Delivered on Sabbath Morning, September 20, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
|Things that accompany Salvation.| -- Hebrews 6:9.
I AM not quite certain that my text will warrant all I shall say upon it this day if read and understood in its connection. But I have taken the words rather by accommodation than otherwise, and shall make use of them as a kind of heading to the discourse which I hope to be enabled to deliver. I sat myself down, and I meditated on this subject -- |Things that accompany Salvation.| And after some period of rumination, my thoughts assumed the form of an allegory; in which I hope to present them to you this morning. I compared Salvation to a rich and costly treasure, which God in his infinite love and mercy had determined to send into the world, and I remembered that our Lord Jesus was so much interested in the bringing of this Salvation to this earth, that he did send all that he had, and came himself to attend and to accompany this Salvation. I then pictured to myself a great march of bright ones through this land, carrying in their midst the sacred jewel of Salvation. I looked forward, and I saw a mighty van-guard, who already had attained the shores of Eternity. I looked around Salvation, and I saw it always in every case attended with divers graces and virtues which seemed to be like troops and soldiers to guard it in the ran, about its flanks, and in the rear.
Before we begin, however, let us just make this caution. When the Apostle speaks of virtues and of graces, he calls them |things that accompany Salvation,| not things which cause it. Our faith does not cause Salvation, nor our hope, nor our love, nor our good works; they are things which attend it as its guard of honor. The origin of Salvation lies alone in the sovereign will of God the Father; in the infinite efficacy of the blood of Jesus -- God the Son, and in the divine influence of God the Holy Spirit. There are, however, |things that accompany Salvation.| Picture then to yourselves the march of some ancient monarch through his territory. We read stories of eastern monarchs in the olden time, that seem more like romance than reality; when they marched with thousands of flying banners and with all kinds of riches borne with them. Now you are to take that as the basis of my figure and suppose Salvation to be the sacred treasure which is being carried through the world, with guards before and guards behind, to accompany it on its journey.
We will begin, then, with the advance-guard that has accompanied Salvation or rather gone before it. We shall then come to those who immediately precede it, and then we shall notice those who accompany it by its side, and conclude by noticing the rear guard attending upon this Salvation of our God.
I. First, then, IN THE MARCHES OF TROOPS AND ARMIES, THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE OUTRIDERS, AND GO FAR AHEAD OF THE OTHER TROOPS. So in the march of Salvation,| which have far preceded it to clear the way. I will tell you the names of these stupendous Titans who have gone before. The first is Election, the second is Predestination, the third is Redemption and the Covenant is the captain of them all. Before Salvation came into this world, Election marched in the very forefront, and it had for its work the billeting of Salvation. Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. |He must needs go through Samaria,| said Election; and Salvation must go there. Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road. In the everlasting decree of the Sovereign God, the footsteps of Mercy were every one of them ordained. As nothing in this world revolves by chance -- as even the foreknown station of a rush by the river is as fixed as the station of a king -- it was not meet that Salvation should be left to chance; and therefore God has mapped the place where it should pitch its tent, the manner of its footsteps to that tent, and the time when it should arrive there. Then came Redemption. The way was rough; and though Election had marked the house, and Predestination had mapped the road, the way was so impeded that Salvation could not travel it until it had been cleared. Forth came Redemption, it had but one weapon; that weapon was the all-victorious cross of Christ. There stood the mountains of our sins; Redemption smote them, and they split in halves and left a valley for the Lord's redeemed to march through. There was the great gulph of God's offended wrath; Redemption bridged it with the cross, and so left an everlasting passage by which the armies of the Lord may cross. Redemption has tunnelled every mountain; it has dried up every sea, cut down every forest; it has levelled every high hill, and filled up the valleys, so that the road of Salvation is now plain and simple. God can be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.
Now, this sacred advance-guard carry for their banner the Eternal Covenant. Election, Predestination, and Redemption -- the things that have gone before, beyond the sight, are all rallied to the battle by this standard -- the Covenant, the Everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure. We know and believe that before the morning star startled the shades of darkness, God had covenanted with his Son that he should die and pay a ransom price, and that, on God the Father's part, he would give to Jesus |a number whom no man could number,| who should be purchased by his blood, and through that blood should be most securely saved. Now, when Election marches forward, it carries the Covenant. These are chosen in the Covenant of grace. When Predestination marcheth, and when it marketh out the way of Salvation, it proclaims the Covenant. |He marked out the places of the people according to the tribes of Israel.| And Redemption also, pointing to the precious blood of Christ, claims Salvation for the blood-bought ones, because the Covenant hath decreed it to be theirs.
Now, my dear hearers, this advance-guard is so far ahead that you and I cannot see them. These are true doctrines, but very mysterious; they are beyond our sight, and if we wish to see Salvation, we must not stop until we see the van-guard, because they are so far off that only the eye of faith can reach them. We must have that sacred glass, that divine telescope of faith, or else we shall never have the evidence of things not seen. Let us rest certain, however, that if we have Salvation we have Election. He that believeth is elected whoever casts himself on Christ as a guilty sinner, is certainly God's chosen child. As sure as ever you believe on the Saviour, and go to him, you were predestinated to do so from all eternity, and your faith is the great mark and evidence that you are chosen of God, and precious in his esteem. Dost thou believe? Then Election is thine. Dost thou believe? Then Predestination is as surely thine as thou art alive. Dost thou trust alone in Jesus? Then fear not, Redemption was meant for thee. So then, we will not be struck with terror at that grand advance-guard that hath already gained the celestial hill, and have prepared the place where the elect shall for ever repose upon the bosom of their God.
II. But mark, we are about to review THE ARMY THAT IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES SALVATION; and first, in the forefront of these, there marches one whose name we must pronounce with sacred awe. It is God, the Holy Spirit. Before anything can be done in our salvation, there must come that Third Person of the Sacred Trinity. Without him, faith, repentance, humility, love, are things quite impossible. Even the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot save until it has been applied to the heart by God the Holy Spirit. Before we notice the grand army, then, that immediately precedes Salvation, let us be cautious that we do not forget Him who is the leader of them all. The great King, Immortal, invisible, the Divine person, called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit: it is he that quickens the soul, or else it would lie dead for ever; it is he that makes it tender, or else it would never feel, it is he that imparts efficacy to the Word preached, or else it could never reach further than the ear; it is he who breaks the heart, it is he who makes it whole: he, from first to last, is the great worker of Salvation in us just as Jesus Christ was the author of Salvation for us. O soul, by this mayest thou know whether Salvation has come to thine house -- art thou a partaker of the Holy Spirit? Come now, answer thou this question -- hath he ever breathed on thee? Hath he ever breathed into thee? Canst thou say that thou hast been the subject of his supernatural influence? For, if not, remember except a man be born of the Spirit from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Thy best exertions will be all unavailing unless the Holy Ghost shall work in thee, to will and to do of God's good pleasure. The highest efforts of the flesh can never reach higher than the flesh, just as water of itself will never run higher than its source. You may be moral, you may be strictly upright, you may be much that is commendable, but unless you be partakers of the Holy Spirit, salvation is as impossible to you as it is even to the lost. We must be born again, and born again by that divine influence, or else it is all in vain. Remember, then, that the Spirit of God always accompanies Salvation.
And now, close in the rear of the adorable Spirit follow the Thundering Legion. No sooner does God the Holy Ghost come into the soul, than he brings with him what I have called the Thundering Legion; and those of you that have been saved will not be at a loss to understand what I mean. This Thundering Legion are clad in mail, their helmets wave with horror; their speech is rough like men that come from a far country; their faces are terrible to look upon, for they are like unto lions, and do terribly affright the timid. Some of the men in this Thundering Legion bear with them swords; with these swords they are to slay the sinner. For before he can be made whole, he must be spiritually killed, the sword must pierce him, and must slay all his selfishness before he can be brought to the Lord Jesus. Then another body of them carry with them axes, with which they cut down the thick trees of our pride and abase the goodly cedars of our righteousness. There are with them those that fill up the wells with stones, and break up all the cisterns of our carnal sufficiency, until we are driven to despair, having all our hopes despoiled. Then come those who, with brazen trumpets, or with trumps of ram's horns -- like those who once razed Jericho level with the ground -- do blow a blast, so shrill and dread, that the sinner thinks that even the yells of hell itself could not be more terrible. Then come those who with lances pierce the spirit through and through; and in the rear are the ten great guns, the artillery of the law, which, perpetually fire upon the wounded spirit till it knows not what it is, nor what it does. My friend, has this Thundering Legion ever come to your house? Have they ever taken up their quarters in your heart? For, rest assured, these are some of the |things that accompany Salvation.