(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)
Saving faith is soul-softening, it is soul-mollifying.
Peter believes soundly--and weeps bitterly.
Mary Magdalene believes much--and weeps much.
Faith sets . . .
a wounded Christ,
a bruised Christ,
a despised Christ,
a pierced Christ,
a bleeding Christ
--before the soul, and this makes the soul sit down
and weep bitterly: "They will look on Me whom they
have pierced and mourn for Him (all gospel-mourning
flows from believing), as for an only son. They will
grieve bitterly for Him as for a firstborn son who has
died." Zechariah 12:10.
Oh! the sight of those wounds which their sins have
made--will wound their hearts through and through!
It will make them lament over Christ with a bitter
lamentation. Ah! nothing will kindly, sweetly, and
effectually break the hardened heart of a sinner,
but faith's beholding the blood of Christ trickling
down His sides!
That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely;
that man's extreme misery should but inflame Christ's
affections of love and mercy--this melts the believing soul.
That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of His Father;
that He who was equal with God--should come in the form
of a servant; that He who was clothed with glory--should
be wrapped in rags; that He whom the heaven of heavens
could not contain--should be cradled in a manger; that from
His cradle to His cross--His whole life should be a life of
sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should
be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death;
that He who was His Father's joy--should in anguish of spirit
cry out, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' that
that head which was crowned with honor--should be crowned
with thorns; that those eyes which were as a flame of fire,
which were clearer than the sun--should be closed up by the
darkness of death; that those ears which were used to hear
nothing but hallelujahs--should hear nothing but blasphemies;
that that face which was white and ruddy--should be spit upon
by the beastly Jews; that that tongue which spoke as never
any man spoke, yes, as never any angel spoke--should be
accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both
a golden scepter and an iron rod, and those feet which were
as fine brass--should be nailed to the cross--and all this for
man's transgression, for man's rebellion!
Oh! the sight of
these things, the believing of these things,
gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan,
to mourn and lament!
True faith is a heart-breaking, a heart-melting faith.