12. The Eternal Weight of Glory

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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The sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of Heaven breaks,
The summer morn I’ve sighed for,
The fair sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory―glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.
“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” —Rom. 8:1818For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Oh happy soul for evermore, who can rightly compare this life with that long-lasting life to come, and can balance the weighty glory of the one with the light golden vanity of the other!
When we shall come home, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings, then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time-suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome-home to heaven.
If ye would lay the price ye give out (which is but some few years’ pain and trouble) beside the commodities ye are to receive, ye would see they are not worthy to be laid in the balance together: but it is nature that maketh you look what ye give out, and weakness of faith that hindereth you to see what ye shall take in.... Think ye much to follow the heir of the crown, who had experience of sorrows, and was acquainted with grief? It were pride to aim to be above the King’s Son: it is more than we deserve, that we are equals in glory, in a manner.
There hath not been so much taken from your time of ease and created joys, as eternity shall add to your heaven. Ye know that when one day in heaven hath paid you (yea, and overpaid your blood, bonds, sorrow, and sufferings), that it would trouble angels’ understanding to lay the count of that surplus of glory which eternity can and will give you. Oh but your sandglass of sufferings and losses cometh to little, when it shall be counted and compared with the glory that abideth you on the other side of the water!... If your mind could fancy as many created heavens as time hath had minutes, trees have had leaves, and clouds have had raindrops, since the first stone of the creation was laid, they should not make half a scale in which to bear and weigh boundless excellency. And, therefore, the King whose marks ye are bearing, and whose dying ye carry about with you in your body, is, out of all cry and consideration, beyond and above all our thoughts.
Since ye have not now many years to your endless eternity, and know not how soon the sky above your head will rive, and the Son of Man will be seen in the clouds of heaven, what better and wiser course can ye take, than to think that your one foot is here, and your other foot in the life to come, and to leave off loving, desiring, or grieving for the wants that shall be made up when your Lord and ye shall meet.... Ye shall then rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and your joy shall none take from you. It is enough, that the Lord hath promised you great things, only let the time of bestowing them be in His own carving. It is not for us to set an hourglass to the Creator of time.
When your Head shall appear, your Bridegroom and Lord, your day shall than dawn, and it shall never have an afternoon, nor an evening shadow.
Ye cannot be too often awakened to go forward towards your city, since your way is long, and (for anything ye know) your day is short. And your Lord requireth of you, as ye advance in years and steal forward insensibly towards eternity, that your faith may grow and ripen for the Lord’s harvest. For the great Husbandman giveth a season to His fruits that they may come to maturity, and having gotten their fill of the tree they may be then shaken and gathered in for use; whereas the wicked rot upon the tree, and their branch shall not be green. “He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.” It is God’s mercy to you, that He giveth you your fill, even to loathing, of this bitter world, that ye may willingly leave it. And at last, having trampled under feet all the rotten pleasures that are under sun and moon, and having rejoiced as though ye rejoiced not, and having bought as though ye possessed not, ye may arrive at our Lord’s harbor, and be made welcome, as one of those who have ever had one foot loose from the earth, longing for that place where your soul shall feast and banquet forever and ever,... and where ye shall see the fair face of the man Christ, even the beautiful face that was once for your cause more marred than any of the visages of the sons of men, and was all covered with spitting and blood. Be content to wade through the waters betwixt you and glory with Him, holding His hand fast, for He knoweth all the fords. Howbeit ye may be ducked, but ye cannot drown, being in His company.... Be not afraid, therefore, when ye come even to the black and swelling river of death, to put in your foot and wade after Him. The current, how strong soever, cannot carry you down the water to hell: the Son of God, His death and resurrection, are steppingstones and a stay to you; set down your feet by faith upon these stones, and go through as on dry land. If ye knew what He is preparing for you, ye would be too glad. He will not (it may be) give you a full draft till you come up to the well-head and drink, yea, drink abundantly, of the pure river of the water of life, that proceedeth out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Tire not, weary not; when ye are got up thither, and have cast your eyes to view the golden city, and the fair and never-withering Tree of Life, that beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, ye shall then say, “Four-and-twenty hours’ abode in this place is worth threescore and ten years’ sorrow upon earth.”
Oh, if He would fold the heavens together like an old cloak, and shovel time and days out of the way, and make ready in haste the Lamb’s wife for her Husband! Since He looked upon me my heart is not my own; He hath run away to heaven with it.... Look up to Him and love Him. Oh, love and live!
There shall be no complaints on either side, in heaven. There shall be none there, but He and we, the Bridegroom and the bride; devils, temptations, trials, desertions, losses, sad hearts, pain, and death, shall be all put out of play; and the devil must give up his office of tempting. Oh, blessed is the soul whose hope hath a face looking straight out to that day. It is not our part to make a treasure here; anything, under the covering of heaven, which we can build upon, is but ill ground and a sandy foundation. Every good thing, except God, wanteth a bottom, and cannot stand its lone; how then can it bear the weight of us?... I know that all created power would sink under me, if I should lean down upon it; and, therefore, it is better to rest on God, than to sink or fall; and we weak souls must have a bottom and a being-place, for we cannot stand our lone.
Christ and His cross are not separable in this life; howbeit Christ and His cross part at heaven’s door, for there is no houseroom for crosses in heaven. One tear, one sigh, one sad heart, one fear, one loss, one thought of trouble, cannot find lodging there: they are but the marks of our Lord Jesus down in this wide inn, and stormy country, on this side of death. Sorrow and the saints are not married together; or, suppose it were so, heaven would make a divorce. I find that His sweet presence eateth out the bitterness of sorrow and suffering. I think it a sweet thing that Christ saith of my cross, “Half mine”; and that He divideth these sufferings with me, and taketh the larger share to Himself; nay, that I and my whole cross are wholly Christ’s.
All the saints have their own measure of winter, before their eternal summer. Oh for the long day, and the high sun, and the fair garden, and the King’s Great City up above these visible heavens! What God layeth on let us suffer; for some have one cross, some seven, some ten, some half a cross. Yet all the saints have whole and full joy.
I would praise Him for this, that the whole army of the redeemed ones sit rent-free in heaven.
Oh, how sweet to be wholly Christ’s, and wholly in Christ! to be out of the creatures owning, and made complete in Christ! to dwell in Immanuel’s high and blessed land, and live in that sweetest air where no wind bloweth but the breathings of the Holy Ghost, no seas nor floods flow but the pure water of life, that proceedeth from under the throne and from the Lamb! no planting but the Tree of Life that yieldeth twelve manner of fruits every month! What do we here but sin and suffer? Oh, when shall the night be gone, the shadows flee away, and the morning of that long, long day, without cloud or night dawn? The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Oh, when shall the Lamb’s wife be ready, and the Bridegroom say, “Come!”
Get up in the strength of the Lord; get over the water to possess that good land. It is better than a land of olives and wine-trees; for the Tree of Life, that beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, is there before you; and a pure river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, is there. Your time is short; therefore lose no time. Gracious and faithful is He who hath called you to His kingdom and glory. The city is yours by free conquest, and by promise; and, therefore, let no unco lord-idol put you from your own.
I cannot tell you what is to come. Yet I may speak as our Lord doth of it. The foundation of the city is pure gold, clear as crystal; the twelve ports are set with precious stones; if orchard and rivers commend a soil upon earth, there is a paradise there, wherein groweth the tree of life that beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, which is seven score and four harvests in the year; and there is there a pure river of water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; and the city hath no need of the light of the sun or moon, or of a candle, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is the light thereof. Believe and hope for this, till ye see and enjoy.