| What I have said is no allegory to those who have been converted, but it may be a mystery to those who know not the Lord. Understand, then, that the first work of God the Spirit in the soul is a terrible work. Before a man can be truly converted, he must suffer great agony of spirit; all our self-righteousness must be laid level with the ground, and trampled like the miry streets. Our carnal hopes must, every one of them, be cut in pieces, and our refuges of lies must be swept away with the hail of God's anger. The law of God will appear terrible to the sinner when he is first convinced of sin. |What have I done?| he will say. Or rather, |What have I undone? I have undone myself.| See him when God the Spirit has first convinced him of sin; you would think him mad; he is thought to be mad by his worldly companions. He weeps lay and night, tears become his meat and his drink; he can scarcely sleep for the dreams of hell, and when he wakes he thinks he feels it already.| Oh, the wrath to come, the wrath to come, the wrath to come!| that seems to be ever pressing on his heart. He is like John Bunyan's pilgrim, he has a heavy burden on his back, and he knows not how to get rid of it, he wrings his hands and cries |What shall I do? I am undone. I have rebelled against God, and God is angry with me.| Ah, I tell you this Thundering Legion is a terrible thing indeed. God be praised, when once they go out of the heart there is some joy; but whilst they are billited in the conscience of man, I defy him to eat or drink with any mirth or joy. The poor town of Mansoul is hung with black all the time these rough soldiers are there. Hideous threatenings and doleful forebodings are the sinner's only company in such a case. He seeks to find a little hope and comfort in his own doings; down comes the hammer of the Law, and breaks all his doings to pieces. He thinks, well he will rest on the couch of Indifference and Sloth; forth comes the Law, ties him to the halberts, takes its ten-thonged whip and begins to lay on to him with all his might till his heart bleeds again. Then comes Conscience with its brine, and washes him all over; and he is exceedingly tormented, for even his bed is become a bed of spikes and thorns. This Thundering Legion always precedes Salvation. More or less of terrors every man must feel before he is converted. Some have less, some have more; but there must be some measure of this terrible law work in the soul, or else Salvation is not come to a man's house.
Oh, Thundering Legion, ye are gone; we hear their trumpets and the dying echoes still appal us. We can remember, brethren, those terrible days when they were in our house and in our heart. They are gone. What see we in the rear of them? Close in the rear there follows a broken heart. Look at it; do not despise it, God never despises it, do not thou. |A broken and a contrite heart O God thou wilt not despise.| I see how this poor broken heart is broken; it is rent to its very eye and center; it is bathed in tears; it is overwhelmed with suffering. See its humility; it never talks about boasting now. Mark its repentance, the sins it loved before it hates now; it speaks not about self-salvation. Hear it, as the broken heart speaks out its broken language. Hear it -- |Lord have mercy upon me a sinner!| Do not fear to come and look at this broken heart; how sweetly is it perfumed! The sacred smell of a sacrifice which God approves rises from it. Hear it, as again it speaks -- |Lord, save, or I perish.| See this poor broken heart when it is in the world and at its business; it interrupts its business with ejaculations like these -- |Oh that -- Ah, ah -- would that!| And when it can get alone, it pours out its heart before God, and cries,
Unclean, unclean, and full of sin
From first to last, O Lord I've been;
Deceitful is my heart.'
Oh wash my soul in Jesus' blood; forgive me all my guilt, and I will be thy servant for ever and ever.
Dear hearers, has this broken heart ever come to your house? Rest assured I am speaking God's own truth, that admits of no dispute -- unless this broken heart has come within your bosom you cannot be made partakers of Christ. The heart must first be pounded in the mortar of conviction, and beaten in pieces with the pestle of the law, or else it never can receive the grace of the Comforter in all its plenitude. Are you broken-hearted to-day? Are you sorrowful at this very hour? Be of good cheer, Salvation is not far behind. When there is once a broken heart there is mercy very near. The broken heart is the prelude of healing. He that kills will make whole; he that woundeth will bind up; he that smote will cure. God is looking on thee with love, and will have mercy upon thee.
