William S. Plumer, “The Rock of Our Salvation

(William S. Plumer, “The Rock of Our Salvation” 1867)

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Jesus Christ is a wonderful, a glorious person. His names and titles are as important as they are significant. Every one of them is as ointment poured forth. His people sit under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit is sweet to their taste. To them He is altogether lovely.

He is their Advocate, the angel of the covenant, the author and finisher of faith. He is as the apple-tree among the trees of the forest; the alpha and the omega.

He is their the Beloved, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, the bread of life, the righteous Branch, the bridegroom, the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person. He is a bundle of myrrh.

To His saints He is and is owned to be Creator, captain, counselor, covenant, cornerstone, a covert from the tempest, and the chief among ten thousand.

He is to them as the Dew, the door into the fold, a days-man, a day-star, a deliverer, a diadem, and the desire of all nations, ranks, and generations of pious men.

In their eyes He is the Elect, Emmanuel, the everlasting Father and eternal life.

He is a Fountain of living waters to thirsty souls, of joy to troubled souls, of life to dying souls. He is the foundation on which His people of all ages safely build their hopes of heaven. He is the father of eternity, the fir-tree under whose shadow the saints rejoice, the first and the last, the first fruits of the greatest harvest ever gathered, the first-born among many brethren and the first-begotten from the dead.

To His chosen He is as the most fine Gold, a guide, a governor, a glorious Lord, God, the true God, God over all blessed for ever.

He is the Head of the church, the health, the hope, the husband, the heritage, the habitation of His people. He is the horn of their salvation.

He rides upon the heavens by His name JAH. He is the Jehovah, the inheritance, Judge and King of His saints. He is their Light, their life, their Lord, their leader, their lawgiver, their atoning lamb, the lily of the valley, the lion of the tribe of Judah.

He is the Man Christ Jesus, the master, the mediator, the messenger of the covenant, the minister of the true sanctuary. He is the mighty God of Isaiah, the Michael of Daniel, the Melchisedek of David and of Paul, the bright and morning star of John, and the Messiah of all the prophets.

He is the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He is at once the root and the offspring of David.

He is the Peace, the prince, the priest, the prophet, the potentate, the purifier, the propitiation for our sins, the physician of souls, the plant of renown, the power of God unto salvation, the Passover of all saints. He is a polished shaft in the quiver of God.

He is the Rock, the refuge, the ruler, the ransom, the refiner, the Redeemer, the righteousness and the resurrection of all who walk in white. He is the rose of Sharon.

He is the Seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the stem of Jesse, the Son of God, the son of man, the shield, the strength, the surety, the Shiloh, the sacrifice, the sanctuary, the salvation, the sanctification, and the sun of righteousness to all believers.

He is the Truth, the treasure, the teacher, the temple, the tree of life, the great testator of His church.

He is the Way, the well of salvation, the Word of God, the wisdom of God, the faithful witness. He is THE WONDERFUL.

His person is one; His natures are two. He is both human and divine, finite and infinite, created and uncreated. He was before Abraham, though not born for ages after that patriarch slept with His fathers. He was dead, and behold He is alive for evermore!

On earth He had no where to lay His head; yet He disposes of all diadems. By Him kings rule and princes decree justice. He has the arm of a God, and the heart of a brother. To Him all tongues shall confess and all knees bow; yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. None loves like Him, none pities like Him, none saves like Him!

It is not surprising that such a person lives and reigns in the hearts of His people. No marvel that the virgins love Him, and the saints praise Him, and the martyrs die for Him, and the confessors are not ashamed of Him, and the sorrowing sigh for Him, and the penitent lie at His cross and pour out their tears before Him, and the humble trust in Him, and the believing lay fast hold of Him and will not let Him go. His frown shakes the frame of universal nature, His smile gives life, His presence converts dungeons into palaces, His blood cleanses from all sin, His righteousness is the white robe of the redeemed.

If men would be safe, or wise, or holy, or happy, or useful, or strong, or victorious–let them look to JESUS! Let them look to none else, let them walk in Him, abide in Him, glory in Him, and count as loss all things besides. You may look at the law until the spirit of bondage overwhelms you with terrors and torments. You may go about to establish your own righteousness until you can boast, and sin, and perish like a Pharisee. You may weep until the fountain of your tears has gone dry, you may have all gifts, understand all mysteries, bestow all your goods to feed the poor, and yield your body to be burned; but all these things will not atone for sin, will do nothing toward regaining the lost favor of God, will not make you fit for the inheritance of the saints in light.

