And sometimes I have thought, and I still think,—and more than think, I believe,—that the methods God takes in the dispensations of grace are such that he will put it put of the power of the devil to be able to say that there is any circumstance whatever that is a match for grace. If the whole church of God were to be taken to heaven, like the dying thief and some others, as soon as God is pleased to quicken their dead souls, the enemy might have it to say, “Ah! The Lord knows very well that if they were to live long I should get them after all. I should upset their confidence and bring them back into my power; and, therefore, he is obliged to take them to heaven.” Now the Lord says, “No, Satan. They shall go through a variety of toils and troubles and distresses; and as it was in the case of Job, so shall it be with numbers of my people. The devil may do all he can do, and yet I will save them, and let the power of my omnipotent grace be known.” But then again Satan might say the Lord is obliged to take such lingering steps, or he could not accomplish the work. “No,” says the Lord, “You shall not have that to say. I will let you know that my grace is such that it can cut the work short in righteousness; and there shall be no case or circumstance out of the reach of the power and efficacy of my grace.” Thus grace shall “reign through righteousness unto eternal life,” and the whole church shall be brought to triumph in the mysteries of his love.
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist.