7th April 2020
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
A view of Christ’s glory and a foretaste of the bliss and blessedness it communicates has a transforming effect upon the soul. We are naturally proud, covetous, and worldly, often led aside by, and grievously entangled in various lusts and passions, prone to evil, averse to good, easily elated by prosperity, soon dejected by adversity, peevish under trials, rebellious under heavy strokes, unthankful for daily mercies of food and raiment, and in other ways ever manifesting our base original. To be brought from under the power of these abounding evils, and be made “meet for the inheritance of the saints in light,” we need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind,” and conformed to the image of Christ. Now this can only be by beholding his glory by faith, as the Apostle speaks, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is this believing view of the glory of Christ which supports under heavy trials, producing meekness and resignation to the will of God. We are, therefore, bidden to “consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be wearied and faint in our minds;” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” Sicknesses, too, sometimes befall us, when we need special support; the sands of our time are fast running out, and there is no turning the glass; our “days are passing away as the swift ships, as the eagle that hasteth to the prey;” and death and eternity are fast hastening on. When the body sinks under a load of pain and disease, and all sources of happiness and enjoyment from health and strength are cut off; when flesh and heart fail, and the eye-strings are breaking in death, what can support the soul or bear it safe through Jordan’s swelling flood, but those discoveries of the glory of Christ that shall make it sick of earth, sin and self, and willing to lay the poor body in the grave, that it may be for ever ravished with his glory and his love? Thus we see how the glory of Christ is not only in heaven the unspeakable delight of the saints, whose glorified souls and bodies will then bear “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” but here on earth, in their days of tribulation and sorrow, this same glory, as revealed to their hearts, supports and upholds their steps, draws them out of the world, delivers them from the power of sin, gives them union and communion with Christ, conforms them to his image, comforts them in death, and lands them in glory. We thus see Christ, like the sun, not only illuminating all heaven with his glory, the delight of the Father, the joy of the spirits of just men made perfect, and the adoration of all the angelic host, but irradiating also the path of the just on earth, casting his blessed beams on all their troubles and sorrows, and lighting up the way wherein they follow their Lord from the suffering cross to the triumphant crown.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869