“None but Christ! None but Christ! None but Christ!” has been the cry of the faithful witnesses of all ages when truth has triumphed, when sinners were converted, when saints shouted for joy, when the word of God mightily grew and prevailed.

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To such as have not fled to Christ, and are yet in their sins. Will you not embrace the Savior? If Christ shall not be taken as your surety, you must pay your own sin debt. Despise not his cross. It is the life of men. By wicked men it was designed to be, and is still esteemed, the seal of infamy, the badge of ignominy. Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. But see to it that you follow not their wicked ways. Come to Christ; he died for our sins; he offered himself without spot to God, a ransom for many, a sweet-smelling savor. Cast yourselves upon him. Believe in him, and the law has no more penal demands against you; believe in him, and God will accept you in the Beloved; believe in him, and your right to the tree of life is at once complete; believe in him, and the sting of death is extracted; believe in him, and you shall have part in the first resurrection; believe in him, and you shall have boldness in the day of judgment. But reject him a little longer, and your heart will be harder than it is now; reject him a little longer, and the call to light and life will reach you no more; reject him a little longer, and the day of grace will be gone forever; reject him a little longer, and you will awake to shame and everlasting contempt! “There is a fearful chasm in that heart, which has no love for Christ.”

William S. Plumer

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THE WORD OF GOD by James Smith

THE WORD OF GOD

James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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The Bible is God’s book, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore free from error; “Holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

It contains God’s law, the church’s history, and Christ’s gospel.

It reveals God, opens heaven, and directs man.

It makes known God’s thoughts, the world’s doom, and the church’s blessedness.

It unfolds eternity to time, brings heaven to earth, and makes invisible realities known.

It was written for sinners, has been preserved by a special providence, and is the godly man’s treasure.

Infidels scorn it, angels study it with wonder, and the saints delight in it.

It is a token of God’s love, a proof of his regard, and a display of his concern for our welfare.

This Word of God contains . . .
the Law—commanding, condemning, and cursing;
the Psalms—disclosing, elevating, and praising;
the Gospel—unfolding, inviting, and directing;
the Prophets—predicting, exhorting, and denouncing.

It contains a rich variety, a divine fullness, and is exactly adapted to meet the case and condition of sinners.

Its histories are true, instructive, and impartial.
Its precepts are just, holy, and good.
Its cautions are beneficial, wise, and useful.
Its exhortations are judicious, adapted, and profitable.
Its reproofs are kind, solemn, and suitable.
Its directions are merciful, practical, and plain.
Its instructions are deep, spiritual, and extensive.
Its corrections are loving, just, and judicious.
Its doctrines are divine, sublime, and glorious.
Its descriptions are vivid, correct, and impartial.
Its invitations are general, attractive, and gracious.
Its promises are great, numerous, and invaluable.
Its warnings are solemn, preventing, and tender.
Its threatenings are dreadful, alarming, and just.
Its parables are simple, instructive, and edifying.
Its types are significant, impressive, and suitable.
Its examples are bright, winning, and worthy.
It is in every part, and every way, worthy of a God!

We have this blessed book as God’s free gift, procured for us by our adorable Redeemer, and bestowed upon us through the Holy Spirit. Its revelations were delivered, first orally, then written, then printed: first given to a few, then written for many, then printed for all: first freely bestowed, then hard to be obtained and now easily to be gotten. Given by God, opposed by the devil, blasphemed by many, rejected by more, unknown to thousands—but highly prized by a few. It is suited to youth, adapted to manhood—but peculiarly applicable to old age. It is the child’s lesson book, the learner’s class book, and the scholar’s text book. Many study it, all Christians believe it—but none fully comprehend it.

This divine testimony is exceedingly useful; for it produces morality in the world, spirituality in the church, and good in all who believe it. It . . .
enlightens the dark,
instructs the ignorant,
comforts the desponding,
directs the lost,
encourages the seeking,
assures the waiting soul,
warns the wayward,
threatens the unruly,
condemns the impenitent,
invites the weary,
strengthens the weak,
consoles the dejected,
alarms the careless,
accuses the indifferent,
confounds the worldly-wise,
cautions the venturesome,
reproves the heedless,
gives promises to the diligent,
frowns on the thoughtless,
curses the profane,
damns the hypocrite,
urges the halting,
exhorts the obedient,
rewards the persevering,
debases man,
exalts the Savior,
glorifies God,
astonishes angels,
confounds infidels,
delights perishing sinners.

The Bible is God’s will, the saints’ treasure and the devils’ eye-sore!

This holy writing is intended for earth, it is placed before our eyes, to be copied into our memories, and observed in our lives. The world has it, the church owns it, and every part of God’s family may equally enjoy it. It is intended for the whole of this life, to be used through our entire journey—but will be dispensed with when we get home. It is here in written characters, there in substance, and both here and their prized and enjoyed. It is here to be read, believed, and tasted; but its fullest blessings are reserved for that better land. Now we need it, while on earth we cannot dispense with it—but in heaven we shall be able to do without it.

This book is pure—unmixed with error, untainted by sin, and worthy of a holy God.

This book is true—and may therefore be firmly believed, implicitly trusted, and unreservedly depended upon.

This book is sure—and cannot possibly deceive, lead astray, or sanction a mistake.

This book is right—being in perfect accordance with the holiness, justice, and grace of God.

This book is assimilating—he who believes it, loves it, and obeys it—must resemble it.

This book is divine—the offspring of God, bearing the impress of divinity, and is always acknowledged by Jehovah when pleaded at his throne.

This book is spiritual—and therefore cannot be understood by the carnal, the worldly wise, or anyone who is untaught of God.

This book is mysterious—containing mysteries which are to be believed, reverenced, and acknowledged, though never in this world to be fully comprehended.

This book is excellent—in its matter, style, and design.

This book is extensive—embracing more than the human mind can contain, than any creature could invent, or the whole of time will unfold.

This book is firm—and cannot be removed, driven out of the world, or destroyed.

This book is full—containing all that is necessary, ornamental, or useful.

This book is feeding—it feeds the memory, the intellect, and the heart.

This book is filling—it satisfies the illiterate, the learner, and the scholar.

This book is glorious—and glorifies God, the Savior, and the church.

This book is harmonious—every part accords, harmonizes, and agrees.

This book is honest—it exposes, commends, and reproves, as the case may be.

This book is immutable—it can undergo no change in its doctrines, requirements, or promises.

This book is irrevocable—heaven and earth may pass away, but its predictions, threatenings, and promises shall stand forever.

This book is inviting—for God stoops to write, instruct, and give wisdom to worms.

This book is incomparable—it never had, has not now, nor ever will have—an equal.

This book is infallible—here are no mistakes, misquotations, or exceptions, all is the word of God, and worthy of a God.

This book is lively—it gives life, quickens the dull and sleepy, and preserves the life given.

This book is ministerial—being the seed of God, the scepter of the Messiah, and the sword of the Spirit.

This book is necessary—for our information, consolation, and establishment.

This book is nourishing—it strengthens our faith, animates our hope, and quickens our love.

This book is conquering—it overcomes Satan, destroys sin, and leads sinners as willing captives to the Prince of peace.

This book is original—nothing is borrowed, stolen, or altered—all is of divine origin.

This book is penetrating—it wounds the heart, pierces the conscience, and divides between soul and spirit.

This book is perfect—as a whole, and in every part; it contains a perfect system of doctrine, a perfect code of precepts, and a perfect variety of truth to meet every possible case.

The Bible is compared to . . .
a fire, that burns;
a hammer, that breaks;
a sword, that pierces and slays;
a light, that shines in a dark place;
a lantern, that guides the feet;
milk, which nourishes and feeds;
a suit of armor, which protects the person;
incorruptible seed, which always brings forth fruit.
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It is called . . .
the word of God,
the word of righteousness,
the word of reconciliation,
the word of life,
the word of faith,
the word of salvation,
the word of grace,
the word of truth,
the faithful word,
a more sure word of prophecy,
the word of the saint’s testimony,
and the word of Christ.

Of this word, Job could say, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth, more than my necessary food.”

Jeremiah exclaims, “Your words were found, and I ate them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!”

David appeals to the Lord and says, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I will delight myself in your statutes, I will not forget your word. Your word is very pure, therefore your servant loves it. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night—that I may meditate on your word.”

Jesus said, “The Scriptures testify of Me.”

Paul insists, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

O, for greater love to the Scriptures—that we may know them, enjoy them, conform to them, exercise faith in them, and make them our delight! May we read them daily, pray over them constantly, meditate on them frequently, and manifest their holy tendency in life and death. May our memories be stored with them, our hearts be sanctified by them, and our lives correspond with them.

O may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light!

James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849