Christ All in All!
James Smith, 1855
When the Holy Spirit works in our hearts as the glorifier of Jesus — he always lays us in the dust and endears the Savior to our souls. We are then sure to get some fresh views of him, and he is in our estimation divinely sweet and glorious. Then we desire, above all things, to exalt and glorify him, and to be useful to his cause and people. We long for others to see him just as we do, feeling persuaded that if they did — they must love, delight in, and adore him. He appears so suitable, and is in every view we take of him so precious.
If we look at his PERSON, we see our nature exalted and united to the Divine; and as the God-man, he is altogether lovely and glorious. We behold in Him, all the solemn and amiable attributes of Godhead, united with all the sinless passions and affections of humanity! And, while we view the Divine perfections and human passions united in his blessed person — we feel glowing love, and realize inseparable union — and the joy is sweeter than human tongue can express.
His very nature is love, he possesses a fullness of grace, and his heart overflows with mercy. Hence, his every action, dispensation, and word . . .
is mixed with love,
exhibits grace, and
He is most compassionate, full of pity, and tenderly sympathetic; and he has displayed and proved it in the most remarkable manner!
This was compassion like a God,
That when the Savior knew
The price of pardon was his blood,
His pity ne'er withdrew!
If we look at his precious NAMES, every one of which is calculated to endear him to our hearts — he appears altogether suitable and glorious.
He is called JESUS, because he came into our world on purpose to save sinners, and raise them to glory and immortal life.
He is called CHRIST, because he was anointed, appointed, and commissioned to save. He engaged in the everlasting covenant, he was promised to the Old Testament saints, and he appeared in the fullness of time. He was anointed . . .
to teach the ignorant,
to atone for the guilty, and
to rule over all who are saved by his grace.
He is called IMMANUEL, God with us — to show that he is able to save all who come unto God by him, and to manifest the depth of his condescension and the strength of his love.
His names are numerous, everyone of them is full of meaning, and the whole united, prove him to be superlatively excellent, and glorious beyond our powers of description!
Not softest strains can charm my ears,
Like his beloved name;
Nor anything beneath the skies inspire
My heart with equal flame!
If we look at his OFFICES — it endears him to our hearts.
He appears as a PROPHET, to . . .
instruct the ignorant,
lead the blind, and
make the foolish wise.
He . . .
unfolds the Father's mind,
opens the everlasting covenant,
and teaches all his people to profit.
He is a PRIEST, to . . .
atone for the guilty,
reconcile those who are enemies, and
intercede on behalf of transgressors.
He . . .
magnifies mercy, and
brings a holy God and polluted sinners into an honorable union.
He is a KING, and as such he . . .
receives the discontented,
rules over innumerable penitent criminals,
and defends all his subjects from danger.
His power is omnipotent,
his resources are boundless,
his government is peaceful, and
all the statutes of his kingdom are wise, merciful, and just.
Not health, nor wealth, nor sounding fame,
Nor earth's deceitful empty name,
With all its pomp and all its glare,
Can with a precious Christ compare!
If we look at the RELATIONSHIPS of Christ to his people — he rises in our estimation.
He is our FATHER — to pity the poor returning prodigal, to care for all who depend on his Word.
He is our HUSBAND — to love, cherish, and honor his beloved blood-bought bride. He loves her as he loves himself, treats her with unutterable kindness, and will allow nothing to separate her from his love.
He is our elder BROTHER, who possesses our nature — and feels deeply interested in the welfare of every brother and sister. For all he has made provision, to everyone has given promises, and the whole shall ultimately enjoy the best part of God's universe through his grace. He identifies his interests with ours, pleads the cause of his brethren in disgrace, and will raise the low-fallen family — to honor and renown. This causes us to sing —
Jesus my shepherd, husband, friend,
My prophet, priest, and king,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring!
If we look at the COMPARISONS which are made use of by the Holy Spirit to set Christ forth — we behold something more of His loveliness.
He is compared to a MOTHER, and is said to have more than a mother's tenderness, kindness, and care.
His concern for His people is constant,
He never loses sight of them for a moment, and
He pledges His Word that He will never forget them!
He is the CITY of REFUGE, with . . .
the broad and clear road,
the gates wide open, and
the hearty welcome awaiting every sinner who approaches to escape the threatened vengeance!
He is the STRONGHOLD, which emboldens, supplies, and secures all the prisoners of hope.
He is the ROCK, which shades, shelters, and refreshes the weary traveler.
He is the DAY-STAR, which betokens brighter scenes, and guides the vessel of mercy across the boisterous deep — to the haven of perfect redemption and safety.
He is the SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS, whose rising . . .
cheers the benighted pilgrim,
makes glad the weary citizen of Heaven, and
produces moral beauty and fruitfulness in our world.
He is the APPLE-TREE among the trees of the forest . . .
whose blossoms are beautiful,
whose shade is refreshing, and
whose fruit is sweet to the taste.
He is the BREAD of LIFE, which came down from Heaven . . .
satisfying the hungry,
strengthening the weak, and
giving life unto the world.
He is the WATER of SALVATION, which . . .
cleanses the filthy,
refreshes the weary, and
makes glad the city of God.
He is the WAY, which alone leads from sin, condemnation, and wrath — to life, holiness, and Heaven!
He is the HEAD, which thinks, plans, and contrives for the welfare of the whole of His mystical body.
He is the DOOR, which admits to . . .
the pastures of Divine truth,
the privileges of His Church below,
and His Father's glorious presence!
He is the FOUNDATION on which all must build for eternity, and which alone is able to support our hopes and sustain our souls — amidst the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds!
He is the CORNER-STONE, which unites, beautifies, and strengthens the whole building of divine mercy.
He is the TEMPLE, where God . . .
meets with us,
accepts us, and
imparts His blessing to us.
He is the ALTAR, which sanctifies both the gift and the giver.
He is the VINE, which communicates life, nourishment, and fruitfulness to all its branches.
He is the ROSE of SHARON and the LILY of the VALLEY — fragrant, lovely, attractive, perfuming, and unequaled in beauty and grace!
He is the BRAZEN SERPENT, which heals easily, instantly, and perfectly — all who look to Him by faith.
He is the FORERUNNER, who is gone before His flock . . .
removing the obstacles,
marking out the road, and
ready to receive them as they finish their course.
He is the FRIEND . . .
who loves at all times,
whose mind never changes,
whose love never cools, and
who never neglects a friend in distress.
He is the greatest, best, and most glorious GIFT of GOD — including, securing, and conferring every good thing upon those who sincerely receive Him.
He is the KINSMAN . . .
who redeems the forfeited inheritance,
who ransoms all His poor relatives from slavery,
and whose name is held in renown.
He is the LAMB of GOD, who took up, expiated, and forever put away — the sins of all who trust in His blood.
He is the MESSENGER of the COVENANT, who . . .
brings good news from God,
carries all our requests to God, and
ever stands as a Mediator between us and God.
He is the PEARL of GREAT PRICE, or the priceless pearl, which . . .
all who sincerely seek, find,
all who find, may claim, and
all who possess, are enriched forever!
He is the PHYSICIAN, who . . .
heals all disorders,
restores every patient to perfect health,
and bestows medicine and care, gratis.
He is the RANSOM, which . . .
procured our release,
ensures our liberty, and
preserves us from going down into the pit!
He is the RIGHTEOUSNESS, which . . .
justifies us from all charges,
entitles us to eternal life, and
enables us to lift up our heads with boldness in God's presence.
He is the TRUTH, which . . .
enlightens the mind,
purifies the heart, and
regulates the life.
He is the FIRE, which . . .
purges our dross,
brightens our graces, and
cleanses our consciences from works which deserve death.
He is the SHEPHERD, who . . .
knows every sheep,
watches over the whole flock, and
never loses a lamb, by disease, accident, or beast of prey.
He is the BISHOP, who . . .
dwells among His people,
consults their welfare, and
imparts His benediction freely.
He is the CAPTAIN of SALVATION, who . . .
collects His soldiers,
disciplines His troops, and
leads them forth to certain victory over sin, the world, and the devil.
He is the LADDER, by which we . . .
rise from this earth,
lose sight of carnal things, and
ascend to the presence of God!
He is the SURETY . . .
who engaged for us in the everlasting covenant,
who is held responsible for our salvation,
who has pledged to set us before His father's throne forever.
He is the WALL of FIRE, which surrounds, enlightens and infallibly protects — all His redeemed people!
He is the chief among ten thousand, and the ALTOGETHER LOVELY ONE!
Precious Lord Jesus, allow me . . .
to know You more fully,
to trust You more heartily,
to serve You more diligently,
to enjoy You more frequently,
to imitate You more closely,
to exalt You more highly, and
to show forth Your salvation from day to day!
Your love — is my Heaven,
Your presence — is my delight, and
Your service — is the joy of my heart!
Let me daily . . .
walk with You,
work for You,
and bring glory to You!
Oh, send Your Spirit to my poor heart . . .
to exalt You,
to honor You,
to endear You to my soul!
Use me to bring . . .
lost sinners to Your cross,
believers to Your throne of grace,
backsliders to the path of obedience.
Be my . . .
strength in life,
solace in death, and
eternal portion beyond the grave!