CHRIST'S SYMPATHY TO
by Octavius Winslow (1808 - 1878)
WHAT A BOUNDLESS, FATHOMLESS OCEAN!
Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish
heaven for earth—a diadem for a cross—the robe of divine majesty for the
garment of our nature; by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin. Oh,
the infinite love of Christ! What a boundless, fathomless ocean! Ask
the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He
has opened, whose liberty He has conferred, if there ever was love like His!
What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the
richest, the costliest, that Heaven could give. He gave Himself for
us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave
His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL, as the price for our
ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the
altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending
arm of the Father, paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of
What a boundless, fathomless ocean! How is it that we
feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all
commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh,
the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood drops of
Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us? Will not His
dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?
"Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain
you." Psalm 55:22
It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer
our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites
you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm
that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the
soldier's spear! But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing
for me ?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not
the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to
the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says,
"Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty. I bore
the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same
power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you
then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me!
Child of My love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I
know your burden, child! I shaped it—I poised it in My own hand and made no
proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on,
I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be
Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My
own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which
upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough!
I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast.
You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"
THE FLAMING SWORD OF
JUSTICE QUENCHED IN THE HOLY, LOVING BOSOM OF JESUS!
The most significant and appalling demonstration of God's
holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and
transcending every other, is the sufferings and death of His only and
beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God's hatred and punishment of
sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds,
swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never
have done! "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree."
Behold the most awful display of God's hatred of sin!
Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and
Savior, the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! God
finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son, emptied upon His holy soul
all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to
Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and
how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound Jehovah is to punish it, either
in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son
of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of
divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!
But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son,
but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross
as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church—He gave Himself
for us. What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding
sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched
in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does
this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man's sin and God's
love; the indescribable enormity of the one, and the immeasurable greatness
of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else. Oh, to
learn experimentally these two great facts—sin's infinite hatefulness, and
love's infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love
of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin,
which demanded a sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious!
BOUNDLESS, AND INEXHAUSTIBLE!
Christ is wonderful in His love. Love was the first and
eternal link in the golden chain lowered from the highest throne in heaven
down to the lowest depth of earth. That Christ should love us was the
beginning of wonders. When we endeavor to comprehend that love, measure it,
fathom it, scale it—we learn that it has heights we cannot reach, depths we
cannot sound, lengths and breadths we cannot measure! Such love, such divine
love, such infinite love, such everlasting love, such redeeming, dying love,
is an ocean whose eternal waves waft into our fallen world every wonder of
God and of heaven.
That Jesus should love such beings as us—that He should
love us while we were yet sinners—that He should set His heart upon us,
choose us, die for us, call us, and finally bring us to glory, knowing what
we were, and what we would prove to be—oh, this is wondrous love indeed!
Plunge into this fathomless, boundless Ocean of love, O sin-burdened one! It
will cover all your sins, it will efface all your guilt; it will flood over
all your unworthiness—and, floating upon its golden waves, it will gently
waft you to the shore of eternal blessedness!
How often have you wondered why Christ should set
His heart upon such a one as you! And is it not a wonder that, amid all your
fickleness and backslidings and cold, base returns, this love of God towards
you has not chilled or changed? But do not rest, do not be satisfied with
your present limited experience of Christ's wonderful love. It is so
marvelously great. This Ocean of love is so fathomless, boundless, and
inexhaustible, you may plunge, with all your infirmities, sins, and
sorrows, into its fullness, exclaiming, "O, the depth!" The well is deep!
Drink abundantly, O beloved!
LOVE SUFFERING, AND
BLEEDING, AND EXPIRING!
The love of Christ! Such a precious theme! Of it can we
ever weary? Never! Its greatness can we ever know? Never! Its plenitude can
we fully contain? Never! Its depths cannot be fathomed, its dimensions
cannot be measured! It passes knowledge! All that Jesus did for His people
was but the unfolding and expression of His love.
Traveling to Bethlehem—I see love incarnate!
Tracking His steps as He went about doing good—I see love laboring!
Visiting the house of Bethany—I see love sympathizing! Standing by
the grave of Lazarus—I see love weeping! Entering the gloomy
precincts of Gethsemane—I see love sorrowing! Passing on to Calvary—I
see love suffering, and bleeding, and expiring! The whole
scene of His life is but an unfolding of the deep, and awesome, and precious
mystery of redeeming love!
IT IS I
"Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark
Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm. It
is I who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it. It is
I who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. It is I who
kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.
It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will
strengthen you to bear it. It is I who mixed your cup of grief, and
will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will.
It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your
child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth, and will be
infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child. It is I who
have done it ALL.
I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the
tempest as with a garment. The night hour is my time of coming, and
the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage!
It is I. Don't be afraid. It is I—your Friend, your Brother, your
Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for
your good. It is I who permitted the enemy to assail you, the slander
to blast you, the unkindness to wound you, the need to press you! Your
affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above—a
heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of ebony.
I have sent all in love! This sickness is not unto
death, but for the glory of God. This bereavement shall not always
bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I
who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all! In every stormy wind, in every
darksome night, in every lonesome hour, in every rising fear, the voice of
Jesus shall be heard, saying, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not
THE PERSONAL ATTRACTIONS
The love of Jesus wins us. His glory charms
us. His beauty attracts us. His sympathy soothes us. His
gentleness subdues us. His faithfulness inspires us. He is the
altogether lovely One! Jesus is all that is tender in love. Jesus is
all that is wise in counsel. Jesus is all that is patient and
kind. Jesus is all that is faithful in friendship. Jesus is
all that is balmy, soothing, and healing. The heart of Jesus is ever
loving towards His children. The disposition of Jesus is ever kind
towards His children. The nature of Jesus is ever sympathizing
towards His children.
Jesus is your Brother, your Friend, your Redeemer. As
your Brother, He knows the needs of His brethren in adversity. As
your Friend, He shows Himself friendly. As your Redeemer, He
has redeemed your soul from sin and hell. Jesus has ascended up on high to
take possession of heaven on your behalf, and to prepare a place for you!
Upon His heart He wears your name as a precious pearl in the priestly
breastplate. There is not a moment of your time, nor an event of your life,
nor a circumstance of your daily history, nor a mental or spiritual emotion
of yours, in which you are not borne upon the love, and remembered in the
ceaseless intercession of Christ. The personal attractions of Jesus
are all-inviting and irresistible!
A FATHER'S HAND!
"My times are in your hand." Psalm 31:15
Our times of adversity are also in God's hand. As
every sunbeam that brightens, so every cloud that darkens,
comes from God. We are subject to great and sudden reverses in our earthly
condition. Joy is often succeeded by grief, prosperity by adversity. We are
on the pinnacle today, tomorrow at its bottom. Oh! What a change may one
event and one moment create! But, beloved, ALL is from the Lord.
Afflictions do not spring from the soil, nor does trouble
sprout from the ground. Sorrow cannot come until God bids it. Until God in
His sovereignty permits—health cannot fade, wealth cannot vanish, comfort
cannot decay, friendship cannot chill, and loved ones cannot die. Your time
of sorrow is His appointment. The bitter cup which it may please the
Lord that you shall drink this year will not be mixed by human hands.
In the hand of the Lord is that cup! Some treasure you are now
pressing to your heart, He may ask you to resign. Some blessing you
now possess, He may bid you to relinquish. Some fond expectation you
now cherish, He may will that you should forego. Some lonely path, He
may design that you should tread.
Yes, He may even bereave you of all, and yet all, ALL is
in His hand! His hand! A Father's hand, moving in thick darkness, is
shaping every event, and arranging every detail in your life! Has
sickness laid you on a bed of suffering? Has bereavement darkened
your home? Has adversity impoverished your resources? Has change
lessened your comforts? Has sorrow in one of its many forms crushed
your spirit to the earth? The Lord has done it! In all that has been
sent, in all that has be recalled, and in all that has been
withheld—His hand, noiseless and unseen has brought it about!
Ah! yes, that hand of changeless love blends a
sweet with every bitter—pencils a bright rainbow in each dark cloud—upholds
each faltering step—shelters within its hollow—and guides with unerring
skill, His chosen people safe to eternal glory! Dear child of God, your
afflictions, your trials, your crosses, your losses,
your sorrows, all, ALL are in your heavenly Father's hand,
and they cannot come until sent by Him!
Bow that stricken heart—yield that tempest-tossed soul to
His sovereign disposal, to His calm, righteous sway, in the submissive
spirit and language of your suffering Savior, "May Your will, O my Father!
not mine, be done. My times of sadness and of grief are in Your hand."
Beloved, all is in your Father's hand! Be those times what they
may—times of trial, times of temptation, times of suffering, times of peril,
times of sunshine or of gloom, or times of life or death, they are in your
Has the Lord seen fit to recall some fond blessing, to
deny some earnest request, or painfully to discipline your heart? All this
springs from a Father's love as fully as though He had unlocked His treasury
and poured its costliest gifts at your feet! All of our times are in our
Redeemer's hands! That same Redeemer who carried our sorrows in His
heart, our curse and sins on His soul, our cross on His shoulder; who died,
who rose again, and who lives and intercedes for us, and who will gather all
His ransomed around Him in glory, is your Guardian and your Guide! Your
times are in the hands of Him who still bears the print of the nails!
Is Jesus precious to your heart? Is He the object of your
supreme admiration and delight? Does He have your warmest affection? Do you
love Jesus? You must light your torch of affection for Christ, at the altar
of Calvary. You must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus
is to you—the vastness of that love; the self sacrifice of that love; how
that love of Christ labored and wept, bled, suffered, and died for you!
Can you stand before this love; this love so precious, so great, so
enduring, so self-consuming, so changeless; and know that for you was
this offering—for you this cross—for you this agony—for you
this scorn and insult—for you this death; and feel no sensibility, no
emotion, no love to Jesus? Impossible!
Do not be cast down, then, in vain regrets that your love
to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality
and the greatness of the Savior's love to you, and if love can inspire love,
while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with
love to God!
LIFE IS LIKE A PAINTED
"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be
our guide even unto death." Psalm 48:14
The world passes away. Everything here in this present
world is changing.
"Life is like a painted dream;
Like the rapid summer stream;
Like the fleeting meteor's ray;
Like the shortest winter's day;
Like the fitful breeze that sighs;
Like the waning flame that dies;
Darting, dazzling on the eye;
Fading in eternity."
A rope of sand, a spider's web, a silken thread, a
passing shadow, an ebbing wave, are the most fitting and expressive emblems
of all things belonging to this present earthly state. The homes that
sheltered us in childhood we leave. The land which gave us birth we
leave. The loved ones who encircled our hearths pass away. The
friends of early years depart. And the world that was so sunny, and life
that was so sweet, is all beclouded and embittered—the whole scenery of
existence changed into wintry gloom. Such are the saddening, depressing
effects of life's vicissitudes.
But in the midst of all, "this God is our God for ever
and ever!" All beings change but God. All things change but
heaven. The evolutions of time revolve, the events of earth go onward, but
He upon whom all things hang, and by whom all events are shaped and
controlled, moves not. "For I am the Lord, I change not." Our affairs
may alter. Our circumstances may change. Our relations and
friends may depart one by one. Our souls in a single day pass
through many fluctuations of spiritual feeling. But He who chose us to be
His own, and who has kept us to the present moment, is our covenant God and
Father forever and ever, and will never throw us off and cast us away. "For
this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto
FOR ME, A WORM!
O what a truth is this! The Son of God offering Himself
up a sacrifice for sin! He who knew no sin—who was holy, harmless, and
undefiled—not one thought of evil in His heart, yet made sin, or a sin
offering! O the magnitude of the thought! If God Himself had not declared
it, we could not have believed it, though an angel's trumpet had announced
O blessed and adorable Immanuel! Was this the end and
design of Your intense and mysterious sufferings? Was it that You should
obey, bear the sin, endure the curse, and bow Your head in death, that I
might go free? Was it in my stead, and in my behalf? O unexampled love! O
infinite and free grace! That God should become incarnate—that the Holy
One should so take upon Him sin, as to be dealt with by stern justice as
though He were Himself the sinner—that He should drain the cup of wrath,
give His back to the smiters, endure the shame and the spitting, and at last
be suspended upon the cross, and pour out His last drop of most precious
blood—and all this for me! For me a rebel! For me a worm!
For me the chief of sinners! Be astonished, O heavens! and be amazed, O
earth! Was ever love like this?
THE TEARS OF JESUS!
"Jesus wept." John 11:35
These are among the most wonderful words recorded in the
Bible. They mark the most exquisitely tender, touching, and expressive
incident in His whole life. "Jesus wept"—wept from emotion, wept from
sympathy. Is there a more consolatory, soothing view of Christ's love than
this? It is a compassionate, sympathizing, weeping love!
The sympathy of Jesus never wearies or slumbers, it never
chills or forgets. It entwines with our every cross—attaches to our every
burden—and frosts with sparkling light, each darkling cloud. It is not the
vapid sentiment of fiction, nor the morbid sympathy of romance. It is a
divine-human reality. It is the sympathetic love of the Incarnate God!
Let your faith, then, repose with confidence on the
reality of Christ's sympathy with your grief. Oh how sacred and precious are
the tears of divine love—the tears of Jesus! Soothed and sustained by
such a sympathy as Christ's, we may well drink meekly the cup our Father
mingles—we can well afford to be severed from all other sympathy, and weep
out our sorrow in lonely places—Jesus sympathizing with us by the couch of
languor, by the bed of darkness, and at the grave of buried love.
O afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted,
refuse not this cup of consolation which the Holy Spirit, the
Comforter, would give you—the sympathy of your Lord and Savior, your Friend
and Brother in the time of your calamity. Yield yourself to its irresistible
power, and it will draw you submissively to His feet, and hush to rest your
sobbing heart upon His bosom!
WHY THEN, THESE FEARS? WHY
Jesus has all the treasures of the everlasting covenant,
all the fullness of the Godhead, all the resources of the universe in His
keeping, and at His disposal! Look at the starry sky—Jesus strewed it
with its jewelry. Look at that enchanting landscape—Jesus enameled it
with its loveliness. Look at that cloud-capped mountain—Jesus reared
it. Look at that beauteous lily—Jesus painted it. Look at that
soaring bird—Jesus feeds it.
He, with whom is all this strength and beauty, is your
Brother! Are you not better and dearer to Him than these? He has loved and
chosen you from all eternity, ransomed you with His blood, and inhabited you
by His Spirit. Why, then, these fears? Why this distrust? All He
requires of you is to bring to His fullness your emptiness—to His
sympathy your grief—to His unerring wisdom your confusion—and
to His sheltering wing your temptations and trials. Spread your case
before Him in the humble confidence of a child. Listen to His words—"I am
the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt: open your
mouth wide, and I will fill it."
VIGILANCE OVER HIS PEOPLE!
What an exalted and endearing truth is Christ's
sleepless vigilance over his people! Imagine yourself threading your way
along a most difficult and perilous path, every step of which is attended
with pain and jeopardy, and is taken with hesitancy and doubt. Unknown to
you and unseen, there is One hovering around you each moment—checking each
false step—and guiding each doubtful one—soothing each sorrow—and supplying
each need. All is calm and silent. Not a sound is heard, not a movement is
seen; and yet, to your amazement, just at the critical moment, the needed
support comes—you know not from where, you know not from whom. This is no
picture of imagination.
Are you a child of God on your pilgrimage to paradise by
an intricate and a perilous way? Jesus is near to you at each moment, unseen
and often unknown. You have at times stood speechless with awe at the
strange interposition on your behalf, of providence and of grace—no
visible sign indicated the source of your help. There was no echo of
footfall at your side, no flitting of shadow athwart your path. No law of
nature was altered nor suspended, the sun did not stand still, nor did the
heavens open. And yet deliverance, strange and effectual deliverance, came
at a moment most unexpected, yet most needed.
It was Jesus your Redeemer, your Brother,
your Shepherd, and your Guide! He it was who, hovering around
you—unknown and unobserved, kept you as the apple of His eye, and sheltered
you in the hollow of His hand. It was He who armed you with bravery for the
fight—who poured strength into your spirit—and grace into your heart, when
the full weight of calamity pressed upon them. Thus has He always been to
His children. The eye that neither slumbers nor sleeps was upon you! He knew
in what furnace you were placed, and was there to temper the flame when it
seemed the severest. He saw your frail vessel struggling through the
tempest, and He came to your rescue at the height of the storm!
How has He proved this in seasons of difficulty and
doubt! How often, at a crisis the most critical of your history, the Lord
has appeared for you! Your lack has been supplied—your doubt
has been solved—and your perplexity has been guided. He has delivered
your soul from death—your eyes from tears—and your feet
from falling. You are never for an instant out of His heart—out of His
thoughts—out of His hands—or out of His eye! Go then, and lay your weariness
Take your bereaved, stricken and bleeding heart to Him!
What is your sorrow? Has the hand of death smitten?
Is the beloved one removed? Has the desire of your eyes been taken away with
a stroke? But who has done it? Jesus has done it! Death was
only His messenger. Your Jesus has done it. The Lord has taken away. And
what has He removed? Your wife? Ah, Jesus has all the tenderness that your
wife ever had. Hers was only a drop from the ocean that is in His heart. Is
it your husband? Jesus is better to you than ten husbands. Is it your
parent, your child, your friend, your all of earthly bliss? Is the cistern
broken? Is the earthen vessel dashed to pieces? Are all your streams dry?
Jesus is still enough. He has not taken Himself from you, and never, never
Take your bereaved, stricken and bleeding heart to Him—and
rest it upon His heart, which was once bereaved, stricken and bleeding, too!
He knows how to bind up the broken heart, to heal the wounded spirit and to
comfort those who mourn.
What is your sorrow? Has health failed you? Has
property forsaken you? Have friends turned against you? Are you tried in
your circumstances? Perplexed in your path? Are providences thickening and
darkening around you? Are you anticipating seasons of approaching trial? Are
you walking in darkness, having no light? Simply go to Jesus! He is
an ever open door—a tender, loving, faithful Friend, ever near. He is a
Brother born for your adversity. His grace and sympathy are sufficient for
you. Go to Him in every trial—cast upon Him every burden—take
the infirmity, the corruption, the cross as it
arises—simply and immediately to Jesus! Jesus is your loving and confiding
Brother and Friend, to go to at all times and under all circumstances.
LOOKING AT THE WORLD
THROUGH THE CROSS
Jesus could accomplish man's redemption in no other way
than by crucifixion—He must die, and die the death of the cross. What light
and glory beam around the cross! Of what prodigies of grace is it the
instrument, of what glorious truths is it the symbol, of what mighty, magic
power is it the source! Around it gathers all the light of the Old Testament
economy. It explains every symbol—it substantiates every shadow—it solves
every mystery—it fulfills every type—it confirms every prophecy of that
dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable except
for the death of the Son of God upon the cross.
Not the past only, but all future splendor gathers
around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate
reign of the Savior and tells of the reward which shall spring from His
sufferings—and while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity
past, with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ's
kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly yet sublime—the
weak yet mighty instrument by which the sinner is saved and God
The cross of Christ was in Paul's view the grand
consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men. The cross of
Christ was the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our
fallen race. The cross of Christ was the scene of Christ's splendid
victories over all His enemies and ours. The cross of Christ was the most
powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness. The cross of Christ was the
instrument which was to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus. The
cross of Christ was the source of all true peace, joy, and hope. The cross
of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expired, all grace lived.
The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill
these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How
significant their meaning—how precious their influence! Marvelous and
irresistible is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has subdued many
a rebellious will. The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart. The
cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe. The cross of Christ has
overcome and triumphed when all other instruments have failed. The cross of
Christ has transformed the lion-like heart of man, into the lamb-like heart
of Christ. And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable
grandeur, the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith,
admiration, and love!
What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus
possess! It changes the Christian's entire judgment of the world. Looking
at the world through the cross, his opinion is totally revolutionized.
He sees it as it really is—a sinful, empty, vain thing. He learns its
iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations
from the world, his love to the world, are changed. He has found another
object of love—the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. And his love to
the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it—the
crucifying power of the cross.
It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true
believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. What is the weapon
by which faith combats with and overcomes the world? What but the cross of
Jesus! Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded
for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence, to all other objects—so to
the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior,
studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the
cross—the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an
eclipse. Are not Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and
its love? "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
BRING YOUR SORROWS TO ME
"Bring him here to me." Matthew 17:17
In your moment of disappointment and despair, Jesus meets
you with the gracious words, "Bring it here unto me." And now your spirit
revives, your heart bounds, at the words, and you exclaim, "Behold, Lord, I
Jesus says, "Bring your sorrows to Me." Never did
the soul find so powerful a magnet, attracting to itself affliction in every
form, and sorrow in every shade, as Jesus. Standing as in the center of a
world of woe, He invites every daughter of sorrow, of sin, of grief to
repair to Him for support, sympathy, and healing. As the High Priest of His
Church for whom alone He suffered, and wept, and sobbed, He unveils a bosom
capacious enough and loving enough, and sympathizing
enough, to embrace every sufferer, and to pillow every grief. Accept, then,
His compassionate invitation, and bring your grief to the soothing,
sustaining, sanctifying grace of His heart!
THIS DIVINE SECRET!
"Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you." 1
How full of soothing and repose are these words! Where,
in the world's wilderness, grows the flower of heart's-ease as it blooms and
blossoms here? What cares have they lightened! What anxieties
have they removed! What burdens have they unclasped! What springs of
joy and comfort and hope have they unsealed in many a sad and oppressed
heart! But do you not, beloved reader, need to be put in constant
remembrance of this divine secret—of rest amid toil—of repose amid
disquietude—of soothing amid corroding cares—and of confidence and hope in
the midst of change and depression?
Bewildered and oppressed by the multitude of anxious
thoughts within you—is there not a danger of being so absorbed by the
care as to overlook the Caretaker? to forget the heart's ease in
the overwhelming of the heart's anxiety? Cast all your anxiety on Him
because He cares for you!
FOR ME, A POOR, WORTHLESS
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the
tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose
stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
Blessed announcement! Not the less hateful, nor hated, is
the sin because it is forgiven and entirely blotted out. Oh no! Let the Lord
touch your heart, Christian reader, with a sense of His pardoning love, with
the assurance of His forgiveness—and you will go and hate, and mortify, and
forsake it, more resolutely and effectually than ever! And must the Son of
God become the Son of man, that those who are by nature children of wrath,
might become the sons of God! Must God, the eternal God, the high and lofty
One, stoop so low as to become incarnate, and that for sinners—for me, a
poor worthless sinner!
To save me from eternal woe, must Jesus suffer, agonize,
and die—die in my stead, die for my sins, die an accursed death! Ah! Lord,
what must sin be—what must my sin be! How little have I thought of it, how
little have I mourned for it, still less have I hated it as I ought to have
hated it! Lord, how vile, how unutterably vile I am! Oh hated sin! Do You
forgive it, Father of my mercies? This only makes it more hateful still.
THE WRATH OF GOD LET LOOSE
UPON HIS SON!
Divine holiness is best exhibited in the cross of
Jesus. Not hell itself, dreadful and eternal as is its suffering—the
undying worm, the unquenchable fire, the smoke of the torment that goes up
forever and ever—affords such a solemn and impressive spectacle of the
holiness and justice of God in the punishment of sin, as is presented in the
death of God's beloved Son.
An eminent Puritan writer thus strikingly puts it—"Not
all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon this wicked
world—nor the flaming furnace of a sinner's conscience—nor the irrevocable
sentence pronounced against the rebellious devils—nor the groans of the
damned creatures—give such a demonstration of God's hatred of sin, as the
wrath of God let loose upon His Son!"
Never did Divine holiness appear more beautiful
and lovely than at the time our Savior's countenance was most marred in the
midst of His dying groans. This He Himself acknowledges in that penitential
psalm, when God turned His smiling face away from Him, and thrust His sharp
knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, "My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and
from the words of my roaring? But thou art holy."
Such an impressive view of God's holiness the angels in
heaven never before beheld—not even when they saw the non-elect spirits
hurled from the heights of glory down to the bottomless pit, to be reserved
in chains of darkness and woe forever! Jesus was the innocent One
dying for the guilty ones—the holy One dying for the sinful ones!
Divine justice, in its mission of judgment, as it swept
by the cross, found the Son of God impaled upon its wood beneath the
sins and the curse of His people. Upon Him its judgment fell—on His soul its
wrath was poured—in His heart its flaming sword was plunged—and thus, from
Him, justice exacted the full penalty of man's transgression—the last
farthing of the great debt!
Go to the cross, then, my reader, and learn the holiness
of God. Contemplate the dignity of Christ—His preciousness to His Father's
heart—the sinlessness of His nature. And then behold—the sorrow of His
soul—the torture of His body—the tragedy of His death—the abasement—the
ignominy—the humiliation—into the fathomless depths of which the whole
transaction plunged our incarnate God! And let me ask, standing, as you are,
before this unparalleled spectacle, "Can you cherish low views of God's
holiness, or light views of your own sinfulness?"
OH, ENCOURAGING TRUTH!
