Glorifying in the Lord
“He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”— 1 Corinthians i. 31.
THERE is an irresistible tendency in ns to glory in something or other. All classes of men glory, the highest and the lowest, the richest and the poorest, the best educated and the most illiterate. Solomon glories, and so does the fool; Goliath glories, and so does David; Pharaoh glories, and so does his slave. Even in the most modest the tendency to boast is present, only its nakedness is daintily concealed. Good men glory, yes, and in hours of weakness they have gloried in objects very unworthy of their boastings. You remember how, when the ambassadors came out of Babylon, Hezekiah showed them all his riches and his stores, and no doubt he gloried while he took them from treasure-house to treasure-house, and opened his caskets and showed all his precious things. But it was an evil thing, and the Lord was angry with him for that glorying, and bade the prophet foretell that all his choice vessels should be carried away as plunder by the very people whose ambassadors he had so delighted with the sight. The very first person who was born into this world was the subject of glorying, and his mother, as she gazed upon him with rapture, said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Perhaps she even said, as the original has been construed, “I have gotten a man— the Lord,” thinking that surely he might be the promised seed of the woman who would bruise the serpent’s head, and would prove to be both a man and the Lord. Alas, it was Cain, who slew his brother, and was a child of the serpent rather than the bruiser of his head. The thing we glory in, though it be a dear child, may turn out to be a scourge for our backs, a Cain and not a consolation. Jacob glories in Joseph’s princely coat, but he wept indeed when he saw its many colours all turned to a blood-red hue. I say good people have the tendency to glory, and sometimes they glory in unworthy objects, and therefore it is that God has prepared a cure for it— not by repressing the instinct to glory, but by giving a worthy subject for glorying, which finds it a wider range, and full liberty, but only in a licensed field. It may not wander there, nor there, nor there, for it is ill to glory in worldly things, but it may fly away up yonder to God himself, and stretch its wings, and plume itself as much as it will in heaven. The cure for vain glory is true glory. Somewhat upon the homoeopathic principle, the cure for boasting is to boast in the Lord all the day long. The prevention of glorying in men, and glorying in riches, and glorying in self, is glorying in the Lord. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” On that text we shall now speak.
And we shall have these four points. First, let us, dear brethren and sisters, as many of us as know the Lord, glory only in the Lord. Then, secondly, let us glory heartily in the Lord. Thirdly, let us glory growingly in the Lord. And, lastly, let us glory practically in the Lord.
I. First, then, LET US GLORY ONLY IN THE LORD. And we should do this because the theme of glorying is too great to admit of another. It was a good argument of a simple-minded man that there could not be two gods, because the first God filled heaven and earth, and all places, and therefore there was not room for another. If God be everywhere, and fills all in all, there can be no other god; and if the glory of God be infinite, then there can be no second glory; and if the theme be boundless, then there is not room for a second. As all other gods but Jehovah must be idols, so all other glory save that which is in the Lord must be foolish and sinful. Those men who really know the Lord feel that such is the greatness of his glory, that it takes up all our faculties, absorbs all our powers, demands indeed our whole energy, and we cannot spare time, or love, or skill, or power, or thought for any other topic. Let the Lord be gloried in, and him alone, because the Lord alone is worthy to be gloried in. He only is great, he is the blessed and only Potentate, from him only cometh our salvation, he is God alone, therefore in one rolling flood let all our glorying cheerfully flow at his feet.