But who are those that follow in the rear? Another troop, another legion, but these are far different from the rest. The silken legion follow, these are not clad in steel; they have no helmets of war upon their head; they have smiling looks and countenances that are full of joy. No weapons of war in their hands; no thunders do they utter, but they speak kind words of pity, and their hands are full of benedictions. Shall I tell you who this silken legion are? There is a troop of them who take the poor wounded heart, and wash it first in blood; they sprinkle on it the sacred blood of the Atonement; and it is amazing how the poor broken heart, though faint and sick, revives at the first drop of the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and when well washed in blood, another of this legion steps forward and takes it and washes it in water -- for both water and blood flowed from the Saviour's heart.
|Let the water and the blood,
From thy wounded side which flow'd
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power|
And oh, what a washing it is! The heart that was once black as the coals of hell, seems white as the snow of Lebanon. When it has once been bathed in the bath of the Saviour's blood and water, oh, how pure it becomes! He who was black as the tents of Kedar becomes fair as the curtains of Solomon. Then follow those who pour oil and wine into the wounds of this poor broken heart, so that where it smarted before, the wounds begin to sing. The sacred oil and wine of the precious promise is poured into every wound; and then follow those who with downy fingers bind up the heart with the sacred liniment of Promise till it seems no longer broken, but the broken heart rejoices. The whole heart sings for gladness; for God hath restored its strength and bound up all its wounds, according to his promise: |He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.| And then, since the work is not quite done, there come those who carry the King's ward-robe; and with the things out of this rich storehouse they array the soul from head to foot; they clothe it with everything that for lustre and for glory could adorn it, and make it bright as the spirits before the throne. And then the King's jewellers come in and complete the whole: they array the soul with ornaments, and bedeck it with precious stones. As the Father said, |Briny forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet,| even so do this Silken Legion wash and heal and cleanse and glorify the once poor broken heart. Have these ever come to your house? It is an allegory, but it is all plain to him that understandeth it. Sinner, hast thou ever had the blood of Christ applied to thee?
|Couldst thou look and see the flowing
Of his soul's redeeming blood,
With divine assurance knowing
He hath made thy peace with God?|
Dost thou this hour lay thine hand on the dear head of Christ; confess thy sin, and believe that he was punished for thee? Thou canst? Then, verily salvation is thine. And has thine heart been ever washed with water? Say, dost thou hate sin? Is thy guilt all cleansed, and is the power of guilt cut away, so that thou dost not love the ways of iniquity, nor seek to run in the paths of transgressors. Then thou art an heir of heaven. And say, poor sinner, hast thou ever been arrayed in the robe of Jesus' righteousness? Couldst thou ever fondly hope that thou wast accepted in the Beloved? Methinks I see thee with the tear in thine eye, and hear thee saying, I have sometimes sung with all my heart --
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
'Midst flaming worlds, in these array'd,
With joy shall I lift my head.
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through Christ I am
From sin's tremendous curse and shame.|
And now we have not yet come to a full conviction of Salvation. The Silken Legion are gone; their banners are still flying in the gale, and their trumpets of promise are still making the air glad with melody. What cometh next? Now come those that are the actual attendants upon Salvation -- or rather, that march in the rank immediately before it. There are four of these, called Repentance, Humility, Prayer and a tender Conscience. Just before the full assurance of Salvation there marches Humility. She is of a downcast look; she is not sad, but she hath no high looks; she scarcely dares to lift her eye to the place where God's honor dwelleth. She is often looking downwards, remembering her past estate thinking of all the bitterness and the guilt of her previous life. She never boast; of what God has done for her, she looks to the hole of the pit and the miry clay from whence she was digged. She knows she has been washed in the blood of the Saviour, but she remembers how black she was before she was washed, and oh, she laments the past although she rejoices in the present. She feels her own weakness, she dares not stand alone she leans on the arm of her Beloved, for she knows that she should fall to the ground unless he should constantly maintain her. Side by side with her, is her sister called Repentance, watering the ground with tears to lay the dust before the King. Wherever she goes she weeps and if you ask her why, she will tell you she does not weep because of a fear of hell -- that is all gone. The Silken Legion yonder, she tells you, have wiped all her fears away; but she weeps because she smote the Lord that loved her so well she beats her breast, and cries --
|Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear.|
The more you tell her of her Salvation, the more she weeps to think she could have rebelled against such a Saviour. She is confident that her sins are blotted out; she knows her Master has forgiven her; but she never will forgive herself. Then side by side with Repentance is one called Prayer. He is a priest, and he waves in his hand a censer full of odoriferous incense, that the way for the King may be prepared, that wherever he marches there may be a sweet perfume. Prayer riseth by midnight to call upon God, its waking eyes salute the rising sun, that it may lift up its heart to Jehovah, and when the sun is setting, Prayer will not let his wheel be hidden beneath the horizon, until in his chariot he hath carried supplication. Then in this company is the fourth of those immediately attending upon Salvation, a tender Conscience. This tender Conscience is afraid to put one foot before the other, lest it should put its foot in the wrong place. Poor tender Conscience; some despise him; but he is dear to the King's heart. I would to God, my brethren, you and I knew more about him. I used to know a conscience so tender, that I would wish to feel it again. Then we questioned the lawfulness of every act before we committed it, and then, though it was lawful we would stop to see if it were expedient and if we thought it expedient, even then we would not do it, except we felt it would be abundantly honorable to the Lord our God. Every doctrine we used to scruple at, lest we should believe a lie; every ordinance we examined, lest we should commit idolatry; happy were the days when tender Conscience went with us. And now, my hearers, do you know anything about these four? Has Humility ever come to you? Has she ever abased your pride and taught you to lie in the dust before God? Has Repentance ever watered the floor of your hearts with tears? Have you ever been led to weep in secret for your sins, and to bewail your iniquities? Has Prayer ever entered your spirit? Remember, a prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Have you learned to pray, not with the parrot's cry, but with the heart's ever fresh expression. Have you ever learned to pray? And lastly are you tender of Conscience, for unless your conscience is made tender, salvation has not met you, for these are the immediate attendants upon it.
III. And now comes SALVATION IN ALL ITS FULLESS. The |things that accompany Salvation| make a glorious march in the forefront of it -- from Election down to these precious opening buds of virtue in the sinner's heart. What a goodly array! Sure the angels do sometimes fly along in admiration, and see this long array that heralds Salvation to the heart. And now comes the precious casket set with gems and jewels. It is of God-like workmanship; no hammer was ever lifted on it, it was smitten out and fashioned upon the anvil of Eternal blight, and cast in the mould of Everlasting Wisdom; but no human hand hath ever defiled it, and it is set with jewels so unutterably precious, that if heaven and earth were sold they could never buy another Salvation! And who are those that are close around it? There are three sweet sisters that always have the custody of the treasure -- you know them, their names are common in Scripture -- Faith, Hope, and Love, the three divine sisters; these have Salvation in their bowels and do carry it about with them in their loins. Faith, who layeth hold on Christ, and trusteth all in him; that ventureth everything upon his blood and sacrifice, and hath no other trust. Hope, that with beaming eye looks up to Jesus Christ in glory, and expects him soon to come: looks downward, and when she sees grim Death in her way, expecting that she shall pass through with victory. And thou sweet Love, the sweetest of the three, she whose words are music and whose eyes are stars; Love, also looks to Christ and is enamoured of him; loves him in all his offices, adores his presence, reverences his words, and is prepared to bind her body to the stake and die for him, who bound his body to the cross to die for her. Sweet Love, God hath well chosen to commit to thee the custody of the sacred work. Faith, Hope, and Love -- say sinner, hast thou these three? Dost thou believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Dost thou hope that through the efficacy of his merits thou shalt see thy Maker's face with joy? Dost thou love him? Say, couldst thou repeat after me,
|Jesus! I love thy charming name,
'Tis music to my ear;
Fain would I sound it out so loud
That earth and heaven might hear.
Yes, thou art precious to my soul,
My transport and my trust;
Jewels to thee are gaudy toys,
And gold is sordid dust.|
Have you these three graces? If so, you have Salvation. Having that, you ere rich to all intents of bliss; for God in the Covenant is yours. Cast your eye forward; remember Election is yours, Predestination and Sovereign Decree are both yours; remember, the terrors of the law are past; the broken heart is mourning; the comforts of religion you have already received; the spiritual graces are already in the bud, you are an heir of immortality, and for you there is a glorious future. These are the |things that accompany Salvation.|
IV. Now you must have patience with me for just a few more minutes; I MUST BRING UP THE REAR GUARD. It is impossible that with such a van guard, grace should be unattended from behind. Now see those that follow Salvation. As there were fair bright cherubs that walked in front of it -- you remember still their names -- Humility, Repentance, Prayer, and a tender Conscience -- there are four that follow it, and march in solemn pomp into the sinner's heart. The first of these is Gratitude -- always singing, |Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.| And then Gratitude lays hold upon its son's hand; the name of that son is Obedience. |O my master, |saith the hears, |thou hast done so much for me; I will obey thee| --
|Help me to run in thy commands,
'Tis a delightful road;
Nor let my heart, nor hands, nor feet,
Offend against my God.|
In company with this fair grace is one called Consecration -- a pure white spirit that hath no earthliness; from its head to its foot it is all God's, and all gold. Hear it speak --
|All that I am and all I have
Shall be for ever thine;
What e'er my duty bids me give,
My cheerful hands resign.
