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Christ in Himself, The Object of Love.

Christ in Himself, The Object of Love.

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Published by glennpease

REV. WILLIAM HASLAM, M.A.,


DEVOTION.

" Unfo 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^^ — Rev. i. 5-6.

REV. WILLIAM HASLAM, M.A.,


DEVOTION.

" Unfo 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^^ — Rev. i. 5-6.

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Published by: glennpease on May 28, 2013
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CHRIST I HIMSELF, THE OBJECT OF LOVE.REV. WILLIAM HASLAM, M.A.,DEVOTIO." Unfo him that- loved us, and washed us from our sinsin his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and hisFather; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen^^ — Rev. i. 5-6.We have spoken of our blessed Lord in His grace, asthe object of faith for salvation and deliver-ance, and in His glory as the object of hopefor separation ; we come now to regard Him in Himself,as the object of love for devotion and service. Havingseen the effect of faith in saving us from sin and self, andthe effect of hope in detaching us from the world, weshall see now how love binds us to One who was given tous for this, above all other purposes. We are not happywithout trusting and hoping ; and truly, without an objectof love our lives are aimless, and restless, and dull. TheLord God made us for Himself, and therefore made usdependent on Himself. We may not stand alone, as thesturdy oak of the forest, and battle for ourselves againstthe storms of the world ; nay, rather, we are made like the156 CHRIST I HIMSELF, THE OBJECT OF LOVE.i\7, or like the vine, which must needs have something tocling to in order to grow, so that clinging and climbingup into it, it may grow luxuriantly, and bring forth fruit.We have therefore presented to us in the Word, not aSupreme Deity or a Trinity — for we cannot cling to ab-stractions — but a living, lo\'ing Person, who is in Him-self the Triune Jehovah, manifest in the flesh — " a Friendthat sticketh closer than a brother," who so loved us thatHe laid down His own life to save ours. Such an one,made after the figure of a man, and according to thebeauty of a man, hath the Father given, that He may beto us as the idol of our hearts, and remain in our housesto be worshipped.But, strange to say, multitudes of believers content them-selves with His salvation, without going on to know Him
 
as the Saviour ; satisfied in some sort with being saved,they care not for His keeping power ; and multitudes of others do not cultivate Him as their hope. His coming.His glory, and the participation of His transcendent king-dom, are superseded by some dream about d)ring and goingto heaven, and being with friends and loved ones whohave gone before. At every step, it seems, Satan hindersmen from their privileges, or they are backward in lookinginto the many precious gifts which are given to them inand with the gift of Christ.Again, there are multitudes of believers who, thoughthey have Christ as the object of faith and hope, haveother objects of love. This is the strangest perversity of all ;and it is even worse than that — there is a chilling thank-lessness in it, and a deadening ingratitude, which maywell, as it does, hinder progress and liberty. To receivesupernatural and eternal gifts, and to overlook the Giver,DEVOTIO. 157who is present all the time, is a disappointment to Him,-and no additional joy to themselves. I said many belie-vers have other objects of love, and other idols in theirhearts ; if it were not so, would there be all these count-less divisions among Christians ? They hope to meet inglory, and be at one, but they cannot meet here, forsooth,because this one loves this form of church government, andthat one another ; a third has separated from his brethren,and set up a cause of his own, and he must needs supportit, and add as many members to it as possible — this is hisfirst consideration. One man has a particular doctrine' which he will never yield, whilst another has his, whichh-e too will hold as firmly. How is it that the Christianbody of believers is torn into numberless bands, whichdisclaim one another, and have no fellowship with eachother ? Why is all this ? Simply because Christ, thecommon object of faith to all, if they are saved, and thecommon centre of hope, if they are ever to meet in Hisglory, is not now the one universal, central object of love,and the one great and high bond of union.I have no Utopian idea of making many men, who havemany minds and gifts, see eye to eye upon every subject.God never intended such a dead level as this ; men's minds,
 
like their positions, are various. See the beautiful worldwhich God has made. Here is a plain, and there a fruit-ful valley, with its river carrying blessings wherever itgoes ; and there are hills, and beyond there rise majesticmountains, soaring high above, and piercing sometimes farbeyond the clouds, and out of human sight. . So is it withmen ; not that there should be rivalry, but that each, in hisown place, should combine with others to make a gloriousand magnificent scene for admiration. The Lord God158, CHRIST I HIMSELF, THE OBJECT OF LOVE.makes different climes to produce different fmits, anddifferent places to yield various treasures ; not that thereshould be inmiediate war between the diverse climatesand comitries, but rather the reverse — that there should beinterchange, and conmierce, and peace. God's great andcomprehensive universe is not uniformity, but unity indiversity. It may please the Lord to raise up one to beHis witness for one truth, and another may be filled withthe Spirit to testify for another truth, and so there may bean army of witnesses ; but not one of them should be inde-pendent of the Master who made him what he is. Whathast thou that thou didst not receive, and why dost thouglory, as if thou hadst not received it.? Thou art a stew-ard, not a master. There is only one Lord, one God andFather of all, who is above all, and through all, and in youall. If we could each rise up into Him, our differences,which arc all upon secondary things, would immediatelydie out of prominence ; if the one ruling influence werethat of the loving and beloved One, to whom we have eachand all bound ourselves, the Christian body would presenta far different aspect to the world than it does at present.The world is perplexed, and well it may be, to under-stand whether the church has Christ, or the chapel hasChrist, or the " room " has Christ. I suppose nothing pro-motes bloodguiltiness so much as this division amongthose who ought to be one, because they belong to theone family in heaven and earth which is named afterChrist ; nothing is a greater stumblingblock, and nothingparalyzes the efforts of the Spirit and the gospel so much.We have need, beloved, to look carefully into this subject.Is Christ Himself the object of my heart's first and deep-ove ? If He had not been the object of faith above

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