February 24: At The Right Hand Of The Father

When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3

WHAT a blessed declaration is this!—the words are inexpressibly sweet. Having finished His work, having made an end of sin, having brought in an everlasting righteousness, having risen from the grave, having ascended up on high, Christ has sat down at the right hand of God, reposing in the full satisfaction, glory, and expectancy of His redeeming work. And for what object is He there seated? Why is He thus presented to the eye of faith? That the Church of God might have visibly and constantly before its view a risen, living Christ.

Oh how constantly is the Lord teaching us that there is but one Being who can meet our case, and but one Object on which our soul’s affections ought to be supremely placed—even a risen Savior. We have temptations various; trials the world know nothing of, crosses which those who know and love us the most, never suspect; for often the heart’s acutest sorrow is the least discoverable upon the surface.

But here is our great mercy—Christ is alive. What if we are unknown, tried, tempted, and sad; we yet have a risen Savior to go to, who, as Rutherford says, “sighs when I sigh, mourns when I mourn, and when I look up He rejoices.” How can I want for sympathy, when I have a risen Christ? how can I feel alone and sad, when I have the society and the soothing of a living and an ever present Jesus—a Jesus who loves me, who knows all my circumstances, all my feelings, and has His finger upon my every pulse—who sees all my tears, hears all my sighs, and records all my thoughts—who, go to Him when I will, and with what I will, will never say to me no, nor bid me depart unblest—who is risen, exalted, and is set down at the right hand of His Father and my Father, His God and my God, to administer to me all the blessings of the everlasting covenant, and to mete out, as I need them, all the riches of His grace and the supplies of His salvation? Why then should I despond at any circumstance, why despair at any emergency, or sink beneath any trial, when I have a risen, a living Christ to go to?

Oh the amazing power of the Lord’s resurrection! Oh the preciousness of the fruit that springs from it! Communion with our heavenly Father, near walking with God, a life of faith in Christ, living on high—living not only on Christ’s fullness, but on Christ himself; not only on what He has, but on what He is, in His godhead, in His humanity, in the tenderness of His heart, as well as the fullness of His salvation; living in the blessed anticipation of glory, and honor, and immortality; rising in the morning and saying, “This day, and every day, I would consecrate to my God;”—these are some of the fadeless flowers and precious fruits that grow around the grave of Jesus, when faith, listening to the voice that issues from the vacant sepulcher—”He is not here, but is risen”—looks up and beholds Him alive, “seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Then, oh then, it exclaims in a transport of joy, “Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth I desire beside you,” you risen, living, and glorious Redeemer!

“Oh, there is nothing in yon bright sky,
Worthy this worthless heart to own;
On earth there’s nothing; friends, creatures, fly;
I pant, my Lord, for You alone.”

February 19: A Day Like Earth Never Saw

Until the day dawn. 2 Peter 1:19.

THERE awaits the believer such a day as earth never saw, but as earth will surely see—the daybreak of glory. Oh, what a day is this! It will be “as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds.” Grace now yields its long-held empire, and glory begins its brilliant and endless reign. The way-worn “child of the day” has emerged from the shadows of his pilgrimage, and has entered that world of which it is said, “there shall be no night there.” Contemplate some of the attributes of this day of glory.

It will be a day of perfect knowledge. When it is said that there will be no night in heaven, it is equivalent to the assertion that there will be no intellectual darkness in heaven; consequently there will be perfect intellectual light. It is said that we shall then “know every as also we are known.” The entire history of God’s government will then be spread out before the glorified saint, luminous in its own unveiled and yet undazzling brightness. The mysteries of providence, and the yet profounder mysteries of grace, which obscured much of the glory of that government, will then be unfolded to the wonder and admiration of the adoring mind.

The misconceptions we had formed, the mistakes we had made, the discrepancies we had imagined, the difficulties that impeded us, the controversies that agitated us, all, all will now be cleared up—the day has broken, and the shadows have fled forever. Oh, blessed day of perfect knowledge, which will then give me reason to see that all the way along which my God is now leading me, through a world of shadows, is a right way; and that where I most trembled, there I had most reason to stand firm; and that where I most yielded to fear, there I had the greatest ground for confidence; and that where my heart was the most collapsed with grief, there it had the greatest reason to awaken its strings to the most joyous melody.

