Grace! What a great word is this! The eternal favor of the Eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without fluctuation, variation or change; in which divine favor, God’s people everlastingly stand; nor can sin, death or hell, get them out. And when this great and glorious gift is bestowed on its elect objects, instead of tending to what is called Antinomianism, it leads to soul-as­tonishment; clothes its unworthy recipient with humility; bringing him, or her, to wonder why, or wherefore, God should have been thus gracious to them while so many are passed by.

This amazing gift—grace—is converting, consoling, and confirming. “Except, (says Christ,) ye are converted, and become as little children, ye shall, in no wise, enter into the kingdom of heaven.” What is conversion? Being turned from one thing to, or into another; a being made to differ from what we once were, and what thousand still are; turned from darkness to light, from the power of satan unto God; from the love and practice of sin to a delight in, and love to holiness, from the ways of the world to the ways of the Lord; from death to life; from self to Christ; from carnality to spirituality; from the pursuit of the pleasures of a dying world, to the pursuit of peace, by and through the blood of Christ; from all that is earthly, to all that is heavenly; from all, that is here, to all that is hereafter. This, then, is one of the glorious effects of grace, when given of God. It is, also, consoling grace.

Truly, many are the afflictions, trials, crosses, losses, difficulties, exercises, and sorrows of the heaven-born, and heaven bound soul; he learns by deep and solemn experience, that through much tribulation he is to enter the kingdom, his destined port of holiness and happiness; he often eats the bread of adversity, and drinks the water of affliction: yet, has he “something secret sweetens all;” it is more grace given; and this he fully proves sufficient for him, ac­cording to the blessed promise; this, then, comforts his mind, affords him peace and joy, which none can know, but God and his own soul.

By continual communications of this con­soling grace, he continues to hold on his way rejoicing in the grand declaration that­ “though a troop (of sins and sorrows, trials and temptations, doubts and fears, enemies within, and enemies without, men and devils) often overcome poor Gad, yet he shall over­come at the last, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Again, it is confirming grace; and he finds it is a good thing to have his heart es­tablished with grace; it works in him effectually, and confirms him in the great and glorious doctrines of the gospel; in the faith of the great mystery of the Trinity of Persons; in the undivided essence of the Godhead; in the decrees and purposes of God; in the absolute certainty of the fulfilment of all the promises; in the execution of every awful denunciation against the wicked, or reprobate world; in the sure protection of the church of God, from the final injury of every foe; in her’s and his ultimate victory over all enemies, and final admission into the kingdom above, to sit with Christ on his throne, and to go out no more forever; wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace (that is our great desire,) whereby we may serve God, acceptably with reverence and godly fear: and no man can serve him so, that is destitute of this grace.

Secondly, Glory; “he will give grace and glory.” O, matchless gift! this is God’s prerogative alone; having the one, the other is absolutely sure; the connection is God’s, and quite indissoluble; having not the one, (whatever else a man may have,) he will never have Glory, the one is indispensably necessary for, and essential to, the other, but the mercy is that both are gifts; “not of works, lest any man should boast.” Glory, what is it? Who can tell? Not so much is said of it in God’s word, as the immortal soul shall eternally realise in full fruition. Confine it for a moment to two things, viz., the glory of God in the soul, and the soul in the glory of God; his image, his holiness, his peace, his perfection, his pleasure, his power, his praise, his purity, his person in the soul, his brightness and blessedness, filling the soul with dazzling splendour, and perfect beauty; his love without the least interruption reigning through all the soul, filling it with vast delight and boundless joy; his smile filling the soul with ten thou­sand times ten thousand pleasures, and the light of his glorious countenance shining on and in it, in such high perfection as would eclipse ten million suns in their meridian splendour.

Again, the soul in the glory of God; the redeemed, blood-washed, grace-saved disembodied soul wafted home by angels, and ushered into the presence of God with an abundant entrance; clothed in a saviour’s imputed righteousness, and pronounced all fair. “Where is he?” Job says. We answer, In the Glory of God in heaven, where God is glorious in holiness, where the glorious sun (Christ) everlastingly shines, filling all the regions of bliss with uninterrupted peace and pleasure: where there shall be no night, no darkness, no devil, no death. Sorrow, and sighing quit those glorious regions; no inhabitant shall ever be sick; here the soul shall and does realise fulness of joy, and the undisturbed pleasures of peace, pardon, and praise for evermore. Yea, it is filled with all the fulness of God, and thus absorbed in everlasting delight.


“O, glorious hour, O blest abode,
I shall be near, and like my God;
And flesh and sin no more control,
The sacred pleasures of my soul.”


Watts.

The Lord will give Grace and Glory. Happy is that people who are called by grace even now, yet shall they be much more happy when crowned with everlasting glory.

T. Stringer.



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