Almost there. We're in the final stretches--the place where Flavel gives concrete advice about what to do in order to demonstrate proper love for and devotion to Christ. And surprise! surprise! It sounds just like what every mystic from the time of St. Paul on says!
from Christ, Altogether Lovely
Rev. John Flavel
1. Is Jesus Christ altogether lovely? Then I beseech you set your souls upon this lovely Jesus. I am sure such an object as has been here represented, would compel love from the coldest breast and hardest heart. Away with those empty nothings, away with this vain deceitful world, which deserves not the thousandth part of the love you give it. Let all stand aside and give way to Christ. O if only you knew his worth and excellency, what he is in himself, what he has done for you, and deserved from you, you would need no arguments of mine to persuade you to love him!
2. Esteem nothing lovely except as it is enjoyed in Christ, or used for the sake of Christ. Love nothing for itself, love nothing separate from Jesus Christ. In two things we all sin in love of created things. We sin in the excess of our affections, loving them above the proper value of mere created things. We also sin in the inordinacy of our affections, that is to say we give our love for created things a priority it should never have.
3. Let us all be humbled for the corruption of our hearts that are so eager in their affections for vanities and trifles and so hard to be persuaded to the love of Christ, who is altogether lovely. O how many pour out streams of love and delight upon the vain and empty created thing; while no arguments can draw forth one drop of love from their stubborn and unbelieving hearts to Jesus Christ! I have read of one Joannes Mollius, who was observed to go often alone, and weep bitterly; and being pressed by a friend to know the cause of his troubles, said "O! it grieves me that I cannot bring this heart of mine to love Jesus Christ more fervently."
4. Represent Christ to the world as he is, by your behaviour towards him. Is he altogether lovely? Let all the world see and know that he is so, by your delights in him and communion with him; zeal for him, and readiness to part with any other lovely thing upon his account. Proclaim his excellencies to the world, as the spouse did in these verses. Persuade them how much your beloved is better than any other beloved. Show his glorious excellencies as you speak of him; hold him forth to others, as he is in himself: altogether lovely. See that you "walk worthy of him unto all well pleasing," Col. 1:10. "Show forth the praises of Christ," 1 Pet. 2:19. Let not that "worthy name be blasphemed through you," James 2:7. He is glorious in himself, and he is sure to put glory upon you; take heed that you do not put shame and dishonours upon him; he has committed his honour to you, do not betray that trust.
Nothing new here, just what our stubborn hearts and heads need to hear over and over again before it sinks in. If you love Jesus show it by how you esteem Him above all things. Show it by how you represent Him to the world. And by that how you act toward those who have less than you do, or who through no circumstances of their own are in humbler circumstances than your own. Frequent communion, fervent prayer, frequent confession, charity--all of these things fill hearts and minds around us with thoughts and images of Christ. Be aware of your temperament, treat all with respect, show true love to those that you would rather not.
Detach from the innumerable doo-dads and thingummies that fill a life with debris and focus on what really matters. During this season that may be more important that all the other advice. We all know that gifts and lights and decorations and cookies are not what the Christmas season is all about. And yet, we struggle to place the Person foremost in our hearts in our hurry to see that every material desire of those we love is met to the fullness we are capable of. Let us love the lights, the joys, the delights, and the wonders of Christmas, not for the transient material things they are, but for the reflection they given of the wonder of an Infant born more than 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem. Let Him be the source of our hope and delight and our season will have true depth and true light.