THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS.

BY JOH HOWARD HI TO

" Thy name is as ointment poured forth." Canticles i. 3. A LARGE part of the beauty of the Bible lies in the multitude and variety of its metaphors. In this respect the book has no parallel We are far, however, from doing equal justice to this body of noble and glorious metaphors. Some of them, being derived from aspects of nature, speak the same language in all ages, and to all people; they are in all circumstances equally well understood, and equally deeply felt : some of them, on the other hand, derived from customs and usages of society, are not in all ages, and in all countries, equally eloquent; since the usages of society not only differ at the same eras in different countries, but differ in the same countries at different eras. Of this latter class of metaphors is that employed in the text, when it is said that the name of Jesus for that is the name I speak of " is as ointment poured forth." ow, according to our usages, there is nothing very agreeable in "ointment poured forth." It is needful for us to recollect, that even the meaning of words in our own language changes, and that by " ointment," as the word is used in Scripture, we are generally, if not in all cases, to understand perfume. We have in one place a scriptural expression to this effect, " Ointment prepared according to the art of the apothecary," which intimates to us that perfumes came into use through a medicinal channel ; that they were not, in their origin, so distinct as they are now from medicinal preparations. Instead of speaking now of " ointment prepared according to the ai*t of the apothecary," we have to speak of perfume prepared according to the art of the perfumer. You will recollect the various references to * Preached at Exeter HaU, London, September 28th, 1851.

THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. 125 the use of perfumery in the Old Testament. " A good name is better than precious ointment." " Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment." Costly perfumes are enumerated among the royal treasures of king Hezekiah. In the ew Testament, too, you remember the cases in which an alabaster box of precious ointment costly perfume, which in one instance cost some six or seven guineas was opened, and poured upon the person of the blessed Redeemer. ow in ancient times, beyond doubt, more perfumery was used than is used now : but in Eastern and tropical countries a great deal of perfumery is used yet; and it is used very largely in the form in which some of us may remember our grandfathers using it, namely, in the form of scented pomatum for the head. We now prefer those who like perfumes at all a liquid perfume, but even this is not general in English society; so that the metaphor here employed passes away without our enjoyment of it to the extent to which it is intended for illustration. What we need, then, to do, is to quicken our imagination into exercise, and to recollect that there is one of the senses to which perfume is agreeable. The meaning is this ; that, as perfume is pleasing to the sense, so the name of Jesus is, or ought to be, fragrant to the heart. The name of Jesus is, or should be, "as ointment poured forth;" and this for three reasons : I. O ACCOU T OF THE EXCELLE CES OF HIS PERSO . II. O ACCOU T OF THE PERFECTIO OF HIS WORK. III. O ACCOU T OF THE ARDOUR OF HIS LOVE. These are the three heads of my discourse. I. I say, in the first place, that the name of Jesus should be "as ointment poured forth," BECAUSE OF THE EXCELLE CES OF HIS PERSO .

ow there are three points of view in which the person of our Lord Jesus Christ may be regarded. i. As man. ot, as some have held, a phantom, an appearance of man without reality; but man, strictly speaking, just as ourselves in body and in soul uncontaminated purity excepted, which characterized him only. Well, a man is an object common enough, and veiy often degraded and hideous enough. In the person of Jesus, however, we see a lovely specimen of our humanity ; an eminently amiable, pure, dignified, benevolent man : the sort of man it is a luxury indeed

126 THE LOVELI ESS OP JESUS. to look at. But that is not all. You see in the person of the Redeemer a man, not only of extreme rarity, but of absolute singularity. There was, in the age in which he lived, no other such man in existence. There was in this world such a man in existence once, but only once, and only one, and that for a short period that was our first parent before he sinned; and, from that time till the appearance of Jesus Christ in this world, was there never man in it of whom it could be said, as it was said of him "in him was no sin." There was the absolute perfection of human nature appearing again in the midst of a corrupt world, without partaking of its corruption: once more, and but once, and but in one case. A man without sin with all the lovely attributes of human nature, in the beauty of each, and the combined beauty of the whole. A man, so to speak, to be put into a museum. 2. We view the person of our Lord Jesus Christ not merely as man, but as God. As I said he was strictly man, so I say he was really God. ot, as was infelicitously said by a distinguished writer some years ago, "deitied humanity." His humanity was simple humanity, not deified; but his person was also God, simply, strictly, really God the divine

nature; the second person of the divine and ever-glorious Trinity. ow how remarkable a thing is this ! We have before us in the person of Jesus Christ, God. In the heavens and the earth, and everywhere around us, we have the work of God; something that God has made indirectly expressive of himself; but here stands the only and unique being of whom it can be said, he is God. He is isolated, therefore, by a vast and infinite distance, from every other being or object in the universe. He presents God to us in a truly marvellous aspect. Generally speaking, God is conceived of by us to whatever extent we can conceive of him as a being infinite, filling all things, having no limited, because he has a universal, presence: but here God is reduced from the infinite to the finite, to a limited presence and a local residence; so as God was never seen before, nor shall be again. Our conceptions of God are made indefinite, often to a painful degree, by the intangible vastness which we are obliged to endeavour to attach to his character. We feel the want of some medium of perception adapted to the realization of his being. He cannot be seen, he cannot be handled,

THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. 127 he cannot be traced in visible action ; but in Jesus Christ God is withdrawn from these impediments to our apprehension of him. There is God as he can be seen; God, in his benign and glorious attributes, appearing in the human countenance, appreciable to our own eye. There is God as he can be heard, uttering his inmost thoughts in the sounds and tones of our own language; God, as it wei'e, translated for us into a tongue that we can read. There is God in action, so that we can trace him : see him raise the dead, command the storm, feed the hungry, open the eyes of the blind. God, verily, as God never was seen before in this world, never but that once, in the man Christ Jesus. 3. We regard the person of our Saviour as presenting to us, not only in one aspect man and in another God, but as

presenting to us these two natures, or elements, in combination. Jesus Christ is God and man in one person. ot the two natures divided, so that each might act separately, or one at a time ; but the two natures blended, so that they are fitted to act together in unison. I do not know, and I do not pretend to know, how to explain this matter; but my firm belief is, according to the Scripture as I believe and understand it, that, as truly as the body and soul form one person in man, so truly the divine nature and the human nature form one person in Immanuel. ow mark what we have here : God and man in one person, the human and the divine with one consciousness, with one memory, with one feeling ; thinking together, feeling together, uttering their common thoughts by a common vehicle. O the thought that is common to the heart of man and to the heart of God; the two natures in unison, so strange, so beautiful ! Verily the name of Jesus should be " as ointment poured forth." " He is the chief among ten thousand; the altogether lovely." Here is man in intimate connexion with the Deity, and yet human nature is unconsumed; here is God blended with the feeble nature of man, and yet the divine nature is undegraded. II. I said that the name of Jesus should be "as ointment poured forth," O ACCOU T OF THE PERFECTIO OF HIS WORK. ow there are three aspects in which the work of our Lord Jesus ChrLst may be regarded. I look at it I. As a work of mediation. I see God and man severed

128 THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. by a vast chasm. Once united, when both were holy; but widely separated since men have become corrupt, and God retains his purity. The corruption of man is such,

and such the purity of God, that there can be on his part, consistently with his purity, no gracious communication with man of a direct kind. If there be a mediator found, one who can worthily and successfully stand between them, and lay his hand upon them both, then might kindly intercourse be possible, but not otherwise. But who is this mediator to be 1 ? How can there be found one that shall possess all the qualifications necessary for the perfonnance of such a function? Where, for example, shall he be found who is capable of speaking for God to man ? To speak for God, he must be able to comprehend all God's thoughts, to know them so as, in communicating them, to do to them no injustice; and this requires a mind as large as God's. He must also be able to communicate God's thoughts, and to put their full and correct import into modes and words appreciable and comprehensible by man. Or who shall be worthy and fit to speak for man to God? Who is of such a nature as to give warranty of sympathizing fully with man's condition of ruin, condemnation, and despair, qualified to utter words fitly pleading .for such misery and crime : and yet of dignity enough to appear before God, and be fitly there the representative of human nature, whom God shall regard as honourable enough to listen to, and accept 1 Ah ! my brethren, if we want a mediator between God and man, some one to speak for God to us and for us to God, where, where shall he be found 1 Where but in Jesus, whose person qualifies him in every respect for the undertaking; who, as divine, is partaker of all the sentiments of his Father, and, as human, transfers them without injury into the language of mankind: who, as human, can speak as a brother for his brethren; and, as divine, can speak as a divinity to his fellow? The name of Jesus "is as ointment poured forth." I look on the work of Christ 2. In the second place, as a work of expiation for sin. I spoke just now of the holiness of God keeping the corrupt world at a distance; I speak now of the righteousness of God laying an ungodly world under condemnation. The inflexible righteousness of God, as governor of the world, necessitates the execution of the righteous law, which is holy, just, and

THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. I2Q good, though in the execution of it every soul should perish. either does the righteousness of God permit any redemption or release from the sentence of condemnation, apart from some sacrifice for sin available to maintain the honour of God's law, while the sinner shall be released from its curse. We want, then, an offering; but where shall we find one? The question which Isaac put to his father in relation to a similar matter is applicable here. " Behold the fire and the wood, my father; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering]" Ah ! where is the lamb for a burnt-offering for our transgression 1 See the qualifications the sacrifice must possess. (i). In the first place, as a sacrifice for man, he must be a man. The nature that is offered in expiation must be the same nature as that which has rebelled. (2). In the second place, as an offering of expiation for sin, he must be a pure and holy man, having no sin of his own. The contaminated could never be accepted in sacrifice for the contaminated. (3). In the third place, he mus not only be a man, and a holy man, but more than a man; since, if the sacrifice were simply human, one life would go for one, and for one only. If the sacrifice had been man only, he could have saved by his death but one man; and there would have been needed as many saviours as there are sinners. We want more than a man something about him that shall give him more dignity than any one of his fellows; a man of preciousness enough, if such can be found, that it shall be said of him that his life is an equivalent for the life of mankind. And where are you to find this] Of men you may have plenty, but sinful men. Or, if you were to find a holy man, then he is but the equivalent of one transgressor. It is in Jesus alone that these indispensable qualifications are found. There

is the " lamb for the burnt-offering," with all you want in him. You want a man for sacrifice. Jesus is your brother, und has the same nature to offer as that in which the rebellion has been perpetrated. You want a holy man. This is he " in whom was no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." You want a man of more dignity than man possesses. Again this is he a human being with whom the divine nature is so blended and identified, that all he does and all he suffers has a value, not only equivalent to the whole race of man, but to as many worlds, if it were posK

130 THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. sible, as there are individuals of our race. My brethren, the divinity of Jesus Christ gives to his obedience unto death a value that is infinite. His "name is as ointment poured forth." 3. In the third place, I look on the work of our Lord and Saviour as a work of living love and saving power. Having yielded up his life and regained it, " death hath no more dominion over him." Raised from the dead, he ascended up on high, and took his seat on his Father's throne; and there he is to carry out actively the work of redemption, in a mode in which none but himself could effect it. Suppose, for example, to test this matter, any other were placed there. What is it that you want in him to whom all power shall be intrusted for the salvation of his church, and for the execution of the Father's purposes'? You want, first of all, some one that can understand him, that can know what the plans are that are meant to be fulfilled, and the mode by which they are to be fulfilled. You want not only some one that can know God's mind, but some one also that can know man's mind the good man's mind, the bad man's mind, and the devil's mind ; and all the elements that are brought into play in these marvellous proceedings. You want some one

