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Where There Is Life (3)


Spiritual life, like physical life, has senses. David Clarkson writes, “where there is natural life there is breath, motion, sense, so where there is spiritual life there is spiritual breathings, motions, sensibleness.”

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Where there is life there is sense.

The quickened soul sees a transcendent excellency in Christ, as to contemn, part with all for him; sees a loathsome deformity in sin, sees a wonderful beauty in holiness, sees a woeful misery in a natural condition, and sees so as his soul is affected with it. Where these objects are not spiritually seen, affectionately discerned, there is no spiritual life.

Hears. The heart hears. That which comes but to the ears of others, when the gospel makes known the mysteries of regeneration, of Christ’s righteousness imputed, of self-denial, of mortification, hears them as things which he finds, and has experience of in his own heart. When Christ commands to leave sin, to mortify lusts, be crucified to the world, decline his own carnal humours, interests, inclinations, he hears so as to obey, to resolve and endeavour it.

Feels a weight, a burden in sin, feels the wounds it has made in his soul; he wonders he should be so much past feeling before, as not to be sensible of that load of sin which was pressing his soul down towards the pit. His conscience smarts by those sins which the world count not worthy the name of sin. Those that are past feeling are without life.

Tastes the sweetness of Christ, 1 Pet. ii. Christ is sweeter to him than any of the pleasures of sin. Formerly he heard of Christ’s sweetness, and had such apprehensions of it as he had of the Israelites manna, which he never saw nor tasted; he thought of Christ’s sweetness before, but now he has tasted his sweetness.

He tastes sweetness in the promises. They are sweeter to him than the honey and the honey-comb, he feeds on them as on manna, he lets them lie long on his soul, in his thoughts, as sweet things on our palates; they are his dainties, his refreshment in the night-season, he has meat to feed on which the world knows not of.

He tastes sweetness in spiritual enjoyments. Enjoyment of Christ in his ordinances, this is to his soul as marrow and fatness; as David promises himself, if he should again see the power and glory of God in the sanctuary: ‘Then my soul shall,’ &c., Ps. lxiii. 5. If you never tasted this, never had experience of so much pleasure in word, or prayer, or meditating on Christ or promises, but you have taken more delight in worldly pleasures; never tasted such sweetness therein, but that you can live comfortably without them, if outward comforts be but continued, then it is evident you are yet without spiritual life, not yet come to Christ.

—David Clarkson, Men by Nature Unwilling to Come to Christ, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:364



Posted 2017·11·30 by David Kjos
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