Who is the favorite of heaven, with whom the high and lofty one, that inhabits eternity, will dwell?
Upon the Palpitation of the Heart
The pearl which is in the oyster is a disease, in the cabinet is a jewel of rich value, and in the ear an ornament of an orient beauty. And such a thin is the trembling or palpitation of the heart; in the body it is a sad malady, in the soul it is a heavenly grace: They who are afflicted with the once, seek earnestly to the physician for a cure; and they who want [lack] the other, importune God to obtain if form him as a blessing when once they know the excellency and worth of it.
Who is the favorite of heaven, with whom the high and lofty one, that inhabits eternity, will dwell? And to whom will he look with an eye of protection, with an eye of grace and delight? Is it not to him that is of a contrite heart and that trembles at his word? [Isaiah 66:1-2]
Who is the best saint on the earth? Is not he who uses most diligence to work out his salvation with fear and trembling? [Phil. 2:12]
All duties are best done with this holy trembling. Prayer and confession of sins are never better made than we imitate those penitent of Ezra who sat trembling in the street of the house of God. [Ezra 10:1] The Word is never more awfully received [received with a sense of awe] as the will and command of a great king, than when received as the elders of Bethlehem did Samuel, who trembling at his coming. [1 Samuel 16:4]
O methinks I cannot without wonder read how Paul lived among the Corinthians, in with fear and much trembling, as sensible of the weight of his ministry. [1 Cor. 2:3] And how they again received Titus, Paul’s messenger, with the like affection, not entertaining him with costly banquets, with court-like salutation, but with fear and trembling, which is the highest respect that can be shown to the doctrine of Christ. [2 Cor. 7:15]
Yea, the Suppoer of the Lord itself, thought it be a feast of love in which, who is all love is the chief and only dish, that a soul has to feed upon, is best celebrated with a divine trembling, which may correct our joy and keep it from degenerating into a carnal mirth.
The sparkling rays of light which are reflected from the polished diamond are much beautified by those tremulous motions which the eye behold in the stone: and so spiritual joy receives no little addition of luster and sweetness by the mixtures of trembling that appear in it.
How great then is the folly and wickedness of the sons of Belial [Deut. 13:13], who scoff at the awful [full of awe] behavior which any exercise in the service of God? As Michal did David’s dancing before the ark [2 Sam. 6:20], as if it were nothing but pusillanimity [cowardice] which would beseem children, better than Christians, who startle often at their own groundless imaginations.
But are the angels cowards which tremble in the presence of God? Is it anything unbecoming them who continually stand in his presence to express a fear of him, as well as love unto him?
How then can it be indecent for worthless creates to serve the great Jehovah with a holy awe and fear of his Majesty?
I am conscious unto myself
How little all my duties have been intervened with this divine grace.
I have prayed before thee,
But not trembled,
I have not feared thee
The Great Law-Giver,
Nor trembled at they commands.
I have heard often of thee by the hearing of the ear,
Yet I have not abhorred myself.
And therefore, I humbly beg of thee
That thou wouldst help me to sanctify thy name in my heart
And to make thee my fear and my dread;
That so I may neither abuse they mercy
Not yet provoke thy justice.