"I, even I, am he that
comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that
shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass; and
forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and
laid the foundation of the earth."—ISA. li. 12, 13.
The children of God have
the only true comfort to be found amidst the sorrows of life; but they too
often forget it, and seek for consolations of an inferior kind, so as to
lose sight of Him who alone can give real comfort. Why do we deal thus
with our God ? Why do we sometimes refuse to believe that we can ever
receive comfort, and at other times strive to get rid of sorrow by filling
our minds with vain things, which may indeed distract us from our grief,
but cannot comfort? And all the while He is waiting to be gracious; and
His own voice is calling us to go to Him with our sad hearts, that He may
pour into them the only balm of healing, "I, even I, am He that comforteth
you!" Let us cast on Him our cares, our sorrows, our fears, whatever they
may be. If they are caused by our fellow-men, let us think of the Lord our
Maker. If He is on our side, what can man do unto us? Man can neither
destroy those whom their God comforts, nor give true comfort to those whom
God himself afflicts.
"Lift up your heads, O ye
gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory
shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the
Lord mighty in battle."— Ps. xxiv. 7, 8.
"Tell ye the daughter of
Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass,
and a colt the foal of an ass."—Matt. xxi. 5.
"Which none of the princes
of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified
the Lord of glory."—1 Cor. ii. 8.
The question is still
asked, "Who is this King of glory?" the world asks it scoffingly, — the
princes of this world knew Him not when He came among them, as the meek
and lowly King, "sitting upon an ass," and they crucified Him then, and
would crucify Him still. ''Who is this King of glory?" "Whom do men say
that I am?" (Mark viii. 27.) It is Christ himself that asks the question.
"What think ye of Christ" is He the King of glory to you? O, professing
Christian, whether He comes in His royal majesty, as the Lord mighty in
battle, or in His humiliation, calling on you to take up His yoke and
burden, to be meek and lowly, like Him, to lift up to Him the gates of
your heart, and let Him reign and rule within you; we must receive Him as
our own King ; we must submit ourselves wholly to Him ; we must recognise
Him in His lowliness, if we would see Him and dwell with Him in. His
glory. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him in glory."
"Jesus said unto him, Foxes
have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath
not where to lay his head."—LUKE ix. 58.
How wonderful was the
poverty of Jesus! a poverty (as far as His condition as Son of man is
considered) so real, so deep, that He "had not where to lay His head."
This verse gives us a most affecting glimpse of His human life; and we
find another which wondrously connects His poverty with His riches of
almighty power, in Matt xvii, 27, when He sends Peter to obtain from the
first fish that came up the piece of money for the tribute, which
apparently neither He nor Peter had at their command: "Though He was rich,
yet for our sakes He became poor;" but when we think of the distance
between the Divine nature and the human to which He descended, all the
distances between the varied conditions of human life are as nothing.
Earthly luxuries or the want of them could have made but little difference
to Him; had He been as rich as Solomon in all his glory, He would still
have wept over Jerusalem; had He been as poor as Job in his desolation, He
would still have "rejoiced in spirit" over His Father's dealings.
"Think on the eternal home
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise."
"It is sown in corruption,
it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in
glory."—1 COR. xv. 42, 43.
The apostle does not say,
''It shall be raised in incorruption and glory," but "it is." At first
sight this is perplexing; but the more we consider these words the more we
shall perceive the precious truth that lies contained in them. We would
have looked forward in speaking of the resurrection; the apostle looked
back; and seeing the members raised in the Head, he says, "It is raised in
glory." One human body has been raised in incorruption, and Christ has
become the "first-fruits of them that slept." His glorious rising is the
earnest that His people shall be raised; therefore we may lay firm hold of
the truth that He and His people are one; and, gazing on the grave, even
now we may say, "It is raised in glory."
"He with the great shall
share the spoil,
And baffle all His foes,
Though rank'd with sinners, here
He fell, A conqueror He rose.
"He died to bear the guilt
That sin might he forgiven;
He fives to bless them, and defend,
And plead their cause in heaven."
"God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us."—Eph. ii. 4.
"Herein is love, not that
we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins."—1 JOHN iv. 10.
