Friday, March 7, 2008

Love is strong as death

Chateau de Chillon

None among the sons of Adam can withstand Death’s insidious advances. When his hour is come, none can bid him delay. The most clamorous prayers cannot move the flinty bowels of Death. Insatiable, and not to be appeased, he devoureth and devoureth ever. That scythe is never blunted, that hour-glass never ceases to flow. Mightiest among the mighty art thou O Death. But Christ’s love is strong as death. It too can climb the mountain and lay hold upon the mountaineer, far removed from the sound of the ministration of the gospel. It too can march into the valley, and though Popery with all its clouds of darkness should cover it, yet the love of Christ can will its glorious way. What can stand against it? The stoutest must yield to it, and adamantine hearts are dashed to shivers by one blow of its golden hammer. As the sun dissolves the chains of frost and bids the will rush on in freedom, though once bound as if it were stone so doth this love of Christ wherever it cometh, give life and joy, and liberty, snap the bonds and will its way, never being retarded, never being hindered, because it is written “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Who can measure the strength of Christ’s love? Men have defied it but their defiance hath been overcome. They have resisted long, but they have been compelled to throw down their weapons. They have crossed it but they have found it hard to kick against the pricks. They have gone on caring for none of these things, but thus the eternal counsel has decreed it — Christ must, he shall have that redeemed man, and he has had him. Jesus Christ’s love is strong as death.

From a sermon entitled "The Shulamite's Choice Prayer," delivered February 24, 1861. Flickr photo by Eric Hill; some rights reserved.

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