Who is this coming up from the wilderness?

(J. C. Philpot, "Coming up from the Wilderness" 1857)

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
 leaning upon her Beloved?"
Song of Sol. 8:5

A saved sinner is a spectacle for angels to contemplate!

That a sinful man who deserves nothing but the eternal
wrath of God, should be lifted out of justly merited
perdition, into salvation to which he can have no claim,
must indeed ever be a holy wonder!

And that you or I should ever have been fixed on in
the electing love of God; ever have been given to
Jesus to redeem; ever quickened by the Spirit to
feel our lost, ruined state; ever blessed with any
discovery of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His saving
grace--this is and ever must be a matter of holy
astonishment here--and will be a theme for endless
praise hereafter!

To see a man altogether so different from what
he once was--
once so careless, carnal, ignorant,
unconcerned--to see that man now upon his knees
begging for mercy, the tears streaming down his
face, his bosom heaving with convulsive sighs, his
eyes looking upward that pardon may reach him in
his desperate state--is not that a man to be looked
at with wonder and admiration?

To see another who might have pushed his way in
the busy, bustling scenes of life--who might have
had honors, riches, and everything the world had
to bestow heaped upon his head--abandon all for
Jesus' sake, and with Moses, "esteem the reproach
of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,"
is not that man a wonder?

To live while here on earth in union and communion
with an invisible God--to talk to Jesus, whom the eye
of sense has never seen, and whose voice the ear of
sense has never heard--and yet to see Him as sensibly
by the eye of faith as though the natural eye rested
upon His glorious Person, and to hear His voice speaking
into the inmost heart, as plainly and clearly as though
the sound of His lips met the natural ear--is not that
a wonder also?

To see a man preferring one smile from the face of
Jesus, and one word from His peace-speaking lips,
above all the titles, honors, pleasures, and power
that the world can bestow--why surely if there is
a wonder upon earth, that man is one!

May we not, then, say with admiring as well as
wondering eyes, "Who is this?"

"Why, this man I knew--worldly, proud, ambitious,
self-seeking. That man I knew given up to vanity
and pride. Another man I knew buried in politics,
swallowed up in pleasure and gaiety, abandoned
to everything vile and sensual. But he has now
become prayerful, watchful, tender-hearted,
choosing the company of God's people, giving up
everything that his carnal mind once approved
of and delighted in
; and manifesting in his walk,
conversation, and whole deportment that he is
altogether a new creature."

Whenever we see any of those near and dear to us . . .
  touched by the finger of this all-conquering Lord,
  subdued by His grace,
  and wrought upon by His Spirit,
then not only do we look upon such with holy wonder,
but with the tenderest affection, mingled with the tears
of thankful praise to the God of all our mercies.

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
 leaning upon her Beloved?" Song of Sol. 8:5