The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
(Christ's Presence in the Gospel History, chap. IX, pp. 210-11, reprinted as The Abiding Presence, pp. 182-83; The Shadow of Calvary, chap. VII, p. 150)
Christ's Presence in the Gospel History
It is the person and work of Emmanuel that afford a true revelation of the glory of God. He is the full and express image of God in human nature; he is the brightness of the Father's glory. To Philip's prayer: "Shew us the Father," Jesus maketh answer, — "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." And the co-existence of the Divine and human natures in the unity of one person in Christ affords a marvellous, — one might almost say, a fascinating, revelation of God, — God manifest in the flesh.
Does the human soul of Jesus burn into lofty indignation against scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites? It is a holy human affection, in unison with, and revealing, the Divine detestation of sin. Does the tender heart of Jesus overflow in tears for Jerusalem? It is a holy human affection, in unison with, and revealing, the Divine compassion for sinners. So that the human graces of the man Christ Jesus are an inlet by which we enter on the contemplation of those Divine attributes with which these graces subsist in glorious and perfect coalescence. There is no inharmonious jar between Godhead and humanity as they are yoked in matchless union in the person of the God-man, Emmanuel. And there is no inharmonious jar between the attributes of Godhead and the graces of humanity as these are exhibited in the character of Emmanuel. We can draw near and contemplate holy justice and unparalleled love in the man Christ Jesus. And, entering by this open door of his character as man, — owing to the unison of which I have spoken, we may follow on, without a break, into the depths of his character as God. We see in the man Christ Jesus the glory of God, — the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Shadow of Calvary
Mark you this: that if you put away the discipline of Christ in grace and providence, in forbearance and affliction, as he seeks to probe your evil heart and show you all its treachery to him and its love for the world and the sin which crucified him — if you set your face against his efforts to emancipate you from the carnal mind which is treachery and enmity to God — then these efforts will become more and more brief, till at last the Saviour, who once yearned to pluck you as a brand from the burning, shall treat you with the utmost brevity and most perfect coolness, scarce even condescending to express in this life his indignation at your crimes. Ah! how many, by resisting the Spirit of the Lord, bring themselves to that dread experience! The time was when God's dealings with them in providence and on their consciences exhibited on his part a prolonged and warm interest in their spiritual condition: such manifestations of his gracious disposition towards them have been slighted and perverted; till gradually diminishing they are at length withdrawn, and the final expression of his mind towards them — terrifically brief, scarcely indicating either wrath or compassion — seems designed for little more than to remit the case to the eternal tribunal. Ah! what fresh force and meaning this gives to that blessed sentence, so full of mingled tenderness and terror, but so often heard in vain — "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near."