...God is all in all to us in the creatures, but then he shall be all in all to us without them; whatever good we enjoy in the creature, it is from God. What is that which is the true comfort of every enjoyment, but only that of God that is enjoyed in it? The good of personal comforts, as life, estate, health, gifts, parts, is all from God; the good of relative comforts, father, mother, brother, sister, yoke-fellows, or friends, all is from God in them. There is no sweetness, nor pleasure, nor true comfort, in any or all of them, but what God puts into them; you call them your blessings, but it is not from the nature of the things themselves, but from that of God which is enjoyed in them; time was when there was nothing but God, and then all good was in him only, and as the creature's essence, and existence is from God alone, so must all its goodness be. As he gave being to the creatures for man's sake, so he puts goodness into them for man's use and comfort, therefore all that is sweet, or any ways refreshing in the creature, is from God; all is nothing, if God be left out. I remember a saying of some of the Rabbies of the names in the Hebrew for husband and wife, ... that the name of God is contained in them, as a symbol of God's gracious presence, if they live according to God's commands, but if they depart from him, and God departs from them, taking away the word signifying God, there remains a word that signifies fire, to intimate that there is nothing but fire and wrath, where God is left out. I wish you did well consider this, and believe it, it would make us more thankful in the enjoyment of mercies, and outward comforts, and content in the want of them. No creature hath any real sweetness in it, further than we enjoy God in it; if God be left out, they are but a line of cyphers, with never a figure. But though God be all in all now in all the creatures, yet in the other world, God shall be all without them. God will in that day, wholly stop and dry up the current of all creature channels, and will of himself immediately supply the want of all second causes whatever. This is plainly proved by that saying of Christ to the captious Pharisees. (Luke xx. 34.) "The children of this world marry and are given in marriage, but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage;" intimating that the creatures shall no more hanker after any finite thing, but shall be possessed by God. The soul now is much solaced with earthly enjoyments, but then it shall be filled with God wholly, and wrapt up in God, and satisfied with God everlastingly. The creature is now most in the affection of most Saints, but then it shall be nothing in any, for God shall be all in all.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Whatever Good We Enjoy, It Is From God
Matthew Mead, Sermon X, in The Sermons of Matthew Mead, pp. 313-314: