No glory of the Eternal One is higher than this, Mighty to save; no name of God is more adorable than that of Saviour; no place among the servants of God can be so glorious as that of an instrument of salvation.
Christs voice sounds now for each of us in loving invitation; and dead in sin and hardness of heart though we be, we can listen and live. Christ Himself, my brother, sows the seed now. Do you take care that it falls not on, but in, your souls.
Because many who are called by the Gospel do not repent nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief, this does not arise from defect or insufficiency of the sacrifice offered by Christ, but from their own fault.
Christ is known only by them that receive Him into their love, their faith, their deep want; known only as He is enshrined within, felt as a divine force, breathed in the inspirations of the secret life.
Beloved, you that have faith in the fountain, frequent it. Beware of two errors which are very natural and very disastrous; beware of thinking any sin too great for it; beware of thinking any sin too small.
Our sins are debts that none can pay but Christ. It is not our tears, but His blood; it is not our sighs, but His sufferings, that can testify for our sins. Christ must pay all, or we are prisoners forever.
It was the custom of the Roman emperors, at their triumphal entrance, to cast new coins among the multitudes; so doth Christ, in His triumphal ascension into heaven, throw the greatest gifts for the good of men that were ever given.
There is truth in Jesus which is terrible, as well as truth that is soothing; terrible, for He shall be Judge as well as Saviour; and ye cannot face Him, ye cannot stand before Him, unless ye now give ear to His invitation.
Christ sends His Spirit, not only to help, but to lead us on, so that we build better than we know. We come freely into His methods; we are made to carry out His plan. This is the guarantee of an eternal success.
Christ puts Himself at the head of the mystic march of the generations; and, like the mysterious angel that Joshua saw in the plain by Jericho, makes the lofty claim, Nay, but as the captain of the Lords host am I come up.
Jesus does not drive His followers on before, as a herd of unwilling disciples, but goes before Himself, leading them into paths that He has trod, and dangers He has met, and sacrifices He has borne Himself, calling them after Him and to be only followers.
Christ is the great burden bearerthe Lamb of God who beareth the sin of the world; but in order to enjoy the benefit of His interposition, I must distinctly and for myself take advantage of it. Conscious of my lost estate, I must seek a personal share in the common salvation.
Be sure that Christ is not behind you, but before, calling and drawing you on. This is the liberty, the beautiful liberty of Christ. Claim your glorious privilege in the name of a disciple; be no more a servant, when Christ will own you as a friend.
As this brook not only washes off impurities, but overwhelms them, so that they can no longer be found, even so Thy Divine mercy, and the stream of my Saviours blood, not only purge away, but extinguish my sins, sweeping them into the depths of the sea, where through all eternity they shall be remembered no more.
Go to the family where darkness and suspicion and jealousy and disorder reign, and if they will but receive Christ, mark how light and confidence and order and peace spring up. Go to the regions of superstition and idolatry, and see what transformations are effected by Jesus.
From behind the shadow of the still small voicemore awful than tempest or earthquakemore sure and persistent than day and nightis always sounding full of hope and strength to the weariest of us all, Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
And what is the joy of Christ? The joy and delight which springs forever in His great heart, from feeling that He is forever doing good; from loving all, and living for all; from knowing that if not all, yet millions on millions are grateful to Him, and will be forever.
When a man begins to apprehend the first approach of grace, pardon, and mercy by Jesus Christ to his soul; when he is convinced of his utter unworthiness and desert of hell, and can never expect anything from a just and holy God but damnation, how do the first dawnings of mercy melt and humble him!
Grieve not the Christ of God, who redeems us; and remember that we grieve Him most when we will not let Him pour His love upon us, but turn a sullen, unresponsive unbelief towards His pleading grace, as some glacier shuts out the sunshine from the mountain-side with its thick-ribbed ice.
As a child walking over a slippery and dangerous path cries out, Father, I am falling! and has but a moment to catch his fathers hand, so every believer sees hours when only the hand of Jesus comes between him and the abysses of destruction.
Compassionate Saviour! We welcome Thee to our world. We welcome Thee to our hearts. We bless Thee for the Divine goodness Thou hast brought from heaven; or the souls Thou hast warmed with love to man, and lifted up in love to God; the efforts of divine philanthropy which Thou hast inspired; and for that hope of a pure celestial life, through which Thy disciples triumph over death.
Reader, if Christ is yours, and you are Christs, is there anything on which you may more confidently repose than that Jesus is making continual intercession for you, ever displaying the merits of His cross and precious blood, not only for the church at large, but for thee, even for sinful thee?
Brethren, is not this the Saviour that you need? one who can save you from the utmost depths of depravity, in the utmost corner of the earth, on the utmost inch of time? One who can save you amidst the utmost urgency of fierce temptations, and who in the uttermost extreme of exhausted nature, when heart and flesh do faint and fail, completes the work, and seals the salvation for evermore?
You have only to cast your life-long guilt, your ungodliness, your evil thoughts and wicked words, your sinful soul itself, into this crime-canceling, sin-annihilating, soul-cleansing Fountain, in order to obliterate from Gods creation your foul transgressions, and yet leave the Divine perfection fair as ever. The sin which a Saviours blood dissolves is the only sin which, after being once committed, is totally extinguished.
My burden is light, said the blessed Redeemer, a light burden indeed, which carries him that bears it. I have looked through all nature for a resemblance of this, and seem to find a shadow of it in the wings of a bird, which are indeed borne by the creature, and yet support her night towards heaven.
What do we know about the world unseen? What reasonings, what curiosity, what misgivings there have been concerning that impenetrable mystery! Out of this mystery and vagueness and vastness comes the human form of the Divine Redeemer. He assures us that there is an unmixed and endless life, and that all we have to do to secure it is to trust ourselves to Him who came to declare it and to confer it.
It is not the thinker who is the true king of men, as we sometimes hear it proudly said. We need one who will not only show, but be the Truth; who will not only point, but open and be the Way; who will not only communicate thought, but give, because He is the Life. Not the rabbis pulpit, nor the teachers desk, still less the gilded chairs of earthly monarchs, least of all the tents of conquerors, are the throne of the true king. He rules from the cross.
Happy those who are able in truth to say, My Lord and my God! Here is the true bond of union. Here is the noblest inspiration of life. Strength for work. Comfort in trouble. Hope in death. Here is what gives eternity itself its chief interest and joy. There we shall behold the King in His beauty. And when we shall see Him as He is, and shall be like Him, with what ecstasy of love and gratitude and joy shall we cry, My Lord and my God!
I feel my disease, and I feel that my want of alarm and lively affecting conviction forms its most obstinate ingredient; I try to stir up the emotion, and feel myself harassed and distressed at the impotency of my own meditations. But why linger without the threshold in the face of a warm and urgent invitation? Come unto me. Do not think it is your office to heal one part of the disease, and Christs to heal the remainder.
The hoary centuries are full of Him; the echoes of His sweet voice are heard to-day; His love has perfumed the past eighteen hundred years, and He lives to-day, as the Head of His church; He lives to-day, the object of the warmest adoration, the most passionate love, for whom millions would die this very hour. Empires have fallen, thrones have crumbled; but Jesus lives, His empire extending every day, His throne gaining new trophies of His grace.
The enthronement of Christ over the minds of men is steadily going forward. His kingdom embraces the princes in the realm of mind. It embraces the nations of highest civilization. They are all beneath the cross. It is maintained by simple authority. Other mental monarchs rule by logic; Christs word is lawit is satisfying to His subjects. His truth in the hands of His disciples, like the bread He broke upon the mountains, is an ample supply for the millions that gather at His table.
Yes, we have throned Him in our minds and heartsthe cynosure of our wandering thoughtsthe monarch of our warmest affections, hopes, desires. This we have done. And the more we meditate upon His astonishing love, His amazing sacrifice, the more we feel that if we had a thousand minds, hearts, souls, we would crown Him Lord of all. Living we will live in Him, for Him, to Him. Dying, we will clasp Him in our arms, and, with Simeon, welcome death as the consummation of bliss.
Thus the word reveals the Divine essence; His incarnation makes that life, that love, that light, which is eternally resident in God obvious to souls that steadily contemplate Himself. These terms life, love, lightso abstract, so simple, so suggestivemeet in God; but they meet also in Jesus Christ. They do not only make Him the centre of a philosophy; they belong to the mystic language of faith more truly than to the abstract terminology of speculative thought. They draw hearts to Jesus; they invest Him with a higher than any intellectual beauty.
My only comfort is that I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation. And, therefore, by His holy spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth to live unto Him.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full atonement for sins; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour.
Christ is the head of all things. Everything lies open before His eye, everything is sustained by His power, and everything is disposed of by His wisdom. Not a sparrow can fall to the ground without His notice and permission. Oh, to see Jesus in all things! Oh, to see everything at the disposal of Jesus! Oh, to see that all things are directed, controlled, and overruled by Christ alone! May this calm my mind, compose my spirit, and produce holy resignation in my soul! If Jesus arranges all, sends all, directs all, overrules all, then all things must work together for good to them that love God.
If you are really anxious to learn the way to God, He has not left Himself without a witness, nor you without a teacher. Go to the recorded Christ, and look at that history; listen to those words which survive in the gospels. And go to the living Christ, to Him who has said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. And dim as may be your outsetmore of night than morning in your twilight, as you follow on you shall know the Lord, and with the light that radiates from Himself, your path will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.