"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of clean lips."
–Isa. vi. 5.
–Isa. vi. 5.
My soul! thy last evening was deeply exercised on that glorious subject, the holiness of Jehovah. Let this evening's meditation call thee to what ought immediately to follow; thy unholiness and corruption. What a transition! And yet what more suited for meditation? The prophet Isaiah, who had been admitted to the view of a vision, like that which John the apostle saw in the after ages, beheld the glory of Christ, and heard those who cried, "Holy,holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts! and the effect was as is here related. His consternation was so great, concluding that he should be struck dead (agreeably to what holy men of old had conceived, that the sight of God would produce death), that he cried out, "Woe is me, I am undone." Pause, my soul! thou art also "a man of unclean lips!"
How dost thou hope to see the face of God in glory? How art thou prepared for such an overwhelming sight? Convinced of thy uncleanness, and convinced also that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, neither can any evil dwell with him; how art thou looking for acceptance here by grace, and the everlasting acceptance and admittance of thy person hereafter in glory before God? Ponder the subject well, and consider, under this particular, as in every other, the blessedness of an union with Christ, and an interest in Christ. Here lie all thy hopes, all thy confidence, all thy security! Undone as thou art in thyself, and unclean as thy lips and thy whole nature are, by reason of sin, both from the original state in which thou wast conceived and born, and the actual transgressions which thou hast committed; yet looking up to the throne, in and through Jesus, thy Husband, thy Surety, thy Sponsor; here it is, my soul, and here alone, that thy confidence is well founded, and all thy hopes secure. And dost thou not feel a holy joy, a sweet undescribable delight, in contemplating the divine holiness; while contemplating, at the same time, thine own interest and right in the holiness of the Lord Jesus?
Art thou not full of rapture in beholding the glory of God's holiness, for which, rather than an atom of it should be tarnished by the sinner, the Son of God assumed the nature of his people, and died on the cross, to make atonement? And art thou not comforted in the blessed view, that God's holiness hath received more glory, more honour, by the obedience and sacrifice of the Glory-man, Christ Jesus, than could have been given by the everlasting obedience of men and angels to all eternity? And say, moreover, dost thou not at times take delight in drawing nigh to the throne of grace, and offering thy poor feeble praises of" Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of Hosts," when thou art approaching, and holding communion with God, in and through the holy Jesus, thy 'Redeemer? Oh! thou dear Emmanuel, in whom alone, and by whom alone, all my hopes and confidences are founded, I fall down at thy feet, and as the prophet cried out, so do I desire unceasingly to exclaim, "I am a man of unclean lips!" But do thou cause the iniquity to be taken away, and my sin to be purged, by the live coal, from thee, who art our new testament altar, and I shall be clean; for thou art the Lord my righteousness.
Taken from Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions.