"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!"
Dear Savior, in your sufferings I not only see the
infiniteness of sin, but also the infiniteness of your love; so that, though
I have cause with myself to be angry on account of sin, I need not despair.
If the desert of my sinful folly is death—the merit of your sufferings is
life! If my sins mount up to heaven—your mercy is above the heavens! Though
my sins reach to the very throne to accuse me—there is ONE upon the throne
who will not condemn me! My sins, in their seven-fold abominations, can rise
no higher than the throne, but the rainbow of redeeming love and grace is
both around and above the throne, and that in its seven-fold beauties—power,
wisdom, justice, goodness, holiness, mercy, and truth. And as all the
different rays meet in one glorious beam of light, so all the attributes,
all the perfections of God, are summed up in LOVE! God is graciously pleased
to be called by his favorite name, "God is love!" By the mingling rays of
this beauteous rainbow, all my blackness is removed, and I am clothed with
When I look to myself and see my vileness and
necessity--I am confounded with shame! But when I look to you, and see your
fullness and all-sufficiency, I am confounded with wonder! Am I weak? He is
my strength. Am I foolish? He is my wisdom! Am I wicked? He is my
righteousness! Am I impure? He is my sanctification! Am I in bondage? He is
my complete redemption! Am I in misery? From him tender mercy flows. Am I
deceitful? He is wholly truth! In a word, am I enmity itself? Then he is
love itself which passes understanding! Mine is but the enmity of a
creature—but his love is the love of God!
Sin may raise the tempest of wrath, but can do no more.
But Christ not only calms the raging tempest, but gives peace of conscience,
flowing from intimations of peace with God, and makes me heir of all things!
Where sin abounded—grace did much more abound! Where misery has surrounded
me—mercy has crowned me! Sin is too strong for me—but your grace is too
strong for sin!
Why, then, am I so vexed with fears, doubts, and
unbelief? Because I am sinful? On that very account, Christ, who knew no
sin, was made sin—that I, who knew no righteousness, might be made the
righteousness of God in him. But I am a great sinner! Then, he is a Savior,
and a great One! Where is boasting now soul? See—it is great mercy in God,
great merit in Christ—which saves a great sinner! Since rich and free grace
builds the temple of salvation, let it have all the glory!
But I fall often into the same sin! That is my failing,
over which I ought to mourn, and by which I should be driven out of all
boasting in my own holiness, high attainments, and religious duties; and
cry, with tears of holy joy, "Grace, grace to him that has laid the
foundation, carries on the whole work of redemption, and will, with shouting
bring forth the topstone!"
Now, law, what have you to do with me? Go to my
Surety, Jesus. O curse! you have lighted on his head, that the
blessing might rest on mine! The brandished sword of justice, is beaten into
the pruning-hook of the promise—that I may even plead justice for the
blessing, as well as the performance of the promise.
Though once I dared not lift my eyes heavenward, for fear
of divine wrath—yet now I may come boldly to the throne of grace, and claim
the blessings of his purchase!
In fine, it is the glory of the Son of God that I am
saved. Even if he had no concern for my immortal soul, yet he is jealous of
his own glory, and will not cast his honor away, the honor of his justice,
the honor of his love, the honor of his merits, and the honor of his word of
promise—all which are concerned in my salvation. Nothing could hinder him to
love me—what then shall make him hate me, seeing his love is stronger than
death? He loved me when I was in a state of enmity against him—and now, when
I am reconciled to him, will he be angry with me, now when I love him who
first loved me? His love found me when I was wandering from him—and will he
abandon me now when I am panting and seeking after him? When I was
altogether sin, he had mercy on me; and will he now take vengeance upon me,
when I am mourning over sin, and grieved that I offend him? I had no claim,
no qualification that could cause his love to descend on me, and abide with
me; but his love, in his sovereignty visited me—and in sovereignty will
dwell with me forever! And though my sin offends him—I shall never sin away
his love, nor his presence altogether. For he shall appear the second time
without sin—and deliver me from all my inherent sinfulness!
Though my sin is my burden—it shall not be my bane! Yet I
shall never willingly let the traitor rest in my bosom—which would persuade
my soul into rebellion against my dearest Lord, and best friend. I may have
continual war with the invader—but shall obtain the victory at last!
Meanwhile, I will grieve more for offending him whose name is Love, by my
sin—than for the clouds, afflictions, and chastisements which seize me
because of my sinfulness.
Now, with the arms of my faith, I clasp the promise—and
Jesus in the promise! Here will I live, and here will I die, blessing God,
who causes me always to triumph in Jesus Christ my Lord!