08 September 2009

Horatius Bonar on the Anchor of the Soul part 2

The anchor of the soul is found in the glad tidings concerning Christ. The awakened sinner’s question is, Will the holy God pardon my sins? He is tossed up and down till he gets this question answered. He feels as if he were the chief of sinners, and as if it were more difficult for God to pardon him than to pardon Manasseh, or Paul, or Magdalen, or any other sinner in the world. There seems to be the black gloom of wrath, the frown of severe displeasure, on the face of God. Oh, who can tell the anguish of that soul! It wishes to be at peace, yet knows not how. It looks around for rest, but knows not where to find it.

Hear then, “O thou afflicted, and tossed with tempest!” Behold it is written concerning the Lord Jesus, “Thy wrath lieth hard upon Me, and Thou hast afflicted Me with all Thy waves” (Ps. 88:7). This is the voice of one who has been cast like Jonah into the waves; and now he is in the lowest deep. The floods compass him about, and the billows pass over him! Is this a shipwrecked sinner? No — it is Jesus allowing the tempest to dash the billows of wrath against His own person. And to this He submits in order that He may show to all, that sin deserves nothing less than such a storm of the Almighty’s burning wrath. To this He submits, in order that it may be seen how the Holy One abhors to the uttermost every sin of every form — deed, word, or thought. But glad tidings now! Jesus who sank into the depths of this sea, and was buried under its mountain load, reaches the shore, and stands there declaring that “whosoever believeth in Him shall not come into condemnation.” Whosoever will agree that this Savior be his surety, shall not need to plunge into these waves himself, but shall be treated by God as if his sins had been already punished in that fierce storm that spent its violence on Jesus. Is this not rest to your soul? It shows you how justly and holily God may turn His anger from you; how He expresses His utmost displeasure against your sins, and yet saves you! Is not this quieting to your anxious conscience? Is it not an anchor? (Horatius Bonar, The Anchor of the Soul, emphasis mine).

Where else can we find this comfort for our souls? Who else can remove the dread? Let's be thankful this day for our Sovereign Lord tyhat takes away our sin and leaves an Anchor for our souls.

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