“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!”
Dear Savior, in your sufferings I not only see the infiniteness of sin, but also the infiniteness of your love; so that, though I have cause with myself to be angry on account of sin, I need not despair. If the desert of my sinful folly is death—the merit of your sufferings is life! If my sins mount up to heaven—your mercy is above the heavens! Though my sins reach to the very throne to accuse me—there is ONE upon the throne who will not condemn me! My sins, in their seven-fold abominations, can rise no higher than the throne, but the rainbow of redeeming love and grace is both around and above the throne, and that in its seven-fold beauties—power, wisdom, justice, goodness, holiness, mercy, and truth. And as all the different rays meet in one glorious beam of light, so all the attributes, all the perfections of God, are summed up in LOVE! God is graciously pleased to be called by his favorite name, “God is love!” By the mingling rays of this beauteous rainbow, all my blackness is removed, and I am clothed with his beauty!
When I look to myself and see my vileness and necessity–I am confounded with shame! But when I look to you, and see your fullness and all-sufficiency, I am confounded with wonder! Am I weak? He is my strength. Am I foolish? He is my wisdom! Am I wicked? He is my righteousness! Am I impure? He is my sanctification! Am I in bondage? He is my complete redemption! Am I in misery? From him tender mercy flows. Am I deceitful? He is wholly truth! In a word, am I enmity itself? Then he is love itself which passes understanding! Mine is but the enmity of a creature—but his love is the love of God!
Sin may raise the tempest of wrath, but can do no more. But Christ not only calms the raging tempest, but gives peace of conscience, flowing from intimations of peace with God, and makes me heir of all things! Where sin abounded—grace did much more abound! Where misery has surrounded me—mercy has crowned me! Sin is too strong for me—but your grace is too strong for sin!
Why, then, am I so vexed with fears, doubts, and unbelief? Because I am sinful? On that very account, Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin—that I, who knew no righteousness, might be made the righteousness of God in him. But I am a great sinner! Then, he is a Savior, and a great One! Where is boasting now soul? See—it is great mercy in God, great merit in Christ—which saves a great sinner! Since rich and free grace builds the temple of salvation, let it have all the glory!
But I fall often into the same sin! That is my failing, over which I ought to mourn, and by which I should be driven out of all boasting in my own holiness, high attainments, and religious duties; and cry, with tears of holy joy, “Grace, grace to him that has laid the foundation, carries on the whole work of redemption, and will, with shouting bring forth the topstone!”
Now, law, what have you to do with me? Go to my Surety, Jesus. O curse! you have lighted on his head, that the blessing might rest on mine! The brandished
-James Meikle (1730-1799)