All glory should be given unto God, because any other object of glory highly provokes the Most High. He has said, “My glory will I not give to another, nor my praise to graven images.” It is written concerning Israel, “They moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel” (Ps. lxxviii. 58, 59). The moment we begin trusting in a created arm, God is highly provoked with us. “Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm and if we begin glorying in anything else, either the Lord will send the Worm at the root to make the gourd wither, or he will stamp our idol in pieces, and make us drink of the bitter water with which it is mixed, or else he will inflict upon us some other severe chastisement, for he cannot bear a rival. Where the ark of the Lord is, Dagon must come down. God will be all, or nothing. He cannot accept divided homage. Let us not provoke him, then, especially when he tells us, “The Lord thy God is a jealous God.” Since he is so tender of his own name, let us be tender of it too. If he would bear it, even then it would be wrong of us to test and try him; but since he will not bear it, but is jealous, and his fury goeth forth like flames of fire, let us take heed what we do. Think of ‘Nebuchadnezzar, and how his proud speech led to his loss of his reason and herding with cattle. Remember Belshazzar, and how he was found wanting, because it was said of him, “The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, thou hast not glorified, but thou hast praised the gods of silver and gold, and wood, and stone, and iron, which sec not, nor hear, nor know.” Remember how the Lord smote Herod, so that he was eaten of worms, because he received divine honours and gave not God the glory: “Give glory to the Lord your God before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains.” Glory ye in the Lord alone, for he will not endure to have it otherwise.
There is, indeed, my dear brethren and sisters, no other fit ground for glorying in all the world except the Lord. For what would there be in this world, if God were to withdraw his power? If there were some other object in which we thought we could glory, yet since it came from him it would be idle to glory in the streams, we had better boast in the fountain-head from which the stream descends. All things that are exist only by the will and sovereign good pleasure of the Lord of all, let us not glory, then, in that which depends upon him, but in God himself, the well-head of all. Glory not in the sunbeams but in the sun which scatters them, not in the drops but in the heaven from which they distil, not in the goods but in the Supreme Good who bestows them.
Moreover, all things in this world are fleeting, and wherefore should we glory in that which to-day is, and to-morrow will pass away? “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of grass who will dare to rejoice in it? The grass withereth; though to-day it is in its prime, to-morrow it is cast into the oven; it is a poor thing upon which to doat. The drunkards of Ephraim chose for their crown of pride and glorious beauty a fading flower; but we who are sober reject so fleeting a diadem. Only very benighted heathen could worship a god of snow, melting at every glance of the sun. Shall an immortal spirit delight in dying joys? Shall the heirs of eternal bliss glory in a momentary treasure? Glory not, therefore, in the things that so soon depart. Let your glory be in that which will last as long as your own being. Heir of immortality, take care that you have something to glory in which will never wither or decay; set your love upon that which rust cannot canker, nor moth devour.
Besides, there is nothing in this world that has in it qualities worthy of our glorying therein, in comparison with God. He is the sun; the stars must hide their heads when he appears. He is the ocean; all these ponds and pools are of small account; let us bless the eternal ocean of all-sufficient glory and goodness, and not turn aside to magnify our little Abanas and Pharpars. Sin is stamped upon almost everything, and even the unfallen angels, in comparison with God, are little worth; the purity that excelleth eclipses all. “The heavens are not pure in his sight, and he charged his angels with folly.” Foolish is he, therefore, who shall boast in these inferior things while the thrice Holy God presents himself as the true and legitimate subject of our glorying.
“Praise the God of all creation,
Praise the Father’s boundless love;
Praise the Lamb, our expiation,
Priest and King enthroned above.
Praise the Fountain of salvation,
Him by whom our spirits live;
To the one Jehovah give.”
Dear friends, we ought to glory in the Lord, because when we do so we shall be in accord with the true order of the universe. Look ye abroad, and mark the works of God in creation; what do they glory in? “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” The great pulses of the universe will keep time and tune to your heart if you glory in the Lord. “All thy works praise thee, O God.” Creation is a temple in which every one speaks of the glory of Jehovah. Turn to Providence, and faith’s eye perceives that Providence is always displaying the glory of the Lord. All things work not only for the good of the elect, but for the glory of the Most High: “For of him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be the glory for ever.” The ponderous wheels, as they revolve in all their solemn grandeur, are full of eyes, and those eyes look to the glory of God. You are in accord both with providence and creation when you glory only in the Lord. Lift up now your eyes and behold the angels, those bright spirits who watch over us, and rejoice when we repent. What think you is their song? “Glory to God in the highest.” Truly they sing, “Peace, good will towards men,” but first of all they cry to one another, “Glory to God.” This is their ancient song, and they have not ceased to sing it. You are in accord, therefore, with the blessed spirits who do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word, when you glory only in him. Yea, and you are in accord with the divine Trinity; for what does the Father do but glorify the Son? What does the Son aim at when he says, “Father, glorify thy Son”? It is, “that thy Son also may glorify thee.” What does the Holy Spirit do when he takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto us? Has not Jesus said of him, “He shall glorify me”? There is a mutual delight in each other in the persons of the blessed Trinity, so that each divine person delights to glorify the rest. God even thus glorifies himself. All his works praise him, all his decrees praise him; all things which are, or shall be, show forth his sole glory. Well, dear brethren and sisters, as we do not wish to be out of gear with the works of God, or opposed to his nearest attendants, or in rebellion against the sacred Trinity, let us stand to it that our souls shall glory only in the Lord as long as we live. So much upon that first head, let us glory only in the Lord.
II. Now, secondly, may the Spirit of God help us to GLORY HEARTILY IN THE LORD, with the whole force of our nature renewed by grace, not as a matter of form, but in deed and in truth. Let us make our boast in the Lord heartily, doing it so that the humble may hear thereof, and be glad, since there is good cause for heartily glorying in the Lord, first, because of his love. “God is love.” O you that have tasted of that love, glory in it; glory that it is eternal, that it never had a beginning, that he fixed his love upon the objects of his choice before the mountains lifted their hoar heads above the clouds. Glory in it. It is no passion of yesterday, but the deep-seated, fixed resolve of all eternity, the purpose of the Ancient of days, when as yet days had not begun their little round. Speak they of antiquity? Lo, it is here! “I have loved thee with an everlasting love!” Shall wo not glory in this? I am resolved that none shall stop me of this glorying while my tongue can speak.
Glory in the divine love in its wonderful benefactions, inasmuch as having loved his people he gave his only begotten Son that they might be redeemed from wrath through him. God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. The Only Begotten is God’s unspeakable gift, including and securing every good gift. What manner of love is this! We can never measure it, nor fully declare it, let us resolve for ever to glory in it. There was never such love as this, love so ancient, love so disinterested, so boundless! Love which brought the darling of heaven down to be despised and rejected of men. Oh, mighty love that could hold the Son of God himself in fetters of affection, lead him into a lifelong captivity to its power, and at last fasten him to the deadly tree!
That love of God to us was free, unpurchased, unsought. He loved us because he would love us; not because we were lovely, but because he was love. He must love, for love is his nature, there was no other constraint upon him. Oh, blessed, blessed be the love of God, to think it should come to us unsought, unbought, undeserved, spontaneously leaping up like a living fountain with none to dig the well, but springing up in the midst of the Sahara of our barren nature, and then blessing us with unspeakable blessings as it overflowed. Glory in the love of God! Here is sea-room for you. Beloved, there is no love comparable to it. If all the loves that ever burned in the hearts of mothers, and brothers, and wives, and husbands, could all be heaped up they would be but a mole hill compared with the love of God in Christ Jesus; and if all the loves that ever were among men or angels could be gathered together they would be as a spark, and God’s love to us like a mighty furnace flame. Glory in it, therefore, all the day long, for well you may. “He loved me, and gave himself for me.”
You need not give up glorying when you have reached the centre of your subject, for you can glory next in the Lord’s faithfulness. Glory in the fact that he never yet changed the objects of his love. Whom once he loves he never leaves, but loves them to the end. No fickle lover is he! No husband who sues out a divorce against his errant spouse. “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement that I put away? To which of my creditors have I sold you?” No, we can challenge all mankind and say, “The Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away.” You may glory in the faithfulness of God as to all his promises. He has never broken his covenant, nor neglected to fulfil his word. To no child of his has he acted unkindly; in no hour of need has he deserted one that trusted in him. Under no peril, and under no provocation, has he cast away his people whom he did foreknow, so that this day the whole Church is persuaded that “Neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Go and glory that his mercy endureth for ever. Tell it everywhere that man can lie, but God cannot; that man can forget his promise, and can utterly forsake his dearest friend, but that the faithful God has never yet run back from his covenant, no forfeited the oath of his grace.
And if you should want a change of subject, I would recommend you to glory in the Lord as to his holiness. This is an attribute which hath charms to Christians, but to none besides. “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” says David, and he adds, “And all that is within me, bless” — his gracious name, is it? No. Bless his loving name? No. It runs thus, “Bless his holy name,” because the whole includes all the parts, and the holiness, or the wholeness of God is a grander thing than any one of the distinct attributes which make up the wholeness, or the holiness of his character. Go ye and glory in the holiness of God, for there is none holy as the Lord, neither is there any god like our God. It is this which angels glory in, for as they veil their faces, they say, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.” It is a grand attribute of God. “The Lord is great in Zion, and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name, for it is holy.” Bless his name that even to show his love he would not be unholy, and even to forgive sins he would not be unjust. He never blunted the edge of the sword of justice in order to stretch out his hand of mercy. He is as sternly and inflexibly just towards sin as if he never forgave iniquity, and yet he forgives sinners through Christ Jesus as freely and fully as if he never punished a transgression. All his attributes are full-orbed; no one impinges upon the other so as to diminish its lustre. “The Lord our God is holy,” while at the same time “God is love.” Let us therefore glory in his divine perfection, and in the wondrous atonement for sin which was required in consequence. An unholy God could have dispensed with an expiation, but then we should have had no ground for confidence, since he who can set aside justice in one direction might do it in the opposite, he who pardons without atonement might also punish without fault. For my part, I always glory in the old-fashioned doctrine of substitution... I do not know anything about the atonement which has been invented by the cultured gentlemen of modern times; though their theory is so often cried up, it contains so little worth the crying. They call ours a commercial atonement, and truly we cannot call theirs by the same name, for it is worth nothing, and none would care to commerce with it. It is a hazy kind of atonement which did something or other, I do not know what it was, in so intangible and mysterious a manner that it is but remotely connected with our getting to heaven; what it was nobody knows, but each divine has a theory for his own private use. I believe Christ bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that “the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and that with his stripes we are healed”; that there was a literal and actual expiation made by Christ, and that
“He bore, that we might never bear,
His Fathers righteous ire.”
And this I glory in, because it shows the justice and the mercy of God walking hand in hand; righteousness and peace kissing each other, and entering into a solemn compact for the salvation of the sons of men. Surely in the Lord Jehovah we have righteousness and strength, and therefore will we glory in him for ever.
“Holy, Holy, Holy! All
Heaven’s triumphant choir shall sing:
When the ransom’d nations fall
At the footstool of their King:
Then shall saints and seraphim,
Harps and voices, swell one hymn,
Round the throne with full accord,
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord.”
And if you feel you would like to alter the subject, then glory in the all-sufficiency of your God, and in the liberality with which he distributes his mercies among his chosen. Notice the verse that precedes the text: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” In Christ Jesus is not one good thing given to us, but every good thing. He does not give us part of salvation, but the whole of salvation. Do we need to be instructed? Christ is our wisdom. Do we need to be clothed in the sight of God with a righteousness that shall render us acceptable? Christ is our righteousness. Do we need to be purified and cleansed? Christ is our sanctification. And do we need to be set free and delivered from all bondage? Christ is our redemption. In God the Christian finds sufficiency; let us improve the word — all-sufficiency. There are riches of grace in Christ Jesus, all that you can want, ail that the myriads of God’s chosen can want— so much, that after all the saints have taken immense draughts, there is as much left as before. I felt when I was coming up to preach tonight as if I had been down like a little child to the sea, and I had stooped to the wave and filled my palms as well as I could with the sparkling water, but as I have been coming to bring it to you, it has nearly all trickled away, for I am not able to hold it by reason of my leaking hands. Yet, for all that, the little I can bring will make you, I hope, rejoice in the great eternal ocean from which it was taken, for you will never drain God’s love, and mercy, and truth dry, though you should draw from it for ever. You need never think you will exhaust infinity. When a child of God thinks he has exhausted the patience and mercy of God he is something like a little fish in the sea which said, “Oh, I am so thirsty, I am afraid I shall drink up the Atlantic.” O little fish, thou hast no idea how mighty the ocean is; countless myriads such as thou art may swim in it, and the ocean will be none the less. O beloved believer, yours is no stinted store. Joseph said to his brethren, “The good of all the land of Egypt is yours,” and it was a great word; but the Lord Jesus says to you to-night, “All things are yours, whether things present, or things to come, life or death, all are yours.” We have not gone to the full length, when we have quoted that; for there is another word that overtops it all, “I am thy God”; and to have God to be ours is more than to have heaven and earth, and things present and things to come. No one living on earth or even in heaven can tell how vast are the possessions of a believer who can say, “The Lord is my portion.” Go and glory in God’s all-sufficiency, and the freeness with which he gives it out.
There is one point every child of God may glory in, but he will scarcely care to do so unless when he is alone by himself, or with brethren who can sympathise. We glory in the nearness and dearness of the relationship which God holds to us. The man who can bow his knee, and say from his heart “Our Father,” has more to glory in than the Czar of all the Russias, or the Emperor of the grandest nations of antiquity. Is Christ my brother? I am ennobled by that relationship. Is he married to my soul? Is it indeed true that thy Maker is thy husband? Is God so very near that he cannot nearer be? And am I to him so very dear that I cannot dearer be, because in the person of his Son I am as dear as he? Then ought I not to glory in this? And whilst some will say, “We are rich, and our riches are the main chance”; and others will say, “We have followed after wisdom, and we rejoice in what we have discovered,” and a third party will say, “We are famous and great, and we glory in our honours”; we will sit down in some quiet corner, where none shall hear us but the Lord, and we will say, “I am my Beloved’s, and he is mine: this is my glory, and I will boast in it both in life and in death.” So then, beloved, I have shown that you have good cause to glory in the Lord heartily, but I cannot make you do it. I pray the Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of all God’s people to make them glory in the Lord, and exult in the God of their salvation.
“My God, I’ll praise thee while I live,
And praise thee when I die,
And praise thee when I rise again,
And to eternity.”
Neither till death, nor in death, nor after death will we cease glorying in the Lord.
III. Now we come to the third point, and that is, we ought to GLORY IN THE LORD GROWINGLY. That is to say, beloved, we should glory in God in proportion as we learn more of him, and receive more from him. Many believers only know the elements yet, they are at a preparatory school, and sit among the babes in Christ, hence their songs are children’s hymns, and not the grand old psalms of heroes and sages. It should be our desire to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. Beyond the rudiments of the faith there are deeper, higher, and fuller truths which invite our consideration, and will abundantly repay it. Perhaps you learned justification by faith a long while ago; but you have not learned the doctrine of election yet, nor the doctrine of the unchangeable love of God; labour to know them, for ignorance of them is neither bliss nor strength. As a faithful disciple go on to learn more and more, and when you have learned the more mysterious doctrines, glory in God more; as you know more, be sure you return to him more praise; for, if anything which you believe concerning the Lord does not cause you to praise him more, either it cannot be the truth or else your heart is in a wrong condition. Every genuine revelation of God has this mark upon it, that it makes him appear more glorious. The wisdom which derogates from the honour of God cometh from beneath, and is founded in a lie; true wisdom exalts the name of the Lord, and bows the heart in adoration.
