Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.…
True zeal is a loving thing, and makes us always active to edification, and not to destruction. If we keep the fire of zeal within the chimney, in its own proper place, it never doth any hurt; it only warmeth, quickeneth, and enliveneth us; but if once we let it break out, and catch hold of the thatch of our flesh, and kindle our corrupt nature, and set the house of our body on fire, it is no longer zeal — heavenly fire, but a most destructive and devouring thing. True zeal is an ignis lambens, a soft and gentle flame that will not scorch our hand; it is no predatory or voracious thing; but carnal and fleshly zeal is like the spirit of gunpowder set on fire, that tears and blows up all that stands before it. True zeal is like the vital heat in us that we live upon, which we never feel to be angry or troublesome; but though it gently feed upon the radical oil within us, that sweet balsam of our natural moisture, yet it lives lovingly with it, and maintains that by which it is fed; but that other furious and distempered zeal is nothing else but a fever in the soul. To conclude, we may learn what kind of zeal it is that we should use in promoting the gospel by an emblem of God's own — those fiery tongues that on the Day of Pentecost sat upon the apostles; which sure, were harmless flames, for we cannot read that they did any hurt, or that they did so much as singe a hair of their heads.
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.