How marvellous is it that
God should love us.' We love those whose characters attract us; we can
scarcely endure, much less love, those whom we know to be wicked; God
loves sinners ! His eye sees, even in the best of men, much that is
hateful to His holy sight; yet He loves. He sees His own children doubt
Him, distrust Him, forget Him; yet He loves! He sees us cleaving to the
dust, clinging to some creature, and forgetting Him who gave us all; yet
He loves! Oh, may the thought of this wondrous love fill our hearts, and
raise our affections to an unreserved devotion to Him who has so loved our
poor guilty souls as to give His Son "to be the propitiation for our
sins;" teaching us thereby the grand truth, that "God is love! "
"Thine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.
"Lord, it is my chief complaint
That my love is weak and faint;
Yet I love Thee and adore,
Oh, for grace to love Thee more!"
"Thy name is as ointment
poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee."—Song of Solomon i. 3.
How significant is the name
Christ—anointed! He is anointed by the Father, and set apart for His great
work by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, shed upon Him without measure,
so that in Him "dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." As Prophet,
as Priest, and as King, He is anointed, and "of His fulness have we all
received, and grace for grace," for the spirit of His anointing is upon
His people also, descending like the holy anointing oil from the head of
Aaron, down to the "skirts of his garments," to the meanest, the humblest
of those who are the members of His body. Therefore there is a deep
meaning in the name by which His people are called, the name of
Christians, for Christians are also anointed ones in Him who is the
anointed of the Father, the Christ. His name is dear to them; the virgins,
the pure in heart, love Him, and love to be called after Him. Oh, may He
grant us grace to be worthy partakers of such a hallowed name!
"Saviour, if of Zion's city
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy name."
"He is the rock, his work is perfect."—DEUT.
xxxii. 4. " As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is
tried."—2 Sam. xxii. 31.
The work of God, the way of God, the Word of
God are perfect, but we cannot see how perfect they are till we search
deeply into them. The man of science sees many wondrous perfections in the
natural world which are hidden from ordinary observers; the more knowledge
we gain of God's wonderful works, the more beauties do we discover.
Marvellous proofs of design and wise adaptation meet us on every side;
from the structure of the humblest flower or feeblest insect, to the
motions of the glorious heavens above our heads.
"He gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
And wheels His throne upon the rolling spheres."
Therefore, O my God, as I
behold Thy work in nature to be perfect, let me believe that Thy way in
providence, though often dark, is full of wisdom and holy beauty; and that
Thy word, as revealed in Scripture, is also full of perfection, whatever
may be its apparent difficulties. The more I search into Thy way and Thy
Word, as well as into Thy works, the more shall I find to admire, and the
more beauty shall I find in that greatest of all Thy works—the Work of
And mystery divine—
The voice that speaks in thunder,
Says, 'Sinner, I am thine!'"
"When he was come down from
the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a
leper, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me
clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be
thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed."—Matt. viii. 1-3.
This chapter of healings
follows immediately after the chapters of teaching,—the Sermon on the
Mount; and it is not without deep significance for us, that we find our
Lord engaged in one miracle of cure after another, as soon as He came down
from the mountain. For as we read the holy and divine precepts He uttered,
we stand convicted before Him; we say, "who is sufficient for these
things?" Thy law is holy, and just, and good, but we are guilty before
Thee,—"unclean, unclean." Then let us go to Him like the leper; He is
still the healer, as well as the teacher, the way, as well the truth and
the life. The leper's example is full of instruction and encouragement; he
worshipped, he owned His Divine power, he called Him Lord, he said, '' If
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean;" and the one doubt on his mind, the
doubt as to His willingness, Jesus answered for ever, for him and for us,
"I will, be thou clean."
"Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore,
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of mercy, join'd with power.
He is able, He is willing—doubt no more."
"Because the Lord hath
loved his people, he hath made thee king over them."—2 Chron. ii. 11.
These were the words of
Hiram, king of Tyre, to Solomon; but with how much greater force may we
apply them to Him of whom the royal Solomon was a type? Truly, "in this
was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his
only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through him;" and the
love shines the brighter when we consider the price paid by our King for
His people's ransom, even His own precious blood. We take a low view of
the love of God if we consider it as having been purchased for us by
Christ's death; rather should we say, His death was the highest proof of
God's love; for "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten
Son." But it is vain to try to separate the love of the blessed and
glorious Trinity in this great work of redemption. "God is love," as God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; may He give us to know
His love! May we submit ourselves entirely to our heavenly King! then the
more we see of His wisdom and beauty, the more shall we feel that God hath
loved His people in making Him King over them.
"Immortal honours, endless fame,
Attend the almighty Father's name;
The Saviour-Son be glorified.
Who for lost man's redemption died;
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Comforter, to Thee!"