"I the Lord search the heart." Jeremiah 17:10
Solemn as is this view of the Divine character, the
believing mind finds in it sweet and hallowed repose. What more consolatory
truth in some of the most trying positions of a child of God than this—the
Lord knows the heart! The world condemns us, and the saints may wrongly
judge us—but God knows the heart! And to those who have been led into deep
discoveries of their heart's hidden evil, to whom have been made startling
and distressing unveilings, how precious is this character of God, "I the
Lord search the heart."
Is there a single recess of our hearts we would veil from
His penetrating glance? Is there a corruption we would hide from His view?
Is there an evil of which we would have Him ignorant? Oh no! Mournful and
humiliating as is the spectacle, we would throw open every door, and uplift
every window, and invite and urge His scrutiny and inspection, making no
concealments, and indulging in no reserves, and framing no excuses when
dealing with the great Searcher of hearts, exclaiming, "Search me, O God,
and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any
wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
And while the Lord is thus acquainted with the evil of
our hearts, He most graciously conceals that evil from the eyes of
others. He seems to say, by His benevolent conduct, "I see my child's
infirmity." Then, covering it with His hand, exclaims, "but no other eye
shall see it, but my own!" Oh, the touching tenderness, the loving kindness
of our God! Knowing, as He does, all the evil of our nature, He yet veils
that evil from human eye—that others may not despise us as we often despise
ourselves. Who but God could know it? Who but God would conceal
And how blessed, too, to remember that while God knows
all the evil, He is as intimately acquainted with all the good
that is in the hearts of His people! He knows all that His Spirit has
implanted—all that His grace has wrought. Oh encouraging truth! That
spark of love, faint and flickering—that pulsation of life, low and
tremulous—that touch of faith, feeble and hesitating—that groan, that
sigh—that low thought of self that leads a man to seek the shade—that
self-abasement that places his mouth in the dust—oh, not one of these sacred
emotions is unseen, unnoticed by God! His eye ever rests with infinite
compassion and delight on His own image in the renewed soul.
YOUR PRESENT ADVERSITY
"And we know that all things work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose."
It is palpably clear and emphatically true that all that
occurs in the Lord's government of His people conspires for, and works out,
and results in, their highest happiness and their greatest good. The
gloomiest and most painful circumstances in the history of the child of God,
without a solitary exception, are all conspiring, and all working together,
for his real and permanent good.
The painful and inexplicable dispensations, which at the
present moment may be thickening and deepening around your path, are but so
many mysteries in God's government, which He is working out to their
certain, satisfactory, and happy results. And when the good thus embosomed
in the lowering cloud of some crushing providence, accomplishes its
benevolent and heaven-sent mission, then trial will expand its dark pinions
and fly away—and sorrow will roll up its somber drapery and disappear!
All things under the government of an infinitely great,
all-wise, righteous, and beneficent Lord God, work together for good. What
that good may be—the shape it may assume—the complexion it may wear—the end
to which it may be subservient—we cannot tell. To our dim view it may
appear an evil, but to God's far seeing eye it is a positive good. Oh, truth
most divine! Oh, words most consolatory!
How many whose eye traces this page, it may be whose
tears bedew it, whose sighs breathe over it, whose prayers hallow it, may be
wading in deep waters, may be drinking bitter cups, and are ready to
exclaim—"All these things are against me!" Oh no, beloved of God, all these
things are for you! Do not be afraid! Christ restrains the flood upon whose
heaving bosom He serenely sits. Christ controls the waters, whose sounding
waves obey the mandate of His voice. Christ's cloudy chariot is paved with
love! Then, fear not! Your Father grasps the helm of your storm-tossed
vessel—and through cloud and tempest will steer it safely to the port of
Will it not be a real good, if your present adversity
results in the dethronement of some worshiped idol? in the endearing of
Christ to your soul? in the closer conformity of your mind to God's image?
in the purification of your heart? in your more thorough fitness for heaven?
Will it not be a real good if it terminate in a revival of God's work within
you—in stirring you up to more prayer? in enlarging your heart to all that
love the same Savior? in stimulating you to increased activity for the
conversion of sinners, for the diffusion of the truth, and for the glory of
Oh yes! good, real good, permanent good must result from
all the Divine dispensations in your history. Bitter repentance shall
end in the experienced sweetness of Christ's love. The festering wound
shall but elicit the healing balm. The overpowering burden shall but
bring you to the tranquil rest. The storm shall but quicken your
footsteps to the Hiding Place. The bitter-cold north wind and the balmy
south wind shall breathe together over your garden, and the spices shall
In a little while—oh, how soon! you shall pass away from
earth to heaven, and in its clearer, serener light shall read the truth,
often read with tears before, "And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
THE LITTLE THINGS OF LIFE!
"But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
You know so little of God, my reader, because you live at
such a distance from God. You have so little communion with Him—so little
confession of sin—so little searching of your own conscience—so little
probing of your own heart—so little transaction with Him in the little
things of life. You deal with God in great matters. You take
great trials to God, great perplexities, great needs; but in the minutiae of
each day's history, in what are called the little things of life, you
have no dealings with God whatever—and consequently you know so little of
the love, so little of the wisdom, so little of the glory,
of your resplendent covenant God and reconciled Father.
I tell you, the man who lives with God in little
matters—who walks with God in the minutiae of his life—is the man
who becomes the best acquainted with God—with His character, His
faithfulness, His love. To meet God in my daily trials, to take to
Him the trials of my calling, the trials of my church, the trials of my
family, the trials of my own heart; to take to Him that which brings the
shadow upon my brow, that rends the sigh from my heart—to remember it is not
too trivial to take to God—above all, to take to Him the least taint upon
the conscience, the slightest pressure of sin upon the heart, the softest
conviction of departure from God—to take it to Him, and confess it at the
foot of the cross, with the hand of faith upon the bleeding sacrifice—oh!
these are the paths in which a man becomes intimately and closely acquainted
ALL DROPPING FROM THE
OUTSTRETCHED, MUNIFICENT HAND OF A LOVING, GRACIOUS, AND BOUNTIFUL FATHER!
Beloved, remember that all our past and all our coming
prosperity, if indeed He shall so appoint it—is in the hand of God. It is
His wisdom that suggests our plans, it is His power that
guides, and it is His goodness that makes them successful. Every
flower that blooms in our path—every smile that gladdens it—every mercy that
bedews it, comes to us from our heavenly Father. Oh! for grace to recognize
God in all our mercies! How much sweeter will be our sweets—how much more
blessed our blessings—and endeared our endearments—to see them all
dropping from the outstretched, munificent hand of a loving, gracious, and
bountiful Father! Oh! for a heart lifted up in holy returns of love,
gratitude and praise!