It will be a day of perfect freedom from all sorrow. It must be so, since it is written, that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” What a cluster of sweet hopes is there! What a collection of bright beams, throwing, in focal power, their splendover that cloudless day! Child of sorrow! sick ones dear to Christ! bereaved mourners! hear you these precious words, and let music break from your lips! God will dry your tears. As the mother comforts her sorrowing one, so God will comfort His. Yes, child of grief, there will be no more weeping then; for—oh, ecstatic thought!—”God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” And “there shall be no more death.”

No more rending asunder of affection’s close and tender ties; no more separations from the hearts we love; the mourners no more go about the streets; for death is now swallowed up in victory! “Neither sorrow, nor crying.” Grief cannot find existence or place in an atmosphere of such bliss. No frustrated plans, no bitter disappointments, no withered hopes, no corroding cares, there mingle with the deep sea of bliss, now pouring its tide of joyousness over the soul. “Neither shall there be any more pain.” Children of suffering! hear you this. There will be no more pain racking the frame, torturing the limbs, and sending its influence through the system, until every nerve and fibre quivers with an indescribable agony. “The former things are passed away.”

It will be a day of perfect freedom from all sins. Ah! this methinks will be the brightest and sweetest of all the joys of heaven. The Canaanite will no more dwell in the land. Inbred corruption will be done away; the conflict within us will have ceased; no evil heart will betray into inconsistencies and sorrows; not a cloud of guilt will tarnish the unsullied purity of the soul. You holy ones of God! weeping, mourning over indwelling and outbreaking sin, the last sigh you heave will be a glad adieu to pollution—to be tormented with it no more, to be free from it forever. “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness.”

This is heaven indeed.

February 7: Through A Glass Darkly

I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness. Psalm 17:15.

THE beatific vision has brought the believer’s whole soul into the most perfect harmony with God. He is satisfied with the character and perfections of God, which now unfold their grandeur without a cloud, and fill the soul without a limit. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” An angel’s sight, and an angel’s knowledge, enkindle an angel’s fervor; and as growing discoveries and endless illustrations of the Divine perfections increase with eternity, glory, honor, and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne will be the saint’s undying song.

He is satisfied, too, with all God’s providential dealings with him in the world he has passed. The present is the repose of faith—and faith can say, amid scenes of perplexity and peril, of obscurity and doubt, “It is well”, trusting in the wisdom and faithfulness of God. And yet how difficult often do we find it to trace God’s design, or connect His strange dealings with a wise purpose or a gracious end. We cannot unravel the web. Is it not so, my reader? Let faith look back upon the past of your life, not to revive its painful emotions, but that with steadier wing and bolder flight it may bear you forward.

That dark cloud of sorrow that settled upon your fair prospects—that blast of adversity that swept away riches—that stroke of providence that tore from your sight the wife of your youth, or hurried the child of your hopes prematurely to the grave, or that placed the friend of your bosom, the companion of your hours, into darkness—or that came near to your own person, and arrested you with disease—you pause and inquire, Why is it thus? Ah! the full answer you may never have in this world—for faith must have scope; but, by and by, if not here, yet from a loftier position and beneath a brighter sky, and with a stronger vision, you shall look back and know and understand, and admire it all, and “shall be satisfied.”

The glorified are satisfied, too, with the conduct of God’s grace. If there is often inexplicable mystery in providence, there is yet profounder mystery in grace. Loving him as God does, yet that He should hide Himself from His child; hating sin, yet allowing its existence, and permitting His children to fall under its influence; leaving them often to endure the fiery darts of Satan, and to tread dreary paths, cheerless, starless—the sensible presence of the heavenly Guide withdrawn, and not a voice to break the solemn stillness or to calm the swelling wave—ah! this is trying indeed!—But all, before long, will be satisfactorily explained. Now the glorified see how harmonious with every principle of infinite holiness and justice, truth and wisdom, was God’s scheme of redeeming mercy; and that it was electing love, and sovereign mercy, and free favor, that made him a subject of grace on earth, and an heir of glory in heaven.And as he bends back his glance upon all the way the Lord his God brought him the forty years’ travel in the wilderness—traces the ten thousand times ten thousand unfoldings of His love—the love that would not and the power that could not let him go—the faithful rebukes, the gentle dealings, the unwearied patience, and the inexhaustible sympathy of Jesus, with what depth of emotion and emphasis of meaning does he exclaim, “I am satisfied!”

