This work is not designed as a systematic treatise, but as a humble essay on
the great, the inexhaustible subject of the love of Christ, as manifested to
a lost world. It was composed during a long period of recovery front a
chronic disease, which brought the author to the gates of death, and well
near terminated his life. In the present essay the author has endeavored to
notice a few ways in which Christ has manifested his great love to sinners.
His object in writing this work is to do good; and should this volume be the
means of leading any sinner to the blessed Jesus, or of kindling a single
spark of divine love in his bosom, or even of refreshing the soul of any
saint- of animating him on his way to glory- he will feel amply rewarded for
the toil of writing it, when in a state of much physical inability; and most
gratefully would he ascribe all the praise and glory to God. He can bless
the feeblest instrument; and, without his blessing, all our labors for good
must be futile. While the author would endeavor to lead others to the Lamb
of God, to the bleeding Savior, most humbly would he himself glory in the
cross of Christ. "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;" and ever does he hope to proclaim the love and set forth the praise
of that blessed Redeemer, who left the regions of glory to live and die for
"Jesus I my Shepherd, Husband, friend;
My Prophet, Priest, and King;
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.
Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see you as you art,
I'll praise you as I ought.
Till then I would your love proclaim,
With every fleeting breath;
And may the music of your name
Refresh my soul in death."
God designed from eternity to create this world, and people it with
intelligent beings. This design was put into execution in the beginning of
time. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." He spoke,
and this earth, with all its multifarious occupants, sprung into being. It
required nothing but his almighty fiat to usher a world and its inhabitants
into existence. Man was created in the image of God: hence he was a holy and
a happy being.
Uncontaminated by moral pollution, his soul was one of purity, holiness and
happiness. He was lord of this lower creation, enjoying the smiles of his
beneficent Creator, and the delight of the terrestrial paradise. Primeval
beauty mantled all sublunary objects. Paradise bloomed with its richest
productions; and all was peace and harmony between man and his Creator. At
length man disobeyed the divine command; sinned against God, and fell from
his original blessedness, by eating the forbidden fruit. "By one man sin
entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,
for all have sinned."
When we contrast man's present deplorable condition, with his pristine state
of innocence, we may well exclaim with the Prophet, "How is the gold become
dim! how is the most fine gold changed!" "The crown is fallen froth our
head: woe unto us that we have sinned.'' By his fall, man lost all communion
with God, and became exposed to the miseries of this life, to death itself,
and to the wrath of God through eternity. From this sinful and lost
condition he could not extricate himself, he could not redeem himself, nor
pay unto God a sufficient ransom for his manifold transgressions. A broken
law was to be fulfilled, the justice of God to be satisfied, and a complete
atonement to be made for the sins of men, or else God and the sinner could
never be reconciled.
Punishment, everlasting punishment and destruction from the presence of the
Lord, and from the glory of his power, awaited all mankind in the world of
just retribution. All was forlorn; all was hopeless, forever hopeless with
regard to man's redemption, had not God interposed on our behalf; to give
unto us an expected end. It was the grand design of God, from all eternity,
to exhibit a magnificent plan of salvation to a lost world. And everlasting
praise and thanksgiving be unto his most blessed name, that the glad tidings
of this unspeakably precious salvation have reached our ears.
When there was no eye to pity sinners, nor arm to save them, God's eye
pitied and his arm alone brought salvation to them. In infinite love to lost
and perishing sinners, he said, "Deliver them from going down to the pit; I
have found a ransom.'' To every redeemed sinner, God says, "But I came by
and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay
there, I said, 'Live!' And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field.
You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your
hair grew, though you were still naked. And when I passed by and saw you
again, you were old enough to be married. So I wrapped my cloak around you
to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant
with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine."
God did not leave all mankind to perish in their fallen, miserable and
polluted condition. No! his love saved them; his wisdom devised a way by
which we, polluted sinners, might be raised from the horrible pit into which
our iniquities had consigned us.
"When in our blood we lay,
He would not let us die;
Because his love had fixed a day,
To bring salvation nigh."
The glorious plan of man's salvation originated in the infinite love of God
the Father; and in this divine plan of redemption, the most marvelous
exhibition of the love of God to hell-deserving sinners is clearly seen.
Here is love, the love of God: such love its could never have been conceived
of, had it not been so amply revealed and manifested in the gift of his only
begotten Son. "For God so loved the world (even a world of lost sinners)
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." "God is love," and our salvation is from
the God of love, and is a salvation planned and executed in deep
unfathomable love. "God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son
into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real
love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as
a sacrifice to take away our sins."
When we contemplate the greatness of God's love to sinners, we are compelled
to pause, and exclaim with the admiring apostle, "Behold what manner of love
the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
Oh! the riches of divine grace! Oh! the depths of divine love. How vast, how
glorious, and how adequate to the needs of perishing sinners, is the plan of
mercy- of love- of salvation, which God has devised to save a lost world! It
manifests the wisdom, the justice, the power, but, above all, the love of
"Salvation! what a glorious plan;
How suited to our need!
The grace that raises fallen man
Is wonderful indeed!
'Twas wisdom formed the vast design,
To ransom us when lost;
And love's unfathomable mine
Provided all the cost.
Truth, Wisdom, Justice, Power and Love,
In all their glory shone,
When Jesus left the courts above,
And died to save his own."
God has chosen a portion of the human family to be the monuments of his free
grace- trophies of his redeeming love; and for them he has sent his own Son
to suffer and die. In the profound depths of infinite love, the mercy of God
to a lost world had its expression. Unsolicited and undeserved, it was
nevertheless extended to lost sinners: sinners, guilty and polluted, are the
objects upon which the mercy and love of God are profusely bestowed. Love is
God's darling attribute, which he delights to manifest most illustriously;
for God is love. And he has most singularly displayed all his love to sinful
man, in the contrivance of his salvation.
Oh! how immeasurably great was that love which saved a world from ruin, and
raised millions of Adam's sons and daughters from eternal death and woe, to
everlasting life and felicity! Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
The promise of a Great Deliverer, who should emancipate captivated man from
the thraldom of sin and death, and accomplish his salvation, was early
conveyed to our first parents. Before their expulsion from Paradise, when
all seemed lost, a gleam of hope shone around them. It was promised that the
seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent; that the works of
the devil should be destroyed. For this purpose, the Son of God was to be
manifested in the flesh.
To the patriarchs the same promise was more amply conveyed. Abraham got a
glimpse of the day of Christ, and was glad. Dying Jacob spoke of the coming
of a Savior. "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff
from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the
one whom all nations will obey." Moses said to the children of Israel, "The
Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow
Israelites, and you must listen to that prophet."
Isaiah, wrapped in prophetic vision, eloquently describes the advent and
characteristics of the promised Messiah. "For a child is born to us, a son
is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be
his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace." "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall
call his name Emmanuel." All the prophets spoke of Him who was to come into
the world to accomplish our salvation; "for the testimony of Jesus is the
spirit of prophecy." As the time approached, the promises of a divine Savior
were multiplied. "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a
woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were
slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children."
Love was the grand principle which prompted the blessed God to give his Son
to die for sinners; and love was the impelling motive that brought Emmanuel
from his throne, to this fallen world, in order to save the lost. How great,
how sublime was that scheme of his to save a perishing world! flow vast was
that love which enabled him to execute this plan!