by Andrew Gray
If God hath irresistibly and effectually called thee, amongst those few, very few called ones, whom He hath chosen for Himself, let this engage thee to be holy yet more and more.
Did not the Spirit of grace knock at thy door with infinite holy motions, before thou condescended to open? Thou refused to obey, until He called, not a third time, as to Samuel, but many an hundred times. As Lot was loath to depart out of Sodom, till the angels laid hold upon his hand, and brought him forth; so thou was loath to leave thy sins, and sinful companions, till the hand of the Lord laid hold upon thine heart. God's arbitrary and free grace called thee and left others. Oh, how should this make thee to admire God's love, and to strive for God's holiness!
When God took thee, He left others; he passed by thousands and ten thousands in the world, and left them in their impenitency and carnal security under the bondage and vassalage of Satan. Consider, how few there are that shall be saved, in comparison of the multitude that shall be eternally destroyed. Consider that God should call thee with an holy calling, and bring thee in to be one of that little flock, that is under the care of the good Shepherd Jesus Christ. If thou should be chosen and singled out from the rest, when they are left in a state of sin to perish eternally, what astonishing distinguishing mercy is this! How should this engage thee to be eminently holy.
Was thou called in thy younger years? Oh, be holy in all manner of conversation for a requital of God's love that suffered thee not to stab thy soul to old age. It is a greater mercy to be called at the first, or third, than at the eleventh hour; to be called in thine infancy and early days, than in the afternoon, and evening, and twilight of thine age. Being early called, thou never made such sad shipwrecks, never involved thyself in such gross wickedness as others have done. Thou hast had long trial of the sweetness of holiness, therefore follow after it still. Was thou called of later times? Labor to make requital for the many hours, days, and years, thou lost before thou was acquainted with God. Surely holiness becomes thee forever. Oh, be holy, ye old disciples, for your time to gather grace in will not be long. Oh, be holy, ye young converts, for ye want liveliness, strength, and vigour in the way and work of the Lord.
Your experiences are but short; some tastings you have had, oh, but desire more, for the more holiness you have, the more sweetness you shall find. The richest wine lies in the lowest cellar. Hath Christ come and laid Him down under thy roof? Oh, be pure and holy that thou vex not His righteous soul. Oh, how should thou please Him, who hath so highly honoured and advanced thee! If a peasant's daughter were married to a prince, would she put on her old rags, or eat her old country diet again? Christ the Prince of Peace hath married thee to Himself, and appointed thee a rich jointure. Wilt not thou forever lay aside the filthy garments of sin, and slight those husks on which thou fed before? It may be that thou art so poor, that of thine own thou hast nowhere to lay thine head, and it is certain thou possessest not one foot of land that is thine own for ever. Yet art thou an heir, a child, dearly beloved, both by God and angels. This honour have all the saints.
Once thou wert a great, a filthy sinner; oh, be holy, for Christ hath washed thee in His blood, justified thee by His righteousness, and sanctified thee by His Spirit, even when thou wert filthy to look upon. Moses once married a Blackamoor, David had vile men for his soldiers, and Christ had publicans, harlots, and sinners for His companions. So God chose thee when thou had little morality, little ingenuity, or natural goodness. Thou art of the number of those few that shall be saved, and so strongly bound to be eminently holy.
:: Extract taken without permission from A Door Opening Into Everlasting Life by Andrew Gray ©1989 Netherlands Reformed Book and Publishing Committee