How much influence has the love of Christ had over us?

(Jared Waterbury, "Meditations and Prayers" 1840)

"The love of Christ constrains us!" 2 Corinthians 5:14

The love of Christ! What a motive to one who has felt its constraining influence! Can we say that we have not only experienced the love of Christ to us — but have felt in return, the outgoings of love to our blessed Savior?

How much influence has the love of Christ had over us?
Has it led us to practice self-denial for Jesus' sake?
Has it fed the flame of our devotions?
Has it been the secret spring of our charities?
Do we daily go up to Calvary, and study our obligations at the foot of the cross?

See, on that cross, the adorable Savior! Behold Him, who is the equal of the Father, stretched in bleeding agony — expiring under an inconceivable weight of sorrow — to redeem us wretched, guilty men! All this He does . . .
  to rescue us from sin and from Hell,
  to make us heirs of God,
  to purchase for us an unfading and incorruptible inheritance!

And what have we ever done for Him?
Let us weep, that we have made such returns of ingratitude and sin.
Let us renew our vows at the foot of the cross.
O let us go forth to our work with increased diligence.
Be it ours, to say with Paul, "For whether we live — we live unto the Lord; and whether we die — we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore, or die — we are the Lord's!" Romans 14:8

O, our adorable Savior, when we reflect on Your matchless love, which led You first to pity us, then to come into this polluted world to redeem us; when we think of all that You have done and suffered for us sinful worms — we are lost in wonder, and we cannot find language to express our infinite obligations! But O, what poor returns have we made for all Your love and compassion! Well might we bury our faces in the dust; nor, but for your mercy, could we venture to look up to You. 'Twas not enough that the sins of our unregenerate state were laid upon you; we have added to that oppressive load, by sinning against love and mercy — Your dying love and boundless mercy!

Yet does Your love, O Savior, overtop all these mountains of iniquity!
It says "Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven!"
May this love reach and melt our obdurate hearts.
May it constrain us to "live, not to ourselves, but to You, who has died for us and risen again."

And while the children of this world are laboring to aggrandize self — let us, forgetful of self, be absorbed in the work of glorifying our adorable Redeemer. "For us, to live may it be Christ." When we can no longer glorify You on earth — then, O Savior, let us have a place in that bright world where love — that grace which outlives faith and hope — shall endure forever!