And if I might make some reserve,
And duty did not call,
I love my God with zeal so great,
That I would give him all.|
Linked to this bright one, is one with a face Serene and solemn, called Knowledge, |Then shall ye know when ye follow on to know the Lord.| whose that are saved understand mysteries, they know the love of Christ; they |know him, whom to know is life eternal.|
Now, have you these four? They are rather the successors of Salvation than the heralds of it. |Oh yes,| the believer can say, |I trust I have Gratitude. Obedience, Consecration, and Knowledge.| I will not weary you, but there are three shining ones that follow after these four, and I must not forget them, for they are the flower of them all. There is Zeal with eyes of fire, and heart of flame a tongue that burneth, a hand that never wearies and limbs that never tire. Zeal, that flies round the world with wings swifter than the lightning's flash, and finds even then he-wings too tardy for her wish. Zeal, ever ready to obey, resigning up itself for Christ, jealously affected always in a good thing. This Zeal always dwells near one that is called Communion. This, sure, is the goodliest of all the train; an angel spiritualised, an angel purified and made yet more angelic, is Communion. Communion calls in secret on its God; its God in secret sees. It is conformed to the image of Jesus; walks according to his footsteps, and lays its head perpetually on his bosom. And as a necessary consequence, on the other side of Communion -- which with one hand lays hold of Zeal, is Joy -- joy in the Spirit. Joy, that hath an eye more flashing than the world's merriment ever gave to mortal beauty, with light foot trips over hills of sorrow, singing in the roughest ways, of faithfulness and love. Joy, like the nightingale, sings in the dark, and can praise God in the tempest and shout his high praises in the storm. This is indeed a fitting cherub to be in the rear of Salvation. Do not forget these other three; they are after works of the Spirit, they are high attainments -- Zeal, Communion, and Joy.
Now I have almost done. Just in the rear is Perseverance, final, certain and sure. Then there follows complete Sanctification, whereby the soul is purged from every sin, and made as white and pure as God himself. Now we have come to the very rear of the army; but remember as there was an advance guard so far ahead that we could not see them, so there is a rear guard so far behind that we cannot behold them now. Let us just try to see them with the eye of faith. We have seen the army; we have traced it from the Thundering Legion, guided by the Holy Spirit, till we have finished it by complete Sanctification. Hark, I hear the silver trumpet sound; there is a glorious array behind. A guard, far, far back are coming following the steps of the conquering heroes, that have already swept our Sills away. Do you not see in the fore part there is one, whom men paint a skeleton. Look at him, he is not the King's terrors. I know thee, Death, I know thee. Miserably men have belied thee. Thou art no spectre, thine hand bears no dart; thou art not gaunt and frightful. I know thee, thou bright cherub: thou hast not in thy hand a dart, but a golden key that unlocks the gates of Paradise. Thou art fair to look upon, thy wings are like the wings of doves, covered with silver and like yellow gold. Behold this angel Death, and his successor Resurrection. I see three bright things coming; one is called Confidence, see it! it looks at Death; no fear is in its eye, no palor on its brow. See holy Confidence marches with steady steps, the cold chill stream of Death doth not freeze its blood. See behind it its brother Victory; hear him, as he cries, |O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave where is thy victory?| The last word, |victory,| is drowned amidst the shouts of angels. These bring up the rear. Angels bear the spirits of the redeemed into the bosom of the Saviour --
|Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in,
They are for ever blest.|
And now follow everlasting songs -- |Praise him, praise him, King of kings and Lord of lords; he hath gotten him the victory. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, world without end! Hallelujah, yet again!| Let the echoes of eternity perpetually cry, |Hallelujah! for|
|THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY YOUR SALVATION.|