James Smith, 1842
"O Lord, there is none like You!" 1 Chronicles 17:20
Truly, our God is without a parallel! We have read of many gods and of many lords — but who is like unto the Lord our God?
When we consider His revealed character, made known for our comfort, benefit, and blessedness — we must say "O Lord, there is none like You!"
We have . . .
broken His law,
dishonored His name,
despised his authority,
scorned his warnings, and
rejected His invitations —
yet, (wonder, O heavens! be astonished, O earth!) He . . .
comes down to us in Christ,
imputes our sins to Him,
makes over His righteousness to us, and
sends the Gospel to assure us that He is LOVE!
He satisfies His justice in the life, sufferings, and death of the dear atoning Savior; and He determines to display the full extent of His love, in dealing with poor worthless sinners.
The Son of His love is treated as the object of His hatred — that we might be dealt with as children of His grace. He stoops to the lowest — to raise us to the highest! He invites us kindly, promises faithfully; swears solemnly, and carries Himself lovingly — to make us happy and blessed. He bears with our sins, relieves our distresses, and draws us to Himself by every tender and alluring means!
"O Lord, there is none like You!"
Your love is astonishing,
your condescension is boundless,
your grace surpasses thought,
your patience is exceeding great,
your compassion is everlasting, and
your faithfulness is immutable!
"Oh tell me, Lord, that you are mine,
What can I wish beside
My soul shall at the fountain live
When all the streams are dried!"
But if we consider the dealings of the Lord, we shall see that there is none like Him. He could dash His enemies to Hell with one word, and drive them to despair. But instead of this, He constantly provides for them — and many of them are fed by Him with the richest blessings of His providence. He . . .
spreads their tables,
supplies their needs, and
pours in His favors upon them abundantly — though they . . .
blaspheme His name,
despise the mention of His grace, and
bid Him to depart from them, in disdain.
He preserves them from a variety of dangers, which would otherwise hurry them out of time into eternity. He warns them of their dangerous condition, by . . .
the word of His grace,
the ministers of the gospel, and
the dispensations of His providence.
He bears with them from day to day, and does not allow their wickedness to arouse His ire, to their immediate destruction. Who, besides Jehovah, would thus feed, preserve, warn, and bear with such obstinate, careless, provoking wretches? Surely none!
"What base rebellious wretches they;
And God as strangely kind!"
When, in His own time, any of His enemies are brought to discover their wickedness, feel their danger, desire to escape their deserved doom, and apply to Him — He freely pardons them, and forgets all their past unkindness!
When that monster of a man hung by the side of Jesus on the cross, mocking His dying agonies, reviling His dear name, and endeavoring to add to His tremendous sorrows — Jesus was as silent as one who heard not, as patient as one who felt not, and as kind as one who had been treated with all possible respect! For, no sooner does the bold blasphemer cry, "Lord remember me!" than Jesus answers, "Today shall you be with me in paradise!"
And can you, O my Savior, freely and fully pardon such a wretch as that? Can you take him in Your arms, to paradise? Can you forget his scarlet crimes, the insults he offered, and the daring wickedness manifested by him but a few minutes before? O Lord, who is like unto you?
The vile thief enters Heaven, to . . .
the astonishment of angels,
the confusion of devils,
the wonder of glorified saints, and
the honor of the dear, dear Redeemer!
Nor was this a solitary instance — but it was an example of what He could do, and what He intended to do. It exhibits His pardoning grace in its real nature and true colors. It shows us what Jesus is, and how He will carry Himself toward all who seek pardon and salvation at His throne. He not only fully pardons the penitent — but He cordially accepts him! He receives him as one of the dear objects of His love, and says to each and every one such, "I have blotted out your sins as a cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud! Return unto me, for I have redeemed you; and I will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and your iniquities will I remember no more!"
He kindly visits them, as though they had never carried themselves unkindly toward Him; and constantly blesses them with spiritual, holy, and eternal blessings. He . . .
clothes them with the garments of His righteousness,
beautifies them with the graces of His Spirit,
comforts them with the promises of His love,
acknowledges them at His throne of grace when they call upon His name,
defends them against their cruel and malicious foes,
tenderly expostulates with them when they wander from Him,
mercifully warns them of their dangers and foes,
kindly exhorts them to cleave close to Himself,
wisely corrects them when they wickedly stray,
and will crown them with glory at the end of their race!
And what returns does He frequently get for His kindness and love? Alas! alas! Too often, ingratitude, rebellion, hardness of heart, alienation of affection, forgetfulness of His mercies, and following after other lovers rather than Himself!
"O Lord, there is none like You!"
Lord, one thing I want — more holiness grant,
For more of your mind and your image I pant;
While onward I move, to Canaan above,
Come fill me with holiness, fill me with love.
Oh give me to know more of You below;
Thus fit me for Heaven, and glory bestow;
My harp shall be tuned, the Lamb shall be crowned
Salvation to Jesus! through Heaven shall resound.