To Ponder:

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!” Hebrews 13:8. Everything around us is changing and fast passing away! Nothing appears settled or secure! The old year has fled and has told its tale; a new year begins today and will introduce mercies and trials, comforts and distresses, darkness and light. Who can tell what is folded up in the bosom of this year? Could we look through the coming hours, days, weeks, and months of this year; could we count the head-aches and the heart-aches which await us; the disappointments we shall meet, the vexations we shall experience, the distresses we must pass through—our hearts would perhaps be wrung with anguish, and our minds be clouded with gloom! But these are wisely concealed from our view, and whatever may be our anticipations or forebodings, the Lord meets us on the threshold of this year and assures us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!” This is our encouragement, beloved friends. God himself in pity and compassion gives us this sweet, cheering, and animating assurance. Could Jesus change, then we might sink into gloom, despondency, and despair! Creatures may change, and do change for the worse instead of the better—but Jesus is the same. It is impossible that he should be better—for he is altogether perfect. And being perfect—he can never change for the worse. He embodies everything that is amiable, glorious, and inviting in deity; and everything that is excellent, admirable, and sweet in humanity. He blends the attributes of God—and the perfections of man in his sacred character. He is at once our Brother—and our God; our Maker—and our Fellow; our Lord—and our Husband. O admirable mystery! O encouraging connection! O delightful truth! (James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849)

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