11 OCTOBER (PREACHED 1770)
More trials, more conflicts, more victories
‘And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here …’ Luke 9:33
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: James 1:2–12
We have Peter’s declaration: it is good to be here. He was struck with what he saw and wished for its continuance. We have from this verse more offers than we can well speak to at present.
(i) When he spoke—as they were departing. Till they were going, he slept, and then he said, O it is good to be here. Thus we usually prize our mercies most when we are just about to lose.
(ii) His judgement—it is good to be here. Such is the effect of a sight of the glory of Christ or a taste of his love: O that this frame, this ordinance, might continue long; O that I could bid the world adieu and come down from the mount no more. Such are the desires of the heaven-born soul. Though imperfect, they are sincere; their hearts are to the Lord, to his presence. Never do they find this sweet satisfaction in worldly goods, or in creature comforts—still there is something wanting, something amiss. But spiritual joys give full and sweet content.
But it must not be yet—you must come down—you must attend to the calling the Lord has placed you in, that your light may shine before men. You must have more trials, more conflicts, and these will open the way to more victories. Be thankful for tastes by the way. Ere long you shall arrive at the Fountainhead.
FOR MEDITATION: Your affliction, my dear Sir, did not spring out of the ground. The season, the measure, the event, are in the hands of him who so loved you, as to redeem you by his blood. To you it is now given, not only to believe in his name, but also to suffer for his sake. He calls you now to a post of honour. Many eyes are upon you; both your friends and your enemies have seen that the Lord has been wonderfully with you in your public life. You will now, I trust, burn and shine in a different situation, to the praise and glory of his grace, and to the increase of your experience and wisdom, power and faithfulness.
John Newton to William Wilberforce, 30 September 1800
[on learning ‘that dear Mrs Wilberforce was dangerously ill’]
SERMON SERIES: ON THE TRANSFIGURATION, NO. 6 [3/3], LUKE 9:32–33