Beloved, glory growingly in the Lord as you know more of him by revelation. Moses said, “I beseech thee show me thy glory,” and surely after he had been put in the cleft of the rock, and seen his God, he gloried more in him than ever. Isaiah was a man of stammering lips, and was afraid to speak in God’s name, until one day which he never forgot— for he tells us the year, “In the year that King Uzziah died,” he recollected it well enough— he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple, while the glory of his presence made the posts of the doors to move. Then Isaiah became very bold for his Lord, and said, “Here am I, send me.” Paul was, also, all the more resolved to know nothing but Christ crucified after he had been caught up into the third heaven, and there had seen and heard the glory of the Lord. Now I pray the Lord to reveal himself to you, dear friends, more and more, that you also may behold his glory, and receive a sacred bias thereby. May you see Jesus in your meditations, see him by communion and fellowship with him. And as you see more of him, go and tell abroad more of him, and let others know what a glorious God you serve. His angels behold him, and then he makes them messengers; be yours the vision and then yours the errand. What we have seen and heard, that must we testify unto men.
You will, as you live, see more of the glory of God in his gracious dealings with you, for that is one of the methods by which that glory is revealed. Christ said to Mary and Martha, “Said I not unto thee, if thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see the glory of God?” and as we get our prayers answered, as we are delivered in times of trouble, and as all things are made to work for our good, we see the glory of God. Never let a special season of mercy pass without praising him; never let an answer to prayer be unrecognised, but magnify the Lord, who in his abundant mercy has had such compassion upon you. Glorify him, then, growingly. As answers to prayer increase, glorify God more; as grace is given to you in times of need time after time, glorify him more; as you find yourself helped providentially in hours of trouble, and so see the wonderful working of the hand of the Lord on behalf of his people, glorify him more. And I will tell you what will help you to glorify him more, it will be the sight of conversion work going on in other people. I do not think Christian people glorify God at any time so heartily and thoroughly as when they see others saved. The sight of a young convert warms up old blood; and whereas we had doubts, troubles and inward fightings while we were wrapt up in ourselves, when we get to hear little children in Christ cry to their Father, and hear them rejoice as the Lord puts away their sins, our confidence comes back, all our sacred passions begin to glow, and we say, “This is the place for me, for here I see the glory of God.” “His glory is great in thy salvation.” Where Christ works savingly, there the glory of God is mightily revealed, and when the Lord builds up Zion, he appears in his glory, and his servants rejoice to behold him. How can they do otherwise? the stones would rebuke them if they were not to do so; they must glory in God more than they have ever done before.
By-and-by, dear brethren and sisters, as time rolls on, we shall know more of the Lord, and get to be more like him, and approach nearer to the glory itself. Beholding that glory, as in a glass, we are changed from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord. As we come nearer to the approaching hour of our full redemption, the pins of our tent are taken up, and the curtains of our tabernacle begin to be removed, and we look forward to the “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” in which our one employment shall be to behold the glory of our Lord for ever.
Let us even now wholly glory in the Lord. I have known some old Christians who were just one mass of glorying in the Lord. Their very faces shone with the brightness of his presence. They did neither talk to you in private, nor join in the public prayer, nor give forth any utterance, but what you said of it, “Surely they have seen the glory, and their hearts are burning with it, and therefore their tongues speak marvellous things, and they talk as men whose lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar.” When these hairs grow grey, may we be such old men and old women, may we be continually praising and glorying in the Lord all the day long. We had better begin at once, for time is precious, and a good work cannot be commenced too promptly.
“I would begin the music here,
And so my soul should rise,
O for some heavenly notes to bear
My passions to the skies.”
IV. Now I come to the last point, which is, let us GLORY IN THE LORD PRACTICALLY. And how can we do that? Every Christian ought to glory in the Lord practically, by owning that he belongs to his redeeming Lord. Are you a Christian, and are you ashamed of it? How can you be said to glory in the Lord? A man does not hide away that which he glories in. If he glories in it he does not object to its being seen. Why, if he glories in anything, if others accuse him that he has to do with it, he owns to the impeachment, and he says, “It is even so; and I am not ashamed of it; I glory in it.” Charge a veteran with having been at Waterloo, and he will glory in it. Accuse an artist of being a Royal Academician, and he will own the charge. Abuse me for loving my wife and children, and I smile at you. Why, then, blush to be called a follower of Jesus? You that love the Lord, I beseech you, come forward and say that you glory in him. The Lord deserves that his people should confess with their mouth that which they feel in their hearts. It is the least thing we can do, if he has saved us, to be willing to own that he is our Saviour, and that we rejoice in him.
Then, brethren, after we have thus confessed his glory let us continue to glory in him by talking about it on all fit occasions. Do you not think that we are a deal too reticent in our piety? We love the Lord, but we seem as if we do not want to tell anybody we do so; and our common conversation does not bewray us as it ought to do. It ought to be so full of grace and truth, that men would find us out at once. Even as the rose betrays itself by its perfume, and even the glowworm by its shining, so should our glorying in the Lord discover us to all observers. I have heard talk of a professed Christian of whom his servant said, “I am glad my master goes to the sacrament, for if he had not done so I should not have known he was a Christian.” I should think the chances were he was not a Christian at all; for we ought in our common conversation so to glorify God that others would at once take knowledge of us, that we truly know and love his name. A foreigner may speak English well, but he is known by his accent, and the accent of grace is quite as marked as that of nature. Speak to all around you about the Saviour. I do not know a better way of getting rid of troublesome people than often to talk of Jesus. There are certain talkatives, who vex you with their evil discourses; bring in the Lord Jesus Christ and they will soon go away, for they will not like such weighty discourse; and at the same time better friends will be attached to you who will love to join you in holy glorying.
Glory in the Lord by standing up for him when he is opposed. If you hear the proud ones ridicule his gospel, and despise his people, put in a word for Jesus. Stand out and say, “I am one of his disciples. Despise me! I hold those opinions; ridicule me! After the way which ye call heresy so worship I the Lord God of my fathers.” This is a practical way of glorifying him, but many who have grown rich and respectable are much too mean-spirited to practise it. I am ashamed of the cowardly spirit of many in these days who give up their Nonconformity, because they cannot otherwise get into what they call “good society.” The Lord have mercy on them.
Glorify him again by being calm under your troubles. When others are fretting and worrying, possess your soul in patience, and say, “No, I do not serve a fair-weather God, and I am not to be cowed and put down, for the eternal God is my refuge, and underneath me are the everlasting arms. It does not become a man to tremble who has the God of Jacob for his help. I will bear trouble joyfully, if he wills to send it.”
Glory in the Lord, brethren, practically, by having a contempt for those things which others value so much. Do not be greedy after the world. Love God too much to care for earthly treasures. If God gives you wealth, thank him for it and use it. If he does not, do not worry about it. Feel that you are rich enough without the heaps of yellow metal. You have your God, and that is the best wealth; you have a heaven to go to, and a little heaven below. Rejoice in that which you find in your God. Live above the world. May God’s Spirit help you. “Let your conversation be in heaven.” Thus glorify God, and when men look at you compel them to feel that there is something in you and about you which they cannot understand, for you have been with Jesus, and you have learned of him. In all these ways “he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.”
I am sorry, in closing, to feel compelled to say that I am afraid many do not understand this. Perhaps you have gloried in your priests, and thought they were great. Very possibly some of you glory in your minister, you think he is very eminent; and some of you, it may be, glory in your purses, and your possessions. Some of you glory in your broad acres, and large houses. Some of you glory in the skill you have in your trade, or your quickness in business. It may be many of you glory in the fact that you are not as other men are. All these gloryings are evil. God help you to put them down. Even to glory in your church, and glory in your sect, and glory in your creed is wrong. To glory in the Lord is the work of his Spirit, and to live to make him glorious in the esteem of men is the only thing worthy of an immortal mind. You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself. May he be pleased, in his infinite mercy, to show you unconverted sinners that there is nothing about you which you can justly glory in, but everything for which you ought to be ashamed and to loathe yourselves. May he make you fly to Jesus. I pray you trust him and be saved! The Lord bless you in his matter, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.