Of Desiring Jesus in respect to His birth.
Observe how the nature of true desire in scripture, is set forth by the most strong similitudes of hunger and thirst; like the panting of a tired hart after the rivers of water, and by the gaping of dry ground after seasonable showers. O then! how is it that the passages of thy desires are so narrow, and almost shut up? Nay, how is it that thy vessels are so full of contrary qualities, that there is scarce any room in thy soul for Christ? Will not the desires of the patriarchs witness against thee? How cried they after Christ’s coming in the flesh? “Bow the heavens, O Lord, and come down,” Ps. 144:5. “Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down,” Isa. 44:1.Is it possible that their desires should be more vehement after Christ than ours? They lived on the dark side of the cloud, but we on the bright side; the veil was upon their hearts, which veil is done away in Christ. They saw Christ afar off, and their sight was very dim; “but we all with open face, as in a glass, behold the glory of the Lord.” One would think, the less anything is known, the less it should be desired. O my soul, either thou art more ignorant of Christ than the patriarchs of old, or thy heart is more out of frame than theirs: suspect the latter, and blame thy heart, it may be thy sluggish nature hath laid thy desires asleep. If an hungry man will sleep, his hunger will sleep with him: but, oh! stir up and awake thy desires. Present before them that glorious object, the incarnation of Jesus Christ: it is an object which the very angels desire to look into; and art not thou more concerned in it than the angels? Is not the fruit of the incarnation thine, more especially thine? Come then, stir up those motions of thy appetite, by which the soul darts itself towards the absent good. Draw nearer and nearer, till thou come to union and enjoyment; cry after Christ, “Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?”