(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)
Saving faith is soul-softening, it is soul-mollifying.
Peter believes soundly--and weeps bitterly.
Mary Magdalene believes much--and weeps much.
Faith sets . . .
a wounded Christ,
a bruised Christ,
a despised Christ,
a pierced Christ,
a bleeding Christ
--before the soul, and this makes the soul sit down
and weep bitterly: "They will look on Me whom they
have pierced and mourn for Him (all gospel-mourning
flows from believing), as for an only son. They will
grieve bitterly for Him as for a firstborn son who has
died." Zechariah 12:10.
Oh! the sight of those wounds which their sins have
made--will wound their hearts through and through!
It will make them lament over Christ with a bitter
lamentation. Ah! nothing will kindly, sweetly, and
effectually break the hardened heart of a sinner,
but faith's beholding the blood of Christ trickling
down His sides!
That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely;
that man's extreme misery should but inflame Christ's
affections of love and mercy--this melts the believing soul.
That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of His Father;
that He who was equal with God--should come in the form
of a servant; that He who was clothed with glory--should
be wrapped in rags; that He whom the heaven of heavens
could not contain--should be cradled in a manger; that from
His cradle to His cross--His whole life should be a life of
sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should
be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death;
that He who was His Father's joy--should in anguish of spirit
cry out, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' that
that head which was crowned with honor--should be crowned
with thorns; that those eyes which were as a flame of fire,
which were clearer than the sun--should be closed up by the
darkness of death; that those ears which were used to hear
nothing but hallelujahs--should hear nothing but blasphemies;
that that face which was white and ruddy--should be spit upon
by the beastly Jews; that that tongue which spoke as never
any man spoke, yes, as never any angel spoke--should be
accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both
a golden scepter and an iron rod, and those feet which were
as fine brass--should be nailed to the cross--and all this for
man's transgression, for man's rebellion! Oh! the sight of
these things, the believing of these things, makes a
gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan,
to mourn and lament!
True faith is a heart-breaking, a heart-melting faith.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon