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"Grace and Glory"
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 1913.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 6, 1868.
"The Lord will give Grace and Glory." Psalm 84:11.
IT is very wise to look within ourselves to discover our own weakness and spiritual poverty, but it is very unwise to be always dwelling upon that weakness and poverty—and to forget that our strength does not lie there, nor are our riches to be found within ourselves! Let us look within to be humbled, but not to be made unbelieving. Look within, so as to be driven from all confidence in ourselves, but never so as to shake our absolute confidence in God. Our text, as it were, beckons us away from seeking the living among the dead, calling us up from searching for precious jewels amid dross and refuse, but directs us to the living God Himself—the overflowing Fountain of every good thing, our Father whose arm is not shortened that it cannot save, and whose ear is not heavy that He cannot hear us tonight! He—He— Jehovah, Himself, the Infinite, Eternal, Everlasting, Inimitable I AM—He will give Grace and Glory, so that though you may think you have no Grace, He will give it to you, and though you may fear that you shall never obtain Glory, yet He can and will bestow it upon you! He will give Grace and Glory. The very first word of the text, I say, is a taking us away from leaning upon the broken reeds of our own self-reliance and a calling us away to the Rock of our salvation, where we may rest with security!
"He will give Grace and Glory." That word, "give," also takes us off from our natural legality of self-trust. I think that we are all very apt to go back to the bondage of Mount Sinai. We are like those foolish Galatians! We are often "bewitched," so that we do not obey the Truth of God, but, having begun in the Spirit, we seek to be made perfect in the flesh and, being saved already by faith, we often try to be perfected by the works of the Law!
"'Tis strange, 'tis passing strange, 'tis amazing," that after having felt the whip of legal bondage, we should wish to go back to the brick kilns of Egypt and to be slaves once more! The text says, "He will give Grace and Glory," which is the very opposite of wages and puts us on the footing of Grace and not on the footing of debt. Oh, it is a blessed thing to see a finger from the sky thus beckoning us away from underneath the quaking mountain, where even Moses confessed that he did altogether fear and quake! It is a blessed thing to be set free from the thunder and lightning, and the Voice as of a trumpet, and to be brought to the blood which speaks better things than that of Abel, and to hear God speaking concerning His great and unspeakable gifts to us!
Now, in the spirit of these two thoughts, let us come to this text, which is very simple, extremely simple, but which is also exceedingly full of comfort if the Lord shall apply it to our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
There are just two great and splendid gifts that God here declares He will bestow. First, the gift of Grace, and then next, the gift of Glory. We will take the first gift first in our meditations—
I. GOD WILL GIVE GRACE.
To whom will He give Grace? Broadly understood, we may say that He will give Grace to His own chosen ones. So is it in the Covenant of Grace. "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So, then, it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy." Grace is a most Sovereign thing. God has the right to give it where He pleases and He takes care that the Sovereignty shall be seen. Some of His chosen ones have gone afar into sin, but He gives them Grace, for all that. Some of them may be on the very verge of destruction and come to the last hour of life—but still, He will give them Grace—and there is not one upon whom His electing love has set the broad arrow of the Kingdom, marking that man to be a vessel of mercy, who shall pass away without receiving Divine Grace! This is a broad statement and though there are some that cavil at it, yet rest assured that it is the Truth of God!
Another statement we may also make as broadly, namely, that He will give Grace to all those who were specially redeemed by Christ As many as Christ has redeemed and purchased by His blood, shall be His, for we hear Him say, "The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." Christ loved His Church and gave Himself for it. The chosen are spoken of in this manner, "These are they who are redeemed from among men," and although the redemption of Christ has its universal aspect very plainly taught in God's Word, and I hope we shall never try to take away the force of those universal passages—yet there is a special redemption besides. "He is the Savior of all men," says the Apostle, "especially of them that believe." Now, that special redemption is of such a kind that to all those who are concerned in it, He will give Grace. Not one whom Christ has thus redeemed from among men shall perish! Not one of His own blood-bought sheep shall be devoured by the wolf. Not one member of that body of His shall be maimed. Not one part of His bride, the Church, shall be destroyed! To every one of these, it is quite certain, He will give Divine Grace!
And although some think that these two Truths of God are not practical, yet are they eminently so, for this, among other things, is one practical result—that we preach with holy confidence, with quiet confidence, that our preaching cannot be in vain since we do not cast the net at a chance, but believe that God will fill it and that when the Gospel is preached, it must be the savor of life unto life to many!
"Other sheep have I," said Christ, "who are not of this fold: them also must I bring," and therefore do we preach, because they must be brought!
As the farmer sows the corn broadcast, with all the freer hand because he knows there is a predestined harvest, even so do we. And as a fisherman who should have a Divine promise that he must catch fish would throw in the net and toil all night cheerfully because he knew he could not labor in vain, so is it with us. We know that if we are steadfast, unmov-able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, this is our comfort—that our labor is not in vain in the Lord! "He shall see His seed! He shall prolong His days and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hands." I take the expression of the text, then, without qualification—He will give Grace.
But now, coming to ourselves—for we cannot tell, except by marks and evidences, who are those chosen and who are those specially redeemed—it may be said that the Lord will give Grace to every believing soul. If you will put your whole reliance upon the Atonement of Christ, He will give Grace to you. Though your faith should be so slender that it seems to you to be nothing but a bruised reed, He will not break your faith, but He will give you Grace—and though the spiritual life should seem to be so dim as to be nothing but as smoking flax, He will not quench it, but will give Grace. If you believe, though it is with the faith of despondency, you shall have Divine Grace! If you rest in Christ, though there should be much fear and much mistrust mingled with your reliance, yet He will give Grace. "'He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." It says nothing as to how much he believes, nor how little—"He that calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." It does not say how loud he is to call, but if his call is never so faint, yet if he does but call, He shall have Grace! "Him that comes unto Me I will in no wise cast out." It does not say whether he comes walking, or running, or crawling—if he does but come—he shall not be cast out! If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then of you it shall be said, "The Lord will give Grace."
The same may be said to every repenting sinner. If you abhor your sin, if you resolve in God's strength to give it up, if the sweetness has turned to bitterness, if it is like gravel between your teeth, then He will give you Grace, for when you are thoroughly sick of sin and self, then will He give you Grace to joy and rejoice in Christ!
The same shall be said of all those who are prayerful. He will give Grace to all who seek it with earnest hearts through the Savior. At the Mercy Seat, whether you are a saint or sinner, if you draw near to God in sincere prayer, He has already given you some Grace and He will give you more. Every time that you go to God with true-hearted confidence in prayer, put this before you emblazoned in letters of gold, "He will give Grace."
You shall not find that you wait upon God in vain, for He has not said in secret or dark places of the earth, "Seek you My face in vain." He will, to every prayerful one, give Grace.
I might continue these instances as to different characters, but rest assured, dear Friend, if you are a Believer, and you use prayer and repentance, you shall find His promise true in all your conditions. If you go forth to work for God, He will give Grace. In the vineyard you shall find Him furnishing you with tools, yes, and giving you strength equal to your day. He will give Grace. And if you are laid aside from active service and made to toss to and fro upon the bed that grows harder every hour till the skin is broken and the bed becomes a misery, still He will give Grace. Perhaps you are untried at suffering, but He will give you Grace. Perhaps you are naturally of an impatient spirit—wait upon Him—He knows how to bring your spirit down one way and lift it up another! He will give Grace.
Thus might I continue to take the text from its absolute sense and apply it to all the characters that are pictured in God's Word as having a part and lot in the blessedness of salvation—and we may say of each of these, "He will give Grace."
But to turn the subject a moment, let us ask, What Grace will God give?
He will give all manner of Grace. There is Grace not only in fullness, but in all variety treasured up in Christ Jesus. As our needs are many, so the forms in which Grace blesses us are many, and He will give Grace in all these forms! Do you mourn tonight your ignorance of the deep things of God? Do you feel yourself to be like a little child studying His A. B. C. book in God's great school? Then if you want to understand with all saints what are the heights and breadths, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, He will give you Grace! He will give Grace to instruct. He will make you to know even as you are known. He shall give you His Holy Spirit who shall lead you into all the Truths of God and take of the things of Christ and show them to you. He will give instructingGrace!
Perhaps tonight you are in some great dilemma. There is one difficulty on the right aide and another on the left. There are mountains behind and the rolling sea in front, and you say, "What shall I do?" "Stand still and see the salvation of God," for He will give you delivering Grace. If He does not give you money to fill your purse, He will give you Grace to help you to bear your poverty. If He does not give you health to bring you off your sickbed, He will give you Grace to make your bed in all your suffering, so that you shall bear it and yet rejoice in the Lord always! He will give Grace. If you will only wait, you shall have directing Grace. You shall hear a voice near you, saying, "This is the way; walk you in it." If you will do as David did when he said, "Bring here the ephod"—that was in order that he might ask of God's priests what he should do—if you will wait until Christ, God's great High Priest, takes the sacred Urim and Thummim, He shall be pleased to send the Light of God into your soul and you shall have directing Grace to guide you on your way! "He that trusts in his own heart is a fool, but He that trusts in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about."
But you need, dear Friends, perhaps at this moment, not so much instruction and direction as comfort. It may be you are feeling greatly depressed. Your spirits have sunk very low, indeed. Well, He will give you Grace. The doctor can give medicine, but God can give Grace! A dram of Grace is often better than a pound of what the world can give in the form of cordials. Oh, what blessed revivals of spirit God can give to His downcast ones!
I think it is one of the delights of the Spirit of God to comfort mourners. I know it is, for He might, if He had pleased, have taken the name of The Instructor, and Jesus might have spoken of Him as The Quickener, but yet it is so blessed to recollect that He did not do so, but that the name of The Comforter was especially His because we need most His comfort to strengthen and fortify us for all life's endurances. We need most the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and that is His main business, His gracious occupation—that in which He most delights to act—to comfort all that are tried and mourn!
When a man has many titles, he will naturally choose to be best known by the one which he likes best. And the Holy Spirit uses this name of The Comforter, though He has many more names besides. Oh, you, then, who are troubled and distracted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, Jesus comes, and He says, "He will give you Grace," and if He does this, you need not wish to have your trouble removed, but, like Paul, be quite satisfied with the gracious promise, "My Grace is sufficient for you."
Possibly, however, dear Friend, you are not troubled tonight. Beware of that! Be thankful and pray that you may not be. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." But it is possible that you now need Grace to lead you to make advances in inward sanctification—and though this may seem very difficult to you in the position in which you are placed, and burdened as you are with your inward corruptions, yet He will give Grace! You have a bad temper? Down with it! "I cannot," you say. But He will give Grace. You have a proud spirit. Away with it! "I cannot conquer it," you say. He will give Grace. You have grown cold of late and lukewarm—you must be revived—you must recover from this backsliding. You say, "How?" He will give Grace! Grace is the one thing that is needed to put the Christian into a healthy state of soul! And the promise of the Lord which we are using tonight—and repeating so often in your ears—is just to the point—He will give Divine Grace. You must never say you cannot be as holy as So-and-So. Never tell me you cannot grow to be as patient as Job, or as believing as Abraham. Job received his patience and Abraham received his believing from God! He is not straitened in His gifts to us. He is as ready to enrich us as He was to enrich those ancient ones. Go to Him with child-like confidence, with this in your mouth, "He will give Grace."
Now, it is not possible for me to state the case of everyone of my Brothers and Sisters now present. You may be lacking in strength or protection, or you may be needing correction and rebuke—but whatever your great need, His Grace will meet it and so the promise is suitable to every one of us, "He will give Grace." Come, you poor Hannah, you whose lips move in silent prayer because of some very painful domestic affliction. Tell the Lord what it is! There may be no change in your circumstances, but oh, if He gives you Grace, it will seem very different from what it was!
Man of business, you have come here tonight having passed through a world of trouble during the day. You cannot get it out of your mind and somehow you cannot see how the Lord can alter it. Well, He may not, but He will give you Divine Grace and then the difference will be marvelous!
Thus might I select the trouble of each one, but I am sure that whatever the wound is, this plaster will just fit it. The world's comfort is described by one of the Prophets thus, "The bed is shorter than that a man may stretch himself upon it, and the covering is too narrow for him to wrap himself in it." Ah, it is not so with my text! Now, stretch yourselves, you that have big troubles. "He will give Grace," is a bed quite long enough for you! Now, then, you that are most naked and deprived of warmth—rap this around you—surely this will set your soul a glow—"He will give Grace." "All necessary Grace will God bestow."
Perhaps you are shivering tonight at the thought of the greatest enemy of all, namely, death! And as you are getting old, perhaps you fear his approach. Well, but Friend, He will give Grace and though you must die, yet Grace will enable you to go through the Jordan singing in its utmost depths, triumphing in the Grace which will surely bring you safe to the other side! He will give Grace—Grace of all sorts to those who earnestly seek it.
But now, again—still shifting the kaleidoscope a little—taking the same thought only putting it in other lights. In what manner will God give Grace?
Well, dear Friends, He will give it sufficiently. He will give you as much Grace as you need, though certainly none to spare. Each man shall have his omer full of manna every day. There shall be no lack in the Lord's camp! There shall be abundant Grace for abundant temptation or trial. And for those who are in many trials, there shall be Grace yet superabundant!
The Lord will give His Grace seasonably. It shall always come just when we need it—
"He is never before His time, He is never behind."
Whenever your testing or trouble shall come, your Grace shall come, too, and when you arrive at the spot where you will have to put your back down to the burden, there shall the Grace be given that will strengthen your back to bear the load! You shall not meet with abounding Grace when you do not require it, but just as your days, so shall your strength be.
God will also send this Grace of His readily. You shall not have to tug and strain to get it. You shall not have to labor and toil to win it. It shall drop upon you like honey falling from the comb! It shall come as freely to you as the water bubbles up from the great spring. He will be a very present help in time of trouble and be glad to deliver you—as glad to deliver you as you are to be delivered!
And the Grace shall come to you constantly—not fitfully and only sometimes, but at all times! By night and by day. God shall never cease to bless you, for His mercy endures forever—
"At home or abroad, on the land and the sea, As your days shall demand, shall your strength always be." If the earth should forget the Covenant which God made for it with the sun and moon. If seedtime and harvest, and summer and winter should pass away, as they must in the general conflagration, yet still the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but the Covenant of His Grace shall not depart from you! Grace shall come to you constantly.
But remember one thing. It will come to you mediately, that is to say, not direct from God immediately, but mediately through Christ. You shall get your Grace from Him in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell. And, in another sense, you shall get it mediately through the use of means. "For this will I be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them." He will give Grace, but you must pray for it! He will give Grace, but you must search the Scriptures to find it! He will give Grace, but you must observe Gospel ordinances—you must not be negligent of Baptism or the Lord's Supper! He will give Grace, but you must listen to the Word, and hear, and your souls shall live! He will give Grace, but you must get into communion with God and draw near to Him—have your times of quiet retirement, of still meditation, for although the Lord makes the conduit head to flow unto the marketplace, yet He expects His people to bring their pitchers there to get them filled! Though He spreads the table, yet He does not force the food into our mouths! We must come to the table and eat of the dainties which He has prepared. He is very liberal and gracious. Oh, be not straitened in yourselves, for you need never be straitened in Him! So we come back to the text. He will give Grace, but we must take care that we go to Him for it in His own appointed way.
But now to close upon this first promised blessing, Who isit will give Grace? This brings us back in a circle to the spot from which we started. "He will give Grace." Oh, I want so to make each Believer cling to his God! He will give Grace. You will not get Grace from out of yourselves! It will never spring up within us apart from God. He will give Grace. You will not get Grace merely by using the means of Grace, as some do mechanically and who feel quite satisfied when they have had their morning prayer, or have been to the public service, if there is one, and have read their Bible Chapter, and so on, their hearts being really asleep all the time. No! You must go to God, for it is He who gives Grace and no one else can! And what a blessing it is that you do not need anyone to help you to come to Him! You can approach Him yourselves, through Jesus Christ! And He has promised, not by a priest, nor by any means of that kind, but by Himself, to give you Grace, so that you, tonight, who have not any Grace, if you come to God, you will get it! You will not get it by working and praying, and I do not know what, all in themselves, but if your mind can get right to the invisible God and ask Him for Grace, He will give it! Depend upon it, no man ever did sincerely seek the Grace of God but that, sooner or later, he had it. A man may be a long time seeking and he may anxiously look and not discover what he needs, but though the promise tarry, wait for it—it will come! God is faithful to His promise and He will in due time answer your prayers, for there it is on record, "He will give Grace." Do not blot the promise out of your heart, poor Soul, but cling and hang on to it! As a drowning man clings and hangs on to a plank, so do you to this Divine assertion, "He will give Grace."
May the Lord apply those remarks, and now let us say a few words upon the second great promise— II. HE WILL GIVE GLORY.
He will "give Grace and Glory." That word, "and," seems very little as we hear it. It is nothing but a very common conjunction which is used so plentifully that it seems to carry no meaning in it at all! But in this case we would not take ten thousand pounds for these three letters which make this little word, "and." "The Lord will give Grace and Glory." Why, He has riveted the two things together—Grace and Glory! There are many who would like to take that diamond rivet out, but they cannot. The Lord does not say that He will give Grace and perdition. He does not say, on the other hand, that He will give Glory without first giving Grace. He has put the two together—and what God has joined together let no man put asunder!
If we have Grace, we shall as surely have Glory, for the two are tied up in one bundle. These are twin stars that shine together and if you have shared His Grace, then His Glory cannot be denied. Grace shall flower into Glory as the bulb in the blossom! Grace shall rise as the fountain and Glory shall be its spreading river!
If we possess the Grace, we shall not perish, but if we have it not, we must perish and never know the Glory! It is not possible that those shall be glorified who have not first of all been justified, and then sanctified—and where Grace does not reign in our hearts we shall not reign in Heaven!
"He will give Grace and Glory." Now, the Glory that He shall give—oh, that we had the power to see it and to understand it! Eye has not seen, the ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God has prepared for them that love Him! But He has revealed them unto us by His Spirit, "that we may search all things, even the deep things of God." We do, therefore, know a little of what that Glory is. The eye does not, the ear does not, but the enlightened soul taught of the Spirit of God does know what the Glory will be. So far as this we know, that the Glory which we who have obtained Grace are to receive is the Glory of Heaven—whatever Heaven may be, a place or a state, or both, as is most probable! Whatever may be meant by the streets of shining gold, the gates of pearl, the walls of jasper, calcedony, and sapphire. Whatever may be indicated by crowns, and palms, and harps of gold—whatever may be meant by the river of the Water of Life and trees that bear twelve manners of fruits—all this in perfection is the inheritance of those who have Grace in their hearts! Oh, you shall have the harps, you shall wave the palms, you shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of God! If there are degrees in Glory, as some say, yet this thing is very certain, that the very least of the saints will have Glory—and I do not see how the very greatest could have more.
The very meanest, the very doorkeepers, if such there should be in the House of the Lord above, will have Glory! And I am sure we can say of Heaven that if we may but have the lowest place there, we will bless the Lord to all eternity! The Glory that God can give is the Glory of Heaven!
In the next place, it is the Glory of eternity. Eternity! Oh, when we begin to speak of that word we know not how to speak! Eternity! Eternity! Eternity! It must expound itself. We are always confusing it with time, and speak of the "countless ages of eternity" as though there were any "ages," or could be anything like counting in eternity at all, which is of unending duration! Now, the Glory which Christ is to give us will be such a Glory as that. It will never know a pause, never draw near to a conclusion, never decline and we shall never grow weary of it—nor will it be weary of us. It is the Glory of eternity!
Further, Brothers and Sisters, we are told by the Lord that the Glory which He will give to His people is the Glory of Christ "The Glory which you gave Me I have given them." Can you conceive how glorious Christ is, not only in His Nature originally, but now that He has obtained as a reward, a seat upon His Father's Throne and at His Father's right hand? Brothers and Sisters, whatever Glory Jesus may have, He will share it with us, when we shall be like He and when we shall see Him as He is. It is the Glory of Christ!
And hence, to crown all, it is the Glory of the Father Himself, for Christ partakes in His Father's Glory, and even so shall we! Does not your heart long and pant to know by actual enjoyment what this Glory is? Oh, to get away from looking in the mirror and to have a view of Christ's face! To have the clouds and mists all swept away, and in the serene atmosphere of Heaven to behold the King in His beauty, and the land that is very far off!
Why, this Glory is the Glory of perfect nature—spotless, s inless, incorruptible—a body that can know no weakness, or sickness, or decay! A soul that will not be capable of temptation, that cannot be fretted by care, nor distracted by trouble!
It is the Glory of victory. The Glory which God will give His people is the Glory of bruising Satan under his feet shortly, the Glory of seeing the arrows and the bow, the sword and the shield of the devil forever broken in pieces! The Glory of seeing all the hosts of Hell confounded and put to the blush eternally by everyone of the saints in whom Christ shall reign forever!
It is the Glory of perfect rest, perfect happiness and perfect security. It is the Glory of the foot upon the Rock, with the new song in the mouth and the goings established! It is the Glory of the blessed. He who knows what it is when the whole soul shall be as full of happiness as it can hold, shall float, swim, dive and plunge into seas of heavenly rest! It is when it shall not be possible for a man to have a wish ungratified, nor a desire unfulfilled! It is where every power shall find ample employment without weariness, and every passion shall have full indulgence without so much as a fear of sin—
"Oh, happy hour, oh, blest abode, I shall be near and like my God! And every power find sweet employ In that eternal world ofjoy!"
Do you not again say, "Why are His chariots so long in coming?" Why do You delay, Beloved? Be You as a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Beza!
And now, to close. The text says, "He will give Glory." So, then, although Glory is a reward and is often called so, yet still it is a gift! The rewards of Grace are of Grace. They are not legal rewards given to us because we deserve them. As one says, Christ first gives His servants Grace to serve Him, and then rewards them as if they had served Him in their own strength, though their service, indeed, is His work in them rather than their work for Him! It is a gift then. There is not a soul in Heaven that is there by merit. There is not a note of self-righteousness to mar the song of Free Grace before the Throne of God! It is all love, undeserved love, love without limit, love to be extolled throughout eternity!
But it says that He will give Glory. Now, when will He give it? Ah, would not some of us like to know! If we could get a hold of some Prophetical work that would tell us when we were, all of us, going to get this Glory, I am sure we should pay the price with great readiness and cheerfulness. But we would be very unwise in so doing—and he is the wisest man who says—
"My God I would not wish to see My fate with curious eyes."
It is enough for you, Christian, that you will have Glory! And I will tell you one thing—you will have it before seventy year's time. There is very little probability with any one of you who have grown up to manhood or womanhood, that there will be a single exception to that statement! Well, that is not long, and that is the outside! Some of you will have it very soon. Ah, we should not wonder if it came to you before this year of Grace has gone that you will have reached the land of Glory! Others may be spared a little longer, but what is the difference in the time? It really seems to be no measurement at all. Life is only a span at the longest, and but a span even at the shortest—that it is much the same as compared with eternity. When we do but get to Heaven, we shall wonder that we thought anything about time at all. An hour with our God will make up for all its troubles. Yes, I suppose that but one sight of Christ will take away all the
taste of the bitters of life from our mouths forever! We shall wonder how we ever could have fretted and worried ourselves with such little things as they were—such insignificant trifles and how these light afflictions which were but for a moment and are not worthy to be compared to the eternal weight of Glory—could have exercised such a depressing influence upon our spirits at times! If we could blush in Heaven, surely we would blush to think that we have been so impatient with tarrying a little while here!
When shall we come to this Glory? Well, we shall come to it when our work is done. We shall not be kept out of the wage a moment after it is earned. We shall come to Glory when we are ripe for it. When the fruit is mellow, the farmer will gather it in. Some grow mellow soon, but some are naturally sour and they need to be long in the mellowing. We shall get to Heaven when we have really been tried in the furnace till there is no more need for the trying—when we have passed through the last crucible and have come out of it wholly sanctified—the process being complete.
This much we know, that we shall go to Heaven just when God has purposed it. The devil himself, with all the hosts of Hell, cannot keep us back a moment longer than that! We shall go there just when Heaven will be most Heaven to us. We shall go there just when we should have chosen to go ourselves, if we had had the wisdom of God to choose for us. We shall go there just when Christ will be ready to welcome us and when we shall know that He has prepared a place for us. Let us be patient awhile then. Only let us hang hard upon this gracious promise, putting the Lord frequently in mind of it, "He will give Grace and Glory."
Now, Brothers and Sisters, one more remark. If the Lord does give Grace and Glory to some of your friends, do not quarrel with Him about it. He said He would, and when He does, why should we complain? Did you ever see two persons praying against each other? Can you suppose such a thing as a Believer praying for one thing and Christ praying for another? Now, listen to them. There is a Believer praying over a friend, "Oh, God, spare him! Spare him, I pray You, I beseech You I entreat You! Spare him and let him yet live here." Listen! There is Christ praying, too, and He says, "Father, I will that they, also, which You have given Me, should be with Me where I am." The Believer wants his friends to be with him where he is! But Christ says, "Where I am." Now, when Christ's prayers and our prayers cross each other in this way, I put it to you, which shall win? When we pull one way and Christ pulls the other, what shall our choice be? Surely we shall say, "Oh, Lord Jesus, I would not compete with You for a moment! No, You have a dearer claim upon my friend than I have, for You have bought him with Your precious blood."
It is hard to part, but let them go! If He has given your dear children, or your friends, or your partners in life, Grace now, when He proceeds to give them Glory you may weep, for, "Jesus wept," but you must not murmur, for that would be to deny Christ's claim to what He has purchased with His own precious blood!
Oh, that all of you had Grace that you might all have Glory! Do not hope for Glory without Grace, but Jesus is willing to give it. Whoever trusts Him shall receive it. May it be the portion of us all, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
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