Monday, October 03, 2005

no sickness unless of Love

Motive #14 for repentance...

"14. The happy and glorious reward that follows upon repentance

'Being made free from sin, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life' (Rom. 6.22). The leaves and root of the fig­tree are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Repentance to the fleshy part seems bitter, but behold sweet fruit: everlasting life. The Turks fancy after this life an Elysium or paradise of pleasure, where dainty dishes will be served in, and they will have gold in abundance, silken and purple apparel, and angels will bring them red wine in silver cups, and golden plates. Here is an epicure's heaven. But in the true paradise of God there are astonishing delights and rare viands served in, which 'eye hath not seen, neither have entered into the heart of man' (1 Cor. 2.9). God will lead his penitents from the house of mourning to the banqueting house. There will be no sight there but of glory, no noise but of music, no sickness unless of love. There shall be holiness unspotted and joy unspeakable. Then the saints shall forget their solitary hours and be sweetly solacing themselves in God and bathing in the rivers of divine pleasure.

O Christian, what are your duties compared with the recompense of reward? What an infinite disproportion is there between repentance enjoined and glory prepared? There was a feast­day at Rome, when they used to crown their fountains. God will crown those heads which have been fountains of tears. Who would not be willing to be a while in the house of mourning who shall be possessed of such glory as put Peter and John into an ecstasy to see it even darkly, shadowed and portrayed in the transfiguration (Matt.17)? This reward which free grace gives is so transcendently great that could we have but a glimpse of glory revealed to us here, we should need patience to be content to live any longer. O blessed repentance, that has such a light side with the dark, and has so much sugar at the bottom of the bitter cup!"

From The Doctrine of Repentance, by Thomas Watson.