From Love Came Down
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
I know not why it is that when we hear of saving or of a Savior, our mind is carried to the saving of our skin, and other saving we think not of. But there is another life not to be forgotten, and the dangers and destruction there are more to be feared than those here, and it would be well sometimes to remember that. Besides our skin and flesh we have a soul, and that is our better part by far, and also has need of a Savior. It has a destruction out of which and a destroyer from which it should be saved, and this should be thought of. Indeed our chief thought and care should be for that: how to escape the destruction to come, to which our sins will certainly bring us.
Sin it is which will destroy us all, and there is no person on Earth who has so much need of a Savior as does a sinner. There is nothing so dangerous, so deadly to us, as the sin in our hearts; nothing from which we have so much need to be saved, whatever account we make of it. From it comes all the evil of this life and of the life to come. In comparison of that last, the evil here is not worth speaking of. Above all then we need a Savior for our souls, and from our sins, and from the everlasting destruction which sin will bring on us in the other life, which is not far from us, not even from the one who thinks it furthest away.
Then if it is good tidings to hear of a Savior when it is only a matter of the loss of Earth, or of this life here, what is it when it comes to the loss of Heaven, to the danger of hell, when our soul is at the stake and the welfare or destruction of it for ever? One who could save our souls from that destroyer – would not the birth of such a one be good news? Is not such a Savior worth listening to? Is he not? Is it then because we lack that sense of our souls and the dangers of them that we have of our bodies, nor that fear of our spiritual enemies, nor that awareness of the eternal torments of that place, and how near we are to it, nothing being between us and it but this poor puff of breath which is in our nostrils. Our bodies are living and sensitive, our spirit is dead and dull. We lack the feeling of our sins that we have of our sickness. If we had, we would hear this news with greater cheerfulness and hold this day of the birth of such a Savior with joy indeed. We cannot conceive it yet. This destruction is not near enough to affect us. But in the end, when the destroyer shall come and we shall want a Savior, we shall plainly understand and value this benefit and the joy of it as we ought, and find there is no joy on Earth like the joy of a Savior.