(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
“How is your Beloved better than others?” Song of Songs 5:9
Does not our Friend as far excel all other friends . . .
as Heaven exceeds earth,
and eternity exceeds time,
as the Creator surpasses His creatures?
See all the fullness of the Godhead–dwelling in One who is as meek and mild as a child.
Behold His countenance beaming with ineffable glories–full of mingled majesty, condescension, and love.
Hear the soul-reviving invitations and gracious words which proceed from His lips.
See that hand in which dwells everlasting strength–swaying the scepter of universal empire over all creatures and all worlds.
Behold His arms expanded to receive and embrace returning sinners.
While His heart, a bottomless, shoreless ocean of benevolence overflows with tenderness, compassion, and love.
Such is our Beloved–and such is our Friend.
All the excellency, glory, and beauty which is found in men or angels, flows from Christ like a drop of water from the ocean, or a ray of light from the sun.
Do you wish for a friend possessed of power to protect you?
Our Friend possesses all power in Heaven and earth, and is able to save even to the uttermost!
Do you wish for a wise friend?
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Do you wish for a tender, compassionate friend?
Christ is tenderness and compassion itself.
Do you wish for a faithful, unchangeable friend?
With Christ there is no variable nor shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
His unerring wisdom will point out the best means to promote their happiness!
And His infinite power will enable Him to employ those means.
In all these respects, our Beloved is more than any other beloved!
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