James Hervey

Dear Sir, I think, from my very heart, that the grand controversy which the King of heaven has with our nation, is, for our prevailing contempt of His most adorable Son, Jesus Christ. A Gift compared with whom everything in earth or sky is lighter than dust upon the scale. A Gift, by which an omnipotent and eternal God not only demonstrates, but cornmends His love. Matchless, then, and unspeakable must it be! See how the prophet Isaiah exults and triumphs in this glorious Gift! With ardour of gratitude, and with a transport of delight, he cries, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;" in whose Person is a dignity, and in whose righteousness an efficacy, infinitely surpassing the power of thought. And should not such a Gift be the darling topic of our conversation? be the avowed glory, and the general joy of our nation?

Yet (strange to tell! afflictive to observe!) this divinely excellent Gift is forgot, is rejected, or treated with the most cold indifference. Where are the people who mention it, or can bear to hear it mentioned in their company? Instead of being in raptures at the sound, are they not disgusted and chagrined? And does not God behold all this? Did He ever receive so horrid an affront? Or is it possible for His creatures to act a more contumelious and disdainful part? But whither am I running? Pardon me, dear Sir; pardon my full heart, my wounded heart, which has concurred to aggravate this crying iniquity. O that its invariable language for the future may be, "God forbid that I should glory (or rejoice, or confide), save in the cross of Christ Jesus my Lord." In Him I have eternal life. Therefore,

"Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end,"

will I remember, acknowledge, celebrate.