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THE SAINTS’ PILGRIMAGE JOURNEY.

NEITHER words nor tongue can give expression to all that befalls the individual saint in his momentous journey from nature to grace, and then from the time that journey is completed to the setting of the sun of his gospel day. The route tortuous, the way unknown, hidden pitfalls in the pathway, dangers seen and unseen, the untrained child ofttimes thinking himself rich and increased with goods, says, I am in need of nothing, and knoweth not that he is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Like one of old, who, sitting down at the closing in of his fitful, feverish journey, says, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” he is looking back over all the way the Lord God has led him, and with both awe and delight he wonders in amazement at the love and tender forbearance of his gracious Redeemer toward him. In retrospect he sees himself before his journey begins, filled with the delights which the world affords, no thought or desire for anything beside the treasures of earth with its follies, and then he remembers in those days the religion of the world got hold upon him, and it puffed him up to greater creature works; humility had no part in his active career; in sweeping declarations he said, All men are sinners, yet he knew not the plague of his own heart. But at a certain and appointed time of the Lord an Angel (the Holy Spirit) came into the habitation of his soul and set at naught the traders in earthly merchandise, overturned the tables of the money-changers. That was a black and terrible night, the Spirit of divine grace took the reins of his heart and mind and exercised him unto the wisdom and knowledge from above, by which he beheld himself a vile sinner, hateful to himself, and deceitful above all things; he recognized in himself the sentence of death, with the sword of divine justice hanging over him. Where now was his pride and vainglory? With one of old could he say, I am a worm, and no man; my guilty soul cries out in shame. The bright clouds in his earthly sky have become black and lowering; like the children of Israel in Egyptian bondage, whose burdens became so heavy that they were made willing to follow Moses to liberty, so this poor sinner groaned under the burden of the knowledge of his sins, turned away from the old haunts of sin, loathing them, when he heard a voice behind him saying, This is the way, walk ye in it. The wages of sin he found to be death, and he desired them no more; he was no more a servant of sin, but a servant of righteousness, with a fervent desire for holiness. He learned the name of Jesus, that it was the only name under heaven whereby he must be saved. His faith was in Jesus, his hope was founded upon the rock Jesus Christ; all his dependence was in him who was able to save him from death. The bolts of the prison door of the law which had held him were loosed by the obedience of his new and gracious Master, who shed his precious blood that he might live and enter into the glorious liberty of the gospel. How wonderful, then, was the grace of God which appeared unto him, teaching him that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, he should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. In him mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring up out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good, and our land shall yield her increase; righteousness shall go before him, and shall set him in the way of his steps. He now rejoiceth that he is counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield [unto him]: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Where now are the chains that held him in satanic bondage? Who can measure the height and depth of the love that hath clothed him with the majesty of heaven? He feedeth upon the choicest fruits of the garden of grace; the damp and shivering mists of the past night have been swept away by the bright shining of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings; watchmen stand at the gates and upon the walls of Zion guarding him from the enemies that are crying for his soul; because of the weakness of his flesh he ofttimes falls by the way, and he trembles with fear and with shame, but as in the days of old, the Lord raises up for him a Deliverer, and he goes on his way rejoicing, glorifying God and traveling in the strength of him who hath delivered him He hath set a seal upon him, he knoweth him by name, he keepeth him in the way, his paths are paths of peace. May we be of those who are the sheep of his pasture; may we dwell in his house all the days of our life, and behold his wondrous beauty, and serve him with reverence and godly fear.

B. F. COULTER.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 16
August 15, 1914