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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 49 - Luke 14:40 - Christ Must have Praise Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius

Index

XLIX.

 

Christ Must Have Praise.

 

"If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

-Luke 14:40.

 

 

     The meaning of this passage is briefly this-"Christ must have praise somewhere; if not at one place and by one class, then assuredly somewhere else and by another class: rather than that He should not have this, a miracle would be wrought, and the stones made to cry out."

Christ must have praise. Why?

     I. Because it is His due. It is due to His person. He is Son of God, and Son of man; the possessor of all created and all uncreated excellence; the center of every divine and every human perfection. Praise is his due, his right, his lawful and necessary claim. It is due to him as the Word made flesh, as Messiah, as the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. It is due to his work and office. He comes as the revealer of the Father and the Father's will; the executor of the Father's purpose; the object of the Father's love; the doer of the mighty work in which the Father was to be glorified and peace made, and love carried out to the sinner in a righteous way.

     II. Because it is the Father's purpose. That purpose is that Christ should be praised, that He should receive honour, and glory, and blessing. The Father presents Him to us as the great object of universal praise. He says, "Let all the angels of God worship Him ;" let all men worship Him; let creation worship Him; let this earth worship Him, even its stones. For such a purpose (viz., concentrating all praise on Jesus), He must have infinitely wise reasons, even though we did not see them. But what has been made known concerning the person and work of Messiah, shews how infinitely reasonable and glorious that purpose is.

     There are some who dislike this praise and this purpose. Such were the Pharisees. Not the "publicans and sinners." Self-righteousness, a self-justifying, self-exulting, religion is the most opposed to the praise of Christ. The professors of it hate such praise. They cannot bear to hear it from others, far less to give it them selves; the voice of praise calls forth their enmity. There are others who are simply silent. They are engrossed with other things, or indifferent. They do not trouble themselves about the matter. They close their lips and their ears. Does either of these classes describe any here? Are there some disregarding the Father's purpose, and giving no praise to Him whom He delighteth to honour?  What! Neither praise nor love! Neither homage nor obedience!

     Now what will this refusal, this silence, this anger do?

     1. It will not profit themselves, It will not make them happier. It will not secure any favor or honour for them. It will not forward their prospects for eternity. It will not avail them in the day of wrath, or serve them at the judgment-seat.

     2. It will not lessen Christ's honour. He will still deserve the honour, though they refuse to give it. He will still be the infinitely loveable, infinitely glorious one, possessed of the name that is above every name.

     3. It will not silence others. Heaven will still praise Him, the redeemed will still praise Him. His enemies may be dumb, but that will not silence angels. It will not close one lip, nor cause one tongue to falter.

     4. It will not hinder the fulfillment of the Father's purpose. That purpose shall stand, whoever may resist. If these be silent, the stones shall immediately cry out. If one will not praise Him, another shall He must have praise; and that praise shall never sink lower than a certain amount. If it should do so, from the silence of those who were expected to praise Him, others-even the unlikeliest-even the dead creation, the stones, will cry out,-cry out in praise, and cry out against the wretched men who have refused the honour. God's purpose concerning Christ, and the praise due to Him, shall be carried out to the uttermost, both in time and eternity, both in earth and heaven. That purpose is even now unfolding itself. Christ is glorified even here. There are some that praise Him, in every kingdom and out of every kindred, and every new soul gathered in adds to the song of praise. All earth shall yet praise Him. Creation's universal song of praise shall begin when He returns in His glory to make all things new. All heaven praises, and shall praise Him. Every angel glorifies Him. The hosts of heaven ascribe blessing to the Lamb. Nay, all the universe shall yet praise Him. Every thing that hath breath and being shall praise Him. Sun, moon, and stars shall praise Him, throughout the widest space!

     Are you praising Him, brethren? By lip and life, by word and deed? Helping others to praise Him; gathering in the unpraising ones of earth that they may praise Him?

     Will you praise Him, O men? You who have praised self, the creature, the world-"nature," as you call it,-will you now begin to praise Him who is infinitely worthy of all your praise and love?