"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2)
A very precious cluster of new covenant truths from the land of spiritual promise is set before us in the portion I have read for our meditation this morning, which has been laid upon my mind and endeared to my heart through many blessed and spiritual associations connected therewith. I doubt not that many of you will find a responsive Amen in your hearts when I tell you that God has made it very precious to my soul in connection with certain spots, certain persons, and certain seasons of heavenly refreshing with which God has graciously blessed me. I know it has been brought home to my heart with such preciousness and power, that memory must lose its seat before the sweetness thereof is entirely obliterated. Forgetfulness ofttimes seizes our minds; we are like leaking vessels, and retain but little of the savor of that Name which is above every name. Yet here is our mercy, our forgetfulness is but the opportunity for the display of one of the offices of the ever-blessed Spirit, that of Remembrancer, in the understanding and affections of God's forgetful and short-sighted children.
A few weeks ago it pleased God, in the riches of His grace and goodness, to take me to that spot which many weary pilgrims have found to be a retreat for spiritual rest and refreshment, Dulwich House. Here I sat under the shade of a wide-spreading oak in sweet fellowship and spiritual intercourse with our brethren William Roleston, George Davis, and Horace Hummel. Experiencing a little inflowing of love and light from above, I said, "We will go and see a daughter of the King." A few minutes more found us in the room of this princess of royal blood. There she lay, a bedridden one for forty-two years. No grandeur here; but grace and glory, peace and joy, beaming in that dear creature's face. We received a hearty welcome--such a welcome as caused us to see each other according to the form of the children of a King. (Judges 8:18) We sat, and proved afresh one of the mysteries of Divine experience in the hearts of God's living children. All feeling had departed, and my heart, which a few moments previously bounded with life and love, was now cold and still. I had not a word to say. At length the fire burned, love was triumphant, light was bestowed, life was experienced, and liberty sweetly enjoyed. I had a blessed manifestation of the truth that the Father hath put the times and the seasons in His own power. (Acts 1:7) It was a time of love, a season of refreshing had come from the presence of the Lord. The whole five of us were blessed with a heart-glowing assurance of our oneness with the Son of God's love, our standing in His glorious perfections, loved with an everlasting love, clothed in the spotless righteousness of our Surety, and accepted in the Beloved. We were all animated with the same spirit of love--love flowing from the person of our incarnate God through His most precious wounds and blood. The fire was kindled, then spake I with my tongue, ay, and with my heart also. I read the first part of Romans 5. God gave me such a pouring out of precious truth that caused our hearts to melt and mingle into one. Glory was in her soul, it shone in her face, and flowed from her lips in accents of adoring gratitude. Such a season of consolation and joy I rarely experience.
A few Saturdays ago, my friend and brother Ebenezer Carr and I were walking out in that locality. At the corner of the lane, I said, "Shall we first call upon Mrs. C---? Or turn in close by here to see one of God's jewels?" He answered, "Let us go there, by all means." We went, and were received just as she could receive any who loved the same Lord. I asked for a Bible, but my spectacles were missing, so my companion had to be Scripture Reader. This was no small honor that God had thus thrust upon him, to minister to the spiritual consolation of one that belonged to Christ. (Mark 9:41) He read Psalm 34. Look at its commencement: "I will bless the Lord at all times." Mark well its conclusion: "None of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." Oh, my dear friends, look at those precious words, "I will bless the LORD at all times." In the day of prosperity when the sun is shining brightly on your path? Yes; but not then alone. See! "At all times." In the day of adversity when dark clouds lower, like that when Job experienced the loss of all his possessions and severance from his children by violent means. Then he was not forsaken of his God, but could confidently cry, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21) Look at the last clause of that precious Psalm: "None of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." What a glorious declaration! "Shall not be desolate." See! The time may be near when many of us shall sing in plaintive stains,
"When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark, and friends are few,
On Him I lean, who, not in vain,
Experienced every human pain;
He sees my wants, always, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures up my tears."
You may rest assured of this, it is a blessed privilege to be isolated from the world to enjoy communion and fellowship with a precious Christ.
Last Friday but one, our dear old friend Davis said to me, "Miss Saunders is very low and near the end of her journey. She is anxious to see you. You had better go at once." I was very soon at her bedside. She was conscious, but could not articulate. I knew not what to say; but He knew. I said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." She opened her eyes wide; she saw me, and I believe she saw something more. I said, in a subdued tone, "Everlasting love! Everlasting life! Everlasting righteousness! Everlasting glory!" My knees were bent, not from any fleshly effort, but in blessed and hallowed oneness with the spirit of that dear, departing saint. The next day, Saturday, at 1:30 p.m., her best Friend, her loving Saviour, graciously took her home to Himself without a sigh or a groan. According to the world's judgment she had passed forty-two years of privation; but she accounted them forty-two years of spiritual fellowship with Jesus in His sufferings and consolations.
Last Friday afternoon, in the order of God's providence, our friend and brother George Davis was honored to commit to the dust all that was mortal of her, with the firm and abiding assurance that her ransomed spirit was at that moment enjoying uninterrupted and unmingled happiness in glorified union with her covenant Head. I have thus endeavored to explain to you the circumstances under which this precious portion has been laid upon my heart to speak from to you. Here it is, and may we, in pure dependence upon the Spirit's guidance, find a little food and comfort for our souls.
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Notice first of all, these words in connection with those immediately preceding them, as set before us in the word "also." "By whom also we have access." Look at the grand and glorious truth which the Holy Ghost by the apostle gives us in the first verse. Mark it well, but not according to the punctuation of our English translation. See! "Therefore being justified," not, "Therefore being justified by faith," though that is a precious truth, but not the truth of this portion of God's Word. "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Why do I thus punctuate? Because of the construction of the whole passage, for taking the latter part of the previous chapter in connection with the first part of this fifth chapter, which it really is, we find the statement, "Now it was not written for his (Abraham's) sake alone that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Here we see Jesus "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, into the hands of wicked men to be crucified and slain. (Acts 2:23) Delivered to work out a perfect obedience to God's law, without which, justification would have been an utter impossibility, and to render to Jehovah, in His agonies, bloody sweat, and sin-atoning death, that perfect satisfaction demanded by His righteous law and unbending justice. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the Father's seal upon His perfected salvation. It is the Father's image and superscription upon the pure fine gold of Christ's finished work. It is the Father's declaration of His acceptance of the Surety on the behalf of those for whom He lived and died, and of their acceptance in Him. The resurrection is the assurance of God that every member of the body of Christ stands in Him as having done all that He has done. It is glorious for me to know, that though I deserve nothing but eternal damnation, not only for the sins of my unregeneracy, but for the sins I have committed since first He gave me to experience His rich, free, and sovereign grace; yet, I stand before Him as having done all that Christ my Surety has done. To think that in Him I stand justified, accepted, perfect, and complete, fills the mind with wonder, love, and praise. Christ having accomplished the will of His Father in the presentation of His perfect obedience and all-atoning sufferings, was raised by Him from the dead, received with great triumph into His kingdom in heaven, and there He stands in unchanging union with His Church, the one object of His Father's ineffable complacency and delight. Of Him the Father appears to say, There stands the full expression of My eternal love and affection. In Him My soul delighteth to see all the elect and redeemed ones given to Him before all worlds. As He is in resurrection-life and beauty before My face and in My affections, so are they. In Him they stand, and shall stand perfect and complete in the face of all hell's opposition, the enmity of the world, and the incorrigibility of their wretched, rebellious flesh. What think ye of so glorious a Gospel as this? "Raised again for our justification." In the contemplation of this vast and glorious truth the apostle says, "Therefore being justified." "Therefore," my brethren, beloved of God, who are brought into experimental oneness with the Son of the Father's love, who are washed from all sin in His precious atoning blood, and whose only hope of justification and acceptance with the Father is in the person, obedience, blood, and resurrection of the Accepted One. "Therefore being justified." How? See!
"It is God that justifieth." (Rom. 8:33)
"Justified freely by His grace." (Rom. 3:24)
"Justified by His blood." (Rom. 5:9)
Justified by His obedience. (Rom. 5:19)
Justified by His resurrection. (Rom. 4:25)
Justified by His faith. (Gal. 2:16)
Justified by His Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:11)
Did you notice Rom. 5:19? "For as by the disobedience of one many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Let Wesleyans, and those heretics who approach very near to the truth, and who can talk much of the righteousness of God, look at this precious portion: "by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Oh, what a glorious truth! Justification by the obedience of Jesus. But some will inquire, Have we not justification by faith? Certainly we have; but it is justification by the faith of Christ. See Gal. 2:16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ." That is faith! "By the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ." That faith wrought in me, well suits me, and I want no other. Thus I am justified by the Spirit, and the evidences of my justification are those good works which God foreordained that I should walk in them.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God." We know, to our grief and shame, that we were enemies to God; but He hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. Look at the 10th verse of this chapter: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." "We have peace with God." Peace in the covenant. (Ezek. 34:25) Peace through the blood of His cross. (Col. 1:20) Peace in the work of His righteousness. (Isa. 32:17) Peace with God, not by anything of our own, but wholly of God from first to last. "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." See how careful the apostle is at every point that no Arminianism or free-willism shall find a place in this gracious work, those, with what we may call mongrel Calvinism can find no admission into this glorious superstructure of Divine revelation. The only reason why we have peace with God is because Jesus our Head and Representative "was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification." But here we read, "by faith we have peace with God." Through the faith of the Head communicated to the members we have peace, introduction, and communion with God, and not by faith, hope, striving, praying, or any endeavors of ours, but wholly through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"By whom also we have access into this grace wherein we stand." Did you notice that connecting link? "Also." This is a loop of heavenly blue which blessedly unites all blessings with the Blesser, and a justified state with the right and privilege of leaning upon the arm of Jesus and entering into the presence of His Father and ours. Was He delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification? Then we must be justified, we must have peace with God, and all through Him. Ay, and more too. Listen! "By whom also we have access into this grace wherein we stand." "By whom." Let us dwell upon these precious words, and may His good Spirit give us a right understanding and comprehension of them. Look at Rom. 8:2. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Mark that, in Christ Jesus, not from, toward, or about, but in Christ Jesus. Here I am a free man standing in glorious oneness with Him. Delivered from the authority of darkness. Liberated from the captivity of Satan. Freed from the dominion of sin. This is not my experience every day of the week, nor every moment I stand in this pulpit; but it is so when God sweetly leads my mind into the enjoyment of that liberty wherewith Christ Himself makes His people free. "By whom." The child of God as led by the Spirit of God does not say, I have access by my faith; but by the faith of Him. He does not say, By my sweet singing I enjoy communion with Him; but by Him who said, "In the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee." He does not boast of his striving; but humbly acknowledges the energizings of the blessed Spirit within. O what a marvelous mercy it is for me to know that all I am to God, with God, and before God is by Jesus Christ in covenant, crucifixion, and communication. Mark well those precious words of Montgomery's,
"O Thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod;
Lord, teach us how to pray."
Let us now look at a few portions of God's blessed Word which will illustrate these two precious words, "By whom." Turn to John 10:9. "I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." The Lord Jesus Christ is the Door. The Door of what? The Door of hope, the Door of faith, the Door of salvation, the Door of grace, and the Door of glory. He does not speak of our believing, obeying, or doing as the Door to any spiritual privilege we may enjoy. No Door by Christ. See!