ALL THE VARIED DEALINGS
"He has done all things well." Mark 7:37
Yes, from first to last—from our cradle to our grave—
from the earliest pang of sin's conviction to the last thrill of sin's
forgiveness—from earth to heaven—this will be our testimony in all the way
the Lord our God has led us in the wilderness—He has done all things well.
In providence and in grace—in every truth of His Word—in every lesson of His
love—in every stroke of His rod—in every sunbeam that has shone—in every
cloud that has shaded—in every element that has sweetened—in every
ingredient that has embittered—in all that has been mysterious, inscrutable,
painful, and humiliating—in all that He gave—in all that He took away—this
testimony is His just due, and this our grateful acknowledgment through time
and through eternity—He has done all things well.
Has He converted us through grace by a way we had thought
the most improbable? Has He torn up all our earthly hopes by the roots? Has
He thwarted our schemes, frustrated our plans, disappointed our
expectations? Has He taught us in the most difficult schools, by a most
severe discipline, and lessons most humbling to our nature? Has He withered
our strength by sickness? reduced us to poverty by loss? crushed our heart
by bereavement? And have we been tempted to exclaim, "All these things are
Ah! no! faith will yet obtain the ascendancy, and sweetly
sing—"I know in all things that befell, My Jesus has done all things well."
Beloved, it must be so, for Jesus can do nothing wrong. Study the way of His
providence and grace with the microscopic eye of faith—view them in every
light, examine them in their minutest detail, as you would the petal of a
flower, or the wing of an insect—and, oh, what wonders, what beauty, what
marvelous adaptation would you observe in all the varied dealings
with you of your glorious Lord. He has done all things well.
THAT MOST EXCELLENT AND
There is everything we need in Jesus to endear His name
to our hearts. He is our Prophet, teaching us the will of the Father.
He is our Priest, offering up Himself as our atoning Victim. He is
our King, erecting His throne in our hearts, and subduing us to
Himself as His loving and obedient subjects. He is our Friend, loving
us at all times. He is our Brother, bone of our bone, and flesh of
our flesh, born for our adversity. He is our Great High Priest,
touched with the feeling of our infirmities, tempted in all points as we
are—and in our sorrows, griefs, and trials encircling us with the
many-folded robe of His tender, loving sympathy.
O to know Jesus—that most excellent and superlative
knowledge! With Paul we may well count all things but loss for its
possession. To know Him as the Savior—to know Him as our Friend—to
know Him as our Brother—to know Him as our Advocate—to know
Him as our Portion, is endless life and glory!
The sight of Jesus is a soul-satisfying spectacle!
The penitent soul is satisfied, for it sees in Jesus a free pardon of
sin. The condemned soul is satisfied, for it receives in Jesus a free
justification. The believing soul is satisfied, for it discovers in
Jesus a fountain of all grace. The tried, tempted, sorrowful soul is
satisfied, for it experiences in Jesus all consolation, sympathy and love.
Oh, what an all-satisfying Portion is Jesus! He satisfies every
holy desire—for He realizes it. He satisfies every craving
need—for He supplies it. He satisfies every sore grief—for
He soothes it. He satisfies the deepest yearnings, the highest
aspirations, the most sublime hopes of the renewed soul—for all these
center and end in Him!
THE ALTOGETHER LOVELY ONE!
With what pen, dipped though it were in heaven's
brightest hues, can we portray the image of Jesus? The perfection of our
Lord was the perfection of holiness. His Deity, essential holiness; His
humanity without sin, the impersonation of holiness. All that He was,
said, and did, was as flashes of holiness emanating from the
fountain of essential purity, and kindling their dazzling and undying
radiance around each step He trod. How humble, too, His character! How holy
the thoughts He breathed, how pure the words He spoke, how gentle the spirit
He exemplified, how tender and sympathizing the outgoings of His compassion
and love to man. He is the chief among ten thousand, the altogether
THE CHIEF OBJECT OF YOUR
We know so much of divine truth, my reader, as we have in
a measure a personal experience of it in our souls. The mere speculatist
and notionalist in religion is as unsatisfactory and unprofitable as
the mere theorist and declaimer in science. For all practical purposes both
are but ciphers. The character and the degree of our spiritual knowledge
begins and terminates in our knowledge of Christ. Christ is the test of its
reality—the measure of its depth—and the source of its growth.
If you are advancing in an experimental, sanctifying
acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, you are advancing in that knowledge which
Paul thus estimates, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." Dear reader, let the chief object of
your study be to know the Lord Jesus. It may be in the region of your
sinfulness, emptiness, weakness, and foolishness that you learn Him.
Nevertheless, however humiliating the school, slow the progress, and limited
the attainment, count every fresh step you make in a personal acquaintance
with the Lord Jesus as a nobler triumph, and as bringing you into the
possession of more real wealth than were the whole chests of human knowledge
and science mastered, and its untold treasures poured at your feet.
When adversity comes—when death approaches—when eternity
unveils—oh! how indescribably valuable, how inconceivably precious will then
be one faith's touch, one faith's glimpse of a crucified and risen Savior!
All other attainments then vanish, and the only knowledge that abides,
soothes, and comforts, is a heartfelt acquaintance with the most sublime
fact of the Gospel—that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Oh!
Whatever other studies may engage your thoughts, do not forget, as you value
your eternal destiny, to study the Lord Jesus Christ!
THE MOST ACCESSIBLE AND
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his
mother." John 19:25
Take your place with Mary, by the cross of Jesus.
There meet and blend suffering and love—sorrow and sympathy. Standing in
faith by the cross, you are near the suffering Savior, the loving Son, the
sympathizing Brother born for your present grief. Jesus, in the depth and
tenderness of His love, is at this moment all that He was when, in soul
travail, He cast that ineffable look of filial love and sympathy upon His
Likewise, He can enter into your circumstances,
understand your grief, sustain and soothe your spirit as one only can, who
has partaken of the cup of woe which now trembles in your hand. Drink that
cup submissive to His will—for He drank deeply of it before you—and has left
the fragrance of His sympathy upon its brim. Your sorrow is not new to
Christ. Stand close to the cross of Jesus! It is the most accessible and
precious spot this side of heaven—the most solemn and awesome one this
side of eternity!
