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Conformity to God

By David Brainerd


      "...conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29)

      How I was, the first day or two of my illness, with regard to the exercise of reason, I scarcely know; I believe I was somewhat shattered with the violence of the fever, at times. But the third day of my illness, and constantly afterwards for four or five weeks together, I enjoyed as much serenity of mind, and clearness of thought, as perhaps I ever did in my life. I think my mind never penetrated with so much ease and freedom into divine things, as at this time. I never felt so capable of demonstrating the truth of many important doctrines of the gospel as now. And as I saw clearly the truth of those great doctrines, which are justly styled the doctrines grace; so I saw with no less clearness, that the essence of religion consisted in the soul's conformity to God, and acting above all selfish views, for His glory, longing to be for Him, to live to Him, and please and honor Him in all things. And this from a clear view of His infinite excellency and worthiness in Himself to be loved, adored, worshiped, and served by all intelligent creatures.

      Thus I saw, that when a soul loves God with a supreme love, he there in acts like the blessed God Himself, who most justly loves Himself in that manner: So when God's interest and his are become one, and he longs that God should be glorified and rejoices to think that He is unchangeably possessed of the highest glory and blessedness, herein also he acts in conformity to God. In like manner; when the soul is fully resigned to, I and rests satisfied and contented with, the divine will, here it is also conformed to God.

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