One there is, above all others,
Well deserves the name of Friend;
His is love beyond a brother's,
Costly, free, and knows no end:
They who once his kindness prove
Find it everlasting love.
Which of all our friends to save us,
Could or would have shed their blood!
But our Jesus died to have us
Reconcil'd to him in God:
This was boundless love indeed!
Jesus is a friend in need.
Men, when rais'd to lofty stations,
Often know their friends no more;
Slight and scorn their poor relations,
Though they valued them before;
But our Saviour always owns
Those whom he redeem'd with groans.
When he liv'd on earth abased,
Friend of sinners was his name;
Now above all glory raised,
He rejoices in the same:
Still he calls them brethren, friends,
And to all their wants attends.
Could we bear from one another
What he daily bears from us;
Yet this glorious Friend and Brother
Loves us though we treat him thus:
Though for good we render ill,
He accounts us brethren still.
O for grace our hearts to soften!
Teach us, Lord, at length to love;
We, alas! forget too often,
What a friend we have above:
But when home our souls are brought,
We will love thee as we ought.
.....That justice might be satisfied, truth vindicated, and sinners saved, God so loved a lost world, that, when no inferior means could avail, when none in heaven or earth were willing, or worthy, or able, to interpose, "he gave his only-begotten Son," John 3. Jesus Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, "so loved the world," that he assumed our nature, undertook our cause, bore our sins, sustained our deserved punishment; and having done all that the case required, he is now gone before, "to prepare a place" (John 14.) for all that believe in him and obey him. Man lay under a double incapacity for happiness; he could neither keep the law of God in future, nor satisfy for his past breach and contempt of it. To obviate the former, Jesus Christ performed a perfect, unsinning obedience in our stead. To remove the latter he became "the propitiation for our sins;" yielded up his life, as a prey, into the hands of murderers, and poured forth his precious blood, in drops of sweat in the garden, in streams from his side upon the cross. For this he endured the fiercest temptations of the devil, the scorn, rage, and malice of men, and drank the bitter cup of the wrath of God, when it pleased the Father to bruise him, and make his soul an offering for sin. His love carried him through all; and when he had finally overcome the sharpness of death, he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. In few words, he lived and died for us when upon earth; nor is he unmindful of us in heaven, but lives and intercedes on our behalf. He continually executes the offices of prophet, priest, and king, to his people; instructing them by his word and Spirit; presenting their persons and prayers, acceptable to God through his merits; defending them by his power, from all their enemies, ghostly and bodily; and ordering, by his providence, all things to work together for their good, till at length they are brought home, to be with him where he is, and to behold his glory.....