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"In you shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:3

Our Heavenly Father is love. The proof is the gift of His Son. Jesus is love. The proof is the gift of Himself. The Spirit is love. The proof is, He brings Jesus into the heart of faith. Hence, the Scripture is framed by the hand of love, as a chart to show the glories of the Lord to the children of men. Each page adds new tints to the glowing picture. Almost each person is a herald preceding Jesus with a clearer note. Thus Abraham appears from the shades of idolatry, and instantly the Gospel is preached. The tidings sound aloud—"In you shall all families of the earth be blessed." Faith hears and cries, This must be a prophecy of Jesus. Who but He is the blessing of the world?

When the Patriarch was raised to this pinnacle of truth, what prospects, as floods of light were spread before him! He gazed on countless masses of immortals, blessed through countless ages. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad."

Reader! would you behold like wonders, and share like joys? Would you be blessed while you live, and when you die, and throughout eternity? Would you bask each day in the smiles of God's favor, and repose each night under the shelter of His wings, and go down to the grave leaning on His arm, and pass through the gate of death into the new Jerusalem? There is all this blessedness in Christ. Would you at each moment lift up a tranquil heart, and say—The great Creator is my Father—Jesus is my redeeming kinsman—the Spirit is my indwelling teacher, and sanctifier, and comforter—the saints in light are my brethren—the Angels are my guardian-attendants—Heaven is my home—a throne of glory is my seat—a weight of glory is my crown? Would you realize that the wheels of Providence revolve for your welfare—and that the world, with all its intricate perplexities of machinery, is a scaffold to build up the fabric of your best interests?

There is all this blessedness in Christ. But apart from Him, there is no blessing. The blessing hand hangs down, the blessing voice is mute, except in Him. Such is the fact; and the clear knowledge of it lies at the root of Gospel-truth. Do you ask, Why can no blessing fly to earth, but on the wings of Jesus? Sin is the hindrance. Sin chokes the road. Blessings can find no channel, until some mighty power clears the course. But sin does more than obstruct. It mantles our race under a thick pall of curse. The curse is the ground, on which we are born. On that dreary waste, then, nothing but woe can fall. We must be translated into an Eden of Grace, before showers of favor can visit us.

Many sport through life, thoughtless that they are thus in misery's land. As you value your soul, examine then with me the solemn case. Let us put aside all the false maxims of the world. Let the childish conceits of puny reason hide their heads. Let the Word speak from its lofty and infallible tribunal. Its sentence is most clear. No dullness can mistake it. No deceit can obscure it. The Lord thus decides, "Cursed is every one who continues not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law." Tremendous voice!

Sinner! is it not an arrow through your conscience? It speaks of you, for it includes "every one." The net encompasses the whole family of man. Neither the riches of the rich, nor the poverty of the poor; neither the greatness of the great, nor the lowliness of the lowly; neither the age of the aged; nor the youth of the youthful; neither the learning of the learned, nor the polish of the polite, nor the ignorances of the untutored, are a door of escape. No condition, no qualities, no attainments can extricate. All born of woman, in every climate, and in every age, are fast bound by the dread sentence.

Do you further ask, What is this edict of the Law? Its one straight rule is love. This is its one requirement. But the width goes widely over every thought; the length is as long as all time. It says, Love God, love man, in every movement of mind, in every period of being. Love God, love man, perfectly, without faltering, without a pause. What if there be failure? Then comes the stern penalty, "Cursed are you." There is no place for excuse, nor for tears, nor for penitence, nor for prayers, nor for promises of reform. Disobedience is Curse.

Turn not from this honest dealing. But rather mark, how the work affects yourself. Do I add to Scripture? Your answer must be, No. Do I magnify? How can terrors be added to what is infinitely terrible? How can unutterable awe be made more dreadful? Look around your frightful cell. The wall has no crevice. It is high; you cannot scale it. It is broad; you cannot find its boundary. From all points the thunder roars, "Cursed are you." But what is the curse? It is the endless accumulation of all the miseries which God's resources can command, and God's power can inflict. It is the fiery torrent from the lake of fire. It is pain which cannot be keener. It is despair which cannot be blacker. It is anguish which cannot be more bitter. It is eternity in the oneness of all torment. It is Hell.

Reader! such is the fearful state of all who have never fled from Sinai's terrors, and who die unblest with Zion's saving mercies. But why have I led you to this fearful valley? It is, that you may look up to Jesus, "leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills" of Blessing. If there be curse in the Law, wide and relentless, there is blessing in Him, co-extensive and co-eternal. He abolishes the curse. He crowns himself with thorns, that He may crown His people with glory. He transacts this gracious work in the garden and on the cross. But how? Not by denying any claim. Not by suing for mitigation. Not by pleading extenuations. Not by asking clemency. No, He honors and magnifies the law to the uttermost. He glorifies the command as just, and righteous, and good. He grants, that the curse is fully merited, and that it must be fully borne. Let it, then, all descend, He cries, but not on the poor sinner. I offer Myself, as substitute, to endure the whole, and upon Him the whole is poured. He is made a curse for us. The sword of vengeance to the very hilt is sheathed in His breast. The last dreg of wrath is drained by Him. Not one drop remains for those whom He represents. Thus He takes all the curse out of the hands of God, and stands the one Blessing of the world.

Sincerely would I invite you to adore with me our Blessing of blessings. But before such glories, all thoughts and words are the shadows of a shade. Is freedom a blessing to a pining prisoner; and the sovereign's pardon to a convicted traitor; and the endearments of his native land to a returning exile? Is ease a blessing to the pain-racked, and the voice of health to the wasted in sickness, and opening sight to the sightless? Is comfort a blessing to the comfortless—rest to the weary—a home to the houseless—bread to the famished—peace to the fearful? This is but a faint outline of the blessings which abound in Jesus. It would be joy to roam over all the Scriptures, which re-echo these tidings. But one brief notice must suffice. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." The saying is one, but it leaves nothing unsaid.

Survey this treasure-house of grace; how rich! how full! The believer may say, This heritage is all my own. Measure, if it be possible, the golden chain, which extends from one hand of God in eternity past to the other in eternity to come. Every link is a Blessing. Behold the starry canopy. The glittering orbs outshine all beauty, and exceed all number. Such is the firmament of Christ. It is studded with blessings. But millions of worlds are less than the least; and millions of tongues are weak to tell them. Mark how they sparkle in the eye of faith. There are constellations of pardons. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

There is the bright shining of adoption into the family of God. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." There is the milky-way of peace—perfect peace, heaven's own peace. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." There is the morning-star of sin destroyed. "God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." There is the luster of divine Righteousness. "This is His name, whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness." There is the light of life. "I give unto them eternal life." There is all glory. "The glory which You gave Me, I have given them." There is the possession of all present, and the promise of all future good. "All things are yours," "things present—things to come." There is the assurance that nothing shall harm. "All things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Such is the blaze of Blessings, on which the believer calmly gazes. But are they yours? They are, if you have found refuge in the ever-blessing arms of Jesus. If not, take warning! Yours is the starless night of the terrific curse.

Perhaps I address some minister of the Lord. Sir, like Jesus, you are set for the falling and rising again of many. If you would happily work happiness, tell your flock of Him. Preach Him clearly—fully—only—in season—out of season. Guide from the wilderness of the curse to the only pastures in which true Blessings can be gathered.

Do I address a parent? You love your children. With yearning heart, and tearful eye, you often sigh, Oh that the Lord would bless them indeed! Teach them Christ. Other instruction, if He be omitted, only adds sting to the curse, and accomplishes for hell.

Reader! you have friends dear to you as life. To advance their interests you count all labors light. Remember, he is a foe who befriends not the soul. To befriend the soul is to point it to Christ. Perhaps you occupy a position of responsibility. You have dependents in the family—the trade—the shop—the farm. You feel for their comfort, and you provide for it. They look to you for support, and you give it. This is so far well. If this world were all, you would be a Blessing to them. But the world beyond the grave is all. Therefore to be a Blessing to them, you must win them to the knowledge, and faith, and love, and service of Jesus.

But perhaps you are of humbler station. Be it so. Some of the Lord's most successful laborers were poor, yet making many rich. You have a tongue, which daily utters many words. Each word enters some ear, and may enter some heart. Be persuaded then, and let your lowly words minister grace and blessedness, by being channels to convey the salvation of Jesus.

Whoever you are, turn not then from these earnest truths, until the Spirit bear witness with your spirit, that the one Blessing of all the families of the earth is the Blessing of your heart. Abide in Him; and the Blessing of the friend of God is yours. "I will bless you, and you shall be blessed." But the full grant of blessedness cannot be imagined, until His own welcome be heard, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."


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