The cross of Jesus is the focus of divine love, sympathy,
and power. Stand by it in suffering, in persecution, in temptation. Stand by
it in the brightness of prosperity and in the gloom of adversity. Go to
Christ's cross in trouble, repair to it in weakness, cling to it in danger,
hide beneath it when the wintry storm rushes fiercely over you. Near to the
cross, you are near a Father's heart, a Savior's side. You seem to enter the
gate of heaven—to stand beneath the vestibule of glory.
Nothing but love will welcome your approach to the cross
of Jesus—love that pardons all your sins—flows over all your
unworthiness—heals all your wounds—soothes all your sorrows—and will shelter
you within its blessed pavilion until earth is changed for heaven, and you
lay down the warrior's sword for the victor's palm, and spring from the foot
of the cross to the foot of the throne, forever with the Lord!
HOW EMPTYING, HUMBLING,
Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of the
glory of Christ. Immense will be the benefit accruing to your soul. The
mind thus preoccupied, filled, and expanded, will be enabled to present a
stronger resistance to the ever advancing and insidious encroachments of the
world. No place will be found for vain thoughts, and no desire or time for
carnal enjoyments. Oh, how crucifying and sanctifying are clear views of the
glory of Emmanuel! How emptying, humbling, and abasing! With the
patriarch, we then exclaim, "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and
ashes." And with the prophet, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I
am a man of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of
hosts." And with the apostle, "But God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified
unto me, and I unto the world."
Oh, then, aim to get your mind filled with enlarged and
yet expanding views of the glory of the Redeemer. Let it, in all the
discoveries it affords of the Divine mind and majesty, be the one subject of
your thoughts—the one theme of your conversation. Place no limit to your
knowledge of Christ. Ever consider that you have but read the preface
to the volume; you have but touched the fringe of the sea. Stretching
far away beyond you, are undiscovered beauties, and precious views, and
sparkling glories, each encouraging your advance, inviting your research,
and asking the homage of your faith, the tribute of your love, and the
dedication of your life.
Go forward, then! The glories that yet must be revealed
to you in a growing knowledge of Jesus, what imagination can conceive, what
pen can describe them? Jesus stands ready to unveil all the beauties of His
person; and to admit you into the very pavilion of His love. There is not a
chamber of His heart that He will not throw open to you—not a blessing that
He will not bestow upon you—not a glory that He will not show to you.
You shall see greater things than you have yet
seen—greater depths of sin in your fallen nature shall be revealed—deeper
sense of the cleansing efficacy of the atoning blood shall be felt—clearer
views of your acceptance in the Beloved—greater discoveries of God's
love—and greater depths of grace and glory in Jesus shall be enjoyed. Your
communion with God shall be closer, and more the fruit of adopting love in
your heart. Your feet shall be as hinds' feet, and you shall walk on high
places. Your peace shall flow as a river, and your righteousness as the
waves of the sea. Sorrow shall wound you less deeply—affliction shall press
you less heavily—tribulation shall affect you less keenly—all this, and
infinitely more, will result from your deeper knowledge of Jesus.
WHEN HIS BEAUTY IS SEEN
O what a Savior is Jesus Christ! He is the chief among
ten thousand! Look at His sinless, yet real humanity—without a single taint,
yet sympathizing with us in all our various conditions—our afflictions—our
temptations—our infirmities—our griefs. Now that He is in glory, He is still
cherishing a brother's heart, bending down His ear to our petitions—ever
standing near to catch our sighs—to dry our tears—to provide for our
needs—to guide us by His counsel—and afterwards to receive us to glory!
O what a Savior is Jesus Christ! When He is known, all
other beings are eclipsed. When His beauty is seen, all other beauty
fades. When His love is felt, He becomes supremely enthroned in the
affections. To know Him more, becomes the one desire of the renewed mind,
and to make Him more known, is the one aim of the Christian life. O what a
Savior is Jesus Christ!
YOUR ALMIGHTY FRIEND!
Because Jesus is the Almighty God, His people have an
Almighty Burden-Bearer. We are a burdened people. Every believer carries a
burden peculiar to himself. What is your burden, O believer? Is it
indwelling sin? Is it some natural infirmity of the flesh? Is it a
constitutional weakness? Is it some domestic trial? Is it a personal or
relative trial? Is it the loss of property? Is it the decay of health? Is it
soul anxiety? Is it mental despondency?
Come, oppressed and burdened believer, ready to give up
all and sink! Behold Jesus, the Almighty God, omnipotent to transfer your
burden to Himself, and give you rest! It is well that you are sensible
of the pressure—that you feel your weakness and insufficiency—and that you
are brought to the end of all your own power. Now turn to your Almighty
Friend, who is the Creator of the ends of the earth—the everlasting God,
who does not faint, neither is weary.
Oh, what strength there is in Jesus for the weak, and
faint, and drooping of His flock! You are ready to succumb to your foes, and
you think the battle of faith is lost. Cheer up! Jesus, your Savior, friend,
and brother, is the Almighty God, and will perfect His strength in your
weakness. The battle is not yours but His! Jesus sustains our infirmities—bears
our burdens—supplies our needs— and encircles us with the
shield of His Almightiness! What a Divine spring of consolation and strength
to the tired and afflicted saint is the Almightiness of Jesus. Your
sorrow is too deep—your affliction too heavy—your difficulty
too great for any human to resolve. It distances in its intensity and
magnitude the sympathy and the power of man.
Come, you who are tossed with tempest and not comforted.
Come, you whose spirit is wounded, whose heart is broken, whose mind is
bowed down to the dust. Hide for a little while within Christ's sheltering
Almightiness! Jesus is equal to your condition. His strength is
almighty! His love is almighty! His grace is almighty! His
sympathy is almighty! His arm is almighty! His resources
are infinite, fathomless, measureless! And all this Almightiness is on your
side, and will bring you through the fire and through the water. Almighty to
rescue, He is also your Brother and Friend to sympathize. And while His
Divine arm encircles, upholds, and keeps you—His human soul, touched with
the feeling of your infirmities, yearns over you with all the deep intensity
of its compassionate tenderness.
THE ASTONISHING, THE
The cross of Jesus inspires our love to Him. It would
seem impossible to be brought by the Holy Spirit to the foot of the cross,
and not feel the inspiration of love. Surely a believing apprehension of the
amazing, the unparalleled love of Jesus, bending His look of
forgiveness upon us from the cross, will thaw our icy hearts into the
warmest glow of affection. Believe that Jesus loves you, and your heart
shall glow with a love in return which will bear it on in a willing
obedience and unreserved surrender, in faithful service and patient
suffering, enwrapped, consumed amid the flames of its own heaven inspired
and heaven ascending affection. The astonishing, the marvelous
love, He has exhibited in giving you His beloved Son to die in your
stead, are cords by which He would draw your loving heart to Himself.
