Could anything be more to the point? However great the demand that the falls may make upon the river, there is always more and more water to come! However great the demand that my needs have made upon the divine grace, there is always more and more at my disposal!
This vision of grace overwhelming and overflowing, rebukes the paltriness of my appropriation.
I recall the story that Macaulay tells in his essay on Lord Olive. When Olive was on his trial, answering his impeachment before his peers, he was charged, among other things, with having taken a sum of two hundred thousand pounds from the Indian princes.
‘Two hundred thousand pounds!’ exclaimed Clive.
‘Two hundred thousand pounds! Is that possible?’
He described the way in which the Indian princes had admitted him to their treasure-chests, displaying to his astonished eyes heaps of glittering gems, wealth incalculable, gold beyond the dreams of avarice. ‘I was invited,’ Olive exclaimed, ‘to help myself, to take as much as I would! And is it possible that I contented myself with a paltry two hundred thousand pounds? Great God, I stand astonished at my own moderation!’
So must every person feel who stands with me beside this reservoir. He ponders the monumental, majestic, mountainous phraseology with which the New Testament sets forth the illimitable riches and indescribable wonders of the divine grace. The most tremendous terms falter and seem ashamed of their own pitiful inadequacy. The infinities of grace make the very universe appear tiny. Yet the amazing thing is that we have actually appropriated so insignificant a fragment of the glittering hoard. We have been mendicants when we might have been millionaires. We must learn a higher wisdom. We must lay daring hands upon the inexhaustible supplies that we have so shamefully neglected and live in the enjoyment of an affluence that we have never before known. Ashamed of the past, we must turn shining and expectant faces to the future, giving glory to God for all the grace we have not tasted yet.
F W Boreham, Boulevards of Paradise (London: The Epworth Press, 1944), 202-203.
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: Niagara Falls