They sang, “ Glory to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” Methinks, they sang it with gladness in their eyes; with their hearts burning with love, and with breasts as full of joy as if the good news to man had been good news to themselves. And, verily, it was good news to them, for the heart of sympathy makes good news to others, good news to itself.
The angels sang something which men could understand something which men ought to understand something which will make men much better if they will understand it. The angels were singing about Jesus who was born in the manger. We must look upon their song as being built upon this foundation. They sang of Christ, and the salvation which he came into this world to work out. And what they said of this salvation was this: they said, first, that it gave glory to God; secondly, that it gave peace to man; and, thirdly, that it was a token of Gods good will towards the human race.
What is the instructive lesson to be learned from this first syllable of the angels song? Why this, that salvation is Gods highest glory. There is more in that than in creation, more melody in Jesus in the manger, than there is in worlds on worlds rolling their grandeur round the throne of the Most High. Pause Christian, and consider this a minute. See how every attribute is here magnified. Lo! what wisdom is here. God becomes man that God may be just, and the justifier of the ungodly. Lo! what power, for where is power so great as when it concealeth power? What power, that Godhead should unrobe itself and become man! Behold, what love is thus revealed to us when Jesus becomes a man. Behold, ye what faithfulness! How many promises are this day kept? How many solemn obligations are this hour discharged? Tell me one attribute of God that is not manifest in Jesus. and your ignorance shall be the reason why you have not seen it so. The whole of God is glorified in Christ; and though some part of the name of God is written in the universe, it is here best read in Him who was the Son of Man, and, yet, the Son of God.
But, let me say one word here before I go away from this point. We must learn from this, that if salvation glorifies God, glorifies him in the highest degree, and makes the highest creatures praise him, this one reflection may be added then, that doctrine, which glorifies man in salvation cannot be the gospel. For salvation glorifies God.
The angels were no Arminians, they sang, “Glory to God in the highest.” They believe in no doctrine which uncrowns Christ, and puts the crown upon the head of mortals. They believe in no system of faith which makes salvation dependent upon the creature, and, which really gives the creature the praise for what is it less than for a man to save himself, if the whole dependence of salvation rests upon his own free will? No, my brethren; there may be some preachers, that delight to preach a doctrine that magnifies man; but in their gospel angels have no delight.
The only glad tidings that made the angels sing, are those that put God first, God last, God midst, and God without end, in the salvation of his creatures, and put the crown wholly and alone upon the head of him that saves without a helper. “Glory to God in the highest,” is the angels song.
Do you not feel my brethren, that the gospel of God is peace to man? Where else can peace be found but in the message of Jesus?
No greater proof of kindness between the Creator and his subjects possibly be afforded than when the Creator gives his only begotten and well beloved Son to die. Though the first note is God-like, and though the second note is peaceful, this third note melts my heart the most. Some think of God as if he were a morose being who hated all mankind. Some picture him as if he were some abstract subsistence taking no interest in our affairs. Hark ye God has “good will toward men.” You know what good will means.
Well all that it means, and more, God has to you, ye sons and daughters of Adam. Swearer, you have cursed God; he has not fulfilled his curse on you; he has good will towards you, though you have no good will towards him. Infidel, you have sinned high and hard against the Most High; he has said no hard things against you, for he has good will towards men.
Why not rather anticipate the joys of heaven, and begin to sing on earth that song which you will never need to end? The first emotion then that we ought to cherish in our hearts is the emotion of joy and gladness.
There are brighter days approaching. They sang “Peace on earth.” But I hear still the clarion of war; and the cannons horrid roar; not yet have they turned the sword into a ploughshare, and the spear into a pruninghook! War still reigns. Is this all that the angels sang about? And whilst I see wars to the ends of the earth, am I to believe that this was all the angels expected? Ah! no, brethren; the angels song is big with prophecy; it travaileth in birth with glories. A few more years, and he that lives them out shall see why angels sang; a few more years, and he that will come shall come, and will not tarry.
Christ the Lord will come again, and when he cometh he shall cast the idols from their thrones; he shall dash down every fashion of heresy and every shape of idolatry; he shall reign from pole to pole with illimitable sway: he shall reign, when like a scroll, yon blue heavens have passed away.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible