In characters of
(John Fawcett, "Christ Precious")
"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"
1 Peter 2:7
If Christ is truly precious to us—we shall be distressed that we are not more conformed to His blessed image and holy will. In proportion as He is precious to us—will be our aversion to sin and all unholiness. In the undertakings, the sufferings, and the death of our Redeemer for us—we have such a representation of the evil of sin, and of the dreadful punishment due to it—as must tend to inspire our hearts with holy hatred against it!
We see in the wounds, the sorrows, and the crucifixion of the Savior—the dreadful malignity of sin! We see how hateful it is to God, since He punished it so severely in His beloved Son, when in our place, He bore it in His own body on the tree. We read the nature of sin—in characters of blood—on the cross of Christ!
Those who have a due sense of the spirituality of the divine law, and who strictly examine their own hearts and lives by that perfect rule of righteousness, will ever see abundant reason for humiliation and self abasement before God.
From sincere love to Jesus Christ—will arise holy hatred of those things which are contrary to His will, and which oppose and hinder us in our endeavors after conformity to Him. The vain imaginations of our own evil hearts—will be matter of grief and sorrow to us, "I hate vain thoughts—but I love your law."
The Christian is grieved and distressed, that his thoughts and affections are so much taken up concerning the affairs of the present life, and that he should be so insensible and unmoved at many times, in respect to eternal realities—that his heart should be so hard, so dull and unaffected about matters of infinite importance! He mourns to think that his love to God is so cold, that his desires after Him are so languid, that his zeal for Him is so low, and his gratitude for favors received, is so small.
His heart is pained within him—that he should feel himself so insensible and unmoved under the sound of the gospel. That he should sit and hear of the astonishing love of God in Christ Jesus, and of His giving his beloved Son to bleed and die for his own sins—without being melted into penitence, or inspiring him with love and zeal for Jesus. His heart is pained—that he should be so unaffected with the amazing kindness and compassion of Jesus Christ, manifested in His dying agonies, His bloody sweat, His ignominious cross, His loud and bitter cries, His pierced side, and bleeding heart—and all this for His bitter enemies—to deliver them from deserved and eternal destruction, and to bring them to the possession of everlasting glory and felicity!
"Surely," says he, "if there is a call for the exercise of fervent affections anywhere—it is here at the foot of the cross! O how disquieted I am—to think that I should be so stupid and insensible, even when I could wish my heart to be most ravished! Can anything be presented to my thoughts more important, or more wonderful? And yet how superficial and ineffectual, at some times—are the impressions which are made upon my mind by these views!"