(James Smith, "Henceforth!" 1859)
"Henceforth, I no longer call you servants — but I have called you friends." John 15:15
Friends! What — the friends of Jesus! Yes!
And does He love us as His friends? Yes!
And does He treat us as His friends? Yes!
And does He expect us to walk with Him, and converse with Him, and confide in Him as His friends? Yes!
Precious Lord Jesus,
how astonishing is Your love,
how vast is Your condescension,
how amazing is Your grace . . .
to call such insignificant worms, such ungrateful sinners, such utterly unworthy creatures — Your friends!
Yes, henceforth, Jesus . . .
treats us as His friends,
walks with us as His friends,
communes with us as His friends, and
will take us to dwell in Heaven with Him forever as His friends!
Blessed, blessed forever be the Lord, for His free and sovereign grace!
Henceforth, by the grace of God — I must be a new man, walking by a new rule, and aiming at a new end!