In all ages the Saviour's chosen have been educated and disciplined in the
school of trial. They walked in narrow paths on earth; they were purified
in the furnace of affliction. For Jesus' sake they endured opposition,
They followed Him through conflicts sore; they endured self-denial and
experienced bitter disappointments. By their own painful experience they
learned the evil of sin, its power, its guilt, its woe; and they look upon
it with abhorrence. A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure
humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and
praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much
because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ's
sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory.
The heirs of God have come from garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from
scaffolds, from mountains, from deserts, from the caves of the earth, from
the caverns of the sea. On earth they were "destitute, afflicted,
tormented." Millions went down to the grave loaded with infamy because
they steadfastly refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By
human tribunals they were adjudged the vilest of criminals. But now "God
is judge Himself." Psalm 50:6.
Now the decisions of earth are reversed. "The rebuke of His people shall
He take away." Isaiah 25:8. "They shall call them, The holy people, The
redeemed of the Lord." He hath appointed "to give unto them beauty for
ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit
of heaviness." Isaiah 62:12; 61:3. They are no longer feeble, afflicted,
scattered, and oppressed. Henceforth they are to be ever with the Lord.
They stand before the throne clad in richer robes than the most honored of
the earth have ever worn.
They are crowned with diadems more glorious than were ever placed upon the
brow of earthly monarchs. The days of pain and weeping are forever ended.
The King of glory has wiped the tears from all faces; every cause of grief
has been removed. Amid the waving of palm branches they pour forth a song
of praise, clear, sweet, and harmonious; every voice takes up the strain,
until the anthem swells through the vaults of heaven: "Salvation to our
God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
And all the inhabitants of heaven respond in the ascription: "Amen:
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power,
and might, be unto our God for ever and ever." Revelation 7:10, 12.
In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of
redemption. With our finite comprehension we may consider most earnestly
the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the
mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental
powers we fail to grasp its full significance.
The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love
are but dimly comprehended. The plan of redemption will not be fully
understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they
are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold
to the wondering and delighted mind. Though the griefs and pains and
temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God
will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation
The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed
through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ
crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and
upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved
of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted
to adore--humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and
shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father's face, till the woes of a lost
world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary's cross.
That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay
aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite
the wonder and adoration of the universe. As the nations of the saved look
upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in
His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to
everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth
in rapturous song: "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath
redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!"
The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that
streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear
and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental
love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold
the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in its
gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance
of that endearing title, "Our Father."
It will be seen that He who is infinite in wisdom could devise no plan for
our salvation except the sacrifice of His Son. The compensation for this
sacrifice is the joy of peopling the earth with ransomed beings, holy,
happy, and immortal. The result of the Saviour's conflict with the powers
of darkness is joy to the redeemed, redounding to the glory of God
throughout eternity. And such is the value of the soul that the Father is
satisfied with the price paid; and Christ Himself, beholding the fruits of
His great sacrifice, is satisfied.