January 12, 2010

John Howe (1630–1705) on God Seeking Those Never Won by His Loving Allurements

Men are easier of acquaintance towards one another, they slide insensibly into each others bosoms: even the most churlish, morose natures are wrought upon by assiduous repeated kindnesses, gutta cavat lapidem, &c. as often-falling drops at length wear and work into very stones: towards God their hearts are more impenetrable than rocks, harder than adamants. He is seeking with some an acquaintance all their days: they live their whole age under the gospel, and yet are never won. They hearken to one another, but are utterly unpersuadable towards God; as the deaf adder that hears not the voice of the charmer though charming never so wisely. The clearest reason, the most powerful arguments move them not: no nor the most insinuative allurements, the sweetest breathings of love: "How often would I have gathered thee, as the hen her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." God draws with the cords of a man, with the bands of love: but they still perversely keep at an unkind distance.
John Howe, "The Blessedness of the Righteous," in The Works of the Rev. John Howe (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1862), 1:194.


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