Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for Himself is love: and it is the greatest thing we can give to God; for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours. The apostle calls it the band of perfection; it is the old, and it is the new, and it is the great commandment, and it is all the commandments; for it is the fulfilling of the Law. It does the work of all the graces without any instrument but its own immediate virtue. For as the love of sin makes a man sin against all his own reason, and all the discourses of wisdom, and all the advices of his friends, and without temptation and without opportunity, so does the love of God: it makes a man chaste without the laborious arts of fasting and exterior disciplines, temperate in the midst of feasts, and is active enough to choose it without any intermedial appetites, and reaches at glory through the very heart of grace, without any other aims but those of love. It is a grace that loves God for Himself, and our neighbors for God. The consideration of God's goodness and bounty, the experience of those profitable and excellent emanations from Him, may be, and most commonly are, the first motive of our love; but when we are once entered, and have tasted the goodness of God, we love the spring for its own excellency, passing from passion to reason, from thanking to adoring, from sense to spirit, from considering ourselves to union with God: and this is the image and little representation of heaven; it is beatitude in picture, or rather the infancy and beginning of glory.
Quotes, by Jeremy Taylor