(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)
Saving faith is soul-softening, it is soul-mollifying. Peter believes soundly--and weeps bitterly. Mary Magdalene believes much--and weeps much. Faith sets . . . a wounded Christ, a bruised Christ, a despised Christ, a pierced Christ, a bleeding Christ --before the soul, and this makes the soul sit down and weep bitterly: "They will look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him (all gospel-mourning flows from believing), as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for Him as for a firstborn son who has died." Zechariah 12:10. Oh! the sight of those wounds which their sins have made--will wound their hearts through and through! It will make them lament over Christ with a bitter lamentation. Ah! nothing will kindly, sweetly, and effectually break the hardened heart of a sinner, but faith's beholding the blood of Christ trickling down His sides! That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely; that man's extreme misery should but inflame Christ's affections of love and mercy--this melts the believing soul. That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of His Father; that He who was equal with God--should come in the form of a servant; that He who was clothed with glory--should be wrapped in rags; that He whom the heaven of heavens could not contain--should be cradled in a manger; that from His cradle to His cross--His whole life should be a life of sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death; that He who was His Father's joy--should in anguish of spirit cry out, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' that that head which was crowned with honor--should be crowned with thorns; that those eyes which were as a flame of fire, which were clearer than the sun--should be closed up by the darkness of death; that those ears which were used to hear nothing but hallelujahs--should hear nothing but blasphemies; that that face which was white and ruddy--should be spit upon by the beastly Jews; that that tongue which spoke as never any man spoke, yes, as never any angel spoke--should be accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both a golden scepter and an iron rod, and those feet which were as fine brass--should be nailed to the cross--and all this for man's transgression, for man's rebellion! Oh! the sight of these things, the believing of these things, makes a gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan, to mourn and lament! True faith is a heart-breaking, a heart-melting faith.