The saints are satisfied, too, with the heaven of glory to which they are brought. They awake up in God’s likeness. Positively and perfectly holy, positively and perfectly happy, actually with Christ, and contemplating, with an intellectual and moral perception all unclouded, the glory of God, how completely satisfied is he with the new world of purity and bliss, of light and splendor, into which his ransomed spirit sprung! The last earthly passion has died away, the last remnant of corruption is destroyed, the last moan of suffering and sigh of sorrow is hushed in the stillness of the tomb; the corruptible has put on incorruption, the mortal has put on immortality, and the glorified spirit stands amid the throng of holy and adoring ones who encircle the throne, and swells the universal an them—”He has done all things well.”

January 27: Partakers In Christ’s Suffering

But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:13

WITH the cross of Immanuel before us, and with the heaven of glory which that cross unveils, and to which it leads, can we properly contemplate our trials in any other view than as loving corrections? “He that spared not His own Son, but gave Hint up for us all,” shall He send an “evil” which we refuse to interpret as a good? and shall not that good, though wearing its somber disguise, raise the soul to Him upon the outstretched and uplifted wing—as the wing of the “anointed cherub”—of adoration, thanksgiving, and praise? If, numbered among His saints—and, oh, be quite sure, beloved, of your heavenly calling—we stand before Him, objectively, the beings of His ineffable delight, and, subjectively, the recipients of his justifying righteousness. Thus loved and accepted—and we believe, and are sure, that this is the true and unchangeable condition of all His people—shall anything but a sentiment of uncomplaining gentleness—a submission not shallow but profound, not servile but filial—respond to the dealings, however severe, of our Father in heaven?

It is, beloved, in these disciplinary seasons that we become more thoroughly schooled in the knowledge, of the infinite worth, glory, and preciousness of the Savior. How much is involved in a spiritual and experimental acquaintance with the Lord Jesus! We are in the possession of all real knowledge when we truly know Christ. And we cannot know the Son, and not know also the Father. And it is utterly impossible to know the Father, as revealed in His Son, and not become inspired with a desire to love Him supremely, to serve Him devotedly, to resemble Him closely, to glorify Him faithfully here, and to enjoy Him fully hereafter. And oh, how worthy is the Savior of our most exalted conceptions—of our most implicit confidence—of our most self-denying service—of our most fervent love! When He could give us no more—and the fathomless depths of His love and the boundless resources of His grace would not be satisfied by giving us less—He gave us himself.

Robed in our nature, laden with our curse, oppressed with our sorrows, wounded for our transgressions, and slain for our sins, He gave His entire self for us. And let it be remembered, that it is a continuous presentation of the hoarded and exhaustless treasures of His love. His redeeming work now finished, He is perpetually engaged in meeting out to his Church the blessings of that “offering made once for all.” He constantly asks our faith—woos our affection—invites our grief—and bids us repair with our daily trials to His sympathy, and with our hourly guilt to His blood. We cannot in our drafts upon Christ’s fullness be too covetous, nor in our expectations of supply be too extravagant. Dwelling beneath His cross, our eye resting upon the heart of God, we will in all things desire and aim to walk uprightly, presenting our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God;” that “the trial of our faith may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Deeper Knowledge Of Jesus

Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of the glory of Christ. Immense will be the benefit accruing to your soul. The mind thus preoccupied, filled, and expanded, will be enabled to present a stronger resistance to the ever advancing and insidious encroachments of the world. No place will be found for vain thoughts, and no desire or time for carnal enjoyments.

Oh, how crucifying and sanctifying are clear views of the glory of Emmanuel! How emptying, humbling, and abasing! With the patriarch, we then exclaim, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And with the prophet, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” And with the apostle, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Continue reading “Deeper Knowledge Of Jesus”

Fan The Most Holy Flame

Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of the glory of Christ. Immense will be the benefit accruing to your soul. The mind thus preoccupied, filled, and expanded, will be enabled to present a stronger resistance to the ever advancing and insidious encroachments of the world. No place will be found for vain thoughts, and no desire or time for carnal enjoyments.

Oh, how crucifying and sanctifying are clear views of the glory of Emmanuel! How emptying, humbling, and abasing! With the patriarch, we then exclaim, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And with the prophet, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” And with the apostle, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Oh, then, aim to get your mind filled with enlarged and yet expanding views of the glory of the Redeemer. Let it, in all the discoveries it affords of the Divine mind and majesty, be the one subject of your thoughts — the one theme of your conversation. Place no limit to your knowledge of Christ. Ever consider that you have but read the preface to the volume; you have but touched the fringe of the sea. Stretching far away beyond you, are undiscovered beauties, and precious views, and sparkling glories — each encouraging your advance, inviting your research, and asking the homage of your faith, the tribute of your love, and the dedication of your life.

Go forward, then! The glories that yet must be revealed to you in a growing knowledge of Jesus — what imagination can conceive, what pen can describe them? Jesus stands ready to unveil all the beauties of His person; and to admit you into the very pavilion of His love. There is not a chamber of His heart that He will not throw open to you — not a blessing that He will not bestow upon you — not a glory that He will not show to you.

You shall see greater things than you have yet seen:
greater depths of your sin shall be revealed,
deeper sense of the cleansing efficacy of the atoning blood shall be felt,
clearer views of your acceptance in the Beloved,
greater discoveries of God’s love, and
greater depths of grace and glory in Jesus shall be enjoyed.

Your communion with God shall be closer, and more the fruit of adopting love in your heart. Your feet shall be as hinds’ feet, and you shall walk on high places. Your peace shall flow as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea.
Sorrow shall wound you less deeply,
affliction shall press you less heavily,
tribulation shall affect you less keenly,
all this, and infinitely more, will result from your deeper knowledge of Jesus.

October 3: Magnify Your King

“But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past, now preaches the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” Galatians 1:23, 24

In the conversion of His people—their translation from nature to grace—the Redeemer is glorified. This is the first step to a manifest glorifying of Christ in His called saints. Conversion is the commencement of an endless revenue of glory to Christ. To behold a poor sinner living a life of practical enmity to God, hatred to Jesus, rebellion against the Divine government, and willful and determined hostility to the one glorious plan of salvation—perhaps a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious—now changed, now conquered, now sitting at the feet of Jesus, “clothed and in his right mind,” oh, is there no glory thus brought to the grace of Christ Jesus?

To see him translated out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, emancipated from the power of sin and Satan, and made the Lord’s free-man—the rebellious will conquered, the hard heart subdued, the proud spirit humbled, the hatred turned into love, and the long roving mind now finding its center of rest and fountain of happiness in a reconciled God—oh! is there no crown of glory placed on the head of Jesus in all this. Say, you angelic spirits, bending over the mercy-seat in deep contemplation of its awful mysteries of incarnate grace and dying love—whose eyes glisten with new effulgence, and whose bosoms expand with new joy, over one sinner that repents—do you see no glory deepening around the Son of God, as each vessel of mercy is called in, emptied of self, and filled with Jesus?

Oh, how are the power, the wisdom, the grace, the love of the Redeemer glorified, and God through Him, by every new accession thus made to the number of the redeemed! Aim to be instrumental of bringing one soul to receive the Lord Jesus as all its salvation, and you bring more glory to His name than were a thousand worlds like this to start into being at your fiat. “Those who be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

In what a solemn and responsible position is every believer placed! “You are my witnesses, says the Lord.” “I have created him for my glory.” “You are my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” Then how “very jealous for the Lord of hosts” should we be! How vigilant, lest in any degree, or in any way, we withhold from Christ the glory due unto Him!

There are many ways by which we may be betrayed into this grievous sin—a careless walk—unmortified sin—self-indulgence—a light and volatile spirit—a neglect of means—a distant walk with God—coldness of love towards the saints; but especially mixing up with, and indulging in, a sinful conformity to the world—its fashions, its pleasures, its literature, its religion!

Christian reader, put the question fairly, honestly, and closely to your conscience—”Do I bring glory to Christ? Is my Redeemer magnified in me before the world and the church?” Oh, aim for a high standard! Do not be an ordinary Christian. “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.” Thank God for the little, but, oh, aim for the “much fruit”—strong faith, ardent love, self-consuming zeal, unreserved obedience, holy, entire, and supreme surrender. Come, drawn by grace, constrained by love, attracted by the glory and the preciousness of Jesus—come now to that one “altar which sanctifies both the giver and the gift;” and as you lay yourself upon it, body, soul, and spirit, exclaim with the apostle, “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.”

The solemn vow is taken! The holy surrender is made! It is seen, it is heard, it is ratified in heaven! May you be so strengthened from above, “that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

September 18: Holy Holy Holy

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the Seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5

What an august revelation of the glory of Christ’s Godhead was this which broke upon the view of the lowly prophet! How instructive is each particular of His beatific vision! Mark the profound humility of the seraphim—they veiled with their wings their faces and their feet. They were in the presence of Jesus. They saw the King in His beauty, and covered themselves.

But the effect of this view of our Lord’s divine glory upon the mind of the prophet is still more impressive: “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips…for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” What prostrated his soul thus low in the dust?

What filled him with this self-abasement? What overwhelmed him with this keen sense of his vileness? Oh, it was the unclouded view he had of the essential glory of the Son of God! And thus will it ever be. The beaming forth of Christ’s glory in the soul reveals its hidden evil; the knowledge of this evil lays the believer low before God with the confession, “I abhor myself. Woe is me! for I am undone.”

Beloved, let this truth be ever present to your mind, that as we increasingly see glory in Christ, we shall increasingly see that there is no glory in ourselves. Jesus is the Sun which reveals the pollutions and defilements which are within. The chambers of abomination are all closed until Christ shines in upon the soul. Oh, then it is these deep-seated and long-veiled deformities are revealed; and we, no longer gazing with a complacent eye upon self, sink in the dust before God, overwhelmed with shame, and covered with confusion of face. Holy posture!

Blessed spectacle!—a soul prostrate before the glory of the incarnate God! All high and lofty views of its own false glory annihilated by clear and close views of the true glory of Jesus. As when the sun appears, all the lesser lights vanish into darkness, so when Jesus rises in noontide glory upon the soul, all other glory retires, and He alone fixes the eye and fills the mind. “With twain they covered their faces, and with twain they covered their feet.” Their own perfections and beauty were not to be seen in the presence of the glory of the Lord.

How much more profound should be the humility and self-abasement of man! Have we covered ourselves—not with the pure wings of the holy cherubim, but with sackcloth and ashes before the Lord? Have we sought to veil—not our beauties, for beauty we have none—but our innumerable and flagrant deformities, even the “spots upon our feasts of charity,” the sins of our best and holiest things; and, renouncing all self-glory, have we sunk, as into nothing before God?

Oh, we are yet strangers to the vision of Christ’s glory, if we have not. If the constellation of human gifts and attainments, distinctions and usefulness, on which unsanctified and unmortified self so delights to gaze, have not retired into oblivion, the Sun of Righteousness has yet to rise upon our souls with healing in His wings.

August 16: Now Called To Go Low

“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2

Is it true that God, by setting you aside from active engagements, has set you aside from all duty and labor? We do not think so. Is it too much to say, that He is now summoning you, though to a more limited and obscure, yet to a higher and holier, because more self-denying and God-glorifying, sphere of duty?

Your present loss of health has brought with it its high and appropriate duties, obligations, and employments. It bears an especial message from God to you, and through you to others. Contemplate the work to be done in your own soul, and the testimony through this which you are to bear to the power of Divine grace, to the sustaining energy of the Gospel, and to the character of God; and I ask if the lone chamber of sickness has not its special and appropriate duties, responsibilities, and work, equally as difficult, as honorable, and as remunerative as any which attach to the sphere of activity or to the season of health?

You are called upon now to glorify God in a passive, rather than in an active consecration to His service. Graces hitherto perhaps dormant, or but feebly brought into play, are now to be developed and exercised to their utmost capacity. Patience is to be cultivated, resignation is to be exhibited, faith is to be exercised, love is to be tried, and example is to be set; and are not these great, holy, and sublime achievements? Who will affirm that there is no sermon to be preached from that languid couch, that sick-bed; yes, and it may be more solemn, more searching, more full of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, than the pulpit ever preached.

The Church and the world have now the testimony of one passing through the present and personal experience of what he speaks. A sick-room is not the place for theorizing upon truth and eternity. All transpiring there is stern reality. The dust of human applause is laid aside, the breath of adulation is hushed, the flush of excitement has faded, and the delirium of an admiring throng has passed away; the artificial gives place to the true. All is as real and solemn as eternity.

Deem not yourself a useless cumberer, because sickness has incapacitated you for active labor. God has but changed your sphere of duty, transferring you, doubtless, to one more glorifying to Himself. Receive, then, with meekness your Heavenly Father’s dispensation, which, while it has set you apart from the Lord’s work, has set you apart more exclusively and entirely for the Lord Himself. Your great desire has been to glorify Him: leave Him to select the means which may best advance it.

You have thought of health and activity, of life and usefulness; of being a champion for the truth, a herald of salvation to the ignorant and the lost, a leader in some high and laborious path of Christian enterprise; but He has ordained it otherwise. And now by sickness and suffering, by silence and solitude, He is giving you other work to perform, which shall not the less secure your usefulness, and promote His glory.

July 13: Crown Him Lord Of All

“I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me with your own self, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” John 17:4-5

His work being finished, the great atonement made, and salvation eternally secured to all the covenant seed, it was fit that the Son of God should return back to glory. Heaven was His original and proper place. He was but a stranger and a sojourner here. His mission accomplished, earth, which had once attracted Him to its bosom, attracted Him no longer.

As the field of His labors, and the scene of His humiliation, and the theater of His conflict, He had willingly bent His steps towards it. His labors now finished, His humiliation now passed, His battle now fought, and His victory won, He as readily hastened from all below. Oh, what stronger ties, what more powerful allurements, had earth than heaven for Jesus? All to Him had been toil and suffering, trial and sorrow. Wearisome had been His pilgrimage, laborious His life, humiliating its every scene, and painful its every incident.

Creatures the best and the fondest had disappointed Him, sources of created good the most promising had failed Him, and the hour of His deepest necessity and woe found Him treading the wine-press alone, forsaken by man, deserted by God! An atmosphere of sin had enveloped Him on every side; forms of suffering and pollution each moment flitted before His eye, and sounds of blasphemy and woe fell at each step upon His ear. At whatever point He turned, He saw His Father’s name dishonored, His Spirit grieved. His own dignity outraged, His teaching despised, His Gospel rejected, and His authority trampled under-foot, by men swearing allegiance to another and a rival sovereign.

What greater, sweeter, and holier attractions, then, had earth than heaven for Jesus? His resurrection from the dead was His preparative for glory. Leaving the garments of mortality in the forsaken tomb, He wrapped around Him the robe of immortality, and, poised upon the wing, awaited but the signal for His heavenly flight.

All that now remained for Him to accomplish was to authenticate the fact of His risen life, place His Church in a position to receive the promised Spirit, breathe His parting blessing, and then ascend to glory. Heaven was His home, loved and longed for! How sweet to Him were its recollections! how hallowed its associations, heightened by their contrast with the scene from which He was now retiring!

There, no curse; there, no sorrow; there, no suffering; there, no tears; there, no indignity, awaited Him. All was one expanse of glory, all one pavilion of happiness! Bright was the landscape stretched before His view; redolent the breezes, and soft the music that floated from its fields and bowers.

But far above all the glory suggested by the most splendid material imagery, rose, in spiritual and surpassing grandeur, the seat, the altar, and the throne which, as Prophet, Priest, and King, He sighed to occupy. A more perfect investiture of Him in these offices, a more complete establishment of His mediatorial dominion, awaited Him.

All power in heaven and on earth was to be placed in His hands: and all things were to be put in subjection under Him; and all beings, from the loftiest angel in heaven to the lowest creature on earth, were to acknowledge His government, submit to His sovereignty, worship, and “crown Him Lord of all.”