God, the Portion of His People (4)
Remember, Christians, that the infinite grandeur and majesty of God, as well as His astonishing condescension, will answer many of your inquiries, and remove some of your doubts.
For instance, you ask: How can it be true that God should so love a world so sinful and insignificant as this, (which, one would have thought, would have been lost in the immensity of His works)—as to send His only begotten Son into it, to save lost and fallen man? How can it be true?
The answer is plain: Because "he is the high and lofty One;" and, in His eye, one world is no more insignificant than a thousand, and a thousand no more important than one; and because it is His glory to pity the fallen and miserable; and "to revive the heart of the humble, and the spirit of the contrite ones."
Again, you ask: How can it be true that, when overwhelmed with distress and fear, we should enter our closet, and give vent to the fullness of our hearts—how can it be true that the groans and tears, the cries and breathings, of worthless wretched individuals like us, should rise into the ears of the Lord Almighty, and procure any deliverance or answer of peace?
The answer is plain: Because "he is the high and lofty One," in whose presence a thousand archangels, in the Heaven of heavens, are really no more than the mostbase, groveling, struggling soul in a cottage of dust; and because it is one essential exercise of his greatness, to regard contrite desire; and it is one of His favorite employments, "to lift the poor out of the dunghill;" "to say, to the fearful heart, be strong!"
Again, is this your language: "Oh! what shall we do when God rises up to judge us?" How can it be true that we should ever pass through "the valley of the shadow of death," with any composure, or bear to stand before his naked tribunal, with any confidence or hope?
The answer is plain: Because He can so calm your minds, that you shall lose a sense of all the grandeur and awfulness of divine majesty and power, so far as they would be distressing to you, in the mildness and tenderness of all the most familiar and endearing character and relations in which he stands to you; so that you shall feel no more terror at the change of worlds, than a sheep would feel at being conducted, by the shepherd's hand, from one pasture to another, or a child at being removed, by a smiling father, from one room of his dwelling-house to another.
Oh! the happiness of the Christian, in having the Lord for his God! What blessedness is connected with this delightful appropriation! You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! And, believers, there is a foundation for this appropriation. There is nothing else that is really your own. Your wealth is not your own—your children are not your own—your souls are not your own—but God is your own! You may say, with the church, "God, even our own God, shall bless us."
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