that can understand all, and that can know how to take such measxires, and form such apprehensions of things, as to prepare himself for the last judgment, and one who shall know how to judge when the day of judgment comes. Then you want some one that can do it, as well as understand it some one that has wisdom enough, and power enough, to carry out what he comprehends to be done. And, thirdly, you want some one that has love and compassion enough to do it, and so to identify himself with this poor miserable world as to reckon its redemption the great object for which he lives and labours; to be always about it, and to live for nothing else; to be incessantly carrying on this work with the guilty, the obstinate, the rebellious, the infirm, the sorrowful, the tempted, the tried, so that he has nought to do but to be the comforter of the mourners, the strength of the helpless, the refuge of the weak, and the victor for the feeble. You want one with knowledge, wisdom, power, love, enough for that. All ! where do you find him, but in Jesus? The capacity and the qualifications of all besides sink into nothing. I would not believe an angel, if he told me that

THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. 131 he understood the eternal plans; I would not believe an angel, if he said he had pity enough, or power enough, to conduct me to heaven. I can believe Jesus. I trust I do believe him. O yes! for that eternal wisdom, that divine knowledge, that infinite understanding, that almighty power, and that deathless love, which lived even in the death on Calvary, and still lives and glows in heaven, I can trust thee, my Saviour ! Thy " name is as ointment poured forth." III. Thirdly, I said that the name of Jesus should be as ointment poured forth, O ACCOU T OF THE ARDOUR OF HIS LOVE. And this is the hardest of all the three parts of my

discourse. ot that it is not pleasant to speak of the love of Christ, and it ought to be easy to expatiate upon it; but it is so hard to do justice to it. It has very often seemed to me a marvellous tiling, and utterly inexplicable, how Jesus Christ ever loved sinners at all. For, although it is very easy for us to have an idea, since*we have ourselves the sentiment of compassion, how the poor, and miserable, and undone, may excite pity, yet with us there is this law, that the excitement of pity is always obstructed by our observation of criminality. We pity distress readily, and, in cases where we find the distress is not the result of crime or folly, our pity flows in its broadest and most copious stream; but, if we find distress which has been brought on by culpable means for example, the distress which men bring on themselves by habits of drunkenness; the distress which men bring on themselves by embezzlement, or by fraud; the distress which men bring on themselves by the commission of a greater crime, such as murder in proportion to our abhorrence of the crime is the diminution of our pity. We come to say "Ah! you have deserved it; I have little pity fur you;" till at last, I take it, we may come to say in such cases " I see you are miserable, but I have no pity ; your conduct has been so bad." O, my friends! suppose Christ liad proceeded in relation to his pity according to the law of our own nature, and that his love liad been repressed by his observation of our guilt ! Why, he liad to see in us a greater culpability than ever we have seen in others. I talked about embezzlement, and fraud, and even greater crimes; but our criminality towards God far transcends all this. Our aliena-

132 THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. tion, and enmity, and disobedience, must present us to Jesus Christ in an aspect necessitating his most intense abhorrence; and yet he pitied us. 0! he is not made like man. I do not believe that ever man could have pitied in such a case; I do not believe that ever angels could have pitied in such a case. Such love is a property which is alto-

gether divine, that passes over what is adapted to excite abhorrence, and pities notwithstanding all. And then, as to the degree in which our blessed Saviour has loved. O ! I confess I am at an utter loss here. I would gladly vacate this place, and put any one of you into it. 1 would make you all preachers, and ask you questions, and bid you speak to me, and help me to explain a theme so untractable. How much he loved] Why, tell me, then, how high the glory was fi*om whence he came ; tell me how felicitous the place in his Father's bosom was which he left for us; tell me how sweet those songs, and how rich those glories, were, which for us he abandoned when he came down to this world. I cannot tell how much he loved until I know these things. How much he loved? Tell me, then, how far he humbled himself when he took our nature upon him. Tell me how much he suffered in a world of guilt and shame like this. Tell me how great the ignominy was beneath which he died, and how deep the anguish of his soul when he exclaimed " My God ! my God ! why hast thou forsaken me?" Those words ring in one's ears with a terrible import, like thunder, which, as you listen to it, utters a voice which you revere, but do not understand. My brethren, the love of Jesus passeth knowledge. To tell you that he lived and was beneficent, that he died and was patient, is to utter words which, in relation to such a theme, seem to have no justice. They are too poor. I bid each of you conceive for yourselves how much Jesus loved. Yerily, his name should be "as ointment poured forth." And now, dear friends, for the conclusion of these few thoughts. I have said that the name of Jesus should be " as ointment poured forth." I now desire, in the first place, to make an inquiry of a practical kind, and to put the question to you who hear me. Is the name of Jesus " as ointment poured forth" to you? Is it fragrant to your hearts, dear hearers? Ah! I fear that this question divides you. I fear that there are two classes in relation to this matter. There

THE LOVELI ESS OP JESUS. 133 are some of you who must say "Why, no; the name of Jesus has no fragrance for me. I use it sometimes sometimes profanely; sometimes lightly; but I do not think it is fragrant to me; I know many names that are more so." Ah ! you do. Their name is Legion, I take it, vanity, pleasure, wealth, ambition. These names are more fragrant to you, perhaps, than the name of Jesus. Ah! what a mistaken judgment you have formed! Have you, then, no need of a Saviour, no sin to be forgiven, no soul to be saved, no hell to flee from, no heaven to win, that you find no fragrance in the name of Jesus? There is no other Saviour; no other name is given under heaven whereby you can be saved. Are you bent on perishing? Will you have nothing he has to give? You would not turn away rudely from a man that offered you a sovereign; some of you, perhaps, not from a man that offered you a sixpence; and you can turn away from Jesus, who presents to you salvation, as though he offered you nothing worthy of your acceptance. Oh ! this is dreadful trifling! It is an awful thing to live in a dying world in a state like this. It is a dreadful thing to stand on the brink of eternity without an interest in Christ. You labour for the meat that perisheth; but labour not for the meat that perisheth, nor do another stroke of this world's toil, till you have taken hold of Jesus as your Saviour. You lie down on your bed, and sleep; but sleep not a wink on the brink of the grave, on the brink of hell, till you have embraced Jesus as your Saviour. You go to places of pleasure; but smile no more, and take no more pleasure, with damnation near at hand, or while you refuse an interest in him who alone can redeem you from its pains. There are many of you, dear brethren, with whom I know well that the name of Jesus is " as ointment I KUI red forth." Ah ! you have learned to love him the friend that gave himself for you, and drew your hearts to him, and hath in so many, many, instances fulfilled the great and precious promise which he sealed with his blood. How

many times have you found his name " A balm for every wound, A cordial for your fears " ! And it has not grown stale yet. o! you will rejoice to travel in the midst of this perfume all the way to heaven.

134 THE LOVELI ESS OF JESUS. O! let it never vanish from you; be never far from the fountain of it. Live near to Jesus; and mistrust him not. Weep no tears of bitterness and despair. o ! the name of Jesus is too full of consolation. Let it ever rejoice your souls. He is the Saviour whom you never have found disappoint you, and whom you will not surely recompense for his faithfulness with mistrust. O, my brethren ! there is something in these thoughts that entertain us to-day, not only fitted for our passage through all the various .paths of this guilty, trying, world, but something in them that blends heaven and earth together. The name of Jesus is a name above every name that is named, whether in earth or in heaven. That same name which is fragrant for us, is "as ointment poured forth" among the seraphim of God. O the familiar fragrance that shall make us feel at home in heaven! The fragrance of that name shall make us rejoice in the world above, conscious that it is the same as that which has cheered us in the world below. Blessed Jesus ! how shall we thank thee for making thy name, once so disregarded, fragrant to our hearts ? Teach us to love thee amidst all earth's changes, and prepare us to spend with thee a happy immortality!

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