"By whom also we have access," or introduction into the experimental possession of every benefit through grace to glory. Look at the dying thief entering Paradise with nothing but His Saviour's arm to lean upon, and the bosom of God to nestle in. O how blessed to be weaned from everything but Jesus, to find Him all and self nothing, to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, and feelingly confess with Asaph, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee." (Ps. 63:25) All those who know, and are satisfied with, Christ as the Door, "shall go in and out and find pasture." Mark! He shall go out as well as in. How is this? Sometimes I am brought into the presence of my God with my heart bounding with gratitude and thankfulness to Him for His great goodness in graciously lifting me out of my wretched self and carnal surroundings into the third heaven of spiritual privilege; but I know I must go down again to the thorns in the flesh and to the buffetings of the messenger of Satan. Oh, these buffetings! Knocked hither and thither, I scarcely know whither, when, with my spirit overwhelmed within me, I cry with a little confidence, "He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10) God's sheep are oftentimes driven out by Satan, their own wretched lusts and imperious tempers. Yet blessed be His name,
"His flock, His own peculiar care,
Though simply now they seem to roam,
Are led or driven only where
To bring them best and safest home.
Turn with me to John 14:6. Thomas. Poor, unbelieving Thomas! Not the only unbelieving Thomas that an unchanging Jesus had taken in hand. Thomas saith unto Him, "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?" Jesus had been speaking some sweet things to them. He said, "Let not your heart be troubled." Ye highly-favored and everlastingly-loved ones, "Let not your heart be troubled." This is a Divine command to all the election of grace; and when God the Spirit speaks it home with power to the heart, all trouble is banished from the mind. "In My Father's house are many mansions." You see it is My Father's house, therefore your Father's house. The house of My God, therefore the house of your God. "If it were not so I would have told you." O what a gracious and patient Teacher our Jesus is. Those of us who are spiritually and Divinely taught, thank and adore Him for His patience, and bless Him for His kindness, consideration, and care. He says, "If it were not so I would have told you." As much as to say, Everything necessary for you to know I will teach you. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas starts at this declaration, and says, "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." Turning to Gen. 3., we see the way to God blocked up by sin and death. "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12) The very moment a child of God is brought by the Holy Ghost to see, feel, and know himself as a law-condemned sinner, he sighs for pardon, he seeks for forgiveness, and longs for the presence and favor of that God against whom he has sinned. The way is blocked, how can he enter? Sin stares him in the face, who shall remove it? The law curses, who can silence it? Justice threatens, who shall satisfy it? Look at Gen. 3:24. "So He drove out the man, and He placed at the East of the garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." O what a precious truth! Man driven out of the garden of earthly delights and pleasures into the new and living Way to the Tree of Life which blooms in the midst of the paradise of God. Look at those blessed words, "He placed," as in a tabernacle. This speaks of the God-Man who as such tabernacled among us." (John 1:14) "Cherubims," the messengers of redeeming love, who ever point to Jesus as the only way to the Father. "And a flaming sword" which, having sheathed itself in the heart of the Surety of the covenant, now turns every way to keep, or guard, not to stop up, the Way which the vulture's eye can never see, nor the lion's whelps tread, nor the unclean walk therein. Here the redeemed walk at liberty, guarded and defended by the very sword they once dreaded. In the path of life the living children delight to walk through the wilderness leaning upon the Beloved. In the way of love the eternally-loved ones walk with Jesus. Why is this? Because Zechariah's precious prophecy is fulfilled: "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the Shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn Mine hand upon the little ones." (Zech. 13:7)
"The way, the glorious way to God
Shines in His bleeding side;
From every stain of sin that flood
Shall surely cleanse His bride."
"By whom." Look at that precious epistle of blood theology, the epistle to the Hebrews. Chapter 9:11,12. "But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands--that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Did you notice that? "By His own blood." That precious, atoning blood, every drop of which was shed for His eternally-loved people. By it He entered into the presence of God for us, and there He stands as our Head and Representative in all the glory and perfection of accomplished redemption, and so do we. The Father looks upon Him with ineffable delight and sweet complacency; and in the experience of the power of this precious fact, we may well sing with John Newton,
"But since my Saviour stands between
In garments dyed in blood,
'Tis He, instead of me, is seen,
When I approach to God.