BECAUSE HE LOVED HER!
Jesus sustains no association to His Church more
expressive than that of the marriage relationship. From all eternity He
forever betrothed her to Himself. He asked her at the hands of her
Father—and the Father gave her to Him. He entered into a covenant that she
would be His. The conditions of that covenant were great, but not too great
for His love to undertake. They were, that He should assume her nature,
discharge her legal obligations, endure her punishment, repair her ruin, and
bring her to glory! He undertook all, and He accomplished all, because He
loved her! The love of Jesus to His Church is the love of the most
tender husband. It is single, constant, affectionate, matchless, wonderful.
Jesus sympathizes with her, nourishes her, provides for her, clothes her,
watches over, and indulges her with the most intimate and endearing
ETERNALLY REPOSE YOUR
WEARY SOUL IN THE BOSOM OF JESUS
Forward, believer in Christ, to the toils, duties, and
trials of another stage of life's journey! Jesus is enough for them all.
Jesus will be with you in them all. Jesus will triumphantly conduct you
through them all. Beloved one, live in the constant expectation of soon
seeing Jesus face to face—conversing with He whom here below, cheered,
comforted, and sweetened many a weary step of your Christian pilgrimage.
That moment is speeding on. In a little while and all that now wounds and
ruffles, tempts and pollutes, will have disappeared like the foam upon the
billow, and you shall eternally repose your weary soul in the bosom of
THE SOLITARY OBJECT OF HIS
It is a great mercy when we can retire from the crowd and
deal with God individually—when we can take the precious promises to
ourselves individually—when we can repair to Jesus with individual sins,
infirmities, and sorrows—feeling that His eye bends its glance upon
us—His ear bows down to us—His hand is outstretched to us— His
whole heart absorbed in us as though not another petitioner or
sufferer offered a request, or unveiled a sorrow. As if, in a word, we were
the solitary object of His love!
His invitation to you is, "Come unto Me." He would have
you come. You cannot honor Him more than recognizing His personal relation
to yourself, and disclosing your personal circumstances, making personal
confession of personal sin, presenting personal needs, and unveiling
personal infirmities, backslidings, and sorrows.
CHRIST MUST BE ALL!
We cannot keep our eye too exclusively or too intently
fixed on Jesus. All salvation is in Him. All salvation proceeds
from Him. All salvation leads to Him. And for the assurance and
comfort of our salvation we are to repose believingly and entirely on Him.
Christ must be all! Christ the beginning—Christ the center—and Christ
Oh sweet truth to you who are sensible of your poverty,
vileness, and insufficiency, and of the ten thousand flaws and failures of
which, perhaps, no one is cognizant but God and your own soul! Oh, to turn
and rest in Christ—a full Christ—a loving Christ—a tender
Christ, whose heart's love never chills, from whose eye darts no reproof,
from whose lips breathes no sentence of condemnation! Christ must be all!
"There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
The power of human sympathy is amazing, if it leads the
heart to Christ. It is paralyzed, if it leads only to ourselves. Oh, how
feeble and inadequate are we to administer to a diseased mind, to heal a
broken heart, to strengthen the feeble hand, and to confirm the trembling
knees! Our mute sympathy, our prayerful silence, is often the best exponent
of our affection, and the most effectual expression of our aid.
But if, taking the object of our solicitude by the hand,
we gently lead him to God—if we conduct him to Jesus, portraying to his view
the depth of His love, the perfection of His atoning work, the sufficiency
of His grace, His readiness to pardon, His power to save, the exquisite
sensibility of His nature, and thus His perfect sympathy with every human
sorrow—we have then most truly and most effectually soothed the sorrow,
healed the wound, and strengthened the hand in God.
There is no sympathy, no love, no gentleness, no
tenderness, no patience, like Christ's! Oh how sweet, how encouraging, to
know that Jesus sympathetically enters into my afflictions—my temptations—my
sorrows—my joys. May this truth endear Him to our souls! May it constrain us
to unveil our whole heart to Him, in the fullest confidence of the closest,
most sacred, and precious friendship. May it urge us to do those things
always which are most pleasing in His sight.
Beloved, never forget—let these words linger upon your
ear, as the echoes of music that never die—in all your sorrows, in all your
trials, in all your needs, in all your assaults, in all your conscious
wanderings, in life, in death, and at the day of judgment—you possess a
friend that sticks closer than a brother! That friend is Jesus!
AS THOUGH IT HAD NEVER
Beloved, soon, O how soon! all that now loads the heart
with care, and wrings it with sorrow—all that dims the eye with tears, and
renders the day anxious and the night sleepless, will be as though it had
never been! Emerging from the entanglement, the dreariness, the
solitude, the loneliness, and the temptations of the wilderness, you shall
enter upon your everlasting rest, your unfading inheritance, where there is
no sorrow, no declension, no sin, no sunset, no twilight, no evening
shadows, no midnight darkness—but all is one perfect, cloudless, eternal
day, for Jesus is the joy, the light, and the glory thereof!
WHAT IS HEAVEN?
Beloved, what is heaven? What is the final glory
of the saints? Is it not the best place, the richest inheritance provided by
the Father for the people ransomed and brought home to glory by His Son?
Heaven is a place designated by God, chosen and consecrated by Him for the
Church redeemed by the precious blood of His dear Son. And when we enter
there, we shall enter as children welcomed to a Father's home! It will be
the best that God can give us! He will bestow upon us, who deserved the
least, the best in His power to bestow—the best Savior, the best
robe, the best banquet, the best inheritance.
In the new heaven and the new earth there will be nothing
more to taint, nothing more to sully, nothing more to embitter, nothing more
to wound—no serpent to beguile, no Eve to ensnare, no spoiler to destroy, no
sin to defile, no adversity to sadden, no misunderstanding to alienate, no
tongue to defame, no suspicion to chill, no tear, nor sickness, nor death,
nor parting. It will be the best part of the pure, radiant, glorified
universe which God will assign to His people! Saints of the Most High!
Let the prospect cheer, sanctify, and comfort you! It
will not be long that you are to labor and battle here on earth. It is but a
little while that you are to occupy your present sphere of conflict, of
trial, and of sorrow. The time is coming—oh, how fast it speeds! Soon the
Lord Jesus Christ will bring you home to heaven!