Stacks Image 918



Love only can the conquest win,
The strength of sin subdue:
Come, O my Savior, cast out sin,
And form my soul anew.

No longer then my heart shall mourn,
While sanctified by grace,
I only for thy glory burn,
And always see thy face.

Charles Wesley.

My will be swallowed up in thee;
Light in thy light still may I see,
Beholding thee with open face;
Called the full power of faith to prove,
Let all my hallowed heart be love,
And all my spotless life be praise.

Charles Wesley.

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward, who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. — Eph. i, 15-20.

Wherefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, the ye may grow thereby if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom coming as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men but chosen of God and precious, ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. — I Peter ii, 1-5.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. — 2 Peter iii, 18.

UNQUESTIONABLY the Scriptures never anticipate the attainment of a religious experience which will preclude the idea of growth, and development. There is no rational ground for the assumption that maturity of the spiritual life limits growth. In nature, maturity implies that a condition has been reached where there is no further growth. Mature fruit remains in that condition for a brief time, and then the processes of decay commence and dissolution takes place. Every tree and every plant that grows on the earth has a commencement of life and growth. The plant may reach maturity in a few days, or the tree may take a hundred years; but when maturity is reached, and maintained for a longer or shorter time, then decay is sure to follow, and this decay results inevitably in death.

In the case of Christian experience no such conditions exist. There is, and there can be, no maturity that does not admit of further growth and increase. The maturity that is predicated of the plant, the tree, the human body, can not be predicated of the soul, nor of the faculties and capabilities of the soul. The soul may advance, may increase in strength and scope of spiritual life from age to age as long as eternity endures, and this without the contingency of decay and dissolution. The growth of the soul may be perpetual. It knows nothing of a maturity that culminates in decay and dissolution.

It is evident that when the fullness of the blessing is enjoyed, then the conditions are such as to favor a continuous, harmonious, and rapid growth, not only in strength of faith, and abundance of comfort, but in the power to overcome temptation, and intelligently to follow the commands and imitate the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perfect love casts out fear. A humble, but at the same time a confident trust, gives courage and holy joy. When Jesus reigns supreme in the human heart, all the enemies are on the outside of the citadel. When all is on the altar for service, there need be no further debate in regard to anything of personal concern. When the hand of Jesus is grasped with tender affection, there can be no doubt as to the wisdom of the leadership along life's devious ways. No desert place will ever be reached while he guides where there are not daily supplies of heavenly manna, and no rock will ever be found so hard that it may not be made to pour forth cooling streams of crystal water, and no path will be so rough and thorny as to hinder one's onward march. When probation closes, and the streets of gold are reached, when once inside the gates of pearl the conditions are altogether unlike those of earth. The environment of a redeemed soul, translated from the battlefields of earth to the eternal home of the saints, must be most highly conducive to progress in knowledge and the increase of spiritual power.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. — 1 John iii, 2.

But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord. — 2 Cor. iii, 18.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. — Rom. viii, 18.

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. — Rev. vii, 14-17.

Paint and picture the glories of the world beyond the confines of time and sense as wonderful as the most vivid imagination is capable, and we may still be absolutely sure that the reality far exceeds anything which the human mind has ever conceived. We can be perfected in love in this life. The little child can love God with all the powers of its limited mind, might, and strength; and so the aged saint, with many years of experience and of intellectual and spiritual development, can perfectly love God in proportion to his capacity; but we may rest assured that the most advanced of all the saints that have ever walked this earth have at the close of life but just commenced their eternal career. Ever advancing, ever rising, ever growing, ever climbing loftier peaks of vision, they will go on from glory to glory while eternal ages shall roll their endless rounds. And this in part because the environment of heaven is always and in all respects helpful. Blessed are the souls that shall overcome in all the conflicts of this earthly life by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

O what a mighty change
Shall Jesus' sufferers know,
While o'er the happy plains they range,
Incapable of woe!
No ill-requited love
Shall there our spirits wound:
No base ingratitude above,
No sin in heaven is found.

No slightest touch of pain,
Nor sorrow's least alloy,
Can violate our rest, or stain
Our purity of joy:
In that eternal day
No clouds or tempests rise;
There gushing tears are wiped away
Forever from our eyes.

Charles Wesley.

The possibilities of an eternal, blissful existence in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the companionship and love and service of the pure and holy angels, the fellowship of the saints of all ages, the unending reunions with the loved ones who have gone on before, ought to inspire every soul to seek for all the fullness of the blessing of the gospel in this life, and at the same time inspire with a lofty and deathless purpose to make sure of realizing all that is offered to us, in time and eternity, through the redemptive work of the Son of God.