Words

From "A Plain Account of Christian Perfection"
by John Wesley, 1703-1791

"Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment."

It is not only the first and great command but all the commandments in one. "Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise," they are all comprised in this one word, "love." In this is perfection, and glory, and happiness.

The royal law of heaven and earth is this, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

The one perfect good shall be your one ultimate end. One thing shall you desire for its own sake, the fruition of him who is all in all. One happiness shall you propose to your souls, even a union with him that made them, the having fellowship with the Father and the Son, the being joined to the Lord in one spirit. One design you are to pursue to the end of time, the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view. Let every affection and thought and word and action be subordinate to this. Whatever you desire or fear, whatever you seek or shun, whatever you think, speak or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end, as well as source, of your being.

Here is the sum of the perfect law, the circumcision of the heart. Let the spirit return to God that gave it, with the whole train of its affections. Other sacrifices from us he would not, but the living sacrifice of the heart has he chosen. Let it be continually offered up to God through Christ, in flames of holy love. And let no creature be suffered to share with him; for he is a jealous God. His throne will he not divide with another; he will reign without a rival. Be no design, no desire admitted there, but what has him for its ultimate object.

This is the way wherein those children of God once walked, who being dead still speak to us:

"Desire not to live but to praise his name; let all your thoughts, words, and works tend to his glory."

"Let your soul be filled with so entire a love to him that you may love nothing but for his sake."

"Have a pure intention of heart, a steadfast regard to his glory in all your actions."

For then, and not till then, is that mind in us, which was also in Christ Jesus, when in every motion of our heart, in every word of our tongue, in every work of our hands, we pursue nothing but in relation to him, and in subordination to his pleasure; when we too neither think, nor speak, nor act to fulfil our own will, but the will of him that sent us; when, whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we do it all to the glory of God.

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