How His eyes will sparkle with delight!
(James Smith, "The Good Soldier's Prospect!" 1864)
"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus!" 2 Timothy 2:3
"There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day!" 2 Timothy 4:8
Christian soldier, for encouragement in every conflict — look up to your Captain for supplies — and look forward to the glory that awaits you! The war will soon be over. Your discharge will soon be signed and sent to you. Home is even now in view!
The promised land will be far above our greatest expectations!
The glory to be revealed will far exceed our most enlarged desires!
The weight of glory will transcend our most comprehensive thoughts!
A crown is reserved for you! Not a corruptible crown of laurel or myrtle — but a diadem. A diadem of glory! More durable than gold, more costly than any earthy monarch's crown. Gold, pearls, and precious stones — are not to be compared to it! Its gems will sparkle brighter that the stars on a winter's evening! As a whole, it will shine brighter than the sun on a summer's noon!
It is a crown of glory — a most glorious crown. Not merited by your labors or sufferings in the Lord's service — but graciously promised, and gratuitously bestowed. Promised by your glorious Leader, preserved most carefully in the palace of the Most High God — to be awarded to every faithful soldier at the final and grand review.
Yes, it will be placed on your brow by His hands, who . . .
won you to His service,
led you to the battlefield,
made you victorious, and
will rejoice in your honor and happiness forever!
It will be worn before God's own throne, before the angelic hosts, among God's saints forever. What thrilling joy, what ecstatic pleasure, what inconceivable delight — will you realize, when you first feel it rest on your brow! What a look will your Savior give you — when you lift up your head that He may place it on you, and your eye meets His!
Grace, free grace will shine most gloriously on that day! The songs of the enraptured company will be divinely sweet. O how our blessed Savior's heart will dance for joy! How His eyes will sparkle with delight! His mighty spirit will realize full satisfaction — to see the whole of His redeemed people collected, arranged, and glorified before Him!
Not one missing!
All whom the Father gave Him — there!
All for whom He offered up Himself as a sacrifice — there!
All to whom He sent the Comforter — there!
All who enlisted under His banner and were sworn into His army — there!
Those who were once wounded, weeping, and lagging behind the regiment — there! O glorious salvation — in which every poor, maimed, weather-beaten, discouraged soldier of the cross shall share!
What a prospect is this! How bright, how glowing, how enchanting!
Then, O with what rapture we will sing, "Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father — to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever! Amen."
Surely, surely we ought to be fired with love, filled with zeal, and prepared for every conflict, however arduous — by such a glorious prospect!