A Treatise Respecting the Nature, Person, Offices, Work, Sufferings, and Glory of Jesus Christ
by William S. Plumer
"Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!" - Psalm 95:1
When I was a youth, in the bond of iniquity and in the gall of bitterness, I fell into distress concerning my soul. I feared I should be lost forever. Being in the company of two Christian ladies, one of them kindly expressed the wish that my impressions might not be transient. This I understood. The other expressed the hope that Christ might yet be to me all in all. To me, whose heart was covered with a veil of unbelief, her words were as the speech of a barbarian. Yet they made an impression. From them I learned that some persons knew a secret hidden from me and I longed to learn what it was. I hope I have gained some insight into it, and I propose to present some of the views I have obtained.
The great central truth of the religion of sinners relates to the person, character, work, sufferings, offices, and glory of Jesus Christ. These are vital in Christianity. As one is sound or corrupt here—so is he substantially right or wrong in the main. Both now and in the last day, the great question in determining character and destiny is the same: "What do you think of Christ?"
On this subject the controversy is old. It goes back to the first two men ever born. Cain and Abel split on this point. In the immediate family of Adam the strife began, and it has never ceased. In the days of Moses the hardest thing to be borne in the profession of the true religion, was "the reproach of Christ." When Messiah was born, the strife was resumed with more warmth than ever. The wise men brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; but when Herod heard of his birth, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him, and he sought to destroy the young child. And when Christ became a public teacher, some said—He is a good man; others, He deceives the people. One party worshiped him—the other crucified him. Even when he was on the cross, the spectators were divided—some looking on with unutterable grief; others wagging their heads and deriding him. In fact, the very thieves who died with him were not of one mind; one reviling him, the other calling him Lord.
On the day of Pentecost the controversy was renewed with great vigor, and with great advantage to the cause of truth; and it has been kept up ever since. All the friends of God have at heart been on one side, and all his enemies substantially on the other—if not openly, yet secretly; if not by profession, yet in practice. For eighteen hundred years a large portion of all the heresies that have arisen have related to the person or work of Christ. Infidelity is most bitter against Christ, while piety feeds upon the truth—of which he is the sum. Many scoff and more refuse; while some admire and adore. Some obey; others cry—We will not have this man to reign over us. In no age has malice against Christ been more envenomed than in the present.
Jesus Christ is a wonderful, a glorious person. To look away from self and one's own works to Christ—is to lay hold on eternal life. Safety consists in fleeing to him and abiding in him. When he is in the ascendant, the night flees away, and the morning comes—a morning without clouds. His names and titles are as important as they are significant. Every one of them is as ointment poured forth. His lips drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under his tongue, and the smell of his garments is like the smell of Lebanon. His people sit under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to their taste. To them he is altogether lovely.
Table of Contents
1. Christ All in All
2. The Divinity of Christ
3. The Sonship of Christ
4. The Incarnation of Christ
5. The Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth
6. Christ the Mediator
7. Christ a Prophet
8. The Priesthood of Christ
9. Christ a King
10. Christ's Humiliation
11. General Views of Christ's Work
12. Redemption by Christ
13. The Atonement
14. The Folly of Objecting to the Atonement
15. Christ's Resurrection
16. Christ's Ascension and Session at God's Right Hand
17. Christ in Heaven
18. Christ's Personal Absence from this World
19. Christ on the Judgment-seat
20. Christ the Good Shepherd
21. Christ a Physician
22. The Gentleness of Christ
23. Christ Shall Yet Have a Glorious Reward
24. The Gospel of Christ Is Hidden from Some
25. The Sin and Danger of Not Believing in Christ
26. The Reproach of Christ