"He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." -- (ST. JOHN xxiv.21.)
SUCH is our Lord's own authoritative definition of His true lover.
But not seldom it would seem as if this His definition fails to satisfy His disciples. Thus one, a self-deceiver, substitutes an emotion for obedience: while another, a self-tormentor, depreciates the obedience he can and (allowing for human frailty) does render, in comparison with emotions he longs after but cannot experience.
The self-deceiver's remedy is simple strenuous obedience, without reference either to sensibility or insensibility.
The self-tormentor's remedy is cheerful, trustful obedience "as to the Lord, and not unto men:" for whosoever studies himself in his obeidence is--is he not?--obeying as "unto a man" rather than "as to the Lord."
Such an honest scrupulous person may, perhaps, derive comfort from a very homely illustration. When water boils, the bottom of the vessel containing it can be touched with impunity: wherefore? because it lacks heat? on the contrary, because all its heat is carried upward and away from itself.