This post was originally posted in 2011, and is now buried deep, deep, deep within the blog archives. I stumbled upon it recently and thought it was worth another look. I can still remember the moment I heard the “Whoo-Hoo” from the jogger. It has reminded me once again to SING, SING, SING!
I also looked up how many times the Bible tells us to sing and found the answer in Answers.com.
121 times. It is the most recorded of the commandments, to sing to the Lord. The count rises to 209 if you use the New English version of The Bible. ~Answers.com
Creek at Hickory Run
I try to walk daily. Often as I walk I will softly sing songs of praise. A few days ago, as I happily strolled and sang, I heard another singer down the road a stretch. He was a jogger, with earphones, singing along to the tune. Suddenly, he let out a happy whoohoo in the midst of the song, and I smiled with happiness at the joy in his voice. The thought of his unabashed singing has uplifted me many times throughout the week.
I love this Bible verse: “For he (Jesus) says in the book of Psalms, ‘I will talk to my brothers about God my Father, and together we will sing his praises.’ ” Hebrews 12:2 (The Living Bible) I like to think that when I sing songs of praise I am singing a duet with Jesus. Singing songs of Praise and Thanksgiving often ignites the presence of God within my life. It doesn’t matter if I harrumph along like a frog or trill melodious as a bird. The Lord God will inhabit the songs of his people.
I wonder how the world would change if people all around the world would stop throughout the day, lift up their voices in songs of praise, and sing a duet with Jesus.
Are You Washed in the Blood (Elisha A. Hoffman 1878)
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Refrain: Are you washed in the blood, In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you rest each moment in the Crucified? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright, And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin, And be washed in the blood of the Lamb; There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean, Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology
Then the apostle passes on to the second reason why he should thus magnify the Lord Jesus by saying, “And washed us from our sins in his own blood.” “Washed us.” Then we were foul; and he loved us though we were unclean. He washed us who had been more defiled than any. How could he condescend so far as to wash us? Would he have anything to do with such filthiness as ours? Would that sublime holiness of his come into contact with the abominable guilt of our nature and our practice? Yes, he loved us so much that he washed us from our sins, black as they were. He did it effectually, too: he did not try to wash us, but he actually and completely washed us from our sins.” The stains were deep and damnable; they seemed indelible, but he has “washed us from our sins.” No spot remains, though we were black as midnight. “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow,” has been realized by every believer here. But think of how he washed us— “with his own blood.” Men are chary of their own blood, for it is their life; yet will brave ones pour it out for their country or for some worthy object; but Jesus shed his blood for such unworthy ones as we are, that he might by his atonement for ever put away the iniquity of his people. At what a cost was this cleansing provided! Too great a cost I had almost said. Have you never felt at times as if, had you been there and seen the Lord of glory about to bleed to death for you, you would have said, “No, my Lord, the price is too great to pay for such a one as I am”? But he has done it; brethren, his sin-atoning work is finished for ever: Jesus has bled, and he has washed us, and we are clean beyond fear of future defilement. Shall he not have glory for this? Will we not wish him dominion for this?
I love the words Spurgeon uses in this paragraph of ‘John’s Doxology.’ Infinite Love – Immeasurable – Immutable – Pure – Perfect – Divine Love! Just reading those words out loud makes me want to run outside, throw my arms up toward the sky, and shout, “I LOVE YOU!”
THE LOVE OF JESUS IS A…
Jesus asks us to come to him with the open arms of a child. He will give us rest. He loves us, he never leaves us. He is our Savior. He is our Friend. He is the only Way to Eternal Life with the Father. Let us all spread the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon – John’s Doxology Remember, he loves you with his own love according to his own nature. Therefore he has for you an infinite love altogether immeasurable. It is also like himself, immutable; and can never know a change. The emperor Augustus was noted for his faithfulness to his friends, whom he was slow in choosing. He used to say, “Late ere I love, long ere I leave.” Our blessed Lord loved us early, but he never leaves us. Has he not said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”? The love of Jesus is a pure, perfect, and divine love: a love whose heights and depths none can measure. His nature is eternal and undying, and such is his love. He could not love you more; he will never love you less. With all his heart and soul and mind and strength he loves you. Come; is not that a grand excuse, if excuse is wanted, for often lifting up our hearts and voices in hearty song unto the Lord? Why should we not seven times a day exult before him, saying, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”? Oh for new crowns for his blessed brow! Oh for new songs for his love-gifts ever new! Praise him! Praise him, all earth and heaven!
It’s that simple, Jesus loves me…this I know. If you don’t believe He loves you, repeat it out loud. Jesus loves me. Open the door of your heart to Him, He loves me…He loves you too…this I know.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
Again, the word “him that loved us,” seems as if it described all that Christ did for us, or, at least, it mentions first the grandest thing he ever did, in which all the rest is wrapped up. It is not, “Unto him that took our nature; unto him that set us a glorious example; unto him that intercedes for us but, “Unto him that loved us,” as if that one thing comprehended all, as indeed it does.
He loves us: this is matter for admiration and amazement. Oh, my brethren, this is an abyss of wonder to me! I can understand that Jesus pities us; I can very well understand that he has compassion on us; but that the Lord of glory loves us is a deep, great, heavenly thought, which my finite mind can hardly hold. Come, brother, and drink of this wine on the lees, well refined. Jesus loves you. Grasp that. You know what the word means in some little degree according to human measurements, but the infinite Son of God loved you of old, and he loves you now! His heart is knit with your heart, and he cannot be happy unless you are happy.
No; there is no love like that of Jesus Christ: he bears the palm for love; yea, in the presence of his love all other love is eclipsed, even as the sun conceals the stars by his unrivalled brightness.” ~C.H. Spurgeon
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
"Think of this as being a recognizable description of our Lord— “Unto him that loved us.” John wanted to point out the Lord Jesus Christ, and all he said was, “Unto him that loved us.” He was sure nobody would make any mistake as to who was intended, for no one can be said to love us in comparison with Jesus. It is interesting to note that, as John is spoken of as “that disciple whom Jesus loved,” so now the servant describes the Master in something like the same terms: “Unto him that loved us.” No one fails to recognize John or the Lord Jesus under their several love-names. When the apostle mentioned “him that loved us,” there was no fear of men saying, “That is the man’s friend, or father, or brother.” No; there is no love like that of Jesus Christ: he bears the palm for love; yea, in the presence of his love all other love is eclipsed, even as the sun conceals the stars by his unrivalled brightness.
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. ~2 Thessalonians 2:13
If you spent time with me, you would soon know that I gather small pebbles and other natural items. Whether in forest or walking along ocean waves, I scan the area ahead of my steps for colorful stones. I have a rock polisher, and find it completely mesmerizing to transform a common pebble into a thing of beauty. The pebbles don’t look too impressive before I begin, often embedded with dirt, scratched, worn by countless years of weather, but they shine like precious gems when they have completed all four cycles of polishing.
I suppose I am telling of my rock polishing as a comparison to Christ Jesus choosing us for his own, washing me, washing you, cleaning away the clinging muck and scars of our sin. In His great love for us, he saw beneath our filthiness to what could be beautiful. He cleansed and purified our spirits by dying in our place. He is the source of all our blessings. If we call in repentence upon his name He will save us and dwell with us for all eternity. His Word says it is true, and I believe in what He promises. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“He loved us first before he washed us: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us.” Not “Unto him that washed us and loved us.” This is one of the glories of Christ’s love, that it comes to us while we are defiled with sin— yea, dead in sin. Christ’s love does not only go out to us as washed, purified, and cleansed, but it went out towards us while we were yet foul and vile, and without anything in us that could be worthy of his love at all. He loved us, and then washed us: love is the fountain-head, the first source of blessing.”
The photo I took of the setting sun is criss-crossed with lines for conducting electricity and cable. For some reason, the annoyance of these lines marring the image, seemed to mimic the problems in my life at this time. This beautiful season of the year is conflicted by problems, constant noise, and deceptions from every avenue. Instead of normality returning, every solution exhibits the potential to be more of a threat to our freedom, our future health, another prison cell bar in our upside-down lives.
Just like the same photograph after it was filtered and cleaned up, I’m learning to crop out the problems, the noise, the deceptions, and focus on the light of my life, Jesus. If I gaze at him “the things of life grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” He is my hope for today, and my destiny in the future.
Truly, our Lord in his glory, loves us, focus on HIM.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
Now, this outburst carried within itself its own justification. Look at it closely and you perceive the reasons why, in this enthusiastic manner, John adores his Saviour. The first is, “Unto him that loved us.” Time would fail me to speak long on this charming theme, so I will only notice briefly a few things. This love is in the present tense, for the passage may be read, “Unto him that loveth us.” Our Lord in his glory still loves us as truly and as fervently as he did in the days of his flesh. He loved us before the world was, he loveth us now with all his heart, and he will love us when sun, and moon, and stars have all expired like sparks that die when the fire is quenched upon the hearth and men go to their beds. “He loveth us.” He is himself the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and his love is like himself. Dwell on the present character of it and be at this moment moved to holy praise.
Praise to our Father in Heaven increases our thankfulness. I also want to thank him today for all the beautiful women in my life. For my mother, my mother-in-law, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, sisters, sister-in-laws, aunts, daughter-in-law, nieces, cousins, grand-daughters, friends, extended family members, and I thank him for all the new ladies he will bring into my life in the coming years. God has blessed my life with so many beautiful women. I thank him for his presence in my life, and for the love of so many. God bless you all on this Mother’s Day.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“These doxologies occur again and again throughout this book as if to remind us to be frequent in praise; and they grow as they proceed, to hint to us that we also should increase in thankfulness.”
Sometimes, I can come up dry and empty when it comes to writing blog posts. Isn’t it amazing that at those times when we flounder, and can’t seem to get ourselves together, or moving in the right direction, His Compassions toward us are still divine?
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” ~Psalm 91:4
He lifts me up. He hides me under His wing. God is so good. Praise His Holy Name.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology –
“Words are but air and tongues but clay, But His compassions are divine.”
We want to get out of these fetters, and rise into something better adapted to the emotions of our spirit; I cannot emulate the songsters of Immanuel’s land though I would gladly do so; but as Berridge says
“Strip me of this house of clay, And I will sing as loud as they.”
“If you begin praising God you are bound to go on.The work engrosses the heart. It deepens and broadens like a rolling river.” ~C.H. Spurgeon
Often, praise for my Father in Heaven, begins like a gentle stream within me, moving in the right direction, steady, bubbling with joy. Sometimes, praise begins in the quiet hours of the night. I wake, and my thoughts rest on Him, and I say before sleeping once more, ‘I love you Lord.’
Just as C.H. Spurgeon says in this paragraph from ‘John’s Doxology,’ when I praise God I am bound to go on. Praising the Father of all Creation does engross my heart. I love Spurgeon’s illustration that praise can begin with a tear of gratitude, going on to join the everlasting hallelujahs that surround the throne of God. Amen!
The portion I’ve based this post on is below. It seems daunting in it’s length, but if you have time, try to read it through. It shows the wonderful way Spurgeon led his congregation through the Bible passages for this sermon. What an amazing preacher and Bible scholar. What always comes through to me as I read his words is this man truly loved God.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
Secondly, let us look at THE OUTBURST ITSELF. It is a doxology, and as such does not stand alone: it is one of many. In the Book of the Revelation doxologies are frequent, and in the first few chapters they distinctly grow as the book advances. If you have your Bibles with you, as you ought to have, you will notice that in this first outburst only two things are ascribed to our Lord. “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” Now turn to the fourth chapter at the ninth verse, and read, “Those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne.” Here we have three words of honour. Run on to verse eleven, and read the same. “Saying, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power.” The doxology has grown from two to three in each of these verses. Now turn to chapter v. 13. “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Here we have four praise-notes. Steadily but surely there is an advance. By the time we get to chapter vii. 12, we have reached the number of perfection, and may not look for more. “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.” If you begin praising God you are bound to go on.The work engrosses the heart. It deepens and broadens like a rolling river. Praise is somewhat like an avalanche, which may begin with a snow-flake on the mountain moved by the wing of a bird, but that flake binds others to itself and becomes a rolling ball: this rolling ball gathers more snow about it till it is huge, immense; it crashes through a forest; it thunders down into the valley; it buries a village under its stupendous mass. Thus praise may begin with the tear of gratitude; anon the bosom swells with love; thankfulness rises to a song; it breaks forth into a shout; it mounts up to join the everlasting hallelujahs which surround the throne of the Eternal. What a mercy it is that God by his Spirit will give us greater capacities by-and-by than we have here! for if we continue to learn more and more of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge we shall be driven to sore straits if confined within the narrow and drowsy framework of this mortal body. This poor apparatus of tongue and mouth is already inadequate for our zeal.
I love coming upon fiddle ferns springing up from the floor of the woods. After sleeping underground all winter, they unfurl from beneath the blanket of leaves that have enriched the soil. When I think of all Jesus has done for me I can relate to those ferns. If I am tightly wound, and dismayed by the rapid changes in our world, his presence calms me, and helps me grow upright and more in love with Him each day.
Jesus is our Redeemer. Instead of reaping the penalty for our sins, he washes us clean and raises our head, he makes us priests to God. How can I not praise Him? I pray that every heart will be filled with his love. I believe each of us, by serving Him, can, and will, make a difference in this world.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“To him that lov’d the souls of men, And wash’d us in his blood, To royal honours raised our head, And made us priests to God; “To him let every tongue be praise, And every heart be love! All grateful honours paid on earth, And nobler songs above!”
Thus much upon the condition of heart which suggests these doxologies.
While visiting Jamaica, I remember watching for the start of sunset each evening. Unencumbered by the trees and buildings that block out sunsets where I live, the beautiful glory of God’s gift to us in the Jamaican sunset over the ocean was a source of enthusiastic joy within me.
I love what Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached in this portion of John’s Doxology. The sight and thought that prompted him to enthusiastic joy was the multitude of the redeemed. I hope and pray that when I think of the brotherhood of those who love Christ Jesus that I will be prompted to enthusiastic joy too.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
Once more. I think we have brought out two points which are clear enough. John had realized his Master, and firmly grasped the blessings which his Master brought him; but he had also felt, and was feeling very strongly, his communion with all the saints. Notice the use of the plural pronoun. We should not have wondered if he had said, “Unto him that loved me, and washed me from my sins in his own blood.” Somehow there would have been a loss of sweetness had the doxology been so worded, and it would have hardly sounded like John. John is the very mirror of love, and he cannot live alone, or rejoice in sacred benefits alone. John must have all the brotherhood round about him, and he must speak in their name, or he will be as one bereft of half himself. Beloved, it is well for you and me to use this “us” very often. There are times when it is better to say “me,” but in general let us got away to the “us”; for has not our Lord taught us when we pray to say, “Our Father which art in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses,” and so on? Jesus does not bid us say, “My Father.” We do say it, and it is well to say it; but yet our usual prayers must run in the “Our Father” style; and our usual praises must be, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins.” Let me ask you, beloved brethren, do you not love the Lord Jesus all the better and praise him all the more heartily because his grace and love are not given to you alone? Why, that blessed love has embraced your children, your neighbours, your fellow church-members, myriads who have gone before you, multitudes that are round about you, and an innumerable company who are coming after; and for this we ought to praise the gracious Lord with unbounded delight. It seems so much the more lovely,— this salvation, when we think of it, not as a cup of water of which one or two of us may drink, but as a well of water opened in the desert, ever flowing, ever giving life and deliverance and restoration to all who pass that way. “Unto him that loved us.” Oh, my Lord, I bless thee for having loved me; but sometimes I think I could adore thee for loving my wife, for loving my children, and all these dear friends around me, even if I had no personal share in thy salvation. Sometimes this seems the greater part of it, not that I should share in thy compassion, but that all these poor sheep should be gathered into thy fold and kept safe by thee. The instinct of a Christian minister especially leads him to love Christ for loving the many; and I think the thought of every true worker for the Lord runs much in the same line. No man will burst out into such joyful adoration as we have now before us unless he has a great heart within him, full of love to all the brotherhood; and then, as he looks upon the multitude of the redeemed around about him, he will be prompted to cry with enthusiastic joy
We are living in a time when peace seems near impossible. It’s not necessarily warfare I am speaking of, although that could spring up at any moment, but more so the constant pecking away of politicians, false media reports, and manufactured crises for stealing away freedom, human rights, and prosperity.
For those who have given their hearts and lives to Christ Jesus, it is a blessing to have the assurance that no matter what happens here on earth, Jesus has made peace for us with God. From every fiber of my being I thank him for giving his life for me, for taking my sins upon himself, for opening the way to eternal life and everlasting fellowship with him in Glory.
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. ~ Revelation 21:23
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“O how sweet to view the flowing Of the Saviour’s precious blood! With divine assurance, knowing He has made my peace with God.”
This well-grounded assurance will throw you into ecstasy, and it will not be long before the deep of your heart will well up with fresh springs of adoring love. Then shall you also praise the Lord with some such words as these: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
I’ve grown pansies for many years. One of my favorite characteristics of these gorgeous blooms is their ability to withstand frost. I have no doubt when I put them outdoors in mid-March that they will be able to withstand the freezing temperatures.
These pansies, regal in their purples, and brilliant with their sunlight faces, almost seem alive. I can just about imagine them singing ‘Hosanna,’ on this Palm Sunday. After all, if the trees can clap their hands, perhaps the pansies truly can sing!
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12
I love the quote about doubt in this portion of C.H. Spurgeon’s message on ‘John’s Doxology.’ Doubt has no outbursts; its chill breath freezes all things. It’s hard to praise the Lord when you are filled with doubts. Today is a day of remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Let’s sing ‘Hosanna,’ in praise of Him.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
Next, the apostle John, in whom we note this outburst of devotion, was a man firmly assured of his possession of the blessings for which he praised the Lord. Doubt has no outbursts; its chill breath freezes all things. Oh for more assurance! Nowadays we hear Christian people talk in this way:— “Unto him that we hope has loved us, and that we humbly trust has washed us, and that we sometimes believe has made us kings, unto him be glory.” Alas! the doxology is so feeble that it seems to imply as little glory as you like. The fact is, if you do not know that you have a blessing, you do not know whether you ought to be grateful for it or not; but when a man knows he has covenant mercies, that divine assurance which the Holy Ghost gives to Christians works in him a sacred enthusiasm of devotion to Jesus. He knows what he enjoys, and he blesses him from whom the enjoyment comes. I would have you, beloved, know beyond all doubt that Jesus is yours, so that you can say without hesitation, “He loved me and gave himself for me.” You will never say, “Thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee,” unless you are first established upon the point that Jesus loves you; for “we love him because he first loved us.” John was certain that he was loved, and he was furthermore most clear that he was washed, and therefore he poured forth his soul in praise. Oh to know that you are washed from your sins in the blood of Jesus! Some professors seem half afraid to say that they are cleansed; but oh, my hearer, if you are a believer in Jesus, the case is clear, for “there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus”! “He that believeth in him hath everlasting life.” “He that believeth in him is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” “Ye are clean,” saith Christ. “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit;” and “Ye are clean.”
Love, trust and hope, they truly do bring JOY UNSPEAKABLE to those who put their faith in Christ Jesus. The old hymn is true, the half has never yet been told. I’m looking forward to unspeakable JOY when I reach my home in Glory.
A snippet from the song JOY UNSPEAKABLE:
“It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.”
~Barney E. Warren 1900
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“This also gives foothold to faith. If you know the Lord Jesus you feel that you can trust him. “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.” Those to whom Christ has become a well-known friend do not find it difficult to trust him in the time of their distress. An unknown Christ is untrusted; but when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus he also breeds faith. By the same means, your hope also becomes vivid, for you say, “Oh, yes; I know Jesus, and I am sure that he will keep his word. He has said, ‘I will come again and receive you unto my self and I am sure that he will come, for it is not like him to deceive his own chosen.” Hope’s eyes are brightened as she thinks of Jesus and realizes him as loving to the end; in him believing, she rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory. To love, to trust, to hope, are all easy in the presence of a real living Christ; but if, like the disciples at midnight on the Galilean lake, we think him to be a mere spectre or apparition, we shall be afraid, and cry out for fear. Nothing will suffice a real Christian but a real Christ.”
I wholeheartedly agree with what Spurgeon tells us in the this paragraph of John’s Doxology: “If you cannot reach the Lord in your mind, you will not embrace him in your heart.” I believe this so fully that when I pray for others I often ask a blessing upon them, HEART, MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT. I also say the same when I am praying for their protection in this time of turmoil and increasing wickedness.
C.H. Spurgeon’s John’s Doxology
To have a real, personal Christ is to get good anchor-hold for love, and faith, and hope. Somehow men cannot love that which is not tangible. That which they cannot apprehend they do not love. When I was about to commence the Orphanage at Stockwell, a gentleman who had had very large experience in an excellent orphanage, said to me, “Begin by never expecting to receive the slightest gratitude from the parents of the children, and you will not be disappointed;” for, said he, “I have been connected with a certain orphanage,” which he mentioned, “for a great many years, and except in the rarest case I have never seen any tokens of gratitude in any of the mothers whose children have been received.” Now, my experience is very different. I have had a great many grips of the hand which meant warm thanks, and I have seen the tears start from the mother’s eye full often, and many a grateful letter have I received because of help given to the orphan children. How do I explain the difference? Not that our Orphanage has done more than the other; but the other Orphanage is conducted by a Committee with no well-known head, and hence it is somewhat of an abstraction; the poor women do not know who is to be thanked, and consequently thank nobody. In our own case the poor people say to themselves, “Here is Mr. Spurgeon, and he took our children into the Orphanage.” They recognize in me the outward and visible representative of the many generous hearts that help me. They know me, for they can see me, and they say, “God bless you,” because they have someone to say it to. There is nothing particular about me, certainly, and there are others who deserve far more gratitude than that which comes, to me; but it does come to me because the poor people know the name and the man, and have not to look at a mere abstraction. Pardon the illustration: it suits my purpose well. If you have a Christ whom you cannot realize you will not love him with that fervent affection which is so much to be desired. If you cannot reach the Lord in your mind, you will not embrace him in your heart; but if you have realized the blessed Master, if he has become a true existence to you, one who has really loved you and washed you from your sins, and made you a king and a priest, then your love must flow out towards him. You cannot resist the impulse to love one who has so truly loved you, and is so well known to you
“I pray that every professor here may have a real Christ, for otherwise he will never be a real Christian. I want you to recognize in this realization of Christ by John this teaching,— that we are to regard our holy faith as based on facts and realities. We have not followed cunningly-devised fables. Do you believe in the divine life of Christ? Do you also believe that he who is “very God of very God” actually became incarnate and was born at Bethlehem? Do you put down the union of the Godhead with our humanity as an historical fact which has the most potent bearing upon all the history of mankind? Do you believe that Jesus lived on earth and trod the blessed acres of Judæa, toiling for our sake, and that he did actually and really die on the behalf of sinners? Do you believe that he was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead? Are these stories in a book or facts in the life of a familiar friend? To me it is the grandest fact in all history, that the Son of God died and rose again from the dead, and ever lives as my representative. Many statements in history are well attested, but no fact in human records is one half as well attested as the certain resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is no invention, no fable, no parable, but a literal fact, and on it all the confidence of the believer leans. If Christ is not risen, then your faith is vain; but as he surely rose again, and is now at the right hand of God, even the Father, and will shortly come to be our judge, your faith is justified, and shall in due season have its reward. Get a religion of facts and you will have a religion which will produce facts by operating upon your life and character; but a religion of fancies is but a fancied religion, and nothing practical will come of it.”