It is related of a celebrated general, that when, at the close of a great martial triumph, he surveyed from an elevated spot the field of battle, and saw his victorious troops pursuing the utterly routed enemy, he was heard in exultation to exclaim, “This is not victory; this is CONQUEST!”
It takes, generally speaking, several victories to make a conquest; here, however, in a single battle the power of the enemy was utterly broken. “Victory” therefore would not express the magnitude of the triumph. It was “Conquest.”
Amongst the many conquests of history one stands alone.
It is unique in character, for it was won through weakness.
It is unique in magnitude, because of the vastness of the issues at stake.
It is unique in glory, for it is the triumph of divine love.
Before it the glory of earth fades as a star before the rising sun. When in the coming ages earth and its victories have long since dropped into oblivion, there will remain fresh in the heart that which commands the universal homage of heaven—The conquest of Calvary.
When I pass in spirit before Calvary and see the Holy Sufferer—God’s beloved Son—on the cross, I wonder as I behold Him rise superior to man’s deep-seated enmity against Him, which found its full expression at that moment. But when I see the great sin-question settled root and branch for ever, the terrific assault of Satan met to his own eternal confusion, and everlasting glory brought to God; and when I see the One who died in weakness—having annulled the power of death and burst the bars of the grave—living by the power of God, crowned with glory and honour, then it is mine in holy triumph to exclaim, “This is not victory, this is CONQUEST.”
Reader, the conquest of Redemption is complete, and the Conqueror, wreathed with the laurels of victory, adorns the throne of God (Heb. 2:7).
A full and free salvation, based on this, is still published far and near. The tide of victory still rolls on, grace still reigns, the divine love therein displayed still conquers rebel hearts. Doubtless the tidings have reached your ears, reader.
“But God raised Him from the dead. . . Be it known to you therefore. . . that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:30, 38, 39).
But what about your soul? Have you yielded to the Saviour’s love? Has the grace displayed in the death of the cross won your heart?
Be assured of this, that if you refuse the love of God, if you bow not to Jesus, who is Lord of all, if, in short, reader, you are never broken, conquered at the sight of His conquest at Calvary, the judgment you so richly deserve will fall upon you, and it will be your own fault.
But if, on the other hand, you bow to His sceptre in this the day of His grace, and in the consciousness of your ruin believe in His name, salvation is yours upon the authority of His own word (John 1:12). All the blessings flowing from His conquest are yours—to be enjoyed now and displayed in the day of glory—and all the glory is Christ’s.
“His be the Victor’s name
Who fought the fight alone,
Triumphant saints no honour claim,
His conquest was their own.”
Scattered Seed 16 (1900) p. 1