John McQuirk.

Sermons on the passion of Jesus Christ online

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Amy.'' -■;''.'?>' universe! Verily the
heavens proclaim and earth and all things created
proclaim the glory of God.

The same infinity of glory is manifested in the least
of God's works no less than in what at first seems the
greatest : the insect that we trample under foot, the
atom of matter incomparably beyond the power of the
human eye, the drop of water under the microscope
reveals worlds of intelligence.

Consider this earth of ours ; consider its different
orders, the material, the vegetative, the sensitive, the
animal, the rational ; the wondrous laws that govern
them all, a few of which only, after thousands of
years of study and investigation man has been able to
discover, and which he will never know in full.

Study the hidden principles, the unfailing virtue
shown in the seed, growth and expansion, fruit and
produce of vegetable nature, suitable for man's sus-
tenance ; the continual dying anrl unfailing resurrec-
tion of this order, before its death always providing
for its plentiful renovation by the teeming seed which
it casts upon the earth. What infinite love and fatherly
care does not God show in all this. Behold the myri-
ads of animals of varied kind, which, if meant for
other purposes, are also meant to serve for man's use
and benefit. What wisdom and power in the creation
of these ''rude and inchoate creatures."

r>e amazed at the gifts of mind, the endowments of
genius, capacity of acquisition and attainments which
God has showered so plentifully upon rational nature.
All show the unstinted love and generosity of God
toward man — the masterpiece of creation — and
through whom all things else are to glorifv their


Maker. Yet man, in his infatuation, is so transported
by these objects that he would fain idoHze them, and
render to them the tribute due alone to the Creator.

Yet the love shown in the Passion of Christ sur-
passes all these manifestations of Divine love. The
passion and death of Christ embodies and realizes all
these. It brings the love of God into our hearts in a
human, sensible way, such as we can feel and appre-
ciate. But if we would measure and realize the love
of God for man, w^e must ascend beyond all the tokens
of His love which this w^orld affords ; beyond the love
shown in nature in its various and myriad forms and
all-pervading and stupendous laws and manifest en-
dowments, in matter or in mind ; we must mount be-
yond this world: beyond the stars, beyond the sun,
and moon, and all the heavens ; we must penetrate into
the heaven of heavens, passing the myriad choirs of
angels, cherubim and seraphim, that stand continually
before His transcendent majesty, and contemplate God
Himself seated on His throne, and then realize that
this Lord God has come down from that throne and
become a man, a man like unto one of us, and lived
a life of suffering, and died upon the cross a death of
bitter agony and untold torments. This we must do
if we would realize the love of God and the stupen-
dous meaning of the Crucifixion of the Lord God on
Calvary's gibbet.

And why thus? Out of mere compassion for man,
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son that all who would believe in Him might not
perish but have life, and life more abundantly. This
is the mystery of love which God has hidden from the
wise of this world, which was hidden before the foun-


elation of the world; which God has revealed only to
the lowly, the pure of heart, to those who, in His in-
scrutable counsels are destined to eternal glory. "This
was not known to the princes of this world ; for if
they had known, they would have never crucified the
Lord of glory." In this we are made free, sons of
God, sons of the Most High; the Lord God becomes
our brother in the flesh ; we become His brothers, and
sharers in His Divinity.

All else that I have said as evincing the love of
God — the immensity and majesty and power of His
works as emanating from His goodness and love,
which was their motive — are as nothing for declaring
His goodness, to this amazing fact, and to human in-
telligence incomprehensible, of God the Lord and
Creator descending from His lofty throne, and com-
ing upon earth in the form of a man, and dying upon
the cross in the form of a culprit bearing the load of
the accumulated sins of the human race. And all this
for each and every one of us : as much for one as for
all ; as much for all as for one. No work of God in
creation, no token of goodness that we can behold in
the heavens, or in the earth, or in the bodies or souls
of men, nothing that His visible handiwork affords,
or of which we can conceive, proclaims the height and
depth and breadth of Divine love, and brings home
to our human consciousness, the goodness of God as
the amazing fact of this Divine condescension ; all
things else are as nothing for this, compare! with the
crucifixion and death of His only Son ! Consider the
victim : what must have been the love that made such
a sacrifice. God so loved the world that He gave His


only 'begotten Son that the souls of men should not
perish, but have everlasting life.

And all this for me! Why? Out of Divine com-
passion proceeding from the infinite goodness of God.
Who can fathom this boundless ocean ? For all the
oceans that God has made on this earth, or it may be
on the uncounted planets, and all the immensity of
God's work, would be a drop or a particle compared
to the infinite ocean of Divine goodness. As every
thing that God has made is but a unit of the whole, so
every emanation of goodness that He has spread
abroad on His works and creatures is but a share of
the ocean — ^boundless, fathomless, limitless, eternal —
of His goodness.

Carry yourself in thought to the very bounds of
eternity, and God was before that. Exhaust your
mind in the vain effort to realize the power of God,
and His power exceeds what may seem your most
successful efforts. Stretch your imagination to com-
prehend the Divine immensity, and when you seem
to have reached the uttermost limits, there is im-
mensity beyond all that, which you can never compass.
But, if it were possible to conceive these attributes or
to reach their uttermost extent or limits, the goodness
of God would still be infinitely greater, and would ex-
tend infinitely beyond these limits. His Divine good-
ness is the greatest of all His attributes, as being His
very essence. "But we speak the wisdom of God, in
a mystery, which is hidden, which God ordained before
the world unto our glory."

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Online LibraryJohn McQuirkSermons on the passion of Jesus Christ → online text (page 1 of 11)