“A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench.” Matthew 12:20
The Lord Jesus possesses all those virtues in the highest perfection, which render him infinitely amiable, and qualify him for the administration of a just and gracious government over the world. The virtues of mortals, when carried to a high degree, very often run into those vices which have a kind of affinity to them. “Right, too rigid—hardens into wrong.” Strict justice steels itself into excessive severity; and the ‘man’ is lost in the ‘judge’. Goodness and mercy sometimes degenerate into softness and a sentimentalism, inconsistent with justice.
But in Jesus Christ these seemingly opposite virtues center and harmonize in the highest perfection, without running into extremes. Hence he is at once characterized as a Lamb, and as the Lion of the tribe of Judah: a lamb for gentleness towards humble penitents; and a lion to tear his enemies in pieces!
Christ is said to judge and make war, Rev. 19:11; and yet he is called The Prince of Peace; Isaiah 9:6. He will at length show himself dreadful to the workers of iniquity; and the terrors of the Lord are a very proper topic whence to persuade men. But now he is patient towards all men, and he is all love and tenderness towards the vilest penitent. Continue reading