If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?—John 3:12.
Was there ever condescension like that of Jesus, to accommodate himself to the dull and senseless capacities of his people? Kind, compassionate, indulgent Teacher, I would say, how shall I sufficiently admire or adore thy love? Oh! that a consciousness of my ignorance would endear to me thy wisdom! And oh! that a sense of the deep things of God would induce in me a temper and frame of mind suited to the docility and humbleness of a weaned child! Now, my soul! mark from these words of thy Jesus to that master in Israel, Nicodemus, that so sublime are the wonders of redemption, even in that part of it which is connected with earthly things, that our capacities, until opened and fitted for the apprehension of divine truths by grace, cannot enter into the enjoyment or belief of them. And how then shall the glories of eternity, which are reserved for unfolding on the other side of Jordan, be brought within the grasp of our intellect? And yet are there some, yea many, who, with the incredulity of Thomas, refuse conviction, unless they receive what, in the present state of things, cannot be granted. Blessed Master! I desire to praise thee for that proportion of faith thou hast given me, to believe the things which are freely given to me of God; and I beseech thee, Lord, to grant me increasing proportions of faith and grace, that I may both believe the earthly things of salvation, and the heavenly things to be revealed. I would pray for grace and faith in lively exercise, to connect and bring into the same view both worlds, as they concern thee and thy great salvation. Yea, Lord, I would pray for increasing knowledge of, and delight in all the great things of salvation, among the transactions of earth here below; such as the momentous truths of regeneration, justification by thy blood and righteousness, and the eternal acceptance of thy people in thee, and in thee only, the beloved. And I would pray also for the most enlarged and enlarging views of faith, concerning the glories which shall be revealed, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man to conceive. Lord, increase my faith, and prepare me for the everlasting enjoyment of thyself in glory, when faith shall be swallowed up in sight; when I shall see thee as thou art, and know even as I am known.