Tag Archives: The Glory of Christ

“The tallest and strongest saint” by Jonathan Edwards

“All gracious affections have a tendency to promote this Christian tenderness of heart, that has been spoken of: not only a godly sorrow; but also a gracious joy; Psalms 2:11, ‘Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.’

As also a gracious hope; Psalms 33:18, ‘Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.’ And Psalms 147:11, ‘The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, and in them that hope in his mercy.’

Yea the most confident and assured hope, that is truly gracious, has this tendency. The higher an holy hope is raised, the more there is of this Christian tenderness.

The banishing of a servile fear, by a holy assurance, is attended with a proportionable increase of a reverential fear.

The diminishing of the fear of the fruits of God’s displeasure in future punishment, is attended with a proportionable increase of fear of his displeasure itself: the diminishing of the fear of hell, with an increase of the fear of sin.

The vanishing of jealousies of the person’s state, is attended with a proportionable increase of jealousy of his heart, in a distrust of its strength, wisdom, stability, faithfulness, etc.

The less apt he is to be afraid of natural evil, having “his heart fixed, trusting in God,” and so, “not afraid of evil tidings” [Psalms 112:7]; the more apt is he to be alarmed with the appearance of moral evil, or the evil of sin.

As he has more holy boldness, so he has less of self-confidence, and a forward assuming boldness, and more modesty. As he is more sure than others of deliverance from hell, so he has more of a sense of the desert of it.

He is less apt than others to be shaken in faith; but more apt than others to be moved with solemn warnings, and with God’s frowns, and with the calamities of others.

He has the firmest comfort, but the softest heart: richer than others, but poorest of all in spirit: the tallest and strongest saint, but the least and tenderest child amongst them.”

–Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1754), in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957), 364.

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“Yet I long for more” by Samuel Rutherford

“I counsel you to think highly of Christ, and of free, free grace, more than ye did before; for I know that Christ is not known amongst us. I think that I see more of Christ than ever I saw; and yet I see but little of what may be seen.

Oh that He would draw back the curtains, and that the King would come out of His gallery and His palace, that I might see Him! Christ’s love is young glory and young heaven; it would soften hell’s pain to be filled with it.

What would I refuse to suffer, if I could get but a draught of love at my heart’s desire! Oh, what price can be given for Him. Angels cannot weigh Him.

Oh, His weight, His worth, His sweetness, His overpassing beauty! If men and angels would come and look to that great and princely One, their ebbness could never take up His depth, their narrowness could never comprehend His breadth, height, and length.

If ten thousand thousand worlds of angels were created, they might all tire themselves in wondering at His beauty, and begin again to wonder of new.

Oh that I could come nigh Him, to kiss His feet, to hear His voice, to feel the smell of His ointments! But oh, alas! I have little, little of Him.

Yet I long for more.”

–Samuel Rutherford, “Letter CLXXV,” Letters of Samuel Rutherford (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1664/2012), 331.

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“The sighs, groans, and mournings of poor souls” by John Owen

“There is more glory under the eye of God, in the sighs, groans, and mournings of poor souls filled with the love of Christ, after the enjoyment of Him according to His promises— in their fervent prayers for His manifestation of Himself unto them— in the refreshments and unspeakable joys which they have in His gracious visits and embraces of His love— than in the thrones and diadems of all the monarchs on the earth.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, The Glory of Christ, Vol. 1, Ed. William H. Goold (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1850), 159.

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“The universe would not contain the books” by Jonathan Edwards

“‘And there are many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ John 21:25

If here, by the things that Jesus did, be not only meant the actions of Christ, but the things done or accomplished by those actions, we may suppose it to be literally true, that if they were written every one, the world itself is not large enough to contain the books that should be written.

There are other things that belong to what Christ did, besides merely the external action, that was immediately visible to the eye, or the words that might be heard by the ear, which we must suppose are included in what the evangelist means by the things that he did.

There was the internal manner of doing, the design with which it was done, what moved and influenced Christ in doing, the ends and events brought to pass by doing, that the evangelist does not mention.

The apostle John in this history mentions some of them, but to mention all, would be to write a declaration of all the glorious, wise purposes and designs of God’s wisdom and grace, and the love of Christ, and all that belongs to that manifold wisdom of God, and those unsearchable riches of wisdom and knowledge, in the work of redemption, that we read of in the Scripture, which, if they should be all written, it is probable the universe would not contain the books.

For here are the multitudes of God’s mercies that we read of in Psalm 5:7 and 51:1 and 69:13, 16 and 106:7 and 119:156. These works that the evangelist speaks of that Christ wrought, are the same with those spoken of:

‘Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts, which are towards us; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire.

Then said I, Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.

I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation. I have not concealed Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.’

And Psalm 71:15. ‘My mouth shall show forth Thy righteousness and Thy salvation all the day: for I know not the numbers thereof.’

And Psal. 139:17. ‘How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.’

The wonderful things designed and virtually accomplished in what Christ did when on the earth, are so manifold as to be sufficient to employ the contemplation of saints and angels to all eternity, who will discover more and more of the manifold wisdom of God therein, and yet never will discover all.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “Notes on the Bible,” in  The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2. Ed. Edward Hickman (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1834/1998), 2:794. The notes may be read here. Edwards is commenting on John 21:25.

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“Unfathomable oceans of grace” by Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Edinburgh, February 26, 1840

My dear Miss Collier,

I am sorry to leave town without seeing you, but I find myself obliged to do so. A long and interesting meeting of presbytery took up the greater part of my time. I am delighted to hear that you are still keeping a little better, and fondly hope the Lord may restore you to us once more, to help us by your prayers in these trying but glorious times.

I would like to have seen you once again before going back; but I must just content myself with casting you on the Lord on whom you believe. Precious friend and unchangeable priest is Christ—sweeter to you than honey and the honeycomb.

How great is the goodness He hath laid up for them that fear Him! Just as the miser lays up money that he may feast his eyes upon it, so Christ has laid up unsearchable riches that He may supply all our need out of them.

Unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come to the bottom of these depths. How many millions of dazzling pearls and gems are at this moment hid in the deep recesses of the ocean caves! But there are unsearchable riches in Christ.

Seek more of them. The Lord enrich you with them. I have always thought it a very pitiful show when great people ornament themselves with brilliants and diamonds; but it is truest wisdom to adorn the soul with Christ and His graces.

‘Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me, days without number.’ You see my pen runs on, though I fear you will hardly be able to read what I write. May the Lord Jesus give you out of His fulness, and grace for grace.

In a mirror you will observe that every feature of the face is reflected—both the large and small features. Now our soul should be a mirror of Christ; we should reflect every feature; for every grace in Christ there should be a counterpart grace in us. The Lord give you this; then I can ask no more for you.

Your times are in his hand.(Ps. 31) May you have the blessing of Asher: ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’

Farewell till we meet. Kindest regards to Miss N. and Mrs Coutts, and believe me ever yours in lasting bonds,

Robert Murray McCheyne”

–Robert Murray M’Cheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 234-235.

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“A full Christ is thy Christ” by John Bunyan

“Coming sinner, I have now a word for thee; be of good comfort, ‘He will in no wise cast out.’ Of all men, thou art the blessed of the Lord; the Father hath prepared His Son to be a sacrifice for thee, and Jesus Christ, thy Lord, is gone to prepare a place for thee (John 1:29; Heb 10). What shall I say to thee?

Thou comest to a full Christ. Thou canst not want anything for soul or body, for this world or that to come, but it is to be had in or by Jesus Christ. As it is said of the land that the Danites went to possess, so, and with much more truth, it may be said of Christ; He is such an one with whom there is no want of any good thing that is in heaven or earth. A full Christ is thy Christ.

He is full of grace. Grace is sometimes taken for love; never any loved like Jesus Christ. The love of Christ passes knowledge. It is beyond the love of all the earth, of all creatures, even of men and angels.

His love prevailed with Him to lay aside His glory, to leave the heavenly place, to clothe Himself with flesh, to be born in a stable, to be laid in a manger, to live a poor life in the world, to take upon Him our sicknesses, infirmities, sins, curse, death, and the wrath that was due to man.

And all this he did for a base, undeserving, unthankful people; yea, for a people that was at enmity with Him. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life’ (Rom 5:6-10).

He is full of truth. Full of grace and truth. Truth, that is, faithfulness in keeping promise, even this of the text, with all other, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 14:6). Hence it is said, that His words be true, and that He is the faithful God, that keepeth covenant.

And hence it is also that his promises are called truth: ‘Thou wilt fulfil thy truth unto Jacob, and thy mercy unto Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.’ Therefore it is said again, that both Himself and words are truth: ‘I am the truth, the Scripture of truth’ (Dan 10:21).

‘Thy word is truth,’ (John 17:17; 2 Sam 7:28); ‘thy law is truth,’ (Psa 119:142); and ‘my mouth,’ saith He, ‘shall speak truth,’ (Prov 8:7); see also Ecclesiastes 12:10, Isaiah 25:1, Malachi 2:6, Acts 26:25, 2 Timothy 2:12,13. Now, I say, His word is truth, and He is full of truth to fulfil His truth, even to a thousand generations. Coming sinner, He will not deceive thee; come boldly to Jesus Christ.

He is full of wisdom. He is made unto us of God wisdom; wisdom to manage the affairs of His church in general, and the affairs of every coming sinner in particular. And upon this account He is said to be ‘head over all things,’ (1 Cor 1; Eph 1), because He manages all things that are in the world by His wisdom, for the good of His church.

All men’s actions, all Satan’s temptations, all God’s providences, all crosses, and disappointments; all things whatever are under the hand of Christ -who is the wisdom of God -and He ordereth them all for good to His church. And can Christ help it -and be sure he can -nothing shall happen or fall out in the world, but it shall, in despite of all opposition, have a good tendency to His church and people.

He is a storehouse full of all the graces of the Spirit. ‘Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace’ (John 1:16). Here is more faith, more love, more sincerity, more humility, more of every grace; and of this, even more of this, He giveth to every lowly, humble, penitent coming sinner. Wherefore, coming soul, thou comest not to a barren wilderness when thou comest to Jesus Christ.

He is full of compassion: and they shall feel and find it so that come to Him for life. He can bear with thy weaknesses, He can pity thy ignorance, He can be touched with the feeling of thy infirmities, He can affectionately forgive thy transgressions, He can heal thy backslidings, and love thee freely.

His compassions fail not; ‘and He will not break a bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; He can pity them that no eye pities, and be afflicted in all thy afflictions’ (Matt 26:41; Heb 5:2; 2:18; Matt 9:2; Hosea 14:4; Eze 16:5,6; Isa 63:9; Psa 78:38; 86:15; 111:4; 112:4; Lam 3:22; Isa 42:3).

Coming soul, the Jesus that thou art coming to, is full of might and terribleness for thy advantage; He can suppress all thine enemies; He is the Prince of the kings of the earth; He can bow all men’s designs for thy help; He can break all snares laid for thee in the way; He can lift thee out of all difficulties wherewith thou mayest be surrounded; He is wise in heart, and mighty in power.

Every life under heaven is in His hand; yea, the fallen angels tremble before Him. And He will save thy life, coming sinner (1 Cor 1:24; Rom 8:28; Matt 28:18; Rev 4; Psa 19:3; 27:5,6; Job 9:4; John 17:2; Matt 8:29; Luke 8:28; James 2:19).

Coming sinner, the Jesus to whom thou art coming is lowly in heart. He despiseth not any. It is not thy outward meanness, nor thy inward weakness; it is not because thou art poor, or base, or deformed, or a fool, that He will despise thee: He hath chosen the foolish, the base, and despised things of this world, to confound the wise and mighty.

He will bow His ear to thy stammering prayers. He will pick out the meaning of thy inexpressible groans. He will respect thy weakest offering, if there be in it but thy heart (Matt 11:20; Luke 14:21; Prov 9:4-6; Isa 38:14,15; Song 5:15; John 4:27; Mark 12:33,34; James 5:11).

Now, coming sinner, is not this a blessed Christ? Will you not do well to embrace Him?”

–John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2011), 214-218.

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“The Sun of righteousness” by Richard Sibbes

“If Christ be the Sun of righteousness, we should, when we are cold and benumbed, repair to Him and conceive of Him as one having excellencies suitable to our wants.

Are we dark? He is light. Are we dull? He can heal us. Are we dying? He is life. And are we in discomfort? He is the fullness of love.

He is therefore the Son, that we should seek to Him, and make Him our all in all: our Prophet, to direct us by His light; our Priest, to make atonement for us; our King, to help us overcome all our corruptions and to make us more than conquerors.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Sun of Righteousness,” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 7:171.

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