“This is the true God, and eternal life.”
1 John 5:20
O the blessedness, which eternity itself can never exhaust, of possessing eternal life! There is something to my mind so singularly blessed in the expression “eternal life,” that I cannot help dwelling upon it. How the thought, the feeling of it expands the breast! Compared with it, how poor, mean, and low is our temporal life and all its concerns—the short span which God has allotted to us here below! And do observe how our eye is directed by holy John to the true God as being himself eternal life. He is not only the Giver, the Spring, the Subject, the Object of it; He himself is it all. O if he has but quickened our souls by his Spirit and grace, we carry now, even now, eternal life in our breast! for this eternal life is the precious fruit on earth of that eternal life in heaven which was with the Father and was manifested unto us (1 John 1:2).
But how shall we know that we have eternal life, you may ask? How do we know that we have natural life? By an inward consciousness that we are alive; by the pulse which beats, the lungs which breathe, the eye which sees, the ear which hears, the tongue which speaks, the hands which feel, by the warm play of blood through our veins, by the thoughts which pass to and fro through our mind.
Similarly we know the possession of spiritual life by an inward consciousness of it and by its inward actings. And as where there is spiritual there is eternal life, as we feel the bubblings, springings, risings, and varied movements of this spiritual life in our bosom, we have a testimony that we have also eternal life; that this eternal life is in the Son of God, and from the Son of God has been breathed into and communicated unto our souls.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869