What wond'rous love, what mysteries
In this appointment shine;
My breaches of the law are His,
And His obedience mine."
In Jesus by His precious blood we are brought into the presence of the Father. In Jesus by His perfect righteousness we enjoy our standing there. Grace shines in the sinless life of Jesus, from the manger to the cross, from the first sigh of His infant soul to the last cry upon earth of His triumphant spirit, "It is finished." What was finished? Satisfaction for sin. Obedience to God's law. Redemption from sin, Satan, and self of all the elect of God. Our Surety has gone into heaven and entered into the presence of the Father to plead for His own, and there He ever lives to make intercession for them. See! Elect, redeemed, and regenerate ones are brought to the experience and enjoyment of all this, though, through the devil's worry and the care and anxieties of this time-state, they ofttimes know not what to pray for, or how to pray as they ought; but the mercy is that up yonder, before His Father's face, He opens His mouth for the dumb, and pleads the cause of His poor and afflicted brethren who find sweet access with Him by His precious blood, perfect obedience, and prevailing intercession. We have access by Him in the glorious doctrines of His blessed Word, which He so graciously expounds and explains to our hearts. He must be the Teacher of the doctrine and the grand Object upon whom my faith, hope, love, and delight concentrate and are fixed. When His Spirit makes the doctrine precious, and gives me to experience my interest in the covenant blessings it contains, when He makes Christ Himself glorious in my soul's esteem, then my Christ, who is God's Christ, is the First, Last, and All in all of my salvation, experience, and life down here.
"By whom also we have access." What are we to understand by that word, "access?" Some imagine that it is simply a way opened by Christ to the presence of God, that He has done all that could possibly be done to give them a clear course, and now, if they are to be participators in the blessings of God's salvation, they must do their part, believe, repent, pray, and I don't know what. Well, such rubbish as that won't do for me. I love faith, precious faith. I love prayer, precious prayer, as much as any poor mortal in creation, and mourn my felt lack of the spirit of both; but I find not in them my access secured into the presence of my God. Here you have the truth of the text: "By whom we have introduction." That is a precious word! You know what it means. It is to be brought into the presence of the Majesty of heaven by One who has the right by birth, station, and standing. Such an One we find in Jesus. The Father will have all His children brought to Him by His own dear Son, their elder brother and gracious Saviour.
You all remember that pleasing and instructive incident in the life of Esther, when Mordecai pressed her to lay the case of her persecuted and threatened people before the king. To enter into the presence of the king unbidden was contrary to law. How could she enter? Listen to her own words. Esther 4:16. "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish." She went. She found favor. She obtained her request. Are any of you in this state before God this morning? You know that to enter into His sacred presence is contrary to the law, yet you must enter. A Divine necessity impels you, and you feel comfortable nowhere away from Him; without the joys of His salvation you are miserable, without His presence which is life you are dead indeed, and the language of your heart is, "I will go, although it is contrary to the law, and if I perish, I perish." That sounds like Antinomianism! Well, blessed be God, in this respect every graciously-accepted child of His must be spiritually an Antinomian, for he enjoys every mercy, not according to the law, but through the rich, sovereign, uninfluenced grace of God in Christ Jesus; and thus blessed, whatever the law may say, he can never perish. Perish shall all the designs of Satan. Perish shall all the schemes of hell. Perish shall all the enmity of my corrupt nature. Perish shall all my doubts and fears. But in Christ, though a lowly suppliant at His feet, I can never perish. Precious security! Gracious introduction! Blest acceptance! In the person of my glorious Surety, my dear Redeemer, my loving Saviour, my Next-of-Kin, I hear the Father say, "I knew that thou wouldest be a transgressor from the womb; (Isa. 48:8) but I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." (Jer. 31:3) O how blessed it is to hear our best Friend say, "Come with Me;" to feel the grasp of His loving hand; and then to be taken into His affectionate bosom and carried into the presence, to the bosom, to the heart of our covenant God and Father in Him. Access in Jesus! Introduction in Jesus! Confidence in Jesus! See Eph. 2:18. "For through Him we both (elect Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father." Turn to 1 Peter 3:18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." He says. "Them also I must bring." (John 10:16) The Good Shepherd will not trust His work out of His own hands. He loves His sheep too well for that. Precious Jesus! Thou art more than a match form my heart. Thou didst come to me and give me a gracious lift out of sin and self into Thyself and into the house and home of Thy Father. By Thy precious blood, Thy glorious righteousness, Thy prevailing intercession, Thy blessed Spirit, Thy Holy Word, Thine own self, we are brought to the throne and heart of Thy God and ours.
