Praise & Magnify the Lord Jesus Christ
One of the ancients thought that he had been made solely for the purpose of admiring the sun. But, believing soul, you have been made a Christian, that you might admire Christ. His royal titles are Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace! I cannot tell you in what he is most excellent. “I find no fault in him”—in either of his offices, or in either of his natures, in his work, or in his sufferings, in his humiliation, or in his exaltation. In him dwell all excellencies, human and divine. He is full of grace and truth. His glory is that of the only-begotten of the Father. There is none like him, no, not one! He is the chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely. As the apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is our Beloved among the sons of men. Wherever he is there is heaven! Redemption by his blood, salvation by his grace will justly be celebrated forever. It should be highly and often spoken of in the church militant. This theme will be ever welcome to the holy, because it is infinite, and because it will ever be developing new wonders and glories.
In the conduct of some of his professed people nothing is more incongruous, nothing awakens such doubts of their interest in his salvation—as their lack of glowing love to him and to his cause. By him alone can bond or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek or barbarian be saved. Such kindness as his, deserves our hearty thankfulness. If Christ had merely cherished some secret pity for us, and never expressed it, silence on our part would not be so bad. But he loved us openly. He loved us unto death. Never attempt to divide the honors which are due to him alone. Angels are indeed sent forth to minister to them, who shall be heirs of salvation, but they are not our saviors. Man may be the instrument of our salvation, but God alone is its Author. Beware of sacrificing to your own net, and burning incense to your own dragnet.
Left to yourself, you are neither wise, nor strong, nor prudent, nor holy, nor diligent, nor safe. Praise and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, for of him, and from him, and by him, and through him, and to him are all things. Praise him the whole week, for his mercies flow down continually. Praise him at night, for his goodness runs through the day. Praise him in the morning, for those who seek him early shall find him. Praise him at midnight, for at that hour David gave thanks. Praise him seven times a day, for every day he fills you with food and gladness. Praise him in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in life and in death. Crown him with songs, for he crowns the year with his goodness. Let his praise be continually in your mouth. Praise him the more when others maintain silence, or murmur against him, and blaspheme his holy name. Let their failure to do their duty arouse you to do yours. Whoever is found among the impious or profane-you must be numbered with the grateful. Would you make your burdens light? Extol the Son of God. That night cannot be very dark, in which he “gives songs.” Who would not magnify and honor such a Savior?
His works of creation praise him, and shall not his works of redemption bless him? His angels, his heavenly multitudes, the sun and moon, the stars of light, the heaven of heavens, the water above the heavens, the dragons and all deeps, fire and hail, snowy vapors, stormy wind fulfilling his word, mountains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars, beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl, do praise him. Their voice is gone out to the ends of the world. Shall these all in their way praise him, and shall his people keep silence?
Saints owe him a debt of gratitude for existence, for reason, for immortality; but for his grace they owe him a song that should never end. To say nothing against him at the best evinces a very low grade of virtue. To have a disposition to praise him and to suppress it is not enough. Let the feeling be indulged, let the song be sung, let the shout be uttered. Let all the saints cry, Hosanna to the Son of David! Let them laud him saying, Hallelujah! He who has a praising heart has a continual feast. Praise him in the highest. If saved, this shall be our work when the sun and moon shall be gone forever. In the temple above they sing a new song, saying—You are worthy: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and have made us kings and priests unto our God! Says one who saw—”Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped!” Revelation 5:11-14. Who, who would not join this grandest chorus of the universe?
If creation praises its Maker, shall not the new creation magnify its Author? He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is Christ the Lord. Jehovah says: “Whoever offers praise glorifies me.” Often does he bind us by the most solemn commands to do this duty. Hear his words: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: come before him, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” “You who fear the Lord praise him!”
These are but samples of his authoritative teachings. In accordance with them let us ever say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto your name give glory, for your mercy and for your truth’s sake.” “Unto him be glory in the Church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without end.” “To God only wise be glory, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.” Let us not be offended at doxologies to Christ. None but his enemies dislike to hear him praised by hosannas in the highest. “When the chief-priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were greatly displeased.” Matt. 21:11, 15. Be not like these surly old hypocrites—but like those little children out of whose mouths he perfected praise. Do as Pliny says the early Christians did, and “sing a hymn to Jesus Christ as God,” as your Savior and your eternal portion!
— Wm. S. Plumer, The Grace of Christ, or, Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness