And that unity of love dominating all is irresistible to the outer crowd, in the winsomeness of its wooing.
The Greatest Wooing
A Night and a Day
With Hardening Hearts: the Story of Tender
Passion and of a Terrible Tragedy
“Now of that long pursuit Comes on at hand the bruit; That Voice is round me like a bursting sea: ’And is thy earth so marred, Shattered in shard on shard? Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me! Strange, piteous, futile, thing!
Wherefore should any set thee
Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said)
’And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancied as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and Come.’”
—“The Hound of Heaven
“I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in justice, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.”—Hosea ii. 19, 20.
“Jesus, Lover of my
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll.
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
’Til the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last.”
The Greatest Wooing
At the top of the mountain is the peak. The peak is the range at its highest reach. The peak grows out of the range and rests upon it and upon the earth under all. The whole of the long mountain range and of the earth lies under the peak. The peak tells the story of the whole range. At the last the highest and utmost. All the rest is for this capstone.
The great thing in Jesus’ life is His death. The death crowns the life. The whole of the life lies under and comes to its full in the death. The highest point is touched when death is allowed to lay Him lowest. It was the life that died that gives the distinctive meaning to the death. Let us take off hat and shoes as we come to this peak event.
There’s a change in John’s story here. The evening has gone, the quiet evening of communion. The night has set in, the dark night of hate. The intimacies of love give place to the intrigues of hate. The joy of communion is quickly followed by the jostling of the crowd. Out of the secret place of prayer into the hurly-burly of passion. And the Master’s rarely sensitive spirit feels the change. Yet with quiet resolution He steps out to face it. This is part of the hour, part of His great task, the greatest part.