Saturday, January 26, 2008

"And they lived happily ever after."

"In this spiritual espousal or marriage relation between Christ and his people, there is a giving of themselves each to the other. Christ, on the one hand, gives himself unto the soul. 'I will be yours,' says he to the soul, 'yours to love you, to save you, to make you happy in me and with me. I, with all my riches and treasures, will be fully and forever yours.' . . . And Oh, how sweet is this language! What can Christ give to poor souls like himself? In giving himself, he gives the best gift that either heaven or earth affords! In giving himself, he gives life, he gives peace, he gives grace, he gives righteousness, he gives the favor of God, he gives heaven, he gives all. Oh, sweet gift! On the other hand, the soul, by way of return, gives itself to Christ. 'I will be thine,' says the soul to Christ. 'I will be for thee and not for another. . . . Sweet Jesus, such as I am and have I give to thee. I am a poor, a sorry gift,' says the soul, 'infinitely unworthy of thine acceptance. My best is too bad, my all is too little for thee; but seeing it is thy pleasure to call for and accept of such a gift at my hands, I do, with my whole soul, give my myself, my strength, my time, my talents, my all, forever to thee.'"

Edward Pearse, The Best Match, or, The Soul's Espousals to Christ, pages 5-6.