Donne Resting in the Merits of Christ

The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance: the Psalmist’s words apply to everyone the Lord saves. The more I read of John Donne, here and there in bits and pieces, the more I thank the Lord for saving him and preserving what he wrote. Oh, how the man preached! His words on the joyous resurrection of the dead, and his sole confidence in Christ’s merits, beautifully secure in my heart what St Paul taught the Romans:

Christ shall bear witnesse for me, in ascribing his righteousnesse unto me, and in delivering me into his Fathers hands, with the same tendernesse, as he delivered up his owne soule, and in making me, who am a greater sinner, then they who crucified him on earth for me, as innocent, and as righteous as his glorious selfe, in the Kingdome of heaven.

I think that main clause shall be the inscription on my tomb, for I can think of no expression more evangelical for that purpose, and few as eloquent. So too it would do very well for my children’s devotions that they read the best of his sermons and meditations. Very Reverend Doctor, I hope I may come to love God as much as you did, for you show me that there is nothing better than to be loved by God; I know you’d be only too happy to know that.

Earth cannot receive, Heaven cannot give such another universall soul to all: all persons, all actions, as Mercy. And were I the childe of this Text [Isaiah 65.20], that were to live a hundred years, I would ask no other marrow to my bones, no other wine to my heart, no other light to mine eyes, no other art to my understanding, no other eloquence to my tongue, then the power of apprehending for my self, and the power of deriving and conveying upon others by my Ministry, the Mercy, the early Mercy, the everlasting Mercy of yours, and my God.

God bless forever those who hear him proclaim the Cross of Christ, that they may be moved to believe.


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