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The Acts of Love to God are,

1. Love does all things which may please the beloved person; it performs all his commandments: and this is one of the greatest instances and arguments of our love that God requires of us — this is love, ‘That we keep his commandments.’ Love is obedient.

2. It does all the intimations and secret significations of his pleasure whom we love; and this is an argument of a great degree of it. The first instance is, it makes the love accepted; but this gives a greatness and singularity to it. The first is the least, and less than it cannot do our duty; but without this second we cannot come to perfection. Great love is also pliant and inquisitive in the instances of its expression.

3. Love gives away all things, that so he may advance the interest of the beloved person: it relieves all that he would have relieved, and spends itself in such real significations as it is enabled withal. He never loved God that will quit anything of his religion to save his money. Love is always liberal and communicative.

4. It suffers all things that are imposed by its beloved, or that can happen for his sake, or that intervene in his service, cheerfully, sweetly, willingly expecting that God should turn them into good, and instruments of felicity. ‘Charity hopeth all things, endureth all things.’2052051 Cor. xiii. Love is patient and content with anything, so it be together with its beloved.

5. Love is also impatient of anything that may displease the beloved person, hating all sin as the enemy of its friend; for love contracts all the same relations, and marries the same friendships and the same hatreds; and all affection to a sin is perfectly inconsistent with the love of God. Love is not divided between God and God’s enemy: we must love God with all our heart; that is, give him a whole and undivided affection, having love for nothing else but such things which he allows, and which he commands or loves himself.

6. Love endeavours for ever to be present, to converse with, to enjoy, to be united with its object; loves to be talking of him, reciting his praises, telling his stories, repeating his words, imitating his gestures, transcribing his copy in everything; and every degree of love; and it can endure anything but the displeasure and the absence of its beloved. For we are not to use God and religion as men use perfumes, with which they are delighted when they have them, but can very well be without them. True charity is restless till it enjoys God in such instances in which it wants him; it is like hunger and thirst, it must be fed, or it cannot be answered:206206amoris ut morsum qui vere senserit. and nothing can supply the presence, or make recompense for the absence of God, or of the effects of his favour and the light of his countenance.

7. True love in all accidents looks upon the beloved person, and observes his countenance, and how he approves or disapproves, and accordingly looks sad or cheerful. He that loves God is not displeased at those accidents which God chooses, nor murmurs at those changes which he makes in his family, nor envies at those gifts he bestows; but chooses as he likes; and is ruled by his judgment, and is perfectly of his persuasion, loving to learn where God is the teacher, and being content to be ignorant or silent where he is not pleased to open himself.

8. Love is curious of little things, of circumstances and measures, and little accidents, not allowing to itself any infirmity which it strives not to master, aiming at what it cannot yet reach, desiring to be of an angelical purity, and of a perfect innocence, and a seraphical fervour, and fears every image of offence; is as much afflicted at an idle word as some at an act of adultery, and will not allow to itself so much anger as will disturb a child, nor endure the impurity of a dream.207207Plutarchus citans carmen de suo Apolline, adjicit ex Herodoto quasi de suo, De eo os meum continens esto. And this is the curiosity and niceness of divine love: this is the fear of God, and is the daughter and production of Love.

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