Wednesday, February 1, 2012

the infinite ocean of Christ's love - octavius winslow

Please do listen to the audio reading as well :)

The Infinite Ocean of Christ's Love
Octavius Winslow

The mind has often been sensible of a feeling of awe as we have stood upon the shore,
and gazed upon the vast expanse of the ocean.
With a similar, yet far transcending emotion,
we approach the infinite ocean of Christ's love!

Like the eternity of God, we cannot fathom
where His love begins, or where it terminates.

There is no other solution to the marvelous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this:
Christ has loved us.

Love originated all, explains all, illustrates all.
Love is the interpreter of every Divine mystery.

There is not a circumstance of our Lord's history
which is not another form or manifestation of love.
His incarnation is love stooping.
His sympathy is love weeping.
His compassion is love supporting.
His grace is love acting.
His teaching is the voice of love.
His silence is the repose of love.
His patience is the restraint of love.
His obedience is the labor of love.
His suffering is the travail of love.
His cross is the altar of love.
His death is the burnt offering of love.
His resurrection is the triumph of love.
His ascension into heaven is the enthronement of love.
His sitting down at the right hand of God is the intercession of love.

Such is the deep, the vast, the boundless ocean of Christ's love!
The soul muses in silent awe as it gazes upon this fathomless, limitless sea!

Nothing short of a divine love could or would have borne our sins,
and the punishment of our sins.
The weight of the one, and the terribleness of the other, would have crushed and annihilated a mere
'created' affection.
There existed no love but the love of Jesus equal to the work of salvation.

Who was willing, who was able, to bear that heavy load,
to endure that overwhelming curse, but Jesus?

Oh, think, beloved reader, what the love of Christ has done and suffered for you....
the burden it bore,
the sorrow it felt,
the humiliation it underwent,
the insults,
the ignominy,
the privation through which it traveled;
its groans,
its sighs,
its tears,
its darkness,
how inconceivably it agonized,
how freely it bled,
how voluntarily it died,
the sins it has pardoned,
the guilt it has cleansed,
the declensions it has restored,
the backslidings it has healed,
the sorrows it has soothed,
the patience it has exercised,
the gentleness it has exhibited,
and then ask, could any other but the love of Jesus have done all this, and endured all this?

Such is the love of Christ!

To have saved us upon such terms...
a stoop so low,
a humiliation so profound,
a labor so immense,
mental anguish so acute,
bodily suffering so agonizing,
a death so ignominious...
Was ever love like this?

Was it ever equaled? Where shall we find its parallel?

Love less divine, less strong, less gentle,
could never have won your heart, uprooted your enmity, tore you from your idols;
enthroning Christ, all of Christ, Christ only, Christ supremely, Christ forever!

The love of Christ will be the wonder, the study,
and the song of all pure, holy intelligences through eternity!

Beloved, nothing shall take the love of Christ from you, or separate you from it.
It does not ebb with the ebbing of your feelings;
It does not chill with the chill of your affections;
It does not change with the changing scenes and circumstances of your life.

The love of Christ has depths we cannot sound,
heights we cannot explore,
an infinite fulness and freeness tiding over all the sins, infirmities, and sorrows of its blessed and favored objects.

Seek to know this love of Christ, though it is so vast that it 'passes knowledge.'
Infinite though it is, you may experience its reality, taste its sweetness,
and be influenced by its all commanding, all constraining power.

Do not limit your heart experience of Christ's love,
for it is infinite in its nature, and boundless in its extent.

As yet, how many of us stand but upon the shore of this ocean!
How little do we know, experimentally, of the love of Christ in our souls!

Bring your heart with....
its profoundest emptiness,
its most startling discovery of sin,
its lowest frame,
its deepest sorrow,
and sink it into the depths of the Savior's love!

That infinite sea will flow over all, erase all, absorb all,
and your soul shall swim and sport amid its gentle waves,
exclaiming in your joy and transport, "Oh, the depths!"

The Lord direct your heart into the love of God!
Just as it is...
sad and

Christ's love touching your hard heart, will dissolve it!
Christ's love touching your cold heart, will warm it!
Christ's love touching your sinful heart, will purify it!
Christ's love touching your sorrowful heart, will soothe it!
Christ's love touching your wandering heart, will draw it back to Himself.
Only bring your heart to Christ's love!

Believe that He loves you,
and just as love begets love,
so the simple belief in the love of Jesus will inspire you with a reflected, responsive affection;
and your soul, like the flower, will burst from its captivity, and bloom,
and, soaring in life, liberty, and beauty, will float in the sunbeams of Gods full, free, and eternal love;
and, in a little while, will find itself in heaven, where all is love!

"Blessed Jesus! Your love, like Your agonies, is an unknown and unfathomable depth!
It passes knowledge.
Let it rise and expand before me,
until it fills the entire scope of my soul's vision;
occupies every niche of my heart;
and bears me onward by its all commanding, all constraining influence,
in the path of a holy loving obedience and surrender."

"May you experience the love of Christ,
though it is so great you will never fully understand it." Ephes. 3:19

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