The Greatest Glory  

A SERMON – Preached on Sunday Morning, June 12th, 1864, by

MR.   JAMES   WELLS

 

ATTHESURREYTABERNACLE,Borough Road

 

 

"For God, who commanded  the light  to shine  out of  darkness, hath   shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” -2 Corinthians  IV: 6

 

We are, by the apostle Paul, reminded that this light is above the brightness of the sun; and if we take that one thing not only in Its literal, but in its full and proper meaning, it will then simply set before us this one truth, that the life and blessedness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that that surpasses this world in value and blessedness, and that it surpasses all time things; that all things we might desire are not to be compared unto it. So that the moon, when set, as it were, in comparison with Christ, is confounded; that  the sun   when  set, as  it were, in juxtaposition   with   the gospel  is ashamed;  when   the  Lord  thus  reigneth in Mount Zion, after the order of eternal life;  and in Jerusalem, after the order of the glorious city which he hath founded, and before his ancients gloriously. And all his people are ancients; they are all taught to trace their origin up to eternity; and though born in time spiritually, they were chosen before time, loved before time, blessed before time, known before time, provided for before time, and everything pertaining to their pilgrimage through time was settled on them before time, -even the very hairs of their head numbered. All that the Lord permits, and all that he does,-we are obliged to have these two doctrines; all that which he suffers to take place, and that which he actually brings about, - it all accords with his own appointments; for that which he suffers he has as much decreed to permit it as he hath deeded to do what he himself doeth. And where it our lot to enter a little more into this truth, not to make us fatalists- I do not deny that I am a predestinarian, but I am not a fatalist; I do not hold that everything takes place of necessity, but that everything takes place in subservience to the counsel and to the will of the great God; and there is a great deal of wisdom in that exhortation, "Stand still, and see the salvation of God. Be still, and know that I am God." I am sure there is not within the sound of my voice this morning one Christian that has not looked back and seen how many perturbations of mind, how many castings down, how many distresses, how many fears, and how many agonies, I may say, he has undergone in the past, all quite needless, all for want of a little more faith in the Lord, a little more patience to wait, and a little more confidence in his blessed name; and then, by-and-bye; he brings it to pass, and "he brings forth thy righteousness,"-that is, thy righteousness of faith; not thy righteousness after the flesh for there thy righteousness is all filthy rags, but thy righteousness of faith; and bringing forth that righteousness as the light, away goes all darkness, "thy judgment as the noonday.” And it is this experience of his faithfulness, of that light that is indeed a light that surpasses everything else, it is this experience that endears the Lord, and teaches us to trust in him.  It is this light that enables us to look through the long vista or I may say, the short vista of time, into the open glories of eternity; and when we are for a few moments so favored, we seem too long to be there.  However, this morning the latter part of our text will occupy our time, having, as some of you recollect, noticed the former part of the verse last Lord's Day morning. We have, then, this morning to notice simply the glory of God.   "To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Of course “the face of Jesus Christ" here is a form of speech to denote the person of Jesus Christ. But passing by that, the question is, what is the glory of God? We must be careful in this. The glory of God spoken of in our text does not mean his glorious perfections merely, though they are included; nor does it mean his glory as a Creator; nor does it mean his glory as a Legislator or Lawgiver; nor does it mean his glory as a God of providence; but the glory meant in our text is the glory of the gospel. We must be careful in this; for there is a kind of universality in the gospel itself.  It sometimes speaks of itself as if as though it was everything; and indeed, it is everything to us. Hence it is said, "All things are of God." I saw lately a duty-faith divine trying to handle that, that all  things  were  of  God,  and he  made  out that sin was of God also and in a very curious sort of way, and various other things. I thought, Now all this arises from you’re not seeing the kind of "all things" that are there meant. The “all things" here mean  the  "all things" that form the kingdom of Christ, that form the salvation of the soul, that make up our reconciliation to God, and that constitute the eternal blessedness we are to have; that's the "all things” here. As it saith in another place, "Behold, I make all things new and he that overcomes shall inherit all things;" that is, all these new things. The people of God are new creatures, and brought into a new life, and into a new heaven, a new earth, and all things making up our eternal welfare are of God. Thus then the words “all things” are used in an apparently universal way, but mean simply the whole range and compass of the gospel.

Now as to our subject this morning, I must this morning work by time, that's all I can say, and I shall begin and go on till my time is gone, the Lord enabling me; but as to getting to the end of the subject, or through the whole range of the subject, I might as well attempt to empty the ocean with a teaspoon as to attempt to do such a thing as that.  And I do not lament this; but I glory in the fact that the glory of God in its range and compass surpasses everything, and will to eternity surpass the range of angels or of glorified men. However, we must notice some items of this glory of God.  Frist, then it means the triumph, the victory, of the Lord Jesus Christ; that's the glory that is that in which the Lord delights, and by which he is glorified. Hence the apostle will lead us along very nicely in this part He says “Thanks be unto God, that always causeth us to triumph in Christ." Now this is the one part of the glory, then, the victory: that we have in Christ.  Here is sin against you, - the Saviour comes in, and down it goes. Here is guilt making you afraid,-the Saviour comes in, away it goes. Here is death making you afraid,-the Saviour comes in, swallowed up, gone. Here is Satan making you afraid, - the Saviour comes in, treads him down under your feet. Here is tribulation making you afraid,-the Saviour steps in and causes the consolation of his presence to overcome the tribulation, and makes you exceeding joyful in the very midst of tribulation. You have many enemies to encounter, many that would do you if they could; but Jesus steps in in the stability of his friendship and then you triumph in Christ. When You can take that stand firmly, and feel and recon upon what you have in Christ at any rate, reckon upon what there is in Christ, if you cannot recon upon what you have in Christ; because your mind may be tired, and you may doubt and fear as to whether you have any real faith in or love to Christ;  well, then, if  you cannot reckon  upon what you have in Christ, first reckon upon what there is in Christ,-that in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And the apostle follows up that declaration with, "Ye are complete in him, who is the head;" so you see this completeness is where there is no power can alter it. "Ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power." So that, while sin robbed us of the completeness we had in the first Adam, sin and Satan robbed us and spoiled us there; but, saith John, referring to our standing in Christ," He abideth"-the man that is thus in Christ!-­ "he abideth, and the wicked one toucheth him not." That scripture many years ago puzzled me amazingly; because I knew the devil did touch me in a great variety of ways; and he has been at it almost ever since; and I think he is worse than ever, for he knowest he hath but a little time. But when I come to understand the difference between Satan touching us as we are in ourselves and as we are in the world, touching us as we are in Christ is quite a different thing. This, then, is one item of the glory of God. "Thanks be unto God that causes us to triumph in Christ." I do like the gospel myself so opened up, when I read the word of God to my mind, as to shut out other things, and to enable me to feel that God is a God of all the mercy I can need, and of all the mercy that I could need if I had ten million times more sins than I have; even then he is a God of all the mercy I can need, of all the ransom I can need, of all the grace that I can need, of all that I can need for time, all that I can need for eternity; and I am sure the Lord delights in this.

The second item of God's glory is eternal life sovereignly given. The apostle bore a good testimony. "Maketh manifest by us," he says, "the savor of his knowledge in every place. For we are unto God a sweet, savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life." Now let us see if we can understand this. "We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish." How so? By one thing. They were unto God a sweet savor of Christ by one thing; and by that one thing they were a savor of death unto death unto the one, and of life unto life to the other.  And how were they a sweet savor of Christ unto God? By abiding firmly by the truth; that is the way in which they were a sweet savor unto God. The gospel was committed to them. As the apostle beautifully observes, "He counted me faithful;" not that Saul of Tarsus had any more faithfulness in the flesh than the rest of us; but the Lord undertook to make him a faithful man; and so counting me, and making me what he counted me, "he hath put me in trust with the gospel." And so they were a sweet savor unto God by abiding firmly by the truth; and how they were a savor of death unto death to the one, life unto life to the other, I will notice presently. Let us take an Old Testament scripture to explain this. Now, if you do yourselves the favor, any time, to go to the 3rd chapter of Exodus, you will find that Moses was there sent to the children of Israel after a certain order of things. He saith, What name shall I go in?  And the Lord's answer was, "I am that I am;" which, of course, is a declaration both of his eternity and of his immutability. So that Moses thus was to go in the name of him who is eternal, and who is immutable. Now that is one thing that Moses must abide by; he must abide by the eternity and immutability of the blessed God. Now let us look at both these things in Christ: we are to abide by the eternity and immutability of our God as it is in Christ.  See the eternity,-what is the eternity of our God in Christ? Why, an eternity of love.  "I have loved thee with an everlasting love."   What is the eternity of God in Christ?    Why, an eternity of mercy.  "His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting." What is the eternity of God in Christ? Why, the eternity of a covenant, an everlasting covenant, of which Jesus is the mediator. What is the eternity of our God in Christ?  It is eternal salvation.  "Saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation."  "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and forever."  And in all these God is immutable.  Now, then, we are to abide by this; but this is not all; this is only one aspect of the gospel.   Another aspect is that of new covenant relationship.   Not only was Moses to go in the name of Jehovah's eternity and immutability, but also in the name of new covenant relationship;  and the Lord speaks of it decidedly,  solemnly,  and  delightfully:  "Thus shalt thou  say unto the "children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God  of  Isaac,  and  the  God  of Jacob,  hath sent  me unto you; this is my name forever, and this is  my memorial"-or  that by which  I will be  remembered-"unto   all  generations."    Now,  then, Moses   was   a sweet savor  of  Christ unto  God  by simply  thus  abiding by  the eternity and immutability- of  the blessed  God, and abiding by that new covenant relationship indicated by his being the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; hereby Moses was a sweet savor unto God.  If, then, we are accepted in Christ, we are accepted there into God's eternity, we are accepted there into God's immutability; and  the Christian as he stands there is as unchangeable as the  great God himself; the Christian, as he stands there, is as eternal in his  duration  and blessedness as the blessed God himself.  See the blessedness of the standing.   Why, thou canst not change as thou art there; thy life the same, thine  holiness the same, thy righteousness the same, thy Saviour the same; one with Jesus; like him ; and  when the body  is  raised  from  the  dead at  the  last  great  day it can no more again die than the Saviour's body can again die; it can no more again fail than the Saviour's body can fail.   Here, then, is another item of the gospel-namely,  this  everlasting  life by Jesus Christ, and that Moses was a sweet savor of Christ; for Moses knew Jesus Christ as well as Paul the apostle did.   Why, say you, don't say that?    Quite as well; I could easily prove it, but I mustn't stop to do that now.  It is very clear then, thus simply and faithfully abiding by the truth, that they were a sweet savor of Christ unto God.  The Pharisee that went to the temple did not savor of Christ unto God, therefore was not a sweet savor to God.  The poor publican called for mediation, mercy; and the publican’s faith in God's mercy by Christ Jesus made him a sweet savor unto God. So that all the boasted good of the one without faith in Christ could not make him a sweet savor to God; and all the sins of the other, he having faith in Christ, could not make him an ill savor to God; he was a sweet savor unto God; so is every poor sinner thus brought into the true faith of the true gospel.   Now comes the difficult point.   “To the one we are savor of death unto death, unto the other we are a savor of life unto life."   Let us see how Moses was this, and see if that will not explain to us this scripture.  How was Moses a savor of   life unto life to the one?  By  saving them, and abiding by the  Lord's own order of things, succeeding in bringing the Israelites  out  from the  tyranny  of Pharaoh, he  brought  them  out  of Egypt through the Red Sea, and brought them into that association with God that all that were believers did well; they did cleave unto the Lord their God, and every one that did so was at the end of the journey alive and well.  And how was be a sweet savor unto God in the others?   By defeating them, by overcoming them, by conquering them. I know what the  old wives fable  is;  I know  what the  duty-faith man's card house is that he flies off to; that the minister is a sweet savor in them that are lost, because he offered them salvation, and they wouldn't be saved; and so the Lord  lets the minister off; he did his part, only they wouldn't do theirs;   my  soul  increasingly   abhors  anything  and  everything   that interferes with the sovereignty of the grace of the blessed God.   I hate it just as I hate every false way; and the man that doesn't hate the false way -does not really love the true way.   Now Moses was a sweet savor unto God in relation to the Egyptians by defeating them.  Now then, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake."   But if during that hatred exercised towards you, you begin to cry craven; you begin to cry for quarters; you begin to lower the banner; you begin to soften matters down; you begin to think, well, perhaps you have gone rather too far, will become  more  moderate; and so this hatred of the truth so affects your poor nerves, that you  by degrees give way, over you topple into duty-faith,  or something else; and thus you are not a sweet savor unto God  in them that are lost, for you have not beaten them, you have not  defeated them, you have  not overcome  them; they have overcome you, and  carried you  away.  Whereas, if you endure this hatred to the end, stand fast, and be not moved from the hope of the gospel; neither drawn by the smiles of the crafty, nor moved by the frowns of the vicious, but stand  fast through  it all, then thou  dost defeat thine enemies, then thou  dost defy them, dost thou  overcome them, and with all their powers they have not been able to move  you  from the truth; you are a sweet savor of Christ unto God in them that perish, because you have beaten  them, you have gained the victory; you have stood fast; the fear of man that bringeth a snare hath ensnared you; but your feet have stood fast upon the Rock of Ages, and you come at the last and say with the Psalmist, and "though ten thousands of people set themselves against me, I will not  fear,  having the Lord  on your side;  and that's the way Moses was a sweet savor of Christ unto God in them that were destroyed because  he overcame  them; in them that were saved, because they were saved.  Just so the apostle Paul.  There were some man-made ministers. Why, they said, it will be a respectable thing to be a parson; we had better open a factory; we had better begin to chisel out some blocks, and paint them up, and work them up into order, and clothe them with all the fascinations that shall carry on our system.   And so these men went to Galatia and preached a gospel like themselves; they went there with an Arminian heart and a Calvinistic head, and preached a mixed sort of gospel.  But shall the apostle Paul be thus overcome?  Shall he be conquered? Shall he be defeated? Shall he forsake the sovereign friendship of the living God, and begin to seek the favor of men?  Shall he lower the standard in order to please men?  Shall  he   soften  matters in order  to  be  a  favorite  with  dying  mortals,  or  for  the  sake  of anything under heaven whatever?   No "If an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that we have preached, let him be accursed."   So the apostle was a sweet savor of Christ unto God in them that were lost, in as much as he defeated them; he overcame them, he conquered them, was not led astray by them.  I have seen a great many in our day led away by the multitude, and thereby prove that their religion was not real.   And in getting your new chapel you have to have your eyes open.  The devil is likely to send two or three among us to propose some softening measure or another.  A very warm-hearted friend, writing under some misinformation to me  yesterday,  says  some  things  that  I quite  sympathize with, and the one part I think that he objects to, step he objects to, rather, I think it was proposed  from a good motive, but I am  so dead set against it-namely, the proposition  that we should purchase  a second-hand, old, musty, rusty,  duty-faith chapel.   Rather than I would  go with you if you are fools  enough  to do  so, I would  stick to  the  old Surrey  Tabernacle as long as there  is a bit  of  timber in  it,  rather than I would  go to have anybody's old left-off garments.   If I am spared, God helping me, we will have a new place; thoroughly new; therefore I am dead set against it.  I believe  the motive  is good  in proposing such  a thing; but  I should think all of you-I am mistaken in you- would not take up your stand in a moment against any such thing. Let us be ourselves.  "The people  shall dell  alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations;"  and the more the people of God are alone the better, because the less they have of man the more room there is for God; and if we are a poor desert in and of ourselves, it is in the desert the Lord likes to come. So we shall have still to be on the watch, for if we have reasons to question the reality of the friendship of some few who do attend the Surrey Tabernacle pretty regularly, well may we be very suspicious of others that are very forward with their propositions, but hardly ever attend the place.  God preserve us, and guide us, and keep us, and that I may leave you, when I do leave you in a dying hour, in the full sunshine of gospel liberty. The Lord raise up one or more among you still to carry on the glorious theme. So, then, they were a sweet savor unto God, first, in abiding by the truth firmly, and honestly, and faithfully, and vitally, and really; second, that they were a sweet savor to God of Christ in them that are saved, because they are saved ; and in them that are lost, because they are defeated, because the enemy is beaten.  King Saul comes home, and he says, Well, I hope I am a sweet savor to God. Why, says Samuel, you a sweet savor to God? Why, you are beaten. Oh, I am not beaten, I have beaten the Amalekites. Yes, but Agag has beaten you. He has never spared an Israelite; he has slain the Israelitish women, he has slain their infants, he has slain their husbands, he has slain their brothers, he has slain their fathers; and yet this delicate, sneaking, polite, grinning, smiling fellow, why, he has overcome you. You have brought him alive, have you? Why, he is the first man you ought to have killed among then.  David would not have spared Agag, had his head off in a minute, same as he did Goliath. Now, therefore, as you have thus disobeyed the Lord-Ah, but then still I have offered a great many sacrifices. Away with your sacrifices; "behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." Saul lost his kingdom, and came under the judgments of the Most High, for want of that decision which David possessed, which the prophets and apostles possessed, and which faithful men of God in every age have possessed. I could say very, very much upon this. I could remind you of good old Micaiah. They went to coax him over I am told that you are a hyper, a very narrow-minded man, that nobody agrees with you; now do for once be liberal. Here are four hundred men, very nice people, I assure you, and Jehoshaphat would have you now do the same as the rest.  Ah, he says, so I will as far as the Lord shall sanction, and no further. "As the Lord liveth, what shall the Lord say unto me, that will I speak." And he did, and we know the result.  Now, Elijah, why, who are you, going to set yourself against four hundred respectable men? Why don't you agree with them, go over, and be comfortable? You see what a solitary mortal you are.  Why, here are four hundred of them. It is true they are all men-made parsons, manufactured by men, but still very nice men; you will be friendly with them, won't you? Ah, you might as well ask God Almighty, I was going to say, to cease to be God, as to ask the prophet any such thing. That circumstance is instructive to us all. You know how the prophet proceeded, and you know what power he had with God, and you know how the devil was confounded. Elijah thus stood out for God's truth, and he was a sweet savor of Christ in the Israelites that were saved, because their hearts were brought back again, and a sweet savor of Christ in the others, because they were defeated. Elijah, though solitary, gained the victory; and so it must be now.

There is another respect which I must notice, in which the prophets and apostles are still a savor of death unto death to the one, and a savor of life unto life to the other; and I mention this other respect lest I should so speak as to sink any one to despair. Well, now, suppose you came into this chapel this morning unconvinced of your state, never known repentance, have never known humiliation before God, or what it is to have faith in Christ, have never known what it is to cry to God or sigh to God for mercy, to seek him; then the prophets and apostles are unto you a savor of death unto death; they declare you a lost man. But  suppose something  I have said  or  something  I should  say this  morning should convince you of  your state, and you  should  begin  to  be  concerned, and begin to seek  the  Lord, and begin  to call on our Lord  Jesus Christ  and begin  to  look  after his mercy, and to desire  to be  one of   his; that very instant the prophets   and  apostles,  from whose testimony   there   is  no appeal, would   cease  to  be  unto you  a savor of death  unto   death, and would  become unto you testimonially a savor of life unto life.  Bless the Lord for this, it  does not follow that if you are an unbeliever this morning, you  are  to remain so;  1t  does  not  follow  that  if you  are  blind  now you are to remain  so; it does not  follow  that if  you  are under  the curse now, you  are  to  remain  there; it does  not follow that  because  you  are a far off  now, you are to remain there. What is the object, one object, in preaching the gospel?  To open men's eyes, turn them from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God.  And when they are turned   to God, what   shall they receive?    Forgiveness   of sins. They shall receive  no reproach, no wrath, no  curse, no shame  no unkindness there  shall  be  no  neglect,  no indifference; but  the Lord  with  his whole heart  and with his whole soul, with  infinite  and  eternal  pleasure, will forgive  you  all iniquities,  past, present,  and  to  come;  he  will  heal  all diseases,  and bring you into   the sweet  savor   of  the  gospel;  and  then, “he that believeth hath everlasting life”.  You now do believe; you are now being brought into this state, a partaker   of   everlasting life.  Thus then,  the glory of  God  is the triumph of  Christ, and that  eternal life that is by him;  and that we are a glory to him  or  a  sweet  savor to  him as we abide thus firmly by the truth.