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace." Have we faith? It is "by Him we do believe in God;" (1 Peter 1:21) for He has graciously taught us that without Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) By Him faith is wrought in us. By Him we are brought to the throne of grace, and into the enjoyment of the grace of the Father which He has bestowed upon us in the Son of His love. See how the Baptist speaks of this in John 1:16. "And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." Grace given is God's pledge that we shall have more abundant supplies. What is grace? The free, unmerited, uninfluenced favor of our covenant God flowing through the Son by the gracious power of the Holy Ghost to you and to me. Electing grace! Redeeming grace! Forgiving grace! Justifying grace! Upholding grace! Preserving grace! All for nothing, and never to be lost. We may and will mourn because of our insensibility, but Jesus will take care of every grace which the Father entrusted to His charge for us. In the possession of this grace, Satan will distress, but he never can destroy.
"This grace wherein we stand." Are we good soldiers of Jesus Christ? Not all the powers of earth, and hell, and sin can ever bear us down. No shaft from hell, no shot from Satan, no fiery dart from the wicked one shall ever reach an eternally-loved child. See Eph. 6:13. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having overcome all to stand." As spiritual worshippers, we stand on Zion's sacred mount where no weapon that is formed against us can prosper. As servants of so kind and loving a Master, we stand and watch the look of His eye and the beck of His guiding hand. Look at Rom. 5:9,10. "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Look at that! What a blessed standing! Justified. Reconciled. Saved! Saved by His sin-atoning death from damnation. Saved by His interceding life from every danger. Saved from all doubts, fears, and perplexities. Saved from hellish unbelief and accursed indifference, from indwelling corruption and from Satan's assaults, from deceit and violence, from every sin, suffering, and sorrow. Saved because He ever lives to make intercession for us. Now look at that glorious eighth of Romans. In Christ no condemnation. From Christ no separation. Let us read those bold, soul-inspiring, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, devil-defying challenges of Paul. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"We stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Have you seen a dying saint?
"A mortal paleness on the cheek,
But glory in the soul."
This was the blessed lot of the highly-favored one whom I introduced to your notice at the commencement of this discourse. She was afflicted and bedridden for forty-two long years. Long, long years ago, thirty or more, it pleased God to bring her under the loving notice of that dear, but now glorified, saint, Thomas Lett. From that moment God honored him in blessed oneness of spirit with his dear wife, as the almoner of His bounty and the channel of His precious sympathy to dear Miss Saunders. She was well cared for by our friend and sister Mrs. Lett, whose blessed privilege it was to close the eyes of this eternally-loved one in death. God thrust honor upon me in carrying me sometimes to her bedside where I never heard a murmur from her lips; but sometimes as I read to her from the blessed Book, and spoke of the beauties of the King and the glories of His kingdom, she would stop me thus: "O, Mr. Bradbury, I cannot bear much more. Glorious! My God is so good to me. My heart is full of His love, almost to bursting. O God, Thou art so kind and loving to me." She's gone! May we in glory meet her.
Gracious Lord add Thine own blessing for Thine own name's sake. Amen.