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15 October, 2014

The Love of Your Espousals

By James Smith


Love is a noble passion, and when fixed upon a worthy object, and wisely reciprocated — it is a source of the sweetest pleasure. God intended Himself to be the highest object of our love; and that He might win back our affections to Himself — He has revealed Himself in Jesus, in the most lovely and attractive form. God in Jesus is love, and only love — unto all who come to Him in His name. He prizes our love, and has therefore entered into every near and dear relation, in order to draw forth and fix our love upon himself. He proposes a union with himself, as near and dear as the marriage union is among men. This was set forth in his dealings with his people of old, and in their attachment to him, alluding to which he says, "I remember the love of your espousals." Jeremiah 2:2.

THE FACT. God and man become united, as does the husband and the wife. Just so it is with Jesus, and those who believe on his name.
Just look at the parties. Israel, a poor, sinful, unworthy people; and the infinitely great and glorious God. So still. On the one side a poor sinner, so insignificant, so base, so vile, so miserable, that it is difficult to set it forth. On the other side, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person. Jesus, who is infinitely great, supremely glorious, perfectly holy, and eternally happy. 
Look to the act, "your espousals." Jesus moved first, by His word and Spirit, on the conscience and the affections. Then the sinner moved toward Him with fear, desire, hope, faith, and at length love. 
Then came the agreement, Jesus said, "I will be for you, and you shall be for me." And the soul said, "I am yours, yours only, yours forever!" The union was now formed, the soul was betrothed to the Savior; and by and by, the union will be consummated at the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

THE AFFECTION. "The love of your espousals." There was a love of pity and benevolence before — now there is the love of delight, on the part of Jesus. There may have been a love of gratitude on the part of the sinner — but now it is his purest, strongest love. It is more than filial love, or the love of a child to its parent. It is more than fraternal love, or the love of brother to his brother. It is espousal love, or the love of the espoused one toward Him whom she desired, and preferred to all others. It is love to the person, and the person alone; and such love as leads us to surrender all for Him, and to Him. It is as strong as death — nothing can destroy it. It is more pleasing than all things besides. It is a source of the sweetest, purest, sublimest happiness. 
It is love, near akin to the love of Jesus, being reflected by it, and flowing from it. It is an increasing love, for the more we know of Jesus — the more we love Him, and shall do so, to all eternity. 
Where there is no love, there is no espousal. Jesus never espouses one who does not love Him. He first wins the heart — and then gives the hand. He fixes on the person, determines to be united, wins the affection, and the espousal follows. No espousal — no marriage. If we are not espoused to Jesus while He is away — we shall not be married to Him at His glorious appearing. 
This is the design of the preaching of the gospel, as Paul said to the Corinthians, "I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 
No marriage — no inheritance. We inherit through Jesus, and by virtue of our union with Him. If we are Christ's — then His wealth is ours! And if the wealth of Christ is ours — then we shall possess the kingdom, and reign forever and ever. No possession — no real Heaven. Our Heaven, is having Christ for ours, and being with Him, and enjoying Him forever and ever.
As espoused to Him — we expect to be publicly married; as married to Him — we shall have full and eternal possession of Him; and eternally possessing Him — we shall have a Heaven comprising all we can desire or enjoy!
Reader, are you espoused? Has He taken your hand — and have you given Him your heart? Have you forsaken all besides — to seek your happiness, your all, in him alone? He is worthy of your highest love. He is necessary to your perfect happiness. 
Do you desire to be espoused to Jesus? You may be. Jesus is willing to be the husband, of every soul that desires to be married to Him. He has sent His servants, as Abraham sent Eliezer, to woo and win a wife for Him. He has beauty, He has nobility, He has wealth. In Him dwells, and dwells in perfection — all that is necessary to meet the wants, wishes, or desires of anyone, and everyone who is willing to be holy and happy. 
Espoused to Jesus — your fortune is made. You have an ever-living, ever-loving, never-changing husband. He will never leave, never forsake, never fail you. He will . . .
guide 
you with His eye, 
guard 
you with His hand,

and satisfy you with His love.
O happy, happy soul, that is espoused to Jesus!
Holy and eternal Spirit, lead every reader to Jesus, unfold His beauty, reveal His love — and so win the heart; and may the reading of these few remarks lead some to love Jesus, to give their hearts to Jesus, and so join themselves to Jesus in an everlasting covenant, which shall neither be forgotten nor broken!