Letters on Spiritual Subjects
There may be obstacles and hindrances in the building and beauty of the
spiritual temple, in the edification and glory of the gospel church. But the
work is of God, and it shall prosper in the hands of our Zerubbabel. His
hands, which have laid the foundation—even His hands shall finish it—and He
shall bring forth the top-stone thereof with shouting, crying, "Grace, grace
unto it." Nor shall any impediments ever stand in the way of the Savior's
rising interest, but what shall serve as a foil to illustrate the brightness
of that omnipotent power, infinite grace, truth, and faithfulness, which
soon, very soon, will redound to His and the Church's glory, in spite of all
opposition from the powers of darkness.
Not the least breathing of your enlarged heart, not a
desire of your capacious soul, nor the least attempt you ever made for the
advancement of the Redeemer's interest, but is recorded by Him in the book
of His remembrance, and shall be rewarded of Him at His appearance. And, lo,
this Lord and King of Glory will Himself will be your exceeding great
reward! And can you fathom the measure of your glory in your immeasurable
Lord? No! heaven's bliss, is immense.
But think, O think with pleasure, on those sweet
foretastes of God with which your happy soul has been favored in times past!
What peace and rest, what refreshing joy, has been given to your spirit when
Jesus drew near! Was not your bliss in those happy moments ineffable—your
joy full of glory unspeakable—and your reward abundantly great and full? And
yet think, O think with rising joy, that the whole of your heart-ravishing
bliss, of your soul-satisfying reward hitherto, if compared with that which
is to come in the immediate presence, and full eternal enjoyment of God and
of the Lamb, is no more than a drop in an immense ocean! Joy enters
into you now; but then, you shall enter into joy, even the joy of your Lord.
God puts a glory upon you now; but then, your God will be your glory!
Rejoice, therefore, as an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ!
And until you come to your eternal inheritance, give your
Father leave to choose your time-portion of trials, which are to prepare you
for your eternal lot of glory. And think it not strange, if so dear a
favorite of heaven should meet with a variety and perpetuity of griefs on
the earth, nor yet if your greatest trials should be reserved for the last.
Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive
evil? Shall we walk joyfully in the light, and not patiently in darkness?
Especially since we have so sweet a companion in tribulation as our Lord
Jesus, who loves us immensely, and will speak to us comfortably. God our
Father has given Christ to be our Leader—to be the Captain of our
Salvation—and, as such, he is continually with us, and goes before us.
Through all the wilderness-way, even to the last step of it, he will never
leave nor forsake us. He will tread down the briars and thorns before us, to
make the way passable for us, and easy for our tender feet.
And no grief will He ever allow to touch us but what He
sees to be absolutely necessary for us, and what He Himself, by an infinite
sympathy, will bear together with us. The most tender pity of the nearest
and dearest relative is not worth a thought, if compared with the infinite
affection of Christ, our Immanuel, our Husband, Brother, Friend, in whom all
the fullness of the Godhead dwells. In our Jehovah-Jesus there is a fullness
of tender mercy, whence He can be, and is, inwardly touched with the
feeling of our misery. And in Him also there is a fullness of power
to relieve and deliver, which from an infinity of love, grace, and
faithfulness, He does and will exert to save us to the uttermost.
Our Captain-Leader, the Lord our Lover,
goes before us as a mighty conqueror, to vanquish all our enemies, to make
our distress subserve our bliss, to swallow up death in victory, and to
raise us up with Him to reign in life and immortal glory.
Let us, then, in faith, and without having fear, commit
ourselves entirely to our Lord's all-wise and all-gracious conduct, and
cheerfully come up from the wilderness leaning upon our Beloved. For lo,
we shall be fully persuaded "that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from
the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hallelujah! And again
let us say, "Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns!"
That His rich, reigning grace may be with your spirit,
and upon you in your work, until you rest from your labors and are received
up to glory, in my hearty desire.