None Like Christ
The power of contrast is acknowledged by all. The poet studies it in the
construction of his epic; the artist in the coloring of his picture; the logician in
the arrangement of his argument; the lover of nature as his eye roves over the
outspread landscape all are conscious of the presence and power of this
principle. The object of contrast is not to create the ideal, or to foster the
fictitious; but to confirm the existence, and heighten the power and
impression of the true. It is thus that the beautiful becomes more attractive,
the grand more sublime, the good more excellent, and the object which awoke
our admiration and inspired our regard, enthrones itself more firmly and
supremely upon the soul.
The Word of God is replete with contrasts. In no volume is the effect more
striking. How constantly, by an easy and graceful antithesis, the Holy Spirit
places in contrast the vanity of idols, and the existence of God; the
insignificance of man, and the greatness of Jehovah; the evanescence of things
temporal, and the permanence of things eternal; the deformity of sin, and the
beauty of holiness; the objects and attractions of earth, and the scenes and
allurements of heaven; our waywardness and unworthiness, with God's mercy
and love. With what power, beauty, and reality are the great things of God's
word thus brought out!
In presenting to you, my reader, the Lord Jesus Christ, as worthy of your
undivided affection, supreme confidence, and unreserved service, infinitely
distancing and eclipsing all other beings and all other objects brought in
competition with him, we purpose adopting this principle; assured that the
result must be, with the accompanying blessing of the Holy Spirit, the
supreme enthronement of Christ in your admiration, trust, and love, as the
"chief among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely one." Happy shall
we be if the conviction of the truth is deepened in your soul, NONE LIKE
Nor could we engage your thoughts upon a subject more suitable to the new
and solemn period of time upon which we have entered. You are about to add
another deathless chapter to the momentous volume of your personal history.
As yet its lines are untraced, its events unrecorded. What that history may be,
you have no vision to guide your knowledge; nor, if you are wise and trusting,
do you wish to know calm and fixed in the assurance that it is all
prearranged in the covenant that is "ordered in all things, and sure," and
that, impenetrable as is the veil that conceals it from your eye, God will
permit nothing to transpire but what he has shaped and tinted with just that
form and hue that will the most perfectly harmonize and blend, and will the
most surely promote, your greatest well-being with his highest glory.
"What is your beloved more than another beloved?" It is clear, from this
interrogation, addressed to the Church of Christ, that other and rival beings,
other and competing objects, were brought into comparison with Christ,
asking, if not a superior, yet an equal share of homage and regard; and the
Church is challenged to a vindication of the higher and superior attractions
claimed for her beloved Lord. "What is your beloved more than another
It is a humiliating fact, that there exists no object, the most trivial and
contemptible, which the unrenewed mind will not place in competition with,
and choose in preference to, and delight in to the exclusion of the Lord Jesus
Christ! Take a brief and summary view of these claimants to man's regard
these rivals of Christ and see how far they are worthy of a moment's
consideration, when brought in contrast with the incarnate Son of God.
Before we proceed, however, to particularize, let us premise that this is no
new phase or development of our depraved humanity. Our world has ever
been a Christ-rejecting world. From the moment the angels' song broke in
music upon the plains of Bethlehem, the prediction of the Christ-exalting
prophet, Isaiah, commenced its sad fulfillment "he is despised and rejected
With some individuals, SELF is the rival self in some of its many forms. Selfrighteousness,
self-seeking, self-indulgence, self-worship is the acknowledged
and enthroned god the "beloved" object of the unrenewed mind's supreme
affection and worship.
With others, the WORLD is preferred to Christ its acquisitions, opinions,
and pleasures. O treacherous world what myriads have you drawn within
your insatiable vortex, "drowning men's souls in perdition!" Reader, are you
preferring its gayeties, its riches, its honors, its religion to Christ? Pause on
the threshold of this solemn period of time, and ask "What, should I die this
year, will the world I have chosen in preference to the Savior do for me when
eternity stares me in the face?"
Others place the CREATURE in competition with Christ; the creature and
not the Savior is their "beloved." But what a fearful crime are they
chargeable with, "who worship and serve the creature more (or rather) than
the Creator, who is blessed forever." The creature is the defaced, the spoiled
image of God. To prefer this marred and ruined temple to the glorious Being
who constructed it, is to place yourself upon a level with the idolatrous
Persian, who in his blindness worships the sun as the image of the Deity.
But what superior excellence and attraction has an earthly beloved, that you
should choose, love, and adore it in preference to the Heavenly One, who, as
human, is "fairer than the children of men," and who, as divine, is "God over
all, blessed for evermore"? God will not hold him guiltless who loves,
worships, and serves the creature rather than the Creator. Thus, there is
nothing earthly, base, and contemptible which the natural man will not place
above God, and prefer to Christ. His estate, his rank, his talents, his
reputation, his very person, is "made to sit in the temple of God, showing itself
that it is God," receiving the incense of adoration and worship, which alone
belongs to Jehovah.
Reader, whatever earthly object reigns supreme in your mind and affections,
dethrones and supplants the Lord Jesus. It may be your daily calling, or some
pleasure of memory, or some object of taste music, sculpture, painting,
literature, science whatever the master-passion of your soul, the supreme,
all-engrossing object of your life, it is your Christ, your Savior, your beloved,
your all; and with this, your only portion and preparation, you are, in a little
while, to confront the bar of God "Where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also."
But we approach yet closer our subject, and proceed to unfold the preeminent
place Christ occupies in the universe of life, beauty, and love in the world of
nature and of grace showing that there is not, amid this vast assemblage of
magnificent objects and glorious beings, one like Christ.
"None like Christ!" How familiar is this sentiment to the family of God.
Sometimes it is the expression of gladsome joy, at others, breathed in sadness
and in grief. When some beam of holy rapture has lighted up the soul, and the
preciousness of the Savior is felt, then the tongue exclaims, "None like
Christ!" there is no joy like that which Jesus inspires! Or, when some
scheme of human happiness is blighted, some cherished friendship chilled,
some idol-god smitten from its shrine, some earthly spring dried, turning from
the scene, spirit-wounded, heart-saddened, and disappointed, the soul has fled
anew to Christ, its true attraction and rest, and with a depth of emotion and
an emphasis of expression, the inspiration only of such a feeling, the believer
has exclaimed "Lord, there is none like yourself! I learn your transcendent
worth, I experience your matchless love, I behold your unrivaled beauty, I feel
your inimitable tenderness, gentleness, and sympathy in this hour when my
spirit is overwhelmed within me, and my earthly treasures float a scattered
wreck upon the surging waters through which I come to you!"
But follow us, dear reader, while, in a, few particulars, we attempt to justify
the preeminence of the Savior, and establish your believing soul in the truth
that "there is none like Christ!"