holy, of one so sinful. One so glorious, of one so vile.
15. Should you ever have any cause or reason to be ashamed of your love to Christ?
Is not the time coming and the day hastening when the covetous shall be ashamed of their loving the world, the voluptuous ashamed of loving their pleasures, and the ambitious their honors? But the time will never come, that day will never be, that a gracious soul shall be ashamed of his sincere love to Jesus Christ.
16. Is there any love so profitable as the love of Christ?
Gain draws love. By the love of other things more than Christ, you will lose more than you gain. By such love, God, Christ, heaven, and your own soul will be forever forever. And, should your gains of the world be proportionable to your love of the world, yea, and exceed it, to the gaining of the whole world to yourself, which never man yet did, your gain would prove your loss and, when you come to give an account at death or judgment, you will find yourself cast much behind because you will be cast behind the face and favor of God (Matthew 16:26). But, by the loving of Christ, you shall have gain that no man can value, no mind can estimate, no mathematician – by all his numbers and figures – can compute; even pardon of innumerable sins, the favor of an infinite God, deliverance from inconceivable torments, possession of endless life, and more than I, or any other man, can describe or comprehend.
17. Is there any love so universally necessary as the love of Christ?
18. Do you not lack that one great help against the temptations of Satan while you are void of love to Christ?
This love would garrison your hearts, fortify your souls, make you courageous and resolute against all the batteries of Satan, assaults of sin, and watchful against the allurements and ambushes of the world. Then would you not say, “Shall I offend my dearest Lord? Shall I displease Him who has had such good pleasure to do me such good, such everlasting good?
19. Will you ever be able to hold your profession of Christ without sincere love to Him?
When trials come, will not such as have no saving love to Christ turn their backs on Him? If you have not that love which will keep you steadfast and constant in service, sacrifice, and sufferings for Christ on earth, for want of that love you shall suffer eternally in hell.
20. Is it not possible for you to set your love upon Christ?
Is it not attainable? Devils cannot love Him, but you can. Souls in hell cannot love Him, but you can, if you would, for do you not have the means to help you to love Him? Is He not preached to you? Is not the Spirit striving with you? What hinders you from loving Him but your unwillingness to love Him? You have a will, but you complain of no power. This is no excuse before God, who condemns your moral impotency as your sin, and this excuse as a part of your “will not.” Though without the powerful workings of the grace and Spirit of God you cannot love Christ sincerely, yet this “cannot” is your “will not.” For if, by the grace of God, you were enabled to will, you could and, if you were as willing to love Christ, as some now are, you could love Him as well as they. You can, and do, love sin because you are willing; have but as great willingness to love Christ, as the world and sin, and then it may be said, not only that you can, but that you do love Christ. However, though I am no asserter of the liberty and power of the will in things supernatural, nor an opposer of the necessity of the workings of the Spirit to enable a sinner to love Christ, yet it is most manifest that your unwillingness is the hindrance of such love, and this unwillingness is your weakness and your sin, of which you need to confess and repent before God. Since, then, your unwillingness might, by grace, be removed, your love is possible. Therefore, cease not till it be actual. All that stands between you and love to Christ is your “will not.” Christ has made love to Him easy for you, so do it. How can you not? How dare you not? God help you. Amen.
Thomas Doolittle (1630-1707) was an English Puritan pastor of the 17th century. At his death, in 1707, at the age of 77, he was the last surviving pastor of the Great Ejection of 1662 (when more than 2,000 ministers were forcibly removed from their pastorates by the English government) to die.
William J. Gorrell (born in 1961) is pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Westminster, California.