|Love Christ Because of His Glory
by Thomas Shepard
Consider the glory of the person for whom I plead for love. What can you love
besides him? Where can you find any like unto him? I know the glory of the Lord
is not revealed, because the grass withers not, the flower fades not, the
creature appears not in his withering vanity. Is. 40. But if the Lord would but
open your eyes to see him, this would win your hearts alone to him.
Now, I shall single out only these five things, to give you a glimpse of his
glory. Lift up thy heart, and say, "Lord, hide not now thy face from me."
1. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth. Rev. 1:5. The glory of the world
is a kingdom, the glorious diamond of that kingdom is a prince in his glory.
Now, for a poor beggar to have an offer of love from the greatest prince in the
world, would it not tempt her? Would she not forsake her lovers, and set her
heart on him? Why, look what a distance there is between the poorest peasant and
the highest prince; so base, and a thousand times, are all the princes of the
world to Christ, whose dominion is from sea to sea, from sun to sun, who sets up
and pulls down kings like counters, who rules their courts, their kingdoms,
their hearts, and they do not do, they can not do, but what he will. Other kings
are princes, are rulers of men; Christ Prince of Kings. Now, who would not be
glad of his love? Who, having tasted death, is set down on the right hand of God
on high, clothed with endless glory, who has kings in his chains, whose breath
is not in his nostrils, whose favor is not for a day, but he lives and reigns
forever. Now, does Christ reign? Is he a Lord, and in glory upon his throne?
Methinks I see Jesus at the right hand of God. Your foolish affections have
undone you, if you love him not.
2. He is appointed by the Father to be Judge of quick and dead at the last day,
(John 5:22, 23,) as well as to rule all now. So that if you do maintain enmity
against him, he may let you alone, you may live in health and die in peace, in
the eye of man, and in thine own eyes, too; yet there is a day coming he will
break out of heaven, with a shout, and appear in the clouds, in the amazing
glory of his Father, "with all his mighty angels, and all the dead shall hear
his voice," and you shall appear before him with this body, when the heavens
shall burn round about him, and the earth shall tremble under him, and all
guilty eyes mourning and wailing because of him. Then you shall know what it is
to despise him, and wish, O that I had loved him. Rev. 1:7. You that say you
love him, yet by an impenitent heart pierce him, you shall wail, even so, Amen.
Men do not see an end of these things, nor the glory of the Lord another day.
Hence creatures are loved, and the Lord of glory is loathed. A great prince may
not be so highly esteemed until he appears in his state. Prisoners would give
any money (much more love) for the judge's favor.
3. He only is the procurer and author of all the good that ever thou didst suck
out here, though thou hast neither known him, nor been thankful to him. For
look, as it was with angels, so it should have been with man; the wrath of God
should have been poured out upon him, and on all the world, and creatures should
have been tormentors of him, but that the Lord Jesus begged and bought the
world. And hence (1 Tim. 4:10) called "Saviour of all, but chiefly of the
elect." Micah 4:4, "In his days, men shall sit under vines and fig trees." So
that if ever any creature ever did thee good, it was Jesus that put that
sweetness in it, out of his fullness, and set it a work, sent it to thee, gave
it thee to do thee good. Thou shouldst never have had wink of sleep, never
restrained from one sin, but lived in blaspheming God, never have heard of a
gospel but for Christ. and will you not love him? O ungrateful world! Unnatural
generation of men! Why dost thou love any creature? It is for the paint of it
and good in it. If there be so much in it, what is there in Christ that gave it,
that dropped it into it? Never love him if there be any thing good that is not
by him. Ps. 116:1, "The Lord hath heard my prayer; I will call on him as long as
I live." Much more when the Lord hath delivered, and thou didst never seek to
4. He is the everlasting wonderment of saints in heaven. The queen of Sheba
heard of Solomon, which made her come to see him; but she before imagined but
that which now she saw with her own eyes, and that rapt her out of herself. Here
we hear of the Lord Jesus, of his beauty and glory, and this draws saints to
him; and, when come, they see that which they never saw before, especially when
in heaven. Then fall down in everlasting admiration at this mystery, for the
blessedness of saints is to see Christ in his glory. John 17:24. Now, this lies
in an infinite good; this can not be seen in a finite time. Hence saints shall
be piercing their eyes deeper and deeper into this mystery, and shall ever see
more and more, but never see all; and this is their joy and glory in heaven. Is
it so? What think you, is Christ worthy of your love, or not? Look upon all the
glory of the field of this world, you may see an end of all perfection, but
5. He is the delights and bosom love of God himself. Prov. 8:30. Hence John,
when he came to set Christ out, (John 3:35,) "The Father loveth the Son." Now is
it so; surely though you see not, taste not this good, yet there it is; now,
tell me if this person do not challenge love, would you not be glad to have him?
You will say, "Can he look upon such a wretch, embrace such a leper as I? No,
surely, he will never do it."