MY DEAR FRIEND, — ....It is indeed an unspeakable mercy to find -our happiness in God — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In this ever-gracious God is all a poor sinner can need. Only our carnality prevents us from being content to find all in him. What sweet enjoyments, what divine contemplations, what unutterable anticipations does the Father's choice and gift of the soul to Christ from eternity afford, as opened and revealed by the Spirit. How satisfying and enriching is the unalterable favor of Jehovah to a worm. What sweet melting sensations, flowing tears, hatred of sin, and unreserved giving up of self are the results of that revelation. No other company, no other voice, no other delights sought nor needed while such a divine entertainment is vouchsafed. The feeling is well expressed by the Psalmist, 'The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.' The treasure is in heaven, so is the heart. In what a stern forbidding aspect does Satan seek to represent the Father to poor sinners! but as the Spirit reveals him in his eternal love, his gift of the church to Christ, his reconciling her to himself by Jesus Christ, how benign a face does he wear, how attracted is the sinner to him, how sweet is the contemplation of him! (Eph. 1; John 17:6; 2 Cor. 5:18,19) Now in these respects the Father is distinctly seen, known, loved, and adored.
We see Paul blessing him in Eph. 1, for his predestinating love; in 2 Cor. 1:3,4, we find him blessing him as the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. Surely we may say he is the Father of all mercies in the blessed decree of predestination, for from thence spring all our mercies — life, health, peace, and salvation. How ravishing is this view by faith of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: 'My Father and your Father, my God and your God,' said Jesus. Thus to approach him is sweet beyond words to express.
No crafty insinuations of Satan about the Father's sternness can drive the soul away as faith sees him loving, choosing, adopting as his sons vile outcasts, and bestowing upon them every divine good his Fatherly heart can conceive. Nor can the bubbles of this transient world — the shadows of life — draw the heart into dissatisfaction with its lot while the sweetness and power last of these heavenly realities and glories. While thus employed and honored the soul finds itself most in company when alone.
And, then, the Spirit reveals the Father giving the church to Christ. Every divine attribute must be honored in the sinner's salvation. Holiness in its eternal beauty must shine forth in God's communing with sinners. A stain on divine holiness would be the destruction of Deity. Infinite Justice must be satisfied in all its righteous demands before it can sanction the opening of the prison to a rebel. Inflexible Truth in the threat must not, cannot abate one jot or tittle. An atonement that does not uphold these attributes in their integrity and glory is no atonement at all. What wisdom, then, and goodness did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ display in setting him up and giving to him — to be ransomed and redeemed by him — the church.
And as the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that God gave us to Christ, O what love, awe, gratitude, trust, and worship go out of our hearts to him! But for special ends the Father is in Christ. Yes; and these are no less than the displaying of his glory and grace in reconciling the chosen seed to himself. To break down, slay, remove from time to time the hard, bitter enmity of man's heart to himself, and make best and fastest friends of his greatest foes is the end of God in Christ. Work worthy of a God! This grand design is accomplished by laying iniquity on his blessed Son, who removed it for ever, making an end of it. And when the set time arrives the Spirit brings the guilty rebel into court, charges his sin and rebellion upon him, and forces a full confession of all. Then what terrifying thoughts of God will Satan suggest, what enmity will rise up, what awful rebellion is felt against that sovereignty we cannot deny, and from which, in its universal grasp and sway, there is no escape. But here the devil proves himself a liar, for God the Father reconciles the poor sinner to himself; he smiles, freely forgives, and comforts. Thus the soul finds God is for him — that his tender compassions expressed themselves in the gift of his own Son.
Again, the approach of a guilty soul to Christ is by the Father's drawing: 'No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.'
This is a part of the soul's lot, a little of its communion with the Father. . . . And as we are favored with nearness to the Father we feel satisfied, full with the blessing of the Lord. We have a goodly heritage.
The Lord bless thee and keep thee, so prays, yours affectionately
in him, J. K. POPHAM.