I must pass over many items I had intended to have dwelt upon. The next part of the glory of God that I notice is the vitality of godliness. Hence the apostle says, "Need we, some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” I see nothing against letters of commendation in their proper place; if I know a good man I can write in his favor. But the apostle gives them to understand that it was not at all needful that any letters of commendation should be sent unto them concerning the apostles, for they had reached there; and "ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men for as much as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us; written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."  It really is delightful to see the consistency of the Holy Scriptures, if you take them in their proper meaning. Now just mark this; in the preceding chapter to our text, the apostle describes the work of the Holy Spirit, writing in the fleshly table of the heart. Now what does the Old Testament say about this internal writhing? The Old Testament says, "I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts;" that is, the new covenant laws; "and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more." Now directly after the apostle has spoken of this writing in the heart, he brings in the new covenant; he says, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament." The new testament I take there to mean, of course, the new covenant so that in their hearts was written the new covenant, a covenant ordered in all things and sure. And that minister that is not experimentally brought into the new covenant certainly is not taught of the Spirit of God; and that people that do not find their present and eternal all in that covenant, certainly  are  not  yet perfectly  acquainted  with  the way  of the Lord "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament." Being convinced of it, and having realized  the blessedness  of  it, God's  immutable counsel, had afforded them such  consolation  that  they  could speak  with  unbounded  confidence  to  others concerning this covenant.   "Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."   There is an  important distinction  there,   "The   letter  killeth."   Some have thought the letter there means the law of God, which the apostle brings in; but I question whether it doesn't mean something else. Now we will suppose that the letter there does not mean the law, which he brings in, in the after parts of the chapter; we will suppose the letter means the gospel.  How does the letter of the gospel kill? I will tell you. You are converted morally? Yes. And you take the name of Jesus? Yes. You are converted mentally, and you adopt a certain creed? Yes.  You are converted circumstantially, not vitally; there is no real knowledge of yourself; you have undergone no real humbling; you have undergone no vital, divine change, and you profess to be a Christian. The gospel will by-and-bye bear testimony against you, and declare you are not a Christian. You will walk up to heaven's door, and knock with all the assurance possible, "Open unto us."  "Depart; I know you not." You have never had the golden oil of my grace; the change was not vital.  I know you not.   The covering in which your soul is arrayed is not the covering of my Spirit, and therefore not the wedding garment; you have not on, by divine authority, the righteousness of my dear Son; you have been a mere letter professor, and now that letter bears testimony against you, that you are an intruder into my kingdom; you have come into my kingdom of yourself; you have been brought in by natural means, you are a natural man, and a natural professor. And so it is that many shall thus, by a mere letter profession -letter of the word-seek to enter in, and shall not be able. This is a solemn matter. Whereas, on the other hand, if thy soul is made to know its grief and its woe, and led to receive the blest redeemer with all earnestness and decision, vitally, and really, and truly, and to feel that you must abide by it, for it is your life eternal,-if this he your experience, then thou wilt be received  at  the last,  "Come,  ye blessed  of  my Father, inherit  the  kingdom.  Well done, thou good and faithful servant."   But if thou art a mere letter professor, thou art but a natural man, and therefore wilt be lost at last.  So the letter killeth testimonially,   the law killeth executively, but the gospel killeth testimonially. Thus, then, here is the triumph of  Christ, here is  everlasting life, according to the good  pleasure of God, and here is vitality, and here is the new  covenant;  and then there  is the ministration  of the Spirit, in contrast to the ministration  of the law.  And the gospel might well be called the ministration of the Spirit; oh, how it inspirits us in our troubles! It is called the ministration of righteousness; this is a needful thing, for we have no righteousness until it be ministered to us.  And it is a ministration of superiority; it is a glory that surpasses everything else.    And  it  is  a  ministration   that   endures  forever;  this gospel  glory of   the  Lord  shall  endure   forever.  In short,  the  Lord delights  in    mercy,  that's his  glory;   the   Lord   delights   in sending Jesus  Christ into the  world, that  is  his glory; Jesus  Christ delighted  to do the will of  God, that  was his glory; and Jesus Christ still delights to do the will of God; the Holy  Spirit delights to carry out the will of God. May it be our delight more and more to do the will of our Father which is in heaven.