Adapted from the sermon, "The Saint One with His Savior" (#961) preached on 11/20/1870.
Let us give you an illustration of what unity of spirit is as we see it among men, for herein we may dimly see it as between the Lord and our souls. We will take a copy from that rare conjugal union which exists among those who realize the highest ideal of the married life. Sometimes we have seen a model marriage, founded in pure love and cemented in mutual esteem. Therein the husband acts as a tender head, and the wife, as a true spouse, realizes the model marriage relation, and sets forth what our oneness with the Lord ought to be.
She delights in her husband, in his person, his character, his affection; to her he is not only the chief and foremost of mankind, but in her eyes he is all in all, her heart's love belongs to him and to him only. She finds sweetest content and solace in his company, his fellowship, his fondness; he is her little world, her paradise, her choice treasure. To please him she would gladly lay aside her own pleasure to find it doubled in gratifying him. She is glad to sink her individuality in his. She seeks no name for herself; his honor is reflected upon her, and she rejoices in it. She would defend his name with her dying breath. Safe enough is he where she can speak for him.
The domestic circle is her kingdom, that she may there create happiness and comfort is her life-work, and his smiling gratitude is all the reward she seeks. Even in her dress she thinks of him, without constraint she consults his taste, and thinks nothing beautiful which is obnoxious to his eye. A tear from his eye, because of any unkindness on her part, would grievously torment her. She asks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another's judgment may be satisfied with her behavior; let her beloved be content and she is glad. He has many objects in life, some of which she does not quite understand, but she believes in them all, and anything that she can do to promote them she delights to perform.
He lavishes love on her and she on him. Their object in life is common. There are points where their affections so intimately unite that none could tell which is first and which is second. To see their children growing up in health and strength, to see them holding posts of usefulness and honor, is their mutual concern; in this and other matters they are fully one. Their wishes blend, their hearts are indivisible. By degrees they come very much to think the same thoughts. Intimate association creates conformity; we have known this to become so complete that at the same moment the same utterance has leaped to both their lips. Happy woman and happy man! If heaven be found on earth they have it!
At last the two are so welded, so engrafted on one stem, that their old age presents a lovely attachment, a common sympathy, by which its infirmities are greatly alleviated, and its burdens are transformed into fresh bonds of love. So happy a union of will, sentiment, thought, and heart exists between them, that the two streams of their life have washed away the dividing bank, and run on as one broad current of united existence until their common joy falls into the main ocean of felicity.
Ephesians 5:32-33 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Such a sight it maybe is not commonly seen, but it is inexpressibly beautiful, and is a fair type of what the Christian ought to be in his oneness with his Lord. For the believer there should be no attractive beauty but in Christ, nothing that can charm him, stir the depths of his soul, or move his nobler passions, but the glorious person of Emmanuel, the chief among ten thousand. He loved us and gave Himself for us, we also love Him and give Him our whole selves; for us the one object of life is to please our Lord. We should not dare to sin—not because we are slavishly afraid of punishment, but because we would not grieve the Bridegroom of our souls. We must labor for His cause, not because of legal demands, but because we know no higher happiness under heaven than to make Him honored and to let Him see in us, and through us, of the travail of His soul. Our Lord has great ends and objects; we cannot understand them all, but to our utmost we desire to promote them by suffering or by service. Our prayer is, "Lord, show me what You would have me to do." We would be tenderly sensitive to His desire, not surrendered to it only, but delighting in whatever He wills. We reckon it our honor to be permitted to help Him, however humbly, to work out any of His designs. As to the children of His grace, both His and ours, regenerated by His Spirit and converted by our ministries, they are doubly dear to us, and their perfection we seek with Him. Our constant inquiry is, can we do anything for them? Can we call home the backsliding? Can we comfort the desolate? Can we help the poor and needy? Can we be of any service to the lambs of His flock?