The Nearness of the Glory

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THE thought of the nearness of the glory should be deeply cherished by the heart. And we need be at no effort to persuade ourselves of it. It is taught us richly in the Word. The place of the glory is near us, and the path by which it can either come to us, or we go to it is short and simple, and the moment for the taking of the journey may be present in the twinkling of an eye.
"Whom He justified, them He also glorified," is a sentence which tells us of the path, or title to the glory. We need nothing but the justifying faith of Jesus. When by faith we stand washed and sanctified through the blood, we are at once made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Our persons need no further adorning. We are clean every whit. Presentable without fault before the presence of the glory, whether that glory be still hid within its rail, or to be manifested to-morrow.
Nor can we say, when it may please the Lord of the glory to appear. But this we know that He is ever near, and can show Himself in all that His high and bright estate in a moment.
The Congregation were set at the door of the tabernacle to acquaint themselves with their High Priest. They did so. They took knowledge of the consecration and services of Aaron, and on the accomplishing of these services, the glory appeared. It was waiting at the door within its proper wail, to do this, and show itself. All it needed was title to take its little journey, finding an object worthy of its visitation. And as soon as the Congregation stood in the value of the blood, or appeared in that character which the priestly services and sacrifices impart to it; then the glory reading its title to appear in finding an object worthy of its visitation, makes its short journey, and shines around the Camp. And it shines around to gladden them-not to alarm, but to gladden. They were entitled and prepared to be gladdened by it, for they stood in the value and cleansing of the blood. Its place was theirs, and the atmosphere it brought with it, their native air.
But there is another witness to the nearness of the glory.
A light surprised the persecutor as he journeyed from Jerusalem to Damascus. (Acts 9) It was above the brightness of the sun at noon-day. And well it might have been, for it was a beam from the land of the glory, and it bore the Lord of the glory upon it. (See Isa. 24:2323Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. (Isaiah 24:23).)
Happy to know from such a witness how near that place of glory is to us. For as in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, that glory was here! Jesus purposed, and it came-He commanded, and it was here.
But it did not come to display itself. It came for other business, on another errand altogether. It came to make the persecutor of the suffering members of Christ, a native of that very land where_ this glory dwelt.
It begins therefore by laying the persecutor himself in ruins. It shines around him, and he falls to the earth. It is like the light of Gideon's pitchers confounding the armies of the `Uncircumcised. Saul takes the sentence of death to himself. With a vengeance he learns that he had been kicking against the pricks, madly destroying himself, in all his enmity against Jesus, for that Jesus was the Lord of the glory. But the One that wounds can heal-the One that kills can make alive. "Rise and stand upon thy feet," says the Lord of this glory. Life comes from Him who could wield the power of death-life infallible, and indestructible, life too with inheritance of this very glory. And he is made (as fittest to tell of it,) the witness of the same life and inheritance to all kinds of sinners-Kings, Gentiles, and people of Israel.
What a business is this! the glory and the Lord of the glory comes to do it. Never had such points in the furthest distance met before. The persecutor of the flock, and the Savior of the flock are beside each other. The Lord of the glory, and the sinner whom the glory was consuming are here.
Can we trust all this, and be glad in it Is it pleasant to us to think that the glory is thus near us, that at the bidding of its Lord, or to carry as a chariot its Lord, it could. be here in a moment? Stephen saw it thus, as by an upward glance of his closing eye. And when the voice of the Archangel heralds it, and the trump of God summons it, it will be here again to enfold us, and bear us up to its native land! (1 Thess. 4, 1 Cor. 15)
It visited Saul, but left him as its heir and expectant, to travel and toil down here for his appointed day. But when it visits us, it will not leave us here any longer as its expectant, for a while strangers and foreigners in the earth, but to take us home with itself, ever to be with the Lord-"The Lord of the glory." (1 Cor. 2:88Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:8)., James 2:11My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (James 2:1).)
Till then, like Paul, we may "obtain help of the Lord," and testify of what we are, and of what we shall be. But it is all service in a foreign land, with the cherishing, gladdening thought, that the native land is near us, and our translation asks but for a moment, for the "twinkling- of an eye." The title is simple-the path is short-and the journey soon taken. "Whom He justified, them He also glorified."
Note.-It is sweetly characteristic of the present age, that the hand of a fellow-disciple, Ananias, is used in the strengthening of Paul to bear the glory. The Seraphim alone do that for Isaiah. (chapter 6.) The Spirit does it for Ezekiel. (chapter 2.) The hand of the Son of man does it for Daniel. (chapter 10.) But Ananias is made to do it for Paul.-J. G. B.