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The Love of Christ Constrains Us

If you would increase your love for Christ, meditate on his love for you.


Say to thy soul, Was he, in whom there dwelt the fulness and riches of the Godhead, content to become so poor for my sake, as he had not whereon to lay his head? And shall I think much to hazard my estate and outward enjoyments for his sake? Oh what had become of my soul if he had stood upon such terms!

Was he, who was the brightness of the Father’s glory, content to become the scorn of men and reproach of the people; to be jeered, and buffeted, and spit upon? Was he willing, when he was the King of glory, to be reviled and abused, as the vilest of men, for me? And shall I think much to be vilified, and scorned, and reproached for his sake?

Was he content to leave the delights and joys of heaven, that he might become a man of sorrows? Was he willing to be scourged, and nailed, and wounded, and endure such grievous things for me, as made his soul heavy unto death, and forced him to cry out to heaven, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ and to cry out to earth, ‘Have ye no regard, all ye that pass by?’ &c. And shall I think much to endure any pain or torture for him?

Was he content to bear the wrath of God, and the rage of men and devils for me? And shall I think much to endure the rage and malice of men for him?

Was he content to suffer a cruel, a shameful, a cursed death for me? And shall I refuse to suffer a blessed death, a death that himself hath blessed, for his sake?

Oh what had become of me! in what a hopeless and helpless condition had my soul been in, if he had stood on the honour, and ease, and plenty, and respect of the world, yea, or his own life! And shall I stand upon these, when his honour and interest requires me to forego them?

Make such use of the love of Christ to provoke your hearts to a more ardent and vehement affection. ‘The love of Christ constrains us,’ says the apostle. There is something in it that is irresistible; a sweet and powerful force therein, when the Spirit of God impresseth the sense thereof upon the heart, to constrain you to such a love as will compel you to take up the cross, and bear it for his sake, notwithstanding any reluctancy of flesh and blood.

—David Clarkson, Of Taking Up the Cross, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:483–484.

Posted 2017·12·18 by David Kjos
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Posted in: David Clarkson · Works of David Clarkson

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